Welcome Aboard

Welcome to my first blog.
I'm excited you've come along for the ride with me, as I blog my thoughts and adventures on the way to being a published writer. Take a look around, post a comment or two, and enjoy!

31 March, 2010

My Dad

My Dad,

Today’s blog is dedicated to my dad. He passed away suddenly on March 18, 2001. I had just driven home with my daughter to visit him that past January and nothing was amiss. I have a picture of his gravestone.

I was always a daddy’s girl. I remember always pretending to be asleep on the couch so my dad would have to pick me up and carry me to bed. My mechanical aptitude I get from my dad. I use to “help” him fix cars. My dad loved to tinker with cars. He was a good mechanic. Trained in it, among other jobs he held in his life. I loved handing him tools out his toolbox. He also helped me build my first book shelf, with a hand saw, hammer and nails.

My dad loved to be outside. I think he spent more time outside than inside. He loved his garden and he loved the lake and the mountains. Weekends for our family were usually spent outdoors. My dad’s brothers’ and their kids would join us. We would either be at the lake, barbecuing, riding in our boat, exploring the woods, or we would be in the Smoky Mountains barbecuing, exploring the woods, or playing games. From early in the morning to late at night. I loved those weekends. I miss those weekends. I guess that’s why it’s natural for me to want to be outside on the weekends.

My dad also loved to travel. He would take the whole family on a road trip at a moment’s notice. My mom was the opposite and that was a source of friction. Because of my dad I have seen the entire east coast of America, Texas, Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Canada, Mexico, and the entire South.

My dad was one of those people that would literally give you the shirt off of his back. I remember one of my dad’s friends coming to our house to borrow money to buy milk for his kids. My dad gave him all he had in his wallet, even though that meant he would not be eating lunch or dinner at work that day.

My personality is a reflection of my dad. I get my calm nature from him, as he would not let most things get to him. My sense of humor I get from my dad also. His favorite part of the newspaper was the comics. He is the one that got me hooked on reading comics. Iron Man, Superman. I think Batman and the Green Lantern were his favorites.

With my dad if I made a mistake it was not the end of the world. “Baby girl,” he would say, “what happened?” Or he would just move on, knowing I had beaten myself up internally enough.

My dad loved me more than anyone ever has, and understood me more than anyone ever has. I am thankful he was my dad, and for the person I am today because of his love.

30 March, 2010

Outdoors

I love being outdoors. I often wonder why I didn't become a park ranger. Guess I was afraid some rogue grizzly was going to eat me. As I write today's blog I am sitting on a stool outside.
I love the green of the grass and trees. I love watching butterflies and bees fly around. I even pause to watch the ants march back and forth. Today is a sunny day with a gentle breeze. The perfect day for a hike in the woods with my camera, capturing all that catches my curiousity. 
I love to watch the tadpoles and minnows swim in the water, and the turtles sunning themselves on logs.
Monday through Friday is difficult only because I have to wait for the weekend to fully enjoy the outdoors.
I think it's interesting how God created different desires and loves in each of us. My love of the outdoors was shared only by my father and I. He's been gone nine years and I am grateful to him for passing his love of the outdoors to me. I miss you Daddy.
Time to lace up my hiking boots and hit the trail.  

28 March, 2010

I'm Back

Yes I know it isn't midnight but it was good to get away. Hearing only the sounds of nature and an occasional person or dog.
I read my bible on my iPhone. I prayed for half an hour straight. Not saying that to brag. I really wanted to be still and hear Jesus.
Did I hear? Yes. Did I feel at peace? You betcha! Did He give me instructions? Mm hm.
The dragon has emerged and she is hungry. She will be well fed.

