I didn’t realize that there were about thirty pieces in A Potagerie of Rejects, but as I went through it today to see how many more I needed to do a last edit on, I was amazed at what I found! I had also been hoping for a page count of around 120 or so, and I believe it’s around 135, so that is definitely a good thing! In between doing anthropology homework and quizzes, and studying for my algebra test, I’ve been working on those last edits, trying my hardest to be sure I can order a proof copy by next Friday (!!!), and then turn around and order copies for my inventory the following week (or as soon as I get the proof and deem that all’s well). Exciting, yes?? A ‘birth date’ is nearly in sight! The best part about it–though there are several best parts about having a brand new book in hand–is that I can get back to The Open Book and work on the last of it as well. I am ashamed to say that I haven’t had a chance to work on it in about two weeks (though, not my fault–outside world invasion!) but I’ve had some rather interesting dreams lately, some of which might help. I also had a chance to go walking on Friday afternoon, and am going to try my damnedest to make that a part of my weekly routine–I Need It. My Sanity Needs It. That being said, let the ideas come flooding in–for that book, for future books, for the sake of letting me be Me again, Please.
In light of A Potagerie… nearly being in print, and the fact that I have been having more interesting dreams as of late, I’m considering another anthology for future (later) release, made up of strange and random dreams I’ve had. These, of course, being ones that don’t turn into novels as I write them up! I had a good one early this morning and went ahead and stuck it into A Potagerie, so if you’re not privy to my facebook ramblings (which is quite all right because I actually loathe the place and don’t often have many great things to share!), you can see it in the book soon. Come to think of it, there are several of my dreams in A Potagerie, so you’ll have access to those as well. As I sit here and think about this, I realize that it wouldn’t be the first book of my dreams–Woven Dreams was ALL dreams…
Anyway…this future anthology will have more than 8 dreams, and may not be illustrated…or maybe it will. I would like to have more illustrations to go with my writing. I think they are important to have in books so the eyes and brain can have a chance to breathe while still being entertained. Too many words in a row is not healthy. (My theory.) After some recent health issues of my own, and some epiphanies as to the causes and how to handle them, I’m pretty much all about healthy right now. After all, what use am I if I’m dead?
I’m going to say this up front:
If you have children and have ever imagined what it might be like to discover that they are suddenly missing, or you suspect someone has stolen them away–that dread and feeling of nausea–that is what losing a work in progress feels like. I know, I know–some of you will argue that you can’t compare a piece of writing to a life. Well, actually, I CAN. Just as you can’t go and have another baby that is just the same (or remotely close to) the one you’ve lost, I can no more easily recreate something once I’ve lost it. Certainly not a book!
Though it’s been quite some time since I’ve mentioned it, I know I’ve talked about it in the past–maybe here, maybe on Livejournal, back in the day–but I know that Scorsese’s Tinder Box will not sound unfamiliar to some of you. Yes: That is the piece that has vanished. I know I talked about it quite a few times, and I know that it wasn’t all just talk. While I may not have completed it, I know that at least several pages of it were written. This is nightmarish and I feel sick. I want to write this book, but there is no way in hell that I can recreate what I had already written. Can I hope that the next try will be better? It’s unfathomable to even go there. I have these silly hopes that it will turn up somewhere–that I’ve somehow missed it while frantically going through 3 boxes and four shelves of handwritten stories and works in progress, but I’m sure at this point that I haven’t. There’s the tiniest chance that there’s something of it on my old laptop…that I cannot remember the password for, and therefore can’t get into without wiping the entire drive–since I no longer have the backup discs that would help me bypass the password. I try not to travel the path of thoughts that point to having been conspired against, but it’s happened before–having a jealous significant other steal, destroy or throw away something I’ve written. I know: how completely weak. (And if you’ve ever done this to me or anyone else and you are reading this post…Yeah, imagine the karmic backlash you’ll get for it and then try to sleep tonight.) It’s a real shame and aside from what I’ve already said here, I just don’t know what more to add…
I am one of hundreds of thousands of people who strive to make a difference in the world, and I want to do it with my talent as an authoress. Last summer–about this time, in fact–I met a woman who told me that the three greatest things you can give to others are Time, Talent and Treasure. While I’ve been grossly lacking on Treasure, and Time has been taken up in part by work and school, what I’m left with offering is Talent. I wish I had the ability to build houses–to give immediate relief to people in need, but I don’t. I don’t have that. What I can build are worlds and lives, both of which can give temporary escape or long-lasting change to an existing life if people are willing to go deep and explore. It’s eye-opening for me to see how friends and acquaintances praise the literary works of other authors, forgetting that there is one very close to them–one they can talk to for further insight about these fantastical stories, or…Life. It’s my contribution to Being Real. There is something about Being Real, however, that seems to make me intangible. Those with the Celebrity Status–whom most people will never be in the same room with–are so far removed from the rest of us, it’s a wonder how people get so star-struck, rather than making the most of what’s closest to them. Nothing much I can do about that, but hope to one day be removed from tangibility…And then where will we all be?
