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Not many things actually stay on my reading list for long. I’ve got a robust county library with a healthy selection. Needless to say, if I can’t find what I need there, I have no problem using the interlibrary loan system. What a godsend in this time of recession, huh? I heartily recommend heading to the library if you can’t afford to purchase your own books.
Anyhow, below is the list of my current stack of books awaiting attention. Continue Reading…
Recently some folks have expressed an interest in the music I listen to while writing a story. Since the Sanguire series is currently being published this year, I thought I’d focus on The Strange Path, Book 1 of the Sanguire. I’ve already written a blog entry about Whiskey, and I have to say that her playlist was much more extensive than the rest of the characters introduced. I guess that means I identify more with her than any other character.
In any case, here’s a handful of songs that I believe epitomizes Whiskey’s love interest, Marguarethe O’Toole.
Note: Those who don’t know me well aren’t aware that I’m a heavy metal fan. While a lot of these tunes are dark and slow, Gothic in nature, I’m sure some tunes won’t appeal to my readers. Just be aware of that before clicking on any links! Continue Reading…
I always loved story time as a kid. My mother read me Grimm’s Fairy Tales before bed every night. (I’d sneak the book down from my dresser sometimes to look at the woodcut illustrations in our edition.) You can never have too many stories about elves and shoemakers, you know.
In 3rd grade, my class was given the assignment of writing our very own short story! Up until then, I’d never actually considered the fact that people wrote these things…they just existed in my world. What a novel concept! (Pun intended.) I promptly went to work. Continue Reading…
Kara Leonardo has been a wonderful fan and friend to many of us in the lesbian publishing industry. She’s come upon some horrific hard times and needs our help. I’ll let Roselle Graskey tell you what the deal is:
There’s a new video out there by 2012 Champion Dallas Seavey. I’m imbedding it here and urging everyone to share it wherever you can. (If the video is choppy, head over to YouTube to see the original.)
Inside the Iditarod
People have expressed an interest in what soundtrack I used while writing the Sanguire series – The Strange Path, Beloved Lady Mistress (out July 17th!), and Inner Sanctuary (available October 16th). Anyone who is aware of my writing knows that I always have a soundtrack I listen to while immersed in a story — it helps keep the mental “feel” of the story in my heart and head.
Since I absolutely adore music (and Ferny’s request!), I thought I’d list the most important songs I listened to and which character I associated them with. I’ve linked to YouTube videos where I can. Continue Reading…
Golden Crown Literary Society. Wow. Why did I wait so long to come to one of these conferences? I’m ready for next year!
I’m writing this on Sunday, June 17th. Brunch is done, though I sat at my table for at least twenty minutes after I finished eating. I didn’t want to get up because I knew that would be the end of a great weekend. Alas, it had to be done. I’d have looked silly sitting in the room while the hotel staff broke it down. Continue Reading…
The Balancing Act
It’s a pretty sure bet that we all balance our workload with life. Everyone who’s ever “worked for the weekend” is aware of the vicious cycle we’re drawn into when we hold down full-time jobs and still desire to spend time with loved ones. (It’s the American Dream, go figure.)
You slave away for the boss to collect that check. You pay your mortgage or rent and have a little extra to get the oil changed or buy a DVD to watch with the family. Vacations, birthdays, holidays all revolve around work.
As a writer, it’s more than just that day job to pay the bills (unless you’re very fortunate and don’t need an outside vocation to survive.)
The writing has to be completed, too, and that will come at the expense of your friends and family. You’re not carrying a full-time job — you’re working two jobs, one of which has you at the corner desk in the bedroom, pounding words into your computer.
The difficulty lies in perspective. You need to concentrate on attaining your writing goals or you won’t be a success at writing. Your family, no matter how accepting, will experience feelings of neglect because you prefer your fantasy worlds and characters over them. I know. I have a super-supportive woman at my side who still occasionally feels ignored when I get into a story.
What To Do?
There’s only one thing you can do. (I know. I said “Three Ways” in the title. Bear with me.) Are you ready for it? Brace yourself!
Most of you reading this are now groaning. “Duh,” you say. “I know that, Redhawk!”
Seriously, though, making time for your family is the primary tool you have to balance your work/writing with life. (Here’s where the “Three Things” come in.)
* One – make time for your family every day.
Just like you schedule time to go to the day job and give yourself a certain period to write, you need to schedule time to be with your family. This is a daily thing!
