Camp Nano Washed Out

Well, technically, Camp didn’t wash out.  I did.  It’s not for a lack of trying, mind you.  I’ve had much on my plate with work, with running after Hallie and helping her (post-surgery), running after the animals, mowing and working in the yard, cooking, cleaning, washing, going to and fro physical therapy and the list goes on.

I did manage to scribble roughly 5,000 words, not quite reaching the goal I’d set for myself of 10,000.  BUT!  I am still squeezing in time to write, even if it’s for a measly 15-30 minutes a day.  Hey, something is better than nothing, right?  Right.

I sort of messed myself up a bit to be honest.  I started back on my work of non-fiction that I started in October of last year and it’s like I had to force myself and found it to be more of a chore than fun.  I cannot write like that.  It has to be fun.  Don’t misunderstand.  Sometimes you have to glue your butt to the chair or couch or bed or porch swing or wherever it is you want to write and actually put in the time to write.  Something.  Anything.  Just to get yourself started.

Write the voices that are talking (screaming) in your head

But to sit there in angst with 100 other thoughts running through your head of what you need or want to be doing rather than having the want to sit there and write.  Well…  I cannot write like that.  It has to be fun.  After you sit there and force yourself to write, if the imagination and words are not flowing by the end of the first 30 minutes, it’s not worth it.  So I pulled away and thought to myself, “Self, while I realize finishing this book is important, you have all these voices in your head screaming at you to work on their story.  How can you focus on something completely opposite when you have your fantastical characters screaming at you to write their story?  Writing is writing.  As long as you are writing, you’re getting the job done.  But you need to listen to those voices in your head.  Listen to them.  Write their story.”

Then, I had a dream, woke up at 0:dark:30 after the dream, couldn’t go back to sleep, got up out of bed and wrote.  It was an epiphany.  I have started books 1 and 2 in a series and this dream was the story before book 1.  A new twist!  Sort of like The Hobbit movie coming out after all the Lord of the Rings movies.  It’s the back story before the story.  So, I have to say, I was a bit psyched to get up oh so early to write out everything I could remember from the dream.  And it’s funny.  The more time I spent writing it, the more details sprang up and I started remembering more of the dream, the colors, the sounds in the background, the smells, the rooms and changing environments, the action, the drama, what the characters where saying and how they were saying them.  Writing is such a wonderful trip!!  Hearing, seeing, feeling and smelling the story in your mind and writing it out is like biting into a juicy sweet peach, breathing in that heavenly fresh summery fragrance, and having the nectar drip and run down your chin and arm while savoring every last delicious bite.

If you write at all, then be proud

If you did not reach your goal for Camp Nano, don’t beat yourself up about it.  If it got you started writing and you continue every day to write, then be proud.  The real goal here is to write, to create, to spill your soul or imagination or dreams onto paper or laptop or whatever the tool is of your choosing.  But to write.  That is the goal.  So do that.  And be pleased with yourself.  Someone said once, ‘it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.’  And that is a very true statement.  The journey is the fun part, the adventure and, sometimes, the distraction from real every day life.  It’s my means of escape, though I don’t escape for long, as I love my life and the people in it.  Still, a little mini-mental-vacation is always welcome.  To imagine worlds and stories in your mind — those are some of the best vacation adventures.

So, maybe I didn’t wash out.  I started.  I wrote.  I’m writing daily.  And I will finish it eventually.  And so will you.

And if you did reach your goal for Camp, I applaud you!!  And if you didn’t reach your goal, and, still, you wrote, I applaud you, as well!  Wooooo-hooooo!!!  *clap*clap*clap*clap*wolf whistle*  Whoop!  Whoop!!

Where Does Your Heart Reside?

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

- Matthew 6:21

__________

Where is your treasure?  What is your treasure?  I have many, many treasures.  The first that come to mind are the most loved people in my life; those that make life worth living, worth waking up in the morning, worth smiling, worth struggling — those are the ones that I love more than the air that I breathe.  Hallie and Mama.  My two best friends in the world.  I can go anywhere in the world and I’m home as long as they are both with me.  They make me want to be a better person.  And they make me feel loved every day of my life.

