Tag Archives: truth

It only grows

It used to be that every other year, we did Thanksgiving with my parents, and the opposite with my in-laws. With my MIL’s passing last year, it hasn’t really had time to shift, but more it became if my sister and her brood would be present or not as they were still on the alternating year plan. Interestingly, this year my parents are taking the holiday to my sister since they cannot get away with school things. As my girls are older, we don’t have that hiccup…only multiple work schedules to navigate.

Which means…it’s just my household doing the holiday together…which is nice on many levels. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I love being with family and laughing…but there’s a perk to keeping the gathering small too. I have no idea how many years are left before there will be plus one’s at the table and it won’t just be us anymore. I can totally enjoy turkey day in my jammies this time instead of having to dress for the travel & company factor this round. We can have our favorites at the table and all the leftovers we can handle. There is a win-win to this scenario.

The challenge is everyone keeps adding to the menu and I think I’m going to need a bigger table soon if we hope to sit at one to eat. I am also wondering if I should make the bird. Our family is not opposed to turkey…I’m happy to make it…but good gracious the sides are getting to be so abundant, that I’m not sure anyone is going to eat turkey anyway. And, just when I think I have the list complete, and most of the ingredients, except the fresh ones, bought and set aside, someone adds another dish to the list. I’m going to be waddling for a week or more…and that’s before seasonal baking.

At this rate also, I’m not sure what NANO WRIMO holds for me. I had thought to use my holiday week to crack out the backlog, but at this rate, I’ll be in the kitchen…likely wearing ingredients and laughing like a maniac. 🙂 see…there was a writer’s reason to mention the holiday odd going on…food & family vs. words? Family wins.

My writing itinerary is getting complicated for 2018. Then again, I’m not sure I’d recognize it any other way. 🙂 manic is me.

What’s your favorite holiday dish? What’s the one you could live without? Enquiring minds want to know…and, s’long as I’m already cooking enough for a battalion, what else can I add to the fun?

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Stirring the water

More ages ago than I could accurately quantify, a speaker made the comparative reference to personal growth as ‘all in’ or likened to a stagnant pond. I think about their comments occasionally, using them as a metric for myself, based loosely on the ‘smell factor’ for the scum on the surface.  There is a great body of water I know for the mental imagery as well…if the spring warms faster than the aerators are activated…there is a lovely green, mossy blanket that covers the surface of the water. While pretty – it is clearly out of place.

The same can be true for notions about writer things. I’d much rather have my life pond look like this…colorful, peaceful, but also…scum free.

(Image source unknown. No copyright infringement intended.)

Why do I mention any of this? Well…I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I have a professional career outside of writing and publishing, one that I don’t always enjoy, but never fail to be proud of. The idea with that work is that we are always innovating, always growing, reaching out to serve the customer in new and different ways. For that position, I am also on a short list of folks for a chance to move up and be a deciding factor for a team, a location, a region, and my company. It’s daunting and exciting at the same time. There is no moss growing. There’s no time.

That said, I’ve often been fond of the notion that those who forget history, the past that brought us to this present, are condemned to repeat it. Consequently, I spend a fair amount of time learning, and sharing the past practices as we reach for new, better, or innovative ones to replace them for my non-author me. Interestingly enough, I’ve gotten an opportunity to do it for the writer side of the equation recently…and I’m submerged in the idea of how much publishing has changed.

Moreover, I’m shocked to see how some things have returned to the fore, often with the user none the wiser for the point. The dialogue and discourse of the industry has changed expansively, and divisively. I’m not saying anything new, I realize that…but in learning about where we have come from, to seeing what we’ve become…I understand better the confusion so many are experiencing. The sheer number of charlatan experiences is mind-boggling. And, I don’t believe that it’s on a course to turn away soon.

There’s another adage I know about filling many roles, but mastering none – I think that’s where publishing is right now. With the floodgates open to allow publication of works that have been neither edited, or reviewed, put into the mix by writers who don’t understand or know the history, the market has flooded. And, continues to run over. Unfortunately pooling in places that don’t get stirred.

There are pros and cons to this. Writers who the ‘gatekeepers’ withheld once upon a time until they were better positioned to be published, either by writing education, or storytelling instruction, etc…are out and in the market…and what early bard didn’t have a few bumps in their stories? At the same time…they are in the market without the benefit of firm guidance on those factors, nor the expanded circle that used to be the path. In my head I see a fish on land…

What I mean to point out is this…once upon a time, the work went through so many hands before getting to public consumption, the village worked together. Now, we have individuals who are author, editor, art designer, marketer, publisher, and media rep. How many hats can we wear well? I think it is far fewer than most believe. And, I would argue that running for the sake of running doesn’t eliminate pond scum, it only churns it up to smell as each task takes a turn on the bottom.

