Get Inspired – Go Me!


Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers. ~Isaac Asimov~

So…my writing self just got a kick in the butt. No I’m not talking about the feared rejection letter from those coveted publishers, I’m talking about…inspiration. In not only ONE form, but TWO. I have to confess, I have been slacking a bit on finishing my projects – I know, slap on the wrist for me. But before these bits of inspiration came my way, I was afraid of how my writing style and what I had been working on for so long, would be received. Now, however, it simply doesn’t matter, because I did it. I grabbed the bull by the horns and I accomplished on of my dreams…being an author. So thank you to those friends and family who have stood by me through thick and thin, encouraging me…the ever present chant of ‘keep going, keep going’ always there. Now, down to the inspirations.

Apparently, someone very close to me has a cousin who is a book critic. Now, my fellow writers know that this is good; however to those who aren’t writers but saw the word critic after the word book – let me explain. There is no better guide to tell you if your writing sucks or is outdated than a book critic. Period. Point. Blank. If the review comes in and she or he says that piece made no sense…you have that little bit of time to polish it and make it make sense. If it comes back, and the critic is asking for more of your work…you are in. You have hooked someone who can prove to be unhookable. Well…a bit of my writing was submitted to that cousin who is a book critic, actually a piece from my Guardian series. So I’m uber excited to hear back from her, to see if the path I’ve taken with the book is the right path…or not.

The second piece of inspiration came in the form of a blog. It is called 7 Reasons Writing a Book Makes You a Badass – yes, I didn’t misquote it…it says badass – by Brian A. Klems. If you have a ‘hankering’ to read it, you can find it here, on Writer’s Digest: http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/7-reasons-writing-a-book-makes-you-a-badass. Needless to say, this piece of writing has made it into my inspiration book. Most writers have them…you know that one little (or freaking HUGE) book that has inspirational pieces that remind you why you are writing when you just want to throw the towel in. Yeah, I got one of those and this is page numero uno now. So thank you Brain for the insight and the push to keep going…and the key to being a badass.

So in closing, I cannot wait to get writing again!! That is after I clean the house, create art with my son (I swear I have a budding artist over here!!), finish painting the kitchen, folding the laundry, and all the other half a dozen things that need to be done. Midnight writer?? Why yes sir, that is me!! Ciao!!

A Look Into Me (Part II)

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye and see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” ~Frank Herbert~

There are two categories of fear: 1. The fear we conquer, and 2. The fear that stays with us throughout our lives. There are two ways to conquer our fears: 1. Face it head-on and overcome – for example; I had a fear of heights, so I rode roller coasters and learned how to climb rock walls which eventually turned into mountains, or 2. Find a way around it, like I have done in starting this blog in regards to my glossophobia. Of course there are set-backs and the initial stage of “I don’t want to” but eventually, if you want it bad enough, you will get there.

The fear I face now is a little more difficult to do anything about. The fear of disappointing, well…anyone. In the past, it has held me back from finishing writing projects, it has led me to holding my tongue when I knew I should have spoken, as well as a dozen other instances. So, now I am facing it head-on, the best way that I can. Step one – acknowledgement: check.

For those of you who know me, know that my sister and I were raised by our paternal grandparents. I lived in fear of disappointing them, for surely they had lived through enough disappointments already in their lifetime…right? But then, as I got older, I realized to err is human, and disappointing someone is to err. So, like any growing person, I erred quietly. I remember one time, I had just gotten my driving license, and my parents had banned me from driving on the interstate. Well, that presented a problem, because I had to go pick up one of my friends from Richmond to attend a concert down in Norfolk (I lived somewhere in the middle of those two cities and there was no way around getting on the interstate). So I stressed about it, I ho-hummed about it…then I got into my car, and I did it. My punishment? Horrible traffic and annoyed calls from said parents in which I had my friend answer and give bogus excuses as to why I couldn’t answer my own cell phone, but we made the concert, and it was awesome for being my first ever to attend.

After that, my erring in quiet started escalating. There were parties attended, vacationing unchaperoned, nights of staying out and drinking with friends. I thought I was getting away with all these things, but really, my parents aren’t stupid…they knew, but they still let me go out and live “out loud” as they called it.

