I’ve got a poem called Take a Moment and it is about rushing around dealing with the chaos of daily life but remembering to stop and take a moment to enjoy what is and what you have.  I’ve been feeling very unproductive when it comes to my writing.  I know I’ve been writing up a storm but for some reason I’m not feeling like I’m accomplishing all that I should. 

It sounds silly, even as I write this I feel a bit foolish for feeling this way.  However, I have been feeling like I’m not getting myself out there enough.  I’ve not been submitting articles, stories, or poetry as much as I would like.  I’m also not marketing my work as much as I would like. 

I work my day job and come home to spend a little time with Ken before he goes to bed.  I spend the rest of my evenings working on writing of some sort.  I’m just not getting the things I mentioned done.  I’ve been writing and editing like mad. 

A couple days ago, I was feeling pretty negative about my writing and my accomplishments.  I had to “take a moment” because I have been so busy dealing with the chaos of my life, I’ve forgotten to look at all that I have accomplished. 

Here is my poem and my reminder to be gentle with  yourself and take a moment to realize how much you do… I think we all need a reminder of that – I know I do.

Take A Moment
Alarm rings, crawl out of bed,
Rush through a shower, breakfast, last minute chores
Scurry out the door, dropping kids at school or work
Charge through the day, watching the clock wish it to be
Break time, lunch time, quitting time
Hurry home to make dinner
Mother and wife the family,
Dishes, bills, homework, college info, counsel kids
Be everything to everyone.

Take a moment to watch
The squirrels scamper and chase
Across the yard
Take a moment to hear
The birds singing with joy
For the new day
Take a moment to smell
The soothing scents of flowers
Blooming in season
Take a moment to feel the breeze
Toying gently with your hair
Twisting and tangling it
Take a moment to taste
A crisp green apple picked
Fresh from the tree
Take a moment…

A Night Off

It may seem shocking but last night I did nothing more than watch a movie.  I am at a place in editing that I’m trying to figure out the next step to put between two scenes and none of the other stories I’m working on drew me in.  I didn’t even want to watch tv really but I watched the new episode of Dr. Who.  Not sure how I feel about the new doctor.  After I watched Ever After.  It is one of my favorite Cinderella stories. 

It was relaxing and non-thinking.  The stories that bounce around my head were quiet for a couple of hours.  The Cinderella story is one of my favorites.  The Ever After version of it shows a strong woman not willing to take crap from anyone who overcomes a lot.  Instead of the Prince rescuing her, she rescues him – many times – and in the end they rescue each other.  Plus it is a bit of a sappy love story and I like those.

Instead of working non-stop, it was nice to take a break from constant working but at the same time I feel like my brain didn’t really take a break.  I think I figured out what the scene I’ve been mulling on will be.  I’ve had one story in my head just hanging there stuck in trying to figure out what it wants to be.  It may have developed into a story of sorts – it needs a bit more mulling to see what the overarcing plot will be.  I’ve got the opening dozen scenes but more than that I’m not sure.  Until I am it will probably just stay in my head.

A night off was helpful in giving my brain a break but it didn’t help me sleep any better.  I still woke up several times and didn’t get a lot of sleep. 

While I can’t sleep, I’m just going to keep plugging away.  Right now I have three novels to edit, one to finish (well more than that if I look at all my projects) and one novel to do a final read through before I start production.  The artist is working on the cover and interior pictures.  In addition to all of these, I need to get some time in on marketing. 

So much to do and so little time.  I love almost all of it and even the parts I’m not thrilled about don’t annoy me over much. 

Here are links for all five of my books:

Secret Past

Available on Barnes and Nobles:
Available for sale at:
Available on Amazon:

Moon Affirmations  Daily Meditations Using the Moon Phase to Focus Your Energy

Moments in Nature

Available at Barnes & Nobles:
Available at:
Available on Amazon:

Moments in Spirit

Available at Smashwords:
Available on Amazon:

Moments in Life
Available on Amazon:

Moments in Life

The third book in my poetry Moments series is available!  Moments in life is a collection of poems about life, the good times, the bad times, the funny times, and my odd perspective on all of it.

