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Life is never boring

18 Apr

boredom

I used to pray, every year on New Year’s Eve, for a boring year. I finally quit, because the prayer was never answered. A friend told me I’d be bored in a month, but I still would love to give it a try sometime! (Even a month of “boring” would be a nice change…)

This year is shaping up to be huge in terms of transitions and new things. In addition to my new “job” as a writer and publisher, and my old jobs with Ten Eighteen and the Wright Group, this is just what’s happening in the next few months (this list is mid-April through September!).

  • The academic portion of our homeschooling will be done, although Zeke will be doing a gap year of life experience and our school will not technically close until 2014.
  • Ryan will be graduating from college in May, and marrying in June.
  • I’ll be taking our first official team trip to Andros in August.
  • I may be taking an earlier trip for legal paperwork and research.
  • Zeke will be headed to Uganda in August for about 6 weeks, and I’ll follow him in September for a work trip so we can journey home together.
  • Books 2 and 3 of the IXEOS Trilogy will be published.
  • BUT GOD: Two Words to Freedom will be published.
  • We will (Lord willing) sell our house and move to a new, temporary house in Raleigh.

In addition to that, I will (theoretically) be writing and editing, going to Beaufort, and enjoying at least some time with my family. It seems crazy, and yet, really, I’m so excited about most of it that I literally have butterflies sometimes.

I have probably written before on this blog about being a “kingdom” Christian. My upcoming book is all about that journey (shameless self promotion). What it means, in a nutshell, is that my goal — my family’s goal — is to advance God’s kingdom first and foremost. (A great book on this concept is called Wild Goose Chase, by Mark Batterson. Formerly titled Chase the Goose: Reclaiming the Adventure of Living a Spirit-Led Life and published by Lifeway as a Bible study book.) I look at life like it is in The Lord of the Rings. We all have a destiny and a role to play in advancing the Kingdom of God, and it will cost everything to fulfill it. Honestly, I really do… I believe that with all my heart.

While you might be nodding your head saying, “Of course! That’s what Christians do!”,  it really isn’t. This isn’t a disparagement of anyone or any church, it’s merely stating a fact. If we, as Christians, really were living this way, there would be a lot more miracles, a lot more missions, a lot more love, and a lot less suffering the world over. Churches tend to be (with exceptions) church oriented. Pastors (with exceptions, including my own) tend to be church oriented. That’s okay as far as it goes, but the Kingdom is out there, out past the church, out past home group, out past you and your life. The Kingdom is at war, and will be at war until Jesus comes back. No lie. It’s in the Bible.

Which means, as the old song says, “I’m a soldier in the Lord’s army.” My part may be big or small in natural terms, but to God, to the Kingdom and to His plans, it’s huge. It’s something only I can do. It’s something I have to both choose to acknowledge as a concept, accept as a message, follow as truth, and give my all to accomplishing. Sometimes — a lot of times — things don’t turn out as we think they will. Obedience is as big a part of the walk as anything else. I’ve had things fail in natural terms that I still know, 100%, were from God. My part was to obey what I heard Him say, and do my best with it. That’s all.

What that translates to in these next 5 months or so is this. The opportunity to go to Andros was unmistakably a God thing, brought about through a chain of events that no one could have foreseen or coordinated. We went, and God showed me some things to do there as a Phase I: the youth camp missions trip, starting a Bahamian NGO/nonprofit, and finding out about egg farming. I came home and, after the house stuff was done, started on all those things. In the midst of that, the hospice began to move from (I thought) Phase II or even III to Phase I. My motto is always, “Do the thing in front of you,” so when things shift, I don’t stick to my own agenda and to-do list, I shift with them. I hadn’t planned on going back to Andros until August, what with the graduations and wedding, but now, after 10 days of trying to get a lawyer to call me back, and with information needed that will obviously be more easily obtained in person than on the phone, I am about 85% sure I’ll be headed back down before then. Maybe even a lot before then.

