Category Archives: Internal Demons

Back from the dead

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Outlandish!

I’m going to give myself airs and say “You’ve probably been wondering where I’ve been.” It’s been seventeen days since I last checked in with ROW80, since I stopped writing my NaNo novel, since I basically was last seen on the face of the planet.

I think I’m not quite ready to come out of my cozy cabin but I’m going to force myself anyway.

I’m still spending a lot of time reading about Autism, watching movies on Autism, taking baby to his appointments, researching things about Autism, modifying out diet to be even stricter with gluten/legume/casein free-ness since that can help Autism. You get the picture. But I have settled down a lot since then. I started reading actual fiction and not feeling guilty that I wasn’t spending my available time reading about something that will not do a thing to help my son. I stopped doing quite so much research.

But let me tell you that it’s hard. I want to do as much as I can for him right now and that takes up a lot of time and nearly all my brain power. Because during that time I also have to home school four other kids, get stuff ready for the holidays, cook, clean, etc. etc. I haven’t been writing. Unless you count all copious forms I fill out for various things. Which I don’t.

I’m looking for new flash fiction challenges to spur me back into writing. I haven’t forgotten about Faylinn but need to go back and read what I’ve written and actually make notes on what’s happening since I’ve basically been pantsing my way though it. And I really do like where my story is going for NaNo so I want to get back into that.

Also, if anyone that wins NaNo this month and gets the 50% off Scrivener coupon but doesn’t want it I’d be more than happy to take it off your hands since my trial is up and every one of my novels is on Scrivener. (doh!)

I hope you all had happy holidays and I’ll be checking in with some of you later today!

Any flash fiction links? Anyone not using the Scrivener coupon that wins NaNo? Any ideas for getting back into the writing groove?

Those Cozy Comfort Zone Cabins

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Pretty much sums it up.

Today I want to talk about something that can make or break you in anything that you do, your comfort zone. I could fill a small car with notebooks detailing all the things I’ve been interested in doing over the years but didn’t, because of my fear of stepping out of that comfort zone.

And that’s what a comfort zone is, a place we don’t feel afraid. It’s cozy there, warm and snugly like being curled up in front of a fireplace with a good book, a blanket tucked securely around us. We know what to expect, we know what is expected of us and we know we have the tools to do what needs to be done there. We don’t feel pressure in the comfort zone or if we do it’s manageable, still safe.

Recently, I’ve been pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone because while it’s safe and cozy, not a whole hell of a lot happens here. After a while, being safe and cozy gets a boring. The fire stifling, the blanket scratchy, the book read a thousand times. I stare into the flames and start day dreaming. What if I shed this blanket and step outside? Will I be eaten by a starving bear? Will I fall into a snow drift and freeze to death? What’s it like to do this or that or that other thing I’ve been thinking about?

So, I open the door, just a little. I write down an idea, just a scribble. I get excited. Something inside me sparks hotter than the fire in the hearth. I want more. I take a step out into the snow, it’s not as deep as I imagined. The cold is bearable, the fire within warms me as I take another step. Then it happens, I stumble. The warmth leeches out of me. I find tools to help me stand again. I could run back into the warmth, wrap myself up, pickup that same worn book. It’s there, calling to me.

But I don’t.

The world outside my comfort zone is so much more alive than I could imagine. I feel excited about life, discoveries, like a child again. Am I scared? Hell yes. There’s no ceiling here to protect me. There are many other places I could fall down. Sometimes those falls are hard, I scrape a knee, I break a bone. But I mend. I learn. I go on.

Lately, I’ve discovered that those debilitating fears I’ve had over things I’ve wanted to do are mostly unfounded. Yes, it’s still scary. The unknown always is. But the snow isn’t as deep and the scrapes don’t hurt as much as I thought. I’m still nervous, waiting for that bear to pop out from behind a tree. Here, though, the benefits outweigh the risks.

Here, I grow, learn, live instead of aging stagnant under a blanket of doubts, warmed by the fire of fear, stuck reading the same old book. Here, I write my own pages, I warm myself, I wrap experiences around me that strengthen me.

Here, surrounded by friends, those met and those to come, fired by desire and excitement to create a life worth living, create a life that burns a streak through the snow, my path, my journey one that could never have happened had I stayed inside.

I challenge you to take a peek outside today, take a step into that white void, to follow the things that spark life in your soul, sign up for that class, write down that idea, make that call you’ve been putting off, and leave your comfort zone behind. Don’t worry, it’ll be there waiting for you if you need it. But once you experience the world outside, I don’t think you will.