In this book you’ll find my take on life through free form, acrostic, abstract, haiku, and tanka poems.  The different techniques are interesting to me.  Abstract is interesting because it is about the way the words sound together and how the sound of the words evokes emotion rather than the words in the poem.  The other types I play with because they are fun to try to make something fit a set format.

Mostly, the poems express some connection or belief I’ve developed as I’ve gone through life.  There are nice poems which will make you feel good.  There are some hard poems which will show the harder side of life – well at least the harder side of my life.  Here is an invitation to wander through my brain and see what odd things it comes up with.

If you like what you see in Moments in Life, check out my other two poetry books Moments in Nature, and Moments in Spirit.

Slush Pile and Editing

I’ve been rereading starts to stories I’ve done in the past.  After I got the poetry book back in shape, I ended up working on one of those stories and it is now a short novella.  It will go in the edit pile.

It was such a good night for me.  I listened to music.  I wrote.  I edited.  I got through several chapters of the Defenders second book.  I have two more to finish the first round of edits.  It will have to sit for a bit and I made a couple of notes of larger changes I may want to make.  I have to think about them and let them mull.  My biggest question is if I add these proposed scenes how will it add to the story?

I also have another story idea grumbling at me.  It thinks it wants to be a grown up full fledged story but there are too many questions in my head for it to be a story yet.  I’m making it work its way into a story.  I have two characters and several scenes but no overall plot.  Also it would involve world building as it is a science fiction story.  It takes a lot of effort to do that, if the idea wants to become a story, I need more of the world to become clear to me before I settle into writing the characters and scenes, no matter how much they entertain me.

Sleep was nearly non-existent last night.  As I edited I discovered two things.  If I write a scene that makes me cry, when I edit it I will probably cry too.  This makes it difficult to edit.  They were good scenes though and I’ll have to figure out a way to get over the emotion of the scene to get to the nitty gritty of it.  The other thing I learned is that once my eyes start giving out, editing become difficult.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t guarantee sleep.

I put the editing up about 1:30 and fell asleep fairly quickly.  Ken came home about 2:45 from the game.  At 3:30 my eyes popped open.  I tried dozing for a couple of hours but no success.  Ken is still asleep and I’ll work on production of the poetry book.  Hopefully I’m more successful in getting it done today than I have been for the last two weeks.

Hiding Out

Ken is off to Green Bay for a football game with his sister.  She won tickets and invited him.  He was thrilled.  I am as well.  Not because I’m going to a football game – yuck that wouldn’t be any fun for me – but because I will have the house all to myself for several hours.

I’ve had a couple of days of high pain levels thanks to the lovely humid weather.  However, I’m going to push that all to the back and work on projects.  I came home from work today and tried to take a nap.  Sleep still doesn’t like me so that didn’t work.

Projects it is.  I realized I copied over my latest version of my poetry book with an earlier version.  This means I lost several hours of work.  My own fault, I did things in the wrong order.  This means I have to go through and reorder the poems, set up sections, copy front and back material and a myriad of other things – AGAIN.  (Sometimes I just want to kick myself.)

I’m going to work on that.  If I get it all done and can still manage to be on the computer, I will work on the production part of the book.

I’ve been editing the second book in the Defender series I’m working on.  I realized I didn’t like where I ended it.  The best place to end it is nearly 30,000 words later.  This means I’ve got to let go of the idea that I am trying to write the story in a set length.  It means the second book will be about 1 1/2 times longer than the first book.  Unless I decide to change where the first book ends but I like where the first book ends.  It seems appropriate.  Once I start questioning, it is not a good sign.  The question I have to ask myself is am I questioning because I am feeling under confident in my work or is there a problem with the work.

Poetry book first.  Defenders books second.  Editing third.  This is what my plan is for hiding out.

No Errands Equals Lots of Writing

Yesterday I spent a good portion of the day working on my story.  The other things on my list did not get done.  I’d be disappointed but I added 10,000 words to my story and got a general list of scenes that will lead to the end of the book (I think).

Pain level is still high so instead of working in my office today I’ll be in the recliner.  My classical music is on and I’m going to work on my story.  If it goes well I might just finish it today.  I noticed last night that I had discoloration on my left knee and a red spot on my right ankle.  This is a good indicator that my gout is being obnoxious.  I put a heating pad on my ankle and took a second dose of my arthritis medicine.  Today I’ll take it easy and see if that will help ease some of the pain and flaring of the gout.

