Monday, March 24, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

More thoughts....

Here's some more thoughts from my weekend at "home."


The car pulls out of the driveway and I turn around in my seat to get a glimpse of the house, nearly hitting my head on the fishing poles which jut out from the back seat. I look at the yard filled with rocks, wildflowers, and cactus, in full bloom even though it's February.


Once it was filled with grass as we played endless games of "what time is it Mr. Fox," "tag," and countless others that have been long-forgotten. Once it was surrounded by a white-picket fence and the side of the house held a blue and yellow swing set.


The yard, with it's rocks and cactus, is still beautiful. Still brings up memories of my father planting wildflowers and taking such pride in the landscaping.


"It could be some time before it sells," my husband says softly as we drive away.

"I know." I stay turned around watching the green and white house grow smaller and smaller. The house that holds a thousand memories, all of which flicker through my mind at once. 

I haven't lived there for years, so why is it this difficult?


We round the corner, the contents of the over-packed car shifting. The house disappears from my view and we drive away.


~Suzanne Lazear 2/17/14

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ruminations

Over the holiday weekend I went to my mom's. I was tasked with the project of cleaning out and boxing up my childhood bedroom, which, all these years later, was still filled with my things--my books, collections, photos. Even my posters hung on the walls. The closets filled with bad 90's prom dresses. I thought it would be an easy. I thought wrong. 

Ruminations

I lie on the bed in my room and look out into the empty space. The walls look naked without my posters, the shelves lonely without my books. The room is dark, the light off, the window covered with a red blanket with the name of my brother’s college on it.

The darkness of the room fits my mood.

The room that held such life, such memories is now naught but empty furniture, a few cardboard boxes, 
and a couple of things left to be packed.

Everything remaining holds haunting memories. The bookshelf my dad made for my sixth birthday. The doll shelves built one by one to house my collections, which now sit in boxes to be sold or given away. The desk in the corner where I did my homework, built in an afternoon from a wine box and part of a door.

It's been difficult cramming a lifetime into a few boxes, deciding which memories are more important than others.

As I stare up at the glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling, a gift for my 11th birthday from a friend, I feel like a chapter is closing on my life...a chapter I’m not sure I’m ready to end, though I knew it was coming.

“I'm sorry,” my mom says as she stands in the doorway, peering through the darkness, trying to find me among the furniture.

“People move,” I reply, unmoving on the narrow bed, wanting to be left alone a little longer. This has been the only home I ever knew in my childhood. Through all my wanderings and travels, it's always been there, waiting for me, filled with dolls, trophies, and books, white paint and lace.

There’s a little patch on the wall, where the pink paint peeks through, left by my careless removal of tape which hung something long-forgotten on the wall. The room is white now, and has been for some time. Before that it was pink, peppermint pink, which covered the genderless cheerful yellow from when my older brother and I shared this room.

The Welcome Home Suzi sign from when I was 16 still hangs on the door in faded cheerfulness, though the wooden Suzanne's Room sign, with its pink and ballet shoes, is packed.

I look one last time at the boxes and try not to cry. Crying won't help anything. Still, so much of my dad is in this room and I've felt him here all weekend, watching me as I pack.

Was he judging me as I chose between the doll he won for me when I was four and the Glow Baby he bought me for Christmas when I was five? As important as both of them are to me, I only have room for one. The doll is losing her head, the plastic deteriorating, and Glow Baby is filthy from years of dust, her batteries dead.

In this room I can still hear the laughter of sleepovers. The sounds of flute practice. Music playing on the stereo as I do my homework. Feel the beads of a thousand art projects under my feet in the green shag carpet that’s been there as long as I have.

My name is called from the other room and I sigh. It's time to go. I’d hoped for a few more moments of silence, to be alone with my thoughts, my memories for a little longer. I'll be back, I hope, before the room ceases to be mine forever.

Still, I can feel the page turn, the chapter coming to a close, the words pushing my feet out the door. As unready as I am, it doesn’t matter. I’m powerless to stop it, all I can do is move forward before it closes with me still inside.

Goodbye room. Goodbye shelves. Goodbye narrow canopy bed I got when I was four, still wearing the ivy-print sheets bought in high school.

