Weekend Coffee Share: Catching Up

Good afternoon.

I know it’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve last talked. Help yourself to some coffee and orange juice. I also have unsweetened tea, if you’re so inclined to have some.

So, we didn’t talk last week because my family was still fighting an illness going around. That took up a lot of my time that week. Not too mention work can be taxing and not allow time for gathering around the table. It’s pretty much get up and go in my life; not a whole lot of time to do much of anything else. But now that the illness has subsided, we can talk. 

So Spring is in full effect, though the first couple of days, it didn’t seem that way. And my neighborhood went through a big storm; knocked out power in a lot of areas, including the Walmart where I work at, for an extended period of time. Pretty sure it cost the store a lot of money with most of the cold stuff going to waste. I thought about not coming in, especially since I took my daughter to the pediatrician. She had the flu and a viral infection. She pretty much had to let it run its course. So I had a legitimate reason to take the day off, but the managers probably wouldn’t see it that way. So I came in, worked my hours and left.

Zoe did get better, and just in time for Sno-Cone Day at her school yesterday. Coincidence? Maybe. But who am I to argue. That same day, I went to the doctor’s for my annual physical. I got the results later that evening. Overall, I’m in better health. Still have questions on some of the numbers. I’ll find out about them sometime this week. And last night, we went to Golden Corral to celebrate my mom’s birthday. It was very fun, very relaxing. We didn’t go overboard on the food. Thank goodness. Mom had a great time. She got a lot of cards and a few trinkets. Yeah, it was a good night. 

In the two weeks since we’ve talked, I’ve been reading posts on Facebook writing groups and attending Twitter chats about marketing. This is something I haven’t thought about because I feel like I’m not at that stage. But it’s never too early to start, apparently. I’m thinking about my blog as we’re chatting right now. I feel like it needs more pizazz. Something to make it stand out. Someone mentioned on Twitter creating business cards to pass to potential editors and agents. It’s very overwhelming, but it is necessary.

Speaking of blogs, the April A to Z Challenge is fast approaching. I’ve done it for two years straight, but have decided not to do it this year. It’s not as if my theme was something awe-inspiring and eye-catching. And creating various topics was a struggle. I think if I was writing a book series or even a novel, it might be better. Seeing how I’m doing neither, I think it’s better I sit this one out. I’m sorry to those who’ve been following my blog from the beginning. 

I’ve been busy with writing as I’m thinking about how to market myself. I finished the rough drafts of two stories and a third draft of another. The third draft is with my critique partner. I’m waiting on her comments. As it stands, I’m on pace of writing a story a month. I’ve heard that one should be able to churn out a short story a week, but I don’t operate that way. I don’t have that many ideas floating around. But I might try that sometime this year. Maybe in the next month or so. We’ll see. 

Well, that about covers everything that’s happened the past two weeks. Hopefully things are going well with you. Look forward to your comments if you feel inclined to share. Oh, by the way, my next Weekend Coffee Share will be a quarterly assessment of my writing journey this year. So this might be a little long-winded. Or not. It depends on how in depth I go and how critical I am on my assessment. 

Until next time…


Weekend Coffee Share: Losing and Gaining

Good afternoon,

I apologize for last week. There wasn’t a whole lot going on, so I thought having you come over would be a snooze fest. Besides, everyone in the family was getting over some form of illness. But I’m glad you decided to stop by. Pull up a chair. 

If we were having coffee, I’d share some losses, in a good way. First off, I lost some weight. My wife and I have been going to the gym just about every day. I’m cutting out a lot of foods and drinks from my diet. The biggest being gummies and sodas. Now I feel like I’m finally starting to see results. I lost nine pounds since joining the gym in February. I really started noticing the change wearing my jeans and khakis. There’s room. I had to buy a smaller belt to keep them up. 

Next loss, which might be considered a gain. It concerns my delivery job. It should be noted first off that I take things more seriously than I ought to sometimes, putting on unnecessary stress. I thought about leaving that job because it was getting too stressful. After some delegation, I’m going to start working one day a week, thereby “losing” some stress. 

