I love new years. Each one makes me sigh in relief. Even if the year before was great, the clean slate of a new year shines like my classroom’s waxed floor in August before my classes stars.
This last year was NOT great. It should’ve been. I saw plenty of personal successes. But it wasn’t. I saw this image on Pinterest yesterday. It seems appropriate for what was 2014.
I’m glad the minute that was 2014 is over now. It’s easy to find yourself at the end of a two-week break. I look forward to continuing that journey. And if I lose myself, I hope to do it in a way that is fun and fulfilling instead of a way that leaves me sick and tired and demoralized and up two sizes.
Here’s the thing. No person or entity or schedule or dashed expectation can make me lose myself. I know that. In the moment, though, it’s easy to forget that. It’s easy to place blame and waste tears and sink into the morass of dejection and powerlessness. But the deal is I’m only powerless if I cede my power. I did that in ’14. That’s over now. 🙂
I’m looking forward to 2015 and all it’s waxed floor shininess. I plan on moving the furniture of my life and expectations around a bit and scuffing the floor of this year. I’m going to be a grandma–sometime in the next month–and I’m getting rid of these two sizes I’ve gained and I’m going to write more Liz Lee romances (those are the steamy ones…proceed with caution). More than anything, I’m going to surround myself with positivity. That doesn’t mean I’ll accept the awful in education. I’ll still fight for fixes there. That doesn’t mean I’ll be okay with hate and misogyny and inequality. I’ll still post stories that expose those behaviors. It does mean I won’t let those things take away my joy.
I’m looking forward to 2015!
Posted in diet, education, fitness, thoughts
Tagged diet, education, exercise, New Year, politics, resolutions, teaching, writing
I asked a friend that question yesterday. It’s an important question.
A question I ask myself regularly. I don’t want to tread through the water of life. I want to live intentionally, with a purpose. I want to hold on to my dreams and to work to achieve them.
I used to sell Mary Kay, and I remember listening to this National Sales Director on a tape. She said every day she went to work she was surrounded by friends who said, “I’m so tired,” “I’m so tired,” “I’m so tired.” And one day she said, “Well, I’m not.”
She was hugely successful at that job and went on to be hugely successful with Mary Kay.
I love those stories. I love that successful people have so many traits in common. Living intentionally is one of them. Having a goal is another. Surrounding yourself with people you want to be like is another.
The thing about success: I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Successful people like to share their success stories.
That’s a lesson I did with my seniors this year. I don’t know how many of them actually followed through with the end of the lesson, but I had them make a five-year plan and then I told them to find someone who was where they wanted to be and ask them how they got there.
Success isn’t a secret.
It’s also not one size fits all.
Knowing the answer to the question where do you see yourself in six months (1 year, five years…) helps measure success.
I don’t sell Mary Kay any more, but the lessons I learned listening to the success tapes have been invaluable to my life.
Do you have a plan? A vision? An answer to the question?
I highly recommend the book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. It’s easily one of the best books I’ve read.
Can you answer the question where do you see yourself in six months (1 year, five years?)
And I’m going to live intentionally to reach those goals.
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Angel Eyes, The Guardian Book 3 releases July 20!
During the school year I write from 7-whenever I stop because I know I have to work the next morning, I watch TV one night a week, I plan my week with writing front and center and I say things like, “I can’t wait for summer,” and “It’s going to be like I’m a full-time writer.”
And then summer hits. And I take a nap. And another. And another. I try new recipes. I go to the gym (some years). I take another nap. I read a book, I listen to a book, I read the paper cover-to-cover, I Facebook and tweet and take another nap. I get hooked on a TV show I can watch from season 1 to season 7 in one week (The West Wing, y’all. I can’t even. It is simply magical. Yay Donna and Josh!). And I take another nap.
And I write about writing. And I read about writing. And I look at my Pinterest board For Writers. And I take another nap. And I watch my tomatoes grow and I look at my gardenia and say “bloom, baby, bloom!” and I play with Emmie–who really wishes I’d just leave her alone and go to the office.
And then I reach today and it’s 7 p.m. and I’ve taken naps and done all the rest, but I’ve spent about four hours editing total in four days and I realize if this is full-time writing, my dream of making this my full-time job in nine years is never going to happen because studying the dialogue of Gilmore Girls isn’t going to get any books written.
So this is me saying it’s time to get real. I can sleep later and watch TV later and mess around on Pinterest later.
If you need me, I’ll be in the office. Writing.
Posted in thoughts
Tagged Gilmore Girls, indie writer, motivation, self publishing, summer break, teacher, television, The West Wing, writer, writing, Zumba
It took 47 minutes of trial and error to get to one word of good revision on the Sam and Patty story tonight.
And that word was glorious. No, really, it was “Glorious.” A one word sentence. That led to 1638 new words. All of them desperately needed to help flesh out this story with decent characters.
Thank God I found the words. Or they found me.
Three hours later, it’s time to call it a night.
I don’t want to.
I want to sit and write and write and write to the Ennio Morricone and Yo-Yo Ma playlist I’ve got loaded on Spotify. I never would’ve guessed those spaghetti westerns I hate would lead to great words. Unforgiven and Pale Rider? Sure. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly AND Hang ‘Em High? No way.
I didn’t realize what they were right away. I just typed in cello music and dragged a ton of songs over to the queue. I’m addicted now.
It sure makes writing easier when you want to listen to the music that moves the soul of the story.
Okay, I KNEW this revision was going to be tough. I’d done a quick pass once. Sent the work to some friends (even though I know better than to do that in the throes of I finished a book! adrenaline.
My friends who read the work were sweet. They said things like “I really like Sam and Patty but…” and “It seems like you could use a little more something….” and “you know, I can’t really see anything in the story. It needs some fleshing out maybe.” and…. “Your end conflict…completely unbelievable.”
So I put Sam and Patty’s story aside to look at later. And I drafted another book. And I came back to Sam and Patty and I loved the story still. I mean so what that it’s just a bunch of dialogue with some paint swatches thrown in for color every once in a while. I agreed totally with the end conflict cliche I’d written, so I fixed that. But something wasn’t right.
So I put Sam and Patty’s story aside to look at later. And I drafted another book. And I came back to Sam and Patty and OH DEAR GOD. I’ve written some awesome dialogue. For paper dolls. This poor story couldn’t be more flat. It isn’t a real story at all!!! It’s a detailed outline. A beginning. But nowhere near done.
And so the revision work…the real revision work not editing work…starts.
That’s my self-publishing word of warning. It’s easy to hit publish on a book that’s not ready. Find people you trust to give you feedback on whether the story is ready. And read a ton. I know the books I’ve read the last three months helped me see the gaping holes in this story. I mean the whole time I was reading and making notes tonight I was thinking What Would Jill Shalvis Do? AND Where is the Karen Templeton Emotion? And write a ton. Those other two drafts I’ve written are drafts…I know that. The second one is better than this one, but it’s still a draft. The third one is waaaayyyyy better than this one and the next, but it’s still a draft.
I’ve got a lot of work to do.
Friends who so kindly let me know this book wasn’t ready without totally killing my writer soul…thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!