Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cough, Cough...

When I was a sophomore at the University I got hooked on cough drops. I had been pretty sick and I couldn't kick the cough, so Halls and Ricola were my go-to solution. I sucked down an average of two bags per day, which is way more than recommended, but whatevs. I needed their menthol-y goodness. I mean, come on, RIIIIIIIIIICCCCCCCCCOOOOOOLLLLLAAAAA is made with Chr├╝terchraft. *cough* Yeah.

Then my cough went away, but the cough drops didn't. I needed those suckers and my friends began to notice and, honestly, it sort of became a running joke. Except it took me the whole semester to back away from the cough drops. Think French is hard, try it with a mouth full of cherry Halls. Impossible.

Why am I telling you this?

*shrug*

No idea, except that I'm sick, have a cough, and have downed half a bag of cough drops in the last three hours. By the time this cough goes away, I'm going to need an intervention. And rehab. Seriously. What do they put in these things?!

Crack, it has to be crack. That's the only explanation. Or maybe it's not the ingredients. Maybe I just don't want those two manly-looking men on that ad up there to think I "look ugly" when I cough. That must be it.

I'm going to the doctor Thursday afternoon... if I don't die before then. Coughing.

Friday, February 6, 2015

If You Haven't Read It...

Okay, I'll admit it. I've read all three books and I intend on seeing the movie when it comes out next week. More than that, I intend to take my husband, Matt, to see it... on our 15th anniversary.

But, I have intention of talking about what's happening in the books. This isn't a review. This is a request. A simple, easy request for everyone who hasn't read the books. If you've read them and you loved them, or read them and hated them, I'm not talking to you.

Okay, here goes...

If you don't like it, don't watch it. But, please, please, please, hush about how much you hate it and you can't respect others who like it. If you didn't read it, don't say you don't like it. It isn't possible to dislike a story you haven't heard. You cannot hate a book you haven't read.

That's it, that's my whole request. Because I am so tired of seeing people say they won't "throw their money at that trash," that they haven't read it "but they just hate it." Ridiculous. Seriously. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, of course, but why waste your energy being opposed to something that doesn't affect you? It's like the people who spend the whole day on February 14th complaining about how much they hate Valentine's day. The only point in complaining is to rain on everyone elses parade. It's a waste time acting like that if the only point is to make others miserable.

Being a naysayer about this book/movie is the same thing as being curmudgeonly about Valentine's day.

I mean, Fifty Shades isn't the best written story--as a matter of fact, the writing is abysmal. It's trashy and, at times, borders on abusive. It's a sort of BDSM most people in that community can't get behind, but the BDSM really isn't the point. It's a story about a guy who's completely fucked up. About a girl who's drawn to that, to fixing what's broken. About how they manage to come together. So what if it started as Twilight fan fiction? Who cares?


And, while we're on the subject, if you haven't read all three books then you haven't gotten the whole picture. So, yeah, please try not to be judgmental. I'm sure you have better things to do than to discuss a book you haven't read with other people who also haven't read it.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

WIPMarathon #1

Wow, I can't believe it's already the end of January! Where does the time go?! I've been watching my friend Jodi participate in #WIPMarathon for almost a year and decided, in December, that I wanted to jump in. So, this is my first post for #WIPMarathon (Thanks for being so lovely and helping me to get started, Ifeoma and Jodi!!)

***

A little bit about my work in progress... I've been writing a novel, tentatively called Love's Daughter, for about the last two years. Although, I should probably say on and off for the last two years. I've worked on other projects, but keep coming back to Anna and Rhoman, so I'm working exclusively to finish this one. I'm almost done and am hoping #WIPMarathon will inspire me to finally get there.

As a matter of fact, finishing this story and beginning the next novel in the series is most of my new year's resolution. That's it. That's all I want to do this year. Well, that and finish the novel I started during NaNoWriMo this last year, tentatively called Going Home. 

