It’s Almost (Self-)Publishing Time… – An IWSG Post

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Let’s be totally honest. Writer’s are insecure, like…200% of the time. We occasionally have little bouts of confidence and genuine belief in our abilities, but the overwhelming majority of the time we’re little balls of misery and self-loathing, rocking back and forth in the corner, insistent that we have no talent, no prospects, and that anyone who ever said they liked our books was a dirty, dirty liar.

That said, I personally feel that the most powerful moments of insecurity come right before something is about to be published.

I’ve been working on “The Other World” for more than a decade, no joke. That wasn’t all consecutive, of course. It began life as a therapeutic way of dealing with my then-boyfriend breaking up with me. Those early drafts were very, well…terrible. It was a Mary-Sue story in which everyone loved the main character except for herself, and she made a massively huge deal about her own breakup, as though it was literally the end of the world. It was absolutely horrible, but at the time it served it’s purpose. It made me feel a little better, and it was a reason to put words to paper.

Eventually it grew and evolved. I’m not joking even a little bit when I say that I restarted this particular story from scratch at least a dozen times. It was my NaNoWriMo novel twice, and I would regularly return to it and completely rewrite it whenever I would get bored or frustrated with my other works. And as time went on and I learned more about proper styles of writing, what turns readers off, and so forth, the story changed more and more and more. Eventually it became a series. Characters transformed. Main plot points shifted dramatically. To be perfectly honest, at this point what I have in my Scrivener file has extraordinarily little in common with the original story. It has matured spectacularly from what it started out as. Even I – as a completely self-loathing writer – can see that. The story that I am currently performing final edits on is nothing like the self-absorbed cathartic ramblings that I first put down back in college. It is much, much better. Infinitely so.

know this. And yet, as I wait (im)patiently for my cover artist to send me some ideas, and I finish those final edits on Book One of the series, I find that little voice beginning to whisper in the back of my mind. “This is complete crap,” it hisses. “Your beta-readers are liars, and you’re a talentless hack who will never have any real success as a novelist. You should delete the entire file and never speak of this story again.”

That voice is a bitch. I know this, and yet it is exceptionally difficult to quell her. I have become the master of procrastination, taking much longer at each step of the writing process than is reasonable, because that voice slows me down, weakens me, and convinces me that it’s pointless. She’s a complete and utter bitch and I hate her.

So I say this to you now: moving forward I am going to do my level best to smother that voice and bury her deep, deep down where I can’t hear her hateful hissing. I’m going to trust that my beta-readers weren’t just being nice to spare my feelings, I’m going to work with my cover artist to create something beautiful and attractive, and I’m going to put that something out there for the world to see. Then I’m going to take what comes as it comes. And then, regardless of the results, I’m going to sit at my laptop, and I’m going to get to work on finishing Book Two, and I’m going to start the process all over again. Because that’s what a real writer does. We murder that voice in cold blood – no matter how many times it resurrects itself – and put ourselves out there regardless of the vicious whispers.

Who’s with me?

New Year, Same Insecurities – An IWSG Post

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So it’s the first Wednesday of the year, and hmm…seems like I’m still pretty insecure, so I guess I’ll keep making Insecure Writers Support Group posts.

I already wrote a Goals and Aspirations for 2017 post the other day, so I won’t repeat everything that I’ve said about my writing goals, but given what kind of post this is I will tell you how insecure I’m feeling about the whole thing.

For one thing, when I was going through all my numbers for 2016, I realized that despite actually putting forth some real, major effort (at least in the first half of the year), I actually wrote over 25,000 words fewer than I wrote in 2015. And this is in addition to the fact that I all but quite blogging in the second half of the year specifically so that I’d have more time and energy to focus on writing fiction. That is a worrying trend for me and it makes me wonder if – at this point in my life – I’m even capable of turning it around and moving in the other direction. Or will I just keep dwindling and dwindling until I’m basically writing nothing at all? It’s a thought that definitely troubles me.

