Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Insecure Writers and Potential Adoption

I’ve been terrible, but in my defense, parts of my life have been terrible too. Someone I love very much is deep in crisis and I can actually feel it aging me. Almost like being president, except I am powerless, so really it’s very little like being president. Never mind. But it has made writing nearly impossible. I thought I’d attempt NaNoWriMo, knowing I wouldn’t win, but in fact I only wrote one day. I’m buried under it.

But enough of that. You are not here to get a sob story. You are here for SUPPORT! And I support you! I have a few writer friends in the midst of great things and I am thrilled for them. Shout out to Allison Dickson, who not only has a fabulous looking book in August, but has sold film rights. She was a moderately successful Indy author, but this is her first BIG DEAL. Also a shout to Gae Polisner who has done well with her first three YA books, but is now juggling 4 and 5 together to get them out. I’m happy for these successes.

Now for the Insecure Writer's Support Group Content!

And now to this month’s question: What are five objects we'd find in your writing space?
Hmmm… laptop, obviously. Beverage, most often my big water bottle, but sometimes coffee or wine. Stack of notebooks (some for new ideas or story notes, others with previous work storylines—I usually work out plot longhand) and pens. The books that inspire me—there are about 15 on the shelf above my head. And a cat.

Speaking of cats… we found this fellow squatting on our porch Sunday. He ran into the garage and hid and cried, so I brought out a little food and water to coax him out. I left him to be tempted. When I came out to see him eating, he hid again. I gave him a bit of time again. And the next time I came out he approached. He let me scratch him and rubbed around my ankle—he is young—not full grown. Then when I went in he cried and cried. I moved the food and water to our three season porch and made up a little bed. I kept going to check and he was still there. Hubs got home and we talked about what to do. We decided if he was still there in the morning, we’d take him to see if he was chipped, and maybe if he wasn’t, we’d consider adopting. Flash forward, no chip. The vet agreed with my 8 month guess. The vet agreed with my 8 month guess. I posted on our neighborhood site and reported to the Humane Society. We will give it a week. If someone doesn’t call the Humane Society within a week to seek their lost cat, they don’t deserve a cat. At that point we will get his shots and neuter him, but we have moved him into our laundry room for now. He has a bed, a litter box, food, water and cuddling several times a day. He is safe and warm. And importantly, separate from our animals until we get him vaccinated. We are already in love, and he seems to be, too.

I'm taking name suggestions. Right now Bagheera is in the lead, but it doesn't roll off the tongue very well.

Okay, so NOW it’s time to go visit other insecure writers!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Second Time This Week!


Hallo fine peoples! And welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group!

Is everybody holding up on this back to school stuff? Three out of four cities I've lived in have been college towns and I solidly hold to liking those towns better when the majority of the students are absent. Traffic chaos, cluttered sidewalks. How is a girl to read while walking with all these people about?

Okay, and to the question of the month.... What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

Far be it for me to be traditional, but honestly, I've tried both. And I am NOT a great self promoter (which I know you need for both, BUT, for self publishing you need to cover a lot more bases yourself). The book placement is HUGE. Getting it into book stores. There is also the editing process. Collaborating with a publisher is helpful. After my brief run (a trilogy) at self publishing I have determined I am just not cut out for it. I AM however, debating smaller publishers over the two tiered agent process. Maybe it's just because my luck with agents has been rather grim. Though they DO know the publishers and who might want a particular book... So not fully decided. I have 3 books I've thought were ready for a couple years, but the agent process breaks me down every time... I do a round or two and lose heart.

So enough about me... now go visit some OTHER Insecure Writers!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Out of Practice

I've taken such a hiatus from writing that I almost don't know where to start. So why not with blogging? I started in 2009 and blogged with high regularity for a couple years, then it began to dwindle. But I think it was good for my voice. So I think I ought to make a go of it again, even if it is just for me.

DISCLAIMER: I probably ought to throw out there that this effort is more for my writing than my following, if you will, so while I will try to do some reciprocating, my time for that is super limited. I will try to clean up my side bar that tells me who has blogged recently so I can see headlines and get there when there is big news. But I expect I might be disappointing if people count on the regular reciprocity that is part of this blogging community contract.

I've toyed with some ideas as to how to get writing again. One is flash fiction... just exercises, like scales for a musician. So if anyone knows of any online resources with prompts and such, I would love recommendations. Maybe I will alternate that with blogging so I am writing something every day.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Hallo, fine peoples! I remembered!

It's first Wednesday and time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! But first some newses.... On Saturday I am flying to Oregon for some time with my childhood friends. I haven't had a girlfriend vacation in ages and I am so excited. Not to mention I miss Oregon like crazy.

Astoria, Oregon at the mouth of the Columbia


So now for this month's question... What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

Don't rush.

It is so exciting to get that first book done, but that first book is NOT going to look good ten years from now if you don't slow down, get lots of feedback, go through the hoops of either querying a publisher or paying an editor... I know my first 5 books will never see the light of day unless they get total overhauls. I loved those stories, but I had to find my voice and my grounding. I'm glad self publishing wasn't really a thing yet at that point. Or they might be out there.

Take your time to learn the craft and get a feel for the industry. It's okay. It's not a race.

