Wednesday, June 11, 2014

On the Other Side of the Coin

Gaps mean life is happening.  Shhhh, don't disturb it because I love experiencing life.

So much has changed since November.  I'm not sure if I mentioned beforehand, but I worked as a temp back in November.  A job opened up and three weeks later, the job was over.  After that, I didn't work for about a month until another posting came up.  With that position, I was commuting an hour to work (in good weather), and in Michigan (Northern USA, for you non-US peeps), good weather was very hard to come by in January.

I hated the position.  I hated the commute.  The job was boring, with little to nothing to do.  All that kept me going was my commitment to a friend that I would be at that job.  And the money was more than a little needed.

I hated that job so much, I cried after a week while at work.  I just didn't want to do it anymore.  I just didn't know if I could handle the on again, off again status with no vacation, benefits, anything.  And then something more than a little wonderful happened...

I had applied for several jobs over the last year.  More than a few.  I started branching out in October and November when nothing was panning out.  One job was for an Administrative Assistant position for my church in a tiny little town of about 6000 people in East Texas.  I applied.  My sister is planning to move to Texas this year (she still has yet to, but I'm holding her to it), so we wouldn't be too far from family.

I heard nothing, so I assumed the position, like so many others I had applied for, was gone.

I was at the end of my rope in late January.  All the schooling, hard work, everything that I had done didn't seem to be taking me anywhere.  I prayed so much that month.  I prayed for someone, anyone to give me a chance.  I guess Heavenly Father decided to give me that chance because the day I had to turn around after 3 hours of trying to get to work, to no avail (and I had to eat all that money in gas)... that day, I received a call from a thick Texan-accented man who wanted to arrange a phone interview.

It was a deer-in-headlights moment.  I wasn't sure if I should even call back.  Texas?! What had I been thinking to apply in Texas?  And a small town in Texas at that?

With some encouragement from my husband, I called back and arranged the interview for the next day during lunch.  The whole thing was nerve-wracking to say the least.

The interview lasted the whole of my lunch and breaks, and then I went back to work.  I got a text about 3 hours after the interview to call the guy back and when I did, on my way out to the car from work, I was offered the job.

I started crying again, in a great and wonderful way.  So my husband and I had a decision to make.  Can you guess what it was?

We moved to Texas, and for a little over three months now, I've been working at my new job.  It has cool things, like a 401K, benefits, a pension plan (I didn't even know they still had those), and vacation and sick time that I could accrue over time.  It's been a crazy and wonderful year so far.

So that, in a nutshell, is where I've been.

Have I been writing?  I've been wanting to.  Desperately, especially now as I'm beginning to get settled in.  I miss it, truly.  On the up side, I've been reading a lot lately.  And I've been spending as much time as I can with my family.

I'm also working on getting back into shape, getting healthier, and getting my energy back to do what I need and want to do.

It's an adventure!  Do I feel I've lost my way in writing?  Not really.  Not really at all.

Why not?  Because life is inspiration.  You can't glean inspiration by doing nothing.  I look at this as my research and development stage.  I see this as my inspiration.  My life, my family.

Even more, I'm happy.  And I think I write better than when I'm not.  And I think I'm more receptive to the world around me, in all its glory.

As for Texas, we love it.  Sure, it's hot right now (actually, fairly mild considering what it normally is), but I feel like I'm home.  Or at least, very close to home, here.

Writing is never better than when you're at home.  At home in your surroundings, at home in your head, at home in your heart.

I'm home.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Anti-Collaboration and a Mess of Epiphanies

So I'm guessing no one cares to ask me anything, or at least, come forward and ask.  That's alright anyway, I'm extremely shy and very protective of my work.  However, I'm ready to begin coming out of my shell. 

It is bugging me that I still have so far to go in my writing journey.  I just sat reading a book written by John Flanagan (The Brotherband Chronicles, book 2: The Invaders), and then I took a break and read some of my short stories.  This included one that was written when I was in a very different place in my life.  I read two or three of them, all the time amazed that not only had I written them, but that I was enjoying them just as thoroughly as when I was reading John Flanagan's words.

Why am I not published yet?  Fear.  That's my answer to myself, and I know it to be true.  I also know that I am now angry at that answer.  I can do this.  I can write, and I've been given a gift to write.  Why am I not sharing it with the world?

I sit and watch Lindsey Stirling, the Piano Guys, Alex Boye, Pentatonix, those harp-playing twins, and all of these gifted people on youtube sharing their talents, their lives, and their happiness at having found their joy and their purpose in life, and I'm jealous.  I'm actually jealous!

I want that!  How come I can't have that?  Fear.  It's not to say that these people never felt that fear.  They most likely did, every one of them.  The difference, though, between them and me: they overcame that fear and put it out there anyway.

