Friday, January 31, 2014

Anticipating Tomorrow's Meeting of a Fellow Author

I'm giddy.

I'm excited and nervous.

Is that too much redundancy?

Just a short post tonight to share my excitement about meeting a fellow author, my cohort in Broads of A Feather.  I do not feel that I'm a very social person.  I mean, I'd rather stay home and read books and write my own stories.  But for some reason this past week, I sent Carol a message asking what she thought of the two of us meeting.  Obviously she thought it was a great idea.

And of course I'm a bit nervous.  I mean, I'm meeting a new person.  A virtual stranger!  Granted, we've been friends on Facebook for a while now and have chatted here and there.  But to meet her in person...ooooohhhhhhhh!!!!!  Inside I am jumping up and down!

I will of course be blogging about the actual meeting and our plans after the fact as well.  For now I'm going to keep this short, and I'm not going to post a picture like usual, because my computer is being extra cantankerous tonight.  (Maybe it's still feeling the cold?)

2014 ~ One Month Down!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Honesty, Transparency, and Facebook

When it comes to honesty and transparency on the internet, specifically Facebook:  how much is too much?

Everyone will have a different opinion.  "You don't have to share everything on Facebook." is a sentence I hear a lot in my home.  To which I usually reply, "Why not?  I have nothing to hide."  After last Saturday night, I'm pretty sure there's nothing left to hide!

Was it a mistake to be on Facebook while drinking?  Maybe, but on the flip side of that I had some great friends who weathered the storm with me and are very forgiving.  I am not a heavy drinker, and it doesn't take much for me to start slurring my words and walking wobbly.  And Saturday I had considerably more than a little.  I had an emotional meltdown online.  Looking back at some of the conversations I had that night, I was coming unhinged!  I really do have some awesome friends who care about me.

And I don't even want to talk about the typos.  Just "omg" is all I'll say on that matter!

Part of me is embarrassed.  I said things that I normally would have left floating in my head.  Or rather, I wrote them.  I usually tend to over think - well, everything - and that is actually one of my biggest personal character flaws:  I hold too much inside - and so every once in a while, I spew.  Add wine to that, and it's a full blown lava flow.
my own personal truth serum...  :/

Add to that I'm trying to establish an online presence as an author, kind of making myself a public figure.  I'm not very "famous", and don't expect to be, although it could very well happen.  And so I should be more responsible, because we expect our public figures to be perfect.  This is why so many 'smart' ones stay out of social media (Chris Pine), and even those who do come on the internet - they don't say much.  I've only seen a few tweets from Stephen King.  Same with Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker.

But the flip side to all that, is why should I be embarrassed by my humanity?  So I'm having problems right now - who doesn't?  And so I might maybe be having trouble dealing with them well - no one does that all the time!  I've always been open and honest about my feelings and the problems I have.  Of course, it did get me into a lot of trouble in my old church.  I was labeled "emotional" as though it was a bad word.  Hey, I've read the same bible they do and God and Jesus both seem to be pretty emotional to me.  Jesus routinely had to "flee" from people and get by Himself, and He wasn't afraid to cry, in public.  Of course, we always over-spiritualize it: it's okay for Him to do those things, He's Jesus.  We're only supposed to follow His example up to a point.  We're only supposed to model the happy but serious Jesus.

But I digress.  One thing I don't want to do is get tangled in religious differences here.  Or political.  I'm a storyteller though, and I tend to tell stories mostly on myself.

One thing people will get from me, regardless of whether it's 'wise' or not, is going to be honesty and transparency.  I have no problem being "real" here.  I think more is needed on the internet, and Facebook (don't 'friend' me just to sell me something, that irritates me).  I may not always tell you every detail, out of respect for others involved, but when it comes to myself - I have no problem laying it all out.  If David Hayward is the nakedpastor, then I guess I'll be a "naked author"!  I'm not even going to google that to see if it's already used!

It may not always be pretty, but it'll be real.  And my blog description does say that this is about my "adventure" into self publication.  And trust me, this is all connected.  I'm kind of in the crappy part of the adventure at the moment, but no adventure is all flowers and champagne!

2014 - Can Change Its Tune Any Time Now

Saturday, January 25, 2014

You had me at "What do you like to read?"

