Do I have a short attention span, or is this a bad story?

Has this ever happened to you? You’re watching a new movie or tv show that you’ve never seen before. Usually with a friend or a spouse. All of a sudden, you realize that you’re not watching the content you wanted to share anymore. You’re on your phone or tablet, scrolling social media and you’ve lost track of the storyline. 

Maybe this happens because you’re tired. Or maybe you’ve got a touch of ADD (Probably not. Everyone thinks they’ve got ADD.) Or maybe Instagram is actually more interesting than whatever you were watching.

If you’re anything like me, you probably beat yourself up over this a little. And if you don’t, someone else has probably done it for you. I’ve even developed a little pathological fear of watching anything new because of this. I mean, I’m a writer, and also thirty-five years old. I should have a better attention span. I should be getting into this story. Lots of other people love this movie, why can’t I focus? Am I a three-year-old, what is the matter with me?!?

Probably nothing. There is a really good chance that the content you’re trying and failing to watch is just not working. Today I thought it would be helpful to talk about some ways to tell if the story you’re watching is just bad, or if it’s a you problem.

Spoiler, it’s probably not you. 

Don’t rely on other people to help you with this. 

There are some movies, books, and tv shows everyone claims to love. Some are classics like Casablanca or The Godfather. Some are heavy thinking films like The Shape of Water. But this list could include anything you’ve ever been made to feel bad for not liking.

You must not have gotten it.

It’s too smart for you. 

This is bullshit. There are plenty of reasons you might not like a story that other people, even a lot of other people, claimed to enjoy. 

For one thing, people lie. And sometimes people claim that they like something because they think everyone likes it. 

We should have learned this lesson as children, but most of us struggle with it our whole lives. Do you remember the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes? No one wants to be the first to point out the Emperor’s junk is swinging free in the breeze.

Of course, just because you didn’t like something doesn’t mean it’s bad. For instance, I didn’t like the movie Last of The Mohicans. I get that lots of people loved it. But I found it boring as hell.

I am not wrong. The story isn’t wrong. We just didn’t click. 

Maybe it’s not the story for you at this point in your life

There are some stories we are just not ready to hear. And that can be for a ton of reasons. The most common reason is that we are not yet emotionally mature enough for it. 

This is why children are often said to have a shorter attention span than adults. Sometimes that’s the case. And sometimes they just haven’t lived long enough to emotionally connect with a story.

One great example for me is The Truman Show. I saw this movie when it came out, in 1998. I was ten, and I didn’t get it. I hated it. It was long, boring, and a real disappointment. 

It didn’t help that my expectations were way off base. I had seen Jim Carrey in The Mask and Ace Ventura. I wasn’t prepared for him to be in a serious role. 

Seeing the film as an adult, I loved it. I understood the raw rage Truman must have felt, realizing that his whole world was a lie. It’s a brilliant film, I’ve seen it several times since then. And I’ve never considered it too long. 

There’s nothing wrong with being too young or too old for a film. It’s just where you are in your life. 

Don’t listen to older people who tell you our generation has a shorter attention span.

This is the one that pisses me off. It’s the general Blame Millenials trope that I’m truly sick and tired of. It’s the theory that our generation, after a lifetime of cartoons and social media, just doesn’t have the attention span for a real story anymore.

Again I say Bullshit. We’re the generation that devoured Avatar, Titanic, and six Lord of The Rings movies including extended cuts. And I, who have the attention span of a stoned raccoon in a Twinkie factory, have no issue reading Stephen King novels the size of phone books. 

If a story is good, there is no such thing as too long. 

Often I find this argument used to defend classics. But what is considered a classic might need an upgrade. Frankly, I consider a classic any story that is still entertaining and/or relevant. People still read Frankenstein every year. To Kill A Mockingbird was so popular the publisher might have committed elder abuse to get a sequel.

TLDR- What can writers do with this information? 

None of this is any help at all if we don’t know what to do about it. Okay, so sometimes a story just doesn’t work for us and it’s not your fault. 

It’s enough to remove this guilt from ourselves, certainly. But as writers, we can do more. 

