Sad to say, this poor thing has had no love for awhile. But, in my defense, it's tough when you work Full-Time, go to School *and* are trying to write...under two different Pen Names!
I'm not using that as an excuse, by any means, I'm just sayin'...
I know many of you are in the same boat as me. We have family, we have lives outside of our books, we have things that have to get done when all we really want to do is write!
Am I right?
Sure I am. You know I am. *eyes the crowd...taps foot...* Come on, you can admit it! It's just you, me and the Twitterverse. Don't be shy!
Anyway, since time seems to be the thing I'm always chasing, I thought I'd talk today about finding some sort of balance to it all and how I do it.
As I mentioned, my life is quite full and until Earth catches up to the rest of the Universe and converts to a 37 hour Trade Standard Day, I fear those elusive minutes will always be just out of reach...
Even with that in mind, there is hope. It can be done. It isn't always easy mind you, but the trick - I've found at least - is to find whatever works for you and have the self-discipline to stick to it! There in lies the rub though, I think. We all have great intentions but it's paring it with the fortitude to keep with it that becomes the hard part.
Many times I've wanted to just throw my hands up and scream, "It's just too much...something's gotta give!"
But then I take a breath and look at all I've done. When I do that, I realize, "Hey, you know what? I'm not so bad at juggling...maybe I should join the circus?!?!"
Now, now, don't laugh! I crack a mean whip! *saucy grin* At least that's what my subs say.
Anyway, moving on...
I'm sure you're asking how right?
Well, I'll share what works for me. If you'd like to use it, feel free! I won't mind at all.
I use calendars and everything goes into them. I have three and I check them daily. I know that seems excessive, but I've found it's the only way I can stay sane sometimes.
My first calendar is my primary one. It's for work but I also include anything of a personal nature, such as doctors appts, vet visits, eye exams and so on. Mainly because most of those things tend to take place during the day or in the early evening, so meshing the two together works well.
Now, I can hear you asking, what kind of calendar do you use? Well, I'll tell you. It's a spiral bound one that you can get at any office supply store - Office Depot, Office Max, Staples and so on. This year it's got a week on two pages so I can see at a glance what I'm doing Mon-Friday at a glance. I've tried using one day per page types but then I end up wasting time flipping if I want to see if there's anything important coming up on Friday and it's only Monday.
Now, my second one is for School, because it's my second priority right now. I do everything online and while it makes it much easier due to the time constrictions I'm under, it also tends to be a bit more work intensive. This calendar is also a week-at-a-glance type and in it I keep my assignments listed so I know on Monday what's due by Saturday and can plan accordingly.
And because my classes are nine weeks long, instead of a "standard" semester/quarter, I can write in all my work to be done at the beginning of the class - from the syllabus - and plan as I go for what I need to get accomplished that week.
My third calendar is for my Author Self's. Again, as I said above, there's two of me, Lady Blade and Margaret Taylor (And trust me, there are many a day that I sit here and go, "Ok who am I right now?"!!!) But, I separated them for specific reasons. Lady Blade has her following in the BDSM community and Margaret Taylor is building one in the more contemporary/paranormal/sci-fi communities. (Thank you my Twitterites! Hugs, Kisses and Cookies for following me!)
Now, in this one I keep track of both personalities (No, I'm not crazy. Ok, well I am, but Shhhhh! I'm only on leave from the crazy house for the week!) and whatever they are doing.
For Lady Blade, I keep her deadlines, blog guest spots, guests for this blog, hops I'm involved in or are coming up and so on.
For Margaret, since I'm doing a combo of House Publishing and releasing two series as an Indie in the coming months, I keep track of my self-imposed deadlines, blog spots I've booked in prep for the releases, edits for the House (Hugs to Lyrical Press! Love you Paige! Have some cookies!) Oh and her "baking" schedule of virtual cookies. (Who knew my Twitterites could eat so much!?!?!?!)
I know, I know, I can hear you all saying, "Wow, that's a lot."
It does seem that way. But truthfully because I've worked out this system it really isn't. I find plenty of time to visit with the Twitterverse, Facebook and answer my emails as well as write.
I block out two hours nightly - more on Sat/Sun and Holidays - to write. I'm a very fast typist, so if I'm just writing, I can easily crank out 2k in a matter of hours. Of course, if I'm editing, I slow way down, so I tend to save that for the weekends when I can take a chunk of time and really go at it. It also helps, for me, to edit on Weekends. I'm far less distracted by "other things" and can concentrate on getting the project done.
Anyway, that's how I've mastered the elusive Time Monster. I hope it helps you, or at the very least, sparks an idea and gives you a direction to go for yourself.
And if it doesn't, and you have something that works for you, all I can say is "Never Give Up, Never Surrender!" (And yes, I shamelessly stole that from Galaxy Quest! *loves to Tim Allen* I know he won't mind!) If you manage yourself, keep to your own self-discipline, you too can beat the Monster at his own game!
