Friday, December 28, 2012

Looking to the future

I’m closing out the blog for this year—I’ll see you kids in January.  In the meantime…

  1. Book five has been done for a while now and I’ve uploaded the first draft.  There’s still some more polishing/editing to be done, but let’s hope I can get this thing squared away soon-ish.  It seems as though I’ll be continuing the writing game in the New Year, especially since I have small, devoted band of readers.  You kids keep me going even when I want to give up.
  2. I’ve been applying for a slew of jobs lately.  We’ll see how it goes.  Winter is not really the best time for anything so I don’t know how hiring practices fit into all of that.
  3. I survived Christmas.  That is all.
  4. I’m listening to Prince again.
  5. Old photos help to connect me to the past.  I somehow feel closer to people I never met or barely knew.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Do you ever feel as though your life is amounting to nothing?  I’m not speaking of fame and fortune; both of those can be fleeting.  I am worried that I am never going to experience the true happiness of life.  I did everything I thought I needed to do to become a productive, successful adult.  I worked hard in high school, went to college and worked myself nearly to death on two degrees.  It was a struggle; I don’t make friends easily and I’m not social butterfly; therefore, I studied and tried to make the best grades possible.  Even that wasn’t always easy as I came upon less-than-sympathetic instructors and people who were just generally surly and inhospitable.  I am two years removed from earning my master’s degree, and the only thing I have to show for any of it is a crushing amount of debt and an inferiority complex.  Others are able to find employment with less experience and education than me; therefore, I must be hapless, feckless, hopeless, and every other –less out there.  I’m sure my lack of conversational skill plays a role in all of this; I am no good at talking myself up because there is honestly nothing to speak of.  When you are poor, you don’t have a fabulous list of leisure activities.  If my education and skills don’t speak for themselves, I don’t know what else to do.  Additionally, I am growing less sociable with time because I find people so generally unpleasant and sympathetic.  I am polite to strangers in public, because I was taught to be polite.  But I rarely go out of my way anymore because I know what I’ll find out of the way won’t give a flying fig about me.  I used to strive for helpfulness but people always blame me for their problems.  It’s a consistent pattern of my life. Maybe I was born with a guilty face.  I wish I could be content with being healthy and whole, but I’m quite sick of living hand-to-mouth while everyone else gets everything they want and I get nothing.  Either way, I would love to be happy, but this clown has finally washed off his makeup and isn’t going to fake cheer anymore.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I keep neglecting this poor blog; then again, I am also neglecting myself.  I have been totally depressed, woeful, down in the dumps lately.  I think Christmas is for children and happy couples.  It's not for people like me.

Currently listening to "These Are Special Times" by Celine Dion (good album)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


No one asked me to marry them, and I didn't play the lottery, so nothing magical happened for me today.  I'm just sitting here, editing my fifth novel.  The year is nearly done and I completed five novels, with more to come.  It's an incredible feeling, honestly.  I don't always feel good about myself, which is obvious to anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis.  But I'm working on it--every day that I'm alive, I'm working on me.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Very, Very Verbose

To update my followers: my latest book just keeps on going. Apparently I had too much to say this time around and thus the project has extended past my usual completion period.  I probably should have expected that when I set my goal for 80,000 words.  When I tried for a 60,000 word novel, I wound up with 76,000 words.  I tend to blow past my writing goals unintentionally.  It could be that I’m long-winded, or simply that writing is becoming easier for me.  Make no mistake, though—it’s not easy.  Sometimes I wonder if my brain wouldn’t prefer I just shut up!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


The good news is that I’ve applied for two jobs so far this week.  Not anything I’m likely to be hired for, of course, but one never knows.  The bad news is I’m still woeful, more depressed than I can ever remember being in the past.  And much like a huge immovable boulder, I don’t see a quick way around it.

Currently listening to “Bigger Man Than Me” by George Strait

Monday, November 26, 2012


I guess it's okay to talk about this here.  This blog, after all, isn't just about my writing--it's about my life.  And my life is definitely a downer these days.  I am hopelessly depressed.  Unfortunately my mood swings make me unpleasant to be around.  Not that I'm the sociable type.  Sadly I never learned how to be a social butterfly; I've spent much of my life in a proverbial cocoon.  Even when someone says something nice or complimentary, I am simply struck dumb and unable to reply.  My shyness and awkwardness should never be mistaken for anything else.  I am simply too introverted to come across as friendly or grateful.  If you are born inside your shell, can you ever escape it?  Are you simply destined to always be a shy, depressed, sad person without a wealth of friends?

Monday, November 19, 2012


If anyone has a good insomnia cure, I would love to hear it.  I am drained lately, to the point where sometimes I think my arms will fall off.  I go to bed and can’t readily fall asleep, but I still wake up entirely too early in the morning.  My phone is off and my room is dark, and I rarely consume caffeine.  It’s seeped into my writing; I’m too tired to even sit at the computer and type much of anything.   Therefore, I am putting out a call for legal and safe sleep solutions, anything that will help me get some much needed rest and/or allow me to finish this book by the end of the year.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Writing Update

I’m not ashamed to say that book number five is kicking my rear-end.  It’s nearing the end of my proscribed story and it’s like pulling hen’s teeth to get the characters to help me along in the story.  Then again, they’re probably thinking that they’ve endured enough and they’re simply ready to move on.  Perhaps the problem is I’ve had too much on my mind these days—the general anxieties about money and my future, family, and such.  It’s nearly Thanksgiving which makes absolutely no sense.  This year vanished quicker than a dollar bill at McDonald’s.  I’ve also been in the process of reading one-too-many books and I guess, at the end of the day, that my brain is friend and in need of a respite.  Will I give it that much-deserved rest?  Yeah, all signs point to no.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Communication has never been my strong suit.  I struggle to tell people how I *really* feel.  I was never any good at writing letters, replying to emails, or returning phone calls.  Even now I am pretty slow at replying to Facebook messages and texts.   The good news is that I’m pretty excellent at sending Christmas and birthday cards.  It’s not that I don’t want to talk to you; it’s simply that my life has always been dull.  There’s not much to tell; I have always either A) gone to school; B) had my nose stuck in a book; or C) been unemployed.   If I fail to reply immediately, I am somewhere trying to gather up my thoughts and hoping I don’t come off as an idiot.  I am struggling to come up with something interesting and hoping I don’t flop.  I’m hoping you’ll remain my friend even if I’m not the life of the party.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cold Weather Musings

I wonder sometimes about how far self-publishing will take me.  I have yet to explore a single published, which I am sure in counterintuitive.  I will try to make this a goal in the not-so-distant future, especially considering my decided lack of success in even finding positions to apply for these days.  Each and every rejection is like a missed opportunity.  So many things that I think I would be great at have fallen away from me, like lightning bugs I failed to catch in a Mason jar (or Ball, or Kerr, or whatever brand you like best; you can tell I’m from the country). 

