Thoughts

Work In Progress

I’m determined to get a blog post up today, so I thought I’d talk a little about writing.  With the arrival of summer comes an increase in meetings for my writing group.  There always seems to be so much to discuss & try to undertake; an hour and a half seems like hardly enough time to get everything done.  More & more, I wonder if I should try to do this full-time, whether that means trying to do a class through Parks & Rec or attempting to open a writer’s space of my own.  The ideas are wonderful to consider but I’m nervous about moving forward with it.  Partially because it would mean actually demanding that I get paid to do this & I still get shaky thinking about having to value myself & my work.  Even crocheting scarves for people & asking them for X amount in payment is weird & brings back all sorts of boundary issues that make me squirm.  But, now is as good a time as any, I suppose.  I’m not going to get less shy about it until I test the waters.

I’ve also started reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  It was incredibly popular when I was working at Borders in the long ago & the far away & I’m just now getting into it.  I really appreciate the morning pages exercise.  Even if I never get past the 2nd chapter of the book, it’s given me the flexibility to sit with my thoughts for 40 minutes & just get everything out of my head.  As someone who usually wakes up anxious, the three-page internal monologue purging helps me focus & makes me feel ready to deal with whatever for the rest of the day.  I’ve logically known that just sitting & writing can help improve my mood, but these focused pages have helped me trust that this is something that helps me for the better.  I haven’t totally gotten the schedule down, but I try to do what I can.

Anyway, I’m packing today & my study is slowing filling up with boxes.  For now, I can still get to a few notebooks, but all of my writing books have been boxed up & I have to make do with what I have.  But, that’s the best impetus, right?  Necessity, the mother of invention?  I hope so. . .

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Thoughts

Midweek Time-killer

Ugh, you guys…this really is one of my lesser posts. I had blogging on my to-do list today & I’m feeling a little bounce in my step due to getting some of items checked off, so here we are. The husband & I have been packing & slowly filling out rooms with boxes & boxes, both packed & unpacked. Which tends to get you in the mindset of getting stuff done & is ultimately a good thing. The extreme of that though is pure laziness that sets in once you consider the overwhelming amount of stuff to be done and/or emotional states.

But, I’m going to try to be positive & say that while my physical life is in disarray, I’ve gotten some cleaning done in my digital life. I finally finally got my writing group resources all cleaned up & organized, ready for my writers if they need them. It helps clear the way for any future compilations I want to put together & serves as a nice foundation to work from if I ever make up my mind about helping writers as a full-time job. On top of that, I also got my email inboxes under control & set up with rules & filters. I know, I know, that all probably sounds deeply boring, but as someone who is frequently anxious, the small victories of control & preparedness makes the inner crisis planner quiet down.

I’m going to have to pack my craft supplies soon. The things that I do with my hands to calm me down…it’s hard to picture. We’ve just about packed up all the books, & I’ve had to remind myself that I can still check out stuff & I’ve got my tablet so I won’t run out of things to read. But not being able to have something at hand to work on & focus…I’ll have to use writing more as my quieting habit.

Ok, well, not really sure how to end this but it feels like the end. Fingers crossed that I can keep the balance of action & relaxing in the next few weeks.

Books, Thoughts

Bookmark Monday (V): The Good China Bookmarks

Frequently while I was growing up, I was told that gifts or things that were given to me were meant to last & ‘wouldn’t it be nice if you were able to give this to your children one day?’  Going through my bookmark box, I found a few of those bookmarks that qualified.  Ones that I jokingly think of to save for company, like the good china.

Continue reading “Bookmark Monday (V): The Good China Bookmarks”

Thoughts

Writer Crisis #7258

How do you answer an existential question in your plot that you haven’t answered for yourself?

I’m doing some basic outlining on a story & have found the root of my conflict.  I’m working through the characters’ reasoning.  But then I hit a point where I’m thinking, “Wait, is that really the answer?  Is that the right answer?  Is that the answer I’m committing to?  Is that what I really think?  That’s what this struggle is & I’m going to try to sum it up in this way?”

If this was nonfiction, I would feel much more comfortable showing these insecurities, because the nonfiction I love the most touches on uncertainties in subtle, interesting ways & I want to emulate that.  But with this fictional piece, containing things I’ve thought about & carried around with me since I was a kid. . . I feel much more uncertain, unprepared, like, at nearly 37 I should have all these answers by now.  That some things shouldn’t still haunt me at this age, although I logically know better.

I really just need to finish this story so I can stop carrying it around & worrying over it.  This is not some great cultural epic—hell, it probably won’t make it into the world much past my friends.  Oy.

Books, Thoughts

Off the Shelf: Dread Nation

Dread Nation (Dread Nation, #1)Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t wander over to the YA section that often, but when I do, I always keep my eye out for something interesting. Simply reading the jacket copy that mentions an alternate Civil War history with zombies & race exploitation screams “Pick me up!” Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation takes something like Guns of the South & turns it completely on it’s head. Jane is a biracial girl who’s sent to a school that specifically trains non-white Americans to protect white citizens against the overwhelming zombie menace. While helping a friend try to find his sister, she stumbles upon a plot to create settlements in the West that will recreate antebellum laws & norms & is shipped off unwillingly as a recruit for the new border wall. A harsh reality becomes grimmer as she attempts to survive & take advantage of the various alliances buried beneath the new “City On A Hill”.

The above premise takes a while to explain & there is a fair amount of world-building. Ireland takes her time showing some of the different fascets of this new America, but things really get moving once Jane gets shipped off to the West. Everything that’s been introduced takes on new stakes & new meaning, so readers would benefit being patient through the first section. Ireland also clearly has many ideas & hopefully more books on the way to explore them, but I was so ready to keep going! Once the action started, I was transfixed & didn’t realize just how quickly the end came. Definitely a recommendation simply because its story ambitions pay off.

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