The next time you’re watching something and you go to reach for Instagram, stop and grab your writer’s notebook instead. Write down what you’re watching and what was going on when you lost interest. Try doing this every time a story loses you, and you’ll start to see a pattern of what doesn’t work for you. And if it doesn’t work for you, there’s at least a chance that it doesn’t work for other people too. 

Remember, a bad story can teach you as much as a good story. So if a story is boring you, at least you can learn something from it. 

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What Made My Life Rock in 2015

Wow, so Christmas is in three days.  My house smells nice, there are wrapped gifts under the tree, and I’m focusing the next few days on reading JR Tolkin’s Letters From St. Nicholas.  Also, coffee.  My monsters have one day of school left before vacation, and then we’re going to do all the awesome Christmas stuff we can in a three day span.  I’m trying really hard to focus on savoring the last hurrah of 2015 and not look forward toward 2016 just yet.

Because 2015 was an amazing year for me!  I am ending this year feeling so blessed and thankful.  I made a lot of strides, and a lot of healthy choices.  A lot of things that were totally out of my control went well, too.  So, instead of talking about what rocked this week, I want to share with you what rocked this year.

  • I finally started taking vitamins every day like we’re all supposed to.  I take a D and a B12 with my dinner break at the day job.  My seasonal depression isn’t knocking me out so hard, and I have more energy.  Also, I’m not getting colds as often!
  • Getting Sticky Fingers published was a huge thing for me.  Not only is it great to see my work in print, I got a chance to talk about Woven on Stephanie‘s amazing website.  I cannot tell you how rockstar it made me feel to be interviewed!
  • I am blown away by how much Buffer has helped me.  I have no time to drop everything and tweet four times a day, but with this I can take ten minutes a day and schedule tweets.  For any of you awesome people finding me because of that, thank you.
  • I finished two books this year, Broken Patterns and Days.  Broken Patterns is seeking an agent, and Days just needs to be illustrated and it’s going to be available!  Can’t tell you how amazed I feel that I actually finished both of them.
  • I finally got an Erin Condron planner, and it has totally been worth every penny! (Not an affiliate, I just love them.)
  • For those of you who don’t know, I got married last January!  And I’ve had a ton of fun (not really) teaching people how to pronounce my new last name.  (It’s Luttrell.  Pronounced Lu-trull.  It’s German, not French, and we have otters on our family crest.)  But I love being married to my amazing partner and best friend.
  • We moved into our first house.  It’s an actual house with a yard and a basement and a washing machine!
  • I’ve been using the bullet journal method all year, and it helps me so much!  Nothing gets done if I don’t write it in my journal, but it goes so far beyond productivity.  I am actually journaling my days, keeping track of my life while it’s going a thousand miles an hour.  This is a habit I have tried to form since I was 13, and am just now mastering.
  • Finally, if you’re reading this, you’re on my list, too!  I am still blown away, every day, by the fact that people come here and read the things I write.  Thank you so much, because you are a big part of what made 2015 one of the best years of my life.

I hope you all have a great holiday.


The Writing Life, July 28

You’ve only got two more days to sign up for Thirty Days, Thirty Ideas!  Don’t forget, click here to sign up now!

I have come full circle.  I spent a lot of time this week watching Friends with the older of my two monsters.  She’s old enough to get the jokes, and that makes me cringe a little.  (Okay, a lot.)  But I like sharing this with her.  We’re having a lot of family time this week, which has been really nice.  The monsters are going back to school in a month, so I’m trying to fit in as much mommy time as I can before fall.

Tell you what else has been rocking my world this week, Ray Donovan.  If you’re not watching it, do.  The fist two episodes were awesome!

Even so, I am not looking forward to the end of July.  I swear, Independence Day was just last week, and now all the school stuff is out.  But then again, all the school stuff is out!  I am going to buy so many notebooks!

What Rocked This Week

  • I got two rejections letters this week.  I know that sounds bad, but it’s not.  It means I have two stories to send out again.  Two stories, two chances to get published, and I’ve already written the stories.

