It’s not a short story!

NaNoWriMo lied to me.
When I first started writing 50,000 words was my end goal. After all, that’s what NaNo said was required for a book, and a non-profit writing competition wouldn’t lie to me, right?
Mind you, 50k might as well have been a million for all my ability to write that much. Twenty, sometimes thirty, thousand was about the height of my ability. But 50 seemed plausible, if I stretched.
Unfortunately for short-winded me, I learned that 50k was considered underachieving, unless what you wanted to achieve was a novella. All the cool kids write to 75-95k nowadays, and novellas don’t have a particularly impressive hard copy market.
Feeling overwhelmed, as I often do when I try to look to far ahead in my writing career, I did some research and asked around for advice. Here’s what I came up with:
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A week of cooking

Because I am a mature, responsible adult who takes her dreams very seriously, I 100% bailed on writing last week.  Kevin and I spent the weekend at Aulani (a Disney resort on O’ahu where the lazy river takes 15 minutes to complete one go-round, and I know this because I made one of the lifeguards time me during one of my hours-long voyages) and when we came home I looked at my laptop and said “Nah.”

Instead I spent the week trying out recipes from my vegetarian slow cooker recipe book, which is my favorite cookbook because I don’t really like cooking very much.  Kevin’s the chef in our house, but he’s been so busy lately that we’ve had tater tots for dinner more evenings than I should really admit.  So I decided to take it upon myself to make us a backup of freezer foods for the future.  I didn’t take pictures because I am a bad blogger, but here’s a list of what I made:Read More »

Why I’m Lucky (Spoiler: It’s Kevin)

The man, not the frog
The man, not the frog

A couple months ago I learned something that greatly surprised me: a shocking number of writers toil away without the support of their immediate family.  It was a subject of much discussion- fathers-in-law saying how easy the writer’s life is, siblings wanting to know when they were going to get ‘a real job,’ even spouses never deigning to read so much as a word by their beloved!

I was astonished.  I’ve heard my fair share of jokes about how I’m living off my husband, not pulling my weight, but never from someone near and dear to me.  Okay, my mom wants me to finish my master’s degree and become a social worker or a therapist, but she also thinks that all my writing is ‘brilliant.’  (That’s a doting parent for you- she even liked the one the editor called ‘dreck!’)

Never before had I realized how lucky I am to have Kevin as my life partner.  He’s never been anything but supportive of my life choices, from decided to go to graduate school to deciding to quit graduate school and become a writer.  He listens to my complaints when a scene isn’t coming out right and brainstorms with me when I’m stuck.  He’s even promised to read every book I ever publish- though I’m not holding him to that one.  (I’m afraid you have to know him to appreciate what a sacrifice that would be.  Suffice it to say, cozies aren’t his preferred genre.)

I can’t say that having a supportive partner is essential to a writer’s success (particularly since I’m not successful yet), but it certainly goes a long way to making the journey more pleasant.