Friday, September 29, 2017

NaNo Planning

I've never been much of a planner when it comes to my NaNoWriMo projects. I usually come up with a vague idea sometime in October, and dive in headfirst on November 1st, and somehow, by the end of the 3rd week, I've always hit the 50,000 word goal - once hitting it as early as day 7.

Last night, I started to panic, realizing I had absolutely no ideas floating around in my head for NaNo. Usually by now, I'll have a bunch of different ideas, and can mold them into some sort of semblance of an idea which then turns into a story, which may or may not see the light of day later on. Having this realization, I went hunting for inspiration, and I got it in spades.

This year's NaNo will be (tentatively) titled Marshall Law, and is entering the ever-popular realm of dystopia. This is my first foray into this genre, so I hope I do it justice. If I don't feel I've done it well, you can expect to never hear about it again!

So, that's where things are sitting for me right now. I've got a notebook with notes jotted down and more to come. This one will be plotted and planned to death by the time Halloween ticks over to November. Exciting!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Mayhaps...

Over the past 4 months, a lot has happened, and yet nothing has changed. I'm back to where I started in a lot of ways. It's a struggle some days to do what needs doing, but do it I must.

Part of doing what I must is writing. It's part of me to write. I ignored that part of me for a very long time, and paid a pretty price for that. It's been 6.5 years since I dove back into the world of words, and I don't regret a moment of it. I wish, however, that I could make a little more of it, financially.

So I come to you, now, to let you know about a website called Fiverr. Fiverr is a website where you can buy a service starting at five dollars. I've got a profile up on Fiverr that I would love for you to check out. I am working on figuring out more gigs at the moment, so keep checking back to find out what I've got to offer!

Thanks for looking!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Lessons

255 days.

Or,

8 months, 10 days.

I’ve got to get into the habit of writing blog posts more often. Those numbers are simply how long it’s been since my last post, and it had been more than nine months between posts before that. That’s simply not good enough.

In my last post, I talked about the diploma program I had started in April. Well, there’s 4 classes left before I start my practicum. Things are getting real, yo.

I have enjoyed my time in this program. I’ve gotten to meet some really wonderful people, who I hope will be friends for life, and I’ve learned a lot about a lot of things, but the one thing I’ve learned most about is myself.

1) I’m a terrible taskmaster.


If I don’t get my homework done in a timely manner, I beat myself up mentally until I finally do them. Not in a mean way, but more along the lines of, “Hey, you really need to stop procrastinating.”

“No, really. Get off your butt and get working.”

“Haven’t you done it yet?”

“You know you’re going to be up into the wee hours of the morning if you don’t do it soon.”
Until such time as my mind walks out on me in mutiny until I give in and pull out the books. It doesn’t usually take very long before I submit to the mental heckling, but that inner voice can sure get loud.

2) I’m smarter than I give myself credit for.


This isn’t exactly new news to anyone who knows me. I go into every test and quiz with the idea in the back of my head that I’m going to fail, but somehow, I never do. In fact, I’m still maintaining a decent overall mark on the honours spectrum. My classmates are apt to say, “Well, of course you did well, it’s you,” when they ask how I did on a test or assignment, but I still have that nagging feeling at all times that maybe, just maybe, this will be the time I don’t pass.

3) I can’t study.


I’ve tried. I read chapters from beginning to end the two days preceding a test, and absorb nothing. I highlight. I use flashcards. I quiz myself. None of it sinks in. I arrive at school an hour early, sit down and skim through notes and textbooks for an hour, and I pass the test with flying colours. I don’t understand it, but that’s how it works for me. I do NOT recommend this method for anybody!!

4) I am not the same person I was even as few as three years ago.


Things have changed so much for me in the past three years. I can’t imagine my life any different than it is right now, though. I’m in a good place emotionally and spiritually, and I’m on my way to a new career after being a stay-at-home-mom for 15+ years. I won’t lie: it’s terrifying some days. But those days are the ones I dig in and move forward with even more determination because FEAR has two meanings:

Forget Everything And Run

Or

Face Everything And Recover


I choose to face things head-on and step over those stumbling blocks nimbly instead of letting them trip me up.

Aside from these things I’ve learned about myself, I’ve learned that, well, I’m not alone. There are others out there who “get” me. And that’s one of the best feelings in the world.

Friday, June 17, 2016

New Words

It's been nine long months since I last posted here. So much has happened since then. I started, and completed, an employability skills training program, during which I regained a ton of confidence and self-respect that I hadn't realized I'd been missing. In April, I started a diploma program, my first foray into the world of student loans and post-secondary education. It's going really well, and I'm feeling all kinds of positive about it so far, but the real nitty-gritty doesn't start until the end of June, so we'll see how I feel about it then. Meanwhile, I'm maintaining honours-level marks and am ahead of the game when it comes to progress, so, as they say, it's all good. I'm working on a few different projects right now, with different deadlines for each, some self-imposed and some externally-imposed but not mandatory, which is making things interesting.

