“Do What You Love”, They Said. Wanna Know What I Love? Talking about Me.

Jus’ a lil’ update:

Last week I went on a much anticipated week-long vaca to Maine. I’ll probably write up another post telling you all about it, but it was a super great trip with my family that we’ll never forget.

What it wasn’t was a ton of great writing time…why do I always think that I’m going to get SO MUCH writing done when I go on a trip?! I never do. I always have visions of myself rising at 5 AM in the morning to get in some solid writing in, which results in not only my smug self-satisfaction that I am consistent and disciplined, but also with my family being thoroughly impressed with my dedication, all of them murmuring to each other about how much they now respect my need to carve out that space for myself. Except that never happens…instead, if I get up that early, it’s to play with my adorable 2 yr old niece or curl up on the couch and watch morning shows with my mom and sister-in-law. Which are also totally great, valid and rare activities, but if I don’t tackle writing right away in the morning, the day gets swept away with family and plans, and all my lofty writing goals are shot straight to shit.

Which is how last week worked.

So I’m a little behind on the BEK serial (but read on for more on that below)…but I’m not actually that sore about it, because what I did gain was TONS of inspiration from frolicking around in dreamy little coastal towns like Camden and doing research on the most haunted places in Maine.

Oh, and being shaken awake by something around 3 AM my very last morning there after having a TOTALLY PEACEFUL AND GHOST-FREE WEEK.

That, too.

Anyway! More on creepy stuff in a later post…

Those of you who have been reading my blog for more than a couple of years know that the week of Halloween + National Novel Writing Month is my FAVORITE time of the year. And yet, it always creeps up on me. Even though I usually only do Prehistoric Amber posts on Thursday, I’m gonna try to pack in as much Halloween into this week as I can by posting a bunch’a past posts about costumes, hauntings, Corn Night, and Halloween…mostly ’cause it’s my blog and I get to do what I want here, but also because IT’S HALLOWEEN AND I LOVES IT AND I WANNA SHARE THAT WITH ALL OF YOUS THROUGH THE MAGICAL WONDER THAT IS BLOGGING.

Kay?

Today I realized, in a happy state of coincidence, that I would be shuttering the doors of the Amber L. Carter Bookshop on the very first day of NaNoWriMo. Which feels…symbolic in a way, y’know? Like, the moment I purposefully stop focusing on selling + marketing my writing in favor of fully diving back into writing something new is the first day of the month-long adventure of writing dangerously.

Also, check out this year’s theme of my new regional NaNoWriMo group (Portland, OR):

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Is that not totally fucking perfect right meow?!

So I’m psyched. The bookshop closes in 6 days, and only 5 more orders of the Amber Colored Life books are needed to go to print. Which feels totally doable. I’m getting excited, again, for the books to be out in the world…I feel like those 10 years were such a fun time in so many people’s lives (fellow MNSpeakers, bloggers, coworkers, etc), and sometimes when I reread through some of the posts or comments that made it into one of the volumes, it feels like a yearbook.

For NaNoWriMo, I’m gonna continue to work on the The Black-Eyed Kids. There’s this small, stupidly-ambitious (Keri? remember this?) part of me that wishes I would’ve buckled down and done the serial the entire month of October so I could’ve ended it right on Halloween, but that actually would’ve been a totally impossible feat, so we’re just gonna let that bright pink dream sash be picked up by the wind and carried away on the muscular back of the god of Goals That Aren’t Even Remotely Realistic, You Adorable Dummie. Doing it for NaNoWriMo feels a little like cheating since I already started working on it earlier this month, but I know it has enough twists and turns in it to offer a legit word-count challenge. I’m planning on publishing more installments of the serial as I finish them – I don’t think I’m going to keep to a certain schedule of “once a week”, etc, because that seems way less fun and it could also mean that we won’t get to the end of it on here until next year. And, also, because I know if I do that I’ll spend the rest of the week pulling and editing and preening and polishing each installment until it’s perfect…which is so not the point. The point is to write it. And to have fun writing it. And to get good and gloriously messy with the writing of it.

Like, how are the central characters supposed to have random heated make-outs in the bushes if I’m always planning every minute detail of their lives? Y’know?

On Wednesday morning I fly back into Portland, OR, and I could not be more excited about it. I realized yesterday that I haven’t felt that way in a long time…that excited feeling of going home after a trip. I’m a happy traveler, and I sort of love living out of a suitcase and being in new places, but Portland has started to feel like that boyfriend you’re eager to return to, and more than a little scared that if you don’t get back to it soon enough, it’ll disappear from your life. I also feel like going back will feel like even more of an adventure than when I moved there in September…after my recent Train Ride of Existentialism, I’ve got some plans for myself. Will keep you posted on how it all shakes out.

In the meantime, if you’re as jazzed about Halloween and/or NaNoWriMo as I am, feel free to keep abreast (heh) of my Amber L. Carter Facebook Page and Twitter feed, where I’ll be posting tons of favorite links (new and from years past) on both subjects. My feelings are still the same about wanting to close down the FB Page and get off Twitter, but I’m gonna play with it this week and see if I can maybe fall a lil’ in love with it again. One place where I still totally love being social is the NaNoWriMo site/forums, though, so if you’re doing it this year, too, let’s, like, get into each other’s lives and stuff.

Anyway. I haven’t done one of these posts in so long that I don’t know how to end it… Maybe with a joke? A GIF? A picture of a creepy clown waving buh-bye?

Okay!

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About Amber L.

Hi! I'm Amber. I've been telling stories with books and blogs since 2004. I also spent 10 years working as a behavior therapist, which I now put to proper use by publishing thought pieces and dissertations on '80s pop music and the defining TV shows of our current times ('The Bachelor', 'Vanderpump Rules', etc). I can also be credited with single-handedly ruining the city of Portland, OR just by moving here.

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