Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Unresolutions for 2012

Like most, I've spent the last few days thinking about the ever popular, New Year's Resolutions. Should I make some? Should I avoid them? Everyone has their opinion and they all make valid points. Resolutions are often made in January and forgotten by February. It's like their M.O.

I read several blogs on the subject and a few really stuck with me. So with all my resolution knowledge, I am going forth with this...My Unresolutions.

They're sort of like resolutions, but different, think of them in the realm of Unbirthdays. Stick with me here, even I have no idea where I'm headed.

I'm not making the obvious resolutions - weightloss, more exercise, save money - nope, those never stick. This year My Unresolutions will be focused on the things I love, reading and writing. Before you start jumping down my throat, there are others things I love (hubby, friends and family included) but since these are MY unresolutions and MY blog, I plan on doing this MY way!
*steps down from soap box*

Now that we've cleared that up, let's continue.

My Unresolutions are a way to set some goals for the year, without the pesky pressure attached to Resolutions. In this way, I'm hoping to avoid the February failure.

So without further delay, My Unresolutions for 2012!

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1) Read 52 books. I've set this before and managed to come very close. I feel it is completely doable.

2) Finish my two outstanding works in progress. Again, this shouldn't be too hard since I wrote an entire novel in November, I can DO this!

3) Edit my NaNoWriMo novel. I've been letting it sit since November in hopes that my "fresh eyes" will see where my writing faults lie.

4) Write at least  500 words each day. This goal was already in the making, but signing up for #WIP500 will ensure I stick to it. (See previous post for more details on #WIP500)
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5) Edit the to-be-completed two WIPs. This will be a year of editing for me. Not sure how I feel about it, I tend to write and never edit. Therefore editing has become my nemesis. Kill the beast!

So that's it folks. Five Unresolutions that I hope to wait...that I will  accomplish! No more of this wishy-washiness (I'm just making up words now I realize, but again MY blog.)

I wish you all a wonderful 2012. I look forward to chatting with you, writing with you and sharing experiences. Thank you all for the support in 2011! Now let's go kick some ass in 2012!

What are your Unresolutions, Resolutions, Goals or Hopes for 2012?

Friday, December 30, 2011

500 Words per Day, 366 Days a Year - Oh My!

Defiantly Literate

Well, I've gone and done it again! I've signed myself up for another writing challenge. No, it's NaNoWriMo in January, it's #WIP500, silly.

In classic Write Me Happy fashion, I stumbled across this challenge by pure luck. And by pure luck, I mean Twitter. Oh Twitter, is there nothing you can't do?

#WIP500 is the brainchild of Cara Michaels and it works as follows:

1) Write 500 words per day, every day, in 2012.

2) See above.

Yes, it's just that simple. Every day I write 500 words on my work in progress (hence the WIP for those, like me, who are sometimes acronym challenged).  500 words isn't all that much for a daily total. I can usually crack that off in one #wordmongering #wordsprints #wordwar session, easy peasy!

It's the whole, every day part that seems a little more daunting. Cue dramatic music.

Over the Christmas holidays my resolve to write every day, got lost in the chaos. Instead I went an entire week <insert gasps here> without writing a single word on either of my WIPs. Okay, so I made notes in my trusty notebook, and blogged a few times, but nothing substantial.

On Wednesday, a week from my last writing session, I admitted to my fellow writer tweeps that I had been a bad girl. Suddenly, true to their amazing nature, my #wordwar buddies sounded the drum and we set off to write. That 30 minutes sparked a fire in my mind and I continued to write for the next 6 hours accomplishing 6,616 words. Some comeback, I'd say.

So with January 1st looming and two WIPs begging for my attention, I plan to call upon all my writing buddies to give me a push (or kick) towards my 500 word daily goal. Like me, I know that sometimes they will need that push or kick or a crack from my most famous whip (Yes, whip! Just ask a few writing buddies!) and I plan on delivering. While writing is an extremely individual sport (for the most part) cheerleading is not, and I plan to be the best damn cheerleader out there!

Tallyho Writers! Success in the form of 500 words per day.

Did I mention it's a leap year? Yeah, just my luck....

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Five Sentence Fiction

Lillie McFerrin's Five Sentence Fiction. This week's inspiration word is : Mistletoe 

"Will you kiss me?" She asked, a crimson blush spreading across her otherwise milky white cheeks.
"Is that your custom?" He replied, with a smile knowing full well the legend the tiny plant held. 
"It is," She drew the waxy green leaves, with it's tiny white berries, over her head.  
"The I must, for it is bad luck to go against a legend," He pulled her in close to him; her skin smelling faintly of lavender. The mistletoe dropped from her fingertips, forgotten in the midst of a passionate kiss.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's Christmas & I'm Thankful for YOU!

