Well, it's that time of the year. Time where we review the current year and decide where we failed or what was lacking and determine what changes we will make for the new year. I've never been big on resolutions, but I do like determining what I will focus on and specific actions to modify. Okay am I word playing here? Is that really the same thing as resolutions? LOL Well, not calling them resolutions makes me feel better, but here are things I'm going to focus on:
1. I've already decided and made changes to prioritize better. I've discovered that I'm a natural busy body. I have a problem with over-committing myself. Life just isn't right if I have an ample amount of down time. Could be good, except that I believe I mix true priorities. So my top priorities in 2009 are:
a. Health - Striving more earnestly to eat healthier and exercise. Sure, I want to lose 20 lbs still, but I'm getting older and need to be sure I'm healthy. I've already scheduled a January appointment at the doctor for complete physical. Need to get another mammogram done and in 2009, I know I will have fibroid surgery to remove the softball sized fibroid I have. Hoping to put that off until I finish school in August. Periodically, I wake up with mild to severe headaches. Most of the time, they go away 30 minutes after waking. Sometimes I have to take a pain reliever. It happens too many times and I know it's not normal. I need to get to a doctor.;
b. Writing - I need to actually schedule time, just like I schedule everything else. Whether it's daily for a minimum of 30 minutes or 10 hours on the weekends. I need to carve out something where I can settle into the story and not feel rushed. I'm going to write out a plan.
c. Meditation - I plan to focus on being more consistent in my meditation. Clearing my mind and focusing on my thoughts has been beneficial. It has helped me to get in touch with me, to understand myself better, to understand my purpose and my blessings, to focus on the things I want to improve, to change my thoughts and to think positively and more. Some days I can wake up focused on just getting started that I skip meditation. I can always feel the difference.
d. School - Want to focus on school and continue to get good grades and complete my MBA program by the end of August. The good thing is that this is for a set period of time and will be something that falls off the list;
e. Volunteering - This is one of the things I miss. Even though I know I don't have a lot of time, I think it's important to give back and contribute something to my community. I'm looking into something where I can dedicate a few hours of my time a month. Right now, I just want something administrative. When I have more time, I would like to commit to tutoring in either reading or math. I don't want to sign up for tutoring now when I have so many things on my plate and may end up breaking that commitment. But I want to contribute something.
And to focus more intensely on these things, I've already made a little room for them. I've decided to put the article writing on hold and I've gone inactive in my bike club (until I finish school and have the surgery behind me).
So 2009, I'm ready for ya! ;-)
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Well, it's that time of the year. Time where we review the current year and decide where we failed or what was lacking and determine what changes we will make for the new year. I've never been big on resolutions, but I do like determining what I will focus on and specific actions to modify. Okay am I word playing here? Is that really the same thing as resolutions? LOL Well, not calling them resolutions makes me feel better, but here are things I'm going to focus on:
Monday, December 29, 2008
I'm feeling good about the ending of this year. It's been a chaotic one for me, but chaotic good. Like the past four years, I spent the first few months of this year toggling between on and off employment contract assignments. Trying to get on somewhere permanent in my hometown of St. Louis. But frustration set in after the last assignment ended and I decided to open myself up to relocation to selective areas. Within six weeks of doing so, I was packing up to move to Georgia.
Writing-wise, nothing got accomplished through all of this. Through job hunting and interviews, I had been able to write a page or two here and there. All which more than likely was either done away with later or severely modified. It was difficult to get into the space of the story. By the time I got there, it was time to get and do something critical.
Then, I decided to take advantage of work benefits and go back to school and finish my MBA degree. The plan was to completely finish the book first, but no, didn't happen. So then, I was in a place of trying to finish the book while working and going to school. It's moving slowly. Yes, draft one was completed, but the story is currently only plot and dialogue and even with that, is so disjointed, it's still a no-go. So the second draft is going slowly. And I'm feeling that I will need a third draft on this one as well because of the major things I'm fixing and adding in the second draft. But because I've finally come to grips with the fact that I needed to let some additional writing projects fall to the side like guest blogging and article writing.
But all in all, I feel good about going into 2009. That's because of the way I've been blessed to end this year. I'm fortunate in that my job closes the plant between December 19 and January 5th. The original plan in this was to do nothing but write for two weeks straight. But then, I looked at all the stuff around me that added chaos to my life and decided that now was the time to organize. I'm so glad I did. It took a good week to unpack, shelve books, go through stacks and stacks of papers and sort and either trash or store. Still got a few wall hanging to put up but other than that, I feel relieved. I don't feel as anxious. I feel relaxed. Because chaos is not staring me in the face everytime I walk through my front door.
So I'm back to writing now and I'm able to get into my writing space and write without rushing. Even when school and work starts back up January 5th, I feel writing time will be better. It will still be short, but better because I will have quality writing time. I will be able to sit in peace and not have all this stuff hanging over my head, trying to figure out when I'm going to get it done. As much as I tried to block it out before, it interfered with my thoughts.
Hopefully, this will be the longest amount of time its taken me to write one book. But who knows, maybe not. But I'm no longer worried about how long it's taking me. I feel comfortable in knowing that it's within me. That I'm continuing to write while I advance myself and grow. That I continue to indulge in books, the craft of writing, and the literary industry.
Writing is now my life. No matter what else is going on, I know that writing is something that I will always do, no matter what. It's not really a choice. It's something I just have to do....or else I'll die.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Been off since December 19th and I've gotten so much accomplished thus far. Well, first of all, I had about six or seven boxes of books and "stuff" sitting in the livingroom that I'd been wanting to unpack for the longest. Every time I walked through the front door, there they were, staring at me, looking hideous and begging to be unpacked. Since April they've been doing that. But I never had the time. Was I going to sacrifice needed chores, school work, or writing when I was able to get some good quality writing time in? None of the above. So, the first week of my vacation I spent doing all the stuff that I never had time to do. Unpacked and put my books on shelves, sorted through and trashed or filed needed papers... Everything's clean now and it's such a relief.
