Monday, February 28, 2011

Redundancy is one you've seen twice before...

Black Label Books liked my latest blog post so
much they borrowed it for their own!
(They asked of course!)
Now, I'm not expecting those to re-read it,
but pop over and see what they have to offer,
you just might like it!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Writing; the teacher and dicipline I never knew I always wanted

Before I discovered writing, (my muse birthed two and a half years ago, she's fully walking and talking and soooo cute! I just want to pinch her cheeks!) I would not say that I was a disciplined person, I was organized and did my stay-at-home mommy duties because I loved it. I've tried a myriad of things that would, from the outside (I suppose) look like I was really enjoying my life. And I was, there is nothing greater than seeing your babes grow into the people you know they can be and knowing that you have helped them do it, but I lacked that human drive that many with passions always spoke about and is never understood until you are stricken with your passion.

When I started my Novel, I knew that it wasn't going to be ready for a loooooooong time, and usually my fire for something would fade. It never did with writing. Writing gave me the discipline I had been looking for. It taught me that nothing comes out perfect the first time and with a little blood, sweat and tears (cliche, but give me one, we all know it's true :P) any of us could create something we are proud of.

I never knew I was searching for this, to be honest. I thought "I clean my house, take care of my kids, play with them, make dinners, set up play dates, work two days a week, pay the bills, mow the lawn...etc...I have the discipline I need to continue on in my life as a happy-ish person." But I never saw things completely clearly until Mackenzie sprinkled her magic dust over my brain and my heart. And this, my friends is not only something that can help in writing, but it also helped me with every day life.

So here is what writing has taught me;

Nothing comes out pretty the first time. No idea, no story, no piece of artwork, no exercise regimen. The bones are just that, bones. It is up to us to add the muscle, tendons, hair, eyes, teeth, the rhythm we want the heart to beat on.

Hard work is literally ripping your heart open, squishing out the juices of labor and creating something that has a spark of what we are trying for. Only with hard work are we able to get to where we want to go.

I have met those who have just started writing, just became brave enough to put themselves out there, I started in the same place. I have met those with phenomenal talent already published and well on the track to greatness the only thing that separates us? Time, hard work, and experience. There is nothing greater than watching the journey of others, while going through it as well.

Anything you want is possible. You just have to figure out your plan and go for it. Find what works for you (or me) and then, even if you have the bumps and bruises that life will always offer up with it's fists, nothing can stop ya.

Calmness. (Despite the nerve wrecking "What if I'm not good enough?" necrosis that all writers bare -- and is fleeting.) Knowing that something will come into bloom after you dust the petals off, peel them back one by one, until you reach the center, the shined and pretty little package we have been working so hard for. It will always come, if we are patient.

Confidence, I had a fake kind of confidence before I was writing, I didn't have anything that was mine, that I could say "This is who I am. This isn't going to go away and it will only get better with time." It took me a while, several rejections, many many many mistakes until finding the right formula for me to truly come into myself. To look at my skin and say "Hey, I like what is underneath, and I am not afraid to show it to others."

Fear, is nothing but a fog of fluff, you can run your hand through it, watch it disintegrate before your very eyes. It is our own minds that make it larger than life, it is the strength of our own minds that can squash it underneath our boots.

Complaints and frustration only bring you down. Problems are always fixable, even in the fiction world that has come to your head, there is always another way. Always ('cept if a cartoon Coyote throws a stick of dynamite in your lap and you can't get rid of it fast enough. But if a cartoon has beef with you...well....)

Grammar is not as scary as it seems. I have run across so many writers who say the same thing (myself included) "I don't know grammar." Yes. We do. And if you really don't think you know grammar, then learn. It's not hard or as hard as we make it out to be.

Okay. I tend to be wordy so I will cut it off here, but this is not nearly everything that I have learned from writing. Not even close.

Happy writing peeps!! Have a great day! (Oh, and I got a poem accepted!! More info to follow)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Uncertainty Is The In The Eye Of The Fear-Holder

For the last three weeks I have been fiendishly searching for a job. The thing is, it's not that I want a new job, I like my bookstore work and I am good at it, but changes in my life have caused me to need what the bookstore can not offer. And so, I am on a hunt.

I have had some luck with the job search, getting at least four interviews and another one next week. Sadly, I shot the pooch in the toe and have yet to land a job. What is funny is that rejection for a job is similar to a rejection for writing a story. It happens, it's a part of life and with each rejection we're supposed to learn something new, takes something away from it and continue on until we find out the right way to get what we want.

