Five Ways to Refuel Your Tank

torch, flame, creative commons

CC Image by panther40k.

We all get a little drained sometimes.

Sometimes work or life or circumstances can take a deep toll on your psyche, your creativity, and your energy in general. Another way of putting it that’s a little less New Age-y is: stress sucks.

There’s not much we can do to completely avoid stress. Some things are out of our control, and even things that are within our purview to change can sometimes cost us energy and focus. The best we can do sometimes is to deal with it. As I’ve been going through a bit of a time of stress in the past few weeks, here are a few ways to recharge your inner battery.

1. Spend time with a friend.

Even as an introvert, sometimes the best thing I can do for myself is get out of my own head and spent time with someone who really gets me. With the internet, it’s even possible to do that long-distance, with Skype or Google Hangouts. When I doubt myself or need to remind myself of who I am, I look to the people closest to me. In fact, my long-held tradition of long-distance movie nights with fellow Scribe Kristin McFarland are one of my best secrets to dissolving stress.

Whether it’s a day out of the house or a night on the town or an afternoon in pajamas, spending time with friends can help you relax, recharge, and get back to yourself.

2. Do something for you.

Been eyeballing a spa day? Dreaming about seeing a certain band? Sick of telling yourself you’ll go to that museum? Or hell, maybe you need to go to the shooting range and blow off some steam.

Whatever activities make you happy, do one. Or several. I’m not going to judge anyone for going to the shooting range before they go to the spa and the opera.

3. Block out some quiet time.

This can be a good exercise for introverts and extroverts alike. Giving yourself a set block of time where you will leave your problems outside can be a challenge. Curl up with a book or take a bath. Escape into another world for a few hours. Give your brain the time to breathe away from the constant stimulus of stress.

4. Make something.

You don’t have to be Martha Stewart, but creating something from scratch, be it a new meal or a painting, can help you feel a sense of accomplishment. Maybe you haven’t picked up your knitting needles in a while. Or you feel like returning to the joy of macaroni art. Or you want to build a birdhouse. When the stress in your life feels nebulous and out of control, doing something creative is a task you can finish and admire. Creating something uses different parts of your brain, and when you’re done you have something tangible. Plus, if it’s food, you get to eat it.

5. Sweat.

Exercise is good for a lot of things. It releases endorphins, helps your body, and can help clear your mind. It’s also another thing that can help your sense of accomplishment and adventurousness. When life is doling out things you can’t immediately conquer, taking to the treadmill or lifting some weights is a small thing you can do to take control. You’re only competing against yourself, and if you feel like adding another layer to it, picture that stress coming out through your pores as you sweat. Each burn of the muscle burning through an obstacle in your life.

None of these ways are magic elixirs that will restore you to 100% mana and health; unfortunately those tend to be limited to video games (video games can also be great stress release!). But making sure to take care of yourself and recenter yourself in times of stress can allow you to get through a day at a time with a little more woo-sah and a little less frazzle.

How do you refuel your tanks when life gets you down? 

 

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My Writing Process – Blog hop

Hello all! Today I’m joining in on the “WIP Blog Hop” as I was tagged by Nicole Evelina. You can check out her own post about this here.

Basically I’m going to tell you about my writing process and what I’m working on right now. Hopefully you find it interesting and, maybe, even a little helpful in your own process.

  1. What am I working on?

WOA (1)The simple answer: the sequel to World of Ash, my Paranormal Post-Apocalyptic NA novel. I am at that weird place of finishing my own first draft revisions before sending it off to my editor. My editor will get her paws on it this Tuesday and she’ll send it back to me, bleeding with red ink, before I send it to betas.

 

 

  1. How does my work differ from others of this genre?

In a few ways actually. First, the age category: New Adult. My main characters are all hovering around the age of 20, which fits nicely in the New Adult category (too old for Young Adult, not quite old enough for Adult). NA is still a new landscape and some books are leading the charge, but most of the more successful of these books are in the Romance genre. Frozen_itstrueloveNot all, but most. My series, while it has a strong Romance subplot in it, is not a Romance. It’s Paranormal and Post-Apocalyptic.

Secondly, it differs in the Post-Apocalyptic genre. I went a totally different way with this. You’ve seen so many zombies, government take overs, revolutions, nuclear wars, man-made catastrophes that destroy the world, I didn’t want to rehash the same story.