Like reading a book, I got to a good stopping point last night and opted to try to sleep.  Mostly I was successful.  I actually got a large chunk of sleep.  This usually helps the pain level.

Ken watched football and I wrote.  That will probably be our day today as well.  It felt really good to write for a good eight or more hours yesterday.  My mom and one of my sisters stopped in and then I drove my van to pick something for them that wouldn’t fit in their car.  That took an hour out of my writing time.  I also chatted with one of my daughters.  Maybe there was a bit of balance in my life.

Three way of sorts

Three stories are bouncing around in my head.  There are no errands to run this weekend so I’m hoping for some serious writing time.  Maybe I can manage to get one or two of the stories out of my head and down on paper.

Last night I wrote until my eyes were blurry.  I’ve got nearly 28,000 words in a story which is a little outside my comfort zone.  I’m loving it.  My characters are strong, the format is interesting, and the plot needs more depth but it is coming along.

I slept for crap last night, which is not unusual at this point.  However, this morning I woke up and KNEW what the next steps are in the story I’m working on.  My fingers itch to get it down.

I’m fighting with myself though because I have a list of things I want to get done.  Do I write on this story that I am inspired to write on or do I work on the production and other things on my list.

High pain level today so I don’t know how long I’ll be able to manage at the computer but I have two or three things that specifically need to be done here.  It will be a challenge.  Perhaps if I get into what I’m doing, I’ll be able to ignore the pain and just get work done.

With two screens on my office computer, I am better able to move between documents and screens.  I love having the two screens.  However, I’m sitting here writing my blog and my story is on the other screen.  I keep looking at it thinking, it really won’t take me long to write the next scene or three.  Guess I know what I’ll be working on first this morning.

Check out my books at these locations:

Secret Past
Moon Affirmations  Daily Meditations Using the Moon Phase to Focus Your Energy
Available for sale at: on Amazon: on Barnes and Nobles:

Moments in Nature

Available at: on Amazon:

Moments in Spirit

Music Sooths the Savage Beast

In my office, I generally allow student workers to pick the music so long as it is work appropriate.  I’m pretty easy when it comes to music.  I’ll listen to almost anything.  However, the last few weeks I’ve been on a kick of classical and celtic music. 

I find this music helps me focus and shut out the chaos that can reign in my office.  I’ve been struggling with the chaos.  It isn’t that the chaos is new or overwhelming.  It is more that my stress level has been high enough without the chaos. 

The change in music has helped me focus more on what needs to get done and less on the chaos.  It helps me work through all of it without becoming overwhelmed by any of it. 

Normally I’m pretty even keeled about just getting stuff done.  Now and again, something will make me grumble but generally at work I just go with the flow and handle what needs to be handled.  This summer hasn’t gone well for me in that area as I’ve had other stresses in life. 

Something as simple as changing the music I’m listening to helps me get more balanced and centered.  This puts me back in a good place at work and keeps me from strangling people (mostly) or grumbling at my student workers which they appreciate.

I’ve also noticed when I’m writing that I like to have classical music going.  It is background noise mostly.  I listen to Pandora through the Roku and I’ll notice the same song being played and become annoyed.  Then I have to remind myself that the last time I heard it was two or three hours previously.  When I get to this point, I usually turn the music off but that is also a good signal that it might be time for me to quit writing – especially if it is around midnight.

Music helps me to smooth out the rough edges of my day and cope with anything thrown at me.  It is an equalizer for me in maintaining my balance.

Check out my four books:
Secret Past
Available on Barnes and Nobles:
Available for sale at:
Available on Amazon:

Moon Affirmations  Daily Meditations Using the Moon Phase to Focus Your Energy

Moments in Nature

Moments in Spirit

Available at Smashwords:
Available on Amazon:

Playing on the teeter totter

Balance is important in life.  I know this but like most people I struggle with finding the time to do all the things that are important.  Like a teeter totter, balance is difficult to maintain.

It was a good day yesterday stepping out of writing mode and hanging with friends to do a double feature of movies and dinner.  I got a bit of everything yesterday.  I ran errands, worked on writing production, had fun with friends, and talked to my girls.

