Thursday, July 31, 2014

Writer's High

My grumpiness reached an all time high yesterday.  I wasn't feeling well and generally didn' t like anything.  After Ken went to bed, I tried fixing some production issues for my next poetry book and it didn't help.  I was frustrated again.  I didn't want to crochet.  I didn't want to read.  I didn't want to watch tv.  I was cranky!

The music I was listening to we repetative and annoying me.  I skipped a number tracks in an attempt to hear something different.  I reluctantly opted to write about seven.  Opening up my file, I was trying to decide where I was going next with the story. 

As is my habit, I went back to the beginning of the scene.  I started writing and fell into the work.  At one point, I heard the music and was annoyed because they had just played something similar.  I looked at the clock and realized it was two hours previous that they had played the same song. 

Shrugging I went back to writing.  I had a scene to finish.  At the culmination of my scene my main character went through a difficult labor and birth of twins.  When I finished the scene, I was thrilled with my progress.  The word count was just under 63,000 words.

I have about three or four scenes left to write and the story will be done.  I need to think on the next step.  I've written another evil girl scene so the readers can keep up with the bad girl.  I know I'll do one or two more with her.  I need a good move the story along because the culminating scene will be a battle and that is already in my head but it can't happen for another year in the story time.  I need to figure out some milestones between birth of babies and one year birthday. 

By the time I was done last night, my mood had completely changed.  I went from super grump to completely happy.  It felt wonderful to add to this story, to see the characters develop further, and to see things come together.  Now to continue the adventure, bring together some loose ends, and get ready for the final battle.  I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Moon Energy

The moon has the power to shift the tides, it is to be expected that it would also affect other things as well.  The phase of the moon affects the energy around you and how you feel.  We've all heard how the full moon pulls out the crazy people. 

My sister loves the energy of the full moon.  It gives her energy and fills her with positive energy.  I, on the other hand, am not so thrilled with the full moon.  Full moon energy overloads me.  I have a lot of headaches around the full moon.  I also feel over tired and cranky (crankier than normal for me).

The dark moon for me is like sliding under the most comfortable blanket.  It gives me energy and creativeness.  I find comfort in the calm of the dark moon.  My meditations are more intuitive and have more depth.

This last week has been the last crescent dark moon through the dark moon and moving into the first crescent energy.  Last Sunday I started writing what I thought would be a short story.  At ten days of working on it, I have 53,000 words done.  I believe it will be a novel and possibly a series of novels.  I'm got the book planned out and will likely finish it before the full moon - I hope. 

By the full moon, my energy will likely shift from creative to practical.  The practical helps me shut out the blast of energy the full moon gives me. 

Being aware of the affect the moon energy has on my own energy helps me make the most of it.  I'm able to tap into and use the creative energy when it is flowing.  I'm able to buffer myself from energy overload.

For more on using the moon energy, see my Moon Affirmations book available on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Nobles. 


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Temporarily Stuck

I came to a transition point in the story I'm working on.  If I were putting chapters or parts to it, I'd say I came to the end of part one.  I knew where I wanted to go.  I know the next scenes but there were some details I wanted to get down. 

Briefly, the main character is transitioning from her old life to her new life.  During the first part of the story, she is traveling to her new town where she will take up a new powerful leadership role.  Part of what I wanted to get in was that she was feeling overwhelmed in her new role, new position, new relationship, and so on.  It is like that moment when you walk into a new job which you know is going to be great but you look at the tasks ahead and think - What the hell did I get myself into? 

At the same time, the reader doesn't want to hear about the minutiae that goes into her daily life.  An awareness needs to be made and I don't want it to seem like she stepped into the role and just ran with it.  It makes her more believable and likeable if she struggles.  Struggling is good.

Last night I was going to work on the story some more.  Repeatedly I reached for the netbook to open it and type but never could bring myself to.  I had essentially written myself into a scene that I wasn't sure where it was going. 

I don't consider this writer's block mostly because it never lasts.  I consider it a pause in the process.  I knew what the scene overall was supposed to be and how it would transition to the next scene.  I just wasn't sure of the details. 

Last night I putzed.  I worked on a couple of other things but was just tired and a bit growly.  I knew I was thinking about it too much.  I changed my focus and let it go.  Eventually I get a solution.  Either I talk it out with one of my people who listen to me ramble about writing or something just comes. 