What I’m Looking Forward to This Week

  • I’m going to be getting Go Set A Watchman on Thursday, (Actually, by the time you read this, I will have had the book since last Thursday, and surely nearly done with it.)  Look forward to a review.
  • As already mentioned, I will be hitting the back to school sale, and I will be hitting it hard!  Every year I buy all of the office supplies I will need for the whole year, except for my Le Pens.
  • We are hitting this great local museum on Thursday, dedicated to Asian art.  It’s one of my favorite things to do.  After that we’re going to our local frozen yogurt place, called Morgans.
  • I am still creeping along on the fourth draft of Broken Patterns, but I am an inch away from finishing part one of three.  I know that sounds like a stupid mile stone, but trust me, two years into this project and small mile stones are still shiny.

What are you doing this week?  Anything exciting and summery?  Also, don’t forget that I post a monthly brag board on the last day of the month.  I would so love to share with the world, or at least the small corner of the world who reads Paper Beats World, the fantastic things you guys are doing.  You are all awesome people on an amazing journey to being published writers.  Tell us all about it!

The Writing Life, July 21

Don’t forget to sign up for the thirty days, thirty ideas challenge. Time is running out, August is coming!  Click right here to sign up.  Hurry up, you’ve only got nine more days!

It’s been an interesting week. Just full of ups and downs, and big news things. Well, big to me, at least.
If you’re an avid reader, you might have noticed something missing on Saturday. I didn’t post a writing prompt. I did add one to Friday’s market, but I did not devote a whole day to it like I have done in the past.

Here’s why. As the one year anniversary of PBW draws close, I have been taking inventory, looking at numbers, and thinking on what I want to do in my second year as a blogger. Making a business plan, and whatnot. My goal is simple, have a 5% increase on all of my numbers (page views, visitors, likes,) over the same month of the previous year.

I realized something though, when I was pouring over my stats. Check This Out and Writing Prompt Saturday are not super popular columns. Worse, I don’t feel like I have anything left to say on those topics. So I have decided to discontinue those two them.

Going down to three columns a week is going to benefit me, but I also think it’s going to benefit the site. You see, I realized I haven’t done anything but keep up recently. Keeping up is fine, and all, but it’s not where I want to be. Now that I’m not spending all of my PBW time writing posts, I can finally get a start on some major projects I’ve had on the back burner for way too long. Another perk is that I can focus on quality over quantity.

What do you think? Are you sad to see these columns go, or more interested in seeing what’s coming next?

What Rocked This Week-

* I heard back from two of the short stories that were out. They were both rejected, but I sent them right back out.
* I downloaded Pandora onto my tablet, finally. It’s been a very musical week.
* Yesterday, July 20, was the second anniversary of the day I created Woven. To be more specific, it’s the day I wrote the character outline for the main character, a boy who weaves named Devon. I’d written a few books before this, but they’d either been dead ends or so bad I’d rather they never see the light of day.

When I first started Woven, man was I terrified. I figured it would be one book, if I could even manage that. I sat in the park of my little town, the one right across from the courthouse where a year and a half later I would marry my husband, with a marble covered notebook and take out soup from my favorite coffee shop. Back then, I was in a dark place. I wasn’t happy, wasn’t writing, and working way too much. I wanted, more than anything, to be a writer again. And so I had promised myself that I would write, just twenty minutes a day. Something, anything, it didn’t matter. I fed the birds the bread from my lunch and scribbled out a prayer on the page. I begged God to not let this story die like so many others had. I sat there, with a character breathing on my lap, and I was so scared to lose him.

Two years later, I am months away from a final draft of Broken Patterns. The second book, Starting Chains, is rough drafted. I’ve got thirteen more ideas to come after. If I ever questioned whether God answers my prayers, I don’t anymore.

What I’m looking forward to this week-

* I’m buckling down this week to get ready for my vacation next week from the day job. Got a ton of little last minute things to do, and we’re not even going anywhere.
* I’m right at the finish line on two big projects, and I am working more than I should to get them done. There’s something about seeing the end of the tunnel that just makes me want to run for it.

So what are you doing this week? Anything exciting?

