Then the Nerves Begin

I finished editing Second-Hand Daughter and I have just emailed it through to an editor. And now I think the story is shit and incomplete… And that is the way I feel after sending every story off to an editor.

I guess I’ve worked on the story so much, that you reach a point where you just want to get it finished and sent off. Then you think of things that you could have added to the story to make it better, or stronger.

Then there is the waiting, nervous waiting, for the editor to get back to you with their thoughts and edits. And you’re panicking because, what if they didn’t like it? What if they think it’s shit? What if they don’t understand the story you were trying to convey?

All of this is going through my brain right now. And I know I have to sit back and just hope that it all comes together, but there is a very nervous period where you’re wondering, what if the story really sucks?

Second-Hand Daughter is a very different story to one’s I’ve written in the past. I like romances, but after I left my ex, I really struggled writing romance, because I was so cynical about love.

But in the last couple of years, I’ve been happy to write about women falling in love again and I can’t wait to dive back into my next romance story, which I will start after finishing my first draft of Dragon’s Lore.

In the meantime, the waiting game has begun.

Winning All Around

I’m on a winning streak. My mental health is improving, work was great, and I’m writing AND editing!

Work was so incredible this week. I did so much more than just weeding, and it was so stinking hot, that we were finishing work early. We were busting a gut to get jobs done, but it was a great week.

Then, my Doctor contacted me to say the referral had been declined, but that they suggested putting me back on my original medication. So, I said great, and as I had some here already, I’ve been taking it all week. I actually feel like I am climbing out of the hole and coming up to 100% again. It makes such a difference; I’m not bursting into tears for no reason now. I’m tired from physical work rather than mental exhaustion, and yes, they are different. Mental exhaustion I get weepy, my body gets heavy and it’s like my brain and body aren’t co-operating. Totally different from being physically tired.

I started with a group called 100 days of Writing, and it’s been so positive and fun. It’s broken down into chunks of ten-day blocks, so I finished my first block this week just been, and I’d written about eight thousand words in my current work in progress, which is my Dragon’s Lore story. And I have been editing Secondhand Daughter, averaging about a chapter and a half each day. So happy with progress. And we get to encourage each other with our writing on a Facebook group.

What did you do this week that made you a winner?

Kia Kaha

Catherine

Winding down for the Year

Thank goodness I didn’t do National Novel in a Month Competition, I think I would be pulling my hair out by now.

I got my assignments done and submitted for my organics course, and with a couple of resubmits, I passed. I’ve decided to do the final course in February, it gives me some time to get back into the rhythm of work and stuff like that.

And I should have been editing Secondhand Daughter, but I haven’t. And I am putting it down to a super-secret project that I’ve been working on, and it was such a success, that I’m thinking of extending the super-secret project. I’ll only be able to tell you after Christmas what I’ve done, because they are Christmas pressies. I’m so proud of them.

I did do one chapter of edits, but things are about to go haywire at work. We’ve taken over the mowing at one of the lifestyle villages, and to say I’m rather unenthusiastic is actually an understatement. There was a reason I went to work for my current employer – they contracted out the mowing to my previous employer.

Anyway, enough of that. Now is the time of year that I start getting organised for Christmas. I used to avoid it as much as possible, but having left a relationship that made Christmas hell, and being with someone who loves Christmas and spending time with his family has really made it more enjoyable. Plus, there is less stress, not big fussy meals, no full on ‘visiting everyone in the family’. We’ve got it all sorted now, we have Christmas here, with his kids, then I head over to Wineborough with my son – and sometimes my partner, and have Boxing day with my family, as Mum, my brother and his family, and my Dad and StepMum all live in that area. It means two lots of fun family time (the second one is more funny haha though, watching Mum ignore Dad while Dad is trying to get Mum to talk to him.)

Anyway, I hope your week has been more productive.

Take care, Kia Kaha

Catherine

When it Rains it drizzles…

So, I thought I had over three weeks to get my assignments for my Organics course done. But no. I don’t.

You see, when you log on, it tells you that the assignments are due on 26th November. Which is fine, I try and aim to have them in about a week before hand.

But I logged in on last Sunday, and they’d changed the date to the 9th of November, which was ten days away. I swore and cursed a little, and then had to knuckle down and get through the study notes to get one assignment finished. The second one is due on the 9th too, but it is only one chapter of the course material, so I can get that bowled out before Thursday.

But it’s annoying, and it’s the second time they’ve done it. I am considering laying a complaint, because it’s not fair to move the goal posts when I work full time and only have evenings to do my study. If I was unemployed, it would be my own silly mistake to be so far behind.

