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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Getting My S**t Together!

Have you ever been in a slump? You know, one of those ‘I don’t have the drive to do anything’ kind of blahs? I was in one for a long time, and am slowly crawling out of it, but let me tell you this does not happen overnight. Nope. It can take days, weeks, and sometimes months.

My slump started after my brother passed away a few years ago, and even though I was able to write two books in that time, I was not able to do more. In fact it pulled me completely out of my routine of daily activities, writing, and marketing. Instead I needed to grieve, and spend extra time with my family.

Last year I still felt out of sorts. I needed a change, get out of the house and meet new people. 
So I decided to go back to work full time at first and then part time. This was great. I loved it, but I also got further and further from my life as a writer. I began feeling like I wasn’t myself; the urge to write was so overwhelming it made me miserable. I had no time…and when I did, something always came up. 

Son #1 needed me to help him into adulthood, Son #2 needed me to drive him somewhere, Son #3 had a basketball game. It was constant, and even though the want to write was always there I became frustrated. 
I could not find the time to fulfill my need to tap away on my computer. I grew more and more restless, angry and then depressed. I had deadlines to meet, stories to tell, and all of it was not going to happen if I did not get my shit together. 

What was the problem? 

Why couldn’t I find time to do all of the things I used to do?

It boiled down to one thing.


I’ve always had one. While raising my boys I would’ve never made it without a routine. My husband works out of town and so most of the day to day activities were my responsibility. I took the boys to hockey, lacrosse, ran a house hold and business and still wrote books. So what was my excuse?

I had no schedule!

I’m a borderline OCD introvert with a love for whiskey…I know what you’re thinking that spells disaster, but for me it is what drives me to do the things I'd put off otherwise. It is what has gotten me this far in my writing career. The fear of not finishing. The desire to have it all. The passion to write a great story that will stay with my readers for a long time. It is the wanting to learn new things, to have a close relationship with my boys, to be a good friend, a good wife. It is my makeup if you will...my inner clock timing things to where I can accomplish them without going insane. It is my determination to get things done, no matter how much sleep I am deprived of. And my love for the written word and wanting to be a part of it. 

Getting back into this mode was not an easy task. I had to set the routine in place and follow it, and I am happy to report I am heading back down the path. I have two books to write this year, and others to follow, and more importantly my family, who will always have my time first.  

Perseverance is the word that best describes my new journey, and no matter what…I will survive.


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Soup and Writing...

There is a moment, and it happens for me often when I am taken to another time, or another place. Where I witness a glimpse of a story. Scenes dance within my sight, some blurry, some clear, and a yearning to see it all overcomes me.

Yesterday I had a moment. It was a short one, nothing that I could sit down and write an 85,000-word novel with, but it was the start. It was the beginning of a brew, a concoction of sorts that will soon be given a hearty dose of substance any good  story needs.

It is time to make soup.

Yes, my stories are much like soup, a warm cup of bisque that nourishes the soul. Who doesn’t like soup? It has the necessity for anyone to live AND sustains my need to write.

But just like any recipe if you don’t have the right ingredients your soup will become bland and boring, and worse uneaten. You have to crave the flavor, the mixture of spices blended together to entice your senses.

I can stir a pot of flavorless broth for months, with nothing to add to it. I will not lie this perplexes,
frustrates, and yes, you guessed it causes me to drink more than I already do. When there is no base to your soup, you end up with just water, a murky broth that even the dog won’t eat.

It takes patience, and I have none.

I’m Italian for goodness sakes time is something we are not good at. However, these things need to work themselves out…and so I ponder the characters, their conflicts, who, what, where, and damn it, why?

I stoke the fire, heating the broth as I stir some more.

This moment—this soup—will become more than cloudy water. It will become my life for the next three months. I will eat, sleep and breathe my brew allowing it to wrap around my heart and move my fingers to tell the story that has been dormant inside of my soul.

I will write until the pot is empty, until I have nothing left and then…I will make more soup.