Not long after my last post, things got turned on their head for our family. The contract C. L. was working ended earlier than expected, so we found ourselves scrambling to find steady work with which to support ourselves. We had already purchased three more gallons of paint before said contract ended. So our time was split between applying to several different postings every day and working our way through as much of the home redo as we could with the supplies we already had between assessments and interviews.
My mom, mother-in-law, grandmothers, and C.L. have been getting onto me for a couple years now for spreading myself too thin, and I've been fighting them on it the whole way. But they haven't been wrong.
When something didn't work out or wasn't working as well as I'd hoped, my first instinct has always been to do more. No matter how stressed out it made me or how little time I had to put into something, just pile more onto the to do list. I ought to be able to do it all and then some, or I'm a failure all around.
As I announced last Friday, the flash fiction series is on hiatus for the next three months to make more room in the schedule for getting back to Icarus and writing fiction in general. However, I do want to keep the Tuesday and Friday posting schedule. I just need something non-fiction I can write up in an hour or two.
Since I'm not writing this blog for myself but for you lovely readers, I want to know what you'd like to see here on Fridays through the beginning of April.
Would you like journal like entries? What about some more genre and trope based articles? Maybe you'd prefer some tales from the convention circuit or slice-of-life story time posts. Should I go in a completely different direction and start posting recipes or DIY tutorials like I do over on Contented Comfort's blog, or should I try to rustle up some guest bloggers to post?
Let me know if the comments below.
C. L. and I talked over some issues I've been having trying to get back in the swing of writing fiction the other day, and we decided it would be best if I placed the Flash Fiction Friday segment of the blog on hiatus until the first Friday in April.
You know how "everyone" always says "write every day" when people ask for advice on improving their writing? Well, if the last half of 2017 taught me anything, it's that staying in practice is key. After not writing anything but lesson plans from July to the end of October, I've been finding it very difficult to write much of anything, but fiction is proving more difficult to return to than articles. It's just a completely different way of thinking behind the process, you know?
Because of this, I end up spending a huge chunk of the week trying to write the flash fiction for that week, so I'm always running last moment instead of getting anywhere close to ahead. If this keeps up, the chances of ever getting caught up enough to get serious about returning to drafting Icarus before the end of 2018 are slim to none. So in pulling the plug on the expectation of having a new flash fic up every week, I hope to free up enough time and "thought space" to get back to work on Icarus and use that to try and get back into the swing of writing fiction again.
On a not quite related note, I know I mentioned our plans to begin redecorating C. L. and my master bedroom suite this weekend in Wednesday's post and how that would probably be our vlog this week. But then the sinus infection I've been trying to ward off since early December broke free and hit me like a semi yesterday morning. Work is being done, but there's no way I'll manage to scrape enough of myself back together by tomorrow to even go and purchase the paint and supplies let alone handle all the prep and get paint on the walls.
I apologize for the delay in new stories, but I hope this hiatus will result in better stories later in the year as well as a new novel by the end of the year.
I announced the reason for the blog's slow down back at the very beginning of August, complete with the mention of a hope things would return to normal once I settled into teaching, but that never happened. As it turns out, my perfectionistic tendencies didn't mesh well with trying to teach three classes and keep other "balls" in the air, juggling work, writing, and running a small business the way I've done in the past with more typical administrative positions. To put more of a point to it, I didn't mesh well with classroom teaching, so I ended up leaving my position at Foster Academy at the end of October.
The way my brain works, my memory in particular, is excellent for working one-on-one with students as a tutor, mentor, or a homeschooling mom. However, without a carefully written and laid out script to follow each class, it makes me the kind of teacher kids hate in a classroom setting. You know, one of those teachers whose train of thought jumps the track every few minutes, so they're impossible to follow?
Yeah, I was that teacher the first week or so until I learned to start writing myself scripts to follow in the form of slides presentations. You see, I remember things by association. One fact links to another and another and another because of similarities between them.
One of my biggest goals for this quarter was to finish the Icarus rough draft, but plans have changed.
It's not something I can really talk about at this stage, but I'm helping on a big project that will be ongoing. I might talk about it once things are more settled, but suffice to say the most intensive part of it will take place over the summer this year. Because of this, my time is going to be very limited. Things here on the blog won't change much, if I can help it, but I'm going to have to put drafting Icarus on hold until at least mid-August.
I apologize for the "secrecy," but rest assured, I'll let you in on what's going on when I can.
Normally, I would make this kind of announcement closer to the date, but I didn’t want to upset the posting schedule for the back to basics series yet again.
This is only my second holiday season since establishing this website, and I don’t think I mentioned anything about either my annual Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale or my Christmas sale last year on this blog. While the sale is mostly for Contented Comfort, the small business largely responsible for supporting my writing habit, the books are included in the sale. Because of the larger overhead for books, especially printed copies, I cannot mark them down by the same margins I do the bath and body products or even the few crochet items in stock. However, a 20% markdown is still pretty good, and that includes the signed paperbacks as well as the ebooks!
The start of a new school year always seems like a new beginning to me. Maybe it's because I married a teacher. Maybe it's because we're a homeschooling family. I'm not sure, but that feeling of a fresh start come early August is still there.
Because of this, I wanted to take a few minutes to ask you what you'd like to see from this blog. Do you want me to stick with just fiction writing, publishing, and related topics? Would you like some basic composition and grammatical lessons? More reviews? Fewer reviews? Now's the time to speak up.
Sorry, but I don't have an article for you this week. I also want to apologize for the lack of a flash fiction this past Friday. Last week had a high point when we took the girls to a natural history museum on Monday, but it was all down hill from there.
Between a slight flair and a series of migraines, I've been feeling horrible. We had major barometric shifts late in the week, which ushered in a bunch of storms. It was great for our garden, but it's been murder on our sinuses as well as triggering migraines for me.
This week is our last week of summer break before the new school year begins not only for C. L. but the girls too. I'm trying to take advantage of it as much as possible to get the last few things organized, the house back to par after being laid out for several days, and get us all back on routine. I'll try my best to have a flash fiction up on Friday, but I can't make any promises.
The back-to-school transition tends to be our most hectic and trying time of year. It usually takes us a week or three to get into the swing of things, but everything should be back to normal before the end of August.
Thank you for your patience.
I thought I'd try something a bit different. Most often, I write about writing or projects, but I figure that can get a bit boring. And it's crucial for a writer to keep their skills sharp no matter what stage their current project is in. Therefore, I decided to try my hand at a bit of flash fiction using a random first line generator as a prompt.
Here's a screenshot of the prompt I was given, and the story starts below.
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
Yekara Series Book 2
The Icarus Project
Rough Draft Progress
70566 / 75000
Myth & Science Collection
Icarus Trilogy Book 2
Yekara Series Book 3
Myth & Science Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Icarus Trilogy Book 3
Supers Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Yekara Series Book 4