Do the thing in front of you… That’s how you start. My upcoming book, BUT GOD: Two Words to Freedom, is about this type of living, and if you’re interested, I encourage you to get it. (I’m hoping it’ll be available next week, and I’ll post an announcement when it is released.)  It’s a scarier kind of living than you might be used to. People will likely claim you are crazy (or lucky). But you’re not either one. When God speaks to you, when the Wild Goose that is the Holy Spirit (Celtic Christians called the Holy Spirit an gaedh-glas, which means “the wild goose”) whispers a crazy idea in your head, you have to choose: go, or don’t.

This is why I’ll never have a boring year. Wild geese aren’t boring. A Kingdom at war isn’t boring. Fulfilling a destiny, a quest, isn’t boring. No matter what you’re called to do for the Kingdom, if you will give your all to Him, you will find adventure, fulfillment, and a closeness and dependence with God that you’ve never experienced. Plus, you’ll be tired a lot of the time, so you’ll sleep pretty well, too!

kingdom-of-god

Happy New Year – and good riddance to 2012!

30 Dec

11979275-happy-new-year-2013-coupon-codes

I won’t bore you with another recap of 2012 – let’s just say that I am overjoyed to close the door on the year and have a fresh start. Of course, that must come with a brief caveat, which is that there were a lot of great things in 2012 (writing, publishing, travel, Uganda, my daughter’s engagement, among others) and I am grateful for all those things, and see God’s faithfulness in them. But physically it was awful. It was the terrible, awful, no good, very bad year. But now it’s almost over – the end is in sight! Whoopeeeeee!

So what does 2013 hold? At least, as far as depends on me? For my writing/publishing goals, you can check out my writing blog here. There’s a lot more to life than writing, and the writing goals also dictate certain things about my life — you know, the interconnected, circle of life, uh-oh I’d better get a schedule kind of thing. So here goes. I’m going out on a limb and putting my hopes, dreams and goals for 2013 out on the internet for all to see. Nothing like a little pressure to keep you on track!

First and foremost, I want/need to get some control of my body back. I’ve come up with a schedule for my days that should allow me to get to the gym 4-6 days a week, even if I end up with a migraine that day (80% or more of my migraines start in the afternoon, so a morning workout should work most of the time). I’ve always been strong, even when I’ve been less than ideally fit, but I’ve lost a lot of strength along with fitness this year, and I want to reverse that. I’ve actually been working on this already, but I’m going to keep going in 2013, and not let any setbacks do more than be a blip on the radar.

Secondly is eating. I eat healthfully… Except when I don’t. I love potatoes. I crave potatoes in all the salty, fried, delicious forms. I know where the best french fries in town are (Coquette), and where the best french fries in towns I don’t even live in are!  And when I’m feeling physically weak, I eat way too much sugar without realizing it – my body is saying “give me energy!” and so I reach for the red hots. So… Back to the free day concept. Free days work really well for me; I did it for years in the past. So I’m going back to that, which keeps me from feeling deprived, but also keeps my body fueled properly and healthfully.

I am also using My Fitness Pal, an iPhone app and online free site, to track calories and exercise. When you’re 47, your body just doesn’t respond to these things like it did at 35, so this keeps me on track. Since my daughter is on it too, we’re “friends” and can see each other’s workouts and how we did with each day’s eating. It’s easy to use, free, and motivational, and helps keep me on track.

Next, as I’ve said on my writing blog, I’ve decided to trick my brain by treating my writing and publishing like a “real” job. Meaning a job I’d go to somewhere outside of my home, and so have to organize my life around it. I have made 2 different schedules which should accommodate everything I want to get done during the week and still allow for some flexibility and for the gym. I’ve moved my drafting table from the sunroom to my office and set it up like a desk. I’m going to make a sign for my door, and I’m letting my calls go to voicemail. After having homeschooled and been self-employed for so long, I need, and my family needs, to see physical barriers and delineations of “home” and “work”. So far, everyone’s on board. I don’t start until the 2nd, though, so we’ll see how it goes!

