Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy happy happy! October 29, 2013

The office has been christened.
No, I didn't spill my Diet Pepsi or anything. I just actually got some real work done there tonight.

I couldn't believe how hard it was to actually get there. Resistance pulled in four different directions but I finally just cut the strings and ran.

A friend came to see the office when I got there, but instead of becoming a distraction, she pulled out her laptop and started working on her own project for an hour or so. Then, when I started to lag, another writer showed up. I thought she'd come for the same, just to check out the office, but she pulled out her laptop and got to work.

What a blessing both of these friends were for me today. Instead of sitting down and staring at a screen, waiting for the worst to happen, for that nightmare to come true where in I stare blankly at the screen and never get around to working, these two reminded me that we're not just messing around here. We're not just meeting for a chat. We're not using the office as a private place to chat and veg. Offices are for work.

And so I worked.
I had an editing project listed for the day, and by gum that's what I did! 32 pages edited today. And little breakthroughs on the story. And a little bit of inspiration about the upcoming editing project.

There was no writer's block. There was no terror. And mostly because I was not alone on this first day of true change.

And then...I came home.
The only work I've done at home is email, and this post. Facebook? You bet. Because it's not like I'm supposed to be working, right?

I've left the work at the office.
I've come home to find that the smell in the fridge was NOT in fact cauliflower. The cauliflower left the building yesterday and the smell is worse. So I'm going to clean out the fridge now, even though it's 12:30 am. And even though I've already cleaned a bathroom today.
Why not?
It's not like I should be writing right now.

And just like that, the clouds part and Lesli becomes one of the regular people...if only for a little while.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Fire Hoses and Tylonol October 28, 2013

I tried. I really did.
I had the best intentions in the world.
I had a plan.
I got everything off my plate. I suppressed the immediate need for a haircut. I had five hours on my hands and an office waiting. I came dropped off Rock Jr. and came back to the house to shower and grab my laptop.
Then my husband called.
Another medical emergency. Are you kidding me?
Took him to the doc. Ran tests. Not life-threatening, thank Heaven.
Got him home, ran to get meds, fix dinner.
Phone rings.
Baby won't stop crying.
Leave my husband to go sit with baby while daughter goes for pain meds.
Ear infections.
Tylonol and Ibuprofen were inspired by God himself.
Daughter will take her to the doc in the am.
Another of life's problem's solved.

I'm peeing on fires here when what I really want to do is hose the place down, hop on a motorcycle, and ride away. And when I come back, I want the place to be clean, all faces to be wearing smiles, and for there to be no trace of the mess I left behind.

Too much to ask?
Apparently, yes it is.
That is why we have/need fantasy/fiction.
I'm going to call the coast guard and have a novel flown in to rescue me.

But wait!
That's what my own stories used to do for me. They were the perfect fantasies. I wrote them to get away the same way I read to escape.

THAT is my problem. These projects aren't escapism for me anymore. They are work.

I need to turn them back into...chocolate...somehow.

New plan for tomorrow. As soon as The Rock feels like he can take care of himself, I'm jumping in the car and heading to the office, and by hell I'm going to find that fantasy lost between the pages and make them fun again.

Also, Supe and I had a little breakthrough today that we believe is going to help us get our first drafts down with a lot more polish than usual. Stay tuned. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

False Start Thursday October 24, 2013

I woke with high hopes today, but here is what I got done.

I found two free chairs for the office. I took a lamp and a few things over when I went to unlock the doors for the owners. (They still needed to remove a desk and chair from the last guy.) Logan took his crayons and things over to load in the second desk. He's very excited to go work there.

The rest of the day was full of errands.
Phone store again for some details.
Grocery store for some drugs.
Pizza store for some dinner for the wave of kids coming from out of town to help my son unload.
Went home and cooked chicken breasts for the guys who were coming to work out and study. They ended up finding a quieter place to study after they worked out and ate. Who can blame them?
Cooked the pizza, ended up feeding the daughter and family because he got off late and she and the three granddaughters were still here.
Sent lots of pity emails to my husband because he was working until midnight. Big program goes live in two weeks. Sure hope we're still alive to see it done.
So, after all that, I guess it's no surprise I didn't get to decorate/organize my office.

