Saturday, January 9, 2016

Small Demonstration of Love

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“She hugged her arms around his chest and leaned her head into his shoulder. She did this every night, and like most small demonstrations of love, it had a large impact. Dor felt a surge of calm whenever she held him, like being wrapped in a blanket, and he knew no one else would ever love or understand him the way she did. He nestled his face into her long dark hair, and he breathed a way he never breathed except when he was with her.”

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Where do you go?

"Where do you go when you're lonely?"

It's a line from the song "When the Stars Go Blue." It is a statement that has always intrigued me. Today I thought about it again. And in the process, got this song stuck in my head for an entire day.

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But really? Where do you go? When you are lonely, or sad, or angry, or when you just have to work things out in your head?

The commencement of the new year has brought on many contemplative thoughts for me to sort through. It actually started a couple weeks ago and my mind is in overdrive trying to figure out what I'm really doing with my life and who I want to be.

At thirty, you'd think I'd have some of this figured out by now. Some of it I do. I'm married to an amazing man and have a beautiful and very clever daughter. We aren't going to have more kids, but that is a story for another day. I'm a writer who is in the process of editing my first novel. Honestly, life is pretty good.

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However, who I am, well, that is decided each and every day. Am I kind? Do I build others up or tear them down? Do I spent money on material possessions or is it the experiences I treasure more? Do I speak positivity into my life or complain? These are all questions with answers that change every day (sometimes by the hour) depending on to many things to even try to list.

So here I am, day two into 2016 and finding myself in a very introverted mood.

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Going back to this song...

"When the Stars Go Blue"
by Ryan Adams

Catchy isn't it?

Where do you go when you're lonely and feeling blue? Where do you go when you need to sort things out, make decisions or decide who you are going to be?

I go to words. I crack open a notebook or a new document and open the flood gates of my mind. I attempt to put my emotions and vague questions into words and ideas that I can share with the world. I create fictional characters and situations to explore the depths of development that otherwise stay in my head.

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I've said it many times on this blog that if I don't write I would be insane or at the very least eternally depressed. This is my altar, it is where I go with my problems and prayers. It is where I think the best and where everything somehow starts making sense (at least as much as it is ever going to.)

Where do you go?

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I believe everyone has a talent or passion that they continuously go back to. I know people who think better with a soccer ball under their feet or a violin resting under their chin. Some go to a blank canvas that is in need of shapes and color. Others to create code that brings the magic of gaming to life. Some seek out churches or gardens. Some cook, other's travel, or sing or dance or take pictures. There is no limit to the things possible to achieve this same therapy when it comes to life.

No matter how good our life is there is always a moment that hits us where we question everything. Where we lose confidence in ourselves and sometimes even those around us. Sometimes life comes at us fast or changes without warning and we don't know how to react. We get overwhelmed and feel conquered.

This instagram post featuring One Tree Hill character Peyton Sawyer says it best...

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All we need to do is breathe.

And write. Or read. Or play. Or sing. Or dance. Or code. Or cook. Or go have a night out with friends. Or...

Where do you go?

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A New Day, A New Year ... Welcome 2016!

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Tomorrow reigns in a brand new year. I can't believe another year has already come and gone! Isn't that the funny thing though, the days go by so slow, but looking back on the year feels like it is speeding by.

I'm not a fan of new year's resolutions. I haven't made a list in years. Instead, I chose to do something a little different. I decide on a word that represents a challenge for me to grow in an attempt to better myself over the course of the year. This past year my word was confidence. Over the course of 2015, I have increased my confidence in myself and my abilities greatly. I look forward to my new challenge in the new year.

In 2016, my challenge is resilience.

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Resilience has two meanings: the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc, after being bent, compressed, or stretched; and the ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like. (

I tend to shrink whenever I am challenged. Instead of defending myself, I dodge the situation often running the opposite way. Resilience allows me to bend without breaking, building upon my newly found confidence, to be able to stand up for myself.

I also tend to feel guilty whenever I make a mistake and beat myself up about it. Resilience gives me the ability to recover and move on without self-condemnation, but the determination to do and be better.

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I look forward to beginning the publication process on my novel, which I am going to need resilience as I begin to receive feedback and criticism.

I'm sure there are cases where resilience will help me that I haven't even thought about yet. I'm excited to find out how much this character trait will help me become a better me. And how it will help me overcome my fears, insecurities and depression.

