Category Archives: Series of Sorts

Those “Repeat Features” that show up from time to time

If We Were Having Coffee… #1

A lovely feature that Part Time Monster and others do, I’ve decided to have a go.  Because, honestly, I could use some time to sit down and chat over coffee.

coffee
Some of the coffee’s I have enjoyed….

If we were having coffee…

First I’d ask how you were doing:  How was your week and weekend?  And the family/pets/projects/whatever is important in your life at the moment?  How has that challenging thing that’s going on in your life been going?  And that awesome thing that you were looking forward to?

Me… well… It’s been a rough few weeks, honestly.  You know those times where things just seem to be slowly snowballing and you feel like it could break loose from your grasp and plummet to the bottom of the hill where it will shatter into a million pieces (after knocking you down and plowing over you, of course)?  Yeah…  I’ve had that kind of feeling.

Not that there is anything in particular that’s pushing that snowball — self-set deadlines, and just a few that have been set by others.  I think it’s that promise of the arrival of fall — the changing seasons always seem to put me in a strange state.  Something about it makes it really easy for everything else to seem so much more of an insurmountable task.  I know it will pass though, so I push through.

The blog?  Yeah, it’s going well.  I continue to be amazed that people are reading what I write, love that I am finding community, and having to remind myself to not compare to others.  Of course, with the snowball-week I’ve had, I haven’t been doing as much social media and outreach as I’d like but… I’m still managing some.

And the story!  Oh, let me tell you about the story… I finally got a grasp (I think) on little Miss Callie… her first story segment went up today.  I don’t think as many people are actually reading that story, or the world-periphery… but I’m learning a lot writing it, and there are at least some reading so… that’s something.

I started rewriting the first segment of the story I hope to turn into a novel by the spring (or sooner if possible), which was really fun.  I kinda adore the MC on that one, and she’s pretty amiable, so it’s a nice shift.

Oh, and the family… Grandma moves out here this week, so I’ve been sewing curtains and spent the weekend trying to help get Mom’s house together for her arrival.  My brother build a ramp out front, and is making one inside, and it looks pretty impressive.  I’m so looking forward to having so much extended family on this side of the country (two cousins, form different sides of the family have recently — or are soon — moving to Seattle which is close-enough)!  Thanksgiving and Christmas are going to be so different this year!  And it will be wonderful to be able to get time to just sit and visit with Grandma on a more regular basis.

My plans for the week?  The continual trying to catch up on sleep, of course… and cleaning.  Set some writing goals, and am going to push through the challenges to make them happen!  Have some social things lined up as well, so that will help me keep from being a week-night hermit.  Not that I mind vanishing to spend my evenings hunkered down at my computer, but a change of pace is always helpful.

How about you?

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Writing My Way: Sacrifice… Kinda, Sorta…

I’m realizing how much power can come from making something “a priority” in your life.  It causes you to look at everything you are spending your time on, weighing it out to decide if it is worth taking the time away from what you really want to be doing, thus causing you to look at all those things that take your time, and debate if they are worth it or not.  At least, this has been my experience.

For a long time I hesitated in “making myself write” because I did not want my enjoyable pastime to become a chore.  I did not write (fiction) unless I felt like it; I did not write unless the ideas flowed freely (or I was pretty convinced that they would if I got over that one obstacle).  If a new story idea caught my interest I would quickly abandon the old.  As for editing… editing was a thing I did rarely (outside of homework assignments for creative writing classes), because it wasn’t fun.

But this year I’ve had a renewed commitment to my writing.  I’ve begun to step away from my fear of failing enough to be willing to try. This willingness to try has translated into allowing my writing to become my work, not my job (that’s the thing that pays the bills), but work nonetheless.  Deserving of real time and attention.  Even when I don’t necessarily feel like it.

I’ll never be the kind of person who writes X-words a day.  I’ve tried, it doesn’t work for me.  I work it bits and pieces instead, some days I’ll pound out thousands of words, others I’ll be lucky to get 5.   But I know that I have to set aside SOME amount of time each week if I want to get things done, and I have to hold myself to that.