In my story, the end of the world comes on the back of plague bearers taken from Scandinavian folklore: Pestas. Cloaked creatures that breathe pestilence and death, stealing through the night to claim their victims and then let urban population do the rest.

DeanSamScurred

  1. Why do I write what I do?

This was a new world for me when I first sat down to write World of Ash. My bread and butter is Urban Fantasy with many people and creatures that have powers and magic. In this world, only the Pestas wield any kind of supernatural powers. It’s difficult, I have to admit, to hinder my characters by keeping them normal and just trying to figure out how to survive in this new world. But, one day, after finishing two UF manuscripts, back to back, I had a vision of my main character, Kat, staring into a broken mirror. The room around her showed signs of a fire, her eyes were bloodshot and shadowed by fear and lack of sleep, and her hair was stringy and greasy. I knew the world had ended when I saw her in my mind and I didn’t know how it happened. I wanted to know.

Sometimes a whole story will coalesce in your mind and you just have to sit down and get it out before you lose it, but sometimes a character will just walk into your mind, ready to tell you their story. Kat came to me, with her story of the end of the world, and I wanted to write it down.

4. How does my writing process work?

Oof. That’s a complicated question. It has changed so much over time.

When I first started out, I was pantser – I just sat down and wrote, without an outline or notes, just writing until I hit my goal. Back then, if I tried to write with an outline, I lost the immediacy, the urgency, of getting the story out. That’s how I wrote my first three and a half books.

Now I like outlines. Now I almost need an outline to work. When a story comes to me, whether the nugget of an idea, a character, or a whole thing, I sit down with a legal pad and a pen and take a day or two or a week, to get that outline written. Sometimes it’s detailed, sometimes it’s just a skeleton to keep me on the right road through the mountains, but it’s something to follow. Then, when I know I have enough of an outline to get me going, I take one day (just one!) to build a playlist for the book. At least an hour’s worth of songs, that capture the tone of the book. As I write, as I learn the characters’ personalities, as I learn the details of the relationships, I’ll add more and more songs.

On that same day, I’ll head to Pinterest and start an inspiration board. This is a new one, but it really helps when you have a big cast of characters or multiple series you’re working on – you can pin pics of people who look like your chars for reference later, and you can pin locations and structures that help you visualize what you’re writing about.

Once all that’s done, it’s time to write. And write. I treat writing like a job and go to work every day of the week and take the weekends off. I set a word goal for myself, usually 2,000-2,500 words and I write (usually in sprints with other writers), until I hit that goal or surpass it, if the words are flowing. I don’t make excuses to not write. I don’t’ wait for my muse. I don’t have to have the perfect conditions. I just turn on the playlist and put fingers to keys and get that damn first draft written.

Posted in characters, Craft, Creative Life, Paranormal, Post Apocalyptic, Writing | 4 Comments

Why Friends Ended Up Kicking HIMYM In the Pants

In case you’ve been living under a rock (or just don’t like sitcoms), last week saw the long-anticipated end of How I Met Your Mother’s nine-year run.

why god gif

And it sucked. It blew major chunks. It bit monkey butt. It died kind of like—

Oh, wait. If you haven’t seen it and don’t want spoilers, STOP NOW. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. HERE BE SPOILERS FOR BOTH HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER AND FRIENDS. Though if you don’t want to be spoiled on a show that ended a decade ago, um, well, just go somewhere else.

Okay.

So, HIMYM ended with the eponymous Mother dying (offscreen no less) and the show writers undoing nine years of character development for not one, not two, but THREE characters. What started out as a grand deconstruction of the sitcom ended up being a mockery of viewers’ expectations and a cliched perpetuation of the boy-meets-girl-and-traditional-moralities-win scenario.

The day after the finale, I promptly turned on Friends, which, as it turns out, is the last great sitcom. And here’s why:

friends hug

1. The overall plot and character arcs remained fluid over the course of the show. The ultimate problem with HIMYM’s was the show runners’ commitment to an ending they wrote and filmed five years before the show actually ended. At the end of season 2, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas decided that the best, most desirable ending was for future-Ted to say, “Psych! This is the story of how I met your mom, she died pitifully, and I told you I wanted to hook up with your Aunt Robin.” While viewers might have been happy to hear that at the end of season 2, when we knew and loved Robin but hadn’t even learned a single damn thing about Tracy, the mother we would come to know and adore. On the other hand, Friends developed story arcs year by year, and, with the possible exception of the Ross-Rachel ending, cultivated endings that worked both for the characters and the audience. Which leads us to…

