Beginnings and Endings

Yep, it’s been a minute since we’ve caught up but I have all kinds of good writing excuses.

“When You’d Rather Just Write” over at The Muffin comes to mind. But it probably started with “Right vs. Left Brain: What Do You Think, Writers?

So though I expected to send you to the new website by now, I’ve successfully dodged that task in order to have fun writing. But when I dipped in here to update (because the carpets are getting cleaned and writing here in starts and stops to answer carpet-cleaning questions is way easier than novel-writing when you’re on a tear and once interrupted, the brilliance is gone), I sort of took a spin around this website to review. And I had an epiphany.

I’m pretty fond of this website. Shoot, I’m downright crazy about it. So what I’m wondering is this: am I avoiding the new website because it’ll be time-consuming and tedious work or am I avoiding it because I don’t want to leave Cathy C. Hall Writes?

Honestly, I think it’s probably a little of both. And though I’m keeping this spot here for a while to come, I know that once I create the new website, Cathy C. Hall Writes will have a new purpose. It’ll be the signpost, directing readers to the new website. Very exciting, right? A new beginning! But it’s a little sad, too.

And that classic bittersweetness is what I’m suddenly realizing. Because with that new beginning comes an ending. I’ll be saying goodbye to children’s writing as I embrace adult cozy mystery writing. It reminds me of that morning when I watched Youngest Junior Hall at the preschool graduation. He was so excited to go to the “big school” where his siblings attended and I was excited for him, too! But I sat next to Mister Man, practically bawling (seriously, it was embarrassing) because the video camera had a faulty tape and I couldn’t record this last precious day.

Of course, I wasn’t crying because of a video camera (well, maybe a little bit). I was in a state because it was the end of those joyful preschool days. I’m getting a little flakempt right now, just remembering. Even though I know how wonderful his grade school years were and all the joyful times he’s had since.

So the new website will get done and it’ll be very exciting times. But hand me a hankie, ’cause I’ll probably be bawling.

And So It Begins

The end of a year, the first of a year…the whirlwind, a moment of peace, then whoosh! Another January is off and running!

It takes half the month for me to catch up from holidays and the rest of the month to get ready for a new year. The catching up is mostly packing up, and when I was (much) younger, I’d do it all on New Year’s Day. Then I pushed the clean-up through the Feast of the Epiphany. And now…well, let’s just say I’m done by MLK Day (ish).

I’m pretty okay with that. But before MLK Day, I had a work deadline–a post due over at the Muffin. Eek!

Fortunately, it coincided with Mister Man’s birthday. And as I think about him especially on his birthday, and how grateful I am to have had him in my life, it was easy-peasy to write “What You Need for a Successful Career.”

Shortly after I wrote that post, I came across some sad news from an old friend, Elizabeth Dulemba. She’s an illustrator–now an art professor–and we served together in SCBWI Southern Breeze. She’s one of those generous people in the arts who always seemed to be lending a hand to someone or something. If you’re in SCBWI–particularly in a region in the southeast–you probably know her. You may not know that she recently lost her husband, Stan.

Well, not lost, really. I’m sure that like my Mister Man, her Stan is always around, watching over her. But it’s tough when someone leaves too soon, and as much as one might feel that loving presence, there’s plenty of practical stuff to deal with every day. So I’m sharing her GoFund Me page for him/her if you’d like to help.

Eventually, which is really just another word for saying I could no longer make excuses about “Christmas Cleaning,” I got back to budgets, and To Do Lists, and Work. And work was primarily my cozy mystery, which is really not work at all if we’re talking the writing of it. The formatting of it, and all that jazz, is a whole ‘nother story. If you’re thinking about indie publishing, you might want to read my last Muffin post, “Know Thyself, Writers (And Would-Be Publishers.)

I’m very close to being done with the front cover, the back cover, and everything in between! Next up is building the new website and marketing and such, and honestly, I’m already exhausted just thinking about it. So Libs and I are going to take a nap to rest our brains.

Right after I wake up Libs and tell her we’re heading upstairs.

December ALREADY?

The view from my desk

Part of me is annoyed but honestly, most of me is happy to see the December rush and the crazy drivers and long lines at stores and excited kids waiting outside my house for the bus. And holiday decorations like the tree in my office! I’d forgotten all about this little tree that Mister Man bought for his office–now my office–but when I came across it in the Great Basement Cleanout of 2022, I was ridiculously happy. It’s the little things that make a merry Christmas.

On the other hand, if you’ve been following me over at the Muffin, you know I’ve run into a bit of a snafu concerning my cozy mystery. Specifically, I’m having book cover problems. First, there was the choosing of the book cover designer. (See “No Regrets” at the Muffin.)

And then there was a bit of a sticky wicket involving writing my back cover blurb, though I didn’t mention it in detail, I needed that back cover copy before moving forward with the designer. (See “Writing That Wails or Whimpers” also at the Muffin.)

Finally, there was a back and forth with the designer and how I hated that confrontation. (See “Hating Confrontation” at where else? The Muffin.)

I’ve got another post coming up next week and there’s an update re: the book cover so skedaddle over there if you want details. Will there be a happy ending?

Well, t’is the season, y’all, right? Meanwhile, I hope all y’all are having a wonderful December. I’m so grateful that you stop by to read this blog, despite the waiting. And I wish you the best in whatever holiday you celebrate and I might as well send along joy and blessings for 2023 because we all know it could be a while before I drop back in!

♥Cathy and Libs

P.S. I have to mention “Scary Scams” and “What’s in a Domain Name?” at the Muffin because really, it’s important stuff. And I’d say that even if I hadn’t written it. See you next year, friends!