TCB, R&R, & TBR

What are you doing this summer?

I have a lot of travel plans, so my primary focus is going to be taking care of myself.

TCB

I’ve gotten a lot of business stuff done and automated, so I can be available for the things that inevitably come up. I’ve got several projects at various stages of completion, but that can be a good thing this time of year. I usually have the energy to start projects in the summer and sometimes I even finish them.

It’s easy for me to get overloaded with all the energy I have in the summer, and usually, that’s a good thing, but it’s also more difficult for me to make road trips than it used to be. There will be a lot of social time and a lot of road time, two things that tend to drain my energy.

So what how am I taking care?

R&R

It’s been a pretty intense year so far with teaching, and I have a bit of a break for the next month. I’ve decided to take it. I’m going to slow down on my commitments to others and prioritize what brings me life. One of those things has always been reading.

I’m taking a little R&R from streaming and the Creative Collective, but don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere.

TBR.

That’s my “To Be Read” list for the uninitiated.

As you can see, I have a lot to catch up on. That’s ok. I’m establishing some early rules.

  • I must WANT to read it: no “needing” to read or finish anything. I have plenty of reading time for the things I need to read. This is a time for entertainment and getting back into the habit of reading for fun. I have gotten so sick before that I was unable to read and that is a scary and dangerous place for me. I don’t even want to flirt with it, and that means taking a break from the things I read for work and research.
  • It must KEEP me entertained: again, I don’t “need” to finish. A writer has the responsibility of keeping a reader engaged throughout the story. If a writer fails to do that, I won’t be held responsible for finishing the work. I refuse to dread this process.

What are your reading rules? Do you still do summer reading? What’s your TBR pile look like?

Let me know!

xxxlinsey

MAYFLOWERS: Pretty in Paint

This is the place where I start the things I’m too scared to do.

I’ve been working on building an Etsy shop for…I don’t know…years.

I finally have a shop and a name

litewings.art

and I have maybe one listing. I think I’m in the middle of filming it.

Anyway.

I need some encouragement to keep it going and to share art with the world.

It’s not that I really think I am that good; it’s more that I know I can’t get better without sucking first.

And it’s cluttering up my house, so it’s got to go.

If you’re reading this, you’re invited to bug the crap out of me until it’s complete and you can actually purchase through Etsy.

So you know, 50% of your purchase goes to Breast Cancer Research (BCRF) until I say different.

I have a target number I want to donate, and until I hit it, I will be donating half the proceeds of all my painting work.

Reminder about the PAPERBACK PROMO! Over 50% off until the end of May. Just CONTACT ME.

See you next week!

xxxlinsey

PAPERBACK PROMO

THERE’S STILL TIME!

Get your SIGNED and PERSONALIZED PAPERBACK copy of GOODBYE, LUKE, OR BOTH, for the price of the ebook ($4)

Just EMAIL ME by May 31, 2023. You can also CONTACT ME through the blog.

You’ll buy directly from me, which means you can get as many copies as you like. I will sign and personalize any and all that you order 🙂

We’ll coordinate shipping and payment in June. For now, just reserve your copies.

If you’ve already bought or reserved your copies, don’t forget to leave a review!

Next up…something a little different.

See you then.

xxxlinsey

MAYFLOWERS: Pretty Pink Pumps

Hello all,

As promised, here is an excerpt from one of the short stories I worked on in April. I hope to publish this collection either at the end of this year or the beginning of next. Let me know what you think!

