Monday Mayhem – Discipline: The Modern Love Edition

For those of you who have been following my blog for the last few weeks, you’ve heard me mention Elizabeth Gilbert’s term, “the song of the disciplined halfass.”

That section of her book, BIG MAGIC, really spoke to me. Not that I consider myself half-ass. In this case, she’s referring to half-assery as an alternative to perfectionism. As I’ve grown older, I have let go of my quest for perfectionism. I believe it’s corrosive to one’s psyche.

That’s not to say that I don’t get tied up in it every once in a while. I’m not perfect, after all. But, I recognize it for the trap it is, and I try to dial my expectations down to a more reasonable level. Because, let’s face it, the quest for perfectionism can make a person even more imperfect than they already are. Or worse, it can stop them in their tracks.

And this train is not stopping.

I am a disciplined person. First, let me say that my brand of discipline has minimal leather (way too hot) and no actual flogging (only mental self-flagellation). I think of it more in tune with the line from David Bowie’s MODERN LOVE. “I know when to go out. And when to stay in – get things done.”

This week has been a test of that discipline.

First, it was an extremely busy week at the day job. And hot as Hades out there.


The increased in pace and soul-sucking heat meant I came home pretty wrung-out, and basically not ready to think really hard about anything. A detrimental state of mind to an author whose writing is pretty much a full-time night job.

Remember how I mentioned before that this would be my summer of revisions? Well the heat is on, both outside and in.

In the last ten days, I received full editorial revisions on one manuscript, as well as copyedits on two others. I knew they were coming, but…EEEP! All this, while trying to complete my work in progress in the month of July.

This is where my Dragon, Desdemona, swooped in to rescue me. Because I have been doggedly limping along with this dictation software, I’ve been able to keep pace with my work in progress in the midst of all this editorial madness. Here’s how:

I dictate on my way to work in the morning, edit my transcribed words first thing in the evening, and add them to my work in progress before moving on to the my editorial work.

So, both rounds of copyedits will have been turned in by the time you read this, I am knee-deep in revision on the other manuscript, and I added a total of 9,874 words to my work in progress over the course of the week.

I’ve also watched a couple episodes of LAST CHANCE U on Netflix. In reading the new Sarah MacLean book. So, you see this job is when to be disciplined, and knowing when to be a half-ass.

Is there anything you’ve learned to let go of lately? Anything you’ve added to your repertoire to make achieving your goals more reasonable? Anyone else googling the video for MODERN LOVE right now? Here, let me make it easy for you. Enjoy, and have a good week!



Monday Mayhem – A positively Gilmorian giveaway

Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I’ll LOVE & ROCKETS ya, tomorrow! It’s only a day away!

Love and rockets_final

Can’t wait for you to get to know Darla and Jake better!

In the meantime, I am still toiling away at the NaNoWriMo goals. I’m up to date and should finish on time. I have to admit, it’s been hard this year. The day job is super busy. As you know, there’s some birthday-ing going on around here (Fodder’s is tomorrow! Tomorrow! I’ll Love & Rockets him tomorrow!), there’s Thanksgiving on Thursday, and the year’s most anticipated event on Friday.

No, I’m not talking about Black Friday.

No, not even thinking about the (so-called) Battleline Rivalry game between Arkansas and Mizzou.

I’m talking Gilmore, and you know I am talking fast.

That’s right, this Friday, my pal Lulu and I will be snuggled in on my sofa with a smorgasbord of junk food, ready to live a year in the life with our beloved friends from Stars Hollow.


To celebrate, I’ll offer a little prize. Comment on this post with your favorite line from Gilmore Girls (any episode, any season, any character) and I’ll draw one name for a signed copy of LOVE & ROCKETS.

Did I mention that Darla is a spunky single mom of a brainy teenaged daughter? No? Yeah, well, you know how it is….

Now go forth and comment! I’ll pick a winner Friday, November 25th!


Monday Mayhem – Old flames and new loves

Big news in my world this week – the Gilmore Girls revival is a go!


The table read took place last week, filming is set to start, and my posse is starting to make plans to watch it together!

This week, I also fell in love with a new show this week. Until the People’s Choice Awards, I had never hear of Mozart in the Jungle. I just watched two seasons in 24 hours and I’m soooo in love with it.


I don’t feel the least bit bad about the indulgence, because once again I have met my goal early. Ransomed Heart is approaching the 1/3 mark. One more chapter and I think I’ll start pulling what I have apart, trimming away the loose threads, then shoring it up so I can soar right over any threat of a saggy middle.

How about you? Run into any lost loves or new sparks this week?


Monday Mayhem – NoMoWriMo!

Well, this is it. The last day of NaNoWriMo for 2015. I’m happy to announce that I verified my word count yesterday and have completed my seventh challenge!


Also, in the course of NaNoing, I FINALLY typed ‘The End’ on the first draft of LOVE AND ROCKETS!

the end

Every year, I tell myself I won’t do it again. Who needs the worry? The stress? The sore wrists and fingers? Then, every year, I sign in, sign up, and get going again. Unlike the first time I did it, I know now that what I have at the end of NaNoWriMo is far from being ready to go out into the world. Thirty days and nights of literary abandon is great for writing, but doesn’t make for good reading.

