Sunday, November 24, 2013

Just Breathe

Just breathe.

That's something I need to remind myself to do once in awhile. I've been staying away from my blog because this year has been a bit overwhelming. Between a huge move, health issues, and a few big trips, I've had a lot going on.

Part of the problem is myself. I would describe myself as a chicken little, "the world's falling" kind. Add to the anxiety issues a type A perfectionist and yup! that's me. I don't know how to inspire myself to keep writing when it is seemingly impossible to break out into the book world. I don't even want huge success. I just want some acknowledgement, but I don't do well with failure and rejection. Yet that is part of the process.

At the end of the day- I still want to write. Maybe just for me, but I will write.

As a reader, I've been taking apart the books I read as a writer. I don't do it with books that make me forget I'm reading, the really good ones. But I find those good ones so few and far between. The current one I'm reading feels like the writer was watching a Tom Cruise Mission Impossible movie. I'm bored. I don't want to read it anymore but I kinda want to know how it ends, so I'm trudging through it.

The writer tells instead of shows, and repeats things often, making me feel like he thinks his readers are dumb. And he's a best-selling author.

I don't mind a good action story, or movie for that matter, but you have to make it plausible. I'm one of those who misses the pre-special effects era when you actually had to have a plot. Same with books.

Finally, I know I didn't write much about my trip to Ecuador to visit my in-laws, but we did go, and the trip was wonderful. We had a really good time and no one got the stomach bug, which made it even better! I'd like to go back every year but we are currently broke and I'm looking for a job, so I don't think it will happen this year.

Whew! That was a lot. Thanks for hanging in there!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wow! It's October already!

I just realized my last post was back in March. How time flies!

A lot has happened since then for me and my family. We've moved and are now settled in our new home near the beach on the east coast. It's a beautiful, historic area with endless things to do, both indoors and out. After I established myself at the local library, I found a pamphlet on the area's writer memberships and conferences. They were holding a free flash fiction workshop at the library and were holding a weekend conference literally 5 minutes from my house! I'm excited to be in an area that is supportive of the arts at last!

Now if only I were writing :(

That will come with time. . .meanwhile I dabbled with painting a little. Just for myself and my family's enjoyment. Which explains the mermaid painting for my daughter, who is currently obsessed with mermaids. Next up will be a horse. (Also an obsession)

Another event to report is that I returned to Ecuador with my family this summer. It was my first trip back in 8 years and it was wonderful. Now I'm determined to retire there early when my youngest finishes school. I have a long time to go but I can dream in the meantime :)

I'm really looking forward to hearing from all of you in my long lost cyber writing world, and of hearing of your latest adventures too. I'll be making my rounds. .

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I'm okay!

Sorry about dropping off the face of the blogger world, but I'll probably won't be around much for awhile. A couple of weeks ago my husband discovered that we are going into a deja vu of 6 years ago, meaning we have to move or he's out of job. I feel like a mama bird without a nest, knowing I have to leave, but not knowing where I will make a new home for my little fledglings. I could go on a little rant about the corporate world here- because we find out through the news what is going to happen to the company and how our lives are going to be turned upside down. How they are so concerned about the bottom line that they will toss out hardworking employees in a small city with no prospects and tell them it will be okay. But we are the lucky ones- the other 1000 people don't have the option to move. So I must pack up my family, leave my job, rip my kids away from friends and family (grandparents who followed us on the first move), and start over again in a strange city. What can we do but be grateful this is the worst thing we have to complain about. So thanks to Elise and Linda, who sent out messages to keep in touch, I am still thinking of you too. Maybe when the dust settles I will pick up this blog again, and write too, but 'til then. . .wishing all of you well. Honey/Rose

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Books made into Movies

For some reason I can't remember, I had an urge to read a romance by the famous Nicholas Sparks. I've never read one of his books before, and I don't usually like romance, but I figured all those people must like him for something. I bought the nook version of the Lucky One and couldn't put it down, finishing it in three days. Not only was the romance slow and believable, but there was another side to the story that made it almost a thriller/action genre too. It kind of is where I'm aspiring to get my novel to.

Anyway, on the third day of reading the book and finishing it, I rushed out to rent the movie. What a disappointment! It was sooo different from the book it was barely recognizable, and while Zach Effron played the character acceptably, I couldn't stand the female lead. She was high strung and unlikable. Anyway, I finished up the movie feeling like I had wasted 1-2 hours of my time, and I hate wasting time.

As for the other movies based on his books, I'm sorry, I never liked the Notebook and Dear John left me scratching my head. (You don't need to marry someone to help them out while they're sick)

Here's the question- How do you feel about books that are made into movies? Personally, I prefer to read the book first- how about you? Any movies that completely ruined the book, or vice versa. . . made it even better? On that last question, I'm a big fan of two Jane Austen based movies, Emma and Sense and Sensibility.

Finally, I know I fell off the radar over the last few weeks, but I'm feeling great now and slowly getting back into my routine. I'll see you in the rounds and on Wednesday for the ISWG!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Back to the Beginning

I'm not really thinking any profound thoughts at the moment, and I'm not writing at all. I hope when I'm feeling better I'll get back into the groove, but in the meantime I thought I'd recycle an old post that I wrote when I first started blogging. When I reread it, it still makes me laugh thinking about it :) Anything to share a laugh or a smile on a Monday!