With all the things I've been worrying about recently, work has been hard.  Oh, not the actual job.  That's not any harder than usual.  I just feel so trapped for those 8-9 hours when I have so much time to think.  And think.  And rehash this, and rehash that.  I feel like I'm stuck in a Star Trek Recursive Casuality Loop - I'm not literally repeating the same events over and over again, but I am mentally.  And I hate it.

My line leader at work Carissa unknowingly pulled me out of one just this past week.  With one of the best questions a person can ask a writer:  "So, what do you like to read?"

I'm sure my face must have lit right up!  It started a great discussion on books that lasted several minutes.  We talked about the different genres and what books we'd read and which we hadn't.  I was amused to learn that she had read only two of the Fifty Shades of Grey novels, while I haven't read any.  I shared that I love big books, and of course she'd never heard of the Wheel of Time series; which was fair because I didn't recognize some of the authors she mentioned either.  Sadly I don't even recall the names she mentioned aside from them being female - one reason why I hate working in a noisy environment is that it makes these conversations twice the challenge!  One book we both had read was Joe Hill's "Heart Shaped Box" - which we both agreed was a good book that scared the pooh out of us!

It's always nice to talk about books.  I even like talking about books I've never read, because another
I really do need a bigger bookshelf...
readers opinion can sway me to check it out or avoid it completely.  And you can learn so much about people by the books on their shelves (I'm apparently a schizophrenic romantic princess living in space judging by my wide array of books, which really needs to expand!)

Another co-worker, Maggie, really picked my day up by talking to me about my own book.  She had told me earlier that she'd downloaded it on her Kindle, and in this conversation she was telling how she was halfway through and she was liking it.  And then she asked me if I planned on writing any more books - which is another great question to ask a writer!  So I was once again distracted by answering yes and how I have the beginning and end of book two written, while I have the middle of book three written; as well as bits and pieces of the fourth and fifth.  I do things so backwards sometimes!  It usually works for me.

Also this week there was a small dialogue on a Facebook thread concerning my shared blog Broads of a Feather and my book.  It started out concerning a technical difficulty with the blog's comments, which I've fixed so that anyone can comment (which I'll have to double check for this blog!) but there was some conversation about the blog post and my book.  It's always a bit of a rush.

It's part of the reason why I blog.  Not just to say 'here's my book, buy it!' but to just talk about books in general, share some of my trials as I try to write the rest of the series while trying to get that first book noticed.  It's not easy, and self publishing should never be viewed as easier than traditional publishing. Tweet it...   I mean, yeah I've bypassed rejection letters from agents and publishers this way - and opened myself to mass rejection by the readers, which is way worse in my opinion.  Thankfully I haven't had to face that yet.

There's a first time for everything though, and I'm sure you'll all hear about it when it happens!

2014 - Back On Course

Monday, January 20, 2014

Easier to be Social in an Imaginary World

Or is it?

For me it is.

Today I read a short article by +Jeff Roach about how to be social online when being social doesn't come naturally to a person. It was good; his advice in a nutshell was that if you don't have a lot to say, then share what means something to you.  Like articles.
My window into a larger world.

My thing is that I have an easier time "talking" here online than in person.  In person I trip over my tongue, sputter, and oddly enough I suck at telling stories.  The written word is my best way to speak.  I can edit and delete (if I'm smart enough to) and get my sentences "just right".  This sentence can go 'here' - or wait, would it make more sense down 'here'?

And when it comes to talking to people, the same applies.  There is something about removing the face to face eye contact that makes it easier for me to decide what is best to say.  There's less pressure.  Unless I know them quite well, and even then - well, if I say what I'm really thinking, would they still want to be my friend?

I love being online.  I love "meeting" people that I ordinarily wouldn't.  My computer and my iPhone are a window into a larger world.  Where in the real world I am probably far too timid, here on the internet I get to be a bold lion.  And it has gotten me in trouble a time or two!  But the lessons I've learned by my mistakes have been invaluable!

2014 ~ Full Speed Ahead - just watch out for those bumps in the road!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Two Frustrating Days Caused Me To Go Offline

Frustration upon frustration!  Doctor's appointments and tax appointments!

