I do not write to escape

There are some people who write to escape the stresses of everyday life. I am not one.

Publishes authors, and even people who journal or write for a hobby sometimes say that writing is their way of escaping. It is where they turn when everything else seems to be too much.

I am not that way. I write to better understand the world around me because there are times that I often don’t know how I feel about a thing until I have written about it. I write because I often times need an unbiased slate on which to let my thoughts linger.

I do not write to escape. I write to contemplate, and I think that sometimes those two ideas get intermingled and confused. I want to get into the dark, dirty part of humanity that often hides, or is over simplified. To better understand why act the way they do I must become an unbiased observer, and I must observe everything around me. That’s part of being a writer.

 

Pondering from a moon child

You won’t see this post until the sun is already up, but it’s dark as I write.

I have always been in love with the moon. Even now it is my friend when sleep seems like a dream far away. Perhaps it is the silence. Perhaps it is the seduction of being all alone, and still surrounded by my loved ones. Even in the stillness and slumber that is my house I know that I can look up and that silver sphere will still be in the sky. I have never felt this way about the day, with its yellow rays that often times leave me feeling too exposed. No, I am a moon child through and through.

I am a moon child.

I find a sort of strength that I do not have during the day. As I stay awake while others are asleep I picture myself their guardian, their protector, and I relish in feeling of being such.

I am a moon child, and I find that I love more easily at night. During the day my affection has to war with all the thoughts and worries that come with being human, but at night I can simply let my emotions be. They are free under the watchful glow of the moon, and perhaps her presence is why I can finally let my own guard down.

Because I am the way I am, I struggle to sleep during the night. My mind is its most active, and sleep seems like something that other people do while I’d rather ponder the workings of the world.

In the night I am fully see that kindness and compassion are monumental to a happy life. That taking the time out of my day to do something nice for someone else might make me late for a meeting, but it might make the day for the person I helped.

In the night I can see how much I truly care for my oldest friends and my newest acquaintances. In the night I think that I might be able to tell them how much they mean to me, but I know that in the morning I will have lost my courage.

I spend the nights alone, and yet I often find that I feel abandoned when in a room full of people.

There are times when I wish I could be a type of person who finds adventure and excitement in the night, but I am not that type.

I was born for the silence of the night, and it is in that darkness that my thoughts, and invariably my words, are the loudest thing of all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you read?… The Golden Compass (#1)

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I just decided to make this a series. Literally, as I was typing the title I thought, “now this would make a good, weekly post”. Now that I’m thinking on it further I’m not sure that I can do a book review a week. I can, but I might drive myself mad doing so, so maybe every two weeks.

Anyhow, have you ever read The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman? Although it did have a Hollywood movie out of it, I can assure you that the book is far superior to the film. In all honesty, just don’t watch the movie. The BBC is planning to release a series based on the book series, and you should really wait for that if you want to watch any adaptation of the book.

Now, The Golden Compass was originally titled Northern Lights on its UK debut. I’m not sure why it was given the name change for its release in North America, but it was changed nonetheless.

It may appear to be a book targeted towards a younger generation of readers, and you would be right…and wrong at the same time. Yes, I was introduced to The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials Series) during middle school and high school, but you would be amiss to think that the books lose their appeal to anyone older.

I continually find myself picking up the books again and again because Pullman’s voice is so unique, and the world he has imagined is both familiar and terrifying at the same time. It is set in an alternate reality, one that mirrors Oxford University in many ways, but it deviates in that the world seems dominated by steampunk machines, and everyone has a companion that is a reflection of their personality.

Now, these books did spark a great deal of controversy when published, and they are still on the banned book lists in some areas because of their seeming attack on the church. Now, Pullman has said numerous times that he never intended to criticize the church with his work, but you’ll have to read it decide for yourself whether he was being sly or not.

Even though our protagonist is a young girl, Lyra, the narration of the work is not dumbed down for a younger audience. Pullman’s voice is mature, and his clear and precise language allows for a mature reader to enjoy the work as much as a younger reader.