I further believe, that just because we are seeing someone do something, doesn’t make it responsible or an accurate practice. I think most of us NEED others in our circle of influence. I think it reveals a large scale problem with publishing right now…One we need to get ahead of and back down before it destroys us all. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the past. Innovation should be moving the bar farther…not bringing it down. We collectively need to be doing better. I think that includes reaching out to others, and clasping the hands of those who reach for us.

That said…we also need to know and understand when in the timeline it is time to regroup and right our own ship before we align with an armada that isn’t where we’re trying to go. At the end, balance is everything. It’s what keeps us moving forward without letting the moss grow. For me, after the recent learning curve, I’m more convinced than ever that I need to take some time to stir the water. The surface may be clear, but I’m not sure what’s lurking underneath. I can’t accept that.

Last – don’t forget about the Crossword puzzle blog hop…there have been hiccups, but I’m loving seeing so many new sites and what they have to offer. Hope you will too. Until next time, read something great, and tell your friends.

Sav

Recovery mode

What a year…SERIOUSLY, what a year??!

From the early months when we were hitting the 80’s before spring officially sprang, to the summer of rain and cool breezes… & finally the autumn of record and near record highs… It’s finally temperate, and average for the time of year, and I’m in shell-shock. 42 degrees overnight after sleeping in the upper 50s & low 60s with the windows open is a hard pill to swallow.

But, that’s only one of the whirlwinds I’m trying to wrap my head around. This year has been manic, and exhausting, and exceptional, even as it’s been ominous and scary. I haven’t found solid yet…which is a problem since next year is looking like it’s going to be similar – or worse.  I need to find a way to recover quicker. The weather going wonky just doesn’t work for me…I need something to be stable. 🙂 As if, right?

This week is the week. It has to be. This Saturday marks my final signing event for the year- GLASS CITY AUTHOR EVENT – WOOOOT!!! -so the last time to clear inventory before the crates get tucked onto the shelf for the season, or something like that. It’s not like they get buried. It’s also the final piece on my white board of doom…kind of like the white screen of death, except that everything starts on the board and slowly disappears. The notion that I’m starting November with the board blank is giving me a twitch…but I’m looking for the lining and organizing my thoughts to fill it early.

Jump starts are allowed, aren’t they?

My November Crossword Puzzle Bloghop is nearly finalized and ready…look for the details on that with my post next week. I’m so excited to play…I LOVE WORD GAMES. I can’t wait to see how this format goes. It’s a new one, so there’s bound to be hiccups…but I’m excited. I hope you’re planning to join me.

Honestly, I need a week, or a month… where the fam leaves and I can do the gut and grouse…tough love clean sweep of the house with no witnesses. I think that’s the problem I’ve got finding level. Everything around me goes up for grabs while I’m in the cave, but it keeps swirling once I emerge and I can’t get a clear shot to take it out, and keep it that way. I’d hire a maid, but this is SO MUCH MORE than maid issue…this is borderline hoarder in a couple of rooms that I can’t peek into without getting hives.

I think a track loader starting at the back, shoving it all to the curb would make me feel so much better…I just need the others to stop chaining themselves to the woobies, roller skates that no longer fit, and the lawn ornaments that migrated from other family members houses. Do you think they’d suspect cruise tickets or something?? I mean, I can’t wear this whiplash collar forever…it’s me or the stuff. I’m voting for me.

See you next week – hopefully saner. Til then, read something amazing and thank the author…leave a review.

Sav

 

Jiminy Cricket

“A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep…”

Sounds good, huh? It is too…until you get to this line,

“Whatever you wish for, you keep.”

and you realize that this does not apply to writers. I cannot tell you the sheer number of dreaming moments that quilted so beautifully together, weaving the story just so…that even with intentional waking to jot it down, have become completely lost to me.  I’ve resigned myself to the truth that Jiminy Cricket was not an author. So, I’ll just plan to wake up and get my cussing done with first…I’m certain I will’ve lost something through the sleeping part.

With authorship among the many hats that I wear, I find that lucid dreaming is either my staunch ally, or my dire nemesis. Usually the latter. 2017 was an incredible year, even as it was surreal and exhausting. I made a choice to take on a HUGE production schedule. ((I kept it by the way, much to even my surprise)) And…sadistic fool that I am, 2018 is looking to be equally manic, falling essentially even on the production side, but with additional appearances on the signing/convention side. Don’t worry, I’ve already ordered a new ‘hug-me’ jacket in lime green.

What’s a girl to do?