Not only did I not post here, but I didn't get my post on Broads of a Feather done.  I haven't been on Google+, or Twitter.  I've posted a few things on Facebook, reaching out to friends and trying to de-stress.  And I didn't always make good decisions, but hey we're all human - ish.
Tired but adorable :)

Time has not been my friend since Thursday afternoon.  Getting mother to the doctor's was no problem, and when I had barely say down to check my Facebook notifications and they called us back, I figured it was going to be a quick and easy in and out appointment.  Not so fast there!  An hour later I was ready to crawl up the walls as the doctor still had not made his appearance.  Only to learn he wouldn't do anything for her except change her medicines. Friday's appointment went smoother, but I still didn't get home until almost the same time that I did Thursday night.  So tired I was ready to cry.

No, wait - I did cry.  Nevermind!  

I did have a short work day morning yesterday, and the hubby wanted to hang out for a while after I got home.  That's always nice.  And I did get on the computer later in the evening with the intent of writing, but my Facebook addiction got in the way. Facebook and I have a very love/hate relationship - kind of like me and my iPhone!  I only have it open on my phone at the moment, and that's easier to ignore.

I'm not sure if things are stabilizing out in my life, or if it's just a brief lull.  Those happen and I never trust them.  I intend on making the most of it though.  There's no telling how long it's going to last.

Sometimes there are too many things in life to balance.

Going to go work on my other blog post now.

2014 - Back After These Messages

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Realizing I Might Not Be Clear

Sometimes I forget that you all can't see through your computer screen and see what I'm trying to say.  I realized this today.

I know that I've commented and maybe complained quite a bit about my husband's noisy gaming - but failed
Does this do funny things to your eyes?  This is how I feel!
to mention that this is in the same room as our computer.  Maybe this is self explanatory to some, but that doesn't mean it is to everyone and really I ought to be more clear.  We are probably maybe six feet apart from each other.

It is cramped quarters to be sure.  It would be worse had he not knocked the wall out a few years ago.  One of many projects he has started but never finished.  I sit almost in the spot where the old closet used to be!  I did give much thought today about rearranging our rooms, but if I do that it won't be until the weekend.  If we don't work on Saturday.  There were ????'s on the schedule today - ugh!

He's not always noisy when he plays; it's when he's in an Xbox Live party and they're all chatting and planning and squabbling like the children they tend to act like.  Most of his friends are over eighteen, but not all.  There are a few teens in the group.  But that doesn't mean anything!  I swear, when I drove school bus seven some years ago, those kids were better behaved than some of this crew!

I have a few things in mind for tomorrow's post on Broads of a Feather.  Just a reminder that I won't be posting here tomorrow.  I might even write it out by hand tonight, so all I have to do is copy it over.  It's a little easier that way.  I actually printed off a few pages of my story and took them into work with me today to work on during breaks.  I didn't get anything new written yet, but I did do some editing and reworded a few sentences.  There's a possibility that I'll just be signing off the computer in a few minutes and just take my papers down to the bedroom and write there.  Heck, most of the first book was written in notebooks on break at the Manor when I worked as a nurse's aide!

Whatever it takes, right?

2014 ~ Full Speed Ahead

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Learning to Balancing Work, Home, and Hobby

I was not writing when I met my husband.

Nothing fictional, at least.  Just the random odd poem.  Which for me is nowhere near as consuming as fiction writing.  With poetry, I just poor out whatever it is I am feeling and it's done.  With fiction, it's world creating ~ It's intrigue and drama and romance ~ It draws me into my characters thoughts, emotions, dreams, and fears!  My characters are so real to me!

So when I downloaded my rough draft of Farmer's Daughter early last year and was totally consumed by it, he was - not surprised exactly, but it was something new to him.  While he supports me in my writing, I'm not sure it's something he completely understands.  You might understand me when I say 'consumed', especially if you're a fellow writer or reader.  But he's not and he always looks a little confused when I talk about it.  We've argued about how much time I spend on the computer a few times, and he always throws my own lines back at me about getting out and living life and not rotting on the Xbox.  Hmm, not sure they compare and I feel after ten years of writer's block I'm entitled to a break from "real life".

But I value my relationship with him, so I try to balance my time on the computer with the rest of life.  It's hard when he doesn't cooperate!

