Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Dreamer, I Walked Enchanted, and Nothing Held Me Back

I've said this many times to my friends and family; in order to achieve anything worthwhile in this life, it's going to take a lot of practice, patience, and hard work. You will not succeed until you actually start. While I would be happy to show others how to get ahead, I can't do the work for them. If they want to create income streams, then they have to actually start working towards that goal. With effort comes rewards and success. I give them the tools, show them the opportunities, it's up to them to use them.

When I look at the things that we can accomplish as a group and individually, from the bottom up, they look huge and scary. I see the opportunities. I see what I can do. I see millions of ways to create revenue streams, but it's a lot of hard work, too much for one person to handle alone. I do what I can in the moment so as to not be too overwhelmed. Because everything looks so mammoth, it's hard to know where and when to start. I think that is the reason so many make excuses and procrastinate on starting; there is a level of self-doubt because they don't think they can achieve success. It's that I'm not good enough mentality that destroys their willingness to try. Even I face those challenges. There is a world of critics awaiting us and not everyone is going to agree with or like the things I create. I think self-doubt keeps us from realizing our true potential as human beings. It holds us back. It's only when we tear the layers of negative thinking away that we begin to see what we are truly capable of achieving.

Writing is a process. For me, I start the process by writing down what it is that I want to accomplish. I write down the ideas that sit in my head. I write down the things I know, and the things I can easily talk about. By doing this I begin to see my thoughts take shape, the ideas form, and by seeing them take form, I'm motivated to keep that thought process going. The more I create, the more momentum I gain. Even if you start by making a list of ideas and tackle the smaller, easier, more manageable ideas, you'll have something in front of you to work with. From there you can build. Once you start working on the ideas from your list, you'll start to feel as if the load that you're carrying is getting lighter and that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. You'll start to feel accomplished. Each step you take towards completing your objective gives you strength and courage to keep on going. It's like exercising: the more time you spend working out, the stronger, healthier, and more clear minded you become. Writing, like exercise, is a slow going process, but the rewards are worth the time and effort spent. If you want to make a living on-line, it's going to be through content, and writing is the most important part of that content. Google indexes words, not pictures.

The book I am currently writing is a monstrous undertaking. Thirty days to write a novel is a pressurized task. Doing it without editing, and knowing I have to go back and rework plot holes, find all spelling and grammar mistakes, find a way to create cover art so that I can turn around and publish the material, is going to be a daunting task in itself. They say a writer has to set their work aside for a while, and revisit it when their mind is fresh in order to catch glaring errors because the writer is too close to their own work, and is often focused on the writing and not the mistakes that are sitting right in front of them. The idea of having to set my work aside makes me feel a little sick because I am anxious to publish. But, I have to ask myself, do I want to publish a book before it goes through the editing process and risk turning readers off to reading my book, thereby destroying my credibility as a writer?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Look in My Heart and You Will Find You

It's that time of the year, and while I know food takes center stage for the Thanksgiving holiday, this is also a time where we reflect on the things we are grateful for. Like most bloggers and on-line magazines, I am giving you my gratitude list.

1. Life. Waking up every day. Lets face it, if we didn't wake up, we couldn't be grateful for anything.

2. My family

3. My friends

4. Freedom. Living in a country that not only gives me rights, but ensures ways to make sure that I can protect them. Not every country can say they have the same rights that we do. I'm grateful for those who serve our country so that we can maintain our freedom.

5. Writing as a form of art and expression.

6. Feeling safe, protected, and cared for.

7. Fun, flirty, witty exchanges. Playful banter has a way of taking the seriousness out of situations, and keeps everything light. 

8. Sunshine and moonlight because they are the perfect contradiction. They are both beautiful in their own ways. Sunshine charges in and lets everyone know it's present. Moonlight is soft and subtle.

9. A star filled night. I like to go outside and just look at them, see if I can figure out the constellations or spot a planet. My favorite place to have conversations is under a star filled sky.

10. Road trips. It allows me to explore my country, see new areas, and in some cases meet new people.

11. Warmth on a cold night. I have a heater. I have a fireplace. I have plenty of blankets.

12. Shelter. There are too many people out there who do not have homes. Far too many people sleep on the streets, out in the cold. I'm grateful to have a place to sleep that has water, heat, and electricity.

13. Beautiful flowers

14. Good photography

15. Mozart and Daisy, they always cuddle with me. They just know when I need them. I call Mozart my safe place because he's the one that really senses changes in me. He's the one to just cuddle right at my chest, and sleep with me.

16. Seeing others happy. Life is too short to be spent miserable, or making others miserable.

17. Nature walks because we have a planet full of beautiful creations and I don't necessarily think we appreciate all the beauty our planet provides.

