I know, you’re laughing at me. It’s the old adage, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” For me, it’s true but not. For me, the grass is greener and it’s cleaner than it has at all over the past few months. But that’s more my personal thing than my writing thing. We’ll cover that too. Writing is also greener too. It’s getting cleaner as well. That’s what happens when you’ve got good people you can work with and bounce ideas when you need it. Which is why I can say– I like my green grass! It reminds me of growing up in Illinois and in North Carolina. The grass was always great to lay down on, allowing you to gaze into the sky while not worrying about killer fire ants like here in Florida. It’s also a sign to me that I’m happy. Things are growing, organizing themselves, and finally, things are simplifying even while complicated. I know that sounds crazy but work with me here– it works.
This past week has been an intense roller coaster. I spent last weekend in Atlanta with my soon to be family. We saw an awesome play performed by my male’s nephew and the teens in the teen actor program at the Alliance Theatre. The play was honestly– spectacular. It was written by the director and the young actors helped flesh out parts of it. It was a funny mash up on fairytales that just delighted the entire audience. I laughed at the various references to shows like Doctor Who, Terminator, and more. Seriously, these kid actors were great and it was honestly refreshing to see this play. It really got my writer’s brain humming- especially after my first week at my new job. Then my soon to be sister-in-law and brother-in-law renewed their marriage vows. Beautiful ceremony. Great reception. My SIL wore her original dress from 15 years ago and looked just as beautiful as she did originally. She’s an amazing woman and I honestly look up to her. Currently, she’s battling stage 4 breast cancer and it’ll be a life-long battle but we’re behind her 110%. She’s doing well and so far, the tests are coming back encouraging this month. Her work is so cool and interesting– I know sometime soon, I’ll have to do a proper interview with her so I can use it for a story in the future. That’s how much I really adore her– she’s got a job that just screams to be used in a book and she’s just so cool as a person, you know you have to have someone like her in a book somewhere. Her hubby is the same way. He always makes me smile. The boys, her sons, are great and I had a great time seeing them. Then we had to fly home before too long since work –and insurance school– was calling our name.
That’s right, not only did I start a new job, so did my fiance. In fact, we started at the same company and we both had to go to insurance school together. No, he didn’t carry my books for me. *Boo hiss* But he was my study partner and let me tell you, this week was one of pure study, more study, and OMG “are we sure we know this” terror. On Wednesday, we took our licensing exam– and passed. It was like a huge weight (think Atlas and the world) was gone. Then I had to get to Friday afternoon. We started our regular training on Thursday and finally at 4:30pm on Friday, I felt like a kid being let out of school. WHOOO HOOOO! I’m out for the weekend! Because we’ve been stressed about waiting about the jobs, my family visiting, going to see his family, going to our first week, then insurance school and the big exam– we’ve been stressed. Hell, I’ve been offline mostly. If anyone caught me-it was on email. That was it. But finally, I was free and I was celebrating. So I did— yeah and then it happened. *grins*
I got it. Yeah– the call. Not THAT call– a submission call from my publisher, Loose Id. It’s for Easter. I’d been teasing one of the bosses about writing them a talking husky story. I have a husky and I adore my Shango to no end. Plus, this particular person has been known to plant plot bunnies in my carefully cultivated hutch– making a mess. Which she’s been shamelessly doing for the past few weeks. So, once I read the call, I got some ideas. Then I hit upon it yesterday– what if I take my husky idea (which was a story I had been thinking on for another call I didn’t get to make earlier this year) and combine it with the Easter idea? Oh yeah– it was plot revenge. Plus it did something I don’t often get to do– combine ideas from stories and reduce the story idea archive. Yay! Cleaning the story archive and making it neater! This is a good thing. In fact, I feel proud of the fact I’ve managed to come up with a way to satisfy both the Easter call and my need to do my talking huskies story. (Granted the dogs don’t really talk– well they do but only the heroine can understand them.)
