How to get your hand not to agree with you

My whole life, or since I can remember, I’ve been invaded by Ganglion cysts in my wrists. Those are small liquid balls that appear in your wrists for no apparent reason but to disturb your life. They usually come and go, but some of them like to stick around causing pain. I’ve already got them surgically removed twice, leaving “good looking” scars.

The thought about scars is that they always leave space for good stories, like the one on my right wrist that led this weird guy in a club approach and tell me that He used to do that but not anymore… it took me time to realize that he thought it was some sort drug mark or maybe suicide attempt (which would be dumb since veins are on the other side of the wrist), and when I told him No dude is not what you think, he told me something like Yeah I used to deny it too… anyway…

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Image source: www.canstockphoto.com

The problem now is that the “thing” as I call it, won’t go until my hand stops making “efforts”, the good doctor has advised me to use the wrist the least possible, type the least, which me having a full time job as a Technical Writer and having the long-time dream of becoming a Fiction writer, maybe be outputting… but I guess life is not always easy…

Luckily, there are always ways, and I’m happy that I found them. I’ve reduced my manuscript edition workload to the use of pen and paper, right hand is the good one this time (lucky me!), and I’ll see if I can find somebody later who can do all the computer typing. Also, typing at work has improved thanks to a recently acquired Ergonomic keyboard which is magnificent!  And since I had to be careful with the type of exercise I chose (one where I don’t use hands), I bought myself an AirClimber (my first Teleshopping – equivalent to QVC – purchase ever!) and I love it!.

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And although my hand may not agree with my writing duties and lifestyle, I still have found ways to overcome this situation. And you, have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? (it doesn’t have to involve ganglion cysts) 

How reading several books at the same time can mess up your sanity

I’m reading four books at the same time right now, well according to my Goodreads account five, but one is about grammar, so it doesn’t really count as reading a book per se (more about studying/reviewing the book). I didn’t intend this situation to happen but got into this without thinking.

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Image source: roadtobabylon.com

I’m officially reading (meaning the book by my nightstand) Exposure by Kathy Reichs. Then I started to read In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming when I went on vacations. You see, I wanted to bring a pocket book that I could sneak on planes and everywhere, and I happened to have this one in this version.  Then of course, I started with one of my audiobooks, I really like to listen audiobooks whenever I’m driving, riding the bus, or doing cleaning chores, so I started with Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King. And then it’s Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, which is the kindle book I get to read whenever I have time at work (which haven’t got much recently and hence may take a while until I finish this one). See, I really didn’t intend this to happen. I find it disturbing, wishing I never got in this situation. Not only I don’t know which one I want to finish first when I have some time off 🙂 but also I get confused between characters and plots (wait wasn’t there an abandoned baby in the plot? (In the Bleak Midwinter) the Virals were trying to find out who was the mother? (Exposure).

My reading situation may sound hilarious, but it is not. The intention of this blog is to advise you against these crazy reading habits  🙂  Just grab one book and finish it first before going to other. Period.

And you have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? Do you think is possible to read many fiction books at the same time?

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Image source: www.goodsheperd.notts.sch.uk

Will I ever stop editing my book?

After some brief vacations on the beach (some heavy burning and the realization that the beach may not be for me), I’ve started the second revision of my manuscript and realized that this one is also going to take me a while. I’ve started with chapter one and there were so many ways to improve it, I practically re-wrote the whole thing again, and I’m still not convinced. I’m planning to go over it again tonight.

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Image source: www.gracebooks.org

The positive point is that I believe my writing has improved and it’s getting better each time with more practice and reading. The bad is that I’m afraid I won’t ever stop editing; it seems that I’ll get improving and improving and I’ll never finish editing my manuscript.

Of course when I write, I tend to reach a point where I read my words and find them exciting and beautiful; but after leaving it for a while and coming back to it later, I still find that it’s not what I want it. Am I too perfectionist? That would freak me out. I’ve never been perfectionist in anything else, maybe it was because I’ve never found the necessary interest in other activities, but now is different, all interest and expectations are on board.

So, help, I need advice from people out there who write and sometimes stop to read my blog? When do you know you have to stop editing?

Book review: On Writing: A memoir of the craft by Stephen King

I must confess I really like listening to Audiobooks, not only because I can listen to something interesting while driving or riding the bus, but because when it’s well narrated, the voice can give it a very nice plus to the story. Now “On Writing” by Stephen King is a must on audio as well as on paper. How many audiobooks can you get narrated by the same author? Well, the same Stephen King himself reads you this book.  In other words, you can hear all his examples, stories, advices in his own voice like he were telling them straight to you. The effect it produces is that you actually believe Stephen King is talking to you, personally, in a one-on-one meeting. You can even consider this gathering as a “close friends” encounter. His voice sticks to your head. And when you finish the book, you can still hear his voice in your head when you’re writing, it’s unbelievably effective!

on writing

I’ve read a couple of books about writing, from the grammar perspective to the style, from plot building, to character development, to brainstorming, etc.; all of them good, or at least with plenty of advice for beginner writers. But I must be sincere, I cannot remember much of the advice at the moment. I would have to go through them again or see my notes to remember the exact advice. But from Mr. King, I can remember everything, I can hear him still saying “just be honest and say the f*”, making me laugh and making it easier for me to understand the writing tip (I wonder if I am a better learner when some cursing is around, maybe it helps to grab my attention…)

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Besides the excellent tips and clear examples, this book is also about the story of a great career, perseverance, believing, and never giving up. This book is not only for writers, I believe everybody can extract good life advice from it.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend this audiobook to everybody out there who wants to have some sort of writing tutor, a coach, or even a writing friend (I have found myself making references such as “like my good friend Stephen says…”). Stephen King tells you everything you should know about writing and makes sure you do not forget it.

February is for slowing down…

So February arrived, and I believe January has been one of the longest months ever!

I started 2015 really well, with my goals set in mind all the time. I feel they are already so engraved in me right now, that it would take the end of the world to drag me away from them, which is good.

The problem now, is that I need to slow down. I have managed to cultivate the habit of writing every single day or else I cannot go to sleep.

In this month, I’ve read a couple of books on grammar, styling, and how to write in general. I’m also about to finish revising my first manuscript. Then, the second revision round will come, and maybe my beta readers will have to wait until March to get their hands on the story.

But right now, I found I’m overdoing the process of writing. After I finished the first manuscript, I didn’t get away from it for a considerable amount of time (as everybody suggested) before revising. Now, I find myself confused about my main character, his role, and why he has become boring. Additionally, the story seems a little bit overwritten, too many things going on, too many things to tie, etc. So, it’s time for a break from the manuscript. I’m really looking forward for my next vacation, which will be exactly in ten days. I’m not a beach person, but this time, I’m really looking forward to go, sit, and just relax.

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Image source: http://www.evilenglish.net

Slow down, should be my motto for February now. Sometimes you can be so motivated, so full of energy, that you don’t pause to breath and risk of wearing yourself out.

So February will be the month where I find myself relaxing. I’ve already started yesterday. I’ve been reading so many books on How to Write, that it had been one entire month since I hadn’t read a good novel. Yesterday, I grabbed one book from my shelf that I haven’t been able to put my hands on yet (Exposure by Kathy Reichs, yeah, big fan of Bones over here), and the feeling of getting into a novel, discovering characters, and following the suspense building of the story, had no price. Damn I said to myself, I forgot about this, about why I wanted to be a writer in first place. I have promised to myself, that no matter what the current events in my life are, I should never forget about going without reading a good book.

For those who write, have you ever come to a similar problem like mine?