18. Deep conversations. These are the types of conversations that really help you get to know someone.

19. Good food, because some of the best times we share with others is when we are indulging in lavish spreads while laughing and engaging in small talk.

20. Being heard and understood.

21. Creating memories

22. Good health

23. Music. Of all the artistic expressions, personal writing aside, music speaks to my heart the most.

24. For little hidden fun secrets, like crushes, because they remind us that humans are always seeking to love and be loved.

25. For love that cannot be explained.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

My Heart is Like an Unfinished Puzzle, Always Missing Love

Why do I write?

I write all the time.

I don't always write stories. Sometimes I write articles that have nothing to do with the fantasy worlds that I have created in my head. I write to make a living. I write because it gives me the feeling that I am creating art.

I write to communicate, to express my feelings, to get my emotions out, to make sense of my thoughts, to clarify what I'm thinking, and sometimes I even share those thoughts with the world as a way for the world to get to know me.

I write because it's an escape from reality. It's a place where things that cannot exist, do. Writing is a place where unicorns and mermaids are real, and realms are within my control. I write to experience adventures, to explore worlds, to see that which cannot be seen. I write because I favor painting pictures with words.

I write because my mind wanders between daydreams and the dreams that come from sleep, and I feel like these stories that are haunting me, need to be told. I identify with the characters, they become an extension of me, the plots become real, and I start to feel attached. I develop emotions, real feelings, from bringing those who are imagined to life. It's part of the creative process. It becomes imperative to get those stories and characters out of my brain, and onto the computer where I can see them so I don't forget them. Once I've developed my characters, given them personalities, names, quirks, and flaws; created their stories - it's fun to revisit them to see how they've evolved through my writing.

I write because of the things I feel. These invisible tendrils called love, that bind us to one another such that we do the most beautiful and horrible things. Our grandest moments of giving and sacrifice and our lowest desires of taking and hurting. They together rise before me like a brilliant and destructive sea. Golden arms of loyalty embracing that sick-green creature that jealously covets. Because often I feel nothing in the achievements of men and feel everything in the eyes of a broken and battered animal.

I write because of things that I must know and the things that I do know. I write to understand. I want to delve into the depths of my soul, to explore my deepest secrets. To rise and soar above the things I keep buried. To celebrate glory. To witness beauty. To reveal great horrors. To understand pain and sadness. To capture both the extraordinary and the mundane. To examine possibilities and to explore the impossible. To contemplate this world as it is and as it might be. To hold, for just one moment, these ideas and then to release them upon the page.

I write because I love reading.

I write because it gives me a sense of pride to create something I care about. To build something from nothing and watch the story grow.

I write because it makes me happy. I love the power of words. I find it awakens a part of me to learn that my words have touched someone's heart and mind. It gives me great pleasure to know my words can make a person laugh, cry, bring out the anger, tame the beast, because the power of words have the ability to stir the emotions we hold deep inside.

I write because words have the power to help me fall in love. When I write, I feel everything deeply.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Expect the Most Wonderful Things to Happen

I'm the type of person who doesn't like to be pushed around by my problems. We all have them. Some of them we can escape and some of them we can't. We can't always ignore our problems, but we don't need to constantly dwell on them, thereby creating unnecessary stress for ourselves. Personally, I prefer to be led by my dreams. That doesn't mean that I don't acknowledge that I have problems, but I don't let them take center stage in my life. Instead of dwelling on problems, I prefer to work toward building a dream.
In order to live the life I want to live I have to work hard. I have to be dedicated to my passion. It takes time to build a legacy. In life, we all have to make decisions as to what we want, decide what we are willing to sacrifice to achieve our dreams, and then we have to act on them, but that doesn't always mean that want is something we will achieve. But by not taking action we have automatically doomed ourselves to failure. I believe everyone should take some form of action, make mistakes, fall, and try again. Even if you fall a thousand times, at least you won’t be left wondering what could have been. At least you will know in your heart that you gave your dreams your best shot.
Everyone of us has a passion in our hearts burning for something. It’s our responsibility to discover what it is that lights our inner fire, and keep that fire lit. This is your life, and you only get one chance to live it. Don’t let others extinguish your flame. Try what you want to try. Go where you want to go. Follow your own intuition. Dream with your eyes open until you know exactly what that dream looks like. Then do at least one thing every day to make that dream a reality.
As you work towards achieving your goals, remember, you can count on there being some fairly substantial obstacles - as well as disappointments - along the way. Don’t let yourself get discouraged. Realize that the road to your dreams may not be an easy one to travel. Look at those disappointments as challenges – tests of persistence and courage. At the end of the road, more often than not, we regret what we didn’t do far more than what we did.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Flowers Whisper "Beauty!" to the World

A- Age: 40. Honestly, I don't feel my age. I have enough people flabbergasted when I tell them how old I am, and they always comment on how much younger I look than my actual age, that my age has never been a subject I think about.

