Category Archives: Life Sucks

One month to go

I’m going along with Carnival Farm. My publisher-imposed deadline is April 1, and I’m 32,000 words (180 pages) into it. I’m just over half way done!

I have also written a short story for a project with my writing group. It’s called “Hippolyta’s Dagger” and takes place in the Orange Sector of the Truck Stop at the center of the galaxy. That’s the name of the anthology: “The Truck Stop at the Center of the Galaxy.” It may come out next year or late this year.

Other writing is spiritual essays, mostly exploring my own religion. I’m not Christian, that is for certain, so it’s more exploring magic; other, new traditions; and trying to sync what I find with what I believe. Because I have time, I’m looking into trying some daily rituals to worship the gods I do believe in. I feel that worship is necessary because–and this might sound morbid–I sense my ending is sooner rather than later.

I have been watching The Twilight Zone series, and there is one episode, “Nothing But The Dark”, that has stuck with me since I saw it. It’s about an old woman who does everything she can to avoid death, but ends up being manipulated by him into a calm, gentle death. That’s what I’m hoping for, that Hermes Psycopompos takes me gently and calmly, offering his hand and showing me the way to the “heaven” or afterlife.

I need to get things straight in my life first, so that my family doesn’t have to worry. I don’t want what happened to me when my husband died happen to anyone else in my family. I want the arrangements to be done and paid for.

So while I look in the dark, in my crone years, resolving my religion and spirituality, I write it out.

When it all goes sideways

For two weeks, I’ve been rewriting my newest WIP. Not editing. Rewriting.

And now it’s totally off the rails, and I’m only on chapter 4.

I tried to make it more involving, make the main character more sympathetic instead of accepting of everything. I ended up making her a lovesick puppy pining for some eye candy.

All the potential, all the fun in the story, is gone. I’m trying to make it logical, give it a plot, make it a typical fantasy story. I’m trying to extend a story line, establish the side stories, introduce characters that will show up later.

It’s logical.

It’s dry.

It’s boring as hell.

That’s not to say the first draft wasn’t boring. The first draft’s main character accepted the Mean Spirit and ran with it. There was no conflict. Oh, there was a plot. There was a story.

It reads like the first hundred pages or so, I’m trying to get my legs under me. By the first quarter, I had a clue. I dropped things here and there that, to be honest today, I have no idea what they meant (I wrote this first draft before having a Story Bible). So with that in mind, I started to sit down and edit.

The next thing I know, I’m rewriting the first chapter because of the deep edit cuts I did in chapter three. The main character should have a lot more questions than she does. But I because i know the answers, I don’t know the questions.

I need to walk away from this story and come back to it and choose to rewrite it. The more I write, the more it’s getting away from me.

As for reading, I’ve read a couple of gay romance novels that were really good, and others that said to me, “If I had that character, I’d do this instead.”

One I was reading at the same time as writing this one and I was thrilled with the characters–until book 2. A friend of mine said, “In Book 2, they always take the character you cherish and do something horrific to him.”

The author did just that. I didn’t finish book two because i was disgusted–more at myself for being led on. I suppose that’s part of the formula (hell, I did it in Book 3 of Grimaulkin’s series).

I took out my cards one day and asked, “What should my next writing project be?” I don’t remember the exact card, but its meaning was clear: something new and different. Because my life is taken up with dialysis, kid, work, and sleep, a brand new writing project doesn’t show up there.

Part of me wants to write to market. Part of me wants to write to write. All of me has no idea what to do next.

Resolved: More Cowbell

I need to get cracking on writing some stories. I’m involved with a writers’ group now and I have no excuse.

Well, I do. I have no ideas.

But that’s an excuse, not a reason. Being tired is an excuse. Having no time is an excuse. I can’t let that stop me.

I’m thinking of getting back to 800 words; if not daily, then at least three times a week. Maybe on my dialysis days.

My goal is to get a novel out next year. Since Nano was a bust, I have to start with something different. There’s a big market for romance still, but I have such a hard time getting into ti. YA is still a big thing.

What to write, what to write. A whole different genre? Something that brings some order into my chaotic life?

Writing prompts, ahoy.

Hemming and Hawing

I’m wishy-washy about a big decision with my job. That’s what’s taking up most of my time recently, the indecision of what one person says in HR versus what another person says. Nobody at HR knows what the hell will happen to me if I make this decision. In the interests of my health, though, I have to make this decision in a way that I don’t like, that will not benefit me, and will cause me problems in the short term.

See, dialysis is a total time sink. Three times a week for six hours: a half hour to put me in the chair, a half hour to disconnect me, four hours in the chair, and half an hour there and back home. I tried to work afterward but I was so exhausted, I just wanted to sleep. I didn’t do much after dialysis.

My boss suggested I take the days off that I have dialysis, which are Tuesday and Thursday. She did some research on it and said that I would probably be too tired to work. Although I protested, I could see her point. I would not be a good functioning member of the team after dialysis. Nor would I be effective after 8 hours.

I found that out on Friday, when by 3 pm I was ready to ask her if I could take a 4 hour PTO because I was a babbling wreck. I thought I knew myself well enough to work 12 hour days. I guess I can’t.

That being said, the whole idea of just resting irritates me. I can’t see myself doing it. I must always be busy, or I’m not functioning. Dialysis, it seems, is kicking my ass in ways I didn’t expect. It’s making me rest, forcing me to stop and reassess.

I don’t like it, not at all.

Now, for writing, I honestly haven’t been doing any of it this week. I had a story idea from a dream but it’s not even a skeleton, it’s a bunch of dislocated ribs. Of course, that’s what you get when you have a dream and try to make a story out of it. I wrote out the bare bones in my journal and I’m a bit meh over it. It doesn’t entice me.