It was titled- It was quite a drag! and it's about volunteering at my local animal shelter.

The reason I officially stopped walking the bigger dogs is found in the title of this post. It was a beautiful day, weather wise, and I had stopped by the shelter with my youngest daughter, who was three at the time. After bathing and playing with a pile of puppies, I convinced my little "Wudge" (As in Wudgey, Wudgey Woo) to come with me and pick out a bigger dog to take for a walk. I took a leash, and with her by my side, we walked around to the kennels where the large, adult dogs were kept. It was hard to choose; I wished I could take them all, but I needed to make sure that I could manage it while walking.

As I gazed at each dog, trying to decide, their eyes all pleaded in unison, "Pick me, pick me!", until one of the workers at the shelter suggested a cute, friendly, but very excited female dog. It seemed like a good idea to me too, so I opened the gate, slipped a leash over her head, and off we went. With the exception of a few, the dogs at the shelter are the worst dogs to walk. They've been couped up in a 5' x 10' kennel 24/7 with only short breaks so there is a lot of bottled up energy, like a soda can that's been shaken and the top's just been popped. We walked past "the gauntlet" of other dogs, I've named it thus because all the other still caged dogs bark and lunge at the free dog for whatever reason, and continued out to the road with my little Princess Pokes-a-lot tagging along behind. The road the shelter is located off of also has some kind of municipal station too, further on down, so there is occasional traffic of trucks but for the most part it's quiet. Both sides of the narrow road have thick, South Carolina brush on each side, reminding me of the rainforest in Ecuador, so when the trucks come past we stand on the shoulder of the road in between fire ant colonies and wait for the coast to clear. On this day, my volunteer partner had decided that she really did not want to walk a big dog after all, so twenty feet outside the parking lot of the shelter, she announced she was done and now wanted to hold a kitty.


Now I have a three year old who has made her final decision on one hand, and a dog strangling herself to go for a walk in the other hand, literally. I just couldn't bring myself to take the dog back already, so I cut a deal. I would run, not walk the dog up to the fire hydrant 100 ft or so up the road and back, done. My little partner reluctantly accepted, and off I went.

I made it down to the hydrant while the dog madly strained forward at the end of the leash. On the return run, I was more focused on the put out expression of my daughter than on the dog and was unprepared when all of a sudden it cut across in front of me. I was going full speed and tripped over it, starting this forward stumbling, falling, think I can make, nope, not going to, splat on the road. The dog got loose from my grasp and darted full speed down the road. "Oh no," I thought, " I'm going to be fired as a volunteer." But to my amazement, the dog ran straight back to the shelter and up to one of the employees. As for myself, I slowly got myself upright and surveyed the damage. Ripped jeans, bloody knees, scraped hands, not so bad.

Just then I looked up at a pick-up truck passing by and the man inside grinned and waved. Automatically, I waved back. My daughter waited impatiently for me to limp down to her, because falling is, after all, at least a daily occurrence for her. Together we walked back to the shelter where I was handed back the leash, believe it or not. Thankfully no one at the shelter had seen the whole thing, so I sucked it up and pretended all was well. Now I just mostly pass the big dogs treats.

That's it! Hope you are all well and see you for inspiration next week :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

I made it!

Just a quick update- my surgery went perfectly and I'm back home now. Thanks to all of you who were sending out your prayers and thoughts for me :)

I'm actually feeling great and am just soo relieved that I had no complications. The anesthesiologist made me feel very confident before I went under that he knew exactly how to handle everything. They were extremely cautious and had me stabilized before they started the operation. I felt very well taken care of and am so happy to have it behind me now.

All I have to do now is move forward, heal, and get back to writing with the rest of you!

Monday, January 7, 2013

On my mind this week. .

I have a confession- I'm scheduled for surgery Wednesday and I'm scared. It's not without reason either, because the last time I had surgery it turned out I had severe, undiagnosed hypothyroid and I coded while under anesthesia. It's being treated now, but such a close call is a reminder of just how mortal one is, and I don't want to leave my girls motherless.

I've thought of canceling the surgery, but I'm convinced that if I leave my problem unattended it will lead to a more complicated surgery in the future, maybe even an emergency one. There's just no way around it, I need to do this.

My writing has been on hiatus because I just can't focus right now, but I have been reading, and I finished Sense and Sensibility already. It helped to keep my mind off of things, and it was just so good I couldn't put it down. I wanted to read it as a writer, studying it to absorb her style of writing and why she is so timeless, but I finished it as a reader. I was completely involved with the characters and even though I had seen the movie and knew how it ended, I wanted to experience it again.

Another book I had read, by a professor who teaches classes on Jane Austen's books, dealt with how timeless her characters are, and how they are capable of crossing cultural boundaries too. For example, who doesn't know someone so defined by material things and money that they could be John and Fannie Dashwood? or a young woman easily caught up and conquered by a womanizer, as Marianne was by Willoughby?
Even the "villain", Lucy Steele- a jealous, self promoting butt kisser?

In real life, I could see at least parts of these characters in people, some 200 years later. What a talent!

How are all of you doing? Anyone else finished with S & S?

I will try to post a quick note as soon as I am able to let you know how I'm doing after my surgery.