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Saturday, July 2, 2016

My weekend ispiration...

I'm sitting at my desk.  It's time to write a bit.  My 2 year old son sits at the table a few feet away painting one of his watercolors.  He sat down to paint just moments before I sat down to write, and yet I'm still sitting here, looking over my push-pin board and notes, pondering... while he is contentedly tackling his art with a happy concentration.  He is unfettered by any worry of potential misstep.  Unconcerned about any past projects that haven't turned out as planned.  Make no mistake... if one of his works doesn't turn out how he wants it to, he gets very frustrated... but this doesn't hinder his working process in any way.   When it is time for him to paint, not matter what,  he sits down picks up his brush and begins without hesitation.  He doesn't know how to procrastinate.  And he is the most productive artist I've ever known. lol  No, really.  I have binders, and walls chocked full of his works.  Its amazing. His current art binder is two inches thick. 

I want to work like my son.

Challenge: When I sit down to write, be ready to write that moment.  Just start typing.


*UPDATE 7/6/2016:  This little personal challenge has worked out well for me this week.  I've been more productive, to the point I decided to jump into Camp NaNoWriMo a couple days late, and am actually ahead on work count.  Hope to keep it up through revisions!  Happy writing, friends!*

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Still here...

I hope that you are all having a nice summer!  We're enjoying it, spending most of our downtime (that is time not doing Kiddo things. Lol) in the sunroom... mommy typing on her laptop, kiddo (who just turned two, can you believe it?!) playing trucks and legos on the floor. 

Happy.

I'm still working on the same book I first drafted in April of 2013.  The backbone is the same original idea, but huge chunks have been tossed and completely rewritten.  I actually like it still, so that's maybe a good sign, though I do have moments of "I suck as a writer!", I'm having more "good grief, I'm the SLOWEST writer ever!". 

But I will get THIS book done.  Not because I don't have other ideas that I'm excited to work on, but because I WILL NOT QUIT.  I will finish what I started. I will not hop from idea to idea, never finishing anything longer than my short stories, or first drafts. (For those who don't know me as well, I have several books that never made it past the first or second draft.  Reams of paper...books that I still hope to finish...just sitting.)

I read a post the other day about feeling too tired, or too busy, or too whatever to do things... I struggle with this.  But I have been setting my alarm for 4 a.m. (as suggested by another writer) to get up and sneak two more hours into my day.  Somedays I hit ignore.  On those days I try to get an hour or two at night in.  Little by little... I'm chipping away at the massive undertaking that is writing a novel. 

Here's to perseverance.

Happy writing, friends.  I hope you have the best summer.

Casey

Monday, February 8, 2016

Different routines, same WIP…

I love everything about being a Mommy… even the stuff I grumble about on occasion, I love looking back on with affection.  (that’s one weird thing about being a mom, am I right? Lol) BUT it changes things. 

About three months after I had my son, I needed major surgery. Aggressively growing masses on both ovaries, that were causing more pain than even I realized until they were gone. I was down for weeks physically, and longer emotionally with the whole no more kids thing. I wanted to make every second count. (who doesn’t, right?)  I couldn’t get into my writing… but I’ve tinkered off and on.  And here we are, at 20 months later… I’m finally writing everyday, making headway (though I’m working on the same novel I started in 2013), and I’m learning.

I’m learning that all my OCD hyper structured writing habits have no place in my current reality.  I have adapted. I’ve simplified. (More than just my writing life.)

For starters, I had to give up my office, its now a playroom. (Because the whole rest of the house was just not enough.) ;) I now have a mini office that is my desk, two book cases, and a cork panel off the side of our family room. I find that I like this so much better. I can now write while Nate watches his football or political mumbo, and Sam plays on the floor with his blocks and rocking horse. I’m included, even when I’m engaged in my work.

I also like this arrangement because immediately to my left is the kitchen.  Load the dishwasher? Write while it runs. Cooking dinner? Write while it boils, bakes, burns. And to my right, the family room, including a cozy fire place, and a giant window to our back garden (where birds, squirrels, and deer live. And it’s currently snowing.)

