RSS

Monthly Archives: December 2015

Rain, Rain, Go Away…

Come again another day… Here in South Carolina we’ve had more than our fair share of rain this year. Today is no exception–it’s raining like crazy outside. My street is almost flooded–the right side is one big huge puddle, and the intersection is going to washout again if the rain doesn’t let up soon–they just got it fixed a month or so ago after the flood washed it out.

My Christmas shopping is done. I’m anxiously awaiting the last of the presents to arrive today and tomorrow via UPS, thanks to Amazon Prime I was able to get a few harder to find presents for my daughter and husband. Last year I said I wasn’t going to wait until December, but I did that exact thing this year. However, next year I am going to start shopping in August so that all I’m searching for in December are the stocking stuffer type presents.

When I was kid, I so looked forward to the little items in my stocking. We usually got things like nuts and fruit, chocolate,  small toys and books, along with a small gift–sometimes mine was a bracelet, a ring, a necklace, other times it was a watch. I remember being so excited one Christmas, I must have been five or six, when I got a Barbie watch that had different colored interchangeable bands. My daddy (who died when I was seven), helped me change the band so I could wear it all day on Christmas. I loved that watch. After that, there was the Snoopy watch, the Mickey Mouse Watch, and then later on it was “big people” watches like a Timex with the glow in the dark hands and numerals. I have a thing about watches. 😀

As I sit at my desk contemplating the gifts I’ve gotten those I love and hoping that I chose the right things–I’m a give-a-gift-that-means-something-or-screams-out-buy-me-for-this-person kind of giver. There have been years when I haven’t been able to give gifts, when I had to wait until after Christmas, and then there have been years when I’ve contributed to buying gifts for someone(s) because someone I love couldn’t afford to buy gifts for their children. Not to mention the years when my children spent four-six Christmases in a row with their dad out of state (we were supposed to trade off holidays, but for a while the only time he could get off, or the only time he wanted to take off, or something, was Christmas  and I couldn’t not let them have a good Christmas, spend time with their dad, even though it meant I was alone for all of those Christmases.

I hated the holidays for a long period of time–being alone during the holidays, or being in a relationship and still feeling alone is a horrible thing. Now that I’m with Mr. Rockstar I feel differently about the holidays. Our first Christmas together we had just moved into the house about six weeks prior to Christmas, and we barely had enough money for groceries (we ate a lot of Ramen noodles back then) but we managed to get one of those really small Christmas trees, the ones that are only about a foot tall, and decorate it with one string of lights and a few ornaments. An honest to goodness Charlie Brown Christmas tree. We bought each other small presents…$20 each, but I remember it being a wonderful holiday. I didn’t care about the amount we spent, I cared about us being together, about starting our own traditions for the holidays, and because of him, and then the next year my grandson was born in July, the holidays were once again a time for celebration.

I’m feeling a bit nostalgic, but I see a few birds out and about singing, so maybe the rain is going to let up. Either way, their song makes me feel better, more positive. There’s something about celebrating the holidays with your loved ones that gives  you that warm, fuzzy feeling inside, at least it does for me. I’m glad that I’m no longer a Bah Humbug kind of person about the holidays.

Now I’m excited about Christmas. Spending time with my family, good food, and watching them open the presents that we so carefully chose for them–and it’s not about the amount of money you spend, there were some presents that were in the $20 range that I’m more excited about than some of the more expensive presents.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 22, 2015 in Around Here, Family, Holiday

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Worst Parts of Writing a Novel (or the Writing Process)

snoopy-good-writing-is-hard-work.jpegWriting a novel, especially once you’ve finished the first draft (especially if it’s your first book), is rewarding, but it’s also hard work.

