Motivation

Is it Christmas yet?

SusanMermaidFriends, I have a confession to make today.  And a story to tell.

Confession: After a summer of industrious writing almost every single day, my writing urge came to a screeching halt.  Sometime in August, I believe. Definitely about a month ago.  Maybe more. I didn’t panic, because I was sure the root cause would be discovered eventually, and we’d get our little writing choo-choo back on track.  And, with the school year started, I’m not exactly eager to strain my back getting pages out. I have Freshmen to train, and Seniors to tame, and a library to run – that is the priority now, until next May. If the writing waits, it waits. I’ll live.

At least, after the CTRWA Cherry Adair workshop last weekend, I do know more about why my story is stalled. Gang, it’s not pretty. Ms. Adair diagnosed my story as “thin”. She had ideas, and my chapter mates backed me up with suggestions for an…
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Refilling Your Creative Well

When the Waterworld Mermaids blog first started three years ago, I wrote a post about the Artist Date and my hobby of making bento box meals for my kids. For those of you who don’t remember, Julia Cameron defines the Artist Date as apintip time used to nurture our inner artist and a way to refill our creative well. (THE ARTIST’S WAY, 20-21).

In the past few weeks, I have found myself in desperate need of refilling my well. Lots of things can suck your creativity dry, some writing-related and some not. Health issues, money problems, fatigue, and the loss of a loved one, to name a few. Rejections, revisions, and less-than-stellar reviews, to name some others.

Whatever your reason, if you find yourself in need of an Artist Date, here are some suggestions:

1. Plant a garden. Buy some potted plants, seeds, soil, planters and dig in. Get your hands dirty. Nurture your plants, day after day, and revel in…
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Self Efficacy: Sexy

Mermaid CarleneHi fishy friends! It doesn’t happen often, but I’m slipping out of my silly mermaid fins and using some of my bigger words today. I hope you enjoy them.

“Your belief in your own ability to do the things you want to do.”

That’s self-efficacy.

Not too long ago, hubby left a ten page article on my desk with a small note: “PLEASE READ”.

The article was by Ian Walker (www.iantwalker.com) and it was about an experience Ian had that made no sense until he discovered the concept of self-efficacy. It was a great read. I encourage you to check it out where it appeared HERE at The Art of Manliness blog. (PS–As a romance writer, I love this manly blog!!!)

Back to hubby’s note. This was rare. I knew he meant, “AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, please.”

Later that day, before I’d had a chance to read the article, hubby let me know he was unhappy at his day job…
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Getting My Butt Kicked

Susan-Mermaid-avatar As I’ve always said before, I generally avoid New Year’s resolutions.  This year, for a change, I made several:

–       I will join a critique group

–       I will allow myself to mentor someone, and ask for a mentor

–       I will submit material for publication

At the January meeting of CTRWA, I was right there with the club’s critique group.  We found much to say about each other’s work (both pro and con) and left feeling we’d encouraged each other in the best ways.  Resolution One:  check.

Also in January, responded to the semi-annual offer of matching Yodas and Grasshoppers.  Don’t laugh – our most accomplished writers are called Obi-Wans.  However, with the snag of a badly typed email address, I didn’t make the deadline for getting matched.  The coordinator felt badly for me and offered herself up, saying she didn’t feel she was Yoda status yet, but was willing to try.

Resolution Two: check.  Mentor achieved,…
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Writing Lessons: What a New Shirt Taught Me About the Muse

“I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

Susan-Mermaid-avatar   I had a “fashion” moment last Saturday.

I’d been to the hair salon for a cut and color – an absolute must before a major holiday!  I’d driven with bestie Colleen to Danbury for shopping.  First, I said, let’s stop for a bite to eat.  Then, I promised, we would attack the mall and our Christmas lists.

But, as I crossed the parking lot, I realized:

The shirt I was wearing didn’t feel “good” on my body anymore, It was too short for the current styles, And it was faded.

