I don't know about everyone else, but I find it extremely hard to fit in all the things I want to do, within all the things that I have to do. The have list is astounding:
1. Wake up. (Yes, some days this is very hard for me the night owl)
2. Work a full time job. (No, I am not a full time writer...yet. I'm working on it, but as of right now, nope)
3. Children. (I don't actually mind all the things I do for and with my children, this makes the list for time consumption only)
4. Household chores. (I am aware that these can be put on a back burner, but I am not one that can do that. I have to pick up and straighten daily. If I don't it rages continually through my brain and refuses to allow me any peace of mind. When I am fighting with myself over a load of laundry that needs done, I can't exactly think or complete anything else.)
5. Outside chores. (See number 4)
6. Unexpected life events. (We all have these. Mom is sick. Dog died. Snake in the basement. Regardless of the event, they tend to be time consuming)
7. Etc. etc. etc. (In fact I could go on and on with this list, but you get the idea)
Then you have the list of really want to do things which surprisingly is not all that large and yet, I struggle to fit them within my days.
1. Write or work on my current projects. (Just an hour is all I really want a day. Just one measly hour. Is that too much to ask? Some days? Heck yeah.)
2. Read a book. (I miss all the books I want to read. I used to be able to squeeze in a book or two or five within a weeks time. Yeah, not so much anymore. I'm lucky to read a book a week)
3. Lay out in the sunshine watching the bunnies or the birds or the butterflies flit around. (I'm kinda like superman in that I need the sun to recharge. When I get so busy that I can't get outside into the sun I get grouchy and sad. Winters are hard for that very reason.)
4. Watch TV. (I don't watch much TV anymore. I try to watch Dance Mom's on Tuesdays, but other than that, esp. right now in the mid June, I struggle to find veg-out time as much as I struggle to find writing time)
5. Go for a walk. (I try very hard to do this during my lunch breaks in the spring-fall. It's not happening much anymore. I'm working through lunch. I'm running five thousand and one errands. Who has time for a lovely summer walk?)
That's it. Doesn't seem like all that much does it? Maybe things will settle down. Most likely they won't. Until then, I will strive to get in a bit of me time as much as possible. I am a happier Courtney when I do.
What hits your lists, both must do and want to do. Have you found ways to work out a decent balance? Share...
Monday, June 10, 2013
What’s on my mind? Surprisingly I have a lot of things going on in my life right now. Foremost is that I am almost finished with draft one of my next book in the Shadow Dancer series. This is the story of Leif. I have had several people ask what happened to him and why he was the way he was. Well, this book is the why and the how. I have about 10,000 more words to get down for it to be done. Maybe more. I am working on the last two big scenes of the book. Sometimes I get caught up in the action and it’s more words than I thought it would be. That’s not a bad thing, actually. As then when I have to go back and cut away all the useless stuff, there is still plenty of story left.
I have never tried to write from a male perspective before. I hope I am doing a decent job of it. I will need to find a few beta readers to break it to me one way or another. That’s still a bit far off though, as again, I’m only on the first draft. That first draft is usually a mess by the time it’s written. I will have to go back and really work on it page by page in order to fill it in and cut away and put together a more complete story. I have found that my first draft is really only a shell of the story. All the ideas and problems and people tossed around and stuffed in. The first revision is killer. I don’t know about some of the other writers, but the first revision for me is almost harder than writing the story to begin with. No, it doesn’t take quite as long, but it’s still a job.
Leif has been on my mind lately (I wonder why). He is a lot more complex that even I knew. He has had a hard life. It’s no wonder he is a hard and cold man. Yes, I do get attached to my characters. I live their lives, their thoughts, their dreams while I am writing their stories. It’s hard not to get attached.
At any rate, that’s where I am right now. His story is almost complete. Will it have a happy ending? I’m not certain. He is going to have to decide that for himself.
What’s on your mind this week? Are you working on anything new and exciting? This does not have to be writing related. This can be the new garden you put in, or the new book you are reading, or the new cabinets you are making for the kitchen. Come on, share. What are we all doing now that the warmth of summer has finally arrived?
Posted by Courtney Rene at 6:56 AM
Friday, May 31, 2013
As promised, today I am happy to have fellow writer Angelia Amos, author of the YA Fantasy book, Horse Charmer guest posting today on my blog. This is the last day of her Tasty Book Tour and one of her last stops. If you'd like to check out her other tour stops you can find them HERE. Angelia is giving away a $20 Amazon/B&N giftcard. If you want a chance to win, you must enter through the Rafflecopter below.