But what happens when uncertainty creeps up inside of us?

It freaks me out, that is what it does.

What if I am not good enough? What if I am just deluding myself, what if...what if...what if... on and on in a crazy beading cycle of negative dervishes that begs to pull me down.

(Here comes the super part)

I like my bookstore job; I enjoy the customers (fodder for fiction) that come into my store. I enjoy the activity and the constant change up of not knowing what is going to happen at any given day, I like the challenge it provides me with, I enjoy my fellow employees. I had a plan and I did not stick to it.

I am freaking myself out for no reason whatsoever.

Originally, I was going to try to get some contract writing jobs, plenty of writers freelance for contract sites and while some places are frauds, I am smart enough to know what is and what isn't. And yet, writing "test" mandated from the site I want to go for is (still) sitting on my desktop, waiting for me to finish it.

How is that possible? I set myself goals and I accomplish them. That is what I do, that is what I have done in the past and that is what is going to spur my happiness for the future. Yes, I have been bogged down with a certain amount of stress, but this is nothing none of us doesn't go through, being overwhelmed plays a big part in this. I don't know which direction to go first. I keep telling myself that I will get this writing contract stuff done...but later.... and it turns out, I'm afraid.

Fear is shivering inside of me in a tense little package (with a purple bow to boot) because I haven't written non-fiction for some time now, what if they turn me down, what if it isn't good enough, then my plan to stay at the bookstore and work from home will be destroyed so I am nipping it in the bud before I even try. What if, what if, what if, what if..... again, I have shot myself in the finger without even realizing what I did.


And so, the point! *cries of "Finally" come belting in from the peanut gallery*

Tomorrow, despite my fear, I WILL sit down, I WILL research what I need to, I WILL finish my goal! Uncertainty be damned! (It's the exclamation mark that makes it seem like I am braver than I am, trust me, I am still terrified.) I WILL finish what I started, brush the "what if's" into the blowing wind and box their ears when they come back!

I am still going to continue my hunt, but at least, I will know that I did it my way.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Change

Sorry about the teeny-tiny lil ol' print on my bloggy, here. I've been wanting a change for a while and for some reason the design template hates my computer. It wouldn't show up, at all, so this weekend I hijacked a lonesome laptop (sitting on my kitchen table) and I haphazardly threw this blog design together before the owner tarred and feathered my person (I'm still finding black feathers in my hair, btw) said laptop and person have gone for and I'm stuck with the teeny-tiny-lil'ol print I have here on the side of my blog.

Instead of thinking it's too small tho, I've decided to assume my eyes need exercise and this is the best way to do it!! (how flabby are your eyes? do they need some tunage? come on work em out with me!!)

Happy Writing, folks!

Monday, February 14, 2011


My lovely friend and fellow writer, Annie Duvall, has her debut, "Delicious"
out at Black Label books!!

Did you know that Frankenstein was the first movie from Universal Studios
that didn't come with a warning from a nice man reminding us that it was only fiction and nothing could hurt us...?
**Warning!! Delicious is not for the faint hearted, but it is fabulous!!!**

Happy Valentine's Day peeples!!
*laughs sinisterly and twirls hands*

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Quirks and Cogs Crankin, Make Up Me

Well, I've realized that my writing has stopped for a short intermission and while this is a progressive writing blog, I miss it when I am not writing. This week has been hectic, however it's all moving in the right direction so instead of writing news, I decided to share some quirks and interworkin's of me...for those of you who'd like a good little chuckle.

Turns out I think I have quite a few quirks so I thought I'd keep it to just the first five that I find most fascinating (she says so very humbly)

1. I have imaginary friends. Different from my muse, McKenzie, she speaks to me in a rhythmic way that I know is going to be a short story, novel and/or poem. These friends formed to help me through my adolescences and teenage years because I was a severe outcast and in turn made myself invisible. I don't know if they were supposed to go away, but they never have, they have evolved with me and some of them became married, some of them had children, but they are always there when I need them to dance, talk to or just laugh at me when I run into a wall that was rude enough to jump in front of me. (Yes, I know they aren't real, I don't *actually* see them, but I "see" them...if you know what I mean, I am sane, they just won't leave me alone )

2. Speaking of walls, I have a magical gift of clumsy. I wake up with bruises that I don't remember how or where they come from, but I swear that it's those damn walls of my house beating me up while I sleep, they probably have sleeping drugs that I don't know about.

