Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Discussing The Five Act Structure

Cover # 17 I think I'm
keeping this one
When I started writing THE MECHANIC NEXT DOOR, I thought it would be a slam dunk. I was writing from experience, both on the personal and technological side. I'd done this before, I knew what I was doing, and what I can piece together from what I saved on Twitter and in Versions, I am a fairly proficient writer (when I have time and am in the zone.) All told, it took me 37 eight-hour days to "produce" the finished manuscript. Of course, in reality those 37 days actually took six months. (And let's not forget how many man hours it took for editing and final look-sees and beta readers. And then another round of whatever.)

That being said, during the latter half of the summer, when I was writing the heart of the project, I noticed that the story would not end. Every time I came up with an ending, I found another piece of the puzzle that needed to be shored up. I know as a reader, I would not like to ask at the end of the book, "what happened to...?"

So, I let the story go where it wanted to. A friend of mine used to have as her tagline, "My characters write the stories. I just take dictation." (She's not online anymore, but her name is February Grace. I believe she's on Twitter. Phenomenal storyteller.)

For the last third of my story, I let the characters decide what they wanted to happen because quite frankly, they weren't doing what I wanted them to anyway.

Sometimes, it's the craziest moments when everything comes together.

We had just gotten back to school. I was nearly finished with the book. I was flat-out with gift card responsibilities, volleyball season had started, and the principal asked me to be on semi-permanent car-line duties. I needed to finish the book, but it just wouldn't end.

And then it hit me--because I was thinking it was supposed to be over. Everyone had gotten what they wanted. But not really. It wasn't as if there were loose ends, the story just felt like it had been cut short. There should be more.

Who am I to argue?

I slaved over the last three chapters wanting to make sure I got every little nuance that I had written at the beginning. There were quite a few I have to say. However, I love writing intricacies in a story. It allows a farther reach for the character to develop.

I rewrote the ending four times. Completely. At least 1500-2500 words each time. I wanted to have the "perfect" ending. When I finished, I felt satisfied I had a good product.


And then it hit me. I had just written another five-act structured novel. I was following a pattern. My contemporary women's fiction were both five-acts. My Regencies were not. Neither are the murder mysteries.

One of the very first rejection letters I received in my young career mentioned my "purple prose." I tend to write very long flowery sentences-- a throwback to what I used to read during my formative years. I guess I still do it, only in a different genre.

Women's fiction is supposed to mimic real life. Well, life has a way of moving up and down. Yes, sometimes, when we think the worst is over, another wave comes crashing in to unsettle us again for however, how long. For those of you who are lucky enough, the second wave brings good news.


Well, now the book is finished and out in the world. Yes, I still have to go through it and have my trusted writing friends go through it, but I needed to get it out of my computer for me to be able to move on.

It's called a "soft opening." I just sort of learned that/remembered that phrase a couple of days ago. More on this in another post.

Robynne Rand (c) 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Editing, Publishing, and Writing Again

Last January (2016) I said on this blog that I wrote three murder mysteries. I finally finished editing the last one, and they are published under another pen name I have.
Logan Hendricks. You can find information about that here. 

 They are not available on Amazon. (That is another story.) However, you can find them on Smashwords, itunes, and Kobo. I tried to find my links to itunes and Kobo but couldn't. When I do I'll post them. I only Tweeted about them once, or twice, quite frankly because I haven't had time.
FROM THE SKY is the next one in the series. I'm about half-way finished. They're each a little over 100 pages. Nice easy afternoon read. No blood. No gore. No psychological drama. Not a whole lot of swearing. Just plain and simple murder mystery stories about a detective and his unofficial partner, a pot-smoking astrologist, and what happens to them while on the job and off. The 6th grade teacher at school read them and he said they're a cross between Law & Order and James Patterson's Jesse Stone.

I also published
two weekends ago. I'm still waiting to take
more pictures to try and figure out if I should
bother finding another cover.

However, I just started writing the Regency romance that should have been started in August--according to the schedule I set for myself (time and again) and I'm always ALWAYS off by six weeks. Always.

So, I know how long it SHOULD take me to write the Regency. I SHOULD be able to publish by Christmas. HOWEVER, I know things will get in the way and it won't be finished until Valentine's Day. So, be forewarned if you read Anne Gallagher Regencies. She'll be late with her next book.

Anyway, once volleyball season is over (Saturday) I'll be able to breath.
I have to return to school now. Time for car line duty. And how on God's good green earth did I get stuck doing this job now?  Grrrr...

