Posts Tagged ‘Life’

Writing and news

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about story, and life, and how our choices define us lately. I suppose it’s not surprising, given everything that’s happened lately. We’re coming up on the 1 year anniversary of my mother’s death, and I knew that was going to be hard. But I didn’t realize how hard it would be. I wonder now if it would be as hard if Brian was still here with me.

 

I’ve been accepted as an author guest at ConCarolinas in June, and we will be launching Winter’s Storms there. In addition, I have a new project that I need to start outlining this month (a 2-book project that I’m very excited about). I think  the next two months are going to be finishing Storms and then churning out the outlines for the next 4 books I want to write. The 2 book secret project, the next Advent book for December, and the next Sapph book.

 

I need to keep busy. If I don’t, then I start to stew and drop into a depressive spiral and then nothing gets done. Hopefully I can avoid that as I work through the spring.

Birka, Birka, Birka.

 

As I write this, Birka 2017 is now in the books. For those of you who don’t recognize the name, Birka is the big winter event that the Barony of Stonemarche runs every year, and it’s basically a con masquerading poorly as an event. There’s food, there’s a hotel, there’s a hot tub, there’s a few tournies, and there is court. Oh yes, and there was shopping. Oh lord, there was shopping.

 

I’ve run Herald’s Point at Birka for too many years to remember, and this year, although I wasn’t running it, I was volunteering there. It’s a ton of fun, but a lot of work too, and that’s why there was no posting last week, either here or at the Patreon blog. My brain was full of Birka.

 

Now that I’m home, my brain is still full of Birka, but for other reasons. I’m charged up, like I get at cons, and finally coming to an idea of what I want to do in the Society now that I’m not Baronial Herald. There will be changes coming here, as I work through things, but regular posting will resume within a few days.

Healthy attempt number god knows

Ah, January. That wonderful time of the year where everyone wants to get healthy. And yeah, I’m totally one of them.

 

I really just decided that I wasn’t going to worry about more than getting through the holidays this year. I survived them. I didn’t go over my highest weight from last year, although I got close, and and I got through it. Now, it’s time to work on getting better again.

 

That means I’m quitting the soda (again), and making sure I take my medications, which to be perfectly honest, I’m terrible at. I’m using my bullet journal to help me keep track of that, and I’ll be updating on this once a month. This month, my goals are simple:

  • Take all my meds for the rest of the month

Seriously, that’s it. I’m aiming for one goal a month, because I know from past experience if I try and do more than that, I get easily overwhelmed and say “Fuck it.” So the goal this month is meds.

 

What are you doing for your health goals this month?

 

(goals/writing/personal) Looking towards the future

Chateau Miranda, Celles, Belgium

It’s a new year. I’ve already started to do things a little differently – set up a new theme here on the blog, and added a button at the top of the page so you can follow me on Patreon if you’d like. There will be new stuff on the Patreon coming soon, as I’m planning on writing 3 new novels this year: the first Resonant Frequencies book, the first novel-length Pendragon Casefiles book, and the next Advent story for December. In addition, I’m going to start blogging regularly, both there and here, about my writing process, being a writer while having a day job, and anything else that happens to catch my fancy.

 

The goal is to blog here on Sundays and Wednesdays, and on the Patreon blog Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Patreon blogs will be set to Patrons only, so be aware that if you want to see those, it will cost you a minimum of $1 a month. But hey, that’s not a lot, and if you do, not only will you get the blog posts, but you’ll get new stories once a week! Because on Fridays, Patrons will get the next chapter of my new book.

 

I’m not abandoning this journal, so don’t worry about that. And the December Advent story will be held here as well. But it’s time for me to start expanding and taking this writing journey a bit more seriously, and that means getting organized. In fact, some of my first blog posts might be about that.

 

What are your plans for this year? Feel free to share in the comments!

(writing/personal) Pokemon Go!

