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Balancing life and writing
If I actually figure out the balance of life and writing, I’ll let you know.
I think people sometimes have these grand, preconceived notions of what a writer’s work looks like. Someone sitting at a desk and making themselves write for hours at a time, some perfect lighting and inspiration flowing. This idea that words always come naturally and if they don’t you’re not as good, not worthy, or doing something wrong.
Everyone has their own process. Whether that is to say to yourself every day from 9-11 AM I will write, or, I will attempt to sneak in a couple of words over my lunch break, or staying up until 3 AM because you got an idea and need to get it down on paper before it disappears.
I don’t know if there is actually a “balance.” I think a big part of writing is figuring out how to write in a way that works for you, your life, your schedule, your needs. Working in a way that allows you to tell the stories you need to tell while not killing yourself because you didn’t write anything this week. That’s not to say make excuses for why something isn’t getting done, but writing should be a joy, not a chore. And if that “balance” is marathon sprints or 100 words a day, it’s whatever works for you. Have goals, by all means, but don’t be too harsh on yourself if a daily word count isn’t met. Words don’t always flow, but be ready to put them down when they do.
Alexander Covington is hunting a traitor: Melody Karsh, a missing girl accused of treason, a Party member who has forsaken her country. But, letters are appearing in mailboxes, being slipped beneath doors, and in the pockets of passersby. “Free Melody” is being spray painted on walls. Her image – cold, shivering, pathetic – has captured the public’s attention and sympathy.
Melody has no idea that her name is being used to start a movement, not until the executions of those demanding her freedom start airing on television.
Derek Lin would feel sympathy, if he didn’t blame Melody for the deaths of those who have disappeared without a trace, caught up in the investigation to find her.
Melody must choose to join the fight or stand aside. Derek will become a leader or break under the pressure. Alexander will decide how many bodies must fall to save his own life.
Enjoy an Excerpt
“Well, we thank you very much, Detective Covington, for your time and encourage the public to cooperate fully. And now, a word from our sponsors.”
“Clear!” Morgan called, and Covington stood up. He ripped the microphone off his blazer, and, without a word, strode out of the studio. Morgan started screaming the second he was out of earshot.
“Do you want us shut down?! Do you have any idea what you’ve done?!”
“Morgan, what is he going to do?” Denise asked, leaning back. “Look, he didn’t want me to ask a question, and I did anyway. They never actually announce stories like this. I wanted to know why – how far she could have gotten – the fact he didn’t answer doesn’t make that look good, does it?”
Morgan gaped at her, before returning to the mixing booth. Derek followed her and peeked over her shoulder to watch the playback.
There, on the screen, were the pictures of the so-called terrorists. And there was her picture. She’d been at the bar, waiting for Sean, however long ago. He’d seen her picture, the background of Sean’s phone, heard Sean talk about her, mope about her, drink himself stupid over her.
“We have a problem.” He muttered to Morgan.
“What?” Morgan jumped, not having seen him following her. “Why?”
“Because I’m pretty sure that girl’s been gone a hell of a lot longer than you think.”
About the Author: Kirstyn Petras is a fiction writer and commodities reporter but primarily identifies as caffeine in a human suit held together by hair spray and sheer force of will. She currently resides in Texas, though claims home as a combination of New York and Edinburgh. When not writing, she trains contortion and aerial hoop. She has been published in Punk Noir, and is the co-host of Dark Waters, a literary podcast exploring all that is dark, ready, and wonderfully twisted.