Be Still

walnut-tree-stormI’ve been stressed. I woke up this morning knowing I have to go to work, I have to pay the electric bill, I have to get the kids up, feed them, and make them do their school work. I have to write the other four or five pages of an essay that is due by midnight and I have to learn enough about the Philippine War in order to write a paper about it as well. That one may also be due today. I honestly can’t remember. I am so far behind in my other two classes that I am afraid to look at the due dates.

So my life has been one massive “I have to”. I woke up this morning and realised I can’t bigger-viewremember the last time I read a book for enjoyment. For me, that is like waking up not remembering when I breathed last. Before school started I would read several books a week.

As I lay in bed watching the ceiling fan, I did a playback of this week. It has been extra crummy. I was late to work yesterday. Wednesday a customer got me mad enough that I walked around the grocery store for awhile before coming home. (I had to do grocery shopping anyway.) The list goes on, but this moment of introspection made me realise something. I haven’t had many moments of introspection lately either and that is something I need.

red-treeI need to decompress. I need a few moments of silence away from computers and textbooks. Watching a thirty-minute tv show or going to local county fair may be fun, but they aren’t what I am needing. I think I am taking time out doing those things but really I am just providing more for my over-stimulated brain to take in.
What I really need is a few moments with a cup of tea on the front porch watching the leaves change. I need a hot bath to soak in and to just be. I need a walk in the woods. I need to let my brain download and file away all the things that are daily crammed into it.

If I take that time everything else usually falls into place a lot easier.

An Update

Hello everyone. Long time, no chat. I know, I really should post more often but I did post a warning about my time being eaten by school, work, and kids.

So remember when I said I was going back to school in hopes that it would help me improve my writing? Well, I have managed to learn a few things.

  1.  I prefer writing for myself instead of my class and my teachers.
  2. I have to unlearn how to simplify.
  3. Teachers seem to want long exploratory paragraphs and information dumps rather than just sticking to the point.

Number 3 somewhat baffles me. I mean, part of me understands. They want to A_picture_is_worth_a_thousand_wordsknow that you really know what you are talking about. Maybe I have learned to simplify too much? I used to read books that warned against information dumps in stories. I am beginning to fear I fixed something that wasn’t broken and now I have to unfix it.

I have to go to work in a few minutes and I have an exam tonight so that’s all for now. I just wanted to let people know I am still alive and my hiatus from my blog is only temporary. My posts may be irregular but they will still happen from time to time.

2D View in a 3D World Part 2

I left off last time with the surprize of my coworkers at the fact that I know a little Japanese. That really is just an example. I know just as much about them as they do about me, for the most part.

The people who sit on either side of me seem more real than the ones further down the row. I don’t get to interact with the others so they seem more flat. Then again the girl that sits directly behind me and I have chatted a few times and she is no more fleshed out to me than some of the others.

I write. I create characters with words and turn twenty six letters into people who could walk down the street or share a cup of coffee with you. At least that is the aim. Sometimes I fall short of that goal. As a writer I try to make my characters seem real. What does it mean that sometimes real people seem to be flat too?

Yes, I know everyone has a story. Usually, I try to discover those stories. Lately I have found myself not even bothering. I guess I may be peopled out. I have met a great amount of new faces in the last month.

I don’t think this is where I was originally going with this post but I seem to have somewhat lost the thread after my time limit explosion. I also have an annoying throbbing headache sitting above my left eyebrow that pain relievers and hydration don’t want to touch.

There is a story I have been trying to work on for months. It is just a simple short story I am writing for a friend. However, I can’t seem to finish it. I know how it should go and everything. It is all pretty much planned out. I just can’t seem to write the thing.

At first I thought it was because the main character was too flat. I thought maybe she hadn’t been molded properly, though she seems like a real person to me. Then I thought maybe that was the problem. I thought maybe she was too real life without those interesting bits you get with made up characters, but really that isn’t the case either. Maybe I need to just try it from a different angle.

Maybe that is what I need to do with the flat people at work too.

2D views in a 3D world…part 1

I will have to make this quick since my son will be taking over my computer in about twelve minutes. So imagine I am writing this with one of those MacGyver style bombs ticking down to world destruction. Also this may not be as free of errors as I would like because this is going out straight off the cuff.

Anyway, the point of this post is that I had an interesting thought while waiting for my coffee to drip into the cup. I blame my current school classes and my new job for this one. I even left my coffee on the counter, but the ticking clock says I don’t have enough time to go get it.

Why do we always see people as two dimensional? I mean you can talk to someone everyday and many people will just see that person they say hi to at work. You might know their name. You might know if they have kids or if they are new to the job, but really that just colors in the outline a little.

Yesterday at work I had a gentleman call needing my assistance in a repair. He was well spoken but admitted English wasn’t his first language so that there may be some difficulty. I asked what his first language was and he answered Japanese.

I speak a little Japanese. I wouldn’t say I know it well enough to properly communicate but if I were magically transported to Tokyo right now; I know enough to find the bathroom, order food, find the American Embassy (wouldn’t that be interesting to explain), or ask directions.

I was able to greet the gentleman in Japanese and explain (also in Japanese) that I could understand a little. The call ended with us both saying goodbye and thank you in his native tongue and me grinning like an idiot.

Japanese is something I try to learn on my own as fun. (I do have Rosetta Stone) It is rare that I get to actually use it. It made me feel great to be able make it a useful skill. I had to tell someone, so I turned to my coworkers and told them I just got to speak to someone in Japanese.