Robynne Rand (c) 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Changing the Title and Cover Again Part 37

Okay, I skipped a few in between 3 and 36. I've changed the cover a lot. I've changed the title 3 times. For those of you who were here last week, that new cover I showed you--yeah, everyone I showed it to in the real world said no. Except Kim. I then found the perfect picture. I made up the cover. It's still not what I want.

I happened to see Katrina the other morning. She has a camera. A nice one. We asked Mrs. Martinez if we could borrow her truck for a picture. Katrina and Rosario took some great pictures. Then Katrina hurt her back so she hasn't sent them to me yet. I'm hoping to take some more next week with the janitor's truck. It's white and would showcase the font against the green backdrop.

Which leads me to the font. Again, giving me fits. I picked three. I found new ones. I mixed and matched. Grrr.

So, I'm back to the beginning. The girl with the dog. Because I think once you read the book, you'll get the cover. And I've always liked that cover. It's comfortable.

At forty-two, Abby Pryzbylowicz had everything she thought she ever wanted—nice apartment, nice car, nice life. A novelist by trade, she penned romance novels for the money, detective mysteries for fun, and the occasional piece of literary fiction to keep her name in the papers. A reclusive woman by choice, she only wanted to be left alone with her characters. However, when her cousin phoned and begged Abby to help with her mother she couldn’t say no. Abby loved Aunt Rose. Besides, it was only for the summer.

Upon her arrival to Rose MacLaren’s house, Abby found her aunt a ferocious hoarder, had frequent bouts of forgetfulness, and a penchant for choosing her clothing according to color rather than season. Conversations had to be pieced together to make sense. And convincing Rose not to drive proved to be a covert operation. 

When Abby set out to help her aunt, she thought it would be simple enough. All she had to do was clean the house and get it ready to sell. Rose was moving in with her daughter in September. However, as family skeletons started falling out of the closet, Abby’s only confidant was the mechanic next door.

Dealing with him was another story. 

It should be available everywhere.

Robynne Rand (c) 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Changing the Title of Your Book When Nothing Else Seems to Work

So, I was writing all summer with the intent to publish in September. I had a perfect title (which I'm not going to share because I may want to use it again). The book was supposed to be about a woman and a jerkface dog. Well, half-way through the manuscript, the dog semi-disappeared and the story became more about the woman, her aunt, and the guy who owned the dog. So, I changed the title again.

It was great. Or so I thought. I found three pictures for the cover (because I couldn't make up my mind which one I liked best), made mock-ups, and showed them to my friends. Twelve friends to be exact. It was a 3-way tie.

After discussing the situation ad nauseum with my very good friend, I decided the only other option I had was to change the title AGAIN. Because once I finished the manuscript, the new changes I had made to the cover copy didn't reflect the old title.

Of course, once I decided to change the title, I then had to search for more cover pictures. Because the old pictures didn't fit either. And luckily, I found one. While making the cover (yes, I know how to do that) I found that my fonts were all icky. Nothing looked right. So, I had to search for new fonts.

So, here we are with a new title and a new cover design. Now, I just have to go back in and edit the manuscript and I should be good.

Naturally, that all depends on what the Gang of 12 have to say about it. I sent them the new mock-up about 20 minutes ago. Let's see if they like it.

What do you think?

At forty-two, Abby Pryzbylowicz had everything she thought she ever wanted—nice apartment, nice car, nice life. A novelist by trade, she penned romance novels for the money, detective mysteries for fun, and the occasional piece of literary fiction to keep her name in the papers. A reclusive woman by choice, she only wanted to be left alone with her characters. However, when her cousin phoned and begged Abby to help with her mother she couldn’t say no. Abby loved Aunt Rose. Besides, it was only for the summer.

Upon her arrival to Rose MacLaren’s house, Abby found her aunt a ferocious hoarder, had frequent bouts of forgetfulness, and a penchant for choosing her clothing according to color rather than season. Conversations had to be pieced together to make sense. Convincing Rose not to drive proved to be a covert operation. But every Saturday night at eight o’clock, Rose parked herself in front of the television to watch a British comedy on PBS, just like any other little old lady on the block.

When Abby set out to help her aunt, she thought it would be simple enough. All she had to do was clean the house and get it ready to sell. Rose was moving in with her daughter in September. However, as family skeletons started falling out of the closet, Abby’s only confidant was the mechanic next door.

Dealing with him was another story.

