Time is flying! It’s June!

Just how and when did that happen?

The last couple of weeks haven’t been the most fun for me. I have accomplished little and I’m feeling the agitation from it.

On one hand one of my neighbours at the trailer found out I’m a writer and is buying a copy of every one of my thirteen books from me! She wants the entire set! YAY! That makes me feel good!

I did print off my manuscript for my latest project and intend on sitting with it shortly however I made a misled decision to do some quiz question writing for nursing courses only to find out that instead of having seven days in which to insert these 8-10 hours they are giving assignments late on Thursday or Friday only to want them by Monday or Tuesday!

Ummm… what’s wrong with that picture?

Yeah, I ultimately have to do this on the weekend! That is totally unacceptable… that’s my recharge and write time! So I am putting a stop to that and returning to my writing on my time. I thought this little gig would look good on the resume but I’m kicking it before getting out of the starting gate.

So I will finish their little, and final (they don’t know that yet) request and I will send a very nice and eloquent letter. The recruiter was absolutely delightful. It was like talking to an old friend (her words but I agree fully) and perhaps our paths will cross again and maybe, just maybe, we will become friends.

If not, it was a learning curve for me! The odd thing is I had this intense feeling to do it! I didn’t understand why at the time. And I still don’t understand that. I probably never will.

But I’m reverting back to writing. I have a little plan in my head that I’m going to give my website a good look and I’m going to look at my blog and my Facebook page and it’s time for an overhaul. It might be time to remove the photography aspect of my Facebook author page… doesn’t mean I can’t make another page for my photography! It’s something that I’m still enjoying but I’m no longer looking at selling it or offering my services for it so it might be time to just put that to rest as far as an online presence goes. I might also open an Instagram professional page so that I can do more with my writing on there.

It’s all in my mind right now but that’s the starting point.

Gotta start somewhere right?

Writing and tweaking my brand are my key areas of focus right now.

Then we’ll go from there!

My Reality TV Show

I just had a very pleasant conversation with a friendly recruiter from South Carolina. It’s for a very part-time position writing quizzes and assessments for various nursing programs in Canada. I have to think about that because it would mean adding 10 hours to a work week… going into summer… is that wise?

As we were talking I apologized for not getting back to the recruiter that tried to reach out to me in February and that life just seems to keep happening.

Over the course of the last twelve days I have had my beautiful red Rogue damaged for the second time in less than three years! I was parked on the street outside of LJ’s and someone backed out of the driveway right across from me doing significant damage to my driver side rear door… for the second time. It’s the same door that was replaced last time. Unfortunately the person never owned up to it by leaving a note so I’m stuck paying my deductible. Sigh.

Just prior to that my daughter’s truck blew its water pump which got fixed the day before the above incident. This morning I was woken by my phone ringing… my daughter calling at 6:55 a.m. because she’d run out of gas on the highway. Now, as a mom, I told her she can call me anytime. And I mean that! It was just startling and compounded the headache that was already starting. LJ had half a can in the shed so instead of called CAA I sped off to take it to her. It went smoothly but it’s a reminder that life gets away from us too often!

After explaining this to the recruiter she told me that I need my own TV show! And I agree!

The part that makes it funny is that I CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP! I can write an entire novel and never add anything like this! It makes me sit her and want to cry! Or maybe even jump off something really high because I feel like I can’t get my feet under me! I feel like I can’t breathe and people wonder why I don’t sleep at night!

So I’m going to try to keep my head down and hope that anything else being thrown misses me!

A Writer’s Vent

When I chose the topic of this blog, Writer’s Path, I was teaching Writing courses under the same name… so it was also my business’s nickname. I named my blog the same because writing certainly isn’t a short path. You don’t just sit down, write and BOOM it happens! The Path is long, winding and there are times you are climbing the mountain without gear and other times you’re at the top of the roller coaster with no control of the speed at which you’re going down!

When I’m climbing the mountain I’m struggling with every word, every sentence and every idea. When I’m on the downhill, I have more projects than I know what to do with but it’s not all fun and games because that’s often when I have an overwhelming number of projects but I’m struggling with all of them. How do I start this? What do I want to say? HOW do I want to say it? And the words don’t always flow easily.

The curves can be tight and daunting like due dates can be. Last month I had this awesome chance at writing a story for an anthology that had anything to do with coming out of the storm. Was I given the time I needed to produce this? Was I able to come up with the words? Because this had to be a short story. It couldn’t be reality. So I got word this week that I wasn’t accepted. I will tell you, it was not my best work. In fact, it was far from my best work.

One of the things that most people would tell me should have me down at the bottom of that mountain and saying no more is the continual lack of circulation. My books don’t even have a Sales Rank on Amazon! I love that my readers love my books. I love that my readers finish reading a book and pass it on but after that I never know whether those readers have enjoyed the read or if they burned it!

I have a neighbour who is always interested in what I’m writing and she has read my books and commented and shared on Facebook! Now that is support!

