An End of an Era

This past year or so has found us saying goodbye to many talented people, who have shaped our culture and our lives …

Steve Jobs
Whitney Houston
Don Cornelius
Sherman Hemsley
Richard Dawson
Dick Clark
Donna Summer
Andy Griffith
Ray Bradbury

And that’s just a short list. With each announcement I feel the hit. Each marking the fact that we’ve come to an end of an era.

This week finds me saying goodbye to a personal celebrity and life influencer. A woman who’s been a part of my life for more than three decades.

She was known for her role as church mother. If you’re not familiar with the term “church mother” it is a title of respect for a woman who cares for everyone she comes in contact with. Very common in predominantly African-American churches. It’s the living out of the African proverb:  “It takes a whole village to raise a child.”

Church mothers were vital to me growing up. They filled the gaps when my Mom wasn’t available because of work. We even called her mother.

As a church mother she shared her faith, strength, and wisdom. She encouraged us and spent time with us. She taught Sunday School and sang in the church choir. To this day her version of Go Tell It on the Mountain is the version that resonates with me.

Others will come along and show me examples of faith and strength. They’ll even provide me wisdom. But gone is her voice and experience.

She was known for being a church mother but she was famous for her southern hospitality, down-home BBQ, and home made peach cobbler.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve had the opportunity to stand beside her in the kitchen. She tried to pass down the recipe for the famous peach cobbler. But she was from the school of just a pinch or a dab, a smidge or a dash. It couldn’t be written down in measurements I could follow:  teaspoon or tablespoon or cup or quart.

It’s lost to us.

But the memory of her and everything she had to offer our lives and culture will live on. I celebrate her life and honor her legacy …

Thank you Mother for the hand you had in raising me.

The Suspension of Disbelief in Writing

My boys know I am writing a novel. My oldest even remembers to ask me how it’s going from time to time. I love that about him. He’s very thoughtful.

Recently, he wanted an update:

“Mom, when will your book be published?”
“Well, I have to finish it first.”
“When will that be?”
“Next year I hope.”
“Okay. And then you’ll get it published.”

I love the fact that he assumes publishing is the automatic next step. He doesn’t know how difficult it can be. He doesn’t know that it may not happen. I am glad that he isn’t limited by the realities of chasing a dream. I hope he keeps that innocence.

I wish I still had the attitude of an eight year old; the child-like faith. Remember when we believed anything was possible? Remember feeling invincible? Remember thinking we would conquer the world? Well it’s still inside of you!

When I sat down a year ago to write my novel, I had this naïve outlook. Nothing was going to stop me. I thought it would be easy. What was my goal?

  • Goal #1:  90,000 words in a year and a completed manuscript.
  • Goal #2:  6 months to edit and send to publishers.
  • Goal #3:  Publish the manuscript.
  • Alternate Goal #3:  Self-publish. (Okay, so maybe it’s Goal #4)

And I wasn’t afraid. It was do-able. I believed I could pull it off. I’d made the decision. Nothing else was necessary.

Until I sat down to write. I wrote 4 paragraphs that were flat. They didn’t match the pictures in my head. I realized I didn’t know what I was doing. But it was still possible so I kept my goals intact and invested in learning what I needed to achieve my goals.

Writing is a process. It starts with an idea. Sometimes those ideas flourish and sometimes they fizzle out and die. Sometimes they can be resurrected.

I’ve talked about some of my writing rescues before. This one is new. I subscribe to a blog called WRITEtoDONE. In a recent post, Unleash Your Writing With This Trick from the Movies, they talk about “suspension of disbelief”. This concept helps me view my writing in a whole new way.

As August 31, 2012 draws near and I’m only a third of the way to my first goal, I’ve decided to reset the clock. I will add a year to my project counter in Scrivener. I’ll adjust the word goal accordingly.

I will sit down and write in a state of suspended disbelief. The realities of life won’t hold me back. My story will unfold as it does in my head. I’ll wait to ask questions like:  “Is this possible?” or “Is it realistic?” or “Will my readers believe this?” I’ll reserve my judgment on issues like:  “How will this plot idea work?” or “Is the dialogue authentic?”

My Suspension of Disbelief … my new affirmations …

  • I am a novelist. It’s possible.
  • I am an author who is invincible.
  • I can conquer the world of writing. Why not?

Reclaim your child-like faith. Believe again in the impossible being possible. Dare to tell people you’re invincible and then leap. Start conquering the world around you in every positive way.

