Friday, May 25, 2012

Reading Stack (No Sitting Books!)

My daughter left her reading book at school.

I don't recommend leaving the book you need to read at school. I told her so in many different dialects. Mostly upset, aggravated ones.

I then dragged my butt away from the New Jersey Devils v. New York Rangers hockey game screaming on my TV, and skipped us both to the library.

We were only going to check out the book she needed so she could get her homework done, I swear.

Who am I kidding. I came home with a stack of books.

So this is what I'll be reading for the next three weeks. And I really hope to read, rather than watch books sit, which is what I did last time I brought a stack home from the library.

Watching books sit doesn't get books read. To watch books sit, you use renewal after renewal until there are no more renewals left, and the sitting books have to go back to the library...unfinished.  Unfinished books!  The thought makes me cringe.

So here's my stack:
Beautiful books waiting to be cracked open
Feed by M.T. Anderson
Initially, I read a few blog reviews which sparked my interest. At the library, I found Feed standing upright on top of a bookshelf, instantly recognized the cover, and grabbed it hoping for some creepy distopian flavor. We shall see!

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kid
I haven't been Ms. Avid Reader this year. In fact, I've started so many books I haven't finished it's quite embarrassing. I'm so behind on all the popular reads in the past several years, not to mention the box office-hyped movies that come from these books. I've heard enough about this one to predict it will make me cry. I scanned the book flap to gather what could possibly come from a bunch of bees. When I read that it's “about mothers and daughters and the women in our lives who become our true mothers,” I knew The Secret Life of Bees wanted to come home with me.

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
The Immortal Fire, Book #3 of Ursu's Cronus Chronicles, sat on the shelf next to this one. I still need to read The Immortal Fire to complete the series, but Breadcrumbs is Ursu's latest. Since I'm not ready to experience the end of a fun series, I picked up Breadcrumbs instead. I'll check out The Immortal Fire next time.

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
A no brainer for me. I've read every other Dan Brown book and he does not disappoint. Plus, I'm already invested up to Chapter 77 in the paperback version. Since I am in constant fear of ruining the pristine spine of a loaned book, I figured I'd return it to the owner and finish the book on the library's dime. I'll probably finish this one first before reading the others.

Writer's Market 2012
I check out the most current copy of Writer's Market whenever I get the chance, to peruse writing opportunities and gather fresh writing ideas. Not only does Writer's Market provide me with tons of great information, it inspires me.  My pen needs inspiration for the page, as well as my brain for the keyboard. Ultimately, I need to write.

And read.

I need to read.

No more sitting books allowed.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Writing Challenge: 250 words per day

In the interest of coaxing myself to write at least six days per week, I have joined a challenge.

*Because lately, {gasp!} I've become the "writer who does not write." 

I almost cringe at announcing this on here, because whenever I disclose my grand intentions, it seems my subconscious believes that's all I need to do. I start out all gung-ho, with ninja-sharp determination, only to fizzle out after all is said and done. I tell the world of my intentions and my intentions start to become just that: words with no action.

Perhaps it is my nature. I have varied interests, and they all compete for my attention. It's a minute-by-minute struggle to stay focused. Recently though, I came to the conclusion I must follow my heart, go where my intuition nudges, allow it to lead me where it wants. To see what happens next should be all the fun.

Lately, my heart screams whispers to write. It whispers to use more of what I have; it suggests I sit steadily working at the dusty instruments lying around my house. It wants to immerse itself in music, try new recipes without hesitation, create without questions, doubts, or indecision. My heart swoons when I'm one with a song, when floured hands create something beautiful and delicious, when words flow and push through the chaos all around me. I suppose I'm interested in putting Barbara Sher's revelation to the test when she said, “What you are really supposed to be doing is whatever makes your heart sing.”

Since I don't do enough of what makes my heart sing, I'm ready to begin this journey. This time however, I will begin with baby steps rather than taking on huge endeavors and then falling flat when fear shows its fangs.

250 words a day is doable.  I began last night and was surprised when I exceeded this word count with one thing remaining: a hunger to keep writing.

Join me, won't you?  

Sunday, January 01, 2012

No Goals for 2012!

My goals and resolutions for 2012 are...

Image Credit:  Michal Marcol
I'm not telling!

In the past, I've shared my goals openly, in detail and with grand intention.

I'm not going to do that anymore.

Why? I came to the startling conclusion over the past year that sharing my goals does NOT help me reach them.

Rather, I've found it does the opposite.

I've learned that sharing my goals actually hinders me. It makes me question myself when I feel myself falling short.

It hands off my secret energy. When I give that away, there's not much left to give so I freeze up; I'm paralyzed. Ultimately, it gives me something to feel guilty about if I don't reach my goal. 

I don't like guilt, so I'm doing away with it this year!

I came across a rather interesting statement the other day made by C. Hope Clark, author and editor of Rather than paraphrase what she said, I will let her eloquence speak for itself.

“...I believe that broadcasting your goals takes some of the starch out of them, leaving them less exciting. Many writers announce their goals, thinking they'll be held more accountable by making promises in writing and out loud. Keep your goals to yourself, as if you are planning a surprise. Face it . . . if you told everyone around you what your presents were going to be, the feeling of awe when they are finally revealed feels rather dampened.”  ~ C. Hope Clark []

I couldn't agree more.

So, here's to working on my presents for the year without anyone knowing what they are. I'm excited and energized for all that implies.

It means I'm only accountable to myself, which is how it should be, really. It means I have free range to try, do, make mistakes, and try some more.

If I get there is not the important thing.

Am I doing?

Am I continuously doing, day in and day out?  And then doing some more?

Am I working towards what I value?   What excites me?  What sparks my spirit?

If so, that's all the validation and accountability I need.

Besides, it will be much funner to share the journey, the beautiful screw-ups, the awesome lessons learned along the way.

Cheers to all the stuff we're doing and places we're going in the year ahead!