Posts Tagged ‘reading’

A return to (hopefully) normalacy (personal/spiritual/writing)

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks, and it’s kind of thrown me for a loop, which is why I haven’t been posting. Another death (and goddess, how I hate typing those words) disrupted everything. I re-set myself a bit by doing some coifs to help out a friend and sent them off, and by helping my niece and nephew get married, and now I’m ready to start again. As I’ve been reminded lately, time is a river – we move in one direction. Even if we feel like we’re stuck somewhere, we’re still moving. And sometimes, you just have to go with the flow until you feel like you can swim again. 

For those who may have missed it – the second Molly book is out! 

I’ve also been listening to books lately – I just finished Derelict: Marines by Paul E. Cooley, and I’m almost done with Libery Station by Terry Mixon (yes, I’m on a SF kick lately), and that’s made me realize that I need to write again. So, we’re writing. I want to have Winter Mysteries done before NaNo starts, so I can work on something new for November. And no, I really haven’t decided what. I might just work on either Blue or Abby and see which one takes off.

I’m preparing for winter, too. I know how weird that sounds, when it’s still August and technically summer, but I’m moving myself into a more pagan mindset, and since Lammas is already past (August 1), we’re in the harvest festivals. It’s fall, and we’re moving towards when the earth settles back and rests before growing again in the spring. Many pagans use Samhain (October 31) as their new year, and I’ve decided to do that as well this year. My winter will be a time of resting, of planning for the energy of the spring, of enjoying a quiet time. I’m not going to be going at the same speed I do during the summer. I’m learning to live in harmony with the seasons.

There may be more pagan-type stuff in the blog as I work through this. I know not all my readers are pagan, so I will be tagging things again in the header. If you are not interested, feel free to skip those posts. But this is something I need to discover about myself, and work through, and, well, it’s my blog. You’re welcome to come along for the ride. 

Life reboot: 2.0.

Life has been weird lately, and I’m not sure why.

Of course, I just got home from Balticon, and I’m sick (again – I swear Maryland is trying to kill me), so that might be part of it. I’m still glad I went -I spent a lot of time going to panels on the business of being an author, which is very different from the art of being an author, and one I’m learning about. I’d love to make a living out of being a writer, if only for the fact that I could share my writing with lots of other folks. I’ll always need a day job, sadly, because of my medical condition. And really, I like having a day job. It means I can pay my bills and not have to stress as much if I go to a con and don’t sell any books.

 

But being an author is expensive, guys. And it’s not just bandwidth for the website, or money for notebooks, or supporting my tea habit (which is not cheap, let me tell you). It’s buying swag to hand out at cons or signings. It’s gas money for conventions. It’s paying my editor, my cover artist and my book designer. It’s paying my artist friend to design the calendar. It all costs, and while I’m lucky that so far, I’ve managed to sort of break even, I really need to start doing things like marketing, which I will admit scares and intimidates me. For all that I’m not a shy person, going out and saying, “I wrote this awesome thing and you should buy it!” scares the snot out of me. Seriously. So I’m going to be very awkward as I figure this out. Consider yourselves warned.

 

I’m starting by getting my email list set up today, and I’ve got a Ko-Fi page, if you want to throw some money my way. I’m going to start blogging once a week (on Sundays, when I know I will be sitting down and have a steady internet connection, if nothing else), and those Sunday posts will include my plans for the upcoming week, and how I did on last’s week’s plans. So let’s get that started now.

 

This week, I’m working the day job on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, because Thursday, I have a colonoscopy scheduled. Yay! (not really) Because of my Crohn’s disease, I get to enjoy one of these every other year. Doesn’t that sound like a blast? Okay, that was an unfortunate turn of phrase. I blame Deadpool.

 

However, because of that, my goals for the week are modest. I’m working on the 2017 Advent story (which will start June 30, just so you know). My goal is to have 2 days written by the time next Sunday rolls around, and to set up my email newsletter. Also, I need to finish the Perils of Prague so I can give you all a review. So that’s in the list.

 

Non-writing goals: well, I’m working on a cardigan for myself, so I’d like to have that finished. For at-work projects, I just got some queen’s favors, so we’ll work on that as well. Time to work on my embroidery stitches! Goal is to have 1 favor embroidered by next Sunday.

 

We’ll see how I do. I’m setting modest goals for the most part, because I’m a great one for making unreasonable goals and then watching them fly by.

 

Also! The next Carter’s Cove book, Winter Storms, is out! I’d love some reviews, if you’ve read it! Let me know!

(writing/poetry/stuff) All the things swirling in my head, like blood in fog

I’m writing again. I’m also starting to venture slowly into poetry, which is weird, because I never thought of myself as a poet. But Amber introduced me to Rupi Kuhr, and I am in love with words again. She is amazing and wonderful and I highly recommend her to all people. Even if you think you don’t like poetry. This, to me, is more thoughts in motion than anything else.

 

I’m also working on books. I’m getting myself back into Advent, and will be re-releasing last year’s unfinished story in July, along with the ending. So this year you get two Advents! Because Molly and Schrodinger will be back in December as well. I’m also releasing Winter Storms, the second book in the Carter’s Cove series, this year. So much Molly! My mother’s smiling, I know she is.

