Its a historical fact that humans love rituals. Think about it– we do them everyday as we are all creatures of habit. Don’t ask us to deviate from our routine. We freak out like Rain Man in a Wal-Mart. What all of us want is to go to the same places, eat the same things with the same people day after day, ad nauseum. Unfortunately, there isn’t as much of that as we’d like, so we create these rituals for ourselves to follow: putting on both socks, then moving on to shoes; sitting in the same pew in church every Sunday; making a hot dog with the mustard and onions on bottom, then the wiener, then the chilli. We all do it because we’re all freaks and there’s not much we can do about it except just conform to the ritual and get it over with.
The same is true of writing. As a writer I’ve noticed that I am the most productive when I follow a certain ritual. Every Thursday afternoon, my best friend Susan and I head out together about 5:30pm. We stop at one of a myriad of places and have dinner. Then we immediately go to the local Starbucks, plop our asses in chairs, order Venti White Chocolate Mochas (no, we don’t even have to order anymore) and write. If any part of this magical equation is missing, we fall apart. Its as if we are unable to cope with the ups and downs of sitting in a new place. Or not having coffee. I’m convinced that this ritual is why I often have a difficult time sitting down at home and writing for 3 hours at a clip. That and the distractions of Facebook , Skype and Second Life. Hell, I even get into a repetitive ritual with my song selection. When I’m writing a sex scene, I have to listen to :wumpscut:’s “Wreath of Barbs” on a loop or its useless. Sometimes, I even have to search through endless playlists trying to find just the right song to fit my writing mood of the day. But once I find it– whoa Nelly… look out. I can listen to the damn song for hours if it will get the scene going.
Now, are rituals bad? There are some schools of thought that say YES! That if we train our brain to a ritual, that we’ll never be able to live without it. And I can see that point of view. If I have to write at the Starbucks, what will I do when I get home? Chances are I’ll sit there and look at a blank page all night. But then, at least the ritual offers some productivity and I can’t argue with that. My point is– do what works for you. If you have a ritual, try to keep it simple and portable. Try to find some way to recreate that same feeling that you have in the Starbucks and God willing, you can make the magic in other places. That being said, you’ll never make any progress if you don’t follow this one basic ritual… Are you ready? I’m going to change your life—- GET YOUR ASS IN THE CHAIR AND DO IT, ALREADY!
And now… I have to follow my own advice…..
As promised, I’m working on being a good little author and giving you just a little bite of naughty to get you through your workday. Today’s selection is from my new novel, currently in submissions— Beast of Burden….. enjoy…..
“You can feel me?” Sascha asked, desperate to understand.
“Of course. When I close my eyes and quiet my thoughts–I can feel your heart beating. Hear yourbreath. Smell your scent. It’s how I found you in the forest.”
She rose as he spoke, limping slightly to close the space between them. “How?”
“I wish I knew,” he whispered. “But never doubt it.” He turned to face her when he felt her cool hand upon his shoulder. “Our souls are entwined, Sascha. And no matter how long you live, or how many lives you traverse–” His words weakened her and she stumbled on her wounded ankle, but he caught her easily, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her body against his. “I will always find you.” Tangling his hand in the mussed curls at the back of her head, he tipped her mouth upwards to meet his in an
insistent kiss. At first she tried to pull away, not knowing how to react, but he held her fast, not letting her escape. And when he teased her mouth open with his tongue and delved inside, she found that escape was the farthest thing from her mind. She let him in eagerly, instinct taking over and letting their tongues play together in a sensual dance
that left her panting his name. “You are my mate,” he growled, licking his lips.
“Yes,” she sighed, dizzy with his closeness and intoxicated by his taste that still lingered on her tongue. He loosened his hold on her a little and she stepped backward to clear her head. She quickly discovered the extent of her injury as a shooting pain shot from her ankle all the way to her thigh when she put her weight down. She gasped through clenched teeth and nearly went down on her knees. He caught her just in time, gathering her into his arms and lifting her off her feet. “Your mate,” she sighed, her head swimming as he turned.
So what do you think?? Too much? Not enough? How about that Cianan Marek?? Rawwrrr….
When I think back on my childhood, there are lots of things I remember clearly. Like, getting a Glow Worm for Christmas when I was 3 or4. Or swimming in the pool at an old mom and pop hotel in Charleston, SC with my mom. Even the horrible day that we came home to a fire truck in our driveway and watched as our house burned to the ground. Those are the things that are burned into your memory forever. Even when I’m 85 I’ll still remember the feel of the cool water in that pool and how it smelled of chlorine and Sundown Sunscreen (with PABA!).