27 March, 2010

Running Away

I'm running away for 24 hours. Midnight tonight until midnight tomorrow. I'm turning off my iPhone and grabbing my first generation memorex mp3 player and escaping to an undisclosed location. Why? Because I'm in sensory overload. I'm a visual, creative person so my mind stores everything I see. Every color, every texture; Everything. I'm overstimulated. Over worked. Underappreciated.
I need to recharge my batteries somewhere no one can find me.
The goal is to come back recharged and ready for some marathon writing.
Ooh skeeball
Ok I'm back. My youngest nephew's bday party is at one of those gokart/arcade places. I love getting those skeeball tickets and trading them in for candy.
Where was I? Oh yeah running away. I know your not suppose to tell anyone your running away your just suppose to do it, but I know I'm going to come back different so I'm giving my blog followers notice.
There's a reason I love dragons.

26 March, 2010

$605.00

So I'm perusing the Sarasota film festival guide. I'm picking out movies I want to see, after parties I need to attend to network, and adding up hotel costs and it comes out to the figure listed above.
There are some really great films listed and while some nights I will be making the trek back home, in some cases it would be better if I just got a room for a few days. 
"But $605.00?" "Des, that's a lot of money."
It is and so I will have to sit down with a highlighter, and whittle the cost down to about half.
But it's such a hard decision. I want to see the animated shorts, and the documentaries. I want to have a conversation with a Disney animator. I want to go to the opening night film and after dessert-party. I want to watch movies that are going to make me laugh and cry.
So I think I'll sleep on it. 

25 March, 2010

What to do

Relaxation

As I write this, I am as relaxed as a bowl full of cooked spaghetti. 3 day old spaghetti. In two weeks I will have 9 days off from teaching: Spring Break.

The question is what do I do with those 9 days? I don't own a home so thankfully I won't be chipping paint or cleaning leaves out of gutters. I don't have a toddler that needs to go to Disney World for the 600th time or she'll die.

I got tired of racking my brain for ideas and took the logical approach. I treated my decision like a writing project.

SPRING BREAK 2010
Main character: Desiree, a pretty, bright, funny, overworked teacher with aspirations of being a full time writer.
Goal; To have a relaxing Spring Break, while getting extra writing done
Obstacles to the goal: Limited budget.
Her strengths; Spur of the moment kind of gal, excellent organizer and bargain hunter (found a room in Orlando with free breakfast and dinner for &35 a night one year). Also creative and flexible.
Plot: Desiree is contemplating where to go on Spring Break. She's checked out Ireland. She's checked out Jacksonville Beach.
She's checked out Sarasota (film festival is the same weekend). She's checked out the Smoky mtns.
During her decision making she will lose sleep, and eat her way through an entire extra-large pizza; gaining so much weight she'll have to exchange the brand new bikini she just bought.
Finally Desiree will get hit with a literal light bulb. It will shatter and she will look at it's broken remains on the floor and realize they spell a word- Sarasota.
"Of course", she thinks to herself. "I should stay in Sarasota. Then I could hit the beach, relax, do the film festival and still have time to write.
Desiree is so excited she pulls out her suitcase and begins to pack. Suddenly there is a knock at the door.

24 March, 2010

So what

Today did not turn out at all like I thought it would.
I was shocked and surprised.
Today someone shut a door. I think slammed would be a better adjective. It threw me off my rhythm, my gameplan.
But as I sit here preparing to do my evening writing I am back on target.
Everything happens for a reason. This is true. But not everything needs to be taken lying down.
God's timing is perfect. God's plan is perfect.
The worst thing I could do is let the events of today keep me from working on my passion, my calling: my writing.
So tonight's agenda is to start the YA novel synopsis I need to submit along with the first 1,000 words to an exclusive writers retreat. All expenses except travel are paid if you get accepted. It's a chance to spend a weekend working with a writing coach on my novel.

The outline of Act One of my zombie script went really well. I've got some good stuff to set up my main characters and to help establish who they are, what the conflict is, and what strengths they will use to win (or lose).