Tomorrow, I think my daughter's going to need some TLC because her leg started hurting tonight because she did too much in the last couple of days. She's not the only one to pay for that, damnit. And "I told you so" isn't as satisfying as you might think.

I get to hold a wee bairn a bit through the day. I get to tie sheets around the kitchen table so the 3 year olds can play hammocks. I will disregard the weather and make a pot of soup. And when they all leave, and the dust settles--Oh, wait. They won't be leaving because their daddy will be here to help my son unload yet again.

When the Jews were coming up with the phrase Oy, vay! they should have chosen something a little more expressive.

So, since tomorrow will be more of the same, I'll spare you a post. I'll let you know how I do on Saturday. I'm going to find someone to entertain Rock Jr. and I'm going to head to the office for the day since The Rock will be working until very late again. I'm going to get something major crossed off the list, so help me.

See you on Saturday night.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

An Experiment in Separation October 23, 2013

Good Morning Campers!

Now that my roller coaster has come to a complete stop...

I woke up this morning with a happy head cold. Happy I was not going to have any babysitting to do today and happy I could take my son to his day program then come back home for a nap. Then I happily trotted off to lunch with my closest friend, Annie Adams.

In the afternoon, I picked up my son then headed over to sign a contract and pick up the keys to my new office. Yippee! Then I went to the phone store and got a new cell. Both the office and the phone are part of my new Experiment in Separation.

I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself from any earlier posts, but there are plenty of reasons to get an away-from-home-office.

Your mileage may vary, of course, but my reasons include:

I've got offspring moving back into my basement. My youngest son and his wife are getting serious about school and until they get some traction, they'll stay here. That takes up all three bedrooms in the basement=basement is no longer an option for office space, even if I were to be able to stand to be below ground. (I hate basements.)

Secondly, my current bedroom office now has a crib in it for the granddaughter. I tried typing while she naps. It did NOT work. And I tried all week, not just one day. This leaves me no room in the house for a private office.

Another reason I want to have my working desk away from the house is Supe's fault. She got an office 20-30 minutes away from her house. She goes there almost daily, gets her writing in, then goes home. SHE LEAVES HER WORK AT THE OFFICE. When she gets home, it's like...like...she gets to RELAX! She gets to stop thinking about work, about the project, about the characters. She doesn't have to think, while cooking dinner, "I could run in there and edit one more page before the chicken is done." She doesn't have to feel guilty about sitting and watching a tv show instead of plotting out her next story. She doesn't have to look at the clock during a family dinner and try to guess how many more words she can get written depending on when her family members head for their cars.

My husband ruled out buying a small shed and finishing as an office. I ruled out getting a camping trailer. I'm a big girl now. My writing is not a hobby. I do not want to be underground OR have a low ceiling. And I don't want my work haunting me from my bedroom.
Am I asking too much?
I think not.

So I'm going for Normal.

I found an office building near my house that gave me a great deal on rent PLUS a window. I was even willing to go without a window, but I lucked out. I have a lovely view of the mountains thanks to a second floor office window facing east. The room is large enough to hold two desks and a love seat. The main desk I'll use for editing. The small one for new words only. Also, Rock Jr. thinks the second desk is for him. And it will be, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

That's right, folks.
I have a schedule. Just like a normal job. Whoohoo!
Instead of thinking about writing 16 hours a day and maybe getting three good hours in (if you add up all the little pecking I do during the day, on a good day) I'm going to spend about five hours at the office Monday through Friday. And three nights a week, I'm going to go back for more. I hope to get around 30 hours in per week. I start on Friday. I'm going to be realistic and not plan to get anything other than organization done tomorrow.

Tonight I drove past the church and got three teens and one Scout leader (friends all) to come help me load up all the furniture and take it to the office. I paid them and took them for shakes and fries when they were done. They more than earned it. I had some heavy stuff.

Tomorrow's going to be sweeeet!

And this is why I needed a phone.
As far as cell phones go, mine was so old my kids groan when I pull it out. They're embarrassed.
But no longer. I got a smart phone. Yes. I'll be holding a small rectangular plate up to my face to speak to people, but apparently THAT's not embarrassing. The true reason I got it, however, was so I don't need yet another computer at the house. I can check email, etc., from this fancy phone. And if I want to get any writing done, I'll just have to go to the office, or break out the Alphasmart or Dragon.

