Catching Fireflies

finding magic along the way

Fire in the Belly


What good, indeed??!

I say, if you aren’t sure where your passion lies, at least figure out where it DOESN’T take you. Then you can passionately work to keep yourself away from that which doesn’t kick up your skirt.

But by all means, do SOMETHING!

Life is so tenuous and short. It passes before you know it. And so many of us are going through the day-to-day, checking off the boxes of things that need to be done. We are missing it and more importantly, we are missing the point of it.

Find something that makes you giddy way down in your stomach where those butterflies live. What makes you giggle and smile when you are all alone? What did you want to be and do when you were a little kid?

Don’t fill your bucket list and then wait to start. Do it NOW! Quick before you are too tired, too old, too feeble.

Follow your artistic dreams, the ones you never thought you were good enough to do.

Take that trip you have always planned in the wee hours when you couldn’t sleep because the stress kept you awake.

Reach out to that person you lost track of or had a falling out with, the one who you used to laugh with, the one you miss when you let yourself admit it.

Pursue that topic that has always intrigued you even if other people think you are a little mad. Transcendental poetry? Great! Bugs with more than 50 legs? Awesome! Beekeeping, basket weaving, soap making, ancient Latin philosophers, caveman art? Whatever makes your pulse quicken!

This is your show. This is your one great life. FILL IT all the way to the top!

 

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

Let’s face it. Monday’s are rough. The end of the freedom that came with the weekend, the start of a long week, the return to work. To help ease you into your week, I wanted to share a little something that made me smile.

For the nerd in all of us

Last week, I told you about my recent brain fog and lack of focus. I also mentioned that I have recently come across a number of sites that offer classes in writing and other topics that intrigue me. For those of you who are also a little nerdy at heart, who hear the siren song of freshly sharpened pencils and blank notebooks, here are some links that you may find of interest!

Writer’s Village University  – Very affordable, friendly community, peer-led classes

Ninja Writers – I have not taken these courses yet, but follow the instructor on Facebook and Medium and always like what she shares. Great subscription price and it looks like the courses are very thorough.

WANA International – as in We Are Not Alone! Love the classes that I have taken here. Also, the tribe is very active.

NaNoWriMo – It may not be November, but the forums at National Novel Writing Month are still hopping. You can always do Camp NaNo!

Ed2Go – Affordable classes in writing and other areas

Gotham Writing Workshop – I have not taken classed here, but they have a great reputation for teaching craft.

Writer’s Digest – LOVE Writer’s Digest!

Reedsy.com – can you say FREE? 🙂

DIYMFA – For those of us who do not have the time or money to go for our masters in creative writing.

Lynda.com – There are some writing classes here, but the rest of the offerings are what caught my eye. All sorts of things I need to learn to make writing a business!

udemy.com – Like Lynda.com, but I caught a newbie sale and bought 6 classes for $10 each! Wide range of subjects and skills to learn here!

CreativeLive.com – the possibilities are endless!!

Craftsy.com – because we all want to learn to knit or quilt deep down! Add in photography, drawing, painting, cooking… This is to feed your muse!

SheWrites University

Writers.com 

Catapult

The Writers’ Workshop

Learning Path – FREE

Or you can do the old-fashioned self-created course like me and actually read and work through all those wonderful writing books you have accumulated over the years!! 🙂

 

 

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

Let’s face it. Monday’s are rough. The end of the freedom that came with the weekend, the start of a long week, the return to work. To help ease you into your week, I wanted to share a little something that made me smile.

Words Fail Me

I have been in a very deep writing rut these last eight months or so. My second novel was all set to be sent to my editor last October. I had grand plans to publish it in 2017 but then the wheels fell off the bus. My quiet, structured life got squirrelly last fall. Between family illnesses, family businesses, day job stressers and perhaps a bit of a mid-life crisis, I found myself putting the brakes on my book and not writing anything. (Yes, this blog was still fairly regular, but I did a lot of sharing of old posts to limp through the worst of it.)

Now with spring taking its first tentative steps again, I find myself itching to take some steps as well. I have been feeling rudder-less and lethargic, unable to get motivated to do any creative project, in able to focus. And my friends will tell you that when I am not knee-deep in reading a stack of books, taking a class, making a quilt, AND writing a book, I feel like I am floundering.

