Monthly Archives: December 2014

A little Christmas spirit.


It’s coming, slowly but surely.

Today started rough; I’m still getting over this flu bug, but whatever. I have a rant about work but mostly I just want to NOT think about it for the rest of tonight. And since I have a very short work day tomorrow, I’m just going to let that sit.

The short work day is helping my spirit (after pulling two late days), the nice conversation with my aunt helped today, and the package wrapping with Christmas music playing softly in the background just did me a world of good.

I just want no drama and for everyone to be nice to each other for the next ten days. Is that too much to ask?

And I want to make my kids happy with their presents. This could be our last mellow, laid back Christmas for awhile, and I want to enjoy it. I want to find ten minutes to focus on the real meaning of Christmas, and I want to remind others as well.

Jesus was born for us, and died for us. Let’s celebrate the start of that very special life.


Creeping Crud and Harry Potter


No, it’s not the name of the new Harry Potter book. (as far as I know, there is no new Harry Potter book)

I’ve been officially sick with the creeping crud for a week. I haven’t written anything. I’ve barely worked. I feel a little better this morning and am thinking that I’d better get the grocery shopping done before I start to feel worse again.

So, yeah, really nothing to add here. The stuff I want to talk about, I still can’t, and I don’t really feel like doing anything, to be honest.

Except Harry Potter. I’ve been re-reading the books, and also re-watching the movies, and also playing Lego Harry Potter on the Wii. It’s a Harry Potter fest around here.

It’s something to do while I’m sick, at the very least.

I only have 4 days to get into the holiday spirit. I just don’t think it’s happening this year.

The Bubble


Have you ever had a moment in your life, one that is just shocking, disturbing, angry, but offset with a seed of hope and love?

Like living in a bubble on the bottom of the ocean, the inside is so smooth and cool to the touch, with beautiful opalescent colors whirling gently about the surface in a gentle ritual. Like the knowledge that the bubble, if popped, will send down tons of pressure per square inch and squash whatever remains in its path after the bubble is gone.

These moments of great intense emotion come so rarely in this life, a part of me just wants to grab it and hold on, but really, it’s not my life, it’s not my choice, it’s not my decision, and I don’t want to be the ocean to her bubble. But I will help her gently to the surface, I will shoo away whatever sharks come her way, and I’ll be there until she’s ready to stand on her own, and then gently and softly, I’ll back away and give her independence.

Like an ocean wave retreating back into the sea, leaving only a smooth bit of sand to mark its passage.

This may be the hardest thing I’ve ever done.


There is something so compelling about the warmth of my blankets on a cold morning, like snuggling in a pile of pre-heated teddy bears, so soft and comforting. When that alarm goes off, raucously interrupting my dreams with its harsh BEEEEEEPPPP BEEEEEEEPPP BEEEEEEPPP, I roll over to tap the snooze button, wincing a little in pain because, let’s face it, I’m getting old, and then I settle back into that sweet in-between dream and wakefulness state that is one of my favorite times of the day.

It’s that moment before I have to face my day, before work, before getting resistant child out of bed (speaking of which, she’s still there), before becoming a grown up again. I can pretend, for nine minutes anyhow, that it’s a snow day, and the entire day lies before me, fraught with possibility. Or that I’m on summer vacation and there’s no need to get up and go to school, because I have two months of freedom ahead of me. Sun, swimming, bike riding, playing with friends are the order of the day, not responsibilities, not making a few bucks to continually pay the bills without ceasing, day after day until you die.

Cheery thought.

So, today I will search to find meaning in between the repetition, like I do every day, for without it, what are we living for?

Today I will:
1. do a load of laundry
2. get the child out the door.
3. have breakfast
4. get ready for work
5. maybe I’ll have time to revise a couple pages
6. work 9-5 (work has it’s own love-hate relationship that I won’t get into right now)
7. go home
8. have dinner
9. do youth group at my church
10. settle in front of the TV for 30 minutes
11. revise a couple more pages
12. bond with my daughter for a bit
13. go to bed

Slight variations from day to day, but it would be so easy to get bogged down in the monotony of my life. I’m in my 40s and I guess it’s truly hitting me how I could follow this pattern for the rest of my life. The same thing, day in, day out, nothing really changing.

I don’t want that. I want to keep evolving, keep moving towards something, whether it’s writing or furthering my education, or whatever, I need to strive for something. My problem is, that something changes on a daily basis. Why can’t I just pick something? Go back to college? Take an art class? Finish that novel and try to get published?

Instead, I settle into that warm comfortableness that is the routine, that daily grind that probably most people take solace and stability from, and that I find slightly constricting. Yes, there is a comfort in knowing what lies ahead, knowing where that next paycheck comes from, but there’s another part of me that wants adventure and surprise. And that little part of me won’t let me be content in the mundane. I’m a grown up; I’ll do what I have to do, but I don’t have to enjoy it all the time.

I probably sound really discontented with my life, and that’s not really my point here. My point, right now, at this moment, is that I didn’t really want to crawl out of my warm, cozy bed to go to work. Did I have to turn that into an introspective moment?

What about you? Are you happy with the life you’ve chosen? What are you doing to change it? And do you lounge about uselessly in the morning (for 30 minutes) or do you leap out of bed, eager to face the day? (morning people, ugh).

