Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The many gifts of sorrow, or Guess Who Reads Romance?

My maternal grandmother is in the hospital. Last week, I flew half-way across the continent to be with her, and things were not looking good.

So I decided to tell her that I was writing romance and not anything sweet, either. I had been worried she would disapprove.

She held my hand and said, in her tiny, halting voice, "I love you because you're you. I know there are lots of different books out there."

Cue huge crying jag here.

I am staying with my father who lives very close to that hospital. It's fair to say that he and I have had differences of opinion. I had feared telling him and my step-mother than I was writing romance.

My Dad is a PhD. in chemistry and my step-mom an MA in mathematics. I remember lots of very intellectual books in our house. So I was not going to let them know I was writing genre fiction.

Until I saw a Linda Howard title on the counter.

Which I found out they both were reading.

So I told them.

Now my parents are very busy giving me ideas for new novels!

In the middle of fear and worry, beauty and harmony can grow.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Care and feeding of an author.

It's a sad fact that I have to learn a lesson many times before I truly get it (I guess that makes me normal, huh?!). And today, the lesson I learned again is what makes me the most productive.

Being relaxed, well-rested, pain-free, and generally patient with myself means I have a day that rocks hard. I'll compose and edit with great ease and pleasure. Writing is a joy to me and makes me feel amazing.

The minute I tense up and start nagging myself at how much I need to get done and how lazy I am and how much I suck....

Well, let's just say I'm better off going back to bed and calling it a done day.

So to this end, I do a wide number of things to put myself in the best possible place.

I work out five days a week (don't get too excited about this, somehow I'm still a super curvy girl). I give myself permission to take naps.

The hardest thing, though, is to remember that writing is not just Butt in Chair, Fingers on Keyboard. Everything feeds that fire - reading, watching movies, doing research, even taking a long, hot, scented bath - fuels the writer.

Nagging? Not such a good motivator.

Pleasure? The best motivator ever.

What are your pleasures? What motivates you?