While it doesn’t seem like a big deal, I’m going to go to the grocery only once or twice a week. Currently I go almost every day. Seriously. Somehow, with only three of us most of the time, I’ve let any sort of planning go by the wayside, and we have 2 groceries within a mile of the house, plus Costco, so it hasn’t seemed like a big deal. But I’m sure I spend more money, and even a quick trip is a half hour by the time I drive, park, shop, load, and unload. And I have the added benefit now of my son working at Harris Teeter, so if we need something, he can get it after work!

Mostly that’s it. Anything else would just be an expansion of these themes, and I know I’ll have to tweak things at first. I am leaving for Uganda on February 15, so I have a built-in “six week trial” to see how it’s all going. Plus, that’s long enough to build some habits that I can jump right back into once I’m home.

How about you? Resolutions? Goals? Let me know – we’ll try to keep each other on track!

Returning to health and fitness – here I go

8 Oct

If you’ve been reading this blog (as sporadic as I’ve been at posting!) you know that 2012 was a seriously crappy year for me healthwise. Here’s the breakdown:

  • January  –  started 2 months of physical therapy for plantar fasciitis. At this point I could wear sneakers. The longest I could wear anything else is 2 hrs.
  • February  –  diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia. Leading up to this was 2 years of chronic sinus infections and bronchitis, and crippling exhaustion.
  • March  –  increasing migraines. I went from 3 a year to 2-3 a month at first. By July I was having 20 a month.
  • April  –  finally have some energy, and iron levels good.
  • May  –  great trip to Uganda, but one of the worst migraines of my life.
  • June  – migraines increasing. Otherwise doing ok.
  • July  –  tested positive on a blood test for celiac disease. Can’t do a biopsy until August.  Also in July, I saw a neurologist and got meds for the migraines. Hallelujah.
  • August  –  have the endoscopic biopsy for celiac. 10 day wait to find out I don’t have it. Same day, I find out I have a “monster” cataract.
  • September  –  have cataract surgery. I can’t read for a week, they think I might have a retinal tear (I don’t) and it takes awhile for my eye to adjust.

Now, in light of this list, you might think it’s stupid for me to assume that this cataract saga is my last 2012 health issue. And you might be right, but I’m an optimist. I’m also just tired of the whole thing, so I’m going with the “I’m done with all that crap” approach to my life at this point. Fall is here. I can wear boots. I’ve been enjoying my gas stove for the first time today. Call me crazy, but I’m moving forward.

So what I discovered today is that this year has left me woefully out of shape. I knew it. I felt it. I’ve felt uncomfortable in my skin for some time, not because I’m “fat” but because I knew I was losing muscle and gaining fat, even while staying about the same size. I’m now cleared for exercise (2 weeks post op and things are going pretty well, thankfully!), so today was the day. Today, I started my “get back in shape” quest. And boy, was it depressing.

Not that long ago (2 1/2 years) I did Insanity. It sucked, but I did it. I’ve always been strong. Today I did the “Intro” workout on a Bob Harper workout DVD and learned a new fact: I’m really not very strong anymore. I’ve done the 1 hour workout on this DVD before, a couple of years ago. The whole one hour. It was hard, and I didn’t do every rep, but I did it. Today, the 20 min workout using 5lb weights was hard. No lie. I couldn’t do all the reps. 90%, but not all. And my heart was beating hard, and I was sweating. Not good.

Obviously, looking at the stupid list of ailments from the year of 2012, none of them were anything I could have prevented. (I eat an iron rich diet, I just don’t absorb it well – my kids have the same problem, we learned.) I haven’t sat around eating bon bons all the time. My calorie count was down from usual because I knew I was being sedentary, both because of the ailments and because I’ve spent this year writing. So I’m not mad at myself like I would be if I just “let myself go.”  That is not to say that I’m happy!

