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The Weirdness of Me, Part ?

The Weirdness of Me, Part ?

When I finish a major book I go into several different modes. The first is the Oh my gosh my brain is tired do I really have to do anything intelligent for a little while? Television features prominently in that mode.

Then I segue into the organizational mode. I plot out the next year. I figure out what I want to write, where it fits into my overall plan, and current contracts, and get the whole schedule worked out.

I have an idea for a new book and a novella that I really want to write.

The last stage, prior to beginning a new project is the Clean everything you can think of, even those things that really don’t matter. This might be thought of as the most dangerous stage. If I get too involve in cleaning I can revert to the Exhaustion or the Planning mode.

I’m currently in the Cleaning Mode, heaven help me.

I’ve been going through all the draft posts I have up on my blog. There are currently 97 draft posts. I doubt that I will publish more than ten of those. I get a wild idea and write it, but between the idea and its execution I’ll change my mind. Plus, I constantly edit myself. There are things happening in our world that make me sick to my stomach. I’m terrified at the precedent they set, yet you don’t come here for political or cultural speak. I like to think that this is a mini-oasis from the world around us.

I found a bunch of posts referencing Flash the Wonder Pooch. That’s how long some of them have been there. I was so blessed to have him in my life. I wish he could have been healthier. I certainly tried to make him happy. I think he and Lord Stanley would have been great buddies.

I’ve cleaned my office, which mainly consists of asking myself these questions: Why did you put this here? Why didn’t you put this up? Or why did you buy two dozen of these? (I confess to having a pack rat mentality that I’m trying to stop.)

The top of my desk looks great and I congratulate myself whenever I walk into my office.

I’ve even cleaned the pantry, the refrigerator, and the cupboards. I am edging toward the master bedroom closet, but that is a scary, scary place.

How about you? When you finish something major do you have a routine you follow? What does your master bedroom closet look like? (Mine is kinda/sorta a disaster.)

 

 

The Strangeness of Me

The Strangeness of Me

I am sitting here on a Monday morning staring at my messy desk. Sunday was the epitome of lazy. I finished my personal taxes and sent everything off to my CPA, who’s currently working on my LLC taxes. Other than that, I didn’t do diddly squat. Nothing. Nada. I couldn’t even be bothered to make a list of everything I had to do. Stanley and I napped and played, napped and watched TV, then napped again.

I felt like a slug.

But back to this morning. I looked at the To Love a Duchess audio CD set (my copy) and finally opened it. I’d never opened a set before. There they were, all those CDs read by an actor.

I have to confess that audio CDs drive me batty. I don’t like the actors changing voices and pretending to be different characters. I’d rather hear a computer read a book to me. When it’s MY book it’s even weirder. It doesn’t sound at all like I heard it in my head. I’m not only disoriented. I’m disturbed. Go figure.

I sat here imagining the actor reading my book. He had to become as familiar with my work as I am. It’s one thing to line edit. Or to be a proof editor. You’re looking at the words arranged in a sentence. Or the story cohesion. But reading it aloud, putting emphasis on each character makes you, well, intimate with the work.

It was the oddest sensation just holding those CDs and knowing that this actor and I had a weird and tenuous bond.

I won’t listen to his rendition of my book. As I said audio CDs drive me batty. I don’t want to know how he sounds as the hero. Or what kind of voice he uses for the heroine. Nope.

I couldn’t help but wonder, however, as he’s reading, if he has any particular thoughts of his own. Things like: crap, if I’d only studied engineering I wouldn’t have to read romance novels for a living. 🙂

 

 

Once More Into the Breach, Y’all

Once More Into the Breach, Y’all

I’ve always maintained that I’m not a programmer, developer, or coder. I haven’t a clue what I’m doing in the back end of my website and prefer to NEVER go there. I don’t DO PhP and I don’t mess with CSS, either. (I was really proud of myself when I finally got HTML, but wouldn’t you know, I hardly deal with HTML.)

