Leaving 2016.  DON’T look back! 

This year has been pretty incredible. Good and bad. From all the famous deaths to my difficult personal journey this year, I’m looking forward to starting a fresh, new year. I suspect there’s a few people out there that can empathize. 

I believe happiness is your responsibility. I don’t believe in blaming others for what you’ve chosen to do or how you live. That being said, I’ve come to realize that if I want to finish my novel, raise my twins well and excel at my job…it’s all up to me. 

I have the same quantity of time each day as everyone else. Much as I want to say I need more time, time management is the true answer. 

Unfortunately, being diagnosed with bi-polar and panic attacks years ago, hasn’t helped. I’m not on medication or seeing a therapist. Honestly, I think I’ve done a fairly good job managing my emotions on my own. Until tonight. 

Sometimes I get fired up over something minor, that doesn’t even really affect me and I should let it roll off. But suddenly I over analysis, obsess and end up blowing up. To me, this is unacceptable. 

Going back to my original declaration…this is on me. It’s not my husband, my twins or social media that’s to blame for my frustration. It’s all on me. 

So I’ve decided to consider seeking out a therapist. To make sure I’m “normal” or to hear that indeed I’m a little extreme and need some sort of medication to even me out. It’s a tough decision for various reasons:  money, potential side affects, management of time around the appts…fear.

My number one concern about considering therapy and medication again is what it could do to me creatively. Sure, it may help even out my moods, keep me rolling on the positive side of life and best of all, quiet my mind to help me sleep!  But what if I try a med again, and lose my ability to want to create?

My writing suffered in the past when I was on medication. 

So. Do I try to calm my anxiety and even out my moods?  Or do I do everything I can to manipulate those outrageous thoughts into an amazing manuscript to fulfill my number 1 goal (after having the twins of course 😉 ) of publishing a novel?

Decisions, decisions. 

Adulthood is not easy. But one of my two options above should certainly make it better. 

The question is…which one?

Creator of image unknown

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Write on the Sound – 2016

Write on the Sound is a conference in Edmonds, WA that I had the pleasure of attending in 2014, but missed out on last year due to personal reasons.  But as of yesterday, I’ve decided that I’ll return for 2016!  I’m extremely excited for the chance to attend through the first weekend of October.

As some of you may already know, the WOTS conference “is one of the premier conferences in the Pacific Northwest. Presented the first weekend in October each year, WOTS offers a unique and affordable opportunity for writers of all levels to build on their knowledge of the craft, learn about a new genre, and explore the writing industry. Its limited size makes the conference an intimate experience, perfect for sparking creativity, sharing ideas and networking with other writers.”

It’s a wonderful place to network and learn something new with every class, no matter what genre you live in.  I found one of my most exciting lectures to be on World Building.  Obviously in writing a novel, you’re spinning tales and weaving together at least a “basic” world around your characters.  But to listen to a father and daughter team that write in fantasy worlds describe their process was extremely fascinating.  They touched on stories such as Avatar and Star Wars and to look at it from a writers POV is entirely different than a reader or watcher.

Unfortunately, there are negatives that go along with it, too.  One of the most “logical” lecture for me to attend (or so I thought), revolved around romance writing.  The presenters were three romance (& erotica) authors and instead of offering advice or having an outline of what they wanted to discuss with us, they sat down and did a Q&A the entire 45 minutes.

This may have been something some of the other guests were interested in, but I found it lacked little information that benefited me.  I’d have liked to have more of their process or suggestions for writing, editing or publishing involved.  Maybe some sort of detail on how romance writing differs from others.  Or perhaps some experiences they’d had while publishing that maybe would be new information for amateur writers.  I suspect not everyone would agree with me, I mean I could have asked them to tell us about these things, but none of the other presentations had been laid out like this, so I wasn’t at all ready for such a “round table” discussion.  And to be honest, when they decided to spend half their time bashing Nicholas Sparks…I shut down.

