Wednesday, November 7, 2018


Hi All,

Welcome to another session of the IWSG! As we all know it's NOVEMBER and the holidays are just around the corner.

I, for one, have been a bit anxious over the revelation of this year coming to and end in less that two months. EEK!

THANKFULLY I can vent all my anxieties here today. This group is such a blessing and thanks to the founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh, we have our chance every month. If you are new to the group, WELCOME. For those who are sitting on the sidelines, DON'T BE SHY... join us. Let us help you and perhaps you have some words of wisdom to share with us. Drop by and sign up at Alex's website.

As most of us know, writing can be taxing at times. WE start full speed ahead and then always seems to be somewhere in the middle of the MS. I know you are all nodding over this. I was there just recently. For a few months I wrote nothing on my present work in progress, MOMMY KAY, a memoir. I am chronicling the life of Kay Hickman Ferrara.... through her daughter, Kim. I have a few snippets posted. The first even won first place at the WEP in April. 

But as I began writing again, after this long hiatus, it was tough. I had planned to post another snippet for the WEP with the prompt, VOODOO or Deja Vu at the end of last month. I managed to write an unnerving piece about Mommy Kay and Kim's altercation with a black voodoo priest. The story was terrifying to write. I actually stopped at the cliffhanging point of the snippet. It took me nearly two weeks to finish the conclusion. Thankfully, that particular story is completed and it was well received. If you'd like to read it, it's the post before this one.

This is the reason for my anxiety this month. I am now on the final last third of the book. I have most of my facts and just need to write the last 20,000 or so words. The subject matter is incredibly interesting, but I find it hard to concentrate and just keep on plugging along. Has this ever happened to you? This is a first for me. My first two novels' first drafts were written in approx. six -seven weeks. I started this project in April, it is now November, SEVEN months! I still haven't completed the first draft. 

Granted this isn't a fictional story and there are TONS of facts and research, but still. I am actually a bit freaked about it. I needed to have this complete by now. I had scheduled and AMAZING editor who Kim is willing to pay BIG BUCKS to do a read through. Since her current projects are not completed, we rescheduled for the second week in January. Phew! This helps my anxiety a lot. But it's still looming overhead.

I have worked with other editors before, but they were kind and believed in my work and helped me along my journey. This is the first time I am sending my work out to an editor who has many NYT bestsellers under her belt. Can that be why I am so nervous and putting off my writing? I have never been nervous before. I guess it's because another person is putting up such a great deal of money to have her story edited properly. It's scary for me. Not to mention where this could lead. I actually have a huge shot at a bestseller here and I am worried. What if the editor doesn't like the story? Kim and I have such hopes for this. I guess these feelings are normal, right? 

As you can see, I am not my usual self this month. I know I will get through it. I am leaving to head back to Florida in a few weeks. Seeing Kim on a daily basis will kick me back into gear again. Plus the warmth and sunshine will be good for me. It's been gray, damp, cold, and nasty here in Chicago for over a week! NOT my favorite weather. Winter is setting in very quickly. No beautiful fall weather. We went for 85 to 40 in 36 hours and it's been nasty ever since. 

So, that is where I am at. On the plus side, my health is better. I started doing physical therapy for my arthritic shoulders and it's helping a great deal. It's an holistic approach, which I will share with you all in another post. But I won't be taking any more steroids because it didn't come back this year. Thank God!

I hope all is well with all of you. ENJOY your THANKSGIVING! We have so much to be thankful for in our lives. Our families, our friends, and our fur babies!

Here's a pic of my buddy Hamlet in his Halloween costume. He is next to one of his gal pals, an adorable Maltese named, Liza... I know it will put a smile on your faces....

Introducing Pope Hamlet I with Hippie, Rabbi, Liza. LOL


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hamlet looks charming and regal.
I think I've experienced the same thing with my current work. It's taken me so long, I'm kind of fumbling along now. And I'm not even to the middle yet!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Michael, you write beautifully. Don't be too worried.

Both pups look adorable in their outfits.

David Powers King said...

Cute puppies! A thousand times YES about the middle. That's where I'm currently working to edit myself through. You got this, though. The end is in sight! :)

Toi Thomas said...

Every project I've worked on has caused me anxiety but that's why I usually spend a lot of time in the outlining phase.
From the snippets I've read, your WIP sounds great. It should be well received.
Glad your health is doing better.
The dogs look so cute.

Chrys Fey said...

Your puppies are adorable.

I have a story that I was doing so well on and when I got near the end, probably where you are now, I stopped cold. I still haven't written that ending five years later, but I am going to try very soon. Maybe even by the end of this month.

Good luck to you on the last 20,000 words of your novel!

emaginette said...

I think you're nervous because you're human. We tend to have emotions that aren't always attached to anything specific.

Best advise is sit down and write. It doesn't matter if it's the editor that's bugging you. What matters is getting the words down. You can do this. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Natalie Aguirre said...

Glad your health is better. Writing a first draft always is painful and slow for me. Maybe just think of the next chapter and write 30 minutes at a sitting or start by looking at the last chapter you wrote to get motivated. Good luck!

H. R. Sinclair said...

Hey, it sounds like your on the home stretch. That's great. The pups are so cute in their outfits.

Jemi Fraser said...

Pope Hamlet is adorable!!
I get stalled like that too - often because I know there's a big step coming soon and I think I tailspin a little. Hope your sunshine helps you get back on track! :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Hamlet is perfect. I understand your stress about the book, but it's also very exciting. I know you'll do a good job.

Jennifer Hawes said...

Cute dogs!! If you are stuck, then try outlining again. You'd be surprised at how unstuck you get! Have fun in Florida.

Anonymous said...

My current WIP I got bogged down in the middle and ended up removing about half of it because I realized that wasn't the way the story was supposed to go. It was rough, but had to be done.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Good to hear your health is better. I reckon you are just in a temporary hiccup, creative-wise. It will all sort it's out soon. Re finding it hard to concentrate, that's me all over at the moment too. We will get through it together!

Tonja Drecker said...

After reading everything about the editor and such, I can imagine you're stressed. That would be enough to hiccup my writing. But don't let it. You're almost there. You can do it!!! (I'm pulling out my pompoms btw ;) )

cleemckenzie said...

Good news on the health front, Michael. So glad to hear that.

I hear you about the pressure of deadlines. I've been known to choke up and not be able to do a single thing. One time I just went to bed at 10am and stayed there until noon. That's when my sensible side took over from my emotional one and pulled me back to my computer. I made the deadline, and gave myself a good talking to. Sometimes you have to let your sensible side take charge so your emotional and creative one can function again. You'll do it. Go!

Melissa said...

Cute fur babies!

You are a good writer, Michael. Don't sweat it. Just BICHOK.

Diane Burton said...

The last 1/4 of the book is really hard, for me. You can do it, Michael. Love the dogs. That pic brightened my day.

Cathrina Constantine said...

I'm happy to hear your health is better, keep it up!

I understand what you're going through. Keep plodding on, little by little, paragraph by paragraph, chapter by chapter you will complete this draft. I have great confidence in you Michael.

Enjoy Florida!!

Denise Covey said...

I hope that holistic treatment works a treat on those shoulders! We at WEP loved your voodoo story but most thought you should have taken us behind the curtain. I imagine it was scary writing it, since it was true, but our hearts were in our mouths waiting to see what the ceremony looked like. Ghouls that we are.

Don't be scared of that hot-shot editor. Your writing is beautiful. What I'e seen of the memoir is amazing. Don't put yourself down. No doubt she'll demand lots of rewrites, but that's the fun part.

Pick up that ms and back to work!

Roland Clarke said...

Sitting here typing one-handed as my dog is on my lap and other hand. Couldn't think of a costume for her, but I love that Papal pet photo - so cute.

Pace your writing and it will be great. Believe in yourself.

DMS said...

What cute pups!

Sounds like you have an amazing editor lined up. So glad you were able to move your deadline to January. I know you can do it. I usually feel like a deadline pushes me past the hard parts. Hope you find the same. :)

Happy Thanksgiving and good luck!

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Deniz Bevan said...

I hope everything went well with the end of the draft, and that the editor loves it!