I have felt lost but It seems the universe conspires to point us in the direction of our wildest wishes. My inbox and Facebook feed have suddenly been inundated with invitations to try some writing classes or new books on story structure. Fellow bloggers are posting feverishly about every aspect of the novel, from character arcs to subplots and description. And every one of them seems like something I need.

Unfortunately, I am still not at a place in my life that will allow me to jump back into the Book 2 project yet. Self-publishing is not free after all if you want to enlist the assistance of a top-notch editor and cover designer. And when I stop to contemplate the cost of all the classes that are calling to me, a tiny voice gently reminds me that I most-likely already own a book (or 12!) that will teach the same topic.

Now, confession time, I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to books. (No comments from my husband, please! 🙂 ) I have how-to books on every aspect of novel and short story writing that I could possibly need. The trick is picking one up, reading it from cover to cover and actually implementing the strategies they outline. That is where the lack of time, energy and focus has been plaguing me.

Like so many writers and artists, time is always a factor. The day job takes so much of it and drains me of the needed energy to run headlong into a pile of words and just create for hours on end. When I do have some time, I feel unable to focus because there seems to be so many projects that need my attention and so many worries that need my brain.

The same holds true for reading for the pure joy of it. It just hasn’t happened lately. I am the type of person who always has a book going. ALWAYS. Finish one, and I am rummaging in my to-be-read pile immediately. The last half-year or so? Not so much. I have started many and finished very few. The few I get through took forever. And it has nothing to do with the quality of the writing and the story. Too much stress and a serious case of brain fog has made it hard to focus.

So my gift to myself right now is to pick one book from the writing craft pile and one book from the fiction pile and just soak it all in. I am going to allow myself the luxury of just reading for a few months and not worrying about putting pen to paper (or fingers on the keys). I will try my best not to feel guilty about it. That is the hardest part for me!

This is a writer’s work, too. Everything we read is fodder for our story. It all teaches us what we like and what we don’t like. It shows us different approaches to the page and how others who have gone before us have handled a sticky plot point. And I am long overdue to remind myself of this. Plus I really need a little magic in my life, and what better place to find it than books!? It’s my hope that in reading, I will find my way back to filling the page.

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

Let’s face it. Monday’s are rough. The end of the freedom that came with the weekend, the start of a long week, the return to work. To help ease you into your week, I wanted to share a little something that made me smile.

The Universal Truth

Every now and then, in the middle of our busy lives, the universe likes to remind us what is truly important. There we are, all caught up in the minutiae, stressing about every little thing, caught up in the drama. We are racing from task to task, checking off our list. We are too busy to connect to each other, too busy to take the time to sit and really listen to each. You know what I mean – just another ordinary day.

And out of the blue, you hear something that stops you in your tracks.

Someone you used to know, sort of still know has passed away.

And you stop and you think, “wow, that is such a shame.” After all, she was young – younger than you by a decade. And didn’t she have two youngish children. And now you hear that they are not sure what happened to her. And that makes it even sadder. You cannot point to a drunk driver, a freak accident or even a specific medical issue. She is just gone.

This weighs on you for days, this loss that isn’t even truly yours. Your heart goes out to her family, her kids. And days later, you still find yourself drawn to the memory of this girl who seemed to have so much life in her still.

And it occurs to you that even though you weren’t close, really only shared a class a few years ago and then saw each other on Facebook or Twitter, even though you didn’t talk with or see her, it is still your loss.

It is a loss of innocence, a loss of feeling safe in our little lives. We all understand that life is finite, but we like to pretend as we go about the business of living and get caught up in our day to day that life is not short. And it is. It is very brief. And yet, we always imagine there will be more time.

So even though this was not a friend, merely an acquaintance, her death has hit you hard. Because it has brought the truth up close and personal. Life is brief. It can end inexplicably, without warning. And it can leave you with so many things left unsaid or undone.

Take this to heart, dear readers. Life is short. It is the truth, not just some cliché we repeat. Do not get complacent. Do not just go through the motions. Do not lose the chance to do and say what you need to do and say.

Rest in peace, L.

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

Let’s face it. Monday’s are rough. The end of the freedom that came with the weekend, the start of a long week, the return to work. To help ease you into your week, I wanted to share a little something that made me smile.

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