It shouldn't be hard: balancing work, home, and the hobby I'm trying to turn into a career.

I mean, yes, I work a full time job.  Only 40 hours during a good week, but we haven't really had too many of those since they consolidated the first and second shifts of my department.  45 hours has become our norm; although the cold weather gave us an unusually short week last week.  That translates into 9 hours days.  Like so many, I come home tired and not wanting to do anything.

Did I mention she was cute too???
Home is just my husband and I, and our hyper and attention loving dog Jaclyn.  I do the bulk of the chores, when I feel like it.  Mostly I just come home, walk the dog, eat my supper, and go on the computer.  Not that I always get much accomplished.  At least at this moment as I write this I only have to deal with his conversation over the Xbox and not his comedy channel on his Pandora radio app.  The comedy channel is like a TV show - it sucks me right in and I get distracted.  Sometimes because it's actually funny.  Other times the humor is just insolent and it makes me angry.

And now my author friend and I are undertaking our joint "Broads of a Feather" venture.  Which by the way, she put her post up today!  I will probably post on Thursday and drop posting here on that day.  I will make that decision for sure tomorrow and include it in tomorrow's post.  It will be exciting when we have more members to our group!  More writers to chat with, share ideas with, and just have fun together!

One way or another, I will learn this balancing act.  Even if it means quieting the hubby with duct tape or shutting off the power again. ;)  There are many things he could do to help me, but I'm afraid that as much as he 'supports' me - I'm on my own.  If I succeed, then great.  If not, oh well.

But see, I'm set on succeeding!  I'm set on proving every naysayer in my life wrong.  Because I know that I can do this.  I can see my dream become a reality, and become even more than I expected.  Because I'm a writer, I'm also a dreamer.

And I dream pretty big.

2014 - Full Speed Ahead!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Tomorrow's Post

Tomorrow's post will be about balancing work and home and hobby as I try to turn that hobby into a career.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Pizza, Wine, and a Movie Make for an Interesting Recharging Weekend

I'm not sure who found last night more interesting, my husband or my friends on Facebook.

One way I recharge my brain is to stop using it.  It is just like any muscle and gets tired and needs to rest once in a while, something my 11th grade English teacher agreed with me on once.  So Friday night, I watched my beloved CSI: NY on Netflix and just relaxed my brain.

Relationships are tricky things.  When I realized how my Saturday was going to go, I left my computer and retreated to my bedroom and TV again.  Watched a movie on Netflix, which did not live up to my expectations.  I was expecting Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters to be - better.  I don't know, it just felt like a caricature and didn't have any real depth.  But that's just my opinion.  And I really had a problem with how the women were treated.  Maybe appropriate for the apparent time period, but man it really made me angry!

And when things in the other end of the house hadn't improved, I went on a quick shopping trip and picked up a pizza and a Chris Pine movie (This Means Warwhich was okay, again not as good as I was expecting, but it wasn't as big of a let down as the other movie) and bottle of wine.  And once again retreated into my bedroom.

I don't drink often, and have only been drunk a hand full of times in my life.  Which since I didn't start drinking at all until I was 30, I'm not sure if that's impressive or not.  But I deliberately got drunk, knowing that it would lower my inhibitions enough to say and do things that would get my husband's attention.  Thinking my flipping the main power breaker to our house kind of did the trick.

Of course, the entire time I was drinking I was on Facebook making silly statuses and leaving hilarious comments on other's statuses.  It is probably the best time I've ever had while drinking!

Thankfully I didn't have a bad hangover this morning.  My head felt a little fuzzy for a while but it didn't really hurt.  I never threw up, though I felt like passing out about 2:30/3 in the morning.  Which was a little odd, but it passed.

I've also felt really tired today, and I think I napped from about 10:30 to noon.  And when I woke up from that nap, I don't know - I just felt better mentally.  I finished the new scenes that I tried starting yesterday.

While it wasn't something I had planned on doing, it did work.  I don't know that it's something I would recommend for others, or even try again!  Sometimes doing something out of the ordinary is just what a person needs, but that's going to be something different for each person.

Back to working on my story!

2014 ~ Full Speed Ahead

Friday, January 10, 2014

Taking Time to Recharge My Brain

Short and sweet is how I'm keeping it tonight.  Not sure what is going on, but I need a break from the computer.  My brain is just mushy and I don't like it when that happens.  And I've got a lot of good thoughts, but they'll need to wait.  I'll be back tomorrow.

