Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What's The What With Me

Long time, no blogging. I know I popped in a few months ago, but for a lot of reasons, I've stayed away. Now, I'm ready to go live again. Hey, two blog posts this year... I'm going for a new record. :)

Where to begin?

I have made many, many changes in my life in the last 3-4 months. It's been a bit of an adjustment, to say the least. But I'm 100% confident that the path I've chosen is the right one. So... some of the highlights:

* After seven years with the same company--one in which I was doing fairly well, moving up in position at a good clip, making a decent salary--I decided to walk away. Yes. I know. On the surface, this was a bit of a crazy move. But the decision to leave was the right one for me. Why, you might ask? Well, the reasons are many--but it really boils down to the fact that I was letting my job, my work, get in the way of what I really wanted to do. That is: Writing. I found I could never go home and just leave my work. I was stressed, I was not altogether happy with my job, and in the end, I had very little energy or presence of mind to put my butt in chair to write. Heck, I don't think I even read more than a book or two the last year I was there. Something needed to change, and after searching my soul for a long, long time, I decided to take the leap and quit. With no real plan in place, btw. :)

* I took a solid 6-7 weeks off. Hey, I had vacation racked up--vacation I never let myself use because of aforementioned reasons (i.e. I lived and breathed for my job). I spent that time unwinding, decompressing, basically -- getting out of the head space I was in. It wasn't a good place to be. I spent time with visiting family, went out to Breckenridge for a couple of weeks -- just took it easy. I did read through my MS but didn't do any substantial writing that I recall. Hey, miracles don't happen overnight. lol I knew quitting my job wouldn't put me into a writing gear straight out of the gate. Boy did I call that one right.

* After my vacation time, I took a job waiting tables. (Did I hear gasps? I know, way to use that law degree of mine, right?) There are reasons behind my madness. 1. Waiting tables is easy for me. I like the interaction with people--I have fun with it. 2. The scheduling is flexible and I can work as little or as much as I want 3. When I go home at night, I don't take my work with me. (Except for those random dreams where I'm in the weeds and can't figure out the computer system, etc. If you've ever been a server, you've probably had these) 4. Due to the flexibility, I can make my own schedule... such as working only nights, for instance, freeing up my days for other...endeavors. 5. Surprisingly, it's VERY good money. I make about the same as what I did before...with less hours, less stress, and the bonus of leaving work, at work. It's not the best job in the world--there are days I want to pull my hair out--but I can't say it's awful. It's not a permanent move, but it's a job I plan on keeping for the immediate future.

* As mentioned above, I have my days free!!! Yay!!! Does this mean I'm writing my ass off during the days? Erm, sometimes. I haven't quite gotten into total writing mode yet. Awful, but true. I've been working through WIS -- a while back I posted something on FB about the number of scenes I have left to write. Some I've completed, others I've struggled with. I would say the book is about 80% complete at this point. I've had to scrap quite a bit of it as I worked through some of the major plot holes I was dealing with. I printed the whole thing out yesterday -- well, most of it anyway -- and it's sitting at about 80K. So it's definitely getting there.

When I'm not writing, I'm doing a LOT of reading. Hey, gotta refill the creativity tanks, right? I'm trying to stay away from church so I don't spend all of my hard earned duckets, but I've been haunting the local library. Reading LIKE CRAZY. I'm really into Anne Perry's William Monk mysteries, finished off the latest from Evanovich (boy does that put me in the mind frame to visit with Maddy, Drew and Gabe!), and trying out a number of different YAs. I've also perused a few writing books to try to... I don't know, get the fires going, I guess.

I also discovered this great app for karaoke. So yep, I've been doing a lot of singing as well. I'm basically reliving my high school days. I read some days, write a little others... when the mood strikes, I sing a few songs. It's lovely. LOL.

Strange as it may seem, I haven't felt like reading the past few days. Feels like my tank is sort of topped off and needs to come out in words. So, I'm leaning more toward writing now. Hence my blogging. Hence my reading through WIS yet again and really trying to put things in place so I have a full story from beginning to end. (Viva la chunkster!) Yes, this means I got out my scissors and paperclips again so I could put everything in the right order. The murky middle isn't looking quite so dang murky anymore... so YAY.

So...that's where I am. A lot of changes. Good news is that I feel happier and better about where I'm at. I'm planning vacations I would've otherwise put off, making decisions for my happiness and not just because it's what I should do. Just generally being mindful to the fact that I don't have to do things a certain way...the expected way. I want to that's what I'm trying to do. One of my new sayings puts it perfectly:

Don't dream your life.
Live your dream.


Hope all is well with everyone! Stop by and say hello if you're around. :)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Memory Lane

So, it feels really strange to be back writing here on the blog. A funny thing happened at the office the other day... and it all led me back here. I didn't expect it, didn't plan for it, and I'm quite frankly, a little overwhelmed by the idea that I'm actually typing out a post right now.