Now, I'm spending these last few days to focus on re-writes of book three. It feels good to have the time to really get into the mood and feel of the story instead of snatches of time here and there and trying to just add a piece just to make progress. I've had time to go to favorite writing spots and take my time to get into the characters. Vacation has been great!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Whoa! Since August, huh?
Well, the good news is, I finished the first draft. The bad news is...that thing is a mess! It's disjointed, it doesn't flow, and in some places, just plain doesn't jive. I'm thinking now that it just doesn't pay to try to rush something just to get it done. Yes, I had the story all outlined and I was doing only plot and dialogue, so there was going to be a second draft anyway. But I blew through it so fast that it's bound to almost be like writing from scratch just to correct it.
I have issues with characters and their backgrounds and storylines. As with any story and outline (at least in my case), it can change as you get into the story. That's fine, but I kept changing things as a result of the story, but saying I would rectify the character later. Well, I did this a lot. So now...it's a mess.
So, I started school. I'm back in grad school finishing up my MBA degree. If I stay on course, I'll be done at the end of August. With the first class, I had to get used to the scheduling. I swear I was doing 20 - 25 hours of school work EVERY week. We had a paper due every single weekend and team project due of a couple of them. I'm in my second class now and I have a better feel for things, so now I'm working my writing back into the schedule. It's going to go a lot slower now, but it looks like that might be best.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I've been away this time because I'm busy writing. The end is almost near. :-) I'm trying to have it finished at to my agent by the end of this month. Might be away until then.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Yesterday was my blog day on Blogging In Black. Check out my post, "Writers, Get Your Hate Up."
I'm off to Chicago. See you all Tuesday!!! :-)
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Yesterday, I went to Barnes and Noble with the intention to write. I often take my laptop there, pick up a book or magazine, read a little, then write. I skimmed the latest issue of Poets & Writers and the July issue of The Writer. I got a lot of useful information out of it, so I decided to buy the August issue. I used to be an avid reader of Writer's Digest and I've gotten away from it. I think these magazines have brief perspectives on the elements of writing that spark inspiration and drive in writing. I immediately came home and went through my outline to ensure that I had conflict in every chapter. That was one of the articles. It talks about keeping the reader interested in your story once they've gotten beyond your great beginning. The way to do that is to ensure that there's conflict in every chapter. Now, actually, I understood this before. When I do my plot outline, I write it by the major action of each character in that chapter. However, I wasn't specifically focused on the level of conflict in that chapter. I think this focus will help me to improve the story.
Um...it also had an article on, basically, writer procrastination. But hey, I did go home and get my writing in. :-)
I think it's time to subcribe to writing magazines since Zinio doesn't offer a digital version. :-( I have a couple of subscriptions there and it's great! You can read your magazines online or download them yourself. I like it because I can keep my magazines on file instead of trying to keep a physical copy around when I want to save an article, which usually adds up to clutter. So, guess I will have to have actually magazines delivered. How old school is that?!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Made it through another week and another two chapters. I've finally found my writing rhythm in Georgia. :-) During the week, I get up and write a little before work, but I'm finding that a bulk of my writing is on the weekends. I'm inching along on the novel, but moving nonetheless. Moreso that I've had the time to do over the last couple of years.
I'm also reading while I go. Reading books on writing. What I'm reading now is Hooked, by Les Edgerton. I'm at the beginning, reading a few pages before I write or at night before I go to bed. It's very interesting to me so far. Les talks about the change in story structure over time and I'm finding it quite true. It correlates to what I've learned in writing courses as well as being a published author. He's talking about stories staring with an inciting incident, then following through with the protagonist trying to reach resolution. Backstory and narrative being primarily throughout the story, rather than the big set up at the beginning of the story and with each scene.
Before I even picked up this book, this is what I was striving to do with my current novel. I got a lot of feedback on the descriptions in my first two novel. Yet, I also got feedback because it was "slow to start." At the time, I honestly couldn't understand it, because I felt I needed it to get readers to understand the characters and their motives. NOW, I see where I can jump right into the story, and insert background in small spurts as I go.
I'm getting to see how fun it is to try to improve and change with each book you write. It's like each one is a stepping stone and an evaluation tool for the next one in determining how to make your writing better.
I'm looking forward to another writing weekend and to completing more chapters!
Saturday, July 19, 2008
I'm like having the most relaxing morning ever! I don't think I've had a morning since I've been here where I'm not getting up, ripping and running all day, doing this and that, then trying to squeeze in some writing. So this weekend, it's reversed. I'm having my coffee and 8:30AM. I'm sitting here calmly drinking it, reading blogs, and blogging myself.
Then I'm going to go to the gym. Get my workout on for about an hour and a half. Lost 5 pounds in the last 10 days. Now I'm focusing on the next mini-goal of 3 pounds by next week.
Then, it's writing ALL DAY!!!! Nothing else pressing on the agenda. Now, if I can, I will squeeze in finally shelving my books and removing all the packaging from moving that I have stored in the dining room. But that's not pressing. :-)
It's going to be a wonderful weekend. Hope yours is the same!
Friday, July 18, 2008
I just realized something. I'm an addict. A political addict. A political junkie. I recently posted to a fellow author's blog about dating at work and her writing referenced Rocsi and Terrance at BET and the drama behind her not being on the show anymore. Another author posted about a newly married "Hollywood" couple. I knew who the bride was, but not the groom. Still wondering if he's supposed to be famous or a behind the scenes type of person. Well, I was out of the loop. That's where I find myself quite often when reading blogs about entertainment people and industry.