Pullman also masters the narrative arc in this book. It opens with Lyra discovering a secret she should not, and while The Golden Compass mostly answers these questions, it also leaves enough unanswered to provide the foundation for the next two books in the series.

Basically, if you haven’t read any of his works, then you certainly should go check them out. He is even releasing a continuation of the story this year. Fans of the original series are thrilled (myself included), and I can say that I’ve already pre-ordered my copy of the book.

Now that I’ve rambled on about this book, I really just want to curl up a read the whole series again 🙂

 

*The image of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass is his own, and I take no ownership of the above image, and it is being used for educational purposes only.

When things don’t quite work out…

I guess that q&a wasn’t what people wanted, huh?

That’s ok. I’ll just try to work on something else for next week. I might do a book review. I’ve read several that I think other people might be interested in….

I hope you all have a great rest of your week!

 

Finally some quiet.

It’s reached a point in our moving/unpacking/getting our life reorganized that I finally have found the time to get back to my normal schedule.

I managed to get in a few writing sessions while on the road and as we waited for our stuff to arrive, but it finally feels good to actually return to my daily schedule.

Moving was fine, and we only managed to lose a cactus on our way across the country. The cactus seemed to collapse from the inside, and I’m not hopeful on it’s recovery. The fact that it was a $2 plant from Wal-Mart, and it survived for the year and half we were in Texas is good enough for me. I don’t have a green thumb, and I’m proud that it got that far.

We are going to try and grow some herbs while we’re here. I have the little pots on the window sill in the kitchen, and we’ll see if the seeds take. I’ve never tried to start anything from a seed. I’ve always just purchased a little starter plant, but we’ll see if I have any luck on my side.

I have yet to find a good writing area in our new house. I thought the kitchen table would work as it has in the past, but there aren’t any outlets nearby, and my little laptop doesn’t really hold a charge for long.

The hubby is building a coffee table now that we finally have a garage, and I’m thinking about building myself a desk. I grew up with my whole family doing carpentry work (mom and dad, both), so I feel pretty comfortable around any of the tools I would need. I just need to find a plan for a desk because I know I don’t trust myself with the measurements. Maybe that can be my weekend projects.

Other than that, nothing has really changed. I like Goldsboro way more than I thought, and the house we are renting is out in the country, which I like a lot because it reminds me more of my home in CO. The quiet is nice, and this way there aren’t people walking by window every hour of the day.

On a side note, I’ve started using Kindle Unlimited and for $10 a month I couldn’t be happier. I read so fast that I hate spending full price on books, so being able to read as many as I want, and then simply return them when I’m done is really nice. You only get to keep ten on your account at all times, but that’s not too bad, and the selection is pretty expansive.

Anyhow, have a lovely rest of your day, dear readers!

Going off grid…

So, for those of you who read this blog (mostly family. Hi mom. Hi dad.) you will know that hubby and I will be moving soon. A week and half to be precise, so I’m going to hold of on posts until we’re settled in our new abode. We’re hoping for a house with a yard, but we’ll have to see what the rental market is like in NC. We’ve heard good things. I’m keeping my mind open.

One thing I can say: Texas, you will not be missed. Your summers are too insanely hot for me, and although you’ve given us some great BBQ, I’m not sure that’s enough to make me stay. Or ever come back. I have no doubt that NC will bring it’s own share of challenges, but you can’t beat being on a few hours from the coast.

I might be posting small posts on my FB page (follow me there, if you haven’t!), but I’ll reserve posting here until we’re better settled.

Until then, happy reading.

Journal Submissions, and a five year plan.

I promised that I’d tell you the five year plan, and here it is: I want to get published. In between writing this blog I’ve been submitting my most recent story to different journals, and I’m waiting back for the rejection letters. That may sound pessimistic, but I’d rather be realistic, and the odds aren’t in my favor. That’s fine. It’s helping my get my foot in the door by simply getting my name out there. While I’m doing that I’m working on my next book.

