Tag Archives: self-image

The Morning After

Here I am a day late for my ROW80 check-in, and I feel completely unapologetic about it.  The last few days have been, to quote the prolific Chuck Wendig, amazeballs (actually Chuck has a lot of really awesome, though mostly NSFW* terms for writers to… um, ponder).

Anyway, absolutely friggen amazeballs!

Not only have I again caught up with all of my goals, I’ve been exceeding them (well, not totally, I still haven’t started that creative art thingie I was going to do, except a bit of coloring on one of those so-called “adult coloring pages” I printed off a while ago and had lain around.  I’m working on it slowly, bit by bit.

Here is something I drew myself for that very purpose you can download and color yourselves if you’d like.  It’s not Great Art, it’s just a sketch I made once.  If you click on the image before you download, you should get a full page image.

Just an old pump to color

Just an old pump to color

And besides…  I have had too much fun with my wonderful characters to want to do much more than spend my free time with them.   Especially Atyr…  she’s hard to ‘relate’ to, a lot harder than most of the others.  I find myself not connecting to her, a lot.  She’s got religious and political views that are alien to most anything I’ve been raised around.  And while I’ve made some study of martyrs, there is a deep difference between knowing the acts of someone so devoted to a belief and the inner feelings of such a person.

And a long time ago, I realized that for all that she lives through her choices, Atyr is a martyr to her faith.  To her, life is her punishment for not serving in her religious duties better, even despite the fact that those in charge of the temples she had been raised in were not acting in the interest of the people they served or the good of the world at large.

But Atyr believes in ideals, not individuals.  And I’m more the opposite.  I believe in individuals, then groups with more caution.  Ideals…. no so much. It always seems to me that everyone has their own interpretation of an idea—there doesn’t seem to be a universality to many things, and those tend to not involve higher level thought: basic needs, etc.

Yeah…  she’s a zealot.  And I think a lot of my problem with working with her is because people with that dogmatic a personality make me very uneasy even to be around.

But enough of my writing problems (what few there are…  one character out of several, and lots of words to write about all of them)…

Here’s some nori before I start the assessment of my goals.  I think I want to make something like stained glass out of this stuff.  Isn’t it just awesome?nori panes

And now my weekly assessment:

  • Goal: working through three chapters weekly of James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure (including exercises)
  • Progress: still detoured progress here, though I not done much Syd Field’s Screenplay either; some other library book reading… and an overdue fine to pay tomorrow
  • Goal: catching up in my local critique group (including submitting something this week)
  • Progress: group is on hold for the month of April; however, finished all the critiques I owe; now need to submit something
  • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks in
  • Progress: one page ahead of count
  • Goal: (VIG) Write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
  • Progress:  getting ALL the words…  am so loving this time with my characters
  • Not a Goal but Progress Anyway: managed to sort out and discover several files for bits of story and notes I’d thought I’d long lost and place them in Scrivener projects with the stories they belonged to *happy dance*

Again, since this post was late, and I was having serious doubts about getting anything done on Wednesday, I’m holding off one more week before I consider adding in extra projects.  We’ll see how things are by mid-week (fair warning my mid-week check-in will be on Thursday because this one is a day late).

Hope you had fun reading and plotting your own creative endeavors.  Before you go, why not visit a few other awesome ROWers here!

  • or most daily life…  you can do serious damage choking on that latte if you read these while drinking
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Just Wasting Time

On a scale of 1-10, I’d have to say these last few days have been floating around 5.  I got most things done.  I’ve also been so very easily distract-able that most any effort I’ve made seems small in comparison to the amount of effort I’ve spent in redirecting myself to get the things done.

And…  despite what I thought on Sunday, it wasn’t squirrels.

Some of it has been good-old self-discovery and analysis.  Good things really, and part of why my pittance of accomplishment doesn’t bother me all that much (because I really fell down on my ROW80 goals since Sunday!).

Yesterday while writing my 750 words entry (ended up 2.5K WOOT!), I glanced at the accumulated art supplies around my office and wondered why I never use them; or if I do, it’s for a quick “try this”… which usually ends in disappointment because I’m an obsessive perfectionist.

Which brings me back to the title…  I have a ton of art supplies I never use, I have a ton of stories I don’t show anyone…  I say I don’t like to cook, but the truth is these things flow from a fear of waste.

Art supplies are—I was always told—expensive.  Don’t waste them.  Use scrap paper to practice on.  What’s wrong with a #2 pencil or a ballpoint pen?  You want markers?  Here’s a pack of 36 colors for a dollar.  Never mind that most don’t work…

Apologies to my writing friends who've seen these

Apologies to my writing friends who’ve seen these but this IS that one page

It took me three years before I felt comfortable enough to make my first drawing in a sketchbook I’ve got in my supply bag.  Three years…  I’ve since drawn in it twice in six months, both pictures on the same piece of paper.

I’ve sketched things on a napkin (ruined in my purse two days later) and the backs of a few pieces of junk mail (some where in the house!).  But a dedicated, special for me place to hold my art?  Not really.

