Friday, December 18, 2009

Always Learning, Ever Changing

Writing short stories and poems since I was thirteen years old, I always wondered what it would be like to actually write a book. Now I do. I am not published yet but that will come, I am sure of it.

The romance novel I wrote took three months to complete. Editing and serious revisions took a year. Still plugging away at it though. I refuse to give up because some people who shall remain anonymous think I have potential. No, I am not including my mother or sons or anyone else in the family. Though it seems that normal to have these people in your corner because quite frankly you will need them when and if the rejection letters come and you know they will.

You began to notice as time goes on the stories you write begin to mold you as a writer. One person pointed out certain things in my manuscript that needed some changes. At first I became a bit defensive, then I realized if I was going to be successful I needed to start being a little more flexible. It didn't mean I would lose my voice as a writer, but that I would become a better writer. I learned what works and what takes too darn long to explain a simple action.

This journey has made me cry, wonder why I became a writer, and what started out as a hobby turned out to be such a chore. I am at the computer from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed. I am on Christmas vacation from school and have a month off. This is as good a time as any to revise the darn thing.

You know sometimes life gets in the way of creativity. But if I don't climb back in the chair and try to improve what I can and let go of what I can't, then I am no better than the person who so easily gave up. You have to wait for your moment to shine. It will come. Patience is a virtue and by that I mean you will have to learn the difference between want and need.

What are you hungry for as a writer? Fame and fortune? If so you will be disappointed. But if you want to become a published writer who can handle the success that comes with it and continue to be disciplined then half the battle is won. Why? Because you have learned a valuable lesson, always learning, ever changing.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

You knew the day was coming once Thanksgiving passed that it was inevitable a tree was going to be in your future. Some people are reminded by Santa's little elves otherwise known as your children, grandchildren, somebody's children, whomever. When you stopped making it all about you and finally did do something about bringing that stinkin' tree into the house whether it is artificial or real none the less you put it up. Or maybe you are stalling for time and have no problem ignoring the whining little elves a.k.a. those kids and they know who they are. They live for this stuff so you can't disappoint them. If you think you can put them off try living with a new name for a while, you know, the Grinch, who tried to steal Christmas.

The tree is sitting in a corner now just waiting to be decorated. Ah, was that so bad? But wait, you are reminded that new decorations are in order cuz the old ones just aren't getting it any more. You put on your jacket and trek to a nearby store and began to purchase your decorations. Pushing and shoving passed several little old ladies who seem to take hours for that one "special" little decoration for whatever reason. Finally, you settle on a box of balls, tinsel, you forgot to check if the lights still work. Oh well, you pick up another box.

On to the register you go with your decorations, so glad that you are through with the tedious task of all of this you round the corner find about 30 people whose faces are turning into the same as yours. You draw in a deep breath and resign yourself to making sounds when you think the cashier is taking long just to get on your nerves. Once it is your turn and pay for your purchases you run to your car as if someone is going to grab you by the nape of the neck and make you start all over again.

Finally all bags are in the car with you and you drive like a mad person possessed on your journey home. Feeling as if you accomplished a great feat you bring in your treasures and commence decorating. Coffee in hand you place the lights, every last ball, every last stream of tinsel and the star your little "elf" made on the tree.

Standing back you have everyone in the house and possibly your neighborhood and their families waiting and watching as you flip the switch and watch and wait for the accolades to begin...

Uh-oh the lights aren't going on. The lights! You forgot to check the lights! Your significant other hands you the "extra" bulbs and commences to take everyone rolling their eyes to the other room for refreshments while you try to fix the problem. Feeling something staring at you, you turn around and there stands one of your little "elves."

Smiling you try to suggest to the little darling to go get a Christimas cookie in the other room--far from where you are. The elf leaves and you are back to trying to find that bulb that is trying to make you look bad. You feel a little breeze on your neck and once more you turn to see what else in the cosmos interrupted you. It is that sweet little elf again. Only this time the little elf has something in it's arms. What is this you ask. The elf blinks and stoops to put something under the tree. Stepping back revealing a box wrapped in three different types of Christmas wrapping with a bow that has seen better days.

Tears fill your eyes and your throat tightens as the elf replies, "This is for you Daddy, Merry Christmas."