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Friends and Family

writers friends

Some of our biggest supporters in life are usually our friends and family. I ran into a friend the other day when I was out running errands. We were both busy but we spoke and she asked me about my writing. She was so positive and upbeat about it, that after briefly talking to her I immediately felt inspired to hurry home and start writing.

 

On the other hand, I’ve had others make negative, snide, or judgmental comments about my writing.

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What do you do when others make those types of comments?

I never expected such  varied responses from people about my writing. Nor did I expect some of the comments to include things like:

  • What do you do all day?
  • Why don’t you have a real job?
  • Do you seriously think you have what it takes to get a book published?
  • You should get a real job…
  • Are you sure you’re qualified to write a book?
  • Some of us have to live in the real world…
  • I thought that was just your hobby…
  • Are you crazy?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 24, 2014 in Family, Friends, Home, Inspiration, Life, Writing

 

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Cover for Camp NaNo Book and other stuff

I am so excited….A fellow NaNoer made the cover for my book for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo which starts tonight at midnight (only 1 hour and 15 minutes away for me)… And I love it!!!!!

My cover… I saw this pic while looking through Deviant Art and she got permission from the artist to use it. Isn’t it amazing! How it turned out! The pic itself! I love all of it! It looks like a real book cover. I am just so excited!!!!!  (Makes me feel like a bonafide writer!!! Once again I’ve changed everything at the last minute! SIGH!!!

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I can’t seem to help myself. I’m using almost the same premise. I’ve changed the character’s names, and the title of the series but not the title of the book. I’m in the process of changing the whole outline to fit the revamped premise and characters… Double work, maybe, but I was reading Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat and realized what I had wasn’t going to work, not the way I wanted it to. Thus the changes. I’m okay with that. It means working on my outline at the last minute, but I’d have been doing that anyway, at least now it will be the right concept, theme, etc for what I want. I’m happier with it now, even though it means more work. But I found a great outlining video over a year ago from Katytastic that if you’re interested in learning more about outlining using the 3 act structure from Snyder’s Save the Cat, or outlining with Scrivener in general, it’s a great start.

Isn’t that the great thing about WriMo though?… You sort of need just a little pantsing to make it fun… At least for me I do. I’ve gone from a pantser to a plotster so I guess I have to throw some pantsing in there somewhere or it’s not fun for me.

I’m in a cabin now, with people near my age bracket (last time I ended up in a cabin with a group of NaNoer’s around my children’s age, which wasn’t really a good thing for me since they are between the ages of 25-14)…I’m happy about that. And our living room is finally finished… YAY! I no longer have my writing room… BOO!! But my son has his room back. He was injured while at bootcamp. He’ll be able to recycle in the next 6 mths, but he has to heal. While he’s healing he’ll be going back to college and is thinking about going in the reserves (Navy or Air Force) instead of going in the Army full time (Can’t say I’m unhappy about that–I’m all for serving our country, but I believe in working smarter not harder and the Army and Marines are definitely in the work harder category).

The pillows on our couch match my writing space...

The pillows on our couch match my writing space…

Red bookcases and desk go well with our updated look.

Red bookcases and desk go well with our updated look.

So here are the pics of my new writing space… Instead of being in the dining room we decided to completely rearrange our living room so that I could have my own little space. We painted the walls, moved everything around, and put our pictures in completely different places so that I could have this space. My husband ROCKS!!!! (Now I just need to paint the hallway and we’re done with the khaki/taupe color and it’s off to figure out what color to paint our dining room and kitchen. I love how our new living room looks.

Ok, I have less than 1 hour so let me get back to outlining. Happy NaNoing and have a great night.

 

 

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16 tons and a cup of coffee

The alarm clock goes off at 4AM now. Before this week I used my own internal alarm clock, which meant I usually woke up after 7-9 hours of sleep. Not now. Now I’m up with the alarm because my husband (affectionately known as Mr. Truck Driver/Mr. Rockstar) has a local job–no more OTR (Over The Road) for a week or more at a time driving  a 16+ ton 18 wheeler. He’s still driving a big truck, but now he’s driving what is known as a tri-axle or a roll-back. I’m a trucker’s wife, a writer, a mother, a grandmother, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a domestic goddess, a photographer, a chauffeur, a counselor, a banker, a secretary, a gardener, a jack of all trades and a master of few since my list could go on and on… 

The perfume commercial from the 80s.and the song…. “I can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan…” comes to mind right about now. 

