Leveled up!

Jul. 7th, 2013 12:28 am
lathriel: (violin)

I'm sitting here trying to write a query letter for my most recent novel (the novel I wrote since being fired!), and something amazing just occurred to me. When I started writing this book last year, I didn't really know where it was going. It was a weird book, with weird ideas, and a plot that doesn't do what you expect your average plot to do. To be perfectly honest, when I set out to tell this story, I didn't think I had the skills to tell it. Even when I outlined the hell out of it and had my epiphanies and figured out exactly what was going on in the book, I still didn't believe I had the skills to write it.

And yet here I am, crafting the elusive one sentence summary, preparing my novel for her maiden voyage to my literary agent of choice.

Maybe I had the skills all along, and maybe I didn't. Maybe I learned the skills along the way. But I gave it everything I had--I trusted in the story, in the process, in my sheer love of storytelling. And now I've told the story that I wasn't sure I had the capacity to tell.

That realization...it just...I don't have words for it. I feel humbled. And proud. And at peace.

Also, I kind of feel like I can do anything now. Just to warn you.
lathriel: (writing)
Bear with me, this might get strange.

So I think a lot about imaginary people (because I'm a writer, and a reader) and I think a lot about story, and what aspects appeal to humans, and how, when things are taken too far, maybe people sometimes expect real life to be like stories, which isn't impossible, but unlikely. And I think sometimes about these characters that go through so much and finally achieve their huge, massive goal--and then what? What drives them forward? Do they get their happily ever after? Or does the story go on? Or rather, do they begin a different story?

Happily ever after is widely accepted as a myth these days, because we know that time and life doesn't stand still. You can't stay at the top forever. Problems arise, solutions must be sought. Stories must be lived.

I think about that a lot: what do are the characters' lives like after the story ends?

And then I hit my own milestone/climax-resolution yesterday. I finished the first draft of GHOST CITY, the first novel I've started and finished since 2010 when I posted the last chapter of The Poppet and the Lune (unless you count my massive rewrite of THE HIEROPHANT). I felt like I should have been more exuberant, more over the moon for my accomplishment. I had to check to make sure I wasn't suppressing joy in favor of doubt (as I do). I wasn't. I was excited, but no more excited than I'd been the days before. I'm excited for the book! But the story goes on, well after the first draft, as any writer knows. And I'm more excited to move forward onto the next stage of crafting this story than I am excited that I finished one stage of it.

It's a little bit like me getting fired. I'm far more excited and enthusiastic about being free and living my life as I've dreamed, than I am excited to be free of my terrible day job.

That's not to say that when I do finish a final, polished, ready-for-submission draft that I won't be exploding with joy, but that's a slightly larger milestone to meet.

Relief is more the feeling I had yesterday. I was relieved that I made it through the whole thing. I was relieved that I had it in me, another story, another novel. I was relieved that my decisions about the novel, whether they were the "right" ones or not, were good decisions. I was relieved that I could do it. I can do it. I can write novels, and more than just the ones I've already written.

I have a feeling I will feel that same relief with the first draft of every novel I will ever write.
lathriel: (eek)
First: to all of you who left me such lovely, heartfelt encouragement and strength in the comments of my last entry, thank you SO MUCH. I would have responded to each of you but it basically would just be virtual blubbering and hugging, so I do that here, now: *HUGS* *LOVE* *TEARS* THANK YOU!

I feel much better today. I think a part of me knew this was coming--I had done Tarot readings at the hermitage that, at the time, I refused to believe because they were either a) too good to be true, or b) too frightening to delve into. Back then, I was haunted by images of Death, but I was also deep into a spiral of depression and anxiety. Even though I *never* interpret Death as death, I kept going back there. But I've also had a paranoid vibe at work since forever. And I totally read about me receiving inheritance, and I thought it too good to be true (plus my mother had told me we weren't in my grandfather's will, and I hadn't expected it anyway). But lo, my parents decided to give each of their kids a substantial gift. And lo, Death came and terminated my job at the lamest excuse for a business ever.

Today, I feel shameful joy. I'm working on the shame part. But the world would have me believe that it's not okay to be happy about this, about uncertainty, and unstable income, and lack of being a "contributing member of society." It would tell me I can't be happy when I don't know what the outcome of my unemployment is yet. It would tell me I have to take the first job that comes along, even if it sends me right back into a black hole of depression and anxiety.

But you know what? I'm happy. I don't ever have to go into that toxic, poisonous office ever again. I don't ever have to worry about my shitty boss being in a pissy mood, or doing a shitty, poorly designed project, skirting the edges of ethical. I don't have to worry about getting approval for time off, leaving early, having time to pick up my husband, get to a doctor's appointment, being late because of traffic, being temporarily laid off just because the president is a cheap mother fucker... I could go on about what I'm leaving behind, but let's not. Let's... leave it behind.

