Sloth Slow Progress

Sloth in Tree

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

– C. Northcote Parkinson

This quote is also, apparently, known as Parkinson’s Law. That might be apt. At least in my writing life, this rings with a lot of truth. I’ve found if a task doesn’t have a deadline, particularly a large task, then it drags on, getting done in drips and dribbles.

Water DropEarlier in the year, I let you know I’m working on editing my novel, Quaking Soul. I gave myself a large amount of time for this, thinking that a couple of pages a day should be more than doable. I had a deadline, but it was far enough out to feel vague. Now, as I look back since that post, I can see the drips and dribbles of progress on that goal. These drips and dribbles were much smaller than a couple pages a day.

SlothAnyway, sloth slow progress equals stress in my brain. Some people thrive off procrastination. Not me. I’m the odd duck who used to get the school paper done in the first week it was assigned even though we were given two months to write the darn thing.

With all this in mind, I’m putting a more pressing deadline on the Quaking Soul edit. This will affect the time I have for other writing, however. I dislike not keeping a regular schedule here on the blog because it messes with my OCD. But there’s a balance between the OCD and the stress of sloth progress.

Gah. It’s a pendulum. For now, the pendulum is swinging toward getting editing done. My goal is within the next two months. After that, I promise, I’ll come back with more adventures. There’s one already outlined =)

Until then, I wish you all an amazing, adventurous spring.

Blessings,

Jennifer

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Let’s keep this short and sweet.

jenniferzeiger.com is now my author website. Yahooo!

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For the last 6 years, it’s been this blog. This blog is now jennifermzeiger.wordpress.com.

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I believe everything should run smoothly. All the little goblins in the background, ya know those domain name-name server goblins with teeth, all those guys should be lined up. However, I’m no professional when it comes to such details, so please let me know if you run into any issues.

Thank you everyone! Thursday will be an exciting day here as we’ll have the next post in the Discarded Adventure and Kat at the Lily Cafe will be hosting an interview regarding The Adventure.

Blessings,

Jennifer

(P.S. Some people have gotten a security warning the first time they attempt the website. Please type it in a second time and see if it works.)

 

The Letter – Guest Story By Kat from The Lily Cafe

Cafe

Every once in a while I get to share stories from other writers here at Adventure Awaits You. Today I’m excited to post a story from Kat over at The Lily Cafe. Kat blogs everything from short stories, to mothering experiences, to family recipes and book reviews. I love it. Check it out.

And here’s her fun short story:

The Letter

            It was an exceedingly well-kept and equally respectable neighborhood and not one person would stoop to spy on a neighbor. It was a rather quiet place and even the children knew to keep quiet. The gardens were perfectly groomed and the houses shone with a new coat of paint every other year.

This air of quietude was not to last, however. It came to be shattered one morning with the daily mail.

It all began with a letter delivered to the house of one very respectable and elderly Mr. Connolly and his wife. It would seem that an unusually square envelope arrived in the mailbox and instantly attracted Mr. Connolly’s interest, as it did have his name written in a rather ornate fashion. Curious, he opened it right there by his mailbox as his neighbors wandered out to retrieve their own letters. None, of course, paid much attention to the elderly man, other than a genial smile.

Mr. Connolly stood for some minutes, silently contemplating the square letter he had received, before turning abruptly and heading into his trim white house to show the letter to Mrs. Connolly.

envelope

“My dear,” he said rather gravelly. “Come see what the mail has brought me today.”

Mrs. Connolly wandered in calmly from the kitchen, a apron around her waist and a dish towel in her hands. She carefully took the letter from Mr. Connolly’s hand, took one glance, and fainted dead away.

Startled, Mr. Connolly instantly went to the phone and dialed for an ambulance to take Mrs. Connolly to the hospital.

Though not curious folk, the neighborhood gathered in the street outside of the Connolly house to see why an ambulance stood at the curb. There were many a gasp when Mrs. Connolly was rolled out and still more when Mr. Connolly refused to leave with them.

They certainly were not inclined to go poking into other people’s business, but they could not help listening when Mr. Connolly proceeded to explain that Mrs. Connolly had collapsed after viewing the daily mail.

