One minute read.
Jim Fixx wrote The Complete Book of Running in 1977. Fixx is largely credited with starting America's fitness craze. Fixx quit smoking and shed 50 pounds after he started running at age 35. I read this book years ago (obviously). The one thing that stuck with me was an idea he had in there that he didn't make himself run every day. He did however, make himself put on his running shoes every day, even if he didn't intend to run. All he had to do to fulfill his commitment to himself was to lace up his running shoes.
What Fixx noticed was that after he laced up his running shoes, he frequently decided that since he had them on, he might as well go for a short run. He'd been on some of his best runs when his only promise was to lace up his shoes.
Sometimes writing is like that. I don't want to write a scene in the book I'm working on for whatever reason. I am looking around the house at everything else I need to get done. I am tired. I am antsy. My writing isn't flowing. Any excuse will do! I remember what my commitment to my writing is, and I honor that. I make myself sit down at the computer and open the scene, the page, the outline, whatever. That's it. If that's the very best I can do that day, I can still walk away feeling good about keeping my promise. Sometimes, just like Jim Fixx, I do some of my best and most effortless writing at that moment because doing the first thing sometimes leads to the next thing.
One minute read.
Goodbye Summer! September always sounds like fall with roller-skates on. It brings back memories of new school supplies, starchy plaid dresses and navy blue sweaters. The truth is, in Oklahoma we wait for October for temperatures to drop so that you might want a sweater. Our first freeze doesn't happen until early November.
I don't let the heat deter me from September walks and a few end of summer gardening chores before I sit down to write. I've always loved the change of seasons. In the garden that means planting fall crops like Swiss chard, kale, lettuce, garlic, turnips, onions and radishes. I would say carrots too but I've tried so hard to grow carrots with very poor results! Mine taste like dried soap. Any advice would be welcome!
On the writing front I have been busy learning Instagram. That sounds crazy but half the time I can't tell which menu I'm on. Please follow me @thekitchendancer and we'll learn more about current books and what's on my reading list. Happy Fall!!
Two minute read.
I just finished the first draft of my second book in The Kitchen Dancer Series. Even though it still needs lots of editing, the bones are there and I'm so grateful to be finished with the first step. I am now going back to The Kitchen Dancer to fill in plot holes created by the second novel, temporarily called 'Bridge'.
This part of the writing process is easier for me, the editing. It's getting that first draft birthed that I find so difficult. Some people say they enjoy writing and can't not write. I am well aware that is a double negative. I'm not certain I would say that uniformly. I like to create stories, I like to tell a character's story but sitting down when I feel so antsy and things aren't going well at the computer is not easy. So I'm not sure the process is always so enjoyable for a wiggly person like me.
Why do I continue? I suppose it is because when I fill out a form and it says occupation, I check 'writer'. It's who I am. I am a writer.
I have printed out my first copy of The Kitchen Dancer to check for plot holes and glaring errors the first time around. The third time I read it through I will work on making the language pretty.
WRITER'S TIP: If you set your computer to read your book to you and you follow along with the text, it increases your focus and comprehension. You will find errors that you might have missed, I can also see the structure of my story better because of how fast the robot reader speaks.
How to: Macs: System Preferences, Accessibility, Speech. Then you get to select American voice, British. I like Oliver...a lot. ;-) Once you've selected that, you select the text you want read and then press option (bottom left of keyboard) and the escape key (top left).
PCs: Press Alt + Shift + s, Settings, Advanced, in Accessibility section select Manage accessibility features, Text-to-Speech--turn on Enable ChromeVox (spoken feedback).
Two minute read.
Since we are still quarantined (that word is beginning to sound suspiciously like pickled) I am going back through photos of some lovely trips we took. This photo is from August 22, 2018, a mere two years ago when my husband David and I traveled with our grown kids. We visited the lovely Nickel and Nickel vineyard in California. Don't you feel the cool California breeze? Delicious!
We are quarantined but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy ourselves! I figure your only limitation is what's inside your head. Here are five things I do to improve my day when I'm feeling blue:
Comment now below and let me know what you are doing to get through!