Thursday Zoomies

No, it’s not about Goldie or Lexie running around the living room chasing each other. I’ve decided to use the term to describe my talk with Sam Tyler, Book Coach, this morning.

Where did the word Zoomie come from? It’s referring to FRAP’s, Frenetic Random Activity Periods that dogs have once in awhile. They just are overcome with a huge amount of energy and for a short period of time, they run laps, circle quickly, whatever activity they choose to do. It releases the energy, and stops as soon as the energy is expended. Wish people would/could get them. There is no cause for alarm in dogs, as long as they can zoom around without hurting themselves. People, too.

I’m calling the Zoom Meetings we have as my Zoomies. I get so inspired when we talk, and I just want to dig in and write more. Today, however, I am going to follow her non-writing advice first. I’m not reading enough. I know I’m not. I need to read at least thirty minutes a day. No excuses. It doesn’t mean read Facebook, or Twitter, or look at Instagram photos, or reading technical stuff about writing. I need to read fiction with characters, scenes, character and scene development. I need to leave out the narrator intrusion I’m becoming (in)famous for. It’s not good, yet, unbridled, I can’t seem to stop it. I need to rein it in, and keep it in check.

Since all of my books still reside in boxes, it would take some time and help moving heavy boxes for me to find my Elm Creek Quilters series of books (very good scenes and character development), I’ve opted for a couple in my to be read pile. And I mean pile – a full tote bag, a stack on the nightstand, a stack on the old sewing machine, and a shelf on a corner cabinet. I’ve found “Charms for the Easy Life,” by Kaye Gibbons; and “The Whistling Season,” by Ivan Doig. I plan to spend some time on the deck, reading. As long as those pesky no see ums don’t bother me. What are they? Those tiny black bugs you can barely see but who bite with a vengeance.

I think I’ll start with “Charms for the Easy Life.” This book is about a family without men. All females, living in the backwoods of North Carolina during a sad and singular era, according to a review I read. It should be a good read, at least I’m looking forward to spending the afternoon with these ladies. How about you? Assuming you can dodge the no-see-ums what do you plan for outside on this beautiful day?

Thanks for stopping your day to read. Hope to see you tomorrow, too. Take care of each other out there. Be safe.

Imagination vs. Electronics

There have been many discussions on imagination lately, asking if all the electronics kids have are decreasing the ability of our kids to play and develop their skills while imagining. I loved how we imagined as kids.

The first recollection I have of imagination play was with my older brother, Tom. He is my Irish twin, he is exactly eleven months and four days older than I am. He was born in June, 1951, while Dad was in Korea. While I was reading my dad’s equivalent to a DD-214 (Military discharge papers), I discovered he was separated from the Army in August of 1951. Brother Tom was three months old? Well, if you do the math, I was born sometime eight months later, plus a few days. That makes me chuckle.

Tom was my best friend for a long, long time. We played on Saturday mornings, using bed pillows to make imaginary boxes, complete with a top, and jump out of them when Mom came into our room. She always acted surprised. Mom’s are great at that, aren’t they?

We had the coolest linoleum in our room. The room had all wood floors, and we had an area piece of linoleum, and it had squares divided with different sayings, game boards, and even a checkerboard. It was much like an area rug. We spend hours playing in the room, using our imagination for a lot of games of pretend.

When we were a little older, I played with Peggy and Karen, neighbors. When we were older, we rode bikes together. Before that, we did what a lot of kids did, reenact TV shows. When my brother played Army with the neighbor kids, we played together, and I was the nurse. A young Hot Lips Houlihan, as it was (MASH had not come out yet. There were a lot of Army themed shows, though).

For Christmas, I received a nurses cloak, bag with doctor/nurse stuff, and some sort of hat. When I put that cape on, I was not me anymore. Those were some good times.

The other great times were playing with Peggy and Karen, we played “Bonanza.” I was madly in love with Little Joe, so I always called him my boyfriend. Those were such innocent times, really fun. Life had little concern for us then other than who would be our fictional boyfriend.

