I haven’t written here in a while. Mostly I’ve been getting the new website/blog ready and writing and indie publishing short stories like mad. I’m still tinkering with the new website, but the next actual blog I write will come from there. It’s at http://www.lindajordan.net/ so feel free to move on over there and browse around!
Things have been coming together in my life recently. I’ve been thinking about people and they’ve called or emailed me out of the blue. Opportunities I’ve wanted and needed have come knocking at my door. I’ve been focusing massive amounts of energy on both my writing and selling the horses. For months and months I’ve felt like I was pushing the river. But recently things have shifted and the river seems to be flowing into the channel I’ve been digging. Not in huge ways, just a trickle here and there, but at least there’s movement.
Some folks actually came out to see the horses. All the previous inquiries have been from out of state and gradually fizzled for various reasons – change in circumstances, money, etc. Few people have been selling horses in this economy. The family who came last weekend decided to buy Henry and Rex, although the bulk of their money won’t arrive until November. I’m feeling really relieved. I’ll still have three months to spend with the boys and I think their transition to the new home will be really smooth. Plus they’ll be getting pasture, a new girlfriend and lots of training and exercise. I’ll really miss them, however my life feels a little lighter already.
On the writing front, stories are flowing from my brain to my fingertips. I hadn’t realized how much I’d been hampered by thinking ‘I can’t write that, there’s no market for it’. Indie publishing shifted that somehow. Now I’m just writing what I want at the moment which has been enormously liberating. I’ve got a huge backlog of ideas that have been wanting to be written apparently, because they’re all pushing and shoving to the forefront, jockeying for the next slot. Stories are going up at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and all the various places, under the name Linda Jordan. Next will come a couple of collections and hopefully next month, I’ll start uploading the novels.
My daughter’s been very helpful in all this, keeping herself entertained and choosing to go play at the Boys and Girls Club for long stretches of time. She’s getting all her social time in even though she misses her regular school friends. School starts sometime in September, no start date published yet, and then everything will shift again.
But for now, I’m just enjoying the ride. Wheeeee!
Leaving this morning for a workshop in Lincoln City, Oregon! It’s about how to be a publisher, mainly e-publishing and print on demand and much, much more, I’m sure.
Those of you who know me realize that I haven’t gone anywhere for two years. A side effect of having horses to feed twice a day. So kudos to Michael and Zoe for holding down the fort. And those of you who know Zoe, will realize who’s going to be doing all the work!
At this point in time I’m not sure if I’m more excited about the workshop or simply getting out of town and hanging out with other writers! Oh and maybe waving hello to the ocean as we drive by. I’m not sure I’ll actually get out into the water to even get my toes wet–I’m sure the workshop will be jam packed. And the weather will be pretty much like here, drizzly, at least for the first couple of days.
So, off I go. I’ll leave you with a couple of photos of the hairy guys!
I took my daughter to a local July 4th. parade last week. We sat in the sunshine, watching the usual drill teams, pipe bands, local roller derby team and various other groups march along. A dance troupe of young kids went by and that’s when I saw it. Cherry colored hair! One of the Moms accompanying the group had the most gorgeous hair color. Cherry is the best description I can come up with. Almost a maraschino cherry, since it had warm tones in it. It was lovely. I was smitten. I saw her afterwards and told her how much I loved it. That was nine days ago and I’m still thinking about it. Big changes are cascading through my life and this desire is also a reflection of those.
I keep going back and forth about the whole thing. I’ve tried on red glasses and they don’t play well with my olive-colored skin. But I used to color my hair maroon and auburn and loved both of them. Someone suggested looking for a wig in that shade to try on and check the color.
I quit dying my hair over nine years ago. Decided at that point I wasn’t just dying it to have a different color, it was to cover up the gray. Yes, I’m ancient. And I didn’t want to be one of those women who was so afraid of aging, that I was in denial about the whole thing. That just seemed like a form of lying. Also, touching up your roots all the time is really a drag.
I cut my hair after my daughter was born and all the two-toned crap was finally gone. Then I let my hair grow out so it was all the same length. For years. This spring I got bored and cut six inches off my hair, but I’m still not happy with it. It needs something completely different. I have an idea in mind, but will have to wait till part of it grows out a little and I have funds. Alas, why are funds always involved?
Still, there’s the question of whether I’m daring enough to dye my hair something so dramatic at this point in time. I live in a small town and essentially as an older woman, I’m invisible. I’ve been that way for years and years. So I need to come to grips with the question of how visible I want to be. And exactly how much of the inner change I want reflected on the outside. Still pondering.
Today’s a housekeeping day around here. Not in the sense that I’m actually going to clean the house. HA! Fat chance of that happening. Zoe’s been around every day since Friday and since she’s had a nasty cold, she’s been clingy and whiny. But my childcare is back today. Yeah!
So, it’s time to take a look at what happens when I can’t get stuff done for six days. Since Friday nothing has gotten finished. Nothing. I’ve got a dozen unfinished projects lying around.
When things pile up like that my energy gets scattered, my focus divided and I don’t really make progress on any one thing. I just feel overwhelmed with all the nebulous stuff which needs to happen. So by finishing up projects my brain gets cleaned up too. My energy can return and things move forward again.
Okay I might do a little light house cleaning. Like the flat surfaces of my desk, which are filled with piles that cascade out every time I open it up. Another result of so many unfinished projects.
But I’m not doing dishes (no way) or vacuuming (the horror) or even thinking about working in the garden (appalling thought). No horses will be bathed today, no matter how much they need it (absolutely not). And if I can avoid it, no meals will be cooked.