I don’t work outside of the home. In this day and age, I suppose that’s a rarity.  I never thought I’d enjoy staying at home…being a domestic goddess, which is such a sweeter sounding term than “housewife.”  Before this week, when the alarm clock went off I was up making a pot of coffee, organizing Mr. Trucker Driver’s things to take on the road: his clean uniforms, food “stuffs,” personal items such as towels, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc….and sometimes putting them in the trunk of car while he showered and got ready. By the time he was out of the shower, (usually a long one because it might be a couple of days to a week before he could enjoy the luxury of a long, hot shower again–not all truck stops or yards (as his previous company has) allow for such, and at $11 a shower or free if you purchase a certain amount of fuel (at least $300+ in fuel) he often chose to wait until he got to one of his company’s yards (where the minimum amount of time the water stayed warm was about 5 minutes)  he often went without a shower for a couple of days–Thank Goodness for baby wipes.) 

With a cup of coffee in one hand for myself, and a cup of coffee in the other for Mr. Truck Driver…I’d spend a few minutes with him enjoying the first cup of coffee of the morning (sometimes it was 3 AM, other times it was 5 or sometimes it was Sunday evening and he had the night shift so to speak). An 18 wheeler empty weighs approximately 16+ tons, once you put a “load” in the trailer it goes up from there. I went out on the road with him for 5 weeks total. During that time I enjoyed many cups of coffee over the road. The last week I was with him, we saw a big rig (from his company, one of his fellow drivers) turned over on its side at the foot of the Saluda Mountains in the Gorge. The wind toppled it right over. It looked like a giant had flicked it with the his fingers and it had toppled over just like a domino. I saw various trailers swaying back and forth from the force of the wind while we were out that week, but seeing that truck from his company lying on its side like that in the Gorge made my stomach queasy, my heart wrench, and left me with nightmares. When he got the phone call about the local position and wanted to  jump on it even though it doesn’t have benefits, I supported him in that decision. 

My job(s) wouldn’t allow me to do anything else. His safety and well-being are my primary concern. For some people, going OTR is fun, enjoyable, etc… Gives them a sense of freedom out on the open road…and you don’t have someone hovering over you at work either. But for others, being away from home for a week or weeks at a time is depressing–truckers spend an enormous amount of time alone and that life is a lonely one–it’s not for everyone. It’s definitely not for my husband, who values family above all else. I got that sense of freedom, the beautiful back drops that you just don’t get from an office window, the sense of accomplishment that what you’re doing is important even though others take it for granted. Much like a domestic goddess position. Truckers are often looked down on by others, unappreciated, and taken for granted. Without a trucker our groceries wouldn’t be in the grocery store, our gas wouldn’t be at the gas station…how do you think vehicles get to the car lots, or the items on the shelf in Wally World or the hardware store or the drug store or the parts that your plumber, mechanic, heating and air guy, electrician, contractor, etc use… 

Housewives are also another position that is often looked down on, unappreciated, and taken for granted. Luckily, my husband appreciates every thing I do–from the simple things like making coffee and making sure he has one cup to drink on the way and another for later that he can put in his coffee warmer cup, to the larger things like making sure he has clean clothes to wear and clean towels to use, as well as clean sheets to sleep on or making sure he has plenty of food to eat, including veggies and fruits in that. He also supports my writing, as well as my photography, though I don’t get paid to do either. One day I might get paid for one or the other, maybe even both, but for now it’s something I do simply because I love it, because it’s who and how and what I am–a part of me. 

It’s not often that I spring out bed, I’d need an automatic coffee maker next to my bed that actually handed me my cup of coffee right after the alarm clock went off for that to remotely happen–I’m not a morning person, and neither is my husband, but I do look forward to every day. Do I enjoy doing laundry (yes, but I hate folding clothes), do I enjoy doing the dishes (not at all unless we’re doing them together), but my job(s) keep me sane. If I couldn’t write, or take pictures, or some other creative pursuit I would go mad. Just as staying out on the road any longer than he did would have driven him mad. I’ve had that job that sucks the very life out of you and drains you of any and all joy, creativity, and life. When the moment the alarm clock goes off you’re pissed off because it’s a new day but to you it’s just yet another day of drudgery. That “soul-destroying” job that turns you into a drone.  I ended up with ulcers, stress induced panic attacks, headaches, and an overall piss-poor, grumpy attitude. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

My husband was singing “Take this job and shove it…” yesterday afternoon after he was offered the local position and found out he started this morning. Should he have given at least a one week’s notice? Yes. Do I blame him for not doing so? No, not at all. The company he worked for wanted drone’s. They took the human factor out of trucking, and wanted worker bees instead. No don’t think, or need to eat, or rest, or anything else. They didn’t factor in 10 hour breaks that are mandatory by law, or meal breaks, or weather, or traffic, or the weight of the load, or anything else. They didn’t pay for real miles, or even actual practical miles, but some crazy mileage that only a plane or bird could have actually accomplished…My husband called it “as the crow flies” mileage. A straight line from point A to point B, which is impossible in a vehicle, much less a big rig. The new company he’s going to work for is a small company, thus no benefits yet, but they already know his name. He’s more than just a number to them. He won’t be a drone, he’ll actually be part of a team not just a slogan, and he’ll be appreciated. 

