Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hi Everyone,

I missed last month's assignment of introducing myself, so briefly: I'm a former penquin keeper and math professor who decided to pursue writing after my second daughter was born. I've written two novels: a paranormal thriller and historical drama. So far, my publishing history is comprised of several short stories in a sci-fi/fantasy e-magazine.

Hmmm. Either I'm multi-faceted or completely disjoint (or both at the same time). Whatever.

Today, I find myself in a productivity slump. You see, I've gotten into the habit of not writing unless

(a) my children are at school
(b) I have spent an hour checking email and the majority of CNN stories
(c) I am not even slightly hungry
(d) I am not tired
(e) all the planets are aligned to my satisfaction

In other words, I haven't done diddly-squat since early December and the deadline for a new short story is roaring at me like a freaking freight train. To add to the joy, I'm losing this week keeping my eldest daughter company as she battles the flu. (I already missed more than a week with youngest daughter's flu last month). And, AND, the two little boogers will be home for another full week during their completely useless and always stressful winter break.


Okay, I need to get a grip, tell my darlings to fend for themselves for at least two hours a day, and learn to write with distractions. Yes. I can do this. Right? How about you? Under what conditions do you write?

(Note on last month's IWSG. Once upon a time, my youngest had a fever/illness for ten days in a row, so her pediatrian sent her to the ER for fluids and tests. So, when the same scenario started to present in January, I was expecting/fearing the same thing to happen, which would have been highly inconvienent with my husband poised to skip town for a conference. Hence, last month's post.

Now for the funny part. After spending a week hounding the poor tike to drink, drink, DRINK, guess who ending up blacking out, taking an ambulance ride to ER, and spending the night there getting pumped full of IV fluids? That would be me. Love the irony. So drink up, flu-sters!)


  1. Wow, I hope you and your girls are feeling better! It's definitely flu season.

    I used to be just like you. Everything needed to be perfect in order for me to write. I especially had to be alone. *shakes head* We writers are a crazy lot, LOL. I'm much better now. I only write on the weekends, but I'm holed up all day. The rest of the week I'm at the day job. Hang in there, you'll find what works for you.

    Gwen Gardner, Co-Host of the Feb IWSG (and new follower!)

  2. You were a penguin keeper? That's so neat!

    Finding time and the motivation to write is hard, but sometimes all it takes is putting out butts in our seats and shutting out the world. Good luck!

  3. Okay, sounds like you've had even more distractions than me. Even when I find time to write, I notice I tend to procrastinate instead of sitting down in front of the computer. Hope your family (and you) gets well soon so you can get back to writing.

  4. Were we supposed to introduce ourselves last month? Oops, and I missed the whole month so double oops!
    Regarding writing time ... something that works for me is to dare myself to write during the worst possible times. There is something irresistible about pulling to the side of the road to catch a few hundred words of inspiration, or getting up before the rest of the world to finish a story. It is not always possible, but it's cool when I can fit it in and it makes the times when I can really dig in so much more delicious. :)

    I hope everyone gets well and stays well!

  5. Tamara, I'm sorry! You need a month of health.
    Penguin keeper? Like to know more about that!

  6. Plop those kids in front of Frozen, put in some earplugs, and write.

  7. Know what I recommend? Sprints. I see them on Twitter and I also HAVE a facebook group geared toward them (Writing Sprints R Us). I have a really hard time saying "okay, stuff is done, time to write" where I have a much EASIER time saying, "I need to write for an hour--everything else can wait that long". You are invited if you are interested. And thank you so much for your kind words about A Shot in the Light! I needed that today!

  8. Oh gosh, I hope everyone's feeling better. That sounds scary. I like Hart's idea on the sprints. That's a good idea.

  9. Hi there! I'm one of the A to Z co-hosts. I saw you on Alex's blog saying you would be up to being a minion. If no one else has asked you yet, I'd like to ask you if you'd like to be on my team :) You can contact me at csenge att

  10. Thanks for the kind words.

    Alex: Yeah, my years working in the bird house of a zoo would be great fodder for a story. I just need to come up with something worthy.

    Diane: Movies are great at keeping the kiddies quiet. Thankfully, we are over the Frozen phase, but the Disney teen movies are just as cringe-worthy!

    Hart: The sprint idea is a good one. I do need to put writing above other things. I do this with reading, so there’s no excuse.

  11. I used to need a clean desk, clean email account, no dishes in the sink, catch up on my favorite shows...all sorts of excuses. Now I have a weekly goal that I stick to, which sometimes means cramming on Saturday. I like the sprints idea from the comments. I might do those if I ever need motivation.

  12. "a former penquin keeper and math professor who decided to pursue writing" - - - - - You. Are. Awesome. That is all. :) Ha.

  13. Hope all the flu and sickness has passed. And the slump. I often find myself in a sort of productivity slump. I don't have any children to keep me from slumping, but I've got just about everything else and more.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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