Linda G. Hill

Life in progress


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#SoCS – Make Me

There are times when motivation to see results is enough to get me to do the things I need to do, like dishes, or cooking for my kids so they don’t starve (okay, most of that is complaining, but whatever), or writing something so other people can read it. But other times, procrastination has a louder voice in my head. Facebook taunts me to see what the next thing on my newsfeed will be, and all the while procrastination is screaming, “Make me! Make me sweep the floor!” like an errant toddler.

Because really, procrastination is like a stubborn child. Think about it. It does what IT wants to do, not what’s gotta be done. It only cares about itself. It’s greedy and doesn’t like to share us with its grown-up counterpart, Responsibility.

It’s no wonder we need nice, shiny things to keep us motivated a lot of the time. In our everyday lives, when all is well and we’re stuck in our daily routines, something shiny is what we look forward to. To reach for. It’s no wonder I get more writing done during NaNoWriMo, what with that lovely graph to reach the top of. Something you might be able to relate to as a blogger, if you’re not an author, is the stats page. Who doesn’t want to get to the next level? Get more views than the year before? (Yes, I know some of you don’t pay attention to stats. Weirdos.) Goals. We all need goals. Otherwise, life is static.

So I’m off to do something I’m supposed to do. And not feed the screaming toddler. (Procrastination–I don’t mean my kids.)

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you by the letters “S,” “O,” and “C,” and by the Procrastination Television Network. Come and play! Everything’s A-OK! 😉 https://lindaghill.com/2017/09/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-sept-917/ Click the link and join in!


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#SoCS – I’m actually nervous

When I started writing books, I thought, Bah! This is easy! And it kind of was for me. It was like writing a short story but not stopping at the short part. It was like writing a really, really long short story. Not really rocket science.

Little did I know the rocket science part was coming.

It started with the editing. First I had to figure out how to do that, so I read a gazillion articles, blog posts, advice columns, took courses … you name it, I did it. I still often consult the wise advice of others. That kind of learning never stops if you know what’s good for your novels. Then, finally, I decided after much intense deliberation to self-publish. I was told I’d have to market myself even if I went with a traditional publisher, so why not do it and keep the royalties to myself? So off I went on a new learning curve.

Articles, blog posts, advice columns … I haven’t taken the courses yet, but I’d be tempted if I wasn’t still learning the editing stuff. Yet what I read in these marketing columns, over and over, is that the most important part of marketing is a newsletter. Which brings me to today.

And why I’m nervous.

I have a newsletter. So far I’m the only one who’s signed up, but I have a “welcome” letter all ready to go for the next person who does. The next bunch of people, in fact. This is brand new territory for me and I’m kind of beside myself, because if you sign up and you read it–or worse, if you don’t read it–we can’t talk about it because it’s a one-way street.

I’m actually more nervous than I was when I released my first novel. Crazy, isn’t it? Ah well, here we go. Worst case scenario, I’ll close up shop and go back to the easy stuff: writing novels.

Click here – the signup form will open in a new tab. Thank you!

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the link to read all the other entries (you’ll find them in the comment section) and join in yourself! https://lindaghill.com/2017/08/25/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-aug-2617/


17 Comments

#SoCS – Having to Guess

I’ve come to the conclusion that writing a series of books rather than a standalone is harder when you’re a pantser. A pantser, if you’re not familiar with the term, is a writer who writes by the seat of his or her pants, as opposed to a plotter, who plots the entire story out ahead of time. If I could just plot out where my characters are going to go after book three, I would know if their life beyond it was worth writing about. Because let’s face it, no one wants to read a book about people getting up and going to work every day, coming home, cooking dinner, watching TV and going to bed, ad nauseam. It’s bad enough that most of us do just that in real life.

Therefore, I can only guess whether my series will be a trilogy or if it will go on.

Don’t get me wrong – I love pantsing. Sometimes I’ll be happily typing along, minding my own business (because I don’t make up my stories. I just pluck them out of mid-air and transcribe them) and suddenly one of my characters will say something that completely blows me out of the water. Like, I had no idea it was coming. It’s by far the best part of writing. When you’re reading a book and you get hit by a sudden revelation, you can bet that there’s a good possibility the author was struck at the same point in the story with that same gong. What’s not to love about being hit by a gong? (I do enjoy stream of consciousness writing.)

