Oh My, That Was Rather Pleasant


I’m back. I enjoyed my “time off.” I actually got a couple of days without the kids over the weekend, so it was really like days off. Of course that just means that Steve and I ran like maniacs to get some stuff done while the kids were gone.

It wasn’t really a long enough break [I mean time without the kids, not blogging.] It’s hard to admit, but since I stay at home with them, it takes a lot longer than a couple of days for me to miss them. I hadn’t even caught my breath, and they were home.

It’s weird, if one is gone, but the others are at home, I miss the one almost immediately. But when they’re all gone, I don’t even know what it’s like to miss them, because they’ve never been gone long enough. I’m sure it takes more than four days, though.

I almost feel guilty saying that, and I may be the only SAHM in the country who doesn’t miss their kids right away, but it’s the truth. I love them, but they wear me out. I feel a lot like taffy, being pulled in all directions all the time.

Maybe it’ll make me sweeter in the long run, but right now I’m just all stretched out. Two of the three have colds, which we’ve all been dealing with almost constantly since Christmas. I’ve been sick twice [or maybe three times] and Steve’s been sick three times, all three kids have been sick about three times each, too, so we’re a bunch of freaking snot factories.

I don’t know what the deal is this winter. Everybody has been sick all season long. I bought some vitamin C in the hopes it’ll help us all get better. I’m about ready to go get some herbs, charms, and whatever else I can find to ward off this crap [just so you know, that was a little hyperbole].

Okay, so anyway, I was going to blog last night, but I was reading Threads of Malice by Tamara Siler Jones. I couldn’t stop until I finished it, so I didn’t do much of anything yesterday but read.

Oh my gosh, what a story! It’s disturbing and gory, so if those kinds of things bother you, don’t read it. But if you like a ripping good story, I highly recommend it. Never a dull moment. I liked the characters, so when bad things happened to them [and none of the characters were spared] I felt sympathy for them, and worried about them.

Jones writes ‘forensic fantasy,’ which is like CSI with magic. I don’t know if any one else on the planet writes that kind of book, but Jones does a mighty fine job. She kept me guessing as to who the bad guy was until well into the middle of the book. I’d been forewarned that somebody was going to end up dead, and it ended up being the one I least expected. Both of those things are rare, so I really enjoyed Threads.

I probably sound jaded, but I read so much that books rarely surprise me, and unless the author leaves no clues whatsoever and picks a bad guy that isn’t even mentioned until the Big Reveal [which is CHEATING and rude, and not at all cool, by the way] I can almost always pick him or her out from their first or second mention in the story. I do the same thing with movies. It’s just one of those things, you know?

There were also some romantic elements in the story, which was cool, too. I’m finding that mostly like stories where romance is a side effect, rather than the main plot. I still read romance novels, but there has to be something else in the story for me to really enjoy it. Humor is a big thing for me [not much of that in Threads, but it was so good in other aspects, it didn’t matter much. That, and the subject matter didn’t lend itself to much humor. There were a couple of funny scenes, though, and that makes me all the more impressed with Jones. I think I’m a fan!]

So, Threads of Malice was the first book I’ve read by Tamara Siler Jones [I won it from her, and she even signed it, how cool is that?] It is the second in the series, so I have to go buy number one [Ghosts in the Snow] now, and when number three [Valley of the Soul] comes out, I’ll be getting that one, too.

I’ve been gradually expanding my fiction buying simply because I read these authors’ blogs, and want to support them in their work. I usually feel guilty buying fiction because it’s just for enjoyment [although I can justify it as ‘research’ hee hee], but since I’ve been reading authors’ blogs, I’ve learned so much about writing, and I see their struggles and don’t feel quite as alone in my own.

So I buy books that I might not have picked out on my own, and when I end up loving the books, I get really excited. [With Paperback Writer, it’s a little disconcerting, though, because she has over 30 books in print! I’m buying her new stuff, and wishing my local library would carry more of her backlist. I think I’ll put in a request, don’t know why I didn’t think of that before. Chalk it up to brainrot.]

But anyway, writing is a weird thing. I love it, but I angst too much [heh, which is why I needed a vacation from blogging. Pitiful, ain’t it?] I’m a little neurotic, I guess. Artsy-fartsy types are notorious for being melodramatic, and I’m more than a little disturbed that I kinda fall into that category.

I spent a lot of years stifling that side of me, but only succeeded in losing who I really am. So here I am at 32, still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Ugh.

I think that’s why I love blogging so much. This is like my own pensieve. I can get all of the excess crap out of my brain and put it here to try to make sense out of stuff.

