Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A little support goes a long way, and a shortened, cheezy post turns out to be super-duper long (and cheezy) anyway

*Warning* Reading this post might cause you to get that song from Beaches in your head. That was entirely unintentional, and I apologize. If it makes you feel any better, I don't even like that song, so I've annoyed myself by writing this.

Okay, so I just wrote this big, long post that had a dreams/airplane analogy, but I decided it was too long-winded and could be summarized into 3 itty bitty points.

1.Dreams are like airplanes.
2.Hope is what makes them take flight.
3.When you share your dreams with others, those dreams can soar.

So, what brought all this on, you ask?

Well, I was talking with some old friends this weekend. We were discussing future hopes and dreams, and I came away feeling so buoyant. There's really no other word to describe it. Then I got to thinking about why I felt so good. After all, I feel pretty good most of the time, but this was something entirely different.

I'm kind of a private person* whose deepest thoughts rarely see the light of day, but as my friends and I layed out some of our aspirations, something magical happened. It was like the good will and wishes of others literally picked up my own hopeful little I-wanna-be-a-writer aircraft, and catapulted it into outer space.

Now, I don't want you to think that I've had no family support with my dream of becoming a published writer. I have, and that means a lot too. In fact, they're the reason I have more confidence than I probably should :) - but somehow having people believe in me (who aren't required to love me) gave me an added dose of determination and even more hope.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is what blogging about this whole process does too. My husband (who thinks the internet is best used for playing games online) is baffled by my blog. He is baffled that I try to read so many other blogs. I've had a difficult time explaining it to him too, because up until now, I didn't know exactly why.

It's fun? I learn lots from amazing and talented people? I just like it? Well, those may all be true enough, but I've finally figured out the real reason behind my actions.

Reading and writing about these experiences puts air under my wings.

I guess I've been well on my way to coming to this conclusion anyway, but this weekend really cemented it in my mind. I hadn't realized that I was feeling somewhat self-conscious about talking to others about my writerly aspirations, the book I've written, and the steps I've begun to take towards making this a career.

(I'm afraid others will think I'm pretentious. Do you ever have that fear?)

The truth is, I haven't got an agent yet, and getting published is even further away than that.

However...I've decided to put those bashful days behind me.

When it comes down to it, I believe in myself, and I believe in my dream. I know that if I'm good enough, then someone is going to offer to represent me. It may take a while to find the right person, but I'm willing to plug away until I make a good match for my story and my career. I'm extremely proud of what I've accomplished so far, and the projects that are in the works will only be better too. I'm always learning; always growing and improving.

This will happen, and until it does, I'm going to share my experiences with anyone who wants to listen. No more stumbling over descriptions of my novel or WIPs, no more mumbling, no more sweaty palms, no more worrying. I have a new-found gratitude for people who ask about what I'm working on, because I think they want me to succeed**.

I know that whatever you're dreaming about - I want you to succeed. I look forward to reading about your trials and successes. Hang in there! I will if you will.

So, thank you for reading my blog; for making me feel like I have something interesting to say, for sharing in my excitement about this awesomely crazy journey, and for putting up with my rambling about, uh, airplanes and wind.

Besos!

*Well, except when I'm airing my innermost feelings on a blog.
**I'm all for making assumptions like that.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy

Have you ever just felt happy for no apparent reason? It happens to me quite a bit, and today it struck me as being rather unusual. There are days when that happiness is fleeting, and others where it follows me around. Today is one of the latter. It hums in the background - occasionally poking its tongue or making faces - leaving me smiling and giggling at mundane things.

Sure, I have those down days too, but even then, that happiness is much like Peter Pan's shadow: trying to run away only to come snapping back to mimic (and occasionally poke fun at) me.

It's contagious too. The kids see me smiling, and give me hugs and kisses out of the blue. I love days like that. Somehow the tedium of my run-of-the-mill-housefrau/laundry-cleaning-dishes life is made easier when buoyed up by this ever-present shadow of joy.

My life really is my bliss. What's yours?

Besos!

Friday, July 17, 2009

10K writing day

Yesterday I participated in author Milli Thornton's 10K day (that I learned about from reading MeganRebekah's blog). I didn't come anywhere near the 10,000 words*, thanks to overly demanding children (husband included, haha) who don't understand the need for me to be left alone, but I had so much fun and wrote more in one day than I have in a long, long time.

Honestly, it was the best remedy for the "I'm querying, but nobody's answering, or when they are, they don't like me so I must really stink" blues. Okay, I'm laughing even as I type this. I'm really no good at the depressed-angsty thing. I'm too half-glass-full to be in a funk for any length of time**.

The "rules" for the 10K day include the stipulation that you're not necessarily supposed to make your goal, so much as to just make the time to write and have fun with it.

Thank goodness for that!