Onward!

Words are such powerful things. By stringing them together into sentences, we can change the course of someone's day, often unintentionally. One simple word, said at just the wrong time, can send someone into such a tailspin that they go off half-cocked, and who knows if that one little word was the actual reason for the outburst, or just the catalyst? How do you apologize to someone if it was just the catalyst? Will they accept the apology? Will they recognize where things went awry?

I've been guilty of getting angry over something that was actually completely unrelated to what was really upsetting me. The problem lies in the inability in that moment to find the words to explain that it's not the target that's the problem. The problem exists between my brain and my mouth. Give me a keyboard, and I can expound upon why I'm upset all day long, including the inciting incident, but don't expect me to verbalize it while I'm still steaming mad.

In light of this, I've learned to take breaks, breathers, when I feel my ire rising. When someone else's words are starting to affect me to the point where I know my words will affect them, I try to step away for a few minutes, an hour, however long it takes, and do something more productive. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. When I'm finding that it's still not working after an hour, I figure it's time reassess what caused me to become so upset in the first place. Who was involved? What did they say or do? Why did it affect me so much? How can I change my reaction? If I take a more logical approach to it, I can usually make a better evaluation of the situation than I can when I'm still emotionally charged.

I know my methods won't work for everyone, and maybe not even most people, but I figure that as long as I'm not coming at people with a knee-jerk reaction over something that is, in the grand scheme of things, silly, I'll be a better person in the end.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Death Came Knocking At Our Door

On my 'About' page, it states that my ever-faithful writing companion is Sadie, a beautiful cat with the saddest eyes you’ll ever see.


Twenty-four hours ago, I held Sadie in my arms as she took her last breaths. She wasn't quite seven years old. She took ill quite suddenly, and deteriorated quickly.

I keep wondering how long it will take for me to stop expecting to see her when I turn a corner. When will I quit waiting for her to climb into my lap when I sit on the couch? When will my bed feel less empty at night?

I know it's only been one day, but it already feels like it's been forever. I miss her so much.

Keep your loved ones, both human and furry, or scaly or slimy or whatever floats your boat, close tonight. Love them fiercely. Let them know what they mean to you. You never know how quickly they'll be ripped away from you.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Reflections

Tonight, I watched a movie that always makes me cry. I don't get to watch it often, as it would irresponsible to expose my kids to it at their ages. At the point where the tears always come, I was reflecting on how the author of the book the movie was based on must have had to work SO HARD to get the voice of her characters just-so.

Writing in a voice similar to my own, of course, comes easy to me. But writing in a voice similar to my own all the time makes for boring reading. I try to mix it up, though I know I'm not always successful. I have never managed to diverge from myself so completely as this author seems to have for this book, and I am in awe.

I hope that someday, I can stumble across a blog entry by someone, whether it's a reader or a struggling author like myself right now, who has read something of mine and is in awe of my work. That would be the ultimate compliment. That would be the icing on top of the authoring cake.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Old words

A little over a week ago, an old friend contacted me with an offer to send me some old poetry that I had sent him approximately twenty years ago. I jumped on the offer, with the thought in the back of my mind that I was missing a good chunk of my writings from my youth from my collection. I received the package last Tuesday, the 19th, and was in awe. There was an inch and a half thick stack of just poetry that I had written from 1992 through 1996 and, as I had suspected, I had lost a lot of them over the years.

I have spent anywhere from two to four hours per night over the past week typing up the poems I was missing, and making adjustments to the ones from which I had been missing such details as the dates they were written. I realized when I was done going through those poems that my digital collection was probably missing some that my own hard copy collection had in it, so I pulled out my 3 inch binder and went through it, one by one, and made adjustments where necessary and typed up the missing poems. All told, I’ve worked on 227 poems over the past week ranging from 1992 through 2000.

It’s been an eye-opener. Some of those poems were, well, abysmally terrible. What do you expect from a twelve, thirteen, fourteen year old? But the growth that I went through as a person is obvious as you read through the years. There are a few poems that I am quite proud of, in particular, but at the same time, I’m quite shy to share them. I feel that my poetry bares a part of my soul that my fiction doesn’t expose, and it’s a raw nerve that twangs painfully whenever someone flicks it by reading it. So, for now, I shall leave it at maybe someday.

Among the poetry were some stories I wrote nearly or over twenty years ago and forgot about. At least one of them has got some really good bones in it, and completely rewriting it will be my NaNoWriMo project in November, or perhaps for Camp NaNoWriMo in July, depending upon planning completion.

I haven’t written anything, not a single original creative word, since early February. It is now late May. That’s almost four months of radio silence. That’s the longest I’ve gone without writing in years. I was starting to wonder what was going on, what was the deal. With this unexpected influx of forgotten memories, words have started swimming around in my brain again, too, so I have hope that the words will flow with relative ease when I do sit down to write again.