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Posts tagged ‘writing’

The phrase “I will never . . . .” is a coiled snake ready to bite us on our asses

Snake_strike_coiled_HIHow many times have you used that phrase only to have it come back later and bite the shit out of your ass? Now, that doesn’t mean the biting isn’t going to be a good thing—maybe you needed to be bit on your ass to propel you in to some kind of motion. Maybe you’ve been stagnant, bored but not recognizing that, or meandering around aimlessly, or unhappy with a situation but in denial.

007Maybe you said “never” with the fever and fervor of THIS WILL NEVER EVER CHANGE and have just been bitten on the ass and aren’t sure if that bite will propel you towards something better, or just as good, or towards—THE SCARYASS UNKNOWN! *cue dramatic thunderous slightly dark music*

Or perhaps, my friends, you told someone, “I will never,” and you didn’t really mean it. It isn’t that you lied, it’s just that you could not face up to the truth inside of you—buried there deep, where only the snake biting you on the ass could cause a draining away and revealing of your truths. You said the words because to admit the other words would cause pain and turmoil and disruption and feelings of failure and that SCARYASS UNKNOWN looming. You said them so the other would believe and not be hurt, yes, but also to force yourself to believe so you wouldn’t do the hurting.

We do have our “Nevers” that are iron-clad. For example, “I will never kill another human being,” but then, is that true? If someone were going to fatally harm me or mine, wouldn’t I kill the shit out of them? “I will never jump off the Empire State Building!” Okay, that seems pretty safe. But what if I’m up there and there’s a fire behind me and no escape—I  either have to jump or burn up. I’m jumping! Okay. Well. Huhn. “I will never stop loving my son and granddaughter!” There. That’s a never that holds forever true! But those iron-clad “nevers” are few, even when we think they are not.

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Then . . . .

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Now . . . .

“I will never grow out my hair.” “I will never write erotica.” “I will never sit around crying like a big baby because I’m a tough-ass bitch.” “I will never leave *insert something or someone here*” “I will never give up/give in/give to/give back . . . .”

Oh, my friends. The phrase “I will never . . . .” is the universe’s big laugh at you; it’s the coiled snake ready to bite you on your ass; it’s the swallow those words you spoke because, guess what? Never became “oh shit, it’s happening/happened/going to happen.”

Maybe that snake did surprise you. Or, maybe you sat on that badass snake so it WOULD bite you! Maybe you pretended you didn’t see the snake and just stuck your bared ass right in its face and taunted it while pretending you were going about your business all la tee dah.

So. Little things are easy to talk about first. For instance, I remember clearly and distinctly standing at Hart Theater in Waynesville, North Carolina a couple years ago, talking to a theater friend who’d just cut her hair short, and I said (there’s a metaphor here, isn’t there?), “Yeah. I love mine short and will NEVER go back to longer hair. Ever.” Um. Yeah. Guess what? I not only grew it out, but longer than I ever thought I would have. But that night as I stood there smiling and confident, I really truly believed myself. I honestly thought the words “I will never  . . . .” were true and real and were never to be altered. I thought myself completely  happy with my shorty ole hair. I couldn’t see a day when I wouldn’t be satisfied with that look. Oh how we tempt the fates with our ultimatums and declarations!

SEDUCTION COVE CVR6_edited-1 for amazonOr, I remember standing by my mother, my face all sincere and true: “Nah. Not for me. I’m not going to write trashy erotica stuff! I will never do that. I will stick to what I write.” And then, three months later, on a night when I was full of vodka and bad intent and after I’d smashed a writer’s conference mug against the tree outside my little log house and yelled into the night, “I QUIT! I am NOT WRITING ANOTHER WORD! I AM PISSED OFF AT THE WHOLE BUSINESS! FUCK THIS SHIT!” (the snow hid my shame, until it melted – lawd), I preternaturally-calm opened my word document and wrote Seduction Cove and I laughed a vodka-infused laugh, and of course, I ain’t telling my mom. I also said, “I will NEVER tell anyone I wrote it–I’ll keep Tasha a secret.” Oops; didn’t happen that way. Mom, if you happen by here: I’m sorry. Dang. And now my writing world has altered. Where will I take it next?

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I will never leave this beautiful place

So, my friends. There have been some changes in my life, and more are coming. I’ve spent the last six months or so (actually, the last two years after my father died—something about a parent dying sets a woman on quests and questionings and searchings)—wading through the molasses of change and discovery and heartache and decisions that changed my life and the life of others and etc etc etc – ET CET ER A!

I will begin a series of posts about my “nevers” and my “soon to comes” and my “already happeneds” – and I hope you’ll learn something from them, or be entertained, or nod or shake your head, or ignore it all—but I need to write it. That’s what I do. I am a writer. I write things out. And when I do not, I bother my friends with my whiny angst, or send texts that are full of self-indulgent whines that I later regret (that’s a post in itself). So write I will.

