That WAS My Jam

Driving back and forth to pick MJ up from school gives the girls and I a lot of time to listen to the radio. As of late, as most of the radio stations have switched to Christmas music all the time. I haven’t been in the Christmas mood at all this year, so I have been avoiding those stations. That only leaves two stations that come in decently for the whole hour trip. As it tends to go, these stations play the same handful of songs over and OVER.

Since the van has an AUX cable, I decided to bring my iPod along yesterday. Normally, I listen to a specific playlist – like for the soundtrack for the current piece I’m working on. Yesterday, I decided to Shuffle All.

It was like a blast from the past almost. There were songs from high school basketball warm-ups, prom theme songs, and songs my one girlfriend and I used to sing at karaoke. Those karaoke songs made me think of all the fun times we used to have at the campground her mom used to work at. We would mini-golf in the summer and do a terrible job cross-country skiing in the winter. In fact, I’m pretty sure we (or maybe it was just me) broke at least one part of ski boots in the process.

One of things I remember best about these times is when she would call me to say a boy scout troop was at the campground and her mom needed “help.” I would find a way to get myself there and we would gossip and goof around all night and then cook and serve breakfast in the morning. Could her mother have done this herself? Of course. But what teenage girl would have passed up these opportunities? Goodness, I miss that girl.

On a lighter note – yesterday, I had an author interview I gave published. I am really excited about this step in my professional writing career. Read it here!

Until next time.

Free Books

I usually never win anything, so when I do, I am super excited. A few weeks ago, I won a mystery book giveaway on Twitter from one of my favorite authors. When the package arrived, I was able to tell there was more than one book in it. I was stoked because this particular author had recently released a trilogy I had not read yet. I thought I would not have to go out and buy it. Yay!

When I opened the package, I will admit I was more than a little disappointed. This really had been a mystery book giveaway. The books were not even by the author who hosted the contest; it was a trilogy by someone else. I read the books anyway – and even put reviews on Goodreads – because who does not love free books? I still would have preferred books by the author I already knew and liked though.

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These are the books I won. A trilogy about werewolves whose change is dictated by the temperature. It was an interesting take on a popular subject. The female protagonist was very hard to like at times because she was rude and disrespectful. The final ending (of the last book in the trilogy) was too neat and tidy. For the story to make sense and have a chance of being “realistic,” someone needed to die. And I knew just who I wanted to die by then…

Thanks for the free books, but next time you are giving away books you did not write yourself, a little heads up would be nice. Maybe I would not have played…Well, that is a lie. Any free book is a good book. And then if you do not like it, and it is in good condition, you can always re-gift it. But SHH…you did not hear that from me. 🙂

Should be Working on Other Things…

Today, as I was driving home from work, I heard a song on the radio that made me very sad. It was not so much the content of the song that touched me so, but the fact that it made me think of a scene in my head.

I have many ideas that I wish I could bring to fruition. I have notebooks filled with outlines, plot summaries, and character info. When it comes down to actually writing, I do well for a while and then peter out. I can achieve maybe one page at a time so any project seems to take forever. The project I am currently working on has the scene that the song today made me think of.

I recently made a Twitter account and started following one of my favorite authors. Today’s tweet of hers had to do with how she hammered out 6,000 words of the novel she is currently working on. All done today! Maybe it is just something that comes with time; the ability to write with that much speed.

This is something I aspire to. Maybe, someday, I will be able to write something “full length” with some kind of speed. I have been published in the college newspaper and in a short story anthology, but it is my dream to have a work that is just my own published. Writing anything of length requires time and determination. The more I work on my piece, the more I realize that it is different than anything I have ever tried to do before.

Poems, short stories, newspaper articles, all these things can be done in short periods of time; weeks at most. Without being able to produce thousands of words per day, I know now that I am in for a long and arduous process.

One of this year’s resolutions will be to give my stories the time and attention they deserve. Of all the BIG wants in my life, this is one of the few still left unfulfilled in any way. I thank CJ for his constant love and support and for not being near as hard a critic as I know he should be when he reads my work.

I have given myself a limit. If any of my work has not made it onto a bookshelf near you by the end of 2017, someone please come kick my butt into gear.