I'm separating my home/family life from my work life. Finally.
And starting Friday, I'll even stop talking about it here. And when I come home, I can focus on the people around me, on the household tasks I never seem to have time for because I'm always TRYING to write.

Still, I wouldn't drop by unannounced.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Miraculous News! October 21, 2013

A wonderful turn of events this morning.
Forgive me if I copy and paste my Facebook post, but I'm completely drained and can't type it all up again.
Going to bed early with a happy heart. I'll post something writerly tomorrow, aye?

"LYNDSI UPDATE: Miracles were produced at Davis Hospital today. During the second procedure of the day, they found that not only were the blood clots gone, but her leg had grown its own bypass vein and cleaned itself out. And if that was not enough, the failing vein had also recovered and was working fine. They had expected a leg full of clots the density of glue. The nurses were all but dancing around her bed as they wheeled her into recovery. She will NOT be staying in ICU for 3 days. The meds are working just fine after all. She's coming home. And neither procedure was invasive enough to keep her from going home to her own house. No more torture at Mother's.
We are very very very very grateful for the prayers sent on her behalf. They were golden, baby. God is good."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday, October 20

 It was a party weekend. Real crazy stuff, like dressing up as minions from Despicable Me. My autistic son dressed up as Gru. The granddaughters played the parts of the three little girl. Great fun. A little parade around the street with various whistles and dancing to The Monster Mash. It's a yearly tradition, if I haven't told you that already.

Tomorrow we'll be repeating another tradition, one I hope to never repeat again.
My daughter must redo her leg surgery to remove blood clots that formed even though her blood was dangerously thin. I have no idea what they think they're doing, but I have to trust that they know, that maybe I haven't had it all explained clearly. All we can do is pray.

So today I stayed busy to keep my mind off things. I ran around town collecting tables off KSL.com so we'll have a bunch of tables for our NANO write-in I host at my house every year. We're going to have a whopping crowd and most need a table to write. I'm pretty sure we've got that covered now. That will happen in Nov. 9th. If you want to join us, in the Layton, Utah area, contact me through here or my website, llmuir.weebly.com.

My daughter's dilemma aside, I will be honest and say I am scared to death.
I am afraid I will never get another word written, another word edited.
I open up a file and move my cursor into place, then I can't seem to care about what is already there--at least not enough to change it. And eventually, I click on something else. When it's time to shut my computer down for the night, I realize I did indeed open a word file that day. I save it again, even though I know that nothing changed.

And I promise myself "next time."

I don't even know if the office space will make anything different.
Yes, I plan to write at night. I've planned where I'm going to put the furniture.
I've got it all there, in my head. And I try to imagine myself bent over a keyboard, eyes glued to the screen, mind oblivious to my clever surroundings because I am working furiously to get the next project finished, then the next, and so on.

And you know what I see?
I see myself sitting at the perfectly positioned desk in the perfect amount of lamplight staring at a word document, hands frozen on a keyboard.

Is this writer's block? I don't think so. This feels more threatening than that. I've worked through writer's block enough to know there are certain things that work for me. I just follow the yellow brick road, one brick at a time.

I'm afraid my life won't let me write anymore. I'm afraid I'll never get to put my foot down and demand my writing time because writing time will pale in importance to what I need to be doing for my daughter and her daughters. Is that selfish or what?

I'm also afraid that I've become a terribly selfish person to even worry about such things at a time like this.

But here is the question.

Can we be writers and not be selfish?
Can we be proficient writers and not be selfish?

I had never been accused of being a work-a-holic until I was published. And believe me, the term work-a-holic was never a bad thing. It was always a drive, a work-ethic I lacked, or felt I lacked. So when I finally had a reason, a sound reason, and an actual drive, I felt like I was an over-night success. I'd finally found a way to work and love it.

But now, in the face of real life and real danger, it seems like I've been playing pretend, like I've been playing in an over-sized doll house and my mother has come for me, to tell me I can't play here anymore. And suddenly I realize that none of it was real--when I'd been so sure it was real!

I had another realization today to pile on top of that. I went for a walk. (No more weight lost, but none gained back, even with a couple slices of pizza this weekend.) But as I was walking around the block I realized there were some distinct smells that were actually getting through to me. (No sense of smell for years, then I got a little sense back. Any identifiable smell is a celebration!) But the thing I realized was that I was absolutely compelled to figure out the best way to describe those smells on paper so that someone reading it could smell it too.