On with the post!
Me at 17 and What Would I Do If I Wasn't a Writer
By Angelia Amos
I don't often think about myself at that age. Probably because I was so focused on my "future" and that future didn't really include being a wold-famous writer. :-) Nope, my goal was to become a world-famous Olympic 3-Day Eventer (a horse sport focusing on dressage, show jumping, and cross country). I wanted to be a trainer and professional rider.
I had taken the high school proficiency exam when I was sixteen so I was now attending the local community college taking my general education classes so I wouldn't have to take the SAT's when I transferred to a four year university when I turned eighteen. Each semester I took two core classes and one light-elective class. Not quite a full load, but enough to keep me busy and on the campus four-five days a week.
At home, I was riding my hyper-active show horse every day. Some days training while other days riding with the kids in the neighborhood. I showed regularly in the local schooling shows in show jumping, but steered clear of dressage since I still couldn't ride anything close to a complete test with my horse not throwing a major tantrum (she hated flat work). Her hate for anything involving control at a low speed (she was great jumping and cross-country) meant I wasn't heading out to any 3-Day events on my horse anytime soon. The main reason for my focus on getting into one of the few of the four year private colleges on my list - all of them had equine degrees with riding as a focus. My plan was to ride and train many different types of horses to give me the knowledge and experience I would need to then start working toward being competitive in the eventing world. At the same time, I'd be earning my BA in case I changed my mind or it didn't work out. I would also double major with a back up career. Guess what that career was? Yep, writer. Ha Ha. I though it hysterical that I was going to be double majoring in Riding and Writing. Say it out loud to fully get it. :-)
Now I'm not even half-way convinced I would be a professional rider and horse trainer right now if I hadn't decided to switch over to writing for a career and riding for pleasure (hobby). I don't think I have the personality to be successful in that field. What's funny is thinking back on it, I was training just as hard to be a writer. I devoured every type of story I could in movie, television, book and online writing, and gaming during my "spare" time. Not on purpose, but it was all there. I read constantly. Was a daily regular at the video store. And followed my favorite shows faithfully. I would rather watch the latest episode of The X-Files then hit the town with my friends on a Friday night.
I do remember I was pretty happy at seventeen. Riding my horse for hours every day, taking college classes, watching lots of TV/Movies, and reading late into the night.
By: Angelia Almos
*Horse Charmer is on sale for $.99 (ebook) to celebrate the two year anniversary*
A gifted princess. A special horse. A quest for the truth.
At sixteen years old, Cassia would rather spend her days in the royal stables than in the royal court. But as the eldest child of King Robet and Queen Sarahann she obediently performs her duties as the Princess of Karah.
Her safe world changes forever when her father is murdered in the neighboring kingdom of Vespera. Cassia grapples with his loss as her mother prepares her for her new role as queen. Her first task - she must travel to Vespera to marry a prince she barely knows to fulfill the treaty her father signed just before his death.
Nothing is as simple as it seems with political intrigues and unusual powers shadowing Cassia on her search to find out who killed her father and why.
Angelia Almos' love affair with horses began when she was five years old and talked her parents into her first riding lesson. Horses have always been a huge part of her life. The initial idea behind Horse Charmer came to her when she was fourteen. The image of a teenage girl riding her horse through a meadow appeared. Who was this girl? Where was she going? What was she running from? Those questions led to the creation of Horse Charmer.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/horse-charmer-angelia-almos/1101976975
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/horse-charmer-angelia-almos/1101976975
Posted by Courtney Rene at 3:00 AM
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
I know it's the beginning of the week, and you are expecting an updated blog. However, this weeks "real" post will be up on Friday. I will be having Angela Amos, a fellow author, guest post the week. So please stop over on Friday and take part in the event.
Posted by Courtney Rene at 6:10 AM
Monday, May 20, 2013
It’s Butterfly Season!
I love this time of year. The colors, the fresh air, the colors… One of my favorite things though are all the new butterflies coming out of their cocoons and decorating my yard with their bouncing colors. Some of my favorites:
The Black Swallowtail. This butterfly can be found within the entire state of Ohio. Its preferred haunts are fields, meadows, and gardens.
The American Copper Butterfly. This butterfly can be found in meadows from May through September again all throughout Ohio. It is a rather small butterfly, but the colors on the inside of its wings are bright and lovely to see. Not sure why it is name the American Copper as it was brought here from another country long ago.
The American Painted Lady. This is the butterfly that I usually grow inside a butterfly garden in the late winter to release into the garden. They are so pretty and light. I think after the years of releasing them, they are starting to come back on their own as now you can see many of these butterflies dancing in the orchard and stealing my peaches even though I have not released new ones in two years now.
The Great Spangled Fritallary Butterfly. This butterfly can be found in the Northwest region of Ohio from June through September. I have seen a few in my area, which is Northeast, but it is usually a fluke. I figure someone took a wrong turn on the migration path and ended up in my garden. ALl in all the Red to brown to yellow one the wings are quite the eye catcher.
We have many other specimens here in Ohio, but again these are just a few of my favorites. For more information on Ohio Butterflies, you can go to the following links:
Have a great week everyone.
Posted by Courtney Rene at 12:31 PM
Monday, May 13, 2013
Nothing exciting going on in my life right now, so today will be a post on “Random Thoughts” Just a few things that are on my mind.
1. Mother’s Day. I always feel really bad for those men whose wives have already passed away. You know they are missing them very much on days like Mother’s Day. I know they miss them on other days, but for some reason, Mother’s day is a big one for me. Makes me sad.
2. Only 3 more weeks of school left. What am I going to do with my children for the summer? This is a constant struggle for working people that have kids who are older than 11 or 6th grade. Most summer programs are for 11 and under. Yes, I know the children are technically old enough to be home alone, and but ick. Too much time on the hands of a pre-teen or teen is so not a good thing. I wish I was rich and didn't have to work. Or, I wish I could telecommute. Sigh….
3. Ticks. It’s the season for the little suckers. Why do they wig me out so much? They are slow and small (until they are ballooned out with blood), and usually avoidable. Yet, they freak me out. I need to get the yard sprayed. Uck.
4. Swimming. We have a pool in the back yard and my children and I love the pool. Except…I hate the work that is involved with a pool. Chemicals and sweepers and leaves and frogs and bugs. Our pool is on its 11th year of its 10 year warranty’d life. I’m thinking after this year, it may be time to dismantle it. Anyone got any tips for easier pool maintenance?
5. Basements. We are thinking of finishing ours. We have a sudden need for additional space and think maybe a sealed basement and finishing system may be the solutions. Anyone got any ideas on this? I have heard good and bad on this idea so I am looking for additional thoughts or history.
As I said, not much going on right now for me. Yes, I’m still working on Shadow Fire. I have gone on a different journey than anticipated so It’s taking a bit longer than most of my other novels. I think mainly because I am working on tense and POV differently than anything I have tried in the past. Plus my POV is from the male perspective. You men, it’s very hard trying to get into your heads. Just sayin.
Have a great week everyone.
Posted by Courtney Rene at 9:29 AM
Monday, May 6, 2013
The based on true events story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Stars: Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts.
My Review: Wow. Considering the reviews I saw for this movie, I didn't expect much. In fact, I passed over this rental several times over the past few weeks, as it didn't seem all that great of a movie. Well, let me just tell you, that I was so very wrong. Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts, should have won awards for their portrayals in this movie. I was captivated and moved by them. I spent all but the first fifteen minutes of this movie an emotional wreck. It was that good. The casting of Lucas, (Tom Holland) was perfection. This young actor has a grand future ahead of him. He does a fantastic job of playing the older brother and angsty pre-teen. I can't wait to see what else he does.
What would you do, if you were injured, and your family separated due to a natural catastrophic disaster? That is what this family goes through. A story of survival in the face doom. Hope in the hopeless. This was such a good movie. A bit horrific at time and I do admit I gagged and had to leave the room at one point (thanks for that...ew). Regardless, I was captivated.
I'm sharing this movie this week, because everyone should watch it. Do you even know about this movie? Are you aware of its existence? Now you are. Go, hit the redbox, hunt it down on OnDemand. Something. But watch it. Let me know what you think of it. Am I right? Was it as well done as I believe it was or was I just over hormonal for some reason (it was my birthday after all).
Have a great week everyone.
Posted by Courtney Rene at 8:40 AM