• strict warning: Declaration of FeedsImporter::copy() should be compatible with FeedsConfigurable::copy(FeedsConfigurable $configurable) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/includes/FeedsImporter.inc on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsUserProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display.inc on line 1877.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display_block::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display_block.inc on line 193.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 82.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 609.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 128.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 208.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 770.

Looking Back, Looking Ahead!

I doubt anyone will argue with me when I say that this update is long overdue. Suffice it to say, it’s been a hectic couple of months. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version.
November turned out to be a bad month for me in terms of writing. There was illness, there was travel, and there was — drumroll please — a new job. (More on that in a moment.) At the end of the month, I finished with about 15,000 words. Some of it totally sucks, but in the process of plowing through I really impressed myself. I have a totally viable story idea and it’s something I’m actually interested in writing and reading. So this marks the beginning of something I’m really excited about and have wanted to do since I was a kid: actually writing a YA novel.
I’m doing okay on the morning pages plan, though not as well as I had optimistically set out. Which is okay with me. Having it there and being able to savor it when I can allow myself to steal a few moments alone with the pen is a gift, and I am enjoying it thoroughly. Except for the self-reflection part, which sadly comes with negative realizations as well as positive and neutral ones. But I’m finding that I feel more connected to myself when I have the opportunity to reflect on both strengths and weaknesses and how I react to things, and that’s definitely a growth opportunity that I’m gaining from in a large way.
Now, about the new job: A client I’ve been working  with for nearly 2 years needed to bring on another full-time writer, and they wooed me sufficiently that I accepted. Briefly, I’m doing the same thing for them that I was before I joined the staff: working 100% from home on proposals and contract deliverables. The only difference is that now it’s 32 hours a week and I get benefits including health insurance and paid time off.  So, there’s still time for freelance work but I also get this crazy thing called a regular paycheck.
The transition period has been a little rocky, primarily because my employer-provided computer is [[insert dramatic music here]] a PC and I hate it. It’s also been an ongoing process to balance my job requirements with the select freelance projects I choose to take on and the rest of my life. But as we have discussed before, balance isn’t just something that happens one time and it’s done; no, balance is a continuous event, something that you do daily or even hourly, and it’s never perfect. That’s what makes it fun, and a valuable pursuit.
So, that’s where I am at the moment. What changes have happened in YOUR life recently?
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"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything. "
Mark Twain

Random picks

  • When I can’t figure out where I’m going in a story, I lay down, close my eyes and imagine the characters and the story. Eventually (hopefully) the fix comes to me. Janelle and I call this “Napping”. OK seriously, it seems to work for both of us. Sometimes if I’ve been working hard, a car ride will clear my head but that’s not the same as the “Napping” thing. That can really work out a story problem – if I don’t fall asleep first!
  • A friend of mine chose an MFA program in part because Mark Brown was teaching there. I didn't know Mark Brown's work. By chance, a year or so later, I was looking for some audio fiction to take with me on a road trip and came across this. Hearing Brown read, my friend's liking made a lot of sense. This story has semblance to the work of Mark Richard and to other writers of the southern lyrical stamp. And it is good.Essentially, it's a story about a man who has bottomed out. He's lost his job, his wife, and now he's splayed out on a road on a bike that no longer works awaiting the arrival of a...
  • Are you looking for writing jobs from home? If you are just starting out, it will be a good idea that you begin with a long term plan in mind...
  • Lord of the Flies is about children left to their own devices. Sure, it's about a lot of other things also, but what I'm focusing on at the moment is that lost innocence--the way that children can quickly become adults, and not so nice adults at that. "Mandible" is a story covering some similar ground, but in a way that is more personal, less "social." Our narrator just wants to protect his sister--or love his sister--or both. Left to watch over a family when their mother rushes from one bum dude to another, the narrator's mind takes a sorry and scary turn for the worst. Read the story here...
  • (A few months ago, I received an email from an Australian writer named Tim Hawken who had a few article ideas for Litkicks. I published his Kant on Beauty and Heidegger on Art, and it was only after this that Tim revealed to me that he was writing these pieces under the stress of a family health calamity. For more of the personal story behind today's article, see this post on Tim's own blog. The photo of a deconstructed wristwatch is from a photo essay also on Tim's blog, entitled "Timeless" -- Levi) Two years ago my wife was diagnosed...

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Fast fact about writing

Writing is a distinctly human activity.