Saturday, May 31, 2008

Writer's Block and Yard Work!

Okay, so I've had a rough time writing lately. Off and on, I've worked on Book 4 in the Eternity series for Ellora's Cave. I know where I want to go and kind of how to get there but I can't seem to get there with the word count I want. I want to push myself toward longer stories. Most of my published work is novella length. Only Past Lies made it over 50k. If I want to go beyond ebooks and anthologies, I need to learn to write longer stories. So the plan for Eternity 4 (I don't have a title yet...) was at least 50k words.

So being stuck, I do what I usually do... "Hi, my name is Shayla and I'm a procrastinator." Of course, my version of procrastination is to write something else. I managed to write two short stories and get them submitted--one for Cleis and one for Black Lace. Now, I'm back to Eternity 4. I made sure I left today free of any obligations with plans to write all day--at least 5k. So what have I been doing? Yard work...

I hate getting hot and sweaty unless there's a man involved. So needless to say, I'm not fond of yard work. I usually manage to keep the front yard looking decent. After all, I do have neighbors to consider. The back yard is another story. The joys of a privacy fence. However, when I start losing critters in the jungle, it's time to take action.

I started around 8:30 this morning. Ran the mower around the west side of the yard--the worst part. I don't have a "lawn". I have a yard. Tough water grass, well watered by lots of rain, encouraged by warm nights and hot days, can be a total bitch to mow. If I let it get too high, one pass just doesn't cut it well. I did the first pass and raked up the clippings. Ran the mower a second time to catch the stray clumps and then raked again. Ready to pass out from heat stroke, I took a break for a little while.

The east side of my yard is under a giant--GIANT--pin oak tree. It rarely sees the sun so it's hit and miss with the grass but it's fodder for fallen branches. Every time a storm rolls through, I have tons of limbs to pick up. So after a little rest, I started picking up the branches and pulling up some of the taller weeds. I have real issues with polk salad (also known as polkweed). If I don't pull them up, they can take over my yard.Polk Salad

Then back to the mower to finish off the back yard. And the freakin' thing wouldn't start. I tried everything--checked gas, oil, spark plug, checked the blade to make sure it wasn't clogged, kicked it a few times and called it lots and lots of really bad names. Nothing. Left it sit for a while and came back. Nothing. Came inside and called Momma to whine then tried to start it again. Nothing. Sometimes I wonder why I bought a house. An apartment with no yard work sounds really good right now.

So I'm procrastinating again by blogging. I'll try again this afternoon and if it still doesn't start, it's off to the lawnmower doctor.

Now, I have to get to writing. I won't have time tomorrow. I'm doing a "hair/nails/sushi" day with Momma and Lil Sis. Plus we're making a coffee run to Barnes & Noble after lunch. More books! Like I need more. My recent deliveries from Amazon include STANDISH by Erastes, DAMNED DELICIOUS & DANGEROUS by Delilah Devlin, Megan Kerans and Lisa Renee Jones, and PURPLE PANTIES-a Zane lesbian anthology which includes a fantastic story by Delilah Devlin. I've only read Delilah's story in that one and haven't started the other books!

I guess I could avoid my writer's block by reading... "Bad Shayla!"


Delilah Devlin said...

Love your choice in books! LOL

Wow! You probably had 300 words in that post. Think about what you could have done if you wrote one page of your WIP before you started this!!

Enjoyed it anyway. :)

Shayla Kersten said...

LOL I guess you would like those particular books!

300 words, huh? That's about all I've done this week. *headdesk* The Evil Day Job has been a real pain in the posterior! Worked late every night this week except tonight. I think I'll get some writing done this weekend. I think I've figured out where the story is going now.