Monday Musings: Peeking (again) into the Writer’s Psyche

[NOTE: I wrote this on Sunday, but couldn’t get it posted until what is, for most of you, Monday. Or even Tuesday, with the glories of a very large, round world.] 

This is a rare Sunday check-in to let you know I haven’t run off to join the foreign legion (I think I’ve aged out of that option) or jumped in a volcano (the lava lake at the Kilauea caldera isn’t as dramatically enticing as it used to be).

But since we’re talking about hot places (how’s that for a transition?), let me say, satellite internet is the spawn of the devil. And not the sexy Tom Ellis Lucifer, the evil one that smells like rancid underarm funk.

Our internet has been a dumpster fire for months, and despite multiple emails, tickets, and phone calls—and just as many broken promises—we cannot get a satellite service call-out. It moves at a trickle when it moves at all, regularly dropping the connection even though the chirpy blue light on the router say It’s All Good!

Beware: the chirpy blue light lies.

Forget about that data hog Facebook—it often won’t even load my email! And I can’t just tuck my Mac desktop under my arm to hit the nearest coffee shop. (I literally can’t; my arms are too short.)

So I swear a lot and have fallen way behind on everything.

My apologies to everyone I seem to have ignored. I haven’t—I know you’re out there, and knowing that you and your Facebook comments and emails are out there unanswered munches away at what’s left of my brain. But when the internet is working, I’m scrambling to fix other major issues, like the Founder audiobook completely disappearing from my distributor. 😱

(That happened three weeks ago while updating my covers, and yes, it was a result of an internet malfunction. I’m still trying to fix it without having a panic attack. B-R-E-A-T-H-E.)

At least, I try to prioritize the To Do pile whenever there’s a glimmer of telecommunications hope. However, I have a few personality quirks working against me, quirks I have better insight into after taking a great course last month. One of these traits is that I’m wired to deal with whatever is right in front of me—with whatever I see—first.

Our instructor’s example was cleaning the hall closet. When someone like me decides to clean the hall closet, we eventually clean the hall closet. But only after doing the seven other things that catch our eye on the way to cleaning that closet.

In addition, I’m high Input, which means I love learning new things. (The pile of degrees and student loan debt is a big giveaway.) You know in sci fi shows when they jump to warp speed and star fields race by? I feel that rush when I tap into my Twitter feed. Capybaras and crazy history! Bioluminescent bacteria and binturongs (aka bearcats)—oh my! Plus concise snark!

This means if I want to, say, write a blog post, I need to have my Scrivener writing program and only Scrivener open in front of me. Once I see the Safari browser, it’s game over. That’s where a dozen open tabs live with my thousands of unread emails, my retailer and advertising Dashboards, and infinite research rabbit holes.

Even if I stick to Scrivener, to be safe I should have my blog post file and only my blog post file open. Not the one for the book that takes place in Hawaii with the woman on her honeymoon who has the shady past and then something weird happens with her husband where she has to…

See? The brain engines kick in and I’ve forgotten about the blog. (And yes, that is a real novel project I’ll eventually maybe get around to writing.)

So, having shared that insight into my character, following are a few experiential highlights from me writing this blog post today.

  • I need a beverage, but we’re out of iced tea. Iced matcha! Off to the kitchen to make one. Where I notice I haven’t made the dog’s herbal tea yet (story for another time). Get that brewing. And are those more hatched gecko eggs on the floor? (Another story for another time.) Clean them up.
  • Okay, sit down to write. Achoo! Times three. I’ve been sneezing all morning and swept the other rooms but not this one. Eying Fred’s dog bed a few feet from my desk, I grab the hand vac, conveniently parked next to my desk. Greeeeeee! But the hand vac’s light is blinking—it needs charging. And it smells funny. I keep meaning to clean it…
  • Standing outside by the compost, dumping out hairball chunks, I finally successfully press the magic combination of buttons and the device pops in half. Oh. The. Horror. I’m holding what looks like a geologist’s earthen core sample but is undoubtedly more DNA (doggie and human) than dirt.
  • Scrub the filter with a toothbrush. Husband comes by to marvel and take a turn. Finish up cleaning and set the vac in its charging stations next to…
  • My desk, where I’m sitting down again. I’m writing. Tippy-tap, tippy-tap! But why is my keyboard bouncing with every typed letter? Peek beneath my desk. A couple of screws are coming loose. From the keyboard tray, not me.
  • Get screwdriver from random kitchen drawer. Notice, Oh, good, there’s a back-up flicker (long lighter) in here! The one by our front door is limping and gets a lot of use. (We light a citronella candle every evening because the door is always open for piddly Travis dog, not to mention lighting fancy, smelly candles because lately Travis doesn’t just piddle in the house.) Maybe I should put this flicker—no! Focus, Judy, on fixing your workstation.
  • Tighten the screws—keyboard is now stable. But I hear the washing machine’s Look What I Did! song. So move laundry to the dryer (wipe up dog pee trail on the way) and hang the persnickety items. To dry, not as punishment.
  • Butt descends toward the chair—scrape! The sound of Travis’s claws going off the front steps sideways. Rush to the door. He’s still upright and peeing in the yard like a good boy. Wait for him to meander back inside and give him a boost up the stairs.
  • Back to typing, typing… and I get to “star fields.” Hmm, the internet seems to be working at the moment. Maybe I should look for stock photos while I can…

In short, how I’ve managed to publish ten books is a mystery! 😂