The same idea keeps cropping up in my reading lately: that you should write not to become famous, not for attention, but because to not write will kill you. I realized today that not only have I always written stories, but that only now am I writing for myself, first. As a teacher, I frequently write plays for my students. And I have to call on my creativity when I plan lessons, make up worksheets and tests, etc. But these things I am doing for others. Working on my romance novels has been for myself, and it is utterly gratifying that my friends enjoy my work, too.

Struggling through a plot point…

I have been slowly — very slowly — working my way through a lull in the action of my novel. I had to decide what the hero will tell his old friend about the situation regarding the vampire. In the typical hero’s journey, he should confide in the sage, who usually knows more than he lets on. My heroine is unconscious, but it’s also her journey. So I’ve been kind of stuck. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve given myself a tight deadline to finish: I want to complete this work before Sept 6, when classes resume and my world focuses back on lesson planning and marking. My children have also been taking fun summer courses for the last two weeks, art and dance workshops, which has had an impact on my writing. Will I meet my latest short-term goal? Please, pull for me!

Reading Mila Ramos / Jade Mystique’s Blog

I’m enjoying the posts provided by my fellow authors at Melange Books. I love Mila’s blog, too – the look of it is beautiful.

As a first time professional writer, I am learning about the necessity and practicalities of marketing and promotion. I rather enjoy the challenge, but I have a natural shyness to overcome. I’ve been reading articles and checking out examples to get ideas. I’ve brought a copy of my book to a local store, which will carry it on the shelves. My husband suggested a highway billboard, which is more than my budget can handle. I’m considering a press release, but how does one do that when one is using a pseudonym? Of course, the pen name was outed when I went into that store!

In the meantime, as well as considering promotional ideas, I am working through a difficult point in my long novel, book 1 of the Talbot Trilogy, and coming up with a title for the Hallowe’en Romance I am submitting to Melange Books for their Hallowe’en Treats Anthology. And I have many ideas itching to get put on virtual paper. Plus, cleaning up for my mother-in-law’s visit next weekend, and general parenting and chores. As well as keeping up with my fitness regimen so I can shed some pounds for the fall. And my brain is starting to click into teacher mode — in a few weeks, I will have to go into the school and get ready for first semester. I dropped everything after my brother got hurt (he’s home from the hospital now, on the mend after almost two months in the Sunnybrook burn unit), so getting back into my classroom will mean beginning with organization I normally complete at the end of the second term. Lots to do, only so much me. In the middle of it all, my writing is my refuge. It’s so much easier, and satisfying, to lose myself in the world I create. I have enormous guilt issues, though, especially when I spend a day working on my book and the laundry doesn’t get put away, my daughter’s room needs cleaning up (again), and other chores go undone. My husband is supportive, and the children only care about how much attention I give them, personally. But still…

I hate feeling pulled in so many directions at once.

Hit another milestone: passed 60,000 words!

My new novel is gaining momentum, in spite of interruptions. But I’ve noticed that I tend to do less on the days I do my yoga. Hmm. Maybe I should do the exercise at the end of the day, instead of the beginning?

I’ve also hit a snag in the plot, and I think I will have to write a few versions of this one scene before finding what works. That can get frustrating, but needs to be done to come up with a solution that will work for the plot and the characters. You see, the hero must decide whether to tell what he knows to an old friend of the family. He probably won’t be believed – or so he thinks. Maybe I should have him envision various scenarios? Meanwhile, the heroine is unconscious, but she could wake up at any time. So many choices!