The Book Fair

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This weekend I had the enormous pleasure of having a table at the local Diamond Valley Writer’s Guild (of which I am a member) book fair. There was a decent turnout, I sold some books, and I had a wonderful time getting to know other authors. Bonus, it took place in a local artists gallery, and I got to see some amazing art from local painters. Great stuff!

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Two of my favorite authors were also there (not that I am biased or anything) and I got some pics of them being awesome.

This is the lovely poet, Judie Mare. She has four books now, all available on Amazon.com.

To find her books, click HERE.

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This is the very talented and funny Mr. John Hoddy. His little minxy protagonist is a wonderfully engaging character, and I highly recommend his first book, The Bandit Little Red. His second book in that series is coming soon(ish).

To find it on Amazon, click HERE.

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I Hope to attend more events like this in the future. As always, I will share the adventure with you, reader. Until next time, happy reading!

 

 

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Nanowrimo update #1

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Just to touch base, I am chugging away at Go Bite Yourself. Im not really able to keep you up to date on my work count at this point, because most of my writing is being done in a notebook by hand while I’m on my daily commute. I will type it and imputed it to the nanowrimo.org page before the month is through. hopefully several times, but let’s keep our expectations realistic here people.

 

In the mean time,  enjoy this sample cover I made while procrastinating. Interested in reading it yet?

Coming To

I’ve been pretty hard on myself lately about how much I haven’t been writing. I take being my own worst critic to award-winning levels. I read all sorts of articles and blogs about writing, how to get published, etc. I try to immerse myself in all things literary to try and stay focused; admittedly not my best talent. Many of the things I’ve read say that if you are not feeling inspired to “just write”. Doesn’t matter if it’s crap or gold. The act of trying will produce something, and you can always work with something rather than nothing. Seems pretty sage to me, so I tried it.

To get back into the swing of things, I reared my novel start to (un)finish. As I read, I tweaked a word here or there, which developed into a sentence, which by the end became a rhythmic tapping on the keys. Huh. Go figure. It helped me feel a small sense of pride as I realized my storytelling skills have been improving while I wasn’t paying attention. I’m starting to like what I read.

So I’m sitting there typing away, and I glance up and three hours have gone by. I should have been asleep two hours ago, and I don’t want to stop, so I reset my clock and start calculating how much time I can shave off my morning routine if I skip the non-essentials, like straitening my hair or ironing my uniform. I’ll let you sort out how well that worked out.

I swear I am waking up from some sort of anti-writing spell. I’m feeling motivated, and I just might get around to finishing what I started.

What am I doing talking about it? Great question.

 

Back to writing!!!

New Schedule

I have been working strange and varied hours lately, which has made blogging a bit of a challenge. I have decided my new post days will be Sundays. I know it is less often than I was posting before (not counting the missed weeks of posts since I arrived in Chicago) but it is a schedule I may have an easier time adhering to.

As far as Chicago goes, I am settling in. I have learned which trains to take, which areas to avoid, and where the best shopping is. I am earning a regular paycheck-something I have not had in several years- and am enjoying life in the city.

I have had adventures that I would not have had back home, such as apple picking, shopping in the loop,

Seeing random, beautiful sights while wandering the city, and of course a brand new experience for this SoCal native: living in the snow.

The first snow was quite an experience for me. It is so beautiful, and I seem a bit touched in the head when it falls, because I can’t resist stomping through it to leave my footprints, all the while giggling uncontrollably. My roommate is also from Cali, and so we share this ridiculous and childish desire to play in the stuff. His boyfriend thinks we are very strange, and tells us so, which leads to the inevitable snow fight. I say “snow” and not “snowball”, because we just scoop up handfuls and fling it at one another. We end up wet and freezing, but somehow it still makes me happy.

I thought Christmas would be a sad day for me, but my mother, in her infinite motherly wisdom, knew I would have a rough time my first Christmas alone and sent me a box of Christmas cheer. She sent a miniature tree, a strand of lights, and some stockings along with a box of presents. It warmed my heart and made me feel so very loved, even from so far away.

Though I worked on Christmas day, I put a pot roast in the slow cooker, and had a wonderful Christmas dinner with my roommate and his boyfriend. It was the first time that Chicago felt like home.

Now, as the snow sticks to the ground, and I finally have a day off, I am catching myself daydreaming about Jeremy, Fairies, and what is in store for Sidhee.

Like any storm that catches us unaware, my writing block is passing, and I find myself ready to open the shutters, pick up the pieces, and rekindle my literary efforts.

Happy writing.

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Apple Picking in the orchard
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Inside the Macy’s that used to be Marshall Fields. Quite a bone of contention between Macy’s and Chicago natives. Still, it is beautiful.
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A dramatized image of my first snow day. I took this with my cell phone on the corner of my street at the bus stop.
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The Gluten, corn, and soy free Christmas dinner I made for my Chicago family.
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The view of my building from the street. I never though I would live somewhere so tall.
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Just across the street from my apartment is a walking path that leads here. It is one of the best views of the city I have seen so far.

What is the real problem?

It’s funny, I moved to the big city to be inspired. I wanted a fast-paced diverse backdrop to help shape my ideas. I also wanted the exposure that advertising to such a huge population might bring. Travel and change of scenery has always inspired some decent page turnout for me. And yet, I find I have writer’s block.

There are exercises that can help a writer push past writers block.  I know them. In fact, I’ve blogged about it, back in April 2014 in a post titled Wherefore art thou, inspiration?

So what I really needed to figure out is not why I’m blocked, but why I’m not even trying to write. I haven’t even opened the file in Word to stare at that ominous blinking cursor for at least two weeks; maybe more.

Sometimes it is a question of time. I’m busy. Who isn’t? We all get caught up in the day to day, but that’s what a schedule is for. Making time isn’t hard if you get a calendar and make a schedule for yourself. I haven’t been doing that- instead I’ve been finding chores to do to fill my time. Sorting out bills, cooking, laundry- that sort of thing.

So if it isn’t a lack of ideas, and it isn’t an issue of time, then why am I not writing?

I know why, when I get right down to it. Recent events are getting me down, and I’m letting myself get moody and disinterested in the things I love (such as writing). I’ve been thinking about it a lot this week, and I’ve come to the conclusion that this will only spiral down from here if I don’t do something to change it.

I’ve decided to use my angst- which is a combination of being at an employer’s beck and call again after so long writing my own schedule, the loss of a couple dear people, and being so far away from friends and family in an unfamiliar place- and channel it into the piece I am writing. I’m skipping ahead a few chapters in Fayling (which should be done by now, but read above) and I’m going to schedule time to pour how I feel into my work. Hopefully it helps create a believable and powerful scene, and it will help me work through my crankiness.

I’ll let you know how that turns out.