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Tag Archives: Time

5 min – Day’s off are worth it.

I helped my daughter today, and in return she helped me…by shoving my phone in her backpack when I dropped her off at work.

Every time I forget my phone, or something like this happens, I’m struck by how much I use it for. Right now I am doing my five minute writing. I use the phone as a timer for the five minutes. I sometimes use the phone to write my five minute blog post. Other times I just use it to check, and reply to, email. Or catch up on social media when standing in line some where. If all you have is seconds between customers then checking social media, or posting a little bit about a project is often some good use of time since I want to go actually WRITE when I have more f it.

Speaking of writing, I took a three day weekend this weekend. (That would be Wed-Fri because of my off schedule.) I needed a break from the rat race of the day job. I thought I’d get more editing done. That did not happen. Instead, yesterday I spent a good chunk of time just playing a video game and listening to podcasts. Why? Because I wanted to, darn it!

But today I feel so much better after taking that needed health break. And now I’m back to writing.

Care for yourself. Keep in mind the tools you have at your disposal. Use even the small moments to keep write down notes, thoughts, or check in with your followers. And some days just take a day off.

And that’s my five.

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Posted by on August 4, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min – Day 11 – What a day

​Yesterday was an interesting day. I had to get up at 8am, get out of bed, and leave for my daughters house in order to avoid being trapped when they painted the stairwell outside my apartment. 

I don’t usually wake up till 11am. I work nights, and stay up till 3 or 4am, so this isn’t a problem. But yesterday, trying to get up that early, really was. I woke up to the alarm just long enough to turn it off. Realized I turned it off instead of hitting snooze and tried to reset it to go off in ten minutes. Woke up at 9:15 from my boyfriend telling me “you’re screwed. It’s after 9, they are probably painting already.”

Thankfully I was able to roll out of bed, throw on some clothes, and stagger down the stairs half asleep before they actually started painting.

I don’t like mornings, if you can’t tell. That’s why I write in the evening, when I’m more awake and my mind is working.

But I managed to have a nice breakfast with my daughter, and went to a little toy shop near my house that was having a big sale. Picked up some new charms for my necklace, and some cute little figurines for my desk. Half inch rubber ducky? Got it! Do I need it? No way, but it makes me smile every time I look at it.

When I finally made it home from work I was so tired. I never got a chance to do my morning pages because I was too busy just trying to stay awake.

Note to apartment complex, not all of us have day jobs. Sigh.

And that’s my five minutes.  

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2017 in On Writing

 

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Slowing… down…

Ever feel like you’re slowing down? The world keeps chugging along around your, but you seem to be going at a glacial pace. You have all these ideas and plans. Things you want to accomplish. A bucket list a mile long. But you didn’t do any of those things this week, or maybe this month.

And it isn’t even that you’re necessarily doing anything against your dreams. You’re just doing your job. Your day job, of course. You’re taking care of your family, and paying the bills. You go to little league with your kids, and bake cookies every Christmas. And the world keeps chugging along.

Some days, for me, it feels like I’m just trying to blow bubbles into the wind. All the bubbles are racing off behind me, forgotten, and the new ones have no chance of catching hold.

When I feel like I’m not making any progress, that time is standing still, I take a moment to review my accomplishments. I remind myself how far I’ve come. Yes, there’s a lot more to do, but I’ve already come this far. I’m that much closer to where I need to be. And so are you.

It may feel like we are stagnant and going no where, but sometimes when it feels like that you just have to dig up those past moments when you were working to your goal and remind yourself how much closer you are.

And if you aren’t closer, if you haven’t done anything…then take a small step closer to that dream. Go buy that guitar and start taking lessons. Go sign up for a class on yogo or thia chi. Practice painting. Write a story. Buy a ticket to Mali. Travel, and live, and love. Because the world isn’t going to wait for you to get in gear.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Commentary

 

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Time, Resolutions and Free Books

Why do we mark the perfect time to start things by calendar months? It isn’t as if the sacred sheet of paper with the squares and numbers determines when the best time to start doing X is. “I’m going to go to the gym because the sacred sheet of dates has declared it a new year, and I must make a resolution to do better this year!”