I’ve got a long row to hoe here. It’s going to suck, because, unlike the only other time in my adult life I was really out of shape (post baby, bed rest, etc), I’m not 31. I’m 47. I’m perimenopausal. My hormones are screwed up, my metabolism is in flux, and the things that always worked before aren’t going to work the same now as they used to. I’m in “mid life” now, and whether or not I feel it emotionally/mentally, it’s a reality in my body. I don’t want to look like the Crossfit competitors on Pinterest, I just want to feel well. I want to be strong enough to go to Uganda and get through long days of working and stress and not die. I want to enjoy my family and not have any physical complaints (wow, would that be awesome! Probably for everyone… It’s been a year of complaints, I guess.)

So this isn’t about “I’m going to be a fitness model in 90 days.” It’s not about jumping into P90X or Insanity or any other intense program. I’m going to work my way back to fitness with DVDs and walking, probably some gym time as it gets cold (I don’t like the gym much, I like “real” stuff). I’m tracking calories for a little while until I get my metabolism jump started (my daughter found a great app called MyFitnessPal, and I’m using that). I’m not obsessing (although if I can’t walk down the stairs in the morning, I may have a moment of magic words). I’m just trying to put the “year of ailments” behind me and embrace the other theme of 2012 – the year of God’s faithfulness.

Because ultimately, that’s what it’s been. Through all that crap (I tried to think of another word, but honestly, the others were worse!), I’ve written 4 novels and a screenplay, published 2 with another a week or so away, and will be doing NaNoWriMo next month. I’ve edited 4 books. I’ve had a hugely successful trip to Uganda. I’ve had great family memories. God has carried me through all these problems with, really, only about 3 short freak-outs. I think that’s pretty good! He is faithful. Always. And that will be my memory of 2012… God is faithful, always.

What will be the legacy of your 2012?

 

Live, love, laugh… And keep on keepin’ on…

9 Sep

This has been one of the strangest years of my life, and for those of you who know me, that’s saying a lot! On the one hand it has been truly amazing – we had one of our best Uganda trips ever; I’ve published a book; have a book in process; another slated for October; have written 3 almost) novels and a screenplay, winning 3 NaNo events. The kids are doing great, my husband’s first book was just published (and it’s awesome, if I do say so myself – and not because I edited it!), and things are really shaping up after years of thinking about “the next thing.” So honestly, it’s been a great year.

On the other hand, so far this year, I’ve done 2 mos of physical therapy for plantar fasciitis; found out I was anemic;  went from 2 migraines a year to 19 in one month between Feb and July (and found out that was caused by the iron supplements!); had a positive blood test for celiac disease, an endoscopic biopsy, and was thankfully told I don’t have it; and then developed a “monster” cataract in my left eye, for which I’ll have surgery in 2 weeks. Again, for those of you who know me, the amazing thing about this list is that I didn’t do anything to cause any of those things! No rock climbing, dropping things on my foot, throwing out my back. Just good, old fashioned, “gotchas.”

Obviously, the first paragraph far outweighs the second, but I would be lying if I said I hadn’t had times of feeling overwhelmed and depressed with the constant barrage of physical ailments. There have been times when my heart cry has been, “Though He slay me, yet will I praise Him.” Because what I know beyond knowing, and what has been shown to be true my entire life, is that God is good. All the time. God is faithful. All the time. God’s strength is sufficient. All the time.

And the question can never be, “Why me?”  The question, especially if you look at what is going on in the world, must be, “Why NOT me?” Why should I be spared, when so many people are going through so much worse? Why should I be spared suffering when I live one of the most blessed lives on the planet? To be honest, sometimes that’s not the way my brain works, although my heart knows it to be true. But truth is truth, and doesn’t require my belief to remain truth. I find that very comforting!

2012 has been very, very good, and pretty bad. Not horrid. Not awful. But, at times… Well, at times it’s sucked. But in the grand scheme of things? God 1, Mayans 0.

The end of the beginning… or something like that!

28 Jul

This picture has nothing to do wtih the post, except that this is my “baby” with his new car (my grandmother’s former Torrent).

I’m 47, and in my family, that’s not even halfway to the usual life expectancy. (My grandmother will be 99 on December 1 and still lives alone, walks her dog, goes to parties, goes out to lunch, dresses to the nines, and only recently – and rather unwillingly – gave up driving.) My grandmother’s grandparents both lived to be 96, when the average life expectancy was around 50. So, while I never take having tomorrow for granted, I don’t feel particularly stressed about the years going by.

