Sunday, October 30, 2016

New Story Published

The Woman's Battalion of Death is now available to read at Danforth Review.  My bio (at the end) gives you the background of how I came to write this story. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


It’s mid-October and some of my associates are considering NaNoWriMo aka National Novel Writing Month.  Last year I managed to convince myself that shadowing the NaNoWriMo contest concept was for me.  I would write a novel in the month of November.  50,000 words.  It could be done but it certainly takes focus and dedication – every writer needs both. 

I found this essay written at that time. 

Slugging it through this misbegotten project has been hard.  Plain and simple, I’m not cut out to write a novel.  This is not my Moby Dick.  A novel is not this writer’s Holy Grail.                     But I’m not ready to quit the project yet.  I committed myself for the month of November and I will stick it out.  I knew that going in, and made the public declarations of intent that would force me to keep this promise.  If nothing else, I thought, I would learn something in the process.  In short, I have to dig deeply into my bag of tricks.  Long view, I have to find the elements of success that I will take forward.  I am learning how to push through some of my stall points.  I am adjusting my goals to accept those stall points, or to challenge them.  I am slugging it through.   I’ll report my December 1st evaluation.  Then I’ll go back to short stories, my first love. 

This year, again, I attempted a large book project – non-fiction and via the blog method.  It definitely was a challenge.  Liz’s Lymphedema Logbook is the result.  It’s smaller than I first envisioned.  It was harder to write than I first thought and it certainly took longer than a month.  But I made it through and I discovered more writer stamina, and strengthened my tenacity.  I know more about commitment and organizing my time and energy for a project.  I could maybe consider attempting a novel.  However, I still love my short stories, so no NaNoWriMo for me this year.  But the best of luck to anyone participating. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Recognizing Success

I know.  Why wouldn't a person know when they are successful?  Well, here's a couple of instances where I had to really think clearly to see that I was at my goal.  The first came while I was perusing books about writing.  A title popped up that included the promise that a 'rewarding writer's life' could be mine.  All I had to do was buy and read the book.  
Actually, all I had to do was think about this.  Was I being rewarded by my writer's life?  Yes, yes I was. 
I have some lamb in the freezer and the first time I brought out a package of ribs, I said to my dinner partner, aka husband, "I don't know how to cook this." 
He looked at me funny and then I shook my head.  I know how to cook and I must have cooked ribs before.  It isn't rocket science and my days of being anxious about how something would turn out should be long behind me. 
All I had to do was recognize my success in the kitchen.
I'll be curious to see what other successes are right under my nose, waiting for me to recognize them. 
This early snow is starting to melt. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Writing Resources or a Hoard?

Gasp!  I couldn't believe it, but I had to.  My multitude of books, my plenitude of files, my little pockets of 'someday' I'll need it resources, are all examples of hoarding.  Yes.  To think that this happened to me, the ever vigilant anti-procrastinator, anti-clutter advocate. 
I began with a hard look at my writing files.  How many years have I had this and not used it, I asked and many things, were destroyed. Then I did a hard cull in my bookshelves and a large selection was released.  None of this is unusual, it seems every year I do this, which isn't a bad thing. 
However, I was lead to look at this from the other side.  Not what did I want to discard, but what did I love so much that I had to keep it.  Further to this, I began to understand that many of my resources were being kept just in case.  Or worse yet, with the vague and draining words 'someday'.  Who am I kidding here?  I know about someday, it is a false promise.  Worse it is a drain on today.  Enough.
So my writing resources are down to what I love - with a few books set in the decision pile.  Feels good.