Thursday, November 28, 2013

Rumors of my Demise...

... have been greatly exaggerated. [Stolen from Mark Twain.] But it's true that I haven't written anything, anything toward my new novel, since I released An Untold Want. Done a lot of research, yes, but no writing.

I guess today, Thanksgiving Day, is a good day to talk about why.  I have a good friends, a wonderful family, a secure job, and heath care.  So if I want to take a month off from writing and just hang out with my friends or watch movies or read books, or go to Portland or some other such place. I have that option. And I am thankful for that.

I am going to take a page out of my friend Sherry's book [her blog post, actually] and list some of the things I'm also thankful for.

I am also thankful that...

  • I have the writing gene, so I can express myself without it being all about me. [Even though it is.]
  • I have a writing community, of both close friends and acquaintances whom I've never met in person.
  • I have my vision [with the aid of glasses these days] and my hearing.
  • I have good health in general.
  • I am intelligent.  [Okay, stroking my own ego, but it's true.]
  • I don't have to work outdoors in extreme temperatures.
  • I am no longer too skinny because of the Williamson poverty diet that was a staple in college. In fact, at this point, a little less food would be better for my health.
  • I am not afraid ...
    •  of losing my job, not because it's secure, but because I know that I will work at whatever job I have to, no matter how menial, in order to support myself.  
    • of people disliking me because I realized a long time ago, that no matter what I do, not everyone is going to want to be my friend. I try very hard to let everyone carry their own baggage, and not make it about me.
    • of expressing my opinion, for much the same reason; I know that not everyone is going to agree with me, and I'm okay with that.  
    • in turn, of keeping my own counsel, of keeping my opinions to myself, mostly because I don't like arguing just for the sake of arguing.
    • of being different.
  • I  can live without TV. I gave up cable TV about a year ago, and haven't missed it.  It has become the opiate of the masses.
  • I can afford to eat out when I want to.
  • I make a good salary, almost cushy, and certainly better than most of the people in the world these days.
  • I am not allergic to dogs or cats.  I love pets, and a life without one seems incomplete.
  • I love to read.  As with a lack of pets, a world without stories, without books, would be a poor life indeed.
  • I have been able to travel to foreign countries, to see the world, and yet, to appreciate what it right outside my door.

And there are so many more. 

Finally, because I can't write something without throwing in some snark, some sarcasm, I'm really thankful that I finished the memory quilt.  I will never put that much pressure on myself again, trying to finish something that complex in less than a year.  

I am especially thankful that my friend, Kim, gave up a weekend and helped me put all the blocks together.

With that said, I hope you'll take time to count your blessings too.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Reviews: An Untold Want

Wow, I've gotten some really good reviews on An Untold Want, and I can't help but brag a little bit. I did get one two-star review, but what the person wrote wasn't so awful. The other review more than make up for one unhappy reader.  My favorite is "best book I've read in a long time" which was written, BTW, by someone I don't know, not a friend.

So here goes, starting with the two-star review:

[one two-star review]

"It was an interesting read. But I didn't keep my attention. Glad it was free I would have not been happy if I paid for it."

[no three-star reviews, yet]

[four four-star reviews]

"A book by New author spins a riveting tail, set in a southern town. I liked the quick pace and life like story line. Just a touch pagan and interesting inter-dependencies."

"Didn't want to put this book down, and I hope there is a sequel. I can't wait for more books from this lady."

And two very long reviews that I won't add here. But you can find them here.

[nine, count 'em, nine five-star reviews]

"This is a great tale highlighting the value of women's relationships with other women, the depths of support we bring to each other, the passing on of wisdom and insight.The characters are well developed, interesting and likable. I'm hoping there is a sequel because I want to find out what happens next. :)"

"Love the interspersed diaries & how they your together. I kept going back to reference them. Well developed characters. Would have liked to see something happen to jerky boyfriend but guess that would have been too pat. Nicely interwoven plot."

"Great book. Best book I've read in a long time. Great writing skills by author. Can't wait to read her other books."

And six others you can find here.

In a future post, I want to write about how everyone brings something to the story, how everyone has their on slant on what's happening. That's the real magic of books, that I can read the same thing as someone else and get a totally different message from it.

NaNoWriMo Begins Without Me

Yes, NaNoWriMo started today, but if you had the day I had, well, I'm just not up for writing anything meaningful.  I could easily write a couple of gory murder scenes, but that wouldn't fit my new novel, hence doesn't fit into NaNoWriMo. What? you say. No bizarre murder(s) in this story? Yes, I say. Maybe I'm getting mellow in my old age, although probably not. What I do know is that if my days keep going the way they've been going, that could change. I could decide to change and write a serial killer story, one where the killer gets away with the murders.

Funny. It really is a stress reliever. When I was working at IBM, I made a friend who had a mother as mentally abusive as mine. We decided then that we'd write a series of murder mysteries, stories where we killed our mothers [in every novel] and got away with it. I never took it to that extreme, because I tried to love my mother, but writing brutal scenes sometimes helps me vent the stress.

Anyway, I've been bad. About writing. I haven't written anything since I published An Untold Want, over a month ago. I have been thinking a lot about Beryl and her situation.  And I had plans to write this evening, really. But writing isn't just typing. I can do research and mentally layout the plot. You know, right now, I don't even know her last name. So lots of stuff to do, without ever typing a single word, without a word count.

Also, I haven't written in the past month, mainly because I needed to finish the memory quilt before Christmas.  I finished it this past Tuesday.  Yay!! Tomorrow, via a friend, it's on it's way to the quilter [the person who takes the top and backing, puts some batting between the layers, and sews it all together] and should be done in plenty of time for Christmas.  [photo to the right]

With that said, life is complicated and my main goal is to enjoy it.  So if I don't write 50K words this month, I'm not going to be upset about it.  I want writing to be a joy not a job.