Cycles of Life

It’s been an interesting two weeks. Highs and lows, appointments and responsibilities. Nature and modern life colliding in a symphony of emotions.

I was able to help with the Mobile Writers’ Guild Third Annual Tracy Hurley Memorial Writing Competition for middle and high school students in the area. It was labor intensive, but rewarding and when friends are involved it makes it fun. Thanks to Joyce Scarbrough for her keen editorial eye and snazzy remarks.

My birthday was celebrated this weekend. While it wasn’t a milestone, I’m getting closer to it and the world must smell the opportunity. Offers of increasing my life insurance policy and testimonial sales pitches for health products arrived. But along with those came a birthday wish from my writing mentor, as well as a dozen others thanks to social media. I received hopeful gifts like this, too:
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All in all, it was a fun few days of celebration and surprises.

Then, I spent a day at Dauphin Island beach with my kids and another friend and her family. It was gorgeous, and the sun was kind enough to leave a reminders of the day well spent. There’s also a half-bucket of shells under my desk, waiting for the kidlet to decide she wants them back after gifting them to me.

After the festivities, I received yet another “pass” (that’s the P.C. term for rejection), but not a few hours later, I got this literary road sign from a dynamic, crafty duo to brighten my day and inspire me to keep those literary dreams alive.
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Amazing, isn’t it?

So, while Fernando might currently look like this (and, yes, I did just water him)…
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… I’m still plugging away with my writing. Plus, there’s this beauty of sight and scent waiting for me for the next several days.
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What have you been inspired by—even in the face of discouragement—lately?

New Program

I’m in the hunting and gathering part of writing. This time called “pre-writing” can drag on as long as you feel the need to procrastinate—I mean organize your ideas. As part of the new project, I bought and downloaded a writing program called Scrivener. A Mobile Writers’ Guild meeting a few months ago had a presentation on it and it looks promising.
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If I can get past a document title.

Yes, I know many books are renamed before publication, but for me and my mind, I need a firm title in place before setting down the first words. My titles give me something to draw upon when I’m losing direction. (Case in point: Don’t let your fortitude get corroded.)

I’m one of those people who like to have a title right from the beginning. Usually, titles are easy for me to find during that hunter-gatherer part of my process. Not so this time. Even as my process is stumbling and the title evasive, I can already tell this story is going to be different for me. Perfect time to throw in a new computer program, huh? It’s all going to be a learning experience.

As for now, I’ve got a several research books (and even a CD) on hold at the library that I need to pick up. Maybe one will hold the treasure of a title for my new work in progress.

Highs and Lows

A writing life is full of its own highs and lows and this week, though it’s just beginning, has both.

How do I know?

I’ve already experienced the spectrum of emotions.

Good news first: I passed twenty-five thousand words on the first draft of FORTITUDE. Most days I’m making myself write first thing in the morning and then again at night. That helps me stay focused on the storyline and keeps the characters fresh in my head.

100_2563 Not so great news: my first rejection from a full manuscript submission. The publishing company gave me the opportunity to resubmit after the a few issues are beefed up and praised my quality of writing, but CORRODED is still looking for a home.

Also on the horizon this week is conducting my final meeting as president of Mobile Writers Guild. (I’ll let you decide where that scores on the spectrum.) Members vote for the new officers at the Thursday night meeting. It’s been a learning experience during the two terms I served and I’m ready to pass the mantel on to the next president.

Through it all, I’m working to keep my fortitude noncorrosive. And, yes, the fern on the oak is still alive.

What do things look like in your life?

Accounted For

Monday, December 5, 2011

Accounted For

Yes—I’m still here.
Seems like lots of people took a blog break but hopefully their reasons were productive ones, like National Novel Writing Month. Mine, not so glamorous. My computer froze/died. Rest in peace laptop motherboard… rest in peace.
While waiting almost 30 days (thanks to delayed shipping and then issues in customs) for my built-to-order computer to arrive, I had the not so lovely experience of using my son’s computer. Now, I’ve never had a brand new, factory sealed computer before (this new one is my very first!) but there is something entirely unbecoming about sharing a computer with my 13 year old.
For one thing, I felt guilty asking my son to stop working so I could check my e-mail (or Facebook or Twitter or fill-in-the-blank) so I didn’t disturb him while he was drawing on the paint program—which was often.
And that hand-me-down-hand-me-down-possibly-hand-me-down computer has no sound, which I take full responsibility for. When trying to speed up the computer by trashing “unused” programs a few months ago, I deleted the sound drive/card/whatever. Oops! The fact that my favorite singer, Mitch Malloy, was on tour in Europe last month and posting videos nearly every day was irritating since I couldn’t listen to them. Grrrr. The desktop computer my kids’ use sits about a foot away from the parakeet cage. Nick, Charlotte and I bonded more than I thought possible. Now, whenever I walk into the room, they fuss at me. I suppose they miss our quality time.

I couldn’t upload pictures from my camera or look out my window from the seat.
Syncing iTunes was impossible.
And did I mention I couldn’t listen to the new videos Mitch Malloy posted? Yeah, here’s one for your viewing/listening pleasure:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZO2XmBHRb8&feature=share
I’m back—and faster than ever! And thanks to the help from my IT friend, I didn’t lose any documents or information in the transferring of files from the old hard drive to the new.

Roctober

It’s been another whirlwind month. Mobile Writers Guild events and planning meetings, field trips and social outings for the kidlets, plus my own milestones.
Last week I sent the complete Corroded manuscript to Laurie Halse Anderson. It arrived at her address Saturday the 15th. So the waiting game is on to hear her critique.
In an attempt to keep from thinking about my story being in the hands of one of my writing heroes, I treated myself to a free concert at the National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores Saturday evening.
And, of course, I had another experience! I was able to meet the members of Firehouse before and after the show. The other guys signed the “vintage” flier that C.J. Snare signed at the show on October 12, 1991 (the last time I saw them—20 years ago!) as well as a CD booklet I brought along and the new CD I bought at the show. C.J. still has his voice, Bill wailed on the guitar, Michael hammered the drums, and Allen played a mean bass. They rocked harder than ever!

Love music, love great people! Hang with me if you want to catch Fantabutitus!