Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we're never too old for a little sexy romance…
Browsing Writer’s moments

Tuesday Cross-Post

March14

While I’m on social media hiatus, I’m going to cross-post my Word Wranglers blog here–it’s not lazy, I promise. I’m just trying to keep traffic to both sites moving along.

I’m sure you’re probably sick of hearing about this, but I’ve been off social media for two weeks now. That doesn’t seem like all that long, but seriously, it’s been tough. Mostly because I live kind of a solitary life here—I edit, I write, I hang out with Husband, and I bug Liz with texts and gChat. However, I’ve never whined about working at home. It’s a great gig. Where else can you go to the office in your jammies and get your laundry done the same time you get your work done? And pretty much, I’m free to take off at any given time of day to hit the grocery store (although Husband has pretty much taken over that duty) or take a walk or go to the pool or go see Dee or meet Sister PJ for lunch. That part rocks, no question. The good stuff far outweighs the not-so-good, no matter what you may read here today.

But . . . ah, you knew there was a but, didn’t you? There always is. So here’s the thing—and this is true for every freelancer I know. We tend to use the Internet, specifically Facebook and Twitter, but more Facebook, as our virtual water cooler. It’s where we keep up with what’s going on in the world, where we chat about last night’s episode of Designated Survivor or Victoria and the latest breakthroughs in great software and tools for editing. It’s how I know when the most recent version of CMS is hitting the shelves and whether or not Acme Publishing has decided to outsource all their production work to India. Facebook editor groups are a terrific resource for any and all grammar, usage, and style questions I may have.

As for the writer part of me—social media keeps me up-to-date on my favorite authors, lets other authors know I’m around and accepting work or that I’m out of the office and not taking on any new clients at the moment. This is all stuff that I can post to my blog—www.nanreinhardt.com—(See what I did there? I just threw in a free promo for my blog . . . and all you have to do is click!). I can also answer questions in emails and I do get frequent notes from clients and potential clients, so that’s all good. But still . . . I’m feeling a little out of touch.

So you see can why I’m sorta suffering from a huge chasm of lonely right now . . . darn good thing I have Netflix and knitting and my treadmill. I can watch and knit and watch and walk—it’s a win all the way around. Thankfully, my new favorite podcast, https://chipperish.com, is on the same page as I am right now regarding binge-watching TV. Lani Diane Rich is doing weekly podcasts about different episodes of The West Wing, one of my all-time favorite series. It’s been fun to watch the assigned episode and then listen to the podcast—the second one of which drops tomorrow—yay! I can get an amazing amount of knitting done through four or five episodes of Toby and Sam and CJ and Josh and the rest of the inhabitants of the West Wing. (Notice I mentioned Toby first—he’s my favorite character—sensitive, uber-intelligent, and sexy in a balding professorial kind of way.)

Anyway, Netflix is saving my sanity through Lent, which may possibly mean that I’ve merely exchanged one bad habit (too much time on social media) for another (too much time binge-watching TV). However, I don’t think so. I look at Netflix as discovery–absorbing narrative–which always makes you a better writer. So here’s the inevitable Word Wranglers closing question: If you gave up social media for forty days, what do you think you’d use to replace it? Discuss . . .

Saturday Is Sunny

March11

It’s sunny today–cold, but sunny. We’ve been spoiled by spring weather in winter this year, so this sudden switch to normal temperatures is making us all a little whiny. But you know, I don’t mind the cold so much. The air is crisp and clean–with the sun shining, the chill isn’t quite so biting.

I’m deep into the second week of being off social media and I’m still alive. Actually, being away from Facebook and Twitter is much lonelier than I ever imagined it would be. I’m not sure why, but in my head, the hiatus would mean that people would email and text me and check in here. But they’re not. I’m rather silly to expect that. Facebook is an easy check-in–just click Like and friends know you’re there and that you’re okay with whatever they’ve posted. Comments are even nicer unless someone is trashing you, but even so, it’s acknowledgement, right? Apparently, I’m more of an attention junkie than I believed myself to be. Who knew?

