A Writer’s Field Notes ~ Summer 2017

So, uh, yeah, it’s mid-July, and I haven’t been anywhere near social media for about a couple of months. Life took a 180-degree turn, went through a portal to an alternate Universe, and landed me in some kind of teenager-ruled realm (which is just a polite way of saying Horror Show) at the end of May. That which holds me captive has allowed me to emerge to mention a few updates. Then back to isolation I go.

Field Note 1 • I have been busy polishing the final draft to one of my novels. I was really lucky to find a beta reader through a contest I entered, and she has done wonders for me–not just helping me with my manuscript but with the whole writer-essence thing. I was actually in a wonderful essency place before, but she just reminded me of that–which I needed.

Field Note 2 The best movie I saw this summer, and probably the best I have seen in a long time, is Wonder Woman. I grew up idolizing Lynda Carter in the great TV series, so I was really looking forward to this movie. When I heard it is also a great script to study for 3-Act Structure, I was doubly excited. Not only can I relax with a good movie, I can get some work done too. Boom.

Image courtesy of manapop.com

Field Note 3 • The fourth guide in my series for writers is in the production phase right now. I fell a bit behind due to being trapped in that aforementioned teenage-ruled realm, so now I’m looking at a publication date of August 2017. Still summertime, just at the end of summer rather than at the beginning of summer. Hey, blame the next generation! Please be on the lookout for A Handbook for the Strategic Writer . . . plus a fun surprise . . . but that’s all I’ll say about that for now.

Field Note 4 • For writers in my local area, you may be interested in a couple of workshops I’m offering this fall. NaNoWriMo Prep and The Write Track. I’ll talk more about them in a few weeks, but if you’re interested in receiving a pre-registration BONUS, leave a comment below about, oh, how about, mention your favorite pizza and we’ll take it from there.

Field Note 5 • On the blogging front, I want to announce that 4amWriter will soon be closing down. I’ll still blog, so don’t think you can get rid of me that easily! I run 3 different WordPress sites: my blog, my business website, and the third is also a business site, but dedicated to writers in my local area, which requires minimal maintenence.

Over time I noticed that I had duplicated a lot of my info on my blog (4amWriter) and my central business website, which seems kinda dumb. Why not merge the two together, Productive Kate asked, and Creative Kate relented. I have to hire someone with more techy knowledge than I have, so I can be assured it will be done correctly. I’m not sure what time frame we’re looking at, but I’ll make sure to keep you all updated with the progress.

Field Note 6 • The environmental activist in me is extremely busy–signing petitions, reading books (check out Sheila Hurst’s Ocean Echoes for a great fictional read about oceans, love, and jellyfish), moving my butterfly garden to a sunnier spot, and rescuing five mice, three snakes, a family of frogs, baby birds, and some egg-toting turtles.

Neighborhood cat had his eye on them till I got the hose on him! Ha!

So that’s been my summer so far. Full of writing, animal adventures, and teenagers. What has your summer been like so far?

Have a writerly day!!


39 thoughts on “A Writer’s Field Notes ~ Summer 2017”

  1. My summer has been crazy too. Writing mostly in the form of personal journaling. (Food for future ventures, no doubt). Going through a very intense spiritual type of experience that I, as a girl raised in New England, had never heard of, never mind am presently going through. You could look up Kundalini Awakening, but much like Autism, the experience itself expresses itself in as many different ways as there are people on Earth. Hard to write about something our culture has no vocabulary for.

    • I do enjoy being busy in the summer as long as the busy-ness involves fun activities like swimming, bbqing, hiking, etc. I need more of that, methinks. As a girl raised in NE, you have me intrigued! Hopefully, when time (and teens permit), I will look that up. Enjoy the rest of your summer days!

  2. I know you can understand how my mother’s passing in March threw my world into disarray. Some unexpected news on the health front (nothing too serious as long as I work on it) hasn’t helped. So the summer is being spent adjusting to a big hole in my life and making serious new dietary choices. And still trying to make one of my mom’s last requests come true (although neither of us knew that’s what it was at the time)—don’t stop writing.

    • I do understand, Jacqueline, and I’m sorry to hear things are tough right now. I am glad that you are working hard to honor your mom’s request–happy to help in any way I can, as you know! Enjoy the rest of your summer!

