Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

The paths are littered with boulders, rocks and large, fallen branches. Some are blocking my way and moving them is difficult. I push and pull, tug and tear, all the while; aware I’m not alone.

I make my way up and over the many big rocks, each one cutting, bruising and scraping my skin. I shimmy under branch after branch; their leaf laden twigs, poking at my torso.

I am famished.

Gales gust through the forest and whip debris up into my face. My eyes sting with the biting force and my hands fumble at the clasped satchel strapped across my chest.

Seeking shelter behind a large trunk, I lift my meager loaf as red eyes stare out from the darkness above and paralyze me. Frozen from the cold moments before, I am now crippled with terror.

I regain my composure but realize it’s coming for me. Many more red reflections materialize in the woodland’s black backdrop and I understand the brute is not alone. The group starts to emerge from the deep and their mangy fur, glistening lips and cloth-like tongues draped over razor teeth become clear to me.

They are ravenous.

I look down, knowing the food I have will distract them, but not for more than a mere wisp of time.

I decide to run.

Holding my satchel to my chest, I bolt out into the lashing rain and flee the pack. I sail up and over rough terrain and dash past gigantic trees, their low-hanging branches narrowly missing my head. Brush slices at my cheeks but the blood is washed away by torrents pelting from the sky. The creatures snarl and snap at my heels, their teeth snag and shred the fabric of my clothes.

They are relentless.

Muscles scream and my body aches. I sense I’m reaching the end and fear the battle is lost. My journey has been long and my heart close to exploding as I climb what I believe will be my last crest. Weary, I grow, as I turn to face what will be my maker, but I see their lowered heads and tattered tails drifting back down the trail.

It’s then that I know – If I had fed them at the bottom, they would not have driven me to the top.

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Writing…anywhere, anytime, anyplace…

We all take pride in having interests, hobbies and passions.  Further to that, we enjoy feeling like we’re good at something.  Writing does this for me.  (Easy in the comment section, please)

Writing has lurked in my blood and traveled through my bones year after year, but I had no time for it.  Ooh, I dabbled in this and dipped into that.  I took my fair share of writing courses and participated in an assortment of online classes, but actual writing?  Meh.  It’s easy to find distractions from the nitty gritty…get your hands dirty…prove you can write business.

I was busy working, dating, getting married, being pregnant, raising kids, cleaning, cooking, going for coffee, washing my hair…you name it.

But, writing lingered.  Well, actually it poked, prodded, pressured and pushed me.  Everywhere I went, everything I did, writing was there, strategically changing life’s events into type on a page and punctuating dialogue dangling in my mind.

I could blame myself.  Say I didn’t put in the effort.  Rake myself over the coals.  But really, we both knew, writing and me, that it wasn’t my time.   I wasn’t ready.

What do I love most about writing?  It waited.

Thank you to Writing Tips, Thoughts and Whims and Lit and Scribbles for the inspiration.

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We’re not always at our best.  I should speak for myself, I suppose, but I like to think I’m not alone.

We get busy, we get tired and we get sick.  We. Get. Swamped.

But, for some reason, we plod on.  Why?  Perpetual responsibility looms, but we can skirt it.  Obligation drags us out the door, but we know we can avoid it.  We can hide from those things for a day or two.  Heck, some people manage to hole up a lifetime shirking the albatrosses of society.

Nope.  Although we bear those crosses, they are not why we get out of bed every day.

The mover, the maker, the motivator and shaker is purpose. Purpose comes home, slumps into a chair and says; “I’m rusty. Anoint me.”  Oil it and it’ll stay.

We can direct it.  We can twist it.  We can stretch it to the ends of the earth. It’s ours to dress in cute little hats.  We own it.

Its varieties are infinite; a drive to stand on top of the corporate world, an itch to ‘pwn’ domesticity (go figure), a stubborn bug to travel from country to country, a will to be a fighter pilot or an itch to be…oh, I don’t know…the greatest writer there ever was.  Ring a bell?

