White space

I think I work better without anything around me. I used to have a lot of cute things in my office – stuff from Frozen, artwork I’d made and my friends had made, stacks of books, plus piles of papers, unsorted bills, and other things I’d accumulated. But when we renovated the office area (it’s part of a mother-in-law add-on at our house that we cleaned up for my parents if they need it) I moved everything out. And now all that is in here is a desk, computer, printer, trash can, shredder, desk chair, floor mat, comfy chair, lamp, bookcase that is half filled and orderly, and the little hassock that my printer is sitting on.

I also have my laptop bag, a small stack of pink index cards with the scenes from my work in progress, and three essential oil blends I got yesterday from an etsy seller that are writing related and adorable. Oh, and there’s a desk lamp, monitor, external keyboard, mouse, and two wrist rests.

The desk is packed full of stuff that I really should go through, but other than that, there’s nothing else. And I guess when I write it out it sounds like a lot of stuff, but it’s not, really. And it’s nice. It’s nice to have all this white space around me. Well, the walls are light gray but you get me. It’s very calming.

Of course, speaking of the walls I noticed my new desk chair has made a few marks on the wall behind me and I need to figure out how to get those off.

When I was a junior high kid, I got put into in-school-suspension because I was not doing my schoolwork. Most kids got in there for fighting or things like that but I got it for not doing any homework. The teachers knew I was more than capable, and I guess they didn’t know what to do with me.


The only awkward part was when people saw me at lunch or after school and asked where I was all day and I had to tell them, and I was embarrassed about it. But being in the little room off of the school secretary’s office where the big butcher paper rolls were stored? That was blissful. I just sat there, with no window out and nothing really to look at. The teachers gave me my schoolwork at the start of the day, and instead of having to listen to them lecture about it before I could start working, I could just read the instructions and examples and go for it. Instead of having hours of homework every night that was too bothersome to do, I got it all done in probably an hour and spent the rest of the day reading the novels I’d brought with me. I only got to stay in there for three days, and when they put me back into the classroom, I went right back to my old habits. Poor teachers.

But looking back, I can see that the distractions were hard for me in school. And it was dreadful having to listen to a teacher lecture when I could figure out what to do on my own and just get it done. I still prefer to read something than watch a video telling me the same thing. I really dislike weather videos on facebook. Just give me a few sentences so I can go on with my day. And instructional videos on youtube. No, written instructions please or, you know what? I think I’ll just figure it out on my own.

So, long story short, I didn’t know I had ADHD until just recently, and it’s interesting learning more about myself and my learning styles.

I know this was kind of rambly but that’s also okay.

Marching forward

Oh, the cleverness of me.

Anyway. I was dismayed to see that I posted in January but not February. I mean, having one blog post a month isn’t that lofty of a goal, but I failed. Anyway, on the brighter side, it’s not even the end of March and I’m doing it so we will leave the past in the past and focus on the now.

I haven’t been doing too terrible updating my planner. It’s probably not the best thing that I take my laptop to work each evening, because then I have to hook it all back up on my desk to work, and I don’t really care for that. I’d like the office to purchase a computer so I don’t have to lug mine around, and hopefully that will happen soon. But this is Spring Break so the dance studio is closed, so I can keep the laptop plugged in and not have to mess with it.

I also have a new-to-me TV on my desk, and that’s cool because I’m not hunched over like I was, looking at the laptop. The screen is a little bigger, too. I have new keyboard and mouse because I apparently lost the usb plug in thing for the old one, which is disappointing, but not super surprising. But the keyboard has nice resistance and is very clicky, which I like.

The office is tricked out with new carpet and there’s very little in this room now, which is probably a very good idea for me. I keep glancing out the windows, and I probably need to cover them up and just gosh-darn focus but it’s also nice to look out. I don’t know what I’ll choose. Nothing for now.

There’s no air conditioning at the moment, which doesn’t matter now but will in a few months. I don’t want the old window unit in here now that it’s so nice. I want real central air. I’m going to need to talk to the a/c guy I know and see how much it will take to make that happen. How will I pay for this? I don’t know but maybe something glorious will happen like a book will sell.