Once you’ve come up with the idea, and finished your outline (if you’re a plotter), and you’ve started writing there are definitely things about the writing process that suck. Things like self-doubt, procrastination, time management, anxiety, writer’s block, distractions, and stress. Not to mention the naysayer’s out there who question your intentions, talent, and/or sanity–sometimes you’re one of those naysayer’s. its impossible

For me, the worst parts about writing a novel, other than figuring out what my actual writing process is, like trial and error with outlining, going from a pantser to a plotter, or finding my voice, are these things:

Anxiety and Stress. I have anxiety, not just when it comes to my writing, but in general, so it’s amplified when I’m doing something that causes me stress. On the good days, when I feel like I’m a good writer, maybe even a great writer, and I’m in what I like to call the “writer zone” I can write anywhere from 1000-3000 words a day. I feel good about my writing, about my novel. But on the bad days when I’m filled with anxiety or stressed out over a chapter, scene, or the novel itself I let the SELF-DOUBT in and then I feel like the worst writer ever, I question whether I should even be writing, I wonder why I am bothering when it’s evident that I’m never going to finish, or never going to accomplish my dream of finishing my novel and getting it published.

Found Picture on absolutewrite.com

Found Picture on absolutewrite.com

The Ups and Downs/Roller Coaster (Mood Swings). Like I just said, some days I feel like a good writer, or maybe even a great writer, but there those days when I feel like the worst writer ever. The ups and downs, or the roller coaster of emotions (mood swings), seem to be common for creative types. On the bad days, I question whether or not I should just give up and find something else to do with my time, but on the good days I know that it’s worth my time. Nobody said writing a novel was going to be easy, or that there weren’t going to be bad days, I have to remind myself on the bad days not to give up. Not to quit. To keep at it. And I remind myself that I’m not alone in this, that there are many  writer’s out there who feel the same way I do, whose first draft was a piece of shit, who went through all of this or who are going through it now. Within a few hours, I’ve gone from “Hey! I can do this!” to “OMG! I’m really doing this! Damn this is good!” to “OMG! What the hell was I thinking? Why am I even trying to write a novel?”  I know that there is evidence, that there is a correlation between creativity and mood swings/mental illness (depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc), which makes me wonder if this is normal. Okay, so I know, from what I hear, that many other writer’s have these ups and downs when writing, therefore, I don’t feel so alone.bonafide writer mug

Taking yourself seriously as a writer. Over the course of the past year, but especially the last few months (maybe six months or so), I’ve gone from feeling like I couldn’t or shouldn’t call myself a writer because I didn’t have anything (recent) published, that I’d never been paid for my creative writing (though I have been paid as a tutor and to (help) write or edit papers–that’s for a whole different post) to officially calling myself a writer. I’ve gone from shying away from saying I’m a writer, to proudly proclaiming it. I’m a bona fide writer, y’all.

My daughter and my husband, have both told me, and I’ve told myself, that if I don’t take my writing seriously then no one else will. That’s the truth, and I know, it but for a good while there was something blocking me from taking myself seriously as a writer because I didn’t feel secure enough to actually call myself a writer. Once I got past that point, and it’s been recently, I realized how much better I felt about my writing. How proud, and courageous it made me feel to say it out loud. I’m a writer! There’s something about proclaiming it to others out loud that makes you feel more confident as a writer, but until I got to that point it was one of the worst parts about the writing process for me. People would ask me what I do and I’d lower my head and say, “I’m a housewife,” or “I work from home,” or I’d just say “nothing.” Now, I say, “I’m a writer.”

The worst thing about writing a novel, is not being able to write–writer’s block. Some people say that writer’s block isn’t real, other’s say it’s actually, more or less, when you allow self-doubt, anxiety, stress, and/or insecurity to cripple you mentally. Perhaps that’s true, but I know when I procrastinate it is usually because I’m filled with anxiety, stress, insecurity, and/or self-doubt about my writing, a certain scene or chapter, or my ability to write–talent, creativity, etc. I’ve struggled with this for years, but over the past year, thanks to being part of a great community of other writer’s (#writestuff, #writetube) the struggle has lessened. I won’t say I don’t still struggle, I do, but at least now I don’t feel so alone. I don’t feel like I’m the only one out there struggling. And there are times when the kind words of motivation, inspiration, generosity, compassion, and/or constructive criticism are exactly what I need to push myself–to get my ass in the chair and write.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Gift Ideas for the Writer/Reader in your Life

For the past week, I’ve been seeing videos, blog posts, messages, pictures about gifts for the Writer/Reader in your life, or for yourself. I will often use money that I receive as a gift to purchase something writerly or readerly related.