You see? I am a writer. I can't stop from being one. But what if I never get the chance to write them all down? What if I forget? What if I never smell them again and thus, never remember what I was going to say?

You see? Terrified. Of everything.
So I'm going to record them here. At least I'm writing a blog, right? And if this is all I can do, for now, I'm going to get the words out. If I can remember...

...the spice of dying leaves...mixing with the unmistakable pungency of wood-smoke from a great distance away...a great distance because the smell was spread evenly through the air, not concentrated on my left or right, as it would be if the fire were nearby...
...there, down that road, someone was cooking...apples...the smell of them so tart and fresh when it hit my nose I could almost hear the sound biting into me...the same sound I make biting into one of them...

Don't forget my Lyndsi in your prayers...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Today's Theme: Holy Crap--October 17, 2013

Booyah! This "Tickets to Scotland Diet" is working great! If you need to lose some weight, I suggest making a plan to do the one thing you've always dreamed of doing, only imagine yourself doing it in smaller clothes. Maybe it will work for you too.

The phone call I was hoping for today, from the office landlord, did not come. Maybe they'll have the contract ready tomorrow.

I spent the day shopping for the big birthday dinner we'd planned for our two sons. Then I tried to cook while watching the granddaughters. Needless to say, dinner was served late. Then, after everyone started leaving, my daughter had to be rushed to the emergency room again. So scary. False alarm, though. Everything still looks fine. But fear is a draining thing.

I'm headed to bed a little early. The twins are sleeping over and will wake me early.

My current plan is to sneak away from all gatherings to get some editing done. There is no way I'm going to get even one project edited and out before the end of the month, let alone two. But really, I have to. It's ridiculous how unproductive I've been. I can go through a day, all the way to the end, before I remember I'm supposedly a writer with work to do.

Tomorrow, then.
I shall endeavor to persevere.

What about you?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

FINALLY! October 16, 2013

I finally found an office today. I'll hopefully be signing a contract tomorrow and moving in sometime this weekend. After seeing the place and negotiating a little, I headed home with a heavy load off my shoulders. I am finally going to be able to separate my job/writing from my home/family life. Wheeee!

Maybe you suffer from the same problem I have, no matter what time of day you write.

My computer is up and running all the time, but I'm rarely working.
Even if I manage to remember to open my current wip file, that doesn't mean I get a chance to look at it with true concentration. Supe had this problem. She would always let little chores pull her away from the screen, even though she was home alone most of the day. When she hit a rough stretch, she'd get up and put in a load of laundry, then she'd never get back to the screen. There was always a meal to plan, some quick errand to run, etc. But now she has an office a good distance from home, and there is no running back to the house to put something in the dryer or the oven. And she's getting the work done.

It was October, I think three years ago, when I quit my job to write full time. I was one of the lucky few, I know. But I also had little choice. Our autistic son was finished with all the schooling programs available to him and our youngest wasn't around to watch him after school anymore. He was a senior, with a job and a life. The tending duties were back to me. But ever since then, I've struggled to keep tapping away, throughout the day, with no clear separation between working and relaxing and housekeeping, etc. My kids know to look for me in my office. I'm always in my office. But after spending 3 years in my office, I don't have a heck of a lot to show for it.

Will I be more focused in the office?
How can I not? I won't have the internet. I can't be interrupted by phone calls. Surely that will make me more productive than I have been.

It's worth a shot at least.

I've got two parties going on this week. One tomorrow, one Saturday. By the first of next week I hope to have my happy haven up and running, my head in the game, and my hands on the keyboard. I can't wait to see what happens.

No editing again today. Babies, babies, and more babies. The same for the rest of the week. By next Monday, my duties will probably be a little lighter where babies are concerned, but even so, I'll have an office to head to when possible. It's not far away, but far enough. It's about three miles. Maybe I'll start walking to work somedays.


So. Tell me. What might you do to fix your own focus?
Are you looking for focus? Or are you looking for a way out of this job because it's just too much work?
Go ahead. Tell me.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Back in the Saddle October 15, 2013`

I'm back. And it just so happens that "back" is the word of the day.