Happy Feet Go to Sleep

We all have our own quirks. Things that friends and family associate with who we are. Our “isms”.

Sometimes these unique habits or actions are endearing and sometimes they are obnoxious but we can’t separate them from who we are any more than we can change the Earth’s course around the sun.

Here’s one of my ~isms:  In order to go to sleep I still need the sensation of being rocked. I think. Hear me out …

Growing up with siblings has its pros and cons. I am one of four children, one boy and three girls. My brother is the oldest. Then I have an older sister and then a younger sister.

My sisters and I shared a room, which is a really tight fit for three divas with enough attitude to fill a mansion full of rooms.

When we were little (before my baby sister was born) my older sister and I shared a double bed. To unwind at bedtime I would lie with my feet at the head of the bed and my head at the foot. I would put my feet on the wood paneled wall and tap out a beat. Of course, this annoyed my sister. She would tell me, “Knock it off. Put your feet down.”

I couldn’t … this ritual was comforting and soothing for me. I would fidget to empty my mind. And I thought she wasn’t being fair to me just as much as she thought I wasn’t being considerate to her.

To this day I still need to tap out a beat with my feet in order to fall asleep. Instead of putting my feet on the wall though, I rub them together. It’s comforting.

Now as I snuggle up with my dudes for bedtime, my youngest son does the same thing. In those moments the words of my sister fill my head, “I hate when you do that.”

My little guy just can’t get comfortable or settled until he’s effectively wiggled, giggled, rolled, and tossed. But sadly it annoys me to no end.

Last night was one of the worst. He couldn’t find the cool spot on the pillow. He burrowed under the covers to find the right position. Then he would give me the death choke hug around my neck. He also tried to sleep on me like a little cat. Oh and when none of those things worked he had to squeeze my ring finger.

Why is it that we are less tolerant when others exhibit the same behaviors we do?

I remember my sister telling me, “I wish you knew what it felt like to have to share a bed with someone like you.” Now I know.

Sorry Sis for my ticks that kept you up at night. And I’m sorry to my boy because you have the same ~ism. My prayer for you is that you’ll out grow it.

What about you? Care to share an ~ism, positive or annoying? Let me know what your quirks are … remember I’m the curious busybody.


Unplugged, Turned Off, and Tuned Out

Reading for unplugged times.

My family and I are addicted to technology especially my 5 year old who is bored in less than 5 seconds if we make him turn off his 3DS and play with … gasp … a toy.

Our boys get an hour of TV before going to daycare. An hour of TV when they get back from daycare. And, thankfully, they only get TV at daycare for special events tied to curriculum.

Sometimes they get a half hour (or more) of video game time or computer time. And those are on the days when I’m diligent and stick to the schedule. The weekends are a completely different situation; and not in a good way. That’s a lot of plugged in time for little dudes.

So it’s up to me to set the example and it’s hard. I didn’t realize how much I relied on my electronic interfaces.

I check Facebook and Instagram constantly. I hit refresh on my email every few minutes, hoping something new will pop up. I watch my blog stats real time, as if they’re changing so rapidly, while I watch TV. I have new blog posts in my Reader that need to be read and commented on. Then there’s Netflix and Hulu which allow me to watch entire seasons of shows back to back. There’s so much to see.

For my husband, it’s Words with Friends and a plethora of podcasts. We are always wirelessly wired.

Still trying to finish 2009 scrapbooks.

Can you relate? Maybe you have some other social media to keep up with like Twitter or Pinterest or Google Plus or Tumblr or fill in the blank … am I right?

Well, I’ve made a commitment to go on an electronics diet this summer. Notice I put a time limit on this “goal”. I am making an effort to consume a little less TV, video games, phone time, computer time, etc.

To support my diet, I’ve purchased a hardcopy book instead of loading up new fiction to my Kindle. I actually went to the bookstore with the boys and we all picked out new books. I can’t remember the last time I purchased a physical copy of a book.

But when I tell them to unplug and get a book, I can do the same … Life in these gaps of being unplugged is interesting.

I started with 20 minutes … we didn’t know what to do. We looked at each other but not in the eyes for fear we might spontaneously combust. I bit my nails and held my breath. We all watched the timer countdown the minutes. The boys cried, “Why?” at the highest decibels. We were all relieved for the 20 minutes to be over.