Well, it seems to me that I need to return to a practice that I’ve sort of scooted away from over the last couple years of crazy: guided meditation for goals. I have purpose when I meditate, usually relaxation, but I’ve not used it for my writing production for a long time now. I think that’s good and bad at the same time and it’s coming full circle. To get bigger, and busier, I need to slow down.

I’m thinking this is step one of my twelve step program to personal growth. Acknowledging the problem:

Since I can’t count on a cricket to get me to the goal…it’s probably up to me. *shrug* Somehow it always has been. 🙂

Til next time, read something awesome!
((OH…and don’t forget about the crossword puzzle blog hop in November…it’s going to be EPIC!!))

 

(don’t) Let it Show…

I’m not a big dog in this race…not even close. There are some that think I’m a big deal though, and well versed too…why? Because I learned one lesson in business young and have never forgotten it – Don’t flinch…and I don’t.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a full-blown tornado ripping though my soul at any given moment.

I did something a week or so ago, something I never thought I’d ever consider doing again…I pitched a literary agent to go back to traditional publishing. I LOVE being an Indie…don’t get me wrong, there’s just something about the idea of traditional backing, and marketing funds, and a few other perks that are tempting…though only recently. I’ll give it to you gospel…I was shaking in my shoes and nearly yerked my lunch before I got to the door. All in all, there are some great things on the horizon though because of that meeting…and I did manage to keep lunch in. So there’s that too. I just have to re-evaluate how I’m going to travel the road I’ve endeavored to take.

I’m fully confident of my abilities to write and be in the public eye at signings or conventions. I love the energy in a signing room…not gonna lie, it’s a hard habit to break and I have a fix every chance I get. That said, I also know my limitations. Public Relations and Marketing are easily my predominant Achilles heel, and the aspect of the business I struggle forward every inch to gain ground. I have to consider that I may need to go hybrid at the least to be able to have that front get the attention it deserves. It scares me more than a little, but I know I need help.

 

I did not make the decision to leave traditional publishing lightly. Any consideration to go back must be as carefully weighed. Whichever way this road goes, one thing will hold true…you won’t see my frenzy if I can help it. Composure will be me, if I have to stand on my own feet to accomplish it.

Actively baffled-

A long while back…or at least it seems like a long while back, it really wasn’t, I decided that in 2017 I was going to catch up. ’16 had damn near killed me, and my drive…I wanted a do-over.

The goal: Fulfill the docket from 16, and add 17 to the mix…meaning, EIGHT releases…EIGHT releases of MY OWN. Not counting an edit for someone else, or a publishing job for the house, that would all be extra…eight Savie V. releases.

Folks said I was crazy. Heck, I said I was crazy…I was right. I was, still am.

BUT…I did it. Gravedigger releases this coming Saturday. I confirmed it with the final upload around 12:30 this morning. I’ve been sussing over it for weeks now, not happy with little pieces here or there. I was seriously debating killing my ability to do a preorder for the next year…and push it back or cancel the preorder all together. I was that irritated with pieces. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it though.

I’m glad I didn’t. Gravedigger has shown me something that I needed to see, and while it was enlightening…it has also left me actively baffled about where I’m going next.

I’ve called myself a Contemporary Vagabond for a long while now, and I think that will hold true…but, I’m seeing a few things shift as I’ve been writing this year; my tendencies narrowing, my tastes…refining perhaps, and my choices…they don’t surprise me as much as they used to. I am enjoying writing certain genres and twists more than others, and I’m harder-pressed to turn down some things than others.

The biggest shock is that a piece I wrote to stand alone…I believe is going to launch a series. I fell in love with a character who, even though the story is done and in print, won’t stop talking to me. I’ll tell you more about them soon. right now…I’m here to tell you that release #7 of the year, Gravedigger comes out this Saturday. The preorder is live for $0.99 but that price will not last. The change date is on my calendar already….don’t wait.

Release #8 of mine for the year is Veil Break. It comes out in the Haunting Savannah set on October 10th. I am thrilled to share that story in a set with other awesome writers…great all 8 stories at once…just in time for Halloween!

‘Til next time…I’m taking a day to maybe sleep normal, then packing for Penned Con in St. Louis. The writing parts may be done, but the adventure always beckons.

see you soon.

 

Sanity is over-rated.

It’s go time. I’ve been working for this kick off point for half of the year between other things, and honestly…I’m ready to wrap. How abysmal is that? I’m at the beginning of my victory lap and I’m too pooped to run it. lol

I will. No worries…I always rally. Right now, I’m just zoinked from the hard run marathon to reach this point.

What am I talking about?? FIVE RELEASES IN SIX WEEKS.
Yupp, you read that right. Even though one has moved dates, the lead up didn’t change…so in my mind it still counts.

Ready??
Here goes.
Tomorrow, Tuesday August 29: Imposs-i-Bella releases.

