Month: September 2021

Office Organization

Yesterday, we built IKEA shelves for our office closet, which before was kind of a black hole of disorganization. I can ignore messy clutter for a long, LONG, L-O-N-G time, but there comes a point when my brain’s like NOPE and it has to be fixed.

That was this weekend.

Unfortunately, starting any project like this means taking everything out of the closet, spreading the clutter all over the rest of the room (and bathroom, in this case, since it’s the closest other room with space to stack boxes).

And every project leads to seventeen more. Because our office is really just a bedroom, it had a clothes rod and shelf that had to come out. Then we found there wasn’t any wall paint behind the shelf because it’d been there since the house was built, so I had to go find the painting stuff and hastily patch it up.

Then we realized we were going to have to build the shelf frames in the closet because they wouldn’t clear the door.

But, we were victorious… mostly. 😂 We still need some pretty boxes to organize things, so most of the stuff hasn’t been put away yet, but the main pieces are in. Behold!

A picture of the new shelves and drawers in our office closet, still mostly empty.
Still mostly empty, but getting there!

Some of the shelves were out of stock, so we have to wait for a restock. The project is really only half done, but we made a lot of progress in a single day. So much so, in fact, that I’m sore today from all the lifting and carrying and bending and twisting.

Oh, and before I fell into an organizational hole, I absolutely devoured T. Kingfisher’s Clockwork Boys and The Wonder Engine. A forger, an assassin, a fallen paladin, and a scholar go on a not entirely voluntary quest to save their city from destruction by clockwork warriors. It’s a delight! I’m now reading Swordheart, which is set in the same world, and I’m enjoying it just as much. If you missed these when they came out, check out a sample!

And let me know if you’ve read anything fantastic lately. Or tackled any organizational projects of your own. We can celebrate/commiserate together. :)

Carving Out a Place For Joy

A black-and-white photo of a woman in an evening gown looking sad while writing a letter at a desk with a single candle.
Her creative well is empty. Also, I totally look this nice while writing. 😉

It’s been about a month since I turned in book two of Starlight’s Shadow, and I’m finally starting to decompress and think about book three. My life would probably be a lot easier if I worked at a steady rate all the time instead of in bursts fueled by deadline panic, but I’ve made peace with my process. :)

The downtime immediately after a deadline is when I do a lot of the administrative tasks that get pushed off when in I’m in crunch time—things like creating promo graphics, updating the website, and cleaning the house. It’s also the time when I give myself permission to work on whatever catches my interest.

Which is how I started writing a little magical fantasy romance story (very) loosely inspired by beauty and the beast.

It’s supposed to be a short story, but we’ll see. It’s already 5k, so it’ll probably turn into a novelette, assuming I finish it at all. One of the joys of writing for pure fun is the complete lack of expectations. I’ll write until it’s not fun anymore (or until I need to start on book three) and no one will be disappointed by the lack of ending except for me.

One of the things I’ve really had to grapple with is that once I turned writing into a job, it became work. It’s work I love, granted, but it’s still work. It seems obvious, but it’s not, exactly. It’s insidious, until creating for pure joy suddenly becomes “I really should be working on X, instead” because there is always some X that needs doing.

No matter how fast I write, there will always be an X lurking in the back of my mind as the “better” use of my time. And purely from an economic standpoint, that’s not entirely wrong.

But from a creative standpoint, all of those expectations and demands can kill creativity, especially straight off deadline.

Creating for pure fun is an important part of refilling the well, the inner space where ideas are born. An empty creative well sucks all the joy from writing—assuming one can write at all. I can power through for a while, but it’s agony.

So guard those moments of joyful creation, and carve out space for them, even if it’s just five minutes.

Then, hopefully, if everything aligns, the project you have to do becomes a source of joy, too, because your well is full. And there is no better feeling than writing a story that is flowing perfectly.

I can tell I’m nearly there because I’m starting to think about the characters for book three rather than avoiding it like the plague, lol. And even if the short story goes nowhere, those words weren’t wasted. They were exactly the escape my brain needed. :)

Livestream with Kit Rocha and Jeaniene Frost Tonight!

Kit Rocha in conversation with Jessie Mihalik and Jeaniene Frost. Wednesday, September 8, 7PM Central.

Tonight, Jeaniene Frost and I are joining Bree and Donna (aka Kit Rocha) for an event to celebrate the release of The Devil You Know! I love Jeaniene’s books and you know I love Kit Rocha’s books, so pardon me while I fangirl for a second. 🤩😍

We’re going to talk about kickass female leads, mercenary librarians, and wherever else the conversation takes us—an event with Bree and Donna is always fun! Tubby and Coo’s is the hosting bookstore, and you can find more information on their site. They also just weathered Hurricane Ida, so if you can, pick up a book or two while you’re there! :)

Individual event links aren’t up yet, but the stream is supposed to be simultaneously broadcast on their Facebook and YouTube pages, as well as their homepage, so pick your poison and keep an eye on whichever you prefer tonight at 7PM Central.

When I get the direct links, I’ll post them to Twitter, so you can also follow me there. I hope to see you tonight!!