Robynne Rand (c) 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Perils of Pen Names

Robynne Rand is my pen name.
Anne Gallagher is my pen name.
Logan Hendricks is my pen name.
None of them is my real name.

Ever since I was little, I've always called myself something other than the chosen name my parents gave me. I'd like to think I was making up characters even then, instead of the likely scenario that I'm really crazy. I was Susan Breckenridge for a long time. I might have been nine. Don't ask me why. Let the therapist figure it out.

Why I Have So Many

I write in niche markets. Traditional Regency romance. Detective murder/mysteries. Contemporary romantic women's fiction. I've found through trial and error that Regency readers generally don't leave the confines of that genre. Women's fiction readers might wander into a detective story, but won't stay for very long if there is too much blood.

In the beginning of my career, I didn't want to lose readers because I didn't write what they wanted to read. Anne Gallagher wrote Regency romance. I did publish REMEMBERING YOU under Anne Gallagher's name, but it was a flop.

I had too many stories, so I found another name.
Too many genres so I found another name.

Why They Are A Problem

Because I have too many. Three different names, four different social media platforms, (remember I'm also piedmontwriter). I can't keep track of half the shit I'm supposed to do in real life, how am I supposed to keep up with four blogs?

I know, I know. Anne R. Allen and I had a long discussion about this a long time ago. She said not to have a pen name. I disagreed. Now, look where I am. Neck deep in schizophrenia. (I don't want to offend anyone if you are schizophrenic. I empathize with your situation.)

Whilst reading a book on menopause, I came across some interesting information. It said women who are going through the change will lose their mind.
It's a scientific fact.
I feel so much better.

What I Would Like to Do

I would love to design a website for Shore Road Publishing and house everybody under one roof. That way I'm only there once instead of all over the place four times a week. Sounds good and easy in theory, and probably would be in practice, but I just don't have the time to research and write and upload and download and all that crap. I want someone to do it for me. But I want input. And that costs money.

The cat's surgery broke my bank account. (That's another story.)

What I am Going to Do

Ignore the bullshit. Just write. Sooner or later, after one of the books I'm currently involved in gets published, I'll figure it out. My head's just not in the right space to do so right now. My Saturdays are spent at volleyball games until mid-October. That used to be my work-on-other-things-day-but-still-related-to-writing-so-I-can say-I'm-working-day. And Sunday is my get-the-laundry-finished-day. Mon. thru Fri. I'm writing.

The writing guru's say you need to have a website, blah blah blah. As a Taurus, I find it's easier to ruminate on serious issues before tackling anything this big. But I have to figure it out before my friend moves away. She said she'd help me.

Luckily, I don't think are any other genres I wish to write in, so the names I have will do.
However, I had an idea about a non-fiction book.

Robynne Rand (c) 2017

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Caveat

Last week, I told you how I ignore the bullshit of my daily life to carve out several slots of time where I may write uninterrupted. I also stated what pulls me away from that. Perhaps a little TMI, but hey, I was proving a point. We all have bullshit. The day-to-day grind that eats at us so badly, that we might go mad if we don't get out from under it. I wanted you to see what I deal with every day so when you think, "Oh, I don't have time to write." You do. You just have to learn how to ignore the chocolate syrup on the kitchen floor. (This is another story.)

Where I Am

Currently, (As of this writing. When you read this, I might be finished.) I am 73 thousand words into a romantic women's fiction novel that I started in April. (While on spring break working with my brother in the yard using the heavy equipment, and also writing a Regency romance. Don't ask me how I managed 6,000 words during that time.) It's a good book. I like it. It has enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged.

I was working on it steadily enough through the summer, maybe three or four times a week, (you know how summer goes with kids) but then at the end of July, I realized school was coming on fast and I needed to get 'er done. I was Tweeting and engaging, and building up buzz across social media. (See, it's on my sidebar. Right there >>>) I was doing what I needed to do, in the zone, plowing through three and four thousand words a day. I had very strong feelings about this book. This book was going to be the book. You know, that one novel that would finally get people talking about me. I was almost finished. I had twenty-two days before school started. Finishing the book would be a piece of cake.

Problem is, every once in a while life throws us a blindsided curveball and we are hit so far out of left field we are out of the game.

Mike Wyzcowski

Mike is my little cat. She's seven months old. Yes, she's a female and her name is Mike. Why? (That's another story.) Monster found her during recess one day last March behind the fenced-in shed at the back of the soccer field at school.

