Life is weird. Life is also busy. It is now November. I have two sick kids who are on the mend and I really just want to take a nap right now. I slept well last night, aside from strange dreams, but I feel like I need an extra thirty-minute nap or something to reach fully recharged. I think these days that is a permanent feeling. I am always a nap away from not being tired but I never actually get the nap.
November is National Novel Writing Month. Three days ago NanoWriMo kicked off and thousands of people out there are furiously writing away at what will hopefully be a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. My friend Lori is giving it a shot. I have competed against time and life to write that 50,000-word novel in a month before too. I am considering doing it again. Only this time I think I will give myself a break. I mean I did just finish a book. Not quite a 50,000-word novel, but a book none the less.
I think I will write a book of short stories. There are hundreds of writing prompts floating around out there so I can just pick one or two a day and write a bunch of short fictional narrations that will eventually add up to the necessary word count. That is the tentative plan. I also have another book idea but I have so many writing irons in the fire I really don’t want to chase after another long project right now.
If anyone out there wants to hop on board the National Novel Writing Month train, I have provided links to the website. It is fun and challenging, especially if you have never done it before. I am just giving it a shot for fun. I know I can write a novel in a month if I need to so I am not as worried about if I can. I am just writing to support my friend in her endeavors as she runs the race and to enjoy writing just for writing’s sake. Who knows, maybe I can churn out something useful by the end.
I’m writing this on a Tuesday morning before getting ready for work. I have a new coffee mug that states “Mornings are for Coffee and contemplation”. It is actually from the Netflix show Stranger Things, but I have wanted one ever since I saw a character drinking from it. Not because of the show but because I liked the mug. I like the show too of course, though I haven’t seen the second season yet. I am waiting to watch it with my eldest child and teenagers rarely have time for moms.
Anyway, I am rambling about the wrong thing. What I wanted to ramble about is the tree in my neighbor’s yard. The reason I like my new mug is that it reminds me to set aside time just to be, to sip a cup of coffee or tea and look around the world instead of just rushing through it. I am trying to be better at doing that.
So, I was sitting in my favorite chair with a hot cup of coffee and my front door wide open. The only light was from the door and the windows because I wasn’t quite ready for artificial light yet. I heard the cicadas singing and there was a light breeze rustling the flag still attached to my porch from the 4th of July. I had the passing thought that these five minutes of my morning sound like the beginning of some sort of patriotic commercial or political ad campaign. Then I notice the gentle trembling of green leaves.
My across the street neighbor has a huge tree in her front yard that squirrels delight in. The wind this morning just teased its boughs while it was bathed in early sunlight. I waxed poetically inside my head about how pleasant the morning was and how nice it was to watch the oak tree across the street, and then promptly tripped over my own thoughts. Was the tree across the street an oak? Maybe it’s a maple?
I got up from my chair and moved to the door with my coffee so I could squint at the foliage, trying to make out a single leaf. The wind picked up just enough to toss a couple of yellowing small ones from a top branch. They twisted and danced as they fell to the ground, making it impossible for me to tell what they looked like. My morning contemplation has been filled with: “Is it a maple or an oak?”
I am pretty sure the tree is a oak. Maples around here aren’t usually so big. If it is a maple tree it is very old. I could just walk across the street and look but that feels too much like giving in.
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.
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.
Some friends of mine have been encouraging me to make a website for awhile now. I am not really technologically inclined but I gave it a shot. Feel free you tell me what you think or offer tips. (I’m making this up as I go. I am a fiction writer though so that is kind of part of the job. Haha.) http://tammimiller.wix.com/author
I didn’t forget to post this week. Well, I kind of did. I was distracted on Monday by this show on the Science channel about how they were using pig bladders to regrow fingers and leg muscles. True story. Look up Pig Matrix Regeneration if you don’t believe me. I’ll even make it simple and give you a link.
There were a few moments where I could have posted on Monday but it would have been rushed so I decided to wait a day. Then my daughter’s computer broke. (We are getting it repaired but in the mean time she is sharing mine.) Then work exploded in a big ball of stress. (Not really exploded, but the stress bomb exploded and everyone has been wounded by stress shrapnel. It is all caused by one person who likes to show up, throw weight around, and put monkey wrenches into ever working cog.)
I guess my point is, I meant to post but life happened. I’ll do better next Monday.