This morning in the shower, I saw the scene in my head.  I saw my characters just as I had left them.  I saw the scene play out in my head.  My fingers itched to get to my computer.  Unfortunately I couldn't immediately get it down.  I was a bit grumbly about this until I realized it just kept getting more detailed and fleshed out the more I thought about it. 

The scene I was stuck on is written.  It has led into the next scene which will allow my characters to give some background information without it feeling like an info dump.  The story just keeps coming and as it comes it just gets better.  It solidifies what I've already started and leads forward to what I hope will be a great climax.  I can't wait to see where it takes me. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Obnoxiously Early

Sunday I was up at 6:30 which for me on the weekend is too early.  I slept from 3:00 am to 6:00 and would have liked more sleep but by 6:30 I knew it wasn't going to happen.  The good thing about being up that early - I got a lot of writing things done. 

I finished another step in pre-production for another poetry book.  I redid the cover for Secret Past and uploaded it to all the places as well as several other items on my to do list.  I worked on production of Moments in Spirit and failed miserably at making it through the process.  It is available electronically through Smashwords but there are issues (background not with the text) and I need to spend more time on it. 

After a couple of hours fussing with the file trying to figure out what wasn't working and not getting it to work, I gave up and hit my recliner.  I worked on the story I've been working on for a week.  I decided to show more of the antagonist in this story.  There are flashes of her throughout the story but I actually took the time to write up a synopsis of her. 

Normally I don't do this as I like my character so just develop.  However, with her it will have to be more subtle.  I won't be telling her story per se but overlapping her story with the protagonists.  This means I have to work harder to show who she is. 

Writing the synopsis and little scenes for her.  It helps me to keep her darker.  I haven't written a lot of dark characters and it was kind of fun to tap into motivations that I don't normally explore.  With good characters it is all about protection, overcoming, and higher purpse type qualities.  With a bad character it is much more self -motivated - gathering power, me oriented desires, and revenge at any slights, real or otherwise.

I don't know that the little scenes for her will make it into the story. I think some of them will have to but they help me see how someone like her would work.  She's power hungry and she likes being that way.  I like that. 

I know there are at least eight major scenes left in this book.  I'm sure there will be others as I illustrate how the main characters live and adjust to their new life together.  I'm already at over 43,000 words and can't wait to move forward. 

I want to be careful not to let the details bog down the story.  No one wants to read lengthy descriptions on all the details in a life.  It gets tedious.  It will be a matter of finding the right balance between giving the details and keeping the adventure and action moving forward.  The more I think about it the more excited I get about it.  It will be fun to see it develop and expand into more than just some strange imagining in my head.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Scenes

I finished off most of the scenes for my story I had thought up.  I got about halfway through a scene and realized I didn't know the purpose of the scene.  It always makes me pause.  I figured I'd take a break and let my mind simmer on it for a bit.

Last night I was planning to write more but opted to watch some tv.  I went to bed early and actually fell asleep without it being a huge struggle (thankfully).  This morning as I'm showering, the entire rest of the story just came to me.  I have a dozen scenes written down - they will turn in to the rest of the plot.  What's more the climax will lead to a second book I think. 

I never have titles - not ever.  I struggle to get titles because I can never seem to find something catchy, quirky, or fitting for the book.  In my head I come up with whatever fits at the moment for a working title.  With this story - I have a title, though I'll probably do some research to see if it is common.  I also have a title for the next one too and have a rough idea of the plot I want to do for that one. 

This morning I'm working on items on my to do list.  I've crossed off several and hope to continue the progress.  Ken is off doing the errands which leaves me free to either write or work on the to do list.  Perhaps I'm getting back on track after my week of no sleep.  If that is what it took, I'm going to count the lack of sleep as a blessing - though I'm not sure Ken would he had to put up with me being cranky.

Sleep has returned to my life and - not surprisingly - I feel better.  I got a solid six hours last night which for me is good.  I feel like I can face and tackle the issues I wasn't able to for the last week.  It is just a matter of working my way through each task.  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Rested but Tired

When I have dizziness, nausea, and headaches from lack of sleep, I know I'm reaching my limit.  Yesterday all of those were hammering my body pretty bad.  Still I closed my eyes and couldn't settle to sleep. 