I didn't actually think I'd make it (though the over-achiever*** in me secretly hoped I would). With 5 kids at home, it's kind of hard to keep them out of my hair long enough to even write a complete paragraph. We did spend the afternoon at the park, where I was able to get a lot done while working on my sunburn. In all, a highly productive and fun day!

I highly recommend that you take the time to participate in the next 10K day if you can. The next one is being held on August 13th and you can sign up here. It doesn't cost anything, and it really gets the creative juices flowing. You don't even have to work on a novel - anything counts. Even blogging! So what are you waiting for??

Besos!

*I wrote in a notebook, so I'm not even sure exactly how many words I did write, but it can't have been more than 5K.

**Except for that one time I had post-partum depression and didn't realize it until it was over and done. It was one of the most confusing times of my life with my brain trying to be happy, and my body being physically incapable of cooperating.

***This side of me doesn't come out very often, haha.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Back from holidays and musings on what editors are picking up

I have to admit that I felt a little weird without my computer/appendage, but I had tons of fun at hubby's family reunion. We don't get to see everyone all that often, so it's always a good time when we can get together. Usually everyone is in bed by 10:30 and I'm the lone night owl that stays up into the wee hours, but this time all of us girls stayed up until 2 am playing cards and giggling while everyone else tried to sleep. It was a blast.

I got home to a couple of rejections in my inbox - one of which was for a partial, which was a bit of a buzz-kill. C'est la vie (and I still have a partial out in the agentverse). I'm trying not to be discouraged, but I must admit it can be a challenge.

I read about YA writers who are getting agents, and of books that are being snapped up by publishing houses, and they're all so very different from mine. They're...well, they're very edgy. They deal with subject matter that I have no desire to touch with a 30 foot pole.

An edgy writer I am not. I'm okay with that. Happy even. And logic tells me there's room for good, clean, exciting books. That's what I like to read, and that's what my kids like to read. They're certainly not the only ones.

I hope this doesn't come across as too whiny. I love the book that I'm submitting to agents, and I believe it will find the right home. It's just hard sometimes. There are days when I do wonder...

I know you all understand what I'm talking about. I'm curious about your thoughts on the subject?

Besos!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Holidays

Don't you love summer holidays? No more rushing the kids out the door in the morning (mornings are bad enough without having to get everyone going), no more running out of juice boxes for lunches, no more searching for assignments, backpacks and notes to sign.

Can you see the big smile that's made its way across my face? It's there, trust me!

I love the breezy, go-with-the-flow summer days. I love sleeping in. I love sticky popsicle and freezie messes on the back deck. I adore sunscreen scented kisses and squeals of laughter that accompany the water fights in the back yard.

We're having to wait a bit for the major unscheduling to begin - the kids' official last day was only 4 days ago, but we've already attended a cousin's wedding out of town, had family come to stay for a few days, and next week we'll be at a family reunion. It's all been fun so far, and there will be more fun to come, but I mostly look forward to days vegging out at the park.

As an added bonus, I tend to do some of my best writing with a pen and notebook, so I'll look forward to completing this manuscript in between trips through the sprinklers at the spray park. Could life be any better?

Besos!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

14 years

That's how long I've been married. Hubby and I celebrated our anniversary last night by going out for lobster, crab and shrimp. Mmm, I love seafood!

Some people say that it's bad to get married young, but I disagree. We were starry-eyed at 22, dated and were married within 6 months, and I wouldn't have done it any other way. That's not to say that it's always been easy*. We're both extremely stubborn (quit laughing mom), and have some definite ideas of how things should be, but when it comes right down to it, we're in this for the long haul. I think that's what makes all the difference.

For kicks, here's a list of some of the things that have accompanied our fourteen years:

7 years of university, 3 degrees, 7 houses, 2 countries, 1 major job change, 6 vehicles, 5 kids, 1 stillbirth, 3 miscarriages, 2 cats, more disagreements than I can possibly keep track of, and more love than I can quantify!

I think it can be a difficult thing for people to grow and change over the years. Thankfully, we've not been immune to learning and growth. I embrace it with open arms. I like that we can learn from our mistakes, and become more effective in our relationships. Some days, I wonder how we could possibly have come together because we're so different, but most days I marvel at just how perfect we are for each other.

Our differences are what make our family well-rounded (and me too, for that matter). The things I tend to forget about are the things he can't live without, and the things that I love are things that he wouldn't push for. I love that sort of give and take in the family dynamic. Our kids have benefitted immensely from our diversity.

Thankfully, we still have a lot to learn from each other - we have a lot of years ahead of us! I know they won't be easy, because let's face it, nothing in life is. But it'll be worth it.

In the immortal words of the High School Musical cast: We're all in this together.

Besos!

*Come to think of it, I'm not sure that it's ever been particularly easy. Maybe year 15 will be?