Does anyone remember when Christmas used to wait until Thanksgiving had passed to show up?  Now it seems like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas have merged into one gigantic superholiday, where we simply swap out orange and black candy for red and green candy the next day.  I certainly love Christmas, and its spirit, but you know how it is.  By the time it gets here, you’re mildly beleaguered. 

Very, very heavy frost this morning.  Old Man Winter showed up with a vengeance today.

Monday, November 5, 2012

November Update

Book sales have been quite good lately.  I’m not getting rich or anything but I am glad that people are downloading them freely or otherwise.   If you’d like to provide feedback or comments, I am always happy to hear them.  I’m hard at work on my fifth book, but this one may take longer than usual to get onto the market.  It’s going to require a lot of intensive, considerate editing as it is a much different story than I’ve written previously.  In the end, though, I hope my extra work and fresh approach will result in something worth reading.  

Friday, November 2, 2012

Heart of Tennessee

If Kentucky Summer was my love letter to the wonderful friends I encountered while spending my college years in Lexington, then Heart of Tennessee is an unapologetic love letter to those souls I’ve encountered during my travels and stays in the Volunteer State.  The citizens there are never less than kind, friendly, and helpful, and I hope I did the beautiful region of East Tennessee justice.  At any rate, following an extended review/editing/revision period, I am thrilled to be able to announce its publication.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

End of the Month

I’ve been much too neglectful of this blog lately, as I completed editing of book four and began to write book five in earnest.  This has been an odd time—weather-wise, personally, and otherwise.  Mother Nature has been having fun with us this October—first Indian Summer, now frigid temps and rain off the edge of a hurricane.  I’ve heard the expression “frost on the pumpkin” my entire life, but snow is not something I like to see on a gourd.  Anyway, those in the direct path of the hurricane have had it much worse.

Writing has more or less consumed me lately.  I am quite bored otherwise; the days seem interminable at best and painful at worst.  I can’t imagine what would become of me without an outlet, because I am truly too poor and dull for any exciting hobbies.  Reading has been helpful as well; I’ve read more books this year than the previous ten combined, for sure.  I think my problem before is that I was too picky.  Now I am on the lookout for good stories, regardless of genre.

I don’t know how many people actually read this blog, but I must thank everyone who has supported my writing career.  You are amazing and I am lucky to have you as fans.

Friday, October 19, 2012


I finally had the foresight to begin leaving my dictionary and thesaurus on the desk while I write.  And I have been writing many, many words lately.  Anyway, while the built in features of Microsoft Word usually work well, there are plenty of exhaustive synonyms and meanings provided on the pages of those reference works.  As a librarian, I likely should have realized that from the start.  It's always a delicate balance in writing, figuring out the words you should use versus those words you simply want to use.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

More, More, More

Writing has really turned me into a liar.  I keep insisting upon the completion of each book that I will take a break, and I always wind up breaking that promise when I begin yet another new book.  I'm well into book five now and I've got a story all planned out for book six.  Oops.  I'm going to be very, very busy for the rest of the year.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Finding My Way Back

One of the most difficult internal struggles in life is the one to find out what you truly want.  I have thought at several points that I knew--only to find out that I don't and that my ideas have completely transformed.  It's either made easier or harder by the fact that I've never had a career.  And I've bounced around from thought to thought about that, too.  The goal is to create my own esteem for a change and stop relying on others' reflections of me.  Easier said than done.  Life is like a puzzle--the edges are a lot easier to assemble than the whole picture in the middle.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Author Central

It's still a work in progress, but I finally set up my author page on Amazon today.  Someday I'll figure out how to just share links on my blog without making them posts, but for now...

Books for Sale

The good news is I finally completed my third book, Windswept Hearts.  The sequel to my first book, Windswept, is quite different from the others I’ve written—the story comes together in a roundabout rather than straightforward way.  Of course, I still believe in happy endings.  I had to read-through it at least three times so any remaining errors are there for the duration, I suppose.  As always, if anyone wants to provide feedback, I’m here to listen.  I’m nearly finished with my fourth novel, which likely will be the final one for this year.  I really am worn out from writing, but it’s been a great experience bringing my ideas to life.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Letting Go

Throughout much of my life, I was a hoarder—although I’d never heard that term until it entered the mainstream via television.  I was never very good at letting go of things—books, movies, music, even scraps of paper had to remain forever in my collection.  Over the past few years, however, transitioning back and forth between college, home, graduate school and back home again, and faced with an endless stretch of unemployment, I have become much better at filtering through and purging my collection.  Books, clothes, old movies—it has all found a new home in donation boxes.  I think have an inherent enjoyment of “things” but I find that when I detach memories from them—some things never had the chance to be attached and are therefore easier to toss—it’s easy to let go.  I’m not sure if it’s the best idea, but the vast majority of my college textbooks are going or already gone.  My attachment to most of them was less than nil.  I sometimes find things I saved throughout college and find they are always easily dispatched.  Thanks to digital photography, even pictures have become mere transitory snapshots of our life that sometimes only exist for seconds before being consigned to the dustbin of history.  Nearly every aspect of life has become disposable or full of built-in obsolescence.  Our memories are truly the only thing we can ever possess, and even they are subject to haziness and loss as the years drift past.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Most of my blog posts are unfinished.  I reach a point where I can no longer write or complete my thought and thus I post as-is.  I never quite know if the raw, unfinished things are better than the fully-formed ideas.  No one wants to read a book with no final chapter.  But blogs are more stream-of-consciousness things and not subject to so much scrutiny—aren’t they?

Currently listening to “Turning Home” by David Nail

Monday, September 17, 2012


The last few weeks have been increasingly difficult for me.  I have drifted to some pretty low places emotionally, my life spinning apart like a tilt-a-whirl with all the nuts and bolts removed.  I think my ultimate problem is that I seek validation from others rather than myself.  I need something to bolster my confidence and I have been unable to find it, spending a lifetime worried and completely, utterly self-conscious. Sometimes I think I am profoundly screwed up, and for no good reason.  Each and every day I must persevere; I must find the strength to put my issues behind me and live a life of happiness and optimism.