Writing goes along–I’m working with my crit partners on Sarah’s story and I think I may be figuring out where to go next. I toyed with the idea of not having any sex in this book and I confess the reason was I’m not crazy about writing those scenes. I thought I could maybe get away with it because of Sarah’s aversion to all things physical–she was abused in every way by her ex-husband. But the amazing Cheryl Brooks, who is one of my critique partners, pointed out that I would disappoint my readers if I didn’t have Tony and Sarah make love. Fans of the Women of Willow Bay books have come to expect some level of sensuality, so I’m going to put in a love scene . . . She’s right of course–my WOWB happily-ever-afters depend on sensual loves scenes. But I need to be very aware of Sarah’s issues when I write it.

In the meantime, here’s a taste of Tony and Sarah’s budding romance. Their first date is dinner, a walk along the jetty, and then a trip to the shooting range so Sarah can learn to use her new pistol–what Julie later refers to as a “cop date.” 😉 Sarah revealed some of what happened to her when she was married, and Tony can’t hide his fury at her ex-husband. She interprets his anger as judgement of her and tells him to go screw himself, but he chases after her to explain that he’s not judging her–that he never would.

Tony dug his toes into the sand, his heart heavy as he imagined a defeated, grieving Sarah fleeing the home that had turned into her worst nightmare.

Dear God in heaven.

Now he’d blown it. He’d be lucky if she ever spoke to him again. She’d probably leave Willow Bay and he’d never see her after tonight. “I didn’t mean to hurt you or frighten you . . .” He hung his head. “Jesus. Those are the very words I never ever wanted to have to say to you, and here I am saying them on our first date. I like you. I like you so much and . . . God, I’m a jerk.” He put one hand out. “Here, let me take you home.”

Silence stretched between them, widening the gulf he was sure was getting bigger with every word he uttered. At last she sighed. “I believe you’re not judging me, Tony. I-I’m not used to normal men, to normal male reactions.” She stepped closer to him, reaching out to touch his arm before snapping her hand back. “And I’m prickly, especially when I talk about . . . then. I struggle everyday with the fact that I’m a victim. I hate it.”

Were a victim,” he corrected, longing to tug her into his arms or at the very least, take her hand. “You are a strong woman, Sarah Reynolds.”

“Not so much.” She gave him the faintest of smiles. “I’m mostly a basket case—hopped up on mood-enhancing drugs and just trying to make it through each day without screaming like a banshee.”

Encouraged by the smile, however faint, Tony extended his arms toward the sky. Time to bring in some levity. If he was emotionally exhausted, poor Sarah had to be drained. “You feeling the need to scream right now? I’ve been told I can sometimes incite that urge. Hey, we can stand here and howl at that puny-ass moon if you want.” He threw his head back and let out a low coyote yowl, side-eyeing Sarah the entire time and praying he hadn’t ruined their tentative friendship.

* * * *

Sarah stared in disbelief as Tony took a deep breath and let out another howl that echoed over the bay. The silver threads in his salt-and-pepper hair shone in the lights the lined the sidewalk to the beach and she clenched her fists to keep from stroking the strands that curled over his shirt collar. Inanely, the thought occurred to her that he could use a haircut. Dimples bracketed his grin when he glanced over at her and nodded.

Dammit, he was handsome. Not suave, sophisticated handsome, but good-looking in a rugged, plaid-flannel-and-denim kind of way. He exuded gentleness, and even at his angriest, he would never hurt a living soul. She realized that now as she studied him standing there at the edge of the water yipping at the moon. Tony Reynard was the kind of man you instinctively trusted even if you were a woman who’d never consider trusting any man again . . . ever.

“Come on, join in,” he said. “It’s very cathartic . . . and kinda fun.”

“Um, I’m not all that much of a howler,” she said, even though the idea was intriguing. How many times in her life had she wished she could let go and wail? She’d never done it—not once in all the years of her marriage . . . or after.

Maintaining an iron clamp on her emotions was what kept her sane. If she let herself howl, she might not ever be able to stop, and then they’d surely lock her up in a rubber room forever. “Besides, there are people down there.” With a little jerk of her head, she indicated a group gathered around a beach fire in the distance.

“Nobody cares. Hell, I’m surprised they haven’t already joined in.” The words were barely out of his mouth when a yowl that sounded like a wounded hyena, followed by laughter came from the direction of the bonfire.

He chuckled. “See?” He howled again, grinning as several of the beach partiers responded in kind.