Today, I woke up with crazy hair because I went to bed with it damp. Here's another secret admission (theme of the week): I love when my hair is insane. I have "curly" hair, but it usually settles into waves on the second day. Sometimes when I go to bed with damp hair I wake up with this MASSIVE LION FRO and it is AMAZING. I feel fine going out into the world with that, but to the office? It feels "unprofessional." So I have to wet it down and comb it out until I look respectable (metaphor?). Since I got faux bangs at my last haircut (bangs that are pretty much always swept aside) my hair gets even crazier around my face. I think next time I get my hair cut I'm just going to ask them to cut it in whatever way makes my hair the BIGGEST. Because why not?

Also today, I put on my teal corduroy pants and my most comfortable tee shirt, thinking "fuck business casual" the whole time. I woke up feeling giddy, goofy... kind of blossoming. I feel like I'm slowly rising out from my prison. Slowly remembering who and what I am. I can wear hair flowers now, since I don't have to worry about a headset messing them up. And so long as I'm willing to dye over it if need be when a job opportunity comes up, I can totally take advantage of the toner being faded from my recent highlights and dye that shit FIRE ENGINE RED or TEAL or GREEN or FUSCIA. I can do what I mother fucking want.

I'm at Spot Coffee right now, in Williamsville. I decided to go here after I dropped off Jared, and have the coffee I would have been having in the afternoon. I'll be writing in a moment. I'm beginning to live the life I've been dreaming of. It hasn't come as expected, and it's scary, and it's by no means stable. But I have to focus on the positive. I must see this as an opportunity. And I really do--it's just so hard, in the face of so much societal conditioning, to say "I'm happy I got fired."

So, I've given you three secrets this week:

1) I think I'm a fucking awesome writer.
2) I love when my hair is huge and curly and crazy.
3) I'm happy I got fired from my shitty job.

Hell yes! What other secrets can I share with you? I'll think about it...
lathriel: (eek)
Meet Rusty!


Rusty loves his squeaky carrot!

Sometimes he fetches it...

And other times, he just cuddles with it. In his mouth.

That's Rusty!

He is the sweetest, most playful, most adorable little guy. He's so incredibly smart, and is learning very quickly. I'm learning a lot, too, about being a different kind of mom--being a mother to cats is much easier, for one thing. Being a mother to a dog in a house full of cats is no picnic. The cats are adjusting though--Luke spends most of his time upstairs still, but he does come down to use the litter box, and even comes to sniff around when Rusty is sitting on the couch with me. Lando is being strangely dominant, which I can't say is a surprise, but it's a little unexpected. He usually just doesn't care about things--he's very interested in Rusty though, especially in letting Rusty know who's boss. Leto is nervous, but not nervous enough to stay out of the kitchen when he thinks there might be food for him to steal ;D

But mostly, the big difference between owning cats and dogs is, owning a dog requires a lot more time, focus, energy, and selflessness. And it's surprisingly easy for me to give those things away to something I love. <3

Anyway, I'm reading a lot on dog training methods (positive reinforcement!) and feeding choices (no grain, all natural!). But if any of you veteran dog owners have any suggestions on how to train a dog that is too smart for its own (or my own?) good, let me know! 


Spot

Mar. 21st, 2012 10:07 am
lathriel: (zelba)
Yesterday, in honor of the first day of spring and the GORGEOUS weather we've been having all week, Jared and I took our bikes out the moment we came home from work. We rode into the city, through ghost neighborhoods and past crumbling churches and boarded up factories, and did figure eights outside of City Hall by the McKinley Monument. We stopped for dinner at Spot Coffee on Delaware Ave., and I was a little heartbroken to find that it is slowly turning into a cafe that is just like all the other chain cafes out there.

Spot was originally a local chain with a unique, thrifty style: lots of busted vintage couches and gaudy brass lamps with crystals hanging from the shades, local artwork on the walls, and bold, dark colors used for decorating. The bathrooms were a haven for graffiti artists and poets, a repository for quotations and sentiment, little slices of other people's lives inked onto the walls for all to see. A few weeks ago, the bathroom was painted over in a rich grey paint--I thought perhaps they were just giving us a clean canvas since the other one had filled up. But yesterday I saw with some sadness that the bathroom had been remodeled. It now looks just like all the other chain cafe bathrooms I've been in: grey/brown tile walls, a stylishly large granite sink, new brushed nickel fixtures everywhere. I could have been washing my hands in almost any kind of chain establishment that has renovated in the last 15 years.

