I need a break

Spring Break is here already. Yeah, right. Tell that to the one professor who still assigns homework. Which is fine, really, since I have nowhere to go. The beach is just a distant dream. 😉 But it would be nice to decompress for a few days.

Of course, I also have to figure out the great publishing debate: try to sell the books elsewhere or strike out on my own again? I don’t like being on my own, but the publishing business is a crap-shoot. I’m having a hard time finding an editor with whom my writing “clicks”, I guess. :\

But, I put a lot of work into my novels. I’d rather not just sit on them while I query one publisher after another until I run out of ones for which I don’t need an agent. The bright side is that I have found a really great cover artist to work with for my Sentinels series, at least.

So, it looks like I won’t have even a second to decompress this week. SIGH. Why did I want to do this again????

 

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Hot off the press! Um… sort of

“Hot off the press” used to mean new, as in a new story, new development. It referred to a newspaper that had just been printed. (Just in case any youngsters out there don’t have a clue what I’m referencing. I’d hate to widen that generation gap.) 

So, my publisher is closing. This has been coming on for a while, but it’s finally a done deal. I’ll have the full rights to my three novels back by March. Great. Okay… What now? I can buy back the cover art they used. Two were great, one kind of meh. Do I want them? Do I want to make or have new covers made? Do I want to republish them at all? And why does “republish” not look like a word to me now? 😦

Ugh! I don’t need to make more decisions right now, I’m still trying to cram medical terms from week 5 and 6 into my stuffed cranium. Ha! I know one! 😉 But seriously, who needs the extra pressure? No one. Unless you like that kind of thing. Which I don’t, although you couldn’t tell because I keep putting myself in stressful situations. I’m sure no one knows what I’m talking about, right?

~~Meg

 

 

Hot Flashes, homework, and having it all…

So a thing happened. My dear (somewhat older) hubby retired. It was sort of spur of the moment, jumping in with both feet and eyes closed kind of decision. I’ve been supportive. Okay, I’ve been trying to be supportive. Mostly I’ve been a little irritated and a lot freaked out. I do not deal well with change.

But, he’s been working his entire life. My dear farmboy who grew up tending the livestock at the break of day and just went from there. So, yeah, he deserves a break. I’m happy for him. Really. I am.

We quickly realized, however, that this new life means I have to go back to working outside the home. I’ve been blessed for most of our married life to be a stay-at-home mom. But although the Social Security and the pension are great, they won’t keep this not-so-little family afloat in the long run. I’d rather not do the food service thing if possible. Mostly because minimum wage is a joke. No one can live on that, folks. Not easily. Not well. Anyway, since my degree is basically useless at this point in history — I was a journalism major — I’m having to re-invent myself, so to speak.

Problem is, I like who I am. I don’t want to be “re-invented”. I’m a writer. It’s what I do. It’s my talent, my spirit… it’s me. However, I haven’t been able to make a living at writing fiction. Not by a long shot. Oddly enough, most professional writers don’t. There’s only room for a select few at the top of any best seller’s list. The indie publishing scene has been all the rage but, as usual, I came into it too late and with too little. Add to that my lack of marketing savvy, and you have a less than lucrative career as a novelist. Oh, I’ll never stop writing or stop trying to get published again. I’ll probably self-publish again, as well. But I just fear I’ll keep floundering at it.

Upshot is: I’ve gone back to school to try out a new career. At my age. Fifty-one. What’s that? Fifty is the new forty? Yeah. Sure. Let’s go with that. Anyhow, I’m taking on-line classes with the local community college: Anatomy; Medical Law and Ethics; Medical Terminology. I’m going for a Medical Assistant certificate so I can do something like work in a doctor’s office.

Can you hear my eyes crossing from over there?  😉

Science is not really my thing, but I’m learning. Actually, the Ethics class has been the easiest so far. One thing for sure: I’ve developed a deep sense of respect for everyone in the medical profession — especially doctors and nurses. Just memorizing all those terms! Let alone understanding them… Yikes!

So, this me. Starting menopause … hence the “hot flashes” in my title… at home with four of my five children (the fifth comes home on weekends), my hubby, an indeterminable (as in I won’t admit to it) number of cats, and joining my four oldest children as a college student. Our youngest is a high school junior and does the cyber school thing.

Am I nuts? Oh, yes, obviously. The sanity ship sailed away long ago without me. I couldn’t bluff my way into buying a ticket for that one. Am I happy? Most days, yes. I’m mostly overwhelmed and stressed. But, then again, that isn’t really new.

Why should you care? You shouldn’t. But someone told me my story just might inspire someone. So, if you’re “starting over” like me, maybe my misadventures and triumphs will give you hope. Or a few laughs. We can all use a little more of both.

~~Meg

 

 

 

 

 

Playing around

Spent some downtime this past week playing with a cover creator at Amazon’s Kindle Direct. 🙂

I love book covers. They can really make or break a story in a lot of cases. I know if the cover doesn’t catch my attention – in a good way – I’ll move right along that virtual or literal bookshelf until I find one that does.

Anyway, I like the new looks for my backlist. Only two stories, Familiar and April’s Crush, haven’t gotten a facelift, yet. We’ll see how things go this coming week.

Romancing Jenny cover new accidentally in love new cover second chances cover new table for two new cover    snow kissed new cover

Okay, enough playtime. Back to editing. 😉

Insomnia and the writer’s mind

I’ve been dealing with bouts of insomnia lately. My body goes through this a couple of times a year for some reason — long days and weeks of lying awake into the wee hours of the morning. By the time I finally find my way to a rem cycle, it’s about time for everyone else to get up.

Luckily, I can mostly deal with the aftermath. But it does play havoc with both the body and mind. I feel physically weak and mentally exhausted, as if something hasn’t been plugged in quite right. I have to use every ounce of energy to just concentrate on daily tasks. Don’t put me in the kitchen during these sleep-deprived days — it’s dangerous and you will more than likely get burned something-or-other for dinner.

The worst part about all of this? I can’t write. I can barely put one thought in front of another, let alone channeling the muse and eloquently carrying my characters from one crisis to another. If I remember my to-list or how to get home from driving to the store, I call it a minor miracle.

But writing well? Not likely. On these days I can try to just write… and fix the crap later. But that tired-to-the-bone feeling makes it hard to motivate myself beyond my day job of chauffeur; errand girl; personal shopper; and zoo keeper. 😉

Sleep… perchance to dream… even a nightmare would be preferable at this point.