“I seriously wonder about this town.” Ambling closer to Tony, she put her head back and let out quiet yelp. She sounded pretty pitiful, so she took a deep breath, opened her arms, and gave it another try. This one came out more like an owl’s hoot, however her effort got an answering cheer from the group in the distance, most of whom were on their feet, dancing, yowling, and whooping. When she glanced at Tony, he was beaming at her like a proud father whose kid had just hit a home run in the little league championship game. She faced him, turning her palms up in a self-conscious shrug. “I imagine I’ll learn to howl better.”

“You howl just fine, Sarah Reynolds.” Tony extended his hand. “Come on, wanna go shoot some bad guys?”

Let me know what you think . . .

On 2016 . . .

December30

It’s almost the end of 2016–something I’m kinda grateful for because it’s been a crappy, crappy year. From politics to my own health, 2016 has been hard.

The politics thing is going to have to work itself out–I can’t control it nor would I choose to, but I will say that I’m happy I live in the United States, it’s a great country. However, I’m not one bit happy about our new president, but you know what? I’m not the first person to be unhappy about who got elected president of this great country and I won’t be the last. The difference is that this election has affected me more than any other has since I’ve been voting age–for the first time, I’m sad and scared for our country. Maybe time will help–I hope so. I also hope that after the inauguration, we will see this president become a strong, fair, thinking leader. I pray for his wisdom every single day and for the safety of all us. For my part, I will write my congressmen and senators, I will continue to read and learn and stay informed, I’ll pray for our nation and our leaders, and I will work to keep love and peace in my little corner of the world.

As for my health . . . well, things are better. The meds changes are helping my heart considerably. I see the cardiologist in mid-January and hopefully, I’ll get the okay to be normal again. The arthritis flare-ups are under control and I’m feeling well and strong enough to return to the gym and begin working out again, which is terrific. I’ll start slow, so I don’t irritate anything, but moving regularly will be a very good thing. I pretty much ate whatever I wanted in whatever quantities I wanted over the holidays–that will stop, too, which should help. 😉 All in all, the outlook is sunny on the health front.

Writing is a little rough right now–Sarah’s story is sorta stuck and I’m not sure why. I haven’t written in about 10 days, mostly because Nan, the writer and editor, became Nanny, grandmother deluxe. I have no problem with that. I adore Grandboy and spending time with him and Son and DIL has been wonderful. I wouldn’t change it for the world. But, I do need to restart my writing program of getting up early to write for an hour or so. That certainly worked for a couple of months. I confess also that I’m confused about where I want to go with the writing career. I think I want to find a publisher instead of self-pubbing any more of my books, but I don’t know for sure. I have so many things to consider, not the least of which is money. I’m doing okay selling books on my own–not fabulous, but I’m getting royalties every month and I know a lot of traditionally published romance authors who can’t say the same thing. But, I can’t get over feeling like I’m not a real author–I know, I know . . . I am a real author, but I guess there’s a part of me that needs the industry to acknowledge that.

Work was good in 2016–I stayed mostly with fiction editing and I have to say, I adore working with fiction authors and with the companies who publish them. It’s fun and man, there’s nothing more professionally satisfying that having a world-class, famous romance author tell their publisher, “I adored this copyeditor, and I’d love to submit a request for that person to work on all of my books in the future.” Wowza! They never know my name and that’s okay because they know I’m a good copy editor and that’s all the validation I need. Also, I’ve got a small stable of indies that I edit for and they are all good writers whom I enjoy working with and am very proud of. I’m not sure if I’ll be adding any new indies to my client list in 2017–that remains to be seen. I try to stay fluid about that because work ebbs and flows and I must bob along in the surf as best I can, but for now, I’m all good and looking forward to a great new year of editing.

I guess that’s it. Except for gratitude–always, always I remain grateful for the many blessings in my life–here are just a few:

  1. Husband, Son, DIL, and Grandboy and Sister, who light up my life with joy.
  2. My dear friends (you know who you are), who will always laugh and cry with me–I love you all.
  3. A warm home and plenty to eat in a world where so many don’t have even those necessities.
  4. Important work to do.
  5. A church home that fills my spirit.
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Still Here, Still Grateful

November17

Nancy's MI trip 077 whiteriver07These are pictures of the lighthouse at Point Betsie in Frankfort, MI–the town Willow Bay is based on. Remember this lighthouse–it will show up in Sarah’s story and in Libby’s, too–the Women of Willow Bay books currently in progress.

