Why Can’t I….

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Why can’t I dictate text? I often daydream about how easy my writing would be if I could. While I was doing dishes, I could be writing….While I was driving, I could be writing….While I was in the shower, I could be writing. I wouldn’t have to put my life on hold and retreat to the dark corner in my office or hide in the bathroom with my phone to get the story out of my head.

I’ve tried, many times, to dictate text…as the thoughts are flowing, I have tried to speak them but I can’t….I just can’t.

It’s almost like there is a corner of my brain; a quiet still place that I go to when I write. Like I must retreat within myself and retrieve the story that’s dying to get out. For me, writing is very internal. Is this weird?

Or maybe, my writing comes from someplace else…or something else. Maybe I draw my stories from the same place I draw my energy and that place isn’t accessible unless I stop and listen. Maybe writing is a meditative practice for me.

Whatever the answer, it is sure that writing is not exactly a science, for any of us. As authors, we all have limitations and quirks that make our writing style our own. What are your little writing quirks or what limitations do you have, as an author? Am I the only one who finds it impossible to dictate text?

 

#Nanowrimo, @HRBlock, and #Life…OH MY!!!!

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It’s that time of the year, again…

As the wheel of the year turns and the Cailleach rises to bring winter storms, there is a great awakening of creative spirit. Nanowrimo falls on the first day of the Celtic New Year…the perfect time for resolutions and new beginnings.

I have looked forward to this day, since December 1, 2013, when last year’s Nano was over. I tried Camp Nanowrimo but it wasn’t quite the same and so I resigned to wait…and wait I did.

Now, it’s here and while I’m as nervously excited as I thought I would be, I’m also starting that I might be a little bit crazy for going at it this year.

Last year, I won Nanowrimo…

…but since then, I’ve kind of been a lazy author. I suppose lazy isn’t the best word…I’ve been increasingly busy with other things…

Sometimes life just rises up and steals away the time and creative energy of an author. I suppose that’s the greatest battle that we fight. We live in this world between worlds and sometimes one of them (the “real world” or “the alternate”) reaches out and consumes us.

Last year, I was busy; mostly with my kids (now ages 5, 4 and 4)…But also with the daily ins and outs of life, being a housewife and the pending holidays. This year, I’m swamped. My kids have grown a bit and started Preschool and I’m on the edge of a Divorce (I’m filing December 1).

I had this image of all the time I would spend writing, once my kids started Preschool but the reality of it is that I spend the majority of my newly “free” time with appointments and volunteering; conferences with the teacher and projects, homework, and fundraising…It’s a new kind of busy…one I had not anticipated.

Oh, and I had an adult Tonsillectomy a week ago…I wont get into the details about how horrible an adult tonsillectomy can be (or the obstructive sleep Apnea I’ve dealt with over the past year due to constant tonsillitis) but if you’ve had one as an adult or you google “adult tonsillectomy”, you will understand how this affects every aspect of my life.

…and all the ways in which my life has changed since last  year, I am sure that it will still get in the way as I attempt this year’s Nano…

…And Then There’s Work….

It’s hard for a single mom to find a job that (1) pays well and (2) works around a “schedule” (because who can afford daycare, these days?) and (3) is actually satisfying work….That is to say that the Single mom, although brilliant, talented and creative, has no formal training or qualifications to prove specialization.

…and that’s when I came across HR Block’s Tax Course….

I’ve done my own taxes (and that of a few closest to me) for about 5 years now…I’ve researched business taxes, self employment taxes, and the Affordable Care Act out of either necessity or curiosity…and I’m extremely organized and proficient with computers and forms….so I took a chance and enrolled.

I have done done exceedingly well in the course…better than I had imagined…and I have learned A LOT…but this Tax Course is a beast! On the first day, I received two (very large) books of reading materials, tax tables, exercises, case studies and forms. I have learned, section by section, everything I will need to know to be a GOOD tax professional and I have prepared every kind of tax return covered in the class, by hand and I have come to know each tax form line by line.