Instead of writing last night I watched tv.  I've not watched tv except for an hour with Ken in the evenings in several weeks.  Two episodes of Rizzoli and Isles and my eyes were drooping and it seemed like I was likely to sleep.  The tv went off and I closed my eyes. 

An hour later, I turned the light back and grabbed my computer.  My mind wouldn't shut down yet again.  It isn't that I'm lying there thinking about the story I'm working on.  I have all sorts of other things going through my head that just won't stop as well as listening to my head pounding and having a stitch in my side because my asthma is bugging me because I've had no sleep. 

I wrote.  I finished two scenes one of which was a battle from a different perspective.  I'll probably be adding more into that so it is more involved when I do the edits (or if I go back today).  As I reached the end of the fight and flee scene my eyes were the only thing bugging me. 

Before starting the next scene, I decided I'd try sleeping again.  Ken woke me up around 2:30 to ask me something.  To be fair, I think he thought I was awake.  I thought great, now I'll be up for a while.  However, I finally got back to sleep and when my alarm went off I was deeply asleep.  I opted to turn it off and not go to work so I could catch up on some sleep.

I slept solidly for a while and then dozed for a couple of hours allowing myself to slowly wake up and acclimate to the world.  It felt good to actually sleep.  I still have a headache but that is normal after so long without sleep I think. 


My body finally overruled my brain.  Now the test will be to see if I can sleep reasonably tonight.  I have a few things to do at home but I'm going to work on writing my story.  It is pulling me - even above my other writing tasks.  While I've got the momentum, I'd love to finish a rough draft.  Then it can also go in the to-do pile.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Must Type Faster

Sleep didn't work last night.  I tried twice to go to sleep before I gave up and wrote.  Just before 1:00 am, I turned the light off to try sleeping a third time.  I finally got to sleep but was awake again at 4.  This sucks.

On the up side, I worked on my story last night.  I finished off the scene I was writing and started another.  I have seven scenes in my head that I think will flow and move the plot forward nicely.  I'm up over 20,000 words in three days. 

I'm in love with my two main characters.  I'm not sure where they are taking me quite yet.  I have glimpses of what will happen to them but these come to me as I'm moving through one scene and into the next. 

The change in mind frame for me when I'm writing is amazing.  I write and even when I'm frustrated with not finding the right words or not describing the scene the way I want everything else fades away.  The headache I've had for three days, the aches, the pain I deal with daily, all fade away.  It annoys me when I'm interrupted by anything. 

Not only am I narrowing my vision to the screen I'm looking at but I'm going to a different place in my head than the crazy repetitive place that won't stop when I try to sleep.  My focus is so narrow, the music I play often fades away.  Although sometimes I hear the same song and then I get annoyed.  Never mind that hours have passed since I heard it the first time. 

One of my biggest problems is I can't seem to type fast enough.  I'll find myself reading over what I wrote and will have missed words.  It is a rough draft but it has to be comprehensive enough to edit when I finish the first draft.  I type fairly fast but the words are tumbling out of my fingers so fast I'm skipping words.  This will make the editing process fun. 

If you want to read some of my writing, my books are on sale at smashwords.com - 25% off till the end of July. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sleep isn't Necessary - Right?

I tried really hard to be good and go to sleep early last night.  I lay in the dark trying to shut down my mind but it just didn't work. 

My niece rescued me from tossing and turning for hours by calling.  After I talked to her, I knew it was hopeless to try to sleep so I worked on a story.  I went from 7600 words to 15000.  I also know the next three or four steps in the story.

At 11:00 I tried to go to sleep but only slept for an hour and then I was awake again.  The rest of the night was hit or miss with only one long stretch of about an hour and a half sleeping. 

Plan for tonight - not even try sleeping until I've written for several hours.  I'm not turning my computer off until I can't see the screen anymore.  Maybe then I'll get a stretch of sleep longer than an hour or so. 

On the plus side, the story I've been writing is developing nicely.  The characters are becoming stronger, secondary characters are falling into place, and the plot is coming along.  I have the next three or four scenes planned out in my head; I just have to get them down on paper. 

I'm also losing large chunks of time in the evenings with writing.  I look at the clock in the early evening and the next time I look it is several hours later.  The only disturbance is when someone calls or texts me or when I get annoyed with the music I'm listening to and decide it is time for quiet in the house. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Insomnia

For the last week or so, I've not been sleeping well or long.  This is just part of the cycle I go through so I'm not unused to it.  There are actually some benefits to not sleeping. 

