Gathering mode

I have not been a very diligent blogger this summer. Too many distractions, too much to do, and the words are not flowing freely at the moment.

But what is happening is that ideas are flying at me like, um, something that flies at people. Baseballs? (yeah, see, words not flowing) and I am getting them all down.

I call this phase gathering mode. I’m watching and reading and taking notes of any and all the things that come to me during the day. Not just story ideas, I’ve got parts of songs, painting and even home design. And I’m gathering them all up as I attend to other things in my life.

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#WQWWC – Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – Memories

“Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them.” – Bob Dylan

This quote is engraved into a silver picture frame containing a photo of my wedding. Our whole wedding party is there. My best friends. My brother. My nephews. My husband. People I treasured eight years ago and still treasure today.

One of my bridesmaids gave me the frame. She told me that quote was her favorite.

This year I realized I hadn’t spoken with her in over year. Not just hadn’t found the time to hang out. We hadn’t even spoken. A dear friend who was my partner in crime during my single days, one who keeps stories of my indiscretions that I don’t think anyone else knows of.

We texted. We managed to organize a get together. I think we were both tentative. Our lives were so drastically different now than when we had been close. There was no need. We hung out late, talking.  My memories of her might have taken place in alot of bars and parties, but the venue was not what made the friendship.

She is again a dear friend to me in the days of diapers and mortgages.

So maybe the quote needs to be adjusted.

Take care of all your memories. Unless maybe you had too much to drink that night. Then take care of the friendship that remembers them.

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You will quit writing but You can’t quit being a writer

I’m feeling a little sad today. No particularly reason, just a general energy in the air I guess. Alot of people are hurting today. Alot of people are giving up or struggling very hard not to. Even my computer seems to be feeling the mood.

This feeling isn’t new to me. And although today I’m thinking more about friends than myself, it has crept in to my life in the form of discouragement with writing. I have been here before, standing int he midst of the abyss wondering if I am wasting my time, if anyone will really have the change to read my work, if I should just keep my novels safe and warm at home with me instead of giving them to publishers and agents, critique groups and contests where they don’t warrant any acknowledgement half that time.

I have given up. I have given up writing. I have given up the dream. It’s happened many times in the past, earlier in the process than this.

Today, my favorite writing critique group may be done with. People who I have really enjoyed, people who have offered me so much help and encouragement. In this group i finally realized I didn’t have to wait for some perfect day to call myself a writer. I am a writer and I know alot of shit about being a writer too. I haven’t been able to go for two months and I am feeling it.

I’ve given up in the past. Focused on graphic design, home renovation, jewelry design, stuff I liked. Stuff that offered instant gratification. Stuff I didn’t love.

I could stop writing. I could stop pursuing it as a career. But even if I was too unsure of myself to say it, I was still a writer. Being a writer was never a choice. I could only choose whether to hone it or to continue to let it discourage me.

I will not give up this time. I have nothing safe to fall back on this time. Any other career is no longer good enough for me. I may struggle for years to come, but I will not give up this time. Set backs will happen with any career. It may not run the course I want it to or expect it to, but I am not giving up this. I understand now, quitting is just putting off the work I’m going to have to do at one point another.

So I’ll continue to plunge into the abyss. This is what it is to be a writer.

If you’re in there with me, I wish you the best of luck.

An experiment in short storying

I believe I have mentioned I have a hard time writing short stories, which is disapointing because  there are so many great opportunities available for short story writers. the least not being some credits to your name.

Last night I was reviewing some notes and came across a novel idea I had hastily scrawled out as not to lose it. It wasn’t a bad idea. creepy, dark, but still undeveloped for a whole novel.

Then it occurred to me, maybe instead of trying to weave it into something expansive, i should just run with it and let it stay as simple as it was. Maybe I had a real short story idea. So I tested the waters and sure enough it stuck.

So I’m looking at all these ideas I have that aren’t moving yet. Even the ones that started out as novels but didn’t get past the first chapter. I’m gonna see what can be pared down and what can be fleshed out. I’m hoping to have some real work ahead of me and some real results in a month or two. Maybe I’ll even share some here.

The best part about it all though is that I am writing again. It’s been two months and my muse is finally back.

Happy July!