Some topics—and I will never stray from them (hahaha!) are:

  • What not to do when you are alone and vulnerable
  • When you are the one you says, “I want a separation”
  • When you have said you “never” have writer’s block and suddenly you cannot write
  • When you have to leave a place/an ideal/a way of life that you thought was “forever” because you said “never will I leave this place/ideal/way of life
  • When disappointment in people attacks—when you realize the people you thought would call never do, and the ones you never thought would reach out to you do.
  • When the word “lonely” expands beyond and above what you ever thought it could be
  • When you think you cannot, absolutely cannot, face something—but then you do
  • What happens next?
  • At my age! . . . the prospects of dating and all that jazz (and being called a cougar—? Um, what?)
  • Etc.

I’ll be back soon . . . .

When literary writers go rogue (sex sells) . . . .

002I know this writer who has penned a few novels and short stories – all of them considered “literary works” with the exception of one that could pass for a bit of fantasy and romance. She sits in her space and tippity taps away — the words come easy to her, though plots do not. Her stories make people cry and think and wonder and wander. She has a pretty nice following of readers who love her work.

But anyone “in the business” knows that “Literary-type” writers have a harder time finding a huge audience. And while writers who pen these kinds of works love their readers and audience, there comes a time when the rubber has to meet the road and bills must be paid. Perhaps something changed in the writer’s life–perhaps two incomes become one, or something catastrophic happens, or the moon swallows the sun and all hell breaks loose–doesn’t matter; there comes a time where if the writer didn’t worry so much about how much money her work made, before, she or he may at some point certainly have to worry about it sooner or later.

084There are genres of writing out there that seem to entice readers to them: romance, erotica, erotic-romance. Hmmmm, thinks the writer–that erotic stuff sounds “easier” to write than romance–for romance requires Plot and Rules, whereas it seems erotica/erotic romance is all over the place–kind of experimental. How darist the literary writer do such a thing? Could she? Would she? Should she? What would her readers think? Her family? Her friends? Her MOM!

And one day, the writer sat down in her space and spewed out new kinds of words – words that normally she’d laugh at or cringe a little at or blush at: C words and P words and T words and A words. And the sexual explicitness of her words made her go “Well, damn . . . .” But on she wrote, inserting a little plot, a little narrative, in between all that sex: beasty men and girl on girl and slipping through the back door and bodily emissions flying. This writer just tipped the iceberg of what is out there in erotica writing, for in doing some research, she found some pretty disgusting and way more explicitly disturbing works, but, for the literary writer of beautiful books, this was completely new and completely explicit.

What goes on behind the eyes of a woman?

What goes on behind the eyes of a woman?

And it excited her, too. Even while making her want to hide her identity. And will I reveal her identity? That’s for you to find out and figure out, if you haven’t already. For keeping her identity in the shadows allows her to explore that darker deeper side of sexuality. It makes her feel she’s gone rogue. It feels scary and delicious all at the same time. The words she had a hard time saying, the explicit situations that made her laugh, or blush a little, suddenly come (so to speak) easier and easier.

One down, she says, and how many more to go?

1655921_1378209372428629_1822370916_n Meet Tasha Wolfe.  A literary writer’s Rogue Alter-Ego. She won’t reveal her identity straight out. For she likes to remain in the shadows, so she can write with explicit glee, or embarrassed glee, or something in between. And she’ll never tell her mother. And certain friends. And certain colleagues. And she’ll think, “This is for the bills. This is so I can keep writing the literary stuff. This is so I don’t lose my house.” But a darker baser side of her thinks, “This is exciting and exhilarating. This is unexpected . . . .”

SEDUCTION COVE CVR6-page-0 (1)She started small, with a little novella-ette – something to be read quickly. Something that can be written quickly. Something that is quick. Seduction CoveIn a hidden cove in a secret magic forest, a seductive sorceress weaves blood and fantasy into tantric orgasmic sex. Sorceress Serena seduces sex-starved women to her magical cove, where with a vial of their blood, and knowledge of their deepest fantasies, she creates for them their perfect lover – for a price. But when Serena’s darker thoughts take over, she chooses a client who asks for part man, part beast. Serena’s ancestors howl against it, but she seeks to punish a soul in her soul garden – for his arrogance, he will become her experiment for this lusty client. Things don’t go quite as Serena wants them to, and she then must face her own desires.

And this writer nods her head at Tasha, for really, everyone does just what they want and need to do and that’s how it should be. Right? Right. And sex sells. Sex really really sells. And it’s more than that, isn’t it? It’s more than the money . . . it’s something wilder and darker and exciting . . . .