There has been a lot of talk around me lately of icebergs in relation to people’s lives–that we only see the tip of them and that there’s more underneath that we don’t know about. People who seem happy may not be. People who seem successful may not be. I don’t know how much truth there is to all of that. What I know is that I see people posting pictures of going to New Zealand and the Virgin Islands and England, and the harder I work, the closer I get to a grassy gown with a granite crown. It’s truly amazing. Really. Like, I am in utter disbelief that my upswings in life are so much shorter than the downs. There is no logic here. No balance. My iceberg definitely runs wide and deep beneath the surface.
Maybe the reason for this is all my fault. I set the bars of expectation for myself really high–maybe too high. I’m not sure I can stomach the idea of lowering my expectations, mostly because I know what I’m capable of. I think it might be better if the answer to that were always a mystery. Then again–it really is, because I still keep reaching higher.
A few days ago, I was talking with a good friend and told her that part of my lull in creativity (at least the mood part of it) is likely due to the fact that when I look back at the majority of my life, so much of it contains amazing, weird or fun stories–when it comes to the past two years or so, I can’t boast that. There has been so much financial struggle and worry–my life not feeling like my own, but that of an indentured servant with little to show for all my efforts, that I look back on it and see a murky, stagnant bog. This reality isn’t quite accurate–I do have memories of some really loverly things that have happened in that time, though they have been infrequent. My dad says it’s time for a new adventure, and I could not agree more. I still do my best to be observant and see the beautiful and wondrous things around me, but no one really wants to hear me say “I saw the cutest chipmunks making a raceway out of a neighborhood street today!” It kind of ends there and I can’t elaborate on it. Picture painted–voila! Move along. My stories have not been particularly substantial, by comparison to prior to my money woes–it has been a struggle and I’ve kept a lot of it to myself (though there are the few people close to me who have heard it all–and I really love them for being there to listen!), so to me, there hasn’t been a lot to share in cheer. At least, not things I think others would consider entertaining or noteworthy.
That being said, I talked to someone else about this today. I really treasure her perspective, because she told me that this transition period that I have been going through: people can understand and relate to it. It’s something that can still reach them, though in a very different (and according to her, important) way. It has got me to thinking how I don’t want people to necessarily look at me and say “Wow! She’s really got it together!!” What I want and need is for people to look at me and say “I understand what she’s going through, and I’m inspired by how/that she’s getting through it!”
I do have a lot of struggles going on right now–several of the big ones enough out of my control to make me very uncomfortable for now–but I am also grateful for the hundreds of little things that are good and that I realize I am doing right. It makes me think of the driveway hill of a neighbor from way back when I was little–it was covered with forget-me-nots. I loved those flowers. I loved them so much that every day that I saw them, I wanted to pick them. My mom told me not to and I never did. They were tiny, but they were beautiful, and when I saw how many there were all together on that hill, it was a whole LOT of beautiful…
That is my lesson in this mud-blind transitional time: not to forget the whole LOT of beautiful, made up of one blossoming moment, word, breath, or thing at a time.
It’s the last day of my four day weekend, and already I’m drowning in that “I go back to work tomorrow” feeling. You know the one–it’s heavy and mucky and makes you want to cry. Yeah, I’m there right at this moment. Maybe because my day started off with more communications from the job, so technically, my weekend is already over…
So my motivation to get into anything is nonexistent. And even though I’m going to have one of those moments at some point this week (the one where I get a kick in the face sensation of “YOU CAN MAKE THIS BOOK SUCCESS THING HAPPEN IF YOU WORK HARDER!!!!!”) right now the best I can do is work on transcribing handwritten stories into the computer. Of all the stories I scanned through on Friday night, the best I could come up with to do this to, was an embarrassing pirate-type mess that I started in 1997. It’s amusing to look at it now (not because it’s utter garbage) but because I created and named characters for every person who was actively in my ‘social’ life at the time. Tony, Malia, Marcus, Matthew, Keith, David, Chris, Marlon, Mary, Jeremiah, Jon, Michael…(Michael, I miss you the most! Sweet and sixteen at the time and beautifully optimistic–did it stick??) None of them will ever read this (thankfully), and it lends to mind a curiosity: for the many, many times they’ve all crossed my mind in the last 19 years, I wonder how often I’ve crossed theirs? Likely none, but I expect that. If you ever feel forgotten, rest easy knowing that I’m the most out of sight, out of mind person you will ever know. This story isn’t finished, though I did bring myself to add a good 10 pages of new content over the past few days, just because–for old times’ sake. I wonder what they would think of this story…I wonder how they would feel about themselves, considering that I wrote them exactly as I knew them at the time…Not to mention the dialogue and the things that were said…Oh, yes–I remember it way too clearly. Fortunately for everyone involved, I couldn’t begin to imagine how to salvage this one. It may take another 19 years of adding and tweaking and morphing to make it publicly consumptive. No rush though, right? This was back when my heroines were weak, because I was. I wonder when I will yank out the cooked lasagna that plays as my protagonist’s backbone and replace it with steel…Will that happen in this one? Maybe. I had another story with another distressed damsel, and I gave her a new life. Damn, did she ever turn out eloquent! Who knew she had such a voice?? Maybe there’s hope for this one–little Alyce Lamoreaux. You have so much improving to do before I will even consider liking you.