2. The writers worked to please the audience without compromising the show’s integrity. When Rachel and Joey finally kissed, fans hated it. HATED IT. So what did the writers do? They walked it back. The characters realize that the obstacles complicating their relationship (friendship, history, and lack of chemistry) make them better friends than romantic partners. By contrast, when Monica and Chandler hooked up, fans LOVED it… because that relationship worked and made sense. Although that relationship was intended to be short-term, the show kept that plotline because of the fan response. Generally fans ship or don’t ship for a reason, and when we hate a relationship, it’s because it either doesn’t work or it just isn’t believable. If, in season 2, HIMYM fans wanted Ted and Robin to end up together, we had seven more years to advocate for Robin and Barney, and Ted and “the mother,” a character the show made us love. Things change, and so do fan opinions.

3. Character development was gradual, believable, and sustainable. It takes Chandler six years to become a man who was willing and able to date a woman like Monica. Through a succession of gradually improving relationships, he matures into a stable man who not only wants a relationship, but also works to make it as good as he can. Unlike Barney, he never undergoes a lightning-bolt moment of change—and, on the other hand, when he ends up committing to Monica, the show never undoes it. Barney wasn’t, in the end, capable of sustaining a monogamous relationship, but HIMYM didn’t prepare us for that U-turn. The end of Robin and Barney’s marriage was, perhaps, inevitable and realistic, but we had no reason to believe that in the build-up to the end. The divorce came like a slap in the face, and all to serve the writers’ desired ending.

ass

4. Rather than marginalizing “supporting” characters, the show built up and eventually equalized the treatment of the entire cast. While the network pushed for a “primary” plot line with two characters, and some viewers might argue that the Ross-Rachel story is the most important, most fans will argue (alongside the producers and the cast) that the show is a true ensemble. Late in the show’s run, the actors even entered collective negotiations on contracts to ensure that the “lesser” characters’ actors were receiving the same amount of pay and prestige as the “primary” actors. Joey and Phoebe ended up getting as much air time and as serious stories as the rest of the cast. HIMYM, however, had to rush to wrap up the secondary plots in the finale: Robin’s success in her career was marginalized by her sadness over losing Ted, and we never even see the mother of Barney’s child.

5. Characters were challenged but not undermined. Monica and Chandler can’t have children. Career-woman Rachel gets pregnant. Offbeat Phoebe realizes she wants to get married and breaks up with the man she loves who doesn’t want marriage. While, ultimately, this is a sitcom and everything ends happily, characters face realistic challenges along the road to reaching their individual happy ending. While HIMYM did a fantastic job with this at times (Robin’s infertility, Lily’s lack of fulfillment with motherhood and teaching, the death of Marshall’s father), in the end, the things the characters stood for ended up not mattering that much. Ted’s years-long battle to get over Robin? Apparently never happened. Robin’s desire to not be a mom? Doesn’t matter, if they’re not her kids. Barney’s gradual realization that monogamy is pretty okay? Goes away as soon as he and Robin get divorced. Why build up a character’s needs, wants, and desires if you’re just going to undo that growth in the season finale?

long hard day

6. Although the show does perpetuate a few more traditional stories (hetero-romances ending in marriage, babies, and a house in the suburbs), it also showed less stereotypical lifestyles: Ross’s lesbian ex-wife and her marriage, Joey’s continued single life, Rachel’s choice to be a single mom AND a career woman. Yes, all ends happily, with three of the six main characters married and two in a committed relationship. But the show never forces bachelor Joey into marriage or commitment, as HIMYM did for Barney (and then brutally undid in the finale). And while Robin is a successful journalist, we don’t even get to see her feeling happy or fulfilled by that life: all we see is her sadness over losing Ted. And while HIMYM showed Barney reverting back to his, erm, promiscuous ways after his divorce, his character immediately becomes prudish Super Dad Man after his daughter is born. It’s sweet, and NPH did a terrific job with that scene, it’s hard to swallow. HIMYM does get kudos for Ted and Tracy’s decision to have kids and live together without getting married until, well, they do. Ten points for realism there.

