Sunday, October 30, 2016

Walking and running to clear my head

Exercise has always been there to help clear my head.  I'm a long way away from my sub 20 5ks and 20+ mile runs for fun, but anytime I can get out, I always come back motivated to do anything- EVEN LAUNDRY!

Today was one of those days.  I've been trying to intentionally go out for a walk/run to cover anywhere from 1.5-2 miles on the weekends.  During the week, with school, I walk about a 5k a day (I keep track on my phone), and I use a stand for my computer, so even when not walking, I'm standing at my desk more than I used to.

I managed to get two sets of .25 miles running mixed in with walking for a 1.92 total (those ungounded numbers used to drive me nuts!).  My knee was barking at me quite a bit, but I pushed through the pain.

Pushing through the pain is a lot like pushing through writer's block. It may hurt, there may be some struggle, but no real damage is being done...at least I hope. The knee (and hip) are a long story, but I won't get into that.  Once the pain begins, the block hits back, you have to make a conscience decision to keep going.  The pain comes and goes, and you keep putting one foot in front of the other.  The block obstructs your view of your goal, your plot, but you have to keep typing away, putting one word in front of the other. Eventually, you can continue on with your run/ walk, and get back to that point of enjoyment. When writing, if you can keep putting one word down in front of the other, you may advance the plot enough to get you through it, and get you to a point of fluidity.

Well, that paragraph had nothing to do with my title.  More squirrels playing with the marbles in my head.

I find that as I move, no matter the form, my thoughts ramble on, like a brain dump in a journal, or as I do on Pages on my iPad.  I hit a point where an idea for a poem came to me, just a couple lines, and I typed them into a message to myself as I walked.

Once I got home, ate and drank some water, I felt very refreshed.  I made an adjustment to the faucet I put in a few weeks ago, did a couple loads of laundry, took care of the dishes, played with the cat and cleaned myself up.

What do you do to clear your head?

Oh! Here's Bandit, the newest member of our family.  Like Kona, he's a One By One cat.  Very chatty, very sweet.  We're all still getting adjusted to each other, but it's going really well :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

IPad Pro Writing Set-Up



I was at the point where I needed to get a new laptop.  I was going to go
with a Macbook Air for it's lightness.  My old Macbook Pro was the oldest computer in the house, the battery was lasting only about 20 minutes, and it was just going slower and slower.  One day my wife suggested looking into an iPad Pro and a keyboard.  I was hesitant at first, mostly because of my love of Scrivener.  Was it available for ios (YES!), would it be easy to synchronize with my laptop turned desktop (YES)?

Well, as you can guess, since the answer was yes to both of those questions, I dove right in ordered one.  I also ordered a Logitech keyboard/ case that amazingly hooks up to the iPad via three little connector dots.  Between the and two (case and iPad) it weighs about as much as my old laptop, but for portability, size (smaller in size than my olde lapt opt), and size of the screen (the screen is bigger than I was going to get on a new laptop) AND the fact that writing was going to be just fine on the new digital device, make this, for me, the superior buy.  The battery capacity was just about the same as the Macbook I was going to get.

This is actually the third post I've written on the iPad.  There are some issues with blogger and images that I encountered, but I'll eventually look up a fix for that (hopefully there is one!).  I can get the images in fine via cut and paste, just resizing and moving it around are more difficult.

Scrivener has been awesome once I figured out what I thought was a glitch, but happened only andbecause I had a double of a file.  I won't get into it in too much detail as I may do a total Scrivener post detailing my love for the program and how it works, and how I use it.

So, the iPad has helped rekindle my writing spree, as well as taking the month off from writing. Now I'm working on getting organized for a successful NaNoWriMo!

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Love of the Lune


So, where was I...Oh!  Lunes!  I love lune poetry.  It's such a simple format.  Three words on the first line, five on the second line, and three for the third line. Sounds simple, but it really makes you think about your word choice; it makes you delve deep into your inner thesaurus.  It'll help with wording for picture book manuscripts, too...or vice versa...

The lunes are going well. I got another one added to the file today.  I think I'm at 12/365.  I should go number them now while I remember...and I'm back.  I got distracted by rating Spotify, too.  Yeah, the Lunes.  They're gonna be my next self published book.  I only have 353 left!!!  Woooo!!  Lune A Day...365 Days of Lunes....A Year in the Life of a Lune (ooooh....I like that). I'll go add that to the title now...Done!  I love having this iPad.  I may have to turn this into a post!!  Oh, I'll do that next!!

Yeah, so, this post originated in my Brain Toilet file on Pages on my iPad for my brain dumping, but I like it. Oh, my new iPad will be a post, too, as I got it for writing!!!  Sorry, my ADD is really kicking in at the moment. In fact, I'm using it right now, though I think I have to work on things for being able to effectively write posts on Blogger- any tips?  Let me know!!!!

Oh geez, there I go again...squirrel!

