Winter, Discontent, Stuff Like That–A Story about Support

I keep starting this, and think I sound whiny. So, let’s just rapid fire a few things off.

Yesterday was stressful. Today is Xanax. This means I don’t give a damn. It also means that I’m not getting stuff done. See previous sentence.

Arthritis after Vegas and planes. Bad news=Cath on ice last night, as in freezing packs on ankle and knee. Good news? Recovery in about a day. Much less problematic today, so it looks like walking trips can still be on the menu. I will baby the joints this week, and ease back into stretching and walking next week. Usual procedure.

Rejection. Another one bites the dust. The new book is still the best thing I’ve done, thanks to Walter and Nancy. That doesn’t mean that it’s going to sell. Still, forward movement. It’s back out there.


Today I had a meeting in the business department. It was the boss’ idea. We’ve been having some issues with a course we’re collaborating on with the business folks, and Allison thought that it would be worth our while to get together with them and talk it through. It does, in fact, work better, the idea of seeing someone face to face and working through issues. Similarly, I’m going to see the baseball coach on Thursday for a meeting. He has some things he’s not clear on, as do I. Face to face.

Here’s Miranda Suri writing about our Vegas retreat. She says many of the same things about the virtue of getting together. My experiences this weekend and today seem to underscore her main point. Oh, Internet, amazing you may be, but sometimes we just have to go outside and have some human contact.


As I was retreating in Vegas, there were some pretty great conversations. I mentioned that one of the ways I get fired up about writing is to hear what other people are doing. Every time one of the writers would talk about the project, the more I was interested in reading that project. I have the same sense from them that they were interested in what I was telling one them. One breakfast stands out particularly, where Miranda was talking about her book Absent, and I was telling about The Poison of Thy Flesh (yup. Klarion Book One finally has a name. Thank you, retreat!) Julia Rios was saying all sorts of sage things about each book. I was fired up about both projects. It was delightful to talk about them! Julia and I dropped something off at our room, and Julia was talking about her second idea for a novel.And I was just as fascinated.

The only reason I mentioned today’s rejection is so I could pull this experience back to that rejection. Writers get rejected and rejected and rejected and rejected and rejected and (I can do this all day!). What can we do in the face of such adversity?

The answer is….support each other! Find a good, solid, like-minded group of writing friends, give them honest feedback, and support them. Not only do you get the benefit of saying that you knew Famous Author X when, but you also get to share enthusiasm and hopes and dreams. You know, just because the rest of the world doesn’t think/know your writing is all that, doesn’t mean it’s bad. There are a lot of good writers out there working on it. We need to scaffold each other when we are, to keep going in the right direction.

So, the take home message? I guess I’m grateful for all of the writers and readers who support me in my work, who believe in what I’m doing and want to read my stuff, and keep me moving. I’m grateful for the inspiration they give me for my work because they are inspired for their own. And I have access to the world’s coolest secret library. For now, until the rest of the world inevitably finds out my secret.

Be excellent to each other.


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

2 thoughts on “Winter, Discontent, Stuff Like That–A Story about Support”

  1. Boo for rejection! But I’m so glad you are still fighting the good fight and have team of loyal supporters, me among them! Be kind to your writerly self and I suppose those joints of yours 😉

  2. So glad you had a wonderful writers’ retreat with great people! Send that sucker back out, Cath. It’s wonderful.

    Support Brigadier Wilde

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