 

I’m working on a few other things too. I’ve got an odd short story that I’m working on finishing up, about ghost helpers and the little shop they run. And I’ve finally started to work on Resonant Frequencies, which I’m hoping to submit to Viable Paradise in a month. If I don’t get it to the shape I want it to by the deadline, I’ll continue to work on it and go for next year. This year is the year of me doing things to push myself. Reconnect with myself.

 

I’m also still playing with Shanna and Talia but that’s kind of on hold. I’m trying to get my world bibles in order (using Archivos, which is amazing and you should all look into it) and so I’m doing more of worldbuilding than anything else. She will be getting her story. I promise. Just not right now. Both of them. And Faerytale Princess as well. I have so many stories, guys. So very many stories.

 

OH! And I’m going to be doing some book reviews too on here! First up, once I finish it, is Perils of Prague by Doc Coleman. Steampunky goodness. I can’t wait. Yes, I will be doing others, but I’m not sure what ones yet.

 

Finally, I’m starting to do The Artist’s Way again. I’ve decided that I’m not going to be online after 9 pm ET most nights, so I can keep my sleep habits healthy. My evenings are going to be spent writing by hand, since that’s something that feels comfortable to me.  More as I come up with it.

(books/reading) The importance of reading

I know, second week, and already, I’m not giving you a review.  However, I’m still in the middle of the books (yes, plural) that I’m currently reading, and I don’t want to give you guys a half-assed review.  So instead, I’m going to give you my thoughts on reading.

 

I’ve always been a reader.  Of everything.  I was the kid who would read the back of the cereal box while eating breakfast.  My parents are both avid readers, and all four of us kids grew up with more books than TV shows.  Even to this day, I read every day, and just about everything.

 

And that’s a big part of my philosophy – you cannot be a good writer without being a reader.  Reading teaches you so much more than you realize, even as a child.  It teaches you about how to craft a story, how to draw someone into the worlds in your head, how to breathe life into the ghosts that populate your imagination.  Reading populates the imagination in the first place – it gives you what several of my friends call “plot bunnies” that hop around and spawn stories of their own.  And yes, before you yell at me, you can get plot bunnies from other things, but reading is the holy grail of them all.

 

And it’s not just fiction.  Non-fiction gives you the same kind of plot bunny fodder, because there’s so much that is weird about this world.  I’m addicted to all sorts of non-fiction, although my tastes run currently to quantum physics, astronomy and food.  I also love history.

 

So when I hear folks tell me “I don’t read, because I don’t want to get ideas from others,” it makes me sad.  It makes me wonder what they missed out on, and if they even realize it.  To me, reading is like breathing.  I can go without food.  I can’t go without books, and honestly, I think my writing is the better for it.

 

I’m often asked for my advice to new or aspiring writers, and my best advice (other than sit in the chair and write) is simply “Read.”  Read whatever you can get your hands on, whether it is good or bad or indifferent.  Read everything.  Read anything.

 

Just read.

(personal/writing/health/reading) So many things running through my head…

And yet, I fee very calm.  Not crazy, just in a zen kind of mood.  I DO have a lot to do.  And I’m confident I can do it.

 

I’ve been gluten-free now for almost two months, and I can feel differences that I didn’t realize I would.  Things are clearer –  like a fog has lifted.  I’m not even really missing much, except bread.  I need to find a good bread recipe that doesn’t leave me chewing forever.  But I’m working on it – it’s a work in progress, just like a story.

 

I’m running too – I ran twice last week, and realized that I truly need to lose a bit more weight before I run on the track again.  My knees aren’t hurting, exactly, but I’m not doing them any favors by pounding on them with the track with a 285 lb body.  So for the remainder of this pass through the Couch to 5K program (I’m on Week 2, Day 2 for Monday), I’ll be running on the treadmill, working on dropping some weight.  Once I’m running the full 5K on the treadmill, I’ll switch back to the track.  April 6 is my deadline – that’s the Todd’s Trot 5k run that I’m doing for my birthday.  The goal is to run the entire thing.  Even if I finish 2 hours after everyone else.  I WILL run it!

 

I’m feeling more focused on my writing too.  I’ve shelved my pirate story for a while – it’s not working, and I’m thinking I’m going at it the wrong way.  So it goes back into the treasure chest to marinate, and I’m working on my ghosthunters again.  Although they’ve made a change too, which I like.  And I’m plugging along on my edits – hoping to have them out the door by the end of the month as well.

 

I’m reading again too.  I’m not really going to quantify, but I’m reading two interesting books right now.  One is called The Checklist Manifesto: How To Get Things Right by Dr. Atul Gawande.  It’s about how to use a checklist to make sure you are doing everything you need to.  It’s fascinating – he’s a surgeon, so most of his examples are medical-related, but he relates it to the real world.  I’m engrossed.

 

The other book I’m reading is The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly.  Not normally my type of book, but Mom let me borrow it, and I’m loving how she’s weaving the tale of a modern day woman trying to find her way in life with letters from the characters in Little Women (who are this woman’s ancestors).  It’s a good reminder to read outside my genre.  I’m going to have to find some more like this.

 

This got longer than I thought it would, so I’ll put my to-do list on another page.  I do still have a list, after all!