Tag: Book

The Deadline Approacheth!

All you need is motivation.

False! You need fear, and a fast-approaching deadline!

 

So this entire past week, I’ve been staring at my desk and it’s vast array of writing implements; 1956 Royal Aristocrat Typewriter, 1982 Smith Corona WP 1100, ACER laptop, and a host of notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters, etc. and I’ve written NOTHING. Okay, that’s not true, I wrote a few pages of random ideas in my main notebook, But have I typed anything remotely related to my book?

Nope! Nada! Zero! Zilch! Zip! Zowie!

So not cool.

Then – as I was reading through “On Writing” by Stephen King…

You: “What?! Still?! How long has it been, for God sake?!”

Me: “Okay, yes – I’m STILL reading it. Hey, It’s been a busy week, okay?! Don’t judge me! Remember Thanksgiving?”

You:”Fine, whatever…”

Me: “Yeah! Thank you!”

Anyway… it hit me – probably because I read it in his book – what I need, is a an actual HARD DEADLINE! Not the namby-pamby, wishy-washy, “I’m hoping to have it finished in a few months” nonsense I’ve been telling people when they ask that ever-present and ever-annoying as H-E-double-hockey-sticks question:

“Oh hey! How’s your little book coming along? Are you still working on that?”

Yes. Yes I am. Thank you for asking.” *grumble, mumble, teeth gnashing, grumble, and skulk away*

So yeah. The deadline. I have decided, that my deadline is March 1st, 2017! Now if my math is correct, and I assure you it is – I have 94 days in which to finish my book. I have about 48,000 words to go. That’s 510.5 words per day.

That is TOTALLY DO-ABLE!

How do I know? Because I can typically – when no one is driving me batty talking incessantly – *cough*-Rob-*cough*- write between 1,500 – 2,000 words per day. Interestingly, I found out that is Stephen King’s daily goal – 2,000 words per day! Of course he does it by 11:30 in the morning, and I’m usually sitting here till about 5 pm. But again… *cough* Rob *cough*.

Love my husband, I do. Want to stuff a sock in his mouth on occasion? The thought has occurred to me.

Were my house larger than 900 sq feet, I would reserve a room and lock myself in each day until my goal is met, then come out and get on with my life. Such as it is…. it is not, and I must have my office in the only space available – the dining room. You’ve seen pictures. You know. If you haven’t and you don’t – feel free to take a walk though my older posts. Should you feel so inclined to buy me a bigger house with a room of my own… well I’m okay with that. But for now… I suffer as any good artist would. I’m kidding! Kinda…

So wish me luch, and keep your fingers crossed, but don’t hold your breath, because I refuse to be responsible for anyone who turns blue and passes out as a result of waiting for me to meet a self-imposed deadline, thank-you-very-much!

Ta, darlings!

C.A. Bennett – Writer

Help! My Superior Temporal Gyrus Is On The Fritz!

As much as I hate to admit it, I think it’s fair to say I’ve been hit with a case of writer’s block. Seeing how much I’ve been posting here, you would think I am full of baloney, or tell me, “It’s all in you’re head!” Of the former, I assure you, the only thing I am currently full of, is the leftover turkey & fixin’s we discussed yesterday, in The Aftermath. Of the latter, I would have to agree. Because let’s face it… that’s where writer’s block is; in the head.

The term, “Writer’s Block” is defined as: “The condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.”

See what I mean? It’s all in my head. Or… it isn’t. Whichever you prefer. Frankly, I believe it – by the way we are referring to the story-line for the fantasy fiction novel I’m currently writing is in my head, but stuck somewhere between my Parietal Lobe and my Cerebellum. See figures A & B below.

It’s all here, in this article: Inside your brain: When you get a creative idea , but the point is, I can’t seem to get what I have in my head to flow down my neck, through my arms and out my fingertips to the typewriter, and become the paper version of the world and characters I’ve got dancing the tango in my Occipital Lobe. At least… I think that’s where they are…

So how to break this block of mine? I’m doing as much reading  as I can, researching for the book, and taking random notes as ideas pop in fleetingly and then pop back out again. My hope… and I do sincerely hope… is that I’ll somehow shake things loose enough to where my imaginary friends will settle down, and want to talk to me again.

