motivation

Life After the Six-Fingered Man

Inigo Montoya: Is very strange. I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it’s over, I don’t know what to do with the rest of my life.

Westley: Have you ever considered piracy? You’d make a wonderful Dread Pirate Roberts.

***

The goal of every aspiring writer is to be published.

Maybe that publication comes in the form of a review, an op-ed, an article, a short story, or–*gasp*–even a NOVEL. Hooray! You’ve finally published a novel!

Now what do you do with your life?

Welcome to the Inigo Montoya Dilemma. In The Princess Bride, Inigo dedicated his life to hunting down the six-fingered man who killed his father. After the six-fingered man was dead (spoilers!), Inigo found himself at a loss as to what to do next.

I think every one of us feels that moment in life–after college, after children,  after the marathon, what have you. Writers especially are keenly aware of this. They publish the novel, and…
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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…
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Why Am I Doing This?

I can’t say much about what’s going on in my writing life lately, but I can tell you that I’ve been working harder than ever. Getting up almost two hours earlier so I can have writing time before my day job, squeezing in a little writing at lunch and even jotting notes down while I watch TV at night. Writing on public transportation, writing during vacations, writing on weekends. Writing. Writing. Writing….

I’m exhausted. Although, I’m accomplishing A LOT.

But something happened recently that I can’t share (damn, I’m full of secrets today) that made me pause and ask myself: Why am I really doing this?  The Diva Kerr-ina

My Big Fat Lazy Summer

There are so many things I’m supposed to do by the end of this month. I set myself some goals, people!

And here’s what happens when people like myself set goals…

…they don’t happen. I tend to overwhelm myself to such a degree that I end up accomplishing a big fat pile of zilch.

When I went to Nationals this summer, I walked away feeling reenergized (kinda). I walked away with some new information that would make me a more organized writer. I walked away with the tools needed to put my goals into action. I really just walked (or waddled) away ten pounds heavier. Seriously.

I’m stressed, people! I’m unable to stop putting food in my mouth. I guess part of that I can blame on the lazy days of summer and the fact that I drove cross-country with my five kids who couldn’t gain a pound if they tried. So, yes. I admit that some of my extra poundage can be tossed at the feet of the hotels…
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Lessons from the Playground

Recently, when I went to pick up my children from school, my five-year-old daughter burst out of the classroom, leaped into my arms, and buried her face in my neck. When I asked her what was wrong, she said her best friend had told her, “I don’t like you anymore.”

Wow. It’s hard enough to hear this kind of sentiment as an adult. But for a sensitive five-year-old who has never experienced rejection? Devastating.

I’m happy to say it all blew over. After a little investigation and instruction from the moms, apologies were said, the girls hugged, and now they’re friends again.

Afterwards, my daughter and I came home and had a long talk. About friendships and strategies and coping mechanisms. And what struck me the most about this conversation was how wise I sounded. How, coming from an adult perspective, I could so clearly see the “right” solution to my child’s…
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Look Ma! I have a process!

I was torn about what to write about today. Life has been crazy for me lately and I’ve not had a lot of time to think about blogging here today.

Now, the stuff I’ve been doing is the fun stuff:  incorporating myself as a writing business, signing my contract with Entangled, getting new headshots taken (see one to the right), and filling out the cover art fact sheet for my book (my favorite question was the one that asked what I didn’t want on my book cover.  (The first thing that came to mind was, “cowboys, babies, and the Cialis bathtubs”)

I also received a rejection. Not fun. But after a one-night pity party with the Mermaids, I got back up on Seabiscuit and got to work. I sent that manuscript to another publisher and now I wait.

And the EDJ (evil day job) . . .  let’s not go there.  In…
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The Subtraction

I am a busy person.

Yeah, yeah . . .  so are you, right?  We are all busy.  On my living-my-life list (it is so much more than just a “to do” list)  I fill many roles:   wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, band member, attorney, author, girl scout volunteer, basketball mom, mentor . . .  whew!  I really don’t know how I get it all done but, in the words of the very funny Ron White: “I’ve seen me do it!”

But, I’ve realized that while I’m trying to get it all done, there are some things I’m not doing very well.  And, really – what’s the point of that?  So, since I refuse to make resolutions, I decided to  make a change. I just didn’t know what to call it – and it seemed like something so momentous needed a name. All the biggies have a name, right?

The Apocalypse.

The Change.


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Bad Boyfriends, Old Lovers and Ex-Husbands

Robin Mermaid’s post last week (Love It or List It? Nov. 17) got me thinking.  She had started with a book review, but then she mentioned an unfinished story that was haunting her.  She put aside a project that was giving her trouble when another idea caught her attention.  Now she’s had a chance to take another look at the unfinished manuscript and wonders if she dares to take it on again.  Can she fix it?  Will it change?  Do they have a future?

I know that story all too well, as I’ve had more than one abandoned (relationship) manuscript in a checkered, challenged and generally lackluster (dating) writing career.  There was the hero intent on restoring a vintage Tucker automobile.  The other hero who rode a motorcycle.  The heroine left at the altar (she kept the ring).  The flirtation with inspirational fiction.  The heroine escaping an abusive husband (no, not from personal experience!).

Not one of these stories saw daylight. The floppy disks…
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Love It or List It?

I am an unapologetic HGTV-slut.  I. Love. That. Channel.

It doesn’t matter what is on – I’ll watch anything – but my favorites are House Hunters and Property Virgins.  But, a new program has caught my eye and I’ll definitely be tuning in when it premieres later this month – Love It or Leave It.

The premise is that when homeowners live in a house long enough and they lose the lovin’ feeling the question pops up as to whether they renovate or move.  In this show, two real estate professionals take opposite viewpoints and try to convince the homeowner to either stay in their home or list it for sale.  I think it looks fabulous!

It also reminds me of a recent writing dilemma I had about an old, unfinished manuscript. Now, I’m a little type A (don’t snicker, those of you who know me well) and I just can’t leave things unfinished –…
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Do You NaNo?

Welcome to November 1st, my watery denizens. You know what that means!

Yes, in writerly circles, November 1st marks the advent of NaNoWriMo— National Novel Writing Month. In short, those who sign up (I believe you can still sign up today) pledge to attempt to write 50,000 words in the month of November.

I’m not sure why November was chosen as opposed to say, August, when there are no Holidays and people are expected to go to parties and shop for the holiday season of their choice…but that wasn’t up to me.

My handle on NaNo (as it is affectionately called) is Princess Alethea. I will also be tweeting some of my progress and writing sprints under the #NaNoWriMo hashtag.

I have participated in NaNoWriMo every year since 2005, and I have yet to get to 50,000 words. But I still participate every year, and I am still proud when I look at my word count come December 1st.

Now, there are…
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