April approaches. Can y’all even believe it?? I can’t!
As cHaOs continues to revolve in massive poop storms around my real life existence, my author/publisher life… erm… also revolves around a few massive poop storms. Looks like they’re finally meshing together! Growth.
However, in all seriousness, the final steps for the release of Hellfire are underway. There is a second novel being released by Corrugated Sky Publishing (for which I am co-owner) at the same time that I have been assisting with as well, and a new anthology planned for the end of the summer based around zombies that also requires a good deal of my attention.
We add to this a new position as marketing manager of a local restaurant that I’m finally settling comfortably into, a new web design project for my husband’s business, and mothering of 3 children and one recently minted adult-child (yes, the oldest turned 18! He survived!!) which makes for quite a bit of cHaOs roaming around the house; that we are about to purchase; at the end of April; when it’ll be time to do some much needed painting, upgrades, and landscaping.
Naturally this means I must take on yet another project, right? Right?? Of course it does, because that is how we operate here at cHaOs – with too many things to manage at once. It makes for some interesting days, long nights, and unique mixtures of alcohol.
The new project in question is, of course, the April version of CampNaNoWriMo. I’ve done Camp a few times now, not always consecutively. July tends to be a little more crazy at cHaOs than April because the peace of school-aged children tucked away at their institutions of learning is shattered during the summer months. Last Camp I did was the first time I ever finished the set goal. It was sort of a big deal, though I never actually finished the novel in question and, to this day, it remains at about 50% completion before edits. I’ll get to it eventually.
This April, we shall kick of with a holiday combo of Easter (which we don’t really do here except to make the youngest believe that a giant bunny still comes to deliver plastic eggs full of chocolate and coins into our back yard for him to find) and April Fool’s Day (which we also don’t do because I am liable to cut someone for pranking me). There is already a plan in place for achieving word count on the first day and the novel is loosely outlined so I don’t start chasing bizarre rocks down a murky path halfway into day three.
This particular novel is the novel. THE ONE; the one I’ve had in my head and attempted to write many times over for the last twenty years (yes, this book idea is older than my oldest kid). I’d honestly written it off as a loss for, surely, I would never be able to properly wrap my mostly pink wrinkles around the ginormity of this undertaking. I’ve run the campaign (D&D for you non-geeks out there) three different times; written countless stories; written and re-written the novel seven times, easily (probably more) and watched at lest four of those novels burn in digital hell when my electronics have bitten the proverbial dust at the worst possible moment ever. In fact, iteration number one sits on my shelf, printed with a cover, as a reminder of why that didn’t go anywhere. It’s awful, people. Like… cringe with a desire to light it on fire as tribute to the muses, awful. But, as will happen with writers, there I was in the shower singing my fav tunes when BAM it hit like a bolt of lightning to the brain. I very nearly ran downstairs in a towel to write it all down before it vanished into the ether (I lost the pencil to my AquaNotes *sad panda*). Instead, I dashed through the rest of my shower, dressed, and ran down with towel still on head to scribble into the Giant Notebook of Ashes (shortened name for the book). Twenty-two chapters later (the last four may need to be redone, we’ll see), the book is now outlined with a beginning, middle, and end-for-now (it has always been planned as a series). Hooray! April will be the month for Ashes to spring to life!!
The questions are bouncing in your head, though. I can see them. I feel them reaching out to me, asking: ‘How?’ ‘Are you crazy?’
With everything else happening in my life, it is often the question I get asked the most: how? How do I do this while still managing a home, several miscellaneous jobs (not all of which are paid, I might add), working on so many projects and still find time for sanity and sleep?
It’s a simple answer really: I’m not sane. Not even a little bit.
Beyond that, however, it is a matter of time management. I am not the best at it. Far from it. I’m convinced that underneath the masks of fibro, bi-polar disorder, potential RA and/or MS and whatever else is happening in this busted frame of mine, I am also totally ADHD and just not diagnosed. I bounce from idea to idea, thing to thing until all of the things or ideas are done. Some I abandon, but most will, eventually, get finished. I’ve also learned to focus on one task until it is done which, for me, means that I only do three other things instead of five or six. I have children that are old enough to take over the chores which frees up time. All of them are now in school so I can find peace in the early morning once they’ve gone away on the bus, as well. I’m not particularly active in community things cuz I’m just kind of a hermit like that, and I’m ok letting the laundry pile up a little in favor of getting just a few more words on the page. I also don’t exercise nearly as much as I should (or at all) but when I do get that wild hair, I take the phone with me to record my thoughts (because, like the shower, the ideas pelt me in the wrinkles at the most inopportune times, including the treadmill).
So, if you’re feeling a little creative but also a little intimidated, give Camp a try. It is not as stringent as regular NaNoWriMo which, I find, to be more in-your-face get-her-done writing (which I totally need by that point and look forward to every year). Goals are more flexible from only writing 30k words (or less if that’s your flavor), to edits only, to the full 50k and beyond. It is whatever you make of it. Don’t let those ideas rot away unused, even if you are the only one that sees those words hit the page. They are still words that need to be written.
And, don’t forget, Hellfire will be available for purchase mid-April. Cannot wait! Can you?