Currently listening to "Cry" by Faith Hill

Monday, September 10, 2012

Do You Remember

I got kind of depressed by the lack of a project so I started writing another book.  So far, so good.  I’m also still in the process of editing the third book so it’s going to take a little extra time to get it on sale.  Anyway, the leaves are already falling and the weather is doing that hybrid summer-autumn thing that leads to a sweater in the morning and shorts in the afternoon.  Gotta love Kentucky weather.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Chill of an Early Fall

September has not started off with a bang.  I found myself falling to a very low place emotionally for much of the holiday weekend.  Tonight was interesting because, on a completely clear evening where the sun was out we lost power for nearly three hours.  For the first time since February, I am not writing.  At all.  I hope getting out of the groove doesn't lead to permanent writer's block.  But at any rate, who knows what will happen after I get a proof copy of book three?  It may inspire me all over again.  So far I'm not setting any goals for this month.  Just going to see where life takes me.

Currently listening to "My All" by Mariah Carey

Thursday, August 30, 2012

In Review

As the month draws to a close, I am reviewing my goals that I established for myself.  I had wanted to write 20 blogs for August, and I surpassed that goal.  It wasn’t always easy but I did it.  I’m not setting a goal for September but rather seeing where life takes me.

Another goal of mine was to read more books.  I accomplished this as well, finishing an incredible four books in a single week.  I didn’t keep a tally, which was a mistake on part, but it’s safe to say I read all or part of ten books this month.
I never did figure out how to write a good cover letter, and I’ve also run dry on my job search.  This is just as well, because I have no clue what I want to be when I grow up.

Insomnia still owns me.  This is nothing new.
Looked at loads of old pictures this month, and remembered a lot of happy and sad times.  I hate being photographed so I hope I don’t look back on this period of my life and wonder where I was.

I reacquainted myself with some of my favorite artists.  It takes a lot of good music in order to write one of my novels.  I also watched quite a few movies this month—some good, some simply mediocre.
As for rediscovering honesty?  It’s an ongoing process for me, and I imagine it is for you, too.

Currently listening to “When Did You Stop Loving Me” by George Strait

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Much of my life has been spent searching.  At a young age I searched for acceptance for myself, the weird kid that spent most of his free time drawing, building, or reading.  Then I searched for strong friendships—and I still am.  As I grew older I began to search for love—which I’ve never found—and my place in the world.  Never found that, either.  I searched a wide variety of career options and degree programs.  Even though I found a master’s program that wanted me, no one in that world wants me as their employee.  Often times my life is incredibly difficult and lonely.  And I’m not wallowing in pity because so many are worse off than me—they are trapped in terrible situations and will never be able to escape.   One way or another, someday I want to be wanted.  With all that said, I think I look better now than at any time in my life.  I’ve finally grown into my own skin.


Currently listening to “On a Night Like This” by Kylie Minogue  

Monday, August 27, 2012

Full Moon Fever

I don’t know if I believe in astrology or not, but I have spent a moment or two of my life contemplating my horoscope.  And if the moon controls the tides, then why can’t it control our moods? With the full moon coming on, I find myself with an unhealthy case of insomnia—not that you could differentiate between a sleep disorder and my normal sleep patterns—and a general sense of unease.  The good news about not being able to sleep is it always gives me loads of time to edit and think and worry—okay, not such a good thing in my case.  I’ll say one thing about it—I’m consistent in my worrying.  It’s always the same old thing.


Currently listening to “She’s Got This Thing About Her” by Chris Young

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Currently I am mulling over several options for my book cover.  This may be one instance where I just use what Amazon provides, although I still like the idea of doing another painting.  My art skills are more limited than most book cover designers, but I was happy with my previous attempts (for the most part).  If I could get ideas to transfer directly from my head to the paper as easily as when I write, that would be fantastic.  Everyone wants to make a good first impression—and for a book that’s almost always the cover, although reading the dust jacket usually makes the final decision for me.


Currently listening to “Marina del Rey” by George Strait

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Reading Rainbow

I have completed, or read in full, at least ten books so far this month.  That’s got to be some kind of record for me in my adult life.  Previously I was lucky to get through one book per month.  I guess I’ve been enjoying the quiet time that comes from reading.  It’s a time to reflect, to think, to be introspective and to escape.  In college I became so busy that I lost the will and the desire to read—sad, I know.  This year I’ve rediscovered my love for books.  Even if I don’t flat-out love a book, it’s a satisfying feeling to complete them and think critically about the inevitable life lesson contained in each story.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Some random musings from my brain this week...

  • Just finished reading "Looking for Alaska" by John Green.  It's interesting--I think I understand the themes in young adult fiction far more now than I did when those kinds of books were in my milieu.  The book had a lot to say in its brief 221 pages about the struggles of life as a whole, not just young life, and it also had lots to say about faith and believing in a higher power. 
  • Rediscovering lately my love for Shania Twain and her music.  It's never really gone away, but with so few albums to her credit I wind up gravitating toward other artists.  Her second album in particular seems to define a time and place in the mid-90s when I was moving from kid-land toward young adulthood, but still blissfully naive of life's problems.
  • Making good progress on editing this book. I always wind up forgetting a certain amount of the story and through the editing process I am reminded of passages and high points.  Ultimately, I am reminded of why I started writing this novel in the first place.
  • No progess on the jobs front.  I did update/edit my resume for the 459th time, so that's something to report.
  • Nice weather this week.  I tend to like the in-between, not-brutally-hot-but-not-quite-fall- yet weather.  Am I ready to break out my sweaters?  Um, no.
  • Getting lots of nice feedback about my novels.  It's fantastic to be appreciated, read, and enjoyed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I imagine I will wind up using the title "Reflections" for more than a few blogs since it is one of my favorite songs by The Supremes.  Anyway, through writing and editing I have become more reflective about myself and the choices I have made throughout my life.  Some were good and some were not.  Some things I should have pursued more ardently.  Some things I should have avoided completely.  At times I should have tried harder, and other times I should have simply pursued fun.

Currently listening to "No One Needs to Know" by Shania Twain

Monday, August 20, 2012

Editing to the Third Power

Editing my book, as of last night.  So far it's going well, because I started in the middle rather than the beginning.  It's interesting to note that, once again, the final chapters seem to be much longer and more detailed as the story reaches its climax.  Gotta work more in the future on spreading out the story.  Still thinking about the book cover as well, and wondering if I should paint something or use a photo.

