Determined Relaxation

DO and there’s satisfaction in doing, but also risk of burnout. DON’T DO and there’s rest, but also the risk of stagnation and guilt. On any given day we alternate between doing and not doing, doing meaning following our writing aspirations.IMG_2782

Of course, there are factors like other obligations and responsibilities. There’s taking care of our health. There’s what our aspirations require. There’s so much more, the total of it unique to each individual.

The week leading up to the new year is often for reflections, the week after for intentions. I’m sipping white chocolate peppermint tea while outside there are subzero temperatures. I’m taking it easy — for me.

So, I’m not productive?

Oh, but I am. I’m not focused on a particular project and am free to pursue whatever strikes me on any given day. You could say I’m tying up 2022 loose ends and prepping for 2023.

My Personal Philosophy

What most people get wrong about me when meeting me for the first time is missing how driven I am. I come across as quiet (especially in a group) and unassuming.

Photo: CA Hawthorne

Photo: CA Hawthorne

This cat purrs, but she has claws.

Yes, I’m indulging extra time for relaxing pursuits. After all, I live alone and am free to do what I want. There are even some extra chocolates, and a dutch apple pie is in my immediate future. A bottle of champagne is waiting for New Year’s Eve, my one night each year when I drink while taking in movies.

Yup, I get pretty wild.

Then again, I may not be focused on a big novel project, but I’m not idle, not in any aspect of my life. For instance, a few days ago I decided to push myself and walked two miles in the snow, the temperature well below freezing, and I did it in 38 minutes. At my age, that isn’t bad.

What About Writing?

Well, I wrote a novella and short stories through November and early December and am now finishing light edits on a few novellas.

Simultaneously, I’m tidying up the reference files for Kovenlore Chronicles and my Pannulus worldbuilding in preparation for editing next year. In fact, I’m both updating and creating new:

  • More holidays for Pannulus and Carrdia. This is long overdue.
  • A file containing famous quotes from Carrdia history.
  • Adding to the number of Pannulus authors and their works.
  • Keeping track of Pannulus newspapers and any characters who’ve appeared who work for them, no matter how small their role.

Why track? Answering is easiest with showing.

In one chapter of Case of the Cryptic Design, Zephtasha passes a few moments with two art critics from two different newspapers in Arthune. So, yes, they’re on the list. After all, I write stories that take place in Arthune, which could mean I need to reference them.

The Ontyre Story Universe. Chart: CA Hawthorne ©October 2022

The Ontyre Story Universe. Chart: CA Hawthorne ©October 2022

It’s happened.

In the novella, New Year’s Train to Talonspear, Elyza Suffree is a columnist for the Talonspear Times where she writes about magic. I’ve mentioned her in other stories. It could happen with Gish Compati, who’s a reporter for the Duskspell Tribune in Case of the Deadly Stroll.

And, yes, I’ve mentioned some of those writers in multiple stories.

Having a file I transfer from project to project is easier than having to open projects and search for names. I know to transfer them because I date them in Scrivener’s Binder.

I enjoy all the updating and tracking, and this is the time of year when I spend the most time on it. The rest of the year, it’s difficult to force myself to break away from editing.

So, yes, I’m resting, but not idle. I’m content, but determined. Is it any wonder I’m an INFJ and full of contradictions? I wouldn’t have it any other way. It serves my writing well.


About Christina Anne Hawthorne

Alive and well in the Rocky Mountains. I'm a fantasy writer who also dabbles in poetry, short stories, and map making. My Ontyre tales are an alternative fantasy experience, the stories rich in mystery, adventure, and romance. Alternative fantasy? Not quite steampunk. Not quite gothic. In truth, the real magic is in those who discover what's within.
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