Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

There are a lot of times when I should be writing or doing something equally productive but I’m wasting time instead. I am in fact a master procrastinator. I’m so good at it I could teach classes. Today I thought I’d share some of my procrastination techniques.

13 Methods of Procrastination

1. Daydreaming. Oh yes this little bugger has gotten me into trouble since the third grade. Instead of paying attention in class I’d stare out the window (window seats are a bad idea for me) and imagine flying with magical unicorns. Not much has changed only now instead of ignoring a teacher I’m ignoring my manuscript (MS)…

2. Doodling. This is when I sit with a notebook (usually when I am trying to brainstorm ideas) and draw little hearts, balloons or something equally stupid instead of WORKING ON MY MS. Often I will get inspiration from number one to make the little pictures for this one even more ridiculous. No, I will not post examples of my illustrious illustrations.

3. Surfing the web. This is by far my biggest time suck and procrastination tool. I do research, usually for non related writing things. Today I learned a great deal of information about the great lakes… That I will NEVER use!

4. Romance Divas. One of the greatest places in the internet world. I would describe this place as internet heaven actually. This site is an excellent resource for writing information but also a great place for hanging out, making friends, posting life experiences… procrastinating. Of them all this is the one I would never even think about giving up.

5. Myspace. Seriously, that Tom guy has some serious explaining to do. I don’t know if he’s the one who invented this place or not but I blame him. The stupid apps, and messages, and status updates, comments… okay you get the picture. There is too much to do there and now they’ve attached the IM thingy to the bottom of the window so people can just contact you if they see you’re on. Not good.

6. Obsessively checking emails. I have numerous email accounts (probably a mistake) and I check them constantly even when I’m not waiting for a specific response about something. Really, they must have anonymous groups for people like me…

7. Blogging. *gasp* As much as I enjoy blogging sometimes I do it instead of working on my MS… like now, but I’m almost done so it’s okay.

8. Obsessively checking to see if anyone has commented on blog. Yeah I know I need help. Refer to the last sentence of number 6.

9. Staring for long moments (we won’t count how many) at a blank Word document (or unfinished document) while wondering if the story I’m starting or working on is any good and if there is a point to even writing it. What I should be doing is working on the damn story and not angsting over the nothing that I haven’t written!

10. Yahoo IM. OMG what a HUGE time suck! I spend more time talking to people on IM than should be legally allowed.

11. Talking on the phone. I do this with people I can’t reach on IM. Usually it’s my mom and we talk until the battery runs out on my cellphone. Yeah, that’s a lot of talking and very little writing.

12. Reading. Yes reading is fundamental but not when you’re actually supposed to be writing. Once in school I got in trouble for reading instead of paying attention in class… I think it was an omen.

13. TV. I can’t tell you how many brain cells I’ve lost watching it. I can say, however, that no matter how bored I get or how much I am trying to procrastinate I will NOT watch “reality” TV. Seriously, 99.9% of it is crap and not realistic in the least. I just can’t force myself to watch it. It makes me want to wash my eyes out with bleach whenever I’m forced to watch it… okay sorry went on a little tirade there but now I’m back.

So here is my list of procrastination methods. Do you have any?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Future

So I'm writing a story in which the hero can take people to see specific bits of their future. And this got me thinking. If I had the chance would I want to see certain parts of my future? You know like how many kids will I have or will I ever be rich and or famous? Come on like you don't wonder about some of the same things lol!

Anyway as I pondered this question I realized that perhaps seeing my future may not be all it sounds like it’s cracked up to be. I've had a lot of interesting experiences in life and I don't think they would have packed quite the same punch if I would've seen them coming. I mean these were some really awesome life lessons (not that I felt that way at the time). I think they wouldn't have been as effective if I would have experienced them in some other way. Also I think it would take away from the mystery of life. The wonder of not knowing that gives us that push to live to the fullest because, hey, you never know what's coming up next. I personally feel that without the mystery, life would be a little duller for me.