It all began with a team meeting. My team is made up of a bunch of introverts. Getting them to speak about themselves is ridiculously difficult. My boss came up with the idea of doing an icebreaker each meeting, in the hopes that they'll open up a little. Did I mention they're all men? Introverts and male. Now that's a recipe for a silent meeting if I ever heard one. Well, not silent -- my boss and I can fill the void, quite nicely actually.

This last week, the icebreaker topic: Funniest family vacation memory.

For once, I struggled to come up with something to talk about. Then I remembered this wild rafting trip I took where a Texan nearly killed us all. I tried relating this story from memory, and for whatever reason I just wasn't doing it any justice. I got a few tepid reactions, but no one really seemed to find it all that amusing. I finally said, 'Ack! I told it better on my blog." That led me to emailing them the body of said blog post. Nervously, I waited to see if anyone would comment. It was seriously like being back in crit mode--awaiting anxiously to see whether anyone would find it funny -- give it the ole' thumbs up -- snicker at me as I passed by them in the hall. I got nothing that day -- thankfully it all slipped my mind shortly after sending it out or I might have neurotically worried about this lack of reaction for the rest of the day/evening.

The next morning, I received an IM from one of the guys, stating he didn't know I was a published author. That, he said, it made sense, because after reading my story he thought to himself that I should be a writer. Something apparently led him to googling me or something because he stumbled across BTPM on Amazon. He said I really needed to stick with it because I was good--or something to that affect.


I haven't written anything in a very long time. Longer than I care to admit. I know it sounds stupid, but it was seriously like a having a bucket of ice water thrown in my face.

What the heck am I doing that I've allowed writing to just sort of slide off of my list of priorities? Something I love--that I once could never imagine my life without?

I won't lie and say that it hasn't been on my mind. I have a co-worker who harasses me about WIS whenever I see her. I've been like a parrot whenever she asks: "It's coming." "I'm working on it." Well, no, I haven't been working on it. I used to have small bursts of writing here and there, but it's been a long time since I've even had a minor one. I have the best of intentions, of course, but it's always a "soon" or "someday" I'll work on my book thing with me -- never a TO-day thing. I guess I keep waiting for this flash in the sky to signal it as THE day. Well, it hasn't happened. Pretty sure it won't.

So, I came back to my blog and started poking around -- both here and over at ATWOP. Admittedly, I spent the entire day reading through my posts, thinking the entire time, "Who is this girl and where did she go?"

This isn't meant to be a sad post. It is what it is. :) Life happens and there's no real point in mourning or getting angry. It simply is.

Honestly, I read RT from end to beginning (Yes, backwards) -- the entire thing. Well, at least the published posts. I didn't have the energy to go through and read all of the stuff I hid for one reason or another. That's a whole lotta posts. I'm pretty tired and not a little cross-eyed at this point. WOW. It's humbling to see so many years of my life laid out in this fashion. There are so many things going through my mind about:

1. How whiny I was about school/work

2. How I was obviously very sick for a good portion of my time on this blog

3. How I definitely was NOT ready to be published when FI caught agent attention

4. How I love me some disclaimers. OMG. Every book review started with a brief synopsis, which I promptly followed up with a..."Oh dear, I'm so awful at these things" lol I don't know what the heck that was. False modesty or just a simple cry of "Please don't judge me!"

5. How the HECK did I have the energy to do half the things I did? I was writing like a crazy woman, blogging, critiquing, actively participating in writer's exercises, beta-reading, doing book reviews, reading like books might disappear from the planet the next day... AND going to law school. Seriously, y'all. I'm exhausted reading about it all and I LIVED it.

6. Half the stuff I blogged about was progress on this or that WIP, without any real specifics. How did that not drive everyone completely bonkers? Well, to be fair, it might have. But thankfully no one ever said so to my face. :) But man, the number of "breakthroughs" and "epiphanies" boggles the mind. A good majority of them turned out to be total crap in the end, but I suspect you already knew that.

7. That girl had chutzpah. A certain lack of guile. Kind of like a small child playing dress up in her mother's clothes. Oh, she wanted to be able to walk in her big girl heels, and often times she pulled it off. At other times, the performance came off as condescending and asshole-ish. Sometimes she was just an asshole. Hey, I had firm beliefs at time and I wasn't afraid to say them "aloud." Yes, I cringed reading some of my posts. Others I laughed. Some I shook my proverbial fists in the air and loudly proclaimed, "Preach on, Sister!"

I was riveted by what I read. That was me, yo! Parts of it are still me. I'm just a bit out of practice. :) Am I coming back to the blog? Hell, I don't know. Maybe yes, maybe no. But it was nice to at least pay a little visit. As for the rest...we'll see.