In my planner, I have several goals for March. I want to work on my current manuscript, particularly my middle grade vampire novel. I also plan to write a blog post this month, which is going nicely, thank-you-very-much, and to post something on my livejournal. My other goals are to write a poem and to read a novel. I’ve done okay with the one novel reading a month thing. I know it’s not a great goal but it beats my record for last year. I read The Secrets of Winterhouse in January and Under a Painted Sky for February, both by other clients of Rena’s. Hoping to read The Simple Art of Flying in March but I haven’t started yet. I have many more that I purchased with good intentions – most by my friends – but I didn’t feel like I was in the right state of mind. I might still not be, but one a month is working so far. And maybe it will help me get back into that state of mind, so I’ll feel more like a writer and less like a Netflix/Hulu/HBO Max/Disney+ watching zombie.

I have other things on my to-do list. Many of them are for church. One is remembering to pay for web hosting. Hopefully. One is a thing for the theater. I think the things for Easter, for church, are the biggest. I need to get anything ordered that I’m using for that this week so I get it on time. The egg hunt is one of the biggest things we do all year and I’m looking forward to seeing the kids run around and get eggs. We had thirteen in children’s church last week for Pajamas and Pie day and that was good.

I went to a funeral for a good friend from church today. There were so many people there. I wore my mask and so did the guy next to me but we were in a vast minority. Maybe most people are vaccinated now. I think I should still be immune but it’s still a good idea to wear the mask, I think. If nothing else, it makes others feel comfortable wearing theirs too.

Last month I had some small victories. I entered several things in the OWFI writing contest, including one rather saucy limerick, lol. I wonder what they’ll think of that one. I also wrote a first draft of a picture book biography, then went and visited her hometown, then revised and resent to Rena. Hopefully that’s going to be a positive thing.

Here’s what I still want/need to get for my office. Hoping that doing these last few things will help me stop procrastinating and get this show on the road.
–New chair. This chair is 20 years old and doesn’t have a high back. I want one with more support.
–Plastic mat thing to protect the carpet from the office chair.
–Wrist rest for the keyboard and the mouse.
–Microwave for the kitchen.
I guess I want to get some other stuff for the kitchen, like cups for tea and glasses for water, and a dishcloth, but this is the majority of it. I also want to get the porch screened in, but that obviously isn’t going to happen instantaneously or anything. I might want to get a new monitor. This one isn’t as awesome as I want because I can’t seem to adjust the picture on it, and it’s not quite the right size. It’s okay and certainly doable but it’s not awesome. Oh, and I also want to find some kind of piece of furniture to hold my printer. I don’t need a printer until the first of the month though, for critique group. I guess not even then, because we’re virtual for now. But eventually.

Eventually was my 999th word, so now I’m over 1,000. Wish it was as easy to write fiction as it is to blab on here.

Not a real update

Nothing really to add here but I haven’t posted since this summer so now that it’s after Labor Day it seemed like it was right time to do it.

I am still plotting the NEW thing and it’s still a really good idea. It’s difficult to work on though. I think it has something to do with what I perceive as little to no progress in publishing for me. We aren’t supposed to compare ourselves to others but it’s difficult. I have had work on submission for almost five years now. Lots of positive rejections but no sales. It’s hard to identify what I am doing wrong and how to change it. It’s hard to get motivated to write another book when it may all come to nothing, again. I had a goal for several years. Write a good enough book to get an agent. And I stayed motivated and I met that goal. But the flatline I hit after that has not been easy to comprehend or work with.

I believe God has a plan for each of us. Is this not His plan for me? Is that why it just isn’t working out? I have been to therapists about this (and other issues) but I’ve never seemed to find the solution. Is this burnout? Is there a way back from it? I still have hope but I can’t seem to get the fire fully lit under me and I don’t know what to do about it.

Well, that got realer than I anticipated.

Something NEW

I have started something new. I wanted to write it here so I’d remember the date and know that I believe I am on the precipice of something very important.