23 March, 2010

Music

I had the opportunity to travel with the band from my school to a music competition pre-performance. I had never been to one and I really enjoyed myself. I love music. Right now the iPod part of my iPhone has exactly 99 songs on it. That's not all the music I own, just what I've either uploaded, or downloaded.
I have a playlist specifically for writing. The music helps transport my mind to that writing planet/alternate universe that I inhabit for a few hours before having to return to reality.
As a writer I've found it important to do whatever is necessary for me to get to that other writing planet. Because when I don't my writing sucks. It's two dimensional and boring. Ah, but when I'm transported away, nothing else exists but that world.
I use to think that was weird until I read Terry Brooks does the same thing mentally. When he is writing his bestsellers, he is completely wrapped up in the world he has created.
If I don't immerse myself in the world of my characters then I'm not doing them justice.
Of course. I'm not sure how deep I want to put myself in the world of my current project-zombies.

22 March, 2010

Monday was a New Day

Monday was a new day

I woke up after 5 hours of sleep rested and full of joy. It was weird. That decision I made put me on the right path. Which was good because from an events happening standpoint, today should have brought me down. I had an observation that took all class period, student deliberately broke one of my yard sticks, threw it on the ground, and just walked away. Another student tried to break one of my Slinkys, and a stop watch was thrown.

Good from today: laughing with my students, good friend, peace and renewal in me. So as I sit in the last day of this workshop, knowing it's going to be another 15 hour day, I'm feeling great.

I'm looking forward to grabbing some Krystals on the way home, and getting in at least two hours of writing before bedtime. Tonight's agenda is: outline act one of zombie script because I'm starting to wander, and research some markets for the completed children's stories.

Avalon has a great song called "New Day". The chorus says-"Thank God it's a brand new day."
Thank you Lord for my new beginning.

21 March, 2010

What did she choose?

Well, before I get to what my decision was, let me put some backstory in.
I saw Alice in Wonderland today. I read the interview of the screenwriter in Script magazine. She's the same one that wrote Beauty and the Beast for Disney. She explained how when she was writing Alice, she wrote it from a dark period in her life. Tragedy and sorrow. So I was looking forward to seeing how that conveyed itself in the film. I could see the tragedy and the growth in Alice; felt the loneliness of the Queen of hearts. I want my writing to make people ache inside. To make them laugh out loud.

Before I wrote this blog I spent an hour journaling, as God opened a door He wanted open in me. A door that's been closed since college. It's necessary in order for me to be a successful writer.

Remember how I said I hate making decisions. Did you know not making a decision is a decision in and of itself? So I made my faith decision yesterday before I left Panera. I left and and headed to the film festival to watch some short films. One of the films is the reason I was journaling before this. After the short films the audience was able to talk to the writers, and directors of the films. It was encouraging and uplifting.

Late last night I had to head back to the film festival to hostess. Out of that event I connected with a potential camera man/editor, and two film makers. Their contact info is in my iPhone right now.

So my faith decision led to God providing these contacts, these opportunities. What was my decision?

The Writer Is In

Well last night, or this morning actually between 1 and 2:30 am I pulled out my writing, and my calendar and looked over what I have and what is in progress.

Ready:
2 Inspirational articles
4 Children's stories
2 scripts

In progress:
2 Young Adult novels (one is epic length)
1 Zombie script
1 End of the World script
1 Strong female hero script

Armed with this I organized myself. I have targeted dates to search for markets to submit work completed, and then submit my work. I've also organized my work in progress, prioritizing which one to complete first, and so on.


This is an exciting and scary time for me. I'm stepping out in faith with my writing. I'm letting my passion flow in my words.
I hope you all will encourage me as I venture out. If you don't hear from me for days don't take it personally. I'm in my writing zone. Texts and emails still work. So does dropping by Panera with some chocolate. Like tonight.
No really, I would love a Reeses right now.

20 March, 2010

Reset Button

Do you ever wish your life had a reset button? Like when an electronic device goes wonky you hit the reset button and "poof" all the problems that caused it to malfunction magically go away. Well I've decided today I'm hitting the reset button on my life.
"Click"
Did you hear it?
I've had two decisions I've been agonizing over for several weeks now. One is whether or not I'm going to be teaching this fall. The other is whether or not I'm going to stay in Tampa. I really hate making decision. But I've come to realize the beauty is in the fact that I have so many choices. The world is wide open to me.

This morning I awoke at 5:25am. Yuck!! It's bad enough to have to wake up that early on a school day, but on a Saturday. That's a full two hours earlier than my alarm was set.