I mentioned it to Jared, and when he went into the men's room he said there was a tiny bit of graffiti on the door that read "new walls?! MOAR ART" and even though it's juvenile, it made me happy. It made me glad to see I wasn't the only one who missed the original personality of the local cafe.

Maybe I'm being silly, but it sure does make me sad to see a place like that begin to sell out. I suppose they have to cater to the crowd with the most money--and being voted best place to talk business, I guess they're no longer trying to appeal to the hip local college students any more.

Le sigh. Such is life.
lathriel: (Default)
I've finally backed away from the edge of desperation that i'd been tracing for a while. *phew* life was just getting a wee bit out of control there for a while. But I had some breakthroughs this weekend and week, despite still living out of boxes and STILL getting the rest of our stuff from the apartment. I don't even want to talk about that.

But I discovered a lovely little coffee shop a few blocks from my house, and I plan on many pilgrimages there. And I plugged in my keyboard the other night and played for a while. And I even hauled out my cello and tuned it and played, and dear sweet baby jeebus did that feel good. Unfortunately its the cheapest piece of crap cello one can buy, so it never really sounds all that great. I'd like to buy a better one someday, because I seriously need to play more often--I was totally ramped up after I played, and I was in an amazing mood for 24 straight hours. I'm still feeling pretty good. But I go through weird musical phases, you know? I won't deny that I have musical talent, I can pick up any instrument and play it... A little. And there are so many instruments I love to play. So if I want to get really good at one... How would I choose? And I go through phases where I'm way more excited about one over the others. Like, I think maybe if I took lessons on piano is get really good. I can play a lot now, I can play Brick by Ben Folds, and some Radiohead songs, and I'm decent at composition too. But I've always felt a kinship with the guitar, and it just so happens my husband got a free guitar from work that they were going to throw out, that my dad got fixed up cheap, that sounds amazing, that was actually a $700 guitar when it came out in the 70's... And its the perfect size for me. And there's my ukulele which I love, which I want to get in tenor too, and even a banjolele if I can find one for a good price.

But then there's the CELLO, which I did play for four years in school, and even though I rarely play now I'm still okay, and it is still THE GREATEST INSTRUMENT OF ALL TIME in my humble opinion. (I also read a book recently where the MC was a cellist and I was so jealous of her fictional life because she had kept playing...)

I don't know I don't know...

This is the story of my life, of course. I have big broad interests that I can't choose my favorites from. It's why I still haven't begun to learn a second language, and why I haven't devoted nearly enough time to my pursuit if visual arts. (I <3 photography, painting, sculpture, drawing, making movies and animations... Eventually I WILL be sectioning off some part of my office for animating purposes!)

I realize that I've entered a phase of my creative recovery that is like a dam opening too much too fast. I need to focus, let the energy flow instead of flood. But it's hard! There is so much I want to do! Not to mention the ideas I have for my house, inside and out.

These are good problems to have though, so I will stop complaining now ;D

Also, jfyi, we will have our internet hooked up this weekend! So I will be back online and able to read AND comment on you entries again! Reading is easy on my phone, but commenting takes way too long, and is very unreliable. So I apologize for my lack of responseyness!




Posted via LjBeetle
lathriel: (Ana and Trebor)
Holy wow batman I am like never on here. I dislike that. I want to update more, but life, work... sigh.

Life is good though. I've been feeling wonderful the past few weeks, trusting the universe, appreciating all the blessings that have been bestowed to me. We close on our house the week of the 22nd (I can't believe it's so close!) and we move that weekend. Hopefully we'll have time to get in there and paint at least the ground floor before we move our stuff in. Packing is not happing as quickly as I'd like, but it's hard. First we need to get boxes, second we need to have a place for boxes once they're full. And for some reason it doesn't work out that you can use the space that the boxed things once utilized. Huh.

In other news, I love my husband so much. I'm not a big gusher, but I have just been oozing love for him lately. Maybe it's because I'm watching my older brother go through a rough divorce, and maybe it's because this whole year has had me really focused on family, but I am just so happy and in love. And buying a house with him is a whole new adventure (hopefully to be followed by the adventure of getting a dog together this Christmas!), and I am so excited for it. For a lot of things, actually.

I have this plan, see (so long as the economy doesn't collapse). I have all this money in the stock market that I never use for anything. Over the years it's always been "you'll want to use that for [insert major purchase] some day!" but, hell, we just bought a house and didn't use it. So. A while back I figured out that if I could somehow make an extra $100/week outside of my day job, and have it not take up much time, then I could go back to part time at work, and I could have extra time for writing. I have more than enough money in stocks (at the moment) to liquidate some, enough to give me $100/week for a full year. I can go part time for a full year.