I didn’t plan well. It would have gone better if I had organized an activity to fill the time for the first go round … Now I know … I have a list of options they can do independently or as a group. Some are fun and others not so much …

  • Play outside
  • Read a book
  • Scrapbook (we have vacation pictures)
  • Board games (we just started Pokemon trading card game)
  • Chores (we are working on folding laundry)
  • Family conversation

Activities, like these, where they can flex their creative muscles or just relax and unwind from the barrage of information and images that are always coming at us.

It’s important to note that we aren’t “making up” that “lost” 20 minutes in other parts of the day. We’re cutting back.

Slowly I am increasing the time of being turned off and tuned out. And slowly, we are adjusting to being without our gadgets. The boys know that unplugged moments are going to be part of our lives.

It’s getting easier … I’m realistic. I’ll never do away with gadgets in our home. Like I said, we’re junkies. And it’s not a bad thing but moderation is key.

The funny thing? When I pick up my iPhone or open my computer, it’s waiting for me. Patiently waiting for me. I’ve been pinged or notified that something happened. I didn’t miss it. I only delayed it.

Been working on this blanket for way too long. Before my boys were born.

And, being unplugged means I have interesting things to post or share, or so I think, because I took the break to live a little life.

I’ve noticed that my boys, who no longer take naps, are a little less crabby when bedtime rolls around. There is a lot more conversation about characters they’ve made up and stories they want to write or play out as live action. Less is more in terms of gadgets especially as it relates to creativity.

I’ve also noticed that as a Momma, I’m a little less stressed out. I don’t respond to their meltdowns with frustration because I’m not harried or weighted down by being connected like I’m on life support.

So tell me, how do you intentionally unplug? What would you do if you weren’t plugged in? What changes do you notice when you’ve had a break from being connected?



An Optimist, a Pessimist, and a Realist Walk into a Bar …

The Optimist says, “Bartender, give me a double. I’m having a great day.”
The Pessimist says, “Bartender, make mine a double. I’m having an awful day.”
The Realist says, “Bartender, I’ll take a double. I …”

OH! Wait! This isn’t a joke. This is the condition of my life. My creative life. Specifically, my writing life. (Clearly I’m not a comedienne.)

The Optimist and the Pessimist are at war inside of me.

When I sat down earlier this week to write, I was upbeat, encouraged, and maybe a little over the top. Syrupy. As the week wore on I understood the struggle within. I could feel the doubt swell and expand in my chest as the Pessimist attempted to escape.

Doubt came in the form of distractions. I found myself looking for things to do other than working on my novel. Sure I wrote. Letters I’ve been putting off. Thank you cards so they would be timely. Blog posts for future dates; lined up and ready to go. I also felt the call of the TV and housework (which I hate) and new fiction to read. Anything other than sitting down to write the novel.

That’s when I knew that I wasn’t being real, not even with myself, about where I am in the writing process.

The Pessimist’s POV


Frowny (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pessimist says, “You can’t. You won’t. Why bother?”

She looks at my triumphs, my attempts; and laughs at my naïveté. Not a sweet laugh that says you’re-adorably-clueless. It’s a harsh edgy laugh that says what-are-you-thinking?

She’s not very nice to me or to anyone else for that matter. She prefers to be alone wallowing in what she considers an obvious delusion of success. She thinks she’s doing me a favor by criticizing my dream and my ability (or what she would call “lack of ability”).

The Pessimist says, “You’re not as good as so-and-so.” She tells me that progress is slow. She says I-told-you-so often. She makes me feel small.

She claims to see my writing world for what it is:  A Farce.

Smile! Welcome Back =]

Smile! Welcome Back =] (Photo credit: blentley)

The Optimist’s Outlook

The Optimist says, “You can. You will. Why not? Don’t listen to her.” And I want to believe her. She smiles a lot and whispers encouraging words.

She paints pictures of my success. She says, “Imagine being a sought after author or making the best sellers’ list.” She tells me I’m right on track. She lifts me up.

The Optimist says, “You’re as good, if not better than, what’s-her-name.”

She says to anyone who will listen:  see-this-woman-right-here-she’s-a-writer. She praises me for sticking with it. She rewards me with words of kindness. I like the Optimist.

She tells me to hold my head high and claim my writing for what it is:  A Gift.

Exactly the Same and Completely Different

Are you with me? Can you relate to my creative struggle? Whether you’re a painter or wordsmith or photographer or a creative in general, we are all faced with this internal battle.