And I had to sit back and think about it. The reason that I'm out of the loop is because when I get home, I immediately turn the TV on to MSNBC to watch all the political shows. I have to have the TV on while I sleep, and I leave it on MSNBC. If you're a fan of MSNBC, you know that overnight and through the wee hours of the morning, they just repeat the shows. Well...I watch/listen to the repeats. I mean, as if I'm seeing them for the first time. Now, from time to time, I feel that the repeats are too much, so I WILL change the channel...to CNN. Or even Headline News when CNN is running a non-political story.
And I thought about it. This is not new to me, at least in this election season. I did the same thing during the Bush-Gore election season. I watched all the political shows on them day and night. I can actually remember being up in my bedroom with Tom Brokaw, watching the all night count of the popular votes, the Florida votes, to determine the election of the next President. And that election extended my addiction for a few additional months, due to coverage of the Florida vote. But after this election is over, no matter who wins, I know to be prepared for withdrawals, like right after the Bush-Gore coverage was over. I just didn't know what to do with myself. There was a certain emptiness that existed. A void that watching just regular local or national news couldn't fill. So, I got to prepare myself for the big let down come February 2009, after the presidential inauguration.
What's most baffling is the reason for my addiction. Because you're usually addicted to things that make you feel good. But often times, while watching these political shows, I'm either angered or disgusted. Yes, more informed and more aware, but more irritated as well. I get irritated when either side blows up a blunder of the other side. Especially blunders in words. I get angered by mischaracterizations and harping on them. I get angered by the constant talk of issues that are not the top issues of most Americans. I get angered by catch phrases and labels that are developed, repeated constantly by the media, and weaved into the minds of average Americans.
It's funny to me when regular people are interviewed, asked a question about a candidate, and they can basically only regurgitate what they heard about them on TV. In the rare instance that the reporter and show is unbiased and ask the individual for examples of what they speak of, they rarely can provide one, unless an example has been reported over and over by the media. I listen to it all and like to think that I'm not falling for the ridiculous. I like to think that I recognize when things are blown out of proportion, when points are exaggerated, when I'm being bullshitted and being sold a dream just to get elected, and when there's an attempt to brainwash me. It baffles me how some of the other intelligent people who are interviewed on TV don't seem to see this.
I'm a nutcase. LOL
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Okay, here's a picture of me posing with one of my bike club members with my new hair style. Ahhhhh! No more braids. What do you think?
It's been funny. Since I've moved here, a lot of my friends and family are saying, "So you move to Atlanta and now you're spicing things up a bit." LOL I guess that has been true, but not because I moved near Atlanta. I felt so good with the move and change in life and the first thing I vowed was to get healthy. Exercising and going to the gym has never been an issue for me as far as forcing myself to go. I love working out. Music keeps me going. But consistency is usually the issue. Things come up and throw me off my routine. So, I've committed to becoming consistent. I've also commited to eating healthier and actually preparing my own food from time to time so I can control salt content. And I now drink about 10 glasses of water a day, which I noticed actually helps with the hair and skin. I was having skin issues when I got here and a trip to the dermatologist helped me to smooth out the skin on various parts of my body.
Well, you can't have great skin without improving the teeth. I've scheduled a dental appointment to schedule routine check ups and cleanings, and in the meantime, used whiting strips until I can get them whitened at the dentist.
Okay, with great skin, whiter teeth, and with feeling better from eating, water, and working out, a girl just HAS to get individual eyelashes, right? But of course. And you just can't get indivudual lashes without trimming up the eyebrows. That wouldn't be right! And with that focus in the facial area, you have to get new earrings. Yeah...that's it...new earrings. A NEED!
Getting the nails and toes done in french manicure was a must even before moving to Georgia. But with all of this, I just had to change up the hairstyle, right? I mean seriously, what other choice did I have?
And now, I'm back on the serious mission, as always, of getting to my ideal weight. Started last week and lost 3.5 pounds. Now, if I can just be consistent so I can stop losing the same 10 pounds over and over and over! LOL
All of this has been fun. Next....A NEW WARDROBE!!!!!
Monday, June 30, 2008
D-DAY HAS COME AND GONE!!!!
And now.....drumroll please....IT IS FINISHED!!!!
Uh, no! Not book #3. I wish! But my hair! LOL Well, after ten long years of wearing microbraids, I've finally laid them to rest for good. I took out the braids for the last time last Wednesday (and Thursday, and Friday), and got myself one of them cute li'l ol' hair styles with long sleek black hair and wispy bangs. :-) I was hoping to be able to put up a pic, but as usual, I haven't had time. :-( But I'll get one up soon as possible.
I've been slowly going through small changes since I relocated. I'm feeling real good. So maybe it's like I'm feeling good and looking to do things to treat myself. Yeah, that's it. LOL But I'm not going to lie. For some reason, changing hair styles can wreck your mind. Because you see a style, but you don't know if it's going to look on you. But lucky for me, I seemed to have made a good choice. Good thing I decided against the beach blonde highlights and the burgundy rinse. So let me tell you, a sistah is feeling good right about now.
Now off to sleep so I can wake up a write another chapter before work. :-)
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Let the countdown begin....two days til D-DAY!!!!
