Life’s a Roller Coaster

I went spinning last week. The first ten minutes are always tough. That’s when your legs are saying “what the heck are you doing to us?” and your heart is saying “slow down”. Last week’s instructor co-owns the studio, which is one of the best I’ve tried, and their classes are almost always full. But I digress.

Dana loves to exhort the group not just with instructions for adding more tension, doing pushups while pedalling madly, and altering our stance from pedalling seated to pedalling standing and back again, but also with instructions about life in general. How we should live a life of purpose, believe in ourselves, take time for family, dig deep to understand who we are and so on. If I feel like listening, I do, otherwise I think about the latest chapter I’m plotting or a troublesome character.

Last week I listened for a while and the bit I heard made me think of life’s journey that we’re all on. That in turn made me think of the ups and downs that I’ve experienced in life – no doubt you will all have your own version of ups and downs. At times life trends mainly up, at other times mainly down. At times life is flat. At times, we have no idea where we’re going.

As you dear readers will know, I don’t get philosophical very often, but ask yourself this: if you aren’t in charge of your life journey, if you aren’t making decisions of what to do or what to do differently, then who is? So rather than be on an endless roller coaster to nowhere, choose when to get off and what other ride will make a difference.

I think that’s what I did when I began to write ten years ago. And now, life is still a roller coaster but it has different ups and downs, curves, and thrilling loops. Thanks for listening.

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION  … and occasional personal posts … FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

Plans for 2019

Since more than a week of February has already passed by, I’m a little late with 2019 planning. Nevertheless, I persist because I’m a planning sort of woman. Without a plan – regardless of how often I actually look at it – my life feels scattered and without purpose. Pity my poor husband!

The problem this year is settling on priorities as you can see from the diagram above. (I put it in diagram form for easier understanding.)

On the writing front, in 2018, I completely rewrote The Admiral’s Wife – also referred to as the Hong Kong novel. I’ve also worked with Jenny Quinlan to edit Paris in Ruins (written in 2017) and should I choose to self-publish that novel (my agent was unsuccessful finding a publisher), Jenny has also given me some ideas for a cover.

And my mind is bubbling with a new story – in fact, I have three new story ideas, but one has to work on one at a time! Or, at least, I do!

Beyond writing novels, there’s the blog beast to feed (you don’t win awards without putting in the effort!), the historical fiction and author community to support (love my fellow authors and bloggers) and the dreaded marketing and promotion arena to revitalize. I did almost no marketing in 2018 and my sales suffered mightily.

So friends, a little more thinking is required in order to make the best use of my time. All suggestions and comments are welcome!

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

 

When dithering descends

I have this thing I do when my mind is muddled, my direction uncertain, and reality is not quite as hoped – I clean my desk and files. Somehow an orderly work place – the alcove in my bedroom – helps me refocus.

Writing wise, the past year has been challenging. I know I’ve moaned about this before so I’ll give the quick version: manuscript rejected by my publisher, agent can’t find a home for it, new book proposal also rejected by the same publisher. That’s over two years of work in limbo, folks. Confidence is serious whacked at this point.

At the moment, the bedroom is littered with piles of paper, file folders placed on the floor, the bed, the desk as I sort through three years of stuff. And here, dear readers, is the point. I’ve just come across the letter my editor sent when she first reviewed Time and Regret. I’ll share a few bits with you and hope you’ll understand the reason for doing so.

“Time and Regret is a marvellous novel!” – yes, she did include an exclamation mark.

“I love the way the narrative slowly builds and the mystery unfolds over the course of the book just as much as I love the way you slowly develop relationships and so much careful history between all the characters.”

“You have a beautiful writing style, and the mixture of dialogue and narrative seems perfectly balanced.”

“The pacing in the book is truly wonderful, and pulls the reader right along throughout the entire novel – clearly I was captivated since I stayed up till midnight to finish it!”

OK – enough about me. Back to clearing the decks so I can get to work. Thanks for listening.

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION follow A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.