Month: August 2009

Just watch me

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I didn’t want to be one of those people who start a blog and then never do anything more than the first post.

Since this is my second post, I’m technically not one of those people. *shew*

Still, this tardy blog post serves as an illustration of a struggle I’ve been having the last couple of weeks: trying to get it all done.

Every minute of every day, I have to decide what to focus on, what to give my attention to. And giving my attention to one thing means choosing not to focus on at least ten other things.

It’s frustrating.

Writing the next scene in my novel means not playing with my kids. Playing with my kids means not writing the next scene in my novel. Doing either of those things means not doing the laundry. Or calling that friend back. Or responding to that email. Or reading that book. Or finishing that painting. Or doing the dishes. Or finishing that freelance work. Or…or…or…

And then things slip through the cracks and I end up backtracking, apologizing, forgoing sleep, etc.

There’s an Irish saying that comes to mind: “When God made time, he made enough of it.”

And then there’s my mom’s saying: “You’re not super woman, honey.”

Wait. You’re saying I can’t do it all? Is it worth trying? Is it possible to have a clean house, a stable and happy family, close friendships, a fulfilling creative life, a maintained inbox, finished novel, an active blog, a well-built author platform?

Call my stubborn, but my first response is always: “Just watch me.”

Even if at the end of the day, I’m passed out on the floor, exhausted.

How about you? Are you a creative person? How do you balance your creative life and the rest of your life? What do you sacrifice?

Confession

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I always swore that if I ever started a blog, my first post would be to confess my out-of-control book gluttony.

As I type this, I’m sitting on my bed, staring at a bookshelf crammed with books. On the floor beside my bed are three more stacks of books. Some of them read. Many of them yet to-be-read.

In the spirit of brevity, today’s post will only include the books on the top shelf. (There are *a lot* of books.) So, consider this an introduction. A peek inside my brain. My likes, my fascinations, my neuroses, my worries, my dreams, my heroes, my nemeses. They’re all there on the shelves, in the stacks.

So without further ado…

Top shelf, in no particular order:

  • The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics, Dennis O’Neil
  • Practical Demonkeeping, Christopher Moore
  • The End of Heroes, Kevin J. Herbst
  • The Writer’s Complete Fantasy Reference
  • Awesome, Jack Pendarvis
  • The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1, PJ Haarsma
  • Twilight, Stephenie Meyer
  • The Dangerous Book for Boys, Hal Iggulden
  • Fade, Lisa McMann
  • Wake, Lisa McMann
  • Stardust, Neil Gaiman
  • At Home in Mitford, Jan Karon
  • The Undomestic Goddess, Sophie Kinsella
  • The Blue Girl, Charles de Lint
  • The Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri Nouwen
  • Son of Laughter, Frederich Buechner
  • Haunted, Chuck Palahniuk
  • The Pirate Primer, Choundas
  • Drums of Autumn, Diana Gabaldon
  • Flash Fiction Forward
  • Life in a Medieval Village, Frances and Joseph Gies
  • Everyman, Anonymous
  • The Tales of Beadle the Bard, JK Rowling
  • Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, Anne Rice
  • Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman
  • The Long Embrace, Judith Freeman
  • Lyrics, Sting
  • It’s All Too Much, Peter Walsh
  • Musicophilia, Oliver Sacks
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Lisa See
  • NANOFiction, Vol. 1, No. 2
  • Away, Amy Bloom
  • The Glimmer Train Guide to Writing Fiction
  • American Gods, Neil Gaiman
  • Gentlemen of the Road, Michael Chabon
  • Salt River, James Sallis
  • Volk’s Shadow, Brent Ghelfi
  • Lightning, Dean Koontz
  • The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruis Zafon
  • Water for Elephants, Sarah Gruen
  • Jesus Out to Sea, James Lee Burke

I’m happy to say I’ve read most of those. I don’t think I can say that of the next shelf. Or the one after that.  But that will wait for future posts.

In the meantime, I must pack. I’m off to SCBWI in LA tomorrow, bright and early.