Obviously, I've been reading more and enjoying the stories.  It is great to fall into a book and get lost in the characters and plot.  It helps to pass the time when I can't sleep in a good way.  It doesn't lessen the tiredness but at least makes the inability to sleep pleasant.

I started the last book in the series I'm reading and struggled with the beginning.  It is very dark and I hope the author will lighten it up but it went to a place I struggled to read through.  I will go back to it when my mood changes. 

Instead of reading last night, I started a story.  It has been drifting in my head for a few days and I thought it would go away but it took root and wouldn't let go.  I started writing after Ken went to bed about seven.  I pulled out my netbook and flashdrive, opened Word and just started typing. 

I had no hesitation - well except when I had to come up with names.  There are times I would just like it to be him or her.  I typed and the story fell onto the page.  Except for the occassional drink of water, I created the story.  At 11:00 I got a cramp in my hands.  That was a first for me.  But I realized I'd been typing for four hours with little interruption. 

To be honest, I was a little annoyed with both the cramp and the time.  I had only a short start to the story out of my head and had so much more I wanted to get down.  Normally when I see it is so late, I'll start thinking about wrapping up what I'm doing - not last night.  I dove right back into telling the story. 

By 12:00 I realized I had to quit in order to get up for work.  I tried to finish up a scene but the next scene came to mind.  I just wanted to keep going with the story.  I forced myself to stop at 12:40. 

Normally, I'm so tired after a marathon writing like this that I fall almost immediately asleep.  This didn't happen.  I think it was after 2:40 before I finally fell asleep.  My alarm was set for 5:00 so this would have given me less than 3 hours of sleep.  I'll generally hit my snooze for an hour so that would have given me about four hours of sleep which is usually enough to get me through. 

Unfortunately at 4:55 my eyes popped open and I realized I was awake for the morning.  I hoped and reset my alarm to 6:00 and tried to go back to sleep.  It didn't work.  I just tossed and turned more. 

It will be a long day with a day-long headache as part of the mix.  I won't bother trying to go to sleep early tonight because it won't work.  I'll probably just work on my story. 

The best thing is - I got 7600 words into my story.  I'll have to start a spreadsheet on this as I've got details I want to keep track of and I feel like this could be more detailed as I go forward. 

I don't know if I'll sleep tonight.  It is hit or miss at this stage but if I don't I'll probably work on the story to see how much further I can get with it.

As a reminder - my books are on sale on Smashwords.com - 25% off .. it is a great deal.  Check them out at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/kevvs229



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Reading to be a Better Writer

Love scenes can either be done wonderfully or horribly with a lot of mediocre in between.  I read The Twilight Before Christmas by Christina Feehan last night and was enthralled with the book.  I could not put the book down.  Feehan's love scenes were sensual, enthralling, and steamy. 

She included words I would not have thought would be good in a love scene but they completely work in hers.  I'll be studying her scenes.  The entire book kept me enthralled for the whole night.  Her pacing was non-stop, she went from one crisis to another without giving the reader a chance to catch their breath - in the best possible way.  Her women are strong, feminine, and sexy.  Her men are strong, respectful, loving and sexy.  It is the perfect combination. 

As a reader, I enjoyed reading the book and can't wait to start the next one in the series.  As a writer, her writing excites me and I am going to study her techniques. 

One of the things I heard in most of my classes was to find an author who writes in the genre you want to write in and study their work.  Mostly they were talking about classical writers like Mark Twain and other people most non-writers don't like to read.  In rediscovering my love of the reading, I'm finding myself inspired by the stories but even more by the techniques I'm finding in the books that keep me riveted. 

Even though I'm enthralled in the story, in the back of my mind my writer persona is taking notes.  I find myself occasionally saying - oohh I like how this worked or I like the way this was said or I like how this phrase was turned.  In describing the heat of the moment, instead of saying something spread like wild fire the author used a different term (can't think of it right now off the top of my head) and it worked so much better.  It took away the cliche of the phrase we all know but got the same results of the cliched phrase.

My first novel is a culmination of ten years of writing, getting a story down on and developing characters, plot, and technique.  As I read it now, I see some things I have changed in how I write; I also see some really good techniques. 

