Inspiration

Three weeks ago I took my daughter to see Frozen II.

The entire Frozen series has brought me immense joy.  The characters are memorable and we adore them, the stories are full of relatable materials- and Frozen Fever is so cute.

The Dragon Prince on Netflix has also been a fun and enjoyable series to watch.  There is evil, there is sunshine, there is darkness, there is light.  It’s a journey, the characters have personalities, quirks, interests–

In Eldegras, these are qualities I wish my stories to have.  I’ve read so many fantasy books and so few of them have the same interest in their characters that I wish to have.  My rough drafts sometimes feel like scripts, as I am very invested in dialoguing and conversating.  If the characters never talk, how can we grow to love them?

The Mandalorian is on Disney+ and my author husband loves it.  However, I’ve not enjoyed it as much, because in the beginning there was a great deal of staring into nowhere and not talking.  You don’t really know what’s going on, or what they’re doing, they never say anything.  I imagine this is how many Fantasy books would play out as well.
Show don’t tell is a big thing with many writers.  Robin Hobb, RA Salvator – they go pages and pages painting the imagination with what is happening, but never interacting with the characters.  It’s frustrating!
However on the flip side, Robert Jordan popped several characters in and out of his first scene in the Wheel of Time series, and while I’m more into those kinds of memorable moments I need to remember NOT to do such things so we have a better understanding of what’s going on.
Or there is Terry Goodkind, who breaks down into an emotional scene between two women during a torture invested interrogation……

Back to Frozen and The Dragon Prince, these two joyful series alone have rekindled my imagination for my books, however, even right now as I try to compose this blog, my child is crying for my attention and I need to get up and do things.

As a mother of 3, one being 10 months old on Friday – it’s been so hard to write.  I long to express myself, but without letting the words free, they get blocked off and the inspiration dies.

Part of the long drawn out attempt to write this- it’s a fourth rewriting of this series.  After all of these years, sitting on my computer harddrive, you’d think one would be published?  No.  I’ve written and rewritten this series to the point of frustration, and let advice and opinions slip into my writing.  Being a people pleaser I’ve allowed the opinions to drown out my joy.

But Frozen is so similarly expressed with it’s characters and storytelling that I really want to pursue writing mine again.  And therefore, I am.  We’re trickling out words oh so slowly, but they’re coming!
I’m writing two in the series at the same time, and it’s been quite fun to do.  One is brand new to the series, and the other collectively rewrites about four books.  Four.

Yes, I’ve invested so much time and world building into this series, and revamped it, and am starting over on a new spark, and let me tell you everything is harder with kids and husbands!  Stopping the flow to take care of kids, stopping the trying to flow to take care of the home, stopping the flow to go shopping, to make dinner, to have space in my own head to decompress for the day–

Last night I spent some time recreating hair color.  One day a few months back, my husband was playing Fire Emblem, and I decided my high fantasy realm would be a world of unusual colors.  Hair color changes took place in my elves.

My mind is always brainstorming in this world, even if the writing is not happening.
Once a writer, always a writer.  Once an artist, always an artist.  We’re constantly enveloped in the worlds our imagination creates, this will never die within us.  The words might not come, the art might not come, but it’s always there.

What inspires you today?  What are you writing?

Yesterday, I was 30

I’m going to be cliche and write 30 things I have learned in the last 30 years, in light of turning 30 yesterday.

  1. Your love language is extremely important to understand.
  2. Nothing in life ever goes the way you planned.
  3. The most important role in your life is simply to be You.
  4. When your world shatters, don’t make dumb decisions.
  5. The people who are supposed to love you the most, have the strongest ability to tear you apart.
  6. Trust is fleeting.
  7. Fulfillment doesn’t exist in mortal things.
  8. If you know with the core of your being you shouldn’t do something, don’t do it.
  9. Pleasing people gets you nowhere.
  10. You’re going to miss the most important things in life if you rush through and don’t stop to listen and consider the “why shouldn’t I do this?”
  11. You cannot rely on someone else to be what you need. They will fail you when you need them most.
  12. If friends are distant, just let them go. No matter how much it hurts.
  13. If you matter to someone, they will keep you in their life.
  14. Children are the most delightful joy you will ever possess in this Life.
  15. If someone is relying on you, always make sure to accomplish what they need in a reliable amount of time.
  16. It’s better to lie to everyone that you’re okay, than tell them when it’s not.
  17. Life is continually disappointing, and there’s no turning back from a mistake.
  18. Everyone has an opinion. Seek the Truth, that is what matters most.
  19. God will never leave you, or forsake you.
  20. Jesus Christ is literally the only entity you can count on.
  21. If you know it is a bad idea DON’T DO IT.
  22. Staying stuck on the things that make you unhappy, makes you unhappier.
  23. There is so much peace in silence.
  24. Making friends past 25 is hard.
  25. Isolating yourself, while it does protect you, only makes you lonely.
  26. Sometimes, you go through things in life, and literally have NOBODY you can actually talk to about it.
  27. The loneliest place you can be, is in a crowded room where no one knows you.
  28. The second loneliest place you can be, is in a crowded room where everyone knows you, but you cannot connect with those people, no matter how hard you’ve tried.
  29. Having friends with things in common is worth Gold.
  30. Don’t be afraid to take chances.

