I Still Aten’t Dead

*tumbleweed rolls*

So, hi. *waves*

It’s been so long since I blogged, it took me fifteen minutes of trial and error to remember my password. To all the people still hanging around to read this: Thank you! If you’ll excuse me, I’ll just put down this oversized cardboard sign…

I aten't dead

It’s been a busy full months full of busyness. Between parenting, writing, and learning how to cope with the changing seasons in a largely outdoor living arrangement, there’s been little enough time for life. But I’m back, and I shall endeavour to remain back for the foreseeable future.

So, how are things going? Funny you should ask. (I’m going to assume someone asks, and I’m not just shouting into the void.)

I’ve been busily writing-writing-writing, andΒ loving it.

I’ve almost finished the final round of revisions on Clock Struck Twelve. (Stay tuned, I’ll be posting about my writing process for that manuscript over the next few days.) It’s been a long journey, and every time I think I’m finished, I come up with something new to add. But this time — this time — I’m sure I’m about done and ready to start querying.

I also started a Facebook group dedicated to writing short stories. Ray Bradbury famously said:

Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.

And so, the group Bradbury’s 52Β was formed. Each week we have a series of prompts (a character, a location, an item), and members write a short story based on those prompts. We’re up to the 11th challenge this week, and it’s a lot of fun. If you’re interested in stretching your short story writing muscles, come along and join us.

Once uponFinally, I’ve started writing a new story. I estimate it will be about 75,000 words when completed, and I”m at the 4000 word mark at the moment. Early days, but my characters have taken on a life of their own, and I’m excited to see where they end up.

In other, non-writing-related news, my children are growing.

That is all.

Okay, that’s not all.

Sometimes I turn around and wonder how it is that the little baby I held in my arms, who locked his beautiful dark eyes with mine and grabbed hold of my heart in both hands, could possibly be seven years old — and looking me right in the eye while he argues that he really, really and truly, really needs a new Lego set, and he’s got a whole list of ones he’s wishing for, and if I don’t let him buy one with his pocket money right now — right now! — then I am officially the worst mother in the whole entire universe.

And when his little brother, a respectable three-year-old looks me in the eye while actively choosing to ignore every word that comes out of my mouth, I fondly remember the days when he couldn’t actually move at faster than a crawl, and I could make him smile with little more than a cuddle.

And then Master Three walks up to me out of the blue, puts his beautiful (and probably dirty) hand on my cheek and tells me he loves me. And Master Seven gives me an earnest smile and says, “It’s okay, Mummy, I’ll make us lunch today. You can keep writing your story.” And I realise that growing up is a beautiful and wonderful thing.

And it would be even more beautiful and wonderful if they could do it without arguingΒ every freaking five minutes.

*deep breath*

All is well in my little corner of the world. The sun and the wind and the rain challenge me, and the stars look down on me at night. And all ahead of me is vast open fields of happiness ready to be explored.

So, what’s been going on in your life?

Five points to Gryffindor* if you can name the book the title of this post comes from.

*Or the House of your choosing if Gryffindor** isn’t to your liking.

** Gryffindor forever!



Filed under Opinion, Writing

34 responses to “I Still Aten’t Dead

  1. ChiefHomeExecLiz A

    That would be “Lords and Ladies”, Esmerelda πŸ˜‰

  2. I think, perhaps, maybe I’m wrong, Discworld?

  3. Good to have you back.

    Is it Lords and Ladies?

  4. All I can say is, you amaze me!

    No idea where the title came from, so I’m glad you weren’t offering membership in the Gondorian Tower Guard, or a slot at the Jedi Academy.

    • Thanks, V. Sometimes I amaze myself. (But most of the time I just struggle through the day amazed that I manage to hold a household together! πŸ™‚ )

      I’ll make a note to have a more appropriate question if I’m handing out those types of awards.

  5. V. is right, you are amazing. And inspiring. Kids are a wonder, aren’t they? One moment we’re thinking of sending ourselves off for a time-out. The next, we’re snuggling and thinking how beautiful they really are.

    So excited about this revision, and you’ve made awesome progress on your next book. Plus, those remarkable shorts. There’s only word for it- discipline. You have it in buckets.

  6. Glad to see you back here, Jo. If I hadn’t been keeping up on Facebook I would have been seriously worried.

  7. Shouldn’t that be “Arten’t” dead? πŸ™‚ Love your little stories about the house masters. My blogging has suffered, too, but to everything there is a time and place. Hang in there.

  8. Your little corner of the world is a delightful and productive place–one of the few spots that captures hearts, not because of the setting, but because of the writer who lives there. Looking forward to hearing all about your writing process. ❀

  9. The Bradbury thing is interesting (welcome back, by the way).

    I think the point is valid — the way to get better is to do it, a lot, not to read endless advice about how to do it — but it’s definitely not for me right now. For one thing, I’m in the middle of a project at the moment (as usual), and for another my current productivity rate is about a paragraph a day. That would make a seven-paragraph short story, and I’m not a good enough writer to write a good seven-paragraph short story. πŸ™‚

  10. Pauline

    You made it back. You spoke of it. You made it happen. You go girl.

  11. Glad to hear you’re still kicking around, and still writing! πŸ™‚

    • Hey, Stephen. I’ve missed your comments, and hearing about your life. I haven’t had a chance to drop by everyone else’s blogs yet. I hope all is well with you, and your Extreme Parenthood Challenge has eased up a little and given you some time to return to writing.

      • I have been returning to the writing fold – if not the blogging fold. Fiction takes priority over inane/incoherent/theoretically-non-fiction ramblings. But the boys (mine, that is) are both doing fine, even if the younger one won’t stop catching summer colds and various other mostly-annoying illnesses.

      • Glad to hear your boys are doing well (colds aside), and that you’re back to writing. Yes, fiction takes priority over blogging for me, too. Thus, the long hiatus. πŸ™‚

  12. Glad you’re back. Your short story group intrigues me. I might consider playing along.

  13. Pingback: The Writing Process Blog Hop | The Happy Logophile

  14. Alex Hurst

    Glad to see you back! Do you mind me asking what the outdoor living arrangement entails? All I can imagine is a fairy-esque tree fort with Peter Pan-like traps and tech. πŸ˜›

    • Okay, for a start, that would be WAY COOL. I wish I lived in a Peter Pan style tree fort!

      Alternately, we have a small caravan that just has our beds, clothes, books, etc in it. Next to it is gazebo-style tent where the kitchen is set up. (We have a fridge and shelving for our crockery etc, and a small oven. No running water in there, though.) Then we have a canvas annexe on the front of the caravan with a small play area for the kids, and a partitioned off bathroom area.

      We walk over to a tap to access cold water (tank water), and carry back whatever we need, and we’re hooked up to electricity via a long extension cord to a neighbour’s place.

      It’s not nearly as picturesque as Peter Pan’s fort, and there aren’t any amazing Neverland traps, but it’s very simple and rustic and amazing.

      • Alex Hurst

        That DOES sound amazing! When did you make the switch out, and is this a permanent move?

        I kinda want to visit you, and see this place, haha…. but… Japan is pretty far away. πŸ˜‰

      • I moved out here last October, so it’s coming up to a year now. And it’s as permanent as it is — in that I don’t have any plans to move any time soon, but I’m not going to be here for the rest of my life, either. πŸ™‚ I can’t really imagine living in a real house again, though. Especially not a big one. Once you pare your life down to just what you NEED (rather than what society tells you you’re supposed to WANT), you realise how happy you can be with the simple things.

        If you ever make your way out here, let me know. πŸ™‚

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