If we were having coffee, I’d share about some of my writing projects. I always seem to take on more projects than I can handle and have to put some on hold. For starters, I was working on a Valentine story. I finished a first draft, but haven’t made the time to type it out. Then someone suggested I write a story set in a barbershop. I wasn’t thrilled about it, but I wrote it anyway. I’ve been getting some good feedback on it. But I’m putting that on hold to think about what direction I want to take it.

So, I’m starting on my next project: the sci-fi story I’ve been rambling on about for a while. I decided to finally take the plunge. I spent the last month plotting and researching this story. I feel like there’s not much more I can do. The time for talk is over. It’s time to lose the fear and gain the confidence. As I read from a writing blog, it’s time to be stubborn. It’s time to stop wishing and start writing. I’m sure something will come up as I’m writing it. It never fails.

This has been a great week. Hopefully, your week has gone well, too.

Until next time…

Would You Rather? Reader’s Edition

A couple of weeks ago, I told you all about a game a blogging friend, Rachel, posted, called “Would You Rather?”. She created a writer’s version and a reader’s version. Two weeks ago, I played the writer’s version. Today, it’s the reader’s version. The premise is the same: I’ll answer questions provided by Rachel. I won’t tag anyone, but you’re welcome to play along. The link to the reader’s version of her game is here

Here we go…

Would you rather read stand-alone books or books as part of a series?

This is an interesting question. It would be hard for me to keep up with a book series. So many characters, so many stories within a story. And there are some stories that read like stand-alone novels, I wouldn’t know it was part of a series unless I researched it. But I tried reading first installments of series, and they haven’t piqued any interest to reading more. But I think I would give it another try. It would have to be one that coincides with my interests. 

Would you rather only read print books or e-books?

Print books, for sure. Now yes, E-books are more convenient and just as easy to navigate. And I downloaded a free book onto my iPad. But there was something odd about holding my iPad like a book. It just felt…wrong. I like having a print book in my mind. Reminds me of simpler times. 

Would you rather never be allowed to re-read books or only be allowed to read five new books per year?

That’s tough. To not be able to re-read books is hard to think about. I have a few favorites in my little library, but I’m always on the hunt for something new. Reading five new books a year sounds limiting, but it works for someone like me. I typically don’t read fast, so I can stretch it out for as long as I want. 

Would you rather read 50 pages a day or only five books per month?

For sure, read 50 pages a day. Like I said, I’m not a fast reader. Also, I like to take in everything I read, to really get immersed in a story. It’s hard to do reading a book a week, as it averages out. 

Would you rather read only one genre all the time or read in every genre except my favorite?

First of all, I really don’t have a favorite. If I had to choose one, it would be General Fiction since I write in it the most. So to answer the question, I would love to read in every genre except my favorite. I know that’s probably easy to say really considering the genre is pretty broad. But I think about Stephen King’s words of wisdom: “To write a lot, you must read a lot.” Or something to that effect. I think that expands to reading stories outside your expertise. Something I haven’t done in my writing journey. And if I want to write a sci-fi or romance story, I better have a feel for the genre.

That’s all the questions. I encourage you all to read and play along. 

Until next time…

Rising From the Grave: An IWSG Post

Once again, it’s time for a post from the Insecure Writers Support Group. I have to say that I enjoy writing these posts, and this is only the third post I’ve done. 

I had a couple of ideas for original posts, but they couldn’t wait until today. So, I’ll take on this month’s question. 

Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

Any writer will tell you that there’s at least one story that he wishes he could do over, regardless of its success. It’s just part of the process. I have such a story. It was published in a local college literary magazine. It was one of my first stories. I wrote it out like a journal. Looking back on it years later (I still have a copy of the magazine), I realize there are so many flaws in it. Too many to mention here. 

One year, I thought about pulling it out and reworking it. Unfortunately, it didn’t go very well. I think the musevwas telling me that it wasn’t necessary to rewrite it. That I needed it to chalk it up to learning experience. 

I think I am a better writer than when I wrote it years ago. At least, I think I am. I haven’t submitted anything since that story. But that’s something I’m going to remedy this year.