Two opposing beliefs waging war and wreaking havoc on our confidence … Maybe you name the warring factions differently:  inner cheerleader and skeptic; critic and dreamer; naysayer and yes-man; or the voices in my head.

The war is always going on.

Both the Optimist and the Pessimist want the same thing:  to be in charge. But only one can rule the body and mind at any given time.

I argue that they are the same … Their differences limited to their perspectives; their approaches.

The Pessimist believes she’s being honest with me; telling me what I need to hear. The Optimist knows she’s selling me hope; telling me what I want to hear.

They’re both liars … so accept the fundamental truths they offer and move on. If the Pessimist says, “You can’t link two phrases together,” and the Optimist says, “You’re the best writer in the world,” know that the truth lies some where in between.

Neither one wants to do the hard work of writing. The Optimist is content to visualize the result. The Pessimist dismisses the possibilities.

The Realist Within

What’s the what?

The Pessimist + The Optimist = The Realist

Both the Optimist and the Pessimist live within me. I realize I need them both. True art and creation come from adversity, friction, conflict. Right?

The Pessimist keeps me grounded (sometimes buried). She reminds me to consider what can’t be. The Optimist is the one who dares to believe (sometimes blindly). She reminds me of what can be.

Their fight for control is my creative friction.

Finding balance between the Optimist and the Pessimist is where I need to be in the writing process.

Now I see that together, they give way to the Realist. The Realist sees what the Pessimist misses through negativity and the Optimist overlooks with positivity. The Realist is the negotiator.

She defines my writing as no one else can:  A Complicated Joy.

The War Within will come to end … we will come to a peace agreement … that is until the next time.

The Secret Language of Friendship

My focus this year is to move relationships from superficial to deep and meaningful. There are people who I’ve been meaning schedule time with and we pass each other and say, “We need to get together.” It still hasn’t happened yet.

As I consider, how to move in this direction I’ve taken a look at the relationships I have that are already deep and meaningful. I realized that when you reach that point something happens …

Do you and your friends have your own language? Things that you say to one another but no one else understands? Anyone overhearing your conversation would require a translator for this special language you share.

We all have a secret, encrypted lingo we use in certain relationships; a dialect that is used in specific circles.

I can walk up to my girlfriend and say, “Yeah Keith, I do” or “Four and five.” She knows exactly what I mean. I don’t have to say anything else. But anyone listening would wonder, “What was that about?”

It’s part of our language and it means something to just us. Our glossary of phrases is mostly made up of movie lines that we have quoted so frequently, that they’ve taken on a whole new meaning. They’ve become part of our relational lexicon.

Please understand why I won’t be sharing the phrases and meanings in detail. You wouldn’t want me to know your secret code either, right? Unless you feel compelled to share, please do so in the comments …

Mad About You

Mad About You (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m reminded of an episode of the 90’s show, Mad About You,where Paul & Jamie Buchman go to a party. Paul tells a stranger about how he and his wife have a signal for:  Come-rescue-me-because-this-person-I’m-talking-to-is-really-boring. Then Jamie ends up in a conversation with the same stranger and uses “the sign”. You can imagine the repercussions, right? The boring conversationalist was someone who could have helped Paul in his career. Not good.

We all do it. We deepen relationships with shared experiences. We build on what we have in common. We create a bubble of personal connection with our friends and family. We use phrases like: “It’s an inside joke,” or “You had to be there.”

My girlfriends and I run our movie lines whenever we get together for SGT or Sista Girl Time which you may call Girls Night Out or GNO. We laugh like wild women over our own silliness. It’s awesome. It’s our Sista Girl language. It creates a sense of belonging together.

Special languages are not meant to exclude but unfortunately they can. They are signs of strengthened bonds. I have unique vocabulary in a lot of relationships:  with my boys, my husband, my sisters, and friends in many circles. The real trick is to find ways to deepen relationships with those who may feel left out or on the fringes.

I’ve arrived at depth with some people but I have a lot to learn about intentionally reaching this level with others. How can I make languages emerge with new friends? How do you move relationships from the superficial to genuine and close-knit? Any suggestions, please share.

Expressions of Love: A Gratitude Journal

My husband of 12 years is handsome and smart. He’s geek chic. A software engineer in his first career and a man of the cloth in his second. He has gorgeous eyes that I still can’t decide if they are brown, green, or hazel. He has an infectious laugh and a heart-warming smile. He is hard working and cares for his family. For these reasons and many more I love him. That love grows with each year that passes. He is the perfect man for me.

