Quote of the Moment

"Magic comes from what is inside you. It is part of you. You can't weave together a spell you don't believe in." - Jim Butcher

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Struggle Is Real

Yeah, I know there's a bunch of scary stuff going on in the world nowadays. It all makes me sad, so I tend to avoid it because becoming more sad is a bad idea for me right now. Heck, I've taken to ignoring Facebook for the most part because it has a tendency to effect my mood too much.

Speaking of mood, I guess that's kind of what this post is about. I figured it would be nice to be frank as well as get my current struggles out there -- hopefully it'll be a little therapeutic, too.

Writing isn't as easy as some people may think (and those of you who know writing can be tough are nodding your heads right now, I'm sure). But lately for me, it's been a major struggle. I haven't kept up a consistent writing schedule since the beginning of November. I was rolling with NaNoWriMo, making great progress, and then I got sick. That sick turned into bronchitis on Thanksgiving. While I'm mostly over the sick, aside from a cold or two here and there, the stuff back in November and December pretty much stalled my progress.

I know it's not the interruption alone that has my flailing, though. I've always had some issues keeping it together during the winter, and I'm sure I've mentioned before that I likely get SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Heck, I even tried one of those little blue lights one year and it gave me a headache, so I had to stop using it. Last winter was a pretty mild one, so I was able to keep up my momentum decently well. This winter, though, it's been way too cold, and Jack Frost doesn't want to release his icy grip. Mother Nature thought it would be hilarious to give us two snow storms, one on April 15 and one just yesterday, April 18. I think we got more snow in those two days than we have the rest of the winter.

Guess what, Mother Nature? I'm not laughing.

I was counting on April, the hope of spring, and Camp NaNoWriMo getting me back in the game and revising more. No dice with this weather. Unfortunately, I think I'm also still struggling with the shift in work time. I used to write mid-morning when Youngest napped, but since she started preschool, I have her nap in the afternoons. If it wasn't clear before, it is now, that I'm more productive, awake, and alert between 10am and Noon. Which sucks because unless I can convince Youngest to have a couple hours of quiet time in the mid-mornings (fat chance -- she is loud and has already asked me what half a dozen animals eat since I've started writing this post), I'm stuck with this writing schedule for at least another year and a half. Oh, and the days she's in preschool in the mornings, I'm useless since I'm still exhausted from all the walking (next fall she'll be in 4K in the afternoons, and hopefully at a closer school -- I really hope that helps).

Also, when I'm this moody, I sink myself into games and TV, and then nothing else gets done, so the house is a bit of a disaster as well. It could be worse, I know, but the disorganization in the house as well as all the junk we have (I have the pack rat gene from my grandpa, and my kids have inherited it -- not tripping into hoarder territory, but my study has become a storage room... my grandparents had a two bedroom apartment just so my grandpa could store stuff in one room, so I am reminded of that -- yikes), has been getting on my nerves, and every time I start somewhere, it feels like I'm treading water.

It just seems that my mind is in the middle of this never-ending battle, and not writing enough only makes it worse since I'm falling behind schedule. Those nice One-Year and Five-Year plans I had drawn up in December? Out the window!

I am happy that I've made a little progress, at least. I haven't given up, and I've revised some of Thorns Entwine the Blade, even if it's no where near the amount I should be at with almost one third of the year gone. I just have to accept that my schedule will need to be shifted, and publications will need to be delayed. That's one of the nice things about indie publishing -- you're not working on a publisher's deadline, so if life happens you can move things later without getting into too much trouble, as long as you don't have a pre-order up already!

And I do know all of this won't last. Eventually Youngest will be in school most of the day, and I'll be able to write when I'm most productive. Winter doesn't last forever, and my mood will be lifted up with the warmth of spring and summer. I just may need to start factoring in my winter issues when I draw up my future One-Year and Five-Year plans.

I know this post was a bit long, but it felt good to get my recent struggles off of my chest. And maybe if some of you are also struggling through the winter and other life bumps, you'll see you're not alone.

The most important thing is to never give up. Keep moving forward one step at a time, even if you only take a single step some days.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Finalists of SPFBO 2017

So, Mind Behind the Mind may not have made it to the finals for the 2017 Self-Publishing Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO), but I figured I'd whip up a quick post to list the 10 finalists!

Now, I haven't read any of the titles yet myself, though I have my eye on a few (and already have at least one waiting on my Kindle -- those darn kids of mine are making it hard to find time to read). But the reviewers who have given these a thumbs up know their stuff, so you may want to consider giving some of these titles a try.

You can find links to all of the reviews of the finalists so far on Mark Lawrence's Blog Post. Also, if you've read any of these titles, please let me know what you thought about them!

Chaos Trims My Beard by Brett Herman

The Crimson Queen by Alec Hutson

Devil's Night Dawning by Damien Black

Jack Bloodfist by James Jakins

Pilgrimage To Skara by Jonathan S. Pembroke

Sufficiently Advanced Magic by Andrew Rowe

Tiger Lily by K. Bird Lincoln

The War Of Undoing by Alex Perry

The Way Into Chaos by Harry Connolly

Where Loyalties Lie by Rob J. Hayes