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Embrace the chaos?

I want everything to be planned and efficient. It's always been that way. Errands go in a specific order. Dishes go in certain places in the washer. I always know where I'm going when I run or bike, and I try not to back track or repeat the same ground on the same journey. 
But writing...writing is none of those things. I try to plan it, and the plan is thrown out within 1000 words. I try to be efficient, but I write and rewrite and dither and explore with every scene. I try to go in a linear progression, but instead it's like swimming blind--circles and squiggles and so many more miles than intended.
So, this revision, I've got to accept that things still aren't linear. There are too many plot threads that are still tangled to be able to get a clean, linear progression this time around. 
That's not the end of the world. I mean, it feels like it, but it's really not. 
Instead of resisting, maybe I should embrace the chaos. Tackle the most critical, main plo…

Consulting a creative guru

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I mentioned a couple days ago that I have to reimagine a character that love in order to move forward with this revision of my manuscript. I also need to identify how the antagonist is defeated (the original way was too complicated and not that great anyway). Finally, I need to up the stakes for my second POV (point of view) character in the third quarter of the story.

The problem is I don't know the answers to these questions yet. I'm stuck. I feel like I've been kicked out of my own story and it's all gone hazy.

This is usually the moment where I panic that I'm not making enough forward momentum. That I've already spent too long on this manuscript. I'll probably tell myself I'm a hack, that I can't do this, that I should probably give up.

I need a creative guru. Where's Bowie? Oh, here he is...


He gets right at the nerve of something I'm wrestling with. I don't fancy myself a literary writer or a great artist. I want to write fun, thou…

I was always on this path

In resurrecting this blog, I discovered that my college blog still exists--hidden away from the world, of course. I spent an hour last night perusing some of the old entries. Things about school and my love life and finding myself. You know, college stuff. Then I came across a list I'd made in 2003 of things to do before I turn 35. That's this year people!

So, time for a status check...

Things to do before I turn 35
1. Live in another country for more than 6 months
2. Fall in love
3. Learn to play the guitar well
4. Get a Master's degree or higher
5. Travel to at least 4 continents
6. Feel confident in my skin/body
7. Write something publishable
8. Learn about car engines and basic maintenance
9. Help someone in a lasting way
10. Become a sunlight person (i.e. not live my life at 2am)
11. Get a tattoo
12. Be able to run a mile without feeling like I'm about to die
13. Develop healthy eating/exercising/meditating patterns
14. Become fluent in Spanish

I color coded for achievement, in pr…

Wonder Woman Panties

I made three goals for this year...

1. Finish the manuscript for Black Lake
2. Run 10 consecutive miles
3. Engage in real life everyday

What does this have to do with resurrecting a blog I haven't touched in nearly a decade? Well, I guess it's about progress. I started the year strong, especially with engaging in real life. I was paying attention to the news, making friends, finding service opportunities with youth. Then, around the end of March, I picked up pace on my manuscript revisions. I made a plan to finish draft 3 by the end of June, and was hitting my 1000 words a day fairly frequently. And I started to run (a feat attempted many times before and always failed). Slow, unattractive, functional running. One mile, then two, then three at a time.

All in all, it was going great.

So here's why blogging. Things don't stay great all the time. There are hiccups. Stumbling blocks. Groin strains. You know, stupid shit. This is life. I'm just not great at rebounding a…
Begin again!

I'm finished with grad school and standing at a threshold of wide open possibility. So, I ask myself - what will I do now?

The last time I found myself in this position, a college graduate for the first time, I had no sense of the answer. My decisions were neither deliberate nor purposeful. I just applied to the Peace Corps, got a job, changed my mind about the Peace Corps, had a panic attack, changed my mind about the job, got a different job, took up dancing, fell in love, and started grad school. It's a common tale, I'm sure, and it landed me where I needed to be, even if it was largely in fly-by-night fashion. This time, I have just as few answers but I am grounded. I feel like my decisions have meaning, and my choices can be intentional and purposeful. And for the first time, maybe, I have a sense of self capable of investigating and determining the path ahead. I may not be able to control my course, but I can chart it and strive for it, and see where the …
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Try it...it's empowering. It's lemon!
I have never been so impressed with the ability of people to struggle, reflect, and grow. How very noble and wonderfully human we are to wrestle with the prejudices and anger, the ego, the selfishness and sorrows that make up so much of this world. How marvelous that we can stand unembarrassed by our failings and strive to become better. How beautiful is it that our nature allows us to forgive, to love, to seek justice, and to be kind.

I want, at this moment, to recognize the many people in my life who are struggling, who are learning, who are really laboring to free their higher selves from the mire of complicated and difficult histories. You are amazing.

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P.S. Navead and I have, in fact, put in new track lighting, done some Ruhi, gone dancing, and won a jade plant. Hurray for our triumphant return home.