And then, there’s Jennefer, another best friend.  It’s so nice to have a friend that knows me and likes me anyway.  We understand each other because we have many of the same things and life experiences in common.  We are both Christians and believe in strong family morals.  There’s nothing I can’t tell her.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a friend quite like her.  She’s the kind that hears you, gets you and doesn’t judge you on what you say.  And we are uplifting and encouraging and supportive with everything that the other does.

More treasures would be our furbabies!  Life is not complete without furballs around us!  We love our Buddy, Lilly and Tiger!

And tea!  Oh my goodness, I love me some hot tea and honey.  Right now, my favorite is this mixture I found at Teavana when we were (I think it was going through Knoxville, TN) on vacation.  It’s a mixture of Pineapple Kona Pop and Blueberry Bliss.  I call it Blueberry Pineapple Pop.  It’s heaven in a cup!  The fragrance alone is worth spending 5 minutes breathing in its deliciousness.  If you love tea, I highly recommend.

And creative writing!  That is something I pray I can live off of one day and that alone.  Right now, I have writing contracts but it isn’t the kind of writing assignments I dream of.  Plus, I have other contracts which I truly enjoy and my clients are awesome and amazing people.  However, writing books is where my heart lives.

Oh, and reading.  I love to read.  Especially J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, H. G. Wells, J. K. Rowling as well as many others, but I do love fantasy/sci-fi/adventure the most and that’s also what I love to write.

I have so many treasures in my life.  These are just a few that are at the peak of my huge mountain of blessings, treasures and loves.

What are some of your best treasures?  Where does your heart reside?

The Zombie Apocalypse is Here

zombies

Picture Thursday:

Mama and I took Hallie to get her knee surgery. Bless her. Good drugs in the ole IV, nerve block — she was flying higher than fireworks on the Fourth of July. She was feeling no pain. She and I had a few nice chats before they took her back and we had some good laughs. I’m sure everyone back there was wondering what was so funny. The kid is freakin’ hilarious without drugs. So you can imagine her drug-induced humor. Crazy Eyes!! Then surgery. Then recovery. Ugh. Bad dreams and tripping, tears. You might can imagine. Time to go. She screams Chick-fil-A, same as last time. Yeah, same surgery on the other knee 7 months ago. Onward to buy a late lunch and make the usual stop at Seattle Drip for her strawberry smoothie and Mama’s and my dark chocolate and hazlenut frappe with an extra shot of espresso and whip. Thank ya, Lord, for heaven on earth. Stop and buy drugs (the legal kind). And home.

Fast forward to Friday:

Pain pill and ice every 4 hrs. Advil every 4 hours in between the pain pill and ice, so up every 2 hours around the clock. Drugs forcing her to sleep, which is a good thing, then awake in a drugged zombie-like state. I’m so out of it, I don’t know whether to feed the dishes or wash the pets. Tried to work but as soon as I start, you know the thing your eyes do when you’re a mixture of tired, sleepy and a bit out of your mind from lack of sleep? Yeah, the glazed over drugged-out look? Sort of zombie-like? That’s me. Crazy eyes!! They start out at half-mast, then I try to stretch them open wide as if that’ll help make me alert. I can’t focus on work. Tried to nap with her. Then, I think of all the stuff I need to do, so I can’t sleep either. So, here I am, walking like a zombie through the house (picture tank, shorts, unbrushed hair, unbrushed teeth, unwashed face with yesterday’s left over makeup and… Crazy Eyes!!), tending to her, and then coming back to pull blank stares at my computer screen. So, why is it so easy to just blah-blah-blah on the computer, talking about life in general, yet I can’t work? It’s easy stuff, too, mostly. I guess my head is simply not in the game.

