My Return

Something happened to me this summer that took me out of commission.

Grief.

I haven’t posted in a while because I recently lost my dad.

I really didn’t want to come here with that news. I wanted to just come back with a post that was on topic. But I couldn’t reconcile side-stepping the truth and just waltzing back in here without placing a marker right in this place that states how much the impact of losing him has had on my life.

Gearing up to do this took a while.

I’m not so sure what I was afraid of. In the end, losing a loved one is one of those things that most everyone can relate to, sadly so.  Yet grief, feels like a private, closed up space a person can find themselves hiding in. At least that’s how it went for me.

My truth is that I’ve been paralyzed to move forward until I did this.  Sending out a proclamation to any and all that read here that – my dad was here with me for a long time, loved me, was a pal, protector, example, a hero. Having had him in my life is how God has prepared me to go on without him now. I can only go on to live out my dreams, as I was a front and center witness to the humble, quiet, unassuming, faithful, powerful and out of the box ways that he went about reaching his. The man was a wonder.

So yes, I go forward. Not because I must, but because I’m blessed to. To write, to be a writer, to self-publish.

I may go on to question my talent (hmm, on a daily basis) or my ability to finish my projects —but I can never question my make-up—as I had loving souls who raised me. My parents gave me life (the world, really). They taught me by doing and being the example, and let me watch them so I could learn how to conquer the tiny piece of the world God’s gifted to me.

Here’s the lesson they taught me–

Work for what you want, don’t wait for other people’s permission to go after what you want, have Faith, love those around you, give, be a blessing and believe.

Time for me to put all of this good advice into action!

So while grieving might slow me down some—I’m getting back to work here, my friends.

I hope I haven’t been gone so long that those periodically checking this blog have lost interest and moved on. Still, the work, the writing, will go on.

I’m here, and will continue sharing with you my journey to self-publishing, tidbits from soon (that’s optimism speaking!) to be published novels & novellas, my thoughts and interest on the IR genre.

Thanks to you all in advance for your support! 🙂

When I’m having difficulty writing a post, I often find that locating the right picture to accompany my words can be the final shove of inspiration I need to cross the finish line on completing it.

The picture below made that happen for me as I struggled with this one.

All is not lost –

While he’s not here—my father will always be with me. There’s enough comfort in that to take with me as I keep making my way to reach my own dreams.

Dad's Hand

Advertisements

When Two ‘Rights’ Collide! (Is there an app for that? Also, an update on my ‘write a novella in 30 days’ challenge & where the heck I’ve been!)

Two face - MO2

I needed help. Since my last post on March 15th, I’ve been doing something instead of writing that was the absolute right thing for me to be doing. I’ve been fully engaged and committed in being an advocate and caretaker to my dad. He went into the hospital at the end of December and it’s been five months of terror watching the care system that supposed to help, in his case, do so much to hurt him.  A long story, too long to go into here, and I don’t want to fill up my writing blog with the sad tale. Although, one day I might want to create another blog to express my disgust, anger and disappointment over what we’ve been going through as a family. Nuff said on that topic for now.

The absolute truth is that I don’t regret the time away from here, which was used to focus on doing the right thing of being fully present as a daughter to a man who has been a fantastic dad. I regret that other folks weren’t as equipped or were too negligent to acknowledge how careful they should have been with someone we treasured so.  I’m still a faith-filled, blessed and hopeful person who over the past months have read or seen on the TV news other families going through some really awful situations.  Terrible things, and I pray they will somehow, someday find peace, joy and healing.

The thing is, while dealing with all of the unexpected challenges in my own life right now, I have never stopped wanting to write. That—is another absolute truth I’ve had to stop ignoring, stop putting aside, because I was too mentally or physically exhausted from long days of work and night shifts of being by my dad’s bedside.

Hence, I realized I was bound to two very right things, which were colliding. One of those right things; being a good daughter was getting all of my energy and attention. While the other right thing—living out my heart’s desire to write, to be a writer, to publish stories I think some folks might really like— was getting no time or attention.

There was little while in there when I had real trouble reconciling celebrating my writing successes (yes, I did finish my novella) when I was having so little success in making things better for my dad. Not that I wasn’t putting in the effort to ‘fix’ things for him, but I reached a point where I realized that not writing was not the proper response to the situation I was in. If anything, not writing, was adding to my state of being– helpless. So here I am. Back on my journey, and feeling good to have come out of my writing slump.

This step wasn’t easy, and I recognized right off, to get back on track, I needed help. Here’s the lesson fellow newbies— if you, on your own journey find yourself in the middle of a ‘two rights colliding storm’—get help! I went searching for a writing coach and soon found out they were out of my price range, and many seem to be offering assistance to writers to improve their writing (not that I don’t need that kind of help.J)  Someday down the road, I might seek out a coach to point out for me what I should immediately STOP doing, and what I should immediately START doing! But right now—I need help to just get the words outta me. I needed assistance with time management, direction to find the places in my day to write when my life seemed to be too busy to accommodate my writing. And, of course- I craved that daily encouragement to keep me going at the task. I found it. It’s going to cost some cash, but having joined a supportive writing community with a focus on teaching you how to increase your production, in just a few days, it’s already paying off. I’m writing!