So tell me about you. If you had the chance would you take a glance at your future?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

One of my favorite things in the world is traveling. I love to see new places and meet the people and learn about different cultures. When I’m older I plan on traveling the world but for the most part my travels have taken to me various places in the US. I’d like to share them with you now.

13 Places I’ve been

1. Disney Land (not to be confused with Disney World).
This one is sunny Ca. We were at a family reunion and I was very young… maybe four or five. My most unforgettable memories from this trip are from when I leapt into the hotel pool thinking I could swim and almost drowned in 3 ½ feet of water. The other is when we went on this ride that was totally in the dark. It scared me so badly I squished the hell out of Mickey Mouse cap, which I’d thrown on the floor of the ride so I wouldn’t lose it while going loopty loop. Yeah… good times/

2. Vallejo, Ca.
It was a sad event that brought me to this fair little city in Southern Cali. The Man’s grandfather had passed away and I was there for moral support. This was also the very first time I got to meet his family after having been together for six years. Though it was small I thought it was a beautiful place. This was the also the first time I’ve been so close to real mountains. I mean wow those things are huge!

3. San Francisco.
This occasion was much happier than the Vallejo trip. One of The Man’s Friends was getting married and of course I leapt at the chance to go to The Man’s home town. He’d already been to mine plenty. The thing I’ve noticed we have in common is that we both have mostly male friends so sadly I couldn’t hook anyone up. I think they decided to forgive me for that one. The city was sooooooooooo beautiful; I’ve been dying to go back since.

4. Washington D.C.
Going back to my younger years I actually used to visit our fair D. C. all the time. It’s where my great grandparents lived for a very long time. My great grandfather was very influential in politics. He knew people like Martine Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and John F. Kennedy. I went there all the time to visit them and I loved the city but my most vibrant memories of this place are the huge house they lived in… and the pattern in which my great grandmother used to snore in. I was young, what can I say?

5. Dumas, AR
This is actually where my grandmother (on my dad’s side) is from. She hated it so much she left as soon as she was old enough (maybe in her twenties) and never moved back. We went there later on for another of those notorious family reunions and I gotta say… it was really dusty. And there was also a huge bug that lived on the ceiling of our hotel room for the entirety of the trip. On a positive note this is where I ate at my first Sonic… we don’t have those in Chicago.

6. Milwaukee, WI
Being that it’s not that far from Chicago my parents and I used to go here often. It’s also right off the lake (meaning Lake Michigan) and they have an awesome zoo, where I rode my first elephant and camel. They also have a variety of fests during the summer where you can buy great food and listen to great music.

7. St. Louis, MO
I’ve actually been here a number of times since I have family there. I love to walk the city, especially downtown. I really love the area near the arch. It’s very grassy and pretty and the arch is just amazing to see up-close… though going in the arch I could have done without. It was nice to have the experience but the elevators were like shifty, shaky little ovens and I thought I might hurl before I got off…

8. Atlanta, GA
I’ve also been here many times. My mother and cousin both went to college there and loved the city. There are so many places to see since it is place full of history. I visited a number of historical colleges and the Coca Cola Museum which was awesome! I also got to do lots of shopping. The food’s great too.

9. Ontario Canada
I was about eleven when we went to Canada. It was during the summer so it wasn’t cold but it wasn’t too hot either. I thought it was one of the most beautiful cities. There were cobblestone streets and different shops and eateries. The architecture was fantastic; I think we even visited a castle. It’s a place I’d love to visit again only I’d like to maybe learn some French first.

10. Nassau in The Bahamas
Still the most beautiful place I have ever been to in all my life! The water was so clear I could see straight through it. The sand was beautiful and the temperatures were lovely. The food was excellent. I mean they probably caught it and served it to us that same day and the people were so friendly. It was the first time I’d ever seen a palm tree in my life. When a thirteen year old me said, “Oh my God mom look, palm trees.” on a bus full of people I new I was out of place. I never wanted to leave and I am so going back when I get the chance.

