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  • Writer's pictureChristine Shuck

Plotting My Return

Updated: Jul 21

Hello, everyone! I'm deep in learning mode right now. That and goal-setting.

My learning mode includes understanding everything that BookFunnel, Descript, and Sudowrite have to offer as I have jumped in and bought subscriptions to all three this year. I'm hoping the investment in the different programs will help me dial down on my writing projects and streamline marketing them.

Plotting My Return & Goals

I decided today that I will return to writing on August 1st. This is possibly a fool's errand when you consider that summer camp ends and our youngest, a soon-to-be second grader will be home for a week and need entertaining and distraction. But, what the heck, I'll try anyway!

The goal is to complete Broken Code and, if possible, make my publishing deadline for the end of August. After that, I am likely going to finish out my Gliese 581g series by returning to Zarmina's World, the planet the scientists/colonists landed on at the end of the first book G581: The Departure. There might be another short story collection later on, but that's a ways out.

Feeling Okay, Working on Feeling Better

Stephanie Land, author of Maid and Class wrote recently about self-doubt and imposter syndrome. She met with a singer after a concert and he said to her, "It's that little voice deep inside you that tells you that you don't deserve any of it. That's what gets you."

She called it the "dark center of yourself" which struck me as rather perfectly descriptive and described how you can use it to connect with the dark centers of others, in order to fight isolation and loneliness. She added, "That's where we find our strength and community and inspiration. That connection, that knowing, is how we no longer feel alone."

How I can relate to these words!

There is a person, someone I thought I knew well, that I trusted, who is no longer part of my circle of family and friends. The schism still hurts...a lot. I'm a perennial optimist, so occasionally, I make the mistake of thinking that words, any words, can fix it, only to be reminded, rather forcibly, that there is no fixing it when the other is unwilling.

When reality slaps me in the face, the spiral of self-doubt often rises in response. My special name for it is The Liar. The Liar tries its best to tell me I'm worthless and unlovable. It results in days, weeks, sometimes months of struggling back to a better sense of self. The Liar wants me broken, unhappy, and miserable. And eventually I work my way around to seeing it for what it is, the stuff of nightmares, but it is not real, not in the slightest.

Like I said, it takes a while to recover, but I'm feeling better about myself these days. Letting go of a relationship is hard, but sometimes you really don't get a choice, and the best thing you can do is instead focus on the people who need and want your love.

Beautiful Yard, I Am Abandoning Thee Until Weather Cools

As winter gives way for spring, I'm practically scrabbling at the door, leaping, like one of my enthusiastic hounds, ready to run outside and do great things. And over the past ten years, I have created amazing things in this enormous yard of mine. But the forecast shows triple digits for the next ten days, probably far longer. We have entered the dog days of summer, and this old dog is going back inside. My body has plenty of things to say to me on a regular basis as I build pathways and clear brush, but when the temps hit the triple digits, it's time to find indoor projects. Like... art, or painting walls, or organizing. No more gardening, not until fall. The only thing I'm going outside for is to relax in a hammock and listen to the kids play in the wading pool!

We've had a few cool days. I've used those to build another pathway in the back of Cottage East and today we laid the concrete down just in time for it to be well-watered by a storm rolling through.

Here are some great pictures from the yard so far this year...

Find Me on Facebook Join my group General Malcontent's Grumbles and Scribbles on Facebook and get plenty of weird memes, the opportunity to read my newest releases for free, pics of the family, and other author news. I look forward to seeing you there!

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