Thursday, June 20, 2019

A National Month (or Twelve) Just for Me

There’s a big fat whirlpool trying to suck me back into total retirement mode. It lures me closer with its siren song of book titles (novels and non-fiction releases) I want to read, hobbies I want to revisit, new skills I want to learn (like playing that stupid ukulele I bought).

What is constantly being pushed to the bottom of my priority list? Writing, revising, editing, blogging, and everything related.

In order to keep up with my critique group, I’ve switched to submitting hurried first drafts of short stories which I intend to submit to anthologies if I get around to revising and submitting before the deadlines. I did get two stories submitted to two different anthologies. One was accepted and will appear in Five Star’s November 2019 release of The Spoilt Quilt and Other Frontier Stories: Pioneering Women of the West.


I haven’t heard back about the submission to the Northern Colorado Writers 2019 Anthology called Rise (which has beautiful cover art).

Two other organizations I belong to have announced anthologies as well. If I can pull myself together long enough to produce a completed story for each, I’ll be amazed. The whirlpool is pulling me closer, my Want to Read stack is calling, and then there are those new Netflix releases (Dead to Me and Murder Mystery).

As I tried to think of decent blog topics for here and for my own blog, I looked for the usual prompts, especially those wonderful lists of National Months, Weeks, and Days in June. There were important observances there, but none that seemed to really fit my mood.

What I needed was a National Lollygagging Month. Or a National Put Off Until Tomorrow Month.

Finally!

I pulled back from the whirlpool as my weird little brain took off on a brainstorming rant of national months that don’t exist but should:

National Spring Fever Month
National Summer Doldrums Month
National Relaxation Month (There is a Relaxation Day on August 15th, clearly not enough)
National Goof Off Month (Goof Off Day was March 22nd)
National Do Nothing Month (Nothing Day was January 16th)
National Take Time Off Month
National Procrastination Month (There was a Procrastination Week in early March--I probably participated without realizing it was official)

And especially for us writers:

National Do Not Write a Word Month, and
National Writer’s Block Month

That’s eleven. Does anyone have a suggestion to fill in that 12th slot? That would cover me for a whole year of lollygagging! Just think how many books I could read.

While I’m at it, let me highly recommend two novels from Colorado authors Charlotte Hinger (The Healer’s Daughter) and Peter Heller (The River). Charlotte’s vivid and poignant novel is historical fiction based on the true story of the all-black Kansas community Nicodemus, established just after the Civil War. Peter’s novel is a literary adventure thriller with so much tension you need to set the book down once in a while to catch your breath.

Happy reading (and lollygagging).


Pat (Patricia) Stoltey is the author of four novels published by Five Star/Cengage: two amateur sleuth, one thriller that was a finalist for a Colorado Book Award in 2015, and the historical mystery Wishing Caswell Dead (December 20, 2017), a finalist for the 2018 Colorado Book Awards. This novel is also now available in a large print edition.

Pat lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Bill, Scottish Terrier Sassy (aka Doggity), and brown tabby Katie (aka Kitty Cat).

You can learn more about Pat at her website/blog, on Facebook, and Twitter. She was recently interviewed for the Colorado Sun’s SunLit feature that you can find at the Colorado Sun website.

16 comments :

  1. Lol!
    Perhaps a National Retirement Tryout Month?

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    1. I love it. Thanks, Liz. I've been officially retired from real-world work since 1998, but periodically I also retire from writing. Each time I think it's for good, but it never lasts because I get bored with crocheting and housework. :D

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  2. Oh, I am so on your page, Pat. I just can't seem to get back into my work in progress. I admit, it's a controversial subject, and the real facts keep changing, but I'm more into outside house stuff right now and don't want to work. Maybe there should be a Quitter's Month, but I can't seem to get there either.

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    1. I've been focused outside as well. We had three three trees planted and more flowers...even a lovely yellow floribunda named Doris Day. My mind just won't swing back to the book.

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  3. National read books month. National stream Netflix month. I am in the same head space, trying to decide between continuing on and retiring. Retiring is winning at the moment.

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    1. It appears our head space is getting crowded. I wonder if it's a sea change of some sort, perhaps authors rethinking this whole writing thing and contemplating what creative alternative might be more rewarding. Or maybe just burnout?

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  4. Replies
    1. I'm enjoying what I've watched so far...such a combination of fun and drama and creepy suspense.

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    2. Never heard of it. Will check it out.

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    3. Totally agree. Fabulous show. Sublime acting.

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  5. Years ago, a dear friend told me to "never say never". I recall smiling and thinking that would never apply to me. Fast forward over several decades to seven months ago. A life-threatening illness hospitalized me in December and another serious condition surfaced in January. I told myself I might never write or edit again, and a great sadness overwhelmed me. With barely enough energy to get dressed and wander a bit around the inside of my home, I feared the worst. Forced retirement loomed large and intimidating. Fast forward again, this time a few months: creative juices are flowing, final proofreading projects are getting accomplished, a new novel is reaching out from conception toward creation, and I am again soliciting editing work. While I will never say I will never retire, I can say with assurance today that walking away from writing and putting my red pencil to rest are not on my to-do list. Tomorrow...who knows?

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    1. A big health crisis for yourself or a loved one definitely changes our way of thinking on retirement, and most everything else. I suspect I'm just using anything I can latch onto as an excuse to take it easy for a while.

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    2. My health crises, surprisingly, energized me rather than pushed me toward retirement. They also warned me that procrastination is not a good practice. Now I'm working on not putting off until tomorrow what is important to do today.

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    3. Wise observation, Linda. We never know what tomorrow is going to bring, so it doesn't pay to put our goals and dreams off until another day.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice.