Because that's how mothers and fathers are.
Thank you to all of the dad's who help build us up. <3
I know quite a few people who've lost their fathers and I know that today is like rubbing salt in a wound that will never quite heal. It breaks my heart for them that they have to go through this. And today I want to send out a hug to them, because that's what fathers are all about--providing and taking care of their loved ones and making sure that they never have to want for anything. And I know today, that so many father's are more worried about their children, than they are about themselves.
Because that's how mothers and fathers are.
Thank you to all of the dad's who help build us up. <3
Dishes are washed, hands are pruny, I’ve decided on what’s wrong with the morning traffic woman’s dress and now it’s time to go hide before something else can find me. Clothes washing, you are a task for another day, so stay back! Back I say!
So now you’re thinking, what is this wild and crazy woman up to today? Hah! Wouldn’t you like to know? So would I. I haven’t decided yet, how I’ll attack this day. Grab it in a neck hold. Sneak up behind it and tackle it. Grab a pillow and whack it at the knees. It’s hard to say. But here’s to beautiful day!
I hope you're enjoying your lovely weekend. Maybe listening to some holiday music on loop. It looks like the sun has deemed it fit to finally step from behind that clouds and grace us with some rays. I certainly appreciate it. Wasn't at all in the mood for the gray Victorian setting of a winter bare landscape and the whole it's-not-raining-but-it-might-soon mystery.
So many things to do today. My plan is to go ahead and hide away from the day, burrow down in a puddle of sunshine and read a book. I hope you all are doing the same! <3
Take care and enjoy the day!
I suppose I should write something writerly. Or perhaps readerly. I should probably write up that review I've been meaning to do. I should probably write about a dozen more interesting things. I could write about a post I saw on Facebook about plagiarism--such a dirty word, incomprehensible thought, it's scary. I could write about any of the little things going on in the newspaper, the world at large, something more interesting. I could even talk shop about publishing or writing.
Luckily for me, I'm in a pleasant mood and not interested in picking at the intricacies of the world and putting them into words.
I think half of the thing about blogging is deleting all of the stuff you aren't going to say. I honestly don't know how bloggers do it--and they do it often. They talk about things of importance and with such eloquence and forethought--meanwhile I'm slapping at my shirt in an effort to kill a gnat. Maybe a mosquito. He was only a little gray splotch in this lighting.
No, I'm afraid my blog will always be a bit of a wanderer, flitting from this to that, and settling back down again. It's the way I prefer it, frankly. I like the idea of just writing what feels right. Adore it, really.
I hope you have a really beautiful day! Take care!
Wherever this day takes you, I hope it's a good one, filled with rainbows, pots of real spendable gold, and where Ferrerro Roches really do fly in through the window if you leave it open, just like on the commercial. :)
Take care and enjoy!
It feels like a sucker punch to solar plexus. It hurts. You've got this moment of trying to figure out how you're going to react, trying to judge how badly you're hurt and whether or not you should cry. That's how edits feel.
Sound overly dramatic? Maybe.
I wish I could say you mature as a writer. I don't really know. I think some of it's just experience--you know you've survived this before, it's not the end of the world, you are the master of your made up universe, you can do this. But I don't know that I can honestly say it gets any easier.
It's a big step to let someone edit and critique your work. There has to be a lot of trust, because when they come back with a whole bunch of edits, the pain will make you stupid. There's a tiny moment of mistrust, there's this pain and hurt and you question whether they're really right or not. To your eyes their edits look sort of crass, crude even. *Insert stuck up nose here.*
There's a moment where you want to look at someone else, show them these edits and have them say--"That bitch!"
About an hour after that, after you've gotten angry, after you've cried, after the pain has settled into a numb calm, you look back at those edits, and you can feel your mind churning. Really that does look good. That other change would be even better. And that one? That one sucks. You hate that one. You would rather punch a wall/grind your teeth to dust/break your toe on a chair than let that other pathetic edit change your story. Over your dead body. That change will have to come over your dead body! You won't allow it. You should kindly think of a way to tell them those others aren't bad per say, but they can fuck off over that one. You make the other little changes. Carve red X marks over The Hated One.
Three hours, four hours later. You feel exhausted. Your eyes slowly skate over to The Hated One. You shouldn't be looking. You're not going to make that change. But maybe you should read the story around it as it is. And then with the change... Have you ever felt pissed off that someone was actually right? And you have to shove your ego back down? Yes, you were a petulant child. You were hurt and ridiculous and you didn't even read it through with the intent it was delivered.
