Risking it

“Ships in harbor are safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” – John Shedd

I wouldn’t necessarily say that my “ship” has been docked safely this past year… it’s been more like neglected.  And yet, I did take a huge personal risk last year, though it didn’t have anything to do with my writing.  I spent most of the year training to hike the rolling hills of western England, and it was an amazing journey of over 75 miles putting one foot in front of the other and connecting to the land!  Even though I didn’t write while I was there, it doesn’t mean my brain wasn’t percolating on future (and current) writing projects.  However, I used up most of my energy in just the physical training.

Now that I’ve been home almost nine months I’m still continuing to train, but I now feel like I can focus on other projects – namely writing.  And I recently took a huge risk for me!  Back in December I began uploading my YA historical romance novel Maid & Hood up on an author website called Tablo, which has been described as a sort of YouTube for authors.  I can collect followers and have discussions about my writing as I’m working on it, and once I feel it’s polished enough I can publish via Tablo to sites such as amazon.com and other e-publishers.  If you’d like to check on my progress, you can find it here.

Hope you enjoy!

Too Busy?

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”  Confucius

I was hoping summer would ease up and I would have time to do all the writing and other pleasant pastimes I’ve been missing, but honestly I’m as busy as ever.  That said, I have found time for both reading and writing.

First I want to recommend a terrific historical novel by my friend Melanie Benjamin, The Aviator’s Wife, about Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  Melanie and I went through grade school, junior high and high school together – we even worked on a theatrical adaptation of Little Women for our 5th grade class.  Good times!  Her latest novel has a strong literary voice, thorough research, suspense and a relatable protagonist.  Do give it a read – or either of her other novels: Alice I Have Been or The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb.

And I have been writing too.  I attempted the 50,000-word count challenge of Camp NaNoWriMo – the July version of NaNoWriMo in November.  I didn’t make it, but I do have a great start on my next work-in-progress.

Which is good!  Because my current project, Pressing Concerns, is nearing completion at last.  I wish I had a week to myself in a cottage away somewhere – I know I could get it done.  Of course I don’t, so I’ll have to make do with the dribs and drabs of time that I do have.  I’m setting a deadline for myself to complete this first draft by December 31st.

I’ve also been working on my current fanfic that takes place in the world of Tolkien’s Middle-earth.  These are short episodic pieces, and a good way to keep writing while my creative juices are percolating on my bigger works.

And if that isn’t enough writing, I’ve also been working on grants and text for an art catalog at my day job.

Be careful what you wish for, I guess!

“Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.”  William Shakespeare

Just spent the morning checking up on all my various sites about the process of writing, including updating my author website (visit: www.spunkyheroine.net) and signing up for Camp NaNoWriMo.  I’ve done the traditional November “NaNo” and have yet to achieve a 50,000 word count.  I know I have 50,000 words within me (and then some), I just don’t know if I can get them out in 31 days.  Still, I persevere.  I may not have a sword to keep bright, Mr. Shakespeare, but like you I have a pen — and I know how to use it!

“Keep up your bright swords, for the dew

One Day, One Word At A Time

The drops of rain make a hole in the stone not by violence but by oft falling.  ~Lucretius

I feel good about writing this weekend.  I finished a short piece of fiction that I’d been working on for a month, plus a significant section of my current novel.  I still will have a lot of polishing to do once it’s complete, but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

I need to keep in mind not to be overwhelmed by the entire storyline.  Every day I must work away in a journeyman fashion… one word, one paragraph, one chapter, one day at a time.   I’ll get there if I just continue to persevere.

Letting Go

Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything . . . whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.”  Tina Turner

Easier said than done, right?  But it’s necessary.  Creativity bottled up, waiting for “later,” is creativity wasted.  How much of it have I let seep out of the well to evaporate, difficult or even impossible to reclaim when I have a few moments of freedom?

I cannot wait that long anymore.  Five minutes here, and hour there… it must be done!  It must be written!  Evenutally I will complete the novel, even if it takes another year.  I will not let it lie fallow – there’s so much more waiting to come out of my pen…

Time to let go of excuses… and do the work!

Listening to that Quiet Voice

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” Mary Anne Radmacher

I started this blog by accident, really.  I have other blogs that I write infrequently, but none of them have a real direction.  This one is mine… my own… that quiet voice saying, “try again tomorrow…”

I am a writer.  Whether I’m a good one remains to be seen by the wider world, but I identify myself as a writer more than any other aspect of my life.  Yet, I don’t do much of it lately – or at least not the kind of writing that feeds my soul.  I discovered late in life that writing is my passion… not TOO late, thank goodness!  But late enough that other obligations inserted themselves to the top of the priority list.  Alas that writing often falls to the bottom of that list!

All the advice columns in the writers’ magazines or workshops by famous authors tell you that you must write every day.  Intellectually I agree that it makes sense – I definitely get better at it the more I write.  However, emotionally, physically, energetically and inspirationally I might beg to differ.  I already have to find time to work-out, eat right, be a good employee, be a good community leader, clean my house, pay my bills… you get the drift!

Now, that sounds like whining.  I absolutely recognize that.  I have excuses galore, but still no more time or energy.  So this blog, I hope, will become my journey of rediscovering my inspiration, my creativity, my passion for writing.

Maybe tomorrow I will try again… after all, I have a “Great American Novel” to finish.