Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Best of Now and Here

No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;
But grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here
                                                                                   ~John Greenleaf Whittier


Whittier's verse says it all when it comes to life. Live in present. That sounds easy enough, yet nothing could be more difficult at times. Living in the present is one of my new goals and it isn't something that come easy. It is a struggle between the regrets of the past and the fear of what the future may bring. 

Whenever I feel myself falling into the abyss of the past or future, I stop and remind myself there is nothing that I can change about the past. Of course, there is a lot I'd love to change but nothing with the exception of time travel will alter the past. I do allow myself times to remember and I try to remember the good times. Yet, it is always the bad things that caused us pain that we remember most easily. You have to deal with painful memories or regrets by letting them pass through your mind without dwelling on them. They never go away, but they can be muted by a positive reaction. Yeah, that was a rough time but I have now. This moment and I can enjoy it if I choose. 

It is the same with the future. We worry about a future that we may never have. We concern ourselves more with the future and what we'll accomplish in the future more than what we are doing today. All we actually have is right now. Our future can change in a blink and we have no control over it. We would like to believe we have a secure future ahead but there is no such thing. So there is no point in fearing the future and what will happen to you. 

Instead, think of the moment at hand and revel in it. Do something you enjoy. Something positive and productive. Make yourself a better person. Smarter. Happier. Do something to improve your life and the lives of your friends and family. Make the day you've been given count. 

If you can master living in the present, it will make the future something to look forward and give your past a good memory! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Motivation & Editing Cold

Okay, so I'm hoping I'm working on the future. Today I started the final edit process on To Save A Lady. My goal is to be completely finished by the end of this week if not sooner. I cannot say enough good things about editing a manuscript cold. Many times in the rush to meet deadlines and get books published, there is no opportunity to edit cold.

I always try to work a "cold storage" period in. Right now, I have a manuscript in "cold storage" while I'm working on this one.  With this manuscript, I actually got it back from a copy editor three months ago. The ways things played out, I am just now getting to it and I have to say I'm happy about that. I have had the manuscript edited twice by professionals, so mainly I'm dealing with small stuff. A little change in the wording or dialogue. Deleting a sentence or making a paragraph shorter. Overall, making the book better than it is.

All the changes are things I felt needed to be done as I've been reading it today with no emotional connection. I'm always emotionally connected to a story while I'm writing it and as I finish it. I don't think you should try to edit a story while you are emotionally connected to it because that limits your ability to see what revisions need to be done. 

Joe Konrath advises putting aside a manuscript for two weeks if possible. I think that is great advice and if you can wait a month, that is even better! 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Staggering Back to the Blog

I have let the blog slide for the past few months. Actually, life has been pretty busy for me, and in a good way most of the time. I went to Texas to visit my son and family. They are all great I'm happy to say. Twins are cute as ever.

After returning home and recuperating from a respiratory virus that I'm sure I caught on the jet (Did I mention I hate the Houston airport?), I left my full-time job. No tears were shed there! I still work a few hours a week. Yet, I feel like a bird that had found a way to open the cage door. The words, free at last, took on new meaning! LOL!! 

What can I say but that the past two months have been great but I have actually worked harder than ever. I spent June and July writing a new contemporary romance, which is the first book in my Lafayette Falls series. Right now, it is what I call cold storage. I always like to let a book get cold before I start editing it.

I also have my historical romance, To Save A Lady, finished at long last. I loved writing it as it has always been one of those stories that I just wanted to tell. Now, I can't wait to write the second book in this series. I'm hoping to have it available by November.

Fall is near and that is my favorite time of year. Have a couple of little day trips planned while the weather is nice. What do you plan to do this fall? 

Have a great day!