Okay… my pantser writing style never ceases to amaze me. I’m writing a story in which my female protagonist enjoys sexual relations with women as long as her boyfriend is with her. He surprises her with a proposal and she assumes there’s no room for that kind of activity in a marriage so she decides to go on the prowl for her first solo woman to woman sexual experience before they get married.
Over the past week or so, I have been stuck trying to determine her journey to meet this woman, while trying to contain the story to be a short one. Then all of a sudden I’m writing a scene where the character is at happy hour with her best friend talking bridesmaid dresses and when the friend goes to the bathroom, their female server hits on the main character, leaving her phone number on the back of the customer receipt!
This month I’ve been looking back over things I’m proud of that I accomplished in 2022. One of the things at the top of that list is getting back into reading. As a author of two published books and working as a librarian, it goes without saying that I love books. However, recent times have caused me to feel like a bit of a fraud when I leaved the phrase “avid reader” in my bio. The truth is that I used to be an avid reader BEFORE I started writing. Now I’m more like a “wannabe” avid reader. Since beginning my writing journey, it seems, I’ve always been in some stage of a writing project. When I would pick up a book, I would soon feel like I should be writing (there’s a podcast that goes by that name, which I wish I chosen as my own!)
Nevertheless, reading is a MUST for me. I need to do it like I need to breathe. And no more matter how tempting it is to come home from work or wake up on a Saturday or Sunday morning to stream the latest popular series on Netflix, I had to make time for reading. It is apart of my writing craft. And I have fond memories of cozying up on the couch with a book. It was something I looked forward to. If you follow my blog, you’ll remember my New Year’s post declaring doing more things in 2023 that bring me joy. If reading didn’t make it list, charge it to my head and not my heart, because it’s there.
Through a combination of physical books and audio books, I completed at least 20 books in 2022. Below are a few of my favorites!
I’m really not a writer who needs “life” shit to happen to me. I BS enough with my writing all on my own. But, of course, “life” shit happens. At the tail end of August, when I was preparing myself for entering the empty nest phase of my life, taking my youngest child to college he selected, my oldest child drops a bomb on me.
“Umm…Mom, me and the girls need to come stay with you for a few weeks until my apartment is ready.”
Okay. I say. What else was there to say? “No. You and my 2 year old and 5 month old granddaughters can not come stay with me temporarily as you and your husband go through this separation.”
No. The reply was not an option. I am a mother. I am a grandmother. I am a helper. I am a nurturer.
Sooooo, for three weeks, I was full time grandparenting while juggling these two part-time jobs, with full time responsibilities AND trying to supply emotional support to my daughter.
It was rough, y’all. And that is an understatement. I literally did not have the mental capacity to write anything. I don’t even think I opened the damned Google doc. If it I did, it was probably to say, “Dammit! Why can’t you edit yourself?”
The three weeks ended. But it took my mind another few weeks to adjust foreign and sudden silence.
AND THEN October came. Me and my sister’s birthday month. Need I say more?
Sooooo, a few days ago when I came up for air, I finally opened the document and actually exhaled. It was like seeing an old friend that I didn’t realize I had been missing.
Seeing my words with fresh eyes was what I really needed. The writing has recommenced.
In my last post I shared my disappointment with missing another self-imposed deadline for July. But I concluded that post with a declaration of getting back to writing. And that’s just what I did. Since that last post, I have writing and revising my manuscript according to new detail that I realized needed to be included in the storyline. Everything was going well until I opened up my Google document and noticed that the last paragraph I added earlier that day had someone duplicated itself into multiple areas of the document!
It was late in then evening. I thought my eyes were deceiving me. So I sat up on my bed and immediately notice that my page count had gone form 200-something to 360.
HUH! Another WTF!
I literally had no idea how this happened. And the worst part is that the platform wouldn’t even allow me to select any part of the chapter to delete it.
My heart sunk! My mind flashed back to a issue I encountered when using the Scrivener software when I started writing this novel. I was nearly done with the first draft when all of sudden that file wouldn’t open! Seriously wouldn’t open. I later learned that I had neglected to update the software for the current version of my MacBook.
I thought working in Google Docs would prevent any craziness from occurring during my writing process but clearly no technology is void of potential problems.
The good thing about Google Docs, however, is that every version of your document is saved soooooo all was not lost–except the 778 words that I had added earlier that day. It wasn’t that hard to retype another what I had already written once I got over the annoyance of having to retype it. Arrgh!
Now, since that foolishness occurred when using a work computer, I have avoided using that computer since. And now, more than ever, I’m closing out Docs and signing out of Google each time I use it. Hopefully, nothing like this happens again.
If you’ve had anything like that happen to you, please share how you dealt with it.
SideNote: As much as I was enjoying using Scrivener, I haven’t used it since. I had no way of knowing when the software was no longer compatible with my Mac so I won’t chance it again.
My poodi (grandbaby) is sound asleep. I should be too, after the day of running behind her, cleaning up behind her, AND baking a decorating, not one, but two cakes!
I was exhausted after the full day and shoujd have been sleep with the baby. However, when you’ve been thinking about the memoir you’re writing all day in the back of your head, you use the quiet time to write. Or research, in my case.
I’m reading through the journal I began the very night that I lost my husband. I remember having the weirdest dream in those early months following his death and I’m sure I wrote it down. As I’m looking for that entry, and reading over my thoughts and experiences during that time, I can’t help but be grateful for the journey God has me on. The entry that I just read which prompted me to make write this post was a passage about my expectation of the good things to come my way following this devastating time in my life. I PROMISE you, I wrote on 2/23/2018 that I was expecting a new job, new confidence, new boldness, new success in my near future. And here I am as of October 29, 2021, about to start a new job, in my new career as a librarian at Royal Oak Public Library. I officially started on 10/4/21. I have some training on 11/3/21. Tears literally filled my eyes writing this, just recognizing how good God is! If you don’t know, NOW you know! #GodisFaithful #’HeWillNeverleavenorforsakeyou #KeeptheFaith
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Letters to Santa Claus. Love letters to boyfriends. Entries to my diaries in my adolescent and teen years. Entries in my journals throughout my adults years.
I went FB Live on Saturday after I moved myself to tears writing a story I plan to submit to Chicken Soup for the Soul. I wrote about my experience of having a stroke, at 44 years old, with no preexisting risk factors. I wrote about the natural inclination to ask God, “Why me? Haven’t I been through enough?”
I ended on the note of gratefulness that the stroke was just one more thing that God has brought me through. His Word doesn’t say bad things won’t happen to bad people. In fact, it says, “In this world you will have trouble.” Following that text says, “but, Fear not, I will be with you.” How comforting is that?
By the time I finished the piece, I knew that, whenever it is published, it will be a blessing to whoever reads it.