Monday, May 23, 2016

Coming Up For Air

I already divulged this over various forms of social media, but in case you missed it (and you know, are interested), I sent out Second Nature to my trusty beta readers at the end of last week. I reached the end of my proofreading attempt and decided to send it out immediately before I could change my mind (again). And as I stated on the social media sites, doing so left me feeling a little bit like this...


Of course, that feeling has now dissolved into the ritual worrying and terror that accompanies me anytime anyone anywhere is reading anything I've ever written. ( I have issues. I know.) But I am exceedingly grateful to my betas for being willing to take on the challenge, and I sincerely hope they enjoy the story. Or, if failing that, I hope they offer me excellent feedback that will help me improve the story. (Which isn't a worry—History has proved that they will do precisely that. I just worry that I sent out the story too soon.)

But regardless of how they ultimately feel about it, it's a big book that will take a while to read because a) it really is a big book (324k-words big) and b) even if it wasn't a big book, they still have children and day jobs and, you know, lives that rightfully come first.

Since I have none of those things, I find myself in serious distraction mode.

Fortunately, I have many options from which to choose to help keep me busy...

1. Deal with animal illnesses

Okay, so this isn't a choice so much as a requirement. I have four animals (two cats and two dogs) and, currently, three of them are ill. (One cat and both dogs) Part of the illnesses include an inability to control one's bodily functions. (Yay!) I have gone through a lot of paper towels and pet stain cleaner in the last twenty days (Yes, it's gone on that long), and it still looks like I'll have to keep up the pace for at least another twenty more. When I'm not scrubbing excrement and/or vomit out of the carpet (Because god forbid we have any accidents on a far-easier-to-clean surface!), I'm making vats of rice and boiled chicken for the dogs, even more special meals for my 18-year old cat (note: I don't even make special meals for myself), and calling the vet and just sobbing into the phone. Boy, being a pet parent sure is fun at times.



2. Work my way through my many saved-up series on my DVR

I've been pushing to get these revisions/edits done since January, so I limited my live TV time to watching just a few shows. Hence, I have a lot recorded, including but not limited to Orphan Black and Legends of Tomorrow. Plus, I want to binge watch the second season of Outlander and take advantage of my current HBO subscription to watch the first season of True Detective. (I heard the second season really sucked.) And on top of that, I haven't even seen the second season of Daredevil yet! (I watch entirely too much TV. I know.) So, clearly, there's some work to be done here.


3. Exercise


At the beginning of the month, I told you about my FitBit and its demands that I actually move from time to time, so I set a goal to walk at least 10,000 steps every day. With the edits and illnesses and the house guests, this goal has fallen a bit by the wayside, but edits are done and the house guests have gone home, so I can now devote more time to it. I'll be walking indoors, though, because first of all it's ridiculously hot (Seriously, how does anyone live in this state?!?) and my A/C is my best friend. And also, there was this creepy snake outside of the vet's office this weekend, and it was totally stalking me and/or the Gator Girl. I'm pretty sure it wanted to eat us. The Man says otherwise, but I know what I saw. Anyway, I'm not so keen on going outside. Ever again. Which is an unrealistic goal until I discover some kind of oversized cupcake and/or giant chocolate chip cookie delivery service, but I certainly don't have to exercise outside. Why take the risk?



4. Go see Captain America: Civil War

I did see this movie opening weekend, and wore my Captain America t-shirt to the event. (I'm Team Cap all the way.) I still feel the need to see it a second time because (a) I thought it was pretty damn awesome and why wouldn't I want to see it a second time, and (b) I thought if I went to a matinee in the middle of the week, I'd have a better chance of having a quiet theater. See, during the first viewing, there was this Super Passionate Fan Girl in line, right? I was thinking, "Cool. I love Super Passionate Fan Girls. I, myself, am a Super Passionate Fan Girl, and I appreciate her excitement and enthusiasm. You go, Super Passionate Fan Girl." Then we got into the theater where she immediately laid claim to my usual seat (Yes. I have a usual seat in the movie theater. I have issues. I know. Let the Sheldon references commence.). But I was all, "Okay, no need to cause a rumble. I can just sit in the next row like a normal person. It'll be essentially the same seat. No big deal. But...I'll still send angry texts to my brother over this until the movie starts." Then the movie started, and Super Passionate Fan Girl Didn't. Shut. Up. She talked during the Whole. Damn. Movie. Not just cheering at awesome parts, or indulging in a boisterous guffaw at something funny but talking, talking, talking. During the Whole. Damn. Movie. Now, as much as I love Super Passionate Fan Girls, I also love moviegoers who SHUT THE HELL UP WHEN THE MOVIE IS PLAYING. I was super excited, too. I mean, when they started the Doctor Strange preview before the movie, I probably punched The Man's arm twenty times because my enthusiasm demanded I do so. But I did it quietly. Then there was the part where Super Passionate Fan Girl's *$@*$#*@#! PHONE RANG. And rang. And rang.