I'm back from the retreat. The Kiss It and Send It Ceremony was a good exercise in silliness, as always. I've handed off the ceremonial God of the Cave to someone else so the tradition can continue without me. I am not sure if I will be participating in the romance association much longer and I wanted to leave it in good hands just in case.

I came back to find that my daughter has recovered enough to move back home. She's able to walk without a walker and even take stairs if there is a railing. I'll still have her and the three wee ones in my care during the day, but she has made incredible progress whilst I was gone. We are all breathing a bit easier. The danger, we believe, has passed.

I'm back to a weight I haven't seen for three years! Not only did I not gain anything back while dining out in Park City, I've lost another pound since returning on Sunday. Down six. Thirteen total since the first of August. I'm pretty excited. Sugar is still foreign food to me. Temptation only comes when I am stressed or not paying attention. So I pay attention, and when I'm stressed, my new policy is that I will not look for food until the stress has passed. So far, that has saved my bacon.

No. Not only did I not get a word, let alone a page, edited during the conference, I only opened my computer once to make sure I wasn't missing any emergency at home. I'd left my phone in the car, in the parking garage, and I felt like I needed to leave it there. If anything important happened, my family could have called the hotel, or the cell of a friend. Once I got up there, I just felt like the best therapy would be to unplug for the weekend. So I did.

There were a couple of great presentations, but for the most part it was a weekend to gather and reconnect with other writers, to be able to look around a large room and see an army of my fellows who are always out there, feeling what I'm feeling, fighting what I fight--people who have my back.

And for the most important "back" of the day, I'm back in the writer's saddle. Real life held me back for a while, but I have to return to production mode. And while I am looking for an office space yet again--my youngest and his wife will be moving in by the end of this month--I'm still going to have to work the work into the cracks of my day.

I guess I say that all the time, don't I?
But at least I'm still trying to claw my way up this muddy hill. I haven't given up.

Don't you give up either.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October 9th, and a pause...

Today was another hectic day that got away from me. My biggest accomplishment was again, getting everyone within the sound of my voice bathed, fed, warm enough, cool enough, and happy enough to keep the crying at the minimum.

So much for getting a running start at the weekend.

Tomorrow, I'll be headed to Deer Valley for the annual Romance Writers of America local conference. A few friends and I are headed up early, it being Thursday, so we can stretch our little party as far as possible without raising the suspicions of our families. The best part about the conference is a thing we call The Kiss It and Send It Ceremony. If you're curious, you can find the blog with the ceremony script here. We end up bungling it badly--every time--and having a grand yearly laugh.

I'm going to be editing while I'm there, I so swear. But I say that every year.
I'll meet you back here on Monday night and confess my # of pages edited. Please realize anything over ten will be an accomplishment.

You've got lots of prep time. What are you going to accomplish this weekend? Give yourself some sort of goal, for pity's sake. Let's impress ourselves, shall we?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Oct. 8, 2013

On the diet front: I am holding steady at 5 new pounds down since buying my ticket. I have STILL had no chocolate or sugar. I did have some pizza crust, so I can't say I haven't had bread, but the lack of chocolate, sugar cereal, backed goods, etc., that I usually have on a daily basis has certainly made me feel different. A drastic change in diet won't count for much if I don't get back to walking.

In related news, I'm asking Santa for a punching bag.

On the writing front:
No new words.
No edited pages today.
I'm blaming the houseguests, all of whom I am feeding, dressing, or wiping the butts thereof.  Most of them are getting all of the above. (Only the granddaughters, not the daughter, thank goodness.)

On the mental front:
I am going crazy. I feel ambition and drive rushing through my veins right now and there is nothing I can do about it. I keep leaning toward an office outside the house, but even if I had one right now, I wouldn't be able to go until 8 at night.

Any suggestions along office lines would be greatly appreciated. I'm out of ideas.

How are your fronts?

Btw, I removed the link to this blog from my website. I don't need my readers getting in here and finding out what a wack job I am.

I CAN SEE!! October 7, 2013

I can't believe I'm about to admit this, but after five days without sugar, I can SEE.

No, I have no vision impairment other than a little bit of dry-eye from my lasik surgery. But apparently I've had a little bit of a brain impairment from my mega doses of sugar.

