Saturday, May 26, 2012

Always Something

I know many of you are aware of my continuing laptop problems. Still not fixed.  It's more of a challenge to keep up with blogging right now but I have no excuse for not getting more writing done. I'm in the middle of edits of Book #3 of The Futhark Chronicles.  Beneath the Mountain continues the tale that started with The Keepers of Sulbreth, continued in Beyond the Gate and will conclude later this year with The Son of Futhark. 

Rather than go into the long list of things I've been doing other than writing, I'll share the thought I had this morning while mowing the lush grass in my back acre.  When you have children, a day job, and a generous property to care for, there's always something that needs done.  There's always something I can spend my time doing.  There's always something I can work on besides writing.  And if I keep giving into the demands surrounding me, I'm never going to get done editing Beneath the Mountain.

Some things must come first like my daughter's softball playoffs, the day job, food, shelter, but I really have to give my writing more priority if I want to get my career moving forward. There will always be laundry to do, weeds to make war upon, meals to cook and some shopping that needs done.  With school over for the summer, I'm hoping to find more hours in the day to devote to my literary aspirations. Sunshine outside usually distracts me, but I'm determined to resist.

What's the 'something' that distracts you at this time of year? Do you have a lot of household chores, inside or outside, that cut into your writing time during the summer?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Climbing Out of The Pit

I'm sure we've all had 'one of those weeks.' You know the kind. Let me give an example. Laptop in the shop for the old '3 to 5 business days' before even getting an estimate. Busy family stuff such as senior awards' night, daughter's softball playoffs rescheduled again and again by rain, one son needing help packing and stocking up before leaving for his three month internship(at a private resort in the Poconos, poor kid), a retirement party for a family member, and then to top off this wonder, a five day stomach bug highlighted by 18 hours of the worst illness of my life.  Feel sorry for me yet?

I'm not asking for sympathy, merely explaining why I've been absent. I was so sick, I couldn't even read.  I've never been that ill before.  But I'll be catching up with the blogs I missed.  I'll be enjoying my daughter's softball games instead of struggling to keep it together for seven innings. Hopefully, I'll be able to do some more running. And because I'm a glass half-full kind of gal, I did lose three of those five pounds I wanted to drop.  It wasn't the most pleasant method but it was effective.

I had to skip the annual Pennwriter's Conference this year because of that family member retirement party, but again looking on the bright side, I would have missed it because I was sick.  Saved myself some money.  But I do regret missing all that networking.  So apologies for not visiting everyone over the recent seven days, but I'm back on track now.  Hope you all had a better week than I did.

Monday, May 14, 2012

First Love Blog Fest

Alex Cavanaugh has come up with another great idea for a blogfest. First loves in four categories. Movie, song/band, book, and person.  I'd love to link to all these but as I'm doing this blog on computer option C, I'll stick with basics. 

It's difficult to pick a movie, but I grew up at a time when Westerns were very popular.  I used to love those reruns of Rawhide and that led to a desire to see very Clint Eastwood movie made.  The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly was my childhood favorite.  My sister used to play the soundtrack constantly on my dad's old stereo.  The gritty story set in the horror of the Civil War and the peeks into man's greed and cruelty made this a wonderful movie I can still watch again and again.

For a few years in college I listened to The Cars a lot but the album I played over and over again was Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell.  I think I knew the words to every song.  Now that I've thought about this I'm going to put some of those songs on my iPod.

Reading books has always been like breathing air to me.  I borrowed every book from the school library I could.  I had some wonderful teachers who let me visit the library at times it was closed to everyone else.  But the book I first loved and that I still have was the very first book I owned.  I grew up in a family of seven children and my parents worked hard to clothe and feed us.  There was little money for toys or extras, like books.  When I was about seven, my parents bought me a large Golden Book for middle readers.  The True Story of Smokey the Bear.  I slept with it for weeks and read it every day. It was very precious.

