Firsts in Fiction Podcast

So y’all know I hang with Aaron Gansky and associates, right? I mean, who could forget when Aaron, Beckie and I flew out to Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference a few months ago? [Read: And They Say Getting There is Half the Fun . . . ]

The Three Writing Amigos. . . and a Photobombing Flight Attendant

The Three Writing Amigos. . . and a Photobombing Flight Attendant

Long before the trip, I started running Aaron’s social media in exchange for his writing mentoring. Not a bad trade, eh? It has the added bonus of hanging with his family at least once a month when we play Magic The Gathering and eat food.

And, well, I am a social person. I know, I know . . . you’re shocked by this admission. What can I say? Not everyone is, however. Which makes me a great fit for Aaron’s social media ninja.

How To Do Social Media For People Who Are Antisocial

How To Do Social Media For People Who Are Antisocial

Yup. That’s a thing I’m working on. It was going to be a blog post. Then it evolved into a presentation. It’s been translated into workshops and now it’s growing up into it’s very own book. I’m so proud of my antisocial baby!

Ah, but back to the task at hand. Working for Aaron has its perks. Like pizza. Did I mention the pizza?

The Biltmore Pizza, Asheville Brewing Co.

The Biltmore Pizza, Asheville Brewing Co.

So here’s how it all ties in together. I’m earning my way back to next year’s BRMCWC and more Biltmore pizza on my plate. See what I did there? Yeah, Naomi and Aaron are always mentioning how much I have on my plate, and how a great portion of it is his social media. But if it gets me more pizza, I’m so ready for more plates. Fine bone china, blue pattern, if you please.

I’ll take on as many plates as I can manage, if it means I’m being well fed. And let’s face it: Being well fed includes food for the body, the soul, and the creative part as well, yes?

So let me introduce you to Aaron’s Firsts in Fiction weekly podcast. Every Tuesday at 6:30 PM PST, we gather ’round the computer monitor and tell tales. Okay, sort of. We do meet at 6:30. Aaron and his dad, Al Gansky, interview guests on a live video feed while I facilitate the chat room. We cover all fiction-related topics from writing to editing to promoting to contests to favorite endings to overcoming writer’s block to . . . you get the picture.

I’m sort of a chatty cathy and I guess they picked up on that, because last month they made me official PRODUCER of the podcast. So not much has changed in what I do, just how I do it. Now I’m privy to early behind-the-scenes discussions. I get to video-meet our guests and do my ninja magic on air.

If you’ve seen the podcast recently (and by recently, I mean the last three weeks), you’ve also seen me looking at my phone a lot. No, I’m not bored. I’m tweeting. Sharing. Linking. Liking. Getting whatever visibility I can for the #podcast.

And then it dawned on me. DUH. I did. I literally said, “DUH.” To no one but the cats, but that’s another story and I’m sure Lizzie Cat will tell you all about when her computer privileges are restored. So anyway, I said DUH and figured, why not let my own peeps in on the fun?

All you have to do is follow Firsts in Fiction on GooglePlus and join the chat each Tuesday.

Which happens to be today. Huh. That worked out favorably, didn’t it?

Oh, and tonight’s guests? Bill Myers and Angela Hunt. Two of Al’s three writing partners for The Harbingers series. [Check out Al’s newest part, The Fog, at Amazon.]

So if you’re interested in writing, are a fan of the Harbingers, or just like to hang out, you know where to find us. I’d love to meet you in the chat room. Let’s put some more pizza on that plate, okay?

And Frankly, My Dear . . . that’s all she wrote!

Under the Hood.

Last month, I took Ursula to the shop. She’d not been driving right for a while but like a person without health insurance (hey, even in this day and age, it happens), we postponed the mechanic’s diagnosis until I was afraid the visit would be more of an emergency than a check up.

Diagnosis, please.

Diagnosis, please.

I was wonderfully surprised, then, when the call came that Ursula could come home with nothing more than a fluid flush and new power steering fluid reservoir. Sure, it wasn’t the band-aid price I was hoping for, but it was still a lot cheaper than, say, a transmission overhaul.

