The Fork

I’ve talked a lot about it on here, how I have been working towards my degree after twenty-five years away from school. How this degree would define my life, and how it would change so much for me. How after all these years, I would finally be a college graduate.

I wonder now what I thought that meant exactly. Was I supposed to wake up and suddenly feel different. Was the degree somehow supposed to make me an adult. Good grief, I’ve raised two kids, buried my mother, cared for a brain-injured spouse, married and divorced…twice. If all that life experience didn’t make me a grown up, I don’t know how forty classes and a piece of paper were going to do it!

At any rate, I wake up every morning and look at that degree hanging on my wall. The words “Magna Cum Laude”, that sound so impressive, have certainly not changed me on the inside. I don’t FEEL different. I guess employers may look at me differently, but I still feel like the same person. The fork in the road, for me, has not changed.

In the end, I am glad I did it, because I did it for myself. But the lesson I learned is that in the cold light of day, it doesn’t change who you are, make you a better person than anyone else, or any more worthy of recognition. To those who have offered emotional support to me along this journey, thank you. Visit my Upcoming Works page for new previews of projects I am considering, and by all means let me know what you would like to see more of…Love and laughter Everyone until we meet again!

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Thoughts?

I find people are always asking my advice. I don’t really know why. In my eyes, most of my life has been something of a train wreck! Yet it never fails, every time someone I know…even some I don’t know all that well…needs advice, it is me they come to ask.

I hope that my words are helpful to them. Often, it seems easier for me to manage the issues in other lives much better than the issues in my own. I am blunt, but try to be sensitive. I refrain from saying “What kind of idiot are you?”, even when it is my first reaction.

So I am wondering what everyone here thinks about advice columns. Be honest, if I am off my rocker, please don’t be afraid to tell me so. But if I am right and some of you agree that I could be on to something, I’d like to hear that too.

As always keep your eye on my Upcoming Works page, as there will soon be some new material I’m working with. Much love to all and happy writing!

Rewrite – The Writer’s Bane

I found this very worth sharing. A very smart post about rewrites!

Anna Dobritt -- Author

Rewrite – The Writer’s Bane

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Rewrite – The Writer’s Bane

Today I’m going to discuss the bane of writing: Rewriting.

Here’s a brief recap of revising: basically you are fixing scenes, dialogue, fixing the chronology, checking the point of views of the scenes.

Editing recap: checking for spelling errors, mistakes in grammar, and punctuation.

Now, here comes something no writer wants to go through, but sometimes it is necessary: Rewriting. You have finished the first draft of your novel, did some editing and revisions along the way. You have sent the book off to your beta readers and you are sitting down to read it yourself. When you hear back from beta readers your worst fear is realized. What you have written isn’t working. No matter how you try to spin it in your mind, you have a lot of problems. If you were to publish this now, you would…

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The First Day

Today is the first day of a grand new adventure. I’ve been challenged to get to know why I write. To establish a purpose. That’s not something I consciously think about, I suppose, but it is important moving forward. Today, I will create my own personal manifesto of who I am and why I want to be here.

As a woman, everyone seems to see me as someone different. I am (or have been) a daughter, a sister, a “bestie”, a girlfriend, a wife (an ex-wife), and a mom, to name just a few. Everyone sees me as someone different, and everyone has their own unique expectations. But the question remains, what are MY expectations? What would I say to the world if I knew that I would never have another chance to share a message?

My great desire is to inspire people. Every day I want to be able to lift someone up. That is not to say that everything I write about is sunshine and roses. Much of it is very sad, and comes from a very real place. But, in the end, the Phoenix has died by fire and rises from the ashes, more beautiful and breathtaking than it was in the past. That is what I want for myself. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, as long as you continue to get up, dust yourself off, and move forward.

I’ve spent most of my life being a mom. I don’t regret a minute of that, but once the kids are grown (or nearly grown), it becomes hard to figure out where I fit into the picture. When  you face a significant change in your life, you often think back to the road not taken. Where would my life be today if I had gone to college instead of starting a family? So, three years ago I decided it was time to find out, and enrolled in college. Now I am just three weeks from being done with school, and I wonder if I really know any more about myself than I did in the first place. After all, I may have the degree, but I’m still not writing consistently. So that is my new goal. To inspire at least one new person everyday.

