Tag Archives: Inspiration

Directions

Sometimes, I wish there really was a guidebook about my life, specifically all about me, one that could help me with which direction to take to get to the different outcomes.  You know the book I’m talking about right?  The one where if I choose one action, this happens; pick the other choice and this series of events happens.  Or pick the third option of doing nothing and this happens.  Something like that would be helpful.

I’m at a direction stand-still right now, and I should be writing rather than typing this post.  I have 18,000 words to add to “Journeys” before I can submit it to a potential publisher to hopefully not get to no.  I’m procrastinating at my finest.

Actually, I’m trying to work out whether or not to make it first or third person.  It was originally written in third person, then I started re-writing it in first person.  Now it’s back to third person.  And I’m still only on Chapter Two.

On top of that directional choice, there’s a job opportunity that I want to apply for, especially since it would mean that I may be able to work from home more often than not.  I’d be remiss in saying that if I were still in my old job, the one I was in in January, I’d jump on it.  It’s a promotion and it’s all about writing and editing.  Sounds perfect right?  Not really.  While I was in Cali, I figured out where I wanted to be with my career.  So my directional challenges right now are 1) which job would be more helpful in getting me there and 2) if me chasing my job will also help Ray chase her dream too or not?  Or do I apply and see what happens?

Then there’s this blog.  I’ve talked about a lot of different things on here but the only consistent thing has been my goals and some of my travels.  There’s not been one clear thing that I’ve focused on.  So what is the direction here too?  Don’t think I’m leaving because I’m not; it’s just something I need to consider moving forward.

Any directional choices you’re finding difficult?  What do you do to get past them?

Listening to:  My “Journeys” soundtrack

Reading:  Strangers in Paradise Vol 2 by Terry Moore

Quote of the Day:  “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ― Thomas A. Edison

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Filed under Advice Column, Goals, Writing

Personality Types

For the record, I’m 30.  That may seem old to a lot of people and very young to others.

I’ve not been quiet about my need and desire to find a new line of work, maybe freelance work like writing or opinion-based journalism (although lately what’s the difference?) or maybe travel agent/dreamer/unrealistic goal setter.  Take your pick.  A deep, secret part of me would have picked librarian or successful author.  I have a book finished; just can’t bring myself to finish editing the damn thing.

One terrible thing about me with this whole “wanting to change careers” movement is I research things to death.  Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that I research until things aren’t fun anymore, or don’t do enough research…although not sure how that happens.  I’m pretty focused on things and once I dig my nails into something, it’s very hard to get me to not do it.

The first article I came across about switching careers at 30 gave the reader the advice to figure out their personality type before moving forward, since making any type of career change now means finding a career that makes the person happy and going for it.  At 30, with the standard 62 year retirement rate, I’m looking at spending 30+ years (if I finally find something at 32 that I love and qualify for) working in that career field.

So personality tests:  Myers-Briggs.  That’s the go-to for any type of personality test that I know of.  And Pinterest, the best procrastination tool out there, is littered with explanations about the types with memes, lists, why a type might hate you, etc.

Damn it if I didn’t come out as an INFP (Introverted, Intuition, Feeling, and Prospecting).  I will say that the N could have easily been an S (Sensing/Observant) and the P could have easily been a J (Judging).  I don’t know what questions would have gone the 2% in the other direction and I kind of don’t want to know.  The other two, I and F:  no question on those two.

So at my age, with no degree, what jobs am I looking at?  Pretty much novel writing.  What can I do that makes what I make in a year?  Nothing without a degree.  I mean come on!  I have to have a degree to be a librarian, and a Master’s degree at that.  That is a dream job, doesn’t pay much starting off, but as a bibliophile, in a perfect world, that’s what I’d do.  Experience though counts for almost nothing.  Note:  My high school volunteer work and summers were spent at the library.  See?  Already looking at that route.

I’m complaining because now I have to get off my duff, finish my Bachelor’s, and start working on my Master’s in Library Sciences.  Yeah to another two to three years of school and another three years doing what I do now.  At least I’ll hit the eight-hour leave category by then right?

Listening to: Wish You Were Here by Incubus on repeat (Thank you Amazon!)

Reading:  Queen of the Darkness by Anne Bishop and A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Quote of the Day:  “The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.” ― Max Lerner

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Change in Location

There have been few opportunities where I can change my life for the better.  One was going to DC, then having some amazing people who were great and supportive of my life and my career.  Another was meeting Ray.  I know I talk about Ray a lot but she’s pretty freaking special to me.