Additionally we’ve got the whole self-promotion thing. I’ve never been good at it, but I seem to be getting worse, not to mention running out of methods to try. Changing the cover to “Nowhere to Hide” seemed to help a bit, for a short while, but that influx has long since died off and we’re back to being lucky to sell a book a month. I’ve tried giveaways, I’ve tried contacting reviewers, I’ve tried ads…none of them really did much of anything except for an extremely tiny boost during the actual event and then nothing afterwards. I’ve even sent books off to fellow YouTubers (which was more of a present thing than a self-promo thing, if I’m honest), but while their unboxing videos gave us a spike in subs to the YouTube channel, they did nothing for book sales.

I get that zombies aren’t for everyone, so you’re definitely going to get a lot of people who might look at the book and then just go, “Nah, not my bag,” but I have to be honest, I truly believed that I’d sell at least a few books a month instead of having stretches of months at a time of absolutely nothing, and it’s getting really old. I put a lot of effort into that book, I genuinely believe that it’s good, and I’ve had numerous people who don’t even like horror and zombies tell me that they enjoyed it.

But I just can’t get people to buy it. And it’s infuriating. And, justifiably, makes me pretty damn insecure.

I’ve considered sending it off for the Self-Published Book Awards (by Writer’s Digest) again, but I don’t think I want to waste the money. The last time my $75 entry fee got me a pathetic, four-sentence “feedback” e-mail that basically told me that my cover and summary were crap and didn’t really say a damn thing about the book itself at all. I’ve changed both the cover and summary since then, but the overall lameness of what they consider to be “feedback” doesn’t really put me in a mind to waste more money on them.

And so I sit here, thinking and frowning to myself and wondering what else there is I can try that’s not going to cost me money, because so far almost everything I’ve done has cost me money and I haven’t seen a return on it at all.

Also, just as a final note, I don’t know if this has even occurred to anyone who is reading this post, but if my thought process seems horribly disjointed, half-complete, and generally unfocused, I can confirm that it is, in fact, all of those things, because nothing has changed from 2016 and I’m still always doing fifteen things at once. While writing this post I’m also eating breakfast and trying to slam a bunch of coffee into me since I didn’t sleep well last night, chatting online with a friend who lives on the other side of the country so there’s only a few hours a day we can really catch each other, sending messages back and forth with a fellow YouTuber asking his advice on some things, and obsessing over the fact that I haven’t put away any of the Christmas stuff or cleaned up the basement to make way for all the videos we’re super behind on.

And people wonder why I’m insecure. 😛

Small Changes = Small Victories (an IWSG Post on the Proper Day)

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So, in the drunken-stupor-like haze that has apparently become my life, I actually posted my IWSG post last week on what my brain was telling me was Wed, Sept 1st, but was actually Wed, Aug 31st. I posted it early in the morning and went to work fully certain that it was Sept 1st, and didn’t really figure it out until late in the evening, by which time I’d gotten a few comments on the post, making me not want to reschedule it. So…yeah. If you want to read the post that was meant for today, here it is:

And someone, for the love of god, please figure out how I can get an extra 4-5 hours of sleep per night without completely destroying what little productivity I have. @_@

Trials, Tribulations, and Zombies: An IWSG Post

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The past month was all over the place for me, as far as writing is concerned anyway. So let’s take these subjects one at a time and make our way through them in an orderly fashion. 🙂

First off, while commiserating to a fellow writer that sales of “Nowhere to Hide” are abysmal (and that’s an understatement), she suggested that I rewrite the book’s summary (which is pretty boring) and change the cover (which was created by me and is thus significantly less than professional). I’ve known that I should consider these changes for a while, but I’ve continuously put it off because this book was my baby, designed 100% by me from cover to cover, and so I was loathe to change anything about it. In mid-July, however, I changed my mind. Myself and my closest friends and family all have copies of the original version of the book, so why not now do what I can to present a better face to the average paying customer? With that in mind I recently rewrote the back-cover blurb, while a talented cover artist has been working on the new imagery for me. When I get home from work this time around my father is going to take a professional photo of me for the back cover, and then we’ll be off to the races. There’s no guarantee that this will help sales, of course, but I figure it’s worth a try.