3. I talk. I talk alot. My total ramblage filter that so many of everyone else has is very thin and I can't myself from saying what's on my mind (although, I do have to admit it's usually nice stuff, not bad or mean,) or just pouring out whatever comes across confusing most until they are in a head scratching contest to see whom can lose more hair or walk away from me first.

4. I like jigsaw puzzles, "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me", and I can watch Amy Paladino's "Gilmore Girl's" over and over again without making my eyes burst from repetition.

5. While I enjoy the outdoors, ie. hiking, rock climbing, repelling, canoeing...etc, I despise camping. Sleeping outdoors on the floor in a sleeping bag does not appeal to me much. Funny. Even I think it's funny, I just want to have electricity and a comfortable place to sleep. That's it. I can walk all day in the peace and serenity of the woods with a child strapped to my back just take me to a cabin or a hotel afterward, please!!

I spilled mine, what are your quirks?

Have a great weekend!! Happy writing/reading/editing/living!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lessons, plans and a little jig to get ya going...

Over the past six months, as I have stated in an earlier blog this week, I have been waiting around for life to situate itself. I am uncomfortable with disarray and have a hard time, when things don't go exactly the way they are supposed to, dropping any anxiety that I have.

Now, I previously thought I had gotten over this little quirk of mine last year, through some help with some extremely good people. However, going through my "new" little experience, I realized I was wrong.

In June of 2010, the doggie poo hit those big metal blades and spread it as far as the eye could see. Every single aspect of my life changed. Not for the worse, but even the good changes take some time to adjust. As I look back on the last months and see my major fo paux's I can take comfort in the fact of knowing while it was (and still is) hard, I have learned a valuable lesson.

Just because I am "adjusting," doesn't mean I stop being me. It doesn't mean that I have to stop living my life and doing the things I enjoy. Just because I don't like how I feel (Tense, anxious, frustrated, helpless, hopeless) doesn't mean that I have to just roll over and watch reruns of whatever was on Bravo. Instead of accepting how I was feeling, I let it rule me.

That is not saying that I didn't do what I had to do, I nursed my sick children, bandaged and tourniqueted the house when it needed to be done. I went to work and capably fixed problems that came my way. But, I still wasn't happy. I couldn't figure out what in the world was wrong with me.

I was continually moving forward, still my feet were spinning circles, Shaggy. (I don't like to be stuck in a metaphysical sense.) I talked people's ears of (close friends, loved ones, not random strangers....cept that one time) trying to physically "Talk" my way back to happy. It still didn't work. While nothing was incredibly wrong, nothing was incredibly right either.

I have to laugh at myself, if someone came to me eight months ago and told me I would have had this problem I would have told them that was their opinion and that they were wrong. I had adopted a zen-ish way of thinking, but it got buried beneath the rabble.

So, I set myself on a "quest" if you will, cooking + writing + quit smoking (for longer than five weeks) + exercise = A Happy Kara. I didn't formulate the plan it just sort of came to me. I KNEW this plan would make me feel better, it had to, that was what I was missing, the Organization! It didn't. I was going through the motions of every day life, doing things to make myself feel better, and I still had a tension in my jaw that felt as if it would snap if I tried to speak.

Then, I got a piece of advice that actually spoke to me, in a different way. A sweet woman told me, "You don't have to like it." Meaning the tension that I was feeling, the zombie-like attitude I have had towards tackling the things in my life. And, she was right. I don't have to like it. I am sitting here tense and frankly uncomfortable with myself. But, I changed my glasses.

I can do anything I set my mind to. (So can anyone, I just want to add that bc I whole-heartily know this) I don't have to always feel light, or even, like I used to. I am still adjusting and just because I have had some negative feelings/doubts about many aspects of my personal being, doesn't make them true. It doesn't mean that I have to dig a whole on my couch and wriggle myself in there just because I don't like how I feel. That will go away. But only with time. No epiphany, or activity (no matter how much I enjoy it,) will just *poof!* give me back the peace of mind I once had.

Yes, I know. It's so simple -- I thought I knew this, but I didn't, not really.

My mind still races at night, my jaw is still tense, I still don't like the way I feel.

But now, I accept it, and I can move forward without those sticky shoes.

Ah, and... the jig, enjoy! Have a great day, everyone!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Pimp

My blogger-friend and fellow writer
Aaron Polson is excited!!
He has a new story out in paperback!

(click his name to get the full synopsis)

The House Eaters!

------>Click, Buy, Read!!<------