Suck it Up

That’s what I had to tell myself recently, “Just suck it up and do it, Erin.”

I have this great idea for my third book and have been outlining it, building out characters and motivations. But I keep stalling. Part of the reason is because it deals with a heavy topic that we as women, all struggle with, but also because I’m trying to weave this theme through four characters’ lives.

Has anyone ever taken a class at The Attic in Portland, OR? I took a class with the fabulous Author Whitney Otto and it really jump started the seriousness of my writing. I happened to peruse an Attic newsletter and there’s a new class on character building with David Ciminello.

I found myself going back to the website to read the description, over and over again. It’s amazing how many excuses we’ll tell ourselves: Is this something I can commit to weekly for five weeks? What about the kids? But I won’t get home till 10:30 PM…

But at the end of the day, I need this. I just had to suck it up and sign up. So starting Tuesday, May 8th, you’ll find me at The Attic.

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Just Make it Happen Already

There are so many things that we say throughout our lives, “Oh, I’d love to do that…” and eye someone with envy when they’ve given themselves the permission to do something out of the box.

I think women are particularly hard on themselves for these sort of things. When I think of something I want to do, it has to make it past my list of priorities: husband and kids, writing, work, friends, and more.

I’d love to do that…but I’ll just be bringing the kids back from gymnastics and the timing is really tight.

I’d love to do that…but work just started to pick up.

I’d love to do that…but that’s like two months straight that I’ll need to find some backup to watch the kids.

Recently, a friend passed away from cancer and everything around me has seemed like a missed opportunity. My heart has been broken since her passing. She used to say every day counts.

We don’t get a second chance at our lives.

So this is a note to ask you what you’ve been wanting to do lately. And I give you permission to do it for yourself!

On Monday, I start ukulele lessons…get ready world!

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New Book is Finished!

I want to scream from the mountain tops…it’s DONE, it’s DONE!!

I’ve just finished writing CURTAIN RISING and all 68,000 words of it. While I couldn’t be more excited, I’ve been simultaneously editing it with feedback from beta readers, and I know there’s quite a bit more editing to go.

But first, a little celebration!

I do need some thoughts on the ending so if there are any other WF beta readers out there that want to speed read for me? I’m looking to send out submissions by September.

I want to deeply thank all the lovely authors and beta readers that have helped me to finesse various parts of the book: Christi Suzanne, Erica Steele, Gayle Seely, Eric Butler, Sara Adams, Natalie Spada, Suzan Headley, Karisa Tell, and Katerina Baker.

Now, on to more editing!

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Query Kombat Today

A few years ago I started connecting with other authors on Twitter and it changed my life. I’m so glad that I’ve met so many great people that are in the same shoes, writing, editing, and supporting each other.

My book, AMERICAN HONEY, got selected to compete in Query Kombat today! It is very exciting and yet, I’m so nervous. The winner will go on to compete in the next round, and so on. My competitor has got the goods too!

Thanks for , our team of authors selected to compete these next few weeks.

Please come visit, leave feedback, and cheer us on (we’ll leave the voting for the judges though)! Today, my book is on this site: http://www.michelle4laughs.com/2016/06/qk-round-1-ivy-league-sex-scandal-vs.html#comment-form

Very exciting!

giphy

What does honesty look like?

There are so many faces of honesty. I’ve always been so interested in this topic, especially researching the life of an unreliable narrator for my new book. And then I happened upon a New York Post article, and that kind of brutal honesty has to make you smile…(story below).

DEFINITION: An unreliable narrator is a narrator, whether in literature, film, or theatre, whose credibility has been seriously compromised. The reader/viewer often does not realize the unreliability until a contrast of the truth is shown by another character or event.

The dishonesty that seems to hurt the most is when you are not honest to yourself.

It’s amazing what we’ll do to protect ourselves sometimes, persevere, and move on. You see it all the time from fights between non-working women to working women, jobs, economy, even things like sleep. We try to convince ourselves that we don’t need it: we’re better off without it.

When people are so honest to the point that it puts them in a bad light, and their actions clearly were incorrect but they still choose to put it out there, whether to help others or just help themselves…I find that so refreshing.

Here is the New York Post article that made me smile. Obviously, I don’t condone his behavior, but it is hilarious.

http://nypost.com/2016/02/16/i-needed-weed-man-who-found-wallet-returns-license-not-cash/

NYPOst

 

Let’s Fly

I have a quote on my desk that makes me smile. I originally printed it, to give it to my girls, but it hasn’t made it off my desk.

