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!!

Let’s Play 20 Questions

Okay, I’ve had several thoughts about this blog lately and wanted to get your opinion.  I don’t want to overwhelm my readers, so I wanted your input.

I have many interests and I wouldn’t mind blogging about them.  Which of the following would you be interested in reading?

1) Bible study/God/Jesus/Prayer/Miracles (I will be doing this one anyway.  I made a deal with God.);

2) Creative writing & Nanowrimo/Camp Nano (this would include challenges as well); By the way, Camp Nanoers, I’m interested in engaging in some word sprints.  Who’s game?;

3) Quotes;

4) Cooking/recipes/experimenting in the kitchen;

5) Working from home/companies to work for and who not to work for/every day life;

6) Being a divorced/single mom with a teenager;

7) Health/fitness/diet/losing weight/daily working out/super foods and what helps what and what foods hurt you/improving energy, eyesight, and well, health overall;

8) Depression, anxiety, anger issues, frustration, suicidal thoughts, grief (dealing with it & how to take action to improve);

9) Cleaning/organizing (tips, techniques, checklists) re home, schedules, life in general

10) Life in general as I sometimes talk about (with my teen, my mom next door, my crazy furballs, my insane work-from-home schedule, life in the country, Mississippi, road trips, etc.)

Okay, so it’s only 10 questions, which, in my opinion, trumps 20 (unless you just love answering long lists of questions).  So, give me a shout out.  Let me know which items you are interested in.  What are you interested in reading that’s not covered here?  I am great at biting off more than I can chew but I am determined to get back to daily blogging and creative living (writing, cooking, finishing my books) and I’m just curious what your thoughts are.  Comment me below.

And I’ll eventually incorporate photography again, but that will be added back to the blog perhaps in a couple months.

Lata babes!

- Carol

Skipped Out On My Own Invitation

mama

No need to post what week of 52 this is, since I dropped the ball on posting weekly.  Oh well.  I felt bad at first not following through, but I’ve let it go, since there are only so many hours in a day to get it all done.  Too much goin’ on lately, so focusing on the most important stuff first.

So, what’s been happenin’?  Well, as many of you know, I was participating in the Camp Nanowrimo, which is a virtual camp that participants join in April (and there’s another in July) to write a novel, short stories, poems, scripts, what have you.  My goal was to write a novel and reach 50,000 words.  You only have the 30 days alloted during April and you have to submit by 11:59pm April 30 to see if you are a winner.  I won!  As did a couple of my friends!!  Yea!

So, now that that’s done, or that part is done, I’ve put my novel on a back burner to focus on this new job I was presented with.  Wonderful new job!  Flexible hours, the same money as I make now per week, plus less gas I need to buy, plus less hours, plus no one to jerk me around daily, oh, I just can’t stop about the perks, but I’ll stop anyway.  It’s a great deal, but it’s also scary as H-E-double hockey sticks.  Ya know, any time ya take a risk, it’s pretty dang scary.  And good stress is still stress.  So, anyway, I gave my two weeks notice to my current day job while still working for this other job for about 10 or so hours per week.  My last day with the blegh job is May 22 and I’m soooo excited.  I get to pick my sweet baby up from school on her last day and every day for the next school year.  I get to spend quality time with her during the summer, and I cannot wait!!

So, that’s a bit about what’s been going on.

Above, you see an image of my beautiful mother. She’s such a sweetheart!  She’s one of my best friends in the world!  We hang out every chance we get, and this was the Saturday before Mother’s Day.  She and I decided we’d treat each other to an early Mother’s Day meal out at our favorite restaurant!  Saltgrass Steakhouse!  Oh baby!  Hallie pitched in some of her allowance for the meal for our Mother’s Day gift, as well.  We have to drive like 3 hours to get to this place, but it’s so worth it.  Every mouthwatering bite!  Plus, ya know, we are always up for a roadtrip, a daytrip, any kind of trip trip.  I love to drive and my girls love to ride.  It’s just so relaxing to drive and look at all the sights, and shop at our favorite stores, although we went into our favorite store and some old ladies were working in there, following us around, stalking us, forcing stuff on us and we walked out.  Never have we left that store without a purchase.  First time for everything.  We were very disappointed, and I plan to send a complaint to their website and see if it makes a difference.  You should not hound the shoppers!  Grrrr!  But, we shopped around at some other shops, took some shots of ourselves in a photo booth – Cute and Fun!  And also found a new Panera Bread that just opened up down there.  Oh, all this was in Bossier City and Shreveport, Louisiana – 3 hours away from where we live.  It was an awesome day!  We left at 7am and got home at 7pm.

Sunday was a stellar day!  The weather could not have been more beautiful.  Sun shining, breeze blowing, warm enough for shorts, but almost too chilly for shorts depending on how hard the wind was blowing.  I told God, “You really made this a perfect weather day.  I could be happy in temps like this every day!”  I can’t remember the last weekend before this one where we did not get rained out!  So, we thoroughly enjoyed our Blue Sky Holiday!  Mama slow cooked some roast, mashed up some taters, fixed a salad, and we were in hog heaven at her house just hangin’ out and chowin’ down.