7. Friends had a satisfying ending. In spite of everything I’ve said above, the most important reason why Friends kicked HIMYM’s ass was the top-notch, heart-warming series finale. The show manages to refer back to earlier episodes without regressing, and it also includes new developments and characters (Paul Rudd as Mike, anyone?!). It tugs on the heartstrings, but not in a manipulative way (“And that’s how your mom died: OFFSCREEN!”). The finale gave us a chance to not only see our beloved characters reach happy endings, but also to say goodbye to them in a satisfying way. No one was jerked out of the world, no one suffered beyond the normal sadness of farewells, and no one was neglected for having already wrapped up their story.

friends ending

Ultimately, the producers and writers of Friends bent over backward to create and sustain character development that was believable, and they incorporated fan reactions to story lines without ever crumbling into fan service. So… if you want to watch a funny, satisfying sitcom? In the end, sometimes the classics stay popular for a reason.

Choose Friends.

Posted in Geekery, Television | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

New Release!

This, is the result of new shiny ideas and mushbrain! I’m so excited to share my new release (yeah, it’s contemporary…sorry guys, the paranormal has taken a back seat for now).
I give you…
FINDING HER DREAM

 Available now!!
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Western Romance
Add to Goodreads

It wasn’t until she watched her best friend find the man of her dreams
that RayAnne Hill realized there was a part of her missing. She knows
the empty space can only be filled by finding her own true love,
complete with kids and the white picket fence. Fear of letting someone
in stops her cold, and it’s much bigger than just finding Mr. Right.

James Shaw moved away from Kentucky and the family business to chase
his own goals, settling in the small town of Kimmswick, Missouri. His
business is succeeding, now he’s ready to complete his life with a wife
and kids. One night, one look and he’s found her. RayAnne is everything
he’s been searching for.

As hard as James has fallen for RayAnne, can he be enough to help
her overcome her worst nightmare? Or will he decide he can’t wait
forever, and walk away to find happiness?

Purchase: All Romance | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Excerpt:

He swallowed another drink of dark amber beer. The local brew had quickly become one of his favorites. The bar, a second favorite. It was tiny, just like the town. Everyone knew everyone. Laughter from the front door pulled him from his pity party. James turned to see whose laughter sounded like wind chimes on a warm spring night. He sucked in a deep breath and pounded his chest to get his heart beating again. Blonde hair fell over her shoulders. Shorts, not a skirt, showed off her legs. Her cowboy boots were broken in, but perfect for the outfit.

By the time his heart came back on line the group had broken off into two directions, one of the women went to find a seat while the blonde headed to the bar. With a man. Just his luck. But he couldn’t keep his eyes off the way she sauntered up to the bar, her hips wiggling just enough to draw his attention. As he watched her order he noticed the man had his sights set on the other woman they’d arrived with. She had spiky black hair, piercings, and tattoos. Maybe his day wasn’t doomed after all. The dark haired one wasn’t his type. But the blonde…the cute, innocence of her face contrasted with the sexy short shorts and flannel shirt tied at her waist. She was exactly his type.

She looked up and down the patrons, stopping at him. James couldn’t pry himself away from her gaze. He winked and she grinned before offering him a finger wave. A little vixen.

“Hi.” Her cute, kissable mouth formed the word.

“Hey, sugar,” he replied, garnering the attention of the guy standing at her side. The other man glanced down the bar at him and cocked an eyebrow. Did they know each other? James didn’t think so, but he wasn’t very good at names or faces, so it was possible.

James broke their connection, turning to signal the bartender he wanted another round. As he tipped the bottle back, a warm, soft touch landed against his neck. “Save me a dance, cowboy,” the sweet words were whispered in his ear.

Posted in Romance, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why the First Avenger is the Best Avenger

Captain_america_WWIIToday Captain America: The Winter Soldier comes out in US theaters. In honor of this event, we are going to talk about something I firmly believe.

Captain America is the best Avenger.

Now some of you might disagree. You look at Cap and think, “He can’t fly, or shoot lasers out of his eyes, or really do anything SUPER human. He’s nothing special.” And you’d be right. Steve Rogers is not extra-human. He is merely the peak of the human existence.

So out of a group of geniuses, gods, and hulks what makes Steve Rogers special?

Steve Rogers was a hero before he was super.

In many superhero origin stories, our heroes start about as far away from being heroic as they can be. Tony Stark is an arrogant womanizer who doesn’t even give the people who love him respect. Bruce Banner recklessly charges forth to do a test that isn’t ready because he wants to figure out the answer first. Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton both start out on the wrong side of the law. Hank Pym is pretty much a jerk. The list goes on and on. Men and women who only became heroes after they were granted powers or technology or after some huge life changing event.

