The Zone

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I don’t know about you, but for me, the creative process requires a lengthy visit to “The Zone.” If you’re an artist of any kind, you probably know what I’m talking about, surely sense the obsessive urge, the quiver of excitement at the prospect of exploring undiscovered shores. My creative muse resides there, tantalizing and intoxicating, and she demands my undivided attention.

I love my forays into the Zone, despite its consumption of my life. It’s creative gluttony, stuffing my face with words, gobbling down characters, disgorging pathos. When I dive into the Zone, I’m not myself. I’m immersed in my craft, drowning in a taste of pure manna like an addict. The rest of the world fades into the hazy horizon as the Zone awakens that right brain craving.

As a writer, this is especially true during my first draft when a story’s taking shape. Within the Zone, unfamiliar scenes tap from my fingertips and uncooperative characters demand a voice. A fickle wind pushes my plot, requiring vigilance to stay on course. As an adventurer, I’m on my own, trying to make sense of an untold tale before I return to my ordinary life, take a long overdue shower…wash loads of stinky laundry…vacuum blankets of dog hair…make dinner for a gaunt spouse surviving on snack food.

Fortunately, my visits to the Zone are temporary, and I recognize the pattern well enough now that I can plan ahead. “Okay, everybody,” I announce to the family, “I’m going to the Zone for a month. See ya.” My eyes droop and I make a pouty face as if I’m going to miss them, but inside I’m giddy as a new mom with a night out. Party time for me and my laptop!

Here’s a typical conversation when I’ve entered the Zone:

Husband: “Blah blah…dinner…blah blah…oil change…blah blah blah?”—long pause—“I might as well live alone.”

Me: “Hmm, what?”

Sad, but true.

I’m starting to emerge from my most recent jaunt into the Zone. My latest creation, The Rose Shield, feels ready for a little breathing room. I timed my journey well this year, with summer blooming and the weeds in my garden whining for attention. The husband and house require a healthy dose of TLC too that I’ll sate over the next few months…but, oh yes, you guessed it…in preparation for another spree into the Zone come fall. I can’t wait!

Liebster Award

liebsterI usually don’t get too excited about awards – probably because I’ve never been a winner (in that sense at least). But it sure feels great to have my little blog noticed after 2-1/2 years of posting.  So…first things first, thank you to Erynn ( for nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award! I’m honored.

Of course, there are a few rules I’m now obligated to follow:











Eleven short random facts about me:

  1. I don’t like chocolate. Go figure.
  2. Yesterday I ate a whole watermelon in one sitting.
  3. I was a theater major in college—a very useful degree.
  4. I’m a big fan of moss.
  5. I can’t cook – it just doesn’t make sense to me.
  6. I didn’t go in the ocean for 15 years after Jaws hit the movie theaters.
  7. Then I became a scuba diver and wouldn’t get out.
  8. I used to rock climb, but will never jump out of an airplane.
  9. My biggest fear is dentists.
  10. I dress like a bag-lady.
  11. I always try to choose love over fear…

Now for Erynn’s questions:

  1. What kind of music do you listen to while writing, if any at all?
    • New age instrumental, if at all.
  2. What is it about writing that keeps you going, even when you’re not sure you want to continue?
    • I haven’t reached the saturation point yet. Very little I’d rather be doing.
  3. Who is your favorite author?
    • That’s a tough one!!! Here are three I’ve enjoyed recently: Patrick Rothfuss, Mark Lawrence, and Joe Abercrombie (fantasy authors).
  4. What genre do you read, but swear you’ll never write?
    • I’ve been reading a bit of spy, counter-intelligence, action novels lately, but wouldn’t have a clue how to write one.
  5. What do you do when you tell yourself something along the lines of “I’ll only procrastinate a little bit longer?”
    • Like with housework? I set the timer on the stove so my procrastination has a limit.
  6. What brings you right into a writing mood, and how do how keep it that way?
    • I wake up and stay awake. That’s all it takes J.
  7. Favorite series and favorite stand-alone?
    • How about the most influential? Tolkien’s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, because those books opened the world of reading to me. And Earth Abides by George Stewart written in 1949. I never forgot that one.
  8. Have you ever seriously screwed up your sleeping schedule because of a book? Was it worth it, and what were you reading?
    • Yes and yes, many times. Most recently? Tequila Assassin: Malinalli Way by Greg Prosmushkin (a new author).
  9. What do you do to remember those ideas you come up with when you’re not able to write?
    • I make notes – phone, tablet, napkin. If I don’t at least jot the idea down, it’s gone.
  10. Are there any books or series that you thought were great and then the ending just ruined everything for you?
    • Sure, but I don’t like to rag. Usually they are books where the end doesn’t grow organically from the story, like when a character explains the plot at the end, or when new elements are added out-of-the-blue at the end to wrap things up.
  11. Why do you write?
    • I’m a little addicted to writing. Can’t imagine doing anything else.

Here are my eleven nominations. I don’t follow too many blogs, but these are some great sites that I regularly visit:



And here are my questions for you talented writing bloggers:

  1. What are you working on right now?
  2. Where do you write and why?
  3. What’s the first creative piece you remember writing?
  4. Where do you find inspiration?
  5. Was there a moment in time when you decided to become a writer? What happened?
  6. What book(s) has most influenced you as a person?
  7. What book(s) has most influenced your writing?
  8. Why did you choose your genre?
  9. Is there a book you would love to see in film?
  10. What are you currently reading?
  11. In 2-3 sentences, give us your elevator pitch on something of yours you’d like us to read!

As always,

Happy Writing!