I was impressed with how much better she ran in such short a time. What had I been afraid of? She didn’t look any different, but boy, howdy! does this baby drive better. A little time, a little investment, and my nearly ten-year-old car received that much desired mechanic’s statement, “You have an excellent car.”

It right there and then squashed my desire to purchase a Chevy Equinox (although I wouldn’t turn one down as a gift. Just sayin’.).

Does that ever happen to you? You think you need a replacement, when all you need is a check up? A little look under the hood, a little TLC to get things back on track? Yeah. So, we’re not gonna count how often that happens to me, okay? Let’s just say this once was the trigger for something else.

I’ve been pretty disorganized for a while now. Pretty afraid to get into the dirt; afraid I might not make it out alive. I’ve been pretty chaotic now and then. At home, with the editing, with the writing. My peeps are always telling me I have too much on my plate. Aaron’s always offering to get me a new plate. Go figure.

MoJo Chaos

MoJo Chaos

In the back of my mind, I knew how to get things straight, but couldn’t make the leap. Happily, it happened a few weeks ago. One thing led to another and instead of rabbit-holing into more chaos, I discovered the one puzzle piece I needed to fit the others around.

It all started with moving my treasured cedar chest into the living room, and moving the computer desk out. I’ve designated about forty square feet in my living room as my writing space. There’s my writing desk and chair, reading chair, rug, bookshelf. I’m set.

MoJo Writes

MoJo Writes

I was inspired. As soon as the living room and writing space were complete, I realized how easy it would be to finally conquer the room that shan’t be opened the room formerly known as Dot’s. It’s been closed off since she left in February. Until now, I’d not been able to bring myself to go in there and clean it out. Sure, she took care of most of it before she left. But I couldn’t go into that half-empty room and face the reality that my daughter moved out and I was alone.

I could, however, face the reality that I had an extra room in my house to fix up the way I wanted. And that’s what I clung to. I opened the door, surveyed the not-so-messy mess, and got to work. With Mom’s help, in just two days, the Narnia Spar Oom and the room now known as the Peacock Room are in order. One is my library. The other is my crafting/activity/game room. The changes are subtle, but empowering.

So naturally it doesn’t stop there.

I’ve been controlling more of my schedule instead of letting things flow. This has opened doors for me to take on new projects and clients, as well as continue the work I’m already doing. Writing. Editing. Social Media. I can do it all, and do more of it, now that I’m organized physically and mentally.

But then there’s this.

I’d been unhappy with the Blog for a while now. Frustrated. And for the better part of three weeks, it wasn’t working right. I couldn’t post. I thought about just giving up and going with a whole new blog. Is this a midlife crisis about to happen? All this let-go-and-move-on-to-something-new way of thinking? Let’s hope not.

With guidance from my webmaster, I decided to take a look under the hood. I spent all of last weekend streamlining pages and categories and fixing photos. That’s no joke. 834 posts. A crazy amount of tags and miscellaneous input. After several restless months and seriously thinking of a change, I like love LOVE Frankly, My Dear . . . and don’t want to leave it.

Remember this?

Baseball on Pitcher's Mound. Frankly My Dear, If You Build It, They Will Come.

Field of Dreams

When my webmaster revamped FMD a few years ago, the response was staggeringly favorable.

And my looking under the hood this weekend brought back that original excitement. I like what we’re doing here. All we needed was a little check up.

So look up at the top menu. You’ll see new Page tabs, and new categories. We’re moving forward, but that doesn’t mean we’re moving. Just like cleaning up Dot’s room, a few things moved to storage. You can search “archived” for all the older, unrelated posts. Everything else has been reviewed and retagged for easier finding. There are a few new sections, too.

Sure, it doesn’t look much different. A little spit and polish is all. But the work under the hood? That makes all the difference in the world.

I hope you’ll stick around for another five years. And more. After all, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. Am I right?

Keep moving.

Keep moving.

And Frankly, My Dear . . . that’s all she wrote!