I have transformed, from someone who knew a little something about taxes to someone who has an intimate relationship with taxes…but I still have a ways to go. With a little over a month left in the course, there is still a lot to learn. I also have independent research and continuing learning, after the class (once I officially become a HR Block employee).

Probably my favorite thing about doing taxes is that the laws are always changing…this gives me the ability to constantly be in the state I’m most comfortable….the state of learning and growing. HR Block is the perfect company because, out of all the Tax Preparation companies out there, they value continuing education and growth more than any of the other companies out there.

So to sum it up….

I’ve got a lot going on….and Nanowrimo 2014 is smack dab in the middle of it all! So, here’s to moving forward…Here’s to making time….Here’s to writing your heart out!

I look forward to the journey, snares and all, as we battle toward the goal of 50,000 words, together!

Campnanowrimo and A to Z Blog Challenge, Oh my what a Welcome Back!

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I haven’t been far. I’ve kept my Indie Spotlight up to date. I’ve kept my blog in mind but I had to step away to deal with some storms that were brewing in my personal life. I wrote through it but in an effort to keep my public and personal lives separate, I had to take a break from regular blogging. With that being said, I wanted to give an update and provide direction for my blog….just in case everyone out there missed me.

Tomorrow is the first day of April…April Fool’s Day. On a side note, I love April Fool’s Day. It has to do with my love of the Tarot and, particularly, my reverence for the Fool Card. Rather than rumbling on about that, I will leave you with a link to an outside website that touches on that a bit (for those of you who are now curious). http://witchesofthecraft.com/tag/april-fool-day/

Now, time for the update…April is going to be a busy month for me, and for this blog. I signed up a few months ago to do the A to Z blogging Challenge. Now the time is among us to embark upon that journey and I am revved up and ready to meet the challenge (although I wish I were better prepared for it). Tomorrow, check back as I explore the importance of the Alter Ego to my own writing…and look out as I attempt to write on alphabet topics all month long.

If that challenge wasn’t enough, I’ve also decided to participate in Campnanowrimo this year. It will be my first, although I was successful in completing November’s Nano. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Campnanowrimo, it is a challenge to meet a certain word goal in a month’s time. The word goal for Nano in November was 50,000 words but for April, campers can customize their word goals. I am still going for 50,000 words but I am so much more busy this Spring than I was in Fall so here’s to hoping that I can find the time to meet my goal. My camper profile, and a link to the website can be found above. For anyone who wants to support Nanowrimo, you can make a contribution here.

Now that you know what I’ll be up to this month, you have probably concluded that something will have to be let go to make time. For now, I have suspended the “Soundtrack of my Life” challenge. There just wasn’t enough interest in it to justify the continuation of it. I hope to open it back up at a time when there is more expressed interest in it.

Also, my “Indie Spotlight” will be taking a temporary backseat during the month of April. I just don’t want to get too bogged down and release sub-par Indie Spotlights. I am currently accepting requests for May dates and beyond and this feature will resume then. So, if you’re interested in being featured during May or beyond, just shoot me an email at acwilliswriting@gmail.com and I will be happy to set up a feature for you.

That’s it, for now. It’s good to be back and I hope I move smoothly back into the swing of things. Furthermore, I hope to reconnect with some of my favorite readers and bloggers and meet many more new readers and bloggers here on the blog-sphere.

How many projects do you work on at a time?

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With Darkness Within released, I move forward to the next book in the series, Light Without. However, I feel like I have opened some sort of creative floodgate and ideas for new projects just keep flooding out of my brain. I have at least 5 books in my immediate thoughts and when I set down to write Light Without, these other projects jump in my face for attention.

So, I was wondering how many projects I should work on at a time. I know I can write one book while outlining another but could I write 2 books while outlining 3 more? I’m sure this is a personal preference but I thought it would be a good idea to get an idea from other indie authors on the matter. How many projects do you work on at a time?