You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2010.

I wonder if horses feel like this after winning a race?

I’m having a letdown day!  I’m actually quite surprised, but when I got to thinking about it, I realized that I’d been really driving myself towards the November 30 – 50,000 words – NaNoWriMo goal.  And now that I’ve achieved it, after my hyper-happiness and self-congratulatory bath last night, I’m a bit sluggish.  (And I’m cold but that has nothing to do with it.)

I don’t want to leave the house today. I just want to lie around and watch old movies.  Thank the gods there’s no chocolate in the house.  If there were, there soon wouldn’t be.

But I do have to go to work this afternoon, and I do have to go to the grocery store as there is no food in the house.  So leaving the sanctuary is inevitable.  To give you an idea of the strength of my desire to snug myself away here, I actually looked out the window today and wished for deep snow.  Yes, you read right.  ME wishing for snow and cold.  Sheer madness, I tell you.

In examining my feelings this morning, what I really want is a turkey sandwich.  No, just kidding.  What I really want is to keep working on my novel.  I’ve been happy writing it.  So, if you’re thinking what I think you’re thinking, you’re thinking, “OK, so?  Why not just go work on your novel?  If that’s what makes you happy, and what you want to do, go!  Who’s stopping you?  Not me!  So quit yer bitchin’ and go! GO!”  You might say it a little bit nicer than that, but you’d be right.

It’s an odd feeling when you’ve been working for a goal that was communal and not specifically self-imposed, and you have to shift to a goal that IS self-imposed.  In other words, when you have to become more self-driven, self-motivated.  As I am pondering this from the Red Couch this morning, I am realizing that self-motivation for achievements is one of those key elements in my life that many of my dreams have revolved around – and one that sits in the garden of my soul like an untended flower.  This novel, and this realization, may be just what I need to break through what I now see as a barrier that has blocked the flow of my success for most of my life.  I suspect that at its core is laziness and fear.  But I think that’s a therapy session for another day.

When I started out this morning, I was thinking that I was depressed – again.  But as I’ve been “writing it out” here, I realize that I’m not depressed.  I just need a little break.

I need to do what makes me happy and be kind to myself.  Sometimes, after you’ve worked very hard, it’s okay to take a break and watch Virginia Mayo movies for a while.  Soon, I’ll get up and go do things.

Like have a turkey sandwich.


After a grueling six hours and 8,574 words, I won my NaNoWriMo Challenge!  I finished with 50, 668 words (in 29 days, and I took a week off in the middle!)


Of course, the book is far, far from done.  Realistically, I’d say the first draft is half-done.  I’ll need to set my own challenges to help me finish it and not let it just pine away, neglected.

NaNoWriMo winners don’t actually win anything – and so what?

Trust me, the feeling of accomplishing this feat is a reward in itself.

Big, BIG smile!

I will be very quiet today and tomorrow – trying to reach my NaNoWriMo goal.  I have 7500 words left to go.  I can do it.  I just need to be very focused.

Until later!

I think I’m going to make it.  I have 3+ days and 13,000 words left to go.

I’m a little frustrated with the book though.  My main character has taken a turn towards domesticity that I find rather dull.  It’s not at all what I’d expected of her, but I assume it’s an interim step between where she was and where I want her to be. Guess we’ll just have to see.

Someone said to me that every character is somewhat autobiographical, and I suppose that’s true, though I hadn’t thought of it before I started writing.  I had thought I was simply using my imagination and a historical figure, but nope, there’s me in there.  And I can never be sure what turns life is going to throw me either.

You know there will be a million posts/articles/tweets of this nature today – and rightfully so.  This is just my contribution to the masses.

Thankfulness By The Alphabet

A is for Anegada.
The world is blessed by the mere existence of such a magical place – a land where the star people live and where the soft white sand and turquoise sea caresses your soul.

B is for Books.
A constant blessing in my life, whether I’m reading them, writing them or just being around them. Infinitely fascinating.

C is for Creativity.
Whether its mine or that of others, whether it’s through words, images, movement or sound, I am grateful for it.