I’m behind, as usual, but with good reasons . . . well, okay, decent excuses. I confess gratitude comes hard after this election because I’m sad and scared. But, sad and scared is no way to live. Neither is angry, so I’m working very hard to remember that I live in a great country. America is already great and we’ve survived this long because of our diversity and creativity and our mutual respect for one another. We can do this. We can. Son and I were talking about how folks have compared this situation with Germany in the late thirties and although, I get why the comparison is being made, I’m not convinced it’s a valid one. First of all, nothing gets hidden in this country thanks to social media, 24-hour news cycles, and cell phones with cameras. Second, our president-elect is not a stupid man–he knows he can’t turn this country on its ear without getting a lot of push-back from the citizens. I pray he finds wise counsel.

Also, Son and I were talking the other day–okay, moaning, but nonetheless, I said that I hope 9/11 showed us that we don’t have to be run over by hatred and craziness. Seriously? Do you think anyone could hijack a plane and fly it into a building in the United States today? I don’t think so. We have locks on cockpit doors now, as well as other safeguards, but also, I don’t think a single passenger would ever let that happen again, even at the risk of their own lives. I wouldn’t. Would you? That’s why I don’t think comparing us to 1930s Germany is fair. The world is different now–in some more dangerous, but in others, better, smarter, more caring.

So, here are seven days worth of gratitude . . .

  1. I’m healthy and strong.
  2. In the same vein (no pun intended), the CT scan showed that my carotid arteries are only 0 to 10% blocked, which is fabulous for a woman my age. Fabulous for anyone really.
  3. My darling daughter-in-law is having a birthday on Saturday–we’re blessed to have her in our lives and we’re thankful for how much she loves Son and what a great mom she is to Grandboy. We love you, baby!
  4. Gertie, the immobilizer boot on my foot, and I are tolerating each other pretty well.
  5. I’m learning to sit still.
  6. The blanket I’m knitting is coming along wonderfully–a picture next time I post, I promise.
  7. Fall has been lovely–warm days and crisp, cool nights.
  8. Husband–just because I’m so lucky to be loved by the most amazing man on the planet.
  9. IRWA Retreat was a fun time of fellowship with other writers.
  10. IRWA Retreat was also a great time with one of my dearest besties–hugs to you, Lizzie! You are the most delightful of traveling companions–I look forward to many more trips together.
  11. I got to know a new writer friend at Retreat–always a pleasure.
  12. The new book is continuing at a merry clip–this weekend, I’ll do a little bit of timeline work and plotting, although I know where I’m going. The trick is not to rush it, but also not get bogged down–it’s a tightrope sometimes!
  13. Son, DIL, and Grandboy are doing well–busy, busy lives, but they’re all good and when they’re good, I’m good.
  14. Dee is out of the hospital and yesterday we celebrated her 61st birthday–something neither of us thought would happen. Right now, I’m holding onto this fact–she’s still here. What a miracle!

Just a bonus: I’m so very thankful for all the dear friends who care about me and my well-being. I saw it clearly yesterday when I had to make several phone calls to let folks know the results of the CT scan. I am a blessed woman.

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Writing MoJo

November6

bootIn all the crap going on in my life right now, writing is the one thing keeping me sane–well, writing and Husband, who has been amazing and supportive. He deals with my fears and my little stupid meltdowns and is taking on more of the household responsibilities since standing on the damn boot I have to wear on my broken foot makes my hip hurt. At the moment, my body and I are working at cross-purposes in my life, but as far as I understand it, everything happening with my health is pretty much fixable, so I suppose I should chill and ride it all out. Honestly, I’m kinda ashamed that I’m such a whiny brat about it all when I think of my darling Dee and what she deals with everyday. Remembering her struggle is pretty much all it takes for me to get over myself.

The writing continues, much to my amazement. I’m still getting up every morning and putting in the hour, at least, sometimes longer, depending on when I get started and when Husband wakes up. I’m even doing it here at the lake, which means I’m writing in the bedroom while he sleeps just a few feet away, instead of in my office down the hall at home.

