Once More unto the Cave, Dear Friends…

Hello from a housekeeping morning in the cave! It was a morning for todos and long put off tasks, but I can proudly say I am now at inbox zero and ready for the week. I’ll explain why that’s essential in just a second!

Reading: Just finished two NA books by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Frigid and Scorched. I enjoyed them both, and really liked Scorched, which deals with mental health issues in a way I found felt incredibly authentic. Funny at times, heart-wrenching at others, I thought it was a powerful story.

Life: Life has been good – I may be the only person in Chicago drooling over the excess of rain and thunderstorms because I love rain, and can write a ton with that dark snd stormy atmosphere as inspiration. So storms (sorry fam/friends), bring it on! But there have been a few sunny days that allowed for summer fun – like grilling and eating outside on father’s day, and working outside when I have pages from my lovely CPs to read. Below is one of those said lovely days where I get to eat and work outside!IMG_8563

And of course,  Lady wants to explore the outside too – but always chickens out!

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But I’ve also been doing a lot on revisions, and since my deadline for finishing this round of Palace of Moonlight revisions (which is a full rewrite of the entire book) is July 3, as in Friday… a lot of life has been taken over by writing. In the best way possible. Really. I don’t need to see sunlight, do I?

Since the week coming up is my last, crunchtime week to finish this round… well, that brings us back to why I had to get my inbox to zero. I think I’ve talked about this before, but for me, writing is a lot like sprinting in bursts, or diving into a lake and holding your breath. Sometimes, you can’t come up for air or stop for a rest until you’ve seen yourself over the finish line/to the end of that book. So to fam/friends reading – what I’m saying is, don’t expect to hear much from me next week. And if I start to look like this come Friday: Gollum

then please send help :-). #cavecreature

Writing: Clearly writing has bled into life and vice versa. But let me take this segment of my blog to reflect once more on revisions. I’ve been revising for four months – granted, with a good amount of travel interrupting those months – but I’ve had weeks where I’ve been entirely at home, fully dedicated to writing, showing up everyday to my computer, and have ended up with little forward progress, and in some case backward process. I might write 6000 words in that week, but then throw out half of it or realize I need to go back and fix the last chapter (hence backwards progress). Then again, last week I had a breakthrough, writing over 10,000 words in a day and over 20,000 in the week – most of which I kept.

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Lady from where she stared at me through said breakthrough week.

What I’ve taken from this is what I’ve heard all along – no matter how slow, no matter how frustrating, you just. keep. writing. As Ray Bradbury said, “You only fail if you stop writing.” It’s been a year since I started writing full-time, and I’ve had my ups and downs, but the one thing I know I have going for me is that I kept writing, even when it was terrible writing and I had to put my fingers in my ears and sing lalala-I-don’t-care-I’m-going-to-write-anyways-even-though-I-don’t-know-how.
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Cat supports me in shaking my head and pretending a world of negativity doesn’t exist out there to crush my dreams. Lalala not listening!

And you know what? A year later, I’ve written almost 500,000 words or, to put it in terms of one of my favorite book series of all time, nearly two Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’s put together. That happened little by little, and was not always pretty, but in the end, it added up. And I’m going to keep writing until I find the good words out of that massive mess of drafts, and then, someday soon, end up with a book I’m proud of.

For now though, back to the cave! Real world, see you in a week or so. If I’m not already Gollum by then.

And on a last, gorgeous note to end on – I’ll leave you with a picture of my beautiful city of Chicago on a summer evening.

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