Tonight is Christmas Eve Eve; otherwise known as December 23rd. As I once again sit at my computer, sifting through e-mail and scanning facebook, I find myself looking back on this past year. Often this is a bittersweet time. My kids are getting bigger and Christmas isn’t the same as it was when they were younger.
(I have no real complaints. It is still Christmas. It was just easier to thrill them when they were younger. The price of presents seem to increase with age.)
When I think about this past year and how little we have left of it, my first thought is “Thank God it’s almost over.” I am sure I will look back at some point in the future and think 2017 wasn’t really that bad. Yet, right now, I still feel haggard from the roughness of this year.
Challenging is a good word to describe most days of 2017. I am hoping 2018 is better.
Today has been a long day. This morning I went to the viewing of a dear mentor and friend. She passed away on Wednesday and I don’t think I have slept well since. I don’t really understand why I have been having trouble sleeping. I haven’t been racked with grief or guilt or anything. I just haven’t been able to turn my brain off. I’ve been having some trouble keeping up with school too. I am just so tired.
I have been thinking a lot about my friend these past few days. She was my teacher, then my friend. I learned so much; more than I realized. I have been reminiscing and sharing antidotes to other friends and family ever since I learn of her death. Some of them made me laugh others made me cry harder because such a wonderful person was no longer on this Earth.
I didn’t stay long at the viewing and I didn’t attend the funeral afterward, even though we drove over an hour to do just that. They buried her in her uniform from her time as a volunteer and I can’t imagine anything more perfect. After I paid my respects to her family and saw her laying there I suddenly just wanted to go. I felt sad but at peace.
The funeral home was a crowded place too. She had touched a lot of lives and was a personality not soon forgotten. I felt like getting out of the way so others could have their turn to say goodbye.
Now I have to encourage my tired brain to concentrate long enough to write a paper for one of my classes and then I can try to go to bed. Right now I feel like I could sleep for days. I hope my brain doesn’t decide to go into overdrive again after I lay down.
I know, long time no post. I did mention back in August (I think) that I wouldn’t be posting
as often because of school and such. Life is still as crazy and busy as ever. However, I thought I would take a moment to let everyone know what I am working on. It is for school but I think it will have added benefits by the time I am done.
I didn’t come to that conclusion by myself, mind you. It took a comment from one of my classmates to make me see the potential. Thanks again Emily.
“…You could add links to your possible ideas and rough drafts so others can get an idea of your writing style and interests!” I read this will drinking coffee
and the thoughts exploded in my brain like Christmas lights coming to life. I’ve had some complaints here and there that I don’t write enough about my writing. There are several reasons for that.
One is because I often use this blog to empty my brain of all the other things that get in the way when I try to write. It is my freedom space. All of those thoughts or ideas that have to go some place usually go here, with exceptions of course. This blog is me talking to myself in a crowded room. Yet, no one looks at me funny because if you are reading this you came here to see me talk to myself.
Now I have to create a new blog for school. I wasn’t really looking forward to it. I mean I have this one, amazon, twitter, a facebook page, and I have a web page. I don’t update those anywhere near often enough. Why would I want to add one more to the mix? Why would I want to do all of that work for just a grade?
Then Emily commented on my post in our discussion area, (I am going to MTSU online) and it was like the scene from Dead Poet’s Society when Robin Williams stands on his desk to gain a different point of view. My eyes were opened to the possibilities. I have needed a place to stash links to things I find online that I want to revisit. I am focusing on History and Literature at school, which is pretty much regular life for a grade and a bit more structured.
(I seriously should get my kids to guest post about how many museums and historical sites I drag them to and the documentaries we watch.)
So, coming soon: Back Stories: History in Fiction. It will be on blog spot because I like to spread myself around like that and it is something new to poke at. I will post a link here when I get it up and running.
If I ever get the chance to design a dream home, I will have a moisture proof cabinets installed. They will all be within easy reach of the sink, the bathtub and shower, and the toilet. Within these cabinets will be a variety of writing implements and paper or voice recording devices. This way I will be able to record all of the epiphanies I get while in that room of the house.
A special drawer will also be installed in the kitchen, near the sink, for the same purpose. I am guessing my epiphanies must need water to bloom. ( I am a Pisces after all.)
Today I was brushing my teeth when I realized I have been trying to tell the wrong story for years. I thought I was writing my own thing, but as I pondered all the wonderful authors that I’ve enjoyed and reflected on how many favorites have crossed the rainbow bridge, I came to the conclusion I have been writing to fill a hole.
The characters are mine. The ideas are mine. However, there has always been something missing. Sometimes I have managed to grasp just a spark of whatever it is, but often it disappears. I want that magic I experienced reading my favorite authors and to obtain it I have been unconsciously attempting to mimic them. Like a kid in her father’s shoes, I’ve been tramping around trying to be like those I admire.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is how we learn. However, there comes a point where you have to wear your own shoes.
I thought I knew my writing style. I thought I knew my voice. Now I know that I should take a closer look and maybe focus on those sparks of magic that were my own voice shining through.
I’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 remember 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.
I 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.
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.
- I prefer writing for myself instead of my class and my teachers.
- I have to unlearn how to simplify.
- 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 know 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.
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.