No matter what it is, whatever it may be that floats our boats and has us hanging on (if only by a slowly tearing page) our individual purpose which, by the way, magically translates into passion, is what keeps us going when the chips are down.

No, we may not always be at our best, but when purpose knocks, wet its whistle and you can’t ever be at your worst.

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Don’t be so gullible. There is no ‘perfect moment’ lurking around the corner, another hour will not make a difference, it matters not whether we’re sitting in a cluttered house breathing in dust or staring out a mountain loft window, absorbing a breathtaking view.

If we’re going to write something believable, marketable and applausable, we’re going to do it poolside, seaside or on the back of an envelope, billside.

Convincing ourselves; if things were different, we’d sit down and write, is wrong. The fact is, if it’s in our blood and we’re born to do it, nothing will get in our way.

Dissuasion is simple. It’s a sedentary activity. It could be seen as lackadaisical, slothful even. Being encouraged to head out for a walk is reasonable, but cheering someone to sit down at a computer is, at best, questionable.

None the less, it needs to be done. Someone should stand up. Someone should shout out. Someone should put his foot down. Someone should don a lick of devotion.

But we’re the someones. There’s nobody here but us chickens.

We’re standing alright, but in the way. We don’t believe. We lack confidence. We’re afraid. We’re our own worst enemy.

So step aside and sit down. Magically, invisible time will be found, surroundings, no matter their attributes, will melt into our story and those all-consuming tasks will be put on hold.

They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, so tie yourself to a chair and start cheering.

A ruse…

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There are those who were latchkey kids, kids who didn’t have the ‘right’ clothes, were bullied at school, friendless…kids that endured self-indulgent, monstrous parents.

Some who had it rough. Like, real rough. Dirt poor, beaten, sexually abused, neglected, starved…abandoned.

There are folks who were never shown an ounce of love. Not nurtured, not praised, not cared for, not raised.

There’s the temptation to think; if only we had…which brings us to the people who had a solid upbringing, unconditional love…money galore and chose to piss it all away on material possessions and self-abuse…early ending lives. Spoiled and severely unhappy, lonely, effed up, tragic humans.

Then there are individuals whose success, fame and wealth seem to lead to a balanced and gratified existence. An existence suffused with paying it forward.

The world is full of different kinds of people with different principles, morals and motives. What makes us what we are? What makes us what we become?

At the risk of a cliché, life is what we make of it. It really is. We can let our journey make us, break us, drag down or define us, but the path we walk is our choice and every day is a new dawn because the rest is still Unwritten

“I am unwritten

Can’t read my mind

I’m undefined

I’m just beginning

Pen’s in my hand

Ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you

Open up the dirty window

Let the sun illuminate the words

That you could not find

Drench yourself in words unspoken

Live your life with arms wide open

Today is where your book begins

The rest is still unwritten” (Natasha Beddingfield)

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Follow Bugs Bunny’s lead by gnawing solely on carrots and the spray tan biz would go belly up. Devastating, and I for one am not willing to risk it.

Every person has something to offer. All hold a unique element to throw into the pot. As mentioned before, although we may very much like carrots, it’s with the help of celery, onions, peppers, garlic and even a little salt that they are brought to their full potential. Varied components, in the right amounts, infused in a favorable environment, compliment one another, making a balanced and strengthening soup.

Being able to relate to people on different levels brings out new and diverse aspects of our character. The ability to accurately measure ingredients, taking only what is needed, is a skill, not a compromise. “To each their own” is not just lip service.

Life is a melting pot for living and learning and there’s plenty of broth to go around. Give some. Take some.

Speaking of lip service, what better lips to mouth the words; “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”

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I was having a tough time getting started this morning, so I ate two…okay, three (but they were small!) Nestle Aero Easter eggs and now I’m ready to go. I’m ready, that is, to tell you about fib number two.