D is for Dreams.
Daydreams, night dreams or dreams of present and future, they are all wonderful.  Well, sometimes the night dreams are a little rough, but I’ll forgive them.

E is for Emotion.
There are a myriad of them contained in each of us, joyful, painful, beautiful.  Let’s get to know them and embrace them all, so we can live to the fullest.

F is for Friends.
Some you never forget, some you never lose, some you have in your life for a short while because you need to learn something from each other.  All are blessings.

G is for Grace.
Grace is a character in my novel, Grace is my friend Trisha’s daughter, grace is a way of moving through the world with poise, peace and beauty, and something I strive for.

H is for Hugs.
Warm, comforting, connecting and something we never get enough of.  Hug everyone you care for whom you see today – and every day.

I is for Integrity.
Live your life with honor.  Sometimes we lose our way, and then we find it again.

J is for Journey.
We take many journeys in the course of our lives.  Through each day, across continents, through different spiritual realms.  Revel in each journey and accept the gifts of each.

K is for Kelsea.
One word that means the world to me.

L is for Love. 
Love comes in so many forms, but it always comes from within and shines outward to the world.  Let your love shine.

M is for Magic.
There is a tremendous amount of magic in the universe if we just open our hearts and minds to see and feel it.

N is for Nature.
Beautiful, cruel, kind, just, essential, wonderous.  Let’s appreciate it and care for it to the best of our ability.

O is for Ocean.
One of my favorite parts of the planet.  Moving eternally, deep, unexplored, ever-changing, full of life and color.  A metaphor for each of us.  You are blessed if you can feel that you are your own – and someone’s – ocean.

P is for Power.
A good thing, power is strength – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  Find your own power and you will enrich your life and the lives of those around you.

Q is for Quest.
Each of our lives is a quest for wisdom and peace.  Be a crusader for yourself and make the most of it.

R is for Rest.
We all need it.  And it can be elusive. Sleep and rest are not the same thing.  Take time to refresh the soul – that is true rest.

S is for Spirit.
Whether it’s a higher power or the soul that surges within you, stay connected with your spirit.  It keeps your life alive.

T is for Tenderness.
Take time to be tender with yourself, with the man or woman you love, with children, with animals, with nature. 

U is for Uniqueness.
I am grateful for my own uniqueness and the uniqueness of those I love.  It makes my life infinitely richer.

V is for Vision.
The ability to see inward, to see past this world, to really SEE this world, are all blessings for me.

W is for Warmth.
Warmth from the sun, and from the people dear to us. 

X is for X marks the spot.
The spot where you met someone special, the spots you’ve claimed as your own, the spot where you find your creativity, the spots that restore you to yourself.

Y is for Yellow roses.
One of my favorite flowers and always for me, a memory of my parents.

Z is for Zumba Class.
It has helped me get in shape, helped me remember how to dance, helped me get back in touch with my body.

For all this, and so much more, I give thanks.  Have a blessed day!



You know, after allllll these years, it occurs to me that I should be perfectly accustomed to mood swings.  I’ve had them since childhood.  I don’t know why they always come as such a surprise. 

I was fine yesterday, not fine today.  Perhaps it’s the wind doing it…you know how I get when it’s windy.  And cold.

My class this morning had a substitute, which is fine – she did a lot of arm/shoulder work, and that’s good.  But her dialogue was bizarre and it was really hard to follow what she wanted us to do.  At one point, I exchanged baffled and amused glances with the woman next to me as we were lost between “Waist, sky, chest, down, up.”  Which honestly was better than “Nipples! Sky! Half!”  That one really got me.  So I didn’t enjoy the class, and I usually do enjoy my classes – it feels great to be getting my body healthy again.  But this one was just one to be endured.  It certainly made me appreciate my regular instructors.

But at the end of the class, when we were cooling down, and I was thinking about how hard I’d worked my body, I got really sad.  Really, really sad.  Sad that it was cold out and that there was snow on the ground when I left the house this morning.  Sad that I could only envision myself sitting on the red couch in the cottage, cold and lonely for the rest of the winter, as the snow piles up around the cottage, with that quiet muffled sound that snow seems to make as it falls.  I actually got teary.  Very inappropriate for an exercise class.