The Writing Life, July 14

Did you sign up for Thirty Days, Thirty Ideas, yet? Do it now so you don’t forget!  Click right here to sign up!

My adventures this week included trying dry shampoo for the first time and introducing a new budgeting technique to avoid overdraft fees.

There are two reactions to what I just wrote; tell me more so that I may learn, and what the hell does that have to do with writing? If you had the first reaction, we will get to that. If you had the second reaction, I want to tell you why you should care first.

Being an indie writer requires a tight budget, a lot of confidence and a tight schedule.

And my new adventures, if they work, will save me up to sixty dollars a month, forty minutes a week, and make me feel more confident.

So, dry shampoo. I found this recipe on the awesome blog, Living Well, Spending Less. Now, I have super oily hair, which I usually either was every night or feel like a grease ball. My oldest monster has my hair. You would not believe the amount of times we have been late somewhere because I noticed, too late, that her hair or mine looked like someone had rubbed cheap pizza on it. With this dry shampoo in the house, though, my life is better.

* It is cheaper than shampoo, and now we use less shampoo. (Less water, too.)
* I save twenty minutes every time I’m not taking a shower I don’t need.
* I feel more confidant about how I look, and about my mothering skills.
* I smell like awesome chocolate.

As for my money saving tip, it’s pretty simple. I don’t keep track of my money, spend too much, and overdraft. So this week, I’m taking out the amount of money I know I can spend, then moving my debit card from my wallet, were it’s all to easy to retrieve, to my check book that lives on my desk. It’s simple, but I hope it will be effective.

So that’s what’s new in my life. How about you?

Things that rocked this week-

* Fail, my Mash story was way too long, and I couldn’t cut enough of it without hurting the core of the story. Win, I submitted it to Flash Fiction instead. There is no great loss without some small gain, I have always said this.
* Wal-Mart has their back to school stuff out. Fifty cents for composition books!
* I am so pumped about your reaction to Thirty Days, Thirty Ideas.
* I’m not lying, this dry shampoo is awesomesauce. I smell like chocolate!

Things I’m looking forward to this week-

* I should be finished with part one of the fourth draft of Broken Patterns. Okay, that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is to me. It’s a step towards being done with the fourth draft, and there’s only one more draft after that.
* I’m working on the rough draft of a new story, the second to last one for my short fiction collection. Eight stories down, two more to go. I’m really getting there.

Not a super exciting week. I’m working a lot over overtime hours at the day job to pay for some computer upgrades around the house. So it’s a head down, nose to the grindstone, any progress is good progress kind of week.

The Writing Life, July 7

One more day until the big announcement. Check us out tomorrow for all the awesome details for something really cool we’ll be doing in August.

So, on Saturday something pretty amazing happened. Yes, our country had its birthday and I blew up fireworks and ate greasy food and all that.

Way more important, to me, is that Paper Beats World reached 1,000 views for the year!

It has been eleven months since I started this little site, and I have had so much fun with it every day. I’ve learned so much, and gotten to meet so many awesome people. I can not thank all of you enough for reading, and sharing your journeys with me.

Honestly, I thought maybe three people would read this thing. So thank you all. I hope you get something out of reading here, and I hope to hear more success stories as the months go by.

What rocked this week-

* I finished my rough draft for Mash. The deadline’s July 15, by the way. Get on it if you haven’t started yet.
* I watched all eight Harry Potter movies with the husband and my monsters. I’m glad we finally did it, but that last movie was such a let down. Really, you span two books and you can’t even mention the whole back story with Dumbledore being friends with the second most evil wizard, or the fact that Harry had all three deathly hollows and got rid of all but one? Really?

What I’m looking forward to this week-

* Tipsy writer twitter chat tonight. That’s always a good time, hope to see you there!
* My super big, terrific announcement is tomorrow! Don’t miss it!
* My favorite show is starting again on Sunday. It’s Ray Donovan, on Showtime. If you follow me on twitter, you already know of my obsession.

What are you excited about this week? Looking forward to anything fun?

Have you signed up for the Road to Full Time newsletter yet? It prints once a month, and it’s all about the journey from part time writer, to full time. You can sign up right here.

