New Changes

Happy Holidays to YOU!

Happy Merry ChrismaHannuKwanzakuh to you.

I received a brand spanking new Kindle Paperwhite which I love and also feel quite conflicted about.


  • I’ve gotten several books from the library instantly for free
  • It lights up in a dark room so I don’t need to have a light on
  • The text enlarges so that my aging eyes don’t require reading glasses to see the print
  • I can switch between books with just a couple of flicks of the finger and it remembers my place in each one


  • It doesn’t smell like a book
  • It doesn’t feel like a book
  • It doesn’t look like a book

I feel vaguely guilty for using it. But I really like not having to find reading glasses, perch them on my nose at just the right angle and wonder if I’ll ever get used to the feeling of these metal and glass things.

5,000 Words

I’m reading a new book, 5,000 Words Per Hour by Chris Fox which promises to put my writing up to a new level – that of an efficient writer.

Apparently it starts with five-minute sprints. I’ve downloaded a timer to my ‘puter and have been avoiding trying it out for the first time for about two hours now. Avoidance should be my middle name. I’ve started dozens of projects in order to avoid my writing goals, I’m an expert at avoidance!

Speaking of Projects

So I mentioned over on The Deadly Nightshade that I would be writing less in my blogs and that is because, like my eldest, I’m going to try something a little different and give writing books if not all of my attention, a heck of a lot more of it than I have been.

I’ve been using my blogging as an excuse. I’ve been telling myself, “I need to write more, finish my book projects, but first I’ll just go over here and blog.”

And the book projects aren’t getting done.

I set myself a goal of finishing two books in 2015 and getting at least one of them published by the end of the year. I finished ONE book project, at least the first draft of it, but it needs some significant edits and will not be up and live by the end of the year.

So I’ve got some different goals now:

  • Blog posts come second to book writing
  • My “weekly” newsletter is now going to be a “monthly” newsletter
  • I’m going to work my way up to writing 5,000 words per day minimum, possibly, possibly working my way up to 10k per day
  • I want to write, edit and publish a total of seven books this year

Okay, yeah, that last one is crazy and very possibly unrealistic.

But here is the deal. I dream, and I stare off into space, and I imagine what it would be like to just write. Not have to teach, not have to clean toilets, just…write. And some part of me has to wonder, am I just in love with the dream of it? Could I really have that?

I don’t know.

But I think it is time that I found out.

Don’t you?

P. S. You Need Music

I’ve got a fantastic set of tunes to listen to when writing all of this. My former stepson (the best son I’ve ever been lucky enough to have) is a talented musician. I was there when he first picked up a guitar and taught himself how to play as a teen. He has been keeping me happily typing away with his recent albums on YouTube. You can check them out here.

I Want More Than a Latte

Every month, I see the notification come in from Amazon Digital Payments. It says something to the effect of “In a few days you will get a deposit.” It doesn’t say how much, but I can’t help but get my hopes up. Maybe this month will be different.

A few days later, I see it appear in my bank account. It’s usually about the right amount to pay for a latte at Starbucks (although really, everyone should try the Turtle Latte at Scooters, it is sooo good!).

And lattes are cool. Or sometimes they are hot. No matter what, they are tasty and give me that boost of sugar that my pre-diabetic body most certainly does not need, but truly enjoys nonetheless.

I want more than a latte, though.

Is that awful of me? Egotistical? Self-absorbed?

I hyped the hell out of my kid’s book at a party this past weekend and she got at least one book sale out of it, but damn it, I’ve got four books out there and I’m frustrated and sad and rather, shall I say it?…demoralized.

Is my writing that bad?

I have folks come up to me and say, “I bought your book! It’s like hearing your voice speak!”

And they don’t post a review.

No review.

No review.


I have heard every excuse in the book. Including the pervasive, “I don’t know what to say, I’m not a writer.”

And let me tell you, it makes me crazy, sad and slightly rabid (yes, the foaming at the mouth kind).

Don’t TELL me you liked my book, WRITE it in a review. You can say something like this:

I liked the story. It was better than Cats. I want to read it again and again!


Shoot me in the head, no really, do it. It was good. I liked it. Please sir, may I have another?

There are really on two rules when writing a review:

  1. Actually write a review – that’s it, just a review, short and sweet, long-winded, et cetera.
  2. Don’t be a presumptive, confused ass who doesn’t know what a preview is like this guy (who also apparently thinks that all writers do is try to somehow make a book appear larger – or write sequels – just so they can charge more for a book). For the record, I maybe make $1 per book, if I’m lucky.

I sound hostile, don’t I?