I've had writers tell me how to write.  I take in their advise but know for me in the rough draft I can't do it that way (at least not right now).  I can incorporate some of the ideas in my editing process.  I know I'm evolving as a writer and in another ten years I'll probably look at my first books and see things I'd do differently.  It is sort of like hair styles of old pictures - we look back and sometimes think - what were we thinking, and other times - that was good I should do it again. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sleeping Late

Yesterday I had a wonderful day with friends over from work to help me celebrate graduating in December and turning 50.  We had good food, good conversation, and a good time all around.

I indulged in one very small alcoholic drink.  Normally I don't drink.  I just don't get a lot of enjoyment out of it for the most part.  Yesterday I thought - one small drink with very little alcohol just for kicks.  Ken made it with less than a quarter shot of vodka.  

I've now found one more thing that affects my gout - alcohol.  Last night my gout flared up and by three in the morning I was in severe pain.  I could barely walk to the bathroom.  I took Tylenol.  This morning when my alarm went off I contemplated going to work.  I decided having just gotten over one medium level flare I would sleep late.  I woke up enough to take my gout specific meds, text my boss and my student workers and go back to sleep.

When my niece called after ten I was in a dozing state of should I wake up or not.  With the phone call, I did get up and chat with her.  My foot felt much better.  I've still got some twinges though so I'm going to take it easy and not push myself today.  I'll forage in the kitchen for stuff I can grab and go.  

No more alcohol for me.  I'm already avoiding chocolate and beef (though I allow myself the occasional treat).  If I react this badly to alcohol, I will avoid it without a second thought.  The nice thing about this is it isn't hard for me to give up.   

The sleep helped a lot I think.  It gave the meds a chance to work and kept me off my feet.  Sleep is very restorative when it comes to many things and in this instance helped me a great deal.  I'm just hoping I can get to sleep tonight.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Books Interrupted

Grocery shopping is done.  Other errands are done.  A short story and a book read and another book started in the last two days.  It has been a productive weekend.

I saved over $50 in coupons and shopping sale items.  This is always a bonus.  As we were checking out at Woodman's I was freaking out a bit as my total was significantly higher than I wanted.  I just kept saying to myself - I have coupons.  Two of my coupons were $5 each so I knew it would come down a lot.  By the time we were done the total was back down in the range of where I expected it to be.

Friday night I started a book.  I told Vicki I wanted something light and magical to read.  I grabbed the list she gave me and started going through it and she said - read that series.  The first pages I was seriously annoyed and disappointed.  The book opens with a woman being dragged from a dungeon to go to her death.  This is not light and magical - in fact probably the opposite.  I kept reading though.  At 11:00 I said to myself okay I need to go to sleep because I have to be up for a lot of things tomorrow.

At 1:30 I glanced at the clock and said my favorite curse word because I truly didn't realize it was that late.  I looked at the table of contents in the book because quite frankly I was tempted to keep reading if there wasn't that much left.  I still had ten chapters to read.  I forced myself to stop reading (very reluctantly) and go to sleep.

I was a bit groggy and grumpy yesterday but we still got all of our errands run.  I also finished reading Poison Study by Mary Snyder.  Last night I read Assassin Study and started reading Fire Study.  I honestly didn't want to put that book down either but at 1:00 I did so I could function today.  There is one more after this one and I think Vicki said a couple of short stories too.

Vicki gave me a several page list of books to read and I'm working my way through them.  I've not been disappointed yet.  I've not had a chance to listen to Magic in the Wind by Christine Feehan because people have either wanted to talk to me while I'm driving or they have been in the car with me.  I guess I'll be patient and listen to those on Monday when I go back to work.

If you are looking for a steamy thriller romance - check out Secret Past.  It is on sale on Smashwords.com right now for 25% off along with Moments in Nature and Moon Affirmations!


Friday, July 11, 2014

Coupons and Organizing

Vicki got me a binder for my coupons.  Up until now I've been keeping them in my card holder.  It is difficult to keep track of what I have with them in my card holder - they were just bunched together.  With the binder, I have a slot for each coupon. 

We generally shop at Woodman's so I took the store layout from their web site and organized the coupons according to how the store is organized.  This will be my first week using the binder; it will be interesting to see if I like it better. 