 

Yes, I’ve gotta catch them all too. It’s fun, and I need some fun in my life. Besides, it’s something hubby and I can do together. And it’s good for us. I’m Team Yellow (aka Instinct) and if you want to find me, I’m CassieHobbes.

 

I’m also recommitting to writing (again). I’ve discovered that it’s just something that I need to regularly recommit to. So I’ll be in my writing studio, and hopefully I won’t get distracted by the Pokemon wandering around outside. (It’s so hard though!)

 

I’m starting to work on the rewrite of the second Advent story, now titled Winter’s Storm. And I’m outlining the sixth (!) Advent story for this year. This year, it’s going to be pretty interactive, so keep an eye out on the blog! And we’ve got the e-book and audio book of Winter’s Secrets that are coming! So much stuff!

 

Which is, of course, why my brain is suggesting a bizarre post-apocalyptic story. *headdesk*

(writing) The importance of schedules

goal crushedIt’s a Sunday, which means I’m down at Gibson’s Bookstore, writing. It’s a habit we (by we, I mean the other crazies writers that meet with me) started during NaNoWriMo this past November, and we’ve continued to meet every Sunday since then. We started with four of us – now we’re up to eight, and have our own barista. And it’s been a real force in what I’ve been able to get done since then: another book done, a Patreon site launched with the start of the StarChild book, and seven chapters done on a book that I’m hoping to get finished and shopping to an agent by the end of the year. Not to mention that I’m writing regularly, and it’s helped me get through the loss of my mother. Oh yeah, and there’s a book coming in May.

 

It’s the schedule that has allowed me to do this. One of the only pieces of writing advice that has always stuck with me is BICFOK – Butt In Chair, Fingers On Keyboard. You can’t write if you don’t make the time to write. You can’t. It’s just a given. And having a regular schedule is what helps you do this.

 

Even when my week has been shit, and I cannot for the life put words down after staring at a screen of emails for 10+ hours, I know that I’ll have Sunday morning to salvage my writing. And I can always count on the tea and the company to keep me going.

 

So now, it’s time for me close this blog post, and get the writing open. I leave you with this bit of advice: Make yourself a schedule, and stick to it.

(writing/personal) Surfacing, with news and new projects

 

I won’t lie – it’s been a rough few weeks. But I did finish Winter’s Secrets, and it’s in the hands of beta readers now. We’re on schedule to release at Balticon and ConCarolinas with ACTUAL BOOKS! And tea. Because, well, you can’t do a book release about Carter’s Cove that doesn’t involve tea. And scones. So hopefully I will see you guys there!

 

In addition, I’m putting together a blog tour for the book release, to happen within the book release time frame. Part of what I’m doing today is setting up the blog tour. If you’d like to be a part of it, drop me a line!

 

There will also be another Carter’s Cove story this year, because there’s still more stories to be told. This one will bring in some new characters, and some old ones, and will involve something that you can follow along with, should you choose. Yeah, I’m a tease. More information later.

 

Now that the current book is done, I’m going back into the Dark Horseman universe to start the Shanna stories. That’s my goal right now – to get the first book done. I’m actually opening with the vomit draft today, as soon as I set up the Google calendar for the tour. So much to do! But it’s good, because it’s what I need to do. And every word I write is one Mom can read, because I know she’s still reading. Heaven for her would be a bookstore, with unlimited amounts of tea and scones.

(personal/writing) Working through the grief

The family

 

The picture above is 4 generations of my family, taken four years ago (I believe). Since then, my grandmother (on the left) passed away two months before her 99th birthday, and just this past Tuesday, my mother passed away, barely 2 months past her 65th birthday.

 

I won’t lie – it’s been a hard week. My mother fought stage 4 endometrial cancer until the end, and she did not go quietly into that good night. She went out on her terms, though, and before she said good night for the last time (not good bye; she hated good byes), she made me promise a few things.