Sometimes writers go rogue. Sometimes you never even know when they do this – the writers who pen lovely beautiful books, and in the dark of night pen something so very much different. Some do it proudly and some do it stealthy and some do it somewhere in between.

 

 

Shoveling it (writing it)

snow storm 2014 cove walk and shovel 004

*UPDATE! : Can anyone tell me “what’s wrong with this picture” here to the left? *laughing* — Let’s make that around 10 inches on my driveway. *dumbass me* Yeah, the stick is upside down and the big numbers are not inches. Teeheehee.* There has to be a metaphor/analogy for the writing in this :D

Gawd. What a winter it has been. Ice, snow, sub-zero temps — my cove once dove to minus 8.5 degrees. This latest dumped fourteen inches on top of the driveway I’d just cleared 3 inches from. Welp, good, cause at least I didn’t have to shovel 17 inches. Huhn. Right? Riiight. And, as I wrote on Facebook (where I’ve been uploading photos of the snow and the beauty of Western North Carolina), how does a 111 pound 5’2″ woman clear 14 inches of snow from her longish driveway in less than 2 hours? One GD shovel at a time. I put my head down and did the job. I didn’t whine. I didn’t complain–no really, I did not. For what good would that have done? Just made me irritated and negative about it. I shoveled and I didn’t think about how much was left before me. I shoveled and I didn’t stop except to drink some water and stretch out the kinks. I shoveled and I didn’t think about my worries or my troubles or what lay ahead or what I would do next or if it were boring or if I’d rather be doing something else–nope, I kept my mind to he task. I shoveled and shoveled and shoveled some more. Until, at last, I had a pathway for my Boopmobile to clear out of so I can get out snow storm 2014 cove walk and shovel 028this weekend, and then, just to be sure, I shoveled a bit more–a sort of SO THERE! kind of thing.

snow storm 2014 cove walk and shovel 026I thought, at the end: Okay, Mother/Father/Grandm/f Nature, you bitch – I’m a bigger bitch. I’m a badass bitch. I’m a toughass kickass mountain woman, stubborn, too much pride at times, determined. I had a goal. I completed it. My arms were shaking afterward. My back and shoulders protested. But those things actually felt good because they felt like work; they felt like progress; they felt like I was in the real world doing real things; they felt like, actually, that Mother;/Father/Grandm/f Nature and I were at a truce. Oh, I know Nature can dish out some more if it wants to, and it could take me to my knees. It has done that to many of us–storms, and floods, and snows, and ices, and tornadoes, and hurricanes–and what do we do? We “shovel” out from under it one “shovel” at a time until we are done with the job.

Just Do It

Just Do It

Often people ask me: how did you write so much in so little time? What is your writing day like? How do you keep writing? I am pretty prolific. I have had published five novels and a novella, and published myself through Amazon some short stories, and I’m writing under two different pen names — one is C.W. Pomp, and the other is a secret. And you may be guessing already what I’m going to say after reading the above: I write one word at a time. I put my head down and get the job done. When I am working, snow storm 2014 cove walk and shovel 028I don’t think ahead or how much I have done or how much more I have left to do. I don’t worry about the future when I am working. I am a badass toughass stubborn determined novelist/writer bitch. When I am done, I may be shaking a little; I may let those worries creep in; I may falter because I don’t know how it’s all going to work out or if people will love my work; I could be taken to my knees by disappointment (and I have been!). But, then . . . I sit down and do it all over again, just as if it snows again, I will pick up that shovel and dig myself out from under what is dished out to me.

1461250_496657083765127_1387255473_nNow, I do not want to hit you good people over the head with this – my pride and my sense of “not bugging people” often have gotten in the way of me talking about my books, but, if I want to keep doing what I love, then I have to promote my books at least sometimes, and the sometimes is usually when I have news or deals. I thought The Lightning Charmer would be off its $1.99 sale, but it’s still hanging on – shhh! maybe they forgot to take it off! ha! So, if you haven’t tried my work, now is the time, or if you have and liked my other books, then give T.L.C. a try. I will love you for it – well, hell, I already love you all :D .

three set_edited-best_edited-1As well, my little short stories are on Amazon. I don’t talk about them much because they’re just little story snacks – things you can read quickly. Simple little things. I adore the artwork on the cover.

Okay, that’s enough of the car salesman pitch *haw!*

MUWAH! y’all. Pick up that shovel (sit down and write) . . . get busy.

Five lies, out of many, that we tell ourselves . . . .

askyourdoctorLIE: I’ll start on that manuscript as soon as I finish this Facebook update.

REALITY: Haw haw haw! You’ll start on that manuscript as soon as you stop sniveling and whining and carrying on about how haaaaarrrrd this is and about how you aren’t appreciated by so and so and such and them and whositwhat. You’ll start on that manuscript as soon as you kick the ass of Fearsome Monster—and Fearsome Monster is difficult to kick the ass of since every time you kick it, YOU are the one who feels the pain. Right? Right. Riiighhht.