The other store we go to (Schnucks) is having their 11 for $10 sale again.  I like these sales because you can mix and match.  I look through their flyer but I also like to wander the store to see what isn't in their ad.  This sale is a good time to stock up. 

After these two errands tomorrow, we have to go to the post office.  I have to mail out another review copy of Moon Affirmations.  I have an editor who will put it out to her reveiwers and hopefully put in her magazine.  Stephanie also left stuff at our house when she was home that we have to ship down to her.

I think it will be a calmer weekend for errands with only a few errands.  This is good and will hopefully allow me time to work on writing activities. 

Don't forget - my books are 25% off right now at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/kevvs229

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Juggling Life

Finished the Fablehaven series last night at 2:00 am.  I should have put the book up but I just couldn't.  It means I'll be tired today.  I have to figure out what book I'll be reading next.  I know it may seem strange but I usually have a book on my kindle, one on my fire, and sometimes a physical book all going at once. 

I've got one audio book going in the car.  I find myself looking forward to it everytime I head to my car.  I have some extra driving to do today which means extra time in the car.  This also means I'll likely be hearing more of the story as well since I won't have any passengers with me. 

I'm going to shift though from reading non-stop to working on writing again.  My todo list has gotten much longer while I've been off in other books.  I have managed to check off some things from this list.  I corrected an error in my front and back material in all my books; made the final decision on the cover for the next poetry book; submitted some articles and a variety of other things. 

I can tell I've not worked on writing items for a while, I'm starting to get antsy about them.  I feel like I'm behind schedule but I keep reminding myself it is my own schedule.  However, this is a pay weekend so we have errands to run and Sunday we have friends coming over.  I'm looking forward to having them come - it reminds me to keep that balance in my life.

In between all of these, I have to put a bunch of manuscripts away (they are edited versions of a story) and clear off some space on my desk so I can work at it.  Ken got the furniture organized in my craft room which means I need to go in and organize the room.  Right now I have containers of crafts sitting around which annoys me.

I need to find a balance of getting all this done.  Some of it I can do in my recliner with my feet up so I will save those tasks for when my legs hurt and I can't do the other stuff.  The craft stuff I will try to start first thing in the morning so my legs are in good shape but this means I need a non-pay weekend to do them.  Hopefully next weekend I'll be able to work on both the craft room and the office. 

My biggest problem when I'm working on the office is I get into decision overload.  I'm cleaning and organizing which means making tons of decisions of where and how things are going to be organized.  I get to the point where I can't figure out the best place for one more thing. This means I don't quite finish the room.  Life happens and things get put here and there and suddenly my office is a mess again. 

My second biggest problem with the office is I'd rather be writing and working on submissions than doing the cleaning and organizing.  I can spend hours at my computer working on a story, submitting work, researching and so on.  I get lost in what I am doing and forget that I was going to organize the room instead.  I just need to stay on track. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Escape with a Good Book

I'm still on a reading spurt.  I am reading the Fablehaven series.  It is a good series for young adults full of adventure, magic, fairies, and fun.  The roles are a bit traditional for my tastes but I freely admit this is my own hang up. 

Writing tasks are screaming at me while I spend my evenings immersed in this lovely world created by Brandon Mull.  It is a fun distraction but soon I'll be turning my focus back to writing and reading a bit less.

Over the weekend I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (again).  Rowling created quite the world.  I've read these book many times and returning to them is like visiting an old friend.

I've also started Magic in the Wind by Christine Feehan.  It is a romance novel with a supernatural bent.  Seven sisters with power to help them as they discover love and more.  Magic in the Wind is the first in series of seven.  I'm listening to this one in the van as I drive to and from work. 

When I was in school it was all I could do to keep up with the technical reading I had to do.  Reading fun books that inspire, amuse, entertain - that was impossible for me to do except during my down times like holiday breaks.  Even then I was usually too busy to pick up a book for enjoyment. 

Last night after Ken went to bed I opened up the fourth book in the Fablehaven series and fell into it.  I lost more than two hours while I followed Kendra and Seth adventuring in the Dragon Sanctuary.  It was exciting and pleasant.  I looked up at 9:30 and said - where did the time go? 

At 10:00 I finished the book and my immediate question was - Do I start the fifth book or put it away?  The danger of course being that I will read too late and get up grumpy the next day.  I checked my emails which took all of ten minutes (most of that time spent waiting for the netbook to boot up).  Of course I started the next book and of course I stayed up too late.  Though I did force myself to stop reading at 12:30. 