I ditched all my habits, and just write. I just jot ideas on post it notes and stick them to my board if I’m short on time, and revisit them to explore where they lead at every first opportunity.
I feel good. I've missed writing regularly. I have written a little off and on these last two years, but this feels different. I’m making headway, and I’m managing to find a sloppy balance.  I’m good with that. :)

I’ve missed you guys.

Happy writing, my friends.
I hope to talk to you soon.




Sunday, June 1, 2014

He has arrived!

Just a quick update... I tried to do this in the hospital, but my phone was acting hinky... my little man has arrived!

Samuel Clark in all his 7+ lbs of adorable cuteness has stolen my heart like I never could have imagined possible.

We are so happy, there simply aren't words!

Monday, May 26, 2014

“Maternity Leave”

It’s no secret, my blogging has been sporadic since I’ve been pregnant, (I blame pregnancy-brain), but I’m officially calling it. For the next two to three months, I will be on “maternity leave”.

My due date has come and gone, and I’m still pregnant, BUT it’s a pretty safe bet that I will be very busy, VERY soon. ;)  That being said, I’m still reading your blogs, and tweets, and status updates as I pass time from my home or hospital room.  I may not comment much, but I’m probably around. 

I’ve been filling my days with baby books, and home improvements, and YouTube videos on homemade baby food, cloth diapering how-to’s, and breastfeeding tips and whatnot.  Needless to say, it’s been tough to focus on a murder mystery plot while my brain has been in such a happy and busy place… but I will return to it as soon as I have the hang of my brand new job! :)

Until then…

Happy Writing, you guys!

Casey

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Shifting gears…

So, I’ve finished my registry, surrendered to the baby shower, taken my birthing classes, and packed my hospital bag.  Nearly everything on my baby-to-do list is complete.

*Sigh*

Now I feel less stressed, and my concentration seems to be improving. I even managed to finish all those ‘little things’ around the house that I could never seem to make time for, like organize the spice cabinet, and put my photos into albums!  Not to mention, I finished mending all the clothes in my sewing pile!  That must have been my ‘nesting’. LOL

So, what’s left undone?

20140315_180328

MY NOVEL!

I spent the better part of today, (when I wasn’t napping, or chatting on the phone with an old friend), pouring over it. 

I have two months before the next major gear change… I hope that I can hang on to this new found concentration, and focus!  You can accomplish a LOT in two months!

Happy Writing, you guys!

 

 

.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Home Stretch


Me at 25 weeks, all puffy ;)
The second trimester has come, and it has gone.  I was told it would be the easiest of my trimesters... I certainly hope not.  I was in and out of the hospital after throwing out my back/dislocating rib and tendon, and it got down right scary with my blood pressure there for a minute.  But I am happy to say that things are looking up as I embark on my third trimester!  *phew*

According to all recent labs/appointments, I am healthy, and have completely rebounded.  Baby Sam is kicking with gusto!  And to celebrate, I went out and bought his very first pair of booties & mittens!  :) Aren't they adorable?

In other news:

My WIP... in all it's messy glory
I have managed to work on my WIP every day this week!  Thanks to a little encouragement from my writing buddy, we have managed to check in and get stuff done.  The challenge is, if we write everyday for two weeks straight, we get to go to The Cheesecake Factory! *best motivation EVER*


http://www.yammiesnoshery.com/2013/12/quick-bread-bowls.html
Recipe from Yammie's Noshery
And being pregnant, and the size of an electric car, of course means that food is always on my mind... but I hate eating processed foods, so I have been making a lot of our meals from scratch, (when I feel up to it).  It helps me keep my sodium (and that nasty swelling) away.  That bread bowl is my current favorite! So low in sodium, and so few ingredients! Click on the picture for the recipe.

I feel like I have a lot of balls in the air, right now, but I am feeling so much better, that I'm able to enjoy the challenge again. So I'm putting this all in the WIN column. :)  And I do have to give a shout out to my amazing and supportive husband, who stayed up with me in the hospital when he was running on no sleep, and who kept the house clean, just for me, and who kept the laundry done, and did all those little things that he didn't have time to do, just so I'd be comfortable.  He is my favorite person in the whole world. :)

What are some of your challenges right now?  How are you doing with them?

