Monday, September 19, 2011

Leap of Faith

A couple of weeks ago, I learned of an upcoming writers conference being held in nearby Ottawa. After reviewing the itinerary, I could clearly see that this conference was going to give me an incredible opportunity to schmooze with the pros and possibly get a one-on-one critique from a major literary powerhouse. 

An opportunity I can't pass up, right? 

Maybe. Hopefully. But maybe not. 

When you attend these conferences, in my opinion, you need to be able to present your best work, completed and in it's final draft. If I were to get the chance to meet and discuss my work with an important editor or publisher, I wouldn't want to spoil the opportunity by presenting amateur unfinished drafts. 

I currently have a portfolio of six "completed" PB stories, all of which have been critiqued and revised at least a dozen times. I have worked on them for a couple of years, and even left them to stew a bit, revisiting them at a later time when I could see a possible change. Surely they must be ready by now?

I know this is not an uncommon fear as I often hear fellow writers worry about the status of their stories. There always seems to be some sort of nervousness and protectiveness about revealing their work to others. But eventually, I know, you have to be able to let your literary child go off to school and wait to see if they come back with a gold star. 

Fingers crossed!

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." — Albert Einstein

Monday, September 12, 2011

Can Clutter Be A Good Thing?

There's something about organizing that gets me in a great mood!

This past weekend, I spent an entire day going through closets and drawers and getting rid of anything we haven't used in a while. My husband, a notorious pack rat, loves to hang onto all things sentimental - or not. I will admit, he does have everything neatly put away, but there's just so much of it! So every time we (I) decide to do a"clean sweep" of our house, he gets anxious watching his "precious" items go. (A quick disclaimer: I would like to point out that I am NOT getting rid of anything personal or sentimental but I don't think that grade school sweats or high school homework falls under the "precious" category!)

I do admit, I am a self professed organizational geek.  I like order, I like structure and I like getting rid of excess things cluttering up my house. I am a minimalist almost to a fault - almost! So while sitting in the bottom of my spare closet, rifling through elementary school jackets (really?!?!), I thought of what it would be like to walk on the wild side and become a clutterer or worse, UNorganized. It's a far cry from the person I am, but maybe it would be good for me. Luckily, I don't actually have to do anything quite so drastic! The thought, however, did inspire a new PB story about an organized girl named Amy:

Amy loved to plan and organize. In fact, she would plan and organize everything in her "BIG BOOK OF ORGANIZATION". She would track what she needed to do that day or week or month. She would plan what she would have to wear to school, color coded of course! And she even would organize how her day would be structured, down to the hour. But when Amy's book suddenly goes missing, she must figure out how to go through her day without any order, and learns that sometimes, life is best lived without a script.

What are your thoughts?

PS. I want to emphasize that this story was LOOSELY based on me and is very exaggerated.... Lol!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Birthday Blues

I celebrated my birthday this past weekend and turned the big 3-2.  I have to admit though, it was a grumpy day.  I was in a terrible funk and I couldn't shake it. I felt like I was one of those cartoon characters that walked around with storm clouds over their heads.

All week long, everywhere I turned, I was constantly being questioned about my birthday plans. The pharmacist, my doctor, the LCBO clerk, even the MasterCard customer service rep.  "What are you gonna do, where are you going to go, do you have any big plans." Questions seemed to be flying at me from every direction and by the time the actual day arrived, I was all riled up and in a terrible mood.   

I was really feeling pressured to do something big, and prove that my birthday had been an event. I don't know why this was making me pissy, but it was. It wasn't that I was against celebrating, or that I harbored any sad feelings from past birthdays. It had nothing to do with anything that deep. It had more to do with the questioning. 

So much so, that I started to write about it.....and as I wrote, a story about a grumpy child named Carl emerged. Unlike most kids his age, Carl didn't want to know the whys and whats about anything and everything. And he especially hated when people would ask HIM the questions. This story has humor as Carl is asked the most bizarre of questions,and his frustrations quickly build. 

I hope to be able to finish this story based on my own personal frustrations. (Come on, did someone really just ask me THAT?!?!) After all, doesn't real life make the best scripts? 

PS. After I ran those storm clouds away, I went out and had a great time celebrating my birthday.... if I can only do something about all those questions!

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