Okay, so that is my wisdom for the day and month... Now you should go visit some other insecure writers!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

I Almost had it then I missed it Completely

Here I am... July 3. Blogging for Insecure Writer's 1st Wednesday, but it got all moved and stuff!  So I will entertain you briefly. I had a birthday recently... and my neighbor got home from vacation over the weekend with THIS awesome present... It's hysterical. Read the fine print.





And it SMELLS so good! The brown end smells spicy and the aqua end smells clean.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

FMD: So I'm a Believer


It took five weeks. One more than the diet says you have to do, but I've hit a stride, in spite of a few tweaks and cheats.

First tweak: (I took this from the FMD follow-up list so it's legit): add cooking oil regardless of phase. Sauteing in broth wasn't cutting it flavor wise, but more importantly, I had some joint aches on those no fat days. Only using fat as cooking oil is not much, but I think it should help that a bit.

Next tweak: Any fruit is fruit. There are a couple that are more sugary, and I don't really eat bananas anyway—a habit holdover from my Weight Watcher days when I had to count bananas double any other fruit. But things like strawberries and peaches are technically only permitted on those carb load days (Monday and Tuesday) but I am also allowing them in phase three because otherwise I'd end up throwing out fruit. I can't eat a whole thing of strawberries in my two days and the rest of the family just doesn't seem to eat them. Plus I love them in my oatmeal, so there.

Last tweak: Nuts are nuts. The phase three says only raw nuts, but I can't see what harm roasted nuts will do if the only ingredients are nut and salt. Not often. Usually my fat is avocado or hummus. But I do love a handful of pistachios now and then.

My cheat attitude: It's not a secret I like a drink or three now and again. I am not drinking often, but I am allowing for social invitation drinking. This week that was Thursday and Saturday. I still followed the eating rules. I just had a couple glasses of wine Thursday night because my buddy had a bad day and so we met at Whole Foods after work, and last night we went to Homes with another neighbor for a couple beers.


As to my conversion...

1) it has gotten a lot easier. I still have to think about it, but it isn't the stressful thing it was at first where I was “Wait, now what?” for trying to eat on plan. I have figured out a few things that satisfy me that might seem a little strange, but they work (like on Phase 2 that is only protein and veggies, my go to snack has become rolling spinach in turkey slices). I mean who would have thought of that for a snack?

2) It's working. Week 1 I only lost a pound and a half. Week 2 I lost 3, but it was a little flukey—like a sudden one day drop of five pound and then up again and it stayed back on most of the next week. Week 3 I lost 2.3 pounds and week 4, 3 pounds. That totaled 9.9 pounds for the 4 weeks. Week 5—catch this... I lost 3.6 pounds. It seems crazy, but I really feel like after 3 weeks of not being sure what I was up to, my metabolism finally kicked in to help and it is no longer just a diet.

You can see the drops down tend to befrom Monday to Tuesday and Friday to Saturday... Every week is lower. And no I don't weigh just over 100 pounds... that is how much MORE than my dream weight I am... Scary, I know.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What's Harder? Erm...


Nobody dive in the gutter. I am double entendreing but neither is sexual at this point in my blog (early days, yet, I know)...

For some context: Welcome to Insecure Writer's Support Group and First Wednesday! So this is what I will get to first. THEN I will talk eating plan (I'm on day 24 gang!) *cough*

As for the writing... say it with me... WHAT WRITING!?

*now for the tears* So many tears.

But I can still answer QUESTIONS about writing, can't I? That's legit. I mean I haven't totally forgotten. I've just lost my discipline. So let's do that.

June's question: What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

Totally character names. Easy peasy.

Know WHY?

VOLUME. 

I only have to hit one title I'm happy with for a whole book and I actually have sort of a knack for it. But you know what? EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER wants their own darn name! Man, what a tedious exercise. I mean I usually do fine with my first 3 or 4, but then I begin to realize they all start with M, or some such nonsense. I need to get clever and have my names mean something. That would help. Or complicate things. One or the other.


These beauties make everything right
Now for the FMD Portion of this blog.

Know what is harder? All the parts that don't allow any fat. Phase I and II are BOTH hard, then I get to Friday and get to add healthy fat (avocado, nuts, olive oil) and suddenly life is smooth sailing. There are hard things about the supposed “soothing days” (soothing, my butt—I may be allowed carbs, but HELLO, no fat! Sooth Schmooth. It's not). And the protein heavy days... GADS! Five times a day and every single time is meat (and vegetables, sure, whatever) but that is a LOT of meat. Add to that the complication that the only meat I eat is turkey and fish. So the hard part is all the no fat part.

Know the irony? Those three days I get to add the fats back in are the weight loss ones. I'm not breaking any land speed records but averaging just over 2 pounds a week--always lost in those last 3 days when I add the fats back in (about 8 pounds so far and I have 4 days left).

I plan to MOSTLY continue, but the lack of fat on those 4 days is making my joints hurt, so I am adding in cooking amounts of olive oil on those two days and allowing myself the occasional social splurge or I will derail. I know myself, and I can do the no splurges for the 4 weeks (though I did have a couple splurges, but not bad), but to go on I need to make some allowances.