The Good Stuff Sticks

I drove myself nuts yesterday trying to figure out what book to write.  I was the equivalent of a dog chasing its tail, spinning round and round for no good reason.  I tried plotting on paper. I tried plotting on my giant whiteboard. I tried plotting with Post Its.

I had lots of ideas, but NOTHING worked.

And I panicked.

Big time.

I was so desperate that I even pulled out an old manuscript I haven’t completed, thinking that maybe I could reformulate it to be the kind of book I wanted it to be. Even that didn’t work.

I lay in bed last night convinced I have no idea what I’m doing. My heart pounded. My stomach churned. My mind raced.

Finally, after hours of tossing and turning I fell asleep.

Of course the moment I woke up, I remembered I didn’t know what I was supposed to write today. I panicked all over again. Then I realized I’d forgotten to set my alarm so that I could get up and run. I was a double-loser before I even got out of bed…happy Monday to me.

I got up, took the dog out, decided it was too hot to run, took care of the plants, made my coffee and ate breakfast.  (The whole eating breakfast thing is one of the habits I’m trying to instill during this 100 Day thing.) While I ate, I worked on some affirmations, which helped to settle my chasing-my-tail-mind down a little.

Then I put my butt in my chair, picked up my purple pen and stared at a blank sheet of paper.

I started to sketch out an idea…one that was new, but felt familiar. I’d scribbled out notes on the entire first act before I realized I’ve written something similar to this before. It was then I’d realized what my subconscious had been trying to tell me yesterday. I DID need to go back to an old manuscript, just not the one I’d found.

I needed to go back, way back, in my archives. How far back?  This far back:

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Yup, the book idea I want to work on was saved on a floppy disk. It’s been rattling around in the back of my head  for that long. Scary, huh?

A while back I saw a thing from Stephen King (can’t remember if it was a column or a speech and of course I didn’t save it) where he basically said he doesn’t keep notes or lists of ideas or anything because “the good stuff sticks”.

Obviously, since this idea has stuck around for so long, I think it’s some good stuff. Time will tell.

Do you hang onto stuff (recipes, projects, supplies, friends, plans, ideas) like a squirrel hoarding acorns, or do you let go of it, trusting that “the good stuff sticks”?

How’s YOUR Monday going?

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According to my schedule I should start writing a new book today. (Note that yesterday I talked about quitting running, today I’m talking about starting a new book…that’s pretty much my internal life, seesawing back and forth between two extremes.)

My work schedule SAYS it’s time to start, but I’m not ready. It’s not that I don’t have anything I want to write about. I have too many things. Too many ideas.  (I’m always so jealous of writers who tell me they only get one idea at a time. That sounds like heaven. I’m ALWAYS being distracted by shiny new playthings.)

I have three books I want to finish. And I know what the next Hitwoman book (EIGHT?!?!) is about. And I want to write the next Matchmaker Mystery.

Decisions. Decisions.

I’ll make a decision this afternoon. I find it’s best to make all important decisions AFTER the first pot of coffee, don’t you?

In terms of working toward my other goals, I ran with my running group yesterday.

It was the first time I encountered a loose dog on a group run. My instinct was to stop as soon as I noticed it (not wanting to engage the dog’s prey instinct) but the rest of the group seemed to continue on. Not sure if that was because they didn’t notice it, or if that’s the way they handle these things.  It ended up being a friendly mutt and his owner came chasing after him, but I still looked up what the “experts” have to say about what to do when you encounter a loose dog.

I found this article. While I agree with most of it, I’m not sure using a “firm” voice is the best idea. My personal belief is dogs can perceive that as a threat, instead I use a cheerful, almost sing-song voice — then again, I’m no expert.

 

In addition to the run-walk, which was probably about 3.5  miles total, I took a very easy 1.5 mile bike ride (my knee was killing me this week, so I trying to gently rehab it) and swam 5 relaxing laps. Not too much pain today…which puts me in a way better state than I was in earlier. 🙂

Are YOU making any decisions today?  I’m open to advice about how you reach your decisions.

 2 Days Down, 98 to Go

Yesterday I was quitting, today I’m starting

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I quit running yesterday

I woke up and decided to quit running.

Sure, just the day before, I’d publicly declared I was going to train for a half marathon, but I KNEW it was time to quit.

Why?

Because I physically hurt.

And I’m tired.

And it’s hot.

And I’m fat.

And I suck at running.

And I could spend the time I spend running doing something more enjoyable.

And what kind of maniac keeps doing something they don’t enjoy?

So I decided to quit.

Then I got out of bed and started my day. Hours later, after giving myself a stern talking to, I decided not to quit after all.

Unfortunately I do this most days. It’s not always about running. Sometimes I quit writing. Sometimes I decide the effort it takes to maintain certain relationships isn’t worth it.  Sometimes I consider letting the garden die just because it’s too much work.