“Would you recite the alphabet for me?” Mr. Connolly asked of a little girl of six by the name of Penny James.

The little girl smiled and primly folded her hands and began to recite, “ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXY.”

At the end of this recitation, Penny curtsied and Mr. Connolly nodded thoughtfully as Penny seemed to stiffen.

“Just as I thought,” he announced. “There is indeed something missing.”

“Whatever is the matter, Mr. Connolly?” Mrs. James asked.

“Did not you find something strange in Miss Penny’s recitation?” Mr. Connolly asked curiously.

Mrs. James and several of the other mothers looked at each other in puzzlement.

“There was certainly nothing wrong in Penny’s recitation, Mr. Connolly,” Mrs. James said somewhat indignantly. “I taught her myself.”

“Then, I am afraid, you, too, Mrs. James, have made a grave error,” Mr. Connolly said solemnly. “There is indeed something wrong with the alphabet.”

“Don’t be silly,” Mrs. Williams said. “Of course there cannot be a thing wrong with Penny’s recitation. Indeed, my Timothy could recite it just as well.”

Mr. Connolly nodded. “Then, Timothy, please step forward and recite to me the alphabet.”

A timid little boy with dark hair and large dark eyes stepped forward and stared up at Mr. Connolly. His voice quivered uncertainly as he recited, though he knew the alphabet just as well as Penny James.

“ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXY.”

Timothy stared up at Mr. Connolly, a look of horror spreading over his face. He suddenly turned and ran screaming up and down the street. Mrs. Williams turned to Mr. Connolly with wild eyes.

“What have you done with Timothy?” Mrs. Williams demanded.

Mr. Connolly spread his hand. “That I cannot tell you. Timothy has done it to himself. Mrs. Williams, would you do me the honor of reciting the alphabet?”

“This is ridiculous,” Mrs. Stevens said from the front. “Do you mean to test us all on the alphabet, Mr. Connolly?”

Mr. Connolly lifted a hand. “Please, Mrs. Stevens, bear with me. We must get to the bottom of this.”

“The bottom of what?” Mrs. Stevens demanded.

“Mrs. Williams, would you please recite?” Mr. Connolly said in reply.

Mrs. Stevens stared angrily at Mr. Connolly, but said not another word.

Mrs. Williams stepped forward and recited, “ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXY.”

At the last of it, Mrs. Williams suddenly widened her eyes and screamed. She then collapsed on the ground and curled into a ball. She began to cry excessively and no amount of soothing could calm her.

“What is the meaning of this?” Mrs. James cried out.

Mr. Connolly turned to Mrs. James quite calmly and exceedingly gravely. “Mrs. James, would you be so kind as to recite the alphabet to me?”

“Mr. Connolly, this is absolutely ridiculous,” Mrs. James protested. “Why, you know as well as the rest of us that every one of us can recite the alphabet perfectly.”

“Then why is Timothy running up and down the street and his mother curled in a ball on the ground and weeping? Mrs. James and Mrs. Stevens, would you ladies please be kind enough to recite for me the alphabet?”

The two women stared angrily at each other before stepping forward and doing as Mr. Connolly requested.

“ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXY.”

At the end, Mrs. James let out a piercing cry and fainted dead away. Mrs. Stevens gasped and became as still as a statue with both hands clasped across her mouth and her eyes as wide as they would go. She looked so stiff that she could have toppled over and fallen like a tree.

Timothy Williams suddenly came running up to Mr. Connolly. He tugged at the elderly man’s coat until Mr. Connolly looked down at him.

“Mr. Connolly, something is dreadfully wrong!” Timothy cried out.

“Indeed there is,” Mr. Connolly replied. “And I know just what it is. You see this square piece of paper? It holds what is missing, what has been stolen from us.”

Mr. Connolly held the paper up and turned it around. His neighbors gasped. The children cried. Many of the women became almost inconsolable.

On the white sheet of paper was written in thick black pen a single letter. It read:

 

Z

 

Timothy pointed up at it. “That’s it! It’s what’s missing! It’s the end of the alphabet!”

“And what do you think it means?” Mr. Connolly inquired of the child.

