I Can Do This…Right?

I have wanted to be an author, a writer, a storyteller  – for as long as I knew what those things were.  I can recall sitting in the back of the classroom at the Catholic grammar school I attended, one of the few non-Catholics in the room.  Sister Mary Margaret was instructing the class on the do’s and don’ts of accepting the body of Christ, and since I would never be required to line up at Church with the other kids and eat the wafer, during religion class begin to daydream.  I would create little scenes in my head – scenes full of dark, moldy dungeons and luminous princesses and handsome young knights who would climb in through windows to fight off dragons, ultimately sweeping the grateful princess (who would, ironically, always look like me) off her feet.

In my early teens, I filled notebook after notebook with stories of romance and betrayal and heartbreak.  Teen angst at its best.  Most of the stories, funny enough, focused on the heroine (me!) and some astoundingly famous, talented, handsome man – a real-life rock star, professional athlete, actor or whatever current celebrity had caught my eye at the time of writing.  I was drafting fanfic before fanfic was a thing, I guess.

When I wabigstock_story_2226743s in my late teens and early 20’s, I tried my hand at writing poetry.  Bad, sappy, nonsensical poetry.  But my gift of storytelling never left me.  While I was busy raising kids and taking care of a house and a family, I put away my writing for many years, but still managed to create entertaining stories for my little ones each night before the went to sleep.  Sometimes one of “Mommy’s quick bedtime stories” lasted an hour or more, simply because Mommy was having way too much fun conceiving it on the fly.  I think I enjoyed it more than my kids did.

No matter which phase of my life I was in, the dream was always to write a book of my very own, to create a story so thought-provoking and detailed, with complex characters with relationships and issues that the reader could identify with.  I wanted to create characters a reader would fall in love with.  After my divorce, I set out to finally do just that.  It was my time, I told myself.  A door had opened for me.  This was my opportunity to begin the journey of achieving my #1 goal of becoming a published author.

I have been divorced for 16 years now.  In that time, I was a paid blogger for 6 months.  I interned at my local newspaper and had three articles published, one of which (a “riveting” piece about the yearly Memorial Day parade in a neighboring town) made the front page.  In my defense, it is extremely difficult to be a single mom (with no support from her ex) of two active boys when you work a full-time job and try to write in your “off hours”.  Because basically, there are no “off hours” when you are a single mom.

Now, however, my kids are much older.  I still work full time at a job that keeps me extremely busy (I work a lot of overtime during our busy season, which comes twice a year).  But I do have a lot more free time than I used to.  I also have managed to create and stick with what I look at as my smartest body of work so far – a novel I have been editing, and re-editing, and then editing some more, for the past 2 years.  I have surpassed so many self-imposed deadlines that I have lost count.  I am still as in love with my characters and storyline now as I was in the early days (which I think is a good thing since most of my writer friends who have been doing this longer than me tell me you can sometimes lose interest in your work if you let it go on for too long).

I do suffer from occasional bouts of writer’s block.  In addition, my lack of writing time during my crazy work schedule frustrates me to no end.  I become filled with doubt at times that this book will ever see the light off day.  I believe in this work and these wonderful beings I have created on paper.  I want to give them life and share them with the world.  I dream of the day that I see my name on the cover, the day I hand my mom the book I have written and say “Here you go, Mom.  You now have a daughter who is a published author”.  I dream of seeing that pride in her eyes.  I dream of what my kids will tell their kids and grandkids after I am gone.  Maybe during bedtime, they will create stories of a strong, devoted mom who overcame all obstacles and followed her heart to accomplish her lifelong dream.

But then my throat tightens and I feel the terror rise up from my gut.  What if I don’t accomplish what I set out to do?  What if I never finish my book?  What if I don’t publish it and all this will be for naught?  Someday when I am taking my last breath, will I look back on my life with regret?  No one can make this happen but me.  I can finish this book, and make it as great as I know it could be, or I can let fear overtake me and procrastinate each weekend until I can’t bear to even think.