 

My mother and father have always been my biggest supporters of my writing, along with my husband. I’m so very lucky to have always had that support. When I announced at age 6 that I was going to be a writer, I didn’t get “Oh, that’s nice, but what do you really want to be?” Instead, I got a typewriter, and my parents read everything I wrote. And saved all of it, as I discovered this week. (Wow, my writing at age 7 was horrible, but at least I knew how to use the word “wretched” properly.) So when Mom asked me to not stop writing, but to keep going, I knew I couldn’t say no.

 

So there will be more Molly. I’ve promised to make sure my nieces have an Advent story every year. And I’ve started working on the details of the Patreon page I’m going to be starting up. And I’m finishing

(health) Making better choices

Waterfall.jpg

I love this picture. I love the feel of the greenery, of the moving water, of the sheer potential it represents. To me, running water and the outdoors is happiness.

 

I haven’t been able to do much in the outdoors over the past couple of years, due to a lot of weight gain, injuries (in large part due to that weight gain) and illness. For someone who grew up outside (and yes, I loved the outside when I was younger, although I admit I usually was curled up someplace in it reading), this has been a hard couple of years, and I’m almost positive that being inside and not able to hike and swim and walk the way I want to has contributed to my depression.

 

In August 2015, I finally admitted I needed real help. Not just nutritionally, but a coach who would administer the tough love and unconditional support I needed to get my life healthy again. I was lucky enough to find that in my friend Shannon, who is a coach for Herbalife. If you’ve ever met me, you know I LOVE food. Like, seriously, LOVE food. The taste, the smell, the mouthfeel – yeah, I’m a bonafide foodie, and for years, I was resistant to having anything to do with meal replacement shakes. Of course, it didn’t help that the ones on the commercial market like Ensure and Boost are full of chemicals and SMELL like chemicals as soon as you open the bottle. So I was skeptical.

 

Trust me, I’m not trying to sell anyone anything. For one thing, I know that my path isn’t everyone’s. We’re all different. But let me tell you, without Shannon, I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am. I’m walking again. I’m down nearly 30 lbs since August. And the shakes – well, to be perfectly honest, they’re amazing. I love them. (And no, it has nothing to do with the fact that I can have cookies and cream cheesecake for breakfast. Okay, well, maybe a little.) And the best part? It doesn’t smell chemically. When I open my vanilla protein powder, it smells like vanilla. My hubby and roomie loved the waffles I made with them (reminder to self, make more waffles.).

 

For another thing? It’s not cheap. Now, granted, in the long run, it’s cheaper than eating fast food all the time, and it’s cheaper than medical bills. But it does require some outlay of cash.

 

But for me, it’s been worth it. If you are interested in talking to my coach, you can hit Shannon up – her husband Tom is a coach as well, if you want a guy instead. I can personally vouch for both of them – they’re amazing, and I’m lucky to have them in my life. Because of them, I’m looking forward to hiking this summer, and maybe, just maybe, getting my bike out again.

 

 

(writing/personal) All the things

positive thinking

Life has been complicated lately. Some things have ended, others have started, and I’m not quite sure how I’m handling all of it. I’m not going to discuss that, or what’s really going on yet. I’m going to talk about writing.

 

I know, shocking. But I’ve not really been writing lately, and I’ve realized that how I deal with the stresses life gives me goes down in quality when I don’t write. The problem is giving myself permission to take some time for me, and write. I need to get myself into that headspace, and even if it’s only 250 words, or a blog post, or a character sketch for the new book I want to write, I need to do it. So hopefully, you’ll be seeing more here.

 

I’m still working on the rewrite of Winter Secrets, which should hopefully be done soon. Today, I’m editing for a friend, who has a new book coming out in May that I think you guys will like (think CSI meets Fern Gully). And I’ll have some new stuff coming along – I’m playing with redesigning the website, and adding some more links. Considering a Patreon site as well. Maybe some guest blogs? And some tea stuff, because, well, tea.

 

And writing. Always writing. Because first and foremost, I am a writer.