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It's Christmas Eve day, I'm sitting at my writing desk, hunched over my computer reading wonderful blogs and tweets from other amazing writers and thinking how lucky I am.

I know it's usually Thanksgiving that we state what we are thankful for, but given that Christmas has become a mega holiday filled with presents, greeting cards, food and oh so delightful eggnog, I wanted to strip back all the glitter and glamor and get to the real sense of Christmas for me.

I am not a religious person. In my younger years I took a strong stance against religion in attempt to rebel against those who were. It was wrong of me, but only age has shown me this. However, I do consider myself spiritual, though I still despise the label. This spirituality has lead me on a journey to discover who I am, at my core. It's here I discovered and embraced my writing, my own uniqueness and my comfort with those around me. I embraced tolerance, understanding, empathy and all those other really fantastic traits that I lacked as a young adult.

So with that little piece of insight on how the cogs turn inside my head, I move back to my original thought, thankfulness.

I am thankful for a wonderful husband who gets me like no other has. He sees my faults and accepts me anyway. He challenges me when I need it and never lets me storm off angry, which I have a tendency to do. His support is unquestionable and I love him with all my heart. Even though that sounds kind of cornball, it's the truth. Thank you!

I am thankful for my family and friends that have been incredibly supportive over the last few years. Those who have comforted me, celebrated with me and given me the nudge I needed. That laughed, cried and scolded me, sometimes all within the same conversation. Without all of you, life would be dull. Thank you!

I am thankful for the writing community I have tapped into via Twitter and Blogging. Without you, I would never have been able to complete an entire novel in November! Hell, I wouldn't even know about NaNoWriMo. All your #wordmongering #wordwars #wordsprinits #fivesentencechallenge helped me through my writing block and continue to motivate me to write, write, write. Thank you!

There are so many other people I could thank individually, but this short post would end up giving The Never Ending Story a run for it's money.

So in closing, this Christmas, I am blessed and thankful!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Circus, Here I Come!

You may have noticed that my blogging has been sporadic, at best. It's not that I don't enjoying coming here and putting my two cents out there. In fact, I enjoy blogging, a lot. But lately I've been feeling like I should join the circus. Or at the very least some street side show. I have become a Juggler.

I have quite a few juggling balls on the go right now: Writing, Working, Reading, Blogging.

I prefer to think of my roles (and the long list of tasks that come with them) as hats I wear while juggling. Wife, Friend, Daughter, Aunt, Sister, Employee, Homeowner. I change my hat while trying to keep all the balls in the air. For the most part it's all about timing. Balls go up, hat gets changed, balls come done. Repeat.

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I like to think I do a pretty decent job, but add Christmas into the equation and things go from hectic to insane.

Some balls drop while others seem to get stuck in the air, hanging motionlessly above my head, just beyond my reach. I try to pull them back down, to rotate in something else, but I fail.

And which ball is stuck up in the air? Writing.

While Blogging has dropped and Reading seems to make an occasional appearance, Writing is a constant (so is Working, but that's not by choice). I'm not complaining. Not even whining a little bit. The fact that my Muse is here and playing nice, thrills me. But I know that in order to keep you folks interested, I need to pick up that Blogging ball and start giving it a toss.

So this is my promise to you. I solemnly swear I am up to no - wait a second, wrong oath. I solemnly swear to post, at the very least, two posts a week until the end of 2011. In 2012, I promise to increase this.

My word has been given. If you see me slacking, please feel free to give me a kick in the ass. I'm sure I'll deserve it.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Five Sentence Fiction

Lillie McFerrin's Five Sentence Fiction. This week's inspiration word is : Poison

 The cocktail was mixed; a lethal combination that would ensure his position. He examined the noxious peanut, so harmless in his hands. He marveled at the magnitude of Science for which he did not understand. Once ingested his enemy would succumb. Once ingested, he would be rid of her for good.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Five Sentence Fiction

Lillie McFerrin's Five Sentence Fiction. This week's inspiration word is : Nineteen

She counted them from left to right, over and over again, but each time she ended up with nineteen. Ten fingers and nine toes wiggling as she numbered them off one by one. She was positive she went to bed with twenty; the missing toe, not missing at all. Yet somewhere between night and daybreak, the little piggy made its heroic escape. How curious, she thought, as she counted them again.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Rolling with the Punches

I feel like this post couldn't have come at a better time. Right now I have quite a few friends/family members who are going through some major life changes. New jobs, school, pregnancy, moving etc. You name it and I probably know someone going through it. Change is a HUGE part of our lives. There's just no way to avoid it. So this post is dedicated to all the people I know who are struggling. I hope it helps. I'm not an expert, but I think given my history, I have gained some valuable experience.

If I have learned anything in my 32 years walking this Earth, it's that life never goes as planned.
No matter how hard I try to plan my future, the more changes crop up. The bloody thing almost always does the exact opposite. Sometimes I feel it's just to spite me.

