My second book, WARREN THE 13TH AND THE WHISPERING WOODS comes out in FIVE days, which, in addition to giving me the exciting and nerve-wracking feelings that come with an impending release, also reminds me that I’m long overdue for a blog post.
Also, the initial draft clocked in at 70k words, and it needed a LOT of revising. Like, a lot a lot. Several plot lines were eliminated, characters were merged, and the entire finale was changed drastically. However, after the dust settled, I felt that the end result was a tighter, and hopefully better manuscript at half the length.
Despite the challenges, this one was a lot of fun to write. There’s more adventure in Book 2, as well as a whole new setting for Warren to explore. I’m really happy with how it turned out and I’m excited for you all to read it when it comes out on March 21st! (EEEEK!)
I’ve started keeping track of my progress using Victoria Schwab’s awesome calendar and star reward system. There’s nothing that brings you back to kindergarden-level pride like earning a star for a small achievement. Even if that small achievement is only 500 words. Baby steps, people. One word at a time.
In the meantime, here are my methods for coping with plane anxiety.
1. Listen to music
I always start listening to music as soon as I get on the plane. I used to do this surreptitiously even back in the day when you weren’t supposed to have your phone on at all during taxiing and takeoff. (I wrestled with my need for calming music and my fear that having a phone turned on would interfere with the plane’s controls and make it crash). Now I’m glad you’re allowed to have your phone on at all times, as long as it’s in airplane mode. I made a special playlist of my favorite music that calms me and gives me happy feels. Also, I figure if the plane goes down, at least I’ll be listening to my favorite music in my last moments. (Too morbid??)
In addition to calming music, I practice slow and steady breathing. Especially during takeoff when my heart is racing like a drum. I learned to breathe deeply and mindfully by taking yoga classes, and it really does work to calm the mind and body. I also do this during turbulence, and try my best to unclench my muscles, and sort of let my body “jiggle” with the bumps. Also, during turbulence, I close my eyes and pretend I’m riding a city bus. Suddenly the bumps don’t feel so big.
3. Educate yourself
I don’t just mean about the physics of flight. (Because I have done that, and I’m still convinced it’s some kind of dark magic that allows a giant metal tube to climb into the air and stay there). I’m talking about the little things… like how the wings are supposed to shake like they’re about to snap off, and that turbulence is a “comfort issue not a safety issue” (a mantra I once heard somewhere). Also, learn about all the little sounds you hear and what they all mean. THIS SITE explains them really well.
I hope that helps some of you. I’ll be using all of these tips while on my tour. Wish me luck!