My hand closes around the knob as I shut the door behind me. I hope the next girl who has this room loves it as much as I do. Blinking back the tears, I sniff, and let go of the knob.


My fingers brush the door one last time. It’s painted white to match my room. The bottom is patched from when my younger brother kicked it. Taking a deep breath, I pad barefoot down the hall toward the voices that are still calling me.

~Suzanne Lazear 2/17/14

Monday, February 3, 2014

Steampunk Valentine's Day Ideas over at Steamed....

I'm over at the Steamed blog today talking about steampunky Valentine's Day ideas that won't break the bank. Come say hello. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Making Writing Fun Again

Writing can be a lot of fun -- you get to create a world, characters, and bring something to life.

But it can also be work. 

Editing is very hard (but necessary) work. Writing on deadline. Work. Writing the book you have to write instead of the book you want to write. Also work. Maintaining life balance. Work. Promoting. Work.

Well...you get the idea.

All this work can sometimes suck the creativity right out of your writing and you have to push hard to get through it, because when you're on deadline, it's not like you can just stop. Sometimes a rampant personal life can also drain your creative juices and make it difficult to want to write, to create, even if it previously was what got you through such things.

Unfortunately, sometimes writing stops being fun.

I had this happen to me twice in 2013.

The first time was last spring. I had a lot of crazy going on personally and professionally. Even though I knew I needed to write something, anything, to keep the momentum going, I didn't want to. I was watching wayyy to much Pitch Perfect and baking too many cupcakes instead.

Then, Missy spouted off a ridiculous what if. I kept thinking about it. I found myself reading some books, researching some things online.

And then I started to write.

Every night I'd read her what I wrote that day and she'd give me her ideas and suggestions. We wrote something that was both meaningful, but silly. We used proper story structure, and created (what I hope was) a viable story. But at the same time, we gave no actual though to what was marketable.

Our story choices reflected this. We wrote for ourselves. There were Pitch Perfect and Jennifer Lawrence homages. Cupcakes. Fuzzy Bunnies. Combat boots with flowers. Knitted hats. Puppies. Princesses. And pretty much everything else you might expect when your writing partner is a nine-year-old.

When we finished, we started book 2.

Every day I'd try to write an entire chapter so I'd have something to read to her at bedtime. I did a lot of research, but it was fun research and I found myself drawing upon the master's degree I enjoyed getting but never ever use. She learned more about story structure than she probably ever wanted to know.

At some point in time writing became fun for me again.

Most of all, we did it together. We'd laugh and create and look at pictures on pinterest.

We never ever gave thought to anyone reading this but us. After all, it was so us, no one else would probably ever get it.  Even the Hubby didn't get it.

Eventually, w had to stop partway through book 3 because I had to get back to work and make Charmed Vengeance edits. But the important lessons had been learned.

We haven't forgotten our series. We still have little in jokes about our characters, like one who won't eat anything ending in -ito, a joke we make pretty much every time we're in the chip section of the grocery store. Or we'll pick out shoes for our MC or cupcake recipes we think she might like to bake.

I'd love if one day our story say the light of day, but at the same time, that's not as important as the fact that a) it helped me rediscover that joy in writing and b) I wrote something with my daughter.

Sometimes writing for ourselves is even more important than writing for everyone else, even if it will never delight anyone but ourselves.

After all, if the author isn't happy, no one is happy.

What do you do to rekindle the spark when writing stops being fun?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Welcome 2014

I've been waiting for 2014 with a combination of excitement and apprehension.

2013 was a year of extreme ups and downs on all fronts--writing, my non-writing career, my personal life.

I encountered the "sophomore slump"with book two, changed agents, wrote a book with my daughter, and remembered why writing was fun.

I was unemployed, was underemployed, and started a job I love but kicks my butt.

I lost my father, which turned my world upside down and went on the best family vacation ever.

As you can see 2013 taught me a lot.

It taught me not to take anything for granted. That things do get better. To be Dorrie and just keep swimming. 

I am hoping 2014 brings good things and keeps reminding me what's important in life.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has made me realize that I have a lot to be grateful for.

