Please excuse me while I stand in the ‘defeat corner’ . . . (Wednesday Randomness)

My newest plan has been foiled by an unexpected foe: Cold

(Isn’t that the way plans go? Yes, I know as much, but I still plan everything anyway.)

Obviously, it’s winter, and obviously Cold is expected to some degree (bad pun?). I’m not that stupid (Debatable after the pun? Does it help that it wasn’t intentional?), and trust me when I say that Cold and I are WELL acquainted.

Many of you know that I work in a shed. It’s a pretty nice shed. It has an AC that works well enough to keep Hot at bay in the summer (as long as I stick to my nocturnal schedule) and it’s well-equipped with measures to prevent Weather from causing too much trouble for me year-round, apart from insulation, which I’m sure would help IMMENSELY. But preventative measures only go so far, especially without insulation. And when Cold decides to strike rather than hang around, I only have two choices.

I can (not) grin and bear it, use up my supply of tissues due to my nose constantly leaking fluid (which seems to be more water than anything that typically constitutes as ‘nose fluid’), have my two heaters on full blast (until the breaker blows and leaves me in the dark for a bit), have my fish hand warmers (yes, they’re fish – one of the best gifts ever) on both hands (until I need to smoke or write something down at least, which requires alternating removal). I can handle it most days. I can (not) grin and be totally fine because I’m working and that’s what I love doing, even when my fingers feel like they’re going to break off anytime I touch anything. It’s fine.

It’s all fine until Cold actually strikes. I can (not) grin and sit here with all those things above, while my heaters try in futility to keep the temperature JUST ABOVE what it is past the second (first?) line of defense against Weather (and risk getting myself legitimately sick during). OR I can stop being so freaking stubborn, go inside, and be warm (apart from when I have to come outside to smoke and/or take my dog out).

Sounds like a good time, yes? Yes, it really does.

The thing is . . . I don’t TAKE time off. I might take a bit of time here or there to watch some TV with Husband. I might take off a bit here to chat with a friend or two (sometimes I multitask during, which only partially counts – either as work, or time off [and I suck so bad at multitasking that it’s hardly either thing]), or a bit there to do things that people have to do (eat, sleep, etc.) . . .

When I’m not working, I’m THINKING about working. I’m thinking about all the things I need to do, formulating a ‘plan of attack’ (an order to do those things). So time off really isn’t ‘time off’ for me. I’m either working in my head or feeling guilty about all the things I should be doing instead.

I haven’t taken a full day with no guilt in . . . I can’t even remember. (Guilt = not ‘time off’ . . . Planning = not ‘time off’ . . . An Hour or Two = not ‘time off’ because that is NOT enough to relax me)

I took one yesterday. A full day where I did nothing but watch some TV with my husband, and played hours upon hours of video games. I woke up and saw the temperature on my phone and basically said . . . well, I’m not going to say what I ‘said’ here because I try not to say anything too bad . . .

It was a series of four-letter words though, and I think that’s enough to go on . . .

Anyway, yesterday was pretty spectacular (and, alright, alright, I did do a bit of catching up on Twitter INSIDE [that was weird]). It was really nice to say, “I’ll do it later,”  while thinking, “I’ll do it later and that’s fine.” Rather than saying, “I’ll do it later,” while thinking, “OMGINEEDTOBEDOINGTHISRIGHTNOWHOWCANIBETAKINGTIMEOFFOMG.”

It was nice, and it really made me see that I . . . need to take breaks. I need to spend more time with my husband than eating and watching an episode or two of Modern Family during. I need to do that. I need to let myself enjoy things other than WORK. So . . . I think I’m going to start taking at least one day off every week, to spend with Husband. I think that will be good for my sanity (I’m also sure it would make him happy, and that’s a very good thing).

Unfortunately I woke up today and Weather had changed only the tiniest bit. Knowing I needed to get some things done today, I trudged out to Shed and thought, “I can stick it out for a few hours.”

Also unfortunately, a series of events happened which frustrated me to no end and I found myself thinking a set of words I never, ever think.

I just can’t be bothered with this right now.

(It didn’t help that the last time I’d been working with Herald [my laptop], I essentially stormed off in a fit of frustration, which MIGHT have carried over . . .)