I had the idea in my head before I started at Goddard, and I didn’t end up using it for my thesis because I knew it wasn’t the right time for it. I hadn’t given it time to simmer before trying to write it. Now, after having worked on it for a few months, it’s coming together slowly, but I find that I’m having to make fewer edits because I know the world so well. In five years I either want to have the manuscript finished, and looking for agents, or at least somewhere in that ballpark.

I wish I could be free spirited, but I need structure. I need a five year plan, and I feel really driven and motivated now that I have one.

That’s really all I have for today. It’s pretty busy around here right now, so it had to be short, sweet, and to the point.

I hope everyone is having a good week.

When you figure out your five year plans by being around family.

Sorry this is coming out several hours later than it should. I woke up with a horrible migraine, and it only just recently became manageable. We finally got back from vacation last Friday, and everything seemed to go wrong as soon as we got home.

Our washer overflowed on Saturday all over our kitchen and into our living room, so we spent all of that day and the next trying to mitigate the damage from the water, and luckily our maintenance guy said that it wouldn’t be a problem after coming to check up on us over the weekend. I feel bad for calling him on a weekend, but I didn’t want to wait until the next Monday to let them know what happened. Luckily, he had a wet/dry vacuum that sucked up the water out of the carpet, and there doesn’t seem to be any lasting damage because the rugs we had in the kitchen seemed to have prevented the water from spreading. Bless those two $20 Target rugs. We lost one, but the other one dried out without a problem.

Since we got back to the apartment later than I had planned, I’ve been trying to figure out a timeline to start sending out my most recent short story to journals. There are at least twenty that I’ve liked, and they started accepting submissions at the beginning of the new year, but I’m still a bit nervous. I’m not worried about getting rejected. I rather expect that, but I’m a little bit daunted about writing that many cover letters, and making sure that my piece is as good as it can be before sending it out. It’s come a long way since the first draft, and I like it much more now, but I’m still worried that my writing isn’t mature enough. I guess we won’t know until I start sending it out for responses, huh?

Other than that, I’ve finally figured out a five year plan. I was inspired by my sisters-in-law when we were back in Colorado.They both are diligent, and I must admit that I feel rather inadequate around the two of them.

One is studying to be a vet, and I’ve never met a smarter, or more studious, lady. I wish I had her drive, and I love talking to her about her work because she is so passionate. She even gave Hoshi (our dog) a mock check up while we were there. We also think a lot alike, or at least it feels that way to me, so I love having someone to talk to who understands how my mind works.

The other is down at the Air Force Academy, and every time I see her she’s become more mature and confident about who she is, and what she wants to do with her time in service. I also love that she hasn’t lost any of her passion for shopping and girly things while being there. I was afraid when she started school that her vivacious spirit might be dulled a little bit during the course of the training (I certainly couldn’t do it), but if anything, she has simply grown to be better than she was before.

They both inspired me to try harder, and be more confident, in trying to get my writing out there. Thus, my five year plan was born, but you’ll just have to wait until next week to find out exactly what that is!!

 

Skiing in Colorado!

So, the weather turned bad, and when it snows in CO, you go skiing.  I’m not a good skier, but I do enjoy it, and I learned how to ski backwards today.

We should be driving back tomorrow (hopefully), and then I can get back to writing. As much as I love being home, I miss the comfort of our own apartment, and I have a hard time writing with a lot of people around.

I hope the weather has been nice everywhere else, and I hope the holidays weren’t too tiring.

Christmas fever is hitting hard.

I so desperately want to go home. We’re planning on making it home for Christmas, but we won’t be getting in until Christmas Eve, and I’m having a hard time concentrating on work because I just want the weekend to get here.

That said, I still got a new draft of my newest story done, and I’ll start submitting it when January gets here.

I don’t think I’ll be posting next week because of the holidays, and this one is short because I need to clean and pack before we leave.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, and a bright and happy New Year.