Thursday, April 14, 2016

Peace, Be Still

Good Shepherd 12x14 Strata Exclusive
Good Shepherd by Simon Dewey, find here 

Today I talked to my daughter's chiropractor (who will be mine shortly) and learned something about my spinal condition. Apparently, the reason people have this condition is the result of a fracture in the spine, which is something I was never told before. I'm pretty sure I know what caused it, but I had no idea that's what had happened.

Even though that knowledge didn't change anything about my situation--just took away a little hope I'd been harboring--I got into my van and cried. I hadn't really expected that anything would be able to change, and sure enough, with the level of severity I have, it's not treatable except with hardware. And I have a really miraculous natural hook made of bone that grew to stabilize the situation, so I don't even have to have hardware, and I retained most of my mobility. Considering all that, I don't have room to complain--and I don't want to complain. But sometimes, you gotta cry anyway.

I didn't want to break down in front of my daughter, but some days just facing the hill I have to climb feels like I'm facing a mountain. Truth be told? I really don't want to climb it. I'd much rather stay in bed and not do anything. But I have a responsibility to be as healthy and functional as I can be for my family, because they deserve it. (I know some of you will tell me that I deserve it, and that's true. If it were just me though, I probably would just watch Netflix and eat chocolate pretzel thins most of the time.) And as I told my daughter, tears are okay. They happen when we're hurting emotionally too, and it's healthy to cry. Sometimes we just need to.

Seagull Book is a few doors down from the chiropractor. I felt drawn to go in, so I did. And everywhere around the walls inside were beautiful pictures of the Savior, and temples. They reminded me that the Lord has felt what I'm feeling, and that He's there for me. I forgot what I was sad about. I forgot about all of it for a while, and I was surrounded by peace and comfort. This picture especially hit home, with the way the Savior is holding the little lamb in His lap.

Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd by Simon Dewey, find here

It was a good reminder that even though pain and disappointment and suffering are part of this life, they don't have to be the end-all. I have been blessed in so many ways, and I have an infinite source of comfort only a prayer away. Also, at some point, I'm going to get that painting to hang in my home, because I--we all--are that little lamb who needs some extra comfort and love now and then.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Yo-Yo of Life, She Spins

yo-yo%20clipartNo, I'm not talking about myself, because I'm not a yo-yo. Or am I? *grins* I have certainly felt like one, whirling and spinning about in every direction. I like yo-yos, but I don't want to be one.

I've had something on my mind ever since last fall. And after discussing it with my husband and a couple of good friends and having a vividly symbolic dream about it all, I've decided to put my editing business on hiatus--perhaps indefinitely, depending on how the next few months go.

I do enjoy editing. It's really fun to help authors shape up their manuscripts. But I don't feel the pull to it the way I do writing. And with everything in my life, I realized that the words a very wise friend shared with me several weeks ago--that someone shared with her years ago--applied to my situation perfectly. She said, "You can have it all. You just can't have it all at once."

She's absolutely right.

So after counting up the projects I want to write in the next year or so, I realized that I had a problem. Here's my list:

1. I have a series of six contemporary romances to plot at around 50k words each, all based around six women who meet in culinary school. Each woman comes from a different heritage, so she cooks dishes from that heritage. Keeping Christmas is supposed to be later in the series, and is the one that's already out. (Each book will be a standalone.) Paige, the main character, has a Norwegian heritage. The next one will be coming out in November with Trifecta Books, and I need to write more before then--plot how they fit in the series' world, which will be a challenge.

2. I have a YA--very loosely inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid"--that I really need to finish up here in about a month or so, and this is the book I plan to query agents with. It deals with heavy subject matter, is a tad on the literary side, and addresses some strong themes affecting girls and women these days.

3. I have at least one more Schnozzlebeard to write.

4. I want to plot out my zombie chick lit which I'm picturing as a five-book series and start writing the first one. It's going to be lighthearted and fun. My slightly morbid take in the vein of books like Mindy Klasky's awesome "As You Wish" series.

5. I have a surprise project I've only told a few people about, but I'm really excited to tackle it. I've written about three thousand exploratory words, and it's some of the most fun I've had writing yet. AND it's for adults. And teens. Kind of a whimsical, paranormal, fairytale feel, and after searching Amazon, I haven't found anything out there like it yet. Did I mention I'm excited?

This isn't even mentioning a middle grade paranormal and a middle grade sci-fi I have ideas for. Or the other fairytale-inspired book ideas that have been stuck in a dusty corner of my computer--or my brain--for years. I have enough ideas to keep writing every day for years and not be finished with them.

See my problem?

So mix all that with family and helping get my kids through school (two have autism, likely three, the others get tested this summer), my sweet husband working two jobs (one from home after he gets home from his normal job) and my goal to get healthy this year, and there's no way I can do all of this.

I tend to be delusional. But I like lists, so after making the list, I was all, "Woman! What the crud do you think you're doing?" And I was all like, "But-but-but--" And then I was like, "No buts!"


Ahem. Seriously, I was all "No buts! Even YOU can see when you're trying to do the impossible! Have you even SEEN the dirt levels of your bathroom lately? You could grow an inside garden!" And then I was all hanging my head and saying, "Yeah . . . I guess you're right." And then I patted myself on the shoulder and drank a Diet Pepsi.

So I have to say bye-bye to editing for now so I can actually get to writing. And I also need help narrowing down my list. If something jumps out at you, and you're like, "Oooh, I'd be interested in reading THAT!" please tell me. You might help save my brain. And decide what I make top priority this year.