It's 5AM and I just finished up another chapter! I don't know how many times I've started over on this book. Not having a hard time with it at all. But everytime I'm away from it for a prolonged period of time, I find it's best to start over from the beginning so I can get into the flow of it. And each and everytime, I come up with what I think is a better idea. So I end up going back and making changes to my outline, cutting old chapters and building new ones. One the one hand, I feel like I'm constantly building a better story. On the other hand, I'm so ready to have uninterrupted time so I can get out of this beginning phase and get through the story! LOL
And now, I just added another factor. I'm just a glutton for punishment! LOL So, now that I'm settled in Georgia, I've decided last week to go back and finish up my MBA. I started it years ago, before I wrote my first book. I got a year into my program, then set it aside to chase after my dream of writing and publishing my first book. Now that it's accomplished, I want to finish up book three, then go back and take a year to finish up my MBA program. And the goal is to start this the beginning of August! :-)
Ahhhh! Pressure. You gotta love it! :-)
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Relocation is rough! Sucks all the life right out of ya. The first two weeks I was here, I was basically trying to get to know the area. A small area, it is, unfamiliar nonetheless. Then apartment hunting after work and weekends. Finding new doctors and going for the initial visits (of course, they send you out to other facilities for testing for this and that...still gotta reschedule that mammogram...oh, joy). Then, there's the wonderful experience of the DMV for driver's license and car registration. I got it down to about five trips between the DMV and state office to get them. It seemsed like a constant running around for about three months.
But of all the tasks that have sucked up my late afternoons and weekends, I'm undergoing the toughest task of all. Looking for a hair stylist! OH MY!!!! Oh geez! Let me tell you. It's been tough to find new services the way I like them. I've had individual lashes put in with so much glue that you could only see the tips and it peeled off the next day like a rubber strip. I had my naturally thin eyebrows trimmed to pencil thin lines when I specifically stated that I only wanted the tails shaped. Sigh. And now, I've been wearing braids for about eight years and ready for a change. What better time to do it than relocating and starting life anew? :-) But, I think I found a stylist. You'll know that I did if I post pics. LOL
So how much reading did I do? Uh, maybe a chapter in past three months. :-( Writing? Well, although not much, I did fare better than reading. I manage to submit and article to Urbanburnout in May that is in cue for posting. And I just submitted two articles to The Black Biker Magazine for the summer issue, which should be out mid-August, I'm told. And for the book, very little. But now, I've returned back to my writing schedule of Counting Raindrops and getting up at 3:30-ish, 4:00 AM to work on the book. And that's my cue to hop to it! :-)
Monday, June 16, 2008
It's been a long time coming, but I'm finally settled! :-) The last few months have been hectic. Relocation is a mutha! LOL Anyway, so after living in a hotel for two months, going back to St. Louis to move my things to storage somewhere in the midwest, finding an apartment in Macon, moving my things from storage, unpacking and organizing, I'm finally settled!
As you can imagine, writing has been scattered during this time period, but I have been writing here and there. Got articles finished and submitted for publication, and back to working on book three. I know I'm early in my writing career, but this is the longest I've ever spent on writing a book. And not from lack of inspiration, but from absolute chaos and lack of premium writing time. For me, once the flow is interrupted, I have to get back into it by reviewing the entire story to get back into it again. And it seems like I've spent a lot of time in this phase because of all the interruptions. HOWEVER, it can only get better from here. I have permanency and can now allot time to writing and actually commit to a writing schedule. That feels good!
Lots to catch up on, but gotta go for now. Ta ta! :-)
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Okay, you know the drill...boy have I been swamped! LOL So you know how I've been saying that lately, everytime I have a deadline and a good groove going, life steps in a throws a curveball? Well, needless to say, opening day has started early this year. So, my last contract assignment ended for me and it's one of those things that's both good and bad. Good, because it frees me up and lets me make some changes.
Bad, because the timing is when I really need to focus on finishing up book three. So, while I feel relieved, I just wished the change could have been a month later.
However, good again because I found something else on a permanent basis and if it had been month later, then I might not have this.
Good because now, I'll have a regular routine and be able to have a regular writing schedule again and be in control more because I know what to expect.
So, basically, the good outweighs the bad and I'm excited! Okay, you know the trip to Atlanta? Well, it was for job interviews. The day my last contract assignment ended, I decided to throw out my resume out there and open myself up to relocation, JUST TO SEE what was out there. And I was only looking at the only area where I had a large amount of family members. I didn't want to start all over in a new area where I knew absolutely no one. Been there, done that. Too old for that now. LOL So, anyway, long story short, after putting out the feelers, in two weeks, I had not only one, but two job offers. Two companies that really wanted me. It was like being torn between two lovers. I mean, not that I've ever experienced that before, but I imagine that's what it would feel like. LOL
So, anyway, yes, now there's another major delay in getting the third book to my agent (*note to self...think of excuse to provide to agent tomorrow and beg her not to drop me). But on the exciting end....I'M MOVING TO GEORGIA!!! Macon, GA to be exact. It's a great move. First of all, the company seems to be a great one. And I believe I'll be in an area that actually will be good for my third book. I have family in Atlanta, which is an hour north of Macon. Plus a ton of friends and sorority sisters. Come to think of it, it seems like I know more people in Atlanta than I do here in St. Louis! LOL
Supposed to be moving into corporate housing later this week, so now I'm in the midst of packing up as much as I can load in my car and whatever I'll need over the next month or two. So, naturally, that means loss time from writing my book and on my blog. But hey, that's a writer's life for ya! :-)
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Okay, okay....I jest. I only WISH I had that much fun for my birthday. It's been so long since I had a drink, I'd probably puke. LOL
But anyway, my usual statement....things are a little hectic right now. LOL I'm about to go on a little trip. A trip to handle a little "bidness," if you know what I mean. No, not the illegal kind. Perfectly legal. I hope to be able to share when I get back on Wednesday.