So I went back inside, played more games, ate an unhealthy amount of white cheddar popcorn while playing those games (I’ve got skills, and apparently was lacking self-control today), made dinner with Husband, then came back out here now. And honestly . . . I’m still feeling like I can’t be bothered (Word is driving me insane).

Anyway, obviously Cold has hindered my plans to catch up on here (among about fifty other things I need to do), but like all things, it will pass and like all things, I will get it done. I will (not) grin and bear as much as I can of Cold until it decides to just hang out rather than punch me in the face. Then I WILL grin (no parenthetical aside needed) and not bear anything more than a ridiculous workload that seems like it will never, EVER lighten.

By the way, I sincerely hope no one is as cold as I am right now.

(I know it’s not Wednesday, but obviously I wasn’t out here to write this Wednesday, and this was ABOUT Wednesday, so . . . WEDNESDAY.)

My parents’ take on World War Z

Hardly any of you know my parents to appreciate this (how anything was said [with the southern accents] or any amount of cussing on my mom’s part that I’ll leave out).

Watching movies with them can be quite fun, and World War Z definitely wasn’t a disappointment in any sense of the word. The running commentary by the two of them was rather entertaining.

If you haven’t seen the movie and intend to, I won’t ruin anything. It was one of the fastest starting movies I’ve ever seen. Zombies in a manner of minutes (and PG-13 so I can stand the blood). Who can complain about that (plus, there’s the unrated version for all of the people who don’t have problems with blood in movies – WIN-WIN)? Within the first few minutes, there is a car accident (okay, that’s putting it lightly, but there was a car accident involving the MC). Before it, my husband said something along the lines of, “It’s a good thing they have a Volvo.” During it, I said, “That would’ve been MUCH worse if they didn’t have a Volvo.”

Those were the only good ones we got, but they were both immediately followed by my mom making a comment about how, “if he was watching the road and not his kids . . .”

I’m pretty sure there was a cuss word thrown in there. At least one.

Amid zombies throwing themselves off of things, my dad noted, “Zombies don’t have any brains.” I’m taking liberties with that, but imagine it with a southern accent/different word choices.

Those weren’t the ones that got me, and there were a few more zingers throughout (by my dad, as that is his way). My parents’ dog is relentless in his need to go outside when people are paying attention to the television so he can sit there on the rocks and just stare off, but I can’t really complain. It was on the first of those that my mom said, “They all should’ve just laid down and died.”

I asked, “Wouldn’t you fight zombies?”

Her response was, “It’s like you said. They’re just too fast.”

That was my mom’s take on World War Z. Everybody should’ve just laid down and died.

Thought someone out there would get a kick out of it, regardless of not knowing my mom to really appreciate it.

But hey, I thought it was a pretty good freaking movie.

And just a reminder . . .

KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER.

That is all.

🙂

Self-publishing.

Yeah. I’m doing it.

I know, I know. I said I was going to attempt querying and do the whole shebang (get an agent and we all lived happily ever after with a picket fence and 2.4 dogs, er, kids).

Anyone who’s been following my blog for a little while knows I flopped back and forth about it (don’t we all?). I spent so much time weighing the pros and cons of each – carefully and meticulously – until all cons blurred with pros and pros were cons and cons were . . . um . . . what’s going on? That was basically how it went in my head for a very long time, so I told my husband to make a decision on it. I was content with that for about a day or two, and then the mental-flopping began again. I didn’t want to blog about it because I wanted to get it sorted in my head.

I realized, after speaking with so many people, that this was a decision only I could make.

I started looking into cover artists just for curiosities sake and found one that I LOVED.

For about four days, I did nothing but flop around mentally afterward. I mulled over the word author. I’ve said it before that I will NOT call myself one unless the word aspiring is in front of it. Not yet.

One night, I looked up the definition of it. I kind of had a moment. There was no ‘traditionally published’ in the definition, of course. For one of those days, I contemplated over the word – what it meant, what it meant to other people, and what it meant to me.

Rather than focus on pros and cons, I started focusing on why. Why did I want to be published traditionally? What was drawing me to self-publishing despite the stars and rainbows and glitter of the P and the T together?

When thinking about the why . . . it fell into place.

I don’t need a publishing contract to accomplish what I’ve wanted to accomplish with this. All I want is for ONE person out there to love my books – to make an impact on a person the way that some books have impacted me. I don’t need a P and a T together for that. I don’t.