I have to do this.  I NEED to finish this.  I can do this.  I can do this.  Right?  I CAN DO THIS.  WRITE!!!!!!

Wish me luck!

Love and Peace!

Currently Listening To:

Tom Petty – “Running Down a Dream”

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The One

“You know when you know.”

My mom told me that once when I asked her how you can tell if the guy you are dating is “the one”.  At the time, I was a foolish, lovesick 19-year-old, smitten by just one in what would end up being a very long line of “Mr. Rights” (Mr. Right Now, perhaps?).  Those days I was self-absorbed and clueless, with my head in the clouds, enamored more by the idea of falling in love than in actually loving someone other than myself.  I had no clue what it meant to truly give your heart to someone, nor did I fully grasp my own self-worth and what I deserved in return.4409235798_bca675126c_b

Now here I am, 50-ish, divorced, with a long, rocky road of past relationships behind me.  There is no “special guy” in my sites right now, nor am I looking for one.  Am I giving up on men?  Far from it.  Men intrigue me.  I raised two of my own.  I work with all men.  Some of my best friends are men!  I love everything about them, love spending time with them, love meeting new men and learning what makes them tick.  I just love men!  But I am just not in a spot right now where I feel like I want to actively search for someone just for the sake of entering into a relationship.  Maybe that sounds jaded…I really am trying not to be.  But I have been through the mill, have had my share of heartbreaks.  I’ve been with some amazing guys who I spent years and years with, only to find out they were liars and cheaters after investing all of my time – and my heart.  That kind of investment you don’t get a return on, sadly.  So, needless to say, I am holding on tightly to my “bank account” these days.

My mom still holds out hope that someday I will find “the one”.  Her dream is for me to meet a nice Jewish doctor (we aren’t Jewish, so don’t ask me why she wants this for me, but it’s her dream, so like a good daughter, I don’t question).  I’d be just as content curling up with a good book and a box of Double Stuff Oreos.

You know when you know!

Peace, Love and Oreos!!!! ❤

Currently Listening To:

Rufus & Chaka Khan “Sweet Thing”

Balance

So after running myself ragged between work, home life, committing myself to a million different writing projects at once, and everything in between…something gave.  I found myself severely run down and ill.  Again.

I knew I was pushing myself, yet I’d stay up late every night, trying to finisBalanceh a chapter, or furiously jotting down a new idea.  Sometimes I’d start to do research on a locale for a new story idea after dinner, and then next thing I knew it was 1 AM!  Something had to give, and that something, unfortunately, was me.

So I decided to take the summer off from my adding any new chapters of Canaan’s Promise.  I’m not anywhere near finished with Canaan and Riley’s saga.  Far from it.  I have a draft of the next chapter and outlines of a few more that follow.  But I have made the decision to just put that project on the backburner for the summer.  Same go

es with any of the fanfic I was dabbling in, as well as the two other unnamed projects I was writing.

I will devote this summer to my novel, which is in the editing stages (yet again, after a change in the storyline for one of the characters).  Hopefully, if all goes well, I will be done with it and have it up on Amazon September-ish.

 

Summer is my busy season at my job.  When there is overtime being offered, I’d be a fool to turn that down.  Such is the life of a poor, struggling writer!  I could see I would just be spreading myself out too thin if I continued at the pace I was working at.  Someday, hopefully, I can cut back on my real job instead of my writing job when time becomes scarce.

Until then, Canaan’s Promise is on temporary hiatus until the Fall.  I’ll still be blogging here, though, while I work on the novel.

Happy Summer!  Peace and love!

A Little Pick Me Up

I’m working on a particularly heart-wrenching scene at the moment.  It’s an argument between two people who are coming to the end of their relationship, and even though neither of them wants to admit out loud it’s the end, they know.  This is a tough one for me to write because this particular moment – and the dialogue – is semi-autobiographical.  The scene is thick with stinging discomfort and deep-rooted memories of a time I’d rather not stir up in my memory banks.  But…I’m a writer!  If I have to dig up some raw emotions in order to communicate my story, so be it.