I seem to hear something, or think of that first, powerful three word line, and things flow from there.  It's almost like an association game for me: "What do you think of when you hear...?" And the rest of the Lune slowly comes to me.  I'm going to work on getting at least one done per day.  I had many on my old iPhone on the Hanx writer Ap, but unfortunately, I lost them all then I upgraded my phone- they didn't transfer over with the Ap itself.  I think I lost about 15-20 of them.  I think I'll be able to have them done before a year is up as I don't plan on writing just one per day- of course I may have days where I don't write any.

Do you have a form of writing that you love to write whether you have thoughts of publishing it or not?  Originally I hadn't thought about publishing it at all, but I'm really excited about it now!!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Kona, and Writing

First off, Kona.  Every morning when I wake up, he wakes up and greets me.  He'll rub against my
leg and I'll lean down to kiss him on the head, and many times, he'll return the kiss.  Then I sit for breakfast on my chair along with my coffee and a book.  He'll then curl up on my lap with me.  It's the same when I get home from work, and the same when I sit back down at night.  He has such a personality, whether he's chirping at birds (And using different chirps!), yelling at Jane as she tries to get him off her laptop, or when he's sniffing the air at the window.  He was an amazing cat, a great buddy to have.


Earlier this week, he stopped eating.  He wouldn't get up at all of his spot on a chair.  We took him to the vet, fearing the worse, and got that news.  He had a tumor near his rear legs that was too large to operate on.  We thought he was just slowing down at first, not eating or playing as much.  But Sunday and Monday he hadn't eaten at all.  We had to put him to sleep.  I drove home and got C and M, so they could say good-bye.  Jane and I stayed in the room with him until the end.  The shot only took seconds to take effect- he really was near the end, but at least his last day or two wasn't going to end with him in pain.  He was about 16, and though it feels like we had him all 16 years, we only had him for 5.  And it was a wonderful five years.  We rescued him from a shelter, but he rescued us; he completed our family, and now his loss has left a huge gap.  Every morning, I expect to see him coming to greet me, to say good morning; and every afternoon, when I get home from work, I want to see him again.  

It's been a lonely four days, but we're all healing.  
We spent a lot of time watching the short videos
we'd posted to Instagram, looking at the goofy pictures of him we'd all taken over the years.

So the title is a bit misleading.  I hadn't expected to write this much about Kona, but I guess I needed to.  I'd spoken these words to others, but hadn't written it down.  There won't be anything about writing, like I thought I'd do.

We know we're going to eventually get another rescue, and as much as we'd like to RIGHT NOW, we know it would just be looking for something to help comfort us.  We know we'll wait for a while, to give us time to properly grieve his loss.  He deserves no less.

Kona, here's to you.  Cheers, Kitten Pants!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Self-Imposed Exile From Writing

After listening to Elizabeth Gilbert's podcast (Big Magic) with Neil Gaiman, I decided her advice for a writer to take a month off was what I needed.

My brain had been feeling very addled, confused about what I wanted to focus on, unable to focus on a single project, at a loss for a project I've spent a lot of time on that I was feeling  done with, not wanting to write at all, etc, etc, etc.

I didn't take a full month.  It ended up being about three weeks- shortly after my last post, I guess (the author she was helping out didn't make it a month either).  During that time, I had a lot of the same thoughts going through my head and I even had myself doubting if I even wanted to write anymore, feeling like it had run its course in my life.

But I knew that it wasn't really a wanting to quit, just a frustration over my work.  I have too many stories floating around in my head that I want to put onto paper.

That was part of the problem.  Too many stories I want to write, and they gnaw at my soul, begging, demanding to be released. I've got picture books, early to middle grade chapter books, books for adults ranging from epic fantasy to a historical fiction/romance, and poetry as well.  Within those genres are so many ideas.  Even writing this down I'me feeling overwhelmed.  I have a trusty journal that I jot ideas and stuff in, but I feel even that journal is ready to explode.

Journal in question (sorry it's upside down,
but not enough to correct it).
God, another thing to do just popped in my head, so here it comes.  Tonight at my daughter's keeper practice, I'm going to bring that journal and take out all my ideas from it and put it in a separate journal as that journal has writing, class notes, finances for self-published books, etc in it.  I need a set idea journal.  I need to write it all down; organize it with sticky tabs.  Sorry, if I didn't write it now, I'd forget it in 2 minutes.

So, what did I do today?  I took the story that I love, and have spent time on, had critiqued by critique groups, 12x12, and even paid an editor for help, and, after submitting it to about 35-40 agents, and getting one ask for a rewrite (but heard nothing after the rewrite), I decided it was time to submit it to magazines.  I submitted it to one, but will research more.  I also made massive revisions on the first two chapters of an early chapter book and turned it into one chapter that was more age appropriate; I'd had it geared more for middle grade.

Geez- my brain is back on the previous paragraph (just thought I'd let you all know).

So, that's it- I think.  Happy Writing!!!