Monday, September 24, 2012

Visiting the Future (Or, the Pitfalls of Living in the Moment)

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. ~Buddha

Forever is composed of nows.  ~Emily Dickinson

Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.  ~Montaigne

It is only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day-to-day basis.  ~Margaret Bonnano

Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.  And today?  Today is a gift.  That's why we call it the present.  ~Babatunde Olatunji, a similar version is also attributed to Alice Morse Earle

If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is.  ~Author Unknown

Pile up too many tomorrows and you'll find that you've collected nothing but a bunch of empty yesterdays.  ~The Music Man
Quotes and attributions found at Quote Garden

Photo from
These quotes all have one thing in common: they urge us to live in the moment. One day at a time. Seize the day!

What they don’t tell us is that living in the present all the time can be detrimental, too. You see, I’m rather an expert at living in the moment, much to my OCD, Type-A, anal-retentive husband’s frustration. I’m his complement. I keep him from getting too stressed out about certain things, and since he’s been in Alcoholics Anonymous, he’s been trying to adopt some of my ways. But I’ll let you in on a secret: I’m glad he hasn’t been able to do it entirely. Not the drinking—he hasn’t had a drop in years. I’m referring to his inability to let his anxiety about the future go.

Strange, right? Well, I have a pretty good reason. Living in the moment causes me to procrastinate. Why do today what can be done right before the deadline? Yes, I procrastinate, and yes, I cut deadlines to the wire. That works for me. Mental blocks seem to melt only under the pressure of “one more hour left.” I’ve tried to do work earlier, but then—oooh, shiny! My life is so much in the present that most events sneak up on me, regardless of my calendar staring at me from the wall.  

I’ve talked about hobby ADHD before. This is part of my problem. I get distracted by all the cool new stuff I could be doing, and put off what I should be doing. My one saving grace is that I get things done on time. Mostly. Budgeting is a struggle. If not for my husband, I’m certain creditors would be all over me for late or missed payments. For some reason, billing deadlines filter right out of my brain (unlike other types of deadlines, like when papers were due in school, or when I have to get papers graded to my students; those I remember). A solution I've adopted is using the task reminder in MS Outlook. I have it synced to my phone and iPod (never can have too many bells chirping, right?) and set up the reminders for DAYS in advance. So far, it seems to help.

My point is one of moderation, even with One Day at a Time living. Don't spend too much time in the past or future, but make sure you visit them both. For short durations. This is something I’ve yet to master, but I keep trying. Hopefully, I’ll get the hang of it soon. 

Do any of you struggle with living too much in the past, future, or moment? How do you handle it?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Some Days I Just Want to Be a Unicorn

Tonya Kappes, author of Splitsville.comthe Charming Series of books, and many other entertaining reads, posted, "Some days I just want to be a unicorn," on her Facebook Street Team wall, and it resonated with me.  In reality, I don't want to be a unicorn (though there's something to be said for being a mythical creature beloved by many and highlighted in shiny sticker collections everywhere).  But, the truth is, I write because I can't be a unicorn.

I know, I know, where is this going?  Stick with me a minute.  I'll make it clear...crystal clear.  Is there any other kind?

I'm a writer, which means, I use my brain as a tool to mesh reality with fantasy.  It's not just something I want to do.  It has pretty much been a compulsion of mine since I can remember.  Every toy of mine had a personality and a story line.  Couldn't help it.  Just the way my brain worked.

Sure, I've been accused of being a daydreamer, a little weird, ADD, anti-social (whatever?), and maybe at times, I'm all of these.  Yet, I'm also creative, imaginative, and slightly humorous.  Combine these and you get someone who gets to be a unicorn some days.  Maybe it's all in my head, but that's okay because I'm a writer.

Some days I might want to be a competing chef going against her ex-boyfriend in a televised cooking competition. This is the premise for my contemporary short story, "Into the Fire."

Some days I might want to be a teenage girl disguised as a boy in a futuristic, dystopian society, just trying to fit in and protect my baby sister from the monsters outside the wall as well as the human ones inside.  Sound interesting?  Check out Edge of Mercy.

Whatever I am today, it's just the way my brain works, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

What about you?  What do you want to be some days?

Happy Reading and Writing,

Cherie Marks/C. C. Marks

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


When I set out to be a published writer from the age of twelve, the last thing on my mind was how it worked. All I knew was I wanted to write stories with characters people could fall in love with like I feel in love with the H/H I read about. As I wrote my stories, I had fantasies of getting that letter or phone call (I started submitting before emails and the Internet were used for submissions) from an editor saying they wanted to publish my book. My advance would be enough for me to quit my job, and before the book was released, a director from Hollywood would discover it and want to make it into a movie, making me rich beyond my wildest dreams. The publishing company would promote my book while I traveled to do research on my next bestseller, ask for my input on the covers, and tell me when to show up for book signings.

Over the past four years, I've learned more about the industry and quickly realized I was a little off base (okay, a lot of base). Don’t get me wrong I am in NO WAY complaining. I’m ecstatic that someone wants to publish my book. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wish I’d taking those classes on publishing at the conference I went to, or even an online course so I was better prepared. (I’m a planner and prefer not to play catch up.) Or that I was more tech savvy so my blog and other social networks rocked. That said; I do know people who can make them rock and that know everything there is about the industry. 

So, a shout out to networking, and meeting wonderful people to make the journey with on the road to a successful and happy writing career.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Not only am I humbled by friends and family and their continued support with my writing and self publishing journey, but I'm also humbled by new readers (ones I haven't had to recruit myself-but rather, ones that have seen my book on Amazon and have decided to read it). It gives me a flutter of heart happiness to see their reviews on my book, and their curiosity to see when the next books are coming out. :)

I'm also humbled by the move of the book itself as it reached the #21 spot, and the #111 spot on the Amazon Bestseller list! That was thrilling! And even though the book is now going back down to normal position, all of those readers who bought it are leaving reviews...that I'm thankful for...and I hope it continues!

So, now I'm almost finished with my set of edits for Drake's book, HER DRUID DESIRE, and hope to have it to my editor really soon...then it's off to the races for that one. Can't wait to learn all the new things that I have to do for e-publishing AND getting it to print!

Thanks to all of you angels for your help, support, and most of all, for your tips and expertise in this field. I am proud to call you all friends, and writer buddies! :)

My question: Do you all look forward to the process of getting a book out there, or are you a more behind the scenes kind of writer, you rather do the edits, corrections and the go between with you and your publisher?