11. Universal Studios (Yes now this is in FL)
I had gone to St. Pete, FL with a friend for spring break and she and her mom took me to this wonderful place. I took a picture with The Grinch who I later found out was doing bunny ears. I also took a picture with Thing 2 from The Cat and the Hat (who we had to catch before we could take the picture). Also we took pictures with various XMEN and lastly Betty Boop… who was taller than I remember. Hmmmm

12. Miami, FL
It rained damn near half the time so I was pissed because I didn’t get my much coveted tan. Hey, I had planed on being dark chocolate when I left there not the same caramel that I was when I arrived. Anyway we went to a bunch of different clubs, made friends at a few bars, wore naughty little outfits (some of the time) and enjoyed the beach (when it wasn’t freakin’ raining).

13. Manhattan, NY
I went with my mom which could have been a mistake. We went by Central Park, past a couple of vendors and into the world of shopping. We walked so far we had to take a cab back. We also ate some delicious Brazilian food and went to see a show on Broadway. It was an awesome time. We spent all our money and came back with a t-shirt and a tie for my brother and father…

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pessimism or Realism

My whole life I’ve heard people speak of this “preparing for the worst”. The way I understand it is that when there is the possibility of you either getting what you want or not getting what you want, your best bet is to prepare for not getting what you want. I believe the reasoning behind this is that if/when you find out that you actually aren’t getting what you want you won’t be as disappointed. If you actually get what you want then it makes it even sweeter.

Ok so I want to examine this on a personal level (because that’s what I do). Back when I sent in my first submission for publication I applied this practice. I knew the odds were against me and that most people don’t sell on their first sub. So I figured I wouldn’t be offered a contract and that it would be ok I could just sub elsewhere. Well, when the time came and I actually got that big R I can tell you that no amount of planning for the worst could have prepared me for the feeling it gave me. I felt like some one ripped out my little heart, stamped on it with cleats, coated it with a nice crispy batter and then fried it in hot oil. Yeah, not a good feeling. Even worse was that I had spent all this time telling myself how I probably wasn’t going to make it anyway. As an advocate for positive thinking this sat very wrong with me.

So my next sub I didn’t do any of this. I sent it in, didn’t get over anxious, but I did not prepare for the worse. I sent it knowing it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I got an R but that what I truly wanted was a contract. I let the wonderful idea of being a published author slide through my thoughts and I relished in it… then I let it go and went to a football game. *g*

Well, wouldn’t you know it? I got offered the contract! Now I’m not saying that I the only reason I didn’t get the contract in scenario one was because I thought negatively or visa versa for scenario two. What I am saying is that never in my life (that I can remember) has preparing myself for the worst ever benefited me in anyway. I make back up plans, or fall backs, if the situation calls for them but I do not dwell on them. I still think about and focus upon what it is that I truly want the majority of the time. I feel that life is meant to feel good and it doesn’t feel good (to me) to dwell on the negative things that can happen when the positive feels so much better. If bad things happen I still feel bad and when good things happen I still feel good. So why not concentrate on things that make us feel good and stop trying to worry about the things that are mostly out of out control anyway?

So where do you stand on preparing for the worst? Pessimism or realism?

Talk to me.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Letting In The Light by Fae Sutherland

On sale now at Amber Quill Press!

When Rowan Lee arrived in small, liberal Provincetown, he heard tales of the eccentric, brilliant, possibly insane Finnegan Clark. A world-famous mystery writer, Finnegan’s been to the top of the bestseller list more times than anyone can count. It’s about the only place he goes, sequestered away in his mansion by the sea.

Enter Rowan. The free-spirited lovechild of aging hippies, Rowan believes all anyone needs is love, and when he makes a delivery to Finn’s mansion and meets the man himself, it’s infatuation at first sight. Not to mention lust. Never mind that Finn’s twice his age and snarls at him more than he speaks to him.

All Rowan wants is to make the world a better place, one person at a time, but all Finn wants is to be left alone. Sparks fly, and if Rowan can’t break Finn’s walls down, he’ll burn them sizzling encounter at a time...

Letting In The Light by Fae Sutherland Click HERE to read an excerpt and buy your copy!