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 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.
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.
Sometimes 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 teams 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 they 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.
When 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 the 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.
The 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 should 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.
I 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 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.