I'm grateful for:


  • My family, especially husband and daughter who love and support me
  • My job
  • My writing and the fact I have two books out!
  • All my lovely friends, both writing and non-writing
  • The fact that even though my father is no longer with me, that I have no regrets about our relationship
What are you grateful for?

Monday, November 11, 2013

NaNoWriMo Days 8, 9, and 10

In those three days I wrote 5, 523 words. More importantly, I finished this WIP.

I didn't write the end. I'm nowhere near the end. I'm only about 1/3 of the way in. I've written about 25k just in Noveber. Even though it's not "done", I've written as much as I needed to write on this story. I am at a good pausing point. Now, I need to make it pretty. I need to fix the names, a lot of the names were placeholders. I need to ramp of the world building and discriptions. I need to clarify and fix some things. Then it goes off to the betas.

THEN I can start my NaNo Book.

But then again, NaNo isn't about winning. It's about writing.

So, if your word counts aren't where you'd like them to be, don't give up. Be Dorrie and just keep swimming. After all, anything you write in November is still more words than you had in October. Even if you don't "win."

Friday, November 8, 2013

NaNoWriMo--Day #7

Yesterday was a bust. I'm not even sure what happened. All the sudden it was time to go to bed and I hadn't written a single word.

Days like that happen though, and you can't let them get you down.

Just keep swimming  writing.

How did you do?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

NaNoWriMo--Day 6

Oops,  I forgot to post this last night before bed.

Yesterday I got in 4,200 words. I'm nearly done with this so then I can *finally* move on to my NaNoWriMo story.

This is a different process for me. Usually I pound out the entire story (or most of it) and fix everything and make it pretty. Since I don't have that luxury with this, I can't just put [insert science here] like I might during drafting. I have to do even more research while writing than usual. Also, instead of making a list of tings to fix, I am going back and fixing things as I go--especially world building things. I'm finding I have to make this world evolve much faster than usual.

I leave you with something I wrote:

Wait, why was he even debating this? Perhaps he wasn’t a full doctor yet; however he had certified as a field medic. He’d taken an oath to heal the sick and injured to the best of the ability. The oath said nothing about withholding treatment based on their homeworld—or due the law.  
Blast the law. He was going to do what he needed to save her life. 


Feel free to share something you wrote.

How's your progress?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day #5

Today I got about 1700 words, so write on track but not making up for yesterday -- though I do have words banked.

I'm not actually sure why I'm even worrying, since this isn't my main NaNoWriMo project, though if this takes much longer I might have to "cheat" and make the 50k a combo of both projects.

Winning NaNo isn't really the important part, though. Getting a chunk of AC #4 written during NaNo is so that I can continue the tradition. And I will.

I am finding, with the other story, that my pace has slowed the past two days because of research (okay, and it not being the weekend). There's a lot of science and due to the nature of this project I can't just leave myself a note to research or fix things later like I might during a usual draft or NaNo project where the point is to get the words on the page.

Either way, I do like how things are shaping up, though I still worry. Is it interesting? Do I have the right POVs? Is it in the tense? Am I doing the story justice. Etc. Even today I realized I'd left out some crucial science and had to go back in and add it.

How's your story going?


Monday, November 4, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day #4

Today wasn't a huge success in wordcount land. I only logged about 840 -- and I'm still on that non-NaNo project.  Oh well.

How'd things go for you?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

NaNoWriMo--Day #3

It's day three and I'm still working on the other project. I'm just not at the point I need to be to stop. Also, I'm having some worldbuilding issues, which I can fix later, but it's still bugging me.

Anyway, I logged about 3500 words today. How did you do?

So, I as much as I like this line, I think it's actually pretty cheese.

"Wait, what?" he asked. Was Vigo inebriated or just being more stupid than usual?

What cheesey lines did you write today?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

NaNoWriMo--Day #2

It's day #2 of National Novel Writing Month. I'm still working on that other project. I'm not sure how many words I logged today but it's well over 4k.

My favorite line, one I've been wanting to write for a long time was "Hey Baby, wanna see my spaceship."

Yeah.

How many words did you write today? What was your favorite line that you wrote? Feel free to share.