In the midst of living life, sometimes I forget to tell him or show him just how much I love him. But then this opportunity presented itself.

As part of my job I read books about leadership, entrepreneurialism, and motivation. I read these books with two purposes:  fulfill my job requirements and mine for gold. Each book needs to yield at least one golden nugget of information or insight that I can apply in my life.

August of 2011, I had to read The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. In the book the author challenges a friend to spend a year writing down at least one thing each day that he loved or appreciated about his wife. Hardy had done the same for his wife as a gift for Thanksgiving. A gift of gratitude and expression of love. That was my golden nugget.

I decided to take the challenge. It wasn’t easy because on days when I was frustrated or angry or just tired, I couldn’t write a journal entry. Plus the instructions state that you shouldn’t repeat something you’ve already written about … characteristics, tasks, and actions, should only receive one entry.

But the journal became a journey of understanding the impact gratitude can have on our lives. Remembering that what we focus on is what we are surrounded by.

Starting every entry with “Thank you for …” grew tiring. It got stale and boring. I didn’t want this gift to be described with such adjectives. I invested time in finding quotes and poems and phrases to include in the journal.

The more I searched and the more I wrote, I found that it made me talk to my husband differently within the moment. Life was no longer getting in the way of me saying, “Thank you,” and “I appreciate you.” I was thinking about being thankful beyond having something to write down for him to read a year later.

On his birthday yesterday I gave him this gift. Hopefully, it’s a gift that keeps giving. A keepsake of my love for him, written in my own hand. A gift he didn’t know I was creating for him as he watched me journal night after night. Sitting next to me in bed he watched without knowing I was writing about him or for him.

It was worth it to hear his reaction, “It’s the best birthday gift anyone’s ever given me.”

Will you take this challenge? Maybe a short one … between now and Thanksgiving or Christmas? Take the time today and every day to express your love to that special someone. Or, may be you already have. If so, share how the gift was received.

Racing Ambulances

Fire Trucks

Fire Trucks (Photo credit: electrosiren)

We all have pet peeves.

Don’t worry, I won’t list all of mine right now but I have to share this one. Every time it happens it upsets me.

Why don’t people pull to the side of the road when an ambulance or fire truck or police car has its sirens blazing?

I was driving home from work and there was a black SUV weaving in and out of traffic trying to get where ever they were going a little faster. But it wasn’t really working. We arrived at every stoplight at the same time.

Each time I pulled up next to the vehicle or behind it, I laughed inside. Driving fast and cutting folks off wasn’t making a difference in shortening this person’s commute time.

While waiting on the third red light in a row to turn green, I heard the sirens. I didn’t know what direction they were coming from but when the light turned green I stayed put until I knew where the emergency response vehicle was. The black SUV on the other hand (along with a few others) floored it and went through the light.

Where’s the fire? Clearly the driver of the black SUV had some where to be. But is that some where more important than the place our emergency responders needed to be? Probably not.

If my family or friends were in need of such services or I was in need of a fire engine or ambulance or the police I wouldn’t want someone putting their arrival in jeopardy.

Now here’s the interesting thing … after waiting for the fire engine and the ambulance to pull into a local assisted living facility, I proceeded on my journey. Sitting there at the next red light waiting for it to turn green was the same black SUV. They hadn’t gotten any farther along than me by racing ahead of the sirens.

So what’s the point? It didn’t gain the black SUV anything.

Please make the choice if you don’t usually to pull to the side of the road when sirens are coming at you from any direction. If you already follow the rules of the road where this is concerned, I say thank you.

Drive safely!

“Like Totally” vs. the Like Button

Like: A Word Between Generations!

I was on my way to work when I had this strange thought. Like Totally vs. Like Button. Like:  One word … two generations … different uses.

The like of my childhood comes from Valley Girl the 1982 song by Frank Zappa.

