Monday, October 22, 2012

NaNoWriMo Playlist, Part One

There's nothing worse than writing a scary, dark scene full of agony and having "Call Me Maybe" pop up on Pandora.

Not that there's anything wrong with "Call Me Maybe." It is a bit overplayed, but I still get a kick out of watching my daughter sing along in the car. (My son, too, but he'll deny it if you ask him.) And it is catchy - no denying that.
Call Me Maybe (Remixes) - EP, Carly Rae Jepsen

But I prefer to stay in that darker mood while I write. To be honest, I tune out and don't even realize what is playing most of the time. But certain songs break through to me and make me listen. Here are some of my current favs, the ones that will be on my NaNoWriMo playlist for sure.

"Almost Lover" by A Fine Frenzy
So you're gone and I'm haunted
And I bet you are just fine
Did I make it that easy to walk
Right in and out of my life?

"Lovely" by Sara Haze
I feel lovely
Just the way that I am...
I need that to be enough for you
Cause it's enough for me...
Am I supposed to give up everything I am
Just to make you happy
I thought I was the one you always wanted me to be

  "Night Minds" by Missy Higgins
You were blessed by a different kind of inner view: it's all magnified.
The highs would make you fly, and the lows make you want to die.
And I was once there, hanging from that very ledge where you are standing.
So I know
I know
I know,
It's easier to let go.  

"A Drop In The Ocean" by Ron Pope
A drop in the ocean
A change in the weather
I was praying that you and me might end up together
It's like wishing for rain as I stand in the desert
But I'm holding you closer than most 'cause you are my heaven
You are my heaven  

This is just the beginning, of course. But if you're looking for something new, these are worth a listen. Any others I should consider?

Monday, October 15, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012

It's time to do finger exercises, stock up on coffee and find some new music. I need to start #NaNoWriMo training.

Each November, I try to write. And write. Until I finish 50,000 words.

Last year I failed, big time.

This year I plan to spend more time writing and less time thinking about writing.

I plan to get up early, wrap myself in the blanket my grandmother crocheted for me, grab a cup of coffee, and write for an hour before anyone else wakes up.

I plan to keep going even when I think it's crap.

I plan to try ever-so-hard to avoid editing.

I plan to type until my fingers feel stiff and my right wrist burns from rubbing on the tape keeping my laptop together.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Change of heart

Wanting to do something and actually doing it are separated by one thing: the heart to keep going.

I've tried and tried to get back to writing, to work on my books, to keep going. But I had lost heart.

When I published The Prophecy, I gained and lost.  I had lost the drive, the desire, to put myself out there again, to try. I wanted this journey as "author" to be smooth, successful and perfect. I wanted it to be fabulous. And fun.

But it wasn't. Nothing specific stole my heart. It was a slow seeping sensation, compounded by my fear of failure. Fear of being just another writer. Fear of people hating my second book, or worse - thinking it mediocre. And it got easier and easier to make excuses for why I wasn't writing. The kids. Work. Summer. Life.

I had coffee with a dear friend yesterday, and she reminded me of something very important. "We need to create," she said. "We must. It's who we are."

She's right. I must. And so I do.

I am happy to report that I am finally moving forward again. I am getting excited. I am getting up early, before the sun and the kids, to write and edit and plot.

And my heart is changing. It's beating faster. It's pumping when I get to a good part. It's coming back, and I didn't realize until today how much I had missed it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Make it true

I did something rather foolish yesterday. I ordered our holiday cards - the ones we send to friends and family to stay in touch.

Why is that foolish? you may ask.

Well, I chose a design that allowed for some text about the year we've had. I included a bullet about my son getting braces, my daughter learning to knit, and my second book release.

That's right. I announced my second book release on my holiday cards. That book that I haven't finished editing yet.

I'd better make it true.

I am close, don't get me wrong. But I'm not quite there. Now I have more of an incentive to get there.

One of the worst things for me to do, in my non-writer life, is to disappoint someone. To promise and not deliver. It's my trademark. I will come through, no matter what.

Except - I didn't. And it bothers me. It bothers me that it has been so long since I thought I'd have the second book out. It bothers me that I couldn't deliver. Never mind that my time frame was absurd - I should have figured out a way. I need to be that person who gets it done as a writer as well as in my other life.

So now that I have a true deadline, I will make it happen.

I apologize to those of you who have waited faithfully. And I thank you for hanging in there with me.

Good things come to those who wait...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Wishing the day away

I spent yesterday morning recovering. Or that's what I told myself. I needed a break, so I sat down with a cup of coffee and my iPad and spent some time reading, watching, listening and playing.

photo by J Kendrick

What a mistake.

As I played, I thought about all of the things I could do with the day that had nothing to do with schedules or meetings. I could edit my second book, work on my new book, design a new cover, start the book video layout, and on an on. I created a wish list a mile long - I wish I had enough time to work on these things I love. This thought bounced around my head the whole morning. I wish, I wish, I wish.

When I surfaced and looked at the clock, I realized I needed to get out of the house in 20 minutes. 

I had wasted my free time.

Now, there is a part of me that denies that - the part of me that believes I needed to tune out any productive thoughts so that I could recover from a burst of activity that had started in August and has yet to let up.

But I know better.

I only wasted a couple of hours, but I could have done some editing on my second book instead of shopping the Kindle store. I might have gotten a great first draft of a cover finished instead of looking up when Downton Abbey's new season starts. (January 6, 2013, if you're curious.)  I could have searched for the style of music I have in mind for the book video instead of creating a new channel on Pandora.

So what did I learn from this?

I need to shift how I think about my time. No, I don't need to be productive all of the time. But would a 30 minute tune-out been enough to get me back on track? Probably. I could have still worked on my book to do list. And I should have, because that is what I love. Even though it is work, it recharges me and makes me smile. My attitude for the rest of the day would have been one of happy accomplishment, and I wouldn't have had that feeling that time escaped me just as I was trying to control it and use it to make me feel better.

In the end, I did what I thought I should do to recharge while ignoring what I really needed. Did it help? Not so much. Lesson learned.