Why did I wake up? Stress and anxiety over what to do with my life, dreams and desires I have and will they ever be fulfilled? So I did the most logical thing. I reached across to my bedside console and grabbed my bible and journal.
I flipped to Matthew 6:25-33. The cure for anxiety and worry section, where Jesus reminds us not to worry about what we will eat, what we will wear, the birds of the air and the grass in the field; and ends with seeking God first. It's a good read if you haven't had a chance to do so. Here's a link http://www.biblegateway.com/ . Try the New International Version in the drop down box. King James should not be your first intro into reading a bible.
Sorry, got diverted.

Oh, yeah. Reset button.
So as I'm reading Jesus's words in red, in the back of my mind that "FAITH" word keeps popping back up.
If you think about it does a bird worry that it won't find enough sticks to make a nest, or enough food to eat? Or does it trust that it will be there? Guess what it gets a home and enough to eat.
Being an outdoors kind of girl I've observed this first hand.

So as it says in Matthew 6: If God does this for them why would he not do for me? A Pastor that I work with reminded me the other day. "You have to trust that He (God) is always there for us. Think about how many times He has provided for you."
Then I got this big grin on my face. I remember when I was only able to work part time and I didn't have enough to pay the electric and buy groceries. An anonymous money order showed up in my mail box. No return address or anything. It was enough to buy groceries, and pay the electric with a little left over.
Or the year I only made $7,000.00 but I was able to pay rent and a car payment as well as household needs.
Yeah My God does supply.

So what does that have to do with my reset button you ask?
I hit the reset button because it's time. I've made my faith decision.

Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story. I've got four hours of writing, hiking, and a film festival on my agenda today.

19 March, 2010

Fried Mushrooms

Shared fried mushrooms tonight with a friend. They were actually pretty good. I liked them because they have a hard, crunchy exterior, surrounding a warm and mushy interior. Sometimes I spend so much time building up that hard, crunchy exterior, that I don't often show the warm, mushy me. Having that hard outer shell keeps me from relaxing and being my true self 100% of the time.

Women tend to judge ourselves against other women. Or we change to fit whoever we are dating or married to. Why? Because we're afraid if he saw us for who we really are, he would be disappointed or not interested. I don't know about you? But I'm tired of living a hard crunchy life. So let's take a sledge hammer and whack that hard outside to pieces. You only get one life. Why spend it being someone you're not? Or spend it with someone who keeps trying to change you?

So what if I love zombies, and converse sneakers, and anime, and star trek?
So what if I'm a passionate person that likes to hold hands and cuddle.
Am I suppose to coverup my interior and pretend none of those things matter?
Have you? What was the result? I'd love to hear some of your thoughts. Feel free to post anonymously.

18 March, 2010

It's Thursday

So I told myself I would blog everyday. Even if I think I have nothing to say. Kinda like my writing. I do it even if I don't feel anything. I'm sitting here with one eye open, another 15 hour day in the bag. I'm happy because I got a fresh supply of mountain dew. It helps me get my second wind at work. And the Gasparilla film festival started tonight. I'm scheduled to volunteer this weekend and I'm excited because it's my first film festival. I hope to get the chance to talk with film makers and get some pointers about shooting my own short films.
My heart's desire is to do an animated short as well as live action.
That's all I have in me tonight. I'm glad I still have my pocket tape recorder to dictate writing
to myself because that's where my novel writing for tonight is going.
I really need to stop burning the candle at both ends, then hacking it in the middle to burn it there as well.
Haven't forgotten I still have a faith decision to make.

17 March, 2010

Step of Faith

Step of Faith
I read a blog this morning about a woman who made a career change. She felt God calling her to somethng else and stepped out in faith to pursue another career.
I thought to myself, that's so wonderful but she has a husband paying the mortgage and other bills while she establishes herself in her new career. What about me? I have no husband to pay my rent while I pursue being a full time writer. So why is God calling me to do this when He knows I'm not able to?
Then it hit me. If I could do it on my own, where is the need for faith?
In James 2:17 it states that faith without works is dead. So I can say "Yes Lord, I hear you calling me to be a full time writer", but if I don't back that up with the action God is asking of me then I really don't have faith.
I can write and write and write, but until I let go of the "security" of a biweekly paycheck, I'm not stepping out in faith. I have to stop worrying about how the rent is going to get paid and instead, trust God and do what I know He is asking me to.
So the question is: when will I step out in faith?

