Sunday, May 24, 2020

Nose to the Grindstone

It's been raining here for four days now. My little swing out back is totally waterlogged, so Mary and I have been forced to stay indoors. Which is good for getting things done. I finished proofing the galley for A British Heiress in America, wrote 1,000 words a day on the ghostwriting job, and completed my required number of articles for the internet. Things started dropping off my to-do list left and right.


I start each Sunday by creating a to-do list for the week. This includes things relating to my writing life, as well as personal things, like writing thank you notes and dropping things off at the post office. This morning, when I came up with my to-do list, it seemed short. Instead of reveling in the fact I had little that needed accomplished this week, I added another item. And then one after that. Somehow, working under pressure makes the jobs get done faster. I need to wrap the final story in the Revolutionary War series, finish the ghostwriting job, and write my prescribed number of articles. And when I finish those little chores, there's the other low-hanging fruit hanging so close and tempting me daily.

We'll see how it goes. The quicker I can get things done, the more time I'll have for the new project.



Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Lockdown Continues

Even though some of the restrictions in my state have been lifted, I am old enough to know better than to run out to a bar with no mask on and start partying. I'll stay at home a bit longer, thank you.

To make things easier, my birthday was this past week, and by a combination of gifts, I was able to purchase a free-standing swing for my back yard. The directions said it would only take 30 minutes to assemble and my handyman was out of town, so I thought I'd give it a go.

I ended up disassembling and reassembling it twice, since if there was a way to put things together backwards I found it. But I did it! Instead of thirty minutes, it took five days, but here it is:


From my new swing, my dog Mary and I can watch the golfers as they come by. My condo sits at the ladies' tee box of the 11th hole of the course, so we watch the golfers line up, critiquing their swings and their outfits. 

Somehow, staying at home just got a whole lot easier. Mary loves being outside, and I can get away from the computer screen for a while and read someone else's work. Until the weather changes and gets cold again, I'm all for continuing the lockdown from my swing. I hope you can find a way to relax and take in some fresh air, too.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Welcome to the 70s!

My brother and I were chatting a week or so ago, and he mentioned he was planning a cross-country road trip. His reasoning was because gas prices haven't been this low in ages. As he put it, "Gas is down to $1.50 a gallon and my hair's longer than it's been in years. Welcome to the 1970s."

Well put. The Age of Aquarius is upon us. The only thing missing is the Flower Children in Golden Gate Park. We're still a ways off from mass spontaneous crowd gathering.


I sometimes wonder if we'll ever return to the age of incense and peppermints. While I continue to hold out hope, I'll continue to hold my breath as well. In the meantime, I'll lose myself in the Revolutionary War, the western expansion, and a Steven King horror story. And venture out in my Survivor buff only when necessary. 

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Jumping Through Generations

I am usually a very linear writer. One book at a time, one scene at a time, always in logical sequence. Lately, though, I've been anything but linear and logical. Right now, I'm spending my time reworking a Mail Order Bride book set in the 1850s, winding up  my Revolutionary War trilogy set in the 1780s, and kicking around a contemporary seasoned romance, set in present day. As I jump from one project to another, I have to continually reset my brain to the era in which I'm writing. It's been challenging, but never boring. I picture myself wearing a cowboy hat, a tricorn hat, and a face mask, in order to get into the right mind set.

And, as for writing in sequence, that's flown out the window, too. A good writer friend, who writes scenes as she thinks of them and then puts them in sequence, advised me recently that I need to go back and work in some more scenes on the Rev War book. Which means writing out of sequence, since I was already wrapping the story up in my head. She was right, but it meant going back to the middle and adding in some layers, some scenes, to strengthen the story line. Talk about jumping off the precipice! My first attempt at adding a scene between what had already been written worked out well enough, but can I do it again?

We shall see.

How about you? Are you a linear writer or a scene writer? If you're not a writer, what type of reader are you? Do you read one book at a time, or do you have multiple books going simultaneously? I'm dying to hear.