Valley Girl (film)

Valley Girl. She’s a Valley Girl. Valley Girl. She’s a Valley Girl. Okay, fine. Fer sure, fer sure. She’s a Valley Girl. And there is no cure. Okay, fine. Fer sure, fer sure. She’s a Valley Girl. And there is no cure … You know me, I’m like into like the clean stuff. Like PAC-MAN and like, I don’t know. Like my mother like makes me do the dishes. It’s like so GROSS. … Like all the stuff like sticks to the plates. And its like, it’s like somebody else’s food, y’know. It’s like GRODY… GRODY TO THE MAX. I’m sure. It’s like really nauseating. Like BARF OUT. GAG ME WITH A SPOON. GROSS. I am SURE. TOTALLY…”

The song later gave way to Valley Girl the movie circa 1983 with Nicholas Cage. It’s like one of my favorite teen flicks from like the 80s. And being from Southern California, I was like totally one of those girls, like for sure. Like were you?The word like was an intentional “um”. It filled the gaps between words. It meant multiple things. It was like way cool. Like totally tubular. And, unfortunately, it took me like years to like work it out of like my vocabulary. Like you know?

There are some similarities to another era gone by e.g. Maynard G. Krebs of the Dobie Gillis TV show or even Shaggy of Scooby Doo.

Some may consider it wasted words. Not useful, just popular culture. For me I look back on this cultural phenomenon with fondness. Like enough reminiscing already.

It still gets used in this way by this generation but it’s less intentional. Their true like comes in a different form.

facebook like button

facebook like button (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

For this generation it’s the like button. The like button is a way of sharing your opinion or showing support and loyalty. It acts as an acknowledgement. It’s the “amen” corner in the church of “you feel me?”

“Like me on Facebook.” Some of you may even choose to like this post. Click to like is an important part of the culture today.

Even my 7 year old (soon to be 8) wants to be a part of it. He knows its importance.

He is in the process of building his birthday gift list. He’s researching possible Power Rangers Samurai toys on Amazon (with my supervision of course). He keeps asking if he can add things to the cart and when we tell him no, he wants to know, “When can I get my own cart?” We all know that answer, “When you get a job.”

But last night he asked me, “Mom, can I click on like for this Bull Zord?” So we had to have the conversation about how the like button works. How he would need his own Facebook page which he’s too young to have. Instead he’s decided he’ll start a blog or website (still too young). I guess that’s one way he can access a like button. Amazing isn’t it?

I wonder if the social media generation will look back on the like button with the same fondness and nostalgia that I have for the age of the valley girl. What do you think? Will the like button just be a phase in our history as valley girl speak has been? I believe it will be around longer.
What a difference a generation makes!

What other words or phrases or attitudes have morphed into something new based on how each generation represents it? I’d love to hear what you come up with.

Like totally have like a great day and like click the like button …

Writing: Failing Forward

“I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.” ~ Benjamin Franklin 

I failed to complete my writing goals for this week. They weren’t overwhelming or outside of my grasp.

I committed to my writing partner that I would:

  1. Finish a scene that is labeled Back-to-School Blues.
  2. Continue working on scenes that are labeled Counselor Visits.
  3. Jot 1500 words by doing the first two bullets.

Not one was accomplished. But it’s okay, because my failure this week gave way to success in a different area of the writing process.

“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Things are starting to fall into place. I finally know where my story begins and where it will end because I have my villain. My characters can move forward with purpose.

Knowing their purpose allowed me to do something that I haven’t been able to do since I made the decision to sit down and write. I was able to plan.

I spent my writing time this week planning out the story. For the sections I already have written, I was able to determine the order they should go. I created an outline and started moving scenes around in Scrivener. I know changes that need to happen within most of the scenes for them to connect within this order.

I was able to see what’s missing. I identified scenes that I need to write for the story to make sense and move from the beginning to the end. I can see where I’m going.

“Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.” ~ Zig Ziglar

Isn’t that exciting? To have direction when I was wandering aimlessly before waiting for the story to start? To have answers to questions that have been with me since I started?

I am just over 30,000 words and now I feel like it will flow easily because I have a plan. A short term plan because something could happen during my next writing time that could change everything.

Or maybe I just need a plan so I can not follow it and feel like I’m breaking the rules. You never know. But I am optimistic.

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”  ~Truman Capote

I am so thankful that I failed this week. I am glad that I fell short in my writing. I have a sense of accomplishment that I wasn’t expecting. I’ve learned quite a bit about what it will take to finish this novel.

I dare you to fail forward in your writing. Know that it’s okay when things don’t go according to plan; when the plan reveals itself differently. Remember, you’ll end up exactly where you’re supposed to when you’re supposed to …

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal:  it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~ Winston Churchill

Now I am off to my accountability call to tell my writing partner the great news:  I failed!