Last night while Ken watched football, I opened up a file of a story I’m trying to get finished.  I have two books done and am part way through the third.  The intention is to finish the story in the third book.  With all the tasks on these books, I get lost in the work and don’t make time to write.  Since I seem to be in a writing mood, I’ve started reading this series again to get back to telling the story.

I also took time out of writing mode to talk to my girls.  I video chatted with two of them and talked on the phone with the third one.

In my head, I know where I’m going but I just need to get it down on paper.  To do that I need to be less concerned with editing the second book and more concerned with finishing the third one.

Ken is working around the house today.  I’m going to work on the production of the next poetry book.  When I’m tired of that (or get stuck or my legs hurt too much) I”m going to switch to the recliner and either watch tv and crochet or work on the story.  I’ll see how the mood goes.

I’m trying to incorporate a little of what is needed in all aspects of my life.  Yesterday was a good day for balance.  I know that balance is a momentary thing.  With all that was scheduled, I managed to have some balance.  Who knows what today will bring.

The full moon is tonight and for the next three nights.  I’ll be trying to maintain some balance during this time.  I’ll also be thinking of what I need to let go of with the waning moon.  The waning moon decreases a little each night until the dark moon.  My question will be – what do I need to let go of by small (or large) increments during the harvest time?  I’m not sure I have an answer but as normally happens, I’m sure something will present itself.

Goals to Live By

The last three weeks have been filled with little sleep, lots of pain, and a lot of writing.  I started a story because I couldn’t sleep.  I worked on the story as the vision came to me of what it should be and where it should go.  The first rough draft is done.  93,181 words.  

The full moon is tomorrow.  I’m hoping that I can bring some balance into my life.  The story is done but the work to bring it forth is not.  I’ve got a rough draft which will need refining and smoothing out.  There are a thousand steps before the story can be grown into a book.  
With the full moon I’m looking for some balance in my home, work, writing and crocheting aspects of my life.  Maybe with the story out of my head I can go back to getting all the other tasks done that are grumbling at me.  
The completion of the story is exciting and a bit sad.  I have to let go of the story and move on to the next project.  Editing has to wait.  I can’t write this week and edit the same story next week.  I don’t have enough objectivity.  It’s a bit sad for me because for three weeks now these characters and their story have been almost all consuming.  I’m almost saying goodbye to some good friends.  Though I think in this case I’ll be revisiting them because I think there is another story to follow.  
Next project – the next poetry book – Moments in Life.  These will be all the poems I’ve written about life – my life. I have the cover done.  I’m happy with how it looks and I think it fits part of how I look at life.  I will be working today on narrowing down the poems and getting them categorized.  After that it is all production time – getting the poems in the order I want, cleaning up the file so they can go out there.  
Once I’m done with the poetry book, I’m going back to editing the second Defenders book.  I’m about halfway through that one and it is progressing.  The problem with the editing process is I sometimes get lost in where I am in the story.  When this happens, I have to go back and really think about what the purpose is of what I’m changing.  
It is a pay week and we are doing easy errands this weekend.  We went to Sorgs first thing this morning and tomorrow Ken will do the shopping.  I’ve had high pain levels all week and am still not at a great place for pain levels.  All I can do is manage at this stage in the game.  Until whatever is irritating works itself out of my system, I just have to keep working to get through every single day.  Some days I manage very well and other days I just want to sit in the dark and hope that I can sleep in order to escape the pain.  There isn’t anything anyone can do.  It is arthritis.  It can’t be cured or fixed.  It just is.  So I just cope.
When I have higher pain levels, it helps me to have goals.  They may be small goals like – I will sort poems or I will eat.  But these goals help me cope.  This is why my to do list is so important.  It gives me easy access to the things I want to get done so I can pick a goal and work on it without having to think about it.  
Pain level today – 8 (kinda sucky) but the goal – sort poems and finalize the cover.  Cover done.  Other goal – go see two movies to escape from life for a few hours.  I’m finally going to get to see How to Train Your Dragon 2!!!!  We are also going to see Guardians of the Galaxy.  This will be my afternoon goal.  Fun and escapism – two things I don’t often indulge in.  Today they are an important goal.