In the meantime, here's a pic of how I started to recharge my brain!  The box said the color was supposed to be burgundy, but it turned out more of an auburn.  Which I'm totally cool with!  If I could pull off a true red, I would!

I am beautiful.

2014 ~ Back After These Messages

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Early Day Opens Afternoon For Play...Or Shopping With Mom

I'm not saying that shopping with my Mom isn't fun, but it's not my first pick of what I would have done this afternoon.

Work got out super early, after 4.5 hours instead of 8.  With the extreme weather in our corner of the world, we weren't able to get all the cows that we were supposed to.  Mostly due to the highways in New York being shut down.  But enough about work!  Blah!!!

Not saying how nice today was.  :)
One of the first things I do when getting out of work is to check my phone for messages.  Mom had called to let me know that the doctor's office had called and rescheduled her appointment.  Had I thought of it, I could have told her that we were expecting an early day today.  But she didn't know, so she turned down the earlier appointment and rescheduled for next week.  Which isn't really too bad.  I thought about hopping on the computer and getting started on all my stuff, but then she mentioned some shopping she needed to do.

Since I am borrowing her vehicle at the moment, it's only right that I take her where she needs to go while I have it.  So I ate some lunch and drove on up and brought her back into town.  It wasn't a bad way to spend the afternoon.  We had some good conversations.  I got to tell her about my latest writing venture, Broads of a Feather.  She liked the sounds of it as well.

So I am just now getting around to getting stuff done on the computer.  I hope I get to some actual writing tonight.  +MJ Bush gave me some articles to read and an assignment to write my midpoint for my second novel...which I've been thinking on and have some good ideas and just have to get time to write.  And a quiet husband, but I'm sure you're all tired of hearing about his Xbox addiction.  I know I sure am!  I'll do earplugs soon if I have to.

One thing about the midpoint spot for my novel...I've wrote the part where Craig realizes what's going on, but that's too late to be midpoint.    So I have to figure out something sooner, either Angela's realization of what's going on...or just give the audience a glimpse while keeping the characters clueless.

I can do this!

2013 ~ Full Speed Ahead

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Two Authors Join to Unite Indie Authors of NE PA Through "Broads of a Feather"

Birds of a feather flock together.  So do writers!

This morning I had a friend of mine message me on Facebook with an idea.  C. P. Stringham has this idea to join forces with a Facebook page named Broads of a Feather for local indie authors in northeast Pennsylvania where we live.  I liked that idea a lot, and while I was at work she got the ball rolling.

She also mentioned a blog and twitter account.  The Blog I just got done setting up, also named Broads of a Feather.  She would like us to each post to the blog once weekly, and promote it etc. and our writings and so on and so forth.  I'll probably not post on this blog on the same day that I post on that one, aside from today of course.

I still have a lot of work to do, connecting accounts, sharing links - and it's almost my bedtime and I haven't gotten a single word written in my story yet.  Which is regretful because I've had some ideas bouncing around in my head today at work.  I'll have to get to it tomorrow.

This was our temp at 2:15 when I got out of work.
On the bright side, we finally got all our water pipes thawed out.  For some reason the cold water side in the bathtub didn't want to thaw out, which put a damper on my plans to shower last night.  But tonight when I came home from work, and our heat wave of 19F didn't do the trick, I began to get a little worried.  How would we get to it?  What if a pipe had burst?

Thankfully not.

Apparently our hot water pipe runs close enough to the cold that just running the hot water while cleaning the tub for a bath was enough to loosen things up!  I feel sooooo much better now!

Off to finish a few tidbits up!

2014 ~ Full Speed Ahead

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Arctic Vortex's Effect On My Day Today

Obviously, it's cold.

Really cold.  The temp here in Pennsylvania was at most -4F this morning when I got up.  It's now something like +4 now.  I saw from a friend who lives in the southern state of Georgia that they had a morning temp of 4.  I didn't pay much attention what they were talking about this arctic vortex that was supposed to bring a cold snap.  I'm still not impressed with it.  Although it does remind me of The Day After Tomorrow...which I'd really like to watch again.  Maybe once it warms up.

