Any time’s a time to blog?

Standard

So I’m a little early for an appointment, and I figured now would be as good a time as any to get a blog post in. With the A to Z blogging challenge coming up, we may need to find little nooks and crannies of time to get our blog posts done. 

Why not?

April’s challenge isn’t just about getting words into our virtual spaces. It’s also about finding ways to do things even though they may be difficult. So here I am, sitting in my car, blogging away because now is the time I have.

That’s the way it goes sometimes, and doing things like this challenge allows us to find these little corners that we otherwise might think of as wasted space.

Do I have all the links in that I might want in this post? Not at the time of writing, but there’s always later. Heading into April, it’s good to remember it doesn’t have to be perfect.

It just has to get done.

Which I am, with time to spare.

Gearing up for the A to Z Blogging Challenge

Standard

So as the A to Z Blogging Challenge barrels toward us, I’ve been tidying up odds and ends with one of those to-do lists that’s about 75% aspirational. Are the to-dos to-done?

Nobody’s a perfect list-crosser-offer. What’s that, hypothetical reader? You always finish all of the to-dos on your list?

Well, that’s easy for you, isn’t it, given your hypothetical state, I would think.

Here’s the thing about A to Z. It doesn’t have to be your whole life, and it it doesn’t have to take up all of your time. But you do tend to find yourself telling yourself you’re just going to visit ONE MORE BLOG.

Or put off editing by writing one. Not that I’d ever do that. Ever.

What’s that, hypothetical reader? Frequently?

At least it’s on the list. Speaking of, it’s back to it.

 

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

A to Z Blogging Challenge coming up fast!

Standard

I’m in! How could I not have been, really? For the last two years, the highlight of my blogging year has been the fun and crazy A to Z Blogging Challenge. Let’s go #3!

For anyone unfamiliar, for the month of April, you challenge yourself to blog the alphabet six days a week, Monday through Saturday. This year is a little different, because April has an extra Sunday (dare I call it a MONTH of Sundays? I daren’t? Whatever, hypothetical reader. Whatever), so there will be one exciting stretch including a Sunday.

On Saturday, April 1, we kick off with the letter A, and on we go from there. Some people choose a theme for the month; many plan their posts in advance.

It probably won’t surprise you that, the pantser that I am, I do neither. Though I do have a surprise planned for D, so there’s that.

In past years, there was a list, and you would then visit at least five of the blogs below you a day, which is where the fun comes in. Many of the people you’ll see around here are A to Z blogging buddies, you meet the most interesting, funny and talented people.

This year, to lessen the spam (and there was spam) and dead links we’ll be commenting on the post of the day with a link to our own posts. The fun of that is the list will be different every day, and there’s no set guideline for visits. You can visit all the blogs that catch your eye!

Anyway, I highly recommend it, and hope I’ll see you there.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

And Now It’s Friday

Standard

By Adam Cuerden (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Yes, I’m having that third cup of coffee. Yes, it’s only decaf so it doesn’t count. Only decaf today.

Only decaf.

Except possibly for tea, but that’s later. And it’s green tea. It’s good for you. Probably.

I’ve been doing on my mission to get the writing back on track, and note no descriptor after the “doing.” Haven’t earned a descriptor. Not yet.

Of course every time I try to pull my attention away from reality’s circus, it throws a pie in my face and and honks its nose, most recently in the form of a health care bill which will mean it’s unlikely I’ll have insurance, and now you see how easy it is to digress.

Pardon me while I just clean this glob of whipped cream out of my ear.

But here I am, back at the blog, and considering jumping into this year’s A to Z Blogging Challenge for my third time. I’ve met many blogging friends through it, and it’s a ton of work, but the fun is worth it.

So here I go, here we go, navigating this new landscape where we have to worry about things we never genuinely considered before, while trying to keep moving forward.

Good luck to us all.

And thanks to the inventor of decaf.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

On Wanting to Throw the Manuscript into the Air and Make a Run For It

Standard

Editing. If writing is a universe of universes in your mind, endless plains and planes of possibility, editing is the the grouchy little man who barks at you that your right little toe went off the path onto the weedy grass.

Editing is mean.

