Monday, May 29, 2017

When It Feels Like You'll Never Get There

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you've probably read about my goal of writing a novel.  It's not all that unusual a dream, and truth be told, I'm not completely sure why I have it.

I've always liked writing.  I wrote a bit in my early teenage years - nothing very good - and in high school, I stood out among my peers in several writing assignments.  I've written a few articles for various blogs and had a piece published in the online magazine, Venture (no longer around.)  I've spent much of the last six years doing some form of writing.  I've blogged here off and on, and done a lot of reading about writing and thinking about writing.  And I've also done a decent amount of  actual writing.

My first novel attempt (which doesn't even deserve that name) was little more than me figuring out how not to write a book.

My second, the book I'm working on now, deserves the title of novel.  It's been brainstormed and trashed.  Written and re-written.   Outlined and scratched and re-outlined.  I don't know how many drafts of this story I've been through to uncover the actual story that I am telling now.  I'm nearly 100,000 words in, and while I know for certain that I have the real story here, I'm still pretty far off from finishing it.

And that's the part I'm struggling with.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Parenting Fails – The Beginning of Parenting Well

Yesterday, I failed as a parent.  Not a fail, full stop, but many mini-failures to be exact.  

In fact, every day for the past nine and a half years, since my oldest child was born, I have felt at some point during the day, like a failure.  And the worst kind.

A p
arenting failure.

If I had to choose one thing to succeed at, the most important thing to do right in my life, it would be this parenting thing.  

So you might think that that's left me feeling pretty bad about my string of parenting fails.  But that, my friend, is not the case.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January Round-Up

Welcome to my first ever monthly round-up, where I get to rave on all the awesomeness I've been digging this past month.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Kindness Matters

I recently read the book by Jonathan Fields How to Live a Good Life.  While I plan on doing a more in-depth recap soon, I wanted to share a piece of the book that really stood out to me.

In the section on contribution buckets, Jonathan writes under the sub-heading Give to Glow,

"Turns out even the mere thought of being of service to others activates the part of the brain that releases the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine.  That makes us feel great and want to do more.  It triggers an enhanced sense of purpose and well-being and gives us that deeply yearned-for feeling that we matter.  That the things we do, at least in the moment, have meaning.

"Giving, it turns out, not only begets more giving, feeling good, and wanting to do more, but also deepens our sense of purpose."

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Effin Good

If you saw my recent post on Instagram, you’ve seen this quote before.  I just love it.  Partly because it’s a little edgy and I’m a mom of three young kids, and I like a little edge now and then.  But mostly, I love this quote because it reminds me that it’s okay to try something new, and to be – and this is the kicker – just okay at it.  To be good enough. 

To do something before we’re ready.  To put something “out there” while we’re still a little unsure about it.  To try our best, and let our best be enough.  Even if that means that later, looking back, we see how truly horrible our best used to be.  That’s all a part of the process, a part of life.  If we wait until we’re ready, until everything is perfect before we begin, we’ll never do a damn thing.  And that’s not the life I want.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Reading Recap: The School for Good & Evil

It's my goal for 2017 to complete a book review for each book I finish.  It's been a while since I've done one of these, especially for other people to read!  So, without further ado, my first, of hopefully many, book report of 2017!

While on a trip to Asheville this summer, we wandered into a local indie bookstore, Malaprops Bookstore.    As I perused the writing and journaling section, the kids browsed the children's literature.  It was there, among the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Junie B. Jones books, that Sadie picked up a book neither of us had heard of before, The School for Good & Evil.  We both read the inside cover and thought the book seemed interesting, but we didn't actually pick it up that day.  She had a stack of Percy Jackson books on her bedside table, so I promised once she finished those, we would start The School series.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

We are all broken and that's okay

Leonard Cohen, Anthem

I've been thinking about how each of us has our own scars, our own cracks, our own broken bits which we may hide or cover or bury deep within us.  Maybe not even allowing our spouses, or friends, or even ourselves to see them, to acknowledge them.  The crack may be have formed long ago in childhood, and as each year passes, the pressures of life press on it, forcing it to expand outward.  And we can keep ignoring it, but that doesn't change the fact that it's there.  Perhaps the cracks we have are from loss, from a broken heart.  Maybe we are so afraid of letting them surface that we hide them from others and ourselves.  Maybe we numb out to keep from feeling them.  There are drugs, and alcohol, food and online shopping.  Any number of things we can use to push the feelings down, to try to fill the cracks.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

2016 Reading Recap

At the beginning of 2016, I had a list of books I wanted to read.  Some were books we already had at home, but I'd never gotten around to reading.  (Anyone else order the penny books on Amazon? That's my vice.)

I didn't get to every book on my list, and some were added along the way.  Here's a list of every book I read last year.  Most I finished, but I don't force myself to finish a book if I've read far enough into it to realize it's just not for me.

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