Here's my (short) synopsis, so far... For Anna Strahm, nothing's more difficult than living up to her mother's reputation. As if it weren't hard enough for an attractive, educated woman to find love, when you're the daughter of the goddess of love, people expect love to fall into your lap -- they also expect you to help love fall into theirs. Sadly, for Anna, not only does she not automatically attract love, she nearly repels it. Every time she's been in love, or something close to it, everything falls apart. For Anna, love is a disaster!

As Anna stumbles upon a guy with promise and things start looking up, reality rears it's ugly head. When her grandfather gives her an impossible ultimatum and her love life falls apart (again), she must find a way to reconcile her family's expectations with her own desires. 

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count: 68,107 (8 Chapters with lots of scene breaks)

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 68,107 (8 Chapters with lots of scene breaks)

WIP Issues This Month: I feel really good about the last 5,000 words or so, which is making it hard for me to pick it up again. I know that sounds a little bit strange, but I'm feeling like the next 5,000 or so words have to be equally good, and so on. It's looking like I'm going to have to just power through this little idiosyncrasy. The first draft doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be done. But try telling that to my brain.

Four things I learned this month in writing: Hmm, four? Let's see...

1.) I am terrible at being alone (some strong, independent woman I turned out to be. Ha!) which made writing so much more difficult.
2.) I need almost perfect quiet where that wasn't always the case. Trying to write in my folk's living room, with people chatting and the TV on has been tough. I've always liked quiet, but I've only just learned how badly I need it.
3.) I'm afraid to finish. The closer I get to finishing, the harder this thing is becoming.
4.) My chapter lengths/section breaks are pretty terrible. I started looking back at them. So bad and I'm not sure how to fix it.

What distracted me this month while writing: It's been a crazy hectic month. Lots of ups and downs. My husband went away on a business trip for the first two weeks of the month and I struggled to make headway while he was gone. I swear that man is my muse. I wrote a little bit, but not much. Only about 5,000 words for the whole two weeks. When he came home last week, he was on vacation and wanted for us to spend the week together. So, no writing last week. One week after he came home, this week, I flew out to California to see my family. I'll be flying home tomorrow, but no writing this week either. So, not a whole lot of writing done this month.

Goal for next month: I would love to finish this thing, since my word goal is about 85,000. But, I'd be satisfied with 10,000 words.

Last 200 words: He stood, slipping into his black suit coat and smoothing his blue tie. When he got to the door, briefcase him hand, he said, “He has always had a soft spot for her, Anna,” he cocked his brow, “they’ll never be done.” 

“Get out,” I pointed at the door. 

“If you’re interested in those drinks…”

 “I’m not.” 

“It was nice to see you,” he said. 

 “I wish I could say the same,” I said. 

He paused, “Anna?” 

“What?” I tried not to sag, “What do you want?” 

He turned from the door, his look pointed. “Ask him.” 

I didn’t have the heart to ask him what I should be asking. I knew the answer, hearing it from his mouth would have been too much. I just wanted him to leave before I threw something at him. Or worse yet, before I accepted his offer for drinks. He had been nice to me once, but that wasn’t it. It was that I hurt and I couldn’t have Rhomen, and Alexander seemed like the most destructive thing I could possibly do. And right then, I wanted to self-destruct. (190 words)

***

Sharing is the hardest part for me. I have a really difficult time putting it out there. I'm hoping it will get easier. It'll make it hard to publish if I can't share. :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Oh, January...

Dispatches from Southern California... Day three: the wild indigenous population of... oh wait, never mind. ;) Eh hem, let me try that again.

Hello from California!

It's January and, as planned, I managed to make it out west to see my family. I'm having a really nice visit, even if my flight here was terrible. And I mean TERRIBLE. Worst flight I've ever been on. The turbulence was seriously gross. I almost lost it on more than one occasion. The whole bumpy ride gave my Dramamine a major work out. Here's hoping the flight home on Saturday isn't as nasty. If it is, I may never get on a plane again.

Anyway, even though it's only January, we've had a seriously HUGE year, so far. Visiting my family is only icing on an already awesome cake. A cake that's going to get even more awesome when we can finally take a bite. Is that vague enough for you? Ha!