Hey, Super Passionate Fan Girl, Shepherd Book has something to tell you:




So, anyway, that's on the list.


5. Read


I have an incredible backlog of books on my TBR list. This would be an excellent opportunity to cross off a few titles. And, you know, add a million more. Because that's what always happens. I like books. This is not a problem. (Even if The Man thinks otherwise.) I can stop any time I want to...


No, really. I can.

6. Work on Book #3

Normally this is what I would do, you know? Jump right into the next project, and as much as I do want to do that, I'm not sure it's what I should be doing this time. I do want to talk more about this, but that'll likely be a lengthy thing, and I've already rambling on long enough. Perhaps I'll talk about it in another post on another day. I know you can't wait...

And on that note...

How do you, or any other normal people, deal with the beta-reader wait? Tell me in the comments!

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by today, and enjoy your Monday. See y'all next time! 

34 comments:

  1. Go see it again. Civil War is that good.
    And watch Daredevil as well.
    No idea how anyone lived in the South before air conditioning. Maybe that's why they kept going west. I wouldn't jog outside in the heat and humidity either. (Here it's been nice, so I have gone outside instead of the gym a few times.)

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    1. Yeah, Civil War and Daredevil are at the top of the Watch List. Here's hoping the animals cooperate!

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  2. Hooray for sending out your book to beta readers!!!! I'm sure you'll get some great feedback.
    Yes, first season of True Detective was fantastic, second was AWFUL.

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    1. I'm sure I will, too. They're excellent beta readers. :)

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  3. I work on other projects while I wait for betas to come back.

    Congrats on finishing those edits!

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    1. Normally, this is what I do, too, but I'm feeling a little burnt-out, among other things. So I think I need to take a break from it for a while. I'm afraid the story will suffer otherwise.

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  4. Firefly and Rainbow Dash. That makes this post full of awesome. I still haven't watched season 2 of Daredevil yet either, but I'm all caught up on Orphan Black. Eeee! I move along to the next project, too, while waiting on betas. Then I batter than with questions when they send the story back to me!

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    1. I've heard (from one of the betas, actually) that Orphan Black has been terrific this season. Can't wait to dig into it.

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  5. Sorry about the kiddies being sick. My sister's dog (she's 10 years old) has a bladder problem at the moment and is peeing on her dog bed, as well as everyone else's. So, I feel you. Yes, I know about the tears because you worry about your pets, but also because you really want to stop cleaning up crap. I should watch far less TV too. I watch a lot:) I'm actually thinking of not going through the beta thing with my book 2. Crazy I know, but I just want to try a different method. I understand about the snake. I really hate snakes. Good for you for still exercising. Wishing your pets well. Hang in there, M.J.

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    1. I really do want to stop cleaning up crap! Obviously, I'll keep doing it for as long as I have to, but I really do want it to stop.

      And I'm not sure I'd have the confidence to not go through with the beta thing, which is probably funny given how stressful going through with it is for me. If that's what you ultimately decide to do, I hope you blog about it. I'm quite curious.

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  6. I always start on the next book while I wait. But I also celebrate a finish by reading a bunch. You haven't watched season 2 of Daredevil? What will power!

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    1. I have not watched season two yet. I'm pretty amazed about that myself. Soon, I hope. Soon...

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  7. Congratulations! I know sending off books to betas is hard. Ugh, I've sent off some total crap in my time, but it's SOOOOO helpful! Good luck with the feedback!

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    1. I did try to remove as much of the crap as possible first. Time will only tell how well I succeeded with that.

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  8. So sorry to hear about your pets' illnesses. I have a hard time letting go of books, too. I have a tendency to edit them to death. It's great that you've got lots to keep you busy, though, in the meantime. I take a little time to celebrate the milestone, then jump into another project while I'm waiting. Good luck with everything!

