Saturday, May 15, 2010

Time for Yourself

Today I'm headed to California for a much needed vacation. Yes, I'm packing my laptop and yes, I will work on my revisions. But still, it's a vacation from my real life. A girl's week. Visiting two different, but very special friends. One in Palm Springs and the other in Bakersfield. In Palm Springs, we plan to eat out, sit by the pool, and catch up on each other's lives since I was last there almost two years ago. I can't wait. Even her dogs are excited. LOL

Then I leave and meet my second friend for a couple days on the beach. Crank the sunroof open. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway. Sit for as long as we want and just listen to the sounds of the ocean, smell the salty air, absorb the breathtaking coastline. The beach helps me wind down and reprioritize more than any other thing I've found.

Julia Cameron wrote a book called The Artist's Way that many years ago, helped me reconnect with myself. Helped me learn to make time to replenish the well, even when life is spinning around me. To get in touch with my creative side. Trust me, it's long overdue.

I'm curious what helps others relax. What does it for you when you're stressed to the max? What do you do for yourself? I know CC Coburn talked about a spa day. Any other thoughts?

Monday, May 10, 2010

I Hate Revisions!

Phew! I feel better now that I’ve got that off my chest.
Feeling rather grumpy at the moment, hiding deep within my revision cave. Revisions on Book #3, Colorado Cowboy - about the oldest of the O’Malley brothers, Luke, the rancher - are due next Monday and the closer that day draws, the grumpier I get.
The grumpiness is entirely my own fault. I’m a procrastinator who will find any excuse not to sit at my computer and work through the detailed revision notes my lovely editor, Paula Eykelhof, has taken a great deal of time and pains over.
The procrastination stems from the fact that I’m over this story and want to move on to the next. Suddenly, the study needs tidying, the garden is overgrown and needs urgent attention, the house could probably do with being repainted (and while I’m at it, I might just completely renovate the bathroom as well). I haven’t seen friends for lunch in ages (so let’s go out to lunch every day for two weeks to avoid sitting at that keyboard). And don’t get me on the distraction of Solitaire’s Spider 4 Decks. Trying to maintain a perfect 100% score while attempting to complete this beastly game in under nineteen minutes, is the biggest timewaster ever!
It’s pathetic but true, I will do anything to avoid doing Revisions!
As the deadline draws ever nearer, I become more and more frustrated with myself and my inability to apply myself to this most important part of the publication process, instead of allowing myself to be distracted by minutiae .
It’s a classic Catch 22, I want to be done with this book, but in order to do that, I have to refine it, tidy it, fine-tune it to my editor’s satisfaction. But I’m a Sagittarian, easily bored, looking constantly for new adventures (ie. delving into the lives of my last two O’Malley brothers, Jack, the ex-priest and Adam the Fireman).
I resent the revision process with a vengeance bordering on downright loathing because it’s keeping me from exploring these two hunks and the women who tame them.
Plus, there’s that Jane Austen time travel story that’s demanding I write it, my Masters research paper to be completed, and several single title romantic comedies that I’m dying to finish writing. But, alas! Duty calls. And her name is, Discipline!
I love writing, love the creative process, love being lost within the story and bringing it to life. I could easily write a book in 2 weeks, so absorbed am I in getting it from brain to fingertips to keyboard. And when that’s done, I’m ready to move on to the next story.
In an ideal world, I’d be so mega rich that I could employ an anally retentive person to take care of what I consider to be all the boring bits about writing, while I was left to lie around on my pink sofa, swathed in a pink feather boa, clasping my dear little pink poodle to my pink bosom… (sound of stylus scraping across record).
Sorry, getting carried away with someone else’s fantasy there, but I think you get my point. The problem with this idealized vision is that the changes to the story my editor requires would be someone else’s changes and I, sequestered in my Writing Tower, would neither notice nor care that the story was no longer mine.
Which rather defeats the purpose of creating the story in the first place.
So, with another fantasy dashed by cold reality, I shall gird my loins, put nose to grindstone, grit my teeth, shoulder my responsibilities and finish those detested revisions!
Writing used to be so much more fun before I was published.

How do you feel about revisions and would you like to be my slave er… Revisionista!
(just kidding, sort of…)

I’m giving away a copy of Book #2 in The O’Malley men series, The Sheriff and the Baby, to anyone who comes up with a feasible plan to keep me chained to my keyboard until these revisions are finished.

Til next time, when I hope I’m in a better mood.