On the other hand, I have a nice comfy bed, and I get to have that moment, every single day.
I am blessed.

Co-dependency and Desperation


My name is Karen, and I’m a co-dependent writer. I need people to bounce ideas off, get feedback, and in general, have a camaraderie in writing angst. I need to know I’m not the only writer out there who is suffering from post-Nano depression (may be a little strong word there but I’m not going for subtle here, lol), and is having difficulty staying focused now that we’re not counting numbers.

I’m also being a co-dependent wife, but my husband is humoring me for the moment. I’ll make it worth his while.

The desperation is coming from the same issues; my feedback ground and bitching circle is pretty much disbanded, and Netflix is once again threatening to take over my life. And I say NO! I will not be sucked into a screen, whiling my days away while my goal of finishing my novel fades ever further into the distance. And, and the same time, I’m feeling my failure as a mother in allowing my kids so much screen time as kids. I’ve become what I mocked. Maybe not to as a great a degree. I bet there are kids out there whose parents rarely talk to them, and I do make an effort to keep open channels of communication with fairly good success. I’m probably being harder on myself than I need to be. And they are grown more now, so they need to make that personal choice to give up the screen in favor of ACTION and LIVING.

I hope as I finish my novel, they don’t see it as me being sucked into a screen as I sit on my laptop day after day, but that they see it as the act of creation that it is.

In the meantime, I need a new writing group. I need feedback. I need pressure. I need a deadline. November 30 is come and gone, and with it, the intense struggle of writing 50,000 words. There’s nothing to keep me on task, other than trying to stay self-motivated, which I realize I need to do if I ever want to make it as a writer, but when I’m raising a family and working a full time job NOT writing related, it’s hard to just not veg out in front of Netflix. (Glee is apparently my new passion. Gah.)

So, no more than one episode a day for me. And I’ve already watched it today, so that’s that. And I haven’t worked on my revision yet, so off to do that for at least 30 minutes tonight, and then all screen are off. Even this one.

Once upon a time….


shell drawing editthere was a little girl who loved to draw.

That girl was me. The first thing I remember drawing was in preschool. It was a big blob of browns and blacks and I called it “Brandy” after my grandparents St Bernard.

The next thing I remember drawing was in kindergarten. I had a major crush on a boy named John, but he didn’t even know I existed as I was so painfully shy that it would have just about killed me with embarrassment to ever admit that out loud. But one day, I was asked to draw a bike in class. Maybe we were all drawing bikes, I don’t really remember, but mine turned out pretty good, and I remember John looking over at my drawing and telling me it was awesome.

It was probably the best moment of my life up to that point.

Writing became a passion in fourth grade. I wrote a story for a school contest about these racing gerbils, and while I didn’t win a prize for the writing, I did win a prize for my illustrating.

When I was in high school, I was friends with a boy who was an awesome artist. He was a wonderful person as well, and we were very good friends. However, he made me feel like my artwork was substandard compared to his, not by anything he ever said or did (he was a good kid and wouldn’t have ever done that), just by being better with a natural gift that I had to work harder at.

All through high school and up until I had my kids, all I ever wanted to be was an artist. But when it came time to building a portfolio and sending it off to art schools, I choked. I just could stand putting up my work and being found lacking, and after I had my kids, my artwork fizzled out completely. Once in awhile, I pull out the old watercolors and fiddle around, but I have never done anything with it.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m chasing the wrong dream.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy writing. I love building worlds out of nothing and inhabiting them with people of my own design.

But I had a passion for art. Maybe it’s time to revisit that passion.
The shell drawing is mine, done around 1993.

New goals for writing


Anyone who does NaNoWriMo understands the feeling of “What next?” that we all get when we’re done with our 50,000 words and we hang in limbo. Waiting.

What do we do next?

Last time I won, in 2012, I took a month off to ‘let the book rest’. And trying to pick it back up in January was nearly impossible. It’s like, in November, I worked the muscles that run my creativity, and in that next month of doing nothing, those muscles atrophied. And though I struggled and struggled to get through the next draft, next thing I know is that a year and a half went by and it still wasn’t done!

This time, I’m setting a new goal, working on that book from 2012, to have the next revision done by the end of December. It has approximately 25 chapters, and if I can keep that muscle flexing, then I think I can do it. If I can write 50000 new words in a month, I should be able to complete a revision (plus some new material for clarity and depth). I can read a book in a few days.

I’ve written uselessly on the value and difficulty of momentum in the past, and only the future will tell if I can keep this going and actually get a published work out of this mess. I like to write random stuff on this blog, but it was formed to keep my brain moving and writing. I’m not running out of my way to find the latest and greatest blogging techniques, I’m not trolling the forums friending everyone I see, trying to build stats. Don’t get me wrong, I hope to build a following based on my writing someday, which will probably require a new blog.

Should I be friending everyone I see?
I’m over 40, and I guess I don’t really care as much as I used to. I tend to follow the blogs of people who write about things that interest and amuse me, and I don’t worry about it they follow me back or not. I just want to see what they have to say!

Something to think about another day when I don’t have a novel cooking on the front burner.