Waiting for a flood of creativity to suddenly appear, wash over me, and make me a writer didn’t. Taking even five, ten, fifteen minutes a day and being accountable for whatever time you do commit to, until I incorporate and adapt the habit of working on my WIPs, is a manageable way of tackling my procrastination problems.

Now—updates!

I did finish that novella in 30 days! Hand wrote it into an 8 x 11 Staples wirebound notebook that is falling apart from being carried with me everywhere I went. I’m happy with the story, and thrilled that I finally have “Tending Deacon’s Garden” on the pages! Yes, it’s going to be a task typing it up, but—I’ll do it!

I’ve sold close to another 45 ebooks —so, yeah for that! I’ll get my new sales totals on here soon. Also, I had mentioned that I would be checking on why I hadn’t received any royalty payments from Amazon—I did that. You have to have royalties of at least $100 before they cut you a check or deposit funds into your paypal account.  I was at $96 and change, so, I should be seeing that money sometime soon. All Romance Ebooks did deposit $18.36 into my paypal last week. Nice.

Well, my friends, I’ve told you my tale. I know I’m not the first writer, and won’t be the last one who has trouble sneak up and overtake them. Maybe someday some struggling writer will happen upon this post, just at the point where they have ‘two right things colliding’. Maybe someone reading right this entry today is wondering if they too can find their way back to writing. Consider this– if you’re going it alone– go out and search for a writing community, my friends!  I did, and ya know what I discovered?  Many authors, new or established—have hardships. They have troubles, they have fear, they have time management issues, they have anxiety. Fears, troubles and anxieties very much like my own. They struggle along, and– they write.

And—they even find time to encourage me to do the same. Just what I needed to get up, dust myself off and get back to work.

FYI, I also revised a chapter in my WIP “I See You” and will do another one this week. I’m back on target to self-publish this year—wonderful!

So – keep writing, people!!

~venice

P.S.—Look out for another one of my freebie shorts this weekend. Just a show of my appreciation for how patient you’ve been with me.

Write Something, damn it! (Newbie Indie Writer Ramblings)

Writing Pencil

Write something, damn it!

O…K…

Her breath hitched, then fluttered like butterfly wings against his neck where her lips grazed his skin.

Maybe that sentence is wonderful, maybe not.

The point is—the writing must NOT stop!

All that I truly know and want is rooted in the words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters and stories I put on a page.

So, why haven’t I been writing?

Stepping into 2013 has been an extended arm-flailing slide on the longest, unexpected banana peel ride ever!

The weekend after Christmas my dad had to go to the ER. Since then, he’s been in the hospital, had a brief, but horrible for his health, stay in a nursing home for short term rehab, then back to ER,  then ICU, and still is in the hospital.  That’s where I’ve been. While my dad’s 83, this turn in his health was totally unexpected. It’s been a whirlwind of crazy—specialists, test after test, sepsis, fevers, colds, catheters, dementia, allergic reactions, a weird bout of him not swallowing anything by mouth…sigh. But my dad is much loved, and me and my sibs are his advocates, which means lots of hours each day spent holding his hand, encouraging him, and wrangling docs and nurses for him to get the best care possible.  It’s been very hard to type or write while doing this.

But, I can’t be the first writer to have some unexpected real life stuff happen to them to mess with their writing.

I wish I could offer up in this post a list of 10 Ways to Keep Writing When the Unexpected Happens.

The thing is–I don’t know five ways, or three or two.

I guess I can only recognize a personal truth. All of my days of living, my personal truth and make up—my dreams, my journey– is connected to writing.

I can’t opt out of writing, no matter how challenging my days get. Writing should be like eating, and sleeping, because it’s as much food to the part of me I’m just now discovering, as a meal is to the part of me I’m used to paying attention to, and caring for.

There is a shift going on, and a call to me that I need to answer. Am I a writer? is the question it’s forcing upon me.

 How can I hope to grow, reach my potential, if I let everything, anything–big or small get in between me and the words on the page?

I believe I know my path, and putting in my best effort to write daily is the best way for me to stay on course. If I can’t get both hands on the keyboard of my laptop or my new ASUS Transformer tablet (my Christmas gift to me!), I’ll start carrying one of the many beautiful writing journals I’ve got in my collection and write with one hand if I have to. If I can’t move forward in a WIP that’s giving me trouble, I’ll sketch out some notes or scene work on another story I’ve got on the to-be-written list.

I must keep it movin’!!!

I’d love to hear the stories of how other people have gone through the unexpected and discovered that putting their writing on the shelf wasn’t the proper response to trouble.  So many of you probably already know what I’ve just discovered—writing is the release, the answer, the healing balm in times of trouble, not just another ‘task’ that can be put off until another day.

In life, I have to conclude– you may have stumbles or falls, but you don’t have to be thrown off your path.

Trail in Temperate Rainforest

And, I’ve missed blogging! Glad to be back 🙂