It is my intention to increase my event attendance in 2017, to make up for the drastic missing-out that has happened in 2016. Yesterday, I contacted the coordinator of Far Point 2017, and Glimmerdark 2017 (the new version of the Wicked Faire), to see about being at either event. I’ve been considering trying to get back up to MA for Waltham’s Watch City in May 2017, though that is a bit of a haul and would require that I get a hold of an E-Z up between now and then. It was a great show when I went a few years back, so definitely still on my radar. I have my eyes and ears open for others to fill in the year, so more on that as things develop!
Here’s to the planning (and execution) of a new, upcoming, and very successful year in getting my books into the right hands!
I’m back home after a night spent with my sweetheart, and then a walk through a nature preserve–wherein I was supposed to be concentrating on my writing headspace, and not getting FOUR calls from work. People: I’m off today. Save it for next week. Anyway, it was a nice time out in nature. I saw a swimming baby turtle, a chipmunk, a great egret, and a very strange and naked caterpillar which landed on my foot after falling out of a tree. Oddly, that has now happened to me twice in less than a week. I guess I need to take some advice from a caterpillar–or two. (The first caterpillar landed on my head, however, not my foot, and it was super hairy.) After all of that, I sat in some ridiculous traffic caused by two different spin-outs. Probably caused by people texting, since that doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to go away until we’re all dead or someone makes a car that shuts down cell phones. I would invest in one of those cars in a heartbeat, if it meant I could make my 40 minute drive to/from work in peace!! Again–I digress. Day off, remember?!
While I was amidst Mother Nature’s living room, I came up with a few little details for TOB, and I’m going to type them into the book once I’m done here, and cross my fingers that it will boost me along into writing several pages–close up some more chasms, yes?? While sitting here a moment ago (before starting this post), I was thinking about my long writing runs–those 2 weeks or so where I write 5 to 18 pages in a day…What is it that makes that happen? What triggers it? What keeps it going? Am I eating differently? Am I somehow altering my routine? Is someone out there in the world sending me the good juju?? I have no clue. If and when I get into one of those stints again, I’ll try to pay attention and see if I can later duplicate it and keep that kind of writing going all the time. I know having muses freshly in my mind helps quite a bit. The more I can see the movements and hear the voices and see the faces of my characters, the easier writing can be. Sometimes, however, the characters don’t ever develop a voice, and if they aren’t modeled after a live person, it can be very hard to keep that all going. Melissa and Teagan in the Twins Trilogy, for instance: they have no such origin. Ironically though, it fits the nature of their characters…Read the books if you want to know what I mean by that. Especially TOB when it comes out.
Not much else to report. I just felt like writing a blog. I guess that’s not out of the ordinary for me though: just writing randomly and without any purpose. Blah, blah, blah. At least I have this wall to throw words at, and see if any of them make a difference in the world.
Despite how nervous I still get before going to class (and okay, it’s only been 2 classes so far), I am feeling pretty optimistic about my algebra class. It’s not that I think I’ll survive it with an ‘A’, but the vibe is pretty good and I have a fair fighting chance of doing halfway decent with it. My professor is also pretty good, thus far–he gave the class a pep talk and those never hurt, especially at the beginning of a course. Algebra and going to the dentist–I’m not sure what other general things cause more anxiety than those.
My anthropology class is also going to be interesting. This one is online and while I’m not a fan of that format, the introductions we shared about ourselves as students helps to give an idea as to whom else we will be sharing this experience. Plus, I get to create an archeological dig (real or not) and have the others guess where it is. I kind of want to watch the Indiana Jones films again to help me gear up for it.