“We need more Zzzzs!” Timothy cried out.

And, after that, everything was quite normal once again.

The End

Thank you for joining us today for this fun story! And thank you Kat for sharing! You can see more of Kat’s posts by stopping by her blog, The Lily Cafe. Plus, later this month she’ll be hosting an interview of me regarding The Adventure. I’ll be sure to let you know when she posts it =)

Next week will start a new adventure, so I hope to see you all then.

Blessing,

Jennifer

At the Door of December

It’s that time of year again…already. I’ve no idea where 2017 went, but it’s interesting to look back for a second and contemplate.

Last year this time I hoped to self publish one of the adventures in 2017. It was my next big project. I hoped you could, “hold a hard copy of an adventure and explore all the different endings at your leisure.” I’m a bit surprised and pleased to be able to say this goal was accomplished. In fact, you can explore three of the adventure stories at your leisure! (Check out The Adventure on Amazon.)

Now it’s time to breath for a bit. Every December I step back from writing to focus on family and friends, to breath and relax.

This time also allows my brain to ruminate on what, exactly, the next year’s goals should be. Nothing will be decided until January, but this is the time to start those fires burning in my brain.

In other words, I won’t be posting again until January. If you’ve read this far into this post, thanks. =) With everything that demands your attention, I appreciate your support of this blog and my writing.

I promise to return in January with two things.

  • One, some goals for 2018 and
  • Two, a whole new adventure story to explore. It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a new adventure for the blog. It’s about time to get back to it.

What did you achieve this year? What will next year hold for you?

Blessings,

Jennifer

P.S. If you’re wondering about the Kickstarter rewards, I’ll be posting updates about those on my Facebook page. Be assured, I’m still working on the Hardcover. It’ll be ready soon. =)

It Comes In Buckets?

Who knew?!

But unlike beer coming in pints, life’s complications do not make me want to jump up from the table to get more.

All whining and complaining aside, let me lay out what’s up in a nut shell so it’ll become clear why there’ll be another couple weeks of silence on Adventure Awaits You.

Sleep and Deprivation were beaten away with a stick and a twenty hour drive in a moving van from Colorado to Washington. I’m still trying to figure out how a dog, two cats, my husband and I all made it safe in the cab with only a few scratches to show for the chaos. Let’s just say my husband now calls one of the cats “The Devil Kitty.”

Anyway, due to a communication snafu with the housing company, we found out last minute the house we were moving to isn’t available until the beginning of June…Ummm. Snafugit!

Moving on, partly due to Nate and I wanting to be near his new job and partly because it’s hard to find housing with three pets, we decided to wait for the house.

Hello temporary housing…with spotty internet. My frustration level just checking email tends to sit near the red. It’s amazing and a little sad how reliant I’ve become on reliable internet. It’s like phones now a days, where you just assume it’s going to be there.

Rest assured, once we’re in permanent housing, the adventure will return. Muhahaha!

But for now I’m on stollen internet time. Shh. Don’t tell. I’ll sneak in when I can but if the internet Guru doesn’t allow it, please have an amazing May.

Blessings,

Jennifer

Sleep and Deprivation

This post comes to you from Sleep and Deprivation. I.E. 10 hour night shifts for the past 5 days.

Sleep and Deprivation would like to convey their sincerest apologies for robbing Zeiger of coherent thought…thus why they are writing and she is not.

Also, they would like to inform the awesome Blog-O-Sphere that the Zeiger family will be moving soon and will be lacking internet for an unknowable amount of time. This makes Jennifer very sad as she loves the interaction here and on other blogs. So Sleep and Deprivation feel fairly comfortable in saying Jennifer will be back on the blog as soon as she can.

But for now she must finish out her last week of night shifts and fit packing in somewhere in the in-between. Sleep and Deprivation will run amuck until sometime in May.

Until then, sweet dreams, sugar plums and all that, to those who are able to acquire regular sleep.

Sincerely,

Sleep and Deprivation standing in for Jennifer Zeiger.

