Musings

Winter Has Come… and Gone

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And just like that, Game of Thrones is over, and it was… underwhelming.

One of the greatest series in the world simply dropped the ball and rushed through the ending. Honestly, if D&D were in a rush to direct the Star Wars project and couldn’t give us one more season of GOT, they could have at least given this final season three more episodes to get the character arcs fully realized and at the very least, get the characters acting like themselves, much like they did in the last seven seasons. In character. But they didn’t. Instead, we got some nice speeches to lead us to the finish line, a lot of fan service, and a montage of the major players still in the game that is no more.

The soundtrack, though, was superb as always and the editing was gorgeous. But the story itself… well, they didn’t stick the landing.

But that’s just me. Maybe George R. R. Martin will finish the books but I’m not holding my breath. At this point, why would he bother?

Speaking of writing, I need to go back to writing…

A Loving Riley Preview

Look what’s coming (very) soon!

It needs one more approval but it’s basically ready to go and I’ll have free Audible codes for you to redeem very soon. So if you want a copy of Loving Riley when it goes live and the first book, Loving Ashe, let me know in the comments!

It’s All Good

I wrote a post earlier today only to delete it. It was simple: just a graphic that said Happy Mother’s Day. Then I realized I was only posting it so I had something to post.

Not the way to blog, to be honest. I’m too old to play games like that.

So I’m going to blog about the state of affairs that is Liz Durano, the brand.

For the past few weeks (or months), I’ve been going through an identity crisis of sorts. Who is Liz? What type of stories does she write? What does she want out of this whole writing gig? 

Like many authors, I’d like to sell more books. More books mean more income. And so at the beginning of the year, I set out to join projects that seemed wonderful at the time for the sole purpose of making “more money.” The projects were easy. Write X number of words, follow an outline to a letter, and assign the marketing to a third party to handle since the projects would also go under a different pen name, not Liz’s.

Only it didn’t turn out as easy as I thought it would. Before long, I started failing deadlines, both for my own books and the side projects. When I did write my own books, they were lackluster and rushed. So rushed. When I wrote the side projects, I couldn’t even tell you who the characters were because I. Did. Not. Give. A. Shit. About. Them.

I ended up not writing for weeks. Sure, I’d “write” but only to meet a word count, not to write a good story. Writing for the word count sucks donkey balls. Writing to market is my Waterloo and it was slowly killing my love for storytelling.

So this month, I finally told myself it was time to quit.

At the moment, except for the Steamy Shorts, the other side projects are no more. I hated having to quit them but I hated failing more. I hated not having anyone to tell all this to because I knew I was letting so many people down. But it was eating me from the inside out to the point that I could not finish writing the simplest story. Not even one.

And through all this, I was not kind to myself. The self-talk was all negative. You’re a loser. You’re a failure. You are a terrible writer. 

Then yesterday I decided enough was enough. I had to stop the negative self-talk. I had to stop comparing myself to others.

I had to find my happy, and so I did. The kid and I went to the pool and later, to the beach where a beautiful boxer dropped her ball at my feet waiting for me to throw it for her.

It was at that moment I decided to be happy. I even wore purple. And I got sunburned. But that’s okay.

I’m back in the game with a lot less baggage.

Even better, little by little, word by word… I’m writing again.

And this time, I’m loving it.

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May You Be In Love Every Day For the Next 2,000 Days…

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Facebook reminded me that three years ago, I posted this quote on my timeline. I’ve always loved this one and it’s a nice reminder for me to focus on the Creative Muse and not get bogged down by outlines, especially when I like to give my characters some free rein within their stories.

I also need to get out more, and that’s what I did this weekend which meant not much writing.

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Yesterday, the kid and I went to the Uptown Village Market. I was visiting my friends at Floral Essence Gifts who had a booth for Friday and Saturday. And since their flyer said there was going to be a Lego Station, what better way to entertain the LilDude, right?

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Alas, the Lego Station was only for Friday night but he had fun coloring with the wonderful folks at CreativeFlowArt.org and sculpting with soft-as-air air-drying clay from CraftyClayShop.com.