There was one subject in the household, however, that was ‘taboo’ and we did not speak about it: Our biological mother, Michelle. I remember bringing it up once while I was helping my mom teach her preschool class…it didn’t go well in my favor, so, I just never brought it up again. But the memory of me sitting in the judges quarters when I was three years old, was always with me when I closed my eyes. I remember the feeling that something huge was happening that would impact our (my sister and I’s) lives forever. And it did – from that day forward, we were under the guardianship of our paternal grandparents and were banned from trying to reach out and contact our biological mother. Well, until the ruling didn’t have any weight in our lives any longer at age 18, when we go off and live our own lives.

Here’s another tidbit about me: I am the kind of person who HAS to hear both sides of the story before I make my mind up about something. Yes, it is slower, but so much more effective. So the final few years were somewhat chafing because I knew she was out there, the other half of the truth just at my fingertips somewhere in the USA. In fact, I remember wondering so many times while we were in that state or this state (each summer, we vacationed in a different state…I’ve been to all but 3 states in the good old USA), that I wondered ‘Is she here, somewhere?’

Then came the time of every little girls life she wants to share with her mother – her wedding day. I remember asking my dad what he thought about pulling some resources and finding my mother so she could come and watch me get married. I remember he gave me that doting daddy look, and said, “I will do what I can, but do you really want her here? Your mother will not come to your wedding if she is here, who do you want to attend more?” You would think that the answer was an easy one to make…the woman who had raised me and watched me grow, but I still tried to figure out a way for Michelle to be there. However, in the end, it turned out to be unimportant, because I ended up calling the wedding off a couple weeks before it was to take place.

Now I bring you up to present time, and I can say that I have found the woman with the other half of the truth. Though, I am afraid to ask or even refer to it – what if just a little bit of it is true? My mom could hold one hell of a grudge, and with grudges come the astounding ability to think of extraordinary lies. Another tidbit: This is why I cannot hold grudges. I saw what they do, and what they can do to a person and I cannot willingly do that to my son or myself.

So, last year, I actually got to meet her when I was down in Albuquerque – for the first time in 27 years – and she got to meet her grandson for the first time. We had actually been talking online since the year I moved down to Georgia, in 2009…through Facebook actually (which was how she found me). I’m not going to lie, I was apprehensive and, well…scared. But it all turned out alright in the end. I got to meet her hubby, LaRue, who said the moment he stepped through the doors, he knew who I was…there was no doubt I was Michelle’s daughter. It was a good visit, good to ease the soul, and the mind. And to this day, we keep in contact everyday. We text back and forth…she is my biggest follower on my blogs, and my greatest encourager in my writing. The computer I am typing this on was actually a gift from her and LaRue to help with my writing process.

She missed out in so much while we were growing up, it gives me the greatest pleasure to be able to let her be a part of my son’s life as he is growing up. And with the connection we have now, I have learned so much about my other half of family. Like, health problems and risks I run…but also the fun stuff, like that side of my family was related to Martha Washington, my great aunt (I believe it was) had been good friends with Audrey Hepburn, horseback riding truly runs in the blood, and not only do I have Irish ancestry but also Scottish, Czech, and Norse.

So, taboo or not, I am immensely glad that the opportunity presented itself that I could get in contact with Michelle, and finally start to lay some questions to rest. And even though I am afraid to ask the others, one day, I know I will ‘bite the bit’ and ask, because without that piece of the puzzle, I cannot fully understand what had happened those many years ago.

Seeking and Finding Happiness

“Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it eludes you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it comes and sits softly on your shoulder.” ~Henry David Thoreau~

Today, I was asked what could have been the most significant question of all time, and the hardest ever to answer. Are you happy? It threw me into a tail-spin. How can such a small, what seems to be simple, question cause so much havoc in someone’s life? But then, how many of you have sat to specifically think about your happiness and what gives you that much sought after feeling of completion? Have we all just become complacent in our everyday lives, so much so, that our minds have tricked us into acquiring new ‘happiness’? Why is this one emotion so elusive to the human race?

So I sat for a minute or two, and I actually thought about it. Am I happy? The answer: I don’t know. I know that I am happy while doing certain things (no, no, no…now get your mind out of the gutter, gee) like…well being a mommy. I can say that is in itself true happiness, but it’s a double-edged sword. Am I happy when my son doesn’t do what he’s told or when he gets hurt? The answer is no…so I’m back to square one. Another happiness I have is writing (like you didn’t know that one was coming). Once again though, it’s double-edged. Am I happy when my plot doesn’t accommodate my story-line JUST the way I want it to? Am I happy when my characters get all weird on me? *sigh* Back to square one.