The story is coming along, I guess. Hard to tell because I’m not editing as I write, I’m just writing. Sort of my own version of NaNoWriMo? This is entirely different from my usual M.O. of editing what I wrote the day before when I sit down to work. My poor critique partner is getting pretty raw material right now, but she’s hanging in there. (Merci Cheryl Brooks!) I’m about a third of the way through the story and I actually needed to create a timeline and character list, just to make sure I’m staying on track. There are a couple of things going on with Sarah and I’m working on figuring out what to do next . . . she and Tony need to get started. Hmmmm…

fall at the lakeI meant to start a November Gratitude list here on November 1, but it’s me, so I’m starting on November 6 instead. So today’s list has twelve things I’m grateful for since my idea was to list two things each day. Ready? Here we go:

  1. Beautiful November fall–it’s been crisp and temperate and colorful.
  2. Husband, without whom I’d be simply tossed around in the sea of mischief that seems to be my life right now. He anchors me.
  3. My BFFS–life would be impossible without them.
  4. Sister–I miss her. She’s in CA, drinking wine and visiting her kids and just generally having a better time than I am right now.
  5. Writing
  6. Work–I love my work.
  7. Geocaching fun with Rich and Moe–sure has been great!
  8. Knowing what’s wrong with my foot and getting it fixed. The boot is pain, but not as much as the actual pain, so it’s a win.
  9. Docs who can fix things that are wrong–they make up for insurance companies who rape you.
  10. The election is almost here–thank heaven. No matter the outcome, at least it will be over.
  11. The lake, which always settles me.
  12. Coffee–man, I love coffee.

I Did It . . . And I’m Still Doing It

October27

me-writingMan, I’m amazed. I did it. Twenty-one days, I hauled my happy butt out of that nice warm bed, trotted right to my office, and sat down and wrote. I didn’t stop to make coffee or get dressed or check email or social media. I wrote. Final word tally for three weeks is just over 22,000 words.

So, what’s the takeaway? First of all, I can do it—I can write. That’s a biggie because I’d pretty much convinced myself I was no longer much of a writer. Life got in the way and I let it. I think that happens to all of us, don’t you? Illness, death of a loved one, finances, jobs, family responsibilities, housekeeping—it all distracts us. And of course the first thing we allow to drop off our plate is the one thing we love doing the most. Is that a woman thing or a human being thing? I’m not sure, I should probably get Husband’s take on that one, although now that I think of it, I see Son doing the same thing. He’s overwhelmed with work, family, caring for a home, being a husband, parenting a young child, trying to finish up his PhD. Music, which he loves, gets done in spurts instead of every day. It’s not a priority. Pleasure’s the only reason to play guitar, so it can wait. It must be an adult thing . . .

Second, I’ve wondered frequently in the last couple of years whether writing is worth the effort when I’m so frustrated with ads and promotions and trying to figure out ways to get my books in front of a larger audience without spending a small fortune. In May, at Spring Fling, I pitched the Women of Willow Bay to some traditional publishers and every single one requested to see a full of the first book, synopses of the other two, and a proposal for the rest. So far, I can’t say the results have been very spectacular. One editor turned the series down, although she repeatedly told me how “wonderful” my writing is; another is mildly interested in the last two books that I haven’t put out as an indie yet; and publisher #3 has pretty much ignored me. But you, know, after twenty-one days of writing every day, I can say that yes, it’s worth the effort. So, I’ll probably try some other publishers while I’m writing Sarah and Libby’s stories. I’m even considering a Christmas novella for next year so I can tell Jack Reilly’s story as he graduates from Julliard and goes out into the world. Who knows?

And third . . . yeah, there is a third, but it has nothing at all to do with writing. It has to do with proving to myself that I’m not losing my ability to focus and commit, which is something that I’ve worried about since Dee got sick and David died and CL was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Kate died and my body has started to sometimes feel like it’s ninety-three years old. For the past couple of years, sticking to anything except work has been hard. I’ve promised myself so many different times that I was going to maintain a diet, an exercise regimen, a housecleaning schedule; that I’d go to the gym regularly, that I’d swim in the lake or walk the shore every day, that I’d get on my bike or get the damn gardens weeded every week or . . . well, you get the picture. But it wasn’t happening and I was feeling more and more like somehow, I’d lost control of the disciplined person I once was. Well, she’s still in there—go figure, and I’m doing a little internal squee that she hasn’t abandoned me completely.

