I Can Do This…Right?

I have wanted to be an author, a writer, a storyteller  – for as long as I knew what those things were.  I can recall sitting in the back of the classroom at the Catholic grammar school I attended, one of the few non-Catholics in the room.  Sister Mary Margaret was instructing the class on the do’s and don’ts of accepting the body of Christ, and since I would never be required to line up at Church with the other kids and eat the wafer, during religion class begin to daydream.  I would create little scenes in my head – scenes full of dark, moldy dungeons and luminous princesses and handsome young knights who would climb in through windows to fight off dragons, ultimately sweeping the grateful princess (who would, ironically, always look like me) off her feet.

In my early teens, I filled notebook after notebook with stories of romance and betrayal and heartbreak.  Teen angst at its best.  Most of the stories, funny enough, focused on the heroine (me!) and some astoundingly famous, talented, handsome man – a real-life rock star, professional athlete, actor or whatever current celebrity had caught my eye at the time of writing.  I was drafting fanfic before fanfic was a thing, I guess.

When I wabigstock_story_2226743s in my late teens and early 20’s, I tried my hand at writing poetry.  Bad, sappy, nonsensical poetry.  But my gift of storytelling never left me.  While I was busy raising kids and taking care of a house and a family, I put away my writing for many years, but still managed to create entertaining stories for my little ones each night before the went to sleep.  Sometimes one of “Mommy’s quick bedtime stories” lasted an hour or more, simply because Mommy was having way too much fun conceiving it on the fly.  I think I enjoyed it more than my kids did.

No matter which phase of my life I was in, the dream was always to write a book of my very own, to create a story so thought-provoking and detailed, with complex characters with relationships and issues that the reader could identify with.  I wanted to create characters a reader would fall in love with.  After my divorce, I set out to finally do just that.  It was my time, I told myself.  A door had opened for me.  This was my opportunity to begin the journey of achieving my #1 goal of becoming a published author.

I have been divorced for 16 years now.  In that time, I was a paid blogger for 6 months.  I interned at my local newspaper and had three articles published, one of which (a “riveting” piece about the yearly Memorial Day parade in a neighboring town) made the front page.  In my defense, it is extremely difficult to be a single mom (with no support from her ex) of two active boys when you work a full-time job and try to write in your “off hours”.  Because basically, there are no “off hours” when you are a single mom.

Now, however, my kids are much older.  I still work full time at a job that keeps me extremely busy (I work a lot of overtime during our busy season, which comes twice a year).  But I do have a lot more free time than I used to.  I also have managed to create and stick with what I look at as my smartest body of work so far – a novel I have been editing, and re-editing, and then editing some more, for the past 2 years.  I have surpassed so many self-imposed deadlines that I have lost count.  I am still as in love with my characters and storyline now as I was in the early days (which I think is a good thing since most of my writer friends who have been doing this longer than me tell me you can sometimes lose interest in your work if you let it go on for too long).

I do suffer from occasional bouts of writer’s block.  In addition, my lack of writing time during my crazy work schedule frustrates me to no end.  I become filled with doubt at times that this book will ever see the light off day.  I believe in this work and these wonderful beings I have created on paper.  I want to give them life and share them with the world.  I dream of the day that I see my name on the cover, the day I hand my mom the book I have written and say “Here you go, Mom.  You now have a daughter who is a published author”.  I dream of seeing that pride in her eyes.  I dream of what my kids will tell their kids and grandkids after I am gone.  Maybe during bedtime, they will create stories of a strong, devoted mom who overcame all obstacles and followed her heart to accomplish her lifelong dream.

But then my throat tightens and I feel the terror rise up from my gut.  What if I don’t accomplish what I set out to do?  What if I never finish my book?  What if I don’t publish it and all this will be for naught?  Someday when I am taking my last breath, will I look back on my life with regret?  No one can make this happen but me.  I can finish this book, and make it as great as I know it could be, or I can let fear overtake me and procrastinate each weekend until I can’t bear to even think.

I have to do this.  I NEED to finish this.  I can do this.  I can do this.  Right?  I CAN DO THIS.  WRITE!!!!!!

Wish me luck!

Love and Peace!

Currently Listening To:

Tom Petty – “Running Down a Dream”

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Friday…

…my favorite “F” word!

Happy Weekend, everyone.  Hope you all had a great week!

I am relaxing in my favorite chair, listening to some tunes and jotting down some notes for the novel.  Looking forward to being outside this weekend in the fresh air (the weatherman is calling for a lot less humidity for a change!) and getting some much-needed yard work done.

Since I am feeling better, and the weather is going to be nicer, I decided that it was a good time to work out back a bit while I have the energy.  Maybe when I am done I’ll even take the laptop outside and get a few chapters done, who knows!

I hope you all enjoy your weekend.  Do what makes you happy!

Peace and love!

Currently listening to:

Jason Aldean Fly Over States

Tom Petty with Stevie Nicks Insider

The Rolling Stones Happy

A Little Pick Me Up

I’m working on a particularly heart-wrenching scene at the moment.  It’s an argument between two people who are coming to the end of their relationship, and even though neither of them wants to admit out loud it’s the end, they know.  This is a tough one for me to write because this particular moment – and the dialogue – is semi-autobiographical.  The scene is thick with stinging discomfort and deep-rooted memories of a time I’d rather not stir up in my memory banks.  But…I’m a writer!  If I have to dig up some raw emotions in order to communicate my story, so be it.

As always, I’ve got my music blasting in order to keep my sanity in check and my depression at bay.  Nothing like a little Journey to pull you out of a hole.  : )    When all is said and done, if even just one reader says they got something out of it, this will all be worth it.

Hope you are having a peaceful week!  Love!