On the other hand, some beings had a worse day than I did.

There was a random pheasant that lived on the main road by the cottage.  I call it random because I had seen it once, and my landlady had seen it once, and we both thought we were hallucinating until we compared notes.  I don’t know if it was a pet or just wild and living in the neighborhood – I mean, it IS a nice neighborhood.

Well, our pheasant friend was struck by a car today.  We came upon the scene shortly after it happened.  In fact, two cars were stopped, and so Kelsea and I assumed that they were trying to help.  We could see the pheasant’s wing still fluttering.  But once we got back to the cottage, we were quite bothered by the whole incident.  So I walked back down along the main road to check.  Those people who had stopped had just left the pheasant where he was hit.  To me, that was unacceptable.  Those who know me well know that I can’t bear leaving a dead animal lying in the road.  I didn’t want my pheasant to have to experience the indignity of having its little corpse violated by uncaring vehicles.  So I waited for a lull in traffic and scooped up the little fella in my vest.  (Wish I had thought to bring a towel, as it was mighty cold walking back with no coat.)  I still had a hope that he might be alive, although what I would have done then was one of those cross-that-bridge-when-we-come-to-it things.  But no.  He was much lighter than I had expected.  And his neck was broken.  It flopped from side to side, his beautiful teal feathers gleaming in the fading sun.  I carried him over into the stand of bushes some yards off the road, and laid him down gently.  He was so handsome; his little eyes were closed and he looked very peaceful.  I know that the predators will be at him come nightfall, but I felt good about what I could do for him.  The animal shaman in me could feel his gratitude, and his slight confusion, which is so common when a being leaves this earth and their body so suddenly.  But he will be all right.

And so will I.

Had a great writing morning!  5,042 words, so I am now officially over 30,000 words. Yes, it’s been quite a productive weekend.  Today’s session was at Barnes and Noble, which has comfy chairs with no power outlets nearby and uncomfy chairs just dripping with power outlets.  I stayed in the comfy chair as long as my computer could hold a charge and then moved to the uncomfy section to finish up.  It actually took me less time than yesterday, and more words flowed.  Amazing!  AND I have a new character!  Woo-hoo!

And now for the miscellany. 

I would have liked to meet whoever was driving the car ahead of me with the following two bumper stickers:  “Scum of the Earth” and “You Need Pie.”  I think it must have been an interesting soul.

I will be ready to go back to my ZoneTone class tomorrow, but it sure was nice to have a couple of days off.  I noticed happily yesterday that the “old lady jiggle” in my arms seems to have almost disappeared.

I hate putting laundry away.  Hate it, hate it, hate it.  Where’s the zen, I ask you?

I don’t usually quote from books – in fact, I don’t usually read “improving” (aka self-help) books, but the Deepak Chopra book I’m reading now, Reinventing The Body, Resurrecting The Soul, has touched on some excellent points and I feel compelled to share.  Here goes:

“People often want to be rescued by love, and thus love gets tied to escapism and fear.  Things you are afraid of, such as loneliness, isolation, and not fitting in, must be sorted out and healed on their own, not masked by throwing yourself into a relationship with someone you think will solve your fears for you.  People…usually wind up never facing their neediness.  Their brains form a pattern of behavior so familiar that even the most negative feedback doesn’t change it.  Only subtle action can change the brain by introducing a new intention.”

“As you learn to heal through subtle action, you won’t be forced into situations that promote failure and rejections. Those are reflections of your old inner state, from which you are slowly shifting.”

“Don’t let your self-image stand in the way. Self-image is constructed by the ego. It gives you a facade that you can show the world, but it also turns into a shield behind which you hide. If you let your self-image stand in the way, you can’t be open and receptive.  Real change requires a relaxed, natural attitude.  Sadly, most people expend untold energy in protecting their self-image, defending it from attacks both real and imagined.  Instead, take the attitude that there’s nothing to protect and nothing to defend. You want to be strong, but true strength comes from love that is certain and self-sufficient.  False strength comes from building a wall of self-defensiveness.  Keep your focus on feeling what love is like for yo and on gently wanting it to expand.”

