A Writing Journey

Once upon a time I met a guy who told me he was a novelist.

We became good friends, and I thought how cool it would be to write for a living. So eventually, I did.

Little did I know 1) how long it would take to get published, 2) how ego-crushing submitting manuscripts can be, 3) how many cool, awesome writers, editors, and agents I’d meet along the way, 4) how much excruciating, convoluted editing is involved to make a book ready for public dissemination, and 5) how ever-changing and random the publishing business is.

And it takes a really weird person (like me) to persevere. Fortunately, this business is filled with eccentric, fascinating, weird people so I fit right in.

A little update on what is happening with my next book to be released: “The Deadening,” psychological suspense, the story of the deadening and resurrection of a woman’s soul and all of the horrific decisions in between, mainly spurred by an assault, a coma, and a psychotic ex-husband. A cute detective is sandwiched in between the horrific stuff, so no worries.

The book has been edited by a professional editor, my agent, my (former) publishing house and about a thousand times by me. It’s as good and clean as it can get. It was slated to come out Summer, 2020. However, as the erratic and winding path of publishing goes sometimes, my publisher announced they have made the difficult decision to close the fiction publishing arm of their business.

I had to laugh. The writing journey is a long and winding path, and seems to get longer and windier the longer I’m involved.

My agent did not laugh. She was horrified. That is why I love her. She immediately jumped on the bandwagon, contacted my publisher to get specifics, then consulted every peer she could think of for new ideas to resurrect “The Deadening.”

So next week we start a new round of submissions, and I’m excited because I thought “The Deadening,” was, well…dead.

While that’s being worked out, I’m working on my next book, “The Vanishings.” My agent likes it. That’s a good sign.

Meanwhile, my personal character is being expanded by leaps and bounds. I’m not even throwing tantrums anymore when stuff like this happens, I just shrug and roll my eyes. I have a newfound respect for writers in general because it’s crazy hard to get a foothold in this business and keep going. I’ve developed a tough hide and an even tougher tolerance for problems, because hey…once you’ve been rejected a thousand times and someone finally picks up your work, the adrenalin surge washes over you like high tide and stays there. A writer could pound out a hundred more books on that one success alone.

Well, except for a few pity parties, but that’s a given. Writers bond over pity party stories and lots of alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol.

So, that’s the scoop! The journey continues!

 

Click here to preview my first book, “The Hunting.”

 

 

 

I Can’t Hear You, You are Talking Too Much

Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness.

–Margaret Miller

for conversation articleMost folks seem more interested in talking than listening. I notice this as I sit staring at my cold coffee and listening to the person sitting across the table from me who has been talking for twenty minutes without a single thought that the other person might like to be involved in the conversation also.

Isn’t a conversation a two-way street? I always thought so, but maybe not. Perhaps culturally, the word ‘conversation’ has morphed into ‘monologue’.

 

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Typically I look forward to conversations with friends in anticipation of them talking, then me talking, then them talking, then me talking . . . you get the idea. I’m usually the first to dig into the meaty stuff with soul-probing questions like ‘how’s your life going?’ or ‘what’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week?’ which launches an interesting  dialogue. I love to hear what’s going on in hearts and lives and also sharing what’s going on in mine. I love the inspiration and direction that comes from a stimulating conversation.  A rhythm develops, a natural give and take of laughter, caring and transparency.

Every good conversation starts with good listening. Deep conversations with the right people are priceless.

–Anonymous

Of course, this expectation is off the table if one of us is going through a shattering life struggle. That person gets a free pass and my job (hopefully I will not be the one going through an equivalent event at the same time) is to hold a hand, say a prayer, listen with real concern and not look at my phone. Not even once.

But let’s get real, here. Barring a person going through crisis, who wants to spend a couple of hours listening to someone chat conv art 4about themselves indefinitely without realizing the other person is getting all glassy-eyed and bored because they haven’t been asked a single question or given a few seconds of space to jump in and join?  I don’t get it. And I’ve tried being transparent about my feelings, but ohmigosh you’d think I’d barfed all over them by their reactions.

I don’t do that anymore.

Instead, I’m careful to limit contact. I don’t understand the mentality. Plus, I feel devalued when I’m with them.

On the flip side, my husband and I have experienced evenings with couples that leave us smiling and content when we part ways. I think it’s because they were really interested in us. And I suspect they treat most people that way. It is a lovely thing to be around these kinds of folks. I strive to be that kind of person.

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.

–Margaret Wheatley

 

KETO Mania

I haven’t had so much fun in years.

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The counter-intuitive KETO-nutso diet really works, I guess, at least until somebody figures out that a diet of straight fat for an extended length of time causes heart attacks, strokes, and way more cellulite than a person ought to display on their thighs.

In the meantime, I’ve lost SIX pounds and it’s staying off and I’m gobbling up every bit of pricey cheese, bacon and nuts I can find. I state this with a great degree of relish, because for YEARS I gave up my beloved cheese and nuts in lieu of the prevailing theory of that era – that fat’ll kill ya.

Over the years,  depending on the fashionable diet of the day, at different intervals I’veexercise 5 given up wine, alcohol of any kind, coffee, cheese, nuts, white pasta and bread, anything with sugar, anything that metabolizes in the body as sugar. As time (and my waistline) marched on, the fads opposed themselves. Fat is bad. Now fat is good. White flour is bad. Starchy vegetables are bad. Low-carb veggies are good. Whole wheat flour-laden stuff is good, but on KETO, anything with flour is bad, pretty much. Carbohydrates on the whole are bad, bad, bad on KETO.

It is both frustrating and confusing that none of the so-called professional health gurus, both holistic and traditionally trained, can agree about much of anything  regarding what is and isn’t healthy regarding weight loss. I’ve yo-yo’d so many times my body is perpetually dizzy. So far, I’ve added back wine and coffee (in moderation) and I’ve been trying out the KETO because so many folks have lost so much weight it is astonishing to me. I just wonder about long-term effects. However, that does not deter me from sticking with the diet because it’s working and it doesn’t look like Reubenesque luscious curves are coming back in a big way. Unfortunately.

Besides, it matters not. I’m enjoying my primary diet of cheese, avocados, bacon, low-carb veggies, hummus, nuts and whatever meat happens to be in the freezer that my husband can throw on the grill. It’s what I was born to do. And as a happy bonus, I look better in my jeans.

Flame on, KETO.grease fire 1