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Thursday, December 2, 2010

I did it!

So, it's two days since NaNoWriMo ended and I am happy to say that I did, in fact, make my 50,000 word goal +17 words for the month of November! It was challenging at times, but so worth it. I know where my characters are... where they plan on going, not to mention a number of twists and turns to come down the pike.

The past two days have been a little more laid back, giving myself some breathing room. So far, I've written another 1,000 words and tomorrow I plan on writing my heart out. I can't wait! This is becoming so interesting and AWESOME!

I have to thank my friends and family whose support this past month is beyond amazing. I couldn't have gotten this far without your encouragement and help.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stories and goals

This past month has been an interesting one... Taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge and writing down the story that's kicking it's way out of my head. Some days, I feel like I'm not even the one writing it, instead, I'm just the vessel for it to be born.

Other days are more painstaking.

The thing I have learned is that I am the most creative when I work first thing in the morning and when I give myself a time frame. So I have been getting up at 5am most days so I can write before anyone is awake. The days when I have all day, it takes all day. So weird.

This month is almost over, though and I am planning to settle things down. I don't think I will force the 1667 word count thing, since I have a lot of other things that need to get done. My house is a mess, my ads are falling behind. I have presents to buy.

So, the goal for December will be to get up at 5am and write until 6:30am. Whatever I get written, I get written. But I will continue the story and move it forward with the goal of having a first draft of the entire novel by March and be sending it out to look for an agent by April. Seems like a good initiation month.

The story is shaping up and it is in some ways, very unexpected. It's been a lot of fun to write and a lot of fun to dream up. I hope that I am able to get it published and continue on with the other books... There will be five of them in all. Six at most, depending on where the story takes me.

So, wish me luck. This is going to be a whirlwind...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A time to move forward and relinquish control

When all is said and done, will reach a word count of 28,339 for today.

I have taken on the NaNoWriMo challenge of doing 1,667 words a day for the goal of being at 50,000 words by month's end. Silly me, though, I'm just doing it for myself. I decided that the idea of being a part of the contest didn't appeal to me, just the challenge itself. So far, things are going great. Some days are harder than others to write, but I also find that once I get going, things are a lot easier than I originally thought they would be.

I have a storyline emerging... Characters I love... new characters on the way. I'm writing what will be somewhere around Chapter 13 right now. Seems to be a good time to reflect. Something about the number 13 does that to me.

While the writing side is going great and I am getting more of the details of my plot filled in, I find that I get stuck on a lot of the relationships. Not that I can't write it, but that I get lost in it. Some of my personal relationships as of late seem to have disintegrated and it's left me feeling a little bitter. A little empty. The odd thing is, they were never really relationships in the first place. They were just acquaintanceships with common interests. None of us got together outside of our obligations to whichever cause it was. We just were there for the cause. Now, those causes have taken side routes that I don't jive with and I'm left standing on the sidelines.

It's not all bad, though. Without this in my life, I don't think I would have had the moments of introspection that I've had. The ones that have ultimately led me here. To writing. But it still stings. Knowing that I have put my all into something, for what I deemed to be the right reasons... only to have that thrown aside for seemingly power plays.

I'm so sick of power hungry people.

People who want nothing more than to stroke their own ego, leaving a wasteland of talented people in their wake. People who just want control. I know that's part of my own ego talking. The one that wants to be recognized as a competent, dependable, creative.

Today, one particular group I had devoted two and a half years to, became an active member on their board even, up and got rid of a website I had painstakingly put together. They were virtually unheard of in our town. No one knew about them or even realized something like them existed. So I redesigned their look. Gave them new, vibrant colors. Redesigned their logo to be more modern and less... blah. And it worked. For a while. People were excited. It brought in others. It created interest, sparked debate. New members joined, new board members joined. We even moved. I put a lot of time, energy and even money into the cause. I treated them and the interest of the group almost as a child - a family member who I needed to make sure was taken care of. But I did so without the idea of anything in return. Perhaps that was naive of me. Call me altruistic, but I believed in the cause. Believed in what they stood for. I was there when the new managers were hired. I helped hand pick them. I helped get the new board members on; the ones who would turn out to be power hungry and self serving. The ones who ultimately would turn on me.

