Kelly Flowers

writer


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The Time Has Come, The Time is Now – Write Your Book!

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Remember when you said, “If only I have time to write that book I’ve always wanted to.” *sigh* “If only…”

Wellllll, guess what? What else are you going to do for the next couple of weeks (indefinite future)? It’s tempting to sit at home and guzzle Netflix or watch the painfully repetitive. And of course —-> Eat. Cook. Nap. Eat. Repeat.

When you surface into society again, all you’ll have to show is the weight you gained. How about you eat that frog and write your book? If you can’t write a novel when you literally can’t leave your house, when will you? I will give you the players handbook on how to write a book and you will emerge into the world inspired, recharged, slaying.

Are you in? I said… ARE YOU IN?!?!

So let’s get down to business. 4 steps to starting your book start here —>

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40 Before 40 – Update

So those that know me know I like lists. Like I reeeeeally like lists. I like them the way people like Netflix. I pursue them the way some people scroll Instagram. I read and reread and order and reorder them. Honestly, I don’t know how people function without them.

My brain simply can’t hold all the stuff I need/want/probably shouldn’t do.

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(Note: In finding this image I went down a rabbit hole called “Exploding Brain Syndrome”. This is a thing.)

Arguably the mother of all lists is the BUCKET LIST. Like Google, it has even been “verbed.” But a bucket list is a problem for me because it indicates a plan to do things someday, preferably before you die. And who knows when that is, right? Continue reading


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Fresh Meat, New Novel. We Is Smitten.

I’ve been editing for so long, I forgot what it’s like to sink my teeth into fresh prose, to get that high from creating rather than rehashing and hacking. I am finally into a new book and my appetite has been whet.

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I was gun shy to start a new novel, not because it’s an agonizing, hair-pulling, time-consuming process, which it is. I dreaded it because I didn’t want to commit to a new set of characters for the next few years of my life. Honestly, I hadn’t met a bedfellow I thought I could handle the commitment with. We’re talking about fictional characters, people, but sometimes, you’re just SICK OF TALKING TO THEM.

I’m going to do everything different this time. First, I’m writing an outline (before I start describing settings and layering characters). I’ll make sure I have a working ending so that I can build it from the beginning rather than retrofitting it in later. (and then re-retrofitting it on the second draft) See? I can learn.

Tonight, one of my writer friends said that if she knew how hard writing actually was, she would have taken up painting. She’s on her 7th draft, which made me self-conscious about my own 3 paltry drafts.

But THIS is what it’s all about! It’s the rush of lifting my fingers from the keys after three hours and having to resurface enough to maintain a conversation. Sure, I then realize I’m running late and haven’t brushed my teeth but who cares?! It like a drug to me.

So if you can’t find me for the next year of my life, know I am holing myself up in a dark corner, face creepily lit by my laptop screen and a look of crazed joy on my haggard face. Writing like a ninja.

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Ahhh, authoring.

 


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The Art Of Doing Less

You CAN’T do it all. Here’s why.

Post It Notes Notice Board Sticky Notes Note1. How much time do you really have?

I once did a pie chart of my day, down to how long it took to eat, groom, commute, etc. Beyond trying to creatively multi-task (one should not do squats while brushing ones teeth, FYI), I discovered that apparently, I have a finite amount of “free” time. You know this, yes. But when you do a pie chart, you really know it.

With that sadly small sliver on my pie chart of “free time”, I had to decide how it was spent. TV? Long hot bath? Workout? Read? Write? Troll Instagram? Work on backhand? Clear out overcrowded inbox? Read magazines? Take up wood carving?

2. What is worthy of that time?

Have I ever mentioned that I want to speak like four languages, play the violin, become a black belt and a ceramicist?

If you have seen Tangled, (Yes, the children’s movie. Don’t judge!) you have seen my life’s aspiration.

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So many skills, so few hours in the day. *sigh* How, with this finite amount of time, could I ever do all the things I want to do?

  • I could work on each project/hobby/goal for 5 minutes a day and likely never become proficient at any of them.
  • I could spin my wheels on day to day stuff and put the big goals onto a different, less visited list.
  • Or I could devote and invest time into a single life goal and see it to fruition. Singular purpose. Multi-tasking is a no go here.

3. Is being busy and productive the same as accomplishing?

Being busy feels like being productive, right?

But the little stuff is usually not connected to the big stuff. For example, having a detailed car, washed dog and organized garage has little to do with my life goals. And a lot of the time, we DO have to choose. (Yes, even acknowledging this, I choose wrong.)

It’s tempting for us Type A’s out there to just put it all on the to do list and start pounding the pavement. We can do it all. We MUST do it all. WE WILL DO IT ALL!

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Beyond the usual advice about burn out, the fact is, with an uber long to do list, you’re less likely to accomplish the things that matter most. The goal becomes shortening “the list” as opposed to working long and hard on a single project (with the reward of a single notch on said list). Guilty. At the end of the day, it’s easy to see a lot of little things done and harder to see a little of a big thing done.

But it’s fake productivity! Big things often don’t look like accomplishments until they are. And true accomplishment is only the big things. In 5 years, no one will care how busy you were, how clean your dog, pristine your garage, or tidy your files. What will you show for all that busy-ness? (if you think this is an excuse to not clean the garage, you wouldn’t be wrong)

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Choose your biggest priority, the one you will care about in 5 years, for instance. Then, use those little slivers of pie time for it. As much of those pockets of time as you can for AS LONG AS IT TAKES.