When I arrived to pick Monster up, she begged me to bring the cat home. I said, "If she follows us to the car I'll take her home and feed her and then we'll see what happens." *stern Mommy face* The cat followed us to the car, climbed on Monster's lap, settled down, and took a nap for the half-hour ride home. Once there, I fed her (poor thing was starving), she curled up on the couch and slept for two days straight.

We kept the cat. I fell in love with the cat. The cat is funny, and sweet, and just such a great little cat. She sits on the kitchen counter (drives me NUTS) and watches me do whatever it is I'm doing. She talks when I walk into a room she's in to let me know she's there. People say, "She's just a cat." No. She's not. She is my familiar. I love this cat. More so than I ever thought possible.

Crisis Hits

On August 9, Mike started throwing up.  After every meal. All the time. I brought her to the vet the following Monday morning. (Don't judge. I thought she had gotten into the trash and ate something rotten.) By Wednesday (16) that week, Mike was in surgery for an exploratory because the x-ray showed something but they couldn't determine what it was. I thought it was a hair band. Monster leaves them all over the house.

All was going to be fine with the cat. She was in the doctor's hands. I could relax and finish the book. I had 6 days left.

Mike came home Thursday afternoon. I let her be until Friday night when I gave her the anti-vomit pill that I crushed up and slipped in her food. She threw it up. I gave her the pain meds in little plastic vials the doctor had given me. She threw it up. Saturday was the same. Only Saturday afternoon, she laid down on the windowsill in the front room and wouldn't budge. She may have had some kind of seizure (I think), and then crawled under the hutch and stayed there.

Cats always find a hole to crawl in when they know they're going to die.

I was very upset. I went to bed. Sunday for the cat was no better. She greeted me when I came downstairs, but threw up the milk. Mike laid down in the windowsill again and stayed there all day, pathetic and miserable. She had lost so much weight. She was starving and there was nothing I could do about it. I figured she would die that night.

I went through the Seven Stages of Grief, cried my eyes out, railed at God, and woke up Monday morning, fully prepared to find Mike stiff. I quietly crept through the house looking in her spots. I couldn't find her. I walked into the kitchen and there she was, sitting on the kitchen counter, waiting for me. She was back to normal!
I gave her food. She threw it up. I called the clinic and spoke with a nurse and a doctor to discuss her condition. They persuaded me the best thing I could do was to put her down. "But she was better," I cried. I told them about the kitchen counter. I told them how she walked out of the front room while I made dinner Sunday night.

At two o'clock, on the day of the eclipse, Monster and I took Mike for the long walk home. The staff was very kind. They gave us a room. The doctor wasn't quite ready for us. Mike walked around, sniffed everything in sight. She meowed (something she hadn't done since she'd been sick) and was acting like her normal self.

The doctor came in and I said, "I do not want to put this cat down. Even though I know that's what I said I would do. Her whites are still white and her pinks are still pink.) Which is what he told me the very first time he saw her. We discussed treatment options. Mike ended up with heavy duty shots of steroids, antibiotics, and anti-vomit medication. She came home and began to eat that night.

Drama Queen
I am a drama queen. I excel at it. Think Auntie Mame. However, I was so distraught over Mike, I completely shut down. I laid in my room for those two days that last weekend and cried. #MDF and Monster didn't know what to do for me. Thankfully, they left me alone.

Not only was I crying for the cat, but myself and my new book that would now not be finished and ready to publish by September first. This episode also threw off all the other writing I wanted to tackle as well. I've been trying to finish book 4 in the murder/ mysteries, as well as start on the next Regency romance. Now my schedule was thrown out the window.

Now, I know that my crisis is not the same as yours. I never intended it to be. And your next crisis I hope will not be something that I ever have the misfortune to bear. What I'm saying is, it doesn't matter what it is, it's personal to you. The writing goals I had set for myself were off schedule. I couldn't get that time back. Dealing with the cat was a priority. I set the book aside.

Would I do it again?
You bet.


I didn't write one word from that first Thursday morning after I realized something was seriously wrong with Mike until a week after I made my stand and took her home.

I couldn't. I just didn't have it in me. And I knew if I did that I would write garbage I would only delete later anyway. It would be wasted time. And I hate to waste time.

Writing during a crisis is lunacy. Priorities are priorities. It takes great courage and strength of purpose to decide which road to take during whatever curveball hits you. My cat took me out. Never saw it coming. I wanted to finish my book. That didn't happen.

