Monthly Archives: December 2010

It’s about life — beautiful and ugly life.

I’ve debated for the last two days whether or not to write this entry.

After all, it’s supposed to be focused on my writing journey. To add more personal entries seems, well, selfish. My readers aren’t interested in the mundane or too personal events in my life. If it’s something that’s emotional seems manipulative.

But it’s also dishonest. No life is perfect, full of nothing but happiness and joy. There are sad and even devastating moments.

And isn’t that what writing is? About life in all it’s beauty and ugliness?

I have to remind myself that you might be as interested in the darker moments of my life. In this case, I’m taking the chance.

And there are a few things I need to talk about, not because I’m looking for sympathy but to know I’m not alone.

My dad has been fighting what appeared to be bronchitis for the last month or so. After the third doctor visit and more tests including chest x-rays, the doctor called him Christmas day and told him to go to the hospital immediately.

They found spots on his lungs that turned out to be pulmonary embolisms — blood clots. However, after more tests they found a cancerous and inoperable tumor on his pancreas.

He found out for certain today he might see one more Christmas.

As his daughter, he was always a strong constant in my life. I could always count on him being there, even if a few states away.

The last few days has been a harsh realization that he won’t always be around, that he won’t see his grandson grow up. My son’s memories of his grandfather will be short and will fade to the point he may not even remember him by the time he enters school. My son’s only knowledge of his grandfather will be what his parents share about him and pictures we’ve taken of them together.

It’s not enough.

But there’s not one thing I can do about it except make sure we spend as much time together as possible. In fact in mid-January we’re taking a trip to Colorado to spend about four days with him. I hope that’s but one trip out of many.

My only prayer is that my dad embraces his last days with joy and leaves this world in God’s loving and eternal arms.

A Christmas Story

I wish I had one. A really good one, that is.

One blog I frequent is “Writer Beware,” and the latest entry touches on how not to use social media. She went on to add a link to another blog that describe further how not to use it which led to a third talking about how to set up an internet presence that people will gravitate to.

The three links are here:

Writer Beware Tidbits by Victoria Strauss

When (or Why) Social Media Fails to Sell Books by Jane Friedman

The secret ingredient to a strong author platform by Justine Lee Musk.

I admit I haven’t used my Internet presence to it’s fullest. I’ve specifically tried to avoid selling anything, but I also haven’t participated like I should. That includes interacting with all my friends and contacts on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. When I do go there, it’s usually to add a link to my blog. That’s not a real benefit to anyone, because it’s not interaction.

So I think for the next few weeks I will sit down (something I do well, and too much of), and come up with a strategy for marketing in general. Not to sell so much as to socialize, and to give something to my readers that they can use.

What does that have to do with a Christmas story?

It’s your story I’m interested in. What was your favorite Christmas? Why?

Cough, cough

Wow, it’s amazing how quickly dust accumulates when I don’t write an entry for a while.

That I hate dusting doesn’t help, either.

Like any habit, on average it takes about two to three weeks to develop a habit, and only days to break it.

I finished nanowrimo with 50k, but since then I’ve written only 5k words. Sure at least I’m still writing, but like an idiot I took a few days off. Now I’m out of the groove and need to work to get back in again.

I’m still working on my Nano-novel, and I’m close to finishing. I figure another 5-7k max. That would make it about 60k total. Not really enough for a salable novel, but it’s only a first draft after all. I purposely left out a lot of backstory and details, because my mind was too focused on the main plot.

My husband kindly looked over “The Red Dagger” for me, so once I’m done with my Nano-novel, I will rewrite “The Red Dagger.” I hope this next rewrite will make it good enough to submit it to agents. Which means I have to write query letters and put together a synopsis. Yuck. But it’s got to be done.

Instead of writing I’ve been spending a lot of time on Flickr. I belong to a few groups there where there’s always interesting discussions. One of the groups led another member to check out my website. He sent me a private message that read in part:

I visited your website and noticed that you have a talent with the English language. You know how to grab someone’s attention and not let go.

All writers seek to grip the reader in such a way, and often wonder (and lament) if they will ever succeed.

It’s heartening to know I succeeded with at least one person. If ever I lose my confidence (a common occurrence, unfortunately) I hope to remember his words and the words of everyone else who’s been kind enough to share their thoughts on my stories (both the compliments and critiques).

Anyway, I’m super tired today. My almost-three-year-old has worn me out.


P.S. If I don’t write another entry beforehand, I pray you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Which kinda sucks (the new year part), because I just got used to writing 2010 a month ago.