If you looked at my Amazon wishlist or my wishlist you’d see something like this:

  • A writing shed
  • New bookshelves
  • A cleaning fairy
  • New camera
  • New webcam
  • New computer
  • All the books (too many to list)
  • Blueray player
  • Antique typewriter
  • Professional Massage (along with at least 10 visits to the Chiropractor)
  • Journals
  • One of those branch/tree type coffee mug holders
  • New large coffee mug (preferably writing or reading related)
  • A writer/coffee related hoodie sweatshirt (maybe both)
  • My new glasses (which we should be getting on the 20th, but will take about 10 days to get)

I realize that the Blueray player doesn’t seem writer related, but if you’ve noticed when you’re watching Netflix the descriptions are great examples of loglines, and watching movies is a great way to learn 3 act structure. And the cleaning fairy is needed because I’d have more time to write and read if she’d just come back and do her job so I don’t have to.

I could show you pictures of things like these adorable panties,

Picture from Cafe Press

Picture from Cafe Press

or have links to those cute-ass panties, which will take you to “writer gift ideas” at CafePress, or give you links to the Writer’s Toolbox or the “Write Like a Motherfu@$er” mug. If you’re unsure about gifts, a gift card to places like Etsy, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, the book depository, or thriftbooks(.com), Amazon, or Starbucks are always a great idea–some people feel like that’s the easy way out or that it’s not original, but I’d love it if someone gave me a gift card to any of those places. Or maybe a literary candle. If you type in Reader Gifts or Writer gifts in uncommongoods search box you’ll find a lot of wonderful gifts for the writer/reader in your life.

Literary Candles from uncommongoods.com

Literary Candles from uncommongoods.com

I’d also love a set of noise canceling headphones (preferably with a mic), or a new thumb drive, or a new memory card, or any of those techy type things, especially the things I’d have to research to figure out which one was the best one for a decent price. I’m not tech suavy.

If you’re unsure then try these links for ideas: Pinterest, or Pinterest.

To be honest though, most of the time I get myself these types of things, with the exception of things like a camera, my glasses, a Blueray player, etc…with money that people give me for a gift or with gift cards I’ve received, or I save up, or reward myself when I accomplish a goal.

typewriter_writer_tshirt

From Cafepress.com

For NaNoWriMo this year I got myself a matching T-shirt and mug from CafePress. I love them. Several people have asked me about the T-shirt when I’ve worn it in YT videos.typewriter_writer_large_mug

I’m one of those sentimental givers. I look and look, online and in person, for gifts that scream “Yeah, that’s perfect for _____.” I’ve been searching for the perfect gift for daughter and grandson, but haven’t found either gift yet… I’ll keep searching. My daughter is a reader, so I’ve at least got some ideas now.

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 9, 2015 in #writestuff, Books, gift ideas, Writing

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Wanderer

The Fool/Wanderer: The Hobbit Tarot Deck

The Fool/Wanderer: The Hobbit Tarot Deck

The Daily Prompt:The Wanderer: Tell us about the top five places you’ve always wanted to visit.

I thought of the tarot card immediately and decided to write about this instead…I’m always up for visiting new places, and my dream places are a variety of places: Narnia, Scotland, Gilead, Ireland, Derry, the Shire…

The Wanderer, also known as the Fool or the Initiate, and I’m sure there are several other names for him/her. He/she  symbolizes  you, the soul or person, who embarks upon the journey of life.

In the beginning, we are starting at ground Zero=0.

We are nowhere, nothing…and we have infinite potential.  We trust others, we don’t know any better. We are niave and we feel brimming with the possibilities. We are at the begining of our journey of life and anything is possible.

The Wanderer/Fool is naive enough to beleve he/she can fly, follow his/her dreams, trust others and his/herself, and pursue said dreams to the point of wandering off on the journey of life.

I have been the fool, the wanderer. Still am in some ways. I think the journey of life is a constant thing, a work in progress. A bit like Ka’s Wheel (yes, that’s a Stephen King, Dark Tower/Gunslinger/Roland of Gilead reference).

The Wanderer, if smart, allows his/herself to experience new things, embrace the unknown, not care about what others think but reserves judgement of others at the same time.