Oh, and for some of you out there *Kat gives the personal trainer evil eye* insert “exercise” where starting on manuscript is written. Yeah.  Uh huh.

LIE: If I fit into these jeans comfortably, I’ll stop losing weight. Or: All I want is to fit into my jeans comfortably. Or: My jeans shrunk! No wonder I can’t fit into them comfortably.

cartoonREALITY: If you have any kind of eating disorder/disordered thinking about food/weight, then I am on to you. Oh, I know you mean it when you say it, but I also know those jeans will fit comfortably and then the mind games start up: Well, if they fit comfortably, then what if they fit a little looser ; well, people are telling me I look good, I better not fail them! I better keep this weight off! And in fact, I better lose a few more pounds for a “Safety Net” so I won’t look as if I am failing by gaining it back. If my jeans fit comfortably, I then forget that they once fit tight and I think the “fit comfortably” is now “oh, my jeans should be looser” so I have to lose weight to make them looser and then I may forget how they fit after—you see the circuitous crazy-ass-psycho thinking here? Please god, make it stop, y’all! For those who think their jeans shrunk—I’ll give that to you once, and then after that, LIE LIE LIE!

I’m sure there’s a writing metaphor in there—I’ll leave that to you.

well, sheee'it

well, sheee’it

LIE: Once my novel is published, I will be forevermore happy! I will never want for another thing! I just want to see my book published even if only I read it and maybe a friend or family member or two!

REALITY: HAW HAHAHAHAHAHA HAW HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *gasping for breath* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, okay, right. It ain’t happenin’ – you will have that book published and then you will want something else. And then something else.  And then maybe something else. Will to! Will to! WILL TO!

*See Above Lie about fitting jeans comfortably – hey! I found a way to tie it to writing. WHUPOW!

LIE: I don’t care!

REALITY: Yes you goddamn do.

It's easy to be sucked down - but then again, I wonder what's in that hole?

It’s easy to be sucked down – but then again, I wonder what’s in that hole?

LIE: I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy for so and so’s: weight loss, publishing contract, award, accolades, rise to the Kindle Millionaire list, cash flow, new baby, face, body, legs, breasts, lips, ass, writing, husband, wife, dog, cat, house, car . . . .

REALITY: I’ll give you this one, that you really are happy for them,  but with a caveat: though you may be truly happy for this person, there is a tiny part of you that may feel like shit on a big fat ugly ass stick that you have not accomplished these things or do not have these things and may never have these things or most certainly will never have these things or may always want want want and never have have have. And meanwhile, someone is envying you for what you have, and on and on it goes. What I will tell you if envy hits: Own it.  Own up to it. It just could be the thang that spurs you on. But when envy turns to Jealousy, when you are being eaten alive by it, then it’s time to take stock—it’s time to consider the realities: can you have it? Do you really want it? How much will it cost you (not just in $)? And how do you pull yourself out of your Green-Eyed Monster’s Ass?

Hey! He has more seeds than I do! BASTARD!

Hey! He has more seeds than I do! BASTARD!

I always say: A teaspoon (or even a tablespoon) of Envy is a great motivator. But Jealousy is destructive and negative and big ass ugly.

Also, I will tell you: Sometimes going to that person and congratulating them and really meaning it, feeling their happiness, feeling good for them, will make the envy lose some of its power—you face the demon of your own lacking, your own wanting and can’t (or not yet) having.

What lies do you tell yourself and do you or will you recognize the reality?

(*and folks – The Lightning Charmer is now on sale at Amazon and at Bell Bridge Books site. The “official release date” is November 1, so it should be going up for sale at other places, like Nook and bookstores and wherever else books go to find their ways to wonderful readers’ hands. I thank you all for your support. I *heart* you dearly*)

The Lightning Charmer cover

Work-out writer: Music to get you off your ass – excuses just piss me off – time for some WHUPOW, y’all.

askyourdoctorWelp, did y’all think I wasn’t going to come back to this here blog? Nah. I’d never desert it. However, this here’s what I believe: you can be a good writer but that doesn’t mean you can keep up a good blog with tantalizing posts and goldenfire words that draw people by the hundreds–hell, I’m lucky if I draw people by the tens *haw haw!* Same goes for books – you can kick the ass of writing to whoopeetown and back, but if’n you ain’t got a story, then all you have is a bunch of well-written words strunged together–what? strunged ain’t a word? It is now — haw!