Currently listening to "I'm Gonna Getcha Good" by Shania Twain

Friday, August 17, 2012

Not Starting Over

Last night I finished writing my third novel.  And I didn’t start writing another one.  I’m going to let this one ride for a while.  So far I’ve finished reading three novels and started reading two more, all the while completing one in my own pen.  Editing is always the worst part of the process because inevitably you find mistakes and things you never intended to say in the first place.  Oddly enough, I had intended to write a slightly shorter novel this time, only to wind up with another 75,000 word-wonder.  Yikes.  I suppose when you set your goal at 60,000, you then challenge yourself to see if you can get past that.  It’ll be interesting to see how quickly I can get this book out into the world.  I have no timetable for editing and no concrete ideas for a cover photo.  If anyone wants to design a cover image and allow me to use it for free, drop me a line!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Tonight I am considering happiness.  What are the components that allow us to find joy, to find happiness and pleasure in everyday life?  Once we find happiness, how do we keep it?  So often it seems to be fleeting—like a butterfly landing on a lilac bush, happiness quickly comes into our life and flies away again.  Perhaps happiness is something you can catch in a net, or maybe it’s so intangible that we can never predict where it will show up.  Someday I will figure out how to define “happiness”—for now, it seems to come in many different forms

Currently listening to “Consider Me Gone” by Reba McEntire

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I am currently reading at least four books, which I consider mildly insane.  The fact of the matter, though, is if time and money was no object and I didn’t have cooking, cleaning, and laundry to deal with, I’d like to be reading at least ten different books right now.   It’s a bit like being back in school and having homework; some assignments are easier to complete and some books get read faster because they are more compelling.   Reading is the one hobby that has persisted throughout my life.  I suppose as long as there are books—electronic or otherwise—my metaphorical nose will be found somewhere within the pages.

Currently listening to “Escape” by Enrique Iglesias (NOW 10 makes it feel like 2002 all over again)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


This novel was supposed to have ended about ten thousand words ago, but for whatever reason it keeps going.  What happens in life when our expectations are not met?  In writing, I can go with the flow.  In life, I feel only disappointment for what could have been.  It takes me a long time to get over something once my expectations have been placed too high.  In some cases, I’m never quite able to get over it.  Well, never say never, I guess.  Anyway, life is full of unmet expectations and if we let all of them get us down, we’d never grow, change, or accomplish a darned thing.

Currently listening to “The King of Broken Hearts” by George Strait

Monday, August 13, 2012


In the coming months, I'd really like to:
  • Read more books.  An attainable goal, but not always easy to follow through
  • Learn how to write a cover letter
  • Figure out why my job search is so...stagnant
  • Look at more old pictures; I used to cringe at seeing myself passing through various stages of awkwardness, but now it's not so bad
  • Find something that I used to enjoy and learn to enjoy it again
  • Be able to sleep again.  Seriously
  • Watch more movies.  Again, a simple goal that takes real effort
  • Rediscover honesty

Sunday, August 12, 2012


My third novel is drawing to its natural conclusion and, again, I am amazed at the creative process and how it can alter and shape us.  Fragments of ideas, things that aren't necessarily even related, can become a cohesive unit.  Interestingly enough, but the time I was at this point in my other two books, I was working on an idea for the next one.  This time, I'd really like to take a break and work more on self-improvement.  Writing has been great, but it's also emptied my brain lately and I'd like to see what else is happening up there.  I'm good at making lists, so maybe I'll work on a list of things where I'd like to concentrate my energies.  More on that later.

Currently listening to "You Lost Me" by Christina Aguilera

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Memory Lane

Lately I have been doing a lot of traveling down memory lane—I think it’s nice to go back sometimes and remember how things used to be, how it felt to be young, what it was like when everything was brand new and every day was a fresh discovery.  By the time you reach a certain age, you become jaded and assume that there’s nothing new under the moon, nothing left to learn.  I’ve tried to paint myself as a life-long learner.  I enjoy reading something interesting, something new, something that gives me fresh perspective.  There’s always one more book to read, one more movie to see, one more place to travel, if you allow yourself to believe in possibilities. 

Currently listening to “Ordinary People” by Clay Walker

Monday, August 6, 2012


Today I got past that 50,000 word hump on my novel.  It’s interesting to consider that I have written over 184,000 words of fiction just since February.  And since I completed two college degrees without ever writing anything longer than 20 pages, it’s a pretty big accomplishment.   Writing has allowed me to live vicariously through my characters, imagining how I would behave given a particular situation.   As a Gemini I understand the duality of personality and have an unusual—some might say inane—ability to play devil’s advocate.  As I’ve said before—I leave pieces of my personality throughout my work, but I also have to step outside of myself sometimes when I consider certain ideas and storylines.

Currently listening to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Little Things

Sometimes the small things in life are the ones that provide the most happiness…

  • The sound of rain on the roof (rain, mind you—not storms)

  • Spontaneous laughter

  • And in the same vein, laughter over a long-ago memory

  • A new CD, book, or DVD

  • A funny picture or status on Facebook

  • An unexpected card in the mail

  • Any mail that isn’t a bill!

  • Old photos

  • A favorite song on the radio

Currently listening to “Long Slow Beautiful Dance” by Rascal Flatts


Doing pretty good so far with my goal to write more blogs.   This will be my fifth blog already for just this month.   Been feeling a bit of weird in my novel writing lately, but I think that has to do with a combination of outside things as well as getting over that 50,000 word hump—because I’m increasingly close to that mark.  It’s always a challenge to create something unique but so few things are truly unique anymore; stories, ideas, products have in many cases been done ad nauseam.   It will be interesting someday to compare my writing side-by-side to see how many common themes and ideas repeat throughout.

Currently listening to “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele

Saturday, August 4, 2012


What the events of the past few days have taught me is that life is truly fragile.  So much of life is not about having success, shining in the sun, or thriving.  Life is about our ability to endure, to be here day after day, year after year.   And there are so many obstacles and challenges and structures that try to keep us from enduring, from surviving.  Some days are peaceful and calm.  Some days you spend each and every waking moment scratching and clawing to keep your head above water.  And then other days all of the fighting to endure seems to be worth it—you have a small piece of happiness that you grasp with both hands.  Sometimes the happiness is fragile, and other times it simply endures.