When I was probably sixth through eighth grades, a friend and I used to write plays that we pretended into live action. They revolved around our fictitious lives as the girlfriends of our favorite rock and roll stars. It was probably pretty juvenile, but we wrote them and practiced them just like scripts, complete with music, and it was even more fun. That friend sent me a photo a while back of this very sweatshirt. Karen Smolinski, I loved it! Thanks for thinking of me! I’ll be wearing it soon if it doesn’t warm up a lot!

My New Writing Hoodie!

So here is one of the items the Babe brought home from the store. He knows us so well! It’s a great day for ice cream by the fire later. What a guy. I’m so lucky.

Here we are at the end of another blogpost for today. Thank you for joining me, I hope you stop back again tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll have more done on my character’s origin stories. Been way too busy again this week.

And, by the way! You can also connect with me on Facebook, Kathy Raabe, Author, On Instagram @authorkathyr, and on Instagram @Author_KRaabe. Please ask your friends to give us some likes and follows. Thanks!

Be Safe, Kind, Patient, and Thoughtful today and every day. We’re all kind of struggling at one time or another. This will all be worth it. See you tomorrow!

Messy Characters and More

After attending the Nebraska Writers Guild Fall Conference, I arrived home with a renewed sense of purpose, charged to jump headfirst into NaNoWriMo, and easily finish my novel with 50,000 words that all made sense with each other, and simply breeze into the sunset come November 30, 2019, with a deep sense of accomplishment about the novel being close to finished.

Today is November 17. I’m running behind with the number of words per day, but it’s still in the realm of completing. I could have some fantastic days coming up after doing some more research about what I’m missing in the first 40,000 words. It’ll come, I know it will.

I came across a mysterious Post It note in pink, that had scribbled diagonally across it,

“Chuck Windig – Messy Characters.” I’m assuming that was an author and book that I really needed to seek out to get answers on how to keep going, and make sure the characters are completely fleshed out.

I’m completely wrong about what is written there. Why can’t I remember why this is so important to my destiny? My story? My characters? Googling proved I spelled Mr. Windig’s name wrong. It is really Chuck Wendig, and he is a science fiction writer. Not my genre, but ok. Why did I make this note?? Could it be because he is not only a writer but a blogger as well?? His blog is TerribleMinds. If you Google his blog and go back to November 1, 2019, (Not now, when you’re finished with reading mine, silly!) he discusses two things. Writing a novel is hard, because it’s supposed to be hard. Writing a novel is hard, because it has to be done your way. Wow. This blog hadn’t yet been written when I jotted this down. And now, I’m finding something that is speaking volumes to me.

How did this happen?? Is it yet another sign that I really do have a story to tell?? Yes, yes it is. I cannot waver and say, “Well, I’m not sure,” because I have to be sure. I have to be sure this is very hard, it will probably get much harder before it gets easier, and I haven’t even begun to see hard work yet. And I have to be mentally ready for it.

It is hard. It is hard because I have a story I want to tell. It will be a story realistic in as much as I haven’t sanitized anything, left uncomfortable parts out, or failed to tell the complete truth about a situation because I didn’t want to have to explain where that idea came from. It’s coming from life. It’s coming from observations from life for a period of sixty seven years. That’s a long time, really. And to find each and every just right word to tell that story is hard. Somedays it flows, somedays it’s clogged up worse than an old septic tank. (That’s all I could come up with folks, sorry!)

The days you can coax the words and they flow endlessly are the days your energy level goes through the roof and you feel great. Nine out of ten times, this one day of brilliance is followed by one to ten of clogged up words, gelling together to make a tremendous mess if they ever are broken apart and allowed to flow, unfettered, into the great beyond. Lots of cleanup is required after that, and usually, it all goes in the sewer. Sorry, that’s the fact, the reality of writing. Not as glamorous as it sounds. And I haven’t even gotten near the hard part yet.

So now that I discovered how a note to look Mr. Wendig up ended with my finding him giving me some great advice that he hadn’t written yet when I jotted his name down, I will say good day for now and go on to writing more on my book. After all, I have been told it will be hard because it’s my own. And it will be.

Thank you so much for reading today. Make sure to comment in the blog and like to have your name entered in my NaNoWriMo Giveaway. I will draw on December 1, 2019 to give away a $50 Visa Gift Card. Comment, like blogs and you can have two entries a day! That makes 60 free chances in all, just for reading, commenting, and liking. Easy enough.