Writing is a journey, not a destination.

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Friday, June 28, 2013

I'm Breezy

Weird thing happened last night.

Let me back up. A weird thing has been happening all week. I've been thinking about stories. Snatches of dialog have cropped up in my brain randomly throughout the past few days.

That's how I write. I start with dialogue and expand into description if the dialogue is worth keeping.

This hasn't happened in a while. My brain has been mushed pretty much all year, so I don't know why it would choose this moment to firm up. 

Last night's weird thing was I opened the laptop and started reading Kerby's POV in Price of Justice with the intention of adding something.

TT: Y'all don't know Kerby yet, but you will. You will.

I even feel like adding a little more today. Nothing huge. Nothing ground-breaking. Just a little forward momentum where no momentum has existed for a considerable amount of time.

This isn't a plunge back into relationship. I'm not ready to pick up where we left off. I'm breezy.

We'll just see where it goes.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mental Exhaustion

Writing has been less than a trickle here at the Turtle household. I've set aside the becoming-more-ridiculously-complicated-every-time-I-look-at it Price of Justice for the moment, and geared up the simpler (I hope) and funnier (I hope) Dangling Participles, which shall be henceforth renamed - something else. Can't remember at the moment, but it has to do with "justice."

See, that's where my brain is. Mush. Can't remember words. Can't remember yesterday. Why is that?

When I wrote Star of Justice, and Daughter of Anasca, for that matter, I worked at Florists' Review as the customer service representative. I answered phones, took orders, opened mail, handled the deposits: standard administrative stuff. I loved doing it, too, but the brain power necessary was, shall we say, less than that required by a monkey opening a banana. I could come home and devote two or more hours to heavy thinking because I hadn't done any during the day.

I switched jobs in 2011. I was File Clerk #6 and I handled all the new business entity filings for the State of Kansas. As far as types of business entities, if they were sold at Walmart, you could buy them all at the express checkout without guilt, but the Big Six were the most common filings: LLCs, corps, not for profit corps, and their foreign counterparts. "Foreign" in this context is any entity not born in Kansas.

That brain rearrange took a little time, and my writing suffered. Can't plan new worlds and snappy dialogue while reviewing the LLC statute to determine who can and can't be listed in the "member" line on the form. At least, I can't.

Just as new filings were becoming second nature and a tiny bit boring, I switched jobs again. Yes, I'm a dumbass, but the pay was better and theoretically the work was more interesting. I'm now the Audit Administrator for the state (although I'm lobbying for "Graveyard Investigator") and the brain power required has increased exponentially.

Not only am I learning statutes about how to do my job, I'm reviewing and creating new ways to track cemetery income and outflow for permanent maintenance funds and merchandise trusts. If those phrases mean nothing to you, welcome to the Dumbass Club. They meant nothing to me last September, either.

I'm getting a handle on the newness of it all, and I suspect one day the job will be boring as Ivory soap, but at this moment in time, I don't have a brain cell to spare for being creative in the written world. I spent Monday staring at a spreadsheet trying to work out how to track 20 year payment plans of $5 a month on multiple pieces of merchandise whose costs are refigured at least once a year to maintain 50% of retail value. If that sentence means nothing to you, yeah, welcome to my world. I collapsed when I got home and stared at the ceiling for an hour before falling asleep for the night. Thankfully, I did not dream of spreadsheets.

The old File Clerk #6 position looked pretty comfy Monday. 

The simple truth is I need to stop feeling guilty for having no brain left when I come home. I wanted this job, I like the money and I intend to do it well. By October, I'll have been through every cemetery on my books at least once and I'll have (God, please let it be so) developed some kind of tracking mechanism for all of them. After that, my brain can relax a bit and start mulling other things, like lawsuits for all those cemeteries doing it wrong.

Just kidding. Except I'm not.

Happy Wednesday, dear readers. Remember to put the trash out.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

22 Things Happy People Do Differently

I've never heard of these before this morning, don't know where the list came from, but I'm happy (huh-huh) to say they aren't unfamiliar to me as a way to live by grace in Jesus Christ. Yeah, I'm a Christian. I have to bring Jesus into it.

1. Don’t hold grudges.
2. Treat everyone with kindness.
3. See problems as challenges.
4. Express gratitude for what you already have.
5. Dream big.
6. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
7. Speak well of others.
8. Never make excuses.
9. Get absorbed into the present.
10. Wake up at the same time every morning.
11. Avoid social comparison.
12. Choose friends wisely.
13. Never seek approval from others.
14. Take the time to listen.
15. Nurture social relationships.
16. Meditate.
17. Eat well.
18. Exercise.
19. Live minimally.
20. Tell the truth.
21. Establish personal control.
22. Accept what cannot be changed.

Happy Wednesday, dear readers. Don't sweat the small stuff. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Loss of Interest

I wonder if I'll ever regain my equilibrium.

The secret to longevity appears to be zeal. I think it was Art Linkletter who interviewed on Focus on the Family some years ago about his zest for life. He was a man who woke up a 3:30 AM to prepare a news cast and kept going until midnight every day of his life, apparently. He loved meeting new people, and learning new things and rounding every corner he encountered. His interest kept him alive for 97 years. I'm sure of it.

My grandfather never sat around. He was a farmer most of his life, but even when he retired, he gardened. He went to the community center to play pool. He mowed lawns well into his 90's although he had to rest between each strip.

My dad couldn't stand to be idle. He spent his evenings in the garage building things we later played with on the weekends: a pontoon boat, a dune buggy, a roadster, a small plane. He didn't sit around.

My brothers got the itch. Their lives are whirlwinds of activity and the only time they lie down, apparently, is when they fall down from exhaustion.

TT: They would assure me that is no way to live, but from this side of the fence, it looks pretty green some days.

Why am I not like that? Why do I look at the world and sigh? The depression is over, I'm sure, yet I fear this is as good as I will ever feel, which is worse than the last time I went through this 15 years ago. I wake up with what I'll call "generalized anxiety." My eyes open and my stomach turns over as I wonder what horrible thing I'm not prepared for will attack me.

I work in The Swamp, and I love it, but the loss of a bean plant brings on tears, recrimination and heart ache. I sit down to write and get up again with nothing written. The zeal isn't there anymore. When I started blogging, I couldn't post fast enough. Now, I struggle not to bore myself as well as you with repetition. 

I'm empty. I keep hoping the well is refilling without my noticing, but I sound hollow when I test the depths. I ask God to give me His purpose, but I must not be listening hard enough for His answer.

I've reduced my stress load once again by resigning from one of my social groups. I'm hoping that frees up some emotional resources.

I thought I'd get stronger and more capable as I aged. I feel like I'm growing weaker and more anxious.

Somewhere ahead is inspiration. I just need to keep waking up to find it.

Happy Monday, dear readers. Thank God for His direction in your life. Without it, you're lost.