That means I will have a whole year to really focus on my writing, my marketing, my everything to do with my real career. Plus I will have the added bonus of a structure that forces me to wake up in the morning, and reminds me why I shouldn't slack off on writing.

So, that's amazing. :D

And of course, there is always the possibility that TPaL will take off in sales one day and I'll make lots of money from that. XD

What else. Oh, I discovered a site called netgalley.com where you can request egalleys for free! I've gotten about 10 books from them sent to my kindle! AND right before I signed up for netgalley I had ordered 3 books from Amazon which arrived today, so I'm rolling in reading material, and loving the hell out of it. Mmmm stories...

Speaking of stories, I'm still writing The Tower every day. And loving the hell out of it, too. It's unfolding in this magical, soft, dark, breathtaking way that I could have never expected it to. It gives me chills sometimes, just thinking about it. I love these books so much. I can't wait to see what happens next.

So yay for life!

Have an awesome weekend :)
lathriel: (desert)
I'm working ten hour days all week to make up some hours from last weeks vacation. I was going to not do it on the grounds that they don't pay overtime at work, but then they decided, just for this week, they are doing overtime. So. I have to work open to close. Every day. And that's why I've only got time for this quick update, and haven't been commenting lately.

Also keeping me from communication is the fact that we've been looking to buy a house. And Tuesday we looked at three... and put a bid on a little yellow house in South Buffalo that we immediately fell head-over-heels in love with. And Wednesday we went back to look it over with my parents, who also loved it, and while we were there our realtor got a phone call-- our FIRST BID was ACCEPTED, at almost 6,000 less than the asking price. SO WE'RE BUYING A HOUSE YOU GUYS. All today at work I was emailing back and forth with the realtor, the mortgage guy, the attorney we're trying to get ahold of, and playing phone tag with the house inspector. We've got 7 days to get it inspected, but it's a holiday weekend and we're going to be gone camping- I get back Monday (Jared's got the whole week off) and Tuesday night after work I'm meeting the inspector at the house. Wednesday I'm taking a long lunch to meet with the mortgage guy (what's his title? no one's told me!). HOPEFULLY the attorney will get back to me tomorrow morning, and everything will go smoothly, and we'll be moving in at the end of AUGUST.

XD

Also, last weekend, as I'm sure you all know by now, NEW YORK STATE LEGALIZED GAY MARRIAGE OMG AND THERE WAS SO MUCH SQUEEING ON THE PHONE THAT PEOPLE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT WAS HAPPENING. And now, my bestest best friend in the world is getting married at the end of September, for legal-realz :} <3333

And one more thing: I'm meeting my half brother for the first time in 15 days.

Weird.

I LOVE YOU GUYS
lathriel: (no drugs)
-So have I already bitched here about being blocked from all social media at work? Cause that happened, which really sucks.

-But the book release party on Friday was AWESOME. So many people came to show their support and celebrate with us, I felt bad I didn't get to talk much to a lot of people :( But I signed my first books ohmygawd so now, I'm like, a real author!!! ;D

-But then there was the News that didn't come as a surprise: my older brother is probably getting a divorce. He found out about a month ago that his wife had been cheating on him for over a year (yes, that means while she was a bridesmaid in my wedding). I had known he'd kicked her out of the apartment for a few weeks, but I guess she weaseled her way back in but was saying shit like "i don't know if I love you enough" "I don't know if we can make this work" blah blah blah. He also found an email on her computer last week from Karen to a friend saying "I miss him" and the friend said "it's his birthday soon, you should send a gift." WHAT the hell? They went to a marriage counselor a few times, but I guess last week Adam (rightfully) pushed the issue and Karen said she wanted a divorce. My mind is blown- not by their getting a divorce, but by the fact that a person could be so fucking two-faced, being in my wedding party, spending Christmas with us, accepting gifts from us, and having the BALLS to tell me when I was having a fight with Jared "oh you can call me to talk whenever!" Ugh. I'm disgusted and enraged. But mostly I just want my brother to be happy. I know he still (thinks he?) loves her, but he's accepting that this might be the only way for him to have a happy marriage... with someone else.

-But to sandwich with some good news, I've been contacting various fantasy/fairytale magazines to see if they'd like review copies of TPaL, and I've gotten some bites! Next time I publish (Winter 2011!) I hope I'll have proof copies out ahead of time.

-I have to work from 8:30 to 7 Monday through Thursday this week to cover taking off this Friday. Sometimes I hate my job. I'd rather just lose a day of pay, you know? My LIFE is not this effin' office job. I'm a wife, too, and HEY a person with passions, and an author who needs to write. I also have to work till 7 Tuesday and Wednesday next week because I took a half day that Friday to go to a co-workers wedding. And before and after I go to Israel I have to work 8:30 to 8:30 all week. Did I mention we don't get overtime? Yeah, that's illegal, I know. But they just move the hours around to the hours you missed.