This morning I got out of bed and thought about my vlog. I didn’t do a great job of Vloging every day. More like 4 times a week. More then I ever did before that, but still. And the thought came “Well, tomorrow is a new year, I could start again. Right?”

I could. Definitely. But why not start today? Why not start last week? Why not realize the fundamental futility of the calendar and just DO IT!

And I think I know why… We, as humans, need validation. We need that demarcation of time so that we can say “I accomplished X in this amount of time.”

Last year was a fantastic year for me to write. I wrote almost a quarter of a million words, nearly completed three novel length books, and am planning to publish. It was a TERRIBLE year of my publishing. I only published one short story. So here I am demarcating a length of time and saying last year wasn’t so great, so lets make this year better. Even so, NaNoWriMo went amazingly and I know I can do it. I just need to DO IT!

On the personal side, the last three months of 2014 were FANTASTIC. My boyfriend finally figured out what he wanted and moved in with me. My children have started to leave the nest and make lives of their own. My job is still not fantastic, but I feel like I’m getting closer to the writing career I want all the time, even if I didn’t publish much in 2014. So there’s hope.

For the free books!

footprintsminiFootprints will be free on January 2-4th and the 17th and 18th (B00JT3889Y)

Jake is on a journey to reunite the shattered past with the present. Faced with his fathers death, he goes to the family cabin one last time to say good bye. But he isn’t alone.

Potion Shop will be free on January 9-11, and the 24th and 25th (B00FUYS6BG)potionshop

Curiosity, desire, and magic.
When little mousy Marcy get’s pulled into a potion shop she finds more magic then just what’s inside the bottles.

 

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2014 in Updates

 

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NaNoWriMo day 3

I can’t believe how well it’s going, and yet I don’t want to jinx it. It’s only day three, but I’m on target, and feeling good about this novel.

My secret? The best plot ever!

Plot it out!
I’ve always been more of a pantser then a plotter, but this time I did some really thorough beats. I was influenced by the guys over at SPP who showed how they did beats, and put out a TON of wordage every month. I want that wordage! So I beat out the story, since I already had a basic plot, and gave myself a more complete skeleton on which to work my writing magic. The results? Two hours. TWO HOURS of writing gives me my word count for the day. There is no fuss, no muss, and then I can spend the evening cuddling on the couch with my boyfriend. THAT makes plotting worth it.

EXCITEMENT!
I just finished Mermaid’s Curse 1 last week, so I had a bit of excitement left over from finishing that project. Then I finished a really fantastic plot for book three (kind of Lovecraft meets high fantasy) and I just loved it. The plot got me excited, and if I’m excited I’m more confidant that a reader will love it too.

Write what you love, people. Don’t just write whatever comes to mind. You love dinosaurs? Write about them. You love romance? Write that. You love tanks and battle fields? Write that! Whatever it is you absolutely love use that as part of your story and that love will come through.

Time
Time is a huge thing for me. In order to really get into the groove of writing I need an hour, at least, to get fully into it. That means no children waiting to distract me, no games, no email, no TV shows. Just me, the headphones, and some chillstep playing in the background on loop. I even listen to the same exact video on youtube every time I start writing because it just tells my body: okay, time to get down to business.

Time is sometimes the hardest thing to get when you’re writing. Some of our friends and family just don’t get why why are doing NaNo, or why we even care about writing in the first place. Some of our friends don’t even read (why are you friends with people who don’t read? kidding!). But we have to be firm, and unrepentant. This is important to us, for whatever reason, and it isn’t fair of them to try to take it away. How would they feel if we got in the way of their hobby/craft/work/etc?

In the zone!
This last one… The “zone” is not a muse waiting to give you her affection when she feels like it. No, the zone is a place you figure out how to get into, and then you do the same thing to get into it every time.

A runner who does marathons trains for months, if not years, until he finally slips into a ground eating rhythm that lets him run, and FINISH, a marathon. A singer trains their voice for years so that they can hold and sustain notes, sing at a consistent level, and perform in front of crowds for hours. Whatever the craft, these things take practice. It takes training the mind and body to do these things, and do them consistently. Why would writing be any different.