Back to the drawing board.

Butt in gear

I have lots of things to obsess about. The dialysis (which has given me four hours of reading time three times a week), the next book which already has a writer’s block on the first chapter, and what’s going to happen for the rest of my life.

As soon as I move the computer upstairs to my third office (I live in a 10-room house) I will be doing a podcast.

I’m having trouble with the new novel, tentatively titled Ova. I want to introduce the main character, but I can’t seem to catch her voice. I don’t hear her very clearly–though I know what she ends up doing, at the beginning here I can’t seem to get her down right. I need to ask myself some questions and do a little “interview” of her to get where she’s coming from. I’ve plopped her down on the page and have no backstory, only what happens in the future.

I tried to write her home life, but it was boring. Eat, watch TV, go to sleep. Wake up. Do chores. Go to work.

It’s really hard for me to describe something or someone without making it seem like a description. I have to use active words, have characters do something other than stand there while we take a picture. Describe and action at the same time.

A side track

I know this is a blog about writing, but I need to take a moment to let you know something.

I’m starting dialysis Monday.

I’m waffling between “This is a death sentence” and “I’m going to fight like the dickens and live a long life with this.” 15 hours a week at a dialysis center, and working 40 hours a week won’t leave me much time for fun and games.

However, on the bright side, I’ll have time to write. Somewhere I have a Bluetooth keyboard and I can hopefully type using my iPad. I’m working on the next novel, the sci-fi one I explained in the previous blog. I’m doing it in Word this time around, not Scrivener.

I’ll have time to read, to listen to audiobooks and podcasts, and do fill-it-ins (they’re like crossword puzzles but you’re given the word and have to fit it in puzzle). If I had a laptop I would probably game, but I don’t have one.

I also have time to pester people, do my calls and emails. Go ahead, tell me my on hold time is an hour. I’ll wait.

I apologize

It’s been two or three weeks since I’ve updated this blog. I sincerely apologize because my head has been in City of Heroes nearly constantly.

It’s good to see it back, to play the old missions. Arachnos, Warriors, Council, Sky Raiders, the maps, the missions and contacts – it brought back old memories. Fighting in caves, warehouses, offices…different than Champions Online. I found out some ways to get different perks.

This is OCD in full-bloom. I need to ease up.

  1. I plan on stepping away from the game, attempting to just get on during the weekends.
  2. I need to write again. Something upbeat and fluffy, as something different. It’ll probably never see the light of day, though.
  3. I can grab a couple of characters and write stories about them from CoX. Personally I like Maximillian (Leader of “The Maximum Ride Gang”)–he’s a villain.
  4. I have other characters that I can work on. My writing depends on characters, not settings or plots.

This week, Maxwell Thomas has a book coming out, the omnibus of Brothers of the Zodiac. It’s eBook only, so available on Amazon, Smashwords, Nook, etc.


You know you’re addicted when you get up at 5:30 in the morning to do what it is you’re addicted to.

Not writing. Gaming.

I’ll admit, City of Heroes’ reboot is my addiction; and it’s taking time away from writing. However, I am still writing on weekends, doing about a thousand words a weekend. That’s pretty sad, considering I used to write five thousand words on a weekend, no problem.

I have a book due, and I’m working on it with about four thousand words left to do (four chapters). I’ll buckle down next weekend, when I have a four-day weekend and no place to go.

Except Paragon City.

Gaming or Writing? Or Sleep?

I have a lot of health problems. My internal chemistry needs to be perfect for me to function. Otherwise, I can sit and fall asleep anywhere, at any time. It takes a lot for me to work 8 hours, and then try to stay up for another four or more hours to try and edit or settle in for a game.

I can’t do it.

I eat, and I swear, half an hour later, I’m in bed. I read for maybe another half hour and I’m sleeping from 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.. And still tired when I get up!

Between low iron, high sugar, and low steroids, I have no idea what the problem is. There’s too many problems to begin with.

And now I’ve found out that my old game, City of Heroes, is available again.

I want to go back to it, but my priorities are the story. I’m in the process of rewriting now. I want to game (I check in every once in a while but often don’t want to get into it). I want to read. I have to write. It’s not that I don’t want to do that; I feel like my body betrays me.

I’m on page 24 of Blood From a Stone, and it took me all week to get that far. I can only hope that I get further this weekend.

Health is Everything

It’s true. I went to the Association of Rhode Island Authors’ meeting (which didn’t have an elevator) so I had to climb stairs. It took me almost a half an hour to get from my car to the meeting, and out of the meeting to my car.

And I have an event in two weeks. At first, I was going to do it by myself, but just thinking about carrying all those books in on my own, setting them up, and tearing down–when I can’t even walk down stairs!–just scares me. I do have a helper who is being forced to come with me, but I have nothing for him to do so he’ll be bored.

I certainly hope that by August, when appearances ramp up for me, I’ll be able to do more things on my own.

Grimaulkin Tales is ready to come out on May 1, with some advance copies at the Providence Book Festival on April 27. At that, all the table real estate will be taken up by books, because I have a 3′ table space. Only two spots for business cards, a spot for the Corporate Catharsis flier, and the rest is all ten (YES, TEN!) of my books.

I am working on Blood From a Stone and will be working on it for a while. What happened is that in the middle of the book, I started dictating and there’s tons upon tons of dialogue that have nothing to do with the story. Not to mention NO QUOTES. Six pages of doing laundry. That’s going to get excised, for certain. And I repeat myself a lot. Characters don’t do what they’re supposed to, or they just do an awful lot of thinking.

Yeah, it’s a mess. It will be Maxwell’s story, but it’s still a mess.