So I made the decision about a week and a half ago and I haven’t looked back since.

There hasn’t been one single flop from me, or even one second of doubting the choice I’ve made.

I don’t like posting things on here unless they’re set in stone. I’m feeling comfortable with sharing now.

I’ve been arranging things with that love-inducing cover artist and the photographer. I love them both. Seriously. Details are being figured out and things are being put in motion.

My editor had to extend the date of finishing my novel, so I won’t have it back until early to mid-October. I’m trying to get everything done that can be done until that point.

As of now, I’m shooting for early December. That’s going to depend on how everything works out, but now . . . I’ll be able to keep you all updated.

It’s so freaking weird having things moving. I spent such a long time feeling like my entire world was at a standstill.

Anyway. No more waiting. It’s time to start letting them go. I’m worried, of course, but . . . I’m feeling good. I’m excited. I never thought I’d be more excited than stressed/nervous, but . . . I am.

Wish me luck. I’m definitely going to need it.

O.O

The strange things people do in their sleep…

I do weird things in my sleep, or so I’ve heard.

It’s kind of funny, when thinking about it, that people who would be in the know about what I do in my sleep never deem it worthy to inform me of those things in a reasonable time frame.

I didn’t find out that I talk in my sleep until I was 22 years old – while my husband was deployed – and walked out into my parents living room one day only for them to ask me, “Were you talking on the phone last night?”

Um, no.

So, after being informed that they’d heard me talking, I decided to call Best Friend. I asked, “Do I talk in my sleep?”

Her response was, “Yeah.”

That was one of those how could I know that if you didn’t tell me?! moments.

Countless sleepovers throughout the years (we used to spend all weekend and nearly every day of summer and school breaks together), and she NEVER TOLD ME.

I’ve been known to sleep with my legs straight up in the air, tickle my arms, and do all sorts of EXTREMELY strange things. I think those two things are enough for anyone to know in that department. Too much, actually.

Yes, I tickle my arms in my sleep sometimes. I know it’s weird. TRUST ME; I know it’s weird.

Talking in my sleep was the most disturbing of things I’d heard I did by far. Needless to say that when my husband was preparing to return home from that deployment . . . I was afraid, despite having slept next to him for however long before that unwanted parting.

I’m unsure how long it took for Husband to inform me that I do not SPEAK in my sleep. I mumble – incoherent words that my brain must know, but not want let out. I’m a mumbler in general though, so I shouldn’t be so surprised. Still, I AM surprised, as my mouth is a constant frustration-inducer (it so rarely does what I want it to). I’ve mumble-sang in my sleep once before. That was interesting to hear about.

After so long of being irritated that nobody deemed these things worthy of telling me, I’m kind of glad now. Husband and I were talking about this a few days ago, and I got so uncomfortable at some of the things I do (the mumbling, which I wake him up doing because sometimes I apparently argue with myself, or some unknown person in my dreams [I call it fair because he wakes me up grinding his teeth and giving me the occasional *knee-jerk* in the rear], heavy sighs that also wake him up [I suppose I’m as discontent in my sleep as I tend to find myself while awake . . . such is the curse of nothing ever being good enough to suit me]) that I’d rather ignore the fact it happens at all.

Now, my husband also does some things in his sleep. There’s the teeth-grinding, which has lessened significantly from when he and I first met. But he, also, talks in his sleep. Not as often as I do, because I allegedly do it nearly every time I sleep, but when he does . . . it’s clear.

While in Alabama a few months ago, he woke me up doing such a thing and the only two words I heard were, “Soul cairn.” He’d been playing Skyrim and he loves video games in general (as do I, but his love for them goes above and beyond). What can I say? There’s not often that I can wake up out of a dead-sleep and laugh my ass off; I usually don’t consider myself awake until I’ve had my eyes open for at least an hour. I did that day. I laughed for several days about that. I’m laughing about it again now.

But there was a one or two week time period about two months ago that was just . . . unprecedented. I’ve only heard him say things in his sleep a few times (which might be due to the fact that I am generally a HEAVY sleeper), so when it happened three times in that time period . . . I don’t even know.

Once, he woke me up laughing. I asked, “What are you laughing at?”

He was dreaming about a dude on skis falling.