It does get better when you're with crit partners you trust. It does get better when you know they've done the literary equivalent of pulling you into a quiet corner in a crowded room before and told you your dress was caught in your ass crack, you had toilet paper stuck to your sexy stiletto, and you hair had come down in back and that clinking you heard was hairpins littering the ground. Because that's what crit partners/editors/friends do. Do they offer to pull your skirt out of your underwear? No. They don't try to fix your story. They tell you so you can fix it and decide what you want to do with your hair.
It all leads back to you. And that's quite possibly the scariest thought yet. And this is just one kind of edit--the kind where someone is actually helping to tell you what's wrong with your story. It doesn't include all of that time you've spent by yourself wondering if the old version was way better and if you've screwed everything up and it'll never get done and you've wasted everyone's time including your own--fun moments of uncertainty and disgust these are. We wouldn't want to forget them.
I've heard there are even some people out there that actually like them--they "love" edits, look forward to them even. *Cough, sadists, cough, cough*
Those people are not to be trusted. They are weird little birds. (Okay, trust 'em if you like, but seriously, what is wrong with you people? Who hurt you as a kid that edits bring you joy?)
Are edits vital to everything I hold dear? Absolutely. Do they hurt? Yes. Will I ever stop doing them? No. If I'm not stressing about edits and in near physical pain from the worry of them, then I'm not doing them right. I don't trust them when they're going smooth. Means there must be something I'm not seeing. Then I have to read my story a bunch of times just to make sure I'm not missing anything. Sneaky typos.
I hope you're having a wonderful day. If you must do edits, please, don't be a hero--hug someone tight and eat chocolate. Maybe they do have to happen, but they don't have to happen alone. :)
Have a lovely, beautiful Saturday. Right now, I'm listening to the tiny puppy either snore or growl in his sleep, and I'm trying to slip sideways in my chair to hear him better--so adorable.
Take care and enjoy this lovely autumn day!
The other day I turned on the radio, and the new song by Sara Bareilles came on. Something about that song, just makes me love it. It's not like the arresting notes of "Hello" or that young, rushing quality of Taylor Swift's "Wildest Dreams".
But something about the sentiment of the song--just touches me. About wishing she could go back and be the person that she used to be.
I've heard it in story retellings. Felt it when re-tracing old arguments or things I should have done. And seen it in some people so scarred they never truly realize--they're not that person anymore.
Because we're not. You're not the person you used to be. Neither am I.
The person I was could never be me. She didn't have the time, the experience, the growth that comes slowly.
She was me, the person I used to be, but not anymore. Now she's just another ring in my trunk. And I'm so happy that's how it is.
Nothing used to irritate me more than--nothing. I'd watch that cartoon with the little martian--I think it was Warner Bros.--and they would cut to this screen of nothing and I would just want to scream.
That's sort of how I feel about being stuck as the same person would be. Luckily that can't happen in real life. But what about a book?
I'm so caught! I can't decide. On one hand, I love when I pick up a new book, and the character is new and wonderful and strong and powerful. Usually a loner or misunderstood--and I love that she/he clashes with the people around them. But if they stay that way? If they stagnate? And the story stays the same? The same battles, the same worries, the same character, personality unchanging, ungrowing--how cruel would that be?
But when they grow? I feel nostalgic. I remember how I felt when I first picked up their book. I remember them in tiny apartments just finding a friend. I remember them when no one knew the strength they contained and how it felt as they slowly revealed themselves. And I miss it! I miss it so much! Sometimes I just put my radio on and let them go back there until I as the reader am ready to let them grow. The writer who played life and made them grow, she/he was way ahead of me. They knew.
Now as a writer with dreams of a series--that will be me. Sometimes I think it happens without me noticing--but what about others? I'm on book one now. My job is to make it fresh and exciting and make any reader want to be in my world, to live in it. But what about after? When book one is finished, what then? Maybe you feel out book two. But what about book three? Or four? Or five? Yes, I'm massively ahead of myself and totally uncomfortable with it, but it needs to be asked. If I'm not switching characters. If I write as the story demands...I will eventually have to grow my characters.
I love her so much! What happens if they grow and I don't love them anymore--is that possible? I don't think it is, but what if? The mere thought seems wrong. So wrong. But how do I trust it? Growth is scary, and so many books have changed in tone as they grew--some for the better and some for the worse. They lost the connection that drew me in in the first place. I don't ever want that to be my book. Of course, this writer's block isn't helping, but I'm letting my rational side make things a little more reasonable and less "the sky is falling."
I love the person I used to be. Because I like the person I've become.
I'm glad I'm not the person I used to be.
