Monday, December 8, 2014

Writing, My Latest Insecurities



Durham, North Carolina - Duke University 

There's a wonderful group IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group), led by author and blogger, Alex J. Cavanaugh, where every first Wednesday of the month, writers come together to express their fears and doubts.  

I was late to join this December which is no surprise because it seems like my writing is late, late, late on nearly every facet. My current novel-in-progress is trudging along excruciatingly slow because the world is big, the p--------------------------
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Sorry, that was my kitten standing on my keyboard. 

As I was saying about my latest work: it's progressing slowly, but I am so very proud of how far it's come. And that feeling of pride and certainty is why I'm okay with a little delay. Quality is what's important and not worth sacrificing for the sake of a soft deadline. I'm polishing the first draft of the current title, Snow Dolls, and working hard to tie everything together, adding in all the pertinent details, answers to questions readers would have, and important touches to help paint a vivid story. I slog through about 1-5 chapters a weekend, depending on how rough the chapter is. My day job has a two-week holiday shutdown and that means uninterrupted time for editing, editing, and more editing! I'm about halfway through with nearly twenty chapters left to tackle. Wish me luck! 

The topic of insecurity is what led me to consider today's post. It's been a long time since I talked of anything but writing, but that's my life, and the ultimate purpose of this blog. However, over the years it has served as a journal, a chronicle of moments in my life I wanted to share, to ponder, to mourn over, and to cherish. What a phenomenal journey it has been. With the impending New Year celebrations, I find myself thinking about time and just how much I have learned to embrace it rather than fight it--or race through it. Which has only been marginally successful. These past 2-3 years, I fled through the days and months, running faster and farther than I ever dared. Get me as far away from the past, I prayed. Layering one moment of happiness on top of another until the scars of the hurt I endured gave me no more pain than a pin prick on my finger and a dull headache. And still, I ran harder. At the same time my arms were spread wide, my fingers grasping at the threads of my dreams hoping they could catch up with me. That I hadn't severed any in my hurry for I had so many dreams yet to fulfill

Why the race? All these twenty-nine years and I am still uncomfortable in my skin. I am a walking vessel of internal conflict. Oh, the fizz and pressure has reduced slightly, but I'm no less itching at the seams, ready to step out of my skin at any moment. And still, I wonder if that feeling will ever truly go away. An old colleague once told me that it wasn't until she turned thirty when things began to change for her; the years when she finally grew to understand herself and embraced every puzzling and remarkable piece.

Next year, I turn thirty. And though I'm certain to be running at a fast pace, I am aching to slow down. It's going to be hard to beat the awesomeness (yes, I used that word--I am most definitely from California) of this last year, but I look forward to every second of it. I am toasting early to the New Year. Doh! I'm doing it again: anticipating the future instead of consciously existing in the present. Oh well...Rome wasn't built in a day... 

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Kitty says, goodnight. 

~A


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In other news:

In my previous blog, I announced my support for Nine Lives Foundation by donating a portion of the sales of Violet StormNine Lives Foundation is a no-kill shelter (they even care for older, unwanted cats with illnesses). They are determined to care for cats and kittens, and protect them from high-kill shelters and at-risk situations. Nine Lives Foundation does not receive any funding from any local, city, or state government agency or major corporation, and relies solely on private donations, adoption fees and funds generated through the clinic. All donations go directly to the cats and kittens in their facility.

All the books sold in November and December will qualify, and I will personally match the donation (thereby doubling the amount). Please help me in this endeavor and give the gift of reading this holiday season by getting Violet Storm for that special book-lover in your life.

Purchase options: 

Meet Happy. We adopted him from the Nine Lives Foundation this past weekend! Happy has a long road of healing and recovery, but we are no less excited to welcome him to the family! Fitz now has a little brother whom he swats more than he cuddles…but we still think he's happy about it. Heh, get it? 0_o  Happy is an unfortunate farting machine…we're working on that. 