Currently listening to “Never Let Me Go” by Florence + the Machine 

Friday, August 3, 2012

In Pictures

This week I have spent a lot of time going through old pictures ranging from kindergarten to high school graduation.  I have begun to see those old pictures through an unrealistic, misty gauze now.  I forget about the trials and tribulations—I smile at the happy times and I ache for all of those classmates who never made it to this part of life.  The older I get, the more I understand that life is truly fleeting and fragile—it can literally be taken away in seconds, leaving those behind to wonder what could have been.  We wonder if it is silly to hope, to dream, to wish—to believe in possibilities.  Then each morning, the sun always rises and we greet the day with renewed hope.  In pictures you see the innocence of youth, the possibilities of the past, and the promise of the future.  You see life, laid out in a rectangular tapestry.  You see the events and people who forever changed you and shaped the person you are today.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Unless you were lucky enough to have been born in a vacuum, stress is undoubtedly a part of your life.  Some stress is self-induced but it seems that entirely took much is placed on us due to the demands of others.   Sometimes we fail to realize that we are placing unrealistic demands on those close to us; no one, no matter how much we wish to idolize them, is a superhero.  We are all merely human, of flesh and blood—much like the old Human League song.   It is important to realize that nothing’s ever perfect, and life is a long journey that will be filled with its share of obstacles and triumphs.  Whenever you can, put away the hurt and disappointment for a day or two and stop to smell the proverbial roses.

Currently listening to “Holding Back the Years” by Simply Red

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A New Month

For the month of August, I am going to take upon myself a new attitude toward blogging.  I am going to write blogs alongside my novel, this ensuring a more significant output.  With that in mind, I’ll set of goal of posting at least 20 blogs this month.  Today hasn’t been the most conducive to blogging or writing, unfortunately.  It seems like I am tired all the time lately and my brain suffers as a result—I write, but it takes forever.  Another goal I need to set for myself?  Getting to bed at a decent hour.

Currently listening to “When I Close My Eyes” by Kenny Chesney

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Setting Goals

Setting goals and then achieving them can be one of life’s most difficult prospects.  I had plans to update this blog more regularly this month, so that’s one goal I will have missed.  It only means I will have to work harder next month.   The two major goals in life that I have already accomplished are earning a college degree and completing graduate school.  Other future goals I have for myself:  beginning my career; financial independence; and getting married.  I would also love to travel more.  I have found in the past that placing things on a timeline and expecting them to happen at certain intervals just doesn’t work for me.   It’s like buying something because you have the money for it—sometimes you take a step back and decide to put it off just in case.  Sometimes you miss your chance, but other times you avert potential disaster by being prepared for the future.  My writing doesn’t really follow specific time frames—it flows, I allow it to happen, and I usually wind up completing my work much quicker than expected.  This is an instance where setting goals, like writing one chapter a day, are merely building blocks to a larger process.

Currently listening to “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson

Monday, July 30, 2012


I feel bad because I have been neglecting this blog!  I’ve been so busying with writing, and my summer reading, that I forget to type out thoughts here.   Anyway, writing is going very well—getting to 40,000 words won’t take long at all at the rate I am typing.  Even though I was worried about this novel, I am slowly finding my voice, and the voices of the characters.  Inspiration truly comes from the strangest places sometimes.  And as always, there’s a certain amount in the fiction that reflects my own personality, desires, and interests.

Currently listening to “Cheaper than Free” by Stevie Nicks

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stumbling Through Writer's Block

I've been known to dramatize things, turning minor events into life-altering situations with a simple turn of phrase.  So it should no surprise that, halfway through writing my third novel, I find a slight lack of inspiration to be disconcerting.  I'm writing this as we speak, maneuvering back and forth.  I tend to do multiple things at once—a manic kind of multitasking that I know isn't good for my brain!  At any rate, I am still looking at writing through different angles, drawing inspiration from any and all sources.   Ideas can come from unexpected places; notions can arrive from unknown recesses of the brain.   I find myself not as able to blog right now, either, but I’m trying.  Call it a summer dry spell. 

Currently listening to “Blue Moon with Heartache” by Rosanne Cash

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Nose to the Grindstone

I am hard at work at my third novel, even though I promised myself I would take a sabbatical from writing. When the inspiration to write hits me, however, I have to start again.  It’s an interesting process thus far.  It’s a sequel to my first novel, Windswept, but I am working to cover different ground, to tell a story from a different angle.  I’ve explored a variety of subjects in my first two novels, things I had never really considered writing until, well, I wrote them.  So with that said, I’m still thinking about the different angles.  Many popular fiction authors will write upwards of 30 or more books during a career—how do you get to a point where everything is still unique,  and you aren’t just writing the same thing over and over again?  It requires a lot of creativity, a lot of effort on the part of the author.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spelling Test

I may change my mind later, but so far my least favorite part of self-publishing has been self-editing.  Earning two college degrees, suffice it to say I spent a lot of time editing and perfecting my own work.  However, editing fiction seems to be a different animal entirely.  In reading fiction, the mind seems to fill in gaps and enhance the story--it's all about using your imagination.  So when I read, and then re-read, it seems as though my mind has skimmed over annoying little typos, and even more alarmingly, a missing word.  Someday I wouldn't mind having an editor peruse my work.  But for now, it reflects me and my quirks.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Twice as Nice

It's official--I'm a two-time author.  My book is up digitally and physically on Amazon and I am thrilled.  This has been a really interesting year so far.  When it began, I was not an author.  Now I am, a mere seven months into the year, the author of two whole books.  I've decided to stick with the author thing for as long as I possess the time and energy.  I would love to have, you know, a full-time job that pays the bills but as of today no one is interested in me.  Therefore, I'm gonna keep writing and blogging until my fingers fall off or the world gets tired of me, whichever comes first!
Kindle e-book:


Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Today the proof for my second novel arrived in the mail.  Again, I was overcome with a sense of joy.  The cover looked beautiful and the book is rather thick, much longer than I ever could have expected.  Anyway, the joy of accomplishment is hard to dim.  I find myself wondering, albeit hopefully, if I'll manage to write anything as compelling in the future, anything I will enjoy as much.  I'm well aware that I've been putting a lot of myself into my writing and sometimes I wonder if it's too much.  Then again, only a select few people could ever understand all of the little personality quirks and inside jokes littering the pages.  In some ways though, it is only appropriate--I'm writing a story that I would enjoy reading and if others enjoy it, that's fantastic, too.