In “Fibbing on the Front Line” I claim that saying I snatched back a piece of my life, which happened to be writing, was a bit of an overstatement. Actually, I call it a fib, and go on to describe the fear, my fear, of sitting down to do what my heart desires.

No doubt, it is tough to write. It is difficult to create a world with your own words, your own ideas…literally a figment of your imagination. Will people get it? Will they like it? Will they even read it? And then there’s the; what if they read it? Good Lord, just close the lid now.

But wait! That last one…someone might read it, understand it…heck, there’s even a definite possibility they could indeed enjoy it. Holy moly. You could be an Author!

So, back to my fib. I did write. I created a 56,000 word, fluffy, chick-lit (apparently you’re not supposed to call it chick-lit anymore) novel. Yup, I did. I took the NaNoWriMo challenge and banged it out in thirty days, start to finish. I scrapped caution and quality and let the words flow…free like the wind. It was very liberating and ultimately, a rocking goal grabber.

The gist of NaNoWriMo is that you, very simply, write. You lay down 50,000 words in 30 days. That would be 1,666 words per day, give or take 20. You don’t edit, you don’t backtrack and you don’t fret. You just…keep going. It works!

But then what? Well, you edit. Or, as was my case, you let it sit. And, sit it did, for about a year. I couldn’t get myself to touch it. I was overwhelmed by all the words I had so freely let loose. Don’t get me wrong; if it weren’t for NaNoWriMo, I most likely never would’ve gotten as far as I did. I give Chris Baty huge props. But the rest was up to me. I had to throw myself across the finish line.

When I first began the challenge, my goal was, of course, to achieve the 50,000 words by the deadline. But, there was more. I wanted to send it to an Agent…and I wanted a response.

So, I hauled it out, dusted it off, and I edited. For another year. Now, that might lead you to believe I ended up with a masterpiece, a great Classic. Hardly. The end result was the original skeletal frame sporting a bit of flesh, maybe a few major organs…and some ‘functionability’. But, I was proud.

I sent it to twenty-five Agencies. I heard back from all twenty-five. Yay me! Obviously, they were all rejections or I would’ve typed “YAY ME! (duh) but still, their responses were filled with positive encouragement and polite comments. They’d actually read my babble. My gibberish! Okay, another yay me.

But, as the saying goes, give ‘em an inch; they’ll take a mile. Greed has struck. Indulgence is slowly overcoming my fundamental sheepish contentment. I want it published. I want to be an Author. I want someone else to say; YAY YOU.

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I wasn’t a good pregnant person. I didn’t jog or do Yoga. I didn’t eat right.  In fact, I was so ill I barely ate at all.  There was no such thing as morning sickness for me.  It ran rampant twenty-four hours a day and I lost twenty-three pounds off my already light frame. I broke out like a puberty-riddled teen. I wasn’t radiant and I sure as hell didn’t shine with a maternal glow.

But, I did love my baby. After all, I’d beaten the odds. When I was nineteen, I was told I’d probably never have one. A Bicornuate and Retroverted uterus were the culprits and quashers of my dreams. Although the odds weren’t in my favor, if I wanted a baby, I’d have one. I somehow just knew it.

When I was twenty-five, validation appeared as a double blue line. As simply as that, I was pregnant. But getting there was to be the only simple thing about it. Three weeks after my discovery everything went sideways.

The sickness was severe and the weakness, extreme. I never dreamed anything so wonderful could be so gut wrenching awful. I visited the Doctor week after week, presenting with a new ailment each and every time.

I’d known pregnant women. Women, who had worked through their entire pregnancies and here I was, unable to even lift my head off the pillow. How did they do it? And some more than once! I knew one thing for sure; I’d never be doing it again.

The five-month mark crept up painfully slowly, and as it arrived, it brought what anyone with child dreads…warmth…hot and sticky between my legs. It was that moment I realized how smug I’d been. Who was I to question…no, challenge a Doctor? Who was I to believe I would beat the odds?

