the day job

Rob MacGregor and his wife are a stellar writing team (for decades) as is evident from their non-fiction books, Rob’s novels, and Trish’s novels.  Rob’s interview for his new book shows there’s intensity, synchronicity, and some ridiculous deadlines when novel writing is the day job.  Here’s Rob’s answer to a very common question a writer is asked:

If you could only provide ONE piece of advice for aspiring writers, what would it be?

Rob: The cynical response would be to keep your day job. However, a better response: write because you enjoy telling a story or writing about a subject. The rest will follow.

I’m going to disagree with this advice. Having a day job is a good way for an aspiring writer to observe story in process. Learning the nuances of character goals, motivations, and how they react to conflict is best learned at a day job. Too often aspiring authors lament the day job as what prevents their brilliance or strangles their time and energy. They are missing the point. The people they see and interact with at the day job are potential readers or (well disguised) characters.

Every published author I know has a day job from childcare to farming to teaching and a variety of careers that produce consistent paychecks. The reason is, publishing books is a turbulent and random business.  The day job keeps writers grounded and present in their personal life while they learn the art and craft of storytelling.

The day job is where a storyteller feels the setting, smells the pacing, and tastes the dialogue of a story. Story fulfills a primal need beyond the basics of shelter, food, and clothing, to survive as a human. Story aspires to show that love, strife, community, solitude, culture, fantasy, history, and dreams are the building blocks for humanity. Conflict generates hope, despair, strength, failure, and the opportunity for character growth in a story.

Story travels through time and includes the day job. Writing is not an expensive passion and it can nurture aspiring authors for life, but to live life, regular paychecks are a bonus.

New Moon in Libra

Check out Trish’s post about this Super New Moon.

I’ve always been interested in new moons because they are potent to me for their invisible energy. The full moon is awesome but it’s obvious and visible in the skies even over large cities where light pollution will hide the stars. But the new moon symbolizes the pause between fading lunar energies and what will begin when the goddess of the night returns.

have to share

Please visit my friend Rose’s blog Skip to the Loo for some great pics of outhouses.

She posted more about this lost cultural treasure, not that I’m complaining. I truly appreciate flush toilets!

There’s so much intensity in the news and our lives that I will forever delight in the gods of the internet (and awesome friends!) so we can lighten up with outhouse designs. Have you upgraded your toilet seat?

Maybe it’s time for a new roll holder. If so, the answer to the age-old debate is that the paper is supposed to flow over the top of the roll, not hang down against the wall.

the seasons turn

Phew! It’s fall now. 2011 has been a jumble of events and activities for me since the first firework. To quote my article (written in 2009):

The full date 2011 adds together to a single number, and primary energy of the year, the number 4.

An ancient school of thought says the number 4 resonates with Uranus, the planet of innovation, and unexpected events.  Another school of thought says the number 4 resonates with Earth, the planet of stability and endurance.  The action energy of the number 4 is associated with building foundations, and work.  Work is action with purpose.  Understanding the work that matters to us will promote personal happiness in our life.

My experiences this year have resonated to all of the above with lots of lunar flavors and dramatic emotions. I’m glad there’s still a few months to go because I’m enjoying the turbulence and have some goals yet to complete before the end of the year.

7 romance novels serve a new purpose with an old place mat to prevent slipping...

As soon as I typed those words, my monitor fell off its stand. I’m sure there is some significance to this event, but what could it be? To remind me that I am innovative and can replace the fancy pedestal with a bunch of paperbacks off my shelf? Will this unexpected event be a better position and angle for this high tech monitor? It seems so at the moment.

Or does this have a deeper meaning? Like, this quick and awesome fix would not be available with an ereader and ebooks?

Will this new stand be more stable and endure longer than the adjustable   pedestal that is barely a year old?

Can we get too carried away with potential signs and the significance of the event? :D

I’ve done tons of work this year that was dedicated to helping our daughters create new foundations for their lives. At the same time, I’ve had huge chunks of time to work on my own dreams and goals, interspersed with a riot of fun and parties.  This is why I’ve been unplugged most of this summer. It’s been exhausting but worth every moment.

This week has been appointments for health checks, hair repair, teeth cleaning and a long overdue eye assessment. (Bifocals instead of reading glasses?) My hot tub should be repaired on Monday and we’ll have a tarp on the roof of our 5th-wheel camper in case the repair wasn’t enough to stem all leaks. The rains are forecast to begin next week… It’s Oregon, it rains.

There’s been a lot of scuttle regarding the 2012 energy but my plans for the year are utterly boring routines, by choice, because I’ve never had it. My sisters and my friends have all given me the same stellar advice this year, “What do you want?”

It’s a good question and until my monitor fell off the stand I didn’t realize how much I didn’t like having it on a tall perch…


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