Neglected blogs

Have you heard about these poor things? Created, fed for a time then left to fend for themselves in the spooky forest of On Line Contacts. Almost makes me weep.

Sorta.

These seemingly innocent creature start out cuddly, warm things, curling in your brain with fun ideas of Writing Down What Matters. Like all living things, their eyes are big and wet, tongues slurping all over your mind, delighting with promises of entertainment and mental exercise Without Leaving the Comfort of Your Own Environment, until…

They grow in to this voracious eater of time and mental effort.

Every day or week or month (easy to lose track of time when it marches up and down in your mind just at that moment of almost sleep) the Blog zings an arrow of Not Done across your mind.

Messages like, readers are waiting. You said you’d do one this week. Why are you doing laundry, writing something else, looking at your phone?

You said.

You promised.

Feed Me!

Sheesh. Write a blog, they said.

It’ll be fun, they said.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. They, whoever They are, isn’t doing it. They are Expecting it.

At least with pets or kids, the reward is more tangible. Hugs, kisses, I love you looks. Blogs got none of that. They just eat, eat, eat.

Kinda like newspaper columns, when those appeared in newspapers. Many is the columnist who lived by 800 words, or whatever the editor set as the standard count. Television scriptwriters sometimes talk about the Story, that ever looming deadline of getting a script ready for production as a beast that only eats and is never satisfied, because next week, next month, next season, if you still have a job, the story must be done. Again.

So, Blog, I know you’re there. Waiting. Hovering. Hungry.

But you have competition now.

The Novel.

May the most persistent win.

No teeheehee. More like, Egad, they keep multiplying.

Advertisements

Not Getting Stuff Done

When stuff piles up around me and to-do lists grow longer rather than shorter, motivation slides away, seeping through floor boards, leaving only a scent of accomplishment without the satisfaction.

What does accomplishment smell like? To me, sorta pinewoody with a hint of honeysuckle. I know. Inside me, senses and emotions tangle together.

Such is today. Got one book whining for editing, two knitting projects moping on needles, handful of books taunting me about withheld information, a second book hung on plot elements and all I want to do is peruse Pinterest. Window shopping electronically, like smelling fake food some people use as a decorative item. Eeuuuwww.

Crazy part is, I know the only out is pick a project and work at it. This particular mood strikes when the piles surround me like a thick forest of demands, scratching at me, poking, nagging, using every guilt tool in the box.

So, Patient Reader, you perform the valuable, and unenviable function of providing mild relief to the tyrant in my head. If I do one thing in a positive direction, I will have done One Thing!

And somehow it works. In the last few lines as I wrote this not so deathless prose, I’ve done away with wads of fluffy adjectives, rewrote passive verbs out of existence and disposed of four clichés. Honestly, you should see the raw writing fall from my fingers. Or maybe you shouldn’t.

As I was saying…

The whole list thing got completely away from me. This is what happens when you sit in front a keyboard and let your fingers meander around.

But not today.

Or at least I hope not. I meant to get into the satisfying bit about lists. But somehow, between a couple of incoming phone calls, more than one cup of coffee and a really interesting snippet of info on Pinterest, followed by the nagging aroma of something chocolate baking in the kitchen, need I say more?

But today I plow onward into Crossing Items off the List. ‘Cause that’s what’s make the thing addictive. When I get something accomplished, crossing it off of the list means I did that one thing at least.

May not be world peace but clearing a space on the floor beside my desk makes me peaceful. Knowing my socks don’t stick to the kitchen floor, lovely. Laundry folded and put away says I can finally sit in my chair, drink my tea and luxuriate in the stillness. And holding that finished manuscript in my hand, terrifyingly exciting.

Posting a blog entry ahead of time and hitting save, then publish.

I did it.

Anything and everything I meant to do. It is done. For the moment.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. Genesis 2:1

That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Lists, lists, lists

Y’all make lists? At this exact moment, my desk is littered with at least a dozen of them. Let me make a list so you…no, wait. I’m trying to cut back. It’s hard, strains against ingrained behavior, but I Am Going to Cut Back.

Recently attended a workshop where this very topic came up. On a list, actually. Ehem. You get my point, I hope. If you didn’t, I’ll most likely blog at that as well. But back to the list thing.