It also means that I haven’t done any editing this week, which is frustrating, because I want to get some done. I did however manage to get some done yesterday when I caught up with the fabulous LaVerne Clark and had a coffee together. We’ve started meeting up to encourage each other with our writing. She’s such an amazing author, and I can’t wait to see what she brings out next year. We’ve been discussing goals for next year, so watch this space.

I hope you had a better week than me.

Kia kaha

Catherine

When Not to Write, or Edit, as the Case may be.

I’ve had my Mum come to visit from Wineborough, and it’s been lovely catching up with her. But it also means that I don’t get to write or edit as much when she is around. Is that a bad thing?

No, it’s not. It’s a chance for me to have a break and come back refreshed. Mum comes over every six weeks or so, so it’s nice to have that time to catch up with her and spend time with her, as she lives 2.5 hours away from me now. She used to be 10 minutes around the corner, but she moved to Wineborough to be with her other grandchildren. We try and travel over to catch up with her, and my Dad and StepMum who lives in Ferryton, but not as much as I would like.

While Mum has retired, and is able to travel freely, I have to wait until the weekend to head over, as I work. Although I did go over and stay with her when I had the Friday’s off over winter. It was nice to spend the extra night with her.

Family is important to me. They support me, encourage me and generally build me up when I need it. Mum has been one of my biggest supporters. The others being, strangely enough, my StepMum and an ex-Mother in Law. I love all of these ladies so much because they have helped me to get ahead in the writing game through their encouragement.

So, I don’t mind having a break while my Mum has here, it’s more important to spend time with her. I can write anytime, Mum won’t be around forever. (Love you Mum x x x)

So how has your week been?

Kia kaha everyone

Catherine

Week something or other

The weeks are merging into one, and October seems to have flown by. This year, because I planned and organised myself writing-wise, has actually been going ok, not fast, not slow, but I’m aware of each week, and they are going okay.

But this month, whoa! Somehow it’s the 22nd and I only just started the month yesterday – at least it feels like it. And of course, things are going to get more chaotic as we head into the end of the year.

I’ve been editing again – Secondhand Daughter. Now you might be thinking, but you’ve already edited it. And you would be right. But I like to give everything a couple of passes, because there are always things you miss, or don’t get quite right the first time around, so going over everything again gives you a fresh perspective, and I like to give it a couple of months between edits.

And this time, I’ve been using a feature in Word that reads the text back to you, and I was incredibly surprised by just how many things it picks up, words that are missing, or sentences that don’t sound right. It’s been an amazing tool to use and will make my editing so much tighter.

After this round of edits, I will pass it onto an editor and see what they make of it. Hopefully, having edited it so many times myself it is as near to polished as I can get it. An editor just gives it that final pass, that final finesse that makes it really shine.

I can’t wait to get this out to you all, hopefully early next year.

What have you been up to this week?

Kia kaha

Catherine

The Week Covid Hit

Went out to a friend’s 50th Birthday last Saturday night, it was fabulous, got to catch up with some other friends I hadn’t seen in a while.

Woke up Sunday morning feeling sick, and it wasn’t alcohol – I’d had 1 cider the entire night. I battled through the day, sore throat, slight cough, nose blocking up.

Woke up Monday morning, not feeling much better. I was going to go to work, but then I thought, perhaps, just maybe, I should do a covid test. (I work at lifestyle villages – you know, retirement homes).

And I did, and it was positive!

It’s a year since I last had covid, so it was quite funny really, that one year later I had it again. And I got it from my son, who had been off work since the Friday feeling sick.

OK, so I let my boss know, let my big boss know, then filled in a leave form for sick leave for 5 days (we have 5 days isolation here in NZ – but it’s no longer subsidised by Government, so I had to take sick leave.)

Ok, so a free week at home… what to do.

Last time I had covid, I could get out of bed and do stuff, but by lunchtime I was back in bed regretting getting up. My partner couldn’t lift his head off the couch, and my son was just coughing every now and again, and still going about his daily routine.

This time, my partner – who was conveniently away on Sunday night – was covid free, so he stayed with his son for the week, and it was only me and Bill.

So, I was surprised when on Tuesday, I felt okay. It was like a head cold, nothing in my chest, just all nasal. Nasal irrigations helped, and I didn’t feel too bad at all. I got some writing done, some editing done, and I finished editing one story, and started on another!

I also got out in my garden, planted some potatoes, some more seeds for the vegetable garden, I did a little bit of weeding, cleaned a couple of little bits of the house, and read. And read and read and read. Man, I was sick of looking at books and screens by Thursday afternoon. But there wasn’t much else I could do. I wanted to conserve my energy, because I didn’t know if Covid was going to bite me in the butt after a couple of days, or not.

But it turns out not. I tested negative on Saturday – which is the shortest period for me. Last time, I was testing positive 9 days later, 6 days this time.

