A View from the Recliner

It is difficult to be limited in what I can physically do.  However, I’m trying to be productive with my time.  Research and marketing have been top of my list while I’m laid up.

To this end, I spent a chunk of yesterday researching new age bookstores for Moon Affirmations and emailing a number of them to introduce my book.  Whether it will produce any sales only time will tell.  Next for me is to see what a good place to market to for the romance novel and the poetry book.

Great news for Moments in Nature – it is now available on Barnes and Noble.  Also Smashwords has connected with two more channels of distribution.  One of which is to get into libraries which are great users of ebooks.

Aside from book stuff, I’ve been crocheting.  I’m done with baby gifts and am now working on sponges.  I’ve had three requests for sponges so I’m working with my left over crochet cotton to make sponges for these three people.  After the sponges though, I’ll probably go back to working on the afghan I’ve got started.  I have three more afghans to make after this before I start looking at other bigger projects to take on.

While crocheting, I watch tv.  I finished MI5 and have moved on to other things.  I watched a movie about World War II called The Couple.  It was interesting.  Then I watched a PBS series called Heat of the Sun which takes place in the 30s in Kenya.  That was pretty good.  Finally last night I started season 1 of Grimm.  I watched two episodes and it was okay.  It seems a bit darker than I normally like but I’ll watch at least a couple more episodes before I give up on it.

My days seem really short because I’ve been sleeping in.  This is great for my sleep level but tomorrow when I am back at work and can’t sleep in this could be bad.  Hopefully it won’t be a problem.  I’ll be glad to go back to work and catch up.  It will be nice to have a different view than the one from my recliner.

A Pick Me Up

Tonight, I was feeling a bit glum about being stuck in my recliner.  Don’t get me wrong I love my recliner, it is comfy and usually offers comfort when I’m in pain.  However, I have a lot going on but the doctor says – stay off your feet and rest – I pretty much have to.  Experience has taught me that resistance on this is never good.

Here I am feeling a bit down and out in my recliner.  I crocheted during the day creating a new pattern for a bag that I think I like a lot.  I finished off MI5 – damn them killing off my favorite character who had actually lasted ten seasons until the very last episode.  I was sitting in my recliner having answered emails and done a couple of other things feeling glum.

I look over and my Kindle Fire is sitting on the couch next to me.  I’m currently reading three books – Harry Potter 6 in my van as I drive; Lean In on my normal Kindle; and Wrede on Writing on my Kindle Fire.  I thought about playing backgammon on the Fire (another of my obsessions) but the book drew me in tonight.  I started reading and two hours later I’m feeling better about myself and about my writing.

Patricia Wrede is one of my favorite authors.  She writes fantasy and is fabulous.  I fall into her novels and don’t want to come out even when she has finished them ever so wonderfully.  I almost always want more of her writing.  Last year she published a book on writing.

Writing books tend to be academic and well (apologies to all the teachers I know) boring.  I was going to give this book three chapters and move on to something else.  Well I can’t stop turning pages.  I’ve read 15% of the book (it’s an ebook so I don’t know what page I’m on).  I LOVE her writing.  More than just her writing style though – she actually talks about writing in a way that isn’t academic but is humorous and intelligent.

I said to one of my professors “You can’t teach writing,” to which I think she took a lot of offense.  You can teach parts of writing like grammar, syntax, sentence structure, and so on.  You can’t teach where an idea comes from or how YOU as a writer will develop that.

Wrede talks about all of this.  She goes into the different possibilities and encourages the reader to find the way that works best for them.  I found myself in some of her descriptions which uplifted me because here was someone else who got what writing was for me.

Her humor and common sense shine through.  Her biggest piece of advice essentially is find what works for you and stick with it.  That isn’t the only thing she talks about though.  She ranted (maybe a strong word but this could be because I rant about it when I read a book) about authors who need to improve their basic skills like grammar.  Here are two quotes from her discussion that I LOVE:

“A writer whose work is littered with sentence fragments and runons cannot make effective use of sentence fragments to increase tension, or pacing, or emphasis.”

“If everything else is in standard English, dropping some unusual syntax, punctuation, or grammar into the text has an impact because of the change.  The less often the writer does it, the bigger the impact.”

