Delays and Good News

If you’re a member of my Facebook fan group, Brigham’s Book Nerds, or a friend on Facebook, you’ve probably seen me mention that “Push & Pull”–the second book in The Midwest Series–is stalled. I’m at about 30,000 words but getting to that point has been like pulling teeth and I am still struggling to figure out what I’m doing wrong.

The added pressure of knowing that I need to release on a timely schedule (so, hopefully, I can sell enough books and move out of my parents’ house) is not helping.

There are other things demanding my attention as well. The Italian translation of “Equals” will be coming out soon. I am formatting and making covers for the print copies of “Bully & Exit”, “Connection”, and “Trust” and hoping to have them available to sell at Ferndale Pride on June 4th.

Good things are happening and I am certainly continuing to work hard, but I came to the realization that I need to set “Push & Pull” aside for a little while. I’m not hearing Lowell’s voice at the moment and he’s such a wonderful character that I don’t want to shortchange his story. In order to keep the release pressure at bay, I am dusting off an old novella. It’s a funny, sweet erotic romance that I wrote several years ago.

At the moment, it is a solid story of 12,000 words. I dusted it off this morning and plan to flesh it out a bit further and turn it into a novella of roughly 25k.

Working on the new novella feels like a breath of fresh air after the stagnant struggles of “Push & Pull” and I am confident that the story will be ready for release in a few weeks. That will take the pressure off me and allow me to take a sorely-needed break from “Push & Pull.” I will never abandon Lowell and Brent, but I’m going to set them aside for a short while. Hopefully, when I come back, I will know what I need to do to fix the plot problems and finish the story!

In the meantime, there’s a new novella coming your way soon!

Doc Brody and the Big, Purple Cat Toy

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Can a tabby cat with an appetite for silicone toys bring together a lonely computer programmer and a hot veterinarian looking for love?

The Blerghs

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The past few weeks have been a struggle for me. I’m struggling to deal with the turmoil in the world and the turmoil in my brain.

“Push & Pull”, the second book in “The Midwest Series” continues to be a challenge. I knew it, my beta readers confirmed it, and I felt unable to root out the problem and fix it.

Focusing as much as I have been on politics and the election is burning me out fast. Although I am passionate about my beliefs, too much focus on the news and the potential outcome of where this country will end up sapped my mental energy.

The recent turmoil in the M/M community hasn’t helped the problem. My only comment on it is to suggest you read this blog post. I think it eloquently addresses the problems and concerns many of us have and is a reasonable, reasoned discussion of the issue.

I spent last week nannying for my second cousins while both of their parents were out of town on business. In college *mumbles* almost fifteen years ago, I watched them a few days a week during the summers. They were wonderful kids and we had fun playing with trains and Legos, reading, and doing art projects. Now that they’re fifteen and eleven, they’re no less wonderful. The older one had to be coaxed to do homework and the younger needed some prodding to finish his cello practice every night, but I count myself lucky that that was the worst of it. Running them around to all of their after school activities and being sure I kept them on schedule, fed, and happy was time-consuming and challenging, however, especially for someone who is neither interested in nor cut out for parenting.

Of course didn’t help that I had to get up at 5:45 to make sure they got up and got ready for school. Or that their parents don’t drink coffee so I had to rely on tea, which is entirely inadequate. Unfortunately, it was made worse by the time change and by the time I got home Friday, I was ready to sleep as long as I possible.

None of these things made for a happy or productive Brigham.

I had planned to return to social media this week, but I found myself reluctant to log in. Apparently my brain decided it needed a break, so I decided to give myself that time and see if it would help.

The good news is, the funk I’ve been in is starting to retreat and this week I’ve written over 6500 words on a chapter for the series I’m collaborating on with a friend. We’ve been working on the two novels for several years and are nearly done with the second draft. It feels great to see our hard work beginning to come together.

I am sorry I disappeared without much warning, but the good news is, I’m back and ready to tackle “Push & Pull”!

What’s the Opposite of Writer’s Block?

I posted this image on FB today because it made me giggle.  Sometimes my characters DO feel like imaginary friends.

 

I’m grateful that writer’s block is something I rarely have to deal with.  Don’t get me wrong, my creativity (and focus) ebbs and flows.  Some weeks I feel like I can’t find enough hours in the day to keep up with the ideas in my head.  Other time, it’s like pulling teeth.  I do my best to write even when I’m not feeling especially productive, although often I focus on other things, like writing book reviews or blog posts.  Sometimes I work on a story and just re-read what I’ve already written and make minor tweaks or plot out where I want to go next.  There’s always something I can work on.

Avoiding writer’s block is one of the main reasons I have multiple stories going at once.  It’s a very effective tool for me because if I’m feeling blah and uninspired about a particular story, I can work on something else for a while and it sparks my creativity.

Unfortunately, right now I feel like I have the opposite problem. Lately, my imaginary friends have been talking my ear off and I can’t get them to stop! I’m drowning in plot bunnies and I have a difficult time focusing on what I should be working on, namely the holiday shorts and book three of the Equals series.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Russ and Stephen.  I love the characters, I love their story, I love their relationship and the way it’s evolving. But I have so many other characters impatiently waiting their turn and it’s a daily struggle to focus on what I need to work on.

I feel ungrateful complaining about an excess of creativity; after all, it could be worse, right? I could be completely stuck and unable to write.  But it’s hard to feel grateful when the number of projects I have in my plot bunny folder keeps piling up.  I have no idea when I’ll get to them and just thinking about them gives me anxiety.

What am I going to do about it?  Honestly, I don’t know.  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, I guess, but I’d sure love to know if you have any tips!

What can I do to get my characters to speak a little more quietly or at least wait their turn?