Month: January 2017

10 Years

It’s been ten years since I was 25.

In that time I got married, moved from DC, to Boston, back to DC, then to New Jersey. I popped out two baby boys, started and quit my own photography business, bought a house, bought a dog, got Lasik, got rid of cancerous cells on my cervix, lost all four of my grandparents, gained 20 pounds, coxswained for a team of Marine Corps rowers, met Al Gore, watched every episode of Grey’s Anatomy multiple times, voted for Obama, visited Paris and Punta Cana, and wrote a novel. Not in that order.

All in all it’s been eventful and fun.

But now I’m restless.

Restlessness is dangerous if isn’t channeled correctly.

I think I’ll go paint the basement.

via Daily Prompt: Ten

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A Note To Myself

My dear girl, how many things can you juggle at once? And by that, I mean, how many things can you throw up in the air, and how many of them will come crashing down and whop you in the head?

Because I have the memory of an infant, I’m going to list everything I’m trying to accomplish simultaneously this month. Thirty days from now I will revisit this list and cross off the things I didn’t finish. Maybe I’ll forget them forever. Maybe I’ll rekindle the flame. It’s January’s frenetic frenzy, I tell you. It’s a disease.

  1. Paint the basement. (A.K.A. Get rid of ugly. Peach and blue, ugh. It’s travesty.)
  2. Learn to hand letter. Calligraphy with brush pens. Fun and totally relaxing.
  3. Revise my novel.
  4. Complete four articles to submit to magazines or blogs.
  5. Get my son admitted to a special ed preschool.
  6. Retile the kitchen backsplash.
  7. Read everyday.
  8. Purge the no-longer-used baby toys.
  9. Declutter and purge the rest of the house. (One box at a time).
  10. Sew curtains for the bedroom.
  11. Host an event with a few friends at a place where you make your own chocolate. (I feel like this should be priority numero uno.)
  12. Convert two overhead recessed lights to pendants.
  13. Meet with a fellow writer IRL.
  14. Send a postcard to my senator.
  15. Cook the kids new foods. (Doctor said to lay off the nuggets and expand their horizons.)
  16. Try not to buy anything that isn’t associated with the projects on this list!

Bye Bye Bubble

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Sigh. It’s time to admit the bubble has burst. That flimsy, albeit protective, transparent bubble keeping me content.

I’m a white, middle-class woman with a loving husband, two healthy boys, a big pretty puppy, and two very hungry cats. We have a house, two cars, and enough money in the bank to feel comfortable.

Until last November very little bothered me other than not getting my way or being in control. Petty personal problems.

Until Trump.

Bye bye bubble.

The blinders are off. There is a world beyond my sweet, simple life. There are people in the United States of America who do not think that basic human decency is an essential trait for our Commander in Chief.

At first I was depressed. Flabbergasted. Angry. But now, above all else, I am thankful. Thankful for the motivation to get my ass off the couch and take some action.

The thing is, all these folks that voted for Trump existed before he was elected. The climate change naysayers, the elected officials who think it is okay to govern women’s bodies, the people who spew hate at anyone who doesn’t look, act, or think like them. I know they’ve always existed and I never paid much attention because I was comfortable, nestled in my bubble.

Now I’m uncomfortable. I suppose I have Trump to thank for that.

First things first: to apologize. For not doing enough for my community. For being selfish. I’m done ignoring injustice.Because we all should be able to live cozy, comfy lives, not just me.

January’s Frenetic Frenzy

It seems as though, every January, my brain does a somersault in my head, then begins spinning in a swirling tornado and decides that now is the time to make, create, accomplish something amazing. Maybe the drive tied to resolutions. Or maybe Winter is the trigger; maybe my personal version of frosty-weather hibernation is a more like a frenetic, creative, anti-hibernation frenzy.

In November I wrote a novel. Well 50,000 words, thanks to a neighboring writer friend who urged me to try the NaNoWriMo challenge: write a novel in a month. Was it hard? Yes. But even through migraines, holidays, and a toddler bringing home every disease known to mankind, I finished. I proved that I’m capable of expounding a story onto several hundred pages. Without giving up.

So this frenetic January my goal is to get published in 2017.

My heart knows it’s possible. I can write, and I can write well, if I put in the work. But my head knows it’s going to be hard. I don’t know anything about getting published. But I do know I’m going to lose precious Saturdays from my family figuring out how. I’m going to have put aside delicious baking projects, and home repairs (which give me a surprising amount of joy), and Pinterest crafts, TV shows, and social outings.

I’m an instant gratification kind of girl. I want it done and I want it done now so I can reap the rewards, accolades and pride. But writing is anything but instantaneous. You can’t follow a recipe and throw it in the oven and lick chocolatey goodness off your fingers a mere hour later. This is where persistence, practice and patience will pay off. Three things I’m pretty crappy at cultivating.

The writing process is full of self-doubt. That novel I wrote in November? I’m pretty sure it’s crap. But Eric Scott Fiscal wrote in Writer’s Digest that, “There is no bad writing. There is only writing that needs more revision. When staring at the incoherent shambles of an early draft, wanting to pour gasoline on my laptop and set it afire, I tell myself this and get back to writing.”

So I’m going to keep the faith that I can sustain this frenetic frenzy, banish my self doubt, and get something published in 2017.

Fingers crossed.

__

Sambuchino, Chuck. “Breaking In.” Writer’s Digest. February 2017: 20. Print.