March 7, 2018

IWSG - when you don't meet your goals

the question for this month is: How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/ finish a story?

i'm going to turn that around and ask: "How do you treat yourself when you haven't achieved your writing goals or finished a story?"

i started working on my sequel in 2009. i expected to have it published in 2011 (when i re-formatted my book in 2010, i even put a teaser prologue in the back and said, "Coming in 2011." ouch.)

9 years later and guess what? i have 5 drafts. i don't even want to count how many words that is. i've talked on this blog numerous times how i want to get it done. how i'm GOING TO GET IT DONE! i've tried to motivate myself any way i could possibly think of.

it still isn't done. i have NO IDEA when i'll finish.

i haven't handled it well.

a lot of things have come up in those 9 years. we moved Phoenix, Arizona to Montana. i was depressed for several years after i got here. i've had health problems. i had a surgery in August and it took a lot longer than expected to recover. now i'm doing physical therapy. in the midst of all this there are errands to run, appointments to get to, kids to educate, and life to live.

if any of my friends were to relate that story to me, i would have the utmost compassion for them. i would encourage them. i WOULD NOT get on their case about it. but that's what i do to myself. i've been that way for a long time.

it's time to stop. i'm not going to get the book done by acting like a drill sergeant towards myself. i need to be kind and compassionate with myself. i need to celebrate that i made it through all those difficulties and i'm still showing up to live on most days.

and maybe i need some chocolate. it's been a long time since i had chocolate.

to read more IWSG posts, click on the black and orange badge on the right-hand side of my blog, just underneath my Snoopy cartoon.

February 16, 2018

We Love Superheroes Week

i don't know how i found this blog party, but it's all about superheroes! the majority of movies we watch as a family are superhero movies. i think they make up about a third of our collection. that being the case, i was eager to participate. i don't think i have time to do all the posts for the party, but i can at least do the tag.

1.  Who are your favorite superheroes?  (Go ahead and list up to five if you want!)
- Wonder Woman
- Superman (especially the newest from Man of Steel)
- Thor
- Spiderman (any version)
- Scarlet Witch from the newest movies

2.  What's your favorite superhero movie?
Wonder Woman and Thor:Ragnarok, but i haven't seen Black Panther yet.

3.  Do you have a favorite superhero couple?
i liked Diana Prince and Steve Trevor from the latest WW movie, but i also like the latest Clark Kent/Lois Lane story.

4.  What was your introduction to the world of superheroes?
when i was about 6, i loved, i mean LOVED watching Adam West as Batman. i think i had a crush on him. sometime in grade school, i started reading Spiderman in our local comics. and then there was Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman on t.v.

5.  If you could be any superhero for a day, who would you like to be?
i think Wonder Woman.

6.  Do you have a favorite supervillain?
Hive from Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and although, technically, he didn't have super powers, Grant Ward was a great villain.

7.  Can you think of a superhero who should get their own solo film, but hasn't yet?
Black Widow, and maybe Hawkeye.

8.  Do you read comic books?

9.  Why do you like superheroes?
i can't think of a reason off the top of my head. i'm sure if i discussed it with any of my 3 kids, i could come up with a really good one.

10.  Have you ever cosplayed as a superhero?  Feel free to share pics if you want!

i have a couple of other questions i thought to add.

11. what's your favorite superhero movie experience? 
my kids wanted to get caught up with/review the Avenger heroes so they would be ready to watch the upcoming Avengers movie. since we have all the movies, we had a Marvel Hero marathon that lasted a few weeks (that was 16 movies!). it was great to watch them chronologically (according to the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline).

12. what superhero movies or t.v. shows have surprised you? (as in, you thought you wouldn't like them but did.)
- Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 1
- Dr. Strange
- the most recent Spiderman. i think Tom Holland's version is one of my favorites now.

February 14, 2018

He makes beautiful things

this video has meant a lot to me over the last few months and i wanted to share it.

February 13, 2018

an old-school blog link-up (or blog hop...) for Valentine's Day

i love "love." i love writing love stories. i love reading love stories. i love watching love stories. i love hearing stories where love wins. when i doodle, it's usually hearts or swirls. i collect heart art. i love that all love comes from the Author of love.

when i read about a Valentine's Day "old school" blog link-up at Morgan's blog, Once Upon a Time, i thought, "i would LOVE to do that," especially since i'm trying to get back into writing and blogging. so thank you, Morgan, for the chance to write about something i love. :)

if you want to play along, you have until Feb. 27.

1. When you were in elementary school, how did you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Was it a big deal or not so much? 
(i was just talking to my husband about this the other day.) from Kindergarten through 6th grade, my teachers always made a big deal out of it (parties, food, handing out cards to everyone in class). i did the same when i taught 2nd grade for 3 years, probably because the parents, kids and other teachers expected it (and party days were kind of fun). but i wonder, why do we pressure kids to give Valentines to other kids that they might not like, or who might not like them? at the same time, a teacher never wants one of her students to feel left out. when i was in school, it always made me feel a little awkward.

2. What has been your favorite gift you have received on Valentine’s Day? 
i'm 55. it's hard to remember what was a Valentine gift. i love red roses (but i have a cat now, and he loves to play with flowers, so we don't buy them often). my husband has given me awesome cards in our 31 years of marriage. i think i remember we went away to a nice hotel for a weekend when our kids were little.

update: he just brought home a lovely bouquet of roses and mums. i posted it at the beginning

3. Should Valentine’s Day even be celebrated? 
i have mixed feelings about that. i think there's a lot of pressure to have a significant other for the day. i think it's hard on couples (especially the boyfriend or husband) to make it a perfect day, and to do something bigger and better every year. and i know it can be hard on people who don't like the day, or who don't have anyone to celebrate with romantically. but i also like the idea of having a special day to show that we love someone, whether it's a husband or boyfriend, a friend, or someone in our family.

