Happy Halloween!

I always enjoy Halloween in my neighborhood. There are a lot of kids out; a lot of them come in from other neighborhoods across the city. It’s great. The kids are having a blast and the adults are happy knowing their kids can walk around the streets without fear. On top of that, I get to hang out with my neighbors who are very cool people. We sit on their stoop and hand out candy while catching up. The trick-or-treaters love the fact that there are three…THREE..candy bowls that they get to raid. It’s a lot of fun.

It’s been almost a month since I updated this blog. It’s been a busy and somewhat stressful month as well. I should keep writing here on a regular basis since writing helps me work through a number of stressors, problems, provides a means to vent, etc. At work, it seems to be clown cars all the way down. But, I think I’ve worked everything out. I’m taking students to Antwerp, Belgium in January and there is absolutely no process nor structure for dealing with the logistics of a trip abroad with students. It’s ridiculous.

But, I figured out a work around and I’m pretty pleased with it. There are still details to be ironed out, but I think the big hurdles have been jumped. Tomorrow is a “research day” which means I’ll be doing my own writing. Yay! I have started book #2 and I’m feeling very good about it. I’m getting good information from reliable sources about how to deal with Amazaon and it’s Kindle Unlimited structure so I’m very confident that uploading Book #1 will be a piece of cake. it’s out to beta readers right now. In addition to Book #2, I’m outlining Books #1-3 for my next series. It’s exciting to know that I actually do have all these stories lined up inside my head just waiting for an outlet.

There have been many times when I wish that I had figured this author thing out earlier. However. I know that I wouldn’t have figured it out without going through all the experiences I’ve had so far. Those experiences gave me the ideas for Book #1 and I’m very grateful for that. But, yeah. It’s been 20 years in the academic career. Time for a change.

Hubby heads out to meet up with his college friends for a week or so of golf and cards. I will miss him terribly, but I’m also looking forward to the opportunity to get a lot of writing done. Tomorrow is Day 1 of NaNoWriMo and I intend to get in at least a few hundred words each day. Getting a good way into Book #2 will be great. I am very happy with my progress so far and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.

Enjoy your Halloween and eat all the candy and goodies you want!

Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay

What counts as work?

What counts as work? I’ve been struggling with this for a while now. I tend to avoid doing the school work/class prep in favor of writing. But, when I sit down to write I find myself doing a host of other things. However, it may not be all wasted time and procrastination. I read something the other day (yes, this will count as work, you’ll see) that mentioned that even reading something counted as work because if you discover, while reading, a good or bad way to write dialog or a scene, then you’ve accomplished something. Or, reading history allows you to better craft your world(s). In my case, I sat down and read a book sent to me by a guy needing beta readers. I learned a lot in my afternoon of reading. I learned more about how to describe a location, how to write a fight scene. I also learned how NOT to write some things. I saw descriptions that became boring. I read conversations that went on just thatmuch too long. I learned more about writing by reading.

OK, so reading counts. What else? Well, the obvious. Outlining a new or the next book or series. I spent some time yesterday looking at notes and was pleasantly surprised at what I’ve put down and reminded that I do have a number of good ideas. Working on covers is another one. Oooh! Covers! Yes, there is the tangible output everybody looks for. If I can show a rough cover to my husband at the end of the day, then I’ve accomplished work. I like messing with covers because it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like playing around. Scrolling through photos, reading about how to change/adapt/use those photos. How to make the text just so. How to figure out which font. Finding just the right font. All of that counts as work.

Switching back to class prep/grading. Yes, this counts as well. It obviously counts for the day job. But, it also counts for the writing/author job. It counts because while I try to do all of it while on campus, that doesn’t always happen. It counts for the writing/author job because I have to get it done. If it’s not done, I cannot work on the writing. Yes, I use the fiction writing and other author work as a reward for finishing the tasks related to committee work, class prep and other things day-jobby. Which reminds me…gotta finish counting general education courses next week (the fun just never stops).

The last thing I count as work is meditation and time spent letting ideas marinate. Meditation helps me lower stress levels (day job brings A LOT of that), and lets ideas float through and around my brain. Even (OK, this is last), writing on this blog counts as work. As I write down my processes, questions, brain waves, frustrations, etc. I find that oftentimes I am able to figure out answers or solutions. This is akin to meditation, but a bit more active. It counts because it moves me forward on the path of my choosing.

If it is in furtherance of the direction I want to head then it counts as work.

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay