Friday, March 24, 2017
Soon, my deck, sooooon!
I'm looking forward to this, and appreciate every moment times like these are possible. Too many people don't get the opportunity for these simple pleasures, we can't take them for granted.
For now, I'm working hard on completing the first draft of this novel. I'm learning a lot through the process. Whenever you dive into something new, there is always so much to learn, and most of it, it seems, is not what you expected to learn.
When I first dipped my toe into the author pool, it felt very foreign. I had no idea how deep it was, if it was swimmable, if there lurked anything within its depths that could do real harm. It was truly a journey into the absolute unknown.
Up to this point, I have learned that "comfort zones" are prisons in disguise. The sense of security felt within them only serves to hinder us in the discovery of everything we are truly capable of.
I've learned that fear should never be allowed to be in charge of big decisions. I'm not saying that common sense caution should be thrown to the wind, but in being brutally honest with yourself, stripping away the noise, if, when boiled down to the core, you discover that fear is the real reason you don't do something, the zone becomes a prison cell.
I've learned that no matter what pool you dive into, there is the possibility if being bitten. There are those who will jump on any opportunity to try and take advantage of someone else's work. The trick is to learn to identify the snakes, figure out which ones are lethal, and which are harmless. It's okay to be proud of what you build, take appropriate measures to protect it. If you don't think it's worth protecting, who will?
I've learned that going from writing children's books to writing a novel is, for me, a little like going from paddling a canoe to being the captain of a cruise ship. When writing a children's story, you don't want to make it too complicated. You want to keep it light, bright, fast-paced, include some humour, using language that will draw them in, keep them engaged, and hopefully, in the end, make them, at the very least, smile. In writing a contemporary novel, there are a lot more moving parts. Although what I'm writing is complete fiction, there is a certain amount of research that is needed for authenticity. The book is equal parts story and character. I find myself actually caring about these imaginary people, which can, in some cases, make it difficult to decide their fates.
As I am getting ever closer to completing the first draft, my mind wants to jump ahead, starting to contemplate book size, paper quality, font, margins, cover design, marketing, and all of the other million and one decisions that will need to be made once the story has come to its conclusion. If a person isn't careful, that storm can threaten to drown you, a set of concrete shoes. When I see this coming, I have to cut the shoes loose and grab the lifeline of now. Right now. What do I need to do today? What do I need to do right now, this minute? Breaking it down. A simple thing that calms the storm.
I've learned that the list of things I've learned and have yet to learn is infinite. As always, I'm sure I'm not alone.
A busy one, still working from home, writing, and trying to stay on top of all things domestic.
As for the upcoming days............
Some time with the eldest grandbaby, some time with family, work, writing, and more writing (so close to completing that first draft!)
That about does it for now..................
May you cast aside the threat of concrete shoes, never feeling pulled under by decisions yet to be.
May you cut them loose, floating luxuriously on the surface, where your imagination runs free.
May you venture outside of your comfort zone, and any other box that seeks to hide your shine.
May you discover that once you do, you are limitless, everything is infinitely possible when dreams and effort entwine.
May you live in the 'why not' way more often than in the 'why,' for regrets tend to reside in the latter.
May you strive to live in whatever way brings you the most peace, unfettered, serenity and happiness matter.
Until next time..........
Saturday, March 18, 2017
The time change, clock setting craziness is now behind us. It's no longer completely dark when I get up in the morning, and the snow is sort of, almost, kind of, looking like it might be on its way to being gone. Is it now safe to say that Spring is close?
It seems like every time a person entertains the mere thought of spring, Mother Nature's henchmen, AKA weather forecasters, start talking about yet another snow storm lurking, stealthily deciding where to dump its wares.
The earth still turns, and circles the sun, so it really is only a matter of time.......patience.
For those who are new to this part of the world, hang in there, for you, it's got to be particularly rough.
So, last week we went to see the movie, "Hidden Figures", a movie I would highly recommend. It was such an important piece of history that, up to this point was untold. Why did this story take fifty plus years to tell?
There have been different movies and books that have highlighted segregation and other blatantly racist behaviors in the past, but, for me, this movie, somehow, made it more personal. Maybe it was the fact that they focused on this small group, bringing forth the very personal stories of these three women.
I'm a fairly curious person with a pretty healthy thirst for knowledge, especially about this time period. Why had I never heard of these women? This story? This chunk of history?
I can't help but wonder how many stories, similar to this one, are out there, disappearing as the ones who were there, walking through it, have their memories stripped by old age.
As we are lucky enough to still have some of these important people among us, we should be taking advantage of their memories, soaking in their experiences, documenting them to pass on to future generations. We can't leave our history, as humans, to be solely told by those who compose analytical textbooks. If stories like the one told in "Hidden Figures" are being ignored, skipped over, deemed unimportant, or tilted in some way to downplay the significance of contributions made by certain genders, races, or cultures, it becomes increasingly important to dig deeper. History should put forth unfettered by politics, agenda, or even the slightest leanings toward any inequality.
We can't allow our children to digest a history full of "alternative facts."
We need to be more diligent about presenting a more accurate and complete picture of our human journey, both when studying what has already come to pass, and as we strive forward.
There is a lot of ugliness in our history that makes it hard to look at, but there is a lot of beauty too. We have the responsibility of uncovering the entirety of both so we don't continue to perpetuate a filtred truth, in turn, crippling future generations searching to learn from, and improve upon their past.
So, the past week has proven to be, thankfully another busy one at the shop. Hopefully, I won't have to work remotely much longer.
Laundry happened, meals were made, toilets were cleaned, cookies were baked, and a grandbaby came for a sleepover.
All in all a good week.
As for the upcoming days............
Hoping to get very close to finishing the first draft of this novel.................
Working from home.........
Run much needed errands.................
Well, that about does it for now, until next time.............
In honour of St. Paddy's Day....................
May you enjoy the day when everyone's at least a wee bit Irish, indulging in everything green.
May you find the fortitude to pace yourself, be kind to yourself, for hangovers can be awfully mean.
May you find your pot of gold, your four leaf clover, your leprechaun, or whatever charm you deem brings you luck.
May that luck stay with you, sending good things your way, bringing you joy, lifting you when feeling stuck.
May the music, humour and heart of our Celtic friends carry you over and through any difficult days that may take their toll.
May the lilt of the language, the whimsical tales of Faeries, the fathoms deep pool of poetry, stay with you, a warm embrace for a weary soul.
Until next time..............
Friday, March 10, 2017
This week marks the passing of a day to internationally celebrate women. It's hard to fathom that it's only within the last couple of centuries we went to being deemed as property to leaders of nations.
We have come so far, but you don't have to do a lot of research to discover just how far we have yet to go.
For my part, I would like to do what I can to take some of the stink off of the word "feminism."
As a feminist........
I don't dislike nor do I have any disdain toward men. I like men, in fact, so much so, I married one.
I want to, in the society in which I live, carry the same value as my male counterparts.
I have freedom. I have the freedom to get married, or not. Have children, or not and wear whatever I choose to wear.
I want to be able to walk this earth without fear. Without unwanted sexual attention, without being harassed, grabbed, groped, receiving unsolicited pictures of genitalia, or having some stranger's pelvis pushed up against me in a crowd. I want this for me, my daughters, my granddaughters and all those that will follow. I want our boys and men to absolutely absorb the fact that these actions are in no way okay, and trying to convince themselves that we should take it as a compliment is nothing more than a sick delusion put in place to make them feel better about being predators.
I want our upcoming generations of men to look at women as human beings that hold equal value to them, as an extension of their grandmothers, mothers, sisters, nieces, wives and daughters.
If I have the same experience, skill set, passion and seniority level as a man I work with, I should receive equal pay. If a specific position pays a specific salary, I fail to see what gender has to do with it. There should be merit based, not gender based pay.
I want anti-feminists to understand that feminism isn't about women wanting to be men, diminish men, or emasculate men. It is simply about affording the same freedoms and opportunities that men enjoy and take for granted, to women, eliminating double standards.
I want rape, even the very idea of rape, in all of its forms to become a distant, horrifying memory in the history book of humanity. No more drugging, dragging, threatening, demeaning, forcing or refusal in hearing the word no. No more blaming her for what she was wearing, or the fact that she was drinking, or walking alone, or the way she was dancing, or the fact that she agreed to be alone in a room with you..or....or....or....... no more blaming her..period.
This is why, to me, feminism is important, and not just for women.
We are a gender of survivors, not victims. We are not whining when we dare to speak up to give a voice to those who are silenced.
I want my granddaughters to be as free and safe as my grandsons, walking this world without gender imposed limits. That's all.
What a week!
I turned 51, which was celebrated, much to my surprise, by my dearest friend and all my kids (minus a few sons-in-law) showing up at the house! This, all being orchestrated by my amazing hubby! It was awesome!
I was able to get a few words on the page of my novel...
Working for the shop is still happening from our dining room table...........
Had a great time participating in my first spring trade show of the year!
As for the upcoming days................
Writing, work, a movie night (depending on whether Mother Nature has another tantrum), and the usual glamorous array of duties.
Well, that about does it for another week, until next time...........
May you fly without hindrance, soar without guilt, high above every glass ceiling.
May you walk with confidence, without fear, doing whatever you find appealing.
May you live your life free of the threat of unwanted touch, the uninvited infringement of your space.
May you never feel the need to silently manifest an escape route or change the cadence of your pace.
May "no" be heard loud and clear, especially and always if you've been rendered unable to speak.
May it echo in the ears of those refusing to listen, haunting their every breath, whisper becoming shriek.
May you fly without hindrance, soar without guilt, high above every glass ceiling.
May you walk with confidence, without fear, doing everything you find appealing.
Until next time...........
Friday, March 3, 2017
So, for me, this is 51!
Sometimes, it still feels like I'm impersonating a grown up. Sometimes, I feel completely at home with who and where I am. Sometimes, when life gets stressful, it feels like I'm too old for this crap.
Yup, 50 different shades of confidence, vulnerability, intuitive depths of clarity, crankiness, goofiness, tearfulness, with healthy doses of putting car keys in the fridge and not remembering why I walked into the kitchen.
50 different shades of being a wife, a mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend. Although, none of these roles ever really change at their core, they definitely evolve over time.
As a wife, 30 years into our marriage, we are good. We are empty nesters enjoying the time together we never knew we didn't have when our four girls were all still at home.
As a mother, although I still field the odd request for advice or a question about how to make a childhood favourite food, for the most part, I get to sit back and reap the rewards of a lot of diaper changes, defeated fevers, hair vs. gum battles, heart to heart talks, groundings, and time as a 4 star referee. Now I get to witness them walk their own paths as phenomenal young women, girlfriends, wives, mothers and friends.
As a grandmother, I get to enjoy our grandbabies without having to nag them about eating vegetables or going to bed on time. I get to be the one to host sleepovers, serve cookies for breakfast, wage giggle infested nerf gun wars, make a huge blanket nest on the living room floor and watch cartoons until sleep defeats the powers of Pixar.
As a daughter, I find the role is slowly reversing, as I'm sure it will someday, for our daughters.
As a sister, lives are busy, but we grab time whenever and however we can. It might be quick texts sent while getting ready for work, phone calls that solve all of the world's problems, or actual physical visits. We make it work.
As a friend, you find, through life, the real ones stick. They don't have to live next door, in the same town, or even in the same province. They stick.The great ones begin with a shy hello on the playground on the first day of school, and continue through heartbreaks about cool kids and boys, growing up, finding love, losing loved ones, laughing, crying, doing shots, and comparing notes on the weirdness that is menopause. Where it goes from here? Well, let's just say when you see the blue haired ladies misbehaving in viral videos on Youtube, I can't help but think that is exactly where we are likely to end up.
Yup, 50 shades. Here's to 50 more!
This week has whizzed by, once again.
.....work, writing, laundry and rehabbing this hip sucks up more time than a person might think!
As for the upcoming days.............
Tradeshow in Outlook tomorrow....... bookkeeping duties on Sunday........later in the week, celebrate turning 51!
Well, that's about it for now,
For those celebrating a birthday........
May the candles on your cake shine brightly, and may all your birthday wishes come true.
May you celebrate with laughter, with joy, and, if in the mood, a cocktail or two.
May you celebrate the time you've spent on this planet, it's yours, you've earned every minute.
May you soak in the privilege of simply being here, never waste a moment, instead, truly live it.
May the time between this birthday and next be filled with whatever plants the biggest grin upon your face.
May the time between be kind, gentle and sweet, with just a whisper of trouble so you relish in every warm embrace.
Until next time.....