Now as you may or may not know, I very recently wrote a post about meeting Mr. Sparks and how I looked up to him.  So it may sound like I’m a “stalking fan” or something along those lines, but the reality is, he’s a highly distinguished author and has a pretty great resume in the writing department.  I simply like to give kudos where it’s due.  Is there anything wrong with a “new” writer looking up to another that’s made such a name for themselves?

I don’t have any problem whatsoever with someone else having their own opinion, I’m as “open minded” as anyone.  I just don’t feel spending my hard earned money and taking time away from my kids to listen to these folks…should include half an hour of someone telling me why another successful writer is “beneath them” or isn’t good enough because their style of writing is “wrong” or is “only successful” because of some distorted reason.

It’s not very classy in my humble opinion.  It’s not an issue to me that these ladies don’t like NS, it’s my issue that writing is a difficult form of expression.  Especially if you stick with it, make a living or finished an entire novel.  It’s a lot of hard work.  There isn’t anyone “good enough” to speak so lowly of another person.

Aside from this negative experience, the rest of the conference left a positive lasting impression and I’m looking forward to the next one.  I just may skip the romance writing section of it 🙂

The town of Edmonds is gorgeous.  There are various antique shops, galleries and distinctive eateries in the area – all within walking distant of the conference.  If you stroll down to the waterfront, you’ll be in one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever found in the area.  While on break or lunch or after hours of the conference, Edmonds is a magical place to write.

edmondsEdmonds-ferry

Feel free to join me and say hi this year!

Life Changes…Life Goes On

Life changes. Life goes on.

Then you die.

Sounds like a whirlwind of scenes, essentially ending with a final chapter and the story of your life is over. Good, bad and indifferent.

Some scenes in my life thrill me, push me further and help me to thrive. Other scenes play out like a movie in my head that I can’t stop or even slow down. Every scene dims and eventually fades into the past.

As a writer, it excites me when I experience things in my life that parallel my stories. Because that’s all life really is, a screenplay of each individual experience. Different scenes, reactions, consequences…no one lives the same life. Every twist and turn in your plot, places you on an alternative path in your life and yet, in the end, we all greet death.

I suppose I’m not entirely sure where this post is going today. Just started typing. Perhaps it’s because my day to day life is a roller coaster of emotions and surrealism these days. One year ago, I wouldn’t have guessed I’d be here right now. Hell, 1 month ago, I didn’t see my life changing so much.

Busier than ever, more choices and decisions to be made and not entirely sure what direction I want to go with any of it. The one thing I do know, is writing still makes me happy.

I suspect it’s partially because I enjoy the activity, but the other part of it is escaping from my sudden bizarre life, to a truly fantasized one. To retreat into my own mind and block out the many distractions that seem to be flying at me with lightning speed. Only to swathe my fragile, near shattered psyche in a shroud of a world I can nurture, build and make my own private heaven.

Nothing can hurt me there, unless I wish it. Nothing can be “forever gone” there, unless I destroy it. My personal universe – I can control.

Until the end. Until death takes me.

Oh well, I guess there’s always the potential for a sequel. After all 50 Shades and Twilight did it.

Dream House

I was challenged recently to find a “perfect home” … if I win the lottery.  Well, it wasn’t that difficult to find, especially since we can all race to Google for anything and everything.  Without a second thought, I typed in “Cliff House overlooking the Sea” and came across this beauty:
Cliff House
Dubbed "Crown of the Sea," 3729 Ocean Blvd. is on the market for $29,995,000. crown3 crown4

The Crown of the Sea – couldn’t be more perfect for me, an aspiring writer and lover of the ocean.  Check out that page and let the slideshow lull you into loving her as well.  So many nights, lying awake and dreaming of the “perfect place” to write.  This would be at the top of my list.  I can easily visualize myself sitting out on the deck late at night, staring out across the water as my characters bantered in my mind.

The scent of sea salt, cool breeze across my skin and the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks below.  Peaceful.  Perfect.

And I’m not even mentioning all the beauty on the inside!  I’m nearly positive there isn’t a better home for me.

Maybe buying a ticket or two could be worth it.