Spent all day today driving from San Diego to Santa Rosa. My husband and I finished a book on tape called Vanished, and it was wonderful. A real thriller. Highly recommend the unabridged version. I suddenly feel in awe of this author, doubting myself again. This happens sometimes when I read too much while I'm trying to create. But I wanted to hear the pacing of the tension, the way he chose his chapter hooks (and he did it very well), the complicated plot that was just difficult enough to make it unpredictable, but not too confusing. It was riveting. Testament to that was the number of wrong turns we took. We ignored the very polite woman on the GPS and found ourselves listening to her say, “recalculating” several times. Now, that's a good book, right?
I got the opportunity to visit Coronado Island and watch as SEAL class 288 was doing their boat crew exercises. Watching them learn to maneuver as a team, hauling those heavy boats up and over the rocks over and over again, I felt exhausted. At the end of their training, the ones that are left, would be a well-oiled machine, operating as one unit. But yesterday, it was obvious to all of us onlookers they were clearly not there yet.
I wrote my first book, Angel, which will be out on the e-formats in May, without a villain. I used the barrier of an angel wanting to be human as being the villain in the original story. But after I had finished it, realized I needed an honest-to-goodness actual villain.
Our house burned down in 2008 and in an instant, everything about our lives changed. I was reduced to only the clothes on my back at the time of the fire: a white nightie. Barefoot and cold, I couldn't believe I was actually watching the house burn, watched as memories and valuable things went up in smoke, taken away in less than twenty minutes.
What a wonderful time we live in. Now as writers, we have choices, perhaps more choices than ever before. I think of all the writers who are gone and how they would salivate at the opportunities we have at present. And to clarify, the ePublishing I'm talking about is self-publishing.
de·cide verb di-ˈsīd, dē- de·cid·edde·cid·ing Definition of DECIDE transitive verb 1 a : to make a final choice or judgment about <decide what to do> b : to select as a course of action —used with an infinitive <decided to go> c : to infer on the basis of evidence : conclude decided that he was right> 2 : to bring to a definitive end decided the fight> 3 : to induce to come to a choice decided him to help>
The most important part of this word is the ending. Decide means to kill off your options. That means, to make a choice, so that there is no going back.That's why making a statement of purpose is so powerful, because when you declare it to the world, you are asking for the world to support you, you are making a stand. Saying, “I will do/believe this.“Ah, but the fun stuff happens when the universe talks back. Don't click me off here, I haven't begun to hear voices, well, more voices, I mean. Haven't you decided to go on a diet and the very first day get offered your favorite red label food? Haven't you told someone you were a writer, to have them ask you how many books you've written and where you are published?This universe is testing you. Making sure you really decided, not just giving lip service to something.Having goals is a way of deciding. They have to be measurable and a stretch to what you would normally achieve. They should have a stop and start time, and they are best when you show them to someone, not keep them in your drawer or under the cat food.Decide today one little change you're going to make to get something accomplished you will feel good about tonight. Do it for yourself, but tell someone else you're doing it to make it more real, so you risk more.And kill off your other options.
I'm ready for it. I've prepared my whole life for a successful writing career. Unlike anything before, the measurement tools are complicated, the standards are illusive. I've written my 1,000,000 words Stephen King says we have to do to get good. I've finished several full length novels, written as much as 92,000 words in 30 days, and edited more than I care to remember (until my eyes crossed). I've re-written one book 43 times in the first 10 chapters.
Somewhere in the green countryside, in the bucolic hills of Sonoma County, my car is dreaming. It hugs the road, as only a $70,000 car can. It has more horsepower for the dips and valleys than it has a right to. It owns the road. It owns the driver. It used to own me.
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