I am now officially writing for Examiner.com as the Mesa Books Examiner. I’m so excited about this that I had to tell you all and drop the link: http://www.examiner.com/x-34085-Mesa-Book-Examiner
Check it out when you have a chance, subscribe if you feel like it, and please leave a comment if you so choose.
If you follow me on Twitter, you may know that I was recently in the hospital. I believe it was Wednesday, but don’t quote me on that because my mind is nothing but fog right now. The question you’re probably asking is why? Well, I have a pinched sciatic nerve. The same situation that lost me my job last year and took several months to recover from even with doctor treatment.
So much so that I can’t concentrate on work – writing of any kind – that would pay me. I can’t clean my house. I can barely drive anywhere. I can’t pack for the inevitable eviction from my house. I can’t sit up straight. I can almost stand straight, but I’m a little crooked. Reading doesn’t seem to be an issue, however. Go figure.
And I have a high pain tolerance.
Do you ever get charlie horses that wake you from a dead sleep? That’s the pain I have shooting down my left leg constantly, only times it by ten. That’s the best way I can describe the pain to anyone who hasn’t experienced sciatica. A friend just recently told me she’d rather experience childbirth again than go through sciatica pain. That’s vivid for ya.
The hospital gave me medication to dull the pain, but it doesn’t help me with the work thing because it puts me to sleep, so I’m either in pain or I’m passed out or I’m loopy for a bit before passing out. Great, isn’t it?
I’m working on getting healthcare through the state – AHCCCS – which is why I went to the hospital, aside from the fact that the pain was so great I was in tears. It goes through faster from the hospital. My next step is disability because not only do I have this lovely pain in my hip and leg, but I also have fibromyalgia, which intensifies everything. Disability will take 3 to 5 months of processing before they’ll deny me and then I’ll have to appeal. That’s how the system works.
So, my goal right now is to lessen the pain so I can write a few articles here and there to make some money. So I can go through my house and sell things on eBay, Craigslist, or in a yardsale, so we have enough money to move wherever we’re moving to next.
It’s all a little difficult to do when I’m passed out, but I’m working on it little by little. I’ll be posting eBay listings on here and on Twitter. I’d really appreciate it if you’d at least take a look at what I have. I’ve already started the first lot below.
As thankful as I am for my angels that have helped throughout the months, I feel bad if I’m not giving something in return. I’ll even offer editing services for a donation.
It’ll give me something to do and keep my mind off the pain.
I have a Realtor coming to the house on January 5th to help me do a short sale. I won’t make any money off of this. My house is worth $83K. That’s a joke when I paid $152K for it and owe $213K. As long as it keeps me from going into foreclosure, I’m fine with that, if I can find a place to live.
So, that’s pretty much where I’m at right now. If the pain doesn’t lessen over the next couple of days, I’ll be back at the hospital. And of course, I’ll be tweeting with pictures like the last time.
In the meantime, I’ll do my best to work on some short stories for donation purposes.
Regardless of the multiple angels I’ve had help me lately here and there, here’s the deal: times are tough. You know this, I know you know this because times might be tough for you too. Someday, I’ll be in a position to be the angel again, but right now, I need dog food, among other things. But I’m not gonna ask for help straight out. I feel bad doing that. At least buy something from me. When I have some short stories ready, I’ll post them with a donation link, but until then, it’ll have to be eBay.
Here are my babies:
For starters, I have things for sale on eBay. If you like something, make a bid or two. If not, ask me what else I might have in the comments here. You never know. I have a household full of goods to get rid of, which I am slowly doing beginning today. I will be putting more up soon. This is just the first lot of things. I don’t have international shipping checked because eBay messes it up and charges a fortune, so if you see something, let me know immediately here in the comments sections and I’ll see how much it’ll really cost me…or you.
And so we begin…
eBay lot #1:
More will be posted in a separate blog post as I continue to list items. Thanks for taking a look and happy bidding, if you bid.
Or, you can donate if you so choose.
But with each passing day
I just want to sleep
So my friend Lee has the heat miser up on Twitter as his avatar. I thought I’d complement him with the snow miser, but given our respective places of residences, it really should be the other way around. Either that, or someone below the equator needs to put up the heat miser. heh
Found the video of their songs for you from the original show The Year Without A Santa Claus. Enjoy!
