Day 18 – 30 Days of Gratitude

November 18, 2020

What spiritual gifts are you grateful for?

I had to do some digging into my feels for this one. I’ll say this, I was expecting to be talking about clairvoyance or empaths, and instead was told by an internet quiz that I have apostleship. Naturally, I have no idea how that works. And frankly in all my many decades in and out of the Church, I had never before heard that phrase.

I had heard of The Apostles, obviously. We have a whole creed dedicated to that. But it had always been my understanding that those people were a distinct group of humans. They were a separate unit and we were just affirming their work by reciting the creed. Apparently, I have been living in a misunderstanding.

Many days, I have no idea where this path is leading me. Somedays I truly hope to be heading in a particular direction, even while now understanding that I am not actually in control. I’m still pondering this “gift” and what to do about it. For further information, you can check TM UMC’s website. Their definition is seen below.

I did a fair bit of meditation and internet research on this topic, and after some time in it, I agree. I am probably a good example of Apostleship. This missionary mindset has always been with me. However since my readmittance to Christianity and the new home I found in The Episcopal Church, my understanding has allowed me to speak more freely and energetically about the power of transformation.

Day 8 – WIPtember 2020

Day Eight – Writing Advice

The idea of giving writing advice seems self serving to me, but alas we find ourselves at this place so I shall comply. The type of advice requested depends precisely on where in the process a writer finds oneself. There are stops along the way where I could actually have some potentially helpful advice. There are many more bullet points that I have not yet reached in my own writing journey. That said, I’ll share what has actually been helpful to me.

1) Just yarf it out.

No excuses necessary. Just grab your favorite method of recording – pad of paper, computer, audio transcriber – and spew that story. It doesn’t have to be good. It doesn’t have to be complete. It doesn’t even have to make sense – yet. But you do have to get it out of your head and birth it into existence.

2) Read as much as possible.

Good writers, read – and broadly. Read the genre you want to write. Read a genre you have no experience reading. Read outside of your preferred age range. And while you are reading, take notes. Mental notes are good, if your brain works that way. Most people seem to have better luck taking actual notes to reference later. Notice how stories are constructed. Pay attention to how story and character development happens.

3) Find a mentor.

You are probably surrounded with people just like you. Many people think about “writing a book” but never tell anyone, and fewer still even bother to start. Put the word out and you’ll be surprised who jumps out of the woodwork to share their experiences. If you don’t have anyone IRL who can – or is willing to – be a mentor, find a virtual one. Twitter is a mine field, but there are a lot of talented and helpful people tucked away over there. Instagram has more writers camping out these days, and they are slightly more …friendly. If those options fail you, get a book by one of the Big Guns. I can personally recommend On Writing, by Stephen King – but there are others that a simple internet search can lead you to.

Day 7 – WIPtember 2020

Day Seven – Publishing Path

After many conversations with writers of all stages, I feel comfortable saying that most writers who want to get published believe that they want to be traditionally published. This is also true for me, to a point.

I am currently not in receipt of a project that I would consider finished enough to publish on any forum, much less to ship off to a publisher’s office. Additionally, it is (currently) enough for me to just say “I wrote something!” And then move on to the next project.

I have investigated self-publishing via several types of modes but not having breathing work to share is a deterrent. I know that when I get to a good place, I will probably self-publish initially. I have done enough poking around to know that traditional publishing isn’t really what it seems. With that in mind, I’m keeping my options open. Who knows what will be available when I get any of these dozen semi-close projects polished?

Day 6 – WIPtember 2020

Day Six – #readabookday

Today, I finished Get Over Your Damn Self, by Romi Neustadt.

It is a fairly quick read, if you’re in the self-motivation #wahm business. It was only slightly distracting how often she mentioned the perks of her company, but mostly because I was trying to figure out who it was that she works for. (*spoiler alert: they tell you at the end, in the acknowledgments) I found this book to be a little too heavy on the recruiting focus for my needs. I am in direct sales as a sales consultant for a group publishing company, but we don’t push recruiting. I listened to it on Audible and her speaking voice was grating at times. Not awful, mind you, but a little touch of “give me a break” occasionally. The tone of her writing was a tinge out of touch for the average person in spots. Overall, not a bad read. I don’t regret reading it. I just didn’t get as much out of it as I had hoped.

P.S. I guess this is an unofficial review. Take from it, what you will.

Software Wars

Evernote vs. Scrivener

The unofficial report…

I’ve been using Evernote for years. It took me a solid six months to figure out what exactly I was supposed to do with it. Once I discovered how to organize files into a living outline, the game was officially changed.

The second year of using the program, I started three new large writing projects. Not only was I able to juggle the different projects and keep progressing, but I was able to easily organize any research or notes related to each one.

The following year, I started really unlocking Evernote’s potential. It has become my go-to organizer. Photos, notes, websites, recipes… Nothing is safe from the vault with the little green elephant icon. Until now.

I started noticing that I was having formatting issues with longer documents. I am not the type of personality that can take time for simple issues with no blatant answer. My ADHD simply will not allow me to just tinker and figure it out. After losing a day to formatting, I started looking into Scrivener.

In my writing forums, there seems to be a very definite split between the Scrivs and the Scriv-nots. I’ve considered trying out this program for a while now, but always got that nagging worry about user-friendliness.

In June, I made the jump. You get a 30-day free trial and it is based on 30 uses, not a time frame. Considering I don’t consistently write daily right now, it was kind of a no-brainer. I became a Scrivener test monkey.

