Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday Evening Ramble

So I'm getting back into writing. It's a hard road, since I have my wine consulting job (pays the bills!) am editing my daughter's book American Woman, and will be formatting it once we get it back from the secondary editor (because it's always best to have more than one opinion and input option). I am also writing my political articles, which some would say isn't very smart, since some people may not share my views and therefore boycott my books. So be it. I figure there are enough liberal readers out there to keep me busy. And besides, I feel strongly about things like climate change, gun laws and women's issues. And if people don't like it, well you know what "they" say you can do with people who can't take a joke! And who the hell are "they" anyway?

I've picked up a short story I wrote a while back and am going to make it into a long story. It's fun getting back in the saddle again. I sat here the other day, hyperventilating, crying and wringing my hands as I wrote a scene from the book. I live my characters in my head, so when they're upset, I'm upset. It's very cathartic.

One of these days I'm going to have to take a break, head down the coast to Monterey and hang out at McFly's, have a few drinks, dance a few dances, meet some cool people and decompress. But for now, it's work, work, work. At least the writing work is fun. Sort of. When I'm not stuck.

Anyway, that's what I'm up to.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Thoughts On Having Too Much To Do

It has occurred to me that having too much to do all too often results in getting less done. Have you found that to be true as well? Back in the day, when my life belonged to me and no one else, I got a lot done - stuff that I wanted to do. I wrote several novels. I was active in my community. I had fun. I think the most fun was being able to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. How could that not be fun?

Things are different these days. I have to work at a job where someone else hands me a paycheck. True, I only do it three days a week but that's a lot, particularly when you figure that I have always hated working for someone else. It used to be, when I was young, footloose and fancy-free and thought the ride would never end, that I would gauge a job by how long I would have to work before I could chuck it all and take a few months off to go lie on the beach. But now I'm grown up and have responsibilities and my beach days are over. Not just because I'm no longer young, but because I just don't go to the beach anymore!

Don't get me wrong, there are aspects of the job I have that I really like. Well, actually, there is only one aspect I can claim I will miss when I finally get to walk out that door for the last time. I'm a wine consultant and in that capacity, I get to taste about 2,000 wines a year. I taste everyday wines right on up to the pricey stuff like Cristal and Hundred Acre. I get to taste wines that most people aren't aware of and wouldn't know about except for the fact that I am their consultant and they trust my recommendations. I do like that part of the job. I hate having to wake up early in the morning. I hate have having to put up with the bs that is always part and parcel of any job that requires you to work for someone else. And I hate that it takes me away from the stuff that I love to do, which is writing.

I do write. I write for a political blog about things I care about. And I edit. Currently I am editing a book for my daughter that we are going to release this summer. Its title is American Woman. There is a subtitle but we haven't yet figured out what it is. Our designer, Ralph Faust, has once again come up with a killer cover and we are really excited about it. We have a company, ARK Stories, and we publish our books under that umbrella. We're building it but it's a slow process. My fondest wish is that it will get to the point where it provides both of us with a living doing what we want to do and writing what we want to write.

I've got an idea for a novel but I haven't started it yet. Actually, I have ideas for a lot of novels, but at present there is too much on my plate and I need to luxury of time so I can 1) sit down and write for an extended period of time and 2) remember what in the hell I wrote at first so I can keep things straight in my head while writing. That may sound odd but if I'm away from something for too long a stretch - and by that I mean a week or so - I tend to forget what I've written and what I've only thought of. I don't know if other writers have that problem but I do. So I haven't started my new novel. Yet. But I will. I just don't know when. Hopefully before the year is out, because I really do miss being in the thick of a story that is unfolding as I write it. It's the best kind of fun.

Okay! Well at least I've done something just for me today by writing this blog. Tomorrow it's get up early (ugh! - wish I were a morning person, but I'm not!), go taste some wine and sit in front of a computer all day and call my clients and hunt and peck for new business. Not to mention editing American Woman and maybe writing something scathing on the political blog. I like scathing.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's Good To Be Back After Such A Long Hiatus

It's been a long time since I've posted to this blog. Been busy. I released two novels: CRAZY and Cooper's Grove. I've been writing for a political blog - two actually - and I'm currently editing a non-fiction book my daughter is writing on women's issues and the importance of voting. Plus I have my Pay The Bills job as a wine consultant. Doesn't leave a lot of time for much else!

Today I got an email from someone who read one of my older entrees on this blog and it came as a pleasant surprise. I didn't think anyone still looked at it and he must have done a search under my name to get here because, to be honest, this isn't one of those wildly popular blogs that everyone shares with everyone they know! So it was cool.

I've been toying with the idea of starting a new novel. Actually, I still have one that I need to rework in a big way if I want to get it released. It's a thriller with a dash of science fiction. I like the story a lot, particularly a character named Henrietta Dowd. Isn't that a great name? She's a little old lady who drives a humungous Cadillac, circa 1960 something. And one of these days, I know I'll get to it. Henrietta isn't the main character, by the way, but she does play a big and important part in the story.

Newsflash: some woman just posted on Facebook that she has a lady boner for my daughter, writer Kimberley A. Johnson. Not that it has anything to do with what I'm writing now, but I thought it was funny and felt compelled to share it with you.

Back to my new novel idea. As much as I like Henrietta and the strange set of circumstances I created in Magic Man, a title that is certain to be changed, should I ever get around to the rewrite, I am drawn to an idea that has been percolating for several years now. It would be based on my mother and father. She was the daughter of Lithuanian immigrants and he the son of a drunk and a mother who deserted him and his sister to run off with some Englishman named Malcolm. My father and his sister were raised by their three well-to-do maiden aunts. Back in the day they were called Old Maids. I can only guess at the misery that was my father's childhood in that house of oh so proper ladies.

I don't know if it will ever get written. But I hope I find the time because I think it will make a great story. It will be a quiet story because my parents were quiet people, but they were salt of the earth people and best friends to each other.

Both of my parents are gone now. My father died a long time ago, when he was 23 days shy of 46 years old. My mother passed away seven years ago, on July 12, 2007. She was 92. I still miss them and I guess I always will.

If I do write the story, it will be titled Mary and Duke.