This is what a good story should do.  It should suck you in and keep you wanting more - keep you turning pages.  If it doesn't do that, what is the point? 

It may be summer and you may have a lot of other activities you are doing but I say grab a good book and curl up somewhere to be transported somewhere different.

Here are my books:

Secret Past
Available on Barnes and Nobles:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secret-past-eileen-troemel/1119169953?ean=9781499159868
Available for sale at:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/426548
Available on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Past-Eileen-Troemel-ebook/dp/B00JL38Z7C/ref=la_B00JL4PEJ8_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398097355&sr=1-1

Moon Affirmations  Daily Meditations Using the Moon Phase to Focus Your Energy
Available for sale at:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/432900
Available on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Moon-Affirmations-Daily-Meditations-Energy-ebook/dp/B00K08TF3K/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1398791925&sr=8-5&keywords=moon+affirmations
Available on Barnes and Nobles:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moon-affirmations-eileen-troemel/1119387496?ean=2940045859738

Moments in Nature
Available at Barnes & Nobles:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moments-in-nature-eileen-troemel/1119566668?ean=2940045940085
Available at:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/437602
Available on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Moments-Nature-Eileen-Troemel-ebook/dp/B00KBFOWSK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400077630&sr=8-1&keywords=moments+in+nature


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Perfect Weather

Yesterday and today - no air conditioning on.  This is highly unusual for me as I can't handle the heat and humidity.  It has been pleasant to have the fresh air and cooler temperatures.  The weather is almost idyllic

I finally finished the Harry Potter Deathly Hallows in the car.  Now I have to figure out what I want to listen to next in the car. I have a 25 minute drive to and from work and I enjoy listening to a book while I drive.  It relaxes me and helps me let go of my day (or preps me for the day) while I drive.

I'm working on the second Fablehaven book and enjoying reading for fun.  It is a joy to just listen to music and read a book.  I lose time. I'll pick up the book and start reading and suddenly it is hours later and I've been in a completely different place.

Smashwords.com has a huge sale going on and my books are all 25% off.  It is a great time to make the purchase!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Reading for Pleasure

With being in school for the last couple of years, I've not done a lot of reading for pleasure.  Mostly it was text books.  Prior to going back to school, I was doing a lot of book reviews.  This led me to getting tired of reading as I was usually under a deadline and reading material I didn't necessarily like.  To some degree I'd forgotten how good it was to sit and read for hours on end.

Two nights ago I started a fiction book - Fablehaven.  I've read part of this series before but I couldn't remember much about it.  I remember enjoying what I read.  I started it and enjoyed the book though the main character Kendra was somewhat whimpy. 

Anyone who knows me, knows I don't like whimpy female characters unless they show development and growth.  I feel that role is a cliche perpetuated by male writers.  Kendra is a bit of a whimp.  She doesn't like to break the rules and she is afraid to explore.  Seth her brother is exactly the opposite.  To me this is very cliched.  However, the author did something smart.  Even though Seth is daring and reckless, the author shows that Seth also experiences fear and Kendra does daring things in small portions. 

As the novel progresses, Kendra learns to be a bit more daring and Seth a tiny bit more cautious (though not much).  In the end Kendra has to overcome her fears, find her courage in order to rescue her family. 

Last night I couldn't put the book down.  At 9:00, I said to myself I was only going to read until 10:00 or 10:30 and then put the book up.  That didn't happen.  I looked up at one point from the book I was thoroughly enthralled in and realized it was nearly 11:00.  I just finished the book. 

I loved getting lost in the book.  Even though I remember some parts of this book, I didn't remember all of it.  The adventure the author wove around his character kept me entranced until I finished the story.  This is what a good story is supposed to do - keep you turning the page to read the next line, paragraph, chapter without thought of anything else. 

There is a second book in the series and I was going to start it but it was already after 11:30.  I was good and opted not to start the next book - I'll do that at some point today.  Here is another good thing the author did - he created such a good story, I want more so I'll be returning to his world and reading the next installment sooner rather than later.

In addition to all the other stuff I have going on, I am going to try to read a book a week.  Right now I'm reading two books - one in my car as I drive and one on one of my kindles.  I'll finish the one in the car today and then I'll have to figure out what I'm going to listen to in the car. 