Currently listening to:

Lucina Williams “Changed the Locks”

My Chemical Romance “I Don’t Love You”

Miley Cyrus “Adore You”

Journey “Send Her My Love”

Velvet Revolver “Fall to Pieces”

 

 

Loving Your Characters

In the process of my writing over the past few years, I have discovered more and more how much I really, really love developing my characters.  Whether I mention it in my work or not, I create a background story for each of them – examine their childhood, where they came from, what makes them tick.  This is the BEST part of writing for me.  I enjoy this part of the process so much!

I have found that I love it so much, that I often create additional characters, ones that I am not currently needing, and keep them saves in files on my laptop.  These “extras” often have long, intricate back stories loaded with personality flaws, fears, goals, and whatever else they need to make them interesting and to keep me satisfied.  I probably have way more characters than one author will ever need in a lifetime!  Ironically enough, I have yet to use any of these extra characters in any of my current works, most likely because I just keep coming up with new ones (sometimes one or two a week) for the work I am focused on at the moment.

I finally put up Chapter 26 for Canaan’s Promise, and am halfway through 27 at the moment.  Things are about to take a crazy turn soon with Riley  – stay tuned!  I am editing my novel still…this is neverending, but I nevertheless am hoping for a December 2017 release date.  The title has definitely changed, but I am not 100% ready to release that as of yet.  When we get a little closer I will post the cover pic here.  I also have some “just for fun” things I am writing – another Wattpad story which will be up in a month or two (going to try and post all of it at once, or at least half, instead of chapter y chapter), and some fanfiction – my guilty pleasure- which I write in my “down time” to keep me on my toes.

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!  Happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing mommies out there!  ❤

Currently Listening To:

Kid Cudi “Pursuit of Happiness”

Bruce Springsteen “Tougher Than the Rest”

Chris Stapleton “Tennessee Whiskey”

Now That You Have My Attention…

Things that fascinate me (in no particular order)…

  • Dolphins.  So smart.  So beautiful.  When you look into their eyes, it’s like they hold the key to the universe.
  • Sitting on the beach and looking out over the seemingly endless ocean.  I know that land begins eventually, but the expanse of the ocean blows my mind.
  • The capability of one single person to either ruin or enlighten your day.  It’s so damn easy.
  • Motorcycle gangs and the whole outlaw culture that goes with it.  I just saw a special with George Christie of Hells Angels and it was fascinating. 0e709f3dc10967a7f75704ceb3669f7c They’ve created their own biker society.
  • The ability some people have to know what makes a person tick.  I have a friend who is so good at reading people.  She can either vouch for their sincerity or call bullshit on them within 5 minutes of meeting them, and she is always 100% correct in the end.  I wish I had that gift.
  • Patience, and anyone who carries it.  Something I am severely lacking in.
  • Good conversationalists.  They are far and few between these days.  Most people just like to hear themselves talk…they don’t care what the other person is saying.
  • The innocence of young children.
  • Those who can put their faith in a higher being and be absolutely sure about it.
  • The stars in the night sky.  I try to stop every night and look at them.  I’m in awe whenever I do.

Currently Listening To…     Sonder “Too Fast”

 

A Little Writing Music…

I am working on the novel today.  So many new ideas!  The creative part of my brain is moving faster than I can type.

In the meantime, these are just a few of the songs on my playlist today as I try to figure this all out.  Enjoy your Saturday!

Currently Listening To:

ZZ Ward “Last Love Song” “All these notes and all these words are all that’s left in me. Bend these pages, count my woes.  One last song to set me free.”

Steve Moakler “Suitcase”  “Everybody wants to chase the rainbow and find a pot of gold, hoping for a suitcase full of money, but all I want is you, honey.”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers “Walls”  “Some things are over. Some things go on. Part of me you carry. Part of me is gone.”

Everclear “Learning How To Smile”  “Yes I know there ain’t no finish line. I know this never ends but I’m just learning how to fall and climb back up again.”

Jason Aldean “Night Train”   “Got a moon and a billion stars, sound of steel and old boxcars.  The thought of you is driving me insane…”

 

It’s All A Lot of Oysters, But No Pearls…

“If you think that I could be forgiven, I wish you would…” – Counting Crows

Confessions:  I have only written half of Chapter 25 of Canaan’s Promise.  I am still editing the novel I have been working on for the past three years (which is currently being called “Finally”, but I have a feeling that may change soon).  And…as if I did not have enough on my writing to-do list, I am now playing around with an idea for a new short story, which may or may not be published on Wattpad, depending on how things go.

So I apologize for not blogging more often, and for not updating Canaan’s Promise in a more timely fashion.  The new idea came to me out of the blue, and it’s not like anything I have ever written about in the past, so it has my full attention at the moment.  My new writing endeavor is something akin to that really cute, cool older boy in high school who you think is way out of your league, but then he winks at you in the hallway one day and leaves you thinking, “Well, maybe…”.

I have no business putting my time and energy into any new projects, given my busy work schedule and the two projects I have already committed myself to.  However, the ideas swimming through my brain are too persuasive to ignore.  The only issues I have with the new project (Notice how I am already referring to it as a “project”.) is that a good part of the story is autobiographical, which for me is extremely difficult to write honestly about.  I need to be honest because it’s a  better narrative than anything I can make up in my head.  But parts of it are painful and somewhat embarrassing to revisit – and to see it in print – so I find myself changing small scenes here and there.  Ultimately, though, what I keep coming back to is that the truth is so much more powerful than anything I could create.

I have been keeping up with the recent activity on Canaan’s Promise, though, and I do appreciate your wonderful comments and votes!  For everyone who has been reading and responding, and adding the story to their lists, please know I SO appreciate your time and I will be updating very soon!  You guys are the best!

Currently Listening To:

“A Long December” – Counting Crows