Friday, November 16, 2012

A Letter to Myself

If I were myself and another person, this is something I would say to me from time to time:

Sometimes there are days when there's absolutely no Earthly (or otherwise) reason you should feel down, but you do anyway. Sometimes it's your birthday and you're sad all day for no reason at all, even after you get 50 happy birthdays on FaceBook, a card in the mail, a text from America, and a couple of phone calls. Sometimes you have everything to be happy and grateful for, yet all you want to do is hide in a hole all day. I'm here to tell you that it's okay when this happens.

It's okay because sometimes your body just needs to purge pent up stress and worry and whatever else it's been carting around. It's okay because sometimes everybody has an illogically down day even if Dee isn't a major presence in their life. (Haven't been introduced? Click on her name.)

If you're one of the millions living with their own Dee, having a down kind of day doesn't mean you're slipping again. It doesn't mean what you thought was working suddenly isn't anymore, and it doesn't mean you'll still feel like this tomorrow.

It's okay to feel your emotions, even when especially when they seem completely unfounded and unjustified. It's okay to let them bubble up, because how else are they going to get out and leave you alone? You can't get rid of something inside of you unless you allow it to rise to the surface, after all. It's okay to have a weak moment, a vulnerable moment when no amount of everything will be okaying can do a thing to pull you out of your funk. (It's also okay to pretend it helped.)

You'll be back tomorrow, and if not by then, shortly after. This never lasts, so don't worry about worrying about it because that doesn't accomplish anything except making you feel even worse about feeling bad. You see the cycle..remember when you lived there?

I won't tell you to buck up, and I won't ask you to explain. But I will be around tomorrow to sit with you over pumpkin spice flavored coffee and talk casually how awesome this life is.

Lots of love,

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Rush of Writing


I'm sorry I've been so quiet, but I've been immersed in writing a new novel, you see. The difference between everything else I've ever written before and this time is that this time I know a little more about what I'm doing, and this time I've gained a lot more advice from other writers who are actually making a living from writing. 

Suddenly, I have a more concrete plan and things make more sense and I see which direction I should be going. 

Suddenly, it actually feels possible that I, too, will publish my own writing and maybe even sell a copy or two. 

Suddenly, the mystique has been lifted and I've had a glimpse inside the magical machine that is a well-told story and its successful novelist and it doesn't seem so unlikely. It's like when you learn the secret behind the magic trick; it loses its magic, sure, but now you know how to do the trick, as well. You become the magician, the story-teller. 

Yesterday I wrote for hours and experienced the first rush of organic writing of this novel. What I mean is, when I sit down to write a story I generally know what it's going to be about. I usually know the ending first and work my way toward it, but even knowing the essence of the story, I don't know what's going to happen specifically from page to page, chapter to chapter. There are key scenes I know must be there, but all the connective tissue between the bones of the story tend to evolve on their own. So when I refer to an organic moment in my writing, I'm talking about the moment when the writer becomes mere medium to the story pouring out of her fingers. I'm not consciously making decisions, the characters are leading me and following their own paths before my eyes. 

It's a rush losing yourself in your own story. Yesterday, my main character took over and I trailed behind trying to keep up on the keyboard. I found out she's much darker than I first thought thought and while this makes me a tad bit nervous for when people read this story, it's exciting, too, because it's growing on its own.

Later that same day...

I spent hours working today and barely squeezed out 2,000 words (between 4 and 5 pages). Yesterday's writing session wrung it out of me...I hope the week shapes up.

Here's to all the Wrimos pushing out words this month. I'll send you some of my motivation if you let me borrow some of yours.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Liebster

Guess who just got her first ever blog award?

This girl! 

(If this isn't proof I've got a healthy sense of humor, I'm not sure what is.)

I call this picture Cave Zombies, even though we're not all broken and dead looking yet. Think of it like this: We've just been bitten on our ankles and died quickly from Zombie infection, and are now holding back a postmortem sneeze, and hungry for that first cannibalistic morsel, from left to right.

Thank you Erica of Yeah, I'm a Nerd blog fame for this super sweet acknowledgement, which I humbly accept. Erica is an avid hiker and runner, an advocate for the woman's ability to pee while standing, and has a healthy respect for zombies. I already loved this girl for awarding me an awesome new pStyle during her giveaway and now she's gone and given my writing ego a boost, so let's just say Erica has officially gotten herself a new stalker. You should check her out and stalk her, as well. She's got a great writing style and fantastic sense of humor and frankly, if you're not reading her (or my 3 Liebster winners below) you are missing out on something special, my friend.

So without further ado, here it is...

Because I'm too lazy and otherwise focused on writing a novel in a month, I cheated and just read Erica's explanation of the history of the Liebster Award and the requirements that come with receiving this prestigious award for up-and-coming blogs of 200 followers or less, and I'm going to go ahead and follow her lead. Here it goes.

Eleven Things About Me
Flowing in these veins I've got Scottish, Irish, English and Cherokee blood, which explains my light skin, eyes, and hair, as well as my artistic streak, as far as I'm concerned; I'm a Floridian by birth but am growing more and more rootless the longer I live outside the United States, and this is slowly becoming okay with me; My favorite color is red, but the deep, dark, blood kind of red; I love '80s music partly because my kind of rhythmless dorky dancing seems to go hand-in-hand with the classics of my childhood; I hate glitter because it gets everywhere and I have a strong aversion to tiny, sticky things that won't. come. off. my. skin. (Sorry, my Lawsbian comrades.); I bungy jumped off the Kawarau Bridge outside of Queenstown, NZ and loved it; I zip-lined from the top of the Atomium in Brussels (an enormous version of an atom 335 feet tall built for the 1958 World's Fair in Belgium); I love dogs; my imaginary friend during childhood was an animated Skunk, appropriately named Skunky; back in my school days I looked forward to every fall because it meant new school supplies; and I'm a writer.