Which means occasionally having to say, “No” to things in order to make room for writing.   It means keeping my writing in my mind when I make decisions.  I have to sometimes be willing to prioritize my writing above other things.

These decisions are not always easy to make.  I would love to fill my weekends with social time with friends, vegging-out at movies, baking and cooking, and perhaps even some cleaning.  But if I do fill the weekends it means that I don’t have time to write, writing I need to do in order to make progress, and to stay on-top of my goals.

Would I like to jump to that project, or perhaps that other one, or oooh…shiny!?  Yes… of course.  But then other things get lost, and I never come to any real product.

Sometimes this means making challenging decisions.  Deciding where I want to place my energy and focus, paying close attention to what my dreams and goals really are and how I can reach for them.  Weighing the pro’s and con’s for any given opportunity and deciding if it is worth taking more time from my craft.

It’s frightening to make some of these decisions.  I can’t help but wonder if I’m making a mistake, chasing a pipe-dream.  Will I burn out in 6-months and find myself unable to push through?  Will I look back in a year and regret passing-up some of the things that I have said “no” to?

It comes back, always, to trusting my gut, listening to myself, and being willing to face the true challenges of following my dreams.

I know many of my readers are writers themselves, but I am sure there are some who have other crafts and art-forms.  What are some of the sacrifices you’ve made for your work?  Do you still think it was worth it?

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 This is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.  It is a great group of supportive writers, helping one another through our writing ups-and-downs.

Celebration Time! Celebrate the Small Things 3

Celebrate the Small Stuff!

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On Tumblr I did some celebrating today. But, I wanted to celebrate here as well.  Because, well, there is some celebration to be had!

I celebrate awards!  I was nominated (and will shortly post) for the One Lovely Blog award.  And JUST saw that I’ve been nominated for the Super-Mega Inspiring Voltron Force Award (and if that isn’t the awesomest award title out there I don’t know what is!)  And there are some things coming down the road that are exciting as well.

So… I do want to celebrate… and thinking about the BIG celebration (topping 1k followers!) here is what I’d like to do — I want to answer your questions (and take your requests).  Ask me anything and I will answer (well, okay, I reserve the right not to answer, but, chances are I will answer).   Or, give me a challenge, and I will do what I can to rise to that challenge.

Celebrating the Small Stuff! 2

It’s important to take the time to remember to celebrate.  We often remember to celebrate the big things, but often it is easy to forget all the little celebrations that we can have throughout the week.

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So, there’s a group that is working to celebrate the small things!  Every Friday we are invited to post about the little things that have happened in our life, those things to celebrate.  It is a blog hop — so you are encouraged to go visit others who are also celebrating (and join in the celebration).

I love this!  And I plan to celebrate every Friday — but it might not always be here.  Once a month (at least) I’ll do a full blog-post of celebration, but I will set the goal to post celebrations on my tumblr.

Please, join the fun!  It’s a great way to brighten the end of the week!

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Celebrating the Small Stuff – 1

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Celebration time!

I’ll start with a very special one.  As this post goes up, I am perhaps (hopefully) still asleep!  Enjoying a day off from work!  How cool is that!?  And, because I have an job with actual benefits, it’s a paid holiday.  Paid.  Holiday.  What more could I ask?

Another great celebration:

Earlier this week (Wednesday, to be exact) was my 100th Post!  That’s right… after (over) 3 years of blogging, I have done 100 posts!  Sure, the first 2.5 years can only be loosely called blogging since most of them were simply promises to post more later, but still….   I hadn’t even planned this — mapping out my blog posts (another small celebration, my blog posts are mapped out and some are even written) I settled on the First Friday of the month as my Celebration Friday… and it just ended up being the week of post 100.  (Originally it was Post 100, but then I had to go an put up a poll-post… and another post…).