My current WIP is not going well. I can’t get into it. It’s a good story, and I like the characters, but writing feels too much like work at the moment. I need it to be more fun. The world is in chaos and I want to be able to lose myself to my work, as best I can.

I believe this is a middle grade. I haven’t done one in a while. I am working on the setting. This is different for me, because I feel the need to map out the world and plan out all the characters that live in this world before I even begin writing. I do have a feel for the soul of the main character, at least, although I do not know gender or much else. But I am starting to know who they are. But I want maps and information about all the areas on the maps and information on all the characters and their families and friends. Beyond main and secondary characters, to some degree.

Most times when I write I don’t plot out much. I tried it with the current WIP and I have it all and I know what’s going to happen, but it hasn’t captured my imagination. I don’t know why I feel even more plotting and planning will work, but hey, maybe it won’t. The thing is, I want to design this world and plan this town and all the people. It sounds fun to me. And hopefully when I’m finished I can give the people in it the story I am simmering in my mind.

For now I want to find some good software to build my maps in.

Back at it

Got a few new words yesterday and then plotted out the next scene, which had been proving difficult. Got some help brainstorming from my friend Kim and that proved invaluable.

Today I was so busy, as usual, but maybe my eyes were opened a bit to how busy I actually am and how much I typically do. It’s not really surprising that I haven’t gotten much writing done lately. Today:

…My son woke me up because he missed the vo-tech bus and needed a ride to the county seat, thirty miles away.
…I did my chronological Bible study and also read some of the book of Luke, for a weekly class I’m doing.
…I went to the store and got eye drops since I’ve still got my sinus issue and it hurts my right eye.
…I’m sick, lol.
…I went to see my therapist in Oklahoma City.
…I’m now at work and will be here for a couple of hours. I’m thinking if I get everything done I’ll attempt to write some here.

And I also need to find my daughter’s headshots for an audition Saturday (I hope I find them because if I don’t, doing new ones will take a LOT longer) and I need to get my son’s transcript done for vo-tech. I only have today and tomorrow to get those things taken care of. I’m also having some small issues with the new medication. I’m kind of tingly/numb on my fingers and feet, and my cheeks, and that’s disconcerting. Also, my stomach started hurting last night about this time and now it’s happening again. I ate a cheese stick in the hopes of warding it off if it’s hunger (last night I didn’t eat anything but it went away after an hour or so).

And, not gonna lie, I also watched an episode of The Office because I’ve been listening to the Office Ladies podcast in the car and this one had a few things I wanted to see so I ended up watching all of it, and I played a few rounds of my favorite phone games. And I looked at social media. But not as much as usual, thanks new medication.

And I am fully aware that blogging here is another way of procrastination from my actual work of my novel. But this is infinitely easier, and I feel like I should do it somewhat often.

Tomorrow I’m going to try to write first and then do the rest. I really wanted to do the Bible stuff first, but that has gone pretty well since the first of the year so hopefully I can continue with it even if it’s not first. Writing seems to be the hardest of all, at least for now, so I should do it when my brain is freshest. We’ll see.

busy busy busy

I only thought yesterday was busy. Yesterday turned out to be one of the busiest days of my life.

I didn’t cry. But it was close a couple of times. And everything worked out okay.

I didn’t write. It still feels almost like the universe is conspiring against me to keep me from writing. (And I say almost to be normal but actually it really, really feels like that. But that can’t be right, can it?)

Conference afterglow

I went to the 2019 Spring Conference for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators of Oklahoma this weekend. Originally I was planning to not go. I hadn’t even updated my membership, even though I was still doing some publicity work for the group. I was very blah about the whole thing, and I couldn’t seem to get anything published. Writing was at a stall. I wasn’t even going to my SCBWI Oklahoma meetings, even though I’d always enjoyed them. I went to critique group, but it was a big challenge to go.

So I had a dream, and out of that dream came the idea for the novel I am about to begin writing. I was trying to feel more enthusiastic and writers-ly, so I invited the best writer friend I’ve got, Kim, over to talk publishing and stuff. So we hung out and talked, and she invited me to stay with her during the conference (it was in Tulsa). So I went and registered.