Maria peered in the shop window, putting up a hand to cut the glare. She knew better. Knew she should keep walking, not even stop to look. Her mother used to say looking was for free, but Maria’s eyeballs seemed connected to her wallet all the same. She shouldn’t have even taken this street, come to think of it, but it was too late now. A whole line of boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, and other money-suckers dotted her path. She should have driven to pick up Chester. It was such a beautiful day, of course, she’d had to walk. They had walked this same path earlier that morning, her with a coffee in one hand, the leash and their shared bagel in the other.
That time of the morning, the only things open were the Mean Bean and the Pampered Pooch. Now it was afternoon, and downtown was bustling.  Maria blew a lock of curly black hair off her forehead. Most of it stuck in the sweat. It wasn’t hot out, but the afternoon had definitely taken a turn for the warm. People crisscrossed the downtown alley, hopping in and out of the shops, stopping to greet each other and catch up. A few vehicles puttered down the street, their engines tapping out at 5 miles per hour.  The sun was out, heating the brick sidewalks where awnings fluttered in a slight breeze.
Maria heard wind chimes and looked up to find some of her parishioners exiting the store. Larry Johnson’s wife, Vera, and their daughter Mabel. Maria smiled in recognition and took a step back, opening her stance to the two ladies. When they saw her, Vera greeted Maria warmly while Mabel stood by smiling shyly. They had just gotten Mabel’s Easter shoes finally after a frantic multi-store search. Vera didn’t know about Maria, but she, for one, was all in favor of small businesses in town. Those big box stores never had what one really needed. Maria did not point out that Vera had shopped the big boxes before settling into the local options. She simply smiled and nodded. Inside she was paralyzed. 
Easter.
She would need something new to wear, of course. She had completely forgotten the holiday was coming up. Bryce, her husband and the pastor of the small Methodist church in town had just lectured her about her spending, but even he would recognize the necessity of his wife sporting new threads for Easter Sunday. Already Maria was plotting how to spend the least amount of money while looking her best. Mentally she scanned her closet for a new or nearly new dress she hadn’t yet worn to church in Middle, Mississippi. Maria couldn’t come up with anything right away, but that didn’t mean she didn’t own something. She found herself telling Vera that was exactly the reason she was stopping by the store. Easter shoes. With that, the Johnson ladies bid their farewells, and Maria entered the shop.
Inside was cool and dark, like dusk, after the bright light outside. Maria stood and let her eyes adjust a few moments before heading toward the dress shoes. She didn’t make a direct beeline; rather, she wandered past the sneakers and put out a tentative finger to touch the tiny Mary Janes and sandals designed for children who surely had no need of footwear. She stepped into the aisle of dress shoes even though she was standing in front of the size 5s and she was closer to a 9. She browsed, making note of the trending styles and colors. She saw strappy sandal options, demure low-heeled pumps, sky-high heels, and everything in between. Blacks and browns were present but few and far between. Spring and summer colors dotted the shelves, the closed boxes stacked high toward the ceiling. Maria let her fingers trail over satin, leather, and plastic. She inhaled the scent of cardboard and industrial cleaner. 
Then she saw them. 
Hot pink, straps for days, but a low heel, perfect for church. Perfect for her personality. She could wear practically anything with shoes like that. She could wear nothing. 
Those shoes were everything. 
Maria was reaching out a tentative hand when someone stepped in front of her.
“You’re the preacher’s wife, aren’t you?” 
He was a young man, good-looking, with a devilish smile, straight teeth, and groomed hair. He must have been thirty but carried himself like someone much younger. Maybe a teenager. Maria looked him up and down. She spied a nametag that read JAMES. He was an employee. It shouldn’t have surprised her for someone to recognize her, but it did all the same. She was approached out of the blue all the time with that exact question, and it had stopped throwing her off guard. 
Until today. She realized she was frowning and stopped. She made her face inquisitive and asked, “Have we met?”
 “No, ma’am,” he said, “but I’m an admirer.”
What to say to that? 
“How nice.” 
“Anyway, could I ask you to help me with one quick thing? Then I promise you a discount on those pretty pink pumps. Rawr” He made a cat noise and lifted one hand in a mock scratch. His fingernails were uncomfortably long. They really did look like claws. Maria took an inadvertent step back.
 “Now, now, don’t be alarmed,” said James, “it’s not immoral or anything like that. Just need an opinion. A woman’s touch, if you will.” He smiled at her again, and she found herself thinking that word “devilish” again with a little more hesitancy. “Come with me.” He turned toward the back of the store and beckoned her to follow. 
After a moment, she did.