The Writing Life, June 30. Letting some things go

Eight Days Until The Big Announcement!

If you’re a long time reader of Paper Beats World, or if you’ve at least been reading since April, you know that I swear off all contests and anthology submissions while I’m working on a rough draft of a novel.  My theory is that I only ever want one rough draft at at time.  Rough drafts are tiring, creative wise for me.  They’re also time consuming.  When I’m working on a rough draft, I want that to be all that I’m working on, except for my weekly blog posts.

That’s fine and dandy when my rough draft takes six weeks to two months.  When it takes me six damn months to finish a rough draft, like the last one did, that grinds on me.  I find so many cool contests, and come up with so many awesome ideas for the site.  So the whole time I was rough drafting, I kept a list of project ideas.  And I kept my eyes open for contests with long off due dates.

When I finally finished my rough draft, I kind of exploded.  I found so many cool contests that I wanted to enter, and I had three pages in my bullet journal full of ideas for special PBW events.  I always think I’m a machine, so I was sure I could do all of the things that I wanted to do.

Then I got promoted in the day job.  Then reality happened, and I realized that there was no way, no way at all, that I can do all of the things that I want to.

That’s a hard thing to realize.  When I want to do a lot, and I just can’t find the time, I do three things; lie to myself, make up crazy schedules in my planners, and guilt myself when I can’t do it all.

Thankfully, though, I managed to stop this downward spiral before it got really started.  Here’s how.

  • I started by figuring out exactly how long I thought each of my projects would take.  Then, I doubled the time.  I took out my planner, and looked at each and every due date for my contests.  Then I blocked out time to write my stories.  This give me a realistic impression of where I am, and what I can do.  This also means that if I find a new super neat contest, I know if it’s doable or not.  If I want to pick up a new contest. then I might have to drop something else.
  • I dropped two of my contests because I liked others better.  I’d rather write three great short pieces than six decent ones.
  • I looked through short pieces that I’d written but hadn’t managed to place to see of any of them fit the contest qualifications.

Most importantly though, was this.  I’d been working on a short piece for about a week.  The story was solid, and the contest good.  But the draft was snagged.  I realized that it needed a complete overhaul, and I just didn’t have the time.

So I put it aside.  Crossed that contest off my list, and moved on to the next one.  Because there’s always a next one, that’s the beauty of this field.  The internet is full of contests.  I’ve found at least two companies that exist to do nothing more than publish anthologies, and I wasn’t looking that hard.

It is so easy to think that every opportunity could be ‘the one.’  That’s a lie.  There is no ‘the one.’  Once you get a published credit, then you need another, and another.  One sale isn’t an assurance of a second.  So if I’ve got to put one opportunity aside, then that’s okay.  There’s always a next one.

This week, I want to challenge you.  Take a look at your to do list, and cross one thing off of it.  I don’t know all of you as well as I’d like, but I’m willing to bet that if you fine tooth comb your list, you will fine at least one task that doesn’t need done.  At least, not this week.

Always remember, if we try to do too much, you will do nothing well.

What Rocked This Week-

  • I found out that one of my short stories, called Sticky Fingers, is going to be in an anthology called How to Trick The Devil!  I can’t wait to see the anthology put together.  They’re still looking for submissions, if you’re interested.
  • I sent out a piece to the Imaginate contest I told you about a few weeks ago.  It’s always a rush to send something new out.

What I’m Looking Forward to Next Week-

  • First off, fourth of July.  I love that holiday.  Blow things up, eat greasy food, and drink some cold ones.  That’s my kind of holiday.
  • Today is the end of the quarter, and I’m doing my big, ‘what have I done in the last three months,’ review.  Remember, being a freelance writer is being a small business owner.  Got to check in, look into where I’m spending my time well and where I’m wasting it.
  • As you might have guessed, I’ve got a really exciting announcement.  It’s something I’ve been working on for months, and I am jumping out of my skin wanting to tell you all!

Have you signed up for our newsletter yet?  I’m pretty excited about it.  It’s all about walking the path to full time writers together.  Click right here to sign up.