We haven't been able to keep the temp inside very warm in our home either.  So even in sneakers my toes are still cold.

Of course, I've been in and out today.  For the first time in the 5 years we've been living here our water pipes froze.  Maybe - there's still the possibility that it's something in the mainline that's frozen because My. Janney and I have been working on it all day.  Mostly Mr. Janney, I've just been needed for transportation and other help.  We've bought new heat tape and now have that applied and insulated.  We're hoping that does the trick.

It's been a rough day because of that.  No showers.  Can't flush the toilet.

Little things like running water and indoor plumbing we take for granted and don't notice until it's no longer available.  Like it? Tweet it!

At least we did have water in the refrigerator to drink so it hasn't been too bad where that is concerned (makes for cold hand washing).  Not sure what we'll do once nature becomes more insistent about bodily functions.

I've been able to do some editing on my story today.  And I might have some ideas for knitting the middle together.  For now, I'm going to sign off and eat my soup and try not to shiver.


2014 ~ Full Speed Ahead

Monday, January 6, 2014

Learning New Things Brings Happiness

I'm always up for learning new things.  Over the weekend, creating Mr. Janney's GTA5 crew I learned how to use their website's program to create emblems.  It's a pretty simple program, but it was still very satisfying.  It was also satisfying to be working on something with my husband, even if I don't see it as important.  His input created a pretty cool emblem for his team to use.  The first one I made didn't translate to the Xbox very well.  This one apparently has!  I guess we're even happier now!

Right now, I'm working on learning how to provide you, my readers, a tweetable quote.  If it works...awesome.  If may never know as I'll have pulled my failed attempts from the internet to save you all from my embarrassment!

Of course, that means I'm going to have to start thinking harder to come up with quotes worth tweeting.  I may drop back down to posting only a few times a week; I'm not sure at the moment.

I myself don't have a big Twitter following yet, but I've been slowly increasing.  It's another one of those social tools that I thought was a waste of time, but it turns out that it's something I enjoy just as much as Pinterest.  I enjoy the short tweets that offer me inspiring quotes, or articles to read, or just snapshots into someone's crazy day.

So to see if this works, I think I said something lame like: Always be learning something new!. Tweetable

My test was successful, although I'm not sure it's any kind of brilliance!  lol!

Keeping it short tonight, as it's getting late and I have things to do yet.  Hope everyone had a pleasant enough Monday!

2014 ~ Full Speed Ahead!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Gaming's Effect On Today's Sanity

I know they say that opposites attract, but man oh man Mr. Janney and I have our poles reversed today!  Every time he has gotten too noisy for me to concentrate, I have left the room and found something else to do.  Inevitably, he quiets down.

And by the time I realize that it's quiet, and return to the room to do some work either online or on my story - one of his friends gets into his Xbox Live chat and the noise starts up all over again!  Talk about frustration!  Talk about driving me insane!!

The earplug trick wouldn't work today, as he's also been talking to me and wanting my help with his game.  Well, not with the actual game, but with making his crew for GTA 5.  And maybe with getting the Xbox to register the crew I set up online.  As well as the emblem I designed for him.  He didn't ask me to do that, I was just playing while I was waiting to see if he was done with me and the computer (which I'm still not sure about) and he happened to see what I was doing and liked it.  He had a few requests about color and the size of the objects I had picked - which just goes to show how well I know him.

One thing I did get accomplished today, was emailing back and forth with +MJ Bush about hiring her as a Fiction Coach.  I'm optimistic that she'll give me the help I need to get me out of the writing pickle I'm in.  I really enjoy the articles I've read at her Writin Geekery blog.

He's back down to a dull roar, he must be getting tired so I'm going to close with the emblem I made for him today and see if I can't get some story work done.  The pic isn't my best work, nor the colors I would choose, but then it wasn't for me!  As of right now, he's happy with it, so I'm happy.

I might not be 100% sane, but I'm happy!

#GTAV #gaming #gamingandmarriage #writing

2014 ~ Full Speed Ahead

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Wisdom of Yoda

This morning I found a neat piece of wisdom on a Google+ post that I shared under my own profile.  You can see it here, as I'm not sure I would be correct in posting it on my blog.  So since I'm not sure, I'll just share the link.  Better safe than sorry.  And I even ran across it again later on Pinterest.  If you've ever seen the movie The Empire Strikes Back, I'm sure you're familiar with the scene being quoted.