Trust me on this.

For this reason, I have deemed December has become EditThisCrapMo. There are three stages to this process.

1) Distance. I can’t look at this book anymore. I can’t think about it. I just need to put it out of my mind and play with some other idea for a while. Believe me, it’s for the best that these characters and I go to our separate corners for a while.

2) Clarity. There are two parts to this one. The first part is acknowledging that a good portion of what I churned out in November is crap. But, even better, is coming to the realization that the majority of it is not-quite-crap. Crap gets cut, but I can work with not quite crap.

3) Reading like a reader. I think this is the most important step for any author. I read through the entire steaming pile before I make any drastic decisions. What might look like a dangling plot line at first glance, might be transformed into an additional layer of conflict, or a set up for future series installments. Reading like a reader means I have to look at the hot mess of a novel a whole before I tear it to shreds.

This is what I’ll be doing this month.

And shopping. Picking out a tree, decorating, and going to holiday parties. I’m also hoping to catch a few of my holiday favorites, now that I’m not in full-on writing frenzy. I always look for Holiday Inn, Going My Way, and the original Miracle on 34th Street when I’m cruising the listings.

Oh! The Grinch. Boris Karloff, not Jim Carrey. And, I love the one with Heat Miser and Snow Miser. Of course, it’s not Christmas until Lucy and I extort a few nickels from the mister.


Oh, and the baking! My 17 year-old stand mixer is moaning and groaning. The knobs have all cracked and been super glued. The plastic coating on my flat beater is worn through. I think I need this sexy beast as an early Christmas gift, don’t you?


Looking for a quick and easy recipe for the office party? Try these Magic Cookie Bars. Even my coconut-hating hubby eats these tasty tidbits.


What’s your plan of attack for the holiday season? Got any yummy recipes you want to share?



Monday Mayhem – Catholic guilt edition

So I think I may have to change my author picture to something like this:


I was a complete slug this weekend. I mean, I didn’t leave my house other than to go to the Kum & Go to refill the massive mug.

Nor did I write.

What did I do? I read THE ANGEL by the fabulous Tiffany Reisz. I napped. I watched more episodes of Friday Night Lights than anyone should admit to watching in one weekend.

But somehow, I managed to make it through the entire weekend without adding a single word to my fledgling work in progress.

I did do authorly things. If you missed the Unforgettable Heroes II pre-release party on Facebook, you missed a good time. Lucky for you, you can still order your boxed set for only $0.99. It includes SPRING CHICKENS!

rev-UH2-3d -LG


/sales pitch

I also packaged prizes to be sent out and started assembling goodies for my street team. I just didn’t put any words on paper.

That’s when the Catholic guilt kicks in. I feel bad about having so much free time and not making anything out of it.

Yes, I know sometimes I need to give it a rest. I know that reading a book or watching television can and are helpful to me as a writer/storyteller. I just have a hard time with the need to have something to show for my time. And the upcoming month is going to be action packed. UNFORGETTABLE HEROES II releases this week, SEDUCING STEVE will be going on sale September 10-14th, then GOING DEEP releases September 15th. In the midst of all that, I will be working edits on FLIP THIS LOVE and possibly A WILL AND A WAY.

So, I should have used this weekend to crank on the draft of LOVE & ROCKETS.

But I didn’t.

And I feel guilty.

Apparently not guilty enough to stop ogling Kyle Chandler, but there you have it. My confession.

Bless me readers, for I have loafed…

How about you? Are you ruled by guilt, or do you revel in guilty pleasures?




Monday Mayhem – I’ll try anything edition

Yesterday, I ate bee pollen.

That’s a sentence I never thought I’d type. Those of you who know me are aware that I’m insanely picky eater. Add in the fact that I’m petrified of bees, and you might get an inkling of why it was so weird for me. But, bee pollen is supposed to be some kind of all-natural super-food. Fodder had a friend who was a long-distance runner who swore by it. We’ve both been trying to be better about exercising lately, and you know I’m a sucker for anything with the word ‘super’ in front of it. The truth is, I’ve been battling seasonal allergies for the past two weeks and am willing to do just about anything to feel better at this point, so yeah…we bought a jar of locally collected bee pollen. I’ve started sprinkling a 1/4 teaspoon full into my morning yogurt.


I apologize in advance if I inadvertently start buzzing.

In other news Jamie Fraser and Don Draper are back in my life. I couldn’t be happier. Not that Fodder isn’t enough for me, but… you know. *wink-wink*


Of course, their return takes place in a month when I am already overbooked. I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month, and have set a goal to write 30k words by month’s end. In truth, I hope to find the energy to exceed that. I’d love to complete the first draft of Play Dates within the month. It’s totally do-able. I’m a little over 1/3 in already.

I also started doing a 30-day yoga challenge that I found online.  Suckered my friend Lulu into doing it too, so we’re keeping each other on track.

I’m pleased to report that we have yet to drape any article of clothing on the elliptical machine. This is particularly good news, because we parked that bad boy in the living room. I’ve been slowly but surely building up my endurance. I can now go the entire length of a Gilmore Girls episode (@44 mins) without keeling over. Yay, me!


So what’s new with you? Eat anything weird lately? Doing any challenges? Is your exercise equipment wearing your clothes?