In the meantime, I'm so excited for my agent. :-) I met my agent in 2003 at the BEA in Los Angeles. As a matter of fact, she was just getting started in literary agency. She's a writer as well...Jenoyne Adams. She started with the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency out of New York. I don't think I was her first client but I do believe I was in her first few. I took my first three c hapters to the BEA, let her read it, then she requested the first 100 pages, and the rest, as they say is history. She got me my first 2 book deal with Hyperion Books. Well, she has grown so much in the literary world that she has now started her own agency out of LA. I'm excited because I just signed and returned my contract earlier today. So now, my agent is Jenoyne Adams of BLISS LITERARY AGENCY. So, all you inspiring authors out there who are always asking about my agent (if you're reading my blog, lol), stop by her website. She has submission information and requirements available to you.
Well, I gotta do some prep work, pack, then catch a 9:30AM flight to Atlanta, so I'm out! See you next week! :-)
Sunday, February 17, 2008
In the midst of celebrating a birthday here. I'll be back when I sober up...uh...I mean, when I stop seeing two of everyth...uh, I mean..... Just give me tittle lime. I'll back be...
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Another unplanned, busy, crazy week. Does any other type exist? I think not. Does it interrupt the planned writing schedule. But, of course. It just wouldn't be like right if it didn't. Yes, got quite a few loose ends that I'm in the process of tying up and hopefully I can do that soon because it's eating some of my writing time. But that's how it is when you're a working writer. Yes, you have to sacrifice and say "no" to some things so you can get your writing time in and your projects done. But there's always those "life" things that you have to take care of. Sure, you can say no. But you'd have to be willing to deal with possible consequences like writing in the dark, or say, starvation. You know. Little stuff like that. In Stephen Covey's words, FIRST THINGS FIRST. lol
But, regardless, I always keep my mind in the literary mode. I just finished up Vanish by Tess Gerritsen. It was my first Detective Rizzoli mystery and it won't be my last. Awesome! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I'm still reading Words of Farewell, a book of short stories by Korean Women Writers. And yes, Imajica is still by the bed. It's an awsome book, I'm just squeezed for time. I'm listening to Judgement in Death by J.D. Robb. And for kicks, I'm reading a book on Dialogue. Always gotta have something to continually sharpen the writing skills. :-)
All right. My workout is done. I just finished up a bagel and I'm pumping in the caffeine at Panera. Time to get a writin'. :-)
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Blustery cold days in St. Louis now. These are those days when you just want to stay at home, huddled beneath the covers with your laptop and a pot of coffee, with incense burning. And I think that just might be what I do today. I deserve it. :-) Besides, I'm buried to my neck in writing. I have a great momentum going. I'm collecting stories during the week and writing the magazine stories on the weekends. And I'm working on the novel through the week, plus weekends as well. The more I get into the magazine writing, the more I get excited by it. I feel like I'm in a new area with so much that can be covered. I would liken it to the start of the hip-hop culture. In it's newness, there was a lot of uncovered ground and any writer had free reign on the writing possibilities. Relating real life situations and realities to those of the hip-hop generation and expressing their opinions on everything from music to the economy. After being in and becoming acclimated to, and now being of the urban biker culture, I'm able to see the gap and the lack of voice of expression. I got article topics coming out of the butt hole and I'm blessed to have two avenues of expression right now, Even with that, it would take years to cover my topics at least once. Which means it will be a while before I run out of fresh stories.
And there are two other important ingredients.What I have found is that bikers are full of stories and information AND they LOVE to talk. It's almost as if they've had something pinned up in them for so long and they've been looking for an outlet in which to let it explode.
I think about all this. I must be in one of those reflective moods again. LOL Because, writing and motorcycle riding are things I've always wanted to do. But never did I think I'd be able to combine the two. After writing my novels, I wanted to freelance, but think I would because I didn't see anything that I WANTED to write about. Entertainment, fashion, cooking, etc, are of absolutely no interest to me. Writing about them would be a chore and feel like work, which is something that I hate when I comes to writing. I can't write if it feels like work. Which is why I decided not to major in Journalism or Communications in college, which I had considered because it seemed like the natural path. I'm so glad I didn't. I don't want to have to write for my meals or to pay my bills. If I draw income from writing, that's great. But I don't want to have to depend on it to live. We all know how impossible that is anyway. LOL
Wait, so what was my point?
Reflecting...oh yeah. So I think about how I love writing and riding. How I came back to St. Louis and without seeking it, got into the urban biker scene. How, without me actually pursuing it, that has led me freelancing about the set. This is like my dream. Who knew?
See, it's stuff like this that makes me believe in destiny and the belief that some higher power is guiding our lives. We don't know what's coming, but we have to work and be open for anything. Okay, let me stop before I get cosmic again.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Friday was an extremely good day for me!!!! :-) Something happened that I was hoping for over the last month or so. The start of something big. The start of a process that will allow me to change some things around and move more toward my purpose. Now, all I have to do is take action and complete the process...then I can blog about it. :-) It's just one of those things where you have something that is a real big burden that holds you back and you need it shake it off so you can be at peace. But how you shake it off is key. You have to be certain of the moves you make. Look at all the consequences of your actions and choose the best route for the outcome, even if it means tolerating stupidity, stubborness and ignorance for a little while longer. Sometimes you have to go with the flow. Play along until the time is right. Then, you can breathe! :-) And that I did. I slept well yesterday and woke up with a big smile. Time for Phase III. :-)
Okay, enough of the obscurity. LOL Got a lot on my plate today. Finishing up one article for Urbanburnout.com, starting a new one for the new magazine I'm now writing for, write more on book three, conference call, then I'll finish up the day with a little reading on writing, and then, maybe treat myself to reading a novel.