Every time I wash a load of clothes, wash dishes, sweep and mop, etc… I am partaking in an activity that 1. doesn’t get done by itself, 2. is appreciated, 3. gives me physical exercise, 4. gives me a break from my desk and writing while allowing me to be part of the team–our home team. For example, yesterday we both were out in the yard with a push lawn mower cutting our lawn. It was a team effort (once we fix the riding lawn mower things will be easier–we have a large backyard and a decent sized front yard, we could fit a pool, a small barn, a shed or three, and a deck in our backyard and still have areas of grass that would need to be cut). When we were finished mowing the lawn Mr. Truck Driver says to me, “Thank you,” and I ask “for what?” and he replies, “for helping me…for being you,” and that’s all the pay I need.  There’s no place I’d rather be than where I am right now. 

DPChallenge: SIxteen Tons: How do you feel about your job? Do you spring out of bed, looking forward to work? Or, is your job a soul-destroying monotony of pure drudgery, or somewhere in between? 

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2014 in Coffee, Daily Prompt, Family, Home, Life, Writing

 

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Outlining for Camp

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As April approaches I am busy outlining my novel for Camp. It’s called Revelations: Book 1 of the Elioud Legacy. It’s a working title. I’m not sure I like the word Legacy,  (And I need a different picture but that was courtesy of a fellow Nanoer and II’m grateful I have a bookcover. It’s all a work-in-progress.) I’ve been thinking of something else… But we’ll see. I like color coding. I also like the way that you can use the outliner mode in Scrivener. For the first time I am actually putting word count targets for each chapter scene, and section (Part). I know I’ll need to edit, and things will change, but it gives me an idea of what scenes and chapters I’ll need to work on more later down the road.

OutlineI would love to have the majority of it planned out by March 31st. One of my favorite things about Scrivener, is that in the inspector you can put a synopsis for each part, chapter, scene… and it shows up in the corkboard, as well as in the ouline mode. There’s also the project and document notes, which come in handy when there’s an age, date, fact, etc that I need to remember.

Don’t get me wrong, Scrivener doesn’t write the novel for you, but it is magical in a sense. At least to me it is. It allows me to put all of my research notes within my project or I can create a story bible, which I have for the actual Elioud Legacy series. I’ve often thought about how I’d love to switch to Mac, when I can afford to, but honestly, by the time I can afford to I’m pretty sure the Windows version of Scrivener will have hopefully caught up with the Mac version by then.

On a side note…My husband had an interview this morning and got the job. It’s local, so  no more OTR (over the road) anymore. He’ll still be driving a truck, but this one won’t have a 53 foot trailer, but is a roll-back, which is a form of tri-axle (like a big dump truck). Those trucks remind me of the huge yellow Tonka truck my brother and I had as children. GI Barbie often used it to rescue GI Joe and Ken, along with a few other barbies, when I was a child. (As you’ve guessed, my brother and I often played together, and I was determined that Barbie be independent so poor GI Joe was often captured just as much as Barbie was, and they both war camo.) Anyway, at least now my husband will be at home at night and on the weekends and get back into playing his guitar and singing. Perhaps he’ll learn enough new music to start playing acoustic shows again–Rock on!.

Hope everyone had and continues to have a great Monday! I’m going to enjoy my cup of coffee and do some more outlining now that we’ve finished cutting the grass, the yard is clean, dinner’s out of the way, and the laundry is in the washer.

 

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2014 in Home, Life, NaNoWriMo, Outlining, Scrivener, Writing

 

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Life without the internet

For the past week I’ve been without the internet on the road. My phone is a out of order and since I don’t have WI-Fi or Mi-Fi to go I can only use my laptop to write (unless we end up at a truck stop with free Wi-Fi, which hasn’t happened yet). And our brief time home this weekend was spent with family (we finally went to see my parents, brother and nephews. My daughter and grandson came with us so it was a full house but it was good. I won’t be “on-line” this week either. I will have an ass load of pictures to post soon though.

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Visiting family is always great!. I love my family. They’re the best kind of people. Salt of the earth, down to earth, real…They’re both from the country and very Southern. I’m not the slightest bit ashamed to say that they come from family’s who were farmers.