I’m not a Paula Deen fan, but I like her story, that she didn’t start doing things (even leaving her house!) until she was 48. For women, especially, the season of child rearing is a full time job, mentally if not physically. Sure, some people are creative and self-aware and firing on all cylinders in that period. At least, so I’ve heard. Me? Not so much. I dabbled in things, but with kids and homeschooling and their other activities, not to mention our business and, of course, our marriage, there just wasn’t a lot of extra time and energy for creative endeavors or new long-term projects. I might think of them, but they’d stay on the very back burner in my mind. Definite “some day” material.

So the last few years have been really exciting and fun for me. When my daughter went to college – 3 years ago, as hard as that is to believe – I had just started Ten Eighteen, my non-profit to Uganda. In fact, my daughter had visited, but I didn’t visit until September. I had taken a creativity workshop, and was starting to try my hand again at painting and photography, but mostly I was still homeschooling my then-freshman son, doing business stuff, being a wife and mom.

But as my son has gotten older and more self-sufficient, and after we made structural changes to our business that allow us to be very part-time, and after reading “No Plot, No Problem” by Chris Baty, this writing thing took hold. I wrote the non-fiction book back in May of 2011, did the November NaNoWriMo, and have since been on a marathon writing spree (you can read about that in this blog). Ten Eighteen has been doing amazing things in Uganda, and the people are doing so, so well. I’ve figured out some health issues and feel good. Basically, for the last year, I’ve been in the end of the beginning… The end of the very active child-rearding phase, and the end of the self-doubt phase, and the end of the insecurity phase. I am coming into my own.

Now, as a Kingdom Christian, “my own” isn’t really. I try very hard to follow what I hear God telling me, and change course quickly if I get it wrong. But He knows there are seasons, too – He set it up that way, with plenty of examples in nature to follow. Even in Uganda, along the equator, with no winter, they have wet and dry seasons. So this is the season for a new bit of growth. To stretch upward and outward, to try to follow “the next thing”, wherever that leads. It’s pretty darned exciting, I have to say. As usual, I have no idea where it will lead… But I’m loving the ride!

Camp NaNoWriMo – over 70,000 words!

22 Jun

I crossed 70k today, and I am a happy camper (literally!)! This wasn’t one of those days where the words flowed and I wrote my 3500 in an hour or two. This was the day when I got a hundred emails, my kids wanted to talk to me, I had the munchies, it was sunny and I was enjoying the view in my sunroom, I was daydreaming about the beach, I checked the news every thirty minutes in case some catastrophic world event happened and I didn’t know about it instantaneously… And, of course, it was possible that all of my Facebook friends had glad Friday tidings that I needed to know about asap. Seriously, this is what happened.

But I did get my 3400+ words written in about three hours, and just updated my Camp NaNoWriMo word count. I also found, much to my surprise, that someone in my cabin had posted yesterday. Since it had been 10 days since anyone but me had, I hadn’t even checked yesterday. Go figure! We still have a cabin that’s dead as a doornail, and if the camp is depending on us for any camp-like activities, everyone else is going to be sorely disappointed. But it was nice to know that someone was still hanging in there, anyway.

So the best things about Camp NaNo?

  • A deadline hanging over my head
  • Watching people meet their goals
  • Reading all the encouragement someone gets if they start a “desperate writer” thread – we are all cheering for each other, even with the summer camp more relaxed feel
  • the idea of the cabins

The things that are not as great as in November?

  • The reality of cabins. We don’t have cabins in November, but our region rocks.
  • No regional component
  • Not a lot of actual conversation on the forums, just a lot of posting (like Twitter)
  • The days are so nice it’s hard to want to be inside – in November it’s pretty easy!