I'm on cloud nine right now. :-)
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Okay, point blank: MY ASS IS SORE!!!!! Well, more than just my ass. My hamstrings, my lower back, my inner thighs.... This is what I absolutely hate about laying off a weight routine, then having to start all over again. No matter how lightly you try to ease into it, a couple of days later you open your eyes in the morning and feel like you're tied down to the bed without anyone dressed in a cowboy outfit to tell you you've been a naughty girl. I mean, DREADFUL! To the point where people at work are saying to me that either I had a really good time last night or I've been in the gym. SIGH. Well, I'm on my way to the gym in about half an hour to punish my body even more. I've been a naughty girl...spending time with twinkies and ding dongs. LOL As much as I want to go home and get in the bed, I know the best way to get beyond this stage is to keep exercising and stretching the muscles. I feel like a binge drinker as I beg the heavens that if He gets me beyond this, I promise, I'll never let myself get out of shape ever again (and I'll call my mother daily and twice on Sundays). AAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!
Well, three more weeks until I'm supposed to turn book three over to my agent. Will I make it? Will if finish???? I highly doubt it. However, I want to write my butt off until this to get the most done as possible. If I have to ask for more time, I don't want it to be a long period. So I'm absolutely putting everything aside, except what I have to do (like work, and workout. That's a must) to write. No movies, no parties, no hanging out. In other words, normal life. LOL Well, but I did have to skip out on a friend's birthday party this weekend. And yes, she's pissed. Because I've been so busy and every time she throws a party (she's one of those, "It's a dreary Tuesday, time to throw a party" people) I always promise I'll be there, but I never show, because I'm busy doing something. Well, my plan was to actually write all day, then take a break and go to the party in the evening. No problem, right? No. I found out Friday that I needed to work the next day, Saturday. The day of the party. So, there goes my plan of writing eight ours in the morning, and if I go to the party, my writing for the day would be totally shot. I'm already way behind and the more I don't write, the further behind I'll get and the longer it will take me to try to get something else published. If it was one weekend, fine. But every weekend I have not been able to get quality writing time in. And it's February now and I have to start drawing the line. But, she knows I'm a writer and that writers have deadline and that you can't write a book over night and that the weekends are my time to write so she'll understand, right???? So, I write her a text explaining that I just found out yesterday I had to work, which killed my writing plan. I explained how far behind I was, gave her the word count that I needed to do...she'll understand, right? I don't know. Maybe she does. I wouldn't know because I haven't heard from her since. :-/
But not too worry. When I finish book three, all I got to do is buy her a pair of killer boots and she'll forget she even had a birthday.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
I had to suddenly take a little time off. I experiences two lives cut short, way before their time. My nephew at 15 months and a fellow biker who died of a heart attach at 26. Things like this can cause you to be very reflective. We all expect to see death and know we're going to experience death. But when we see it before we think it's time and we don't understand why, we can spend much time wondering and thinking about it. With each passing, expected, or unexpected, it draws my thoughts closer to my family and friends. I mentally went through the list of people I haven't talked to in a while because I've been busy and vowed to touch base periodically. It made me reflect even more on my purpose and doing what I want to do. It made me change my schedule. Yes, since I've gotten my body adjusted to the new sleeping schedule, I still get up at 3AM, but I'm putting writing first. :-) And I'm working out in the afternoon. I'm on track.
And the workout is working. Yay! This morning was my first weigh in and I lost pounds and inches. Getting ready for summer! :-) The clothes are loosening up again and I'm motivated to keep on going. And, of coiurse, this time, I'm promising myself that once I get where I want to be, I'm going to maintain and get out of that circle of losing it for the summer, then gaining it back in the fall. LOL
Great news!!!!! Someone enjoyed my artlcle writing at Urbanburnout.com so much that he recommended me to his friend, the publisher of The Black Biker Magazine. It started out as a West Coast mag, went national, and now he just got national distribution and is looking for another writer. He said he LOVED my writing and wanted me to write for his mag. I'm so excited!!!! It's quarterly, so my first article should appear in it in the June issue. It really feels great to be able to combine my first loves: writing and riding. Now, gotta work on getting a new bike that I can lower so I don't have to ride in 5 1/2-inch stillettos! :-)
Hey check out my post on January 30th on Blogging In Black. Yesterday, I wrote about Honing Your Craft. Hope you enjoy it. :-)
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The last few days have been rough. I've been attempting to rearrange my internal clock to better achieve my goals. I've decided to workout first thing in the morning before work, then go to work, then spend the evenings reading and writing. With me already leaving at 5:45AM to go to work, and it usually taking me an hour to get ready for work, it's been like having jet lag. And in addition to that, I'm not one to wake up and just hop out of bed (only weird people like my coworker do that, lol). I have to slowly come into the morning to greet the world with a smile. LOL Seriously. Whatever time I need to get up, I set the alarm 45 minutes prior to "wake up" time and snooze every 15 minutes. So, my alarm goes off three time for me to "wake up." Now, once we reach that point, I get up and make coffee, light incense and get back in bed until the coffee's done. Yes, those additional two minutes are important to the morning wake up process. Then, I get up, make a cup of coffee, and mediate while it cools. I drink coffee while browsing emails, and then, finally, I can actually get up. :-) So, with me now adding a 30 - 45 minute workout before work, I'm getting up at 3AM.
Now, in order for me to get up at 3AM and make through the entire day without biting somebody's head off, I must,.. I say, I MUST, get at least eight hours of sleep. I know some go-getters can survive off 4, 5, or 6 hours of sleep. My body don't play that. LOL So I'm trying to train my body to go to sleep at 7PM. Not an easy thing to do. And it strange because I'm thinking if I get up at 3AM, come 5, 6, or 7PM, I'd be dog tired. But not so. I can feel fatigue in my body, but the mind is alert. So I'm trying sleep aids for the moment. The package said they're not addictive and I'm counting on that. :-)
On the upside, I'm loving getting my workout in first thing in the morning. Because then, it's done and I don't have to feel bad about skipping because work made me to tired or I just plain don't feel like it. And after work, I can just concentrate on writing. When I'm able to train my body to go to sleep on time, I think I'm going to love this schedule.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I had a great time yesterday. Went bowling with my Stunnas Motorsports Club members and had a nice and relaxing time. Yes, I had to answer to all the tough texting I did, but secretly, they love it. LOL The fact that I honestly don't know what I bowled should say a lot about my score. But it didn't matter. It was nice to get out and have fun. Now, I got up, went to the gym, got my writing in, then spent a few hours bowling. Came home and did some reading before drifting off to sleep, so I felt it was a productive day.
