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 There is no better guide to tell you if your writing sucks or is outdated than a book critic.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.

Another Peek Into My Writing…

“There are many great truths which we do not deny, and which nevertheless we do not fully believe.” ~James W. Alexander~

I started working on Part 2 of my “A Look Into Me”…but then felt compelled to give you all another look into one of my other pieces. This is actually an excerpt from my Guardian series (Chloe, Sylvia, Kael, and Cian). I hope you enjoy…

“…there were gently sloping mountains that surrounded a grassy oasis. A slow flowing river separated a beautiful meadow and a vast evergreen forest. The meadow grass was dew covered and she could see a small purple flower blooming here and there. It was spring time and there were new leaves blooming on the trees surrounding the little meadow. There were a couple of trees on the bank of the river with their roots exposed to the elements, digging deep into the fertile ground. Large rocks were scattered about on the bank of the river also, like they were pushed up by the current. There was a light mist in the distance, heralding the beginning of a new day. A light blue chased the night sky away with a soft purple to tone down the brightness.
While taking in her surroundings, she felt something shift and heard the trees rustling in warning. The sky took on an ominous look, scattering the bright colors of the morning. A darkness swept over her safe heaven, like a giant black bird spreading its large wings to take flight. The wind grew stronger and whipped at her figure standing in the grass – instantly chilling her to the bone.
Weary of what could cause such a change in this beautiful oasis, she scanned the border between the trees and meadow – spotting a willowy figure draped in black, silently standing on the opposite bank among the evergreen trees. Slowly, the figure moved forward, stooped as if it’s bones were no longer able to support even the black it wore. The smell of rotting flesh replaced the once pleasant fragrance of her safe heaven. Gagging, she watched the being move closer.
She was transfixed to the spot she was standing, powerless as she watched everything in its path wither away and die. The trees grew gnarled and lost their needles. The grass turned to dirt and scattered with the wind. The beings face was nothing more than a host of shadows gathered together and writhing under the hood of the its robe, as if they sought freedom from the darkness. It seemed death had found her – her day had come. She suppressed a shiver that threatened to over-take her body.
It was pitch black now, and death was getting closer with each breath she took. Watching it, she knew she would never be able to take a stand against something this dark, this final, even in her dreams. It would swallow her and plunge her into a world of no color, a world of nothing. Panic seized her, and she willed herself to move – one step at a time. Her feet finally obeying, she turned and ran, never looking back, praying she would soon wake up…”

And there you have it folks…I hope you enjoy this dream sequence of Chloe’s. Looking forward to having this one out in the market soon! I know I have said that many times before…but what can I say? Life happened, and my creation once again had to take a back-seat.

“Citius, Altius, Fortius.” ~Henri Martin Didon~

“Who am I, who are you?”

“It’s hard for people to see you one way, but you’re really the other way, so it’s kind of like, ‘Who am I, who are you?’ Sometimes, I confuse even myself.” ~Nicole Polizzi~

*sigh* another piece of paper torn to pieces and thrown away. I, as in myself, am trying to leak out of my writing onto the pages stained with my red writing pen, again. It’s alright, to an extent, I expect it…but I am pushing the limits now.

EXCERPT
The clouds cover the moon, the stars refuse to shine. She is woken from her nightmare, taking that first breath of freedom but the smoke lingers in her lungs. She doesn’t look around wildly, trying to remember where she is…she already knows. She doesn’t make a sound, she just takes a couple more deep breaths and turns onto her back to stare at the ceiling. There are no tears, they are useless…they didn’t help her then, and they make no sense now. This nightmare has been her companion for so many years, it’s like an old friend who has over stayed their welcome and can’t catch a hint. There is no shaking or quick glances into the corners where the shadows hide when she gets up, for the shadows of the past are the only ones to fear, and those are always with her. She walks calmly to her son’s room and checks to make sure he’s sleeping and not playing with his toys again. Satisfied when she hears his soft snoring, she goes to the kitchen for a glass of water – the coolness soothes her aching lungs. She finally makes her way back to bed, and lies down. Closing her eyes, she hopes for exhaustion to claim her so there are no more dreams…or nightmares, tonight – but knows that when the light of the morning comes, she will still be hoping, in vain.

