Going Dark for Art

I’m having trouble with this chapter in my NaNo WIP because it’s a mental/emotional breakdown scene and I’m just. not. there right now.

Having just resurfaced after a particularly difficult time, I don’t reeeeeally want to put myself back there just to write about it. And the stuff I wrote while I was there isn’t enough to make the chapter work. So what do I do?

I tried locking myself in my room, turning the sad music up to eleven and getting to a bad enough place to start the chapter but both children were crying downstairs, my husband was getting frustrated, and I couldn’t NOT go check on my lovebugs. I ended spending the next 20 minutes nursing, 30 minutes after that playing LEGO house, and then it was just about time for our bedtime routine.

Today, I’ve got to start thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping, the projects at work that I’ve been putting off because of that whole maternity leave/postpartum pseudo depression stuff, and cleaning my house since we finally fired our officious cleaning lady.

How DOES one find the time to recreate a depressive episode?

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Get It Done… Tomorrow

Instead of writing today, I:

Played hashtag games on Twitter

Reposted something stupid on Facebook

Took two small children to Target and bought a $6 Halloween costume on 70% off clearance!

Played LEGOs

Joined Instagram

Binged on Trader Joe’s Garlic Parmesan Pita Chips

Cut a cucumber into toddler-sized pieces

Braided my hair Wonder Woman-style (sorta. I tried)

Watched Sweet Water Secrets on Youtube

Looked up the kid who plays Adam Goldberg on the Goldbergs on IMDB to see what else he’s up to

Entered a book giveaway on Goodreads and a Set Visit Sweepstakes for Riverdale

Watched The Good Place on my DVR

Listened to my husband tell me about his uneventful doctor’s appointment

Listened to my son list all the Halloween monsters he knows about

Sat in my parked car at the park with two sleeping children in the back seat, just chillin’ and taking in the Fall foliage

Checked out the NaNo merch

Made this list

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Blastin’ at a 2

NaNoWriMo has begun and SO HAVE I! Pantsing it all the way. I started writing something at just before midnight last night (it was Nov 1 in Europe, it counts) and came up with 502 words before exhaustion overtook me and I went to bed.

But the kids are napping and I’ve got my playlist blastin’ (in the mom with two young children sense of the word… which is at like, a 2) and the words are coming slowly but surely from brain to finger tip to digital representation.

So far, I’m writing some fairly dirty stuff. That’s what makes it fun.

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First chapter playlist:

Rag’n’Bone Man — Human

 

AJR — Weak

 

Kaleo — Way Down We Go

 

 

My Prep is in List Form

With 11 days left until NaNoWriMo begins, I have narrowed my project possibilities down to TWO! It was SEVEN as of this morning, so trust me when I say this is major big time progress.

The easiest way I could think to do it was to make a list because lists are the sometimes the glue that holds sanity together. Once the list o’ seven was made, it was as simple as reading through the one-line descriptions and deciding whether or not it would take more effort than I was willing to give. Most of them required either too much research or too much thinking or too much acknowledgement of world suck to pursue.

What I was left with was a fictionalized version of that time I went to Memphis and discovered what Southern racism looked like (and this was one of the lesser world suck topics) or an absurdist time-travel story based on a dream I had once about Walter O’Brien (the handsome TV version) running through a cave.

As far as plot goes, the Memphis one would be the easiest.

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But if I wanna get weird, I should go time-travel.

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For now, I’ll let it go and let future me decide what I’m feeling. Eleven days is  forever when you mark the passage of time by baby feeding schedule. It’s also one big long day that never seems to end. Who knows what sleep-deprived hallucinations could spark an amazing idea by then.

Jumping Right In with like, a couple of toes if that

I really shouldn’t. I know I shouldn’t. The commitment is beyond my ability to contemplate.

But I think… I might do NaNoWriMo again… with the understanding that I probably will not “win”.

If I had to pick the one worst thing about newborn care, it’s the utter loss of self that comes with it. I let myself get lost with my first baby. I’m not letting it happen again.

If I’m gonna lose something, I’d prefer it was a game.

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Jelly Belly

Whelp, I did it. I had a baby. And while now is the time a professional writer would be making art out of pain, I’m gonna go couch and bingewatch and snuggle my new little muffin.

For like, a month. ‘Cause ouch.

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Actual picture of me and my super fuzzy child. J/K. Sort of.