Secondly, and speaking of zombies, I had a really shift of work at the beginning of July. Why is that important? Well, it inspired me to start something that I’ve been getting questions about since the first few people read “Nowhere to Hide“: a sequel. Okay, technically it’s not a sequel, exactly – it’s more of a companion story that takes place at the same time as the first one, but in a different part of the country with different characters. While the first book started out in suburbia and moved mostly through residential areas, this new one takes place mainly in an oil sands facility. Do you see where this is going? I’ll give you a hint: I work at an oil sands facility.

So, long story short: I don’t know how this new story – which I’ve tentatively named “Nowhere to Run” – will end up going anywhere, but for now it’s an extremely cathartic exercise. I plan to do a great deal of damage to my “fictional” site and work camp, and while several of my coworkers are bound to be heroes in one way or another, there are also a few people who are slated to meet an extremely messy end. Does that make me sound like a ghoul? Perhaps. But I justify it in saying, screw it! I’m writing, and that’s a good thing…right? Right.

Finally, if you read my previous IWSG post, you might be wondering about the release of the erotic fairy tale. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been writing a series of short erotic fairy tales, partly just for the fun of trying something new and (extremely) different, but also partly for the curiosity of how such stories would sell as compared to the (again, abysmal) sales of my zombie novel. Last month I mentioned that I had officially self-published the first story in this erotic series under a psudonym, so the experiment was on.

Well I won’t say that the first month was a failure, but it definitely wasn’t a success either, due to some unforeseen road blocks in the promotional department. The main problem is that the story is obviously public domain, being based on a well-known fairy tale, and what I didn’t know was that this means it is not eligible for any of the Kindle/Amazon marketing and promotion options. I can’t do a free book promo, a Kindle Countdown Deal, or even purchase an ad package to promote the book in its category. So that right there pretty much destroyed my ability to get the story out there.

So now it had become a game of “how the hell do I let people know that this thing exists?” I started the only way I could think to: by setting up a Facebook and Twitter account for my pseudonym, and joining a bunch of groups and lists that allow self-advertising. While doing this I found two Facebook groups who specialize in sharing erotic and romance novels. I got each of those pages to share mine, and as a result I saw a whopping four sales over eight days…and that’s all there’s been so far.

Now, granted I haven’t spent much time marketing the story since then – I’ve kinda got a lot on my plate to be spending too much time on the internet pretending to be my pseudonym – but it is a little frustrating that the first release didn’t go as planned. My original intention had been to have a free book promo to get those download numbers going, and then release the second story to spark more interest, but now I feel that releasing the second one would be a bit pointless because no one even knows there’s a first one yet. I need a strategy that doesn’t rely on the usual methods of promotion, and I just don’t know exactly how I’m going to go about that yet…

***EDIT: Turns out I was wrong about this; see the comments if you’re interested in the details. 🙂

So that was my month for writing. A little bit of fun, a little bit of work, and a little bit of disappointment. I’m all over the place in a sea of emotions, and “insecure” is definitely one of them!

Let the Experiment Begin: An IWSG Post

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Hello, fellow writers. It’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group time, and this month I’m gonna talk about something equal parts amusing and uncomfortable.

Okay, so quick background in case this is your first time here: almost two years ago now I self-published my first novel, “Nowhere to Hide“. And while I am very proud of the book, and it’s gotten some great reviews from the few people who actually read it (*chuckle completely lacking in humor*) it hasn’t been a particularly successful release. There are a number of factors that contribute to this lack of success, but the fact of the matter is basically that people are not buying the book. End of story.

Now, for a while I’ve been making jokes to my husband and coworkers about how I’m going to quit my job (as a commissioning technician on the Alberta oil sands) and just start writing erotica. It’s a joke I’ve made when I’m having a bad day, or when really crappy stuff happens (like the huge pay cut we just took), but I’ve only really been half kidding this whole time.

Because, you see, a while back I read an article about how (supposedly) easy it is to make money from writing erotica, and it got me wondering if I could write a short erotic novel that is more successful than my zombie novel has been.

