Monthly Archives: October 2015

Make Much of Time

autumn leavesIn the book I’m currently reading, the main character’s 57-year-old father says at one point, “I know I’m old…”

No, author, you’re displaying the folly of youth. People in their fifties don’t think they’re old. They think, what the hell happened? How is Steven Tyler almost 70? How could Back to the Future have come out 30 years ago? And if Madonna still looks that good in a leotard, then I couldn’t possibly be older than 29, right?

The older you get, the faster time moves, until finally you don’t feel it moving at all. You think you’ve got time for all the things you’ve planned for today, but then you blink and it’s next week.

I’m finding that I really need to be careful about time, because it gets away from me too easily otherwise. I have to schedule things (especially time to write), or I won’t get to it until it becomes an emergency. I hate schedules, but I don’t have a choice.

I didn’t used to be like this. From the time I was in college, I felt that days were too short, but I managed to get things done. Now, hours pass like minutes. All too often, I want those hours back.

Maybe it’s getting older, or maybe it’s the time sucking properties of the Internet. It’s probably a combination of the two. The older I get, the more I realize that I need to be cognizant of time. Because there’s not as much left as there used to be.

Do you find that time moves faster as you get older? What time management tricks work best for you? 

Image Copyright: funlovingvolvo / 123RF Stock Photo

When You Feel Like A Salmon

Keep swimming.

That’s how I feel these days, like I’m swimming against the current. How do I expand my reach, boost my discoverability factor? There’s a sea of books on the market, a torrent of good stories to choose from. It’s overwhelming. For me as a reader, finding that next great book to enjoy can be a challenge. Do I want romance or mystery? Espionage or intrigue? Do I want an established author or do I want to try someone new?

An indangered Chum Salmon, Oncorhynchus keta, (aka. Dog Salmon) attempts to jump a small dam on the Deschutes River in Tumwater Washington. The concrete in the foreground is the opening to a fish ladder.

As an author, it’s proves a different challenge. How do I reach readers looking for stories like mine? Book fairs, expos, online, social media–potential readers are everywhere, but I can’t be. How do we connect? Word of mouth, freebie giveaways or glittery ad banners?

Maybe I should join Kimberly in her yoga endeavor. Might calm my energy, streamline my thought process. Would probably improve my sleep, too! But seriously, as I find myself counseling my high school daughter on her education going forward, I find myself drawing on the tried and true words of wisdom. “Love what you do.” You’ll be doing a lot of it. “Don’t give up.” The time will pass anyway.

“Stay true to your dreams, and your dreams will stay true to you.” Persistence pays. Perseverance makes you stronger. **breathe** Life is a journey to be enjoyed, right?

Awakening the inner artist

tummy-yoga-400I love a challenge. I love giving myself a clear deadline, daily or weekly goals, and going for it. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with checking that task off my list. And if you follow me on social media, you know I also love yoga.

So when my studio asked me if I wanted to participate in their 30-day challenge — a daily yoga class, thirty days in a row, I didn’t have to think before I said yes. Finally! A valid excuse to wear spandex and Uggs every day.

Studies show that yoga boosts creativity, and I can attest that it’s true. Without getting all new-agey on you, yoga helps me to focus, to quieten my mind from all the millions of distractions I encounter every day. It opens me up for new ideas and thoughts and lets my subconscious takes over. An hour on the mat unknots my plot knots in a way a gym class can’t. It’s the reason I was able to pound out book number three — all ninety thousand words of it — in five short months.

But #yogaeverydamnday?

It sounds great in theory, but I also have a life. I have a family and a job and girlfriends I love spending time with. Can I really commit? Can I really haul my sore and tired bones into the studio every single day for a whole month?

Ask me in thirty days.

Keeping the Lighthouse

I would keep a lighthouse.

Don’t really know a lot about them, about what it takes to keep one, to do the job. I’ve lived my whole life in the precise middle of the United States, unaffected by their charm. They’re a coastal thing, lighthouses.

Toward-Lighthouse-Cottage-6-Month-Lease-Winter-Let

For sale in the UK.

I do understand they’re mostly a thing of the past. Many have fallen into disrepair, not just because of neglected and expensive maintenance needs, but also the advancements at sea that have rendered the use of them less necessary. But find one for me anyway, somewhere—my soul has always been drawn to Maine—with a small vintagey cottage at its trunk. That’s where I’d live, contendedly.

I would operate the beacon of light, I would do my best to navigate others safely. That would come first, at odd hours in the dark I would do my duty proudly. I would do the necessary bits to maintain it all, bringing in help when required, that’s how I would build my circle of acquaintances. And when no light was needed, if everything was in order and I could let it be, I would hunker down into my quiet cottage and write. Just give me WiFi and a stout coffeemaker. Novels and pens and journals. Easy snacks and an open mind, warm quilts and a faded, well-worn decor. I would be supremely inspired — and at peace — in a place like that.

It would be the best of two worlds: work that mattered, paying enough to exist, and living a simple, creative life.

I would keep a lighthouse.

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This post originally appeared January 7th of this year on my blog Woman, Determined.

Remember the Joy

It’s finally out. The Power of Faith When Tragedy Strikes, A Father-Son Memoir by Chris & Terry Norton has been published and is out in the world! Power of Faith for stand 2

Feel that breeze? That’s my sigh of…Relief? Satisfaction? Accomplishment?

All of the above.

When I was done, I published a novella I managed to write during my ghostwriting days, and…
I cleaned out the garage, all our closets, and my office. I’m re-reading my old favorite writing books–Stein on Writing, Techniques of the Selling Writer, The Fire in Fiction–in preparation for the next book in my Kiss & Tell series. But I still felt a little aimless and a whole lot conflicted. What did I really want to tackle next?

The answer came while catching up on my favorite blog, Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s kriswrites.com, and her Business Musings series. The post titled, “Obsession, Delusion, and Writing,” is worth the read. One of her long ago blog posts provided the nudChristyHayes_Kiss&MakeUp_200ge I needed to self publish, and this one–right when I was floundering–got me back on track. I enjoy writing, I enjoy learning the craft, and I want to grow as an author, and that means I have to keep writing and learning, and remember the joy. I determine my own success.

So, I’m getting
back at it now that I’ve cleaned my house and cleared the fog from my brain. I’m not in a hurry because I’m going to remember the joy. And the holidays are right around the corner. And my boy’s a senior. And a thousand other reasons. I’m going to remember the joy in all of it. And you should to.

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