Mornings are not my friend. It’s when the doubt demons are at their most insistent.  (Coffee has wonderful banishing properties.)

One of the things I want to work on during this experiment, is keeping the negative thoughts at bay, because quite frankly it’s a huge waste of energy to have to keep talking myself back into doing stuff.

So for the record, as of now, I’m still running (despite the fact that the above list is still true) and writing, and taking care of the garden….but some people are still on thin ice.  😉

On the plus side, I got a really good start on plotting my next book today

How often do “quit” something? How do you banish our doubt demons?

1 Day Down, 99 to Go

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100 Day Goals

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In yesterday’s post I shared that today is the first of 100 days I’m going to use to take back my life. Today I’ll lay out my goals:

1) Write 200,000 words.  

With all the recent emotional turmoil, I haven’t been as productive as I’d have liked and it’s weighing on me as another “failure”.

I know that for some people this would be a piece of cake. 2000 words a day for 100 days. Easy math.  

Except life is never that clean. For one thing, if I wrote for 100 days straight I’m pretty sure my brain would explode (and there’s no amount of Bounty towels that could clean THAT up).  For another, some of those 100 days will be filled with other stuff, like family visits and a really cool writers conference. SOOOOO 200,000 words in 100 days is a pretty lofty goal.

 

2) Train for a half marathon.

I’ve signed up for a half marathon training program with an amazing group for a race that begins later this month so that I can hopefully complete my fourth (!) half in November. Unfortunately I’ve been plagued by old injuries recently, but I’m going to try to power through them and cross that finish line. I need a new medal.  😉

 

3) Lose 25 pounds.  

I’ve been guilty of self-medicating with food to numb my misery. No more! (Of course this means that my grocery cart may be loaded with even more Kleenex, but that’s okay. I’ll get through it.)

 

4) Meet new people.

There are many wonderful things about working from home, but it does make it a challenge to meet people and since I’ve moved to a state where I really didn’t know anybody, I’m sorely lacking in face-to-face contact. My virtual friends are awesome, but there are days when I wish I could speak out loud to someone other than my dog.  

 

5) Do things that make me happy 

I don’t even know what this will include, but I’m open to suggestions!

 

What would YOU like to accomplish in 100 Days?  

It doesn’t have to be on the same schedule as my 100 Days…just what kinds of things would you like to make a concentrated commitment to at some point?

BUT if you want to join me, today, or at any point in this journey, please do. I’d love to cheer you on.

jen

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What would YOU like to do in 100 days?

This afternoon while I was freaking out about my next deadline (which isn’t until July 3rd, I just like to freak out early and often) I started flipping through the calendar…you know, one of those old-fashioned print things with pretty pictures.  I realized that, as of tomorrow, I’ll be 100 days away from an anniversary of sorts.  Back then I would have said my world ended and I lost everything that day.

Now, in my less melodramatic hours, I’ll say my world changed dramatically and I lost a lot because of my divorce.

On my good days (after a pot of coffee or two) I’ll say that not all the changes were bad and that a lot of what I’d thought I’d “lost” I was better off not having in the first place.

But the truth is, no matter what kind of day I’m having, I’ve been in survival mode. I’m still in the place where I have to give myself a pep talk before I drag myself out of bed to face each day. Thank goodness the dog’s need to go out never wavers, lol. There have been times when his need has been the only thing that could get me moving.

Which isn’t to say I’ve stayed in bed all day and done nothing. I’ve moved, written a couple of books, attended a writing conference, visited with old friends, and joined a running group. All of which sounds great, but really I’ve just been going through the motions. I’ve been surviving.

I’m tired of surviving. I’d like to live, and thrive, and laugh, and have fun again, but I haven’t known how to shake myself out of this funk I’ve been in. Then this 100 Days thing popped up on tomorrow’s horizon and I decided that I’m going to use these next 14 weeks or so to really challenge myself. I don’t want September 14th to roll around and for me to feel sorry for myself. I want to celebrate what I’ve accomplished, what I’ve gained and what I’ve enjoyed. 

Tomorrow I’ll late out my specific goals, but for now I wanted to ask: What would YOU like to accomplish in 100 days?

 

Too many balls in the air

I feel like I’m juggling WAY too many balls at the moment. (I’m a total klutz, so in reality I’d be hard-pressed to juggle one ball, but you know what I mean.)

Big thanks to everyone who helped to make the launch of THE HITWOMAN HUNTS A GHOST such a success.  One of the balls I’m juggling is writing the sequel!  🙂

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3 Best Seller rankings on Release Day

So here are the numbers I snagged from Amazon yesterday to commemorate release day for THE HITWOMAN HUNTS A GHOST.

 How cool is that?

THE HITWOMAN HUNTS A GHOST is now available

And it even has its first review already!

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Available on Amazon


		

Mystery with a romance, action, and of course ghosts

I know the 5 Star review streak must end soon, but it still tickles me.

 

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