I just have to trust that as my characters grow, I'll feel the same way. Because trusting your writer's intuition/talent/muse is always so easy. Ugh.
Wherever the day takes you and whatever you do, I'm wishing you light, beauty, and joy! <3
I don't know if there's a writer alive that doesn't know this fear.
That it'll go away. What is it, you ask? I'm not even sure we know.
I read an article the other day about how destructive the advice "writer's write" is to an author's psyche. Authors, we go through doldrums as well as storms. Some days we can write for an hour or hours. Some days we can't focus to save our chocolate. It's a herky-jerky progress that is likely to give anyone whiplash, and heaven knows it hits the veterans as well as it hits those just starting out.
We think of all we have to do--and writing is on that list of priorities, and yet it's ours. So like so many other things we push it off. Really what kind of person doesn't make dishes a priority? What kind of person doesn't sweep under the bed? Have you seen the size of those freakin' dustbunnies? They could eat me! What kind of daughter/son/wife/husband/father/mother/friend/human being would I be if I don't do that first? They deserve priority. Hah! That's the hardest part. They really do deserve priority. So you push it off. You can write when you're more inspired. You can write when it's more quiet. You can write some other time, but right now you have to finish this book! It's good for you. You need to review it. You want to be a part of the indie community, don't you? Of course.
Slowly, you give yourself over to life like sand being ripped back by the waves. Until one day it hits you--you haven't written! How long has it been? A day? Three? A week? A month? The panic sets in. Your dreams are rushing in front of you. You have no real urge to write, at least not to your story. Oh, God, what if it was just a fluke? What if you've lost it? You know you used to be a writer, but you're not one anymore. You don't feel it. That flicker of inspiration. You don't know anything about what you're supposed to be working on--you're drawing a blank.
Where is the talent? Where is that breath of life that made you want to write? That made you hunker down in front of a screen for more than five minutes and left you with the feeling you actually accomplished something.
Sound familiar? That's me five minutes ago. That's me now.
Wherever you go as a writer, whatever you do, you will find yourself here, eventually. If you're like me, you'll do it in multiples. Like, three-four times a month, sometimes.
I know in my head, that this is a part of the writing process. I know this is something I have to go through to get to the next stage of the story my mind is working on. But in my heart? My heart remembers all of those under the bed books that never got completed. It remembers that book you read about midlist authors who worked all of that time to get where they were and then just quit. It remembers all of those people that believed in you and all of those people that didn't and that vast and deep insecurity that the believers were just being nice and those non-believers didn't touch the half of how awful you were. They had such a great point.
You can go through this so often, it becomes a second skin, and you find yourself trying to bargain yourself out of it. I'll write twenty minutes a day. I'll breathe in outside air for ten minutes, read thirty pages, listen to an hour of music and write for twenty minutes and I'll just do the every day...forever. Snort! Doesn't last long, that schedule.
How about the old make a list? Take a list and write out all of your priorities. Put the most important things at the top. So, now that I have every aspect of my life fighting it out for the top three spots...I feel so much more relaxed and organized. :)
Sit in the quiet and do nothing. This one's good. But you have to fight it out with your conscience and make it realized that you can cure doing nothing, by doing nothing. It's easier to convince congress to push at the debt ceiling before shutting down the government.
So what do you do? You deal with the crazy, the worry, the fear, quiet panics that you aren't who you always thought you were.
And then, three to five days later, you deliver a healthy and pink cheeked five hundred, a thousand, three thousand words. The relief that rushes through you is euphoric. Your emotions run through you as the earth of your parched soul is quenched in the sweet, sweet life of words! You're going to live! And now you know! You know, you really are who you are! You really haven't wasted your time and the time of others! It is worth it! You'll never truly doubt yourself again... Hah!
It's a cycle on repeat. You're going to do it again. And more times after that.
Speaking as a girl with two stories on pause, and a boatload of guilt over what I should be doing, I can tell you it's miserable.
Speaking as a girl who went through it--what? Last week?--it's survivable.
Speaking as an author--this shit has got to go. I think it's time for a writing vacation. :)
Have a lovely day, my party people! Write responsibly, read voraciously, and hunker down and wait for the storm. <3 Let's hope it's a good one! :)
Today's reader in the spotlight is Carmen Alicea. A wonderful bloggess, PA, and a great friend, I'm so glad I could capture and question her. She only squirmed a little bit and didn't call for help much at all! :)
Okay, and cue interview. *Grabs a flashlight to shine in her eyes to make sure her answers are honest and true.*
Alpha or submissive?
If you had to pick a book to read over again and experience it just like the first time—what would it be?
