Saturday, January 14, 2012


I've come to the conclusion that indecision is just procrastination in disguise. And procrastination is just fear: of failure, success, fully living one's life, and probably lots of other things as well. No matter what I'm working on, I tell myself that I should be working on something else. The closer I get to finishing a project, the more likely I am to think of some reason why I should stop working on it. I did this most recently with Playing House. I have 26,000 words, a nearly completed novella, and a publisher in mind to submit to. All I need is the ending. And then that 'voice' comes along and tells me that I should make  it a novel. It could be a novel. There's nothing wrong with this idea, except that it's a way to put off finishing it for a while longer. Months and months longer.

Mired in indecision, I changed directions completely a few weeks ago and decided that it's time to get serious about finishing the mainstream novel that I've been writing and re-writing for a very long time. There's nothing wrong with finishing the mainstream novel. I definitely should to it. So I've been working on it a bit lately, and running into---you guessed it---indecision. Is it really mainstream or is a serious contemporary romance? Both could work. But I need to make up my mind before I go any further into the story.

Suddenly I'm feeling the urge to finish, Playing House, the novella.

Will this ever get easier?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Resolutions that I will absolutely positively without a doubt---not achieve

I have come to the conclusion that setting goals is a direct route to failure. Okay, maybe not for everyone, but definitely for me. I've followed this pattern since I was six: set goal, decide it's too hard to achieve, give up, and feel bad about myself. That's it, story of my life, history of my failures. And if you're wondering what kind of goal a six year old sets I must confess, the neighbor girl, who was all of nine, is actually the one who decided I needed to go on a diet. She became my personal trainer and forced me to jump rope. Afterward, I went home and had a snack. When the evil Michelle asked my brother what I was doing the little traitor told her about my toast with jam. I was filled with shame.

So after many many years of setting goals; health goals, writing goals, 'change myself into an entirely different (Better) person by next  year,' goals, I've given up. The following is a list of goals I will NOT achieve.

I will not work out three to five times a week, alternating aerobic workouts with strength training.
I will not eat nine servings a day of fruits and vegetables, cut out all sugar, fat, salt, etc.
I will not lose thirty-five, twenty, or even ten pounds.
I will not finish my mainstream novel, find an agent, get published etc.
I will not sell numerous romance novels, and novellas and become the next self published internet success.
I will not overcome my fear of speaking in front of large groups.
I will not learn to be self confident, gregarious and the life of the party.
I will not learn poise, grace, and charm.
I will not become the new and improved version of myself.

Here is my list of things I absolutely can and will do.

I will breathe.
I will eat.
I will exercise.
I will lose something (Probably my keys, or my cell phone.)
I will write.
A lot.
And maybe finish something.
And maybe submit it
Or maybe self publish it.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Battling Resistance

Nearing the end of a novella that I'd like to submit sometime in January and every day is like going into battle. Every story I've ever written suddenly seems more promising, more tempting, than the one that is closest to being finished. With me, resistance often comes in the form of indecision. It was a novel. Then it was a novella. Past the 100 page mark, nearing the big scene and resolution, and suddenly I'm back to, hmmm, maybe this should be a novel.

Resistance Be Gone You Evil Beast!

There. I feel better now.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


A couple months ago I put the book "The War of Art" on hold at the library. It arrived on Friday, but I got busy and forgot to pick it up. Saturday was one of those days where I could not keep my butt on my stool, or my mind on a story, any story, and I'm currently working on three. Finally did what one has to do in such a situation, got Starbucks and went shopping. I did get a present bought, and spent time with my daughter so it wasn't a waste of time, but still, I'd wasted several good hours in the morning. While out, I picked up my library book. It's not a long read. I sat down with it after dinner and didn't get up until it was finished. Of course, reading the book was another form of procrastination. I read it a second time before the evening was over. It was time well spent. I now know a new name for 'can't keep butt on chair mind on story' syndrome. Resistance.
I'm paraphrasing here, but it works like this; millions of years ago humans survival depended on being a part of the clan. To abandon the clan and its rules meant certain death, in the same way that being a 'trekky' means you are destined to be shunned by the popular kids, and have to eat lunch alone, or with the other geeky kids. Creative work goes against our society's 'be like everyone else' mentality. It makes us different, and being different is actually rather terrifying. Most of us don't admit this to ourselves, but the subconscious knows, and it fights, fights, fights, to keep us safely within the boundaries of the clan.
Our biggest fear isn't failure: it is success. Sounds backwards, but if we succeed we are different. We stand out. We risk rejection. Rejection is THE BIGGEST FEAR. It means being thrown out of the clan, and starving to death in the wild. But we don't live in caves anymore. Rejection does not mean death. It's merely uncomfortable.
I can live with uncomfortable. So you think romance is trash and erotica is porn and anyone who writes it is---not a nice girl? I can live with that.
I will conquer resistance and write my story (as soon as I'm done with this blog. And have read the Sunday paper.)
Next up, I'll start the caveman diet, since our bodies still function best on what we ate a long, long, time ago. Then I'll get skinny and wear fashionable clothes and fit in with the popular people---sigh.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Joined Twitter Today!

I am officially a tweeter. One more thing to do instead of writing. I've been going round and round on what pen name to use for future stories and have decided to use Tammy Jean Paradis for Romance that is not erotic. As fun as it was writing Betty Being Bad, I've realized that most of my ideas fall into 'steamy' but not 'turn on the fan hot' category. Jean isn't going anywhere though, she still shows up for the good parts.
Next up: a website. I think I'll wait until I get another story published before I do that. No more procrastinating for me!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

That Bieber Boy

I just read a little news article about a Justin Beiber look alike being teased by fans at a basketball game. Turns out the kid is deaf and couldn't hear their taunts anyway. It got me to thinking that if People magazine were to do a 'Prettiest man alive' contest he'd not only win, he wouldn't have any real competition that I can think of. I cannot, offhand, think of anyone, male or female, with a more beautiful face than Justin Beiber.
I feel like I should get to the point of this blog now, but I don't really have one. This is just me procrastinating, when I should be working on my story. My current plan is to finish a 10-15 thousand word novella and submit it to Entangled Publishing by the end of the month. I'm almost to 7,000 words and it's coming along well. I like the characters. I like the story. So why am I having so much trouble keeping my butt planted on this stool and my mind on Night With Johnny? After two or three sentances I check the word count, as if the right number of words will mean that it's finished. The problem is that endings are so darned hard! Beginnings are fun and exciting! In the beginning anything can happen. By the end, it has to be clear that something significant has happened. It's romance, so we all know what that something is. Sex, love, and happily ever after. Easy right?
Yeah, uh-huh, right.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey day

Got to love Thanksgiving, the day when gorging oneself is not only acceptable, it's expected. Usually the guilt doesn't kick in with me until the next day, but this year family members got into a long discussion about health and dieting, while the remains of dessert were still on the table screaming, fatties! Oh, but it was good. What's a food lover to do? I used to go through phases when the goal of being thin took over my life, and became an obsession. This could last months, nearly a year at times. And then one day, a change comes over. It's usually as simple as a question. Remind me again, why I'm not eating Bismarks, or chocolate chip cookies, or whatever, and the goal vanishes as suddenly as pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. The voice arrives like one of those little devils on the shoulders, and this voice tells me I must, now make up for all those mo