Rolling with the punches

I got some bad writing news this afternoon that wasn’t unexpected, but was still difficult to hear. I had tears in my eyes. But because my agent is so kind and supportive, within minutes of our conversation I felt okay. (The two slices of butter-and- strawberry-jam toast definitely helped). And not only did I feel better post-toast, I felt a renewed resolve.

A few minutes ago I finished drafting 1,062 words of my new project. How do I feel? Pretty damned good.

Knock down this clown and I’ll just bounce back for more!

#GreenNewDeal and fighting for a livable future

I spent Saturday and Sunday with about 35 passionate young people dedicated to fighting for a Green New Deal. Our local hub of the Sunrise Movement (Sunrise Colorado) held a training retreat in which national organizers shared strategies to help us in this fight. It was an amazing weekend and I felt SO. MANY. EMOTIONS.

I cried at the beginning when we all shared who and what we were fighting for, and I cried at the closing when we sang together. But I also laughed a ton, learned much, and felt lots of hope for the future.

The Sunrise Movement has already gained much more traction on the climate crisis than I’ve seen in my lifetime. PLEASE consider donating a few dollars to my hub to help us continue this vital work. https://secure.actblue.com/donate/sunriseco

Or if you’d prefer donating to the national movement, you can do so here: https://www.sunrisemovement.org/

Thank you in advance.

The forest for the trees

I just spent the last several hours tying up some loose threads on the YA project I’ve (most recently ) been working on since last fall. Basically, I wrote pages of notes in order to have a map for the next time I pick it up. The thing is, I cannot put any more energy into this project right now. My critique group gave me feedback last Wednesday on the first 30 pages and it’s still a hot mess. My words, not theirs. Their feedback was spot-on and they offered some great suggestions, but my heart isn’t in it anymore. This is a project I drafted ten years ago and over the following decade revised multiple times. It’s definitely a better story than it was before, but it’s still not where it needs to be.

So. I’m setting it aside because the characters and plot have become a jumble in my mind. I can’t see the forest for the trees and I’m sick of trying.

Whew. I’m feeling a mixture of emotions right now, but there’s a whole lot of relief in letting go.

Sunday Confessional

Today is one of those days I’d prefer to interact with plants and animals rather than contemplate the mind-boggling awfulness of some human beings. I can’t think of one instance in which a clematis bloom caused me a moment’s pain or anxiety.

Until they flower again, I’m basking in the memory of their quiet beauty.

Sticky feelings

I took this photo in October 2015 and never looked at it closely (I recommend clicking on the image for full efffect). After deciding to highlight it here today, I went in search of a fitting quotation.

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place:
from the sky,
from the earth,
from a scrap of paper,
from a passing shape,
from a spider’s web.
~ Pablo Picasso

That quote feels particularly apt because today has been emotion-filled. SO.MANY.FEELINGS. coming at me from every direction. It was like being surrounded by a sticky web trapping every single one of them.

It’s cool, though. I’d much rather feel it all than be numb to it all.

Walking toward clarity

It’s been a murky day filled with emotions, confusion, and an overall sense of TIRED. But I finally succumbed to cute Emma the Dog’s wriggling reminder that it was time for our daily walk, and went out to do just that.

Movement plus a smiling, happy dog by my side brought clarity to the day.

I’m feeling so much better. Today, Dog is most definitely this woman’s best friend.

We would be robots

Poppy downed by May hailstorm before it had a chance to bloom.

If we were to lose the ability to be emotional,
if we were to lose the ability to be angry,
to be outraged,
we would be robots.
And I refuse that.

~  Arundhati Roy

 

To smile, or to stab — that is the question

Today is the day, I thought. Today, the photo of me with the Stabby bus will make its blog debut. (The image was captured our first day in Uppsala. Zebu spotted the bus coming up the street, and I quickly handed off my phone and posed next to it when it stopped. Those who know me well know that I quite frequently “feel stabby,” which is why I was thrilled when Zebu captured the original Stabby bus image for me.)

Today is one of those “I’m feeling stabby” days. So I went back and found the photo.

Huh? That woman does NOT look as if she’s feeling stabby. She’s smiling, happy, and, aside from the claw-like curve to her right hand**, looks pretty damned relaxed. Not at all stabby.

I almost gave up on today’s stabby theme. And then it hit me: this photo is perfect for today’s post. Why? Because the reason for my stabby feelings is that I’m struggling with two characters’ friendship in the opening pages of my new project. I’m struggling to smooth out their interactions so as to establish their relationship and character arcs, and suddenly, it feels as if the first 60 pages are a steaming pile of mixed messages.

So what better photographic representation of mixed messaging than this photo of the smiling me next to the Stabby bus?

HA! I’m suddenly feeling slightly less stabby.

** me simulating holding a pointy object in preparation of stabby motions.

Micromanaging my emotions

When I get frustrated and angry it sometimes helps to focus on something else, preferably something pleasing and/or interesting to look at. Something with different colors and textures, sizes and shapes, and quality of light.  penstemon

Something that reminds me of my tiny role in the universe.

 

 

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One of those days

Oddly enough, this seems like a fair representation of today:0017

I was very tired and so didn’t accomplish much. I felt a bit, you know, pointless. So it’s weird that this is the photo that jumped out at me from Morguefile.com when I went cruising for photos. But somehow these pointy-headed mannequins capture my mood.

Two positive notes regarding today:

  1. Loki and Marcel took turns curled up on me as I read and napped on the couch.
  2. No one used my head to play Ring Toss.

 

 

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Punching is for expression

GET FUZZY by Darby Conley
Get Fuzzy on writing as expression

This old Get Fuzzy strip does not represent any personal animosity toward poets.
Rather, it’s more a statement on my current state of mind.
Specifically, my desire to punch something.
Although, stabbing would be equally therapeutic.

As Zebu would say, “Mom’s feeling a little stabby today.”

“Stabby and punchy.”
That’s me.

Shouldn’t there be a t-shirt or bumpersticker?

 

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Monday Attitudes

My default outlook on Monday mornings is this:file0001003820993

But if I try faking my way into a more upbeat and optimistic attitude, I could end up with sore facial muscles:file000502394427

So I’m aiming for a more measured approach to this particular Monday:file0002039134823

Thoughtful and slightly wary. Ready to take flight should the need arise.

I’ve Seen the Light!

                 

This is NOT me.


                                                                                     image from morguefile.com

The photo, however, represents how I feel right now.

Just one week ago I was a weepy little mess as I struggled to learn Scrivener.
Today I’m thrilled to announce I understand the basics of this writing software,

and that I’m looking ahead to a more streamlined, organized approach to writing novels.
 
I’m still a huge fan of carrying around a notebook, and that won’t change.
 
But.
 
 
I appreciate the words of encouragement and tips shared in my original post.
Thank you, friends!
 
                

Exhilaration vs. Hyperventilation

           

I love roller coasters.
But I also panic at the thought of roller coasters.

I’m feeling those same mixed emotions as I prepare to embark on this revision.

I’m thrilled at the thought of finally creating the book I’d intended
but also a bit nervous about what I might experience along the way.

I know there will be thrills and spills.
And undoubtedly this revision will involve some screaming
and white knuckles.
Followed by more screaming.
Let’s just hope I don’t ever wet myself,
not even a little bit.

Okay,  here goes . . .