Monday, December 11, 2017

On Writing -- Muse 0: Distractions 4

So, I did it. I opted out of the next Pets in Space collection...provided there even IS a next Pets in Space collection. For the last two years, I've invested a major chunk of my time in writing and revising two successive Pets in Space novellas, and in blogging, tweeting, FBing and promoting the collection. (A genuine and valuable learning experience!)

It was a very difficult decision to send an email to the organizers telling them in advance I was opting out, but my aim is to get back on my professional track and start kicking out more of my own titles next year. I planned to get right on it. I rolled up my sleeves to tackle my next two projects, and...

Well. Easier said than done, as it turns out. Distractions are the devil, and lately I've had my share of them.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi!

In just four days! Definitely a major distraction! How is a writer supposed to write when the anticipation (and/or dread) is so high? Please, please, please, Hollywood, don't ruin a standard in storytelling that's stood for decades--most of my lifetime, in fact--by turning out yet another glib, depressing piece of motion picture garbage. Don't do that to my beloved Star Wars. Don't you dare!

The movie trailers and previews look promising...

But, well, we've seen that before only to have the film do a big, fat belly flop.

Again, I say, don't you do to Star Wars what you've done to so many great ideas. Ruin them. I'm holding you accountable, Hollywood. Me and millions of other fans. I hope you're shaking in your boots right now. You should be!

This latest installment better darn well live up to the bar that's been set.

And we'll find out in just four days!

Taking on the 2017 SFR Galaxy Awards

Several years ago Heather Massey had a wonderful idea to create an award program for Science Fiction Romance that focused on different stand-out aspects of different books (and the occasional movie, graphic novel or video game). The whole point behind the awards was to help readers find books they'd really enjoy reading. We teamed up together to launch the first SFR Galaxy Awards for 2011. This year marks the 6th anniversary of the awards.

Recently, Heather contacted me to see if I'd have any interest in hosting the awards for 2017, because life was just a little too full for her this year. I agreed to take the reins, at least for this next round. And so the awards will go on.

Look for the announcements to begin posting the morning of January 30th in their usually pattern--one round per hour. We also have a new judge this year, and you can meet her, as well as get re-acquainted with our returning judges, on the SFR Galaxy Awards site.

I hope you'll tune in for the festivities when they roll out in January.

The Holidays
Tralalalalala. It's almost Christmas! Seriously. How did that happen? Wasn't it January just last week?

I love the holidays, but they do bring their fair share of time-gobbling must-do's. Shopping, attending parties and events, decorating, wrapping, and writing out cards.

Now that I'm retired, I have no excuse not to slow down and smell the Poinsettias, so I have to allow myself the seasonal break even though it's going to cut into my writing time. After all, the holidays only come once a year, and each year, there are fewer ahead to look forward to.

Life's too short not to celebrate.

But then...

A Personal Loss

This was a very sad event indeed, so I won't go into detail and depress everyone, but suffice it to say we recently lost a long-time friend to ALS. Of all the things I'm juggling right now, this one has been the most difficult to deal with. No amount of organization or planning can "fix" the loss of a friend. No amount of holiday festivities can overcome the sadness. No recounting the memories or the good times can bring back the past.

Sometimes life is like a steamroller. It's going to flatten you as it rolls on toward the future.

There's a movie called The Village in which the residents of the small town often gather to share a big feast. Before they begin, they say a prayer.

It starts: "Thank you for the time we have been given..."

Yes. That.

Sorry to end my blog on such a somber note, but of all the setbacks mentioned, grief has packed the biggest wallop of them all.

Thanks for stopping by. And have a great week.


  1. Distractions are indeed the devil. I've just posted about my anticipation nerves for TLJ. My condolences on your loss - recent health scares and something more personal have likewise had me reevaluating our time on this planet and how best to spend it. I'm looking forward to a quiet, cozy Christmas at home with my immediate family and more food than is probably good for us (and back to the diet in the New Year!).

    1. Sounds like a wonderful holiday to me! Yes, diets are for January. Enjoy!

      Thanks for the kind thoughts on the loss of our friend, Sue. The timing was particularly hard, I think.

  2. Yes, I'm feeling you, Laurie. December is definitely not the best time to start a new writing project. (And I've never understood why anyone thought November was a great month for a word count "race" either.Why not January?) I'm so sorry about your friend. The emotional turmoil of grief can scramble your thinking for a long time. Some people can write their way out of it, but I'm not one of them. Give yourself permission to take the time to deal with this loss, then buckle down--after the holidays, maybe?

    1. Good point about NaNo. January-February does seem like a better time frame, doesn't it?

      Thanks for the thoughts, Donna. It has been rough. Sometimes giving myself permission is the hardest part, but it's really all I can do right now because the muse is definitely not with me. (If she's not back by January, we're going to have to have a long, serious talk.)

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss, Laurie. Not that there's ever a good time, but this time has gotta be the hardest.

    As for working over the holidays, it seems like I always end up doing it for some reason, and this year is no different. Revisions on my new book! I don't really have a deadline, though, so I'll definitely be taking some down time with family. I agree with Donna - take some time to rest and recharge.

    Looking forward to your review of TLJ!

    1. Thanks, Sharon. Yes, having a loss at this time of year really mutes the holiday spirit. We're finally feeling a little better, but every chat with Richard tends to bring back the emotions.

      Good for you for making progress on your revisions. I'd hoped to get to some final edits, but it just wasn't in the cards this year. Hoping I can kick off fresh in January.


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