Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fired up...again

Many authors across the web are participating in what is termed NaNoWri ... National Novel Writing Month. The goal: to write 50k -- the size of a small book or the start of a longer one -- in one month.

If you've ever written a novel, you can probably understand why some of us look at that goal and laugh nervously. Writing is not for sissies. Pushing yourself to write 50k in one month is somewhat masochistic. You can either fly or crash and burn. Hopefully most will at least wind up somewhere in between.

While I haven't been officially participating, seeing others post their goals and accomplishments has given me an incentive I've sorely needed to get seriously writing again. To treat it as a job, instead of a hobby seems to be the most important step for me, personally.

No, my word count isn't impressive, but my motivation is still strong. Just have to get into the groove with my new part-time job, and wait for myself and the family to recover from the recent bout of illness that's knocked us all on our butts.

The other bit of motivation I've had recently has been the wonderful review DREAM WALK received from Romantic Times magazine. I'm pleased to say that the novel was rated with 4 Stars by the reviewer. Here's a bit of her praise:

"Readers looking for a great new paranormal series need look no further. Allison
opens up a whole new world with her sensational Sentinels series." —Gail Pruszkowski

Yay! This is my first RT review and I'm hoping it will encourage readers to pick up a copy and give The Sentinels a chance. Besides, it's just so wonderful when someone appreciates what you've created. This alone fires me up to finish that second book. Hang on folks, it's coming!

So what helps motivate you when you've lost some of your spark?

Friday, November 06, 2009

A dose of reality

What I can possibly say when most of us are still reeling and/or shaking our heads regarding the news this week? As of this morning, we've uncovered one 'new' serial killer -- not the anti-hero, Dexter type, I'm sad to say; a bizarre kidnapping plot; and have faced the fact that not even secure facilities are secure... and sometimes the craziest ones among us might be the ones trying to heal our pain. :\ My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the horrors in both Ohio and at Fort Hood.

Yes, as you can probably deduce, I've had a bit too much reality this week. It reminds me not only why I don't enjoy watching the news, but why we're becoming so isolated from one another even as we spend hours on the Internet. Stranger danger has never had a more provocative meaning.

Reality is, however, something we have to face. Meet head-on at times. Even overcome or fight to change. But how do we keep our own mental health from hitting rock bottom in the meantime? It differs, I think, from person to person.

It runs the gamut of those who get out there and help to others who curl up in the fetal position and wait for it all to blow over. Then there's people like me who simply turn off the news and grab a good book...or play a game...or connect with friends and my family. I do face reality, but in small doses... or at least until my brain and heart reach the point of saturation. Then I delve back into make-believe.

Either way, I'm one of those who likes to be in control of their world. When I can't be -- which is often the case -- then I tend to get a bit overwhelmed. But I've figured out ways to deal with that stress so my family doesn't have to suffer my bad moods.

Recently I went so far as to turn on TV-Land and the Andy Griffith Show. Ah, to be in Mayberry again, sitting on the porch with Aunt Bea as I eat a big hunk of apple pie. How I'd love to laze with Andy and Opie at the old fishin' hole, just whittling the hours away in peace and quiet.

All I can say is that this week has reminded me that old-fashioned ideas and out-dated notions aren't necessarily a bad thing. In a perfect reality, neighbors would be friends -- they'd look out for each other; depend on each other without a thought and never regret it. In a perfect reality, my children wouldn't even know the term 'serial killer', and that would be okay. In a perfect reality, the bad guys would wear the black hats so we'd know, on sight, who we could trust.

Ah, but reality is never perfect. Which is partly why I read fiction... and write romance. I have control over that world, at least.