-But some good news: we're going to be talking with a realtor when I get back from Israel! Housey house we're a-comin' to find you!

That is all. :|
lathriel: (desert)
My birthday is next week, Tuesday- slightly overshadowed by the fact that Sarah and I are releasing our very first published books into the world. I'll be 26 years old.

Time and age and birthdays are a very weird thing to me. I have a loose sense of all of them. I always, always celebrate change, even change as ambiguous as the passage of time. I've always celebrated my birthday, too- not necessarily for my birth, but for an excuse to celebrate something, together, with friends.

I'm not disappointed that I'm not going to have time for a birthday party this year. But I'm craving some time to reflect, to really sit still and look at life and the places I've been. Life has been a whirlwind since 2008- writing The Hierophant in 3 months, going to England for a semester, coming home, meeting Jared, graduating from college, moving, getting married, finishing TPaL, getting a job, and self publishing... and I'm beginning to realize, that's life. When it slows down, I'll be dead.

I'd like to sit down and make some goals. I'd like to look at what I want in the next ten years, where I think I'm going. I'd like time to really appreciate what I've done up to this year, and take the time to be celebrate in my own way.

Hopefully after the book release I'll not only get time back for writing, but have a day or so to just relax and meditate and walk, and be with my thoughts.

(Although, you know, if I'm busy being an overnight SENSATION I won't complain ;D)
lathriel: (Default)
SO MUCH PRODUCTIVITY the past few days! Holy crap. I managed to format two ebook files of The Poppet and the Lune, as well as the print version; I put together a pdf for the full cover (front, spine, and back); and last night I all but completed the book trailer.

This morning, my files were approved by the folks at createspace, and I ordered the first proof copy of The Poppet and the Lune. It should be here by Friday.

OMG YOU GUYS :O :O :O :O

This is all SO REAL now! My book is about to be in my hands, printed and bound and lovely and precious, 361 pages of magical publishing JOY! The book trailer is almost done, and I'll have Part I: A Heart Full of Stitches available for a free download some time this week. I'm so excited.

Also important, I've learned just how much time actually goes into everything I've done in regards to formatting and publishing. Next time I launch a book (Fall 2011!) I'll be able to time it all much better. I wasn't too pressed this time, but I put off a lot of the time-consuming parts, like everything I did this weekend XD

So.

*SQUEEEEEEEEE FOREVER*

That is all! :D
lathriel: (writing)
I think I'm addicted to lists.

I was blathering on yesterday to Jared about how overwhelmed I was with the things that need to get done- and I mean really blathering on and on and on and verging on moping (and he took it like a good husband lol). Finally I ended it all with a sad little: "I need to make lists."

It's so true though- there's so much going on, so much I need to do and take care of, so much in life and in publishing and in love and in etcetera that if I try to look at all of it at once I want to crawl under the covers and hide.

Well, that won't do. So I've got to make lists, and a tentative (REALISTIC) schedule. And I've got to get this stuff done, or at least started.

This is the thing about being a proud-and-out-loud dreamer, and doing lots of awesome things- you really have to stop yourself from thinking too much about how you're going to get it all done. Cause that's where doubt sneaks in. That's where evil little tendrils of darkness slither between the cracks and dislodge the cornerstones of your faith. Sounds weird, I know, but I do a better job when I'm not thinking about how.

I guess it's like dancing. Even in ballroom-style dances with specific steps, one dances best when they just go with it. If they start thinking about where their feet are, it's over.

But, you know, now that I've looked, it's looming over me and I can't look away. So I shall tame the beat by breaking it into pieces and listing each THING that needs to be done. Thus, victory shall be mine.

MINE.

Okay, that's my Friday rant. ;D

Ostara

Mar. 25th, 2011 09:37 am
lathriel: (eek)
I can't begin to fully express the joy and trust and love that's bursting from me lately. I'm *so excited* about everything, and I have such unshakable faith in myself and the Universe to deliver. Wheeee!

Our Ostara ritual Wednesday was a small celebration, but full of SO MUCH LOVE and SO MUCH HAPPINESS that I was literally vibrating through most of it. I felt my hairs standing on end, I felt my chakras radiating such warm-happy-joy-life-energy. We spoke of stories and possibilities, and there was so much magic and truth and holy-crap-YES moments and minutes and hours. Example of an exchange within the circle:

Lady 1: [insert problem].
Lady 2: [insert thought provoking question].
Lady 1 (immediately): Oh, I have the answer!