So, while I have a good ole time on my Facebook page (and it’s a regular ole Facebook page and not one of those “like” thangs so come join in), I’m not as blabbity here. There are so many other blogs out there that are kick ass and where the blog writer knows just what to do to make it shine. I learned how to tell a story in my novels and am doing pretty well in that regard with my readers (y’all are big ass buckets of awesome!), but I still haven’t learned how to take a blog and make it kick ass. Dang! I’ll leave that to the Blog People on High.

cartoonDSC08450-001So have you been working out? If you are shaking your head no, then come here. Come.Here. Closer. Cloooosssseerr. CLOOOOOSSSEERR. *FWAP!* that’s me smacking you upside your head! Get your ass out there and get moving! I ain’t play’n! And same goes for writing. I don’t want to hear no excuses. Shut up. Excuses piss me off. Yeah. Now, come here. Come.Here. Cloooseerr. Naw, I ain’t going to smack you again! I just was going to plant a kiss where I smacked you, cause I’m sweet like that *MUWAH* I know you like it.

If you are looking for some good heart-pumping music, I am suggesting the 50 Techno Trance Anthems collections. I have three of the volumes and am quite pleased with them. Most have that beginning that starts you off, then builds you to a frenzy, then pulls back a bit, and then WHUPOWS! you again–great for interval training, for which I strongly suggest you try.

I don’t listen to music while writing, so it’s up to you if you use this music for that. But it’s good for traveling, too, or cleaning the house.  These are the three I have – you can purchase them from iTunes for your iPod or shuffle, or from Amazon as MP3 or whatever.

Get moving. Get Writing. Stop whining. Stop complaining. Okay, you can whine and complain sometimes–I know I do!–but if’n you are doing that and not accomplishing shit for shinola, then it’s time to take stock.

Now go kick the ass of the day!

50-Techno-Trance-Anthems-Vol-4 51o2-ZK30CL._SL500_AA280_ 51ZLWzdy4bL._SL500_AA280_

Work-out Writer: After the big cussin’ hissy fit, we may see a truth we tried to deny

He was an ass . . . but . . . . was I, too?

Jerkface, sumbitch! Huhn!

Workout: Saturday while on the treadmill doing a new, and particularly high energy part of my workout, some jerkface came over, waved his hand in my face, and then bitched me out for stomping on the treadmill. I couldn’t even respond—I was so furious, a sailor would blush at what caught in my throat and I had to swallow down.  All the rest of the weekend, I was pissed off, and within that anger came a little depression and anxiety: what would I do? That newer part of the aerobic workout kicked my ass but good and was something different, made me sweat, helped control my stress and take down my jitteriness a notch. I kept seeing his face; kept seeing his hand waving in my face; kept seeing me punching his face until it was a bloody-ass pulp (um, yeah, not proud of that thought, lawd!)

I didn’t even look forward to my next workout, for I thought, “It’s all ruined. My joy is ruined. My workout is ruined. Woe is me.”

*woe is wittle me*

*woe is wittle me*

Meanwhile, I’d conveniently forgotten how many people said I inspire them, how they enjoy my joy. I’d forgotten that the addition of this stomping was fairly new, and in a quiet little dark corner of myself, I knew I shouldn’t have been doing it—it just felt so good I ignored everything and everyone else. I was being stubborn. I wanted want I wanted. I didn’t want to give it up cause it was just so cool.

omg - I was being an asshole, too!

omg – I was being an asshole, too!

But, when I allowed my rage to subside. When I stopped thinking, “That sonuvabitch jackass mo-fo, rude asshole!” I heard what he said, not how he said it. And folks, yeah, I sure was being disrespectful to others and the equipment at that particular addition of my high-energy workout. Admitting that made me pull up my big girl panties and acknowledge I was being an asshole, too. I don’t excuse his delivery system, for he had no call for the way he treated me, but hidden in his Big Ass Stupid Face Assholedom was some truth.

This morning, as I stepped on the treadmill, someone said something so positive, reminding me that I wasn’t a bad person, I hadn’t always been so out of control, and I felt my joy slipping back in. Instead of stomping like an over-crazed idiot, I found something else to do that kicked my ass even better and more efficiently, and without worrying about hurting myself, and just as wonderful, I was still respectful of the machines and others.

WHUPOW!

Writer: Sometimes when we’re given critique/edit suggestions from our editors or beta reader, or whomever, that we don’t like, we may be tempted to say “Oh, they just don’t get it; they don’t understand what I’m trying to do; they SUCK! I ain’t listening. If I change this, it ruins everything! If I take that out/put that in/alter that, then what?  Waaaaaaah! Sumbitches!”  We push any rational thought aside, cuss, holler to the four winds of the universe how unfair they are, and how they just don’t get us and our work. Want to smack them three sides to Tuesday. We may want to give up, give in, be depressed and defeated. Put aside the work and walk away.

Well, shit . . . huh. I guess I see what you're saying . . ..

Well, shit . . . huh. I guess I see what you’re saying . . ..

