Manic Monday

Do you ever have those days, where you wake up thinking, “I got this.” And then the heavens or fate or some other thing proves you utterly, incredibly, completely wrong? Think Stephanie Plum on any day that ends in why. Yeah.

I’m having that day.

Which is why this blog is late–apparently I don’t know the difference between 7/31 and 8/31 (really, is there a difference?!?). But there’s good news!

Before I share the good news, I’m going to share a little bit more about the team of folks I’m fortunate enough to manage. These folks are smart, committed, funny, and diverse. What we do is complex, and not universally loved or admired, but it is important work. One of the challenges for me as a leader is how to keep supporting, encouraging, lifting in a meaningful way; how do I let these folks know just how much I value what they do, and the way in which they do it? What I’ve realized over the years, is that almost every situation brings with it both challenge and opportunity. It’s easy to see the challenge. The opportunity? That can be tougher to identify or acknowledge. Part of my role, then, has become helping my team see opportunities, instead of just problems.

It’s not easy. Sometimes I have to hunt for those opportunities. Rarely, the only opportunity to be found is one that is such a stretch, I would lose all credibility. But, that’s rare. I’ve found that finding opportunity is skill, and like any skill, it has to be exercised to be strengthened; I have to stretch in order to grow.

Where’s today’s opportunity? Where’s the good news? I have a fantastic scene written in my head, based on today’s real-life events. This will likely be something I write for Rachel, the protag in the novel I’m drafting. She would totally have a day like today, and if I capture this experience right now, I should be able to make the scene vibrant, detailed, an d dreadfully, uncomfortably, completely real. And that’s always my core question when I write–how can I make what I write feel as real to readers as possible? Today, the answer is to experience it.


Happy Monday!

Author: Pamela A. Oberg

Pamela is a portfolio manager at an educational assessment company by day, writer by night. Founder of Writers on Words (a discussion and critique group), Pamela enjoys spinning tales of murder and mayhem, with an occasional foray into the world of the paranormal.

11 thoughts on “Manic Monday”

  1. Happy Monday indeed! I’ve definitely had those days, hahaha! Love that you’re manic Monday inspired a scene 🙂


  2. When I studied in Mexico, we called it “San Lunes” to explain why we sometimes have to take off work to celebrate Mondays.


  3. I’m having one of those Mondays as well, but mine is because I have three (not 7) reviews to post on my blog tomorrow, and while I have read all three books and made notes, I have not written the first word of a review!!!

    As far as how to make characters real — well this is one of my favorite topics. As a reader, I want to relate to characters as people I might meet in the grocery store or who might buy the house down the block. I want to “like” the good guys, REALLY hate the bad guys, (although the neighbors of serial killers, they always say they nice and quite, never bothering anyone) and question the motives of those in the grey areas. I want characters who have to do the laundry, juggle childcare, and wonder where they left their keys even if they do it off the page. I do not want characters who never worry about anything, who assume that I (reader) am stupid and have to have EVERY little thing explained, or who feel entitled (unless they are really entitled). I want strong characters who are involved in their work and take it seriously (both pro or amateur crime fighters)

    I read crime fiction because I want it to be fiction, not something that happened on my front lawn, but something that I might read about in my newspaper that happened on someone else’s front lawn. I want someone, anyone really, to be satisfied, vindicated, convicted, or “made to pay” at the end of the story. It does not have to be a happy ending, because life does not always have a happy ending, but it has to END.

    If I wanted weird, strange, and unbelievable, I’d read Sci-fi (although I sometimes read that as well). Unfortunately this is real life, not fiction, so I must go do laundry, make dinner, write those three posts for tomorrow, but at least the kids are too old for childcare AND I now have a hook for my car keys, so I know exactly where they are.

    Liked by 2 people

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