Eleven Questions from Erica
1. If you had to choose one food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza, because it's diverse and I will never not love pizza. Plus you can eat pizza for any meal, hot or cold. Oh, nobody asked why? Fine, bonus information for you.

2. In the case of a zombie apocalypse, if one of the people most dear to you turned into a zombie, would you put them out of their misery, lock them up in hopes for a cure, or set them free to feed on brains? (Or if you have another alternative, what would you do?)

I would chain him up in a shed behind the house a'la Shaun of the Dead and continue to hang out with him at a safe distance. I'd also feed him all the jerks he wanted, provided they were already dead when I found them. 

3. When living with a spouse or partner, what are your thoughts about using the restroom with the door open?

In real life I always close the door if he's home, but pretend I'm capable of welcoming him in during such business to gross him out when  necessary. This comes in handy when he's intentionally driving me crazy, because all I have to do is run into the bathroom and drop my pants and he runs in the other direction. 

4. Why did you start your blog?

I started my blog to give myself a place to ramble about life and explore my own writing, while trying to learn a little self-discipline. 

5. Who is your favorite super hero?

This is hard...I'll go with Iron Man because of my life-long crush on Robert Downey, Jr.

6. If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?

If I was guaranteed to belong to someone like me or Ellen, who loves and pampers her dogs, I'd go with any kind of dog. If not, a mockingbird because I've always wanted to fly (hence all the jumping from the tops of high structures), and the mockingbird is Florida's state bird.

7. What are your feelings on Hot Cheetos and Takis?

This is one of those times that living outside of the States puts me at a sad disadvantage when it comes to what's popular at any given time. Sure I can read news online, but I usually don't. If you're referring to the individual snacks, then I'm sure they're great for people who like setting their mouths on fire for fun, but I prefer to still have feeling in my tongue post-snack. In other words, I'm a huge baby when it comes to hot and spicy, so these aren't my choice, though I've never tried (or heard of) Takis. If you're referring to the rap song I just found a thousand times over when I consulted Dr. Google, then I think it's a fun little bit of silliness that was totally worth the minute and a half I watched of it.

8. Toilet paper hanging over or under?

Is this a serious question? Over, of course. I wasn't raised in a barn.

9. Do you believe in ghosts?  Why or why not?

I want to, but have yet to be convinced. Why? Because I want to believe in more than I see.

10. If you could leave today and go anywhere in the world for a week-long trip, where would you go? (money and life won’t get in your way, so dream as big as you’d like)

Honestly? I'm amazingly fortunate when it comes to travel, so my answer to this one is easy: I'd go home. In this case, home means the States, more specifically Florida (because I'm sure I could convince Mom and Dad to come down from NC to see me if I camped out at my brother or sister's house). I miss my family more than I let myself acknowledge most days and more time to pretend I don't live across an ocean is always fine by me.

11. Mac or PC and why?

Mac, but only because that's what I've got.

Eleven Questions for my Liebster Award Winners
1. If money was no object, what would you spend your life doing?
2. If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
3. If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go?
4. Beach or the mountains?
5. What's your all-time favorite movie? (Top 3 is acceptable if it's too hard to choose one.)
6. Do you have a favorite book? If not, your favorite author will do.
7. Are you a cuddly sleeper, or do you need your space?
8. What is your favorite time of day, and why?
9. What's your weakness, salty or sweet?
10. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
11. Who's your biggest celebrity crush right now?
(I know that last one is cheap. Sue me.)

And now for my Liebster Award Winners...

As a self-proclaimed lover of shiny objects, Lesley uses her blog to shine a light on the brighter side of things. Strolling through her posts will bring smiles, chuckles, warm fuzzies, and nods of appreciation. She's a writer of both non-fiction and children's books, and lends her witticisms to her posts for her readers to look upon and admire.     

This American-born lady has been a Peace Corps volunteer in Haiti, veterinarian, and now a proud mother of five. She lived as a transplant in Germany, and now in Australia where she continues her quest to figure out what she's doing. She writes about her own struggles with understanding the Universe and her place in it, as well as her children and the adventure that is raising them, weaving in the wisdom she's picked up along the way to keep her readers coming back. No longer just a Mommy blog, this writer gets into commentaries about the education system across continents and the shared experience of being human and flawed that we all share, but struggle to overcome no matter where we are in the world.

Katy is an artist living in Oregon who has spent the last few years finding her own spirit through her art. She's a photographer, a mother, and a dreamer who isn't afraid to chase after the whimsy that keeps life magical. Some of her posts are peeks into her soul, and some are fun photographical glimpses into a weekend festivity, but they all succeed in sharing pieces of herself in a beautiful and honest light. When you visit Katy's space, you feel like you've gotten to know her a little and the feeling is something special.

Dear Liebster Award recipients,
Please accept this nod of appreciation from me and complete the following steps:
1. Thank the person who gave the award to you.
2. Display the Liebster Award on your blog.
3. Post 11 things about yourself.
4. Answer the 11 questions posed to you by the person giving you the award.
5. Create 11 questions for those you choose to nominate for the award.
6. Nominate 3-5 up-and-coming blogs (with 200 subscribers or less) for the Liebster Award. For this, let them know and send them a link to your post.

No tag backs.
And congratulations on being inspiring. Keep it going, ladies.