ROW80 Goals (accomplishments and progress toward THESE goals)

-Signed up for NaNoWriMo even though I said I wouldn’t

-Looked up workouts and expanded mine (wow, my thighs hurt today. Exercised Fri and Sat)

-Left a message for the gym the next town over (stepping out of that comfort zone…)

-Started planning my NaNo story combining 2 ideas and outlining and map making

-Wrote another 1300 for Faylinn bringing the serial novel total up to over 17,500 words and closer to conclusion

-Signed up for a Tarot story lining class (starts today!) will use this in my NaNo outlining

-Finished 5 college class assignments leaving 3 (half way+ done with the class!) and ordered the next classes books

-Researched the class requirements for my BA

-Commented on over 10 ROW80 Wednesday updates and another 5 for Sunday (so far, working on doing more)

-Read 2 chapters in Characters, Emotions and Viewpoint by Nancy Kress though I’m supposed to be reading the ECE by Margie Lawson, oops

-Written a few more blog posts for my Paleo blog

-Halfway+ finished with Alex Laybourne’s Highway to Hell which will have a review up after (2 books left for this goal)

Wednesday Recap

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I’ve been a little busy since Sunday.

I was quoted in this blog post on A Round of Words in 80 Days blog (Which you’ve heard me call ROW or ROW80).

Then I was linked in this blog post by Nadja Notariani for my Meme post last Wednesday. And here is another link on Memes from the Smithsonian (thanks Lena Corazon for the link!) if you want to research Memes even further.

Tuesday, Faylinn’s Chronicles got another 1400 words added bringing the grand total for the serial up to over 16,000 words! I’m still plugging along at it, I’m hoping to get a few more out by the end of October though my initial ROW80 goal of finishing the series might not happen. There is still SO much that needs to happen before I can call The End. I’d love to do this as an illustrated novel or as Lauralynn suggested expand it to book form.

I’ve also written a few more blog posts in my Paleo blog Journey of the Primal Tribe. Including video of my baby (well, he’s almost three…)

 

I was determined that I wouldn’t be doing NaNoWriMo this year (I participated the past 2 years) as it just seems like too much and what happens yesterday while vacuuming?? I get a fracking story idea. AND not just an idea, the whole beginning is playing out in my head like a movie I can’t shut off. Yep. I wrote down as much as I could trying to brain dump it but the damn movie reel is still going. Over and over. I think this is why authors have a tendency to drink.

Yes, I’m paying attention to you but inside my head I’m watching a story…

What’s doing?

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Finding over an hour of uninterrupted quiet in this house is akin to Columbus’s search for the new world; it’s a really long, terrible journey and you arrive only to find out later that isn’t exactly where you planned on ending up. Thursday night I dialed in to a conference call unsure of what I’d find. Husband did his best to quiet the kids and keep them on the far end of the house (which really isn’t very far) and I insulated myself behind the locked bedroom door and -for good measure- the locked bathroom door. Armed with a notebook and pen I sat on a stool and listened to Tara Wagner, The Organic Sister talk about Overwhelm.

At one point I ened up having to leave the bathroom as Husband needed to put the toddler in the tub to keep him occupied. I headed outside, sitting in the dark, scribbling madly trying not to smell so human to the mosquitoes. It didn’t work. I finally ended up sitting in my car with my dog outside the window. “What’s doing?” her cocked head was asking me. Yes I know, Leeloo, people are strange.

The call extended well past the hour and I was slightly disappointed and throughly relieved that the *2 raising hand feature wasn’t working. I had pushed it a couple times. After I sat for a moment with the huge amount of information swimming in my head. Fourteen pages of notes accompanied me back inside where I verbally dumped everything that had been said on Husband.

Things needed to change.

I am constantly in a state of Overwhelm.  Life homeschooling five kids, keeping the house relatively tidy, caring for 9 chickens, 3 turkeys, 3 cats and a dog, trying to complete my A.A., planning a very big move in about 6 months, and then trying to work in time to create anything additional has become a study in Chaos. I’m chaotic, the kids are chaotic, my relationship with Husband, chaotic. Anytime I find that hour or even ten minues, of quiet time to write it takes me half that time just to quiet the chaos. And even then it’s not where it should be.

The reason I’m writing this here is because something resonated with me that I can’t shake from my thoughts. Tara said this:

Chaos inside creates Chaos without.

When we sit down feeling chaotic, overhwelmed, anxious, nervous, all those things that tumble around inside creating an unpeaceful feeling, then we put hands to keys, pen to paper, what is it that we are creating? For someone that expresses themselves through various art forms, looking back on the things I have created, I can see that when I’m rushed or feeling that inner chaos of just needing to get this project done! I haven’t been able to create the quality the things I made other times when that feeling was absent.

That isn’t to say we’re supposed to create from a place of perfect peace. Emotions are what drive many forms of creation and turning off that flowing source of power isn’t going to help. But feeling emotions and being chaotic are two completely different things. Like Asia and Bermuda.

She had some wonderful suggestions on the process of eliminating chaos, of Overcoming Overwhelm. One of which I will be implementing over the course of the next few weeks; to figure out my priorities.

Only once I get to a place where I know where I want to go, can I move forward.

I want to Write. I know that much. But I need to create the time and space both externally and in myself, where that can take place. I need to shed the other excess things that take up that precious area and eliminate them.

The fanstastic thing about self discovery for me, is that once I discover something it’s as thought a door has been opened, a light turned on in a half-dark room, I can see things in a second that hadn’t been able to manifest before and it never goes dark again. It’s as exciting as it is scary. So, some of my posts might be a little deeper than I had planned to go. I still plan to write because if we wait for that perfect time nothing will ever get done. I just know that I’m not the only person that experiences Overwhelm and I am so impressed and delighted with Tara’s creations and her message that I felt not sharing it would be a disservice to everyone that hasn’t heard of it yet.