I look forward to 2016 and everything it has to offer. On the other hand, I am excited for what every day has to offer, whether it's the first day of the year or the last, a Monday or a Friday. Looking back on how quickly a year goes by, I want to focus on living in the moment and enjoying every part of life, the times of quiet solitude, overcoming struggles and joyous triumphs.

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Tomorrow is a new year and with that often comes this eagerness to change who we are. I don't want that, I like who I am. However, I can always be better. I can always learn more and grow as a person. That is what I want for the next year and the next day. For tomorrow I will wake up on January 1st, the beginning of 2016, but it will also be Friday, the end of this week. And I will enjoy the day and be thankful to be alive and surrounded by family and seek out goodness.

Live well and without fear, 
laugh every chance you get 
and love with all of your heart.

Cheers, Friend!
Happy New Year!

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Monday, December 7, 2015

My Love, Hate Relationship With Winter

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Here in Seattle, WA, it's felt like winter for several weeks now. However, technically, we still have about 15 more days before the season dawns. The temperature dropped to 32 degrees Fahrenheit a couple times now. It's steadily in the upper 40's to low 50's, upper 50's on a warm day. For this Southern girl, that is cold. Though, even in South Carolina, where we moved from, it is only a high of 60 degrees today, so it seems to simply be a cold winter all around.

Another dilemma the Pacific Northwest produces this time of year is the rain. People in general have this perception about Seattle that it rains constantly all year round. That is false. We hardly get any rain during the summer, but during winter that perception is strikingly accurate. It doesn't rain heavily, not the afternoon down pours I'm used to during a Carolina summer, but it is wet--constantly.

I'm stating this as fact because I don't want to complain. I love this area and the rain is actually extremely inspiring to my writing. However, I strongly dislike being cold.

On the other hand, I love the holiday season. I love the twinkling lights brightening up downtown, the Macy's star and the Christmas tree in Westlake Park. I love Egg Nog Lattes at Starbucks and that warm feeling you get when you come in out of the cold.

I love Scout, our Elf on the Shelf, and the fun that we have. I love the joy of decorating, bringing cheer and liveliness into our house. I love baking and drinking hot tea on a cold winter's night.

Do you see my problem? I don't like the cold, but specifically because of that unfavorable condition yields the reason I take so much enjoyment in being home where it is warm and illuminated.

I have a love, hate relationship with winter. Though, in many ways, that tension is a perspective to view all of life--a series of checks and balances, of give and take. I don't like walking outside in the rain, but when I get home and get cozy and warm on the couch with a mug of coffee and a good book beside the lights of the Christmas tree, it is a happy, satisfied feeling.

The sun setting by 5pm and the rain often make me feel gloomy and stoic, but the joy of giving to family and friends and the cheer of the season gives me joy.

I'll try to concentrate more on the joy for this month. However, we'll see what this post looks like after a couple more months of this weather without the wonder of the Holidays to keep me warm.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Nanowrimo 2015 Winner!

I did it! I wrote 50,000 words on my novel in 30 days. To be accurate, I wrote 51,664 words in 27 days. I am extremely proud of myself!

I've tried to check in a few times this month, but honestly, I feel like a stranger to my own blog. Writing had become my priority for the entire month and I successfully completed my goal, which is amazing. However, now it is time to get back to reality, at least a little bit.

In many ways, I'm amazed that I completed my goal because for most of the month it felt like the odds were stacked against me.

It was during this month that my daughter's first grade teacher resigned to take a position outside of the district and so the class was reassigned a new teacher halfway through the first semester of the year.

Then we all got sick. Zoey was sick and out of school for 8 days (that does include the weekend and veteran's day which was a "no school" day). I don't know if you've ever tried to do anything productive while being sick or having a sick kid, but each day that I put any words in that week was a victory to me.

After we all finally began to feel better, the holiday rush began. Zoey was out of school an entire week for Thanksgiving break and I had extra hours at Old Navy due to Black Friday.

Nonetheless, through all the aches and pains, the distractions and illness, I did it. I wrote a novel in a month and it feels great!

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So now what? I've completed my goal, where do I go from here?

I've decided I'm going to keep writing. I want to keep the habits I've created and try to double my word count before the end of the year. I know there are parts that won't stay in my manuscript and parts that need to be changed so having extra words will only help me as I begin to edit after the first of the year.

This was a great experience. I learned so much about myself, my ability to create consistently and a new confidence about who I am and what I want in life. I've learned that I can write and for the most part still manage life. I want to keep these epiphanies in focus and strengthen my writing habits to be able to do even more with my craft, especially as I begin editing after the first of the year.

My #Nanowrimo2015 update:
Day 27
51.664 Words Written