Bathroom Epiphanies

If I ever get the chance to design a dream home, I will have a moisture proof bathroom-759473_1280cabinets installed. They will all be withing 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.

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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.

 

to-write-1706661_1280The 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.

whats-your-storyI 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.

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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.

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.

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Changes come to Camelot

Hello everyone. I’ve been slacking a bit lately when it comes to blog posts. The truth is life
has been full of changes recently, which has left my mind foggy. It is hard to pick one thing to write about when there is so much going on and it is even harder when you are smack dab in the middle of all the changes that are happening.

Change is one of the constants in life. Things always change. Today is a big day for change too. Today I say good bye to the best boss I’ve ever had the pleasure of working for. She is off to greener pastures (and hopefully better pay).

It isn’t good bye forever of course. It is just the boss/employee part of our life journey has come to an end. Now, I hope we will stay connected as friends.

There will be more at a later date of the other changes going on in my life, but for the moment I will leave you with a poem that pretty much sums up how I am feeling.castle-195105_1280

Camelot Falls

By Tammi A. Miller

Camelot has fallen

Mordred is at the gate

The table is now splintered

And our lives left up to fate

Our Royal leader must depart

To travel Avalon’s golden shores

We are knights without direction,

Boats who have come unmoored

We will not long stay adrift

Using knowledge our leader taught

Yet a bit of worldly good is gone

Such a truth can not be fought

Our banner has been trampled

The staff broken by unnamed foes

The colors stained and tarnished

Our morale crushed by heavy blows

We still have our beaten armor

And with it, weapons sharp

We can battle by strength and mind

Though what we lack is heart

We are without a sovereign true

Without a mentor to guide the path

We must choose all on our own

How to miss mistake’s quick lash

Camelot has fallen

Mordred is at the gate

The table is now splintered

And our lives left up to fate.

From Japan to Greece

IMG_20160409_122329794_HDRSaturday the kids and I drove up to our state capitol in Nashville for a Cherry Blossom Festival. We had a good time. My son learned how to make an origami throwing star, we watch some martial arts demonstrations, and we ate too much. I also learned about taro when I bought a strange white and lavender muffin.  (It is kind of like a potato.)

We left the festival around 3pm and were on our way home when we decided to change direction. It was our first trip to Nashville and even though we had a three hour car ride to look forward to, it seemed a shame not to explore just a little more. That was how we went from celebrating Japanese culture to exploring Ancient Greece. (Well, sort of.)

In 1897 Nashville held an Exposition to celebrate Tennessee’s 100th anniversary as a state. For six months crowds flocked to hear speeches, play games, and watch parades. They also came to see a massive replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. Sadly, that replica was built of plaster and did not withstand time. By 1920 the structure was crumbling.IMG_20160409_144243004

However, the city of Nashville decided not to let the fascinating building die. Instead the created a complete replica, inside and out, of the Greek temple using more permanent materials. While the Parthenon in Nashville isn’t made of marble, it was build to the same dimensions and inspires a similar sense of awe. IMG_20160409_153927995_HDR

It is home to a statue of the goddess Athena that stands over 42 feet, with a smaller  6 foot
representation of the goddess Nike settled on her hand. (The original statue this one was model after has been lost to time and greed.) Standing at her feet it is nearly impossible not to stare up at the intimidating goddess and imagine her taking a step off of her carved pedestal.

IMG_20160409_145818225.jpgThe Parthenon also houses art exhibits on its lower levels, as well as a historical exhibit detailing its creation. The Cherry Blossom festival was fun. The Parthenon was fascinating. We all slept well once we reached home.