I found the things that made writing easier for me (writing at night, listening to chillstep, uninterrupted) and did them over and over and over while writing. It’s taken a year, but I finally feel like I could sit down and write just by setting aside that block of time, turning on my music, and going over yesterdays writing till something strikes.

It’s the consistent pattern, the butt in chair time, that make the zone, or the muse come to you instead of waiting for them to appear from thin air.

I really believe that if you can figure out what inspires you to write, and do them consistently over a long period of time, then you will be able to consistently write more and more.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2014 in NaNoWriMo, Writers Block

 

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Forgotten Ones- FINISHED!

FO-smForgotten Ones” is finally here!

It is on Amazon for $2.99 for the weekend. I will also have it on Kobo soon. A print book should be available by Nov.

The story of the goddesses of Fate in the modern day, fighting to save humanity from one of their kin.

This felt like it took a long time to me, but I realized this is actually the fastest I have ever completed something this long. Three months, 30,000 words. Not only written, but edited, formated, and covers done. Start to finish, less then three months.

I’ve done NaNoWriMo before. A hot sweltering mass of words tumbling out across the page. 50,000 word rough draft to show for it at the end. I’ve done it, several times.

But those are drafts. Incomplete. Unviewable by the general public. It took me another three months, after writing them, just to do the rewrites.

Once I completed “Forgotten Ones” my boyfriend showed up at my door with a dozen red roses, and a platter of sushi. If that’s what I get for finishing a short book, I can’t wait to see what I get when I publish a full length, 100,000 word epic novel!

As for the next book, I am hoping to get the two short stories I’ve been working on finished, and published, soon. One is a halloween story, and should have been up at the beginning of the month, so we’ll see.

For NaNoWriMo, starting Nov 1st, I will be working on two, or three, of my paranormal romances. They will probably be 30,000 words each, that’s why I’m doing two.

The best part about all of this is just finishing something, and being that much closer to a full time writing career… oh, and affording an editor to re-edit everything. That will be nice too.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2013 in Stories, Updates

 

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Excuses, Excuses

You walk through the door after a hard day at work, plunk down on the couch and turn on the TV.

You deserve a break. It was a long day, your boss was an ass, and the talk at the water cooler was draining. Plus your customer got in your face over some little thing that you had no control over.

You’re home… it’s time to relax!
Right?

Over in the corner of your living room sits that thing (piano, guitar, novel, painting, etc) that you keep meaning to get to. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.
Right?

I mean, it was a HARD day. You just need a break. Anyone can understand that!

Listen, we’ve all been there. We all tell ourselves these little excuses, or give them to someone else.

I’ll get to it tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes.
I deserve some relax time. But you need it every day.
I don’t know how to do it. But you never do the research to find out how.
I’m not in the mood. But the mood never really comes.
IT’S HARD!

It’s the last one that really gets us. It isn’t even always that it is hard. Sitting down at a keyboard and plunking in a few words or sentences isn’t difficult. Children write stories all the time. They come in with excitement holding up pictures, or plucking out keys on their little piano saying “Look mommy! See what I did?”

Then something happens. We start caring what others have to say about us, or our work. We start worrying, and fretting, and labeling ourselves according to how others see us.

So we build up walls of excuses holding that thing we WISH we could do at bay, but we never really get to it.

Those who do it… those who write novels, learn to play piano, paint landscapes or sew dresses… those who indulge in their creative ideas… somewhere along the line they said “This is important to me! I am going to do this!”

My boyfriends father took up the piano later in life. Every morning or evening when he is home he goes down to the music room and practices the piano. No one tells him to. He doesn’t often play for people…. but it became important to him.

Now, this is a busy man with a lot of things going on. Meetings, work, business lunches, a wife, and kids… but he makes time for the piano because it’s important.

If it’s important, you’ll make time. Or you’ll never learn.

I’m still learning this myself. But in the end, it’s worth every moment.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Writers Block

 

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