Spanish Rose. It’s a pirate romance.
Oooo! I like the sound of that. Have you ever read an audio book?
Yes, I didn't like it. Audio books to me are boring. I don't like the voice it turns me off and I really love to read a book.
I’ve never done it, but it’s never quite appealed to me enough to want to, either. Reading—an inside or outside activity?
Reading is an anywhere activity. I have my books with me everywhere.
That’s what I love to hear. Favorite type of bookmark—clip, regular, candy wrapper, or signed?
I love signed regular bookmarks.
I do too. And then I get too paranoid to use them! I’m forever grabbing up a wrapper or junk mail and shoving it into my book, because the bookmark is all the way on the other side of the room… :) Now onto the violence. What’s your favorite murder weapon you’ve ever read?
I'm not a big fan of weapons.
Totally understandable. *Hides Gladys’s blade behind my back.* Have you ever considered getting kindle unlimited?
Lol. I thought you meant real weapons.
Hah! Well, real-ish.
No, I like to buy my books it’s my way of helping my authors.
Awww. <3 So darned sweet. <3 Do you ever hesitate before buying a book, wondering if you’ll have kindle space for it?
Nope. Reading is my passion. I love to read so much that I have two kindles.
That’s my girl! (Yeah, I’m totally biased. I claimed her and she’s mine.) Do you have a friend that shares your taste in books?
Yes, many but I think my obsession is bigger. I read a lot.
Hah! I bet. I know how you are. Do you use the library?
A little. I love to donate books to the library and I love to take the kids to pick out books.
Oh, you know how I feel about my library. I love that you donate your books. That’s wonderful! What makes you pick up a book?
Many things. I read blurbs and excerpts, but mostly I follow my authors and read all their work and keep up to date with them.
Yay! I’m so glad you do. Have you ever had to hide a cover and why? Creepy cover model? Too sexy for present company?
Never! I'm not ashamed of my reading and sadly with the kindle you can't see my covers.
Yay! A lot of work gets put into those covers. :) What’s your idea of a coffee table book?
Lol. I can get lost in my books and completely forget about my coffee.
Hah! I love it when a reading addiction is greater than the one for caffeine. :) Do you have any home remedies to fix a book with a broken spine?
I say use the book covers that they have now—it’s book protector. I can't remember the name, but I'll find out somehow and tell you later. This works great.
Oooo, thank you! I would love to know that—just in case. How many books do you take with you to go to the grocery store?
My kindle. I have a kindle in my bag at all times.
Hah! I’ve actually got this secret fear that some literary thief will steal my kindle and start charging books to it, so I leave it at home. :) Okay, so the fear’s not so secret anymore. :) Is there any one place you can’t read?
Nope. I read everywhere.
Lucky! Hospitals are always hard for me to read in. They give me a headache. And, well, sore butt from sitting. :) Favorite piece of book inspired jewelry in your collection?
Lol. Easy, my Tinfoil Hat bracelet.
Hah! I’ll have to post a picture of that. <3 Love my bracelet. :) If you had to pick one of your favorite old reads to restore back to pristine condition so it can better wear the ravages of time—what would it be?
I'm a freak. All my books are like new. I've read them and re-read them and kept them new. I have some books double because I love them so much—I have them on my kindle and in paperback.
Aww! And for the like new--hah! Not me, but to be fair, some of my favorites came to me with a history—so I won’t feel guilty! :) You live in New York. Have you ever read on the subway?
All the time. When I was in school I would read my books on the way home. I was always reading ahead. I have no patience so I read the whole book in the same day.
Aww! Teacher’s pet! I love that! So makes me want to hug you!!! Do you have a genre you prefer?
No. I really just love to follow my series or authors. I have all genres and enjoy them all.
Last but not least—what message would you give to all of those people tempted to read and drive?
Never read and drive.
You heard her folks. I know it can be tempting, but if you must read and drive, please get a book on tape or have someone in the car read it to you. The road is dangerous enough without the twists and turns of an author’s plotline startling you off the road! But, please, as an author, try to keep focused on the road at all times.
Carmen, I love you! Thank you so much for coming onto my blog and letting me quiz you! As per our agreement, I will untie you from the chair now and call off the torture session. <3 Thank you so much! You’re welcome—and encouraged--to come back any time you fabulous reader! Mwah!
100% spicy Latina and New York native, Carmen is a crafty mother of two who like to keep her hands busy (and boy, trust me, the results are amazing). She loves to help authors, and to spend time with her friends and family. Carmen is an avid reader and owner and operator of the incredibly popular blog Romanceaholic, which has been gaining likes and notice since it's creation.