So during last year’s National Novel Writing Month I decided to give it a go. I chose a theme for my novella’s that was something I thought I could easily stick to – fairy tales – and I started jotting down ideas and scenes for different characters. Several months later and two nights ago, I compiled and uploaded the first in the series. It is now available on Amazon. @_@

Now, let’s get something straight right off the bat: this is not a good story. And while just the admission of that might make some of you cringe, I have to respond by asking if you’ve ever actually read any erotica? None of it is good. It’s designed to do the job, as it were, and half the time even the popular stuff isn’t so much as properly edited. So no, this story is never going to be a glowing mark on my writing career. As such, I decided to write it under a pseudonym, and I’m definitely not going to share the book link on my blog as a big shining beacon that says, “HEY! I WROTE THIS!”

Why, then, am I sharing this with you now? Well, I just thought you’d find it interesting, basically. 😀

So let the experiment begin! I definitely don’t expect anything substantial out of this little idea, but I’m interested to see what happens, and if nothing, it was pretty fun to write. XD

My New Favorite Toy (An IWSG Post)

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It’s time once again for a little bit of support among the insecure writers, so I want to start off this post by saying that it’s been a much calmer month that I’ve had in quite a while.

Last month for this post I announced that I was going to be cutting out the overwhelming majority of my blogging because, while I do believe that blogging is important for an author and her brand, I also believe that it’s quite pointless if it’s keeping you from, you know…writing. I’d gotten to a point where I was working, being a mom, being a wife, being a YouTuber, and writing blog posts…but not actually writing anything else because I couldn’t find the damn time. Now cutting out blogging hasn’t given me vast quantities of time with which to work with, but it has definitely helped because it’s just one less thing I have to worry about on a daily basis. Since cutting it out I’ve finished the beta-reader copy of my current manuscript (and got it sent off to my readers), gotten started on book two for that same series, and been working on a side project that I’m very interested in. My overall word count hasn’t spiked a great deal, but mostly that’s because working on the beta-reader manuscript didn’t contribute many new words. All in all, I feel it was a highly productive month compared to many others, and I’m happy with that.

But that’s not all I wanted to talk about today, because I also have a new “toy” that I wanted to share with my fellow writers because I think it’s something many of you would love to have. It’s a special notebook that was created through a Kickstarter that I funded a while back, known as the Rocketbook Wave.

There are two awesome things that I love about this notebook. First, it uses special dot-grid-design paper and a set of icons and a scan code at the bottom of each page to allow you to use your smartphone to quickly and easily scan your documents and send them right where you want them. Using the free app you assign each of the seven icons to wherever you want: your email account, a special folder in your Evernote, somewhere in your Google Docs, etc. Then you just point your phone at the page and it takes a hi-res photo of the document and shoots it off to whichever location you’ve chosen by placing an X over that icon. It’s a super quick and easy way to get your handwritten notes digitized, backed-up, and sent somewhere where you can retrieve them later when you need them. I absolutely LOVE it, because I love writing by hand, but I hate having to transcribe later by trying to type while staring at my notebook (seriously, I know at least some of you agree with me on this one…I’ve gotten so many cricks in my neck by staring sideways and down at the notebook while the rest of my body faces the laptop).

But the second feature might even be more awesome: the entire notebook is erasable. You place it in the microwave with a cup of water, nuke until the symbols on the cover turn white, and boom. Fresh pages. Mind you, you have to use the proper pens (but they’re an erasable brand that’s available at Walmart – Frixion) and the ink residue eventually does build up and thus the notebook wears out, but they say the average user should be able to easily get ten erasures, so I think the price of approximately $30 for an executive-sized notebook is pretty damn reasonable.

I’ve been having a blast with this thing since it arrived. I haven’t erased it yet, since I obviously won’t do that until it’s full, but I’ve scanned tons of documents and it never loses its charm, let me tell you.

So basically, long story short; if you want something that could make your writing life a lot simpler and more streamlined, I think this might be the item for you. I can definitely tell you that I’m in love with it. ^_^

Cheers, fellow writers!

