The Growth and Development of the Puppy Are the Same as the Novelist

As readers of this blog know, I have a puppy. His name is Neo. He’s almost 9 months old now. He’s still a baby. Neo entertains me, delights me, and sometimes frustrates me. And being a puppy he grows through developmental stages. But I’ve also realized that the growth and development of the puppy are the same as the novelist. Now you’re looking at me like I’m stupid. Bear with me, I’ll explain. Neonate (Week 0-2) The puppy is blind and deaf and toothless. He can touch and taste but cannot regulate his body temperature. Growing fast, he needs to eat every two hours. He interacts with mother and her siblings and starts learning simple social skills. The neo-novelist can read and write. She is hungry and consumes copious amounts of how-to-write books, blog posts, paper, and office supplies. She stays close to home and may interact with a mentor and fellow writers. Simple writing skills develop. The Transition Period (Week 2-4) The puppy’s eyes open. He starts to respond to sounds, and lights, and movement. He usually crawls but he can stand and stumble around. His baby teeth begin to come in. He also begins to realize when he […]

I Surrender!

Some days I just don’t give a damn. I’m tired. I’ve battled the demons of the day job, the emotional toll of being a caregiver, the chores of home ownership, and I’ve wrangled words on paper and by the end of the week, I’m done. I surrender. Today is one of those days. I’m pissed off that last night’s storm knocked more deadfall to the ground. I just can’t face the puddles of rainwater in my basement. I don’t care if mold will grow in the corners. And don’t get me started on the piles of laundry and dishes and dust and. . .. Do your lists of things to do grow at an alarming rate? Mine do. And it is exhausting. So what do you do? I don’t know about you but there are days when I give up. I surrender to the weight of ALL THE THINGS and I throw myself down on the floor, kicking and screaming “I don’t wanna!” (Okay, not literally, but it’s how I feel.) IT’S NOT LAZINESS I’d berate myself when I did this. I was lazy, a cry-baby. I was inadequate for the job of adulting. What a load of $#!%. Life […]

After Weekend Fun

I think I had a bit too much weekend fun. Have you had a weekend of fun that left you feeling like this? I had a lovely weekend at ConQuesT 44, an annual science fiction and fantasy convention sponsored by the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (KaCSFFS), held on Memorial Day Weekend in Kansas City, MO. I had the honor of being on a couple of panels with some distinguished guests and as part of the writers’ workshop met two writers and hopefully inspired them to continue writing and improving. And of course, I attended panels, met people, and partied late into the night. I had a grand time. As a writer our time is finite but the number of things we are expected to do seems to grow exponentially. WHY ATTEND A FAN RUN CONVENTION? There are a fair number of professional writers, editors, and publishers that attend smaller, fan-run conventions. In these situations, you might get time to get to know a fellow professional more personally and come to understand the business better. You might meet a fellow writer who later becomes a mentor or a collaborator. More importantly, you’ll meet a bunch of people who are […]