16 March, 2010

I've been a naughty wench

"I've been a Naughty Wench."
It's weird waking up from a self-imposed hibernation. God needed to work on me, clean house in me, and it was better for me at that time to be a cave dweller. Like a severly sunburned person  avoids the one thing that damaged them until he or she is fully healed.
So last year, God kicked me out of my cave. Sealed it, dynamited it, reduced it to a pile of rocks. God said I was ready, my healing complete. I just needed to trust Him and open myself up again.
The only problem was I wanted to hang around the pile of rocks of my past.
You know there's this verse in the bible about being in Christ and being a new creation. I don't fully understand it but I'm learning there is freedom there.
So now I've turned my back on the pile of rocks of my past and I'm heading out. I'm tingling with anticipation because of the doors God is opening and the life before me.
Now the naughty wench has much to consider. Will she or won't she? 

15 March, 2010

Day 42 and still no rain

"Day 42 and still no rain. Even licking the dew off of flies does not satiate my thirst."
 
I've come to realize that I get very silly when I'm sleepy.
The writer is finally home 15 hours after she left and now must find some reserve in her to write 5 pages on her YA novel. I also need to organize the info on the summer writing workshops I want to attend in order of closest deadline.
Today wasn't too much of a creative drain. Most days at work are unfortunately.
The going advice, (yes I am jumping topics; remember I get easily distracted), is to write what you know.  There are a lot of things I want I write about. I'm on my second ideas journal. The first one is full, cover to cover.
That's not even counting the short films I want to make.
But not everything I write about, or want to write about I know.
For instance, I want to write about Atlantis and the Dust Bowl. Have no clue about either one but I have some great what if ideas.
So I prefer to go with my what ifs and let them guide me.
Now if I could just apply that to my personal life...

14 March, 2010

What do you love

As I write this, I'm enjoying an afternoon at the beach reading a novel by T. Davis Bunn.
In each of us, God created desires and loves that help us destress, and relax. One of my favorites is Sunday afternoons at the beach. Three to four hours watching the surf, reading, relaxing. Yeah, that's how I rest on the Sabbath. It takes alot to get through Monday thru Friday at my current occupation. These trips boost my battery.
So I'm curious what do you love to do to destress?

13 March, 2010

For Singles

I think my word for the month of March is going to be faith. When you ask God to strengthen your faith, guess what? He sends trials your way. All to help you see you need to fully rely on Him.
I have know dissapointment. People will let you down, but God will not.
As I write this I am down, but I am choosing to hold on to my faith.
Things will happen to discourage you and keep you from being the person God created you to be, and to keep you from believing God's promises.
God does not lie. Habbakuk 3:2 For the vision is yet for the apppointed time, it testifies about the end and will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it. For it will surely come and not be late.
Do you believe that? I do.
If you believe it then don't settle for less than God's best. Don't change yourself to fit a person. Be who God created you to be. Have faith the person God brings into your life will accept you as you are.

Day 1

It didn't take as long as I thought it would to set up my blog. I need to get a picture taken to post with my profile. Until then, Sam will have to fill in, and she's such a ham that it wasn't a problem.
Most of the research is done for my new YA novel. I even drafted the outline this week, which I've never done with something that wasn't a screenplay. It does make it easier to stay on track. Those that know me know I'm easily distracted and sidetracked.
It's how I roll.
Plans for today:
1. Buy a black dress for the Gasparilla International Film Festival I'm volunteering at.
2. Do Character profiles of my main characters in this YA novel so I know their voice and speak it well.
3. Shoot and edit some video at a pastor friend's family fun day today.
4. Finish act one of my zombie script.