However, if we still our minds and think of the bigger message, even if it’s embedded in a delivery we don’t appreciate, we may just find some truth in that critique/edit. We can pull on our big girl panties, or big boy undies, and acknowledge how we are being intractable, childish. We can pull back and look at their suggestions/comments, see if really they do have something to add to our manuscript, after all. Then, we find a way to work the manuscript into something that still gives us joy, makes us excited, and works ever so much better to make the work kick-ass.

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I actually do have a can of this!

WHUPOW! Open up a can of whoopass and get going!

Work-out writer: A leaner you; a leaner manuscript

from SHAPE magazine site

from SHAPE magazine site

Work-out: Want an efficient work out? Try interval training. The easy answer to “what is interval training” is, for example, say you usually walk on the treadmill at a steady pace — even if it’s a fast pace — for thirty minutes to an hour. Try adding in short bursts of speed or intensity. You want to raise your heart rate; to go fast/hard enough that you think, “Omg! I can’t go much farther!” then you slow it back down and catch your breath. Do this several times during your workout–get that heart rate going and then slowing it down, up and down, up and down, until you are sweating and feeling kick-ass, and as if your ass was kicked! It’s efficient and effective. Though I do high-energy intervals for an hour, actually you do not have to go that long. It’s all about making it efficient — I’m just insane *laugh*

For a better, more comprehensive explanation, here’s an article in Shape Magazine: Interval Training: Short Workouts That Really Pay Off 

(As I always tell you: please see your doctor before beginning an exercise, or new exercise, routine.)

logoWriter: Want a more efficient manuscript? If we want our manuscripts to be “lean” and tight, sometimes we have to delete. Find those areas that are flabby and develop their muscles. Our manuscripts can become bloated after writing up those first drafts. We’re developing characters, setting, scene, etc. We’re trying to find our way, and the character’s way. One of the “easier” ways to develop a leaner manuscript is to find and delete  “internal monologue” or internal thoughts the character has. I finally figured out that the only “purpose” or reason for these internal monologues in our drafts is to figure out something at the same time the character is – sort of like when we yap to a friend about a problem because we are trying to sound it out, hear it out, figure it out. Most of this can GO. Delete. Get rid of it. Instead of writing along at this steady pace, punch it up! Instead of a long paragraph, or *gasp* page(s), of internal monologue, use action, or dialogue, or cut it down to a sentence or two. Do this throughout the manuscript and you’ve deleted thousands of bloaty words that weighed down your manuscript.

For a better, more comprehensive, explanation of internal monologue, see: The Do’s and Don’ts of Internal Monologue by K.M. Weiland

Don't be afraid to stretch yourself a little in life.

Don’t be afraid to stretch yourself a little in life.

A fit you; a fit manuscript.

Work-out Writer: Are you giving up and giving in?

Keep your eye on the prize, y'all

Keep your eye on the prize, y’all

There are times I’m doing my treadmill aerobic dance (flailing about in a jittery wild ass KAPOWIE not caring if I look like an idiot) and my heart rate climbs, I’m sweating, my legs beg me to stop, my breath is one big pant pant pant–but I don’t stop, not yet. I keep going until  the song is over–even the seven minute long techno music (previous post) that tries to kick my ass to Kingdom Come. I allow a little bit of a “cool down” to let my heart rate slow a bit, and then I HIT THAT THANG again–*sound of whip cracking across my ass. Oh it hurts soooo goooood.*

Is it easy? Hells-no. And that’s what makes it worthwhile. That’s what makes it heart-pumping YEEHAW! That’s what makes me feel on top of the world!

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Goal accomplished, fit in the jeans, and found me some f**k me pumps WHUPOW!

Who the hell said things were supposed to be easy? Doing what’s difficult and kick-ass is what brings about results. Do you want results? What are they? Be specific:

I want to fit into a pair of skinny jeans and f**k me pumps and to be able to wear them with a fitted shirt without “muffin top” or belly bulge–and why couldn’t I do that in my fifties? What was stopping me from my goal? Not a goddamn thing but my own self thinking “But I’m 55!” So what? (of course, as I always tell you–you must see your doctor in case there are physical limitations); I want to feel better and what does “feel better” mean?– to be able to hike the mountains, be stronger well into my 60s 70s 80s and beyond, to have good blood pressure and pulse, for the doctor to say “You are in great shape, don’t come back until next year;” I want sexual power; I want to look good in my clothes, yes, but also for them to feel good on my body; I need help with stress (lawdy yes); etc etc etc.

ass kickDon’t just say, “I want to be in shape/be healthy.” What does that mean? I dunno. What does  “in shape/be healthy” mean for you? The more specific you are with your goals, the more you will keep your eye on that “prize.” And the fewer times you can use excuses like, “I don’t wanna.” Yeah well, Get your ass to work anyway! Why? Cause I said so that’s why! What in hell are you waiting for? Miracles? Someone to take you by the hand and pull you there kicking and screaming? Ain’t you worth it? I know I am. So, in a month, six months, a year from now, will you be making the same goddamn excuses then as you are now? Uh huh. Check back in a month, six months, a year, and let’s see what you did with your time. Huhn.