Time Is(n’t) On Our Side Now (An IWSG Post)

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Writers often enough complain about how “real life” is cutting into their writing time. We lament that such things as day jobs take up all our free time, make us tired, make us miserable, and just generally make us unable or unwilling to take the time to sit down and write.

But what about when good things interrupt your writing time? What about the other things that are big, important parts of your life that make you happy but also happen to dramatically lessen the time you have available to write?

I currently find myself wedged in between both problems. I’ve spoken time and again about how my job’s strange schedule (fourteen 12-hour days enveloped in two days of all-day travel, followed by twelve days at home before repeating) makes it very difficult to find time to write, but there are also several much more enjoyable things that tend to take precedent.

For one thing, there’s my awesome little kid. I only get those twelve days home out of every twenty-eight-day period to spend time with her, so I do my best to spend lots of time reading, playing board games, baking, and whatever else she wants to do at any given time. It only makes sense. I miss her when I’m away, and she wants to cram in as much time with me as possible when she’s got me. Ditto for my husband, who spends half of every month waiting for me to come home so we can watch our shows and spend some time together.

For another thing, there’s my YouTube channel. It’s not the most important thing in my life, but it has definitely grown into this thing that I enjoy a lot, and although I’ve recently started letting my husband help out with things like editing videos, there’s still a heck of a lot of time that goes into it. One 15-minute video can easily take almost an hour to film, and I’ve got to film as many of them as I can in those twelve days at home  because I certainly can’t drag my Pops and subscription boxes out to Alberta with me.

And of course, there’s all the little things too…my monthly massage (NEEDED, thank you very much), my hot baths (the only real time I ever get to myself), video games (although they’re hard to squeeze in too), and all the other little things that make me happy and keep me from basically losing my mind at any given time.

These are all good things, mind you – things that make my life awesome, make my world enjoyable. But, they’re also things that, by necessity, tend to come before writing.

Many writers would say that I’m doing something wrong, that if I’m serious about being a writer, writing has to come first. Writing before everything. Get your butt out of bed at 3 am if you have to, and write at least 2000 words before even thinking about doing anything else.

To that I say: yeah, I’m a writer, and I am serious about it, but I’m also a mom, wife, instrumentation technician, YouTuber, and human being, so take that attitude and shove it.

I love writing, and I’ll never stop writing, but the real world – both the good bits and the bad bits – don’t always cooperate. I work around it, scribble out words in a notepad at work, pluck out blog posts on the airplane, write a few paragraphs of fiction in between forkfuls of supper…it’s not ideal, but it’s what I can manage right now.

Maybe someday I’ll come up with a better system. Maybe I’ll learn how to subsist on four hours of sleep per night. Maybe I’ll master the art of psychically transferring my thoughts to a Word file for later revision. Either way, I’ll keep pushing forward because I am all of the things I listed above – including a writer – and I refuse to give any of those identities up any time soon.

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: An IWSG Post

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Usually, during Insecure Writers Support Group day I tend to try to give advice or hope, to tell my fellow writers that we’ve got to keep moving forward, keep writing, always writing. And none of that is any less true this month, but I feel like going in a bit of a different direction this time around. I feel like whining (just a little, I promise).

If you read my “goals in review” post earlier this week you’ll know that my writing goal didn’t work out all that badly for January. I wrote an average of over 600 words per day, which is pretty damn acceptable, especially considering my work situation and the fact that I spent a decent chunk of the month sick as a dog. However, I was still quite disappointed in my performance for January, and the reason is that I never once touched my actual novel. No, none of those words I wrote had anything to do with an actual manuscript of any kind.

I’m disappointed in myself for a number of reasons, but the big problem here, I believe, is that I’ve grown a little disenchanted with my novel.

If you don’t know, what I’ve been (not) working on is a four-part young adult fantasy series. I am approximately 90% finished with the first draft of the first book and have been there for something like five months now. I desperately want to get this thing finished, to pass it off onto my beta-reader and move on to book two, but somehow I just can’t seem to force myself to do it. I tell myself, day after day, “Sit down and finish that damn story”, but it never happens. There’s always an excuse, something else to do, something else to focus on…or I just curl up in bed and refuse to move. That’s actually probably the most common result.