Thanks to my sacrificing of my free time this past Sunday to fill in a shift at work, I have tomorrow off, and the weekend, and Monday for Labor Day. Aside from a bunch of reading for my Anthropology class, I really want to get these two books written!!! I know–I keep on saying that! I can’t help that it trickles in as minuscule drops–I swear to you that I am trying! It has been a challenge lately, however, to get into the right mindset in order to bring out what I need to finish said books. I hate to put the responsibility on other people, but the more time I spend by myself, the more stagnant my creativity becomes. I extend the invitations to do things with others–go places, hang out, etc.–but there’s next to no response. So, I sit here during my time off, letting my wheels spin in some pretty slick mud. I have become the most boring person I know, which is really heartbreaking to say because I know that I’m not…*Cue pity party* I read something the other day that said happy people don’t feel sorry for themselves. Well, I don’t feel sorry for myself. I’m actually more than a little irritated at everyone else. Which apparently I’m not supposed to be either. Whatever. The Universe is being stubborn and throwing some kind of lesson at me that I’m not getting. Some clarity and direction shouldn’t be too much to ask, one would think.
So, books. I would like to write them. I would also like to have the social interaction required to fuel that sort of thing…
PS–I forgot to put a title on this post, so WordPress titled it for me: “266”. Since I can’t think of anything better, I’m just going to go with it. Maybe I should grab the book closest to me and see what’s on that particular page…
Today was well spent at the Steampunk Farmer’s Market in New Freedom, PA. It’s one of the most comfortable venues I’ve ever been fortunate enough to vend for–outdoors and under the shade of tall trees. I think the temperature was around 89 degrees (F) or so, and because of the grass and shade, I didn’t start feeling it until I was packing up to leave. That’s pretty awesome! I hope to be asked back next year. As far as sales: slow, but the rest of the day was great, so I’m not complaining. For the books: one customer, but she had already read In the Clothing of Wolves (In one sitting, I might add!) and wanted to pick up more. So, she bought all of what is out for The Case Files, thus far. Knowing she’s a fast reader and she got all three books…I’ve been working on updating contact info and prices on all of my books, and at the same time have been really feeling a push to get back to finishing up Darling Orphan: The Case of Lucy Stewart (Book 4, The Case Files). The other two books I’ve been working on have to be completed before I can pick up Lucy Stewart’s book again, but I’m heavily considering hers being the next one that gets some intensive attention. Unless something else suddenly shows up to be written, or I get more big chunks coming to me on stories already in progress, Lucy’s may really be the one…Another factor that may drive that decision, is that I’m considering forgoing the Kickstarter for the cover art for the remaining Case Files books, and paying each artist a la carte, if you will. I’m not in the most tip-top place financially, but it’s definitely more of an option than it has been. That is to say, if I go for them one at a time and over a really spread out span of time. I just worry that the artists I want to have do them will lose interest if too much time goes by and I don’t want that to happen! As much as I’m feeling eager about that, I’m considering that waiting until at least the first of the year is probably my best bet. By then, these two other books will be done, and I may have a chance to make some more progress on Lucy’s story. While I don’t expect (or hope!) for her book to be nearly as long as Captain Hauke, but maybe closer to Empress Irukandji, I’m still about 170 pages away from that. I probably shouldn’t push for a cover just yet…Ugh. This is the sort of stuff that goes through my head sometimes.
Another thing that has been going through my head lately, is getting all of my handwritten stuff typed up. That certainly hasn’t happened at all! It would be nice to take some of my older writings, clean them up, type them up, and get a book copy of them–whether I release them to the public or not. Of course, if I go to all the trouble, you know I will want to release them. I think the biggest hold up is in how so many of them are nearly books, but just aren’t finished. Or they are, and they need more than a little cleaning up. I suppose I could just release a bunch of novellas, or lump the together in little collections… Wow. I need more time in the day! And here with school starting the day after tomorrow…
I think it might be time to go to bed, before the panicking starts to set in.
Goodnight and good luck!
I’ve been up for just about an hour and finished up the short-short, “For the Love of Spaghets”. It’s now posted on Patreon for supporters of $5+/month. Remember: you can start pledging at any time! Here’s the photograph it was based on:
It’s one of those stories that you hear or read and think “that has to be completely made up”, and yet, this one is true. I guess there must be some truth to every story I write–no matter how fantastical it is. It’s very true that I put a lot of my own experiences into my writing. Maybe I change names, locations, eras, or add details, but the experiences are very real and were definitely lived! Think about that–if you’ve ever read any of my books. I’d be curious to know if readers of my work could pick out the pieces of truth… Hmm. That could be an interesting experiment. Maybe I’ll make a contest out of it somehow. Have people read one particular book, and if they can pick out ten details or events that they think really happened to me, and be correct, free books? Cameos? Something of the sort?? Worth a shot, I think. At least it could help to increase interest in my books and help me to build more of an audience–and that would definitely be a good thing!
I’m hoping to get more work done on The Open Book today, though it’s a day of errands and lots of waiting. I imagine if I bring my notebook and a page or two leading into the section I want to work on, it will do one of two things: help me to get something more written, or guarantee that the queues will move quickly and ensure that I get nothing written! Either way…
I guess I should get busy with my day so I can capture some time on the other end for solid writing time. (As I laugh to myself…)