100 is kind of a cool number.  I remember back in Kindergarten celebrating the 100th day of the school year.  Leading up to it we did all sorts of things with 100, but on that day all the classes got together and we did some sort of great celebration.  I believe we released 100 balloons into the air (this was before we all realized/knew just how terrible a thing that was for the environment).  I know that Zero the Hero made an appearance (he came in the form of a green puppet of some form, if I remember correctly).

Celebrating Boundaries!!

Yeah, that’s right… I’m setting boundaries for myself.  Boundaries and priorities.  This is going to be the last of my million-and-a-half-times-a-week posts… After this I will be shifting to updating this blog on Wednesdays.  There will, of course, be other posts from time to time — some Friday Celebrations, the odd post that I just have to put up in that moment, but I will promise posts on Wednesdays (with Disparate Threads switching to a Monday posting for primary story — and trying to have a post Fridays for other materials).

Deciding on this, and sticking to it (if I can!) is kinda huge for me.  I’m one of those people who almost always takes on more than I can chew.  I like to say “Yes” to projects, and like to do things… so when I can take the moment to step back, realize that I can’t really do it all, and set boundaries for myself — that is an awesome thing!

Each Friday a group of bloggers Celebrate The Small Things.  Hosted by VikLit and co-hosts Diana Wilder, LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge, and Katie @ TheCyborg Mom.  Eclectic Alli is occasionally erratic as well as being eclectic… so I am trying to participate at least once a month!
Join The Hop!

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Writing at Your Own Pace

Reviving this post for NaNo 2014 — For those of you joining through the Lovely NaNo Link-up, hosted by The Novelista!

The Novelista

Be sure to check out more NaNo-related posts this month through the NaNo category under “The Season”!


 

I’m not sure why I continue to be surprised at how much of what I’ve come to realize about life in general also applies to more specific parts of my life, for instance, my writing.  In this case it’s the matter of moving at my own pace, not holding to other peoples schedules.

I got a glimpse of a microcosm of this while I was participating in some NaNoWriMo Word Sprints.  A short sprint could see a word-count disparity that I don’t think is always simply explained by a difference in typing speeds.

Sure, there are distractions, there are those who did not type the full time, and those who are typing speed-demons.  But it also has to do with the vastly different ways that people approach their writing.  For some it is a matter of dumping the ideas on the page, writing absolutely horrible writing if that’s what it takes, to just get it down, and then sorting it out and editing it later.  For others every single word is meticulously planned from the first appearance on the page, with a lot of editing happening before the words can be written.  And yet others fall somewhere in between.

Just the same, some can write a novel in a matter of months, from first idea to finished project, while others will take years for the process.  Some want to make sure that everything is plotted out, others are happy to just see where the characters and the story may lead.

And it can cause hesitation when you’re faced with someone who takes a different approach than you.  At least, it does for me.  I find myself wondering if perhaps I’m doing it wrong.  Maybe I would be [more successful] [a better writer] [more productive] if I wrote differently.

The truth,  though, is that there is no right or wrong way to write.  Sure, there are suggestions, “rules” for writing.  And for every rule there’s an excellent example of a time to break it.  Every writer has their own method, their own way to reach their goals… and their own understanding of those goals.

Most important of all, there is no right or wrong way to write — there’s only what works for you.  I was taught to write every day, but I know a writer (a bestseller at that!) who only writes on weekends.

– Tamora Pierce

What are some of the “writer-expectations” that you have heard and embraced, or rejected?  Where are places that you’ve found yourself setting your own pace?

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 This is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.  

It is a great group of supportive writers, helping one another through our writing ups-and-downs.

Round-Up Round Two

Here are a few of the things that have caught my attention this month:

Resilience through Change, explored in The Sky(Deck) is Not Falling,

A fun list of procrastination types.

Someone tried to tell adults that they should be ashamed of reading Young Adult literature this month.  Needless to say, some people had things to say about this matter.

Encounters with a legend.

On a much more serious note:  How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings.

But, lets finish with some new music.  I’ve been hearing UltraTom’s music (in one form or another) for pretty much my whole life… always love when he puts together something new, and have found it to be great music to write to!