NaNoWriMo is less than a month away!!

So, apparently October is Preptober…

and that means that NaNoWriMo is just around the corner!!! (National Novel writing month.)

I have actually never heard of Preptober before, but I think it is something new that started last year. Now, let’s hope this year’s NaNoWriMo goes a lot better than lasts, eh?

Have you signed up for NaNoWriMo yet? Well, what are you waiting for!!

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Poem: Twenty-nine

About a year ago, I wrote a poem called twenty-eight. Well, this year I am twenty-nine and the world is far from perfect. Was discussing with some friends about what is frustrating for our generation in this day and age, and well, here it is.

Twenty-nine

twenty-nine and almost thirty

life is one long road, often dirty.

find a job to save some dough

then it’s paying bills, school loans you owe

twenty-nine and splitting rent

and if you don’t, money is spent

on food, electric and a car to drive

to get to work, to stay alive

Those houses you imagined

with their little white fences

is another lost dream,

in the mountain of expenses

Just for a moment, you’re almost there

then you break a bone, on crappy health care

the road is dirty at twenty-nine

but all the refuse, isn’t mine.

 

Poem: Something Missing

Because…was feeling all the feels the other night.

Something Missing

A boy kicks a hacky sack
outside alphabet soup, toy shop
on that liberal side of town

You can be surrounded by people
And feel so lonely
Smell of incense, wet dirt
Live music, sounds nice
the summer night, to tell a story
a story filled with heartbreak, regrets and new memories

Security is an old man with an empty coffee cup
Families are diverse and couples walk unashamed with tattoos and purple hair
The singer croons and someone in the crown whistles
And I think that this night feels perfect,  almost

The seat next to me is empty
And just as a write this – someone whistles
But it’s not you, babe. It’s not you.

Our Vacation Out West Part 3: Zion National Park, The Emerald Pools

On our vacation this year, Mike and I played the license plate game. We made a list of all 50 states and checked off all the license plates we saw on our drive out to Utah. The only state besides Hawaii we couldn’t collect was Rhode Island, and guess which state’s license plate we saw last night in the Buffalo Wild Wings parking lot around here?!

From New York to Utah, we saw 48 license plates, not including Hawaii and Rhode Island. (RI was our holy grail of license plates until last night). We also saw two Canadian plates and one from Mexico. It was fun and it was exciting and it passed the time. I wish I was back on that road trip, seeing sights that I have never seen before.

This post is about three weeks late, but it is fun to reminisce on the fun times we had. Hey, if you missed part 1 and part 2 of our vacation you can click on the links to view them.

This was probably the best time I have ever had…and I’m trying to find another vacation to compare, but I really can’t.

After about two and a half days of driving, Mike and I made it to our KOA in Cedar City, Utah. The campgrounds are about an hour away from Zion National Park. The tent sites were very close together and at first I didn’t like it at all but then I shook myself a bit. I was on vacation! Why was I complaining?

We got our tent up very quickly, and it was really all a matter of getting dinner for the night and going to bed.

We found a diner about two minutes down the road from the KOA, called “All American Diner.” Anytime Mike and I can find a great diner, with good, cheap food, we call it a special treat.

The next day we headed to Zion National Park. The first day, we hiked the emerald pools trail, which was about a 5 mile round trip. A good portion of it was climbing up hill; I wasn’t prepared to climb it in about 110 degree heat. We took plenty of water and had our snacks, but the heat, man.

When we got back to the car that first day, the car’s thermometer registered 117 degrees!But while hiking, you’re walking up sand that’s so hot you can feel the heat burn through your sneakers. The sun beats down on your hat covered head and you long for shade, like you long for cold water when your throat is dry and your tongue feels thick.

That’s also what makes the pools you see on this hike so special; it is like a small oasis in the middle of this desert climate, but the hike is more difficult the higher up you go.