My heart ached like I’d never known. In one fell swoop, I wanted that baby so much I would do anything to keep it. Simultaneously, I wished I’d never known what it was to feel it twisting and turning in my belly, convincing me my womb had become its home. This loss would be so much more now than if I’d never gotten a glimpse of what could’ve been.

As it turned out, my baby decided to hang on. And, if it could, I would. And we did. Together, we got a little better each day…used to each other, less…savage. I promised nourishment, rest and optimism and it pledged to dig in and plant itself. And, it worked…until five weeks before it was due.

At thirty-five weeks, the day after I’d completed prenatal classes, my water broke…in a big way. What seemed like gallons splashed onto the bathroom floor. The baby, not ready to be unearthed, was transverse and was pulled, rather than pushed into the world by Caesarean Section.

Again, I was hit with the inadequacy of my female parts as they put my baby in danger. But, despite the nurse’s warnings that my little one would be gray and sickly, his lanugo-covered, velvet skin was shiny and pink.  He looked up at me, his tiny, round head perfect, his eyes, big and ocean blue. We knew we’d done it…and I couldn’t wait to do it again.

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Love and loathe, oddly, go hand in hand.  Like opposites, they draw each other in. Feelings that would normally crawl up onto the shores but barely tickle our toes will come crashing over us like a Tsunami if someone we adore is bobbing near by.
Love is an overpowering emotion. It takes us on a ride and at times, has us screaming to get off. We’ll claw the walls, rock back and forth and devour tubs of Rocky Road. We’ll lock the doors and yank the sheets over our heads. But, real love can also have us tip-toeing through the tulips, carrying a pot of gold.
Surrounding ourselves with people who bring out our passionate side is electric.  They force out our best and our worst and those opposing qualities can be inspiring and…problematic. Strong emotion is tough to corral and as we’ve probably all experienced, unbridled intensity becomes, well, intense.
After all, what goes up, must come down. Aaand, plunge it will…like Disney’s elevator ride, it’s gutting.
- But, since life is short, most of us choose folks who bring with them a roller coaster of heartfelt hiccups. Intention is everything though, and theirs are nothing but the best. They’re fault-free in our bestowal of mad love. After all, we chose them, and, we exalted them without asking.
Everyone longs to be passionate about something, so why not somebody? The fire-starters are important. We can benefit from those who bring out our chutzpa.
If we can harness and hone the enrichments they bring and embrace the challenge to use them for good, not evil, we can rule the world. Love is a battlefield.  Win.

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Oh dear…just beginning and I’ve already told a fib. Since this is my first post, I should explain that my teensy tale actually resides in the About Me blurb. I claimed I had “snatched back a big piece of what’s been missing; writing.” I suppose what I should have said was that my arms are continually outstretched and the letters of the alphabet airily brush my fingertips…somehow evading my every grasp.

How can something we want so deeply…think about so incessantly, obsess over so passionately, be so difficult to sit down and do?

Fear. One word cocooned in a tiny nutshell. Tiny, but tough to crack. And headway seems to fire up shards of work, kids, pets, chores, dwindling time and menacing procrastination that splinter off and stab at what ever control we thought we had mustered. Need I go on? Cuz I can.

But for now, I’ll pin fear. That bone-chilling, face-freezing terror that it won’t be gob-smacking good, it’ll receive less than rave reviews, it’ll let readers down or worse…there will be nothing to judge. A blank page can be inspirational, but there are times it can make your heart clatter. It can gallop like you opened the closet door and found Chucky staring down at you from the top shelf.

Chucky, The Buzz Kill.

Luckily, we’re far from alone and Chucky can be shipped to the Sally Ann. There are oodles and oodles of writers (and yes, if you write, you’re allowed to call yourself a writer) out there with the very same stifling fright..and splintering shards.

The internet is proof; 7 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Start Writing If you need encouragement, inspiration or confirmation that you’re not the only one failing to launch, the internet is a plethora of resounding validation.

Now, I propose we grab our laptops, whack good ol’ Chucky over the head, and start pounding those nuts.

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