My dad and husband were busy this afternoon grilling chicken…My husband took over the grilling duties so my dad didn’t have to but if you asked my husband he’d tell you that my dad was supervising…Makes me smile deep down inside that they all get along so well. My family loves my husband. And my husband will tell you that his family loves me. To me, his parents don’t feel like in-law’s they feel like family. So we’ve been blessed.

I received some rather disturbing news today, though. My son didn’t qualify for everything during bootcamp and may not be graduating in April. I need to know more. I’m so upset. My daughter is too. We weren’t able to get any details. He was having a hard time with his breathing. (He’s in Missouri and they’re having negative degree temps out there, so I imagine running is extremely difficult in that type of weather anyway…) I’m trying not to worry or allow myself to become all stressed out over it, but I worry that he’ll come back and be depressed and feel like a failure if he doesn’t make it through it. Will they recycle him? Will he be able to finish? What happens now?

I just don’t know and I hate not knowing. My husband and dad were saying that maybe he’s not meant to be in the military and now he can figure out what he wants to do and go back to college. Maybe. Whatever happens with bootcamp I support him and am proud of him for trying.

It’s been a really busy weekend and I’m exhausted. Hope you all have a great week. Till the next time…

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2014 in Family, Home, Life, Traveling, Writing

 

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All through the house

Not a creature is stirring, not even the spouse

The gran is asleep, both girls are too

It’s just me and you…

Family night was a blast, but wore me out–I’m actually too tired and wound up to sleep. Mr. Rockstar/Truck Driver is asleep in his recliner. He feel asleep fifteen or twenty minutes into the the move. The Man of Steel. As I watched it I wondered about how many Superman moves there have been. I grew up watching Superman, Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk (Lou F), Aqua Man, Batman, and a few others. Wonder Woman was a hero in my book. She was strong, brave, and a beautiful female. I wanted to be just like Wonder Woman when I grew up.

As I got older and began to understand that not only would I not look like Wonder Woman, but in real life the only thing I might ever have that was invisible was my deodorant, and that was on a good day. If my life were a movie or a television series, the kitchen would just be clean, the food would put itself away, the laundry would be done and folded and put away without me having to do it all–Laundry, oh you mean someone has to do that? i don’t just have clean clothes? They don’t just put themselves neatly into my dresser or closet?

After being on the road with my husband for the past week we got home and unpacked the car. I checked the mail. I started a load of laundry. I text messaged my daughter to let her know we made it back. Called Mr. Rockstar’s parents to let them know we were back. I opened the bag of dirty laundry and sorted through it. Darks in one pile and lights in another. I took a shower and shaved my gorilla like legs and armpits (yes we showered while we were on the road but I didn’t have the time or luxury to shave) and washed my snarly,knotted hair. After the shower I felt like a real live human being again.

I doubt if Wonder Woman ever had to worry about snarls in her gorgeous, silky hair. After the shower and a clean set of clothes I was ready to tackle the rest of the afternoon, or so I thought. We’d decided to have a family day once we got back from being on the road. Mr. Rockstar would pick up his daughter around 4, my daughter and grandson were coming over, and we were going to go to the grocery store. Get some stuff to cook on the grill. Make some cookies. Get a move from RedBox. We ended up having a delicious meal: steaks, shrimp with onions, bell peppers and mushrooms on the grill. Baked potatoes. Garlic bread, Broccoli with cheese. And squash and zucchini. My daughter made the homemade chocolate chip cookies while my husband grilled the steaks and I watched the little man. (I was also still doing laundry.)

I downloaded the pictures from the week, but I put them on my desktop and the pack-n-play and the baby are in my writing room asleep. I’m on the laptop so I won’t be able to do anything with the pics until I can get to my desktop. Tomorrow I’ll write the official post about my experiences on the road with my husband then. I didn’t get to write as much as I wanted to. It’s hard to write on a laptop when you’re bouncing around, or when the sun’s glare makes it nearly impossible to see the screen, or when…Excuses I know. I had my notebook with me and could have written out a few things the old fashioned wiay–with pen and paper. But I did get some really great pictures and I can’t wait to share them.

Now it’s time for me to turn in. I’ve had a really long week and I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2014 in Family, Home, Life, Traveling, Writing

 

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On the road again

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First stop Summerville, SC then off to Moncks Corner then headed to Williamston, NC. This time I am on the road with the Mister for one month. We’ll be home on weekends (hopefully). Camera, laptop, D-Link adapter, snacks, coffee pot, Dr. Pepper, food,coffee mug warmer, and my new gloves…my fingers are exposed but they have this cute little mitten thing I can use if I need to.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2014 in Life, Traveling

 

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