Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hurry Up And Wait...

            Well, although it doesn't seem possible, it's the last day of January already.  I've finished the pages of questions about the cover art, my bio and even taken a picture that didn't make me wince.  I've finished reformatting the manuscript; managing to weed out some passive voice in the process.  And so now, I am to sit and wait for my editor to contact me. 
            Have I mentioned I'm not a good waiter?  Don't get me wrong.  I try. I do my best to be patient.  I just don't succeed very well.  I get anxious and antsy.  Then, I'm afraid, I get cranky.  It's probably a good thing that a writer leads a lonely life, or I'd have alienated the elite few friends I have.
            I suppose I could start reformatting the second book in the series.  Or, I could work on finishing the fifth (and, I believe, the final) book in the series. Of course, I'm not sure if I want to work on that one, until I know there won't be many significant changes to my on-going plot line.
            I could work on a new idea I had last November; or work on polishing and revising Lizzie Borden novel. The thing is they both require research.  
            Now, I have all the Lizzie Borden research done.  However, the dogs have been entertaining themselves all winter by running through the pile of books and the basket of printed information.  This means, I'll have to allocate the dining room table for the research; after I've spent at least a day re-organizing the papers.
            The alternative would be researching Ante-Bellum and Creole plantation life.  I don't mind research and I've already starting pulling information together.  I spent several days 'blending' a number of actual plantation houses to create my 'Camellia Plantation' house. Then I sketched out the front view and the first floor.  I was working on the second-story floor plan of my mythical plantation home; and was already thinking about doing furniture plans, as well, when I got the reformatting info and cover art questionnaire.  
            I'd also started reading some of the vintage fashion magazines for clothing ideas. Yeah, I know.  I can get a bit obsessive.  However, in my own defense, I did stop myself from making paper dolls of the female characters and their wardrobes.
            And, I had the colored pencils out and everything…

Monday, January 16, 2012

Are You Missing Something, Or Am I?

            When Windows '95 and home computers came out, I was right there. I embraced the computer, the internet and email. It was great to be able to research all sorts of things - to see all kinds of things - all over the world. But there's too much 'social networking' going on now.
            I had a cell phone early on. And, I think that might be part of the problem.  I saw the cell phone as a convenience - for emergency situations. It was for calling, AAA or the police. It was to keep someone from worrying if I'm running really late. Not to chatter away with anyone willing to listen.
            Okay, I admit it, there were a few times when I threw caution to the wind and ordered Chinese food when I left the bank or hair dressers or vets, so I could just pick it up on the fly. But that was it!
            There was a time when I was going through the divorce and traveling a lot. The cell phone kept me in touch with people I wanted to talk to - and I loved that. However, it also kept me within reach of people (read my 'not-soon-enough-to-be-ex' husband here) I didn't particularly want to talk to.
            Now people 'Instant Message' and update their status on 'facebook' the entire time they're suppose to be working on the computer. And, they're phoning, texting and tweet people the rest of the time. When do they think, create and dream?
            There are times (many times) when we need to retreat into that personal bathysphere of ourselves: to contemplate an idea, expand a dream or just regroup. Never forget that.
            The bottom line is if you have to always be communicating with other people, checking on how they feel about things and what they think, you've got a problem. If you can't stand to be alone, there's something fundamentally wrong with you - with how YOU see yourself.
            Spend some time communicating with yourself. Learn how to like yourself - just as you are. And the great thing is you don't need high-speed internet or a good cellular plan - all you  need is a quiet place and you!