Merry Christmas one and all!
I’m really quite surprised I haven’t done a post on this topic before because I talk about it a lot. I may have mentioned the muse in other posts, but today I’ve decided to dedicate an entire post to the subject. Actually, I had the idea last night but was too out of it to do anything. That’s my life these days. Either I’m in extreme pain, or I’m too loopy to care, which means I can’t write much of anything. My lack of writing has nothing to do with a muse, and I’m certain a story will come from my pain eventually. However, my friend Pauline Campos did put up a post today regarding the muse because we, along with a few others, discussed it last night. The reason for that discussion is the following quote that my friend Crystal Posey has up on her blog:
I have to agree with Nora Roberts here. It is a job. The discussion last night went into the fact that “it’s not a job until it pays me.” I have to disagree with that. I think it’s like starting your own business. You have to put in a lot of hours before you’ll get paid for the work. Writers have a lot to learn about writing during the process, just like you learn how to do your job when you first start. There’s a lot of practice and study involved. And then we have to learn how to write a query letter and a synopsis, both of which are completely different from writing a novel, and both of which are a dreadful process in my mind. There are books on writing to read, workshops and conferences to attend, and also learning how to critique properly so your writing group doesn’t have you drawn and quartered. Stephen King once said something along the lines of you have to write a million words before you’re any good at it. Wise words, I think, and correct. Writers never stop learning. I’ve watched my writing improve greatly over the years, and I’m somewhere close to that one million words now, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop learning at any given point. Every day I learn something new in the world of writing, and I love it.
I “hear” writers talk about their “muse” all day on Twitter. “The muse isn’t talking…” or “The muse won’t shut up.” That muse is a fickle bitch, isn’t she? This tells me that these writers sit around waiting for their inspiration, waiting for the story to talk, waiting for the muse to get out of her bad mood or whatever, before they can write a single word on the page. I say bullshit to that. I had a muse once. I killed the bitch because she was a waste of my time. Really, I just learned how to write without her. Inspiration has nothing to do with a muse whispering in your ear, but then, some would say that Inspiration IS a Muse. I’ve stated before that Life is my inspiration. It could be anything I experience. For instance, I walked into my bedroom last night and a scene with dialog started in my mind. It’s a scene from my second demon hunter book, Dawn of Life. There was Lucius, lying on the bed in all his yummy goodness. A nice clear image, like watching a movie, that came out of nowhere. Perfectly clear dialog to the point that I could hear his voice. It makes me sound schizophrenic, but I’ve already discussed writers and their schizophrenia in my post on The Fourth Wall. When I returned to my laptop, I wrote the short scene down. I don’t know if I’ll ever use it, but it’s there in the file. I have several notebooks and folders jammed with ideas like this that come in a constant barrage of sparks. Some light up my mind while others fizzle out, but I write them all down because I never know when I’ll need one of them. On my nightstand, there is a book of the week I’m reading, a journal, a small notebook that is nearly full, a composition notebook, and I usually bring my large spiral-bound notebook to bed with me. The large notebook has everything in it, from my To Do list to poetry to ideas to actual scenes for whatever book. In essence, it wasn’t a Muse’s voice I heard whispering in my ear last night when I walked into the room. I heard Lucius, and if that makes him my muse, then every single character I’ve ever written down is a muse as well. That’s a lot of damn muses, if you ask me. I have several characters across many books. And no offense to them, but I’m not going to wait around for them to start talking. They’re going to talk when I need them to talk.
In case it’s not clear, I don’t believe in muses. To me, s/he is just an excuse for not writing, and I think that you can write no matter the content. If I can’t seem to work on a story, I write a blog like I’m doing now. Or maybe I’ll write a poem instead. Either way, I’m writing something. Usually, I have two or three WIPs open and I’ll jump from one to the other to see which one feels like “talking.” That’s mainly because I am not a plotter. I don’t work from an outline, or at least, it’s very rare when I do. Even then, I usually abandon the outline at some point. The only thing that has ever kept me from writing is illness or extreme pain. Life does get in the way sometimes, interrupting the flow of words, but if you look close, I’m sure you’ll find some of what happens can be put to use in a story or two. You write what you know, right? Exactly, and that’s where Nemesis came from last year.