The trail becomes steeper, narrower; the shade trees are a little bit more sparse. I was struggling to catch my breath in the heat and wondered if it was all worth it. And then you come around a bend in the trail and that view. That. View. For one delicious, corny second, you feel like you are the only person on earth, and this view was made just for you. Now, mind you, I am a very easily entertained person…so that might have something to do with it. But, seriously, guys. If you can’t appreciate a view like this and call it nothing less than phenomenal, there’s something wrong with you.

This is the second pool, about two-thirds of the way up the trail.

At the very top of the trail, were these squirrels that kept hanging around, hoping for some snacks or trail mix. It’s $100 fine to feed the animals in the park, but kids can’t resist…not very often you have wild animals hanging around near your feet, and trying to climb into your backpack.

And if you make it to the very top, there is a larger pool of water at the very top. It looks like a small beach in the middle of the mountains. If you were allowed to swim in it, if there weren’t so many people trying to catch their breath, it might have felt more magical. But by that time, I think the heat had really done Mike and I in.

Afterwards, we got food at the park and then headed back to our campsite. The further we got from Zion, thankfully, the cooler it became. A 99 degrees felt practically chilly compared to 110…kinda. Not really. But what fun we had!

Next day, we hiked the Narrows! And then after that, the Grand Canyon.

A Quiet Walk By The Falls

I never get tired of these falls by my house. I write about them all the time, I know, but I can’t help it. I love the sound of the running water. So relaxing. I like the way the water smells. I like jumping from rock to rock on the edge of the shore, like I used to do as a child.But that water. There’s no other music like it in the world…this is my crack. This is the sound I fall asleep to. This is the soundtrack for many of the poems that I write.

Adventure is found along the shores of creeks, and falls and rivers. When the water just continues on and on and beckons…it teases you to follow, to discover where it ends.

How I wanted to jump in and go with it tonight, guys. There is freedom here, and longing. I wanted to see where it would take me. I wanted to go, go, go…

Is there something like this that inspires you?

Happy Writing!

Poem: Library 

stacks of books
quiet corners
and table nooks
The chairs are patterned
The carpet’s soft
Daylight beckons
Here’s where we start off:
Pick your destination
A rocket to space
Mars like universe
A romantic place
He’s on a pirate ship
She’s in the sky
Stomp through
castles and lakes
Watch dragons fly

Hiking through jungles
Searching for treasure
Double-secret-agent-lives
Just for her pleasure

Here’s the adventure:
Giants and elves
Magic spells
Risking your life
One sunny afternoon
All on bookshelves

It’s Okay to Admit You Need Help

Things have been a little quiet here on the blogging front. Not intentionally. This week I’ve been sick with a lovely head cold and I have some new things going on in my life and thought I would take some time to chat about it.

It’s not easy…admitting that you need help. Help comes in many different forms. Emotional…educational…physical.

You might have heard me mention it a time or two: depression and anxiety.

When I was a teenager, I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective disorder, which is basically depression that one gets based on the lack of sunlight in the winter months. It’s no fun when a chemical in your brain stops working properly and tells you not to be happy anymore.

I’ve…managed with that the last several years. But lately, it seems like the older I get the worse my anxiety is. I have always been a classified “worry-wort,” but there comes a time, where it’s not just worry. Where anxiety becomes something more than just double checking that your doors are locked after you locked them. Twice. And after you already check again for the third time.

The older I get, it seems like the more I don’t function properly. I’ve been debating back and forth why I don’t see myself as “normal” anymore. Why, I think that’s something I ought to be, and why normal isn’t really the same for anyone. What’s normal? And why is it something anyone wants to be, anyway?

But anyway, I digress. The point…I’ve started going to therapy.

Some people might think, so? I’ve gone to therapy, what’s the big deal? But this is a big deal for me. I’m not used to telling my life problems to people, and it’s not always easy admitting that you need help.

There’s no shame in admitting that you need help, and there’s no shame in getting that help. Depression and anxiety are not easy things, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

We all react to our life struggles in different ways, and we all have to find our own ways to encounter such challenges. I am not afraid to talk about my depression and anxiety, but I was afraid to get help. And I’m still afraid in some ways…do people look at me differently? Do I look different?