Today, we all went to our local Farmers’ Market (and spent way more than we budgeted). We met some amazing people including the folks (again) at CreativeFlowArt.org who were doing live screenprinting of canvas bags to give away, Heather from iHeartEikhornBakery (eikhorn is an ancient grain I’ve been really interested to check out), Michelle from Purely Natural where we got our very first CBD Pain Relief Oil (their gemstone looking soaps got me into their booth), and David, the VeganWonka who also happens to be a massage therapist.

David creates raw chocolate and with me being a chocolate fiend, he was speaking my language and so I have a stash of them hidden in my purse because I sure as heck am not sharing it 🤣🤣🤣

It felt great to be out and about even though I’m so behind on all my books. Now I’m back home and the kid is hanging out with his dad for the rest of the day while I try to catch some words on paper. Here’s hoping I’ll be, as Ray Bradbury says, “be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And… remake a world.”

If you have time to visit my new friends’ sites, please do so. Follow and check them out as well!

Floral Essence Gifts – locally-grown, harvested and distilled floral waters (hydrosol) for skin care and home

Vegan Wonka – Vegan chocolate bars that are diabetic friendly, doesn’t melt, and can be used as a meal replacement.

Creative Flow Art – This wonderful couple gives back to the Long Beach Community through art where children are invited to paint and color

Purely Natural – offering soaps made with vegan oils and CBD products

Writer’s Block and Spring Break

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It’s been three weeks since I last posted on my blog and I guess it’s time for me to say it: I’m going through a tough case of writers’ block.

Unfortunately, it’s actually more like a symptom of a bigger issue called alignment. Somehow, my current projects (steamy shorts and that reverse harem novel) are not lining up with what my brand is all about, including the stories I actually want to write.

In my attempt to “sell more books” for 2019, instead of writing the stories my readers have been waiting for, like Gabriel’s story and Gareth’s story, I’ve been gallivanting around the place with new characters and totally off-brand projects. As a result, the whole “sell more books” for 2019 has backfired.

And now my characters refuse to talk to me.

I also can’t blame them. If I wasn’t dabbling on other projects, I was also dealing with other things like the Lil Dude’s science project and this week, Spring Break. I just can’t believe it’s over.

We did get to do a few things like go to the beach and also spend a day in Los Angeles where Lil Dude got to see the Cathedral of the Lady of Angels (or is City of Angels?) which looks nothing like what a cathedral is supposed to look like. There happened to be an organ recital when we were there and it was pretty interesting to hear the music reverberate through the various alcoves.

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Afterward, I took everyone to Philippe’s, a restaurant known for French dip sandwiches and has been a Los Angeles staple since 1908. The place is a Los Angeles classic with its original wooden stools, sawdust-covered floors, a hand-painted menu board and a row of telephone booths with their original telephones still intact (but they no longer work). Their menu hasn’t changed and coffee is still just 50¢.

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We also went to the beach and LilDude had a blast. With summer fast approaching, I have to get everything together for those trips to the park and the beach. Soccer ball, basketball, hand pump, beach towels, etc. And hopefully a few playdates with friends here and there.

Now it’s back to school on Monday and I hope my imaginary friends talk to me I can get my mind back to writing again. I’ve got another steamy short scheduled to go out in time for Memorial Day and I honestly don’t know how I can do it AND get my planned full-length novels out at the same time.

But first, the Game of Thrones third episode where I’m keeping my fingers crossed my favorite characters survive!

After all, priorities!

Am(Not)Writing

I am recovering from a cold and therefore, cannot think clearly. And heaven knows I’ve tried. But nada. Nothing comes out. Or if something does come out, after a paragraph, it’s gone and I find myself wondering what I was going to write next… or whose story I was writing, for that matter.

So I’m hoping maybe tomorrow is a better day. Maybe I’ll have a clearer less stuffy head tomorrow and write because I’ve got a deadline. Two of them, to be exact.

I’m also tired and I want to take a nap.

Do you know how difficult it is to take a nap when you have a cold knowing you have to be awake in two hours to pick up the kid and then head to the school for their STEAM fair where he plans on launching his water rocket that he hopes you help him build just before the main event?

Yeah, so no nap.

But we did get to hastily build his water rocket with last year’s calendar and he had a blast with it. Even when an older kid brought his amazing duct tape rocket along and it shot all the way past the fence (twice), LilDude never once doubted his rocket was the best.

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I know how to make my rocket next year…