Month: March 2011

Insert obligatory booby joke here

Hey, look who came home with me!

me and the boobie

Please ignore the crazy back-from-vacation hair, and be thankful that you can’t see the even crazier recovering-from-heat-rash skin.

Our week in the Galapagos was most certainly an adventure, and I’ll tell you all about it in the next couple blog posts. About 1500 pictures and videos are currently transferring from my camera to my laptop, and I can’t wait to show you some. You know, after I catch up on all the laundry and ice cold beverages and puppy cuddles.

The short version is: we had an amazing time. (We swam with mother-effing penguins, y’all!) Yes, the tsunami affected us, but not too badly. (My heart absolutely breaks for Japan.) My Spanish is serviceable, but rusty like whoa. Andy and I learned that we are not built for extreme heat and humidity. And sometimes coming home is as wonderful as leaving, without taking anything away from the incredible experiences we enjoyed.

Postcard of sorts

Hey folks! I’m still over at the Equator, getting my vacation on, but I wanted to let you know that Mindi interviewed me over at her fascinating, eclectic blog. Hop on over and say hello, will ya?

In the mean time, please also pray that I haven’t been eaten by any sharks. They are supposedly docile, but that’s what everyone says until there are thousands of spiny teeth embedded in their arm. (Not that I’m worried or anything…)

I’m sure my Google Reader, my email, and my Twitter stream have exploded all over everything, but I’ll do my best to catch up with everyone when I get back. I will hopefully also return the favor, if my camera is being cooperative. Consider yourself warned: There may be pictures OUT THE WAZOO next week…

Archipiélago de Colón

Better known as… the Galapagos Islands! (I.e., where Darwin developed his theory of evolution.) And barring any crazy/awful mishaps, that’s where Andy and I are right now.

This vacation has been a dream of Andy’s for a long time. We planned this way before I decided to write full-time, so while it’s a little weird to go on such an amazing trip just 1 month after “starting my new job”… ah well! That’s life, I’m just rolling with it.

(We try to take 1 international and 1 domestic vacation every year anyway. Just the two of us. For mental health and broader horizons, you know? Oh, and for plain old fun. That’s reason enough in my book.)

If you’re curious, this is a video of the ship we’ll be living on for a week, along with some highlights of the excusions.

Neither of us are particularly strong swimmers, but we’re both looking forward to the snorkeling. Supposedly sea lions will just come right up to you, and the little ones might even nibble your toes!

Andy’s greatest wish is to see a real live sea turtle, and an Orca if possible. My greatest wish is to bring back a blue-footed booby. Think I can sneak one past the TSA? I mean, there’s no liquid involved…

PSA on shiny-new-idea-itis

On Tuesday afternoon, I came down with a terrible, terrible illness. Shiny-new-idea-itis. (As I’m sure y’all guessed from the title.) This disease can strike at any time, but don’t worry, it is neither fatal nor contagious.

Symptoms of shiny-new-idea-itis include (but are not limited to):

  • Daydreaming about an exciting new story and characters
  • Difficulty sleeping due to said daydreaming
  • Compulsive need/desire to share new idea with writing friends, paired with debilitating fear of their reaction
    • “What are you doing?! You’re supposed to be working on that other story!”
    • Or worse: “Hmm yeah, I like that. And it sounds so much better than what you’re currently working on.”
  • Extremely productive writing session (e.g. 1300 words in 2 hours)
  • Guilt over abandoning current manuscript
    • NOT that you are abandoning it!
    • You’re just… taking a break, a brief detour. You’ll get right back on track tomorrow! You just need to get this all down so you won’t forget it.

This malaise seems to strike most often when a writer has made significant progress on their work-in-progress (e.g. 20-30k words). Experts speculate that this may have to do with the high output of the creative brain/imagination during the drafting process; it is so engaged that it almost cannot help itself. One work simply isn’t enough. It must have MOAR!

Other experts hypothesize that this sickness simply arises from a combination of a writer’s fear, frustration, and fickleness, again most often culminating at a certain point in the process (e.g. 20-30k words).

Both groups believe that overcoming shiny-new-idea-itis is critical to the health and wellbeing of not only the writer, but also the writer’s work.

Remedies for shiny-new-idea-itis include (but are not limited to):

  • Getting it all down so you won’t forget it, and then moving on
  • Telling your boyfriend, whose frustration (and concern that you’re losing focus) will instantly deflate you
  • Taking a nap/getting a good night’s rest

The good news is, I tried all 3 remedies in combination, and I appear to be making a recovery. Furthermore, I now have another fun story idea to add to my (omgsoverylong!) queue. And now that shiny-new-idea-itis is (mostly) out of my system, I find myself missing my current manuscript and its hilariously naive-but-she-thinks-she-knows-it-all protagonist.

    Progress report

    Gee, you miss a few days and you feel like you’re behind a few years! Which is rather unfortunate, considering I’m leaving again on Saturday. Oh well…

    I’m back in Cincinnati after a nice visit with friends and family in Houston. Back to my writing desk, back to productivity. (I hope!) Hard to believe it’s already March, and I’ve been writing full-time for nearly a month. A short month, but still. Where is a time-turner when you need one?

    It’s hard to report exactly how the first month has gone. If asked, I would say, “Quite well, thank you!” After all, I’m happy and I’m writing. For now, I think those are the basic requirements.

    At this point, I’m about a quarter of the way through the first draft. I can see what layers I will need to go back and flesh out, but at the same time, I think the chapters are coming out relatively “clean.” I’m proud of and excited by my story.

    But there is more to be done, and I know it. More discipline, fewer distractions, greater productivity, better writing. I will always strive for those things. I’ve just learned how to strive while also being comfortable with where I’m at.

    Often I find myself daydreaming about what things could be like in the future. After I’m published. After I’ve established my career, and I’m making a living doing what I love. My name on the cover, my cover on a shelf. A new house. A book tour (physical or virtual or both). But something in me has shifted; I can already tell that I’m going to miss this phase, this time in my life.

    Of course I want to keep moving forward, and I will, I am. But it’s nice to know that not everything good lies ahead. There’s plenty of it around me as well.

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