    • That’s a good question, Cayman. The 4am start is becoming less necessary now that the kids are older and more self-sufficient, yet bigger pains in the arses. Sigh. I love the early time because it is still all mine, but it is admittedly more difficult to commit to on a regular basis the older I get. I guess we’ll see! Hope your summer is treating you well. I haven’t been following our respective teams–dare I ask how they’re doing?

      • Well please keep me up on where you go and what you’re working on. I must say, you have come a long way. Your journey has inspired me.
        As for our teams? The Yankees won the World Series and the Red Sox relocated to Montreal…😉

  3. Good to see you back here in the blogging world – you were missed! Don’t give up on us – we like hearing your voice here. Best of luck with the ‘teenage summer’ still ahead. All that is behind me, and I can’t say that I’m sorry. On the other hand, I just found some cards (I save many of the cards my family give me) by my son when he was a teenager (Mother’s Day, my birthday) reiterating that as much as he can be an ‘ass’ (his word), he loves me very much. These are good words to save!!! 🙂
    I saw Wonder Woman with my good friend when visiting her in CA, and we both applauded at the end. Really excellent movie – I asked my 8-year-old granddaughter to go with me again (great movie for girls to see, I believe) but she wisely told me she’s not old enough for it yet – she’d get “too scared with the violence.” Well, in a year we’ll watch in on TV together.
    Best of luck with your writing. Sounds like you’re coming along well. Love hearing about your Beta reader.

  4. What wonderful adventures are unfurling ahead. Please do keep us informed of when you will stop this blog so we know where to go to keep following along. I look forward to your new Writer’s Guide as well. I love the photo of the bird’s nest. We have one above our front door which birds nest in every year and this year we had two robin families raise their young. It did mean that we could not use our front door for quite a long time, haha.

    • I always feel bad for the birds when we intrude upon their space–but sometimes I have to wonder about the intelligence behind their locale decisions!! Why eaves above doors?? Hope you enjoy the rest of your summer, and I’ll be sure to keep everyone apprised of my blogging plans. Once I actually know them. 😛

  5. Thanks for catching us up, Kate! Sounds like you have a lot going on! Books and betas and family, oh, my!

    I will miss 4amwriter when it goes away, but I also appreciate how difficult it can be to keep multiple public-facing blogs and sites running. Is it Musefly you’ll be moving to as your primary blogging space? Maybe a more concentrated online presence will allow you to do more stuff like Museflychats again in the future? Those were very thought-provoking and fun! Regardless of where these posts finally land, do be sure to let us know! (And, if I can assist in any way with transition, don’t hesitate to contact me.)

    Agh, the teenage years. They can be dreadful. Though, I am sure, however difficult your burgeoning adults may become, they love and need you. They can be awfully stubborn about admitting that, of course, but the light at the end of the tunnel is that puberty doesn’t last forever. Thank goodness! 😉

    Your writing has always inspired love and wonder, and I will follow you wherever you go. All my best to you always.

    • Musefly, right now, is the site dedicated to writers in my local area. I do have a bigger plan for it down the road, but I have to get some ducks in a row first. My vision for my online business has evolved as social media has evolved–I’m having trouble keeping up, though. Scaling back is only one of many steps I have to take. Rebuilding my platform is quite the involved process! One day at a time will keep my sanity in check. That and pizza. 🙂

  6. It feels like I haven’t read (or written) a blog post in centuries, but yours called to me today. It’s good to know that I am not alone in finding the balance between the teen horror show, and . . . well . . . life, writing, etc. I am finally finding my way back to something, although its not anywhere near ready for me to even explain what it is. But at least I’m writing, which is good. I look forward to wherever your journey takes you. <3 Lisa

    • I haven’t been active in the blogging world lately, either. I’m so glad mine called to you! The teen horror show really threw me for a loop. Seems like just yesterday they were so cute and sweet!

      I know what you mean about finding your way back to something, yet still unexplainable. You’ll get there when you’re ready, and as long as you’re writing, all is right with the world! 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your summer!

    • It has been a productive summer, which is good! I appreciate the work I have to do if nothing else than it is a great distraction from the horror show! 🙂 Enjoy your summer!

    • I think you’ll enjoy it, Dianne. I haven’t finalized my new site details. 4amWriter will be up for the next few months at least, so I’ll be sure to announce the transition when I know what I’m doing! Hope you’re doing well, and I’ll be by your blog soon!!