I use the Genesis framework for WordPress to run my website. Genesis makes everything easier for coders, developers, and programmers and is very security conscious. If you’re not a coder, developer, or programmer you’re pretty much lost. My website has stayed the same for years because, well, I’m pretty much lost. However, I just discovered that I could change from the Genesis framework and Genesis child themes and go to something a heck of a lot more user friendly.

Color me thrilled.

I finished the book on Christmas night, so it has been put away for awhile to percolate. I don’t touch it during this time. My mind, however, is still thinking about it so I will be making notes to make sure I said certain things, or that character issues are spelled out, that descriptions are adequate, that sort of thing. January 15th I will start the final read of the book on my Kindle. I’ve already had the computer read it to me, so that’s done.

All of that frees me up to screw up my website to my heart’s content.

So, if you see things that look weird or broken, don’t panic. That’s just me messing everything up and hopefully having a wonderful time doing it. 🙂


Are Writers Nuts?

Are Writers Nuts?

I was listening to the podcast of a well-known and popular author the other day. I respect him as an author and a public speaker. However, he managed to surprise me with a comment.

He said that all writers and actors are nuts. 

The reason? Well, in order to dig deep in their portrayal of characters, actors often re-visit old traumas. Instead of allowing these traumas to heal they use them, constantly peeling off the scab, refreshing the sadness, pain, or angst involved in a particular trauma. Writers, too, feed off of their own experiences of pain in order to convey them with authenticity.

His point was that we shouldn’t listen to actors when they tell us how to vote or think about cultural topics because these people are not psychologically healthy. In that same vein, neither are writers.

You’re probably going to be surprised when I say that I partially agree with him.

Of all the literary genres, romance is probably the healthiest one for writers. I’ve often wondered about horror writers. What must being terrorized/being a terror do to the human psyche? You see, I believe that a writer has to feel what he writes. He has to experience it. Otherwise, what you have is a surface kind of writing that never truly reaches you. You don’t feel a connection.

I don’t read “literary fiction” because I don’t want to be depressed. It’s my feeling that the author probably has had a significant experience in her life and replays it in words.

Do I revisit certain pain points in my own life? Yes. I can’t help but do so when something comes too close. For example, a certain scene in To Love a Duchess tore me up. Not because it was identical to something I experienced, but because it resurrected certain feelings. Anyone who’s ever read Tapestry will know that I replayed a lot of personal angst in that book.

Does that mean that I consider myself psychologically unhealthy? Nope. I’m pretty centered with my head screwed on straight. I write romance so I get to experience lots and lots of joyous emotions. In other words, all the good things that can happen to people. I am, however, cognizant of the dangers of writing and of going to those dark places all the time. Writing is sometimes painful and that isn’t a confession you’ll hear a lot when you visit writing forums. Writing pulls emotions from the depths of you.

A couple of years ago I had the idea for this really fascinating, creepy story. I couldn’t finish it because it scared me to death. Yes, I can scare myself. Maybe I was giving voice to something within me that should have remained buried and undisturbed. (And maybe that’s why I wonder about horror writers.) 🙂

What’s your opinion? As a reader, have you ever read something that made you certain the author had experienced a version of it? As a writer, do you wonder about how “deep” you get into emotions?

Just in Case You Were Wondering…

Just in Case You Were Wondering…

I finished the first draft of the new book on Thanksgiving night. I have some chapters to write, but I hit the word count and 100,000 words always seems like something unreachable to me. After I edit I pare it down to about 93,000. So, even though I’m not finished/finished I count reaching 100,000 words as hitting my goal. I’ll write the chapters next week so I can start the second draft December 1.

I’ve decided to go back and answer all the wonderful comments you’ve made in the past few weeks. If you get a notification that I’ve written something in response to you that’s why. I was really bad about answering comments since I had my head down, slaving over a hot computer. I’m trying to make up for it now. (I won’t get to all of them tonight, but I will make inroads.)

Picture me on my white chair with Stanley asleep beneath my right elbow, all curled up on the arm of the chair. He’s commandeered every arm of every chair/couch in this house. He is nice and toasty warm, though.  (Every once in awhile he gives off this strange moan/groan/sound. I can’t tell if he’s fussing at me or just happy.)