Once, while he was napping, I asked him where the extension cord was. He said, “It’s under the fish tank.” This was after we’d returned to Kentucky. Our fish tank is still in Alabama, with our former roommate. He didn’t know he’d said it until I managed to wake him up by VERY firmly saying, “THE FISH TANK IS NOT HERE.” He informed me he was dreaming about the fish tank that time.

The one that will forever stick with me was me walking into the bedroom to inform him I was going over to my mamaw’s to eat potato soup (I believe). He sat straight up in bed and literally almost shouted, “Good day!” at me. I thought he was saying it just to say it, as he seemed completely coherent and being strange/random isn’t off-base for him. Imagine my surprise later when I bring it up and get the scrunched-eyebrows-confused-face and, “Did I really?”

Good day! is now a running joke with us, understandably so.

I’ll probably regret posting about the weird things I do in my sleep, but who really cares?

Hopefully somebody gets a laugh out of it.

Madness.

That’s what the past week and a half or so has been for me. It’s gotten to the point – numerous times – where I’ve just wanted to close my eyes, put my hands over both of my ears, and scream, “STOP THE MADNESS!” Best Friend will get the inside joke there, if she reads this. It’s really not a joke though.

I guess it’s just been one of those, “When it rains . . .” bouts of time.

There’s just been madness in what seems to be every avenue and aspect of my life, ranging from small frustrations, to outright confusion, to absolute discord. A lot of that is my fault, I’ll admit, for being how I am. Such small things from flopping around again about what I want to do with my books, to gigantic things that I have no desire to talk about. I’m pretty sure I’ve got an uncountable amount of new gray hairs that will have to be covered up, just in the past ten days or so alone.

I’ve been hiding in my shed. I kind of realized about a week and a half ago that ‘hiding’ is what I do there, among other things. Being happy, being productive in the only way that I am, etc. I’ll admit without any issue that this past week, hiding has been the main priority there – hiding from life as much as I can. It works a little. Works better than anything else.

But I was struck yesterday that I can’t hide from most things. Acknowledgement, and acceptance.

I – partially intentionally and partially accidentally – messed up my sleep schedule so that I’ll be awake on days for a little while. I can’t write during the day, as I get bombarded with what I’ll politely call distractions. Basically, I’m forcing myself to take a pseudo-break. I’ll still be writing (yes, I’m writing), but I’m going to have to do some other things too. I asked Best Friend and her significant other to hang out with Husband and I tomorrow. I’m going to see my grandpa and have lunch with my parents. I’m going to be getting sucked farther into Diablo III with Husband. I’ve been trying, very hard, to get some things out and dealt with (though it’s difficult due to reasons that I have no control over).

Writing for me, generally, is healthy in most ways that matter (at least to me, which I’ve mentioned recently). But given all the nonsense and madness and . . . ugh . . . other things currently going on around me, I just can’t let myself do what I usually do. Can’t run and can’t hide from everything. It’s not healthy.

Anywho, that’s the reason for the lack of everything on here. I’ve been hiding.

Expect my usual Friday post tomorrow.

I really, genuinely, hope that everybody out there is having a fantastic day. I really do. The world needs a bit more good and fantasticality.

Lions, and tigers, and sex sc – Wait…what?

Ah, the dreaded three letter word that starts with S, ends in X, and rhymes with HEX.

It’s not such a dreaded word in reality (at least not for most people under whichever circumstances), but for writers who are not Romance novelists? Oh yes, that word is SO dreaded. I’m not sticking all of you other writers out there into that little box with me, but I’m definitely in it and I know I’m not the only one.

I have to keep in mind that most of you who read my blog have had zero interaction with me off of here. I email with a few people. I’ve talked on the phone to one person a few times. So yes, the only way most of us all know one another is through interactions on WordPress. In a way, that can almost give you deeper insight to a person than you’d normally get – at least in my opinion. We share our hopes and dreams on here – our pains (not paints, way to ruin a moment with a typo, C), our struggles, and our ambitions. We share our WRITING. I know you all get me on that level, which is fantastic.

I’ve said on here before that I’m a pretty closed off person in some ways. If I know you, I’ll spill my deepest secrets (or the next level above the deepest) to you in a heartbeat. I can be a very open person. But let me give you a little insight . . .