Between you and me, I think they’re having trouble getting out of holiday mode, and just want to continue the party, by consuming mass quantities of sugary foods. However, I’m on to the little devils, and – now that the pecan pie is gone, and the homemade caramels have taken up residence with my grown kids – we are going to get back into work mode, and force them to straighten up and fly right, gosh darn it!

I take comfort in the words of Joseph Heller, who said, “Every writer I know has trouble writing.” Pretty nice to know the man who invented such works as; Catch-22 (1961 satirical novel), and Sex and the Single Girl (1964 Movie), also had bouts of the frustrating, but fortunately non-lethal condition known to pretty much anyone who’s ever tried to write so much as an assigned essay or term paper.

My new favorite writing story is one I read in “On Writing a Memoir of the Craft” by Stephen King

“A friend came to visit (author) James Joyce one day, and found the great man sprawled across his writing desk in a posture of utter despair.‘James, what’s wrong?’ the friend asked. ‘Is it the work?’
Joyce indicated assent without even raising his head to look at his friend. Of course it was the work; isn’t it always?
How many words did you get today?’ the friend pursued.
Joyce (still in despair, still sprawled facedown on his desk): ‘Seven.’
‘Seven? But James… that’s good, at least for you.’
‘Yes,’ Joyce said, finally looking up. ‘I suppose it is… but I don’t know what order they go in!’

So there’s hope. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to attempt to coax my little characters out of their hiding places in the jumbled up mess that is my sugar-drunk brain.

Many Blessings!

C.A. Bennett – Writer

Who Are You, Anyway?!

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We’ve all been there. We’ve all asked ourselves that eternal set of questions:

“Who am I?”

“What am I doing with my life?”

“What is my purpose?”

“Why am I here?”

For me, these past seven months have been a journey of redefining myself as a result of strictly imposed restrictions on what I used to believe I was. I was, a Behavior Specialist who was going to college to become a teacher. I was, but I’m not anymore.

Two things have been a constant in my life no matter what I thought I wanted to be, or what I became because of doors that opened – if only temporarily – and then closed again.

My faith in God

My love of writing

From the earliest part of my life that I’m able to remember, I have prayed daily, and I have been a writer. I can recall my five year old self – white ruffled baby-doll pajamas with little pink flowers that were all the rage for every little girl in the very early 1970’s, fuzzy pink slippers, kneeling at the side of my bed, to say my nightly prayers;

Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord, my soul to keep.

If I should die, before I wake,

I pray the Lord, my soul to take.

I said that prayer every single night without fail, for I don’t know how many years. When I grew up and became an “official born-again Christian” – as some would say – I stopped one evening to question what that prayer really meant. It was a simple request of God:

Lord, if I live through the night, let me keep my soul. If I die, take it and protect it for me

Simple. Basic. Done.

Nowadays, my nightly prayers are much more complicated that that. I regularly thank the Lord for His love, blessings and mercy. I regularly pray for forgiveness; not just for me, but for my husband, and each of my now adult children, and even their significant others, because hey… when you’re in my family, you’re really in my family, whether or not we agree on politics or God. I pray for protection, guidance, healing, and then throw in whatever current issues I have for myself, and for any family members I’m concerned about. I ask the Lord to bless everyone who has blessed me and my family in any way, and I ask Him to allow us to be a blessing to Him, to each other, and others.

Very different set of prayers from childhood.

The other constant, is that no matter whatever else I thought I was or wanted to be, I have always been a writer. Always. I remember before I could actually read or write, I would take crayon to paper, make those little scribbly writing lines that every small child thinks is real writing just like mommy & daddy make on their paper, and I would “read” my scribble stories to my stuffed animals and dolls as they sat lined up against the wall on my bed, and listened astutely to my wonderful adventures.

As I grew older, and learned to read and write, I did both with a passion that even J.K. Rowling would be proud of! I couldn’t get enough of books! I read, and read. The most exciting time in my childhood was when the Bookmobile would come to my neighborhood. Lord, have mercy, but I would absolutely be beside myself with joy over the Bookmobile! My mother and I don’t have the greatest relationship on the planet, but one thing I will say is that she instilled a love of reading in me, and has always encouraged me to write. I have no idea why, because that’s really the only encouraging area she played in my life, but I’m thankful for it, and have told her as much. But I digress…

These days, I’ve been working on writing my books, and am still going to college, but have changed my major from History to Religious Studies – the two intertwine so closely that I’m actually ahead of the game for the change – because one thing that has become evident in recent months, is that the Lord wants me to go in the church direction, and has graciously allowed me the time to write as I’ve always wanted to. Win-win situation.

