Sunday, September 16, 2018

Throwdown, Universe!

Hey folks,

Yes, in my last blog post, I mentioned that I was about to start my magnum opus novel. Soon thereafter, my shoulder began to ache. Then my arm. Then it felt like both began to throb and then catch on fire. The sore boils came next. One trip to urgent care later, I learned that I had shingles.  This stuff hurts like crazy but I am not giving in. 

It's time for a throwdown, Universe! What is a throwdown? A performance competition between rappers, breakdancers, or perhaps, a writer and the greatest storyteller, the universe. I am calling this a write-my-story throwdown. I'm slowly coming off the pain meds and it's on!

Rotten luck, bad timing, or burning the candles at both ends, whatever is going on, I still am about to start my magnum opus novel.  I will begin tomorrow with two hours of work every day for the next four days. Stuff happens, but this stuff fights back. Why I need more grit is a mystery to me because I am already a rather gritty old gal. But the going is tough, so the tough must get going. This is the time to bring out the mettle and the moral fiber.  

I think that the whole optimist, sunny-side up attitude has its place, but what is stronger is the person who whips out strength of character, steely nerves, and hardy resolve. And what is the first thing I must do? Be glad. All the debts have been paid, worriers. This kind of writing is how I find myself.  When I forget who I am, I am ever so glad I wrote down my heart.  

Are you on a creative journey? Throw in some grit. 

Here is a doodle. 



A quote for your pocket. 

“I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am” John Newton


 

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Where in the World Am I?

Hi Folks,

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been uber busy with projects this summer. I wrote a chapter story for Lipa Pirates, and I also illustrated a picture book (more deets to come).  Busy beaver here.

So what have I been thinking about lately other than if ice or heat is better for a pinched nerve in my neck? Uh, finishing up this year's Teens Publish, my program at the Ringer Library in College Station.  The anthology is almost complete and the big party is around the corner! Exciting stuff! Did I mention my son got married? Life must be lived sometimes and thinking comes later.

Anywho, as soon as the current projects are over, I'm writing the story I planned to never write.  I will draft the entire novel this fall. I have written three different outlines and for some reason have "misplaced" all of those outlines. What is my subconscious trying to say? Yes, write the worst novel ever or a rough draft, whatever you want to call it.

Now I will pontificate about what it takes to write a novel: a working computer or pen and paper. Hahaha. For me, the starstuff need for novel creation is this annoying voice in my head that keeps telling me that stories set us free and if you don't write the story that keeps bouncing around in your head, who is going to not have the stuff they need to move on to the next chapter in their life? (THEY/THEIR is on purpose, I officially say that THEY/THEIR covers all genders because I personally think 10 checkboxes for genders need to be simplified.)

It takes heart to write a novel. Stories are about the deep waters of the soul. They uncover what can't just be said with what must be shown. This is the magnum opus of my career.  I was born to write this novel, and I am so glad that the day has come for me to write it. Your stories are bigger than you. Be happy you are along for the ride. I hope you push your keys or pen against paper. If you aren't a writer, let that inner voice guide you. What will be missing from the world if you don't listen to it? Please don't take this lightly.

I hope you SEIZE the day!

Here is a doodle:

Here is a quote for your pocket.
“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” – Maya Angelou


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Learn to Do Right

I have been thinking about this a lot lately: Learn to do right. These words come from almost 3000 years ago from a prophet called Isaiah.

What he calls "doing right," these words resonate within me:

Seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.

I want to learn. I hear this voice calling me:

Everyone has an answer in their ivory tower. You should climb down and stop passing people in the street. Step out of your comfort zone and do something, say something, stand up. No more wishy-washy words that do nothing to change the world torn world. 

Rise up, you couch potato. Figure out why folks are kneeling under the red, white, and blue. Open up to children taken from their parents and stuffed into neat rows at land's end. How many grandmamas live in an old shack with no one to take them a dime? Wake up, get out, make a difference. Learn to do right, girl. Learn it now. 

I hope this stirs up your creative self. 

Here is a doodle. I call it "Ripe Field."