I believe in you; so why don’t you believe in yourself?

Who cares if anyone is watching? Have fun.

Who cares if anyone is watching? Have fun.

I recognize that not everyone is going to love working out like I do–I am one of those people who actually looks forward to it and if I miss, I am not worth a crap.  But how do you know you won’t be like me? How do you know you won’t begin to enjoy. Show up. Do the work. Find your joy.

I feel this way about the writing, too. Until I don’t. Lawd. Then I look for the magic again until I find it.

Do love what you do? Do you love yourself?

Do you love what you do? Do you love yourself? Why not? Ask the hard questions and then find the answers.

Writers: this goes out to you, too. Sometimes this job is hard. Sometimes it kicks our ass but good. Are you gonna give up? Are you gonna stop when things are a little hard? Get your kickass on and stop whining and crying and carrying on about how difficult this business is. Shit, I know that–I’ve done my own crying and whining, until I decided I was sick of myself crying and whining. Instead, I went back to work. That’s what we do–we show up; we work hard; we don’t give up.

We aren’t always going to have exactly what we want from this business–but we can kick ass trying, y’all! We can do the best goddamn job we can and let the rest work itself out how it will. We can be proud of what we’ve accomplished–it isn’t all about what you may think it’s about. Maybe, just maybe, it really is all about the work, the thing that makes you show up every day, the thing that gives you joy, and all the rest is just icing on an already iced cake.

loitering through life ain't allowed, all y'allses

loitering through life ain’t allowed, all y’allses

When things are difficult, push on. You’ll learn when you truly have reached your “end,” where you know you can’t do or give any more than you are–and then maybe, just maybe, you can push it a little farther/further.

Work-out Music of the day: Benny Benassi – Satisfaction

Work-Out Writer “tip” of the day . . . Form, y’all

Sampling of Today’s Work-out Soundtrack (and I can see my friends’ raised eyebrows at the choices, since they know I crush on some Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons, Broken Bells, MGMT, etc, but there ain’t nuttin’ like Pop and Techno to get me jumping round on that treadmill!): Sandstorm, 50 Techno Trance Anthems; Satisfaction, Benny Benassi & the Biz; Sparks (Turn Off Your Mind) Fedde Le Grand/Nicky Romero;  I’m Sexy & I Know It,  LMBFAO (makes me laugh).

abs tight, glutes tight, hold your balance, feel strong

abs tight, glutes tight, hold your balance, feel strong

Fitness Tip: Good posture – your form – is as important in your work-out as the work-out itself. Without proper form, you may set yourself up for injury, and as well, you are not doing the exercise correctly and in the best possible way for optimal benefit. Don’t think of “good posture” as some kind of ATTENTION! military-like snap-to, but instead, stand with feet slightly apart, eyes forward, chin lifted, arms at your sides. Gently lift your chest, as if a light string is attached to your upper chest to the ceiling holding your chest gently up, and let your shoulders gently and naturally fall back –that string attached to the ceiling is gently pulling up your upper chest and your shoulders naturally fall back: do you see? Breathe in and fill your chest and when you exhale pull your abs in — try to keep your abs tight but do not hold your breath. As you grow stronger, you will be able to hold in your abs naturally. When you exercise, you keep that basic posture of chest up, shoulders back, abs strong, eyes forward, chin lifted. Breathe in on the easy part of your exercise move, and exhale (pulling in abs) on the difficult part. It helps to count aloud as it forces you to think about breathing. The stronger you are, the more you practice good form, the more instinctively it comes to you.

Oh how I love thee Strunk & White

Oh how I love thee Strunk & White

Writing tip: The more you learn the basic “forms” of your manuscript, the easier your edits will be. As in: one period after punctuation, each character’s dialogue as its own paragraph, be aware of relying on too many adjectives/adverbs, etc etc etc. The more you write, the stronger your writing will be, and the more you will instinctively write even your “shitty rough drafts” in proper form. I love breaking rules where appropriate, but I had to learn the rules first–do your research, there are plenty of books out there to help you–and learn all you can about punctuation, voice, POV, etc. You’ll be so glad you did when edit time comes–and your editor will love you for it, too!

Later y’all.

Find your bliss

There’s more to life than first apparent

Work-out Writer: Do you give up if results don’t come to you quickly? Well, dang it, stop it!