(I do plan to get a better print and frame it for them.)

But the sentiment is so important. It’s just that daily reminder that we need to get out there and give it a shot.

“What if I fall?

Oh, my darling, what if you fly?”

So today, I say…go for it! And don’t forget to remind your friends and family too!

 

 

#777 Challenge Accepted – “American Honey”

Christi R. Suzanne tagged me for the #777challenge. We met through an eye-opening author class at the Attic Institute with Whitney Otto in Portland. Since then, a few of us have stuck together to become great writing, critiquing, and commiserating friends.

Check out her stuff and her novel MORT ADDENDUM…you’ll never look at Kool-Aid ever the same! Follow her at @christirsuzanne.

The goal of the 777 challenge is to share seven lines from page seven of your manuscript, then tag seven more writers.

This excerpt comes from my finished novel, AMERICAN HONEY (currently looking for representation).

AMERICAN HONEY is women’s fiction weaving together a journey in two timelines about coming-of-age, leaving your past behind, and then recapturing it.

American Honey

So on to the next, I challenge friends from The Writer’s Voice, Pitch to Pub and Query Kombat!

Today is Opposite Day

It’s funny how we decide to label ourselves. For the past decade, I’ve called myself a non runner.

But the truth is I HATE RUNNING. It just doesn’t agree with me, my knees, my body, etc.

So for years, I’ve taken up yoga, spinning and other ways to sweat and stay healthy, but I always thought how nice it would be to just go for a run and clear your head.

But that’s not who I am, I tell myself. I need a class for motivation. I need someone to tell me what to do, otherwise I won’t do it.

The thing is, when I start running, my legs itch, tingle and drive me crazy. Does that happen to anyone? It only happens when I run. I was suckered into a half marathon once and that seemed to go away but then my knee cap seemed to wither away with it so I figured that was a sign.

But today, I am a few months out from going on a vacation and it’s time to burn some calories. I double checked my 30 day free gym pass and thought…it’s time.

So I did it. I went to the gym. And that ugly treadmill just stared at me. There weren’t any classes going on, it was just me and the treadmill.

So I ran, without issue, for 25 minutes.

THAT’S HUGE (for me). I could almost hear the Rocky fight song in my head as I stepped off because today, I have defeated whatever barriers stood in the way.

It got me thinking, what else is holding me back?

Click here to hear your fight song: What does Rocky tell you?

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Photo courtesy of NIKE, Inc.

Life is Sweet, Make it Sweeter

I wanted to say, life is short. Sometimes too short. We never know how long we have on earth and sometimes we’re so sucked into the day-to-day ramblings, that we forget to take a pause, or a time out (as my daughter would say, though her time outs are a little different…).

A neighbor that I met through a writing event last summer was literally blogging  less than a month ago about being thankful, and an hour later, she and her husband were hit by a car while crossing the street.

My daughters and I just so happened to be driving by, what had to be moments after the accident, and saw a fire truck and ambulances. Not much happens in our smaller town that sits adjacent to Portland, so traffic slowed. My girls were peppering me with questions, “what happened? was it a person? will they be okay?”

I could see EMT crouching over someone in the middle of the road/cross walk and all I could think was that hopefully someone just felt faint, nothing more. As we drove on, I told my girls to say a little prayer that they’re okay, and we went on about our evening.

Last weekend, I opened the newspaper and my neighbor is on the front page, telling her story about how an elderly man hit her and her husband with his car, and by the grace of God, they survived.

The feelings are overwhelming…and I couldn’t believe we drove right past her. It seems like we should’ve been able to do something to help. She and her husband have a long recovery ahead of them, but she gets to spend more time with her family and friends.

She will no doubt appreciate life differently. It shouldn’t take something horrific to make the rest of us stop, take a moment and hug those close. Maybe smell the flowers.

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It was that kind of morning…

Isn’t it amazing how much influences us and our day? Every morning it’s usually chaos, getting the kids dressed and off to school/activities in between work and life.

This morning, there was no yelling or “that’s mine!” coming from the family room as I got breakfast ready.

There was no “that’s not fair” or “she pushed me.”

I heard two little girls playing, nicely. One even said, “I love you” to the other.

Wow.

So this morning in the car on the way to school, they continued sharing and the car was filled with giggles, instead of angry words.

“You two really make me happy when you’re smiling and having fun,” I said.

“Are we becoming big girls?” Avery asked.

Maybe they’ll go back to bickering tomorrow, but for today, I’m holding on to this.

As Ice Cube says, “Today was a good day.”