Can’t Put It Down

Anyone who enjoys reading, knows the feeling of reading a book they can not put down.   After waiting months to get “Gone Girl” from the library, my number finally came up, and I checked out the long awaited book.

I just finished the book this morning.   For me it was a bit of a slow start when I first picked it up, then that all changed.     I can say  it twisted and turned more than I ever imagined, even as I turned each page.  When I thought I had imagined the worst and what could come next, I was thrown a curve ball.   Soon I was reading it in the morning before I got out of bed and it was the last thing I read at night.   I forgot my Kindle at home when I went to get my hair done, and found myself downloading it to an app on my phone.   There I sat reading it on my phone while I sat under the drier.   That was a new first for me.     I was reading it on the treadmill.    I was sneaking it in whenever I found a chance.      Now that I finished it,  all I can say is whoa they are nuts.

I am now ready to watch the movie.   Not that I expect it to be the same, movies always change things some to make it work and flow for a movie, but  I will know what is really going in the character’s crazy minds.   I will fill in any blanks the movie doesn’t.   I am thinking that this movie is this generations “Fatal Attraction.”

Now I am on to a lighter, mindless, fun, easy read.   Possibly off to edit and work on National Novel Writing Month, unfinished novel.   It is time to look at finishing or at least moving that along in the process.

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National Novel Writing Month – Winner

I have just been declared a winner because I just finished certifying my novel for having written at least 50,000 words in November.   I wonder about being a winner because it clearly is not a complete story yet.    On the other hand it has enough words that it could easily turn into a novel if I stick with it.   I have always thought that there is a novel in me and for a host of reasons I have never gotten this far before.   It was a great experience and I plan to stick with this one and finish it up.

At the end of 30 days there is lots I have learned.

  • My writing style is pantser.   I am too analytical and if I plan my book I never get beyond planning the perfect novel.
  • I am more flexible that I thought, because the critical conflict was not anything that was on my radar when I started writing.
  • I can accomplish an ambitious goal without it taking over my life to the exclusion of other things I enjoy.  I managed to make cards, teach a creative class, watch movies, read books, visit friends, x-c ski and other things important to me in the midst of this.
  • Work will always impact your home life.   I was on the road for work and did not write for several days, but it did not prevent me from accomplishing a personal goal.   Don’t let work be an excuse for not accomplishing your personal goals.
  • I like creative writing.   It provides a place for all those voices in my head to find a outlet.
  • Longer stories are much harder than short stories, blogs and other writing I have done.
  • Being a writer made me a much more attentive reader.
  • I like writing dialogue.
  • My business writing skills, as good as they may be, are not sufficient alone to support creative writing.
  • I will be looking to take some creative writing classes.
  • I will be looking for a writer’s group to support and question me as I work through the editing process.

Thanks for those who were along for the ride.  It is only the first time around the track and I can see that there is at least another lap or two to be made before I finish this race.

I love this poster and may have to just get one for myself. It captures so much of what goes on in a writer’s mind, or at least my mind this last month.

Life Balance Never Goes Out of Style

This afternoon RangerSir and I spent some time watching a movie and playing cribbage.   We watched the Karate Kid, the original movie that is 30 years old.   One of things that struck me is that one of the key overriding messages that Mr. Miyagi kept on delivering was about life balance for Daniel.    Thirty years ago there talking about life balance for a young kid, and today I talk about it as well.  

I am still working very hard to find a good balance in work and personal life.   I am trying to finding time to do all those things that I have been pushing aside for later when I have more time and work is less demanding.   I am meeting with some success in these efforts to find that balance.  Just like Daniel in the movie I have to practice things over and over and then suddenly the light bulb goes off and I get it.

I am back to full-time work for the next three months.   It is the busiest time of the year for the nonprofit I work for.   It is easy to get caught up in the efforts to get it all done today.    Already I am often working long work days even though I have been back only a short time.   I keep reminding myself the life balance lessons I have learned when my hours  were cut.    It doesn’t always work, but I am working hard to remind myself, that life is better when I life a more balanced life.

Today should have been my first try at a book club.   Unfortunately I read the first two chapters and found the book dry and it wasn’t doing much for me.   I decided that I will try this again later, but I want to read a book that doesn’t feel like a struggle each page I read.   Right now was the right time to let go of this.   I plan to watch what books they select to read in the future, and try it again, when the book is a better fit.

I am still working towards the 50,000 words that is an imaginary number that according to National Novel Writing Month says you did it.   I am not always writing every day but I am moving forward.   Some days there are enough things going on that writing that day just doesn’t work.   I have a brief moment of regret when I don’t write that day, but it it doesn’t fit, it has to be let go for the day and move on to the next one.

RangerSir and I are on work schedules that don’t mesh at all, by that I mean that our days off do not overlap.   Each of us are working hard at finding meaningful things to do together each day,  when I am still in my office when he walks in the door late at night and dinner is often not started. It would be so easy to blow dinner off and both of us unwind alone laying around the living room.  Instead we have taken to having a good glass of wine with dinner every night.   We are using the process of setting a more formal table every night as a tool to help us do more than dine and dash.   We discuss the day, talk about our observations, discuss politics, and share a dream or idea.   It really doesn’t matter what we talk about it is is that slow conversation that we both are enjoying together.

I am learning that balance in life doesn’t come easy.   You have to want it enough to be willing to fight for it.   If you don’t someone or something else will grab your life and suddenly it is out of control.

Never Give Up

This is just past the half-way mark for National Novel Writing Month. I should have passed the 25,000 word mark this week.   I must say this week has been less than stellar for making progress and I am not where I should be.   I was on the road this week with work.   It was a week fraught with other things pulling at me in all directions none of them giving a rip roar about  this little adventure I was on.   Now it seems that I am coming down with something nasty and my head is not doing a lot of clear thinking.   It sounds like I am going to throw in the towel.

I thought about quitting.    I even stayed in bed late this morning hoping a little more sleep time would make me feel better.   It did not and I considered giving up for this year.  Then I thought about a friend who in just a few minutes will be starting her first half-marathon tonight in LasVegas.   She is doing it with friends, one of whom had this on her life list.   The other five are just there for moral support.   She is busy, with as many things as I have, pulling at her as well.   In the midst of this training she has come down with knee and foot problems.   It would have been easier for her to quit, but she made a commitment not only to her friends but herself to be there for her friends.

I made this commitment to myself, and I plan to keep it.  If you are thinking of quitting, don’t just yet.   Hang in there for yourself, it was important enough for you to start it, don’t let yourself not finish it. If you are not working on some goal right this minute, be there to encourage your family and friends who are.   I curse the lost of anonymity on the internet all the time, but for once I am having fun watching and cheering on my friend who I can’t be  there for virtually.   I  plan to be one of the first to text my friend when the live race reporting shows her bib number has crossed the finish line.   I am proud to be in the company of those who never give up.