This Isn’t Easy

I sit with drawing paper in front of me at least once a day. I have tried to write the start more times than I care to count. Some images are already drawn. My self imposed deadline was the end of July. (I plan to give this book away when finished- hopefully in time for Christmas, but don’t hold your breath, we will all be blue before then.)

At the same time I am studying fantasy fiction and working on another grandchild’s story. As part of my study I am reading about R. A. Salvatore’s Drizzt. I have tried to analyze and read as I go, but there is a problem with that process.

I keep getting caught up in the story and forget to pay attention to how the story is told! I have my favorite authors in other genre’s that I find when I close their books, I sit back and bask in the enjoyment and entertaining, with the culmination of admiration ending with the conscious thought, I want to write that good.

While reading Salvatore, I am thinking about the story itself and the action going on. My mental faculties are prisoners within the page. My reading has had to slow down considerably to allow my head to come out of the story and think, “how’d he do that?”

After my first book, there have been many short stories written, but not any that I have put out. Realizing I made mistakes, there was hope if I waited a bit my skills would get better and my ability stronger. It will, but it will always be doing so. Holding off has been frustrating to me, worse than the embarrassment of publishing errors and writing that needs work, it has been stifling my creative side.

That doesn’t mean I will be willynilly publishing and promoting every single thing at once, but it does mean I am taking a middle of the road approach to not only what I write, but when I publish as well. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that I get this picture book done this year.

Peace and Compassion

Since around the sixth of July, I have been posting and rereading this post I wrote on a social media site, trying to focus on consistently doing this-

I hope that my prayers, my voice in unison with others will become a constant that heals and brings us together. As we all snuggle into sleep, there is a strong need for peace and compassion in this world, in my prayers and heart I find a desire to send forth those things blindly out into the hearts of mankind, may it strengthen those whose resolve is shaky and may it knock softly and wait quietly upon its reception of those with hardened hearts and closed minds; in any minuscule opening may it seep down deep and grow.

Peace and compassion are mantras, along with the focus of my choice for this year of possibility.

My Reading List

Sometime ago, we are talking years here, I started reading the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff . . .” By Richard Carlson, Ph.D. It has been an off and on part of my morning coffee time.

The “off and on” part relates to the first quote in the book, (really first, it is found in the introduction) from William James.

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.” -William James

I picked this little book up again after a long sabbatical from morning coffee time and well, my lifestyle, if we want to be honest. The lifestyle I enjoy and makes for the best of me, has more often than not been put on the back burner while I did things that at the time I thought were more important and pressing than my best inner self.

It is just what I needed to remind me of the things that I put aside. Ah, yes, slow down, find the joy in the moment. Picking this little book up again, was the best coffee morning time ever!

My Moment of Truth

What if I never am successful by traditional standards? Not meeting the cashflow or any standard of literary achievement, will that mean I am a failure?

If others think I am a joke, not a real author, writer, does that invalidate my efforts?

Who decides success? The world at large, a select group of professionals, or me?

Standards. That is the bottomline. Meeting, exceeding, challenging, but more importantly acceptance of standard is part of the definition of success. We determine what standard we accept for ourselves. It matters more how we see ourselves than how others see us. I know I am my biggest obstacle, and when I don’t feel that I am a big enough obstacle, I let others chime in and shore up that self doubt. Those choices I make are bad, and I am working on changing that habit.

The truth is standards are not hard and fixed, they are ever changing. What we accept as our own personal standards have a greater bearing on our definition of success, and how we look at ourselves. So choose wisely. My best advise to myself.

My Reading List

This summer I have a tower of unread books at my disposal. Backlogged tomes of intrigue that were purchased, loaned, or given to me to read, I am commencing to their needs. As I read them I will add here and perhaps even write a short review. What are you reading this summer?

First up is this story I found while visiting St. Louis, meeting the author. Mr. Wigfall who began writing a story inspired by a young person who compelled him to make a difference. The resulting story A Dying Breed is a strong start to providing stories for an underserved audience.

I am sharing the link on Goodreads and Amazon, as well as my review.

Goodreads- Dying Breed

Amazon- Dying Breed

 

My Review –

This is a compelling story with endearing characters. I want to know what happens next!

Buy two copies, one for yourself and one to give away. This story needs to be shared. It has the potential to inspire and open dialog not only with children and those raising children, but within our society about how we are letting our youth down. OUR YOUTH. Every child is our youth and we must be held accountable to why we are allowing them to grow up without basic needs being met. Security and hope are basic needs every child should have to grow to their full potential.

Mr. Wigfall, well done. Please continue!

Hobbies

After reading an article (http://writetodone.com/3-habits-separate-good-writers-tragic-wannabes/) about creativity and hard work. It got me to thinking about how my process had become one of tunnel vision and pushing myself very rigidly to complete and move forward with writing. I had put off all my other interests and in some cases, abandoned them entirely.

We are supposed to have hobbies, and interests. Some of us may be more streamlined than others, but never have I consider myself happy with blinders on keeping me ultra focused. Even when I studied accounting fresh out of high school my first instructor, Miss Jane taught us that sometimes when you know there is an error in a spreadsheet of numbers, you have to get up, walk away and do something else, coming back fresh to find it.

This article reminded me of that early lesson, now long forgotten, so I am taking the summer to play with my hobbies of interest. Reading, sewing, hand rafts, and already feel my imagination springing back to life anew. Maybe I will have something to show for the summer after all.

Inspiration Comes From Small Things

While I have been avoiding illustrations, a grandchild has been drawing away, at my art table. Now, this could have one of two responses by me:

1. I could berate myself for procrastinating and not being inspired, blame myself for not being finished and published by now.

2. I could see this as the inspirational boost I needed.

Taking the second option, I am back to doodling ideas. Since there aren’t any formulated pictures in mind there could be inspiration waiting to happen. Watching my grandchild drawing and enjoying the process was just the motivation I needed to get me started again.

My family of artists have been inspiring and create beautiful artwork. I use their same approach for myself. It is a choice. I like their inspiration.