At first I thought of my high school sweet heart as the first person I loved but then I decided I had to go back further.  We lived on a farm and our closest neighbor was another farm.  That farmer had a son the same age as me.  Raymond was friendly, funny and he had a pony.  He would sometimes ride over and let us ride that little spotted pony.  He gave me a Valentine every year through elementary school.  Everyone knew we were boyfriend and girlfriend. But Raymond struggled in school and he was held back a year.  We grew apart and seldom saw each other when we entered junior high school.  Later I went to college and he went into the travel business. I understand he became pretty successful though his two marriages didn't work out. He must be still longing for me.

Now I'm heading out to try and learn about the first in more people's lives.  Visit more first loves with me.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Good, The Bad and the Okay

The bad is not having my laptop. Difficult to believe the repairshop doesn't believe my computer should jump line and be taken care of first.  It's almost as if they don't think it is as important as I do.

The good is that I've been getting a lot of work done on my editing for book #3 of The Futhark Chronicles.  After last months blog challenge, I'm getting back my writer mojo and feeling more like an author. 

The okay is getting around to reading some of the books I have piled up both on my ereader and the corner of my desk.  I"m finding some time here and there to dive into them.  I wish I had more time.

The not quite okay is the amount of promotion I've been doing for my books already on the market. I hope to get back on that as soon as I get my laptop BACK.  I doubt the tech guys heard me shout that.
 Don't forget Monday is Alex Cavanugh's first love blogfest. Still thinking about that first movie.

What's the good, bad and okay going on for you right now? 

Monday, May 7, 2012

A to Z Reflections

Start with a bummer. I've been having some issues with my laptop and I finally had to take it to the doctor. I'll be trying to keep up with everyone on my desktop and smartphone but it's not nearly as quick or convenient.  It's been less than a year since my last laptop meltdown. Wish I could afford a new one.

But to the point.  This was my second year for A to Z so I knew it would get tough at times.  This year I had most of my posts ready so I had no issues in that sense.  My biggest stressor during A to Z is the guilt of not visiting enough other blogs. 

I have excuses.  My laptop was one of them.  April is also a busy time for some family things though that will ease up next year.  One of my biggest tests this year was a durn, terrible, worst ever, cold.  It caught me about two weeks ago and moved from respiratory system part to part until I actually had to take time off of work.  I didn't spend muc time on the computer for a number of days, adding to my guilt about not visiting enough other blogs.  I promise myself I'll do better next year.

I visited a number of blogs that had dropped out or were behind.  I understood.  It was a BIG challenge. I hope those people who weren't successful will try again next year. 

I made lists this year of things I learned.  One list is a to do list of all the ways I need to improve promotion for my books.  One list is of books recommended by or written by bloggers I met on A to Z.  Another list is of music I might want for my ipod.  I have other notes jotted here and there about places to visit, changes to make to my blog, ways to improve and perhaps streamline my use of social media.  I even have a couple of recipes.

I expect to return on a regular basis to some of the blogs I've become fond of in the next few months and by this time next year, I"m sure I'll have even more favorites. 

Did I enjoy A to Z? Most of the time but sometimes it seemed like a job?  Will I do it again? Without a doubt? Am I tired of blogging right this minute?  You bet but I'll get over it.

What is the next challenge for you? Coming back next year?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

IWSG: Time Management

The past month has been hectic with the A to Z challenge. I've been happy with making new friends and picking up new followers.  But I've disappointed myself with my time management. I really let my writing take a back seat.  That brings me to my personal concern I'll share for this month's Insecure Writers' Support Group. 

Like most writers, I have a day job to pay the bills. And I have one child still in high school and one in college.  My daughter in high school keeps up pretty busy with her athletics and the various academic activities we've had the pleasure to share with her. And we have a big house and with a big lots that needs a lot of spring clean up.  Those are my excuses for not getting writing done over the past month.

The truth is, my life is less busy now than it was when my three boys were also playing sports. Yet, I did lots of writing during those years.  I don't have less time now, I'm not using it as wisely.  They say the first step to recovery is knowing you have a problem.  So where has my time gone?

Probably blogging has swallowed a good portion of that time so I'm going to be stricter with myself about that. I don't facebook much but I do like to play some games on the computer.  My goal is to stop that.  For May, my writing time is for writing.

What is your biggest thief of your writing time? What do you do about it?