Tuesday September 12: Book of Mysteries (The Custos Series book 3) releases.
AND Rogue in Cimmerian Shade Limited Edition box set releases.

Saturday September 30: Gravedigger releases.

Tuesday October 10: Veil Break in Haunting Savannah releases.

I’m going to grin like a madman when it’s all done…but right now I could use a masseuse, a housekeeper, and a cook.

True story.

Sav

Diluting expectations

I have OCD. EXTREME OCD as a matter of fact. Ask anyone who knows me a bit. I have the horrible habit of remembering most things in detail as well…which honestly hurts my head at times. I can, in many cases, remember a conversation verbatim, where others simply don’t recall it at all. It’s a burden I’d like to unload.

Add to this that I’m a bit of a workaholic. I run until I drop, I’ll write until I can’t see the screen or page, and I pack more into my schedule than I probably should, if I want people to believe I actually value my sanity. I’d like to find a way to ease off this too…but I know it won’t happen.

So, I’m trying to employ some breathing and meditation again. The problem is not that I can’t manage the burden I have, but that I look for when others pick up to the level of my crazy and get frustrated when they won’t, don’t, or can’t. Mostly, I’m pretty good at that and keep moving. Lately, with respect to the day job, I’m homicidal often and leaving it at the office is more difficult by the day.

I’m counting down to vacation like a condemned waiting for the chair.

Collecting Pens

I’m finding that I’ve lapped myself on the hamster wheel lately. It’s a good thing, even as I fight not to give in and let myself ride the next turn and slow down. If it wouldn’t put me severely behind, I would in an instant. But alas, it will only make the next lap harder and I find that catching up is simply not in my ability if I get too far behind.

Instead, I’ve taken to doing some long hand writing. It’s got a certain meditative quality to it that typing can never encompass. As such, I’ve also taken turns writing with the myriad pens I’ve collected over the years, or through other authors at signings…because I’m a pen whore. There, I said it. No, I don’t want a 12-step program. I happen to love my obsession. There is something about finding one that just glides for you that makes the words all the more magical.

Do you have a favorite? A favorite single you’ve never been able to replace, or is it a certain brand that works for you every time? What about the feel? I have recently discovered one that I like a lot…and then found that it came in different barrel styles. They are NOT the same, even though the ink and roller are…the feel is completely foreign and I cannot make myself pick the one up…which really bites because I bought a whole package of them.

So…what’s a girl to do?

Part of me thinks that authors, like the president, should write one word or letter and then give them away like prizes. Could that become a thing? ‘Here, I wrote with this…treasure it forever.’ Somehow, unless you’re a big shot, and it has your name on it, and maybe the title of the work it was used for, and maybe some writer’s tears on it, I don’t think so. Guess I’ll go back to the old stand-by solution…donating them to the classrooms at the local school. Somebody is always needing one, right? That’s what I’m telling myself.

Meanwhile, the tried and true I’ve fallen completely in love with ones will make it into one of the multiple holders around my office and wait for rediscovery. I mean, fair is fair…gotta try them all. Don’t I?

Support hose on standby

I’ve never felt so old in my life.

A former assistant of mine was fond of commenting how the body began its crumble at 40. I laughed at her for years…
Having managed to eeek out another decade before mine started giving in, I guess I should be grateful, but MANNNNN, there are days when I’m thinking the years since 40 conspired and jumped to catch up all at once! My bones hurt, and my muscles argue for days after I do any project that is remotely physical.

My mad scramble lately has been wrapping a couple of writing projects for deadlines so I could get my office moved out of the lower level where just about every recent storm has decided to come in. Saturday night at 10:52 CST, the last of the words were sent off and it was time. The next line of storms are already tracking this way. I had to move quickly.

Over the next 24 hours, THIS…

 

…became this.

It sure feels empty now.
I’ll be spending the next week or so getting everything re-homed in the new space. Paint and recently shampooed carpets weren’t quite dry…so I’m giving it time. (or, maybe it’s just me needing a break.)

Either way, I’ve earned a respite…a day or two anyway. Stories #5 & #6 of 8 for 2017 have whisked away to where they need to be and it will be time to take #7 & #8 off the shelf to rework, clean, & polish once the office is back up. I can ill-afford the day…but at the same time, there isn’t another one coming soon, or in sight.  I set a heavy load & aggressive pace for this year. I’m determined to complete (and survive) it. Come November…Scotch for everyone. I’m pouring if I can move. 🙂

Til next time…all the usuals; read something good, take care of you, and keep checking my facebook page and author website, I’m still in the midst of cover reveals, preorders going live, and author features for my co-conspirators in Cimmerian Shade. Don’t miss out!!

Sav