It’s not that I no longer want to write the story…in fact, technically I’ve been writing this story for years, although it’s only recently that I decided to make it a short series. The real problem, I think, is the scope. “Nowhere to Hide” took almost three years, all total, to go from idea to available-for-sale. At that same rate of accomplishment, my current project won’t be finished until approximately 2028. That’s not to say that I couldn’t write these books faster, but there’s only so fast you can go without sacrificing quality, especially when you have a demanding day job and other projects that you’re not willing to give up. And so I imagine that my daughter will be graduating high school before I have the entire series done, and thinking about that exhausts me. Thus, I don’t write, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because I’m wasting even more time and pushing the end-game further back.

Even I can see that this is extremely stupid. And yet, here we are.

So I guess, what I’m looking for here is a bit of commiseration from my fellow writers. What do you do when you become disenchanted with your story, but you still do actually want to complete it? Any tips for me? I could definitely use them right now because I’ll be super-frustrated with myself if I go an entire month again without contributing anything to this project. >.<

Can I Have a Do-Over Once My Body Stops Destroying Itself? (An IWSG Post)

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So here we are, with the first Insecure Writer’s Support Group post of 2016. I had plans for this post. I intended to talk about how I’ve got high hopes for 2016. I was going to tell you all about how I’ve learned from several mistakes, gotten myself a little more organized, and have every intention of kicking ass when it comes to my new goals. I was going to tell you about how I plan to finish a mostly-done novel this month before starting on a new one, which I plan to have completed by the end of the year. I was going to tell you guys that this is the year of Tracey. I’m going to get this nonsense figured out, and I’m going to be a mother, a wife, an instrumentation technician, and a writer, all at once, dammit.

I was going to tell you guys all of that. And then I got sick. And the truth is that I just don’t have the goddamn energy or happy-go-lucky attitude required.

I didn’t write any fiction at all in the first couple of days of the new year because I was trying to get ahead of a few blog posts and get some other thoughts down on paper, but by day 3 I was intending to get hard to work on that almost-finished novel, before I woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. Runny nose, sore throat, achy body…your standard cold fare. I’d also not had that much sleep the night before, so I kicked hubby out of bed, sent the kid downstairs with him, and just melted under the covers for a while. I got little to nothing done that day or the next, aside from helping to put the Christmas decorations away in a half-awake medicated state. I thought to myself, surely this won’t last that much longer? Even though my throat hurt every time I swallowed I’d managed to keep myself from coughing too much, so I wasn’t destroying it like I usually do, and I’d been getting lots of rest and “relaxation”, so surely this was going to be over soon, right?

But then, yesterday, something weird added itself to the list of maladies: my jaw started to hurt. And I don’t mean it ached a little…I mean, there was this pain radiating up through my jawbone and right through all the teeth on the left side of my head. It felt like I’d suddenly sprouted half a dozen improperly-aligned wisdom teeth. I thought it was something I’d done without realizing it – maybe I’d been grinding my teeth or something? – but I didn’t think too much of it…until this morning. This morning I woke up with another, much worse, symptom: an earache that felt like someone had jammed a railroad spike through my head. Ladies and gentlemen, I consider myself to have a fairly decent pain threshold – I mostly just cursed like a sailor when I broke my toe, and I survived the first 13 hours of back-labor without any drugs – so believe me when I tell you this hurt a LOT. I shipped myself off to outpatients, where I sat for almost two hours goddammit, trying my very best not to burst into tears, until finally a doctor looked at me and informed me that my head is basically pressurized with fluids because my nasal cavities are so narrow that it can’t all come out unless I force it to. In other words, I waited for two hours for him to tell me to blow my nose…a lot.

That wasn’t the best part though. No, the best part was the after-effect of my head’s desire to hold in as many fluids as possible. Turns out I developed not one, not two, but THREE separate infections…simultaneously. And since I’m allergic to amoxicillin, the antibiotics I was eventually given (which I have to take for an entire week, by the way) are a type that are known to cause gastrointestinal distress. Because, ya know…I don’t have enough of that to deal with all on my own.