It's like trying to stick a square peg into a round hole. No matter how hard you force the bugger it just won't budge. Then, as soon as you find a round peg that will slip in nice and easy, the bastard changes to a triangle hole and your damn peg won't fit...AGAIN!

That's how life is. A butterfly flaps its wings and a tsunami hits Japan. (Or some other equivalent terrible disaster.)

This happens to be incredibly frustrating for me as I'm a chronic planner. I organize my free time for god's sake! Yup I am that person. <insert neurotic joke here> So when life throws me a curve, it pisses me off to no end. I not only want my plans to follow through, I want them NOW. I've become a product of the impatient society I despise.


Up until 2 years ago my frustrations at life's ever changing nature used to send me reeling. I was no where near the path I'd set out to follow and I thought that was a bad thing.

I was wrong! Surprise, surprise.

Meditation taught me how to relax. It taught me that it's the present I should be focusing on, not the future. Living your life for tomorrow is a fool's errand. It's impossible to live in the future because once you're there it becomes the present. So you dwell on living in the future which becomes the present - again - and then your head blows up. Seriously, don't even try to work that shit out.

It's the same for the past. Can't live there either - well yet. I'm holding out for time travel, in which case this entire rant will be a load of crap. Until that day, I think it's safe to say it's the present we should be focusing on.

Okay, so we all agree that we live in the present, or at least should, now back to the pesky changing life issues.

Even if we could plan out every single aspect of our lives, would we want to? I mean really, if my life went according to plan, think of all the experiences I'd miss. The friends I'd never meet, the fun I'd never have.

Have there been struggles? Absolutely! Without question! I've had my share of tears and regrets. There's been mistakes I've made that I wish I could erase. I'd love to call Do-Over on many experiences. Yet this crazy path led me to life I have now. Even if I could go back (time travel fully instated) and change all those mistakes, take all the chances I didn't take and avoid all the crap ones I took. If I could go back and set everything "right" in the desperate attempt to ensure my plans came to fruition, I can guarantee my life still wouldn't end up as planned.

Such is life. Ever changing. Ever growing. Ever learning.

From now on I'm putting my faith in changes. Shit happens, life contorts and it almost always works out. Now I'm not saying, plan be damned! I'm still going to make my decisions with the future in mind. I'm not about to leave everything to chance.

Oh yes! I think I will sell my house and all my possessions because the Universe will take care of me!

Doubt it. That's just being plain stupid. But when my life takes an unexpected turn or falls of the tracks I've carefully laid down for it, I'm going to walk up to the new challenge and be like..

Oh yeah, life? What up Bitch?! Let's do this!!

All gangster like, guns blazing.

Changes aren't always the negative we perceive them to be. In fact I'm willing to say that changes can be the best part of our lives. So embrace them, hang on and enjoy the ride!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Crossing the Finish Line

December 1st - the end of NaNoWriMo. PHEW!

I must say it has been quite the ride. I started this journey nervous about accomplishing the daily word totals. Nervous is an understatement, but it sounds much better than the gut wrenching, sweaty palm sickness I felt each time I actually thought about it.

So... yeah... nervous :)

I set myself the goal and I am more than a little happy to report I DID IT! Yeah! I finished! I won! WOOT! etc etc etc. <insert happy dance here>

Not only did I finish, I managed to do it with time to spare (4 days to be exact) and even kicked in a few extra words...105 extra words! So I'm now an official NaNoWriMo winner, complete with a certificate! You may have noticed my shiny new badge on my blog too.

Look Ma! I did it!

Until NaNo I had completed short stories and a long list of poorly written poems that I dare not share. I even completed a novel about the same length. Except that novel took me two years to finish! Completing my 50,000 words in 26 days has been, by far, the best experience in my writing career. I use the term career loosely since no one has come banging down my door to pay me the big bucks to write...yet ;)

The journey was not without its challenges. I even had a mini breakdown mid-way through the month. Despite being ahead, I felt my writing was utter crap. The language was wrong, the grammar atrocious and don't get me started on all the little writing rules I knew I was breaking - and all the ones I didn't know.

I'd poked the inner critique and that bastard was pissed! He came strutting in nitpicking all my sentences and pointing out the mistakes. He urged me to give up, cut my losses and go watch some mindless TV. Wasn't there some crap show that I just had to watch!? Huh? HUH?

The bastard almost won. I can admit how close a call it was. But I had one trick up my sleeve that he didn't see coming - support. I had friends, family, co-workers and twitter folk that were always there to lend an ear, hand or whatever else I needed in the name of conquering the NaNo beast. I couldn't have asked for a better support system. I feel blessed!

In short I kicked NaNoWriMo's ass this year and I plan on doing again in 2012.

Thanks to all my friends, family and twitter folk for all the love and support. Much Love!