Luckily for me though, I get to relive some of my childhood memories each year when my entire family takes off to North Myrtle Beach, SC for an entire week. It all started when, after my mother’s first heart attack, she decided that we all needed to get away for a week each year. And thus the Family Vacation to the Beach began! My parents, both sisters, my sister’s best friend and a fluctuating cast of characters that changed from year to year. Most of the wonderful memories of my youth are in some way associated with that trip.
For anyone that has been on a trip like that, the vacation doesn’t begin when you arrive at the beach house– the trip begins back in January when you begin looking for that perfect vacation home. Mom would get that little book from White Realty in Myrtle Beach every year about the middle of January. And the race was on! Some houses are too small, others too expensive; this one’s ocean front, that one is a fifty mile walk to the ocean. So and so didn’t want to share a room this year with such and such. We would wheedle and go back and forth and argue about the house for a good 4 months before finally deciding on the same one we went to the year before. Since my mother’s passing, we’ve continued this tradition– even down to the wheedling over the house.
Its interesting how people get into routines and before you know it– its a tradition. We find ourselves going to the same places each year and we actually feel like something is missing if we don’t. I can’t take a trip to Myrtle Beach without spending an afternoon wandering around Barefoot Landing, shopping for teeshirts and the perfect ice cream cone. You have to smear down with sunscreen and go out to the beach from 11am to 1pm every day and then come in for lunch. Night time has to be a steady diet of home cooked meals followed by a tour of every ice cream parlor on the Grand Strand and finally when you’re so stuffed you can’t stand it– you stay up til 2am playing cards and drinking fruity concoctions laden with coconut rum.
Some people wonder why I have such an affection for summertime. I mean, I live in South Carolina which in high summer is roughly akin to the gates of Hell. But in summertime, we get to be a kid again. You can’t go home again, but you can go to The Beach.
Follow this link to find out more exciting information about Fandom Fest! You can see me.. and several other people that aren’t quite as interesting.. hehe. Just kidding. I think I’m most looking forward to the woman who did the voice of JEM!!!! God I can’t wait…
Myself and several of my paranormal erotic romance colleagues will be there: Siobhan Kincade, Bethany Halle and Crymsyn Hart to name just a few. We’ll be tearing it up on panels about BDSM, Writing Good Sex Scenes and No– The Human Body Just Can’t Do That… I’m sure its going to be a monstrously good time. And I promise to bring chocolate and wine. I’m really also hoping to do some readings of my work– if I can get through it without laughing like a schoolgirl. But I’ve already started practicing (media file to follow).
Don’t forget to check out the writings of the numerous talents that will be there pimpin’ their work: Stephen Zimmer, Bobby Nash, Andy Dane (the delicious frontman from Bella Morte who just happens to be a phenomenal writer as well) and so many others that I just can’t name them all– visit the site to see a complete listing.
I will be continuously blogging about this event for the next month, so I’m sure no one will be able to escape knowledge of this event. In fact, I can almost guarantee several comments telling me to shut up about it. But until then…….
OK.. After a long discussion with myself, here I am at wordpress. I was told that I would be so much happier here than at blogspot. That remains to be seen, but we’ll try it.
I’m here at the beach for one more day and I must admit that though I’m a little sad, I will be glad to get home and back to work on some new projects. In the past week I’ve finished a short story, am almost done with the edits on my Beauty and the Beast with Werewolves project which I think is going to be called “Beast of Burden.” But I’m still not sure. I’m very picky when it comes to names. And the more I think of it, the more I hate that title. So if anyone has any ideas….
Later on in the week I’m going to start posting some excerpts of various and sundry writing projects. Also, I have to start pimping the next Con where I’ll be making an appearance. “Fandom Fest” is a Sci-Fi/ Horror/ Gaming Convention that is debuting a new literary track this year of which I am honored to be a part of. Its going to be a blast in Louisville, KY on July 22-24. I hope to see everyone there– more pimpage is pending.
Now I feel that I’m babbling (as I frequently do on blogs– one of the reasons its so hard for me), so I’m going to skedaddle for the moment. But please FOLLOW ME… I promise I’ll be a better blogger with YOUR help!!!