It's that saying that comes back to me: the worst they could say is "no."  The worst that anyone can tell me is that they don't like my writing.  Is that really so terrible?  Not really.  You can't please everyone, so you know someone is not going to like what you do. 

Just yesterday, I was listening to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on CD as I made my way home from work.  The article about Hagrid's half-giant status had just come out in the paper and Hagrid wanted to resign his post as Care of Magical Creatures teacher.  Dumbledore, ever the wise wizard, said, "Honestly, if you're holding out for  approval, I believe you will be in this cabin for a very long time."

I already know that people aren't going to like it.  However, that doesn't mean there won't be any who do like it.  Even more, there's a chance that people will love it!  So why not take the leap and see if I fly or if I fall? 

So now I just need to finish this book.  There's a simple statement that has a whole lot more weight than you could imagine.

It's all in my head.  I'm halfway there, I just need to keep trekking, or as Dori from Finding Nemo says, "Keep swimming, just keep swimming."

I have short stories that I can try and publish in the meantime.  They may not get me much money, but they might open that door a crack and allow people to see that I'm about to unleash the hounds.

And yes, I have been writing lately.  It's coming along.  I would say it is coming along well, but first drafts never seem to want to come as easily as you think they will.  That is why editing is wonderful, and should never be forgotten.

There is nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.  ~Ernest Hemingway

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Presenting the Q&A

There's nothing like the internal struggle of creativity, real life, and being physically and emotionally exhausted to put everything into perspective for you.  The perspective being that if you don't fight through it and do it anyway, despite all the issues, it won't get done.  And no one can do it for you.

So I'm listening to some Lindsey Stirling tunes, some Piano Guy tunes, and some other random tunes to inspire my mind so that before the evening is over and bed begins to call, there is an ample amount of words added to the existing in-the-works manuscript for my book.

I've often thought of revealing what it is I'm writing here because, see, it's easier to relate if you know more details.  However, I also learned early on that revealing too much also seems to give people the notion that it's okay to share or inevitably take and do with what they will.  It's a risky and sometimes crazy catwalk that authors tend to walk in sharing enough without giving too much.

Now I know that in all honesty, who cares about what I'm writing?  I'm not even published yet so is there any hype to my upcoming work going out to the masses?  No, but that doesn't make me any less protective of my work.

Not after first grade when my best friend at the time stole all my homework out of my folder when I was in my reading group and attempted to pass it off as her own.  What a surprise it was to come back to my desk and find all of my homework magically incomplete and unfinished!  Now how did that happen?

Then, of course,  the one incident where someone took my writing and passed it off as their own.  These occurrences both took place in elementary school, hardly a place that matters once you move on in life, but it was enough to teach me that giving out too much before its time is not a recommended thing.  Even more, leaving it out there also isn't a good idea.

It's something that I appreciate learning early on, so hopefully I don't make the mistakes that Stephanie Meyer made with her Twilight series, or any other author whose work was stolen and passed off as another's.  It's difficult to undo something like that once it's done.  So why take the chance?

At the end of the day, and at the end of all this rambling, I still want to share something with you.  But I'll leave it to you, all of you who are reading my blog, because I know I have readers.  I know because blogger rocks and tells me how many people look at my entries.  I even know your blood types, muahahaha!  Okay, not really, but it does tell me when people read my page and about how many of you do.

So I know you're out there.  Do you want to know anything?  Please ask, because it might help me share more with you about what I am doing. I'll start.

What genre are you writing?  I'm writing a science fiction series, with a basis in reality.  This means it's not fantastical science fiction.

A series?  Yes, it is going to be three novels long. 

Is there a name for the book or series yet?  There is a name for the first book and the series, but the other two books have yet to be named.  No, I don't feel like sharing quite yet, but I lovingly refer to it as "E" when my husband and I talk about it.  And yes, that is the first letter of the entire title.

How long are the books going to be?  It's too early to tell, but I believe a modest 300-400 pages is expected, at least for the first book.

So now I leave it to you, do you have any questions about the book?  If you are wondering where I got the idea for the novel, I'll remind you that I spoke about it in the previous entry, The DinerI had a very vivid dream and woke up and couldn't shake it from my mind.

The dream itself has nothing to do with the story, but it inspired me to think about the dream and how it made me feel, and the "What ifs"  started to whirl around in my head and suddenly, I had a story that over time has continued to evolve into what is now going to be an amazing series.  Or at least it better be.  I'm not putting out all this blood, sweat, and tears for nothing you know.

Go ahead, ask questions.  It's no fun if I'm only sitting here talking to myself anyway.  I can get rather annoying.