Witch Doctors, Jesus Christ, and the Harlem Globetrotters

Hile, you lovely people! With no more preamble than what you’re reading RIGHT THIS INSTANT, here’s a quick run-down of Courtney’s Recent Life:

  • Writing advice site UnstressedSyllables.com published my recent article on how to choose a target audience for your novel. Click that link to read and go ooh-ahh.
  • Speaking of ooh-aahs, I’ve been singing a lot of “Witch Doctor” to the baby. She finds it entertaining.
  • I’VE BEEN PAINTING. I know. I KNOW. That’s a pretty big one. I hope none of you fainted. If you did, and if you’ve since revived to read the rest of this bullet point, I’ll tell you that I’ve actually got TWO paintings in the works:
    1. an illustration of Revelation: a post-Second-Coming Christ, the church in the form of a house, and a New Jerusalem coming down out of the heavens — you know, iconic epic-type stuff
    2. an image that’s been knocking around in my head for almost two years: landscape with crimson sky and purple hills in the background, and a mysterious dark Something in the foreground. The Something might be a structure. Or it might be a person (possibly a female version of this). I’m not sure yet. But it will be black.
  • I’ve been editing Josh‘s latest: Hell-Bent for Leather, a Weird Western in which supernaturally gifted Chet Leather must rescue the soul of his friend, Dan, from the clutches of a Duke of Hell. It’s an incredibly entertaining romp with plenty of action, deviltry, tongue-in-cheekiness, and heart. Though I’m slow due to time constraints, I’m enjoying it immensely. In other news, Josh has been very patient with me.
  • In further news, Elevator People progresses apace. Our Hero is about five paragraphs and a few lines of dialogue away from his final encounter with The Villain, Carrigan Bell. I’m glad of it, because I’m ready for this story to be in editing and pre-publishing stage, and I also want Carrigan Bell over and done with. He’s a particularly nasty sort, and I always feel like I need a shower after I’ve been in his head for a while.
  • This isn’t part of Recent Life, but it’s a Recent Development pertaining to Life, so I’ll share it: I get to see the Harlem Globetrotters in April, and my brother-in-law will be on the opposing team. BAM.

For now, that is all. I’m going to bed. See ya later, dahlings! Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

But if you do, take pictures.* ; )

*I picked that one up from my Grandpa. WHAT.

The one where I’m Sigourney Weaver. No, really.

As I mentioned last week, my brain is rather thoroughly occupied with keeping the small human alive and healthy and content (actually, I used the word “happy,” but I think I really meant “content,” and no, I don’t think the two are interchangeable, but that’s another story and shall be told another time), so The Writing Life hasn’t seen much of me lately.

sadfaceReally, this makes me sad.

And frustrated.

And a little crazy.

Because I discovered a certain truth a long time ago, and it hasn’t changed:

No matter what grand and beautiful things are happening in my life, I’m never really content unless I’m writing.

Pinky, Are You Pondering What I’m Pondering?

One thing about not getting to be as much of a writer as I want to be, it sure has made me think a lot about this blog and what it’s for and how I miss it and, to be honest, how in some ways I don’t miss it. And as I’ve pondered these things (between dirty diapers and “Twinkle, Twinkle” and baby burps), I’ve ended up meandering into thoughts about how I do or don’t use social media.

And here’s the thing: While I do enjoy drawing headless chickens for you and giving you free blogging ideas and telling you how beautiful you are…and while I get a kick out of tweeting the sordid tale of my toenails, the kiss between LeVar Burton and Patrick Stewart, and puns about winter and disco tents…while all of that is great and I don’t begrudge the universe a single minute of it all…

…all of that stuff is not really why I’m here.

And this is the part where I am Sigourney Weaver.

onejobIn the absolutely brilliant movie Galaxy Quest, Sigourney Weaver’s character Gwen DeMarco gets mocked because she repeats everything the (star)ship’s computer says. In response to her friends’ derision, she yells,

“Look! I have one job on this lousy ship, it’s stupid, but I’m gonna do it. Okay?!”

~Gwen DeMarco,
Galaxy Quest

My lousy ship is this whole bloggingsocialmediainteractingonlinething.

In spite of all the great and fun stuff I can do with my blog and with Twitter and with Facebook, my job here boils down to one thing, really.

My one job is being a storyteller: telling you stories and telling you about my stories.

It were well that I remembered that. Y’know…against the day I turn all of these ponderings back into writing again. ; )

In the meantime…

…I am Sigourney Weaver.

” I’m just jazzed about being on the show, man.”

~Guy Fleegman,
Galaxy Quest

Frying Up Some Mock Turtle, and Other Shenanigans

I know. I KNOW. You haven’t had a real, honest-to-goodness, grit-in-your-teeth blog post from me in ages. I KNOW. And I’m sorry. Yea verily and forsooth, I mourn this even more than you do. Especially since I recently had an apostropheIthinkyoumeananepiphany and I’ve been dying to share it with you and I haven’t been able to.

So, even though I can’t expound much upon it, here goes:

It’s not that I lack the time to write.

What I lack is uninterrupted thought.

In order to write effectively — okay, let’s be honest, in order to write at all, whether it’s noveling or blogging or even emailing — I need a certain amount of uninterrupted thought. If I don’t get it, what I’m doing is what Aaron calls “context-switching.”

mockturtleIn my case, when I try to write at home during the day, I’m constantly switching between two contexts: WRITING (NOVEL OR BLOG) and MAKING SURE BABY SURVIVES AND IS HAPPY AND HEALTHY.

That second one is a doozy of a context.

Context-switching isn’t impossible, but it does come with a price (mental and spiritual exhaustion). And the more I try to do it, the steeper that price becomes. Honestly, I’ve given up trying to pay it for now. The context called BABY has won out (and rightfully so).

For now, I get to write once a week, when my mom comes to babysit and I can leave the house for a few hours. Sometimes, like right now, I’ll decide to sacrifice sleep in order to write while the Itty Bitty is sleeping. But this latter solution also comes with a heavy price, so you won’t see me paying this one willingly often.

In the meantime, do enjoy what I have written. And if you’d like to see how a recipe for Mock Turtle Soup relates to writing a novel, head on over here for a scrumptious taste!