Poster paints and craft paper and years of sun-damage

Poster paint, craft paper and years of sun-damage

I have a paint set I opened the box of, looked at all the pieces and then set aside when I have time to take an art class so I can learn how to use the correct brushes and such.  Then there are the stacks of unopened canvases…  Despite this excess, I only allowed myself to use 99 cent bottles of poster paint and a 59 cent set of dried water-colors on craft paper since my son was born.  It’s not that I don’t like painting.  I don’t feel qualified to do it based on my limited grade-school art experiences, and I know I’d be wasting real supplies.

A real indulgence--a (THE) Paint and Sip project I did as part of a fundraiser for my son's school

A real indulgence–a (THE) Paint and Sip project I did as part of a fundraiser for my son’s school

And given the years when I would cook something I knew was past its expiration date or badly freezer burnt because I couldn’t bear to toss it (both my parents are avid volunteers at their local food pantry; my son has asked for a food donation to give to one of our local pantries for every birthday party he’s had since he was four….  I could not throw away food).  I wouldn’t make anyone else eat it; I accepted my punishment for forgetting it in the back of the freezer or the cupboard.

I spent two weeks cooking various apple and crab apple recipes--and ended up tossing jars of work because I was the only one to eat it

I spent two weeks cooking various apple and crabbie recipes–and ended up tossing jars of work because I was the only one to eat it

For a long time, I felt I couldn’t write for the same reason.  But…  unlike painting, which I enjoy but even feels like dabbling, or cooking, which can feel fulfilling as a hobby, a creative game to play when I need to stretch myself, I needed to write stories.   If I didn’t write something, I curled up on the couch hugging my knees and muttered to myself.*

This doesn’t mean I felt my writing was good.  Only that I needed to do it.  And yes, I have noticed some improvement with the years of practice.  I’ve noticed some deterioration though too.  This is one of the reasons I’ve set myself a goal to typing in old notebooks.  I don’t know what happened, and I’d like to understand it.  But for all that crappy writing from the past, my newer stuff feels like it has lost something.

I’m trying to understand it, and a lot of other things about the person I keep becoming.  That’s one of the reasons I keep coming back to the ROW80; it gives me writing and self-study…  and so far it’s a lot cheaper than therapy.

So, my check-in for today is to add another “goal”.  Or maybe a permission…

Yes, I give myself permission to mess up something.** 

I give myself permission to ruin something.  I even give myself permission to toss things.  I accept that I cannot hold onto everything. I accept that not everything I make will be good. I will ruin things, I will make mistakes… I will make beautiful things and I will make absolute shit.

I will just do it.

*Really.  Ask some of my former roommates if you don’t believe me.

**(Yeesh… my whole body shivered as I typed those words, my fingers felt twitchy, almost numb).

Sunday, Rainy Sunday

We so dearly needed the rain here…  not the way California needs rain, but on a pretty drastic level for this time of the year.  The change already is beautiful.  Since last night the grass has greened up; the air feels more natural…

Now…  it’s California’s turn.


Bo Staff (Wikimedia)

It’s been a rocky couple of days, mostly emotional rocks, for me.  I know I should be “beyond stupid kid crap” by now…  I mean, I’m 45 years old!  What should I care about teenagers howling out of a car?  Thing is…  it hurt, and it knocked me for more of a loop than I thought it would…  as much because I was angry that it did still affect me.

Oh, yeah, context…  Well, Friday, I took my bo staff with me when we went to my son’s school (I teach on Fridays, and since weapons class is Saturday mornings, I like to get at least one practice in during my freetime before classes).  Normally I practice on the lawn, but I elected to use the parking lot as I was wearing sandals (love my Dr. Scholls) and a dress this week and didn’t want to stumble in the uneven grass.

Anyway…  As I was doing my kata, some kids drove by and started laughing out the windows at me, then drove back to tell me how funny-looking I was…

It still sucks to even remember it.  And…  I don’t really know why, not anymore.  I know my teacher was impressed by my staff-work yesterday in class.  I know I am surrounded by supportive family members and classmates.  And….  I doubt they could have done as well.

But it still hurts….

ROW80 Check-in

ROW80LogocopyBut enough about me and my problems…  let me tell you about me and my goals!  😀

  • Writing — a little slack…  I did my OMW, and a lot of scene-planning for tomorrow’s start of JuNoWriMo
  • Time with characters/storyworld — A bit every day…  though some of involved daydreaming and not actual writing
  • Pushups/general fitness — three full hour classes of karate and weapons work, plus yard work, some push-up training…  my back kind of hurts now.
  • Camera time daily — missed yesterday…  and the Boodle is frustrated with me because I took an extra 20 minutes to get home after karate class on Friday to grab a sunset shot…  But I need to get ready for this month’s First Friday Photo
  • French and German daily 10 minutes — daily lessons/practice sessions…  missed yesterday 😦
  • MOOCs — nada  😦

I kind of flumped yesterday.  After class I just wasn’t in the mood to deal with the world….  that’s why crap like what happened on Friday really bothers me.  Because I know it’s not just me that gets torn down by such things.  Yesterday, I flumped, and I snacked and…  basically self-comforted, trying to lift my mood, when I shouldn’t have had to.  And…  I probably undid all the good of all that exercise by plowing through a whole bag of Utz Sour Cream & Onion potato chips, undid by a serious magnitude.

Anyway, pressing on…  How about you go visit some other ROWers.  I bet they need your cheering and support too.  We’re all in this together in this Writing Life.