Currently listening to "Play" by Rascal Flatts

Monday, July 9, 2012


Upon glancing at the cover of my second novel, I was overcome with an overwhelming sense of emotion.  It's amazing to see something that I created, from my own mind, being brought to fruition.  Of course, the cover is my own creation, albeit plugged into the Create Space design app.  Still, it was my own photo, and my own small idea--literally a mustard seed that grew into something bigger than me, a story that I couldn't always understand but had to pursue to completion.  I mean, I'm sure it sounds crazy but the characters wrote themselves.  I created them but they drove the story and pushed me forward, changing my own ideas in the process.  As with every completed work, there's probably a thing or two I could change--but I won't.  I love my story as it is, and hope the day never comes when I tire of reading and re-reading it.

Currently listening to "You've Got to Talk to Me" by Lee Ann Womack

Friday, July 6, 2012


I don't want to jinx it, but so far I have received nothing but wonderful feedback regarding my writing.  It's the kind of validation that I need, that I crave.  This week has been pretty exciting as I worked on the final proofing before I submit my second novel.  This one will be making it into the world much quicker as I created the cover image before finishing the book itself.  At any rate, I can only hope formatting is a little easier this time around.  I am truly excited about unleashing this novel upon the world as I have great feelings about it.  I can only hope that my feedback continues to be good.

Currently listening to "Adore" by Prince

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Completion, Part Two

Stop me if you've heard this one before...just kidding.  I finished my second novel.  The only thing left to do now is submit it online and design the cover.  I have to admit that it was very easy to write.  It was almost as though I created the characters and they wrote the story themselves.  I was merely the one transcribing their lives, rather than their creator.  I had my doubts but ultimately it was a very fun novel to write.  I worried I wouldn’t be able to do justice to the characters but I feel that I did.   When I was editing the novel, re-reading it, I was drawn into the story, the emotions that built up between the characters—which is weird, because it’s my story.  Then again, at the end of the day, it’s only got to make me happy.  I would love if other people read and enjoyed my story, but I also want to write something that makes me happy when I’ve completed writing it.  I will be keeping everyone up to date as the book is submitted, proofed, and listed for sale.

Currently listening to “Let It Hurt” by Rascal Flatts

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It's Not Just Me...Is It?

Over the past week I took a sabbatical from my blog while I vacationed.  Even in the midst of relaxing, I still managed to fit in a lot of reading, writing, and thinking.  As much as I don't want it to, a third novel is germinating in my brain as I work tirelessly to edit the second one.  I am making great promise editing the novel, but my personal life is falling apart all around me.  I have received two job rejections in just the past two days, and I can feel myself slowly coming undone.  I already have no confidence in my skills, education, and abilities, each rejection just makes it all worse.  Why should I feel encouraged to promote myself when no one else finds me a valuable commodity?  Pardon the metaphor, but is it really necessary that I must kiss so many frogs before I turn into a prince.  Things were so much calmer, peaceful, easier while I was sitting on the beach and staring at the water.  Here at home, the world is still a mess.

Currently listening to "Sign of the Times" by Prince

Thursday, June 21, 2012

More Fun with Editing

I have new-found respect for people who edit books for a living.  It's a laborious job.  Going back over my own work is fun but also draining when you consider that it warps your own view of your work.  I've had the same problem in the past with other projects--you invest so much time and energy that you are bordering on hatred by the time you complete the job.  In writing, though, I have only been writing characters I love so it is easier to spend time with them.  At some point I will have to branch out and invent a darker character that I don't like.  It's all a part of the growing and learning process, pushing yourself to test boundaries and step outside your comfort zone.

Currently listening to:  "I'm Kissing You" by Des'ree

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Heat Exhaustion

Some random observations for today:

-I can't believe it took me so long to join the Pinterest craze.  It's like a mural of every picture I love, and the kind of thing kids have been doing for years when they cut and paste magazine pictures to a piece of paper.  Except that I've always hated the idea of cutting up my own magazines!

-Summer showed up with a vengeance on its first day.  Stepping outside this evening was like stepping into an oven.

-I finally got to see the movie Practical Magic.  Sandra Bullock is always amazing.

-My book is not selling in mass quantities, but the free Kindle version was downloaded way more times than I expected.  So maybe, slowly but surely, my name is getting out there.

-Editing my second book is pretty intense, but also kind of fun.  I'm really proud of it.

-I have likely read more books in the first six months of this year than I did my entire two years of graduate school.  Seriously.

-I want to wear cowboy boots when I get married.

Currently listening to:  Hands to Heaven by Breathe

Monday, June 18, 2012


A certain amount of worry in life is healthy.  It keeps you from making an endless series of stupid decisions.  However, I’ve always leaned way too far toward the neurotic side of worry, letting it consume me and even affect my mental state.  Currently I worry about my writing and if it will ever take me anywhere.  So far I am still waiting on reviews, if any, to come in.  Everyone with whom I’ve shared the book so far has enjoyed it.  Then again, I tend to worry about everything.  I worry when I can’t buy something I want.  I worry that my bills will never be paid.  I worry that I will never be financially stable.  I worry about too much rain or not enough.  I worry about commercials on television.  It’s a miracle I haven’t worried my hair prematurely grey (wait a minute…).  With all the said, I am still kind of on an emotional high after publishing my book.  The only thing that could make it more amazing would be to find it on a library shelf someday.

Currently listening to:  “Drinkin’ Me Lonely” by Chris Young

Friday, June 15, 2012


A short five months after I first put pen to paper, my novel is published in paperback form.  It's been an interesting journey, a learning experience, and a fun ride.  I didn't really have a goal in mind when I started other than writing a story and finishing it.  It was, without a doubt, the longest thing I'd ever written.  I'm not even sure how far I was into the process when I began to explore avenues for publishing it.  The writing process was very easy for me.  I only struggled when it came time to wind down the story and let it reach its conclusion--a topic I've written about previously in other blog posts.  I have faced a similar conflict in finishing my second novel, something I also did this week.  It has been a momentous week for me when it comes to my writing.  Anyway, I write quickly but it's the editing that takes the longest.  I also had to come up with a good cover for my first book, which was another unexpected challenge.  It allowed me to get in touch with my artistic roots again.  I'd never used watercolors before so that was another learning experience.  I'm thankful to already have a cover in mind for book two, something that will speed up the process when I go to publish it. 
My foray into publishing became reality around midnight last night.  My eBook had been online for a month but now a physical copy is available to be placed in the hands of friends, family, and, hopefully someday, a library or two.  Seeing the proof of my book, unfinished as it turned out to be, was pretty exhilarating and exciting.  First of all, I was astonished that it was ordered, printed and delivered within two days.  Second, I was shocked at how many typos slipped through--I have literally read the entire work about seven times now, so any remaining typos must be really stubborn. Finally, I placed the eBook in a free promotion for a few days.  If anyone discovers my blog via the Kindle book, I thank you and hope you will stick around.  I will likely focus more on this blog now as I take a break from writing.  If my mind lets me, that is.  I didn't intend to write two novels back-to-back either.  Now that I have, my goal is to pursue this writing thing as far as I can.  I only hope there's an audience out there for me.

