Overpromise and Underdeliver.. wait.

Time estimation of a project is the hardest thing to do, especially if you are new to the kind of project being undertaken. It gets better as you continue forward, but there are always the unforeseen events to take you out at the knees.
For example – I started writing my short story for Anacrusis Press on Dec 15th, and it’s done as of yesterday, 02/17. Two months, but it only took me about four hours to write it. Which just tells you what editing is compared to writing.
I’m currently editing my second novel, Best Served Cold, and I don’t think it will be done until June.
I have a lot of other projects waiting in the wings that have seen no forward movement since I took on my short story in December. In the midst of all this I have a class that I’m taking, to try to improve my craft.
And you’d never believe this, but I’ve got a real life too, with wife and mother responsibilities included.
I have been neglecting my blog and my Twitter account, just because something has to give. It seems like so little in the face of the mountain, but it’s just what slips when I’m pressed to do so much.
My life changed when I got published, there is no doubt about it. I look at everything I wish I could have done first, but I also realize that none of this would have gotten jumpstarted without it. I care more about my craft than I did a year ago, and I’m writing better stuff because of it.
Interest is the most vital aspect of a person’s education. Without interest, people can try to learn a thing, but it probably won’t stick. Humans have to associate material with something they already know, if they’re going to remember. I’ve seen it so often now, it seems like it should be common knowledge, but I think it’s something that hasn’t been addressed in our culture.
I feel so driven now. I always read about characters who’d found their purpose in life, and I remember wondering what that felt like. Now I know. It’s as great as I’d read. Maybe greater, because it’s first hand.
So now I just have to get better at my judgment. I need to marshal my resources and finish up my projects before I start new ones. So far I’ve been writing down random ideas and putting them in the “For Later” folder. I’ve been trying to stay on top of it all. I’m not succeeding with grace, but I’m learning.
I might have too many irons in the fire, but at least I’m enjoying the warmth.

Granger Danger

Ever have I been a student. Whether I was in formal training or not, I have spent a lot of my life learning new things. Hermione Granger and I, we’d be matched set. However, I didn’t dentist parents or even a scholarship, so no Hogwarts for me. I had to stick to the School of Hard Knocks.

Classes, then, tend to be a very big deal, as they are an intersection of timing, funds, and the correct subject. Fortunately my husband supports me when I find these things, and offers to watch our son so that I can go.

I am proud to be the youngest member of my class, and the only one published. I often feel like I’ve wasted so much time, but I just have to realize, everyone’s time is different. I’m going at the pace I’m meant to go.

I also am one of the few gregarious writers in the class. Everyone tends to be timid when the teacher asks a question. I’m belting out answers and getting the ball rolling on each discussion. It’s odd that I think of myself as being an introvert when it’s obvious I’m the biggest extrovert in the room. Ah, well, I guess I’m full of contradictions.

I feel like I’ve been thrown into this world that I didn’t even know existed. This is silly, because I am a huge fan of many authors. Neil Gaiman, Charles De Lint, Melanie Rawn, Anne McCaffery, Joan Vinge, David Brin, Simon R. Green, Holly Black. I’ve even been known to read Laurel K. Hamilton (pre-divorce) and Robert Jordan (before and after he died.) There are conventions where people gather to hear Jim Butcher and Neil Stephenson speak.

I was blinded by the sheer fact that I did not go to those book signings, those panels, those websites telling where an author was going to be. I insulated myself from it all.

Now that I’m no longer in my safe little cocoon, I am looking out at a world that is overwhelming, beautiful and demanding. I meet people who write Battlestar Galactica fiction while swearing they’re not truly science-fiction buffs. I meet people who have ensemble casts like me. I meet people who aren’t anything like me at all, but somehow ended up in the same class.

I guess you have to put yourself out there to be found, but this is such a diversion from my 9-5, workaday life and my beautiful, understanding family and my friends. I feel like I’m falling towards my goals more often than I feel like I’m pursuing them, these days.

This class is one of those ways that proves it to me. I could have upgraded my smartphone for what I’m paying for this class. But yet, here I am, still checking Facebook on my MyTouch.

It’s really become about the intangibles, lately. Change has swept over my life and promenaded off with my good sense.

I guess I’d better learn how to deal with this new world I’ve found myself in. It seems to have followed me home.