Back in July, I hit my Camp NaNo goal and that meant I got some interesting swag. One of the prizes offered to Camp winners was a 50% off code for Scrivener. During my test period in early summer I got to where I felt comfortable enough with it to put up the small fee for the download.

The program gets a lot of mixed reviews from writers. Most of the seasoned users will tell you that it takes a little bit of a learning curve, but that it’s worth it. A lot of the rest of them will bemoan the day they ever thought they might attempt to conquer that beast. The “it’s worth it” is why I decided to go for the full access program.

Honestly, it’s very much like Evernote — for books. There’s been almost no learning curve for me, but admittedly I haven’t attempted to publish or query yet. Soon enough, I’ll report back on that.

If you’re on the fence and serious about finishing your project, go for it. Actually, if you can wait you should win NaNo or Camp and get the 50% off code. It’s a great program, but saving money is always better.

 

Winning

August 1, 2019

I have been participating in NaNoWriMo for 10 years, and Camp NaNo in April & July for each of the last 5 years, for a grand total of 20 attempts. This is the first time that I have finished a brand new writing project during one of the month-long events. It is a rough draft memoir about motherhood and mental health.

It’s ugly. It’s nowhere near done. And it will probably stay that way. However, I did learn a few things about myself during this process — and got a new novel idea, which I started mapping out today!

Campasset-Instagram

Honestly, I don’t feel that much different than I did a week ago — except that now I have actually set a writing goal that I achieved. I always get around to getting it done, but never on time. Frankly, my confidence about my writing has been in the toilet lately. There’s been a lot of *meh* in my notebooks these last few years.

  • My lack of teasable and usable ideas
  • My inability to commit to any ideas long enough to create something worth getting excited about
  • My obvious ignorance about the entire process
  • ADHD (that actually explained A LOT)
  • Lack of time &/or focus in my personal life
  • Overall ennui

To be able to say that I pushed through even when I had no idea how I could, would or should, has been a boost to morale around my writing desk. I know that I can finish these other projects. More than knowing that I can, I now how to get it done. I’m excited to move onto my next project, and I hope it turns out to be worthy of sharing.

Keep on scribbling!

~K~

WIP Progress – May 2019

May 31, 2019 – Friday

My goal for this week was to update my website and finish a chapter on my work-in-progress. I was able to update my website last night, although I have made a mental note to *never* attempt to do that again from my mobile. What a nightmare! I haven’t been able to write much today, but I did work on my book cover. I’m not sure I like it yet, but I needed something as a placeholder for another spot.

cover - IDEK letters on motherhood

So, there you have it. I’m not a graphic designer, nor have I ever claimed to be. This one doesn’t sing to me. I may have to get my husband on the payroll once I finish the book. This is kind of his day job area.

My goal for this project is to complete the 1st draft before June 30th so that I can use July’s Camp Nanowrimo to work on edits. Ultimately, I want this completed by Labor Day. After that, I’ll have to figure out the publishing parts!

2019 Projects

Spring 2019

As of May, I am still writing the 1st draft of my Camp Nano project, working title: IDEK: Letters on Motherhood. I didn’t actually get as much written in April as I wanted, but May has been much more productive. I’m aiming for a completed rough draft for Summer Camp Nanowrimo in June!

In April, I am participating in Camp Nanowrimo. My current project is an expository collection of short stories based on life after Motherhood. It’s weird and ugly, and beautiful – and not enough people talk about it honestly.

Winter 2018-19

In January, I gave birth to my third child – a daughter – and began the planning of my latest work.

2018 Projects

April 2018 – Camp NaNoWriMo

GRACE, INDEED

God is not dead.

This is the story of a once deeply religious child, who became a hard, stoic woman abandoned by God and abused by religion and humanity. Trying to live a decent life in spite of a lack of community and healthy family influence, the death of her partner’s mother sets in motion a trail of bread crumbs to follow, leading back home to God.

rsz_1cover_-_grace_indeed_-_jpg

 

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June 2018 – Camp NaNoWriMo

RAT KING

Ella is modern woman with extravagant tastes and an independent spirit that will not be tamed by the thumb of the Great Depression. An unlikely alliance leads her out of the obscurity of the kitchens and reluctantly into the spot light. Old ties and new enemies ultimately land her squarely in the bullseye of one of Central New York’s oldest organized crime families.

rsz_21book_cover_-_rat_king

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November 2018 – NaNoWriMo

Leprechaun Luncheon: A Love Story

A Memoir – themes dealing with mental health, partnership and the ghosts of dreams.

book cover - Leprechaun Luncheon - rsz_leprechau

2017 Projects

Fall 2017

November: I missed the first day of NaNoWriMo 2017 due to what I now know was impending illness. As of November 5th, I am struggling to catch up. However, the idea is strong in my mind and I am determined to get it out into the world where it can bother someone else. It is a conceptual blended theme which is loosely based on the loss of my partner’s parent.

Working title: Letters to My Husband

Summer 2017

June 2017 – Wrapping up the latest work, a self-help style memoir focusing on meditation for beginners, and how to incorporate the practice into your daily life.

July 2017 – Camp Nanowrimo, a summer version of the very popular NaNoWriMo. This summer I will be writing a sometimes-fictional collection of stories about growing up on Keuka Lake, New York. It’s a collection of tall tales, campfire stories and the recollections of an aging child of flower children about the juxtaposition of a guarded, yet wild childhood. Visit my author page to follow along.

rsz_cover_-_bluff_monster

July 2017: Shadowboxing (IP) – a fictional collection of stories dealing with the realities of anxiety & depression, and the effects of these symptoms on young adults’ lives.