Currently listening to:  Come Wake Me Up by Rascal Flatts

Monday, June 11, 2012


“Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts that most.  So don’t forget to give hope a chance to float up…and it will.”

That’s an approximation of the final lines from the movie “Hope Floats”, a film that has a lot to say about resiliency and the unexpected paths life takes us on in our search for happiness.  Anyway, my purpose for pulling out that line is because it reminds me so much not only of life but also the writing process.  The process of completing college was terrifying each time I did it because I had no clue what my next path in life would be.  Losing that structure, that timetable, is always scary.  It’s still scary to be without a pre-determined schedule.  Anyway, writing is similar for me.  Attempting to sum up everything I said in a book into one final statement, something that will leave an impact, is difficult.  Even as we speak, I am trying to write out the perfect final line to make it all worth reading.  Like the line in the movie says, though, perhaps it’s more important to make that impact with the story itself and not at the end.  The end makes it worthwhile, but the story is the meat in the sandwich. 

Currently listening to:  “Great Big Love” by Rascal Flatts

Saturday, June 9, 2012


How much is it necessary to censor ourselves in everyday life? Clearly there are situations in which we need to maintain decorum and standards of niceness.  The weird thing about my writing is that, well, I never seem to find the need to do much editing.  Since so much of it just goes straight from mind to keyboard, I don't find as much need as I should to edit or reduce.  It's also hard to find constructive criticism, so even if someone told me to edit my work I would be hard pressed to follow through.  I'm sure all authors, and indeed any person who creates, struggles with this--letting your work go out into the world in order to be examined, disseminated, and scrutinized.  How will I feel, react, when I receive that inevitable bad review?  As long as it's not from someone I like, perhaps it will all be okay.

Currently listening to:  Forever Changed by Carrie Underwood

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Tonight I decided to make lasagna from scratch.  And when I say from scratch, I mean jarred pasta sauce and a box of noodles.  Still, without my input, they were but a set of separate ingredients.   If cooking is a chemical reaction, what is creativity?  Is it chemical or something deeper, more meaningful?  The jury is still out on that one.  Anyway, the lasagna didn’t come out box-top beautiful, but it did taste good.  Perfection is always our ideal, but not what we need to succeed.  So many other factors come out of creativity—listen to an older song and look for errors in music (bum notes, wrongly-sung lyrics) that were left in and became a part of the song’s magic.  In writing it is important to wring out any and all typos, but sometimes from a mistake comes inspiration—you realize you wrote exactly what you were meant to write all along.  That’s a word explanation, but it’s the best one I can come up with.  When things are too pat and too perfect, you forget how to adapt and think.  With that said, who can ever tell what my next project will be.  I’ve already spent the past month cooking, writing, and painting.

Currently listening to:  Like a Rock by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band 

Monday, June 4, 2012


This is the time of year when I begin to consider my age.  My birthday is coming up soon and it feels weird to see each year pass quicker than the one before.  I begin to wonder if I am working my best to accomplish goals and establish a firm path in life.  Naturally, though, life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.  My life as it stands now has little connection to the future I envisioned ten years ago.  Writing this blog and joining Pinterest has no connection to my life even six months ago, and becoming an author, while always a dream, was never something I could have seriously considered until I started and finished writing that first book.  Even now, I don't have a projected plan for the next
year. I would love to find a job but it seems more and more that I should expand my reach outside of the library world.  I may not be cut out for library work, at least not on paper.  It's difficult to say how good you would or would not be at something unless you actually do it, and I was pretty good at working in a library in the past.  For now I am enjoying creating and being creative and enjoying myself, hoping that good things are in my future.

Currently listening to: Stand by Rascal Flatts

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pin Your Name to My Heart

Thanks to my wonderful friend Josie, I decided to become a member of the Pinterest community.  I border on being a Luddite sometimes, for a variety of personal and logistical reasons, so me branching out into so much technology this year is a big step.  In graduate school we discussed a wide variety of emerging technologies that would shape the future of librarianship—and the world at large.  Perhaps Pinterest is the newest social tool for authors to share their works?

I will say that Pinterest Day One has not been the easiest.  Learning how to pin images to my boards and how to search and find other users and their boards involved a steep learning curve.  Then there was the business of internet connectivity and the whole mess of logging in and verifying my email…I was ready to give up in a hurry after all of that.  Once I finally figured out how to pin images, it became a lot easier.  There’s no way to know how far I will actually take the Pinterest thing.  So far it seems a nice way to look at photos.
One nice feature of Pinterest thus far is that it is linked to Facebook.  When my last computer died, I lost my favorites, including a webpage and wiki I had made while in graduate school.  I tried but was never able to find them again, so I have no way of knowing if they are even still floating around in cyberspace (the wiki should be anyway) so I find myself hoping, at last, that some of my web creations are…lasting.

Currently listening to:  The Sweetest Days by Vanessa Williams

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Light in the Dark

What time of day is the most creative for you?  Most of my writing is done under cover of the night, in the minutes and hours before I finally decide to sleep.  This is the quietest time of the day, the point at which it is easiest for me to gather my thoughts.  As I compose this blog, I am working on my novel.  I also write during the day time hours, but for some reason my creativity is primarily stimulated when the moon rises.  It is entirely possible I have reverted back to my college pattern, where I would spend an evening thinking and crank out my work around midnight or later.  This type of creativity is never great for your sleep habits, and furthermore it makes you thankful for spell check.   The darkness, it seems, brings my creativity to light.