Then, just when life feels like it is going to break you, the Universe (or whatever external divinity you believe in) reminds you that good (and even great) things are out there.  You just have to be brave enough to take them.

Currently, I’m typing this on my laptop at a table 3,000 miles from home.  I’m still coming down off the high of even being given this opportunity.  I thought it wasn’t real up until I got told there was an action in the system for it.  Still didn’t believe it was real as I was driving out this way.  It probably won’t hit me that this is really happening to me until I get to work tomorrow and get settled.

Every missed opportunity from before…  I want to say has led to this moment.  It hasn’t though.  I screwed up on an interview years ago for almost the exact position in a different location.  Then there was Portland.  I had my hopes up and everything, only to have it land in my face 24 hours later with two words:  Not selected.  I kicked myself a lot for those, but I wouldn’t change the way all that happened.

Life is good and things are awesome.  And someone was willing to take the chance on me to allow me to the chance to work in the field.

All because I put my name in the hat to do something different.

Listening to:  Down with the Sickness by Disturbd

Reading:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling and Lirael by Garth Nix (Tim Curry is an awesome narrator!)

Quote of the Day:  “The most important thing is this: to be able at any moment – to sacrifice what you are, for what you will become!” ― Eric Thomas

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February’s Monthly Goals

Well…um…damn.

I think the only things I finished was “Read 10 books,” “Start RTY 2018 mile challenge,” and “Record 10 vlogs.”

It’s been a really slow start to 2018, but we’re already a month in.  How does that happen?  Oh right:  Because I procrastinate!

Sigh.

Work has been great so far this year and after focusing on the books, sending one more kid off to boot camp, traveling to another’s graduation, dealing with the uncertainty of work (furloughed government employee), and just the general moodiness of S.A.D., I didn’t do much of anything this month.

But check-in anyways:

  • Miles reached: 1,231.74.  77.26 miles to Rauros!
  • Weight: 252.6 (I’ve been fluctuating)
  • Books read: 27 books.
  • Blog Posts: 4
  • Vlog Posts:  11

For February, I have a detail coming up so I will complete a few things I didn’t think I’d get to do, and work is paying for it.

  • Reach 200+ miles.
  • Get under 245.
  • 10 blog posts.
  • 10 books.
  • 10 vlogs.
  • Travel cross county.
  • Start saving for honeymoon cruise.
  • Edit my NaNoWriMo book.
  • Submit “Finding Home” to Kindle Scout.
  • Buy a lottery ticket.
  • Visit California’s North Coast (Eureka, CA)
  • Complete HRC’s Nargle 9k

That’s it for now.  I’m looking at other things to add to my list while I’m away but we will see.

Happy Thursday!

Listening to:  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Reading: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Quote of the Day:  “The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom.” ― Osho

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Filed under 1001 Days, Bucket List, Goals, Uncategorized

Chances

Tomorrow is my paperwork based one year anniversary at my job, even though I actually started two weeks later.  I’m not sure why I’m mentioning this other than I wonder sometimes what would have happened if I had stayed in my other position.

I had to ask Ray for a topic this morning because I couldn’t think of anything to write about.  I was going to write about setting goals but that didn’t flow as well as her topic is.  Her question was, “What have you gained and lost by taking chances?”

Gained?  A lot.  Lost?  Maybe some of my sanity.

My chances or risks have been pretty successful for the most part.  The last few months have been rough, with both of us questioning things, but for the most part, things have been good.  The biggest chance I took:  Coming to D.C. for Job Corps.

You never really think about one decision changing the course of your life.  I’ve screwed up a lot in the last 12 ½ years, but that one decision rolled in with a whole lot of others.  Taking the train home, starting a conversation with someone who is still in my life, people who have come and gone, all of that leading to one major chance that further changed my life:  Meeting Ray.

I’ve said this before, but it bears a lot of repeating.  Writing about the people you love is easy, even if it gets a little bit tedious to others.

I hadn’t wanted to go to that party, and I was pretty pushy.  She didn’t want to have much to do with me, and after looking at old pictures, I wouldn’t have wanted to have much to do with me either.  But we took a chance, and we’re still taking chances on each other.  There are days I wonder how I got so lucky.  I love that woman like there is no tomorrow.

And there are days I wonder if we made the right choice, if I’m missing out of something by being with her and settling down.  I get that from my dad, the not-quite-settling-down part of him that made him never stay long in one place.  I’m like my dad in some ways, but the choices I’ve made make us different people.  My dad wasn’t ever really afraid to take chances on his dreams, even if the family unit suffered.