16 comments:

  1. Good luck w/your farting machine, lol! Thanks for sharing some of your thoughts on where you're at right now, it was a very heartfelt post, and I always appreciate reading that kind. Half the battle is figuring out what we need to happen, instead of want, isn't it? Wishing you nothing but the best in your personal life! And of course, writing one. =)

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    1. So true! and LOL. He sure is an entertaining little thing.

      Also, huge thanks for spreading the word on Twitter! :D <3

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  2. Happy is quite the cute kitty (though the farting thing made me giggle!). I hope the New Year brings with it all that you are seeking. I totally understand the wish to slow down some, and enjoy things a little more. I keep saying someday, someday, but I do wonder if it'll ever happen. Or maybe that's just the end-the-semester-sprint talking (four more days and then it's our break!). Thanks for such a wonderful post!

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    1. Thanks for the support, Meradeth! Slowing down is so important, for our sanity and for our overall health. The stress can definitely take its toll! :)

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  3. I too have been writing with painful slowness--which sucks, since I'm normally a speed demon. Oh well, every MS will be different I suppose! Happy is a BEAUTY. I hope Fitz and Happy are bffs quickly. I am SO TEMPTED to adopt a second kitten. I would love another and am hoping maybe Penny would like a friend. I go on my local shelter's website twice a day. But I hear so many horror stories about bringing in a new one and the cats not getting along, so I keep chickening out. :( also, I sooo want to adopt an older one b/c I know they need homes so badly, but I hear that definitely isn't good with a kitten b/c of dominance issues. *sigh* I'm an overthinker lol. I purchased my copy of Violet Storm and am so happy to be able to help out your local shelter! Can't wait to read! :)

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    1. Aww thanks so much, Beth!! <3 I hope you enjoy it!

      Happy is soooo sweet and Fitz...is learning. I hope they do become BFF's. The sleepiness nights are awful. We get about 5-6 hours straight, and then it's their play time - sleep is over. I feel like we have real babies in the house! But when I go to work, I forget how terrible the nights are. I get all warm and fuzzy thinking about coming home to them. And then it's back to hating my life. :) I can't wait till things settle down.

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  4. OMG, TWO adorable cats? Are you trying to kill me?? So. Darn. Cute.

    ok, seriously now - hang in there, Anna. Things really did change for me when I hit thirty. Not instantly, of course, but slowly, gradually, my skin started to fit better. My feet stayed grounded on the earth. I felt my own power and worth, growing inside me. I say this from the ripe old age of 34 :) But yes, it DOES get better. Once I hit thirty, I was able to stop finding myself...because I realized I'd already done it. It's a very, very good feeling, and worth working for.

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    1. LOL :) Thanks Liz! The kittens sure keep me busy. But now they keep each other busy too!

      And thank you for sharing your thoughts! How heartwarming and validating. I'm really looking forward to my thirties now!

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  5. Happy is the cutest. Thank you for adopting a shelter pet.

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    1. He is! Absolutely a darling. :) We're so lucky.

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  6. Thirty!!! You're so young. Such an exciting time, too. No race. I was writing in my 20s and I remember reaching 30 and being impatient because I felt like I should be published already. But Dean R. Koontz once said that he doesn't believe a writer truly begins to reach his/her peak until his/her 30s. That's when the person has enough life experience to truly write good novels, he said. I'm in my 40s...and writing stories about kids!

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    1. Aww Stephanie! :) Thank you for the encouragement. I have a lot to aspire to. I agree with Dean R. Koontz, considering the writing I had produced in my early twenties to what I've created just these last two years. What a difference. There is always more to learn in this craft and I am humbled by it. You are a wonderful, gifted writer, and I can only hope to follow in your footsteps!

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  7. I'm so glad Happy has a wonderful new home.

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    1. Thanks Sandra! We're really lucky to have him. :)

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  8. Hi Anna, Just stopped by to say hello and hope you're having a good evening.

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    1. Hi Sandra, :) Sorry I missed this earlier! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you're having a great week so far!

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