    • Thanks, Carrie! The job is long overdue. I didn’t even mention a fourth site I had been involved in until recently (a joint venture with another blogger to raise awareness of the 6th man made extinction). A cause very important to me, but one more thing I have to figure out how to handle more effectively! Have a great summer!

  7. Nice to see you surface Kate. It seems we all have our stuff going on. Good for you on the upcoming publication and do let us know where we shall find you when you make the transition with your other blog. 🙂

    • Thank you! Summer always takes it toll on me as far as productivity. I struggle without a dependable routine, but somehow I managed to accomplish a few important projects. I’ll certainly stay in touch with my whereabouts! Hope things are going well for you!

      • I hear you Kate. Summer is a long time coming after our long winters so no doubt we get busier without weather hindering us. It seems this will be my 3rd summer I’m mostly trapped inside writing and revisions, lol. The days seem to fly. 🙂

  8. Yay for environmental crusading and for rescuing butterflies, mice, snakes, frogs, baby birds, and egg-toting turtles! That’s amazing. Sometimes I think I missed my calling and should have been a park ranger – maybe we should look into being park rangers together. Thank you so much for mentioning Ocean Echoes – I’m glad you enjoyed it! I hope you’ll have a peaceful rest of the summer, but if there are any more horror shows they could always be fun to write about!

    • Haha, I think I missed my calling too, and I should have worked more directly with animals and the environment. I would love being a park ranger! That would be the ultimate. Horror shows do give me great writing fodder–that might be the only benefit! Happy to spread the word about Ocean Echoes! 🙂

  9. Okay, no 4am writer in my life is going to feel VERY strange. But, I totally get it—I’ve been struggling to keep up with the blog myself this year. Please let us know where we can continue to follow your amazing words when the time comes, doll!

    And…I have heard so many great things about Wonder Woman. I need to see it!

    P.S. Congrats on all of the writing progress. You’ve been kicking a lot of butt!

    • I feel like I have lost a lot of great blogging pals within the past two years. I would be lying if I didn’t admit the narrowing circle has been a factor in my decision to change things around on my end. I enjoy the connections, but the energy is different, less enthusiastic. But I love writing and I love working with other writers, so I want to pull those passions together into a new journey.

      You must see Wonder Woman! I think you’d like the girl power! Have a fabulous summer!

  10. I’ll miss your blog, but understand your conundrum. You can only do so much– and remain relatively sane in the process. I’m sorry that I’m not in your area because I’d like to learn more about how to do NaNoWriMo. That being said, I wish you the best.

    • Hello Ally! I will still blog in some capacity, probably with more emphasis on helping other writers, but I’ll be doing it from a different site. That way I won’t be juggling as much.

      I am playing around with the idea of turning my local workshop into an online workshop. If I do that, I’ll be sure to announce it. Don’t know how you feel about online courses, but that might be an option! 🙂

      I shall swing by your blog soon to catch up on all your adventures! Hope your summer is going well!

      • Kate, I’d be interested in an online course. Don’t know how those work exactly, but that’s never before stopped me from doing things that I want to do. 😉

  11. So much going on, Kate! Sorry about the teen angst (totally feel your pain.) I foolishly used to think life wouldn’t be as crazy then the babes grew up (oh contraire!) Anyway, I loved Wonder Woman (but didn’t think it in terms of 3-act structure; can we discuss???)

    Good luck with the web merging – looking forward to seeing it all come together!

    • Often, I look back on the days when they were toddlers and I remember thinking then how *hard* it was to raise kids. Haha. Life plays dirty tricks on us. Toddlerhood is nothing compared to teenagers. But I’m also not a natural at being a mom. Some women come by it with instincts, not me. Every issue is a guessing game for me. Wowza.

      Wonder Woman is very strong, structure-wise. Maybe I’ll write up a post on it sometime! I’ve taken to studying film as a way of learning structure, because you can get a good lesson in 2 1/2 hours versus reading a book, which for me, takes 3+ weeks. Admittedly, I have become a structure nerd. 😛

      Hope your summer is going well!

  12. I stopped by Cayman’s place as I always do (he’s awesome) and I noticed you there as I had other times and told myself I’d stop by and then didn’t, that happened often and so today I did, only to find out you’re closing down. At least I caught a good post 🙂 Wonder Woman definitely rocked! Wishing you well.

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