In short, the diminutive Jedi Master Yoda does something that his apprentice believed impossible.  And the Master tells Luke that there is no try, you either do something or you don't.  Luke expresses his disbelief over what he just saw, and the teacher in Yoda furthers the lesson by letting the young man know that his lack of belief is the reason why he fails.

Yoda's wisdom may be a bit flawed, because if you don't try to do something, you will definitely not do it.   But was that what he was really saying to his student?   The  first  definition of "try" at is:  "to attempt to do or accomplish."  So it might depend on the attitude behind the word "try".   Luke obviously didn't expect to succeed, so if we're honest about his trying to levitate the spaceship we would say it was half-hearted.  At best.  Not only did Luke believe it was impossible for him to do, he believed it was impossible for anyone to do.  Even after he saw it with his own eyes, he was still struggling with disbelief.  How could anyone accomplish such an outrageous task???

It is that lack of faith in themselves that plagues many people.  Even when we know that something is possible, we doubt that it is possible for us to do.  Our beliefs in ourselves determines whether or not we "do" something.  Who am I to think that I will succeed at being an author?  Aren't I destined to scrape along the bottoms for the rest of my life?  How can I think that I can be more than what I've always been?

Because I'm an author.  I like to tell stories.  Well, I like to write stories and have people read them.  Because when it comes to verbally telling a story, I really kind of suck.  That's a weird quirk, I suppose, but it is all too true.

And why shouldn't I publish my story?  It's interesting and my characters are lovable (except the ones that aren't meant to be!) When I made the decision to self publish, it was in answer to my questioning of myself.  "I either believe in my story, or I don't."

I believe that I will succeed.  I smart enough to know that I will make mistakes along the way, but I know that it is a necessary step to learning what I need to do to be that success.  I know that those mistakes do not equal failure.  I believe that my career is just starting, and that it will last until long after my death.  It may seem impossible, but I know that to be a self-defeating attitude.

If you feel that no one in your life believes in you, take a good long look at yourself in the mirror.  Do you believe in yourself?  Because you are your biggest influencer, no matter who else you might have speaking into your life. Don't be afraid to attempt to do something, because even if you make mistakes that doesn't mean you've failed - you will at the least learn what you need to do differently to succeed.

The only thing that was holding me back from publishing when I became aware of how 'easy' it was through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing was myself.  I was afraid of failing.  But then I realized that the true failure would be not doing anything at all.  So I did it - I published my novel and threw myself into the deep vast ocean of it all knowing that I even though I wasn't sure how to swim, I at least knew enough to float until I got my bearings.

I'm doing it.

2014 ~ Full Speed Ahead

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Cozy Snow Day

Winter didn't just come knocking here in Northeast PA, it came right in and made itself at home!  It was snowing when I rolled out of bed this morning at 7:30 - which was a delightful 'sleeping in' for me.  And now as I write this at 4pm, it is still snowing.  I've heard reports of anywhere between 2 and 7 inches across my county, and figure I myself have something in between.  So far - it's far from over.

Needless to say, but I'm going to say it anyway, my mother decided to reschedule her doctors appointments.  One for the beginning of February and one in March.  She also has one next Thursday, when another storm is supposed to blow through.  Given how this winter is shaping up in our area, I'm not sure we'll make the one in February - or March for that matter!

They are kind of important doctors appointments, but a delay won't hurt her too much.  She's been diagnosed with stage three kidney disease, and also has a partial blockage somewhere between a kidney and her bladder.  As of right now, I have no idea what that actually means except that she will be having some kind of surgery at some point.  Probably for a stint.  And maybe a net around her bladder as well; but that's for something else.

I would have expected to have gotten more writing done by this point of the day.  Mr. Janney came to bed about 6:30 this morning and I thought he would have slept past 11.  And he's been playing his game ever since.  Normally not a problem as I can ignore him with earplugs if I have to.  But he's interrupted me a few times asking me questions, or wanting me to do something on the computer for him (the GTA 5 cheat codes are not as easy as they were for 4!)  Not a big deal, just disruptive.  So I've been doing more social media things rather than actual writing.  Google+, Pinterest, a bit of Facebook (why did the post on my page about the #selfie I took do so well?  Seen by over 100 people?).  I ought to hit Twitter up again here soon.  I'm also trying to figure out Instagram.