Does anyone judge me? But…I have to press on.

When I started this blog, I wanted to make sure it was a place that I could always come to, to make sure I was still writing. Now, I also want it to be a place where I can talk freely about my problems with depression and anxiety.

It’s something that needs to be talked about, and seeing as writers and creative sorts always seem to be the ones who struggle with depression and anxiety…we should all do a lot of talking about it.

Anyway, I hope you guys are having a great night, and I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Happy writing!

Reading Anything Good Lately?

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I always know it’s time to clean my bedroom, when the books start piling up next to the bed. And they do, regularly. Case in point: the picture above. (Apparently the book store clerk thought it was a crime that I haven’t read The Phantom Tollbooth yet. I know!)

But it got me thinking tonight, how much I love books. And I do read a lot.

Because every new book is new inspiration. Terry Prachett and Stephen Baxter’s book, The Long Earth, had me thinking about parallel universes today, and how cool it would be to write a book about a different earth in a different part of the universe.

Kristin Cashore’s, Graceling, reminds me that dialogue is fun. The banter between characters is supposed to be full of tension and then yet equally entertaining but with an end game in mind.

And this new book that I started reading last month, by Genevieve Cogman, The Invisible Library, reminds me that many, many people share a love for books and it is something that connects us in more ways than others. Sharing a good book with someone else is like sharing a gift sometimes. If that book brings joy, well then, yeah, it was definitely worth it.

Anyway, What are you reading? Anything good?! Got any recommendations?

Hope everyone is having a great night!

Poem: Rain

Sigh, I love rain…how many poems have I written about rain? Too many. Very much a rainy Thursday today. But despite the gloom, I had a rather nice day!

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Big drops in tiny puddles

leaves heavy and wet

cats shaking paws all befuddled

Let’s see if it’s stopped yet

Rain boots and big umbrellas

yellow coats and squeaky shoes

’round a corner, “let’s splash that fella!”

sniffley noses, colds and flus

For me: it’s a good book and hot tea

quiet adventures, all alone

it’s not lonely, my book and me

It’s…a feeling of home.

 

I like writing silly poems like this for you guys. It entertains me…and rhyming is fun even if you’re just doing it for fun. Hope everyone had a great day! Happy writing!

Discipline and Writing

Been having a hard time sitting down and working on projects lately. Maybe its the warmer weather. Maybe it’s that good ol’ writers fear again; creeping in and telling me I’m not good enough, that I’ll never write anything worthy.

How horrible. How crippling.

I was thinking of something to write for a blog post this afternoon, and of course, I can’t think of it now. Figures.

dorymemeI thought a Dory meme was just perfect, considering that Finding Dory came out this weekend – which I really want to see!

I got to remember to just keep writing…to just keep at it. But how?

Discipline.

The mind kind of rebels at the thought of more rules, and such things as…discipline. We get enough of it at work. We get enough of it from society.

Always rules. Always things that we can’t do…or shouldn’t do. Always holding back, when really we want to shout at the top of our lungs: You are stupid. Enough, already!

(That last bit is mostly aimed at the political crap we’ve had to deal with, lately.)

But why do we have to have rules when it comes to writing, too?

Well, without discipline, I would never get anything done. I mean…I DON’T get anything done. And it takes a good deal of discipline to sit down at your desk even when there a million other things that you think you ought to be doing instead.

And I think at this point, it also comes down to your priorities. How does writing rank in your list of things that need to be done? Are you putting it off for other reasons? Writers fear? Self-doubt?

Sometimes I turn to other activities because I doubt myself, and approaching my desk is close to standing in front of a crowded room and delivering a speech. (Please excuse my wobbly knees.)

But enough already! I know I definitely need to work on setting a time for writing each day. No more Netflix for me. Maybe it means cutting out things in my life that I don’t exactly need. I know I scroll Facebook less and less now.

And especially…no more putting it off because of fear. Discipline, discipline, discipline!

What are your guys take on this? How do you get done what needs to be done?