And then she texted me that night, super apologetic, that I couldn’t stay with her after all (for a really good reason so it was all good, but I didn’t know what to do then). Rooms were really high, and the idea of driving to Tulsa sounded so gross. Plus, my family were headed into their weekend crisis time, with one child needed rides to one place and another needed to go other places, and the eldest (who can drive) at work so she couldn’t always be there. Plus I had to get stuff ready for the theater in town by Saturday and I had a whole church lesson to get ready for my children’s church class. And there was a ladies lunch after church and I needed to bring food for that and suddenly going seemed a WHOLE LOT HARDER than staying and so I decided to stay home.


I had told our regional advisor that I would work the registration table, like I always do, and so I needed to text her and bow out gracefully. She immediately asked if it was about the hotel cost and I said kinda, but there was the other stuff too, and then she invited me to share a room with her and the ARA. For nothing. Just couchsurf with them. And even though the other stuff was still looming over head I said yes.

And it was great. I rode with Kim and stayed with the leaders. I helped a lot and the couch turned into a pullout and they invited me to eat with them several times and we got a free breakfast and I spent so little money but came away with a lot. The speakers were lovely and so fun to talk to and I got that delicious sense of camaraderie and creativity that descends on one during writing events.

So now I’m gearing up to start the new novel. I’ve been jotting down ideas in a notebook and I’m getting closer to beginning. Usually I have that perfect first line before I begin, and I’m not quite there yet, but I can feel it getting closer. I don’t have the names of the characters yet but hopefully soon.

Anyway, I got busy talking to my mom and looking at social media tools, so I’m going to get done and take care of that. And then I’m going to keep doing my plotting/planning.

Christmas show

So I finished the play I was adapting this weekend. It’s a version of A Christmas Carol that’s been relocated to our small Oklahoma town. It’s going to be performed at the theater here.

I’m not as stoked as I wish I was. It’s probably because I didn’t really do all that much. I just took someone else’s work and stuck a few fun things about our area into it. I also kind of took a stab at NaNo, but I had to finish the script first, so I haven’t done much. I’m at the point that I could catch up, but I don’t know if I’m going to.

I also have critique group this week, and then a writing retreat weekend, but I’m not super excited about those things either. I’ve been working so very hard to stay excited about my writing, even though professionally there hasn’t been much activity in so very long. I’m ready for some results…like seeing my name in print. Anyway, the enthusiasm is definitely waning. I don’t know what to do about that, either.

Poetry hour

So yeah, I decided I’m going to publish the poems here. I don’t think they’ll be seen by that many people. That’s not my intention anyway.

Honestly, I wanted to reread the first day one a couple of times this week, and I couldn’t, because it was only on my computer. So I figured I might as well blog them and then I can go read them when I want to. Also, makes my blog a little more lively so woohoo.

I went and saw my agent speak this weekend. She did really great. And we hung out for an hour or so and just talked and ate stuff and it was super cool. Now I have some ideas of what I need to do. Got me back on track, I think.

I still gotta write this Christmas play but then I’m going to write all the things. Including some brand new things.

Keep writing, Regina.

Saturday night

This was a crazy week. I’m happy that I’m still getting on here to blog before it’s all done, though. It was crazy because I had so much to do before coming to Lawrence, Kansas to see my agent. She did a reading and book signing tonight and will be speaking at a Jewish writing symposium tomorrow. I also got to hang out with her and eat snacks today, one-on-one, which is always a treat. We talked about a lot of things, and I got some new ideas for my writing. I’m going to make sure to write everything down today so I don’t forget any of it. Talking to her motivates me. I know I can keep doing this. And eventually, we’ll get there, together.

I’m still trying to figure out how to find balance with the things I do voluntarily for others, and the things that are important to me and my writing. There has to be an answer.

I’m still not sure if I want to post my poetry on here or not. I do…but then maybe I don’t? I don’t know why I’m so wishy-washy about that. It’s not like my zero followers will care one way or the other, lol.

I’m not going to write any more here today. Hopefully I will post again soon. Keep moving forward.