I am the new chick. They don’t know much about me yet, but they were all shocked. I don’t know why though…..

Crap, time has expired and the bomb has blown. Time to take care of collateral damage. (It’s blonde, four feet tall and glaring at me) 2D views in a 3D world.

No Brakes?

rails-253134_1280Sometimes life moves so fast it feels as if you are going down hill on a runaway train. I keep thinking things are going to mellow out. My kids started back to school last week. I am still waiting for the newness to turn into routine. I need it to soon because next week I start back to school for the first time in years.

How am I supposed to toss another ball into the air when I am not certain that I can juggle what I have? Ready or not, my time in training at work will be over Thursday and I get to see if I can fend for myself in the wild…er I mean call center. (The wild would probably be easier.)

My new job will depend on what team I am picked for. Some people already know which study-1355437_1280teams they will be on. I don’t yet.  It kind of feels like I am back in middle school; the short, glasses wearing asthmatic everyone picked last.

I still feel like I am faking my way through knowing what I am doing. I do my best and make my best guesses but I’ve had a few moments where I’ve been pulled aside and had my mistakes pointed out. It isn’t malicious. I am glad they let me know. How else am I to learn?

It’s just that I have spent a long time more or less knowing how to do my job. This however, is all new and there is so much to absorb. Going in I did not realize it was going to be such an information dump. I worry that I am not up to the challenge.

So recap: The kids are back in school. New  work responsibilities start Thursday. ( I can’t even prepare because I don’t know what clown-587234_1280they will be.) Monday my classes start. The following Monday my schedule work changes.

If I can’t manage to juggle all of these responsibility balls, then I may run away and join the circus. Surely physical objects would be easier.

To write a book…

charlie-chaplin-392926_1280When I was in school I hated American History. I thought it was boring. I thought that since other countries had been around so much longer, they were obviously much more interesting.

Now that I am older, I am no longer so excluding. For the past few weeks I’ve been focused on the American Civil War. My attention was peaked last year when I did some family history research. It was more recently that I received a book of local ghost stories that pinged that interest again.

Then I spoke with another writer who I greatly admire. I told him that I had been thinking about writing a book that takes place during the civil war. I recounted what I had found out about my family, and he said: That sounds like a good place to start. Why don’t you?

That “Why don’t you?” Has been echoing around the empty cavern of my skull for weeks.

I tried to use the excuse, “Well, life has so many changes going on right now, with the new job and going back to school…”

My inner writer answered with, “You don’t work on the weekends and part of your degree is going to be in History anyway.”

Then the dragon of self doubt raised its head and said, “Do you really think you can find anime_dragon_1024x768-634320the time to write a book? Look how well that has worked in the past. You have three unfinished novels sitting on your computer right now. And remember that rejection letter. The one that hit the mark so well.”

The dragon almost got me. Then I remembered the rejection letter it was reminding me of was the catalyst I needed to pull up my boots and march back to school. The three unfinished novels reminded me that my current way of writing isn’t working very well and I need to try something new. (Not that those three will never be finished. Two are honestly in a rewrite stage but I changed things and got stuck in the muddle in the middle. Then proceeded to wallow in the muck.)

So now, with so many things already on my plate and with so many new challenges to face, I find myself stacking yet another task on top. I’m going to write a book. Sanderson Quote-800wi

The Only Constant Is Change

doctor wibbilyThe only constant is change. I am sure that is a quote from someone much smarter than I am. I cannot recall who it may have been. It is a truth that my life feels like it is trying to prove these last couple of months though.

I lost the best boss I’ve ever had, but was able to reposition her into a ‘awesome friend‘ slot. So she isn’t gone from my life, just from that one spot. I left the job I have spent nearly 7 years of my life at. The place that ate up half of my nights every year. I left behind good friends and routine. I even stopped writing for a period of time.

I had a moment of evaluation and came to the conclusion that things were not as they indianashould be and that I was not happy. Then I came up with a plan to fix that. It sounds easy but it was not. It was terrifying. It was a doubt filled tangle of What if’s. It was a massive black hole of: But how do/will I…

Then I took a step. And then another step. I am still scooting along, one step at a time. The ground still feels unstable beneath my feet but that hasn’t stopped me yet. The changes are probably not all over yet either. I am in transitional limbo. In September or October things should feel more solid.

hobbitI have a new job now. I am still in training and have five more weeks of it to go. I love it so far. My kids are signed up for a new school. I signed up to go back to school and my classes start mid August.  I no longer work nights. I no longer have to drag stacks of totes larger than I am. I started writing again.

I have no doubt that my writing will be the slowest thing to advance simply because of all the other obligations. Not because it isn’t important, but because it is. I have to learn patience with my writing.

I get in a hurry and I often don’t do the best job I can. I want the story told. However, I also Writing-furiously[1]need to tell the story right. I need to let go of the rush, rush, get-it-done and just tell the story. It’s like turning the oven up as high as it can go. Yeah, it will cook the pizza but it probably won’t be very tasty. I want to make tasty pizzas…er stories. (I am writing this too close to dinner time.)

Anyway, the point is I am taking more time with my writing and therefore I will hopefully be churning out a better quality of fiction. As a result of this and my other obligations I may not be updating my blog as often. My normal routine has been to post once a week on Mondays. From now on it may be once a month or once every two weeks. I am not sure yet.  I will try it until I decide that the schedule doesn’t work, and then change it again. Or life will change it for me.