But then there are those less supportive who think it’s totally cool that they know a writer but don’t even ask what I have on the go! Any deadlines? What are you working on? Are you stuck? What about…? There is also telling people that I am part of a fundraising anthology for Ukraine and they automatically ask if I get paid to do this. No, this is called charity! I’m giving of myself to benefit others.

And if you need another example of how communities don’t support their artists… Thursday I wrote to my local regional newspaper basically saying “Hey! Local author here! Have joined forces with fifteen other writers to create a romance anthology where all the proceeds will go to World Vision in support of Ukraine Refugees.” The response (which, it is miraculous that I did get one) was “Thanks. If there’s a story here, a reporter will contact you.” I also (and, of course,) sent a similar email to my newspaper family at Waterloo Region Rural Post and was invited to write my own story about it as an interest story! That’s the difference!

That’s the type of long, winding, hilly path that most writers are on. If we’re not writing, we’re probably thinking about writing. Where can we find ideas? How can we run with the ideas we’ve found. How and where can we find that necessary income stream so we can write all day every day? How can we get known in some way? We all want to change the world one story at a time but it’s getting that story out into the world that is worse than childbirth!

I thank you, if you’ve made it this far, for reading my rant today. No, it’s not all negative but I’m trying to write something for Chicken Soup for the Soul with a deadline of April 15 and I have a newspaper story to write. Which one am I more excited about? The newspaper story! It would be truly awesome to get into Chicken Soup but it would be more awesome to boost the sales of the World Vision Ukraine Fundraiser.

I posted the links for Love Wins in my last post so I won’t repeat it here but if you’re interested just bring up Amazon and type in Love Wins. It’ll come up! In USD it’s $1.99 on pre-order and you will receive the Kindle version on April 21st. On that same day the price will go up to $4.99 but there should be a paperback coming out as well around that date. As of now, it’s only out for a limited time until July 21!

Opposite Ends…

I feel like most of these posts talk about me struggling… it’s an internal struggle and it’s a matter of trying to answer the question WHY?

The last couple of weeks I felt like I was on the upswing! I barely managed to submit a story to an anthology by March 7th and I know it wasn’t my best work. I haven’t heard anything yet so maybe I wasn’t chosen.

In the meantime I’m trying to write the beautiful story of Keewee’s miraculous eye and I can’t find the words I want in order to give people that chill factor.

I also started typing out my new novel pages but that was interrupted by another incredible project! Last Thursday (I think!) a romance author posted in one of my romance writer’s Facebook groups that she’s putting together an anthology of short stories, etc. to raise money for Ukraine. She was looking for contributors. I had to decide what I had to submit and I decided to submit the beginning of Haven of Secrets. (I will post more about this in another post very soon!)

I would love to use the new book but it is, after all, the third in a series so it’s not going to work.

I have had to whittle down my word count from over 12,000 words to approximately 10,000 and I’m close but still need to figure out a few hundred more.

So as I sit tethered to my desk every day watching hours go by there’s that internal struggle. And it’s getting more painful! I am more than grateful to have my job BUT it’s overwhelming at times when I have all these things to do. How do I call myself a writer if I’m never writing? Or I’m intermittently writing.

I know that this job is the first time I’ve worked full-time (40 hours a week) since the late 90’s. You would think that after eighteen months I would have accepted it but because I’m a writer (and in my mind I’m a writer first) I haven’t been able to fully adapt.

And so on goes the struggle.

Writers… writing is always an ongoing struggle. We will never feel the glassy water beneath us. We will always experience some waves and other times they will be those big ones that will completely upset our sail. The idea is to write about it. The idea is to get it out there.

In my space…

I had a college online Zoom meeting to attend this evening and I took the call in my room at my writing desk. Four years ago I had bought a new laptop and while I left my old on on my writing desk I set up the new one on the dining room table for constant access… especially after I had my surgery as climbing a full flight of stairs was enough to go to the bathroom let alone just to spend time on the computer.

So that’s where it has stayed. But I used to get so much writing accomplished on the old laptop at my writing desk.

So I thought before I go and move it back downstairs that I’d write a post reminiscing about the comfort of sitting here and in comfort I mean how natural it was to sit here and tackle my writing projects. I’m certainly not talking about the chair as it has become extremely uncomfortable since the time I used to spend in it!

With working full-time from home now I can’t imagine my laptop being in my room all the time because there are times I need it readily available, even if it’s to access my benefits provider for one thing or another.

My meeting is over so I’m going to go back downstairs now and see about spending a bit of time writing.

I didn’t think I was going to get a short story submitted to an anthology by the deadline this past Monday but I did manage. It may not have been my best work (which I’m not proud of) but I got it written, I got it edited and I got it submitted. So here’s hoping!

I also managed to get my book published and I am waiting on the proof copy. Once the proof copy is here I will make any changes I need to, republish and I will be opening up the order to anyone interested who lives near me!

I can’t wait to get the copy actually and see it. It’s one of the first I’ve done that doesn’t have black on the cover in some capacity.

So happy writing to you all!

It’s Happening!

What an interesting turn of events.