4. Do you like to send Valentine’s Day cards?
i give them to my kids, with some money, and i always buy one for my husband.

5. Do you ever receive Valentine’s Day cards? 
sometimes my mom sends them to me. my grandmother used to send homemade cards to me until she passed away. my husband always gives me one.

6. Do you think people spend too much on Valentine’s Day? 
yes. it goes with the pressure thing i mentioned in question 3. but i've also heard of people buying flowers the day after Valentine's because they're marked down quite a bit, so there are ways to keep it inexpensive.

7. What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy? 
chocolate, of course. and my favorite chocolates are truffles, but i don't think i've ever gotten them on Valentine's Day.

8. What is your favorite movie with a love story? 
that's hard to answer because i have so many favorite romance movies. i think i'll go with one that most people might not know about and that's "Open Range." i love it because Charlie (a gunhand-turned-cowboy) doesn't think he's worthy of anyone's love, and when he meets Sue, he thinks she's too fine for him, but she loves him despite seeing how violent he can be against the bad guys.

9. Do you believe in “love at first sight”? 
possibly... it makes a good story in a book or movie.

10. Tell us about your first crush! 
his name was Jerry. i sat next to him in first grade. i thought he was adorable, especially when he smiled. and he was always nice to me.

11. Do you have a terrible dating story? Tell it! 
actually, my first date with my husband was horrible. we went to a concert and all we did was tease each other. i told a friend that i didn't think he was for me. our second date was much better, once i finally agreed to go out with him again. i'm so glad he was persistent.

12. Favorite love song? 
at first i didn't think i had any, but then i came up with six, all from movies.
--"Only You" from The Young Victoria.
-- "Holding All My Love for You" from Open Range
-- "I Want to Spend my Lifetime Loving You" from The Mask of Zorro
-- "Let My Love Open the Door" (i don't know who wrote it, but it's used in Dan in Real Life)
-- "I'd Go the Whole Wide World" (i think it's by the Monkees, and it's used in Stranger Than Fiction)
--"Beauty and the Beast"

13. Favorite Celebrity Couple? 
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

14. The best break up song…
 i really like "Can't Stop Loving You" by Phil Collins.

15. If you had a perfect Valentine’s Day, what would you be doing?
at this point in life, i'm happy spending time with my husband, even if we're just hanging around the house.

for more posts in this blog link, go to Morgan's blog, Once Upon a Time. 

if you fear the semi-colon...

i do not, in fact, fear semi-colons. i actually love using them. one reader of my original novel said i didn't know how to use them, and that i used them too much. he didn't know what he was talking about. but anyway, i didn't come here to rant about that moment in my novel's history.

here is a link i found 8 years ago and it just popped up on my facebook feed. i thought i'd share it, if for no other reason than to allay the fears of my fellow writers, and perhaps give you a good laugh. goodness knows we need more of those.

"How to Use a Semi-Colon (the most feared punctuation mark on earth)"

now, if you come back another day, i might start ranting about how commas are slowly taking the place of periods.

February 6, 2018

IWSG - a post about not writing

i'm tired of not writing. it's been a year since i worked on my novel. i haven't really been blogging. in both cases, i've tried. i've sat down, opened up my laptop, opened my Word program or Blogger, and then there's nothing. nada. zilch.

it feels like there's nothing in my brain worth putting in a story or a blog post. nothing worth really saying. that's sad and scary, because i love writing. even this post feels like a stretch and partly a waste of time. like i'm just venting and then sharing. "oh boy! what a great thing to post about."

but we're the Insecure Writers' Support Group. we can post about anything we want, as long as it fits the theme of helping other insecure writers. and let me tell you, i feel pretty qualified to share this. after a year of not writing, i'm a little insecure.

make that I'M VERY INSECURE.

but the other part of posting in this group, or at least how i feel about it, is to share something encouraging. i'm not sure that's going to happen today. that's kind of sad to me too. i started this blog a long time ago because i wanted to be encouraging. now i know that isn't always going to happen.

maybe this post is just here to say, "if you're not writing, i kind of know what you're going through--maybe not the exact circumstances, but i feel your frustration and pain. and maybe i have some things to share that i've learned in this year of not writing."

we're writers, but we don't always write. we miss a day, a week, a month. sometimes we don't write for a long time. but we're still writers. somewhere in us there is still something to say. we just don't know what it is.

we're writers, but sometimes we're afraid to write our stories or say what we need to say. we're probably afraid our writing is drivel or garbage. 

we're writers, but our worth IS NOT tied to how much we produce or what kind of response we get from what we write. we haven't failed. 

we're writers. sometimes we just write for ourselves and no one else. sometimes we can't even do that. we're still writers. 

we're writers. but we're also humans with messy lives. many of us have a family, a spouse, kids. maybe we have financial problems, health problems, marital problems. maybe we've gone through major surgery, lost family members, lost a job. maybe we're just tired of life. 

we're writers. sometimes we try to write to escape. sometimes we try to write and we can't. we're still writers.

well, in conclusion... it was pretty disjointed and rambling, but i wrote it and it felt really good to write and be an IWSG participant again. maybe someone read it. maybe someone was even encouraged. i don't think it was complete drivel. whatever the case, i'm still a writer. 

January 31, 2018

every writer has to start somewhere

i came across this quote in my facebook memories feed today.

"The Lion all began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. This picture had been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself: 'Let's try to make a story about it.'" - C. S. Lewis
i'm very glad for myself and the world that Mr. Lewis decided to "make a story about it."