I’m a grammar nut.  I like to diagram sentences and I like to break the rules – all the time.  I know what proper grammar is – I just don’t always like to use it.  I’d had this discussion with all of my professors with only one or two of them conceding that depending on the writing depended on the appropriateness of breaking the rules.

In academic and other professional writing, you absolutely must be grammatically correct.  However, when it comes to fiction, you don’t have to be and when you aren’t it can be a highly effective tool.

While I may be a grammar geek, I understand the effect ungrammatical work can have on the reader.  Oh and for those out there – if you find grammar (or other errors) in my writing – let me know.  I’ll fix them.  I’m good but I’m nowhere near perfect.

If you’re a writer and you want good advice, check out Wrede’s book Wrede on Writing.  If you’re not a writer, check it out anyways as it might give you some insight into your writing friends.  You could also check out her other books and stories.  She is an excellent writer.

Oh and no longer feeling glum.  She made me laugh, agree, and recognize myself in the way she talked about writers.  While I may be stuck in my recliner, I’ve still got things I can work on…

Laid Up

I’ve been stuck in my recliner for the last three days.  I’m heartily sick of my recliner but there is little I can do about it.  My ankle started bothering me last weekend.  I don’t know why.  I didn’t twist it, strain it, or anything like that I could point to but every time I put weight on my ankle I am in severe pain.

Is it my gout?  Is it something else?  No idea.  At this point I’m putting heat on it – ice doesn’t work and only increases my pain.  I’m taking Tylenol as often as I can.  I’ve also doubled my arthritis meds.  I guess if this doesn’t work then I’ll go to the doctor but right now I don’t have any faith in any of my doctors.

My ortho has moved to Minnesota and I’ve not found a new one.  My GP is reluctant to do anything with my joints.  This leaves me pretty much dealing with things on my own.

Even though I’m trapped in my recliner, I’ve not been idle.  I have been crocheting (of course) and have five baby bibs done and a sixth one started.  Vicki’s co-worker is pregnant and she asked me to make these.  I’ve finished the baby blanket I was working on.  Once those are done I’ll work on sponges for Vicki.  This pattern takes me very little time so I’ll be able to crank out a number of them fairly quickly.

In addition to the crocheting, I’ve been working on writing stuff.  Flash drives are amazing.  My little netbook has been working hard.  Moments in Nature is going to be available in paperback within the week!  I’m super excited about this.  Next is to work on reviewing and sorting the next book of poems.  I have the print outs next to me and I’m hoping to get these sorted today.  Then it will be a matter of starting the organization on this manuscript.  Once I’m done with that I’ve gathered the other poems into one manuscript but I haven’t decided whether it should be one or two so that will be the next step.

After I get the poetry taken care of, I will be working on my fantasy novel.  This one is still in the editing process so will take a bit of time to finish off.  Or it might not.  Every time I’ve said that recently I end up finishing more quickly than I expected.  This is a good thing and always takes me by surprise.

While I’m stuck in the recliner and damn annoyed about it, I’m not being unproductive.  I feel bad because it is errands weekend and Ken is doing all the errands.  He doesn’t seem to mind but I do – these are tasks we usually share.  I know I need to rest the ankle but I have to live too.

To occupy my brain while I’m recliner bound I’ve been watching PBS Crafting in America and Cosmos both of which were good.  I was a bit disappointed that Crafting in America didn’t include any crocheting or knitting.  While most of the people they interviewed and profiled were making a living crafting, I’m sure there are people who make a living with their crafts.  I feel like they touched on a couple of important things about networking and running a business that is craft based.  It is definitely not a field that you are likely to make big bucks in.

I’ve also been watching MI5 from the BBC.  I think I’m to a point where I am more waiting to see which characters get killed off.  No one is safe.  They either get killed off or crack up.  This is probably similar to how it is in real life spy craft.  I also am enjoying seeing the cliche’s of British television.  The more I watch the more prominent they become.  It adds to the layers of perception I have by watching the shows from other countries.  It shows how America is considered arrogant which is a bit hard to take but not necessarily untrue.

If you have time, check out my books:
Secret Past
Available on Barnes and Nobles:
Available for sale at:https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/426548
Available on Amazon:

Moon Affirmations:
Available for sale at:
Available on Amazon:
Available on Barnes and Nobles:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moon-affirmations-eileen-troemel/1119387496?ean=2940045859738

Moments in Nature
Available on Amazon: