Creative Slump

It’s been a rough summer. After finishing The Shadow Unveiled and Severed Spirits Rising, I haven’t been able to get in a frame of mind to work on anything. I had a nasty event a few months ago, and I haven’t entirely recovered since. Between that, the difficulties of summer on my health, plus usual “post book partum” 😛 I’ve been looking over my huge backlog of “to be written” and haven’t come up with anything that sparked.

There’s also the consideration of market. Not that I am necessarily “writing to market”, but what you write and first come out with is generally what readers expect to see from you. Especially in print. I have novel WIPs that are more appropriate for print than e-publishing due to their nature, but they’re off-the-cuff things, like my epic fantasy or my Arthurian novel. I don’t want to get locked into writing X and only X but that’s the way the market seems to work. That niggling thought in the back of my head does not help matters. 🙄

Hopefully the slump will pass, and then I can get back to working on something new. 🙂

Okay…

When I’m reading through romance author’s blogs on my Google Reader… nekkid baby pics is not what I want to see. Not that I have a problem with kids, but… um… when you’re also posting hunky dude pictures… no, just, no.

Multi-genre Authors + Pen Names = We Can’t Win

I read a post earlier this morning on Romancing the Blog, Genre-Jumping Authors: Love ‘Em Or Leave ‘Em? Basically, whether or not readers like authors who write in multiple sub/genres or not. The comments, to be frank, fucking disturbed me.

Several people said outright that if an author they considered “auto-buy” deviated from her norm and published a different book than they expected, they would drop her like a hot potato. If the book in question is not a romance but is labeled as one, then they have every right to be fucking pissed. But some of these people were saying that romance writers should use different pen names per sub-genre, much less for other genres like mystery or fantasy. WTF?

I’m not understanding how somebody can not realize that a book isn’t a romance.

  1. If you’re in a bookstore or library, the book very well may be shelved somewhere other than romance. This ought be a dead giveaway.
  2. The spine will usually say something else besides “romance.”
  3. The back cover copy should also be a clue.
  4. If you mainly order online, most romance authors will mention books are in different genres on their website.

If both the publisher and the author are deliberately misleading, then yes, you should be pissed. But I truly do not understand the thought process behind “use a different name.” People say you can cross-promote, but it isn’t always that easy. Promotion for one pen name takes a lot of time, much less multiple. If you’re print published, most readers are going to pick books up based on author name or cover art. If you’re using a different name, readers aren’t going to recognize your name. As far as they’re concerned, you’re another new author. Very few writers who use pen names get to put “Mary Sue writing as Dora Delany” on the cover. What you’re left with is people who read the bios in the back of the book, and those who read your website.

What about authors like myself, who have a setting they use for multiple genres? The Twilight Deception is a paranormal romance, but I also have an urban fantasy novel (in progress) and an epic fantasy (on hold) in the same setting, along with many other stories. It’s going to look very damn odd if what appears to be two different authors reference things from the same setting.

And for all the readers who complain about authors who don’t use pen names, there are readers who complain about ones who do.

We can’t fucking win.

You know what I was saying about Nocturne?

After the utter mindfuck that was Eternally and Haunted, I haven’t gotten around to reading the other two Nocturnes (Death Calls and Dangerous Temptation) I’ve had around. When reading a book results in irritation-induced insomnia… yeah. 😕

Morgan and I were at Walmart the other day, and they had the January releases out. I thought about getting them, but ultimately decided against it. I’ve had enough trouble sleeping lately without having to deal with another wallbanger.

I know two books isn’t much to judge a line by, but … meh. I liked the two books I read, but not enough to want to risk reading something as craptacular as that.

Am I being irrational here, or is anyone else feeling the same way? 😕

NaNoWriMo

So far, not so good on the Nano front: 2300 words. >_< Times like this I start to wonder why I keep signing up for this thing. After all, November's traditionally a hellish month for me. Between holidays, financial stress due to said holidays, Seasonal Affective Disorder (which seems to affect my fibromyalgia), and a shitload of "anniversary" stress due to the sheer number of times that November has sucked more balls than a drunk whore at a frat party....... Yeah. It doesn't help, either, that I managed to pull muscles from my forearm up through my shoulder to my back, and all around the right shoulder-blade. Compensating for the injury has led to strained muscles in my chest. Fun all around. 🙄 On the bright side, I'm happy with what I've written so far. That counts for something, yes? 😉

Fate Has It In For Me

I swear to gods, September has been the Month From Hell.

On top of the medical issues, there’s been a lot of personal stuff going on that’s very stressful, and I’d rather not talk about. Needless to say, it’s been heavily contributing to the overall issues with my fibromyalgia.

So what happens on Monday?

Our power goes out. >_< This time, it wasn't weather related. This time it was because the check for the electric company was in the mail, hadn’t yet reached them, and wouldn’t have been enough anyway. (Our electric bill runs about $400/mo for a small fucking apartment. Cost of living in this area is ridiculous.) Thank gods we were able to borrow money from a friend to get the power turned back on, as they wanted an exorbidant amount up front.

*beats head against keyboard*

Can I get off this fucking roller coaster already? Please?

That was just soooo much fun…

Yeah, right.

Around 5AM yesterday morning, I started having severe pain in my back, about an inch to the right of the spine, mirrored at my abdomen. Thinking that it might possibly be muscle tension and pain, I took a muscle relaxant and an ultram.

Both of them did absolutely nothing. Instead, the pain got worse, to the point it felt like I had something stabbing, and I thought I was going to either throw up or pass out — or both. I did a bit of research online and it looked like the top three issues with those symptoms were a kidney infection, kidney stones, or appenticitis.

In other words, nothing to fuck around with. I don’t drink anywhere near as much water as I should, so I consider myself predisposed for kidney/bladder problems (amazingly, haven’t had any issues to this point *knocks on wood*). My aunt had appenticitis around my age, too, so… yeah. I called the off-shift doctor at my doc’s office to confirm, and he said that I probably should go into the ER then (6AM) because I’d get treated faster than if I went later in the afternoon.

My male, however, was at work, and wouldn’t get home till about noon. Since it wasn’t “urgent,” I expected that I’d need to pop a vicodin (still have some leftover from tooth extraction a year and a half ago) and wait. But he’s like, “Um. No. I’m coming home and we’re taking you to the doctor now.

As my doctor and the hospital network are in Boston, we ended up going to one out-of-network (but still covered by insurance) nearby, the Caritas Norwood Hospital. We got there around 7:30/8ish and I got whisked into the back faster than I expected. As in, I’d pick up my book to read and someone would call me to get my vitals taken, get the registration done, get called back… yeah.

They did urine tests, blood tests, and an ultrasound. They didn’t actually medicate me for pain till I got the ultrasound results back around noonish (at which point I asked my male be brought in from the waiting room, which they did very promptly), because what they gave me would depend on what was wrong. I don’t have a kidney stone or infection, but something in my blood counts was high, so they were very concerned about appenticitis.

So the nurse had me drink this stuff that tasted like banana kaopectate (if there is such a thing) and hooked me up with 2mg of morphine. It took down most of the pain but didn’t kick it all so after an hour or so, she gave me another dose, and… um. That’d be the first time in about three years that I haven’t hurt at all, which is disturbing, in a way. Cause even through ultram or vicodin, I still hurt. Just not as much. Nice to know, though, that I don’t react badly to morphine. Reacted with me a bit like ultram, actually, only stronger on the pain-killing side.

On the somewhat amusing side, I was bored out of my mind at this point, having finished the books I brought (and my directionally clueless male isn’t familiar with Norwood so couldn’t go buy me something at a convenience store), so I sent him to get some scratch paper from the nurses. Finished part of a chapter, got brought in to get the CAT scan done, came back, finished the chapter and started another….. 😛

Around 6PM (they were swamped that day; the nurse actually said it was unusual how many people they had in), the doc came in again to talk to me. The CAT scan results came back fine. I don’t have appendicitis and they didn’t show anything else wrong in either the abdomen or pelvic region (as they did both to be thorough).

They suggested that given my PCOS and enlarged ovaries, it may be gynecological (the nurse mentioned that if I’m ovulating, it could cause that sort of pain with the PCOS… but I’m pretty sure birth control is supposed to prevent ovulation), and offered to schedule me an appt with their clinic there… but as my network is up in Boston, that really wouldn’t work, insurance being picky and all that.  So they discharged me with a script for vicodin (nothing stronger because if it got worse, the doc wanted me to know it rather than have it completely masked by a strong narcotic) and I have an appt with a gyn at my primary doc’s office in the morning.

I’m still hurting but nowhere near as bad… hopefully, we can find out what’s wrong. If something’s wrong. (I mean, I would hope I wouldn’t end up on morphine for nothing.)

*sighs* I hate my body.

*whimper*

Okay, so we had the evil heat on Wednesday. That night, we got in a major-ass storm (looooots of lightning, squee) that cooled down the place some … and knocked out our power. For over twelve hours.

No AC with 98F degree heat, with two people who start getting heatsick at 85? Not good.

We ended up camping in the lobby at Morgan’s work, cause he didn’t think they’d care (they didn’t), and then stayed with a friend/co-worker of his for awhile, till Morgan started falling asleep around 4:30ish.

So we go home. STILL NO POWER.

Eventually, we managed to get to sleep… and there was power in the morning.

Of course, around 11AM, the power started flickering, and went out. Totally. Again. We called the electric company, and apparently several sub-stations in the area were having trouble from the heat, along with a lot of storm/heat damage in the general area. So we drove down to the Borders, which is about 45 minutes away, and camped out there till 9PM — which was the estimated time of repair — only to find, again, no power.

Fortunately, it had cooled off by then…. but not by much. Power came back on sometime in the night and has stayed up since.

*crosses fingers and hopes that it stays up from here on out, cause this was just fucking MISERABLE*

A Double Edged Blade

It really sucks to be working on the novella and all of a sudden, feel like complete shit about it. As in, getting very depressed every time I start to work on it again. Now, with somebody else, I might wonder about self-doubts or regular confidence issues, but 99% of the time, that isn’t the case with me.

No, it means I did something wrong.

Problem? I have no clue what. Both this scene and the last read fine to me, and they do to Morgan, as well — or, rather, fine in the sense that we can’t pick out what’s wrong. Something feels “off” … but neither of us have a clue what.

Trying to work on it till I figure it out? Is gonna be like pulling teeth — if not impossible.

Usually I don’t mind this, because it’s normally not that difficult to figure out the problem and continue writing. Most of the time, POV is the issue — except I’m writing this in first person, so it can’t be that. Sometimes I wish I could just keep writing and then come back to edit this when it’s finished — but I know if I do that, I’m going to wind up up really bad off.

It’s almost like a form of writer’s block, in a way — only it’s not. It’s my red flag: “Yo, bitch, fix this shit.” It’d be nice if it came with the problem spelled out for me.
*grumbles and kicks something*

Dammit. I want to work on this, too. *sigh*