Yes, the Zombie Apocalypse is here and it’s at my house. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

(Photo courtesy of goodreads.com)

The Zombie Apocalypse is Here and is at My House

zombies

Picture yesterday:

Mama and I took Hallie to get her knee surgery.  Bless her.  Good drugs in the ole IV, nerve block — she was flying higher than fireworks on the Fourth of July.  She was feeling no pain.  She and I had a few nice chats before they took her back and we had some good laughs.  I’m sure everyone back there was wondering what was so funny.  The kid is freakin’ hilarious without drugs.  So you can imagine her drug-induced humor.  Crazy Eyes!!  Then surgery.  Then recovery.  Ugh.  Bad dreams and tripping, tears.  You might can imagine.  Time to go.  She screams Chick-fil-A, same as last time.  Yeah, same surgery on the other knee 7 months ago.  Onward to buy a late lunch and make the usual stop at Seattle Drip for her strawberry smoothie and Mama’s and my dark chocolate and hazlenut frappe with an extra shot of espresso and whip.  Thank ya, Lord, for heaven on earth.  Stop and buy drugs (the legal kind).  And home.

Fast forward to today:

Pain pill and ice every 4 hrs.  Advil every 4 hours in between the pain pill and ice, so up every 2 hours around the clock.  Drugs forcing her to sleep, which is a good thing, then awake in a drugged zombie-like state (her, not me).  I’m so out of it, I don’t know whether to feed the dishes or wash the pets.  Tried to work but as soon as I start, you know the thing your eyes do when you’re a mixture of tired, sleepy and a bit out of your mind from lack of sleep?  Yeah, the glazed over drugged look?  Sort of zombie-like?  That’s me.  Crazy eyes!!  They start out at half-mast, then I try to stretch them open wide as if that’ll help make me alert.  I can’t focus on work.  Tried to nap with her.  Then, I think of all the stuff I need to do, so I can’t sleep either.  So, here I am, walking like a zombie through the house (picture tank, shorts, unbrushed hair, unbrushed teeth, unwashed face with yesterday’s left over makeup and…  Crazy Eyes!!), tending to her, and then coming back to pull blank stares at my computer screen.  So, why is it so easy to just blah-blah-blah on the computer, talking about life in general, yet I can’t work?  It’s easy stuff, too, mostly.  I guess my head is simply not in the game.

Yes, the Zombie Apocalypse is here and it’s at my house.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

(Photo courtesy of goodreads.com)

She Came Through Fine

It’s mostly the waking up from anesthesia that worries me.  She came through just fine.  Surgery was a complete success plus she got the screw removed from the other knee.  That sucker was bigger than we realized!  She kept it as a souvenir to go along with her battle scars.  She doesn’t care about the scars, though.  I’m so glad.  I know myself well enough to know the scars would bother me.  Not her!  She’s tough stuff and grounded and well rounded enough to not let things as trivial as a few scars get her down.

No, what bothers her is not being mobile for a week and on crutches for 8 and Physical Therapy 3 times a week for about 12.  What bothers her is the pain once the nerve block and iv drugs wear off.  At least she has pain meds.  I can’t imagine that level of pain.  I can’t imagine that level of stress.  To have to start her first year of high school on crutches and have someone help her with her backpack and help prop her leg up in a chair in each class.  My heart hurts.  But that’s nothing compared to her pain.  The sadness she feels and the anger, resentment and blame she holds against her body since she feels as though her body has failed her in some way.

But she’s home now in my bed so I can better care for her every 3-4 hours around the clock, and so she can watch tv.  Both her legs are propped up on a rolled sleeping bag.  She’s asleep, catching up on much needed rest since she pretty much didn’t sleep a wink last night.  I think I’ll go to the bathroom in a few to have a good cry and she won’t have to be subjected.  Oh, you know us mamas.  We have to stay tough until it’s all over with.  Then we can go hide and cry and relieve a little bit of the tension.  We wish we could bear the pain and struggle for our children.  Wish it was just that easy.

At least, if she’s still interested, she can start soccer again next year.  Not too late to get a scholarship.  Both her knees will be fixed and the doc says there’ll be nothing she can’t do 6 months from now.  Thank You, God/Jesus!  You guys are awesome and You know how very special You are to us!  Huge thanks to my sweet, sweet Mama, who goes through everything with us.  We are three peas in a pod.  She helps us so much with her love, sweetness and emotional support.  I love you, Mama!  And Hallie loves you soooo much, too!  Thanks to the surgeon who is sooo brilliant (and everyone who assisted)!  Thanks to you all, our dear friends, for your prayers.  It means more than you know.

