I don’t know that I’ve ever had writer’s block. I’m not sure what it feels like. For me, writing doesn’t happen when I don’t have enough time in the day to decompress and settle back into that quiet space a few inches inward from my skin where inner thoughts lie. My job is very social, lots of talking to coworkers, much more talking to the public who come in; it’s pretty intense and forces me to always, always be on the outside of my skin, actually pushing out into the world, making myself bigger than I am. It’s sort of like becoming a diffuse version of myself since I’m bleeding out into the air around me.
Cut to home-time and it takes a long while for me to settle back into my skin. I’ve got an amazing life partner who lets me take a half-hour or hour to re-adjust to the switch. He just lets me sit in the bedroom or make some tea or stare silently at TV before we engage in any conversation. And by then I’m just as big as myself, no larger. If given another forty-five or an hour I can get settled into the quiet, warm creative center of my body. Full disclosure, I get home around 8 pm. By the time I could get to my creative center it would be ten already and I go to bed around 11. Okay, I’m an old lady, but I’m just trying to live, folks. Bottom line, if it’s a work day, it isn’t happening.
There’s a bit of luck in the fact that I have a weird (but totally rad) job. I have weekdays off a lot, so that’s two full days on my own to get to my creative place and write as fast as I can around all of life’s distractions. That works, actually, some of the time. But like any job there’s busy times and lull, and basically more than half the year I’m buried and coming home is just an opportunity to fall asleep and reboot. But for maybe four months or so I’ve got the bandwith to roll ideas around in my head even if I don’t get a word on paper I’ve got parts of my current story crafted and ready. Then it’s just a matter of a sec to sit and put fingers to keyboard.
Currently I’m working on a new novel, wild west and freedom. I write from a place of feeling so getting to a mindset of wildness, freedom, and lawlessness takes time after leaving the constructs of work. If I am determined, I’ll get there, even if I have to wait eight months, I’ll get there. I don’t call that a block. I call it just…waiting.
I finished my newest book, editing and all, and now I’m shopping it around to agents. I’d like to get this book out to a wider audience than the last, so I’ll take my time finding the best venue to do that. I’m very excited to be getting some feedback and interest — I can’t wait to share this story and its characters with you all!
In other news, I am a semi-finalist in the Spring 2017 Screencraft Short Film Fund! Screenplays aren’t generally my medium, but every now and then a story comes to me that makes the most sense as a screenplay (same way some stories come through best as a short story, novella, or novel), and the one I submitted came out as one immediately. Not sure how far into the competition this short will get, but I’m proud as hell to get this far! Cross your fingers for me — the quarterfinals are coming up.
I’ll keep this blog updated as I learn more, and of course if my novel inches any closer to publication.
Keep reading, keep writing, keep your head up,
C K Stackhouse
So excited to tell you all that my brand new book is out at the editor! It’s supposed to be back to me around Christmas, so I’ll be completely done with it early in the new year. Hooray! After the draft is back in my hands I’ll make some edits, query some agents, and hopefully get this book out to a mid-size publisher. It’s pretty good, y’all. A bit of adventure, a bit of supernatural, a bit of ca-ra-zy. All the stuff that makes a great book. As a teaser, the working title is And the Mountains Bled.
I’ll let y’all know as everything shapes up, but wish me luck over the holidays. I’m trying to take a vacation while a hot, delicious mess of a second-to-last draft of a book burns in my inbox. Almost too tempting to ignore … but I’m going to try, hiking the desert and getting some sun over the holidays. Hot darn. Maybe I’ll even hit this place:
I guess it’s awards season. Desert Nights is a finalist in the horror/suspense category of the Independent Author Network’s 2015 Book of the Year Awards! Winners will be announced mid-August, so stay tuned.
Good news, dear readers! Desert Nights won an honorable mention in the general fiction category of the 2015 Hollywood Book Festival! Hooray!
I don’t think to enter books into festivals or contests very much, as I tend to think of shorter pieces as competition-type material, but this submission paid off. So indie-authors: don’t forget to enter your book into festivals and competitions. It’s a great advertisement and publicity opportunity, and great to drop into your credentials when proposing your next book to a publisher or agent.
Check out all the winners of the 10th annual Hollywood Book Festival, and stay tuned for updates on my next book. I just finished draft one today (means I might be ready to publish about a year from now. YES revision takes a year. I’m meticulous that way)!
Til next time, happy reading!
Well, hello all!
Desert Nights is #99cents through the end of December! So if you want to give the gift of indie lit this year, now’s a great time to grab it. You can get it for $0.99 for Kindle on Amazon or you can get it in various DRM-free formats on #Smashwords.
In other news, I went to the Baltimore Writer’s Conference last month, and had a fantastic time! The keynote speaker was M K Asante, a writer, filmmaker and spoken word phenom who I became familiar with a couple years ago when volunteering with a group called Free Minds Book Club. Free Minds works with adolescents who were placed in the federal prison system, giving them reading materials and conducting reading and writing groups and workshops to engage their minds. M K Asante is a rolemodel, someone who started out down the same path as a lot of these kids, but found writing and spoken word to be an avenue out, to somewhere better. Asante was a very engaging speaker, accessible, and seemed like an all-around good guy. If you have a minute, pick up his new book Buck: A Memoir. He read excerpts from it, and it’s going to be a great read.
I don’t go to events very often, though I know I should. Conferences, writer’s conferences especially, are rejuvenating. Just being around others who are interested in the same thing as you are, talking shop, sharing ideas, making new friends, and networking…it’s a blast. I definitely came home ready to write. I’m about 80 pages into a new book, and had sort of stalled out. I rekindled my writing fire after listening to the speakers and making new friends (yes, I made friends). I even came up with a couple new projects to work on (physics poetry, anyone??). If any writer is ever given the opportunity to speak at or participate in an event like this, take it. Writing is, at its core, a solitary act. It’s amazing what a little bit of connection can do for you.
Desert Nights is now $0.99 on #Kindle on Amazon, in addition to various formats on #Smashwords through the end of September. If you’ve been procrastinating on getting a copy, it’s your lucky ding-dong-diddly-day (sorry, just finished watching a Simpsons marathon)!
Also, if you’ve read the book, pretty-please post a review on Amazon, as well as any other fun sites you like to visit, like Goodreads or iTunes or Barnes and Noble, etc.
Thanks for reading!
Here’s the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LQN9IH6