Okay, I’ve saved the toughest one for last. Today I’m going to talk about one of the most insidious of enemies – jealousy.
You probably already know how damaging jealousy can be to a romantic relationship. Suspicion and unwarranted anger builds walls between people who care for each other, walls that prevent effective communication and take serious work to bring down. Jealousy can also crack your creativity into tiny shards of meanness that poke you every time you sit down to make your own magic. It happens to all of us. You read in Locus that someone from your writing group just signed another three-book deal, when you only got a one-book deal from the same publisher. You get a phone call from a writing friend who excitedly tells you that she’s been offered representation by an agent who’s previously turned you down. You want to feel thrilled and [...]
Continue reading The Enemies of Our Progress Part Three
Hi folks! I’m not normally here on Wednesdays, but Diana Pharaoh Francis had a family emergency to deal with, so I agreed to step in and take the day for her.
I’m still recovering from a weekend at Atomacon, a brand-new con in Charleston, SC. This was their inaugural weekend, and I’m pleased to say they did very well. Preliminary numbers suggest that they may have made a profit. Yay! I love the Lowcountry, and it tickles me to death to know fandom in the south is growing and strong. I took pictures in the Tardis and posed with R2-D2. I shopped in the dealer’s room. I was interviewed by the charming guys at the Weakly Villain Podcast (my interview isn’t up yet, but keep checking. They also interviewed John Hartness and Emily Lavin Leverett, and I’m excited to listen to their chat my own self!) And of course, [...]
Continue reading So Groovy Now
Remember, remember the Fifth of November, and bring Misty presents and cake!
Yes, today is my birthday. Feel free to drop by with a red velvet cupcake and a few books from my Amazon wishlist. *laughs* I’m being taken to dinner tonight, and I have no plans for blowing up Parliament, even if I do have a famous date for my birthday. I’ve burnt a Guy or two, but only since I’ve been an adult – oddly enough, my parents never would let me set an effigy on fire in the yard. Darn city burning laws…
I’m taking a break from talking about our enemies today, because I’m just too happy to think about those naughty critters that plague us. I am 51 years old today. I know, I’m not supposed to admit my age to anyone (my mother-in-law would be aghast if she knew I was telling you all!) [...]
Continue reading Looking Forward
Oh, how I worry. If my husband is late coming home from work, I worry that he’s had a wreck. If he’s early, I worry that he was fired. If I don’t hear from a friend for a while, I worry that I’ve angered him and we’re not friends anymore. I sometimes joke with people that I worry about them because I was already worried about other things, so it wasn’t out of my way to slide a worry in there for them, too. Most of all, I worry about my work. Is it good enough? Will anyone pay to read it? What if they wouldn’t even read it for free? What if I never get anything else sold to a major publisher again? What if I go the self-published route, and no one cares?
All those worries and fears plant roots in my head, tangled [...]
Continue reading The Enemies of Our Progress Part Two
For the next few posts, I want to talk about a subject that’s always in my mind – the enemies of our progress. It doesn’t matter how much you love to write, or how talented you are, there are certain enemies we all share, enemies that slow us down or even bring us to a halt altogether. Sometimes talking about the enemy is enough to get our brains charged and our typing hands moving again. So I thought I’d spend some time bringing those enemies out into the open, expose them for what they are, in the hope that we all benefit. Today I want to talk about waiting for inspiration.
I don’t know about you, but once upon a time I believed that writers lived in shadowed garrets, drinking wine and staring at blank pages until, at last, the muse deigned to reward the writer’s patience with An Idea. [...]
Continue reading The Enemies of Our Progress, Part One
When I was a kid, I had a habit of daydreaming. Especially in math class, I’d lose interest in what the teacher was saying, and let my mind slip away into a fantasy land of my own creation. That made-up world was as real to me as the one I was escaping. More real, in some ways, since math generally felt like a nightmare anyway. My teachers would fuss at me to pay attention and get back to work. But what they – and I – didn’t know was that daydreaming is far more important and necessary than anyone understood.
In the years since I was mentally running away from solving quadratic equations, a great deal of study has been completed on daydreaming. Researchers have determined that daydreaming improves critical thinking and complex problem solving. It increases concentration ability and short-term productivity. It may seem as if a daydreamer is [...]
Continue reading Daydreaming
When I was in elementary school, we had art class once a week, in the basement of the school building. I loved art. I couldn’t paint or draw particularly well, but I loved the chance to create things out of thin air. One day during third grade, our art teacher sat us down at a big table with humongous sheets of plain paper in front of us, along with a box of crayons. “I’m going to play some music for you,” she said, “and I want you to draw what you think the music is saying.” She placed a record on the player and set the needle down. The room filled with the wondrous sound of what I now know is Tchaikovsky’s Festival Overture in E♭ major, more commonly known as the 1812 Overture. I sat at that table, listening as the music rose and fell, and I started drawing [...]
Continue reading Telling Stories