I recently posted an article about what bikers do over the winter. Over the winter, and actually even in the riding season, my bike club members typically do stuff like this. We go out to dinner together on on occasional Fridays and other group things. One of the things that I have found funny since being in a bike club is the GREAT misconceptions about bike clubs from the general public. When I tell people I'm in a bike club, the typical response is, "YOU???!!!" and "You don''t LOOK like a biker," or "You don't ACT like a biker." Whenever I receive this response, I ask about their opinions of bikers. And all the time, I get motorcycle gang images fed back to me. Like Hell's Angels and outlaw bikers. I get sleezy, slutty women, who are rough, bisexual/lesbians who can take a bullet easily, are tatted up with piercings out wazoo, and can drink like a fish. Uh, no. LOL
But you know, I understand the thought. Pretty much all biker movies show this image. And with the exception of a biker charity ride or two, the media does seem to only show bikers speeding, dying, or otherwise behaving negatively. Yeah, it does happen. The stereotypes do exist, but not to the degree that people think (which seems to be 100% unless they actually know a biker). The bike community now is so mixed. It's more mixed and more of a "melting pot" than America herself. You have all nationalities, economic status and backgrounds, educational bacgrounds, professionalisms, spiritual beliefs, etc. And generally, they get along. The iron (motorcycle) is common bond between them. Yes, you can look and easily find the thugs and sluts, but actually, more prevalent now are doctors, lawyers, engineers, managers, husbands, wives, etc. Professional people with a passion for riding and enjoying life.
Bike clubs are surrogate families. I suspect that because of the risk involved in riding, bikers are usually close. They greet and part with warm hugs. They look out for one another. They value life and every single breath. No one will verbally say it, but you never know if it's the last tiime you will see that person. It's how we should behave with our blood relatives and friends. They keep in touch on a daily or near daily basis. They encourage and help each other.
Now, I don't mean to glorify bikers like they're all perfect. Like I said, clubs are like typical families so you do get arguments, fights, jealousies, tantrums, etc. And it's still an organization made up of different people with different ideas. Because of that, it possibly could be more difficult to come of one accord if your bike club is made up of all these differences. But typically, one club will be comprised of members of similar agendas. Much like political parties. LOL
But all this to say....look to the left of you, then look to the right. Do this at work, at church, in your professional organizations, etc. Chances are, one or more of these people are bikers. LOL
Saturday, January 12, 2008
It was a busy week. Had a few non-job, non-writer things going on, but I got through them, AND STILL wrote. Yay! At this point, if I'm able to write for an hour during the week, I'm satisfied. My biggest writing times are the weekends. Fridays are my off-days. No writing (unless I'm just dying to), no working out. Fridays after work are now for going out with the team, going out with the club, going somewhere to read, or like last night, going home to sleep. LOL I think I went to bed at about 8PM last night. I know. Single and such a bore. LOL
So I'm very much alert this morning and I'm about to go to the gym, then to Panera's to write. After that, my motorcycle club is going to hangout and go bowling. And before then, I have to prepare my excuses as to why they're beating me badly. See, at everything, I have a tendency to do much trash talking behind my Mogul. I text them about being punks and how my skills (at whatever) are more superior and that basically, there is no reason for them to go on living because they will never measure up to me. You know, something like that. You name it, basketball (well, I did play for two years in highschool....pont guard), football (I have Poweder Puff experience), baseball (I worked at Busch Stadium during baseball season back in the day), bowling (uh....I dreamed a high score????), pool (sat my ass on a pool table once and absorbed skills through osmosis), etc.
So, I'll think up excuses while on the elliptical trainer. :-)
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
I do a little freelancing and my latest motorcycle community article just posted on Urbanburnout.com. Visit the FEATURES page to read the rest!
“The weather outside is frightful,” begins the winter classic song that urges the skies to let it snow. But snow and the bitter cold weather that comes this time of year in the northern states leaves the average biker with a dismal feeling. For most, it equates to the winter ritual of properly preparing their bike for at least three months of hibernation while the biker waits with much anxiety for spring to break.
So what’s a biker to do over the winter? Invite the homies over for egg nog while wiggling and warming their toes by the fire? Whip out the Scrabble board to partake in a game or two while loading up on hot chocolate with marshmallows? Or do they sit and stare at their garaged bike, hoping, wishing, and waiting? I pondered the thought and decided to throw out the question to find out just exactly what the two-wheeled road warriors and bike clubs do over the bitter cold winter months.
READ MORE AT Urbanburnout.com.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Okay, I guess I can't put it off any longer. It's the end of the first week of January. So, no matter how much of a procrastinator I am, I have to admit, it's time to take down the tree. Uh, or rather, in my case, time to put the tree away on the top shelf of the closet. LOL I loved this custom made tree. My coworker makes themed tabletop Christmas trees as a hobby and made one for me with motorcycles. Little Suzuki 600's in every color. My kind of tree. :-)
Well, it's official. The race is on. I broke down and called my agent yesterday. Well, let me rephrase. I texted my agent yesterday. I had been avoiding this for months because I knew I we would get into the status of the completion of book three, which is not complete, even though we talked about it last year this time. So, I texted and she immediately called me back. Like in two minutes. Oh...joy. Isn't it great to have an agent with immediate response? I mean, like, real IMMEDIATE? Great. Sigh. LOL
So, she called me back in like 2.4 seconds and it turns out she could tell I had a lot going on and was giving me time. See, she was/is a writer as well and understands how life can get in the way. And she could tell, from what I submitted, that I didn't have the time to focus on my book. We agree that it's a great story, but hey, what I turned in just truly sucked big time. Being the agent that she is, she didn't say that, but stated that it "needed to be developed." No, it SUCKED Jenoyne. Say it! Say it! IT SUCKED!