But the NaNo format works for me, as I’ve said before. I have always been a “project” person. I don’t just clean out the pantry, I take a 3lb hammer, demolish it, and build it back. I don’t just clean my office, I go through boxes of papers and put up shelving and redecorate. (Consequently, things get done rather sporadically, rather than regularly!) NaNo is like that – if you’re a project person, or like an adrenaline rush, it’s fabulous. If you write fast on top of those things, it’s tailor made for you. However, if you are a ponderer, if you like to mull over word choices, if you type slowly or find your comfort zone more in the 800-1000 words a day, then NaNo isn’t for you AS IT’S DESIGNED. BUT, and hear me out, consider joining as a rebel.

What is a NaNo rebel, you ask? Well, you can do a lot of things and be considered a rebel (I’m kind of list happy tonight, sorry):

  • Write 50k words, but something other than a novel (ie a memoir, fan fiction, non-fiction)
  • Write on a WIP (work in progress) rather than an original-to-this-NaNo novel
  • Write a screenplay, or other Script Frenzy type work, which will be shorter than 50k but complete – stage play, graphic novel, tv series episodes, etc
  • Set a goal lower than 50k

Now, in November, most rebels fall into the top 3 in the list above. In November you have over 250,000 people engaging in “30 days and nights of literary abandon” and for the most part they’re working to the 50k or completed work goals. But for the Camps, a lot of people have set lower goals of 10,000 or 25,000 or whatever they think they can fit into the summer month where the weather is nice and the kids are out of school, or they themselves are out of school (there are a lot of teens doing Camp NaNo).  And you know what? That 10,000 or 25,000 is more than they had when they started. So what if it’s not 50k, they wrote something.

There are a good number of criticisms on the internet about NaNo, and I have to say that I find them discouraging when they come from other writers. The single biggest one reminds me of the single biggest comment we get as homeschoolers. That is, “What about socialization?” My kids call it the “s word”. And that is possibly the stupidest question to ever ask of a homeschooling family (helpful hint there), because homeschool kids tend to be highly involved in activities they like, tend to be incredibly comfortable talking to people of all ages, and tend to have much less issues with the typical teen stuff than other kids.

OK, so what is the NaNo equivalent? I read this same theme three times today, on three different sites (blogs). It is that most NaNo novels are crap. And somehow that’s a bad thing. As a commenter on one of these sites noted, most art people do, especially when they’re just learning, is crap, but nobody stands around the art supply store and says “STOP DOING THAT, YOU’RE RUINING IT FOR THE REST OF US!” (I know this to be true, as an artist who occasionally paints crap myself.) Yet somehow, rather than celebrating that people are writing, or trying to write, 50k words of a first draft, fully accepting that they will indeed write crap, and that that’s OK, people criticize.

Now first of all, and forgive my pet peeve, but what the heck does someone in Uganda writing a novel in 30 days, perhaps badly, have to do with you in the first place? For that matter, if your neighbor is a WriMo, it still has absolutely nothing to do with you. If you are a successful writer of fabulous literary fiction, it still has nothing to do with you. Zero, zip, nada. Secondly, if you are a writer, you know how hard it can be to start, especially at the beginning. Hey, you’re putting yourself onto that page, and that’s a scary thing. Plus writing a whole novel, with characters and plots and settings, is damn hard. Especially if you’re a young person without a lot of life experience. So the fact that someone started, that they may even persevere for a whole month and get those 50k words written, is cause for celebration from everybody, and most especially from other writers.

And thirdly, it seems that most non WriMos assume that everyone doing NaNoWriMo is going to try to become an indie author and self publish, somehow polluting the indie gene pool, or even worse, try to get an agent or publisher. I’ve been on the forums a lot (too much, I’m sure), and I can tell you that the vast majority of the people doing it are doing it for the challenge, for the personal satisfaction of saying they wrote the first draft of a novel, and virtually no one is talking about publishing. Sure, there are forums for “novel aftercare” and “life after NaNo”, and there are a small number of people (like me) who were experienced writers already and who produced something that, upon reading and editing, is worth publication. And sure, there are a few who have delusions of grandeur, but is that unique to NaNo?  Quite frankly, some God-awful books get published, by legacy publishers, all the time. I have a book on my nightstand, a trade paperback so it cost me probably $13-15, that’s terrible, and I just can’t finish it. So that’s not a NaNo issue, that’s a human nature issue… And guess what, it still has nothing to do with you, or any other writer out there.