Bullshit of Life

When I say, ignore the bullshit. Just write. What I mean is, the everyday crap that we all put up with as writers. "Oh, you're home all day, you can drive for the field trip." "Oh, can you run to the market on your way home and pick up milk?" Just. Say. No. That time, those moments are set aside so you can rewrite the last scene you worked on.  You need to get home and finish it.

That is my reality and THAT is the kind of bullshit you are meant to ignore. Doing either of those things would cut into my writing time. And that is something you will not do.

(However, you might begin to make compromises because of the extraordinary guilt that you feel. Yes, you will do the laundry if left alone for forty-five minutes. Yes, you will do the dishes before sitting down to Chapter Nineteen. Let them see you are at least trying to be better at keeping up with the bullshit of life.)

And don't get me wrong, I love my life. Dealing with the crisis of Mike made me realize how complacent I've become in certain areas. I needed to prioritize. And prioritize I did. Writing remains in the top three. It's who I am. It's what I do. Shouldn't I be treated like any other normal person with a full-time job even though I work from home? Would you interrupt a therapist if she saw patients at her home?

Crisis Over. Ignore the bullshit. Just write. 

Dealing with a crisis, is like a story. It needs to have a beginning, a middle, and an end, to be any good. I'm finished with mine. Mike is doing fine. I'm working on several projects at once. Volleyball is ever present. Life is back to normal.

Right now, there are five loads of laundry on the sofa that have to be folded and put away. A 2400' square foot house that needs to be vacuumed. Toilets to scrub. Dinner to make, animals to feed, clothes for volleyball tomorrow, what is for lunch?

It'll still be waiting for me when I go upstairs.

Now, if I can only find a lawn guy to cut the grass.

Ignore the bullshit. Just write. #ignorebswrite

Robynne Rand (c) 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Ignore The Bullshit. Just Write. #ignorebswrite

Since the last vacation I took over five summers ago, my mother had shown signs of memory loss. We finally got her a diagnosis this past December where we were told she had moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. (Mind you, her sister was diagnosed twenty years ago, and her father had dementia.) It was coming, but no one in the family wanted to face it. I knew it and wanted to deal with it, but both of my parents refused to acknowledge it and once we did get the diagnosis it was too late for medication.

To say my life has turned upside down is an understatement.

What's in Your Wallet?

I am one of those writers who has a schedule and needs to stick to it. I value the time I have and use it to its fullest. Writing stories is my JOB and I take it seriously. It's not 9-5, but broken up into three- hour slots over the course of the day...9-12, 3-6, 7-10, every day, even Sat. and Sun.

Unfortunately, although the ideal schedule for me, I cannot get anything done. Except laundry. The washer/dryer is in my office.

The Top Five Things That Pull Me Away from Writing

I am a single mother to a 12-year-old girl whose mission in life is to drive me nuts. I am expected to drive Monster to all her practices and games and shopping for school shoes and to friends' houses for pool parties and whatever else she needs me to do for her. This includes laundry and ironing. (I will never give up ironing. I've always ironed.) She has suddenly become a teenager and I have no idea how to handle it. Basketball and boys. I am not a big fan of either. I am her slave. (I say w/out hesitation.)

#MDF (my daughter's father) also lives with us because he is disabled. As the caregiver to a disabled man (with whom I have no relationship) and as #MDF doesn't drive, I must also take him to doctor's appointments, Walmart, and the barber, and at home keep him from overdosing on his meds and falling off the roof. (That's another story.)

My parents live down the street (187 steps away to be exact). As the caregiver for my parents, there are many and varied things that arise at any time during the course of my day to which I must walk those 187 steps immediately to deal with. My mother almost burned down the house once. Most often she has misplaced something and needs me to find it because I always do otherwise she'll drive me crazy by walking up to my house and complaining to #MDF that she can't find whatever-it-is that she misplaced and it's so important that she find it right now that okay fine, I'm up off the chair and on my way upstairs to find out it's the leash she has in her hand. Because she forgot what she was looking for.

I am a semi-important volunteer at my daughter's school. I am the Gift Card Coordinator whose job it is to maintain the year-long fundraising program. It is a full-time position in which I handle accounting, balance sheets, ordering, and purchasing/ processing of gift cards, customer and retailer relations, banking, and monthly, quarterly, and year-end reports without pay and no vacation. (Yes, I went in over the summer.) Basically, I sell gift cards to our families for a split in the rebate 50%-50%. I keep track of who buys, how much, their balance--each family is asked to purchase $2000- worth of gift cards between September-May. At the end of the year, I figure out how much everyone is owed, and pay it out. It's actually a pretty good job as far as it goes. I have a private two-window corner office, (it's really part of the stationary closet) my own outside phone line (something I didn't have in my other office), and my own computer. It makes me feel important* even though everyone knows it's a shit job and that's why nobody wants to replace me. We are in the first week of school. I am exceedingly busy.