Basically that happened with any "problem" that we talked about, all night long XD

An interesting thing about this spring: I have been craving amethyst. I avoided amethyst for years because it seemed to be a very cliche new agey stone, but when I was a kid I remember I had this one chunk of it that was so good. I can't really describe it as anything else, cause I don't think I thought about it much as a child, I just loved it. It was sort of a chicken-wing-shaped chunk, not tumbled, darker on the wide end, lighter on the other. I used to hold it and rub the flat parts (later in earth science I would learn those natural surfaces caused during fracture are called "cleavage" lolol *is so mature*) with my fingertips and just feel enchanted. I think I thought it was a shard of the dark crystal. XD

Anyway, I've been thinking about amethyst a lot lately, particularly that piece. It feels like spring to me. I meditated with a piece during ritual, and it was just so happy... maybe I'll head out to some new agey shop this weekend and try to find a chunk.

That's all for me today. I'm just buzzing and glowing. Happy Spring Everyone!
lathriel: (violin)
I think spring has sprung for me. I don't care if it's not for another few weeks- I feel more alive than I have all winter. I have more energy, more focus, and a higher tolerance to the lingering cold. I want to clean everything- purge the apartment as well as my self- we're starting a mild cleanse next week and I'm excited for it. I've been keeping up with my daily meditation, and it's been easy to do so! Unlike ever before, when it was always something forgotten or put on the bottom of my priority list.

I'm so excited. I feel so much more balanced than I have in such a long time, and I think tonight- yes! tonight!- I'm going to start writing again. I'm going to try something new, too- writing whatever I feel like at the time. I have a few projects to choose from, some old and some new, and I think I know which ones are calling to me the strongest- we shall see.

I've been pulling tarot cards at work the past two days, and OMG if I was looking for signs then the deck has given them: first a sign to get the ball rolling on a super secret project, then a sign that it's time to start sprouting. I've been enriching the soil all winter, and growing my roots this past week, and now I'm ready to let my head peak up above the topsoil. I have the ten of cups hanging over my monitor today, and it screams abundance. Also, new magnets that are unbearably cute, very not like me, but their enormous eyes and tiny smiles and ridiculous illustrated happiness make me happy too, so right now I feel full-to-bursting with Happy.

Also, this super secret project I'm working on... it makes me so happy to even think about it. Unfortunately there are various circumstances that prevent me from just blasting ahead full-steam, but I'm doing what I can in the meantime, which is a lot of research and brainstorming. Oh it feels good. I feel big. I don't know how else to describe it- just vast and expansive like the sky.

SPRING!

BAH

Feb. 23rd, 2011 12:16 pm
lathriel: (writing)
There are THINGS on my MIND that cannot be un-minded. Things that ask many questions, that do not offer answers. Things I haven't had the time or wherewithal to sit down and figure out. I get too excited, and then I get afraid, and then I get all "THIS MUST BE PERFECT." Except it's more of a low and solid and determined thing said between gritted teeth: this must be perfect.

Which, I know is... you know. What's stopping me from getting anywhere in the frist place.

I'm working on it, as best I can. My thing this week as far as "getting in alignment" and just trying to regain my usual gale-force storm of positive perspective is to be more general about what I want, and continuously be on the look-out for things that are going well, things I've accomplished, and things that make me really happy. I've been impatient with getting back on the wagon of writing, but I'm still burned out, and I know it.

I've been learning to crochet. I've been reading. I had a very relaxing weekend with Jared and Katie and Pete, and we talked a lot about things that emphasize what I'm dreaming about doing. Slowly, but surely, I'm getting my groove back. I'm sure it's no coincidence that we're eeking towards spring.

Right now, I just need to focus on being patient with myself, and finding joy for the sake of being joyful.

Shtuff

Feb. 17th, 2011 10:58 am
lathriel: (violin)
It's almost WARM out!!!!

Sarah and I went for a walk last night. A long, glorious, moon-lit, non-shivering, spring-smelling walk. We talked a LOT about life, and writing, and destiny, and instinct. It was so good. I feel much better about a lot of things, and I definitely have a renewed sense of direction.

I started re-listening to some of the Abraham-Hicks CDs I burned from my parents a while ago, and it's been kind of ridiculous. Everything I've been thinking about lately, ideas that have come to me, questions I've had... they are all confirmed or addressed in the past 48 hours of car-time-listening I've done. Amazing how I could listen to those CDs so many times, and only hear certain parts now.

Anyway, I feel much more empowered again. Not *completely* back to where I was, but getting there, and gaining momentum.

I want to make lists again. That's always a good thing. ;D

Anyway, just thought I'd share.