If I was to guess right now, I’d say it’s going to be a trilogy. Yet I know I’m going to miss my characters so much that I’m not going to want to stop writing. Will they get up to more adventures? I guess they could. We all do, once in a while, right? If we didn’t, our boring day-in-day-out existences would drive us to eventually seek something more anyway.

Speaking of adventures, I’ve updated and edited an old post. It has more pictures now, as well as a few more links. I can only guess whether or not it will show up in your email if you follow me that way. I’m guessing it will, if you weren’t following me in July of 2013 when it was first posted. I urge you to read it if you haven’t already: it’s one of my best. Even if you have already read it, check out the new pictures. I’ll repost it in an hour or so. It’s entitled “A Haunted Visitation.”

John Holton 2016-2017

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. You can find the link to join in and read all the other posts here: https://lindaghill.com/2017/08/11/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-aug-1217/

While you’re here, take a good look at the badge, for it may be the last week in which it’s featured! The contest is on right now for a new SoCS badge design. We have five entries already, which means there are only five slots left open. Click the following link to read more about it, see the entries so far, and enter the contest yourself: https://lindaghill.com/2017/08/08/the-4th-annual-socs-badge-design-contest/


59 Comments

#SoCS – I want it, but would I give my right arm for it?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had more hours in a day? Or if we could just not have to spend so much time sleeping? I normally only get about 5 hours, but that’s five hours I could spend doing all the things I have to do. I actually slept in until 10:45 this morning because Alex (my youngest) is at his dad’s this weekend. I came downstairs to find the dog with his legs crossed (not really – he can hold it a long time) and thought to myself I wish I’d gotten up earlier. But we need sleep once in a while, right? Ugh.

I’m often tempted to use the phrase “I’d give my right arm…” but really, would I? Imagine what that would do to my gait when I’m walking… I’d be going in circles all the time. Typing would be a hassle, as would giving people hugs. One-armed hugs are so impersonal, though I suspect anyone getting a hug from a one-armed person would not likely take it personally. (Seriously, if anyone out there is missing their right arm or knows someone who is, I mean absolutely no disrespect. Just musing on the realities…)

Actually, I have lived without the use of my right arm for the most part when I had a frozen shoulder. Remember that? My gratitude for my right arm has increased tenfold since then. Although I did retain some of the dexterity I gained from having to be left-handed. And oh! the sleep deprivation when my shoulder was frozen! I’ve never known such pain!

So I guess I’ve answered my own question. Would I give my right arm for sleep? Apparently not.

Thanks, stream of consciousness writing.

If you, too, would like to see what lengths you’d go to (or not) in order to get what you want, click the following link and join in! It’s free! https://lindaghill.com/2017/07/28/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-2917/


22 Comments

#SoCS – Setting a Ceiling

When we’re kids, we think we can do anything. Sky’s the limit. As we get older we realize that reality dictates differently. There are some things we thought we could do that we can’t. Flying by flapping our arms, for instance.

Putting on a cape and being a superhero may be one of the other things we might think we can’t do, but is that true? We might not be able to save the world, but I believe we limit ourselves to what we are conditioned to “know” of the world and how much we can change it. Sure, we may not be able to singlehandedly solve world hunger, but good deeds tend to roll downhill and gain momentum as they do. What we do today might have much farther-reaching effects than we can ever know. And if not, at least we tried.

It’s the same with personal goals. We humans tend to sabotage ourselves with our ideas that we can only go so far and do so much with our lives. I have a friend who was complaining (and with good reason) that he was stuck in a place of poverty, unable to fight his way out. Therefore, he is unhappy. I can fully understand that. Yet there are avenues – ones completely free of monetary cost – that he could pursue if he chooses to. I suppose that also depends on the depth of his unhappiness… I know what it is to feel completely unmotivated.

