If I waited till I felt like writing…

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Not Sucking at Golf and Other Things

I work for an advertising agency and we had our annual company picnic yesterday at a local country club. It was uber swanky, and the shindig included lake views (complete with yachts), lots of alcohol and an ice cream truck. And golf. Which I decided I should attempt, even though I’d never hefted a club.

Sing with me: “One of these things is not like the others…”

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Don’t get me wrong–up close, that shirt is sweet. But it just didn’t scream country club, if you know what I mean. Unless it was hollering “early 1970’s country club.”

But I golfed in it anyway. And maybe some 70’s mojo rubbed off on me, because I didn’t suck! Well, not very badly. I won’t bore you with stories of how a lot of my divots traveled further than my ball or how I chipped out of a hole (what are bunkers without sand called, anyway?) with the most perfect arc you could ever wish for, plopping it right on to the green, but I will tell you that the whole experience got me thinking. What other things could I try that I might not actually suck at?

Jujitsu comes to mind. So does learning to make my own decaf iced mocha to rival Starbucks’ best. Calligraphy. Competitive speedwalking. Ballroom dancing. Poker. Parkour. Ice road trucking. Kickboxing an emu.

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Original Image Credit (before I messed with it)

I’m going to wait on all of those, though (except maybe the mocha thing), and try something new in my writing world. I’m going to compile and publish an anthology. A long-time member of my writers group has a 25K-word story just kicking around, and suggested we put together an anthology of member short stories as a fundraising effort. At the very least, we’d all sell a copy to each other, right?

Well, I kind of volunteered to do it. And then her idea sparked several other ideas, related and unrelated, of writing-related things I’ve never done but might not suck at. Best of all, every new thing I suddenly want to try ties in with my ultimate goal of writing and publishing being my primary gig. I just have to hang on to the thought that if I don’t suck at golf, I most definitely won’t suck at this. Writing is my best, most favorite thing, dammit.

My to-do list just got a little longer and my brain a lot more crowded, but I’m excited about these new directions. Do you like trying new things? Are you an accomplished ballroom dancer? Can you teach me? Anything super crazy on your mind lately? I want to hear about it!

The internet is evil. Eeeeevil.

Goals. I has them. I has updates, too, but nothing impressive, because the internet.

Last week’s goals:

Write daily.

Visit 10 other ROW80-ers.

I bombed on the write daily goal, only getting one out of seven days. I did, however, visit 10 ROW80-ers. And spent a disgusting amount of time scrolling Facebook, terrifying myself with videos about how Washington state is overdue for a massive earthquake and tsunami (I have family there, so that really helped my anxiety issues), and getting mad about the general tendency of people to be meaner and stupider online.

So, new goals:

Limit my non-writing, non-blogging internet consumption to less than 45 minutes per day.

Write 1 hour daily.

Visit 10 other ROW80’ers.

How are you doing on your goals? Do you participate with ROW80? Want to? Join us here!

Gearing Up for Round 3 and Cleaning the Camper

I signed up to be a sponsor for Round 3 of ROW80 (the writer’s challenge that knows you have a life). In honor of the commitment, I cleaned out my camper today.

Oh, did that seem incongruous? It’s not, really. You see, my first two books were written in this awesome 1960’s Yellowstone camper:

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That pic was taken last fall, in our old digs. But, since we Brockmeyers moved from a little farm in the country to a mid-century gem in the ‘burbs, I haven’t so much as stepped foot inside the camper. It was messy, spider-ridden, had a dead mouse in the corner and possibly was harboring a swarm of terrifying wasps.

Writing on the couch hasn’t been working for me, though, despite the cool MCM vibes in the new house. I just haven’t been able get into the groove. So, I told myself to suck it up, buttercup, and hiked across the yard with a broom, some antibacterial wipes and a handful of garbage bags yesterday afternoon. An embarrassingly-brief 15 minutes later, I was done. The camper’s clean and pest-free. It was so much easier than I expected. I only had to evict a few spiders and the wasps somehow disappeared on the 55-mile an hour, 15-minute ride to the new house. Plus, the mouse apparently passed on to the rodent hereafter sometime during the winter, because the camper is also blessedly stink-free.

So, starting tonight, I’ll be back in my old writing lair. No Facebook (the router doesn’t beam internet waves that far), no dirty dishes, no farting dogs or adorable children to distract me… just me, my WIP and a radio. Which leads me to my first ROW80 goal:

Write for one hour every night.

In the past, I’ve laid down hugely ambitious goals, but having been derailed so long, I think it’s important just to get the words flowing again.

How about you? Want to join up with ROW80 and set some goals? The more, the merrier. Go here!

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Zed

Yep, that means Z. I think I’m not the only challenge participant that doesn’t have the energy to write another blog post after a whole month-full of alphabetical posts. And probably, it won’t come as a huge surprise that I’m going to take a few days off from blogging to focus on some other stuff. Moving. Kids. Family. Getting spiders and wasps out of the camper so I can write.

Also, this.

So, see you in a few days! 🙂

Get Motivated: Three Tips for Getting Past that Blank Page

Note: This is a repost of a quickie article I wrote for a writing help site a friend and I just rolled out on Facebook. It’s geared toward romance writers, but I’m sharing it here anyway, since procrastination is universal. 🙂

Page 76 has been blank for the last 45 minutes (or the last 45 days) and your heroine is stubbornly refusing to tell you what happens next in your story. Here are a few things you might try to get those words rolling again: Continue reading

You know you haven’t blogged in a while when…

…you see that your last post was “Happy Thanksgiving.” And tomorrow is Christmas Eve.

It’s been a hectic month, but a good one. The tree’s up and trimmed, gifts are all bought and wrapped, an 11-day stretch of time off of work is looming large and sparkly on the horizon: all good things. The baking isn’t done yet (tomorrow, there will be flour) but I made up some extra sugar cookie dough last week and froze it to save some time and the rest of the sweets recipes I chose are pretty simple. Plus, I almost got hit by a car yesterday but didn’t, so the fact that I’m alive is undeniably awesome. I really have no complaints.

This is my favorite time of year and not just because presents. I love January 1. A whole 365 days, all shiny and full of promise and fresh starts. So far, it looks like 2015 will be an interesting year, for lots of reasons: Continue reading