But anyway, she actually proceeded to share with me some exciting news that I hope to be able to blog about this month. Details are not complete yet so I have to wait. But we talked about projects going out and agreed that I should have book three finished by the end of February. So, it's a little different now. Yes, I set a deadline for myself for this same date, but it's different when it becomes an actual deadline. But, now, since I'm already writing and the character sketches and chapter-by-chapter outline is complete, I don't feel rushed. But it does mean I need to write everyday. So, another excuse to put off socializing until Spring! :-)
Saturday, January 05, 2008
I sleep with the TV on (a necessity. can't sleep in silence) and every station I turn to is about Britney Spears most recent breakdown or drug excursion and I want to scream. But I'm comforted by the reports of the Iowa caucus and the talk about the New Hampshire primaries. Soothing, :-)
Well, I finished the audio of The Price of a Child. It really wasn't for me. I never got a feel for the time frame, setting, the characters or the plot. It was kind of strange to me. Because it was set in the 1850's, yet it seemed like modern times. The main character had just obtained her freedom, and immediately went on to live a normal life makinng speeches against slavery. This is where I become a little perplexed. Because my expectations would be that the main character would have some emotional issues, some slavery to freedom adjustments, some hesitations about living free, etc. But no. So, I question myself a little as to am I mentally trying to write the story and I'm dissatisfied because the characters didn't act the way I wanted to? Or is it really that the characters are unbelievable to me? Where's the line? I think I'm just becoming more cautious of calling a book bad, and if I do, really looking at the reasons why I would think that way. Is it the book or is it me?
I mentioned reading even more before and how it help with motivation to write. One thing I noticed as well is my change in what I think about books or what I consider a good book. And how it's different for everybody, I've noticed where a book could be touted as a bestseller or even other readers give it glowing reviews (in discussion groups, not Amazon reviews), and it does absolutely nothing for me. And vice versa, there will be books that others "toss across the room," and I absolutely love it. Being a writer, it makes me reflect more on the impossibility of pleasing ALL readers with one book. I knew this to be true even before I started writing. But the more knee deep in reading and writing I get, the more I realize it. And I hope it translate to my feelings not being hurt in the future if readers don't enjoy my books. lol
I've also moved to the notion that if I don't enjoy a book, it doesn't necessarily make it a bad book, just one that I don't particularly care for. But others might.
Guess I'm feeling a little reflective this morning. :-) Got a long day ahead. Yeah, I know it's Saturday. But I'm on my way to the gym with the hundreds of other folks to start on the resolution of getting fit. Need to get there early for a parking space so I won't have to WALK to the gym door. LOL Just kidding. Then need to work on my article for Urbanburnout.com. Just finished and posted my #1 Stunna article a couple of days ago. Then, of course, work on book 3. And I want to go to the store to find some sugar free hot chocolate so I can finish up the night reading in bed. I'll start socializing next weekend. LOL
Thursday, January 03, 2008
I've been mulling over what resolutions I want to make this year. I like resolutions, as I believe they help me to focus on things I want to improve. I don't have any bad habits that I want to break, but there are things I'd like to do better. My resolutions are social. I think it's high time that I move beyond the phone with the texting and emailing, and actually...help me...actually TALK to my friends. Ahhhh. There. I said it. TALK. Last time I checked, I did about 3500 texts a month. Okay, I'm not going go overboard and say I want to reduce the amount of texting I do, but I want to start adding in actual conversations. At least 10 minutes. At least on the weekends. Hey, it's a start!
And I'm going to try to socialize more. I doubt I'll ever be a social butterfly. I'm a private person and I have no desire for that. But I can afford to loosen up a bit, approach others and strike up a conversation, and heck, maybe even accept an invitation to go out once in awhile. LOL
In addition to my resolutions, I do have things on my "to do" list for the year. Of course, writing. I'd like to complete 2 novels, tidy up my current short stories as well as write one more. At the end of last year, I started reading/writing on a daily basis again and I'd like to keep it up.
I'd like to take off 15 pounds. This was slated for last year, and I achieved it, but, of course, I gained ten back at the end of the year. At this rate, I'll meet and maintain my goal by 2011. LOL
And I believe this will be the year that I actually go skydiving. It's been on the list for more than 5 years now. But now, I think I finally have the time and I got buddies. I'm going with my office mates! We're planning on June. :-) I'll be sure to post the video. ;-)
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Back from Atlanta! Had a great time bringing in the New Year with friends. The drive was pretty cool too. Devil in a Blue Dress was a great road story. I'm still listening to The Price of a Child. Although I'm going to finish it to the end, I'm not too crazy about it. I can't get a feel for the characters or the time frame. It's supposed to be set in the 1850's and the main character obtains her freedom when her master passes through Philadelphia and she ends up leaving her newborn, who is still at home on the plantation. But the characters speak perfect English (better than some kids today), I can't get a feel of the time frame from the story, and I don't feel any emotion. The story is a little flat to me. But, I'm going to stick it out since it's audio.
Resolutioin time! Yes, I do make resolutions. I'm still mulling them over, so I'll be back to jot them down. Fun, fun! :-)