Of course, it still doesn't help that I'm stuck in the same spot.  I've made progress though because I got the doctor in the room.  Then decided I better do the research I needed so my doctor doesn't sound like a hack.  And then there is Veronica Moore.  Her character is one that is tripping me up.  As a main antagonist, she can't be a caricature.  She needs to have depth and, well, for lack of a better term:  character.  Her stepson is still leery of her in the second book of my series, with good reason, and I have to overcome his hangup so I can get to know her better.  Even if he doesn't.  I'm just not sure I'm ready to face that darkness.

I just can't do "light and fluffy" romance.  Because none of my life has been "light and fluffy".  That's part of why I've added the touch of fantasy to the series.  Fantasy can be dark.  There is little of Craig and Angela's trauma that is autobiographical.  I never lost a brother as a child, and I was never sexually abused by my parents.  What I had was a sick father, a low self esteem, my own set of regular bullies at school, was overweight - which I still am.  In many ways, I've taken my 'raw deal' and did what any good author does...magnifies it and twists it until it no longer has any resemblance to the reality they know.  It's the only way I myself have been able to find any sort of healing from my childhood 'problems', not all of which I shared.  You don't need to know everything lol!

But it's the truth.  And I will overcome my own fear of Veronica Moore.  Just maybe not today.  In the mean time, I'm going to let you go for now.  I've gone on long enough.  I'll sign off with a picture I took of the rocks behind my home, and the neighbors chimney!

2014 ~ Full Speed Ahead!

#winter #writing #blogging

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My 'Cheesy' Happiness Jar!

The Happiness Jar is not a new idea to me.  I've heard of it a few different times over the years.  But this year I've decided to actually do it.  I've picked out a jar - an empty cheeseball container!  It's more serviceable than pretty, but I might decorate it over the year.  I think that would be fun.  I know I've got stickers somewhere!  I'll post another pic at a later date.

You can read about the Happiness Jar here where +Peg Fitzpatrick blogged about it.  She is a constant source of inspiration and encouragement for me, even when there is no interaction between her and I on her Google+ posts.  It's just who she is, and I am glad for it.  She is always positive and upbeat, a much needed combination in today's world.  If she is ever down, it never appears on line.

As you can see from my photo, I've already added today's piece of paper.  I've decided to use up some old 'fancy' stationary, as I seldom use it for actual letter writing.  For that I tend to use ruled notebook paper because I can't write a straight line without guides or I totally cheat and write it on the computer.  For the time being I'll keep it on top of the refrigerator.  Today's happy moment was quite simple, we spent about $30 at Kmart today but between gift cards and Kmart points, we only paid about $3 out of pocket.  AND ~ I got to spend time with my husband away from his Xbox!  That's always nice.

Happiness doesn't always have to be something big and grand.  Often times, it's the smallest simple things that make a person happy.  Like blueberry muffins for tomorrow's breakfast.  Knowing that I have enough Tide for laundry.  An over abundance of bread, bought not because of the impending snow storm but because neither one of us was sure how much we had in the freezer.  With all the unknowns in life that can weigh on us, these little things are needed.

I doubt Mr. Janney will participate with me by adding anything over the year, although he has surprised me before.  But he did say that next New Years Eve he would read them off with me.  I consider that a date!  :)

Thinking it's time to get some writing done.  I've just had so much trouble concentrating the past few weeks.  I'm not sure if it's his constant chatter with his Xbox buddies, or just the holidays and the normal money pinch.  Either way, I will keep pegging away at it until my novel is done enough to rest.  It's not quite writer's block, been there done that!  But it is irritating.  I let writer's block keep me down for too many years to succumb to this minor irritation of being in a mental slump.  Even if I only write a few new words a day, I won't consider that a failure.  I will be happy for those few words.  Because I've seen how they can explode into whole chapters at any moment!

I just hope using a cheeseball container for my Happiness Jar doesn't mean that it's going to be a cheesy year!

2014 ~ Full Speed Ahead