Turns out, list making is a common trait for first born children. I wasn’t the first born but I was the first born girl (two older brothers) which makes me a semi-first born. Actually, I think the whole listing thing comes from forgetting stuff, realizing I forgot stuff that Really Must Be Done. Makes the whole day go south at that point. So to circumvent myself, I make lists.

Stuff to do today, books I want to read, topics I must research for the current book, books semi-plotted, short stories ready to be edited, how far and how deep I must research to make a particular character come to life, what happened in 1996 as a setting for current book, ad nauseam.

When the list of lists gets out of hand, like now, I give up, pour a cup of tea and do some fun research. And wild as it seems, the world does not end. In fact, it settles into a lovely moment of amazement. Which makes me consider burning all the lists around me. But then the fire department gets involved, the word arson gets tossed around, yada yada yada.

LSH (long suffering husband) provides me with plenty of notepads, nods a lot when I rummage for the list I made last week, and putters in the garage. He keeps his lists in his head, where I can’t find them. Or lose them.

That obsession he gets, even as he shakes his head at the others, like looking up the origins of phrases or words (going south, mess hall, friend) and writing blogs.

So, back to the original question, y’all make lists?

Me too.

Physical/Spiritual

Do I value the physical more than the spiritual? Or maybe the other way around? And if I do, why? Should I?

What is it that assumes one matters more than the other? If you read my last post, betcha have an idea of where this is going. Or not, ‘cause it is kinda vague.

Reading and re-reading Genesis 1 led me farther down this path. Started examining it when I read Heaven by Randy Alcorn. The ideas he posed in his book struck a note with me, so I followed the sound.

Could it be we are as spiritual and we are physical, as physical as we are spiritual? To parts of a whole that must be looked at as a whole. It does seem most of our culture ignores the one for the other.

Are both sides simply sides, viewing themselves as the whole?

Hmmm.

And just because something is spiritual doesn’t mean it’s good. The original sense of the word good was benefit, advantage, gift, virtue, property. In biblical Hebrew, it meant connected, functional, fulfilling, satisfying. The word evil meant wicked, diseased, vicious, ill. In biblical Hebrew it meant apart, separate, dysfunctional, devouring.

Lots of food for thought.

The physical can be twisted or broken, the spiritual as well.

As I write, still thinking. Considering.

Humans are both spiritual and physical. Both can be twisted, misused. Both can be glorious, in order. God knew that before we came to be.

More thinking. Pondering.

On Purpose

Been thinking about the words ‘on purpose’. Doing a bible study on Genesis 1 and there is a lot of ‘on purpose’ going on there. The physicality of the earth, our bodies and the way all the details of life maneuver together.

God could have stayed completely in the spiritual realm, not bothering with anything physical. Yet, He moved in the physical. On purpose. He meant to do it, knowing all the ramifications of His actions. He purposed to create a physical universe, purposed planets, and then purposed inhabitants that could choose to interact with Him.

On purpose.

A big thought there. Not really sure this particular brain can do more with it. But I want to. Really want to.

Inside my brain, or maybe it’s not the brain, but inside the real me, lights grow and mingle while impressions ebb into nearly solid images as textures and vibrations emit aromas both warm and crisp, soothing and tart.

Senses ease then sharpen to soft awareness.

On purpose.

He meant to do it and I have a choice to examine this. Or not.

The invitation still stands, the RSVP on my tongue.

Real Books, Surreal reaction

Finally got finished published copies of both my books in my hands. Whew.

MotherLove and Kiss’N’Kill

It’s the craziest thing to hold a solid object made of your own thoughts and imagination. Or to see a movie set, with props, actors, production people, camera and light techs all interacting to display the story a writer created out of mental wisps.

Wildest belly flopping emotion.

Quickly followed by the stupefying realization it must all be done again. Quickly, because the audience/public/readers want more.

The ideas pour out. The skills get better and smoother. And it’s fun to disappear into the wonder of creation. But I can’t help but think, when that mushroom cloud swelled across New Mexico skies, did the scientists quiver, just a bit?

Not that my stuff is atomic bomb magnitude to anyone else but me. Still, tummy turning.

Even writing this blog post today makes shivers that were never there before. And yes, I tried to rewrite that last sentence six times to get rid of ‘that’. Sometimes, ‘that’ is necessary.