I consider myself a new kind of “empty nester”. Traditionally, empty nesters were couples whose children had moved on. They traveled, they got to rekindle their romance, they had one another to lean on and support and enjoy. I don’t have that luxury. I am an empty nester who is alone. Once the children leave home for good, I have an empty house to come home to. I have no desire to travel alone, and the cat is just not a very good conversationalist. So I want to be able to share this journey with my readers. Check out my upcoming work page, and I would love to hear your feedback.

The Phoenix rises, my friends, thanks for sharing my journey!

 

Here I am…This is ME!!

I was tasked today with thinking about who I am and why I am here. Here, being WordPress, as opposed to the existential “why do I exist?”

Why blog? What do I want to accomplish and who do I want to reach? Well, i got started here as a school project. It was supposed to be a hub for all of my social media platforms for a writing class I was in. I didn’t expect to embrace it, or even to enjoy it at all. I expected it to be a chore, a task that I would spend a few weeks on and then gladly leave behind.

But something happened on the way to graduation. I found that blogging was a really great outlet for me. I found that it was a nice place to put some essays and poems and short stories out there without feeling like I was really exposing myself. It seemed like a really great way to have my voice be heard, and maybe learn a little something about social media publishing in the process.

So I am going to stick with it I think. What have I got to lose, right? I’ll be around, sharing some projects as they are done (be sure to check out my Upcoming Work page), and looking for ways to make the blog a fun place where we can hang out and get to know one another.

So, now that you know why I’m here, what about who I am?

I’m a writer. I was born a writer. Over the years I have also become other things. A daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, a mom, (an ex-wife, whoops…lol!). All of those people are part of who I am. Some parts that I am so proud of; others, not so much. Today, I am embracing what will soon be a new part of my life as an empty nester. My last little chick will graduate high school and move on to her own dreams, and while I will be left behind, it will not be lonely. I’ll also be a new college graduate, and I hope a voice to a whole new group of friends here who will share what it is like to start over again at forty-ish!

In the end, I will be learning. Continuing the journey, and hopefully sharing a laugh or two with all of you along the way! Don’t forget to leave me a comment and say hi, as well as tell me what you would like to read about. Writing prompts are great, and anything you would like to know, I’d be happy to answer. Love and laughter, friends; let’s take the journey together!

Waiting

Patience is a virtue.  I’ve heard that. I believe it, to the core of my being. However, at this point in my life, virtue seems kind of overrated. Waiting to hear back from magazines I’ve submitted material too, waiting to be done with school and land the “dream” job, waiting for all of my hard work to be recognized.

*Sigh*. Maybe today. Dash to the mailbox. Will there be a letter? Did they like my work? More importantly, will they publish my work? Yes? No? Don’t call us, we’ll call you??

It’s worse. “Thank you for your submission…blah, blah,blah…not what we are looking for at this time…” .Rejection. Seems to be my middle name these days. One more to cross off the spreadsheet, one more to try again in six months.  For every success there are three rejections. I’ve heard that before. Doesn’t make it sting any less, but it is the nature of the business.

I wonder again, is this worth it? There’s no question that it is, though sometimes I overthink it. If my words only touch one person, it was all worth it. If I never publish my work besides in my small spot on cyber space, that’s okay too. If I made you smile today, if because of my words you know you aren’t alone, leave me a comment.

Those of you out there who are also writers, how do you deal with the inevitable rejection?

Slow Out of the Gate

I’ll admit it…I’m having a hard time getting motivated. Every day I get started with the best of intentions. Coffee? Check. Doodle pad? Check. Music? Check. Motivation? Sigh…not so much. I find myself staring out the window, daydreaming. Or checking my Facebook page only to look up and discover I have wasted an hour on Candy Crush.

Ok, so maybe I need a change of scenery. Maybe I’ll walk the dog. Fresh air, sunshine (what there is of it)…that’s what I need. Fast forward thirty more minutes. At least I got my exercise. Fresh coffee, maybe a little morning tv…zzzzzzzzz! Wait, are you kidding me? How can it be noon already! I don’t even have anything thawing out for dinner!

Staying organized and working from home is a daunting task. Definitely not for the unmotivated individual. Unfortunately, more often than not, I have two or three days a week that go exactly like this one. These are the days that I miss the old nine to five, where work was work and home was home.

Working from home sounds like a dream job to most. However, the other side of that coin is that you live at your job. You may spend the whole day in your pj’s, but you also never get to clock out. Especially as a mom, there is always something that needs to be done, some mundane task that will cause your life to come to a screeching halt if it isn’t dealt with.

So to my readers out there who also work from home, what motivates you to keep moving forward? How do you avoid distractions and keep charging ahead, even when all you want to do is binge watch Netflix all day?