As some of you know, I have been knee-deep in COVID doctor-y stuff since the beginning of March. I'm one of the physician leaders at my hospital, and the non-hospital clinic has been crazy pants. And over the past several weeks we've had a lot more sick patients -- things are starting to heat up. And the meetings just keep coming. My brain has had one setting and it's: COVID COVID COVID 24/7.
So for months, the only writing work I've been able to successfully accomplish involved not CREATION but only REVISION. These are not equal activities. I can tell a big difference between CREATION which takes a clear, uncluttered mind and longer periods of blank, free time -- versus REVISION, with I can do in short snippets and in between non-writing activities. (And while on call, true.)
It's not often I talk about one of my avocations: trail running.
Now, before you think that it's glamorous or that I'm like those models in Runners World, trim and womanly yet exuding gentle strength, while decked out in sleek tech gear and bounding down the trail like a graceful gazelle...that's nothing like my reality.
Imagine if you will a deranged oompah loompah who appears to be on the verge of a coronary, careening off rocks and roots all while muttering profanities as though f$%k is the only word in her vocabulary. (TBH, it IS one of my favorite words and I don't get to use it nearly enough.) What I do in the woods can barely be defined as athletic -- much less photogenic.
Have I mentioned that my ability to sweat buckets would put a Serengeti water buffalo to shame? It's impressive. As are my cankles. Hey, there's nothing wrong with sturdy legs. (Note to self: never wear skirts and heels.)
Every so often, in between barking my toe on a rock, then using the word f$%k like a verbal paintbrush and the world around me is a Jackson Pollock blank mural, I get kind of philosophical. And then I trip again.
Writers have certain behaviors and activities associated with stages of the writing process. Some folks drink wine or go out to eat. Others buy a fun book and get lost in the pages for a while. Then there's yours truly.
In honor of my 10th book going out to an agent/publisher for consideration, I bring you: What I Do After Completing a Manuscript
1) Sigh happily with a dreamy expression on my face.
2) Dust the entire house. You heard me. This house doesn't get dusted but maybe 4-5x yearly which interestingly enough, corresponds exactly with me finishing either my first big draft of a new manuscript or the final product of a manuscript. Domestic goddess, I am not. But when the dust bunnies achieve sentience, I need to do something or they'll start unionizing.
3) A treat. Today, hubs got me some kind of magical Gelato that has cookie dough and fudge stripes in it. Makes me want to write another book, just to get more!
4) All the stuff I have been putting off because I need my brain to stay in creative/fiction mode for a while. There's a list. It waits for me. Tomorrow I will work on my doctor resume and a physician leadership application that's due. Talk about switching gears, huh?
As I suggested in my 5/1/20 post, the news is confirmed: I will not be attending any of the planned summer book signings...
Romance Rendezvous Book Blast
Royal Readers at Mall of America
Mayhem in the Midwest
Bummer. Big stinking bummer.
The request is that this healthcare organization's employees not travel until the end of summer unless it's absolutely necessary, and if folks do have to travel that they not do activities in groups more than 10 people. For about a second, I had considered doing the signings but not letting my employer know. But in good faith, I cannot do an action that might put my family, my patients, and myself at undue risk of exposure. I am a front-line healthcare worker, seeing patients in the clinic, labor/delivery, and the inpatient medicine/ICU floor. While I take every precaution with PPE and have (knock wood) remained healthy, my job does put me at a higher risk of exposure. Even if I had no symptoms, I could still pass an illness along to someone if I was not taking the precautions like when I'm in the hospital -- and I don't think anyone wants me to do a book signing in full PPE. :) (Though I suppose it would be a unique conversation starter!)
Big thanks to the organizers of these events and their understanding. And readers, stick with me -- when I can do book signings again, we are going to have such an amazing time!
Check out my fabulous interview by Jess Carpenter! Click HERE to check it out!
What a difference a few months make, folks.
January 2020: Complaining about publishing frustrations and writers' block. Slogging through my busy week of scopes, deliveries, and seemingly endless patient visits in the office.
Fast forward to April 2020: I would gladly donate my left kidney to have the pleasure of dealing with the issues from January. Nowadays, most visits are virtual. The few visits in person for newborns and pregnant patients about to deliver are done in full facemarks and goggles/shields. All clothing is the same: street clothes to go to work, scrubs + white coat at work, change back into street clothes to go home, everything in the washer, and me in the shower. Literally rinse and repeat every single day of the past 6 weeks. Normal is the feel of my warm breath inside of a mask that stays on my face for 10 hours every day.
What's not normal is how my Day Job medical world collides with my Writing Job.
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Basically, browse the terrific bid items and then stalk -- I mean casually monitor -- the prizes you want to win and boost those bids. It's easy! Good luck with your bids!
It’s here, folks. The post that I’ve hoped to be able to write for well over ten years. Holy moly, over ten years -- that’s a long time. Here’s the story, warts and all. It’s a long story, because, well, it took a long time. And this is my blog, so I get to write whatever dirt and secrets I want! Pull up a chair and a coffee…
In 2005 I wrote The Best Book Ever (or so I thought), spiffed it up a bunch of times and sent it out to about 30 agents over the next six years. Amazingly, “Reluctant Sanctuary,” a purple prose-filled schmaltz-fest– SHOCKER—did not get even a whisper of interest. Honest to lordie, this manuscript was bad, you have no idea. But in the revisions and rewriting during 2012-2013, I ended up using this book – and the mentoring of a very patient developmental editor, Gwen Hayes – to learn the craft of how to write a novel. I finally managed to let The Best Book Ever go from my clawed death-grip. By then, I had conceived of a novel which later became Immortal Flame, the first in my Hell to Pay series, written during one of the breaks from revising The Best Book Ever.
Hey folks, check out this opportunity to participate in an amazing auction! Big name authors and high-powered editors (and little authors like me) are giving away all sorts of things: autographed books, editing services, query critiques, and manuscript reviews. It's a great opportunity to support advocacy for humanitarian situation and also get personalized attention for your manuscript or to score some fabulous books!
Okay. I’m going to bare my soul and do a blog post in the hopes that my mistakes will help keep others from making the same mistakes. Without further ado, I give you: all of the writing mistakes I’ve made (to date) (not complete). Please enjoy, with my sincerest condolences.
Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.
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