So, I got stuff done, and I rested, and read some books. What else is there to do when you have covid?

I officially finished writing Carol’s Christmas, finished editing Whiskey Rose on Wednesday, and started second round of editing on Secondhand Daughter, all on Wednesday. And I did some plotting on Dragon’s Lore. I hope to crack on and get some editing done on Secondhand Daughter finished by the end of the month, because November is NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – and while I’m not sure I’ll write an entire novel in that time, because I don’t write a lot in any one day, I want to get some writing done on Dragon’s Lore.

I hope you had a better week than I did.

Kia kaha

Catherine.

And Onto Something New

I’ve finished writing Carol’s Christmas, well, almost, there isn’t a lot more to write. So, what am I up to next?

I have editing to do on a project, a super-secret project that will be revealed in December, and I have three books that need editing, and a third that needs writing. Decisions, decisions.

As I have already started editing, I will finish that, it’s a short Historical romance based in 1920s United States. It is a present for my newsletter subscribers, and I’m excited to get it finished, because its been rattling around in my laptop for about ten years.

I also have a super-secret project; I’m getting together with some other authors to do a Christmas giveaway. I’ll give you more details nearer the time but suffice to say that I have a small bit of writing to do for this. It wasn’t hard to choose which book to promote, but its proving to be a little harder to come up with the secret project. It will come together though, I hope.

Two books that need editing – Secondhand Daughter, Compromising Positions and Finding Sam Healey (aka Finding Sams Family) all need a round of edits. But, I hear you say, you’ve already editing Secondhand Daughter and Compromising Positions. Yes, I have, but I often self-edit a few times before I pass it onto an actual editor, because I want to send the most polished version I can. And I like to take a break from each book before editing / drafting, because I can look at it with fresh eyes.

And I also have Dragon’s Lore, which is shaping up to be rather…Epic. I have at least five stories for the series all rolling around inside my head, and on my laptop and notebooks in various places, so I am happy to start with writing that. But I think I’ll do some editing first.

So, I’ll dive into Secondhand Daughter again, and I have my editor booked for the end of January, so I have a deadline to work to, although I hope to have it finished well before then.

What plans do you have for this week?

Kia kaha everyone.

Catherine.

Next on the List…

Hello! It’s been a week! Lots going on, in respect to my mental health. Some days are good, some are bad, and its winter, so it means I am struggling. However, I discovered that increasing my heart rate does help.

So anyway, July is now in full swing, and I plan on going over Second Hand Daughter for another read through, because I like to edit my stories several times before I actually start looking for an editor, or start shipping it out. And while I have left it to stew in its own juices for a couple of months, I realised that I could really amp up the story by including the seven stages of grieving – Shock (at hearing the news), Denial (avoiding the inevitable), Anger (outpouring of bottled up emotions), Bargaining (looking for a way out), Depression (final acceptance), Testing (seeking a solution) and Acceptance (finding a way to keep going). I have most of these elements in the story, but I think I can make the story more by showing this more.

I’m also planning to write in August, so doing a little bit of research for that – it’s my modern twist on A Christmas Carol. It won’t be ready for Christmas this year, but definitely next year.

And I have my Friday’s free from work until the end of August, so really working on getting my stories sorted, as I am also planning my Dragon series, so pretty busy with the writing thing at the moment, which is good. I’m really pleased with my progress to date, and hope I can keep up the pace as the year progresses.

Anyway, take care everyone.

Kia kaha

All Good Intentions

With having such a busy week, I had all good intentions of spending some time this weekend editing, because I only have 11 chapters to go! But instead… I made cards.

Yes, cards, as in greeting cards – why? I don’t know, except I had a lot of fun making them, and it was something that I wanted to do. I have been watching a lot of cardmaking videos on Youtube lately and felt inspired. One of them was how to make 11 cards out of 6 6in x 6in card, and as I have hundreds of pads (and that isn’t really an exaggeration), I felt like I needed to do something constructive. I hope to one day sell the cards… yeah, because there is nothing quite like selling things that I feel are inferior! lol

Cards using the Cats Meow pad
Another set of cards made with an unknown paper pad.

So yeah, I got a little distracted, and now, it is time for me to head to bed, because it is week 5 of my incredibly busy week! Fortunately, apple packing is 10 weeks long, and I’m only working 3 nights a week, but this week was a little more challenging. I woke up one morning with the headache from hell, which wouldn’t shift no matter how many painkillers and water I drank, so I ended up having a day off work, but I don’t having time off, unless it’s for a holiday. I know that my nights are late, (9pm is late for me), so I just have to cater to that, and ensure that I get lots of liquid and lots of rest, hence quiet weekends doing very little.

So, I have 5 days to edit 11 chapters – completely doable…

Until next week. Keep smiling.