She is me, I am her. There is no escaping who I am, who I was, who I hope to be one day. Truthfully, I do not wish to because all of this molded together is…me. There are quirks, there are imperfections, there is even a little craziness…but with that there is acceptance, there is beauty, and there is life. So now, I shall go and live that life to the fullest, laugh – possibly the loudest, and love those who give me love in return. For today I have conquered my past, and live for the piece of time that is this moment.

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??

I am still here…

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Ony through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” ~Helen Keller~

Hello all…it has been a while. Through hard-drive crashes, finishing up school and getting another certification, enrolling into yet another school to work towards my MD and finish my criminology degree, writing on the side a little, raising a 3-year-old stuck in the NO stage…as my title says, I am still here – though I have found some new grey hairs. To top it off, I thought it would be a wonderful idea to get my son a cat…*sigh* I love the little fur ball, but some days…not so much.

So now, here I am…almost finished the story of Chloe, Sylvia, Cian, and Kael – as well as working on a memoir of my life and a short book of short stories (you liked that, didn’t you…short book of short stories…haha). The memoir, as one of my friends had warned me as well as others, is a hard lot to write about, so some days it doesn’t get touched and the music gets turned up loud to drown out what I can’t put into words until the day comes around where I am strong enough again. Sometimes it takes weeks…the last time I took a breather, it took me a month to start back at it.

The short stories are just a whole lot of mixing and matching. Some are humorous, some are dark, some are action-packed, there aren’t any set genres…just what I felt like writing about at the time I sat to write. However, Chloe, Sylvia, Cian, and Kael will be my masterpiece. Is it just me, or do you other writers tend to get excited toward finishing a book and are already outlining the next for the series? But then sit and think to yourself, “Should there be a next in the series?” So I still sit, write, and plan…then think and stash away my outlines for the next one…maybe one day I will pick them up and start book two…for now, I gotta get book one off and away!

Update…

“You must remember, family is often born of blood, but it doesn’t depend on blood. Nor is it exclusive of friendship. Family members can be your best friends, you know. And best friends, whether or not they are related to you, can be your family.”

~Trenton Lee Stewart

I write to you sitting in my son’s room in Georgia today.  We have both relocated to good old south Georgia…about 5 minutes away from the Florida border.  I never thought that I would be comfortable here again..but I am.  You see, I was born in a big city, then I had moved to the seven cities in Virginia – and I had determined a long while ago that I am not a little town kinda girl…however, neither am I someone who could dwell in the city that never sleeps (new York – believe me, I tried, and warm milk before bedtime got real old really quick!)  But I diverse – the point I was making was that I am not a small town girl who likes to drive 45 minutes to an hour to get to a city to roam, or even just to get a Tropical Smoothie (because face it, down here, there really is no such thing as a winter…the lowest it gets is in the low 60s during the day).

I however, have not been writing much of late.  Between packing boxes to send to Georgia, getting my son airplane ready and such – there has been no time.  Both of us are still suffering from jet lag…or really the time changes.  We just had 2 hours taken away and my son wants to know where it went!  I am looking forward to a full nights sleep sometime soon.  Once I get back into the swing of things again, I will continue my writing as well as my blogging. My hand itches to pick up my pen and paper and learn what my characters will reveal to me once again…I miss my four main characters no matter how quirky they are.  I will also be starting another short story soon, one which is due by the 15th of this month, so I look forward to see what my mind puts together for this creative piece!

Now I leave you, in hopes that my update has been well recieved. Once again, sorry for the lack of blogging on my part…I have missed hearing from my friends around the world 🙂