Be available at a particular time during the day, no matter when it works for you and them. Nine times out of ten, knowing you’re there will quell even the most anxious friend. Set aside everything to have breakfast (or lunch or dinner or whatever) with your wife, husband and kids. It’ll do wonders for your relationship.
* Two – incorporate a weekly “date” into your busy calendar.
This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. No need to break the bank running out to dinner every week or taking in plays and operas and movies.
When I’m on a writing jag (translated: I leave the house hours before my day job requires my presence to write in a coffee shop,) one of my days off is “Wife Night”. We have a sit down dinner at home and I’m available for discussion or a DVD or what-have-you.
No chat rooms or World of Warcraft, no plotting or writing. I’m there. I’m present.
* Three – have a monthly “Date Night”.
And if you have kids in your household, I mean “Family Night”. (Though having an additional “Date Night” with the spouse is never wrong!)
A couple of weeks ago, we went on a walking tour in our city – Chocolate Decadence. Not only did we both gain a couple of pounds, we had fun together. We connected, something we couldn’t have done if I’d been home writing.
We’ve also gone out and played miniature golf, seen movies, had lunch, went to the local Farmers’ Market and Craft Fairs, rented a car to go to the coast, enjoyed river cruises and parks. The list can be endless if you look. There’s bound to be something of interest you can both enjoy.
You love your family or you wouldn’t be with them. It sounds simple, but it’s easy to forget things like that. Relationships whither and die for the same reason.
And I’m assuming you write because you love doing it. It fills your soul as your pour that same soul out onto the page.
Take some of that soul and spread the wealth. In this case, money means nothing.
Time means everything.
Welcome to the latest installment of the Forward Motion Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour! We’ve gathered several writers from amateur to professional, and we discuss one topic for the month. This month’s theme is about that evil thing known as a deadline.
What’s not to love about a deadline? (I’ll answer that one later.) Continue Reading…
Welcome to the latest installment of the Forward Motion Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour! We’ve gathered several writers from amateur to professional, and we discuss one topic for the month. This month’s theme is about my influences. There are a lot of people (some of them even writers) that I’d like to be compared to, people that I’ve attempted to emulate in my life and work. I think everyone searches for heroes and role models. It’s human nature and, depending on the hero, a positive thing. Here are some of mine:
Okay…maybe not yet.
But I do have my hotel reservations, plane tickets and convention registration for Golden Crown Literary Society in June!
I’ve never been to one of these before, so I’m pretty excited! There’s going to be lots to do in Minneapolis (haven’t been there before, either!), so my to-do list is getting longer and longer.
What To Do?
First on the list, of course, is hang out with both new and old friends! I haven’t seen most of you up close and in person since the last Orlando Bardcon!
Next up is basking in the excellence of wonderful people who enjoy romance novels. Nothing beats that kind of vibe, right? Lesbian romance-fests are da bomb!
The Mall of America is on the top of my Out-And-About list. I’ve always seen it on travel shows, and it will be a hoot to actually see it for real. I realize it’s just a mall on steroids, so I don’t expect to be razzle-dazzled. Still, it’ll be one of those Bucket List items to strike off.
Anybody know of other places to visit, things to do in the area? I won’t have a rental car, so it’ll have to be cheap and easy to get to.
As you can probably tell from the title, mine is a coffee shop. But not just any coffee shop! On, no! Mine happens to sit inside the biggest new and used bookstore west of the Mississippi! Powell’s City of Books. Continue Reading…
A faint fluorescent crackle escorted the flickering overhead lights. Whiskey glanced at the ceiling with a frown. Fuck. Closing time already?
In answer, the two patrons sharing her table gathered their things. Elsewhere others spoke above the standard mandatory hush of the vast room. A woman called out, “Library’s closing. Ten minutes.”
Whiskey glared at her book. Only fifty or sixty pages left. She could finish it in an hour. Reading it in ten minutes was impossible. She’d become so engrossed, she hadn’t bothered to seek out and remove the security apparatus. No time now. She’d never get out the doors without setting off the alarm. Getting away wouldn’t be a problem, but she was a regular here. Some of these librarians had memories that rivaled elephants.
Times, they are a’changing.
I received an excellent surprise in the mail — my author copies of The Strange Path, Book 1 of the Sanguire! WOOT! I got them on the way to work and, of course, ran all over the hotel with a copy to show them off. Amazingly, it never gets old to see your name on the cover of a book. (To those of you whom I’ve contacted, your gifts will be going out later this week.)