I can’t always make sense of it [so don’t feel bad if you can’t, either ;-)] but at least I get a little release of pressure [keeps the brain from exploding, which is a good thing, don’t you think?]

So anyway, my latest kvetch [thanks for the word, Doug] about my freaking book.

Ah SHIT!!!

Okay, I feel better. Not really. I think I’m gonna have to kick scene nine back a few scenes. It needs to be after about 30,000 words, not 9,000. I had always intended to have Thea end up inside the Company, and have to escape, but the other scenes I have in mind take place in the school, and I’m not sure she can come out of a freaking near-death experience and jello-brained coma and go back to the seventh grade, you know?

So I’m debating with myself what to do next as far as NIP is concerned. I could leave the story as is on the blog and start the edit with what I have [in private.] I won’t be posting the finished product on NIP, although I may go in search of a crit group. NIP was always just for the rough draft, which is ass backward, since most writers won’t let anyone near their first drafts, but my intent was always about just getting the words down, not trying to impress people.

I may do a couple of ‘before and afters’ later, and actually ask for opinions. Not sure about that, though. I’ll probably go over to Forward Motion and force myself to post some critiques and then ask for some in return, but that’s gonna take some mental preparation [the place is HUGE, and a little overwhelming].

I have no idea if my town has any writer’s groups, but I suppose I could investigate that a little bit too. It’s easier for me to do stuff online, though, because of the kids and Steve’s fluctuating schedule.

Another option would be to put scene nine in the drafts section so it wouldn’t be public anymore[and confusing to anyone trying to read the story in order], and continue where I left off with scene eight.

Or I could just take it down, and finish the book in private. I’ve been thinking about this option anyway, but with my track record, I’m afraid I won’t finish it [and a couple of my friends might lynch me;-)].

I was also thinking about using NIP as a place to put short stories. I’m not sure if I want to try some short stories while I’m working on the novel. My husband [who admittedly knows nothing about writing, but knows me pretty well] says I should keep working on the book until I get the damn thing finished [especially since I have a tendency not to finish what I start] but there are several writers who work on several projects at once.

I wonder if that would be a viable option for me. Maybe if I rotate projects periodically, I won’t get so frustrated and want to give up. Jeez. Confused much? I don’t know what I’ll end up doing. I know I have to finish Thea’s story, one way or the other. Even if I put it in a box under my bed and never send it out to anyone, I have to get it written or I can never move on to other, better stuff.

Quitting is not an option.

Okay, to recap, should I:

A. Start the edit of scenes one through eight in Word, and continue the rough draft of the story after I get the first scenes finished?

B. Put scene nine in the drafts section and continue the rough draft from scene eight?

And my other dilemma, should I:

C. Finish the book in Word and stop posting scenes in rough draft form, and either

1. Delete NIP IT IN THE BUTT altogether [because who in their right mind would post a freaking rough draft in PUBLIC anyway? Nevermind that only three people are reading it.]

2. Keep NIP, but use it as a place to post writing-related stuff only, and finished short stories [if I ever write any].

D. Keep posting scenes in rough draft form [on the off chance that if it gets published, new writers can go and see my rough draft, and gain hope that they, too, can make their own first drafts publishable. with enough Hard Work and Determination, anything is possible].

E. Stop kvetching and get back to work, for crying out loud, it’s just a damn book, not the end of the world!

[Just so you know, E is a given, I’m done whining for today. Tomorrow, however, I make no promises]


About Shelbi

Work-at-home wife, mom of three kids, and caregiver for my brother, who has Cerebral Palsy. Never a dull moment, in other words. No idea how much I'll post, since I'm super busy these days, but maybe I'll get over here once in a while.

5 responses »

  1. You have to finish the book. One way or the other we will hold you accountable to finish the book and we will be expecting to read it. So my recap is finish the dang thing however you need – just don’t run away from it. And I only say that as a friend and someone who loves you much and knows you can do itand someone who will kick you in the butt (with my cane).

  2. Write the friggin’ book Shelbi.

    Pretend that you don’t care if anyone likes it and write whatever you want to write. Tell me this weird story about the strange girl and all her enemies and jello-brain-coma-angst. Make it as odd, segmented, and un-edited as you can, and worry about the details later!

    Peace out homie.

  3. Thanks guys. It’s good to know I have people to kick my ass when I need it.

    I have a bit of a strategy now, and I’m going back in.

    I will finish the damn thing, but I may need more, ahem, friendly shoves before I git r done.

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