And that my friends is What’s Doing. Have a happy, and un-Chaotic, Saturday.

Doldrums

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I am finally on the mend. My right ear infection migrated to the left and left me in bed for over a week. While I was recouping, someone I thought was a good friend lied and stole from me. I ended a friendship of over two years on Monday over selfishness and greed.

I’ve come to the conclusion I’m too old to put up with this shit.

I’m feeling extremely overwhelmed as of late which is leaving my creative ambitions dry and difficult to grasp. I am finding no joy in creating anything. This is life, I suppose, it has it’s ups and downs. I feel as though I’ve walked into the Doldrums and lost my map on how to escape.

The only writing I’ve been doing has been sporatic at best and choppy at worst. I’ve done a little research into a story line I thought of and dropped about six months ago that suddenly called to me last week. I figured some writing was better than none at this point and got down over four thousand words that afternoon then abandoned it until today where I’ve added nearly another thousand.

So now I have four stories between 5,000 and 40,000 words. Which is furthering my depression. I’m questioning my ability to finish anything and without finishing anything I’ll never truly be a writer. I’ll be a putzer, putzing around with a calling that I’m too lazy and flighty to see though. Going through my life never accomplishing that which I long for and will die unfulfilled in everything except failure.

There are those internal demons again.

In which I have an epiphany, eat a veggie sandwich and find out I’m a Fluff Writer

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As I was sitting here discussing my current WIP with the husby, trying to explain to him everything I’ve written to try and get a handle on where I’m going, and telling him about everything going on in the background that I haven’t written yet and may never get to paper I had the realization that I might just be a Fluff Writer. At least on this current book.

You see, I have to explain, in depth, all these things to husby because I will not allow him to read anything I write. He’s a harsh critic. And it hurts. Though I end up telling him much more about any story I have in mind than I actually write down in words. I should just let him read it. But anyway, I digress.

The realization that I might write Fluff doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. Writing it makes me happy. I hope to make other people happy with my writing. I think that’s a-okay. Will I ever write a scary, super thriller like King? Probably not. But I’m not King. I’m Crystal and Crystal, apparently, writes Fluff and likes it. 

So, while I was rolling over this new form of self discovery at 8:30 p.m., I made a veggie sandwich. It’s my favorite. I roast veggies, add 1/4 an avocado and some Duke’s mayo. Holy guacamole, one bite and I’m in heaven. I made the veggie sandwich because there is a box of cookies calling my name. I ate sustenance in lieu of fluff.

Much like how I read books.

Sometimes I ingest carbs and veggies, sometimes I go right for the sweets. I don’t mind my writing being someone’s sweets. After reading such hard hitters like Saintcrow or Jemiah Jefferson that toss me sideways and rip me raw, I need something fun, light, fluffy. And I can write that.

This is a big, huge thing for me, being okay with this personal revelation, as I have a slight problem comparing myself to other writers. Because I don’t write like those wonderstars above that leave me emotional ragged and painfully sad when the wild ride is over, that I am not a good writer. Because I think that something I do, that makes me happy, is still not good enough for other’s eyes.

And that is very bad.

Worse than eating sweets for dinner.

The point isn’t what I write but that I enjoy writing it, that I take the time to perfect my craft, that I entertain other’s which is my goal. I hope it doesn’t mean that that is all I’ll be writing forever into the future, I’d like to think I’m more than a one trick pony, but I’m okay with this today. Now, where’d those cookies go?

fighting uncertainty

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There is one thing that I will confess to that has aided the devil in my brain who whispers sweetly to me “You’re not good enough.” Which is the lack of formal education. Reading the bio’s of many poupular authors I have come to the conclusion that they collect degrees like trading cards…or so it seems. At least to me and the devil in my head.

THIS is why I’ll never be published. THAT is why I will never write anything good enough. There is a very long list of reasons silently whispered to me as my fingers dance along keys telling me to give up, to stop. To do anything else besides this to which I am enamoured because it will just never be. And I will die a humiliating death if I ever share it with anyone that doesn’t love me, or at least like me a lot.

I have just finished half my credits towards an AA. I have educated myself in things that appeal to me. I research what I don’t know. But I still feel that isn’t enough.

Are these bio’s written to impress? To make lowly, regular people without years of collegiate experience feel as though they’d never qualify for the term Author? That degree-lacking writers need not apply?

I realize that this may be a form of my own internal self-doubt. But once, just one time, I’d like to read a bio that goes something like this.

X dropped out of highschool and got her GED, spent the next handfull of years as an underpaid secretary before leaving that to birth a half dozen or so babies. She spent a decade trapped in her house constantly starting and never finishing a novel while changing copious amounts of diapers and trying (and failing) to start a farm. X has over fourteen unfinished novels under her belt and hopes to hell you won’t slam the one that she finally got the balls to finish.

Huh, that sounds a lot like it could be mine…