Monday, December 15, 2014

Motivational Monday


NEVER FOCUS SO MUCH
ON HOW YOUR BODY LOOKS
THAT YOU FORGET
ALL IT CAN DO.
(Valerie Monroe)

It's no secret - I'm fat. I'm also short - and apparently getting shorter at every physical. The gray in my hair is starting to overthrow the brown. And my sensitive skin decides to blossom with weird rashes and hives...just because it can.

I recall the 6 year old, the 16 year old, the 18 year old I was. I remember running around playing hide and seek. I remember beginning to stand tall and to smile freely, easily. I remember feeling attractive and seen, comfortable and confident in my own skin.

When I start to miss those good old days too much, when I start that slow slide into sadness and loss, I make myself do something. I'll go for a walk in my neighborhood or on the beach. I feel my arms swing, my legs move. I look around, take it all in. I smile - at nothing, at people, at the alligator sunning itself on the other side of the pond. I breathe, in and out, in and out. I listen to my heart beat. I let my mind roam, my imagination free to do its thing.

Sure, we don't look the same as we did. We can't do some of the things we used to, or we can but maybe not in the same way. We might need stronger glasses or a hearing aid or a cane. But if we only focus on what we can't do, we'll miss out on all we can do. 

I know, it's often easier said than done. But let's still give a shot. Let's recognize our wonderful bodies, praise our unique minds. Let's remember how truly amazing we really are. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Motivational Monday


JUST BECAUSE I CAN
PUBLISH A FEW BOOKS
DOES NOT MEAN I KNOW
WHAT TO WRITE IN A BIRTHDAY CARD,
SO NO MORE OF THAT
'YOU'RE A WRITER'
STUFF.
(Lauren DeStefano)

I laughed out loud when I read that line. Been there, done that! Same with Scrabble. Everyone expects me to be good at Scrabble because I'm a writer. I try to explain that as much as I love words, Scrabble is not about creating stories or characters. Still, whenever I lose, the others gloat because they beat a writer.

It's funny because as annoying as that is, I don't actually mind. At least people are seeing me as a writer. Since most of the people I know don't do that in "real life," I guess I'll take the recognition where I can get it. 

Let's all bask in our skills and talents, whatever they might be and however they come in handy. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

IWSG: Lessons Learned


Click here for more information

I've participated in and won National Novel Writing Month for about 10 years, and this is the first year in a long time - if ever! - where I was actually...happy...with the result. There are a few reasons for this: 

1 - I went in with one idea - a collection of linked stories - but that quickly went by the wayside when one story took on a life of its own. In the past, I would've forced myself to get back on the original track. This time, I just went with it. And you know what? I had a blast!

2 - I call myself a slow, meandering kind of writer. I'll write a few lines, analyze them to death, make some changes, write another few lines...zzzzzz. This time, I set deadlines - 30 minutes, 45 minute, 1 hour - and I. Just. Wrote. No dilly-dallying over word choice. No agonizing over possible plot directions. Sometimes I wrote three lines of description - I'll pick the best one during revisions. Sometimes I wrote the same scene in multiple ways - I'll pick the most interesting at a later date. 

3 - I usually read over a chunk of the previous pages before starting a new writing session. This time, I only read the page before. Just the one. It was enough to get me back in the scene but not to the point where I ended up stalling, flailing around making changes but not moving the story forward. 

Ah, sometimes it's nice to get a break - however small - from those pesky insecurities. I hope you all had a wonderful NaNo experience and/or a productive November!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Motivational Monday


IT TAKES COURAGE
TO GROW UP 
AND
BECOME WHO YOU REALLY ARE.
(e. e. cummings)

Growing up, I was fortunate to have wonderful, traditional holiday gatherings full of food, family and fun. After I moved to Florida and then got married, my husband and I made a point to go up North every year to celebrate at least one of the usual winter holidays with family and friends. We did that for about 15 years. But when we bought our first house, we decided we wanted to do our own thing. Those first few years, when we didn't go up for holidays, were hard. We didn't want to disappoint or hurt anyone. 

But my husband and I thought it was important for us to live our lives, including celebrating holidays, the way we want. And you know what? We love it. If we want to cook, we do. If we don't, we go out or order in. If we're totally Christmas-ed out by Christmas, we don't feel pressured to do everything, like decorate the entire house, etc. This past Thanksgiving, we ate our main meal at lunchtime then walked on the beach for awhile. 

Some people might think it's weird or feel sorry for us but our holidays have become almost a symbol of how my husband and I want to live. Our views on a number of issues aren't always considered "the norm" or traditional, but we're growing more comfortable with that the older we get. We do try hard, though, to respect the way other people think and do things, and we just ask the same in return. 

So, no matter how we spend the holidays, let's celebrate them with joyous spirits and grateful hearts. And let's live our lives the same way. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Motivational Monday


If you focus first on craft and community,
you'll not only have a much better chance 
of writing something other people want to read, 
but you'll be part of a group of writers
who have made that journey with you.

And that, in and of itself, 
bestows the most sustaining gift of all:
empathy, understanding, connection, 
deep debates, camaraderie.

Not to mention 
someone to talk you off the ledge 
during those long dark nights of the soul, 
when you're positive that no one 
will ever want to read what you've written,
and are toying with giving up writing 
and becoming an interpretive dancer instead. 
(Lisa Cron)

This is exactly how I feel about all of you.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Let's continue to support each other and to keep talking each other off those ledges, because, believe me, no one wants to see me dance, interpretive or otherwise.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Motivational Monday


JUST UNCLENCH, 
LIVE YOUR LIFE AND
SPEND LESS TIME BERATING YOURSELF.
ANXIETY AND STRESS ARE 
THE ENEMIES OF CREATIVITY.
(Ransom Riggs)

Aaaaaah, permission to unclench. 

Just what I need.

How about you?

Friday, November 14, 2014

It's Been a Long Week . . .

I don't know about you all, but this past week has felt six months long. I could use a good laugh, and few things make me laugh as much as those Minions from the Despicable Me movies. 

So, here they are, in the trailer for their very own Minion movie, coming July 2015!


Oh, those Minions! Have a good weekend, everyone!