I’m also doing two other things this month that are coming to an end soon. Both are courses at Savvy Authors. One is a course on Scrivener and how to work the program that I’ve owned now for almost a year and couldn’t figure out at all. The second is a Nano prep course that I’m doing and taking things step by step– doing the needed things to take my first novel I ever wrote apart and will then rewrite it to make it better. That’s my goal for NaNoWriMo. So, things are moving forward. It’s amazing how good that feels inside. So, now I can start back on a regular writing program of 2-3 hours a night doing some kind of writing again. I feel good. Even if it’s only 1-2k a night, I’m good. Especially when it comes to Nano time.
Even the day job is a growth forward. In fact, it’s a huge thing for me because it’s a job I can grow with and improve myself over the years. That makes me happy because it means I won’t have to worry about the insurance issue with my writing. It means it gives me a base for my writing. It provides me with a stability I needed for my writing. It’s not that I don’t want to write full-time– but I am also the person who needs stimulation outside the home to keep growing and learning. This helps so much. This new job makes me happy because it means I can grow as a person and prepare for my elder years in turn. Something to make me happy in the long run. It takes so much pressure off me and my writing that it’s like someone unlocked my brain and allowed my creativity flight. I’m glad at that. Really glad. Inside of me has been locked up for such a long time, but now– now I’ve been unlocked. The stress is so much less. Don’t get me wrong–I worry, I’m a natural worrier type. I want to do my best at my new job and there’s so much to learn, I’m nervous about messing up. Yet, there’s a lightness now. It’s like for once, something is going right and someone somewhere unlocked the door holding me back from so much. My writing is going well again. My search for a better job has ended– I’ve landed the job I hoped for back in February. The ups and downs will always be there– especially with the holiday season before us. Yet, I don’t have the absolute fear and tension I normally experience.
Normally right now, I’m tearing my hair out, thinking on how much I should have done this year, how much I’ve not accomplished, and how I’ve failed myself in my writing. But as I look back at the year– I celebrate the Celtic New Year at Samhain– I realize how much I’ve done this year. If I’m honest, I’ve done more than I thought possible this year. Seriously. I’ve put out two books–self published. I’ve finished Pirate Queen’s Rebellion and Trapped in Christmas Bliss. PQR was picked up by Loose Id. I submitted two short stories this year to Cleis. I’ll find out about them in December. I’ll find out about the Christmas story soon. Either way, I’ve done a lot of writing this year. I’ve blogged regularly for one quarter. I’ve been promoting for almost 2 quarters regularly. I’ve been active within my writer’s group this year. That’s more than I’ve done in TWO years. I’m blown away. Absolutely blown away by what I’ve done.
So, yes, the grass is greener and cleaner over here. I’ve mowed it, trimmed it up, and made sure it was watered and fed. I’m taking care of it and now, I’m ready to enjoy it and work with it more. I don’t know what this quarter will bring– but I’m hoping for more positive things. If this is just a start of how things are moving- I think it’s going to go well. Even if I go insane in the process. LOL
Row80 Update: This week was crazy with my insurance school test. But I did manage to get in my plotting session and some time to rip apart my story for Nano a little bit. Overall, not a lot done, but I’m okay with it. I needed to take this week slow. But now I’m ready to build on what I’ve put down. It means some focused work over the next 2 weeks. I’m willing to do that. Nano prep work and getting the Easter proposal out of the way. That’s my revised quarterly goal. Two books for the quarter. That’s it. Anything else is bonus. The usual promotion and fun goes with the release of PQR and anything else that might be released. LOL But yeah, my writing goal is the two books. One in the old format is about 70k. I have no idea how long it’ll be once I rewrite it. The Easter book– I’m shooting for about 30k. That way I can be a bit under or over and be happy. This coming week– get the proposal written and get the first chapter or two finished for the Easter story. Then finish deconstructing the Nano story. It’s got to be put into Scrivener– so that way I can see what can stay and what can go. That’s my plan. We’ll see how it goes. LOL