If I did NOT know you, and you came up to me on the street and started rattling off about sex scenes, one or both of my eyes would likely start twitching. I would sweat profusely. I would be polite and say, “Hey, Random Person, this is somewhat inappropriate.” At least I would want it to come out of my mouth that way. It would probably be more like, “Whoa dude, wtf are you doing?”

That’s me.

I’ve written a lot, alright? That type of stuff HAPPENS when you write books, because that type of stuff HAPPENS in real life. I’m a fan of The Cut-Off. If I lead up to something happening well enough, I’m PRETTY SURE your mind can fill in the gaps. It’s my goal as a writer to make that happen. It’s better that way, I think (just my opinion). At least I am better at it that way, which . . . sometime you out there can be the judge of that, if you ever want to be. When writing Young Adult, it’s almost better to do it that way, again in my opinion. And I don’t want to feel like I’d be responsible for a crapton of sexually deviant teenagers running around doing things that they do. Hey, they do it, but I don’t want to feel responsible for it. And I would feel responsible, even if nobody ever accused me of it.

Oh my GOD, ALL THE EVILS IN THE WORLD ARE MY FAULT!!

That’s how my brain works, okay?

There’s a part of me that’s not comfortable writing YA at all, as I cover a lot of subjects in my books that I’m not sure the younger end of YA readers . . . I’m stopping myself there, as I cannot say who should and should not (or would and would not be able to) handle whatever. But I’m less comfortable writing in the adult genre, in ways.

I’ll give you a scenario – it’s a truthful scenario that happens quite often with me while I’m writing (or editing) a book.

I’m sitting there in my shed (I have every intention of posting an entry about my shed on here, so let’s leave the shed at that for now), writing (or editing). Sexy scene comes up. I type (or read/write) a few words. I giggle. I type a few more, put my hand over my face, and start talking to myself (“Oh my god,” for example. “I can’t believe I just wrote that,” for another). I type a few more and giggle again.

It happens.

There are some scenes in some of my books that – I kid you not – will have me nearly rolling around on the ground giggling in uncomfortableness. I do weird things when I’m uncomfortable, if you haven’t gathered.

So yes, adult books have their downside, as The Cut-Off is generally not wanted or accepted.

But I’ll tell you something I learned . . . yesterday? Two days ago? The days blur . . .

I knew that I’d done a relatively decent job with the more ‘intimate’ scenes (not sex scenes) in the book that my editor HAS IN HER HANDS RIGHT NOW. I knew that I had because my husband’s response after reading one of them in particular was, “I felt like I was intruding.”

That’s one of those things where you think about it for a little while, and then nod your head in satisfaction when you’re alone. It must’ve been good, in some way.

I’ve never really felt like that – at least no more than I usually feel when I’m writing. I already feel a level of intrusion into the character’s stories that I’m telling because I feel like I’m telling the life story of some person that has no business being told. I’m giving words to their lives for other people to read.

I have to be honest and say that I finished writing this new trilogy last week. I didn’t want to say anything on here – partially because I’ve been busy (writing and now editing), and partially because I read on a blog awhile back that talking about writing prolifically can make other authors feel bad. I’ve actually been struggling a lot with both that, and the fact that I write full-time (without pay because I have no books released yet . . . give me some time to get everything in place and they will be out there, I promise). I don’t want to make anyone feel any negative thing due to what I’m doing, so I haven’t wanted to be like, “HEY, I FINISHED ANOTHER BOOK!” And then another one a few weeks later. But hey. I have.

Guilty feelings come to me again now.

So anyway, I had to say it so that what I say next will make sense.

I was editing the first book in that trilogy and came upon the actual first legitimate sex scene that I’ve ever written. It was torture writing it, let me tell you. I was pleased with it afterward. I thought I kept it classy (as classy as they can get). I postponed writing it for as long as I freaking could, let me tell you.

Anyway, came upon it when editing.

And by god, if I didn’t feel like I was intruding then I don’t know what that was. Well, uncomfortable, yes. But intrusive. I felt so unbelievably intrusive.

So, after getting through editing it and taking a few minute break afterward to try and fix my brain back into its normal – un-uncomfortable – mode, I sat there and I thought about it.