So, long story short, I’m feeling a little bit down in the dumps today, both physically (obviously) and mentally. I’d planned to start 2016 off with a bang, getting myself all organized, setting some perfectly reasonable goals, and finally sitting down to do some real writing, and now this has happened and it’s taken pretty much all of my energy to sit down and write this post (while snuggled in bed with a wastebasket of used tissues next to me and a mini-Magic Bag on my poor ear).

So you’ll excuse me if I don’t have much good to say today, no pearls of wisdom or hopeful, “fingers crossed” kinds of sharing. Mostly I just want to curl up into a ball, watch Doctor Who, and pray that this thing buggers off before I have to get on an airplane to head back out to work. -_-

When it Rains, it Pours, but, You Know…Rainbows and All That (An IWSG Post)

IWSG badgeThis post is going up a lot later in the day that I usually put up my posts, and that’s very in tune with the sort of time I’ve been having lately. Let’s go through a quick list, shall we?

  • Around the middle of September I had to suck it up and purchase a new vehicle. It wasn’t because the old one had crapped out on me, but rather because my daughter started school. Because of my work schedule (two weeks on the other side of the country, then two weeks home) and the fact that all my flights leave at “you’ve got to be kidding” o’clock in the morning, we became in need of two vehicles so that my daughter wouldn’t miss school every single time I flew. So that was the starting point…handing over fistfuls of cash for a very large purchase.
  • Around the same time we bought the new car, I had started working on my daughter’s Halloween costume, which I make myself every year. But because, again, of my work schedule, I was not able to finish back then and had to go two weeks (16 days when you count the days of flight) without being able to work on it…keep this in mind for a few moments.
  • Then, while I was on shift at work, our washing machine crapped out completely. My husband tried his best to get it up and running again, but it turned out that the required part was the most expensive one, making it pretty much pointless. And since our dryer was just as old as the washer, it didn’t make a lot of sense to get just a washing machine and then just be waiting for the dryer to die…so we ended up buying a brand new washer and dryer set, and although it’s not like we couldn’t afford it, it always sucks to have to make purchases like that so suddenly.
  • So I got home, and I had precisely four days to finish my daughter’s costume, along with helping my husband go crazy decorating the house, because we do Halloween right in this family. It was an extremely busy few days, which is always a little stressful.
  • Of course, after Halloween we did our traditional drive around to look for discounted candy, costumes, and decorations…and while we were out a big truck flung a rock at our windshield, putting an enormous crack in it. We were driving the brand new car. To make matters even worse, my insurance deductible is enormous, so it actually cost less to pay for it out of pocket, and it hasn’t even been fixed yet because the part that Speedy ordered arrived damaged.
  • So now I’ve only got a few more days before I head back out to work, and once I come home again it’s not only my daughter’s birthday, but I’ve got to get all of the Christmas stuff done in those two weeks because the next time I’ll be home after that won’t be until December 19th.

The point of all this? Just that this is a stressful time of the year for me, and it’s not going to be over for quite a while yet.

The upside? Well, there’s always writing.

This time of year – specifically, November – is National Novel Writing Month, and even when I’m stressed out and busier than I can possibly deal with, I always have fun during National Novel Writing Month.

This year I’m doing something purely for fun, not worrying about epic plots or anything like that. I’m writing a series of short, erotic stories based on fairy- and folk-tales. It’s silly, strange, probably reads like the worst drivel you can imagine, and it’s a ton of fun. In fact, I’ve written almost as much in the past four days as I wrote during all of October.

Sometimes it can be hard to remember when you’re trying to create a masterpiece, but writing should be fun. It should be relaxing, and a release from reality, and you should enjoy doing it. So maybe, just maybe, when things are getting out of control and it feels like your brain is about to explode, maybe you should just sit down and write some really raunchy sex scenes.

Or, you know, whatever kinds of scenes are fun for you to write. XD

And with that said, it’s time to get back to my dirty scenes…and I’m telling all of you fellow IWSG writers to do the same! Get out there and write whatever makes you happy! Do it now! ^_^