Can I keep it up from now on? Maybe. Dunno—I guess we’ll just take it day-by-day. That seems to be working out so far . . . at least it has for the last three weeks. Thanks for sharing this journey with me.

15 Days and Counting . . .

October19

print-booksA quick report on the 21-Day Writing Challenge that I’m doing in between editing gigs, blogs that need to be written, last-minute IRWA Retreat duties, physicals, flu shots, laundry, getting the lake cottage ready for winter , cleaning the city house . . . aw, hell, there’s no cleaning going on. At this point in time, I’m lucky to be getting laundry done and meals made. Good news is that I’ve written for at least an hour every single morning for the last sixteen days, averaging about 800 to 900 words a day. It feels so good to be writing. I don’t know if what I’m writing is complete crap, but I’m not stopping to edit, I’m just pushing through. The story is there and it’s coming. We’ll worry about revisions when it’s done.

irwa-logoI’m crazy excited about the IRWA Retreat coming up in less than a month! Liz and I are in charge this year and we’re doing something different. We’ve gotten a great response from members with about 24 registered for the event–sure hope they like what we’ve decided to do!

Well, I’m off to edit and then edit and then edit some more! Glad for the work though, it pays the bills. Plus, I’m very grateful to be editing fiction almost exclusively now. The books are fun!

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Checking In . . .

October13

21-days. . . with my 21-Day Writing Challenge. It’s Day 10 and I have gotten up every day between 6 and 6:30 a.m. and written for at least one hour. Sometimes I get so involved that I’ve written for an hour and a half without realizing it. I’m surprised I’ve made it halfway through without missing a day–that may not sound like much of accomplishment, but given the chaos of the last couple of years of my life, it’s big stuff. Altogether, I’ve managed to get down 9,625 new words on Sarah’s story–an average of about 800 words each day–which brings the story to a little under 14K words. Given that a month ago, I was telling Lizzy that I was sick to death of the Women of Willow Bay and wanted to write something brand new, I don’t think that’s too shabby.

At first, getting up was hard–as I said before Husband is warm and cuddly and it’s still dark at 6:30 in the morning, but today was a milestone because I wanted to get up. I woke up thinking about the story and where I was headed next and making a mental list of some things I want to research when I take a break from work later on this afternoon. Could this be the beginning of a new habit? Who knows? But I remain hopeful. 😉

bob-dylanIn other news, congratulations to Bob Dylan for winning a Nobel Prize in Literature for his body of songwriting. That’s pretty cool. He’s only the second American to win a Nobel Prize for Literature–Toni Morrison was the other in 1993.

I got to Skype with my boys last night, which always brings me no end of joy–they both seemed happy and healthy and we giggled while Grandboy pulled out the contents of a goodie bag he’d gotten a birthday party at school. I love how four-year-olds are delighted over the smallest things. I think I need to work at being more easily delighted. Maybe we all should.

lawsThing that are delighting me today: New plantation blinds throughout the entire lake cottage–they look amazing! Dinner last night with Rich and Moe–good food and great fellowship. The sky is October blue this morning after yesterday’s rain and the air is crisp and very cool so I’ll get to wear a sweatshirt all day–nice! We’ve had fresh pears the last three mornings and they’re perfect and delicious. Right now, pears are my favorite treat.

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So Far . . . I’m writing

October5

me-writingI made a plan over on the Word Wranglers blog on Tuesday, I committed to getting up every day at 6:30 a.m. for the next 21 days to write for one hour. This may not seem all that difficult, but right now, for me, it’s huge. First, just making myself leave my nice warm bed, where my nice warm husband is sleeping, is really hard. I mean, it’s still dark outside and yes, yes, I’ve been spoiled by sleeping late since Husband retired. (And by late, I mean 7:30.) So that’s the first hurdle, but it’s not nearly so large as the second, which is butt in chair, hands on keyboard, and write.

Well, it’s only day 2, but so far, I’ve done it. Yesterday, day 1, I wrote for an hour and change and got 782 words down; today, day 2, I managed 1,026 words. They may not be great words or even good words, but they’re written. And right now, the goal is writing, not editing, not reviewing–just writing.   I’ve actually managed to stay away from Facebook or Twitter or Yahoo News or even my email box until after I’ve done my hour’s worth of writing. That may not sound all that amazing, but trust me, it’s an accomplishment.