Pushing Out Our Babies

I read a blog post today comparing book writing with child birthing and while it was metaphorically delicious and lovely to read, I’m over here like… yeahhhh, I’m ’bout to actually have a baby and it’s much scarier than a book launch.

I launched that book last month. It went out into the world and my hooha suffered no damage whatsoever in the process. I slept well that night and several nights afterward.

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Not so with real babies.

 

But I am prepping like it’s my job and I’m happy to report that every bag has been packed, every diaper-holder filled, every piece of laundry I can use in the next 6 months has been washed, folded, and put away. I am as ready as I could be for this baby.

But here’s the third biggest difference between baby-making and book-writing: I Can’t Start Until She’s Ready.

Whereas… if I were writing book, I’d already be elbow-deep.

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With Subtitles Like These, Who Needs Titles?

Post about Subtitles

How to use them and who does

I’m not gonna lie, my brand new baby novel is not super popular and hasn’t generated much more than friends and relatives sales. While I keep telling myself that I don’t write for money–I have TWO jobs, both of which issue paychecks–I’m still a little bummed that this labor of love ain’t gettin’ any from anywhence else than me.

So I’m reading, I’m researching, I’m checking out articles both helpful and not so much about ebook marketing, KDP marketing, tips and tricks and whatnots when I come across a whole separate genre of marketing articles about…. SUBTITLES!

AhPPARENTly, subtitles are the bees knees and you just can’t make honey without them. But the only subtitles I’ve ever noticed on a fiction book were, “A Novel” so I really thought all that subtitle nonsense didn’t apply to me.

I was wrong.

Subtitles of fiction books can be lots of things!

The Modern Prometheus

A Tale of Passion

The Misfortunes of Virtue

Electric Boogaloo! Wait… no, that was a movie subtitle. Still, as subtitles go, that’s a pretty memorable one.

With this shiny new information, first, I will ask all ya’ll: Do you subtitle your books? Something fancy or no? Do you think it’s helps readers find your book?

Second, I need to come up with some subtitles for my books!

The Homecoming Effect: A Tale of Smut and Love and Starting Over  

Like Two Opposite Things: She Kissed a Girl and Liked It

Lay Her Ghosts to Rest: Grassroots Ghost Removal for the Newly Self-Actualized

I mean… I would read them.

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Most of the Electric Boogaloo memes were super racist or political in a way that made no sense to me.

Those Fickle Writers

Aaaaand PIVOT! I’m writing something else.

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I like the teen angsty WIP I started last week but I’ve also got this food-obsessed, self-care, CEN* WIP started that might be easier to write because it’s more grown-up, real life, I JUST saw the chaotic result of educated, professional adults sharing a kitchenette type piece that speaks to me as a person who likes to complain about stuff fictionally. Seriously with the dirty mugs, people? And the OPEN containers of leftovers sitting on the window sil for the entire weekend? I just can’t with you people.

It has come to my attention–AGAIN–that I write for my own sanity, not for the pleasure of my readers and really, I need to be writing what I need to be working on in my own brain. Between being too pregnant to function physically in the ways I am accustomed to functioning (I have been benched by my OBGYN and cannot exercise in the ways that make me feel like life is enjoyable) and my inability to distinguish when I am hungry and when I am not so I’m bored and I eat regardless, this new WIP speaks to me. Much more so than some teenage throwback life lesson I should have learned at 16 but didn’t so I force the lesson on fictional characters instead.

My hashtag game tweets may be a bit disjointed for a while as I submit from two WIPS with wildly different themes.

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*Childhood Emotional Neglect, which I suspect MANY MANY people suffer from based on just the number of a-holes I’ve encountered this week. “Your parents didn’t love you, did they?” I scream out my car window as a motorcyclist swerves to a stop behind me, cursing ME out, because I stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk with blinky yellow lights anyone who was paying attention would have seen from a safe enough stopping distance.

Anyway, take the quiz to find out if you’re one of them! And then use your freaking blinker, jackhole**!

**Totally joking. CEN seems pretty legit and really could be at the root of much of the dysfunction of … most of the people I’ve ever encountered, actually.

Hot Off the Digital Press

Available for pre-order until August 11:

Lay Her Ghosts to Rest

 

This story is really about recognizing negative patterns and realizing how difficult it is to break them.

The main character, a spirit counselor in a pseudo-post-apocalyptic society with a ghost infestation, takes care of everyone but herself.

The message the story tries to convey is that radical self-care is one of the steps in creating a healthier society.

Plus… ghosts!