Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Insecure Writer's Support Group and Celebrate the Small Things

Join the fun here.

Good Wednesday morning, y'all. What's new? Are you tackling the A to Z challenge? Thrilled to see Vilanova win? But first, a big shout out to our host, Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his merry band of cohosts: Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Renee Scattergood, and Tamara Narayan!

(That last one isn't exactly merry as she piles up used Kleenex around the keyboard for the fourth time since Christmas. AAAA-CHOOO!)

April 4 question - When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

Image: barnimages

When your blank screen and mind are in perfect sync, "Om" is pronounced "Ummmm."

1. Tell myself I will write, every day, for at least an hour an hour and a half, no matter how much I hate the words spewing across the screen. I can edit the swill to greatness later. Then get hit with a crisis (see below for example) and put the writing on hold, again.

2. Spend time on research. You can never do too much of this, right? Wait, does this mean I'm supposed to research topics relevant to my novel, or can I just surf at will? I mean, how can you not watch cute cat videos all day when one of your characters might need to own a pet? It's all good.

Image: Viv Lynch

3. Take a long, long, long-long-long walk and try to get into a scene, work through a plot point, or find a character's voice. This can be tough if it's less than thirty degrees outside. If you don't own a snow suit, long showers are also good places to think. It helps to have a water heater big enough to hold Shamu though. 

I interpreted this question as a colorful way to ask what to do about writer's block. I suppose, though, it could also mean: What do you do when your queries go unanswered, book sales are nonexistent, or reviews aren't stellar? Well, my husband likes to put things in perspective. As a math professor, a bad day might mean a run-in with a difficult student, a lecture that went wrong, or a grant that didn't get funded. He consoles himself by thinking, "At least I'm not a surgeon. A bad day for them means someone died."

Alrighty, then.


It's time to celebrate the small things in life with our host, Lexa Cain, and her co-hosts: L.G. Keltner and Tonja Drecker. 

This has been a challenging week for two members of our family and I'm celebrating the fact that they are okay.

1. Fruits and vegetables are really, really good your health

 This past Wednesday, my mother-in-law survived a brush with gun violence in a N.C. Walmart. After picking up a prescription, she was about to head out the door when she decided to check out the produce aisle. Moments later, gunfire was heard outside and the shoppers were herded to the back of the store until the police arrived. Apparently, two people got into an argument inside the store first before moving it outside. One of them had a gun in his car and decided to use it. Two people were injured, but thankfully, there were no fatalities.

2. Mr. M gets a hair cut.

Last Thursday, Mr. M came in from our back deck, dragging one of his hind feet. The foot was bleeding, so I took him to the vet, thinking he must have gotten into a fight with some critter in the back yard. The vet later told me I was right, but the fight most likely occurred several days earlier. A wound on his foot got infected, formed an abscess filled with blood and pus, and this abscess broke open Thursday morning. 

While under sedation, they shaved Mr. M to get rid of several bad clumps of matted fur. Otherwise, he would have torn them out with his teeth. So he may look strange, but the shaving saved him from months of painful tearing.

Today (Tuesday), his wounds are healing and he is almost walking normally. 


If you're a writer, have you experienced rough patches in your career? Has gun violence affected you or your family? Ever nursed a pet back to health?