Life in progress


#SoCS – To Do

My to-do list is once again way over the top. I find it much easier when that list is dominated by stuff I have to do for other people. When I promise someone I will, for instance, have their editing job done on a certain day, nine times out of ten I get it done early. I’m able to concentrate better when I have someone counting on me. I have discipline. When it’s only me counting on me, I have none.

At the moment I’m supposed to be working on three short stories (I have a deadline for two of them, but they’re not motivating me yet), one of which I’ve gone as far as creating a Word document and naming. Not a single word in the document itself. The other two I have great ideas for, but the deadline for the first is closer. As someone wise once said (Stephen King?) starting is the hardest part.

My excuse for not working on my novel is I’m waiting for a beta reader to get back to me. I could work on it anyway, but there’s this short story …

All in all it seems I’m the last person on my to-do list who has any clout. I love to make other people happy by getting their work done on time, but me–meh. I’m not that important. I need to find a way to change that. And I need to find a way to stop procrastinating. In other words, I need to get off my ass and do things for me.

Suggestions on how to do that are welcome.

This post (that I managed to write, despite procrastinating) is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the link to find the other entries in the comment section, and join in today!


Note to me – Just Jot it January 2019

This year’s Just Jot it January marks the fifth anniversary of the event. Five years! So hard to believe. Every year it’s been more of a success than the last, but I can’t help but wonder if it can be improved.

At the very least, I’d like to do something about my lack of organization at the start of every new year. Which is why I’m writing myself a note here to remind myself of the plans I inevitably skip over because of time constraints. You see, every December I go back to the Just Jot it January from the year before and just do what I did then. Because it’s easier.

Here’s what I propose to do differently in January 2019 (should I be granted another year of blogging):

1. Collect prompts from other bloggers once a week instead of once at the beginning of the month. This will reduce the number of people who have good intentions (much like New Year’s resolutions) to carry on with the challenge but drop out before it’s time for their own word to come up. Or suggest a word and then forget why they suggested it.

2. Run a contest for a new badge. My mad Paint skillz were fun to look at, but five years of a stick figure sitting in front of a flaming screen is enough, methinks. Suggestions on when I should run the contest are welcome (which is why I’m doing this publicly rather than privately). December makes the most sense, but it’s less than ideal given that so many people are so very busy.

3. Suspend the Friday Reminder for SoCS for the month and post it as a daily prompt, the same as the rest of the JusJoJan prompts, including adding it to the list ahead of time, along with all the other prompt words for the week. This will, I hope, cut down on the confusion of having two prompts show up on my blog on one day.

If you have any suggestions on other ways to improve the entire process, I’m all ears. Or, well, eyes since I’ll be reading your comment, not listening to it. You know what I mean.


Honest Opinions Wanted

As you probably know, my theme for the A to Z Challenge this year is parenting a Deaf child as a hearing mom. I decided on this theme mainly because I hope one day to write a book on the subject. The A to Z seemed an easy way to compile my thoughts into something that could be organized into chapters. I’m not including every aspect of what it is to be Alex’s parent since not everything fits. But most of it is or will be here.

My plan is to market it as much a guide for people who have Deaf children, as for people who have hearing children. I hope to provide insight into behaviours, reading and understanding body language, and generally to teach parents and children how to spot and be compassionate toward those with limited abilities. Hopefully, without coming off as preachy. The book, if I write it, will be entitled, Don’t Talk With Your Hands Full.

I’m not going to ask you if you’d actually buy my book – I’m not here to put you on the spot. But if you saw something like it on the shelf, and hadn’t already read as much as I’ve written, do you think you’d be interested enough to at least read the back cover? Do you know anyone who doesn’t read my blog who might buy it? Basically, do you think it could be a worthwhile endeavour?

I appreciate honest opinions. Don’t be afraid to hurt my feelings; I take criticism well, as long as it’s constructive.


Blogging from the Grave

Okay, my friends, I need your opinion on something. It’s a tough one. I fully expect some of you may even unfollow me over this. Honestly, as I read this over I’m not even sure whether or not to post it. But it’s been bugging me…

My current conundrum started out innocently enough. Looking at the stats on my fiction blog, pathetic as they are compared to last year when I did an A-Z story there, I wondered if it was too late to start a new fiction piece this year. I am, however, stretched thin enough already so I thought hey, why not start now and write a chapter every two weeks to post for next year! And why not schedule them as I write them?