What kind, gentle and wise words.

NaNoWriMo word count: 30,438

I’m not whining.

But I spent 5 hours working on the novel today.  I wrote almost 5,000 words.  I got my main character out of the frying pan and into the fire.  And I’m exhausted.

I left the Starbuck’s where I’d been writing and went to the grocery store, and wandered around in a daze. 

When I was writing, it was if I was both watching the story as an outsider and living my tale from the perspective of each of my characters.  I was in their heads, experiencing their feelings and expressions, feeling with all of their senses.  I emerged drained, noticing that the sky had started to darken.

In a way, it reminds me of when Kelsea was little, and she wanted to play one of the pretend games where she was herself and I was a dozen other people.  It was a little schizophrenic (and I don’t use that term to offend anyone in the mental health community.)

So tonight, I am home, and about to mindlessly watch the 1936 film “San Francisco” with Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy.  I think seeing people falling into gaping holes in the ground is just about my speed right now.

NaNoWriMo word count: 25,441 (more than halfway there!)

Ah, Mel.

I used to like Mel (never fond of his hairy ass though, as seen in the first Lethal Weapon film).  But recent turns in his personal life, such as cheating on/divorcing his wife for a Russian whatever, racist comments, and then being allegedly abusive to his ex-Russian whatever, not to mention claiming to be such a staunch Catholic AND doing all of the above, PLUS having a baby out of wedlock, have made me dislike him, and hence, not care very much about his acting skills.  Or at least have no desire to see him on-screen, or in any way contribute to his livelihood.

Those of you who have a sense of me can probably tell that I’m pretty tolerant and liberal and understanding of people’s choices, even if I don’t agree with them.  In fact, it could be argued that my own moral compass doesn’t always point north.  But I can’t tolerate someone who holds themself up as a paragon of something they believe in (whether it’s a religion, a philosophy, or a political view) but then acts in ways that are diametrically opposed to that belief, all the while continuing to hold themselves up as a standard-bearer.  I suppose it could be called moral hypocrisy. 

And that’s Mel Gibson to a T. (Where did THAT expression come from?)

However, I tuned into his movie “Maverick” today as I was getting ready to go to class, and it occurred to me how well he plays crazy men.  In fact, he’s played crazy men in many, many of his films – if not outright crazy men, men who can go crazy and act crazy.  Think about it.  He’s done so in “Mad Max”, “Maverick”, all the “Lethal Weapon” films, “Braveheart”, that Revolutionary War movie with Heath Ledger…. I suspect the list goes on and on, but I can’t think of any more of his films right now.

So what I’m saying is that he’s probably not really acting.  He’s probably just being himself.  Very capable of crazy.

Can I just say a brief WOW to myself (and to you guys, of course)?

Yesterday, my depression was bad.  And it wasn’t so damn great today.  But yesterday, I thought about quitting NaNoWriMo, about not finishing the novel (or at least my 50,000 word month.)  I was ready to throw in the towel.

Today being a little better, I bootstrapped myself back up emotionally.  I went back to Starbucks and wrote for a couple of hours.  Then I went to a new place and wrote for a couple more hours.  The words continue to spill out.  I had a minor tope, but got over it. 

It’s amazing how writing for about four hours only garners about 3,000 words.  I can see how writing a novel is full-time work.  But I’m over the 20,000 word mark now, and have set myself a goal to be over the 30,000 word mark by Monday night, trying to catch up from some days when I didn’t have computer access.  And then I’ll have to really crank to get to the finish – as of Tuesday morning, I’ll have 7 days left.

I’m glad I haven’t abandoned the project.  I’m glad I haven’t let my depression get the better of me this time.  I’m glad I have my main character to escape into and to channel my emotions through.

I’m proud of myself.

November 2010


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