B- Biggest fear: I don't really care to dwell on fears. I think that's counterproductive. I'll give you my superficial fears – scorpions (those little creatures creep me out) and porcelain dolls – and leave it at that.

C- Current time: 10:30pm

D- Drink you last had: Sweet ice tea and water. I have a large glass of each on my desk, and have been alternating between both.

E- Every day starts with: Two cats meowing to wake me up, followed by a morning run.

F- Favorite song: Matchbox Twenty – Back to Good

G- Ghosts, are they real?: There is no solid proof that they are not. I don't see any valid reason to not believe in their existence.

H- Hometown: I call myself a child of the desert. I never really had a hometown, Texas would be the most identifiable state for me. We moved around to accommodate my father's job so I don't really feel connected to any one area.  Every place I have ever lived in has been a desert. Hence, child of the desert.

I- In love with: Well, I could start with 'There is this guy', but I think I'm going to avoid that scenario. I could say life in general. I could say I'm in love with creating worlds through my writing. This is a complex question, and I could come up with many answers, but I'm not going to.    

J- Jealous of: Nothing really. I sometimes find myself envious of someone's talent: dancing, musical - that sort of thing – but I've never really been jealous of anything specific.

K- Killed someone?: In real life, no. In the stories I write, yes. I write mystery, and storyline often dictates a character being killed off in order to move the story forward.

L- Last time you cried?: Monday night. I came back from vacation and my nephew, whom I call my shadow, cried when I left. It was a heartbreaking moment. He had to be reassured that I would be back next year. Still, it was hard to leave him.

M- Middle name: Kay

N- Number of siblings: Three biological. Growing up, my father allowed a girl named Amber to live with us when her mother was unable to care for her. In an arrangement that was made between my father and her mother, she lived with us until her mother was able to get herself clean and provide a stable home for her child. She's basically an adopted sister. I have two female best friends, both I consider sisters. I also gained a few step siblings after my father remarried.

O- One wish: Peaceful coexistence on this planet. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all just get along.

P- Person you last called: I'm not exactly a telephone person. I would say either my baby sister or my roommate. Usually I'm the person being called, not the person making the call.

Q- Question you're always asked: What have you written? Where can I read it? I used to post my stories on-line and have since removed them after realizing that sites gain monetarily for content I produce, but do not pay me for that content. For now, my writing can be found here on this blog. That will change in the future.

R- Reason to smile: I'm doing what I love right now. That's enough of a reason to smile. I'm still breathing. My family and my friends make me smile. Two little kitty cats that think I'm their mommy. I have a multitude of reasons to smile.

S- Song last sang: Bon Jovi – Living on a Prayer. It just played on Pandora.

T- Time you woke up: 7am

U- Underwear color: Blue

V- Vacation destination: If you are talking latest travels, then that would be Texas.  If you are talking dream destinations, then that would be Egypt. I'm fascinated by the pyramids and the history that surrounds them. I would love to explore them. 

W- Worst habit: Leaving my closet light on. Not calling friends and family more often. Tuning everyone out when I am writing. To be fair: when I'm writing, I'm working. My friends and family always want to talk to me when I'm in the middle of writing a scene, and I can't always afford the disruption. When I'm in a writing flow, I'm in my zone. My closet light is usually left on in a scramble to get ready for a look of the day picture. Since I'm racing against the sun, I don't always think about turning the light off.

Y- Your favorite food: Hamburger and fries.

X- X-Rays you've had: When I first started working I was helping to build furniture for display and a 300 pound piece fell on my left foot. It did a good job of bruising it, but fortunately did not break it. 

When I was heavy into weightlifting, the safety clamp on the bench I was using broke as I was pulling weight plates off the bar. The bar tilted, and the weights came down heavy on my right hand. My hand survived the assault, but my thumb was fractured. I had to wear a brace until it healed.

While running the Montano trail (along the river), a mountain biker – who was training for a triathlon - hit me from behind. His head was down and he wasn't paying attention. The impact of the hit sent me into the rocks. By the time the ambulance finally got to me, my hair was completely saturated with blood, as was the side of my face, from a wound that was profusely bleeding from the top of my head. I was also bleeding from a wound on my elbow. X-rays showed no fractures, but I did require stitches for both.

Z- Zodiac sign: Sagittarius