So what? Two months ago already I was in the middle of the last edit of Book Three in my Mysteries of the Past series when I just couldn’t do it anymore and I had this beautiful idea of a flower shop owner telling some of the love stories across generations and I started writing.

I’m still working on that but something was drawing me back to the editing so on the weekend I picked it and opened it. I easily finished the edits (it was the final pass after all) and got them all entered.

I have even managed to shoot some potential cover photos for it and all I have left to do is the spacing and set-up of the inside and then I can PUBLISH!

So stay tuned because it won’t be long! I am not giving any estimates on time because I will still have to order proof copies and accept or decline…

I’ll keep you posted on proof copies though because I’ll offer to order extras!

More snow?

Seriously?

Yes.

Like we haven’t had enough of it already it seems that Mother Nature is having a temper tantrum and feels we need more!

Am I happy? Hell no! I don’t know a single person who is! Winter is no longer welcome here but it hasn’t received that memo! It can feel free to return to the Arctic where it is more than welcome.

Winter has certainly taken its toll on me. Pain levels, migraines & Seasonal Affective have all been out of control by comparison to other years. Of course other years have been worse but this year has had additional stressors that have made it all worse… back pain, triggered more migraines than usual, and increased the depression.

It hasn’t helped that over the last two weeks I’ve managed to write maybe three pages. That too is depressing in itself especially since we just had a long weekend that I turned into an extra long weekend.

All this as our final pandemic measures are lifting & we should be going out there and spreading our wings again but… well… more snow is being dumped on us…

Again.

Passion…

We all know the passion it takes to be a writer. It’s something that pushes us to do it even when we’re having a bad day because if we don’t it increases our agitation and worsens our day!

But at this moment, there is something I am even more passionate about than writing and that is how much I LOATHE winter. If you know of a word that equals DEEP HATRED but is even beyond LOATHE then feel free to comment.

I LOATHE winter. I DESPISE it. If I didn’t see another snowflake for the rest of my life it would be too soon.

I have been stuck in my parking spot not once this year but THREE TIMES! Yes. Do you know why? Because the company who clears our snow doesn’t care and they do a half-assed job. They come in the middle of the night and do the center and leave. I park in an end spot. So despite going out THREE TIMES last evening during the storm to clean my car off and shovel in front of my spot the bastards came in at 4 a.m. or whatever time it was and pushed a bunch of slush under and in front of my vehicle. It was cold and it turned to ice.

I missed my chiropractor appointment at 9:45 because of it. Winter ruins everything. I don’t know how many times over the years I have had winter ruin plans. Whether it was to the symphony, choir practices, just getting back and forth to work, getting to and from the barn with Sam and, of course, now this. It ruined my being able to go and spend a nice evening and night with LJ last evening and has now taken away the only remote pain relief I get every two weeks.

That’s not to count the other times I’ve been stuck, almost gone off the road or been rear-ended due to road conditions.

So winter, get lost. SCRAM! WE DON’T WANT YOU ANYMORE. Go to the Arctic where you belong. Or go to hell and give them some relief. Just go away and let our sunshine in and let me go back to the beach!

Overwhelmed…

There comes a time in every writer’s life, I think, where we need to just go SPLAT! Or at least that’s how it feels today!

For the last few weeks I have been writing a new story! Yes, that’s exciting and what I wanted but I’m still writing in a notebook that will soon be full. As much as I love that I also wish I could move it to the laptop but the downside is, the laptop isn’t as portable as pen and paper and it seems I’m getting more accomplished with the notebook.

I also have spent a couple hours in writing webinars which has been a good boost too but today… today I feel overwhelmed by all of it, again.

I’m trying to understand the connection between the brain cells… when I’m working, I want to be writing. When I have free time, I have been writing but today I have the story in my head to spill onto the page but have no gumption to do it.

Why?

Number one (I think) is that my neck is killing me. It was a bit of a tough go this week for work. I slept, last night, like I haven’t slept in a long time. Six hours of solid sleep before being called on upon my bladder is a miracle for me!

Number two I haven’t quite put a finger on yet but the words of the Queen song I want to break free keep going through my mind, over and over.

I still think I’m in that bout of unhappiness as far as parts of my life are concerned. I think I’m also tired of being at home. Yes, I do go out… to see my parents and, of course, to LJ’s but I’ve noticed that with the cold and the snow I’m apprehensive about going out yet have no desire to look at these same walls and, mostly, talk to the same two cats!

So I want to break free! Break free of these walls, winter coats, boots, snow and cold! Get back to the sunshine and the beach. Feel that freedom again of breaking out of these walls.

I need some time off work again and I’ve been proactive and have booked a couple of days. I want a week bu I also need to take into consideration the better weather because if I took a week off right now I’d still be stuck here and go stir crazy instead!

So this post today is my SPLAT! My stress pouring into a day in the life of a writer! The path can’t always be rosy and wonderful! The path is long and winding and sometimes we can’t sleep and other times our sleep is broken and our neck hurts putting us out of commission.

But, we wake up tomorrow and grab that pen once more!