Because you've been so patient and read this far, I'll give you a little snippet of what I wrote earlier tonight during my writing block. No, no, I won't give you all 2k, but this was a fun, touching scene from my pending release, Blood In the Moon, Book 2 - Beginnings, which will be releasing from Renaissance Ebooks later on this year. (Hoping for August/September)
I'll set just a bit of the scene for you, though it really doesn't need much explanation. Sara Riggs, Jasmine's Sister and Alpha as well to the Northern Blood Pack, Randall "Bowie" Two Wings and Marcus, the Pack's Weapons Master are returning from Missouri and the annual Gathering of the Packs. They've stopped at a hotel for the night and while Sara was "running off" some tension in the nearby woods, Marcus and Bowie have been at the bar discussing things...
With that said, I hope you enjoy this brief snippet into their world.
It was a lot to take in, a whole lot. Two more beers though, helped it go down just a bit easier. Bowie stumbled back to his room and flopped across the covers on the bed, staring at the shadows on the ceiling. He wasn’t drunk, not even close, but he did have a pleasant buzz going and let his mind drift.
Marcus, thankfully, had been a wealth of information and patiently answered all his questions. He’d learned, for example, that a Dominant/submissive relationship wasn’t just about bondage. It wasn’t all about tying someone up. That particular aspect was usually a part, not the whole.
According to Marcus, if both parties enjoyed that sort of thing it could greatly heighten the overall experience. He admitted he loved tying Maddie up, watching her squirm and squeal, plead and beg for release. He also loved watching her struggle against the bonds he placed on her. But it was more than that too. Knowing she allowed him to put them on her was also a part of the appeal, but still wasn’t the whole.
It was a trust factor. Maddie trusted him enough not to hurt her, either by design or unintentionally, and allowed him that much control over her. It was the greatest of aphrodisiacs, according to Marcus anyway.
He still had his doubts though. The first being, if trust was the bigger factor, could he trust Sara?
He could count, on one hand, the number of people in his life he had that much faith in. Charley, Cody, Dillon, a few others he’d known over the years, that was it. And now Sara…
But why? She’d never given him a reason not too, true, but still, what was it about her? What power did she hold over him?
He dropped an arm over his eyes and let out a sigh.
By all rights, he shouldn’t trust her in the slightest. He barely knew her. Never in his life had he so quickly allowed someone so close. But, in less than two weeks, she’d seen him completely naked, held him in her arms while he cried of all things and somehow managed to lock a collar around his neck.
He toyed with the metal, smiling when the lock jingled softly. The feeling of being owned, of belonging, settled across his chest like the first sip of strong, well-aged bourbon.
Her door opening brought his head up. Kicking off his boots, he padded across his room and out into the hallway. He knocked on hers, waiting rather impatiently, for it to open.
“Enjoy yourself?” he asked softly.
She stepped back and he breezed past, noting the trail of leaves and dirt on her floor. He turned back as she shut the door and chuckled when she shook out of her long hair.
“I did,” she replied. “Did you need something?”
He shook his head slowly, letting his eyes roam over her body. She was naked, unconcerned with it and he took his time. She was perfect. She wasn’t model thin, she wasn’t fat either. She was muscled, toned and curved in all the right places. Her belly had a slight paunch to it, but she liked to eat, so it was no wonder.
Her legs were long, the thighs and calves defined but not body-builder ugly. Her hips flared out above them and, as his mother would say, were perfect for ‘birthin’ babies’. Her waist was trim, curving in from her hips and he remembered spanning his hands around it that night by the river pool. It wasn’t so thin that he could completely encircle it, but wasn’t so wide that he couldn’t lift her against him with ease.
Her arms were long like her legs and he remembered their strength, both when he’d awakened under them and when she’d held him, offering comfort. Her breasts were large, but not stripper so and he wanted to take one, see how it fit into his callused hand. Her skin was streaked with dirt and she had a twig clinging to the ends of her long hair. Her shoulders were wide, even with her hips and the muscles shifted when she fisted her hands on them.
“What?” she finally asked.
He reached out and gently untangled the piece of tree. He dropped it on the floor between them and answered her question. “Charley said yes.”
She blinked, her cheeks slightly flushed and nodded. “Oh, that’s good.”
Neither of them moved and he continued to stare down into her eyes. The flakes of gold sparkled against the green and her skin flushed a shade deeper when he didn’t speak.
“W-was there something else?” she asked, a bit breathlessly.
He reached up to tug at the lock on the collar.
She jerked a bit and flushed another shade deeper of pink. “Oh. I forgot to remove it.”
She made to move past him, most likely to get the key and he reached out and gently wrapped a hand around her upper arm. “No,” he whispered.
She tilted her eyes up to his, her own flashing hotly. “What? You don’t want me to take it off?”
He shook his head. “I don’t.” And he truthfully didn’t.
“Then what do you want Bowie?”
He pulled her back around in front of him and took one step to close the distance. Her warmth invaded him, folded around him like a thick blanket in a Siberian winter and he picked up her hands, curling his own over them against his chest. “To know why I trust you…”
Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by. I hope my time tricks have helped and you've enjoyed visiting Book 2 of the Blood in the Moon Series.
Until we meet again!