From: Every Village. Southern Short Stories

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below or email me for a chat. I look forward to hearing from you.

xxxlinsey

MAYFLOWERS: Studio Update

BEFORE:

As you can see, it was quite cluttered in here. The corners encroached after I moved the art stuff into the office to make room on my kitchen table for stuff like eating. I cleaned the living room and started making space in preparation for the piles coming out of my office.

DURING:

The first step was EVERYTHING OUT. I had done my best to organize, but I had NO. IDEA. How Much Stuff I had in this room. We cleaned and organized as we went, so most of it is blessedly gone or better organized. My life was less hectic once I started putting stuff back in.

AFTER:

It took a lot of work and SEVERAL days of it, which is not always my strong suit, but I am happy with my progress.

I turned the secondary writing desk into a primary art desk and literally turned it around to be one piece with my writing desk. I’ve banished the chair, at least temporarily, and am teaching and writing standing on an anti-fatigue mat.

The rolling bins I reordered and reorganized and made into secondary bookshelves. The primary bookshelves, in an old china cabinet, have been cleaned out and reorganized, along with the craft cabinet, housed in an old armoire. The piano is uncovered, and, I’m happy to say, in regular use, and my filing cabinets and vision boards are appropriately updated.

Now I have a wonderful studio with lots of room to walk around. I’m getting used to standing most of the time again (hail, ye cosmetology days, well met) and painting where I’m used to writing. It’s exciting, and I can’t wait to see what I produce next.

Check out the INSTAGRAM post for more photos.

NEXT UP: a little of what I’ve been working on for CAMP in April. I’m close to needing BETA READERS, so if you’re interested, sign up on my WEBSITE. Squeamish readers, beware.

I hope you have a wonderful week, and I can’t wait to show you what’s up my sleeve next! Happy writing!

xxxlinsey

APRIL CAMP NANO UPDATE: Ok, ok…

Yes. I finally did it.


It took until my Tuesday stream, but I finally updated the word count and got the confetti.

Yay Me

I haven’t done much else on the project, but that was still a very long day of writing.

I have three stories left to edit. I think I like them.

So, now I’m on the hunt for a developmental editor

…another me, in other words…

to help me with the final draft. If you know anyone, tell them to CONTACT ME.

I’m also asking for BETA READERS if you’re interested down the line.

I hate being short and sweet, but nothing much is happening. That’s a good thing. It’s been busy, and we have another burst of activity at the end of the month.

The CREATIVE COLLECTIVE is off this week. We’ll meet next on May the 4th (be with you).

Oh yeah…

I cleaned out my office and made a studio

I’ll show you next week. Have a good one.

xxxlinsey

APRIL CAMP NANO UPDATE: Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner.

I did it.

I didn’t write 10,000 new words, but I did work for roughly 8 hours on my current work-in-progress (WIP).

Which means I also won CAMP NANOWRIMO, though I (sheepish shrug) have NOT updated my word count SINCE that stream.

So, have I really won?

Photo by Leeloo Thefirst on Pexels.com

WATCH THE REPLAY

As for the WIP, things are going well. If all goes as planned, I will finish the 2nd draft TODAY.

Would you like to read it?

CONTACT ME.

I need beta readers and some editorial input.

Know a fiction editor? (other than me?)

CONTACT ME

Until next week and our final CAMP NANOWRIMO update.

Happy Writing.

xxxlinsey

APRIL CAMP NANO UPDATE: Muddy Middle Stream

Somehow it’s the middle of April already. I have progressed, and I’m happy with that progress, but it’s been a bit of a blur.

Did you know I’m doing a 10k stream on Saturday?