Our job as writers is to write, for ourselves, for our readers, for readers we don’t have but want to reach. Perhaps our goal is the next great literary novel that will taught in colleges for years to come. Go for it! My goal is to write entertaining books with great, unique plots and characters, great dialogue, that appeals to people and gives them entertainment. I, personally, LOVE books. I am addicted to books. I have bought tens of thousands of books in my life (when we moved to this house, I gave over 3000 books to a local school’s library because we weren’t going to have room for them here). Sure, I like “quality” books – JRR Tolkein and CS Lewis and The Count of Monte Cristo and Sherlock Holmes. Some Shakespeare. Some Dostoyevsky. But what I really love, what I read over and over when I’m out of new things, are books that entertain me. (Yep, I’m admitting it!) Martha Grimes, Dick Francis, John MacDonald, Janet Evanovich, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books, Stephen Lawhead, James Rollins… I want good characters, I want (above almost all else) great dialogue, I want quirky or unique plots and situations. I want to read and fall into that world for awhile, and miss it when it’s gone. It doesn’t have to be a literary classic, it has to be fun.

All that to say… If NaNo gets people writing, whether it’s great or crap, they’re writing, and that’s better than what they were doing before. I feel the same way about the visual arts. I’ve been in art classes with some people with pretty much zero talent, but they had an absolute blast in the class, loved splooging paint on the paper, and whose enthusiasm was worth way more than their finished product. They got joy from it. They started to find their lost spirit of creativity. They had fun. And honestly, do we have so much of those things in our lives that we can afford to squash them in ourselves or others?

Camp NaNoWriMo and migraines – no correlation!

18 Jun

I’m moving along well with the new NaNo novel – 57,104 words before today’s writing. And more importantly, I think the story is coming along well. What I realized in the last few days is that I am really energized up til I cross the 50,000 “win” mark, and then the doldrums hit. For most people doing NaNo, the doldrums hit in weeks 2 and 3… Week 1 is exciting because you’re off and running, and week 4 is exciting, because the end is in sight. 2 and 3? Meh, whatever.

For me, I’m really jazzed to cross that finish line (although I know I’m not finished) and be in house money. So that’s been about 2 weeks. But from that point to about 70,000, that’s when I hit it. That dreaded middle. The “yeah, whatever, let’s get this puppy finished” point. It’s not the the writing gets hard, or the story gets bad – at least that didn’t happen in November. It’s just an enthusiasm gap. Like the background of a needlepoint pillow. Yeah, you gotta do it. Yeah, it’s important to the plot. Yeah, it’s only 20,000 words. Blah blah blah. And I’m writing. I actually wrote nearly 4,000 yesterday, and a pretty good scene in there, if I do say so myself. But it’s not… fun. It’s work.

Aha! Say all the amateur psychologists out there. And yes, I get it. And yes, I’m plugging through it. And yes, since I plan to make this my “mid-life” career (hey, if Paula Dean can get going at 48, I’ve got time!), I know there will be work involved. So I’m really just grousing… Not complaining. And the good news is, at 3-4,000 words a day, it doesn’t take too long to get out of the doldrums!

Now the migraines… That I don’t have an answer for. I got migraines when I was pregnant the second time, which is, apparently, not unusual with 2nd and later pregnancies. I’ve gotten a few scattered throughout the years since, and over the last year, they’ve been increasing in frequency from less than one a year to maybe three. But in the last two months I’ve had them almost exactly 2 weeks apart. I was awakened at 2:30 this morning with one, and I was not a happy camper. I have realized that being even a little dehydrated contributes, but for these last two that wasn’t a factor. I know I get them from even a little wine, so I don’t drink wine. I ate fresh grouper, fresh salad, and homemade bread for dinner. No MSG or anything weird there. This is a mystery I need to solve – and in the meantime, I need some serious meds. No lie.