Tag Archives: Fear

Last weekend…

… This weekend? Er, the most recent past Sunday? I talked to my Mom. (Hi, Mom.)

This is not an unusual sort of a thing. I call every weekend unless I’m travelling or working.

Anyway, the first thing she asked was, “Have you finished your book yet?”

Well, no. I haven’t. But I’m working on it. No, really. I am.

A couple of weekends ago my local RWA chapter brought in Jodi Thomas who has, over a 27 year career, published 40 books. First of all, I’d like to tell everyone to go out and buy her books whether you think you’d like to read about Texas or not. Why? They’re great books, of course, but also, she’s an incredibly nice person. She was friendly, giving, and honest. I bought three.

The best thing she said – the most memorable thing she said, was this – “Stop stacking paper.” Basically, she means stop procrastinating, get the butt in the chair, and write. There was a story behind the phrase but my paraphrase wouldn’t do it justice. If you ever have the chance to meet Jodi, ask her to tell you the stacking paper story. It’ll stick with you.

What have I done to stop stacking paper? I’ve gotten my butt in the chair. A while ago (November 2014), I re-wrote the first half of “Separation Point” – haven’t touched it much since. Probably because I’m afraid of how much work it still needs. I’m afraid that what I’ve done isn’t good enough. Again. I’m afraid I’m throwing time at a project that will never see the light of an e-reader screen besides my own. (And maybe my Mom’s – she promised to buy a copy.) I’m afraid that the longer I take, the less likely I’m going to find an audience for my book – it might be a little bit of a niche market book.

Fear, fear, fear. That’s all there is holding me back.

In the words of my sage friend, Alex – “The first step is acknowledging the problem.” Okay, that might also be a bit of a paraphrase, but Alex is very smart and quite wise and he did say something like that to me.

I know, this isn't a convincing rainforest...
I know. This isn’t a convincing rainforest…

So, that’s where I am. Hacking my way through the overgrown Rainforest of Fear.

I may need some help sharpening my creative machete in the near future.

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The machines…

… are out to get me.

I’m doing a job in a fancy hotel right now. One of my methods of contributing to the household finances is photography. My job of the week is photographing hair artists at a company training event.

I’ve had a lifelong fear of elevators. There is no question about it – the things are pure evil. Small boxes that move up and down in a shaft supported by a cable… yeah, not a fan.

Smaller skyline
At least if I have to ride in a small box I get to look at this afterwards…

At some point I got over it. My fear isn’t like it used to be. I’m usually good with passenger elevators, although I’m often the one staring at the doors when they do not open immediately upon stopping. I’ve probably knocked over small children and old ladies while trying to get out of those deathtraps.

Today – an elevator tried to eat me. In front of a bunch of people I would rather not  see me be nearly bisected by an elevator. People I have to see tomorrow. An elevator full of complete strangers – fine. No problem. But these people – I have to photograph them and I really need them not to be smirking at the camera.

I’m also having some issues riding the elevators again. All of the elevators are glass in this hotel. All of the elevators go up the side of the building. My room is on the 24th floor. If you’re at the Westin Bonaventure in dtLA, I’m the one carrying the camera with my nose to the elevator doors banging my head against them trying to out.

Can I go home now? There are no elevators in my house and there never will be.

A pitchfork…

… and someone to stand behind me with it would be good now.

It’s not that I’m not writing, it’s that I’m not writing the things I should be. Or I’m not focusing on the things I should be. That would be the editing of my last few chapters. The vicious slash and burn edit before I send it off to the two people who have agreed to read it for me. My RA from my freshman year in college – she was the only person who came to my wedding that wasn’t family – and a friend I met through online gaming who seems to have similar reading interests. I may or may not have been honest with either of them about the fact they’re about to read a romance novel… Surprise!

This is hard. The trying to figure out what needs to come out, what can come out, and where more detail needs to go in. Where have I “told” versus “shown”… or wait… am I supposed to “tell” and not “show”? I can’t keep it straight. I get the idea I’m not supposed to say “She was angry.” in a place I could’ve said “She slammed her fist into the table with a low growl.”… or something like that.

My last chapter isn’t even completely completed. Yeesh, I’m avoiding that like it’s my job! What am I afraid of? I have no idea. Is it the completion I’m afraid of? Is it the fact I’ll have to take the next step and let people see past chapter nine? No one has seen anything beyond chapter nine. Not even my editor cat. Maybe I’ll try going to the library and putting myself in a study desk. At least there I can’t be distracted by the lure of the refrigerator or the tea kettle. Perhaps a local park with a picnic table – also refrigerator and tea kettle free spaces…

Oh, and as a special bonus for reading today, here is a picture of one of my parent’s cats – Grimlin. This has got to be one of my favorite photos of her.

Grimlin is the most Zen thing on the planet.
Grimlin is the most Zen thing on the planet.