So, on to breakfast and finishing stuff up!
I finally wrestled technology to the ground and figured out how to format my short story on Open Office. I am such a Mac person! My cover’s been mostly ready for awhile, just needed a few tweaks. I love Pixelmator! So, I got it all together and Flight is now available on Kindle and at Smashwords. It will take a while to trickle into the various other places, I’m told–Nook, ibooks, Sony, Kobo, etc. But I’m done with it! Waaahoooo!
So now, I’m working on pulling together the cover, etc. for another short story. I’ve got quite a backlog of stories and novels ready to go, but the copy editing, formatting and covers take some time. So gradually, over the summer I hope to get everything uploaded, while I continue to write new stuff. This is definitely going to be a working summer for me, although luckily I get to take my laptop outside and do the work! I am so loving our summer weather.
As to the garden, it’s filled with roses in bloom right now. Species roses, climbing and rambling roses, Bourbons, Moss Roses, Austins, Portlands, Hybrid Perpetuals and lots more. The clematis are weaving in, out and around plants. Peonies are fading, foxgloves are holding strong. Most of the hostas have survived the slug and snail onslaught. Our postage stamp lawn is filled with buttercups and the weeds, well the weeds and grasses are moving to the three feet mark. Sigh.
I’ve resolved to ignore all the flaws in the garden this year and only pay attention to the pieces of it which are beautiful. Especially since it’s so not my focus right now. So, I’ll go outside and sit amongst the buttercups and weeds, but smell the mock orange and gaze at the hardy geraniums popping up everywhere as I write.
I’ve discovered something new. I actually like writing short stories. What a shock! I haven’t written any short fiction for oh, about fifteen, twenty years. I only did it then because everyone said, “Learn to write short stories, sell a few, make a name for yourself and ONLY then move on to novels.”
I was never a short story reader. Only novels. But, I dutifully began to read short stories and tried for years and years to write them. I managed to crank out a few which were passable, not good, just passable. Mostly what I wrote were novel outlines disguised as short stories. And since I failed so spectacularly, a large amount of time was spent procrastinating. I mastered that!
About nine years ago I decided that I would just write a novel. To hell with the whole short story idea. So I did. Then our daughter was born and I lost the ability for coherent thought for nearly two years. Sleep deprivation is an astonishing thing. After I could think again, and preschool entered the picture, I went back to novel writing, which I’ve done ever since.
Now that I’ve made the choice to become an indie publisher, I keep hearing it’s easier to upload a short story first (less pages of mistakes to correct in formatting), then the novels. A friend suggested I go back and look at my old short stories. I resisted at first, then did it and found one I’ve always loved. I had changed a few things which felt right to me (bowing to advice of better writers than I) and submitted it several places, years ago. It never sold, either it wasn’t good enough, there just wasn’t a market to fit it–like much of what I write. Or I had killed the story by removing some of the intrinsic parts which some folks didn’t like. Note–listen to self.
So, I took a look at the story, changed the things which needed to go back to the original and cleaned up the rough parts. I’m now really pleased with how it works. It seems all those years of working on novels taught me something about short story structure.
It’ll be going up at all the normal ebook places as soon as I finish wrestling technology to the ground! Formatting might kill me, but I think I’ve got the whole cover thing figured out–having great fun playing with Pixelmator and images! Stay tuned.
Then I did the unthinkable. I wrote another one. And this week–another! And I started getting ideas for a couple of series of short stories, very loosely connected, one for YA. The other aimed primarily at adults. So, I’m on a roll.
Life is very exciting!
Life has been heating up around our house. Out in the real world summer actually seems to be visiting. In my brain, mild explosions continue.
I’m continuing my adventures in becoming an Indie Publisher. Metamorphosis Press is set up and ready to roll. I spent yesterday working on several short story covers. Book covers are the most fun! I love searching for an image that fits the story and then messing around with it until it looks like a book I might want to buy. I’m one of those people who has bought books just for the cover art. And avoided certain books because of the cover art.
I thought I’d dip my toe in with short stories until I’ve got the process down, then start publishing my novels. I’m still working on setting up this blog so it looks right. Oh, and the websites for lindajordan.net and metamorphosispress.com are under construction. It’s going slowly. Technology is not my forte. But I’m learning.
On the home front, my platelet count is almost back up to normal, after months of decline. And so I’m beginning the slow weaning process off steroids. I love the extra energy they give me, although it feels a bit too crazy even for me. And then there’s the not sleeping thing. So let’s hope my platelets continue to climb and my body figures out it’s not supposed to eat them!
Summer is here and almost all the plants have been planted! For the first time since we’ve owned a house. For over fifteen years! That’s what two years of not buying plants will do for you. Whew. So, this will be a year of taking back territory from the still feral garden and hopefully, continuing to put in paths.
The horses are still here. We’ve had them up for sale since last fall, but with the economy, most folks aren’twilling to take a risk buying a luxury item which requires a lot of expensive upkeep. So, we’ll have them a while longer, until the universe changes her mind. It’s lovely to look outside and see Henry and Rex playing.
That’s all for today. Off to tour gardens in the sunshine!
It’s been over a year since I abandoned my old blog. Life got in the way. The universe has shifted and I’ve got the oomph to write again. So I’ll be showing up here a couple times during the week to talk about what’s exciting in my life–books, food, flowers, etc. and about what’s driving me crazy.
But right now, it’s bedtime.