During the process of writing, I have been reading about other writers and the method to this madness of becoming a successful and published author. I’ve learned quite a lot from J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Earnest Hemingway, Henry David Thoreau, Elmore Leonard, Saul Bellow, and a host of other famous authors, but the single most important thing I have discovered on my own is this:

None of what they say actually has anything to do with how I write.

Hear me out –  I am completely a fan of several of the aforementioned authors and have nothing but respect for them and for their process of making great literature. They are the writers I look up to and I aspire to attain that level of success – sooner rather than later, God willing – but they are not me and I am not them. What one says to always do, another says to never do. One will tell you to always outline and have your plot and ending ready before you ever put pen to paper, while another will tell you to sit down and just start writing – plot be damned – it’ll work itself out in the rewriting and editing phase. One will say, “treat it like a regular job where you’re on the clock from 9 to 5“, while another will tell you to, “write anywhere, anytime, as long as you WRITE!”- I’m paraphrasing, of course, but you get the idea – and you know what? They’re all right! And they’re all wrong! Why? Because that’s what works for them! But it may not work for me. It may or may not work for you!

We are all writers, but we are all different.

“So what’s the point?”

The point is – you are an individual who was made to be something special, and it’s not up to any other human being to tell you who or what to be or how to be it. Sometimes in life, the road we think we were meant to travel suddenly forks, and the way you were going, now has an enormous roadblock. You will find yourself faced with having to go an entirely different direction than you the one you thought you were supposed to go, and it can be terrifying! Pray. Ask the Lord for guidance and direction. Ask Him what He created you to be, and then ask Him to help you to become the best version of that person that you can be!

“And if I don’t believe in God?” you ask?

Well then just be the best you that you can possibly be, make the best decisions you can, and don’t do harm to anyone. In the meantime, I’ll pray that you find God, because He already knows you, whether or not you know Him.

Ephesians 2:10

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

NOW GO OUT AND DO SOMETHING GOOD WITH YOURSELF!

On Writing, & That Which Is Temporary….

notesI won’t lie – the past few days have taken their toll on my writing. The election hype and the ensuing backlash have left me feeling exhausted, depressed, and utterly uninspired. I spent yesterday in tears for the most part, because of the emotional turmoil associated with family squabbles, which lead to my God & Family First  article.

That had me worried. I began to doubt every word I’d written up to that point and even questioned whether or not I should be writing at all! I quickly realized I was being a tad mellow-dramatic and duly chewed myself out for it.

See, I’m the person who’s always writing something, no matter what. If I don’t, I feel like I’m cheating somehow, when really – the only one being cheated is me, because I’m not doing what I love, which means I’m sacrificing my own happiness. That, in turn, causes more grief and sorrow, which turns into a vicious cycle, until guilt sets in. Guilt feeds into resentment, and well… Not cool.

Today, however, I went on a much needed grocery shopping excursion with my husband, Rob, who found loads of fun things to make! Now with a huge pot of organic chicken noodle soup simmering away on the stove, and a hot cup of Irish tea at my side, I find I am refreshed, and ready to take on the typewriter with renewed enthusiasm!

All things are temporary, whether good or bad, positive or negative. We must strive to keep going no matter what the situation looks like, because the world doesn’t stop turning. Life will go on whether or not we choose to participate in it, and if we don’t take an active part in our affairs, chances are, someone else will come along and determine them for us. Do you want that? Neither do i!

As mortal human beings, we only know what we see, hear, and feel. I find comfort in knowing that no matter what is going on in my life, God is always working behind the scenes. There are blessings in the works that I don’t even know about yet, but will when the time is right. When God decides the time is right.

And so, my dear friends, I leave you with this; 2nd Corinthians, 4: 16 – 18:Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Well…. As Rob says, “That book ain’t gonna write itself, ya know!” so back to work, I go!

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