So, once again the name is out there, books are presented before other eyes and I am at work producing more. The Writers Prayer Journal (in a set of three 30 day entries) is half way through the writing process so it should be ready by November this year.

More sweaty palms to come.

Time: lost or misplaced

How much time is lost every day? Lost time, lost reward.

4 hours a day on the phone? Really? Really. Life is a series of moments, cast to the wind, to fulfill what?

What matters most? Me or what I think is me?

Is this small thing worth my time?

What is worth my Time?

What is my time worth? A quick glance at my Instagram page or telling my husband He makes my heart happy? Which has more value? Picking up that sweater I tossed on the chair or getting out the door before traffic backs up? And if I’d put the sweater away in the first place, it might not have that stain from the chocolate syrup dripping from the edge of my bowl last night? Really?

Not my fault. Life gets in the way. It does.

In the way of what?

What I really want to do, or what I let myself do?

 

Sudden thought. Intrusive thought at that. Responsibility.

That I take note of the response in me to events around me? Refuse to assign blame or claim blame, but notice my own response. Hmmm.

Time.

Noticed, examined, responded to.

Whew.

Gotta think about this.

Projects. Hmmm

Been working on a couple of things lately. Okay, more than a couple but at the top of the list, two projects only.

On top of the stack, a trilogy kind of thing, three books of writing prompts combined with a writer’s prayer focus is a smidgen ahead of getting a manuscript out of my head and onto paper. And as I think (and write) about it, actually two other manuscripts.

The writer’s prayer journal, broken into three volumes, is a quicker thing so I use it as a jump start to the manuscripts. Funny how working on something for other people to use actually helps me write my own material for me. And yes, most of the time the writing really is for me. Keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. Sometimes. In truth, off the streets only.

Now if I could just find a way to keep my mouth shut while in public…But that’s another battle I choose not to fight today.

Back to the point.

Projects. What they are and what they do.

You have projects? Betcha do. Most people do. Those things you really want to touch, deal with, arrange and send out into the world. Except life gets in the way, gotta make a living, time is short, it’s a half baked idea, as a general rule.

Oops, got caught in the loop there.

My projects exist in my head, in notebooks and on my desk. And in my knitting basket. Sometimes they languish in limbo because I lose focus. More than once, an outside event jostled me into action and all over again, I learn the delight of finishing a project.

In the last 30 years, I’ve written seven book length manuscripts, 23 short stories and a handful of blog posts. Two of the books are now published, accessible to the public. A third book is about to go into editing. By the end of the year, the short stories will be in book format, ready to be edited for publication.

And it’s the prayer journal that got me over the most recent bump in the road. The prayer journal started because a friend (who writes/edits/publishes) encouraged me to Try Writing It.

Wow.

Because of her words, this three part Writers Prayer Journal is well past half way done. The end is in sight, done in 30 day segments with book covers in design.

Friends don’t let Friends Stop Writing. Especially when the writing matters. A grateful hats off to faithful friends.

The Noble Nap

Restorer of mental processes, renewer of fuzzing brains. And to be honest, scourge of small children, hated interruption to those plans of taking over the world. Or at least all the toys.

As an adult, I wish I’d taken more. When my kids went down for a nap, that meant I could finally get to things without interruption. Later, with them in school, I had until after school. All the out of the house chores had to be finished by mid-afternoon, because after school stuff, homework, dinner took the rest of the day.

And crazy as it sounds, the routine of Everything away from the house Must Be Done by 3:30 stayed with me long after they went to college. So no nap then either.

Took me a while to realize I really did have a life in the later afternoon. I know, slow learning process. And sleep deprivation.

Which is why in the last couple of years, a 20 minute snooze has become my secret weapon. As a morning person, I usually have more brain power first part of the day but hit a drag point around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, before the to-do list is beaten down to manageable levels.

Taking a nap means I get stuff done without having to re-do them.

Turns out, lots of people take naps. Winston Churchill (as reported by Google) often took 20 to 30 minutes naps, even changing in pajamas to insure he rested. Thomas Edison, Leonardo De Vinci, Margaret Thatcher…they all napped because they were busy, inventive and they had STUFF TO DO.

I wake up in the morning saying that. Ask Long Suffering Husband. He thinks it’s my motto. And kinda is. ‘Cause it’s true.

Ah, naps.