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    1. I was starting to feel like I was editing this particular manuscript to death. Never a good feeling.

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  9. Yay! I'm so happy that you sent it to your beta readers. :

    I'm sorry to hear that your pets are sick. I hope them get better soon!

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    1. I hope so, too. This has been a exhausting experience for all involved.

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  10. I vote you go see Capt America :) You know, thats what I'd do. I have a tendency to forget about writing for a while when I have things out to beta readers. Too nerve wracking to write coherently. At least you have a list of things to do to keep your mind off the feedback.

    Sorry about your sickies; not fun, like having sick kids.

    Have a good week MJ. Don't stress too much.

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    1. After an earlier sick pet experience, I actually apologized to my mother for ever being sick. I don't know how she managed.

      Also...How much stress is too much?

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  11. Your poor pets. That's so sad. I hope they feel better soon. And how did you not punch that woman? How ignorant can you get...

    Good luck on the beta reader wait. You have lots of TV stored up. Distract yourself with that. Obsess over it until you forget you even had a book.

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    1. It took a lot of self-restraint I didn't even know I had not to turn around and smack that Fan Girl silly.

      Maybe the sick pet thing has made me more patient. Ha.

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  12. We got so sick and tired of cleaning carpet after one of the (many) cats threw up that we replaced it all with vinyl or laminate. Sorry to hear either one dog and two cats or two dogs and one cat are ailing.

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    1. As much as I would love to do that, one of my dogs can't walk on vinyl or laminate. I actually needed to add more carpet to allow him to get around easier.

      Oh, and it's one cat and both dogs who are sick. I guess I neglected to specify that in the post. Oops.

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  13. I'm with you on beta reader freak-out time . . . so I like all of your options, but I also suggest walking (or biking because snakes can't catch you) outside for fresh air and new horizons. :)
    I'm so sorry to hear about your pets. I've done the medication and the carpet clean up, so I'm truly sorry. I hope they all get better soon.
    Best wishes on book #3 and seeing the movie with quiet super fangirls present. (I totally get your pain there - why would a super fangirl talk through the whole movie? I bet she stole her sister's clothes and wasn't a super-fan.)

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    1. I was so shocked that a Super Passionate Fan Girl would demonstrate such movie etiquette (or lack there of.) I really did expect better. I guess she was just too excited.

      And I don't know...I'll think about the walking outside thing, but if it happens, I'm bringing my machete with me.

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  14. I have to try very hard not to constantly email my beta readers and ask them how it's going. Part of that is because I've had so many never send me notes and the other part is I'm excited and I want to see what the person thinks.

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    1. I don't think I've ever emailed a beta to ask how it's going. Guess I'm afraid they'll answer...Occasionally, I get a note saying "I'm at this point. I just finished chapter whatever" and it makes me nervous all over again.

      When I'm reading for someone else, I don't tend to send notes while I'm reading (unless specifically asked to do so), and just send everything all at once at the end.

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  15. You will love Civil War! I hope you enjoy your catch up time.

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  16. I've got a TV backlog, too. I lost two DVRs in the space of a week, and while playing catch up (with OnDemand not working), I've acquired quite a list. I'm three or four weeks behind on Orphan Black. Sigh.

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  17. I like your list! Lots of good distraction in that. I'm much the same way, where I find it hard to write new material while I'm waiting for important feedback like beta readers or edits. Usually, I have a "play piece" going, something I'm working on, but not yet taking seriously. I might work on that. Or write blog posts and schedule them ahead. Or take on a short story. The waiting, though, is the hardest part, as they say.

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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  18. I don't mind waiting too much and it's not like I don't have other things I can be doing but sometimes I will allow myself a binge watching session since I don't watch much tv.

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  19. I need to go see Civil War again, too, but it's kind of doubtful that I'll make it back to the theater for it. Life is too full at the moment, and the movies keep spilling out of the top.

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  20. Hurray for beta-readers! Glad you've found the bravery to send SN out to them. I know far too well how nervous-making such a thing can be. Hopefully your planned distractions will help ease your nerves a bit!

    And gosh, that's awful about your pets. I've never owned more than two at once, so I can't imagine how stressful it is to take care of three who've fallen ill simultaneously like that. Hope they feel better soon!

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