Yeah, sure it’s not terribly gratifying when someone asks how a project is going and the answer is “still working on it” again and again. But one day they’ll be like, “I don’t know how you did that.” But you will know. You will know.


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That Time Of Year… Costuming

(I once thought this was a blog about writing. Really, it’s a blog about the things that get in the way of writing, like procrastination and writers block and things I consider important because they require creativity but ultimately eat up what precious time I have to actually write. Really… it’s a blog about costuming.)
October… ahh. Fall. 🍁 You’re celebrating pumpkin spice lattes, leaves changing color and wearing scarves.
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Me? I’m celebrating Halloween. (Not for the spooky stuff cause I’m still legit afraid of the dark. 🙄) I love Halloween for what it really is, an excuse to make costumes!
I put as much emphasis on this as any other thing in my life, a result of my inability to prioritize. My evenings are suuuper productive with things like sewing and gluing and the like.
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For me, making a costume is like any big project that I must first break into many small projects.
So instead of my to do list saying…
-Make xxx costume
It says…
-Sew vest for xxx costume
-Find wig for xxx costume
-Pick shoes for xxx costume
-Build chest plate for xxx costume
As you may guess, I get to cross stuff off my list ALL. THE. TIME. That’s what I like to do, cross stuff off my list. I metaphorically body bump myself like… Yeah. 👊🏻 You get sh*t done! You’re so damn productive. I can’t even handle how productive you are right now.
Meanwhile, my large projects are collecting dust on said list, trickling down from day to the next. Submissions? That’ll be a November list item for sure. 
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In the meantime, blogging is taking precious time from googling how to sew boot covers. Such breed of domestic I have become.
No spoiler alerts! I know you can’t wait. MUAHAHA!
November 1st blog post forthcoming. 🙂


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Sincerely, Two-Faced Mom


I am a writer.

I am a mom.

I am either a great writer or a great mom. But rarely both. And it’s a tightrope of guilt.

At this point, I’ve whittled down all other hobbies/interests/passions because my hours are spoken for. Any chance I had of learning to paint is on the retirement hobby list now. And somehow, there’s still a shortage of hours in my day.

Let me say, my kids bring me great joy. Definitely. Of course. Most of the time.  Now that that’s out of the way, the truth is, I’ve never been ok with being just a mom. (I know, I know. Moms everywhere are rolling their judgy eyes. Just a mom?!?! I realize how it sounds) We aren’t supposed to admit it but motherhood is the termite of self-identity, niggling into our foundation and thinning us out.

Not that this is bad. Motherhood takes over because, many times, there’s nothing I’d rather do than roll on the floor with my two year old. Not do dishes, tone my abs or train for a marathon (haha. Just kidding. I wouldn’t do that stuff anyway.) and not write the next great American novel.

But it’s times like summer vacation when I realize how very contradictory my two passions are. Hmm, edit chapter 6 or get the wildling grommets out of the house before they start setting LEGO booby traps. 

(On that note, writing and a toned butt are also currently duking it out. Luckily, I hate exercise and could happily write and eat m&m’s for hours so it’s not much of a fight).

Can’t I be fun, energetic, tanned, active, involved mom but also be reclusive, obsessed, pale, moody writer? Gawwwd, Kelly! Step up your game.

And when is “being busy” an easy excuse for not applying myself to my work? And when is it ok to put a dream on hold to spin my wheels picking up toys, wiping noses and reading Little Blue Truck for the 1000th time? And shouldn’t I always be joyful to do these insanity-inducing motherhood tasks?  Because a truly great mother would. 🤨

Damn you, selfish self!

Btw, if anyone has any pearls of wisdom, lay em on me. Because sadly, this summer, I’m choosing great(ish) mom and by the time bedtime rolls around, I can’t even form full sentences.
Also, this is my summer reading… 😣

Those of you reading literary novels right now, I hate you.


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Writing For The Masses. Writing For One.

Screen Shot 2018-03-08 at 2.57.26 PMSo, a friend of mine, Tricia, recently wrote a book. She’s written screenplays and movie scripts (both produced) and despite writing being her hobby, she has a keen knack for storytelling, drama and pace.

(She’s also one of my favorite editors, able to zero in on flaws with ruthless and confident precision. She has red-marked, nay, red-slashed many a written page of mine. And I love her for this.) 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

Screen Shot 2018-03-08 at 2.51.35 PMAt the 2016 SDSU Writer’s Conference, Tricia’s book was voted best new work by not one, but both of the agents that read it. Must to the chagrin of the second agent, the first agent immediately asked for exclusive rights and is now her agent. This is the stuff writer fantasies are made of, amirite?giphy

 

And they lived happily every after… However…

Of course we all know, like, logically, that writing a book is not the hard part. Publishing a book is the real work. We know, we know. We just don’t reeeeeally believe it.

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And here is where my tale begins.

Tricia’s agent has her book in the hands of top editors in the industry, matchmaking to the best of her ability. And love has not yet struck. The fact is, finding the right publisher can be shitty miserable humiliating frustrating.  Continue reading