It’s on YOUTUBE from 10AM (Central US) until I hit 10K. If you’d like to be part of the stream, let me know.

I’m playing catchup in a different way this week, and I’m looking forward to the designated writing time.

linseyewing youtube banner

I’ve been really busy the past few weeks, so I’m looking forward to the rest and a chance to get back to those projects I’m really excited about. Those would be the courses, short stories, and job hunting.

It can be easy to give up or reschedule your creative time when so much from the outside world is crowding in.

How do you protect your writing time?

I’ve rededicated Tuesday nights and Friday afternoons to my creative work. I want to do more and make more space to grow as an artist. When I can, I will dedicate the full day both days. It’s almost like a week off because the work is so much fun.

Speaking of which, the CREATIVE COLLECTIVE meets again this week. Contact me for the Zoom link.

CURRENT WORD COUNT: 11,246

ppsssssstt…..

Have you read my book?

If not, never fear, I have a PROMO for you. I’m selling my stock (that means order from me directly and pay me shipping) for a reduced price for the entire month of MAY. If you want a paper copy of GOODBYE or LUKE, signed or in bulk, you can purchase them from me for the price of the EBOOK.

That’s roughly 50% off

Let me know how many copies, if and how you want them signed, and where to send them by MAY 31st.

You heard it here first.

xxxlinsey

APRIL CAMP NANO UPDATE: Goals

It’s that time of year again.

Time to roll up the sleeves and do some writing.

That’s what I’ve decided to do anyway.

CAMP NANOWRIMO is a little more flexible on the goals front, and I started by saying I would edit my short story collection.

Since then, I’ve changed my mind and decided I need to write more. It’s been several months (last November) since I opened the floodgates and let whatever out. This time I am doing so in a controlled environment, i.e., the format of the stories and the time frame of Camp.

In other words, I’m writing whatever comes to mind as much and as often as possible for the next 30 days.

I do hope I come up with something good. Some of the short stories need to be fleshed out. I hope to add roughly 25k to the manuscript. It’s ok if I don’t make it; the point is to do the thing.

At this point, I’m just noodling on ideas, trying to get 1k words a day. I made it on Day 1 and had zero words Day 2. Day 3 I hit 1500 or so and Day 4 so far has a few hundred.

I’m doing things like coming up with last names, filling out the cast of characters and setting notes, and brainstorming plot points. Some of this may end up in the final manuscript as colorful extras, while most of it is probably destined for the trash heap.

I don’t let that discourage me.

It takes lots and lots of words to make a novel-length manuscript. Not all of them are going to make it.

If you want to write with me, check out my YOUTUBE streams on Tuesday evenings and Friday mornings.

I’m also doing a MUDDY MIDDLE stream on April 15th to write 10k in a day.

CURRENT WORD COUNT: 3320

Happy Camping until next week.

xxxlinsey

Storytellers’ Hearth: Spring Writeathon

There’s not much else going on in this corner.

All the planning I did so I wouldn’t run out of content, while certainly not for naught, nevertheless does not help me when I just don’t feel like writing.

I hope this weekend will get me in the mood.

What used to be the World Wide Writeathon is now the Storytellers’ Hearth, and it’s happening THIS WEEKEND.

If you want the inside story, check out the STORYTELLERS’ HEARTH. I’ve posted the schedule below.

I’m not hosting this time…too much going on…but I will be in the chats on many, many streams.

I hope to see you there.

I’ll be working on my short story collection…trying to figure out which stories need to be added to or just plain deleted. We shall see. I hope it will be an inspiring weekend around a bunch of other writers who all love doing the same thing I do. The internet makes some pretty amazing things possible.

If that sounds like fun, I hope you will join, but don’t forget I do two live writing streams a week on YOUTUBE.

What are you working on this week and how is your motivation?

xxxlinsey

The CREATIVE COLLECTIVE starts March 30th! If you haven’t signed up, ASK ME HOW!

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