I know there are priorities, such as family and that dreaded thing called reality, but reality has a time and a place. I don’t have the luxury of children, and my priorities are minimal, but I do keep myself tethered to the really real world so I don’t lose my mind. However, I always have that one foot in the door of my imagination because that’s where the ideas come from, and if I allow that door to close, they might stop flowing. I can’t allow that to happen because I am a writer. It is my job. It may not pay just yet, but someday soon, it will.
And when it does, I’ll still stand here and tell you that there’s no such thing as a Muse.
For all the aspiring authors out there, here’s something you should definitely check out if you’re having trouble writing the dreaded query letter. I know that damn thing stumped me.
I just finished a two-week query workshop with CJ Redwine, and it was AWESOME! I first stumbled upon CJ by way of the Query Shark last year. Her query was the first GOOD EXAMPLE posted on that blog, and it was so stellar that I had to check out her blog. Very funny and I quickly became a fan. I followed her on Twitter, talked to her a bit, and when I joined Facebook, she was already there because she’d sent me an invitation. Earlier this year, she introduced me to her sister, HC Zuerner, via Twitter, and HC has become one of my best friends.
CJ offers a six-lesson workshop and critique during the final stage of your query for a great price. If you register early, the price is discounted. I believe she’s running another one in January, so keep checking the blogs and jump on it when the time comes. Also, if you refer someone, you can get a free 5-page critique of your MS. The first five pages, of course, and totally worth it. Even if you don’t refer someone, CJ does offer critiques. I’ve seen her critiques and it’s worth the money.
In the workshop, she covers the essentials to writing a good query letter for hooking an agent. She’ll go over the Do’s and Don’t's of query letter writing, the three main parts of the query, and offer some great resources, such as essential agent blogs to follow and Query Tracker, a site designed to help you organize your query, who you’ve sent it to, and who has rejected it or asked for material. It’s really a great website. And she’ll answer your questions. You know you have them.
There were several revisions of my query, but we finally nailed it and I am very excited about sending it out in January/February once my critique partner and I go through one last full edit of the MS. And here it is:
Prince Charming number two was even worse.
After the last prince ran off without any notice, breaking her heart and their engagement along the way, Nemesis Mussolini swore off men and passed the time kicking ass and slinging drinks, something her mafia father would never approve of. But, when her boss Clancy ups his flirtations, it’s difficult to remember she’s not interested, especially when he gets that delicious evil glint in his eye that has her melting. Just when Nemy starts to think all men might not be bad, she hears whispers about Clancy’s less than legal past, and wants to run like hell from the idea that he could be just like her father.
While Nemy and Clancy tumble down the romance road, hitting potholes every step of the way, Nemy discovers how much of her heart already belongs to Clancy, and how much of a Don’s daughter she really is. When Clancy’s daughter is kidnapped, they must work together to use every talent and connection they have to get her back, which means Nemy must learn to trust again. If they fail, Clancy could lose his daughter forever. Can Nemy surrender in time to get her happily ever after, or is she hell-bent on letting her past keep her from the one man who could be her true Prince Charming?
Now, here’s praying that query letter works and I at least get a partial request. Last time I sent out queries, nada, but that query was awful. I can go forth with confidence now that I’ve had some great advice and learned a few things. Thank you, CJ!
Oh, and CJ, I just have one request: can you PLEASE do a synopsis workshop? I’d definitely sign up!
…when it comes to spelling and grammar.
1. I’ve learned over the last year and a half that one’s thought processes can change when exposed to bad spelling and grammar. For instance, I now confuse the term your/you’re when tweeting; something I’ve never done before. WTF? Stop it, people, you’re messing me up.
2. The delete option is quite useful when one updates without proofreading their tweets.
3. Yes, I proofread my tweets, much like everything else I write.
4. I’ll even proofread this blog before I post it.
5. In fact, before posting this, the title said “Twitter Suck…”
6. The Retweet feature is driving me nuts: “Here I am” … “Oh, now I’m gone”
7. Although, I really do like the retweet feature. I hate copying and pasting all the time.
8. I have not yet confused its/it’s, so I guess I’m ahead.
9. As long as I don’t write like that in my MS, I’m good to go.
10. Check this out:
11. This was a much better idea at 4AM when I thought of it. Wait, that may have been 5AM. Who the hell knows.