I’ll never be a Romance novelist. Not ever. Well, I can’t know that for certain, but I know for certain that I don’t want to be. I love the natural romance that happens between characters, but I’m not trying to turn love stories into the pornographacation (*ding* new Non-Word) of a character’s life. I will write and write (and write and write) about things that don’t happen, but I like my books to be realistic enough that the other things can make those unrealistic things believable. And throwing in a bunch of words that people DO NOT THINK into scenarios and DO NOT HAPPEN . . . Where is the believability there?

I’m not writing this to get into a debate about Romance novels. People like them, and that’s cool. I just don’t write them.

What I’m trying to say is that I learned, finally, that I CAN actually write a sex scene if I feel that I absolutely must – if the story, or the characters say, “Dammit, woman, TELL THE STORY!”.

And I’m proud of myself for that because it was such a freaking struggle for me.

But hey, I’m a bigger fan of the leading-up-to anyhow. For the most part . . . I think I’ll stick to what I’m good at when it comes to that sort of thing with writing. I’ll venture out of my box to grow, but . . . yep, done that. Check.

Sorry this was so long, but I haven’t been blogging very much. Pretty poor way of making up for it, come to think about it.

Anyway, if anyone else has had the same struggles – or similar ones – feel free to share. Maybe I won’t feel so ridiculous.

Hope everyone is wonderful out there.

🙂

Now if only I can get over the thought of my mom reading these new books of mine that she’s been asking to read . . .

A new journey is nigh . . .

It’s time to start writing again . . .

The realization that the time was here again hit me a few days ago – Friday night/Saturday morning (depending on your opinion as to whether a new day actually starts until you’ve slept or not). Husband and I had spent a little time with my sister, which was nice, but somewhere along the way I started talking about my books (I’ve just recently began calling it ‘soapboxing’). At some point, Husband went inside and left Sister and I standing out in my driveway. Talk of books slowly bled over into my anxieties – both in general, and where they pertain to my work.

I don’t generally do a lot of talking when I interact with my sister. More of it now than I used to, for sure. But I think that was the most talking that I’ve ever done with her about myself . . . possibly ever. It was nice.

Anyway, there are a few points to this. She basically told me that I’m being irrational about things, which is something I’ve been aware of for an extremely long time. I know when my reactions aren’t ‘normal’, but . . . it’s me.

My realization was that it was finally time. I’ve been losing my mind, and writing is . . . Well, it keeps me sane.

I haven’t been able to write a new story – despite my attempts – since I finished The Big 2 (which is my second series and, after looking through my first yesterday, is the only one worth mentioning). I blamed it on needing to get this series going somewhere – to be able to set it free, or lay it to rest, or do something FINAL with it. Realizing that it is now in the hands of Editor and all that I’m doing is waiting to hear back . . . Well . . . that’s pretty final. I have nothing else to do with it – at least not the first book, which is the only one that I can focus on until it’s OUT THERE (until I get it back, that is).

So I’m finally – in a way – feeling that sense of finality with it. Not with the world, but with those four books and their part in it. I’m torn about that, but it had to happen eventually.

I’ve been going back and forth about WHAT I want to write next. I have a few ideas swirling around in my head, and one of them that I’d started (those attempts at writing I mentioned earlier). But after doing some major self-evaluation where it pertains to my writing – playing to strengths, etc. – I’m just not so sure that I could do a more contemporary-based-in-this-world sort of book, and do it well. I don’t know.

Which is making me look at tonight and my adventure out into my writing shed in a new light. I have about as much idea-wise as I’ve always had when starting out . . . just the basis of SOMETHING. But . . . I’m looking at it as a completely new journey. Not into a new world, which will naturally happen once I get one set up, but a journey into my own abilities and limits with writing. I just might try an experiment – solely for myself.

I’m thinking I might try this absolutely mad concept of working on multiple things at one time. Possibly that experiment while working on an entirely new story. Who knows?

I’m going to have to get much better at multitasking. I’ve already fallen behind (AGAIN) with reading on here, and I’m one day late with my three-day-limit. Could be worse.

I’ll figure something out. Some sort of schedule, or something. We’ll see how that goes.

Either way, it will be new. And no matter the apprehension I feel towards leaving the world that I’m familiar with and love so completely . . . I can’t help but be excited about going on a new journey.

It will have to be good in order to hold a candle (in my heart) next to the old one.

We’ll see. 😉