Blog Stuff

Seven Pathetic Random Things

It’s Monday, so I’ll start this blog week with sunshine. A sweet writer friend, Darlene Foster, sent me the Beautiful Blogger Award. Thank you for this pretty award, Darlene.

The rules say I have to list seven random things about myself. I presume these seven things should not be repeats from previous awards posts, which complicates the situation. I thought about this for almost two weeks and never came up with anything interesting, so this is what you get:

  1. I have no fear of spiders, mice, bees, etc. I’m not fond of snakes, though.
  2. The second cat I owned had a very short neck. He was the Silvio of The Cat Sopranos.
  3. I can’t eat salmon. It gags me.
  4. It’s almost impossible for me to fill out “favorites” lists because I’m so indecisive.
  5. The first movie I remember seeing at the theater was Elephant Walk with Elizabeth Taylor. I was five. My mother didn’t have a babysitter. The only scene I remember is when the elephants destroy the plantation.
  6. I consider myself a good speller, but nine times out of ten, I misspell occurred.
  7. I have at least one clear memory of all twenty-eight apartments or houses I’ve lived in since I was eighteen months old. Unfortunately, only two apartments were outside the U.S. (Germany) and all the rest were in only two U.S. states (Indiana and California). How exciting would it be to say I’ve lived in twenty-eight places around the world?

So, that’s it. Isn’t that a pathetic roundup of random things? I think it’s safe to say there’s not a memoir in my future.

As usual, I’m supposed to pass this award on to other bloggers (10-15 in this instance), but I’m not going to name anyone. If you want, slap this pretty award up on your blog and list your seven random things—then leave me a comment to let me know to come read yours.

Blog Stuff, Opinion, Real Life, Writing

The privilege of blogging

Three years ago, I never would have dreamed that I would publish 500 blog posts, but as of today, I have. Readers come and go. I doubt anyone, but me, has read all of those posts. If you have, you deserve a reward. (For being subjected to my attempts at humor and poetry, you deserve diamonds and gold.)

This blog dresses in comfy clothes and bare feet, and often I worry that it reveals too much, but several of you have told me you appreciate the honesty. I’ve never been able to predict which of my posts will resonate and inspire many of you to respond, but I’m thrilled when that happens.

To me, blogging is an invitation to discuss. I’ve never understood bloggers who don’t reply to comments. (Sorry, if I just stepped on your toes.) I feel that anyone who takes the time to read my blog and comment, deserves a moment of my time in response.

As a blogger, I could voice my beliefs on aliens (earthly or otherwise); the paranormal; Congress; Big Business; gods, devils, and angels; the death penalty; or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups vs. Junior Mints. I have that freedom. Yet I choose to leave those worthy topics to other bloggers. (Though you never know what I might say in comments.)

About three times a week, I type out 300-400 words to post here. I rarely choose a trending topic. I forget to observe holidays. I just write what’s on my mind, which is usually something connected to writing fiction.

I’ve also been known to write about books I’ve read, movies I’ve seen, food I like, games I play, places I’ve visited, crazy thoughts I have … whatever. Sometimes you catch me with the glass half empty, but usually it’s full, and occasionally it runneth over.

No matter what I blog about, I know it’s a privilege to have a voice. And it’s a delight to have you lend an ear to it—or an eye, I guess. Thank you. Stick around for the next 500. By then, I should have this blogging thing down pat.

Feedback, Fiction, My Books, Novel, Short story, Writing

Maybe a good smack would help!

For once, I’m thankful that thousands don’t follow this blog. As a writer, I seem to be having some sort of breakdown—in public. Several times during this year, I’ve mentioned my next book. It will be this novel. No, forget that one, it’s this novel. No, not that novel, this novella. No wait, it’s going to be this short story collection.

In the last two weeks, I’ve had discussions with two different writer friends about my proposed short story collection. Both of them responded with, “Is that what you want to write?” My answer was yes, but I wonder if I lied. Not consciously. I’ve had a bit of fun writing stories, but enjoying something and doing it well is not the same thing.

Am I just killing time writing short fiction because I can’t decide which novel to write? After reading the beta feedback on my last story, I realized I’d actually written two incomplete—read failed—stories. Or did I write the bones of two chapters for a novel?

I had already made notes on such a novel after writing a particular short story almost two years ago. The main character of that new “story” was a secondary character in the first. So, I guess now I have nearly three chapters of that novel written. Even so, I’m not sure that’s where my heart is.

Yes, I have a problem. Heck, all I had to do was read back through my own blog to identify that problem as fear of failure. And I already know the solution—WRITE. So why aren’t I? Well … uh … I’m beta-reading for a friend, and it’s time to start getting things in order for Christmas, and I just discovered Words With Friends on Facebook, and, and, and …

Maybe I need a “personal writing trainer”, someone who will stand over me with a scowl, tapping her foot until I figure out what I really want to write, and then glare at me until I type a hefty number of words each day.

But, above all, I need to quit blogging about my next book before it’s written!

Blog Stuff, Writing

Three years and counting!

Today, I’ll congratulate myself for keeping this blog going for three years this month. With this post, I’ve published 487 glimpses into my mind. That’s a frightening thought appropriate for the day before Halloween.

Lately, I tallied how many of the personal blogs I’ve followed over these years have either disappeared or have long periods of inactivity. Most of those blogs belonged to writers, and I have to ask myself if the reason my fellow writers have become ex or occasional bloggers is because they’re more serious writers than I am.

Actually, since I’ve been thinking a lot about what kind of writer I am, I’m pretty sure I’ve answered my own question. I think I’m serious about writing—and writing well—but less serious about publication. In fact, I might just bare all soon and write a post about the real reason I self-published my novel.

It’s a bit awkward to discover yourself in a public way. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve regretted writing some posts and pages and have removed several of them. I think it’s hard for perfectionists to be bloggers. 🙂

Nevertheless, I’m still having fun here, so I’m launching year four. I hope you’ll voyage with me.

Blog Stuff, Fiction, Novel, Publish, Social Media, Writing

How not to disappear into your writing

I need to get out more. Not outdoors, at least not while the pollen is blowing, but outside my own blog. Not only did I comment more on my friends’ blogs, but I used to seek out at least one new blog every day. I learned a lot and made new friends.

But I got overwhelmed with revisions, and my virtual borders shrank.  Then, I started down the road to indie publishing, and they shrank some more. I used to post faithfully, three times a week, but now that’s become a bit erratic, though I do keep up with replying to comments. I owe a big thank you to those who’ve stuck with me.

It seems the last I remember it was November. Can that be April at the door? Some of you have probably written two novels and ten shorts in that time. I’m totally out of touch. I miss the fun side of social media. I haven’t had a silly day on Twitter for ages.

Have you ever seen grass that bleached out because it’s been under something flat for a few days? That’s sort of how I feel—deformed and pale. But my self-imposed isolation is almost over. The e-book files are formatted and I’m waiting on the proof print copy. The Brevity of Roses will soon be out there in the world.

And so will I—virtually, at least. Watch for me. I’ll be that pale, lumpy, woman grinning and waving like crazy.

Photo credit: Dawn M Schiller – Odd Fae and Autumn Things
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