121Samplings of today’s work-out soundtrack: Everybody Talks, Neon Trees; What Does Tomorrow Bring (Extended Mix), Starkillers & Richard Beynon; Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself), Ne-Yo; Hey (Nah Neh Nah), Milk & Sugar & Vaya Con Dios; Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You), Kelly Clarkson

But I don't wanna! Well do it anyway! Huhn.

But I don’t wanna! Well do it anyway! Huhn.

Fitness does not happen over-night. Yeah, yeah, you say, I know that. *eye-roll* DUH, Kathryn.  Well then, smart-ass, why do I see people giving up so easily when they don’t see the results they want after just a few workouts/meal plan changes? Over and over again I see this happen. People want results and they want them in a hurry. Well, guess what? All those layers of bad habits crept up on you a little at a time, so the changing will have to come with time and work and sacrifice/discipline. Time and Work and Sacrifice/Discipline. Time and Work and Sacrifice/Discipline. Time and Work and Sacrifice/Discipline. Time and Work and Sacrifice/Discipline. Is that in your head yet? Time  . . .  Work . . . Sacrifice/Discipline.

Yeah, I'm sexy and I know it . . .

Yeah, I’m sexy and I know it . . .

You start with what you have and you work to make that the best you are able to with time, work, sacrifice/discipline: best heart/lung–cardio—condition, best muscular/skeletal condition, best endurance, best strength, best whatever it is you want—or all of the above. This isn’t about turning yourself into someone you see in Hollowweird. This isn’t about looking like, or working out like, your best friend-brother-sister-neighbor-someone you see at the gym; this is about doing and being the best YOU. And it is about not giving up and giving in when the going is difficult, or when the results you desire do not come to you as quickly as you imagined. For those who stay the course, they are rewarded–this I can guarantee.

But what's on the other side of this sign? Another path - yup.

But what’s on the other side of this sign? Another path – yup.

Sometimes it does seem as if nothing is happening to our bodies even when we work hard. Folks, I promise you that things ARE happening! You must be patient, you must keep working towards your goals, you must not give up and give in! You must show your body/mind that you mean business so it will be open to change instead of trying for homeostasis, the status quo. For example, I’d often hear clients lament: “I’ve been working out and eating better for two weeks and I look the same! I’m so frustrated I just want to give up!” Well, keep going, I’d tell them. Do Not Stop. Because the reward does come. Our bodies work in mysterious and wondrous ways, and not always in the way we expect them to. But please believe me when I say: if you are truly working out and eating healthfully; if you are truly making healthful changes to your life-style, then it WILL show, the change will come, guaranteed. It is science, biology–we are beautiful biological machines.

I have my eye on you . . .

I have my eye on you . . .

Don’t work out and eat healthfully for someone else. Yes, this may motivate you in the beginning, but you will feel resentment flash up and ponk you on your head until you are dizzy and pissed off. You must do this for you. Aren’t you worth it? Hmmm? Of course you are! Although I will add that becoming healthy for your children’s/grandchildren’s sake is something to consider. Besides, do you want your children/grandchildren to have to look after your old tired unhealthy ass because you didn’t take care of yourself? *giving you the personal trainer evil-eye*

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follow the road and see where it takes you

So, there you are where you are, whatever the case may be. You find a reasonable starting goal and you work towards it, and when that goal is achieved, you find another one, and another one, and you keep building on those goals. The results will come, but they come at a price, and that price is hard work and time and sacrifice/discipline. Stop expecting change to come so quickly; stop expecting the “end result” to come without the work, for when you do not allow yourself to climb up the fitness ladder a rung at a time, you set yourself up for Half-Ass. Isn’t Kick-Ass better than Half-Ass? I think so.

And you writers out there — near-bouts every work-out post I write has a message for writers in it–as does this one.

It’s the same concept with your manuscript. A good novel/story does not come from rushing through it with the desire to “get it out there as quickly as possible.” That “shitty rough draft” deserves time and work and sacrifice/discipline. Start with what you have and build on that. Write it, and then edit edit edit, until you have a Kick-Ass story/novel, instead of a Half-Ass story/novel. What’s your rush? Slow down. Don’t expect the end result–something you’ll be proud to have your name on–to come to you easily and quickly. Give it the attention it deserves. One rung at a time.

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DSC_0051Work-out tip of the day: If you aren’t listening to music while you work out – please do try it! The tempo keeps you going, the music distracts you, it puts you in a great mood, and motivates you to work harder.  There are iPods and iPod Shuffles (the small iPod Nano), and if you do not want to invest in that, there are all kinds of MP3 players out there. Load ‘em up with energetic music and Have Fun!

Professor Dawg says, "Woof!" - that means, write it all good and all, y'allses

Professor Dawg says, “Woof!” – that means, write it all good and all, y’allses

Writing tip of the day: Do you really need to write “started to” . . . ? It started to rain; she started to cry; he started to run—you could just have the action itself: It rained; she cried; he ran.

Later y’all.

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