I’m looking forward to a great week.  I hope you are too.

The Writing Life, June 23

I had a much better week this week guys, how about you? I’m fitting more into the grove of my new schedule, and back to my old self.

When you’re a creature of habit like me change can make for some unhappy days. I got through it eventually, though.

Things that rocked this week

* I finished the title story for my upcoming self published collection, called Days. I’m making a concious decision not to submit it anywhere, so that it can only be found in the book.
* I also wrote the rough draft of a new short story. I’ll be sending that one out when it’s ready. I don’t like to let a month go by when I don’t send something out. Unless I’m in novel rough draft mode.
Things that I’m looking forward to this week

* There are three contest deadlines in July. Two for Imaginate, which I covered here, and a Mash deadline. Assuming all goes well, I want to have all three rough drafts done this week. All will likely not go well, but I can dream.
So what are you excited about this week? Do you have anything you want to add to the brag board?

The Writing Life, June 16

I am not going to lie to you guys, this has been a really, really tough week.  I am very used to working 29 hours a week, and having time while I’m at work to write.  I’m also used to being home two days during the week, when the monsters are at school.

Well, my whole life went upside down this week.  I started my full time hours, and I’m doing a lot of training this week, which means I haven’t had the time at work I’m used to.  The monsters are done with school until August, which means they’ve got more free time than I’d like.

All of this is meaning two big things that are super bad for me.  One, I have little to no energy, even with coffee, Coke and a B complex.  And two, I’ve gone from having an average of thirteen hours a week to devote to my writing to about nine.

I intended to get up before work and write, since I’ve got to be there an hour later than I used to.  That didn’t happen.  I intended to write for an hour in the evening, but I’ve been too tired to manage more than one twenty five minute session.  I’m hoping to get more done this weekend, but the state of the house is getting a little mad.

Not writing isn’t healthy for me, mentally.  I have found that there are two things that will toss me into a depressive phase faster than a vegetarian will tell you all about her ‘alternate lifestyle’; being in the house alone and not writing.

Have you been here before?  I have.  Here’s what I’m doing to get out of this very bad hole.

  • I am being very kind to myself.  I am remembering that this is just one week, a week where I added eleven work hours to my week, and that is going to take some getting used to.
  • I’m also remembering, though, that I used to work 46 hours, and that was when I wrote the rough draft of Broken Patterns.  I know that I can do this, because I have before.
  • I am working hard to figure out what my new writing schedule is going to be like.  A lot of my writing’s going to fall on the days off, now.  For instance, I’ll be writing all of my posts on the same day.
  • I am prioritizing my projects, just as I was telling you last week.  Woven is the most important, so if I’ve got time, it will go there.
  • I’m also remembering that if something doesn’t work, I can try something else.  Hear me when I say that I will try at least a hundred things that will not work.  But if I keep trying, I’ll find two or three things that will work.

I don’t want you to think this week was all bad.  I love my new position at the day job, and I am learning so much.  I’m sure that this week is going to go better, writing wise.

Things that rocked this week-

  • I’m going to be linking to some of my very favorite blogs this week during the IC Blog tour, which is tomorrow, by the way.
  • I finally like the direction part one of Broken Patterns is taking.  I’m excited about the project, and when I get the time to work on it, I’m loving every minute of it.
  • I got a chance, finally, to sit down for Tipsy Writer Twitter chat last week, and had a blast.  Hoping to do it again tonight.  As always, if you want to join us, just hop on twitter and follow the Tipsy Writer.  Chat starts at 8:30.

Things that I’m looking forward to this week.

  • I’m ready to devote some real time to writing this week, wherever I can find it.
  • Hopefully I’m more used to the extra hours at the day job, so I’m hoping to have more energy for my little Monsters, and my short stories.
  • Getting all ready to contact some bloggers I love about participating in a new little project.  I’ll keep you posted, as always.

So, how do you handle periods of transition?  Do you freak out like me, or do you have some tips for a tired writer this week?