But A-Z 2016, I thought, is a long way off. So much could happen between now and then. What if, for example, I die between now and next April? It would mean that my posts would appear after my death! Would that be really cool for the people who received notifications that I’d posted again? Or would it be creepy? And what if I died just before I finished writing my story? Talk about a cliffhanger!!

So here’s where I need your input. Think about it. Many of us hope to blog for a good long time to come. Some, including me, can see ourselves blogging until we pop off. Each and every one of us has the ability to schedule our posts ahead of time – we can even plan to send out a loving message after we die, by re-scheduling every few month or years. Kind of like those hidden tapes they’re always finding in movies where the character says, “If you’re listening to/watching this, I’m dead.”

Would YOU want your writings to come out after you pass away? And how would you feel if someone you follow, as sad as it would be if they died whilst in the throes of their illustrious blogging career, posted an article after he or she had kicked the proverbial bucket? Because let’s face it, unless someone else has a blog’s password, there’s nothing that can prevent a scheduled post from going live, so to speak.

It’s difficult to say, isn’t it? Or is to simply too morbid to contemplate?



Just call me Achilles

I’ve avoided whining about it for eight days but I’ve had enough. I don’t know exactly how a rant at this point is going to help, but here we go anyway.

I have a blister. OOOOhhhh, you say. Poor baby has a booboo. But this isn’t just a blister. It’s a boil sent from the universe to counteract every wonderful moment I had walking around Japan. It’s the bane of my existence. It’s the antithesis of joy come to smite me for being relatively healthy all my life. It’s the Blister From Hell!

Today will be my seventh day inside these four walls. Apart from going outside in the snow in -10 degree weather in bare feet and flip-flops last Friday to get Alex off the school bus, I’ve been completely housebound. Unable to wear shoes.

And for what? A spot on the side of my heel the size of a toonie (if you’re not Canadian, look it up) that’s gone from angry red to white and is now ringed in a lovely shade of mulberry with a gray poupon-coloured centre. (I’ll spare you a photo – you may never eat mustard again.) After eight days (EIGHT FRIGGIN’ DAYS) it still hurts to stand on my left foot.

What have I tried in order to relieve it? I’ve soaked it, I’ve popped it with mixed results, (the first time I tried I discovered it was a series of tiny blisters beneath the winter-thickened dry skin of my heels – I gave up after half a dozen attempts) I’ve tried grinning and bearing it, I’ve tried bandaging it, unbandaging it, putting cream on it, leaving it to dry… the result? I still can’t bear the idea of trying to get a shoe on. And I need groceries, damnit! I need fresh air! I need people–crowds–to inspire me to write something other than a whiny-rant/plea-for-escape!!

People, you are my last hope. Tell me what to do. To hell with sensitivity–I need results!


Readers and Writers: Opinions Wanted

I had an idea: I doubt it’s a unique idea, which is why I one of my questions to you, dear readers and writers of fiction, is whether or not you’ve ever seen this done before.

Imagine being able to have a conversation with Anne Rice’s Lestat, Stephenie Meyer’s Edward Cullen, Stephen King’s Annie Wilkes, or J.R.R. Tolkien’s Galadriel. Would you want to? If an author gave voice to one of his or her characters in an interactive medium, would it be just plain weird for that character to be removed from the world the author created for them? Or would it be a thrill-ride to be able to ask all the questions you have about their lives before they showed up in the story you love? Would you enjoy flirting with your favourite fictional character? Would you like to get more insight on a villain’s inner thoughts?

I’ve seen blog posts where authors interview their characters, but to let them out in public–to relinquish control over what they might have to reveal–is a different scenario.

So I ask you, apart from the question have you seen it done before, would you want it? Or is it better to let them stay put in their story?


If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the novel

As the temperature and the humidity rise, and the air gets harder to breathe, I find myself wanting to stay inside more. It’s like winter, only backwards – I’m looking for the ice inside and avoiding the furnace outside.

Therefore, I’ve been sitting on my ever-spreading derriere for the past couple of days trying to organize my writing. I’ve done some editing, and I’ve started jotting down notes for my next novel. (Yay!) I’ve had a couple of glowing reviews already for my A – Z novelette (which I still need a title for) and I’ve begun to look into the process of self-publishing. …and I have no idea where to start.

I have a couple of questions for anyone out there who has gone before me in this regard.

1. Do you have an ISBN for every piece of work you’ve self-published? If so, publish first or ISBN first?

2. Did you have to apply for rights in every country in which you sell?

I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg – actually an iceberg sounds nice right about now. Feel free to shoot me now for all the complaining I did in the winter. I deserve it, I know.

Tell me, how hot is it where you are? Make me feel grateful.