Keep Going (even in quarantine)

I’ve been working on this new novel forever and I’m proud to say that during quarantine I have finished it. I spent the last three weeks having the text-to-speech lady read it back to me so I could make my edits. She was snarky and rude to me, not unlike the GPS lady who practically rolls her eyes when she has to tell you to turn around after you’ve passed the exit.

The subject matter is deep and I had a really hard time getting through it. It’s about the challenges of having a special needs child, the strain it puts on a marriage, alcoholism, the “never agains”, the rollercoaster, the divorce, all of it. Writing the story as fiction (similar to my grandmother’s Alzheimer’s story) has allowed me a barrier to share on a deeper level than I had intended and to be honest has taken its toll on me. I’m sure quarantine and distance learning didn’t help with the raw emotions of it all. There were blocks of days when I just could not stop crying and to my credit my children never noticed.

I had to keep the faith that so many others are going through the same emotions right now and that sharing all of it will help someone else going through the same thing. So I kept going. I always do.

I finished the last page of edits last night and it was the first night in many months that I slept the whole night through. But there was something about the ending that I still needed to figure out.

When I woke up this morning it was clear. And after a slight revision, I had that feeling. That feeling that Joan Wilder had in Romancing the Stone when she typed “The End” and was crying and there were tissues everywhere. Yeah, that feeling. Proud. Nervous. But mostly excited.

I’m preparing it now for my editor who has been anxiously awaiting its completion, encouraging me and being more than understanding; wondering how I’ve been able to stick to it with the kids home. That of course goes back to an old post where I explain how to write when life gets in the way. And that is to write in ten minute increments, five minute increments, and a break everything down into small chunks. Writing is thinking also so when you are emptying the dishwasher, that’s writing!

I hope that my story encourages you to write YOUR story and know that you are not alone in these weird and lonely times. We will all get through this. Somehow. XO.

Michelle Spray on socials @SprayBooksEtc

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Forgiveness is a hard word, let’s say “heal” instead

“Forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator. It does not justify their behavior. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.” -Bishop T. D. Jakes Forgiveness is a hard word, let’s say “heal” instead. Let 2021 be your year of healing, happiness, and moving forward with your goals. Let’s do this together.

Michelle Spray on socials @spraybooksetc

Video

Sad? Unmotivated? The answer is Goals.

Stop. Pause. “You are writing the script.” So what’s the problem? We feel stuck. We feel sad. The problem is goals. Not having any.

All my children have been moping around this house for months due to quarantine. For Christmas I told my daughter that she could get her ears double pierced. The excitement in her body and on her face was a happiness that I have not seen in quite some time … from any of us. So we had a big discussion about goals: What makes us happy? What do we want? And the feeling that she felt at that moment was something that she needs to ALWAYS look forward to in the form of goals.

Can we even remember the last time we felt so excited about something? Now is the time. Take the end of 2020 to figure out what we want by the end of 2021. Research the steps on how to get there. And break it down into small chunks (many steps within each step) that can bring us to a realistic deadline. I say this to YOU as much as I am saying this to motivate myself. We are all in this together. So tell me, how are you going to plan in 2021?

Here’s one of my favorite motivational speakers, Les Brown. He talks about standing up to that inner voice that’s trying to sway you. 6:12: “…you you have got to stand up to that voice… According to your level of believe it will manifest itself in what you’re doing.” “…When you step in to your fears” 9:13 “… can can continue to push yourself to go on, Something happens for you. It will enable you to Transcend yourself…” 30:20 “Past experiences, past defeats, pain … it probably won’t work out now … Many people confuse experiences with who they are” 31:28 “…see The last chapter to your life has not been written yet. And it doesn’t matter what happened yesterday…” 33:56 Whitney Young “It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.” “Start working and developing yourself for what it is that you want because you expect to get it.” Are you ready? —Les Brown – You’ve gotta be hungry – motivation video

Michelle Spray on Facebook

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Distance Learning, Work-at-Home Parents, I See You.

My favorite time of day! I’m actually sitting on the couch with a book, a blanket and my feet up. Wow! This is recharging time after some hysterical distance learning days with my special needs son .. who was crying .. him AND me. Such is the life of a special needs parent. He tries so hard. Sometimes we just don’t have it. And honestly, that’s okay. We’re trying our best.

This weekend’s purpose is to rejuvenate and get some energy back in order to concentrate on my WIP (novel) again. It’s in the “first draft is done” stage. I found the speech-to-text app in Word and “Samantha” is reading to me in (sometimes) a snarky tone. It’s like the GPS lady telling you you’re lost and to make the damn turn already. 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️ Anyway, I hope to gain some energy back and come back refreshed.

I’m equally hoping Connecticut will be back at school Monday. That’s the plan, but with how our last few days have gone, I’m not counting on it. We’ll have an outbreak or a blizzard. And snow days means I have to sit here with him again all day homeschooling?? Projection … Universe … Breathe … my other kids at least do their work on their own, but he’s constant. Constant reminders. Constantly redirecting. Don’t flip off your class. Put your MUTE on. Sit down. Listen to the teacher. Are you listening? Stop talking. How long do you want to take to do this assignment? Just do it. No you can’t eat in class. Yes I understand we’re sitting at the dining room table. Yes you can take a break. Please take a break because Mommy needs a break. I don’t know how his teachers and special education paras freakin’ do it.

Anyway.. Here’s to taking a break. Here’s to all the homeschooling work-at-home parents trying to do it all. I see you. I am you. It’s okay to cry. Then KEEP GOING. You MUST. #keepgoing #youcandoittoo Tell me what you’re working on. Let’s get motivated. First, take a break.

On Facebook: Michelle Spray writing inspiration @SprayBooksEtc

Our (Special Needs) 22q Journey:

Delete those Words!

One thing I love to do is research on YouTube. This week since I’m in the #editing phase of my newest manuscript (cutting repeat words or phrases) I’m looking to YouTube for inspiration and motivation. Here’s what I came up with:

10 WEAK WORDS You Should CUT from Your Novel  -Abbie Emmons

Filler Words to Remove From Your Novel -Meg LaTorre, iWriterly

29 Words to Cut From Your Novel -Vivian Reis

Writing Tips – Kill Duplicate Words -Dan Gookin
#writinginspiration #writingcommunity

Michelle Spray On Facebook

Show vs Tell: YouTube links for writers

I’m in my editing phase of my latest manuscript, going back to review some “show don’t tell” videos on YouTube. Here are some helpful links:

How to Write Compelling Dialogue: A Proven Process -Jerry B. Jenkins

Craft Chat: Show vs. Tell -Alexa Donne

How to Show, Not Tell: The Complete Writing Guide -Diane Callahan

Please tell me in the comments on Facebook what videos have been helpful for you!

#writing #writingtips #justwrite
www.michellespray.com

Write During Your Favorite Time of Day

Hi writers! I’m wrapped up in a heating blanket by the fire in chilly Connecticut. Everyone is still sleeping and the snow outside is making for an extra peaceful morning. It’s my favorite time of day! Look at my #Writing nook today! I had to share!

My book is due to the editor next week so I’m editing my manuscript, watching YouTube videos on “show versus tell”, deleting repetitive words and nuances and adding scenes. It’s getting there! Tell me what you’re up to today!

My daughter’s JV game was cancelled today so I don’t have to be Soccer Mom (in the cold) or Mom’s Taxi service today! #writingtime #michellespray To comment and join the conversation visit the post on Facebook @SprayBooksEtc #justwrite #youcandoittoo 🌸