The same can’t be said for Steve Rogers.

Steve Rogers didn’t need great power to know he had great responsibility. This is a man that believes that every person, whether they have power or not, haSteve_little_fights a responsibility to stand up for what is right and good in the world. That every person should work towards the common good and, should the need arise, lay down their life for someone. Superheroes as a group are fairly invulnerable (Hawkeye excepting).  It doesn’t take a lot of bravery to step in front of a bullet when you know it can’t hurt you.

It takes a lot to fall on a grenade when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it will destroy you.

Steve_grenade

Steve Rogers was always a hero. He always stood up for people, he always believed in sacrifice. And it was because he was a hero that he was chosen to be super.

Steve Rogers believes in you.

Yes, you. I don’t care who you are. He believes in you. He believes that no matter your circumstances or your life, you have the ability to make the right decision and that you will.

Hawkeye

Hawkeye

After all, Steve is an orphan raised in the Great Depression who fought in World War 2. He lost the closest person he had to family (his best friend Bucky Barnes). He froze into a Capsicle–isolated and alone in the ocean, undoubtedly believing he was not ever going to wake up. He woke up in a world so strange it might as well be an alien planet.

Steve Rogers knows about bad circumstances. He understands how the world can often seem to be working against you, as if the universe is conspiring just to thwart you.

But he also believes you are better than your circumstances. That you can and will overcome.

Are you a mild-mannered scientist who if he gets angry releases a bright green rage monster? Well you know what? Captain America believes that you can control that, that you won’t get angry and you will make the right decision.

Steve_Bruce_word1

Steve_Bruce_word2

Steve_Bruce_word3Are you a former Russian spy or an ex-carnie with a middle school education and a habit of making bad decisions? Captain America believes in you.

A genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist with MAJOR daddy issues? He believes in you too.

A brainwashed science experiment sent to kill Captain America? Yes, Steve Rogers even believes in you.

And that solid belief, that Steve Rogers patented look that says, “I know you’re going to do the right thing”–it makes people want to do the right thing.

Steve Rogers makes other people better just by believing in them.

Steve Rogers doesn’t just save the world, he makes this world and the people in it better.

And that’s why Captain America is the best Avenger.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Living the Dream: What Does it Mean?

Double Rainbow, rainbow, alaska, landscape, sky, mountains, hills, green hills

By Eric Rolph at English Wikipedia (English Wikipedia)

The other day, I was at a friend’s house, and he asked me if being able to quit my day job was my endgame for writing. I answered in the affirmative; my sort of basic goal is indeed to be able to write for a living.

I also wrote recently about how sometimes for dreams to come true, we need to funnel them into the concrete solidity of goals, break them down into their composite parts, and learn how to build them into the success we want.

But when my friend Matt asked me that question, I realized that there’s a whole other question buried into it. What does success look like? How do we know we’ve achieved it? Will we know? What comes next?

I was listening in passing to one of the Nerdist podcasts (I’m not even sure which one), but I remember Chris Hardwick saying something to that effect. Goals are great, but they are also an odd moment in time when you achieve them. “There, that happened. Now what?” was the gist of what he was saying. So it got me thinking.

Sometimes our goals are so lofty that they take years or decades to reach, if we get there. Reaching them is at once a tremendous boost and a teetering precipice of “what next?”

You can’t define success as a moment in time.

That said, you can pinpoint a moment as when you first felt successful, but if nothing builds upon it, that same success you strove for can become stagnation and dissatisfaction.

Way back in the 90s, there was this early social website called Bolt. (Anybody?) On the personality section of the profile, there was this list of questions, one of which was, “What do you most want to have ten years from now?” It was followed by a dropdown list of answers. One of those was “a passport full of stamps,” and that’s the one I chose. Ten years later, I did indeed have that. I had that moment of success when I realized I had almost no room left in my passport, and it was followed by me asking myself what my next passport will look like. It’s up for renewal this year.

Right there, bottom left, is the first stamp that landed in this passport.

Right there, bottom left, is the first stamp that landed in this passport.

Sometimes when you accomplish a goal, like I did with this passport, the next goal can be much the same. More. For me, that’s it. I haven’t seen all of this world yet, and there are still countless places I want to visit and learn from.