But every writer has their magic snacks, right? Lots of writers do well on a sugar high. I know of one who must have chocolate covered cinnamon bears when writing new words. I know another who, like me, has to line her M&M's up in rows according to color. I personally need those rows ordered as they would appear in a rainbow. For a while, I was nuking those dark chocolate pomegranate thingees. But no more. I can't handle the hard stuff anymore.

Like everything else, though, the snacking is just a procrastination tool. So now that I've been tough for five days and the headaches are proving it's just about out of my system, I'm going to treat snacking as a procrastination tool and avoid it all I can. Of course a little ritual can go a long way to getting your head in the game, but we can come up with rituals that don't include food, right?

Let me tell you what I can see today that I don't think I've been able to see for a long time...

I can see my characters a little clearer. I can see where I need a lot more emotion, a little more setting. I can see my own words like someone else wrote them and I can see FLAWS. I feel like I did the day I had my eyes done. I could see the pine trees on the mountains! Individual pine trees. And I feel like I haven't been seeing the individual trees in my projects.

Of course this might all be due to the fact I set those stories aside to write a few more before getting back to the editing desk and looking at them again. Time gives you a fresh perspective, yes, but it's never been this fresh before.

And so, with that enthusiasm that is not unlike donning a fresh pair of contacts, I have attacked my Isobelle script with a vengeance. I am determined to make it memorable. I expect to have draft two done by the end of the weekend, even though I'll be at the conference. Drafts three and four should be done by the end of October.

So, writers, are you seeing your material clearly?
Maybe you should take a look at your snackage.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Baby Steps Part II October 5, 2013

Today I had to follow my own advice. Sit down, open document, start reading. And it worked. I got about the same amount done today--which is not much--but at least I'm forming a habit of it.

I never actually set aside any working time tonight. The stress around here all but drips from the ceiling like an alien humidity and when the opportunity arose for The Rock and I to leave the house, we ran. We went to see The Family with Robert Dinero. A lot of violence. A few good chuckles. It was just the stress relief we needed.

My daughter announced she can finally feel improvement. So YAY!
There is now hope that by next week I might have evenings to work at least, so my goals for October are not completely out of reach. I'm also heading off Thursday to Park City to our annual Romance Writers of America conference. It's silly to even try to get any work done, but hey, I'm kinda silly that way. And I've got a lot of lost time to make up for.

I'm sorry to bore you with personal crap, but I've also lost 3 pounds in the three days since buying airfare to Scotland. It is the craziest thing in the world, but I haven't eaten or wanted to eat sugar or bread or anything unhealthy since that moment. I cannot explain it. I'm starting to get strange headaches that resemble Pepsi withdrawal, but on the opposite side of my head. I assume I'm withdrawing from sugar. How great is that? I don't even take anything for the discomfort because it's a little neon sign that tells me I've made it to some remarkable point.

Have I been around sugar? Yes. Completely surrounded by it. Was I tempted? NOT EVEN!

But here is my biggest hope--other than to lose another 61 pounds by the time I board the plane--that my blood sugar lowers to the point I can think more clearly. I'm pinning a lot on losing weight. I'm hoping to get my sense of smell back and that my memory will improve along with all the other obvious benefits. And for the first time in about ten years, I actually believe it is going to happen.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to carve out some time to edit and defend that time like it means something to me. Because it does.

Good luck to you too.

Friday, October 4, 2013

I AM A WRITER! October 4, 2013

Oh my gosh!

Thank goodness I actually got something done today. I was beginning to worry I was never really going to be a writer ever again. Ever.

I forced myself to open up the document and start reading. Editing just kind of kicks in, doesn't it? It's like a florist walking past a vase of disorderly roses--you can't just keep walking. And we can't just ignore the bad sentence that begs to be fixed, not when it's in our power to fix it, right?

So. How to get the editing done: sit down, open the doc, start reading. Following Supe's advice for the week, I did not take the time to do any research on missing information. That can happen in the last version. But for now, I'm just trying to shape the thing into what it's going to be. I did take the time to look up a synonym or two. After all, I might miss that awkward word in the next run through. Best to fix it when I can see it. Terms that need more research I just turned red and moved on.

Six pages. Yep. That's all I got done, but at least I actually DID something for a change instead of just talking about it. It wasn't the twenty pages I was hoping for, but I'm unable to stay up late anymore thanks to my son's new day program that starts at 9 three days a week. And I'm an all or nothing kind of gal. I even had a nap today and it didn't help me stay up later. I'm just going to have to face the fact I'm a morning person now.