Interview with Inion N. Mathair: From The Dark and Twisted Mind of Inion N. Mathair

(Dark+and+Twisted+Mind)+Front+CoverIt’s my pleasure today to have Inion N. Mathair over to talk about their latest book, From the Dark and Twisted Mind of Inion N. Mathair. As I said on Friday when they interviewed me about Midnight Abyss, these two ladies were one of the first to follow me when I started blogging a year ago and they’ve been nothing but supportive.

So I’m thrilled to be able to welcome them and support them back! I highly recommend you check out their blog, Two voices…One Thought.

Now on to the interview=)

Welcome Inion N. Mathair. It’s wonderful to have you here for my first interview.

          INM: Thank you for having us, Jennifer. We can’t tell you what an honor it is to be here on Adventure Awaits for our first interview regarding our short story collection.

Your other two books are novels, this one’s a short story collection. What inspired you to put this book together?

          INM: We are always writing. In between our novels, we prefer doing short stories to keep our minds churning and the creative juices flowing. When Halloween rolled around we figured it would be a great venue to launch the dark stories we’d written, as you very well know with your short story anthology, Midnight Abyss.

Considering the title, is this a horror book?

          INM: Yes. But, we’ve always had a dark edge to our writing that we’ve embraced rather than shy away from. The collection was just a few of the ideas we had running around our twisted minds while working on our novels.

What kind of stories can we look forward to? (Not asking for spoilers but if you’d like to put in a short clip, that’s cool).

          INM: We’ve tried to incorporate all kinds of different horrors. There are a few psychological thrillers, some otherworldly villains with a splash of traditional scares as well. This is an excerpt from the first tale entitled, The Confession:

“Bless me, father, for I have sinned.”

“Tell me your sins, my son.”

The stranger sighs, “I should, Father. It would be so comforting to unload these burdens on someone who could offer me absolution, but I’m afraid that there are some sins that can’t be confessed, some souls that shouldn’t be forgiven.”

How intriguing=)

How long have the two of you been writing together?

          INM: A little over six years, but separately the two of us have been writing most of our lives.

Do you have any other writing projects that we can look forward to?

INM: Yes, we have two YA novels available right now, The Perfect 7 and Nightwalkers: The Secret of Jessup. In spring we’ll also be launching our MG/YA novel New Salem Chronicles: The 13 Reapers.

You are a mother and daughter writing team. Tell us a little about how that works.

          INM: We couldn’t have started a writing duo had we not have had an excellent mother/daughter relationship. We’ve always been close, best friends really, and our minds are eerily similar. We’ve found a formula that works and is almost effortless. Of course, there are times when tussles arise (most of the time that’s due to a lack of sleep), but the beauty of Inion N. Mathair is the love that we feel for each other. For us, the most important thing is our bond, but we’re professionals first and foremost so the work is never neglected.

That’s awesome. I don’t know many people who’d call writing with another person effortless.

Do you have any suggestions for writers interested in co-authoring a book?

          INM: Communication is key. Always keep an open line and an open mind when working with another author.

Do you have a writing routine?

          INM: Before a story is ever written, we have a powwow and talk it out. The blueprinting comes next, (this is actually Inion’s favorite part) and then we assign chapters based on our strengths and weaknesses. Inion will usually go for the action sequences, recaps and big endings, while I prefer eye-catching openings, dialogue and romance/drama.

What influences your writing?

          INM: Anything and everything really. We’ve noticed that it’s the stranger things in life that revs our engine and we love being challenged. One of our short stories in the collection was inspired by a poem that we wrote and that has been entered in the Tennessee Williams poetry contest. Another one of the short stories was a challenge from my son and Inion’s brother for a zombie story with wicked twist. What’s great about art is that inspiration can come from anywhere.

Sounds awesome! Here are the links for anyone who’d like to find out more about From the Dark and Twisted Mind.

Links:

Facebook:

Inion N Mathair

From the Dark and Twisted Mind

Twitter:

@InionNMathair

Blog:

Two Voices One Thought(Dark+and+Twisted+Mind)+Back+Cover(Dark+and+Twisted+Mind)+Front+Cover

Print Copy:

CreateSpace

Thank you so much Inion N. Mathair! I look forward to reading you collection of stories=)

Blessings,

Jennifer