I will try to blog again soon!

Happy writing you guys!  Stay positive!!!


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Another day, another lesson.

I spent a gloriously frustrating, and rewarding two weeks with the main character of my WIP.  I cared a great deal for him, and all his faults and redeeming virtues.  So much, in fact, that he became my glaring blind spot.

He was hurting the story and I didn’t even know it.

I began this novel in early April of 2013, and since have been sweating and toiling over it.  The supporting characters have bleed and morphed.  The story structure has shifted and grown.  But the main character has remained steadfast.  Like a rock.  A dull lifeless rock. But I loved him, and I didn’t see it.

I thought he was the strongest part of my story.  I built things around him. 

I was wrong.

The thing is… I didn’t know I was wrong, until this nagging little plot thread kept waking me up.  I didn’t think it would work with my character… he would NEVER do that.  The problem was, that it needed to happen for the STORY. I just moved around it.  Then one day I hit a dead end in my edits, and I thought… what kind of guy WOULD do that?  How would he get there?  How would this story be different if it where his?

*facepalm*  I mean what the hell have I been doing?

Square peg.  Round hole.

I am so happy that I have stopped forcing my character to be this unnatural guy, and let him be human.  Really human. 

This post may not make much sense… but it’s late, and I’ve had a long day at the keyboard.  My point is this… killing your darlings sometimes means letting them grow. Evolve in ways we may at first resist.  Try not to hold on too tightly to what you think they are… if you do, you may miss out for a long while… like I did.

Some days it seems that I learn something new everyday I write. That is part of the fun though… yeah?

Happy writing, friends!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ack!

I opened up Snarfer, my blog reader software, today and as it updated, I realize that it had been over a MONTH since I’d kept up on all the blogs that I love!

Not only that, it had been a month since I’ve posted in my own blog!

How did that happen?

This month has gone so very fast!  I’ve been swamped trying (and failing) to keep up with NaNoWriMo, visiting family and cooking for Thanksgiving, and preparing for the coming Christmas season.  Not to mention, battling pregnancy brain!

I know, I know… I’m only half way-ish through the pregnancy, how can I be that bad this early?  Well, I don’t know, but let me just tell you guys…  the other day, I almost put deodorant on my toothbrush and brushed with it! I just barely caught myself in time! *how awful would that have been?!*   Plus, I nearly put the milk away in the cupboard where the glasses go.  *duh*

At this rate I’d better buy a helmet for the third trimester!

I can only hope that I’m not ruining my book with all this brain scatter!  *fingers crossed*

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  And I hope you all did well with NaNoWriMo!!

Happy writing, friends!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

NaNoWriMo Nov2013 - Day Two: I miss coffee.

This is my fourth, or fifth, NaNoWriMo... counting Camp NaNos... and things are a little different this year, what with the pregnancy.

For one thing... the big mug of steaming hot coffee that was always cheering me on is not there.  I actually haven't had my beloved cup o' Joe in THREE MONTHS!!!  I'd prefer my child not come outta me all jacked up and jonesin' for more Joe.  Instead, I have ten big glasses of water with lemon every day... and the occasional PowerAde or fruit juice.

Another big change is all my Red Vines, gummy bears, and the orange slices (the candy ones, not the healthy ones) that I usually keep on hand during hard core write-a-thons.  Instead, I have Triscuits, fresh fruits, and yogurt.

I haven't really missed all these things in the last three months (except the coffee!! I miss that every day.), until yesterday.  Sitting at my desk cramming for NaNo makes me imagine that I smell fresh brewed coffee when there is none around.  That part of my brain has been awakened.   But I am still typing away.  Treats or no. 

I will admit.... this was an unexpected side-effect.  I didn't realize how bad some of my NaNo habits had become!  If kiddo wasn't eating everything I eat, I would be binging on junk all month!  (sounds really awesome even though I know how unhealthy it is.  But hey, it's only once or twice a year, right?)

I still love NaNoWriMo... even without the bottomless cup of coffee.  (And I'm still buying my NaNo mug!  That's tradition every year, even if I have to drink water out of it. :)

How is NaNo going for you guys?
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