It’s been a few weeks, hasn’t it?

This, for me, feels like a return to form. The last time I wrote something on here was the beginning of November, with my thinking I would be able to write more frequently throughout the process of National Novel Writing Month.

Daily check-ins, status updates, maybe sharing a snippet or two from my site? You know. Active online engagement in the efforts to grow the community base reading this site.

That didn’t happen.

November got away from me. You make plans to get all this writing done, then you and your wife plan a three day trip to Downtown Disney because she’s been late-night scrolling through the Disney snack blogs and suddenly only wants those exact snacks to feed her pregnant cravings.

Okay, fine, only three days.

Until you realize you need to spend the whole week prior getting the house ready because you’re going to be gone the week of Thanksgiving and arriving back just in time for the holiday. This means you need to have the entire house in order to hit the ground running upon return.

Oh yeah, you also need to go buy a new car because, a) you have another baby arriving in a few months so you were going to do this anyway, and b) all of your stuff is not going to fit in your old car for the trip so it’s time to go and get a van.

So then the holiday happens, you’re completely wasted, and, what’s the word? SICK. I was sick almost all of last week (turns out not COVID, thank goodness) and did little else besides lie in bed on my side watching The Great British Baking Show and playing Magic: Arena on my phone.

I suppose I shouldn’t feel so bad about not being able to write for over half a month, but then you see advice like this and all it does is punch you in the heart and make you feel like a failure. This Twitter account, called Advice to Writers by Jon Winokur, had this to say the other day:

You can take that with a grain of salt, as all writerly advice should be done, but it really struck a cord with me. It’s been weeks, two to be precise, since I’ve done any kind of creative writing work. That emptiness was filling and it came out in my most recent freelance work.

Nothing I was typing was hitting the way I wanted, my fingers stumbled around on the keyboard, and suddenly I forgot how to use a mouse properly.

Sitting and typing are skills, and if you don’t nurture them, they go away. You have to be prepared for that…

…is the lesson I’m taking away from this break.

I would never trade the time I spent with family for anything. It was wondrous, magical, and we brought home enough sweeties to last me until…*checks pantry*…the end of the week.

Oooh, baby…

It wasn’t just snacks we returned with. I picked up these two notebooks, one for future Disney trip usage with the boys, and the other is TOO PURE FOR THIS WORLD.

So. Righteous.

Seriously, it was this entire line of notebooks based on the storybooks from the classic Disney princess movies, like “Snow White” and “Cinderella.” I chose “Beauty & the Beast” because, as the kids say, Belle is best girl.

But will I ever use it? That faux-stained glass cover is so nice and the pages are perfectly spaced-lines waiting to be filed with something meaningful. Something good.

Isn’t that just the typical Writers’ Curse? We spend our whole life trying to find the perfect notebook to use, only to feel like whatever you’d fill it with is trash and no deserving of such distinguished pages.

Speaking of work!

What’s 2022 got in store for me?

Project Update:

  • Project: GREY, my middle-grade science-fiction adventure. I’ve received some notes from some of my beta readers. Almost all of it has been good, positive, and made me feel like I made the right call nearly one year ago to rewrite the thing and expand the story. What’s strange, in a storytelling kind of way, is the agent who suggested I make changes to it has just reopened for queries. Now all I have to do is hit Send…
  • Project: DEED, my middle-grade realistic fantasy. I categorize it as that because it sort of exists in both realms, more in the “real” than the “fantasy.” Think “The Never-Ending Story” but with less crying princesses to haunt your dreams. The month of November is over, so now I can start red pen 2nd draft edits on it. That’s what I’ll start now and hopefully finish in the new year. And speaking of November…
  • Project: TREES, the young adult science-fantasy epic I was hoping to complete for NaNoWriMo in November. I didn’t do it, obviously, as the above trip to Disney will atest. I love this story, and this idea, and the kids in it, but I feel like I keep failing them. Perhaps it, too, needs a complete rewrite from the ground up and not just a patchwork job of adding on extra bits.
  • Project: NESS, my middle-grade contemporary fantasy. Still sitting in first draft. This might be the first book I finish writing of the year. Once I finish edits on Project: DEED, this fantasy with horror and family elements mixed in, needs to be finished. After my Nana Pat passed away last year, I felt like I needed time to sit, reflect on family importance, and let that rise to the surface before I could accurately give this story the care it deserves.
  • And that’s it, I think. Any other story ideas will have to wait as these are the books I’m occupying the first quarter of 2022 with. Of course, if another idea grabs me, then I’ll push it to the top of the queue, but for now, I think this is enough. Three separate books, two of which are part of hopeful series while the third is standalone, is enough to work on. Enough to pitch, to sell, whatever.

The year isn’t done yet and I have a lot I want to get done. But so long as my boys are happy, healthy, and loving books, then I feel like I won this year.

Not many can say that.

Thanks for reading,

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