That makes me think of Joss Whedon's now famous line, "Curse your sudden, but inevitable betrayal!" LOL!

At least I can laugh about it. ;)

At any rate, this small thing, a new website (which I knew was coming, it was just a matter of time) has set something off in me. Before I can really devote myself to my book and specifically, the relationships in my book, I need to let go of the ones that are holding me back. The ones that I feel some small sense of betrayal over. I need to bless them on their merry way and learn from them. Both the good and the bad.

Perhaps they will even find a way to make it into my story. :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Writer Emerges

So... with my desire to abandon - well, mostly anyway - my role as graphic designer, something completely unexpected emerged.

I found that I love to dream - to create - to write.

To write.

Huh. I can honestly say I didn't really see that one coming. I have always liked to write and communicate - don't get me wrong. I just never really looked at it as something I could professionally do. My aunt is a writer and though she has been doing it a long time... I never wanted to be compared to her. My mother is fine artist and while I can draw... I never wanted to be compared to her, either. I wanted to make my own way. I guess I have, in a round about way. I am able to blend and merge these two world and in an ideal world, it would be successful.

What is success to me? Loving what I do - for no one but myself.

Let's face it, I can't really get myself to go away (to coin a phrase from Matchbox 20).

It all started sometime back in September when I had lunch with a very dear friend. I asked her what she saw in me and what career pops into her mind first. She told me, a writer. From that moment, we started discussing things for story ideas and I actually started to... dare I say it... excited! For the first time in a long time, the future didn't look daunting... it looked, INTERESTING!

Which, in some ways is weird because writing a novel is challenging. Especially if you are as crazy as me. Things have to make sense. There has to be back stories, the characters have to make sense... even the names can be painstaking. There has to be twists and turns and events that drive the character to fully accept their world and the lives they lead.

In retrospect, I realize that perhaps, I have always wanted to write - but because of my damn drive to be different and repel the norm, I was pushing away a calling. It may not be my ONLY calling, but for right now, it is and that means something.

I have always admired people who can tell a story - Joss Whedon (he's my hero), J.K Rowling, Suzanne Collins (my current obsession), Amy Sherman-Palladino (the mastermind behind Gilmore Girls), even Stephanie Meyer... While I love the stories that are spun and take what I can from their messages, what has always stayed with me, are the people behind them. Maybe it's just a crazy, new age view - but I think I was getting signs from the universe.

When I was 13, I woke up from a dream so vivid that I could have sworn it was a past life. In this life, I was coming back to my home - one I hadn't seen in so long. Somewhere in the dream I entered a secret room that I never even knew existed and it opened my dream self to a new world of magic. When I woke up, I sat down and wrote about it. I was absolutely compelled to do so. Every day after school, I was at our family's 1990 IBM, typing feverishly. When I was done, I turned it in to my English Teacher for extra credit and promptly stuffed it into my closet.

Through the years, that story has stayed with me... I have carried it from house to house... city to city. But I have always known where it is, even when I wasn't thinking about it. Something in the back of my mind has kept it sacred. To this day, I can still see clearly the room in my dream... the way the sun shone in, the smell, the wallpaper that peeled away reveling a small hidden door inside this hidden room... going down the steps that were behind that other door...

When I took the advice of my friend and started to consider the possibility of writing... something peculiar happened. Ideas came flooding in. Not just for one story, but many - and I couldn't make them stop. It was becoming so overwhelming that I finally sat down to have a meditation with my Muse - so I could ask which ONE should I start with?

My answer? You pick. Until then, I'm keeping them coming. HA!

Another odd thing also took place - I found that I was suddenly surrounded by a wonderful fountain of like minded people! There were amazing writers that I could talk to and be involved with, that were right in front of me already! Some, as young as my brilliant 15 year old friend, Maggie. Others, as old as my parents. They have all been so helpful and receptive, and I feel so blessed to be taken in so graciously.

