Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Book I'll Never Write ... by Shannon Baker

Someday I’m gonna write a book. It’s going to be all about avoiding writing a book. Or avoiding anything, really. I’ve lived long enough to know that having done something is great. Even doing something has its good points. Having to do something is annoying.

Take yoga, for instance. What’s not to love about yoga? It’s like a mini vacation in my day. My mind gets to slip off into a happy place while my body stretches and bends and afterwards, I feel awesome on so many levels. Not only did I enjoy total relaxation in savasana, I get the righteous glow of having done something so good for my body. Namaste.

Knowing this doesn’t make it any easier for me to roll out the mat. I decide what I’ll cook for dinner, wander to the kitchen and see if I’ve got the ingredients. Take meat out of the freezer. Now it’s time.

What about sending that email to my daughter with the address she asked me about yesterday? I search through a pile until I find what she wanted and send it off. Oh, that stupid parking ticket. If I don’t pay that it will surely disturb my peace. Finally, I come to my mat. But even then, I’m resisting. Before I close my eyes for the first moments of mediation, I jump up, grab the nearest shoe and slap a spider crawling across the floorboard. Now I’m at peace and begin.

That’s how I am when I’m getting ready to do something I know I like. Imagine how I fight when I don’t want to do it. When I think about it, it’s a minor miracle I’ve been able to complete novels.

Facebook is one of my favorite avoidance techniques because I can make the excuse that I’m working on my writing career. We all know how important social media is to connecting with readers. I’m sure there’s something edifying about baby animals or animal voice-over videos. I’m sure it lifts my mood and expands my brain for creative flow.

I’m not an excellent cook but I far exceed my norm when I’m avoiding writing. This is when I put together that complicated beef bourguignon, which I can’t even spell and can avoid anything productive by having to look it up. Yesterday, in a clear attempt to not write, I made fudge. Not the marshmallow crème cheating way, but actually cooking it to the soft boil stage and beating it to satiny smoothness. It was amazing; just like Grandma used to make. And it took long enough I didn’t have time to write.

I may continue to avoid writing the book about avoiding writing the book, but I did manage to squeeze in another Nora book. This time, Nora is in Moab, a great place to avoid anything but amazing landscapes, breathtaking scenery, red rocks, petroglyphs and, in Nora’s case, murder and mayhem.

Tattered Legacy, the third in the Nora Abbott series, is set in the iconic red rocks of Moab, UT. Working to solve the murder of her best friend, Nora uncovers an unlikely intersection of ancient Hopi legends, a secret polygamist sect and one of the world’s richest men. Will Nora put all the pieces together in time to prevent disaster?

Leave a comment here and tell me your favorite avoidance behavior (in case I need examples for my book about avoiding writing a book) or just say hi, to enter a giveaway for Tattered Legacy. (US only because I can’t figure out shipping internationally.) You have until midnight Mountain Time Friday, March 13th to leave a comment on today's post for a chance to win the book. The winner's name will be posted here on Saturday, March 14th.

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Thanks for being my guest today, Shannon. I will never be able to figure out why we writers use these avoidance techniques so much when we're truly only happy while writing. It's a mystery!

Shannon Baker is the author of the Nora Abbott mystery series from Midnight Ink. A fast-paced mix of Hopi Indian mysticism, environmental issues, and murder. Shannon is an itinerant writer, which is a nice way of saying she’s confused. She never knows what time zone she’s in, Timbuck-Three, Nebraska, or Denver, or Tucson. Nora Abbott has picked up that location schizophrenia and travels from Flagstaff in Tainted Mountain, to Boulder in Broken Trust and then to Moab in Tattered Legacy. Shannon is proud to have been chosen Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ 2014 Writer of the Year. Visit Shannon at her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.

While Tattered Legacy is available from your favorite online or bookstore, if you’d like to support indie bookstores, you’re welcome to contact Who Else Books at The Broadway Book Mall. Ron and Nina are the best! And they might have a signed copy to send.

14 comments:

Shannon Baker said...

Good morning, Pat. You can't see me, but I'm smiling at you. (See yesterday's post) In fact, you always make me smile!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Good morning, Shannon. You have a million dollar smile, too. Thanks!

And thanks for being my guest today.

nashvillecats2 said...

A great post you have written and excellent to read. I am now advoiding e/mailing 2 of my children as they can't be bothered to reply five years and three years respectively is such a long time to wait.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sure your family enjoys the tasty dishes while you're avoiding yoga though!

Shauna Renee' said...

Facebook is my time waster!
Loved this post; I definitely will be tracking down your books!

sher said...

Every time I think I've perfected the "art" of distraction I discover someone else competing with me. ;-)

Thanks for the great post, Shannon.

Next time don't squash that spider; put it gently outside. Spider is good creativity medicine!

Shannon Baker said...

I really hate spiders but since I'm moving to Tucson in a couple of months, I need to embrace the catch and release mentality. All God's creatures, right?

Dean K Miller said...

My "day" job is my best avoider, that's for sure. If not that, it's fly fishing, which is my outdoor yoga, AHHHHHHHH, and sometimes I think about writing while I'm out there.

Ugh, and there's so much work to do when the novel draft is done...yup, let's just avoid that for good!

Sisters of the Quill said...

Fun post...I think you SHOULD write that book. Such a tongue in cheek book would probably be a very popular present for writers! If you can't cry about the life, you gotta laugh. Right? - Inkpot

Eileen Goudge said...

I know all the excuses not to write. Though I'm blessed and cursed in the sense that I usually run out by week two. I blame it on the fact that I keep Amish hours. Early to bed, early to rise leaves that long stretch before sunrise when no one in their right mind would be making beef bourbuignon (sp?)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I bake too when I'm avoiding writing. And make my walk or jog extra long. Do the laundry and soon I'll be able to go outside and weed. Who wants to weed? Writers do.

Ann Best said...

I think you could definitely write a book about how to avoid writing, Shannon. You are marvelously witty, and I'm glad I met you through Pat.

And I would love to read Tattered Legacy. I can see the setting as I grew up in Salt Lake City, and lived for a time in St. George, beautiful red rock country.

John Paul McKinney said...

I like the title, "Plagued by Quilt." Reminds me of a sign I used to see in front of a farm house on old highway 78 between Lansing and Flint, MI: "Guilts for sale."

John Paul McKinney said...

Ooops, sorry. Wrong blog. I guess one of my best avoidance techniques is spending time correcting all the mistakes I make, mistakes like this one.. Thanks.