As always, I’ve got my music blasting in order to keep my sanity in check and my depression at bay.  Nothing like a little Journey to pull you out of a hole.  : )    When all is said and done, if even just one reader says they got something out of it, this will all be worth it.

Hope you are having a peaceful week!  Love!

Currently listening to:

Lucina Williams “Changed the Locks”

My Chemical Romance “I Don’t Love You”

Miley Cyrus “Adore You”

Journey “Send Her My Love”

Velvet Revolver “Fall to Pieces”

 

 

I am jealous…

I have been an envious little bitch these past few days.  There.  I said it.  It’s true!

 

How do people find time to write?  I am really at a loss, especially lately.  Between work and my family and the million other “responsibilities” I have, there has been ZERO time for writing.

And it’s beginning to drag me down.

When I don’t have time to create, I get depressed.  I get moody and anxious.  I get pissed off and bitch, even.  I need that outlet.  I crave it.  And when I don’t have time to do it, well…let’s just say I am not a nice person.

I think I have to take drastic measures.  This weekend, that’s it – I am putting my foot down.  No favors for anyone.  I am not stopping by to bring in your mail, water your flowers or feed your cat.  I can’t show you how to set up your Twitter account or meet your new boyfriend.

I won’t be answering my phone this weekend, so don’t even bother.

I’ll be busy writing.

A Little Writing Music…

I am working on the novel today.  So many new ideas!  The creative part of my brain is moving faster than I can type.

In the meantime, these are just a few of the songs on my playlist today as I try to figure this all out.  Enjoy your Saturday!

Currently Listening To:

ZZ Ward “Last Love Song” “All these notes and all these words are all that’s left in me. Bend these pages, count my woes.  One last song to set me free.”

Steve Moakler “Suitcase”  “Everybody wants to chase the rainbow and find a pot of gold, hoping for a suitcase full of money, but all I want is you, honey.”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers “Walls”  “Some things are over. Some things go on. Part of me you carry. Part of me is gone.”

Everclear “Learning How To Smile”  “Yes I know there ain’t no finish line. I know this never ends but I’m just learning how to fall and climb back up again.”

Jason Aldean “Night Train”   “Got a moon and a billion stars, sound of steel and old boxcars.  The thought of you is driving me insane…”

 

It’s All A Lot of Oysters, But No Pearls…

“If you think that I could be forgiven, I wish you would…” – Counting Crows

Confessions:  I have only written half of Chapter 25 of Canaan’s Promise.  I am still editing the novel I have been working on for the past three years (which is currently being called “Finally”, but I have a feeling that may change soon).  And…as if I did not have enough on my writing to-do list, I am now playing around with an idea for a new short story, which may or may not be published on Wattpad, depending on how things go.

So I apologize for not blogging more often, and for not updating Canaan’s Promise in a more timely fashion.  The new idea came to me out of the blue, and it’s not like anything I have ever written about in the past, so it has my full attention at the moment.  My new writing endeavor is something akin to that really cute, cool older boy in high school who you think is way out of your league, but then he winks at you in the hallway one day and leaves you thinking, “Well, maybe…”.

I have no business putting my time and energy into any new projects, given my busy work schedule and the two projects I have already committed myself to.  However, the ideas swimming through my brain are too persuasive to ignore.  The only issues I have with the new project (Notice how I am already referring to it as a “project”.) is that a good part of the story is autobiographical, which for me is extremely difficult to write honestly about.  I need to be honest because it’s a  better narrative than anything I can make up in my head.  But parts of it are painful and somewhat embarrassing to revisit – and to see it in print – so I find myself changing small scenes here and there.  Ultimately, though, what I keep coming back to is that the truth is so much more powerful than anything I could create.

I have been keeping up with the recent activity on Canaan’s Promise, though, and I do appreciate your wonderful comments and votes!  For everyone who has been reading and responding, and adding the story to their lists, please know I SO appreciate your time and I will be updating very soon!  You guys are the best!

Currently Listening To:

“A Long December” – Counting Crows