The Writing Life, June 9

This last week has been pretty eventful, let me tell you.  So eventful, in fact, that I’d like to spend some quite time with some red wine and Insurgent, which I am still not done with.  But I don’t think that’s actually going to happen.  Here’s why.

First of all, I got a super great promotion at the day job.  I feel very blessed, and am super thrilled, but it does mean I’ve got less time to spend writing, and I’ll be missing those summer concerts.  On the other hand, I can now afford to take the family on vacation, and get that new Erin Condrin planner that comes out today. (Not an affiliate).  That means my writing time has to become focused, like a laser.  I’ve had to really prioritize my projects, to make sure that if something goes by the wayside, it’s something that can afford to go there.

I’ve also had to redo my entire schedule.  I used to work about six hours a day, then come home and write for three.  Then I’d write for about five hours on my days off.  Now I’m actually working eight hours a day, like a grown up.  I am now going to be getting up an hour earlier to write for an hour before work, then try to fit an hour in after dinner.  My days off will probably lose some writing time too, to make up for the family time I’ll be losing during my work week. (Family’s always got to come first, after all.)

I also just signed up to be part of the 2015 I C Summer Blog Tour.  I know that sounds nuts when I just added all the time to the day job, but it’s not a huge time commitment.  Although, I do need three other bloggers to link to for the tour.  If anyone wants to participate with me, let me know in the comment section, and I will contact you about it!  My post is going up next week, so I need to know sort of soon, please!

Of course, the kids are out of school, so my free time will be full of activities like pool trips, day plans to Kennywood and the zoo, grilling and all the other awesome things that make summer so fantastic.  I think I might sleep like five hours a night this summer, but that’s okay.

I do want to say a little more about prioritizing, before I move on, though.  I’ve always got a lot of chainsaws in the air, as you all know.  Right now, it’s a financial necessity for me to take this better position at my day job, so the first thing I did was sit down and list all of my projects from most to least important to me.  Here’s what I came up with.

  1. Woven.
  2. Paper Beats World. (I love you guys)
  3. My short story e-books.
  4. Entering my short stories in anthologies and contests.

So here’s how this works.  If I’ve got an hour a day, it goes to Woven.  If I can get another hour, I can write a few posts (Writing Prompts, Markets and Check This Out take maybe twenty minutes.  I usually write all three for a week in a sitting.  The Writing Life and my Sunday posts take a little longer.)  I’m still really hoping to write a short story a week, but if that doesn’t happen I’m not going to beat myself up about it.  An hour a day to Woven, and see what else I’ve got time for.  That’s my plan.

What Rocked This Week-

  • Well, I got promoted, so that’s sort of like the best thing ever in my life right now.
  • Sunday was my birthday.  I turned 29!
  • I read this really great article over on Pulling Curls about taking care of ourselves first as parents, because it does our family no good if we are burned out and have no more to give.  Here’s a link.
  • It’s the first week of Gay Pride Month, and as you can see, I am a proud Ally.  I am super proud to live in Pennsylvania, where Gay Marriage is legal.
  • I am trying to figure out how to put up a map of all the cool countries people read Paper Beats World from.  We’ve got readers in Russia, the UK, Malaysia, Australia, Italy, Greece, Austria, Canada, Finland and Indonesia.  What the what?  You guys are awesome, really.

What I’m Looking Forward To This Week.

  • Pretty psyched about the blog tour.  You know I am a creepy internet dweller, so I’ll be following closely along.
  • I have found out about so many terrific contests recently.  If you don’t follow me on twitter, you are only hearing about one a week, but I tweet them all.  I don’t know how many I’ll get a chance to enter, but I am pumped to have so many opportunities.
  • Still have four short stories out, still waiting to hear about them.  Hoping to make it five this week, we’ll have to see.

By the way, have you signed up for the Road to Full Time Writing newsletter yet?  You should, there’s a link right there.  It’s got even more writing markets, money saving writing tips, time management ideas, and a peek into my own personal road to being a full time writer.  And, it only comes out once a month, so you’re not going to get snowballed by e-mail (because I hate that).

So what are you proud of from the past week?  What are you excited about for the summer months ahead?

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