I’m sorry if that is the case. Let me try to dig up a metaphor for you.

Imagine cleaning your house and preparing food for a party that no one showed up to, even after they said they would.

Imagine getting that new hairstyle and going home to your family and no one noticing, not at all.

Writing a book isn’t half as hard as getting nothing but crickets in the background instead of reviews.

Hell, I’ll send you the book for free (pdf, anyone?) if you promise (your solemn oath this time!) to do two things:

  • Write a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads
  • Tell your friends, family or co-workers about the book

I want more than a latte. I want to believe that I’ve got a chance. That what I write is worth reading, that it is worth other’s time and effort and that I haven’t just published a tall mountain of manure.

Please give me that.

Time for Radio (and Net) Silence

I hate feeling guilty. I find it rather…counterproductive.

Lately I’ve been wrapped up in work (cleaning houses, meh), several decorating projects (drapes/portieres – all hand sewn) and too much time watching television. Well, listening to television as I sewed away.

And it is Christmas, we are hosting a party on Saturday, and all of that other nonsense.

Yet, despite understanding that there will be times when I’m not writing, not updating my three blogs, et cetera – still I found myself filled with guilt as I walked downstairs to get my morning coffee.

The internal dialogue was pretty intense, and filled with the idea that so much television in the past two weeks has killed the creative process.

This is why I’m not publishing more books, folks. It isn’t just the fact that I’m going in a dozen directions at once, is that I waste my time feeling guilty about it. That internal voice says, “You aren’t really a writer, otherwise you would be able to write simultaneously while juggling all of your other projects and NOT watching TV.”

My family thinks that I’m intense and driven as it is – if they heard some of the crap my internal voice was saying to me on a daily business they would thank their lucky stars that I wasn’t THAT person.

Anyway, the whole point in this is to say that I’m taking the next two weeks off. No weekly newsletters, probably little or no blog posts, and come the new year I’ll jump back on the riding horse and give it a couple of good kicks in the side.

I really want to write books – and publish them – in the new year. So I’ll be making goals, and hopefully sticking to them. More on that later.

/rant on

p.s. I’ve been writing this on my laptop and I have to voice a word of complaint. I HATE the touchpad and disable it as soon as I can on any laptop I own. If I don’t then I’ll be typing merrily away and then suddenly POOF! whatever I have written has gone apeshit and disappeared, moved or levitated off of the screen when a finger accidentally brushes the touchpad.

This laptop apparently thinks it is being helpful, or maybe Microsoft thinks it is being helpful, but shortly after ANY Microsoft Windows 10 update I have to go in and RE-disable the touchpad which has magically turned back on. I despise this.

It is the equivalent to someone coming up and shoving a pen into my right hand and telling me to use the proper hand to write with. I’m fucking left-handed, you moronic computer! Now leave the touchpad OFF!

/rant off

Neil Gaiman is Right

I’ve written nothing for well over a week, possibly two. Instead, I’ve created more house projects (or worked on the dozens already begun), scheduled a holidays party for the 19th, and watched an egregious amount of television (Continuum and Hemlock Grove, to be specific) and felt the beginnings of full-blown panic over my writing, or lack thereof.

And as I was further practicing avoidance this morning, surfing Facebook and checking emails, I ran across this article from the Huffington Post with Neil Gaiman which addressed whether writer’s block is real or not.

“I don’t really believe in writer’s block, but I absolutely believe in getting stuck,” Gaiman told HuffPost Live on Monday. “The difference is one is imposed on you by the gods, and one is your own damn fault.”

Yup. I’m right there with him.

“If you turn around and go, ‘I am blocked,’ this is just something writers say because we’re really clever. It sounds like it has nothing to do with you: ‘I would love to write today, but I am blocked. The gods have done it to me,'” he said. “And it’s not true. Cellists don’t have cellist block. Gardeners don’t have gardener’s block. TV hosts do not have have TV host block. But writers have claimed all the blocks, and we think it’s a real thing.”

So completely and totally agree.

The kicker was when he shared his strategy for getting past a stuck spot:

“I always like to have another story, another introduction, another work, and I’ll just go and work on that, while somewhere in the back of my mind I’m churning over why I’m stuck and what went wrong and figuring out how to go forward,” he said.

This was a vindication of sorts. I have so many friggin’ projects going at one time it isn’t funny, but it is a coping mechanism. If I feel stuck on one, I move to the next. And the next. And the next.

Sometimes however, it just feels like too much. As if all of the “I don’t know how to proceed with this” catch up to me and I can’t stand to look at another one. That’s been these past two weeks.