We must detour, I insisted.  Just a quick stop at JCPenney, I promised.  Yes, I typically take several hours to decide on anything, but this will be different!  Zipped…
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NaNo for you, but NoNo for me

Susan-Mermaid-avatarThat’s right.  I didn’t do NaNo this year.  The final days of last November brought on a sly, simmering uneasiness about my health.  It was a feeling I couldn’t quite shake, but knew I ignored it at my own peril.  Yes, nineteen years with the unpredictable and unforgiving disorder of MS have taught me to respect my intuition – if you’ve got the shakes, Susan, for God’s sake slow down.  And, if you know me, I’m an all-in or a who-cares kind of girl, and I felt it unwise to  subject myself to another month of NaNo stress.  Writing is meant to be fun.  Why spoil it with another trip to physical therapy?

Instead, I embarked on an entirely different type of insanity.  One where *I* was making the rules (sort of).  In fact, I have been on a writing hiatus this month in order to preserve my sanity (what little I have).  And do you know what?  It sucks.

I’m…
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Blog Day: I have NOTHING to write about!

Denny's MermaidsOh yeah, you’ve been there. Sitting in front of the blank screen, knowing its your day to post and you’ve got absolutely NOTHING to say or you feel that you have nothing to say, or in my case, everything you can think of you’ve said before. It’s like a fog comes over you and all that you think is – I got nothing.

So since I have nothing and have no choice (I hate skipping a day) I decided to research the meaning of nothing…

So I started with the Wikipedia definition – and Jezus – it’s depressing:

Nothing is a pronoun denoting the absence of anything. Nothing is a pronoun associated with nothingness.[1] In nontechnical uses, nothing denotes things lacking importance, interest, value, relevance, or significance.[1] Nothingness is the state of being nothing,[2] the state of nonexistence of anything, or the property of having nothing. (But being a writer, I am gleaming something in the back of my mind…
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Unwind…

Image How can it possibly be August already? Vacations are winding down, and before we know it the kidlets will be back in school. Orientations, school supply shopping, and Back to School nights are right around the corner. As well as soccer/ football/ cheerleading/ field hockey practice/ symphony rehearsals/ robotics and homework. But this year my children aren’t the only ones preparing for a change in schedule and workload… Due to furloughs and the skyrocketing costs of college (I have two teenage daughters) I will be returning to work full time in the very near future. In addition to writing, this summer I have been taking online classes to increase my marketablility in preparation for this eventuality. I don’t mind returning to the workforce. In fact, most writers have a “day job.” But this summer, between the kids, the online classes and certifications, preparing and shopping my resume and trying to fit in writing time… I’ll be honest—my brain is full.


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Oddball Things I’m In Love With This Summer

Happy August! It’s the final stretch of summer and I’m proud to say my entertainment has been that of the unique and charming. I owe a lot of this to the influence of my twelve-year-old son who spends most of his day imitating a young man named Toby Turner. If you have no idea who he is, it is my mission to change that.

Please see my first exhibit and current guilty pleasure–

Cute, Win, Fail on You Tube: Seal Mermaid Dog

 

 

Love TechnicallyNext I have a young man named Sark who’s geeky and he knows it from the smartest, sexiest read of my summer–

Love, Technically by Lynne Silver

Check it out here!

 

 

Sometimes your eyes need a break from all the pint-sized viewing of You Tube videos on iPads and so you take a good, old fashioned, large screen TV break and stumble upon a great indy…
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Who You Calling Crazy?

My love for Mary Jo Putney grew exponentially this month when I heard her speak at RWA Nationals. She received the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award and gave one of the best speeches about the writing life that I’ve ever heard. My favorite line? This one:

You don’t have to be crazy to be a writer, but it sure helps.

*Cue lots of knowing laughter.*

Ah, the writing life. It makes us all a bit batty even if we weren’t before. Why? Well for us planners it’s because we work things out in our heads (or our forrest-killing line of Post-It notes) and then this happens:

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If you’re a freak like me that makes you do this:

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But that never gets the job done, so I suck it up and make a new plan. This is what I tell my characters:

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