About a month ago - on 10/10/10, to be exact, I had an amazing idea literally FALL into my head. I wasn't even thinking about books. I was outside playing with my children on a crisp October morning; heck for all I know it was 10:10am! (In all seriousness, it was in the 10am hour! LOL!)

So I am now in the process of writing what is looking like a 4 to 5 book series. I have spent the majority of the past month writing all my ideas down, letting them come as they want and not judging them. Asking questions, seeing if I get answers... I have pages upon pages of notes.

Now, I am taking on a challenge to write 1667 words a day for the entire month of November. While some are doing it for a contest, I am doing it for the love of a challenge. I'm nothing if not good with a challenge! ;) At this very moment, my first real novel sits at 5,958 words and my goal is to be to 8,335 by today's end. (For those of you good with math, I only managed to write close to 1000 words yesterday, so I am playing catch up.)

Even if nothing comes out of it and the book or books never get published, I know that I am enjoying this process and being free to create without feeling bad. I am letting my creative voice free and it feels GOOD!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Shared Delusions

I've been really doing some soul searching this past week. Trying to figure out my direction, my purpose. The anxiety from it seems to just compound.

As someone with an alternative view of the world, I find myself struggling walking the line between knowing what "could be" and what is. Sometimes the world around me just makes me sick to my stomach. All the hatred, greed, self-righteousness...

I come from a long line of creative people and it brought me to studying the Graphic Design field. I love what I do when I am in the middle of doing it - when that creative processes takes over. But I don't like what it IS. Manipulation. Plain and simple. Graphic Design is the art of manipulating people though imagery and words. Make you WANT something. I find myself really struggling to make peace with that.

The desire for more is something that is so intrinsically hardwired and at the same time, the root of all evil.

At present, I look around and want to just give it all up. Give it back and just live life on earth the way it was meant to be lived. Peacefully. Happily. Simply. Without so much regret, anxiety and fear.

Everything I see that was man made (at least where I live) is so ugly. It sticks out like a sore thumb and I long for the simple days of nature. Long summer days playing with children and no care in the world. Is that impossible? In this reality we have created for ourselves it is. All we have created is so at odds with enjoying life. Being a part of life.

I think at our core, we really are here to experience. We want to go through things. See things, DO things. It's in that need that we attach to the "more" philosophy. Not because we actually want more stuff. But we want to feel the experience and it's more frequently the only way to get it. We have boxed ourselves in so tight that we can't see a way out. So we eat more. Drink more. Spend more. Rather than DO more. Be More. Live More.

I can see this in myself and in others. The difference is that so many people just accept our lives; society as it is. No questions. No introspections. No dreams of a better place. It doesn't even cross their minds that this is not what needs to be.

I want better for myself. For my children. Finding the place that makes sense in this world of shared delusions is the tricky part. Can we give up what we know to create our own view of the world? Can we be strong to step out into that not knowing what it will fully look like? I'm not sure. But right now, I feel compelled to really try.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Akashic Records = Internet

So today I was thinking about what a friend of mine was saying about technology and, in specific, the internet. How it's seemingly making us a dumber and more complacent group of people. People are addicted to the internet; to looking things up, connect with people and most not really taking the time for introspection anymore; which is the key to growth and eventually, wisdom.

However, another thought came to mind... It seems, we as a people have always been struggling in some form or another to get to this point - easy access to the collective mind. We have had mystics, oracles, shaman, witches - the names go on and on... all in some form or another trying to either gain access to the collective consciousness or guide others in their paths to it. In order to do so, the need was there to expand beyond their own consciousness; their own beliefs and perceptions to see around or maybe through it. To get to a point where they could really SEE.

Edgar Cayce called this place the Akashic Records (or the Hall of Records). Interestingly enough, the internet is not dissimilar from this place; minus the hard work and exercise to meditate. It's no wonder this place has such an addictive power over people. Combine that with human nature's desire for a quick result and you have a potent mix.

It seems that in a way, ever since the dawn of time we have been struggling to ask the same question; "Why are we here?"

I wonder if the internet will help us on the road to discovery or just distract us from the wisdom it takes to make ourselves.