Love y’all,

Carol

*squishes and smooches*

Understandable Despair and Silver Linings

Exodus 6

The Lord told Moses that Pharoah would let them go because of His mighty hand and Pharoah will force them out of his country.  He further told Moses he remembered his covenant and will free the Israelites from being slaves to the Egyptians and will bring them to the land he swore to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and he will give them the land as their possession.

Moses reported to the Israelites what God said but they didn’t listen because of their discouragement and cruel bondage.  The Lord told Moses to tell Pharoah, king of Egypt, to let the Israelites go out of his country but Moses said, “If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh?”

Exodus 6:13 thru 6:27 is the family record of Moses and Aaron.

__________

If you were an Israelite, forced into hard and cruel labor, beaten and made to work constantly not only building but gathering your own straw for bricks, forced to fill your same quota of bricks as before when you were actually supplied with straw, how would you feel about God?  Would you trust him?  What you believe he would deliver you from this torture and give you freedom and land?  I know I wouldn’t.  He could have come sooner, right?  He could have watched out for these people and not allow them to be tortured at all.

Why would he leave them alone for so long?  I don’t begin to understand nor will I ever understand why he allows people to be tortured.  I’ve heard he has a plan.  For each one of us, he has a plan.  Do you ever question his plan?  I do.  Sometimes I wonder if he actually has a plan for my life.  It’s during those times of suffering.

But then I adjust my focus and see all that I have.  I look at Mama, this beautiful, amazing woman who is capable of anything, the fact that she’s just next door and we grow closer every day.  I look at Hallie, the daughter I wished for since I was 2, the fact that she’s this amazing young person with all the qualities I prayed for during all those years of not having her and we grow closer every day, which is what love is supposed to be.

You spend time with people you love and get to know them on deeper levels and in different ways and you love them in spite of their flaws, failures and weaknesses.  You love them and they love you in spite of all your flaws, failures and weaknesses and your love strengthens and grows and you get closer every day.  And then, from that amazing love, I see all the other wonderful things in my life.

Even though we may struggle at times, we have so much more to be thankful for.

Perhaps it feels like a struggle, but really it’s a blessing in disguise.  This might and might not make sense.  A struggle being a blessing in disguise?!  I’ve actually had several of those.  Where something bad happens and at the time you feel it’s horrid and maybe even for a while after as you mourn that thing.

But then the smoke clears and you begin to see things with cleaner, fresher eyes and see all the blessings that came because of that bad thing.  You find the silver lining and sometimes there are many silver linings from that one bad thing.  I know some of you know what I mean.  So then maybe God does have a plan after all.  It’s sometimes through a bit of suffering and because of suffering we can eventually see and appreciate beauty.

Second Week of Nano

It’s into the second week of Camp Nanowrimo and what do I have to show for it?  Zilch.  But.  I have a plan.  It’s the “easy button” plan.  The “stupid easy” plan.  I have the beginning and parts of the middle of the book from previous Nov Nano and April Camp Nano so I’m trying to figure out my Nano schedule to be this:

July 14 thru 21 –Print what I have written thus far, read thru, pen & ink reorg/revise, comp reorg/revise — This will give me a better jumping off point

July 22 thru 31 — Write 1,000+ words per day

July 31 —  Submit my 10,000+ words by 11:59pm

Cutting it close, eh?  I like it like that.  But see, I have a plan.  If I can clear 2 hours per day to write, I can score 2,000 wpd so that would be awesome.  Yeah, I think maybe I can do that if I get up at 3am on those days.

3-5 write

5-9 work on Contract 1

9-1 work on Contract 2

We’ll see how this goes.  A monkey wrench is about to be thrown into the plan on July 17, so I’m not sure how things will hold up after this.  The following days and weeks will be complete insanity.  Pray for me?  Pray for my baby more?  She is scared to death.  One knee surgery last Dec 26.  The other knee surgery on Thursday.  Ugh.  I can’t even imagine…  :'(

I wish all of you Wrimos out there the best of luck with your writing goals!  We got this!