It’s much the same with publishing. Getting published this year, getting that first book deal, all the firsts that come with it — those things are a big accomplishment for me. But they’re not the end of the road. I’ve had a couple people legitimately ask me if I plan to write more books after this one gets published. If getting published were something that was the end all for my writing goals, perhaps I wouldn’t. But because writing is part of my identity and what I plan to try and make into a long career, my road doesn’t stop there, and I’m not about to kick off my boots and salute the past.

So what will signify success to me?

I’m not someone who craves diamond sunbursts or marble halls. Much like Anne Shirley, I want to have a life that reflects who I am. I want to travel, even if it means living modestly when I am in this country. Someday I want to see my books on the NYT/USA Today bestseller lists. I’d like to earn enough from my writing to write full time. I want to pursue acting as a hobby or more. I want to go to conventions and create some fun costumes. If five years from now those things are happening, I’ll feel successful.

What will denote success in your life? How will you know you’ve gotten there? What have you achieved so far?

Posted in Creative Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Raising the Bar While Giving Thanks

UChicago_pole_vaultHello real-life Hermione Granger. Not only do Emma Watson and I look eerily alike (when I have my natural hair color, that is), but I fully admit to being a perfectionist. I always have been. But I’ve noticed lately that it’s causing me to not realize how much I have accomplished. Why? Because I’m constantly setting the bar higher and higher for myself. For example, these are my (much simplified) goals to date:

  1. Write a book
  2. Get an agent
  3. Get a publisher
  4. Write more books.

The who/when of getting a publisher is totally out of my hands, so I have to do the best I can to be patient and just let it be (yeah, um, the reality is I worry myself silly). In the meantime, I’m writing more books because what if the first one doesn’t sell? It happens more often than you would think. So I write more. And because I want so badly to launch my career, I’m pushing myself to write faster and faster, all the while dealing with a full-time job and taking on more reviewing and other responsibilities to try to get exposure.

While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing (we have to have goals, right?), it got me wondering if anything will ever be good enough. Add to that a conversation I had with a Twitter friend about expectations in publishing, and I really wonder where/if it ever ends. She was telling me that once you get published, you’re handed a whole new set of goals:

  1. Sell a certain number of copies (as determined by your publisher)
  2. Make the New York Times and/or USA Today best-seller lists.
  3. Maintain/surpass previous sales.
  4. Hit #1 on the best-seller list.
  5. Maintain/surpass previous sales.
  6. Debut at #1 on the best-seller list.
  7. Etc., etc.

From a business perspective, this totally makes sense. More sales = more money. It makes sense from a career trajectory standpoint, too. Obviously, you want to keep doing better and better, gaining more fans and being able to negotiate better contract terms, not to mention movie deals and foreign rights, plus the personal satisfaction.

But what does it do from a personal perspective? Whether you’re just starting out and striving to get an agent or publisher or trying to climb the ranks on a best-seller list, does constantly focusing on that next milestone make us numb to the good fortune we have right now, in this moment?

I can only speak for myself, but I’m starting to think the answer is yes. (I’m using the book world as my example here, but please keep in mind I’ve been this way since birth. I was the kid that if I got an A, I wanted an A+.) When I was at a Hedgebrook Master Class, one of my fellow writers said something about being in awe of all I’ve accomplished at my age. I have a full-time job, but yet, I’ve written four books and am on the cusp of publication, plus I do all kinds of things in the writing community. Not to mention that I was one of six writers chosen for the that retreat. I’m fortunate to have traveled the world and consulted with experts in my research. To her, this was amazing. To me, it’s just – normal.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful or stuck up or whatever, but to me those things are just life. They are the natural progression of things. And they aren’t good enough. Why? I’m not published yet, I’m not a known name, etc. Like I said, I’m always pushing myself to be more and do more. But in the process, I think I’m missing the bigger picture and the blessings that have come my way. Am I grateful for all of these things? Hell yes! But can I see them for the accomplishments that they are? No, I don’t think I can – at least not fully.

Maybe it’s just a defect in my personality. Or maybe it’s a symptom of society. I don’t know. But I know it’s something I want to change. I’ll always be reaching for the stars, but I want to learn to recognize all things – big and small – that get me to each of my goals. I’m not quite sure how to so that, but I’m going to try.

Have you ever been in a similar situation or is it just me? Do you have any suggestions for how to be grateful for what you have, while still aiming for more? Please let me know your thoughts.

Posted in Creative Life | 4 Comments