So I thought some more about it…and realized that the answer was sitting there right in front of me the whole time. Happiness is what you make it. There is no real answer to what makes you happy, because what makes you happy also has the ability to make you sad, mad, or a thousand other emotions. Happiness is in the moment and what you take out of that little piece of time.

Now, I leave you – my WordPress friends, and all others who read my blog – with the same question I was asked today with the hopes that you will also find the time in your busy life and think, I mean really think, about your happiness. Bring those memories out from the dark corners of your mind that you stashed away for a rainy day. Remember your graduation day, being accepted to that one college you wanted to get into so badly, (for some) saying I do and tying your life to someone elses, holding your little bundle of joy in your arms for the very first time, or just those great times you had out with friends who have come and gone…and think about what makes you happy. What brings you true happiness??

Inspiration and Balloons

“The jet stream is a very strong force and pushing a balloon into it is like pushing up against a brick wall, but once we got into it, we found that, remarkably, the balloon went whatever speed the wind went.”

~Richard Branson

It has been the week of inspiration for my son and I.  Since last Saturday the Albuquerque 2012 Hot Air Balloon Festival has been in full swing, minus the couple of days the weather did not cooperate.  Today had to be the best day for seeing all the balloons though.  One actually landed next to the park that is in the front of our subdivision and my son got to watch as it was taken down and stored away for the next day.  This week there has been so many colors in the sky that were piloted by people from all over the world, 500 plus balloons in total.

We have not acutally made it to the balloon field yet…the days I had planned to take him the weather held the balloons from lifting off.  Then came the small issue of a broken toe in which my wonderful son decided to gift me with.  However, we are lucky to live close enough to the field itself to see them lift off and drift in the sky.  But of course this calls for insanely early mornings with a half asleep little boy (645am) who loves anything that has potential for flight.  As he looks up at the colors in the sky I wonder “What is he thinking?”  No matter how early the day though, I cannot seem to find a better way to start the day, I am going to miss all the colors in the sky next week.

As I said, this week has also been very inspiring.  I have decided that my next short story will be about a balloon chaser, or maybe even a balloon pilot.  I just feel driven to write about what I have seen this week so I can share it with anyone who reads my writing.  So now I am going to leave you so I can start my next adventure with new characters…but I leave you with pictures of this beautiful event.

Before…and…After

“Right now I want a word that describes the feeling that you get–a cold sick feeling, deep down inside–when you know something is happening that will change you, and you don’t want it to, but you can’t stop it. And you know, for the first time, for the very first time, that there will now be a before and an after, a was and a will be. And that you will never again quite be the same person you were.”

~Jennifer Donnelly

Today I leave you with this quote. Regardless of what you are going through know that there will always be a before and after – a was and a will be. Make the after stronger and more resilient. Learn from the before and seize the day to make the after all you every dreamed it could be. YOU alone have this power – no one else.

I also believe that this quote fits well in memorandum of this day 11 years ago, here in America – as well as the aftermath and the people who are still out there fighting for us. We became a before and an after September 11th. A country that was and a country that will be. I have watched as we have slowly lapsed back into the before, but then I gain hope when I see people grab the after by the horns and seize the day.

So I encourage you, whether American or not, whether you are going through something or not…sieze the day. Become a better version of yourself. Remember changes can come in the form of groups or just a single person. Most importantly though, do not think change can only come with sadness and loss – each day is new and full of possibilities! CARPE DIEM.

Don’t Ever Give Up…

Once again, I must leave you with a quote instead of my usual post. I first saw this one in one of my classes in High School, and it has stayed with me since then. I hope you enjoy it as I have enjoyed it throughout all these years!

English: Theodore Roosevelt, circa 1902

English: Theodore Roosevelt, circa 1902 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
~Theodore Roosevelt, Man in the Arena, April 23, 1910

Light at the End of the Tunnel…

English: Old railway tunnel - new road tunnel....

English: Old railway tunnel – new road tunnel. This old railway tunnel is now used as a road/footpath in the Manifold Valley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I believe that it may happen that one will succeed, and one must not begin to despair, even though defeated here and there; and even though one sometimes feels a kind of decay, though things go differently from the expected, it is necessary to take heart again and new courage. For the great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. And great things are not something accidental, but must certainly be willed.”

~Vincent van Gough

I leave you this quote to read and think about, instead of my normal post. I hope if you are having ‘one of those days’ just as I am having, that this quote will be somewhat of a light at the end of the tunnel for you – just as it is to me! Enjoy…