But I’ve learned one thing over the course of my life. The sky is the ceiling if you never go out. And the breadth of my imagination make the walls of my dreams. My belief that I can do just about anything I set out to do is only limited by my health and my ability to find ways around the barriers that inevitably come up. Yes, some barriers take years to navigate. But it’s only in those moments when I give up that the sky drops to eight feet above the floor.

… if this is what vertigo does to me, maybe it’s not such a bad thing …

This wildly philosophical post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the link and join in today! https://lindaghill.com/2017/07/21/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-2217/

 


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#SoCS – Bizarre Bazaar

One of the books I’m reading right now is The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King. I remember the first time I looked at the title, I wondered if he was talking about bizarre bad dreams because these two words cause a glitch somewhere in my noggin’ that makes me not know which is which. Or which has which meaning. If I think about it for a few seconds, I remember which is witch; I’m sure people all over have those words.

Did you see what I did back there? It was deliberate. Honest.

I wonder if it was some kind of witchery that made whoever came up with the English language (or any language?) invent words that sound the same that are spelled differently. You know, just to confuse us. Someone who, one day, was at a bazaar maybe and picked up a clementine and a tangerine and thought, “Well that’s bizarre. Two fruits that look the same and taste almost the same but have different names. I can come up with a language that’s that confounding!” And so English was born. From a little orange. Which is something else altogether.

And that’s the sort of post you get from Linda when she’s tired. 😛 Because really, she loves making up stories. They just sort of … fall out. Or leak out through her fingertips. Why the hell am I referring to myself in third person all of a sudden? It’s like I’m not me. Sometimes when I write fiction, I’m not me. I disappear and stuff comes out of me. Bizarre, isn’t it? Stuff of words and language and characters and sometimes it’s like I’m being taken over by something outside of me, something that guides me. Sounds scary, but it’s not. It’s freeing.

I wonder if this is how horror writers write. To think up something that we’d never do takes a certain je ne sais quoi. I know this because I write horror, but when I started this paragraph, I was thinking about Stephen King, who started this whole idea for a post in the first place. Damn it, Stephen! Yeah, I know it’s not his fault, but what to do?

But back to the whole “how am I able to come up with horror ideas that I’d never do in real life” question. I think it comes from fear. Fear of having things done to us by others who are capable of them. And with a vivid imagination comes a lot of fears, I’m afraid. Ha! I’m afraid. Get it?

Probably time for bed.

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the following link and join in! And while you’re there, check out some of the other posts in the comments. https://lindaghill.com/2017/07/14/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-1517/

 


33 Comments

#SoCS – Picky

I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Which is an oxymoron in and of itself, because how can you be an imperfect perfectionist? I suppose what it comes down to is some things I absolutely insist on getting perfect and some things I can say it’s good enough and leave it. But not without a lot of internal finger wagging.

I have to wonder how much of my perfectionism I’ve handed down to my kids. It’s really a bit of a disservice, when you think about it. Our kids inherit our fears, our dislikes, our prejudices, and yes, our insistence on getting things right. At least some of our kids do. I suppose it depends on whether you see perfectionism as a positive or a negative.

As I typed the above list of things that our kids inherit, I tried–I really tried–to write something positive, like our love of music or our appreciation for having a clean house, but these things are not always so. Yes, sometimes our kids inherit our positive traits somewhere down the line, but it’s more often they inherit the negative ones. I wonder why that is.

But I digress. Is perfectionism a positive thing or a negative one? I’m thinking it’s positive until it gets in the way of having a sound mind. I can drive myself crazy trying to get something right. But once it’s there, I’m happy with it. It’s a relief.  There also comes a point when I know I’m just being picky, which may or may not be a positive thing. It’s easier to let go of a picky point than a perfectionist point.

This picky post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the following link and join in: it’s fun!! https://lindaghill.com/2017/07/07/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-817/

Have you picked up my new book, The Magician’s Curse yet? I now have three rave reviews and one pretty good one on Amazon.com. Check it out and please take a chance on an indie author!

(Note: In the online preview, the formatting (tabs and spaces between paragraphs) is off in a few places. The copy for sale does not reflect this. I’m working on getting the “Look Inside” fixed.)

On Kindle and in paperback:
Amazon US
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and Amazon where ever else you are in the world, as well as
Kobo worldwide.