I hope all you sweet mommies out there had a memorable and wonderful Mother’s Day, as well.

I’ll head on over to my 101 things and update that in a second.  Let me get to prayer requests.  What did I forget?  Anything?  Let me know.  Oh, and when my life gets back to some sort of normalcy next week, as I’m working on my new daily schedule now, setting everything up, I will also get back to finishing my novel, and then I can update you on how that’s going.

Y’all have a beautiful day!  Love ya!

-Carol

Oh, last post, I invited y’all over Sunday and I didn’t even show up.  I am pitiful!  One day, I will have my rear in gear and be organized.  One day…

Prayer Requests:

1) For Mama to be healed and feel good again.  She’s been feeling sick for months and has a dr’s appt coming up.  Let the doc tell her it’s something easily fixable with diet and exercise, not eating certain foods, etc.
2) For this new opportunity I’ve been granted work out for the greater good.
3) Please pray for Jennefer about her new job, and let it be as awesome as she is, and let her transition from one job to this next one be much smoother than she anticipated.
4) Please pray for Sherree to quickly be able to follow her heart and dreams.
5) Please pray for Carlie to be safe and well.
6) Please pray for Carlie to come by sometime and let us know she’s ok.
7) Please pray for Patrick to find the woman of his dreams, fall in love and get married. Pray he finds her this year.

Red and Green…and Imagining

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I was clickin’ through pictures, and I believe I may have posted this one before, but I don’t care.  The red and green remind me of Christmas.  The path and stairway look magical as if to lead to limitless magic and (to borrow words from Warehouse 13:) endless wonder.  We were already surrounded by boundless beauty, as we were in Rock City Gardens in Chattanooga, Tennessee – one of our all time favorite places.

Rock City Gardens is one of the most beautiful places on earth – right up there in the top 10.  I am such a huge fan of rocks.  Small rocks, crystals, stones.  Medium sized for sitting on, climbing.  And gynormous ones for their striking beauty, majesty, strength, and again, climbing.  Oh, did I mention how much I love to climb?  Besides that, Rock City is full of beautiful shades of green, but truly, there are all colors of the rainbow that can be found along the paths of Rock City Gardens.  Once you’ve been, you’ll want to go again and again.  It never looks the same.  It never gets boring.  It is always breathtaking.  Plus, once you get to the top of Lookout Mountain, you can see 7 states all at once.  Now, how cool is that?
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Back to magical stairways.
Mama, Hallie and I went to the movies to see The Hobbit today.  Awesome!!!!  I’m a huge sci-fi fan.  I love Lord of the Rings.  Love J. R. R. Tolkien.  Love most anything filmed in New Zealand.  And many parts of Rock City Gardens seem as mystical as those meandering paths, hills and lands traveled by Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, as well as their many traveling companions.

What can you imagine is under that cliff?  What’s at the top of the stairway?  Use that colorful imagination of yours.  What kind of story can you come up with.  Sounds fun!  I think I’ll go write!

Nighty night!  God speed!  Sleep tight!  Adventuresome dreams!

*squish*

-Carol

Go Tell It On The Mountain

that Jesus Christ is born!! He is the reason for the season, ya know? Thanks God, for sending Jesus. Thanks for Christmas – the best birthday of all.

One of my top 10 places to visit, and we have visited this place more often than any other. Chattanooga, Tennessee.

My favorite destinations, thus far:
Blue Ridge Mountains/ Blue Ridge Parkway/ Shenandoah Parkway, USA
Anchorage, Alaska (and the outskirts), USA
Montana, USA
Wyoming, USA
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA
Norman & Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (and the outskirts), USA
Disney, Orlando, Florida, USA
Anywhere I go with Hallie and Mama
…oh, and I just have to squeeze in an 11th – Sedona, Arizona, USA

What are your top ten destinations?

Meet Me at the Palace

A while back, I posted a few shots of pieces of art by Fernando Castro Pacheco that are on display at the Governor’s Palace in the city’s main plaza – Mérida Yucatán, México (Hallie, Mama and I were there in 2009).

I thought I’d share a little more of the wonderful murals and Governor’s Palace with you.

Some of the 31 enormous works are not true murals, because they weren’t painted directly onto the surface of the walls.

You’re Always On My Mind, Chattanooga

…you’re always on my mind.  I’m so sorry to say we won’t get to see you this year.  Maybe next year, my old dear friend.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have much to be thankful for!

Have a fabulous Friday, and good luck to all you Black Friday shoppers out there.  I’m sitting this one out.  Not in the mood to get rammed with a shopping cart again, by a crazy lady with a running start, nor wait in line for an hour or longer, nor deal with all the insanity that reigns on this craziest day of the year.  Nope, I’m doing most of my shopping online this year.  ;)

Happy day!  Love ya!  *smooch*

-Carol