I hope you put this quote in your pocket:

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. Martin Luther King


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Comfort

Hi, folks,

I am a busy bee currently! Life. Life. Life. Repeat.

I have been thinking about comfort this week. What comforts my heart? This is not a big existential thought. I'm all about the little things over here in my little life. I've been working on breaking my unhealthy habits. Here's one: I tend to reach for food for comfort. I think it is a southern thing, y'all.

Well, an occasional slice of caramel cake is fine, but I need to fill myself up with non-food comforts.  Here is my current list.

Wrapping up in a warm blanket in a cold room
A long, long, long hug
Sleeping in a hammock under the trees on a sunny day
Petting a cat
Floating in the pool
Rereading a favorite book
Reading Isaiah and thinking about it
Listening to my favorite songs on a long walk
Singing by a campfire
Holding hands under a starry sky
Child's pose
A foot massage
Deep prayer where the world disappears around me
Making my bed
Walking in the woods anywhere, anytime
A tall glass of iced tea (no sugar, slice of lemon) on a hot day
An excellent conversation

I need more comfort. If you have any other ideas, I would appreciate them. I hope you think about what comforts you this week regardless. Take some time and be comforted.  I think a person who can self-comfort has found a goldmine.

One more thought, creating comforts me. Write some words. Paint some dots. Cut a rug. The movement in time leaves a lovely echo.

I will be back with more...

Here is a doodle.




And a quote that comforts me:

But they that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they will run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Monday, June 04, 2018

I'm an Onion

Good news! I don't have cancer currently. All test have been deemed negative. I feel like dancing in the streets! Thanks for the prayers and the prayer beads. I feel extremely blessed right now.

I'm a hotbed of creative activity currently. My mind sizzles with ideas. I pitched a book that I believe is just a stay-up-all-night read to a couple of agents and have received two very encouraging "not for mes". More to go. I am illustrating a little picture book project for a company. My TEENSPublish group is about to begin at the Ringer Library on Wednesday. I have 18 teens in.  These kids are going to write a most awesome collection this summer. I'm happy to be the cheer coach on the sidelines! There are some writing gigs simmering too.

I'm not neglecting the blog there is only so much of me to go around.

Currently, I'm focusing on being the person I want to be. This journey includes the fact that I sort of suck at making money and being cool with that. Also, I want to do whatever I can to make the world around me an easier place to navigate. Add to that, I realize more and more the stuff that we shove under the rug is the stuff we must bring into the light of day. Finally, a daily practice of forgiving myself for my missteps helps me. My mantra: Stop beating yourself up if you aren't all that!

Everybody needs a mantra.

One thing I've had to admit. I do not excel at the big picture. I'm a detail person. It is all about the details. I'm no branded, stenciled luxury apple. Instead, I'm everyday onion, and I grow in the dirt, not rarefied air. The multitude of layers makes my life wonderful.  If I look at any one layer, it doesn't seem like much. The depth and multitde of layers are what create the tasty Texas 1015 sweet onion that I am.

My current book project is FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. It's my bravest book. I'm not sure how everyone feels out there, but my heart just hungers for understanding. That said, I'm really tired of everyone being so sure about everything. If you aren't on a trajectory that is moving you toward a place that you know less and are hence more flexible, I suggest you rethink the master plan.

Here are some story things that I'm wrestling with. No. I have no proof of the existence of God. Yet I still believe. I don't ascribe to the idea that Bible has no mistakes in it. I'd toss any belief system in the trash that required a no-mistakes guidebook. Rigid belief is inhuman in my opinion. I feel an inflexible belief system is totally stagnant and unable to open to new information. This inflexibility leads to pernicious thinking, that gradually and subtle steals joy and peace.

Hint. If you have no joy and peace, your next brave step is to change your suppositions. This is the hard, hard work of faith.

I hope this little window into my onion-y mind helps you navigate your journey. I will be back when I can with more reasons to seize the day.

Here is a doodle. Rose-colored sky.


Here is a quote for your pocket.

Live as brave men; and if fortune is adverse, front its blows with brave hearts. Marcus Tullius Cicero