I often feel like the Wanderer, like my journey in life is a constant work in progress, and though I’m not starting at Ground Zero I often feel a bit like I’m starting anew, or going back around the game board again…

Traditional Meaning: The Fool is full of optimism, hope and the freedom to explore without any preconceived ideas or notions. It’s a fresh start, a clean slate, a new adventure to be approached with excitement and childlike wonder however it is also a reminder that when embarking on a new adventure to look before you leap, take care where you step and watch for the hidden dangers.
Meaning from the book: You have come to a junction or turning point in your life. It may be an unconscious state in which you feel the tide has already turned or sense something is going to happen. In a way it already has. Your spirit must now move on and the desire to leap into the unknown beckons. This may mean leaving behind or giving up some baggage or burden that you have carried with you from the past. Now is the time to be clear and not let fear of falling or sad disillusion with the universe hold you back. Let your imagination carry you into a new set of possibilities. It is a time to travel hopefully and open your arms to new and challenging aspects of the universe.
My Interpretation: I think if you open yourself up to new experiences and new challenges, to the unknown, keeping an open mind, then the truth will reveal itself. There aren’t any certainties in life, but if you move forward with excitement, enthusiasm, and an open heart and mind, yet be cautious of the path you take, of the turns and stops, the journey will at the least be filled with adventure and fun, you’ll learn much along the way, but being open to all that you learn allows you to experience things you wouldn’t have otherwise, and yet being cautious will help you learn from mistakes and maybe help prevent mistakes.
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 3, 2015 in Daily Prompt, Tarot

 

Tags: , ,

Goals for December and 2016

Goal-Quotes-40For the past few days I’ve been thinking about my goals for December, and next year. What do I want to accomplish? What would I like to change? What do I need to work on? The ideas come to me so it’s time to make a list:

  • Write every day, whether it is 1000 words or 2000 words, I need to write every day.
  • Writing: 750 words/morning pages, journal, novel, blog
  • Art Journal: December prompts #onebookdecember
  • Organize the closet in my writing room
  • Clean out my desk and organize
  • Get Mr. Viktor’s Christmas present
  • Get Mr. Rockstar’s Christmas present
  • Work on outline/storyboard
  • Make a schedule for videos and blog posts. (Figure out whether I want to make writing videos once or twice a week, art journal video once a week, random coffee chat video once a week, which would equal 4 videos a week, perhaps talk about books I’ve read or am reading in the coffee chat video. Now just to figure out which days of the week for what…)
  • Exercise daily.
  • Eat healthier.
  • Finish Novel by the end of January, mid February.
  • Participate in NaNoEdMo in March.
  • Get new glasses (save money).
  • Start DIY house projects in January.

That’s a good start. I’m not finished, but I’ve got some of the basics down. Now it’s time to get those ideas down in my journal and fine tune them into small to large goals, and make a To Do list.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Hauntings of Guilt

The Daily Post prompt for today: Share a time when you were overcome with guilt. What were the circumstances? How did you overcome you guilt?
The Guilt that Haunts Me

amwriting april 22Over the past few days I’ve felt guilty for taking a break from writing. After winning NaNoWriMo the other day, before November 30th, I took a break for a few days. A much needed break. I spent that time catching up on television shows, reading, and relaxing.

But I also felt guilty for taking that break. I wanted to write. I felt like I should be writing, but at the same time I knew I needed at least a little bit of a break. So I took the break even though I felt guilty about it. As the second day progressed, the guilty feeling began to subside a little because as I took a little bit of time for myself–especially the reading–I felt better, and more excited about my book and getting back to writing.

The time away also gave a bit of time to think about my goals for this month and for 2016. What I want to do in regards to my novel, the next novel, as well as NaNoEdMo, the NaNo camps, my writing schedule and routine, etc. As I went through my goals, short term and long term, I realized I didn’t have any reason to feel guilty–I needed at least a few days of “me time” so I could refresh my mind and my creativity.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I won’t feel guilty tomorrow if I don’t write, because I will.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 1, 2015 in #amwriting, Daily Prompt, guilt, Life, NaNoWriMo, Writing

 

Tags: , , ,