Editing is stingy.

Editing is the kind of exacting that never hands out an A in class. Never.

Editing is picking apart a sentence, putting it back together again, realizing that the grouchy little man was right, and slashing it completely. While writing might bring to mind the overwrought palace of Versailles, editing is strictly modern; it’s sleek, clean, all edges and no soft spots in which to hide.

Your inner editor, when unleashed, should feel at home as a villain in a Dickens or Bronte novel. Sparse. Austere.

Here’s the thing. We can fall in love with our ideas, we can fall in love with our language, but as writers, we have one job: to make sure readers get it. And sometimes too many ideas or too much language (or occasionally, too little) means they won’t.

So we take a machete to our work, and, as they say, kill our darlings. It’s not fun, as a rule. It’s not easy.

But it’s much the work of writing as the creation itself.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

The Work of Writing: One

Standard

By August Müller (1836–1885) (Auktionshaus Bergmann) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Note: The below account is entirely fictional and does not in any way reflect what I may or may not have done at any time, including this morning, even if it sounds like it’s possible, remember it’s totally fictional. Fictional.

  • Good morning! Grasp coffee cup with both hands, staring beatifically out of the window. It’s Monday. Let’s get to it!
  • Oops! Gotta eat! Breakfast!
  • Check twitter.
  • Clean new electric kettle by boiling water. Huh. It needs a trivet.
  • Shop online for trivets.
  • Buy coasters.
  • Read trivet reviews closely. Scrutinize colors. Can it open a jar? Suddenly absolutely, positively need silicone trivets that can open jars.
  • Finally select trivets. Success!
  • Change mind, choose other trivets.
  • Look out window. Onward!
  • Check twitter.
  • Computer slow. Must reboot. Maybe run a check.
  • Shut down.
  • Screen is dirty. Clean screen.
  • Reboot.
  • Run scan.
  • Look out window. Can’t go onward. Must have computer to write.
  • Also must have computer to blog.
  • Also must have computer to edit.
  • Also must have computer to twitter.
  • Check twitter on phone.
  • Still scanning.
  • Pace. Every bit of exercise counts, right?
  • Still scanning
  • Inspiration! Remember the ancient method of writing with pen and paper.
  • Scratch out blog post.
  • Still scanning.
  • Take kettle for a test drive.
  • Scanning finished! Look at handwritten post. Remember why use computer to write everything.
  • Oops! Kettle’s ready. Make tea.
  • Clean out silicone Mana-Tea which also may or may not be fictional (it’s not. It’s adorable).
  • Glance out window grasping mug of tea with both hands. Onward?
  • Check twitter.

 

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

Writing and Setbacks

Standard

Let’s talk about setbacks. We all have them at some point or another, and if you are among the fantastically blessed never to have experienced one, you must be a character in a mediocre novel or on a saccharine sitcom.

In which case, empathy is also a thing.

For me — and probably millions of other USAsians, as some of our friends abroad like to call us — ours came in the form of an orange menace in November, a plague of cruelty and fascism that, while plain to many of us at the time, is making itself plain to everyone else. Thoughts of the possible destruction from that plague were all-consuming.

Let’s be honest. They still are. Especially given talk of “diplomacy failures” with North Korea, by someone who’s been practicing diplomacy for all of two weeks.

But as usual, I digress.

I’d been consistent with my blogging until then, was making progress on new writing projects, and then that cosmic knee to the solar plexus. Yikes.

It took a while to catch my breath. I’d say I’m still gasping,

And that’s OK.

If you fall down, and then chastise yourself for falling down, you’re not really doing much about getting back up again, are you?

It’s OK to do it one knee at a time. It’s OK to do things differently after hitting the dirt. In fact, it’s probably better, because the dirt is full of lessons.

And creepy-crawly things and bacteria, but I think I’ve just reached that point in the blog where my metaphor gets away from me.

We’re all trying to figure out how to exist in this new reality. All of us.

And sometimes our new realities aren’t because of global phenomena. Sometimes our reality changes far closer to home, far more immediately. Sometimes we change.

But it doesn’t mean we have to quit. A pause is not an end.

It’s just a pause.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!