This weekend Jared and I are going to the Thousand Islands with Pete and Katie for a mini-retreat! I've been so looking forward to this, on multiple levels. First off, I've never been there, and that's always an adventure. Second, we're not obligated to do anything but have fun. I know Pete and Katie and I will use a lot of the time to work on creative projects, read, relax... it's perfect timing, really, because I just want to sit around and make lists and think about things, novels, directions, plans. Plus, I hear talk of drunken board games happening, and that's always fun...

And then last but not least, I had a dream I was riding a black alpaca through a city, and busking with my ukulele. That, also, I just thought I'd share. ;D

Desert Time

Feb. 2nd, 2011 12:08 am
lathriel: (dancedancedance)
Note: I've noticed a pattern in my life: whenever I start to get depressed (usually in the winter) I find a way to travel relatively inexpensively to someplace exotic.

When I was younger, I heard rumors that if you were Jewish there was some program that would send you to "The Holy Land" for free for a 10 day tour. Then I heard that you only had to be half Jewish (which I am), but that it was only open for 18-23 year-olds. Then, this weekend, my cousin who is 26 and also a half-blood prince (har har har. For some reason 3 out of 4 sisters married Jewish men!) told me the offer is good until you're 27.

27!

Do you know what that means?

IT MEANS I'M GOING TO ISRAEL, COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, BEFORE I TURN 27.

True, I have to apply to the program and probably find a way to prove my half Jewishness, but I will do everything in my power to take advantage of this situation. Hello! Desert action? I'm there! Plus I've always felt way more connected to my Jewish heritage than my Episcopalian. I bet most of you had no idea my mother's side even WAS Episcopalian (at some point :p) for all I (don't) talk about it. And, in fact, the trips are geared more towards non-practicing Jews and half-Jews than anything, and have no agenda of conversion or anything, just education. So, again:

-Free, including flights, transportation, meals, lodging, and pretty much everything but souvenirs
-DESERT ACTION
-No preaching
-Adventure
-And in case you were wondering, very safe and nowhere near the Gaza Strip

This cheers me up tremendously for the time being.


lathriel: (violin)
As Samhain approached, I mentally prepared myself for the increasingly cold weather and the fewer and fewer hours of sunlight. I said to myself "Maddie, you know what happens every year. You fight winter as if it is an enemy holding you back from your goals. It's not. Winter is your teacher, if you let it be. Embrace the dreamtime, and make it work for you."

So, I didn't really know how to do that. I just told myself I would, and let it go. I assumed it meant not expected much from myself, but that's not it at all.

This morning as I was writing in my morning pages, I really began to understand. Artists and their projects need several things to truly flourish: a deep, filled well of images and ideas to draw from (not quite inspiration, but similar); a solid foundation in themselves and their mind and heart; and faith. (There are definitely more things but these are what occurred to me today). Winter is the perfect time to gather and build these things.

This winter, in addition to not stressing, I have a lot of inner work to do. I have a lot of research to do, a lot of planning, a lot of thinking, if I am going to truly self publish The Poppet and the Lune. That alone could take up plenty of time and energy, but it's all very singular, very "alone" kind of work. I might share findings I am excited about, but just like writing, I'm in it alone in the end even with the gracious support of friends. Now that we are down to one car, I pick up Jared downtown at 4:30 every day. This means I might as well spend an hour or so at the Buffalo Central Library (once I pay that late fee) researching and reading, at least once or twice a week.

In addition to major goals, I have small goals to address as well. I want to begin taking weekly piano lessons (I've been looking for a while on craigslist), which will mean at least an hour a week for lessons (including travel), and practicing every day. This is something powerful for me- even as an amateur with a "good ear" I have a strong positive response to noodling on the piano or teaching myself new songs, no matter the difficulty. The medium our family is friends with once told me that playing piano was something spirit strongly encouraged me to do, to help foster ideas for writing. It's also something I've just wanted to do forever, and am finally in a financial position where I can afford to :)

There are other small goals as well. I want to begin learning French, and get into habits of exercise, and back to doing Bikram at least once a week. I want to make our home cozier, to build some new traditions for Jared and myself, to make the holidays special for us as our own family as well as with our greater family.

Sarah and I are figuring out the details of beginning our own meditation circle starting in January, every other Wednesday night, which is a medium sized project I suppose, but one I'm very excited for and that leads me into the next thing...