Carmen is a proud children's advocate.
Follow her on Facebook and Twitter! :)
A few days ago, I found a three year old newspaper clipping on being an indie writer. Someone had given it over to me, and, in typical Echo fashion, I finally read it--just a wee bit late. :)
In the article, I found some of the pretty mainstream things the author was talking about. You need to have a Facebook account--check. You need to have a Twitter account--check. You have to be present--yep!
It's funny to think--that article was written three years ago, and yet these same things are still being rediscovered by each indie author that makes the leap into the vast and public world that is indie publishing.
It's funny. I always said I wanted to be a writer--not a writer and. A writer and a nurse. A writer and a lawyer. A writer and...well, anything. I didn't feel I could do both, and no job deserves to be done in half-measure, including my writing. And yet, being an indie author is about being so much more. You are a producer, a marketer, a packager...
There are so many posts about trying to find that fine line, the edge that keeps you from exhausting yourself. I don't know where that line is. It seems to be all trial and error, and then error again, because I like to go overboard and make sure my mistakes are mistakes two or three times.
I over try.
I try to do too much--way more than I can actually do. I want to give everyone the personal touch. To know, yes, I am a real person. You're not just a sale, you're my reader. And the people I've met along the way? They take my breath away. They are positive and encouraging and wonderful. They invest their time into books and authors--and some of those positively crazy people even invested their time into me. Me. I know, I'm astonished, too. They believe in me. Like really, for real. I've checked to make sure, and yep, they do. That blows my mind.
There are so many things you have to do to be a successful indie author. There is so much that is going to be put on your shoulders, and some people will never know it.
To the world at large, little to nothing will probably be expected of you. They probably think you sit back and write Hallmark movie style. Perhaps you spend some time editing. And your rewrites are done in the writer's shed behind your house, where flowers blossom into a beautiful garden you never see anyone tending, and you're quietly sipping a glass of red wine as you re-tool your story.
And to the indie world, if you're not working Facebook, Twitter, a blog, making up swag, contacting blogs, hosting events--you practically don't exist. They can only see what you do. If you don't do anything, then how can they see you? On the plus side, the indie world expects you to look like a plane crash victim. Clothes all askew, hair dried stiff from salt water, wandering around the mosquito ridden island known as your manuscript, trying to figure out where the fuck you're at. You don't know what day or time it is. Occasionally you catch a glimpse of someone else wandering around an island further out so you know you're not entirely alone--and yet, no one can guide you through your manuscript. And, even though you're clueless, you still have to tweet and post and be the real you. But, you know, don't bore everyone. Be the entertaining dinner party you, as you're stumbling around in the sand trying to figure things out. Tweets like, "Just stepped on a seashell. Ouch. Here's a pic. #foothurts" are expected. Occasionally a crit partner comments with some small piece of common sense that you should probably know yourself, but are too disoriented to really take in. Like, why don't you drink one of those coconuts while you're looking for water? You stare at this thought in wonder and then, you sort of want to ask them how you're supposed to get the coconut down, but you know, that's your writers journey. :) It's the climb, as they say. :)
So what is the helpful piece of advice I can give you? Where are the jewels of wisdom from my time as an indie author? Is it to take off for about an hour so you can silence all of the noise in your head and finally hear your characters think? Duh. Is it to write twenty minutes a day? I like it. Is it to scramble under your bed and latch onto the bedpost until they pull you out screaming by your ankles? That's my hiding spot, choose your own. :)
No, my advice is--you're going to be exhausted. You're going to do too much and overtax yourself. You're going to wonder at times how you even breathe. You're going to freak out in minorly public forums about not having enough time. You're going to miss some things. Your house is going to be a wreck. Your best laid plans are going to go to hell. You are going to question yourself on a daily basis, sometimes three or four times a day. You're going to feel happy and then sad and happy and then exhausted and then sad. You are going to be slightly addicted to social media. You will often times feel like you're doing nothing as you do twelve things. You are going to lose complete focus.
My advice is--enjoy every single minute of it. You are now a writer. And this beautiful chaos threatening your sanity--which was already on the ledge from being a writer on the first place--is your saving grace. You are part of this incredible community. You are going to meet the most wonderful people. You are going to have so much joy.
Is it too much? Yes. Can you possibly handle this? No. Are you ready for this? Hell, no.
Do it anyway. It is incredibly worth it.
Have a wonderful day, and keep on writing. Keep on reading. Keep on being completely and utterly overwhelmed. :)
Urban fantasy writer, chocolate eater, trying to figure out how to work a blog. Getting there folks, getting there.
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