I may have to get up even earlier if I’ve got stuff happening or a job to work on, which I do at the moment. But that’s okay–I can do this. It’s important that I do this. I’ve written five novels and published four, I know I can write, but it seems as if I’ve been unable to work up the gumption to do it since .  . . well, frankly, since Kate died. And I promise, I’m not using my sister’s death as an excuse not to write, but it’s been hard to focus on much of anything since then. Part of what I hope will happen with this one commitment is that I’ll get more organized, I’ll find a way to fit my whole day into my day, to stop being distracted by stuff that doesn’t matter, and to feel better about myself in general. We’ll see. . . I’ll report in here every few days just to keep myself accountable.

Oh, by the way, I’ve also managed to get in thirty minutes on the treadmill both days . . . something else I’ve needed. Hopefully, I can also schedule in an hour with Scrivener each day after the holidays. I’m trying not to overwhelm myself here . . . with work, time with Husband, going back and forth to the lake, cleaning two houses, and trying to see the people I need to see, my days seem to disappear unbelievably fast. Right now, it’s 11:45 on Wednesday morning and I’m still in my jammies and have no idea where the morning has gone. See? I really do need to get more organized. But, I’m going to do this as Anne Lamott says, “bird by bird.” (Thank you, Anne Stuart for introducing me to that amazing book!)

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Fall Is Here

September28

fall at the lakeFall has always been my favorite time of year, maybe because I was born in late September and I think of myself as a fall baby. But since we got the lake cottage, summer has ranked pretty high on the favorite seasons list, too. This year, I’m kinda ready for cooler nights and crisp days, jeans and sweatshirts, and apples from the orchard, but I’m dreading leaving the lake. In about another month it’ll be time to close up the cottage for the winter, get the boat stored, and say good-bye to our lake friends. That’s the hardest part about shutting down our lake life–saying good-bye. I miss them all so much while they’re off to points south and we come back to the city.

One day, we’re going to be ready to get down to just one house and we’ll have to decide where that house will be. So many factors enter into that kind of decision. If we move to the lake, can two city kids make it in a small town that pretty much closes up in the winter? Would we miss the lake too much if we gave up the lake house to stay full time in the city? Man, I dunno. . .  The lake is beautiful even covered in ice. I think I’d love to live full time at the lake, although my life would certainly change to some degree. Shopping would be harder, but then again, I have to go pretty far in the city to get to a decent mall. There’s no symphony in the lake town, only one movie theater, and my denomination doesn’t have a church there. Plus, my friends and family are in the city, but the lake isn’t so far away as to make that a deal breaker. Lots of factors to consider and not a decision that has to be made any time soon.

I’m hoping that fall will bring more writing time for me and frankly, a greater desire to write. I have three different stories going right now and all of them are kinda stalled out. My brain can’t seem to focus and although I have lots of ideas, they just don’t seem to be coming out of my fingers to the keyboard. I’m thinking I might teach myself to use Scrivener this winter–it would be a good project for me and I would be writing as I was learning. I found some YouTube videos about the program, so I can watch those and maybe figure this thing out. After all, I spent $40 on it–I should use it.

I will be getting back to the gym as fall progresses–lake swimming is out of the question now that the lake has cooled down so much. I miss swimming, so the gym will take priority in the mornings soon. The weight is coming off again after a small gain this summer, which I attribute to just not being careful enough. We do drink more in the summer–it’s the old “I’m a social drinker and I’m with people all the time” thing, I think. 😉 We also drink more margaritas in the summer and even though they’re carb-free and sugar-free, they’re still 100 calories of tequila. And how on earth are you supposed to drink margs without tortilla chips and salsa? You get the picture.

I read an article aboutbreathe a month ago that talked about September resolutions–how they’re much easier than New Year’s resolutions because they’re inner resolutions. A fall renewing of your spirit and determination. I like that idea, just a quiet resolve to do better. The worrying thing will need work this fall–the knot is back, I think mostly because of the elections. That situation terrifies the tar outta me, but outside of voting, what can I do? Just live my life, love my family and friends, and try to do good where I can. Oh, and remember to breathe . . .

posted under Lake life, Musings, This Life..., Writer's moments | Comments Off on Fall Is Here
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