The dreamtime is a time for dreaming. A time to reconnect yourself with Yourself, your higher self, the one who is really pulling all the strings. Spiritually, I feel that I have been called more and more over this past year to truly focus on my spiritual life as a Pagan, to study more pantheons, to maintain a better altar, to really listen to the messages from the divine, and to do all these things within the unique context of what they mean to me (because I'm fairly certain my take on these activities are very different from a lot of pagans). (Also, as a side note, Jared and I had an amazing conversation yesterday about male spirituality and the Norse pantheon, and I'm excited about where it's all going for him!) In my life, one of my most constant and greatest goals has been to deepen the connection I have with the divine and with spirit. It is also something I tend to put aside because there is "so much on my plate." Not this winter.

As for creative acts, I know I can't not write. But I can be playful about it (and shouldn't it always be playful?). I can focus on outlines, very very rough drafts, short stories about the silly concepts Jared and I laugh about when we walk around our neighborhood together. I will be writing, and working on projects, but it will be lightly, with an easy and joyful attitude.

I am thrilled, and I am blessed, and I am looking forward to all that I will accomplish in the coming season, even if it can't be measured in word count.

I'm sure I've envisioned it all to be a lot easier than it really will be, but it's a start. I'm not going to make huge demands on myself. I will only demand that I not watch movies/netflix/hulu before a certain hour, and that I make my forms of entertainment as enriching as possible.

L'chaim!
lathriel: (Default)
...just sayin'.

-In other news, I still don't like anything I'm writing for my NaNo this year. But oddly enough, I'm on track to finish by the 30th. I don't know, I'm just letting myself suck. The problem isn't sucking, it's not being able to make this sound good. I dunno. I'm not worrying about it. I'm just getting through the month without getting mad at myself or the book. It's an odd kind of test.

-Work is going very well. It's totally easy and kind of boring, but at the same time I've discovered if I really throw myself into the job the day goes by fast, and I have more fun with it. And, hell, I am making REALLY good money for what I'm doing. Also, they just trained me on another campaign to take registrations for some kind of dinner event for doctors, which I'll do in addition to the tele-detailing, and which has an incentive of $.75 for each inbound call. SWEET. I'm excited to get my paycheck this week to see how much I've already made in commissions.

-I am looking for an artist to design a mock cover for The Poppet and the Lune. I AM willing to pay for this. If any of you know of an artist, designer, or other kind of artsy person whose style would be good for the cover of a fairy tale about a patchwork girl and a boy who cried wolf (and became one), please let me know! Even if you don't know them personally. I'm on the lookout! More on this, and why, in later entries...

-All around, life is good. This past new moon, Jared and I went to see his grandparents and aunt in Pennsylvania who he hasn't seen in over 15 years (which is the only reason he didn't invite them to the wedding- in my mind, a wedding is a good excuse to see people again!). They are very sweet people. It was nice to be around grandparents again. I love to hear their endless stories that make me nostalgic for a time I never knew. :) New moons are always a great time for me, a magical time that is thoughtful and dreamy. I might not be the most productive, but I feel everything very deeply. I was close to tears so many times Saturday because my heart was so full for Jared and his grandparents :]

-Starting next week I'm going to be getting back into Bikram. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 5. I have these classes I've paid for, and damn it I'm going to use them. Those are literally the ONLY times I can go, and even that is squishing it between other things.

-I ordered wedding picture prints! I'm going to go out and get a fancy album for them so we can cart them around at the holidays and show family :)

-I'm thinking about Christmas gifts already for Jared. Also birthday gifts (12/27). He hasn't had a Christmas stocking since he was 15, so this year we're doing stockings for each other. He's very into Nordic myth, and I think has a blossoming pagan-ish feeling about it, and mentioned that he was interested in runes a few times... I'm going to get some wood cut and a drummel and I'm going to make him his own set of runes :) Among other things... he really wants a banjo, too, and since I think he desperately needs a creative outlet I want to get him that if I can afford it. Meanwhile, I have no idea what I want for Christmas. An iPhone maybe? Meh.

-This weekend is the Half Way Party for NaNoWriMo, and we're having it at my parents' house! Eeep. They're going out of town for the weekend, and they said we could have people over there. I think it will be wonderful, I just hope no one breaks or otherwise ruins anything, lol. And the weekend after that, we're going to Pittsburgh to visit my brother and sister-in-law! We're going to get free tickets to her concert for Appalachian Spring :) Fun! And before that, during the week, we're finally getting together with Pete and Katie and Sarah and Jenn for dinner in Rochester!

This is the month of madness. XD

<3

Everything.

Nov. 1st, 2010 03:40 pm
lathriel: (Default)
So much to update about, and I probably will later when I'm procrastinating at the FIRST WRITE-IN for National Novel Writing Month!!! But, suffice to say I had a fantastic weekend, seeing old friends and making new, and having quite possibly the best Samhain ever.

I feel reborn :)

Happy November!

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Madeline Franklin

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