Dismal list, the inside of me isn’t exactly the happy, bubbly Sprite I try to be.
Because of my own loneliness, I try so desperately to light the world around me, so others know someone loves them, someone thinks they’re important, and someone doesn’t want them to know the same emptiness I feel.
You can always rely on me to be there for you. No matter the time of day.

Shine brighter than the stars. Even when it kills you inside.

Creative Energy

I have so much creative energy swirling in my head, and not the slightest idea how to let it out.  I pick up my sketch book, and it doesn’t help.
I open up a WIP document, and that’s not where it wants to flow either.

I open up my blog, and spend the next twenty minutes organizing blog posts so my flash fiction, Faet & Fantasy reads in order.  The first two episodes weren’t in the line up so I had to go fishing for them.  Now, they are ALL only categorized under ONE category.

After that, I had to take my son to martial arts, but my mind is a bursting flood of energy refusing to calm.

Perhaps it has to do with recent ignition, though I don’t know where the inspiration came from, however it has not stopped.  Meanwhile, I have little to show for it, though I direly wish to ride the wave where it will carry me!

Especially if it means I finish my first write so I can start editing it….  Though, this is a way off to finish, if I keep the energy up, perhaps the book can be done by the end of this year?

Many people are waiting on me to finish something, I don’t particularly know why I haven’t.  Maybe this Christmas I’ll sneak a peak into Eldegras for everyone with my Yule story finished.  Publish to Wattpad, get a few more short stories out there as teasers, and viola, the series comes along?

It sounds like a good idea in theory.  The execution is where I have trouble….

Today I miss having a piano.  I miss writing songs and poems.  Why have I stopped?  What possessed me to close up and hide within myself?

It surely hasn’t been a good thing, and only left me feeling directionless and without purpose…..

Here’s to purpose and raising more blog posts and stories again.  Once a writer, always a writer.  And I have most definitely always been a writer.

One In A Billion

Look at us.

We’re all trying to stand out and be noticed.

You, with your talents.  Me with mine.

Each of us on a journey to be heard.  Listened to.  To burn brightly after igniting a spark of interest.

We’re all striking the same matches:
I HAVE WORDS I NEED TO SHARE!

Waiting to be validated by a consuming public, who cannot quench their thirst against the raging flames of entertainment.

So we pound away at the keys, telling the stories our vivid imaginations create for us, and we write the articles our fierce opinions derive, and we share the inspiration our souls have encountered.

And then we wait to be noticed by the general public.

Days.  Weeks.  Months.  Years.

Others who have gone before us and somehow managed to be a hit, surely we can too?

Slowly, our motivation turns to ash.  The embers of longing to share, die.

We wonder why we put so much heart and soul into our work, for it to fall by the wayside.

So few acknowledge our existence, even after the hours we put into our work.  We wonder how people go viral, and what on earth they’re doing different than us.
Do they have different friends?
Do they have different connections?
Do they have different methods for gaining access to the millions of people we wish were our audience, too?

…..The answer is, we’re not all pursuing the same audience.

While each of us wish to be accepted for who we are, and what we bring to the literary world, we’re still different.

We have different pursuits.

We have different goals.

We have different messages we want to send.

We tell different stories.
Somewhere along the way, writers begin to join in a uniformity, the answer must be in writing the same way?
“You must write this way/you must write that way.”
“I don’t like to do this, you probably shouldn’t either.”
“Nobody writes like that anymore.”
“I wouldn’t read it, but I guess someone else might….”

Validating ourselves against others, instead of remaining true to ourselves.

The odds feel stacked against us when our words only reach a few people sprinkled throughout the world.

Don’t stop trying, despite the odds.

Yes.  You are one in a billion.

You don’t need a million followers, you simply need to be true to yourself.

Tell your story.  And then believe your story is worth being read, and pursue the audience you long for.

Labor, Prodromal Labor, Hospital Trips, And Finally– Baby.

The last week of May was quite the trip.  After having the version, the contractions were finally noticeable, as though getting her to go the right direction was all that was missing in the effort to have her.

When I went to my doctors appointment on Wednesday, May 27th, I measured at a 2, which meant Baby could start coming at any moment.  My anticipation was colossal.
Finished shopping, went home on Wednesday, come Thursday night at 6:30ish I started contractions.  They were up to about 20 minutes apart all of the way through Friday until around 5pmish, and then they died off to roughly one an hour, but they were getting periodically stronger.  This continued on through Saturday, and Sunday morning around 2 they were every 2-5 minutes apart, so we went to the hospital.
At the hospital they measured me at 3.5, my contractions were phenomenal on the read out, and we waited for two hours for dilation progression.  Progression did not happen, and I was sent home— with the same strong contractions, though they were slowly spacing out again.

I had looked up start and stop labor on Friday evening, wondering why I was experiencing it.  My answer boiled down to stress.  Prodromal labor isn’t really pinned to one certain thing, so when I thought back on how my doctor had told me I was NOT a good candidate for induction based on how firm my cervix was, I figured stress had to be the key factor.

Sunday passed slowly along.  My frustration and agony in the seeming-inability to produce the right conditions for labor hanging over me like a cloud of doom.  Some women have had terrible experiences with prenatal triage, and I personally had a terrible experience my first go round.  At my local hospital, the staff had been wonderful, my attending nurse had been supportive, she had known I was experiencing labor even though I wasn’t actively progressing yet.  We lived twenty minutes away, there was no reason why I couldn’t progress at home….  but I still had no desire to go to the hospital and get sent home a second time.

That night in bed, I laid on my left side ((as I had been practicing for the last four nights)) waiting out the count of contractions.  Again, somewhere around 2ish, something felt immensely different.  The contractions didn’t necessarily hurt, but something about them said baby was on the way.  They came up to the 3-5 minute mark, I woke the house, we rushed off to the hospital again.

Sure enough, when they assessed me in triage, I was at a 7.  Two hours later, they broke my water and baby came along within the next ten minutes.

It was a trip. Lying in recovery after Baby was born, I found myself waiting for contractions. After spending four days in labor, it hadn’t quite clicked yet that it was finally over.

Here I am a week later, content to have my brand new daughter sweetly coddled in my arms.

My assessment of the situation boils down to a few tips to share with other mothers-to-be out there.

1) Circumstances Will Dictate Your Stress Levels

Life is full of ups and downs, and during pregnancy things amplify out of proportion.
My stress points are not at all “little things”.

We’re preparing to move; we need a job, a house, money to move on—
The move has my new daughter missplaced right now, sleeping in a bassinet in my room, using one drawer of her brothers dresser, and two shelves on my bookcase. All I wanted was to have a room for her. Set up, situated, decorated, ready to go. But we have to wait at least another month.

My husbands job has him gone a minimum of 100 hours a week. He has overnight trips, 12+ hour days, monthly military obligations– and all of this is expected of him on salary. No bonuses, no raises, no hope for advancement…. without his military check, we wouldn’t make ends meet.
Money is so tight, I can’t even figure out WHERE we’re going to find the extra bits to set aside for moving equipment, or a safety deposit. The cost of living in Texas has gone up, the jobs he’s looking at only start at $12 an hour….
The current outlook on this move is grim.

2) No Two Delivery Experiences Are The Same. Unless You Have A C-Section

With my first, labor was clockwork.
Contractions, plug, dilated, water broke, baby. 16 hours, it was over and done.
Previous experience was no help. Even the contractions were different.

3) Yoga Helps

I’ve said it before: DO YOGA. In hindsight, I would probably have been better primed for labor if I had continued in my prenatal yoga practice the entire pregnancy. Clearing mind, draining muscles, keeping blood and fluids circulating, and opening up the pelvic muscles might have positively influenced labor.

4) If You Had An Episiotomy The First Time, Expect A Second One

More on that in another blog.

I hope you and your pregnancy are blessed and that your birthing experience is smooth and successful.