Currently listening to:  “Words I Couldn’t Say” by Rascal Flatts.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Under Cover Letters

I get the feeling that there is a perfect method for writing a cover letter, but I have yet to find it.  Why is it so easy for me to write fiction, but so difficult for me to write about myself?  Even when I read sample cover letters, I struggle to find my own voice.  In some ways I think this is a sign of humility; in this corner of the world I was raised to be proud but not a braggart.  In another way, though, it is a lack of confidence that keeps me from promoting myself.  I consistently wonder if my accomplishments measure up to others.  Others have had more opportunities to travel and do internships; I did the best I could with limited resources, working consistently throughout college and focusing on my studies.  Is writing cover letters easier for those with a long list of accomplishments?  Putting yourself out there is always a little disarming and frightening. 
The entire process of searching for a job can be soul-draining, but once we give up hope we have nothing left.

Currently listening to:  Flashlight by Chris Young

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Source

I have an interesting philosophical question for everyone out there.  In writing, it is better to draw on one's own experience, or rather is it preferable make it all up and let your imagination to drive the story?  Perhaps a combination of the two is better?  So much of my writing--about 99 percent--has been pulled from thin air.  I am having fun living vicariously through my characters, taking them to places and putting them into situations I can only dream about experiencing.  I suppose it all depends on the type of writing; in this blog I draw upon my experiences as I share my feelings with you.  If I were writing, say, a sci-fi novel, much of the science and technology I discuss would have to be fiction in order to make the story function properly.  Empathy is an important quality for an author to possess.  You must have empathy for other people and their situations in order to have empathy for your characters.  Through empathy you gain understanding, which is another important quality in writing. You must understand your characters and settings implicitly, since in many cases they will be your own.  Finally, inspiration is different for everyone.  We all draw on a variety of
experiences, sources, and feelings when we create our work.

Currently listening to:  "Help Me Remember" by Rascal Flatts

Monday, May 14, 2012

Typing Outside the Lines

Last night I was working on my second novel and it was so odd.  It felt as though my words were coming from somewhere outside myself.  Maybe I've been doing too much writing while drowsy.  I've noted here before that writing forces you to push outside boundaries and look outside yourself so this kind of plays into all that.  I think there is an element in writing that allows authors to live vicariously through their characters; any type of creativity implies placing a certain amount of yourself in the work.  A character who is your own creation is ultimately yours to mold and shape, to provide their voice, to allow them to make certain choices and mistakes.  Little pieces of me have fallen into my writing so far.  I can only hope that stories and elements and interests that I like are relevant and interesting to others.  On that note, I'll sign off for today.  My writing can become too circular sometimes...

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Now that my book is completed and published to Amazon’s eKindle Publisher, I have to figure out an effective method of advertising.  I like to think this blog is one of those avenues.  I suppose my ultimate fear is apathy and dislike for my work, although at least dislike means someone read it.  There are truly works written for every taste, which is why the book aisle in any store is so full of novels and non-fiction titles.  I’m still not entirely comfortable with my self-drawn cover but since it was done on a limited budget I guess it’s better than the placeholder cover Amazon provides.  Later I’ll try to create something better.  Ultimately I’m not sure how long it takes to read the book, but I do know it took me close to six hours to finish each time I edited it.  If anyone has any comments, hopefully positive, feel free to share them with me.  I look forward to hearing from fans, no matter where they may be.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I have no doubt posted this here before, but my first novel is finally complete.  It took more a month to edit, which is remarkable but not surprising.  The editing process was much more difficult than the conception and writing of the book.  As I read over it one last time, I started to question a lot of my decisions and my writing process.  At the same time, though, it is my work, something that came entirely from my head and my heart.  The entire process, from beginning to end, has been a learning experience.  Any time you begin an endeavor, you are required to push yourself, to give yourself motivation to clear hurdles and complete your journey.  Along the way you must face doubt, all the while second-guessing yourself, and entertaining thoughts of quitting.  This has been an added benefit of sharing my goals and my writing; had I quit several people would have hounded me until I actually finished my novel.  I thank each and every person, multiple times over, for the encouragement they’ve provided, no matter how great or small.  Had I been writing in a vacuum, unable to share my thoughts and feelings, I may never be where I am now, on the verge of publication. 

Monday, May 7, 2012


I am not sure of the process which other authors use; I can only speak to my experience.  When I write, I find myself immersed in the setting.  I picture it in three-dimensions, imagining that it is unfolding in front of me.  I see the characters and settings in my mind, as though they were a movie playing on my brain.  I try to feel what they feel as I write, whether it is love, anger, happiness, or sadness.  Visualization is my greatest gift, one that I'm sure many others share.  I create in my mind things that seem real even though they are not.  In my real life this can sometimes be a problem--no store has yet discovered how to stock items that are merely in my head--but in the creative process it allows me to expand my horizons, push my boundaries, and step outside my comfort zone to see how a story should flow.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


When I was in graduate school, I read the excellent book “The Death and Life of Charlie St Cloud” by Ben Sherwood.  Last night I was finally able to see the movie adaptation with Zac Efron which is also pretty good.  Some of the bonus features talked about the need to be “connected” to those who pass on; we wind up trying to hold onto just a small piece of them.  It got me to thinking about those who come in and out of our lives; how they impact us, sometimes profoundly, no matter how long we know them.  We form unbreakable bonds with people whom we may go years without seeing.  We maintain relationships with far-flung friends whom we may never see again.  A deep connection to someone rarely seen can be so much more fulfilling than the relationships that are a part of our daily lives.  As such, no matter how many of us, myself including, claim to be loners, we are all striving, each and every day, for some type of connection.  Whether we connect in friendship, love, or some indefinable, these are the relationships that sustain us, that nourish and encourage us.
At the same time, I think about the movie’s message of how we desire to connect with those who have gone on before us, those friends and loved ones we have lost.  I like to think of my grandmother as my guardian angel.  I like to think that she watches over us and guides us to make the right decisions.  In life she provided encouragement, but never forcefully.  So I like to think that she allows me to be rational and to explore my creativity as she also loved to draw and paint.  There are so many others I have known in my life who have passed on and so they remain at the back of my mind, pieces that were lost from the puzzle of life.  For some their time was long; for others, they barely got to make their way in life before they were lost to us forever.  I connect to them with my memories; photos and scraps of things that remind me of them.  Mementos and souvenirs—well, it all sounds like something out of a song. 

Currently listening to:  “Like a Rock” by Bob Seger