At the end of last year, my husband was asked to go on a business trip to Utah. He left January 3rd and was gone through the 17th, so two weeks. Let me just say right now, I was not at all prepared to be alone. In 36 years of life, I had never ever been alone for more than two days at a time. Not when I lived at home, not with my ex-husband, and now not since I've been together with Matt. I had no idea how I would handle it and, as it turns out, I didn't handle it at all well.

In other words, I pretty much did nothing. I sulked for a few days, watched a lot of TV, and generally wiled away the days until he came home. I'm a little bit ashamed of that right there, especially considering I had planned to finish my novel. As it was, I only wrote on one of the 14 days. Though I made 5,000 pretty good words, I was still pretty bummed about not getting it done. Also, my husband was working like a crazy man (like 90 hours a week) while I did nothing. That's pretty ugly, right there.

He had a good trip though and LOVED Utah. It snowed while he was there on two occasions, was densely fog on quite a few others, but overall, he loved it. That's almost more snow in two days than he's ever seen, and was certainly a better quality of snow than we get in Texas. And, the people there really took a liking to him... as if there was any doubt! He came home both tired and pumped about work. He took a week's paid vacation and was back to work last night.

On the job front (for Matt, not for me), there's more good news to share but I can't right now. I may not be able to for a while, but lets just say it's all good news! I'll share when I can.

One week after he came home, it as me who left. By the time January is over, we will have seen one another for about 7 days. That's a bit divergence for us, considering we've never been apart that long. I laughed on our third trip to the airport in as many weeks and told him, "We're quite the jet setters right now, eh? Too bad we're not jetting anywhere together!!" We had a good laugh about that. And, if things go according to plan, there may be more air travel in our future.

So yes, the new year as brought us some pretty big things so far. We may be in for the biggest year of our lives so far. Thank God, we need some change and good tidings right now!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cheers, 2014

I wrote a post about the year, but I couldn't bring myself to leave it up. I want to start the new year on a positive note and while lots of good things happened during 2014, so did a lot of bad things. So, I took it down. It's hanging out in my draft box, where it belongs. I wrote about my year's ups at Thanksgiving. Not a whole lot has changed since then. So, in terms of how this year was, you can read my Thankful post. On last year's downs, I'm choosing not to dwell.

Instead, I'm going to make a plan for the new year that will very likely be disrupted by real life happening. That won't deter me, I'm going to do it anyway. Ready?

Finish Love's Daughter (Book 1), start Love's Daughter (Book 2), and finish my NaNo novel Going Home.

That's it. That's my whole plan for the new year. That's as far as I've gotten because, well, I have no idea what this year will bring. None, zero, zip. A lot of things could happen, but I don't know when or if they will. Planning for maybes is painfully anxiety inducing for me. Since I already worry obsessively about those things I can't control, I'm choosing not to plan for things that haven't happened.

I'm also not making any resolutions that will set me up for imminent failure in 2015. No weight loss goals, not going to promise myself a gym membership, none of that. I need 2015 to be awesome and, sadly, the statistics on new years resolutions are pretty abysmal. Setting myself up to fail seems like a pretty crappy way to get a new year off to a good start.

Besides, last year's resolution is still relevant. I think I did a pretty good job making it work for me in the past year, even when it took me well outside of my comfort zone. Here's last year's resolution:

Take chances when they present themselves, even when I'm afraid, to try to dwell less on things that I cannot control, and to accept the possibility that when things don't work out it could be a blessing in disguise.
I listened to my own advice. I took chances, didn't take others, and made choices that were best for me even when I was afraid. The only part of that resolution I failed at this year was to dwell less. I'm working on that with my therapist, so I suppose that at least I'm trying. So, this year I'm keeping to that resolution. It seems like it could be particularly relevant with all the things we have coming up. Lots of things I can't control to worry over.

But my priorities in the coming year will be to write more and get these books finished. It's cheating a little bit, since I've already written almost 60,000 words on one of those projects, but I figure finishing that should be a good way to motivate myself to finish the others. For better or worse, whether they turn out awesome or not, I'm going to get them done and put them out there into the world in 2015.

So, cheers to you, 2014. You were one hell of a ride.