Oy. Somewhere, a world might be coming to an end. It might even be this one.

Lots of stuff going on tomorrow. I'm going to make sure editing is part of that stuff.

How did you do?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Best Excuse Ever--October 3, 2013

Besides the now-usual slog of distractions I was going to side-step today, in order to get my five hours of editing done, I did something that completely took over my focus and made working impossible.

I purchased airline tickets for myself and The Rock to fly to Scotland. In April. For THREE WEEKS.

I'd been planning this trip for a while now. We had hoped to go last April, but The Rock was grounded by a major project at work and we had one last child getting married. So we postponed. It seemed poetic to go for my big birthday, which means we'll be there for the anniversary of the Battle of Culloden Moor. (I can hear some of you yawning.)

The great surprise that accompanied this airline reservation was an unbelievable end to my appetite. It's like I fell madly in love in the space of time it took to log on, find the flights we wanted, and book the tickets. I have no need for chocolate, suddenly. I'm about as eager to swallow sugar as I am to munch on dog food. And when I think about walking a mile, I can't imagine walking it at all. I want to run. I want to hurry and work off all this fat--and not because I'm worried about fitting in my assigned seat (which is what I suspected my procrastination was coming from)--because I simply feel like I don't need it anymore.

Isn't that CRAZY? I don't need this fat anymore. Those are the exact words that come to mind. And I ask myself what in the hell I thought I needed this fat for in the first place? And just when did I ever take a bite with the intention of gaining weight?

Obviously, the answer is NEVER.

But I do remember one day during my senior year in high school when I realized I didn't need to chew my fingernails anymore. And I didn't. Ever. Except in hangnail emergencies, like everyone else.

So I hope this works out to be the same. I hope I find it just as difficult to force myself to eat (for nutrition) tomorrow as it was today. In fact, I'm sitting here next to a giant bag of Halloween chocolate, my stomach is growling at me to reach in, and I just don't feel like it.

In five days, I could have a helluva lot of sugar out of my system!

So I ask you.
What would it take for you to not need junk food in your life?
For me, I may have traded one addiction for another. I may be addicted to Scotland, and I'm finally going to get my fix.
You see why The Rock is coming along? To drag me home again?

Tomorrow, I shall edit, or I am not a writer. Oy.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

New Moon Phase--Time for new goals. October 2, 2013

Perhaps, like me, you did not hit your writing goals for the month of September. And perhaps, like me, you hope to do better in October. Maybe you think lowering your goals is the best course of action if you hope to have any success.

But what if you're wrong?

What if there is some magic in the air in the month of October? Don't you want to take advantage?

And don't forget about football.
When it's third-and-five, you pick a play and hope for the best. After all, you can always punt if you fall short of first down.
But when it's third-and-forty, with only enough time on the clock for two more plays, you throw a Hail Mary. Maybe a Flee-flicker, and if that fails, THEN a Hail Mary.

The point is, we're in the last quarter of the year. With the holidays coming, we're getting down to the wire here. If we're going to accomplish great things, we need to get them done now. We're going to have to get tricky. We're going to have to put our weight into it. Not one or the other. We're going to have to do both.

So lets take the energy the crowd is offering and go for it.

Nothing to lose, but the game, maybe the season.

And since this championship game won't require too much physical exertion, I'm all in, baby. I'm asking myself to put a lot of energy into a sit-down job. How hard can that be, really?

I'm going to look around and find the goal post--the end zone for me is to get these five projects up like I had planned to do before.

I'm playing against a lot of big players--my family obligations (caring for my recovering daughter, etc.), some house remodeling, upcoming holidays, excellent TV programs, an overworked husband, etc. And the ringer here is my sudden lack of private office space at home. IN OTHER WORDS, the typical forms of resistance faced by nearly every other writer on any given day.

I refuse to let the opposing team intimidate me. I'm going to keep my eye on the game clock--about a month and a half--and I'm going to face the ugly truth: It's time to stop analyzing and line up for the kick-off.

Tomorrow, I'm going to carve out five hours from my day and edit my brains out. Five hours. Even if I have to take five separate hours, I will make it happen. And by tomorrow night, I'm going to feel like a writer again.

So invite yourself to a bowl game and get on the field. Let me know how it goes.