As a writer reading is two fold.  I'm reading for pleasure but the author in me is also reading for analysis.  What did the author do to draw in the reader?  How did the author develop the characters, the tension, the plot and so on?  This is a hazard of being a writer.  What is wonderful to me is when I read a book and at some point I'm so interested in the story that I stop analyzing the story. 

I'd recommend the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull especially if you like stories on fairies, magic, and tales of good / evil. 

If you are looking for something else - my books are on sale at Smashwords.com.  There is a code on the page for each book on the right.  Get 25% off any of my books.  All of them can be found on my page, just follow the link below.  If you know which one you want to purchase, I've provided a link for each book below as well.
My page:
Moments in Nature:
Moon Affirmations:
Secret Past:

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pick One

In talking with an artist last night, I realized I've been very scattered in my work.  I'll pick up this project and do a tiny bit, then move on to the next one and do a tiny bit.  This is probably because I'm trying to get a little bit done on everything. 

However, I'm wondering if this is the wrong approach for my writing tasks.  I do have several things to do for a good seven or eight writing projects with at least four or five projects barking at the door. 

Right now my to do list is organized by project.  I'm wondering if I should be grouping like tasks together - like I want to review the front and back material for all three of the books I have in publication.  This would be a task for three different projects I could do at once. 

Unfortunately, not all the tasks can be grouped like that.  I am working on editing the second fantasy novel.  I have other editing to do but grouping the tasks together wouldn't work.  First, editing takes a certain mindset and focus and if I do it for too long then the quality of the editing slips.  Second, editing a fiction novel vs a poetry book is very different.

I just finished reading Wrede on Writing where she talked about the different levels of tasks.  It might be worthwhile to identify the type of task as well as the project it is supposed to be for.  This might help me organize my time and make me more efficient with getting items crossed off my list, which is the whole point of making a to do list. 

Here are my books:

Secret Past
Available on Barnes and Nobles:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secret-past-eileen-troemel/1119169953?ean=9781499159868
Available for sale at:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/426548
Available on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Past-Eileen-Troemel-ebook/dp/B00JL38Z7C/ref=la_B00JL4PEJ8_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398097355&sr=1-1

Moon Affirmations  Daily Meditations Using the Moon Phase to Focus Your Energy
Available for sale at:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/432900
Available on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Moon-Affirmations-Daily-Meditations-Energy-ebook/dp/B00K08TF3K/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1398791925&sr=8-5&keywords=moon+affirmations
Available on Barnes and Nobles:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moon-affirmations-eileen-troemel/1119387496?ean=2940045859738

Moments in Nature
Available at Barnes & Nobles:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moments-in-nature-eileen-troemel/1119566668?ean=2940045940085
Available at:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/437602
Available on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Moments-Nature-Eileen-Troemel-ebook/dp/B00KBFOWSK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400077630&sr=8-1&keywords=moments+in+nature

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Back to Routine

Stephanie flies back home today.  Moo Shoo and Gus Gus (her amazingly cute cats) miss her.  I've enjoyed our time together.  We cooked supper together last night.  I chopped what was needed and she cooked.  She made a shrimp stuffed flounder, Parmesan creamy rice, sweet peas, stuffed crab and a salad.  It was delicious.

After I drop her at the airport it will be back to routine for me.  I'll be heading in to work.  I'll go back to looking at my long to do list and figuring out which will be my next task.  There are so many to choose from it won't take long for me to settle on one or three.

Most likely I'll be focusing on production of the next poetry book - Moments in Spirit.  I am also working on editing the second in the fantasy series.  I have so many decisions to make sometimes I feel like I can't make one more decision or my head will explode.  Since that would be messy and probably slow down the entire process I try taking things one at a time.

My foot still twinges when I spend too much time with it down so I'm trying to take it easy and do as much as possible in the recliner.  This does make life difficult because I use two screens when I'm writing and doing a lot of production tasks.  However, it is better that I work with one screen than make my foot worse.

I'm going to miss Stephanie, her humor, her quiet assurance - pretty much everything about her.  But we both have to go back to the demands of life.  Her cats are probably going to scold her severely for deserting them for a week.  

Catching Up

Over the weekend, I got three manuscripts edited and worked on two other manuscripts.  Ken and Vicki did all the errands on Saturday.  Sunda...