My dream might be easier without people there; I’d love to travel more.  I’d love to do the European Tour as a solo traveler, just once.  But there is one thing that I noticed during Orlando, walking towards Ray with food in one hand after making her walk through Epcot.  Traveling the world may be more expensive with two people, but the experiences that those people share are priceless.  You never know how priceless without taking a chance on a future with that person.

Had I not taken that one chance, I wouldn’t have everything that I have in my life today.  Life may suck somedays, but the only wish I have was that I would have met her sooner and saved both of us some heartache and life lessons.

Listening to:  Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Reading:  They Both Die in the End by Adam Silvera and Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Quote of the Day:  “When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” ― John F. Kennedy

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Just because you can…

…Doesn’t mean you should.

I’ve referring to borrowing books, not something tragic, like opening my mouth to someone who doesn’t need to know what’s really going on and just dropping all my emotional baggage onto them.

No, I’m talking about borrowing audiobooks and books fitting the reader’s state of mind.

A couple weeks ago, I borrowed Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert from Overdrive.  I put it on my TBR and everything, hoping to get to it.  I haven’t.  In 11 days, I haven’t picked it and up and now that I can, I don’t want to.  The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, same thing.  I also have a few physical books that I want to read but I’m just not in the mood to read them.

Eat Pray Love I have read a few times over the years.  I’m not in a truly dark place in my life now, but I think I want to make notes in my copy of the book so I’m holding off on that one until next year.  The Girl on the Train may also wait, since I own a copy of that book too.

Physical book wise, last night, I had a book picked out and was going to start it after reading a few graphic novels.  Something happened between me reading them and the other book.  When I went to go pick it up, I couldn’t crack the cover, metaphorically speaking.  I just wasn’t interested in it at that point.

I wanted dark.  I didn’t want light and fluffy.  I wanted dark reading.  I had quite a few books that fit that bill.  Thankfully, the one I picked up, I haven’t really wanted to put down but had to so I could get work done.

Whether my book choices are trying to help me gear up for the last quarter of my NaNoWriMo novel or not, I’m starting to be very particular about the books I start and those I don’t.

All books are meant to be read from a place of love because all books carry something for the reader.  The string of Meh books I’ve had lately, I’ve come to understand I don’t have to finish the books I don’t connect with because there are books, like You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day or History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, that deserve more of my attention.  I took things from those books (go get it because you’ve got this!  And being said after someone dies is okay; the destructive behavior afterwards, no so much) where the Meh books just sort of where a “What not to write” warning.

Longer post than I meant it to be, but I have to do this with real life, too.  Being stuck where I am not happy isn’t good for me or those around me.  Writing for NaNoWriMo helped me pull out some tools and I’m ready to get back on the saddle and finish other books outside of just the book this month, starting with Shadow.

Happy Friday folks.

Listening to:  Little Ones by Highly Suspect.  It’s not been on repeat all day today so that’s a plus.

Reading:  The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.  Holy *&^%.  I’m not far into it, but it makes me want to grab a warm beverage and a blanket and curl up somewhere so I can just devour the rest of it.

Quote of the Day:  “Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghost of yesterday. Holding a grudge & harboring anger/resentment is poison to the soul. Get even with people… but not those who have hurt us, forget them, instead get even with those who have helped us.” ― Steve Maraboli

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Keep Going!

I was thinking about how I’m doing my NaNoWriMo novel—how I’m keeping myself motivated, how I’m working through all my word sprints, and how I will actually finish this novel this time.  Also, how I’m liking it so far too.

My novel is a bit history, but a lot more romance and what coming to America could mean for dreamers.  I’m writing it without much research except what I can pull from random breaks in the word sprints.  The main characters are people that I like and the ones who are side characters are just as interesting as the main characters.  Are they interesting enough to make it beyond 50,000 words?  Well, considering it’s day 11 and I’m am at 18,334 words so far, yeah, I gotta say they are.

A mantra I have to keep telling myself is that what I’m doing is just a first draft.  This is just the first go around with this story.  This is just the first time I’m meeting these characters and they will evolve throughout the story, and more throughout the editing process.

The problem I have always had is that I am a perfectionist.  Everything has to be perfect the first time, every time.  That’s not a good way to live life.

So, what I’m attempting with this year’s novel is to just make good art.  Not great art, not this time and not yet, but so simply just make something good that can become great.  Because being great takes practice and even the greatest writers start their books with a first draft before their story is ready for their readers.

Happy Friday!

Listening to:  Little Ones by Highly Suspect on repeat

Reading:  History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera and Forever by Maggie Steifvater

Quote of the Day:  “I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.” – Neil Gaiman, Commencement Speech 2012

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