Sunday Quote

Jan 20, 2013 by

11-18-07dog2_eyesthatslayGo confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
— Henry David Thoreau

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Sunday Quote

Jan 13, 2013 by

11-26-06cocoa1_eyesthatslayAll life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Sunday Quote

Jan 6, 2013 by

11-26-061wolf_eyesthatslayGet a good idea and stay with it. Dog it, and work it until it’s done, and done right.

—Walt Disney

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Power of the Mind

Jan 3, 2013 by

icon by eyesthatslay

icon by eyesthatslay

Lani Diane Rich has a great entry worth reading today over at Re-Inventing Fabulous. I’m a writer; no matter what other roles I play in life — and I play a lot — I am, and always have been, someone whose mind turns to how to frame a story.

This means an active imagination, which is great when it’s throwing out plot lines, visualizing a scene, or coming up with that perfect piece of dialogue. Not so great when I find the internal censor telling me why I’m crap or why I’m going to fail at what I’m doing, no matter what effort I make. Those voices can show up at almost any time, but they’ve been popping up over the last few days for me because I’ve had to perform that most dreaded of corporate rituals: writing my portion of my annual review.

I tie myself in knots writing that thing every year because I don’t remember the good things — and there are definitely some good things, but every flaw, every blemish, every stupid mistake comes rushing back. Why did they hire me? Why do they keep me around? And why would they want to give me more money/possibly promote me?

I’m sure most of us have been there at one point or another. That’s one of the reasons I look forward to the turn of the year; it’s a new start and a chance at a new beginning. Even with those voices beating at me until I finished the damn paperwork and submitted it, I’ve been making plans and moving forward. Lani writes:

But this isn’t about my body so much as it’s about my head. My body is a matter of changing habits; that’s easy. It’s my head that’s my major trouble.

So true. I know this already; I just need to be reminded of it from time to time. Much of taking care of ourselves is mechanics: eat right, get enough sleep, etc. But it’s the mind that makes the choices: not adding a sweet to lunch, getting up off the couch to go to bed instead of bringing up something new on Netflix — we have to decide to do those things.

New year, new decisions. I’ve got a number I’m working through right now, setting a course for the months ahead. What decisions are on your horizon?

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Sunday Quote

Dec 30, 2012 by

11-26-06tree4_eyesthatslaySo let your heart hold fast
For this soon shall pass;
There’s another year ahead.

–Fort Atlantic, Let Your Heart Hold Fast

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Sunday Quote

Dec 23, 2012 by

11-18-07fox1_eyesthatslay“We are not human beings trying to be spiritual. We are spiritual beings trying to be human.” — Jacquelyn Small

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Refilling the Well

Aug 19, 2012 by

Carousel Socks in Progress by Caro Kinkead

The writing’s been going well this week, but Saturday morning found me oddly out of sorts. Got up late and when I settled down to write, the mind wouldn’t focus and I found myself staring at the blinking cursor, my mind a complete bank.

Part of it was the fact the weather was steamy and, as Cole Porter so eloquently put it, too darn hot. But another part of it was the fact that I’d had a rough week at the day job and a couple of family things demanding attention while I’d kept up the writing. The mythical muse hadn’t gone on a quickie vacation to the Bahamas (or the much-cooler climes of Scotland); the plain, simple fact was that the well was dry at that moment.

Yes, a working writer needs to write even when you’re not in the mood and the words for the day haven’t been produced, but seeing as it was a Saturday, I took much of the day off, relaxed on the couch to help fight the headache that had arrived with the heat and knit. Turner Classics was running in the background (yesterday’s star was Freddie Bartholomew), and I allowed myself time to be lost in the pleasure of knitting. I’m currently working on a pair of Carousel Socks that are constructed by knitting a continuous strip, then adding the heel and the toe. The yarn is Picnic Blanket, with was one of the June Sock Yarnista Club choices from Three Irish Girls.

Now, I’ll confess that the June choices for the club didn’t thrill me at first and I picked this skein because the other one was way too pink cotton candy for me. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, figuring it would linger in my stash until I decided to offer it up for sale. Then I saw the Carousel pattern and knew it was perfect. What originally looked like a hot mess I wouldn’t ever want to use is slowly being shaped into something unique and interesting that will be a joy when it’s finished.

I was able to get words done yesterday, enough to fill my daily minimums, though hardly at the level I’d been managing during the week. I didn’t mind, though. Despite the lingering headache, I felt better because I’d taken that time to do something just for myself and just for the fun of it. It doesn’t matter what we’re trying to achieve in our lives, be it writing a novel, starting a new business, moving up the corporate ladder, creating a warm and loving home for our family, or whatever something else completely, there comes the moment when we have to stop, even if it’s just for a little while, and focus completely on ourselves. The better care you take of yourself, the more you make certain the creative/emotional well is filled, the better you’ll do in whatever your goal is.

How are you going to take care of yourself this week? What’s going to help you fill that well?

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Defying Gravity

Jan 15, 2011 by

It’s the start of a long weekend and I’m feeling curiously jubilant. Maybe because I’m starting a class tomorrow that I’m looking forward to. Maybe because I feel at this moment as if threads are starting to come together, like I’m waking up after a long sleep.

Whatever the reason, the song that keeps popping up on my iTunes at the moment is “Defying Gravity” from Wicked, sung by Idina Menzel as Elphaba and Kristen Chenoweth as Glinda. It is the first act closer, the moment when Elphaba makes the choice that changes the course of her future. Then, a friend linked to the following video, done by y_fish on LiveJournal for the women of the Serenity.

Maybe it really is time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leap. After all I won’t know until I try.

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NaNo Inspiration: November 25

Nov 25, 2010 by

“Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.” — Author Unknown

A joyous thanksgiving to you all. No matter how desperate times may seem — and I have known some truly desperate moments in my life — if you dig down deep, there will always be something to be thankful for. It may be a small thing; a warm, fluffy cat, a book that brings you joy, a movie running on television that makes you smile, the taste of a familiar dish that brings back memories of happier times. It might be big things; a roof over your head, making it through one more month with food on your table, a hand to hold for better or for worse. Whatever it is, be thankful and nurture that small flame of warmth in your heart.

Best to you and yours today and all the days through the year.

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NaNo Inspiration: November 8

Nov 8, 2010 by

“You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with the best you have to give.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s my birthday today. A big one, too — which is why I’ve given myself permission to go skeeving off from the work and run away to Disneyland. Oh, writing is going to get done today, just not much. Today is for celebrating, for spending time with my husband and a friend, reveling in the fact that good times and bum times, I’m still here.

Yes, somewhere along the lines, Stephen Sondheim’s ode to survival became my theme song. Maybe it’s because I realized at some point I could either cry in my beer or I could take what life was dishing out and do the best I could with it. We can’t change what is thrown at us by others and outside circumstances. What we can govern is how we react. I’ve left dreams behind along the way, sometimes through changes, sometimes because I’ve let them go. I’ve rediscovered some and there are a few that have remained constant. But when I think how much I’ve seen, I find myself grinning and thinking about how much more there is yet to see and all the stories I still want to tell. To again quote from Sondheim:

I’ve run the gamut, A to Z
Three cheers and, damn it, c’est la vie!
I got through all of last year.
Lord knows, at least I was there,
And I’m here. I’m still here.

For everyone who’s out there trying to hold on to their dreams through the good times and bad, I lift my glass to you.

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