Friday, May 17, 2013

End of the Woods

For anyone following my blog, I have been pretty up-front about the hardship I've faced the last few years.  Now, I've been working for about six months, and I feel that I am way down the road to recovery.

The hardest thing has been the psychological effects. On this road to recovery, I have been really revamping my lifestyle.  It's something that, looking back, has been a recurring theme of my posts. I had this continual feeling that I was trying to keep pace with my expectations of myself.   I had my life mapped out and I knew where I wanted to be and how i wanted it to go.

But nothing happens according to plan and when life hit I think it took awhile for me to catch up to the changes that the last few years wrought.

My writing changed, as I said before, and the other big thing that I'm figuring out how to do is forgive myself.  I got into writing because I loved it.  I kept writing because the expression of self was addictive to the point of becoming a necessity for balanced daily perspective.  But somewhere in there I entered a transitional phase.  When I started writing in that phase, again, my writing had become darker and heavier.  Certainly depression and despair had  become easier to write.

Then, I got a job in a bookstore.  Depression had limited my reading for over a year.  Then, in a bookstore, serving customers who loved to read as much as I did, I was struck again with book greed.  The surprise?

I've never read much nonfiction outside of school.  Now I gobble it up like my favorite custard dessert.  For many years, little fiction outside SFF appealed to me.  Now I'm reading much more broadly.  I want to read so many things, and I haven't felt that way in a long time.


In the depression, there was only one thing I managed to continue with great fervor and to teach myself.  Cooking.  All of my insecurity poured into an interest in controlling diet.  I fixated on food as the thing I could control in my life, and most other things I started to shut out.  Piece by piece.

Now, that the wounds are vanishing, I have to deal with scars left behind.  I'm not who I was.  My goals can't be what they were.  I have to pull my together the core of me-- which transcends the distance from then to now--with the me that was formed by the last few years.


I have to be realistic, now.  I never really was good at this before.  I was raised for a world where a college degree should win entry to a basic position, so I never planned for anything other than a job to pay the bills until I got my writing off the ground.  I was hard on myself to meet self-imposed deadlines for a very long time.  I'm no longer able to do that.   Reality got so real that it intruded on my peace of mind.  I once was able to shut out concerns for long enough to meet my writing goals.

Now, I have learned that I can't do that anymore.  I love my writing, but I need to give myself time to fall back in love with it.  I need for the same joy to return to me, which can only happen as I get the rest of my life together.  I have been alternating between obsession with writing, toward indecision.  The sign of a transitional period where I'm not quite certain what road I'm taking.

Knowing my own mind is the best key to falling back in love with my writing.  It is forgiving the me that needs reality to be set straight in order to write.

So i'm letting myself slow down and letting my mind and newfound interests carry me. I have a direction now, for Real Life, as opposed to Writing Life.  The balance, I think, is all I need to actually finish a project. It never was about the writing.  It is always about me.

And perhaps, at those times when writing is hardest it comes from the same place that finds liking myself difficult.  Those demons may never be fully dead, but i can put them to long sleep as I sort myself out.

I have made a big decision this week.  It has helped bring clarity.  I am choosing path I would never have ever considered a year or so ago.  But I think this is the right one.  Moreover, paradoxically, it will be good for my writing for me to know that I will be working towards such a necessary and, well, employable job.

These are needs that I, raised for a world of plenty, never thought I would have to make--and decisions I never knew I would find such joy in making.

Here's to new goals for a new me--and the allowance to change the old goals to fit my new life.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Google IO

It's another day in this geeky abode and yes, we're livestreaming Google IO again this year.

I love the discussion of new technology, and it always leaves me with increased curiosity about exactly the direction our future is headed.  This year, Google has not premiered crazy futuristic technology like the Glass they demoed last year.  But they are streamlining and updating everything they have.

From Google+, to search, to maps-- everything gets a makeover.  Certainly this is very exciting for a consumer of Google products like myself as it's all about making the technology smoother and more functional.

It feels a lot like the background, taken-for-granted technology of a science fiction novel. We've made it to the future, and what does it mean?  Where do we go now?

It feels to me that a foundation for some very amazing technology is being created.  Like Google promises, the technology is on the road to stepping aside so we might get to living.  I like living, so that is appealing.

But what does the world look like where we take all of this technology for granted?

I know for many, it feels that this time has already come.  But for me, the "taken for granted" is part of not consciously thinking about using technology. Right now, whatever device I am using, I am thinking about it.  From one screen to the next, swiping typing and charging.  It takes time, effort, memory for all of these things.  Yes, it isn't much, but it isn't as natural as placing one foot in front of the other, or smiling or laughing. Some of those things, we do so effortlessly, so naturally and habitually that we don't think of them.  Those actions we take for granted.  

I feel that technology certainly wants to get there.  A completely automated house like a particular Bradbury story.  What happens when it does?  When we engage with the computer as naturally as we would another human?  A pet?

What does that world look like?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

IWSG: Brevity *sobs* & Date Scenes *shudder*

It's time again!  Be sure to stop by the list and check out all the other awesome IWSG posts for May at Alex J. Cavenaugh's blog, here.

So what have I been insecure about this month?  Well, despite being sick twice in the past month and suffering from crazy allergies, I've been doing pretty well.  I am working on the main WIP, and while the progress has been slow, it has been continual.  Also, I have been working on what I had hoped to be a novella, but which a friend recently glanced over and critiqued.

Based on his comments I think it will be a novel. *sobs*

So perhaps that is my main insecurity: brevity.  I just don't seem to have it.  I try to keep thing short and they end up these long pieces.  At least there's no way Dezzy will end up as long as Silver Mask.

Silver Mask, the main WIP is definitely epic.  But, I think if I give myself time to work on the other story I can be patient with Silver Mask's slow going.  Here's hoping!

Secondary Insecurity: writing romantic scenes.  I dread them.  I am thinking this month of trying a few exercises to challenge myself in this regard.  If I can somehow master the "date scene" perhaps I can breeze through these scenes with the same tenacity and dedication I do with the rest of my projects.  Instead, these scenes tend to make me feel like I'm pushing through waist-high mud.

I become way too conscious of this or that part of the scene--even as I'm writing them--and that little voice in the back of my head is screaming "Bad! Bad! Bad!"  But I barrel on through, and try to tell myself I can fix it in the revision.

I guess it can all be fixed in the revision.  *Crossing fingers*

So, with luck, this month the "short" novel I'm calling Dezzy for now (My WIPs tend to take on character names/nicknames until they have their own title that Just Sticks, and then I know it's the right one) will be done by the end of the month, or nearly so.