Considering 2013

On the last day of the year, it feels like a good time to think about what has happened in my life, good and bad.

My life this year was dominated by work.  I worked hard, and a lot, at a job that I love, and fortunately I got some recognition for it at the end of the year.  We don’t talk about work, though, so let’s move on.

Personally, 2013 was somewhat mediocre.  I didn’t travel anywhere exotic, I didn’t see any new birds.  However, my sister got married, which was pretty awesome; I made some friends outside of work (which is nearly impossible); and I did get to go see my Houston friends, even if only for a few days.  As the year began to end, I also met someone who I’m crazy about; it’s very new, so we’ll have to see how it turns out in 2014.

2013 was not a good year for writing.  Sure, I got eleven rejections for Dragon and started the process of re-writing Butterflies, but I didn’t finish a book, I didn’t complete NaNo, and you know how well I blogged this year (not so well).

With any end of the year reflection comes a chance to turn my gaze to next year.  I don’t know what it will bring, but here’s hoping that it exceeds 2013!

The Gap is Gone

For many years, writing filled a gap in my life.

When they came into my life, the characters kept me company in the dark as I tried to fall asleep in my new apartment, totally alone for the first time.

Later, my brain explored their world as my body did physical tasks long since gone mindless.  Their conversations kept me entertained through the boredom of lines, their adventures gave my mind a place to wander when it had nothing else to do.

A lack of challenge, a shortage of stimulation, led me to writing.  A hobby soon grew, becoming a passion, and I was hooked.

For the past year, I’ve barely written.  Blogs are sparse, characters are quiet, and it’s been perplexing to me.  These are my children, this world one of my own making, a place I am always welcome.  There are still lines to stand in, still quiet moments in the dark, still tasks that don’t require my brain.  Where has the story gone?

This week I realized – the story is not gone, but the gap is no more.  Those empty moments are now occupied with work, with stress, with the many things to which I’ve committed my time and energy.  The chatter that filled my mind now dims in down moments; what was once a fairly level din is now peaks of intensity followed by valleys of quiet.

In searching for and finding a more challenging job, I fear I’ve reduced writing back to an occasional hobby.  I’ll have to decide if I want to pursue ways to bring it back; perhaps I’ll find quiet moments again, as this job becomes more routine, and the characters will speak once more.

Here We Go!

Tomorrow is day one of NaNo!  Are you ready?

I am lucky enough to get four days off from work in a row.  I don’t have any set plans, which I think will help with the writing, but I do have several ideas if I get stuck or need inspiration.

There are a few possible distractions, like needing sleep, groceries, and clean laundry.  Fortunately it should still be possible for me to get ahead of par and get things done in the time I have.

If you’re participating in NaNo, best of luck!  Let’s get started! 🙂

But My Apartment Is Messy…

It’s been one heck of a week.

There are several things I should do tomorrow, when I have a day off from work.  I should read the book I got from the library, especially considering that I’ve barely made it past the prologue.  I should relax, recuperate, and let my body recover from the last seven days.  I should get groceries and cook up some of the veggies I have left from my CSA.

The problem is that this week has also left my apartment somewhat worse for wear.

It’s very hard for me to relax when my apartment is messy.  There is something in my brain that just can’t sit still or power down when there is clutter on my bathroom counter or dishes that need to go in the dishwasher.

I also have trouble writing when my space is disorganized.  Since NaNo is quickly approaching, it is very likely that I will be cleaning tomorrow instead of reading or relaxing.  That way I can give myself the mental lift that comes from a clean house, and I can prepare my world for the writing storm to come.

It seems off that cleaning can be preparation for NaNo, but if that’s the kind of thing that distracts you, it’s a good idea to have it on the list of pre-November tasks!

A Short One

I am working very, very late tonight.  Real-world job takes priority over writing.

To keep you entertained, here are links to a few of my posts from July 2010.  🙂  It is likely that you haven’t read them before, or that you’ve forgotten them.  It was three years ago, after all.

The Tale of Two Princesses, a story I made up as I told it to two little girls

Playing with Words, about different ways of writing the same dialog

Here’s one about turning a friend into a mermaid, for the sake of my novel

And, to finish, the brief tale of my Cursed SASE

I’ll be back to normal tomorrow (I hope), and Saturday is my birthday.   MONKEY BISCUITS!  I forgot the Birthday Challenge AGAIN!  Too late now, I suppose.

Oh, well.  There’s always next year!

Time on my hands

I worked this morning, but only for a few hours, and I don’t work tomorrow.  This may seem like no big deal to most of you, but my schedule has been really bizarre for the past several weeks due to some crazy work stuff.   After I got off from work, I went to the farmer’s market, grabbed some lunch out, and then came home and took a nap.  A few hours later, after some reading, TV, and web browsing, I found myself at a loss.

If we’re being honest, I was flat-out bored.

I started to call my mom, but then realized two things that made me hang up.  First, running to my mother whining, “I’m bored” is something I should have outgrown a decade and a half ago.  Second, I already knew what she’d say.  Go for a walk.  Take your dog to the park.  Write.

Heeding my mother’s unoffered advice, I went for a walk.  I had planned to use my foot-brain connection to start stirring up Mara’s story again, but instead I made a realization.  I have forgotten how to relax.

Perhaps that’s not the right wording.  It would probably be better to say that I’ve forgotten how to enjoy my down time.  For the past several weeks, what personal time I’ve had has been consumed with getting enough sleep, feeding myself, and keeping my apartment in livable condition.  Now I find myself once again with time to spare, but with my previous habits all but vanished.

Tomorrow I plan to go hike at a local state park.  Nature always has a way of helping me center myself, so I am hoping that a good morning out-of-doors will realign this odd new situation.  That foot-brain link should also kick in, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll finally have some pages to show for it.

Finding Writing Again

To start with, I need to thank you for your patience.  I know I disappeared for a while – between all the work crazy and my sister’s wedding, my downtime has been reserved for eating and sleeping!

Now that things have leveled out a bit, I have time for writing but I’m having a bit of trouble getting back into it.  This is probably why all the writing advice says to write daily; when you get out of the habit it’s hard to bring it back to life.

There are some blog ideas on my bedside notebook, and Mara’s tale has begun bouncing in my brain once more.  I’m also still four rejections short of my 2013 goal!  Here’s hoping that coming back today is just what my inspiration and motivation need!

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