And lastly, even though technically, all of the animals belong to Monster, I am the pet parent to 3 dogs and 2 cats, (one of whom just had major surgery). I am fully responsible for their care and well-being. Even though #MDF lives in the same house as the animals, he also forgets to look down into Bella's water bowl and make sure it's full. (We went for 3 days on the coast, left #MDF with the animals. He didn't give the dogs downstairs in my office any water. For 3 days. I told you he's another story.)

I didn't even mention housework, grocery shopping, cooking, dishes, the lawn (acre), laundry (sheets and towels, my clothes, his clothes, dog towels) or how many times I have to reprogram the TV's because no one in either household seems to remember how to change the fucking channel without screwing it up.

To say I don't have time to write is an understatement.

Time Is On My Side

Want to know how I keep my sanity and write. I ignore it. All of it. If no one is bleeding, choking, or fallen down, I ignore it completely and just keep writing. Fuck it. Whatever is up there is going to be up there no matter what time I finish my scene, chapter, whatever it is. In a perfect world, I would be making boatloads of money, have a housecleaner, and a lawn guy, and my office wouldn't stink like bug spray.

Well, I don't live in a perfect world. None of us do. I'm 55 now and have started to read all those books that I was supposed to read years ago. You know, the ones that will tell me what I missed. I decided to prioritize. I need to write otherwise I'll be broken. Otherwise, I'll end up in the grocery store talking to myself.

Ignore the bullshit. Just write. 

Screw it. What are they going to do? Fire me? Go ahead. Make my day. I would love to not have to scrape dried cat food off the bowls before I wash them. I would love to not have to clean the bathrooms. I would love to not have to cut the grass.

I think any shrink would tell me to write my shit down on paper to get it out. Purge my soul, as it were. It will help me. Yeah, maybe. I could do worse things. I used to be pretty good friends with Jack Daniels. So, I write. I ignore everyone. I would rather be with the characters in my head than anyone I know, well, other than Monster. When's she's speaking to me, she's a pretty okay kid.

I Should Be Jewish

The problem with ignoring the people I am supposed to love, and the many responsibilities that call my name throughout each and every single damn day, is the overwhelming guilt I carry. I was raised to be a nice Irish Catholic girl who obeys Mommy and Daddy and marries the first nice boy who asked. (I didn't date nice boys.) Essentially, I never left home. Oh, I had my own places, apartments, summer rentals, winter rentals, I lived with a few guys, but I always kept my bedroom at the family beach house. And I would use it. Frequently. (Mind, we haven't owned the beach house in Rhode Island for 14 years.) Now, whenever I go down to my mother's, she thinks that I live with them, and always asks where I'm going.  I can never get away, and when I do, the guilt just about kills me as I walk up the hill to my house.

Nothing. There's nothing I can do for her. When she comes up to my house, (Nearly every day, two, and three times a day on really great days.) I make her something to eat and a cup of tea. She visits, yawns, watches whatever's on television, and then leaves. And then comes back two hours later looking for whatever it is she left, and most times it's not there. She's lonely, I get that. But I don't have time to sit with her. I need to write these freaking books and get them published because winter's coming and the electric bill will be sky high. I am the sole earner in my family.

What's a Writer to Do? 

Ignore them. Maybe they'll go away. They won't. I remember when Monster was three, I had locked myself in the bathroom for 15 minutes of quiet. When I came out, the living room had been destroyed, yogurt smeared everywhere, Cheerios smashed into the rug, toys, dogs, and a dirty diaper.

I picked up the mess and learned how to ignore whatever Disney movie was playing in the background. I'm a writer. Yeah, I'm a mother too. But that's different. The kid would win in every showdown. Writing is something I do for myself, as a woman, as the creative person I am. Some people paint. Others make things with their hands. I happen to write.

I ignore everything during those three hours. Those are mine, they are sacred, there is no compromise. Unless there is fire.

And that caveat is next week.

Ignore the bullshit. Just write. #ignorebswrite

Robynne Rand (c) 2017

*sounds like a killer resume, right?