Tag Archives: inspiration

Who, What, When, Where, Why

26 May

Well, today should be interesting.

I’m breaking from my usual routine of get-up-drink-latte-write-blog-write-workout-and-so-on and am merely drinking black coffee from a French press, preparing to go do something I’ve never done before.

A friend who is a first grade teacher invited me to come speak to her class for Author Day, and I’m this mix of nerves-meet-excitement about it.  When she invited me to speak, I warned her that I’m not technically an author, yet — that while I’ve made significant progress on my novel, I still have a long road to travel before that word applies to me.

Eh, she didn’t care.  “They’ll love you,” she told me, “They’ll be excited just to meet someone who’s writing a novel, published or not.”  Alrighty, then.  Speak I shall.

I’m going to do my best not to bore the little darlings with my (exciting-to-only-me) array of colored pens, my myriad notebooks, my stacks upon stacks of post-it notes, and the minutiae of what goes into a novel.  Most of that will stay hidden away in my tote bag.  Instead, I’m going to focus on the basics: what is a story, and how do you write it?  Can you do it as a first grader?  Does a book have to be a certain length? (Cue my dear visual aids of A Wrinkle in Time versus Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix.)  Where can you get ideas? (EVERYWHERE.)

After some attempts at engaging them, I’ll bust out my (totally geeky awesome) notebooks that represent the process — I have one with pictures of my villains and loads of brainstorming, a tattered first draft, a three-ring bindered second draft, and an example of some pages that are bleeding orange, purple, pink, red, and a couple of neon highlighting swipes to boot.

Before all of this, however, I need to tame my mane of hair so I don’t scare them away when I walk in the door.  Seriously.  I’m not exactly sure what a banshee looks like, but it’s the word that keeps coming to mind when I think of how my hair looks this morning.

Deep breath.  It’s only a twenty-minute guest visit.  Twenty minutes.  Not hard, right?

Right.

It’s too late for me to fish for ideas, but out of curiosity — what would you guys say to a group of first graders about being an (aspiring) author?

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Ladybugs Aflame!

18 May

So, I know I just posted last night, but I’m too excited about my next short story to not write about it rightthisveryminute.

Seriously.  Just an hour ago, I had zero clue where I was going with my ladybug story.  In case you’re not familiar with the “Ladybug, Ladybug” rhyme at the foundation of my story for this week’s Creativity Workshop project, it goes like this:

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home

Your house is on fire, and your children shall burn.

There are several different versions of this rhyme, all of them depressing, but this is the one I remember from childhood.¹

Anyway.  The creative juices weren’t quite flowing when I first sat down to think this morning, and I was worried this idea would end up looking way-too-similar to the nursery rhyme itself.²  Lo and behold, after a little time spent scribbling in my awesome lime green graph-lined notebook, some actual (non-ladybug) characters popped their heads out of the (soon-to-be-burning) woodwork.  Damaged, hurting characters who crave love but aren’t quite sure how to get it.  Characters with multi-faceted motives and cavernous hearts I totally want to explore.

Now, I have on my hands something that has potential to be exciting, adventurous, and action-packed yet full of depth.  Also, the ideas came loaded with a structure I’ve never experimented with, so I’m looking forward to that.  Oh, ladybugs, you’re going to be quite the challenge, yet if you work out in my favor?  Quite the satisfying accomplishment, too.

Alright.  Random excited outburst over.

¹For many, many years, I wondered, “Was that seriously a real song, or did I just imagine it?  Seriously?  And why did I like it so much?  Who was the weirdo who thought those lyrics were appropriate for a tape of children’s music?” Lo and behold, yes.  It is a real song, from a real nursery rhyme, and my little toddler memory preserved every strange word of it.

²I’m talking literal ladybugs here, people, and I was just not convinced I should go that direction.  I couldn’t erase cartoonish images of Strawberry Shortcake and the Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak (with a ladybug and a fire tossed in here or there), and…well…that felt a little too on-the-nose.  Not to mention cartoonish, when I think the rhyme needs more depth to do it justice.

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Out of the Box | Creativity Workshop Goals

2 May

Mr. Cat and I have something in common: we like our boxes.

He likes to curl up inside them, get comfortable, maybe play a little while, and only exit said box if provoked.  Like I said, we have some things in common.

My box is not made from cardboard; it’s made from routine.  I write where I’m used to writing, what I’m used to writing, how I’m used to writing, and so on.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m no stranger to discipline or hard work — it’s just that these efforts, thus far, have been focused on one project, and one project only: my novel.

Something has provoked me to poke my head out of the box, and that something — as I mentioned the other day — is Merrilee Faber’s Creativity Workshop.  Both because we’re supposed to, and because I want (need) to, I’m setting some goals here.  By my calculations, each of these goals has to do with shedding and shredding my cardboard boxes, in one way or another.

Box #1: When I write, I write one thing: my novel.

Boxbuster Goal #1: Work on my ability to switch gears; make quality progress on two projects in the same week. I’m editing the second draft of my novel, and I don’t want to take a fourteen-week hiatus from it.  Thing is, though, I’ve been working on this novel for a while now, and have never tried to write anything on the side (other than blog posts).  One thing I want to get out of this workshop is the ability to switch gears from one project to the next, which means a) clear focus on each in its time, and b) quality progress made on each.

Box #2: I work on an über-flexible schedule.  This is comfortable.

Boxbuster Goal #2: Make a tighter schedule and stick to it. If I’m going to effectively break out of Box #1, this is imperative.  Having a flexible schedule works just fine for what I’ve been doing.  However, if I’m going to make quality progress on two different projects, I need to be a bit more specific in the way I plan my writing time.  This may include earlier wake-up calls or a few midnight-oil-burning sessions — early mornings and late nights are two times of the day I rarely use for writing.  It would be good to stretch myself to work in times other than those I’m accustomed to.  Specific application of this goal looks like making a weekly schedule on Sundays, with specific goals for each block of writing time.  Then, obviously, try to follow it.

Box #3: I don’t write short stories.

Boxbuster Goal #3: Learn how to write them and turn out some good ones. So, it’s not that I don’t like short stories, or think I can’t write them — it’s just that I’ve never focused any energy on learning about them, or trying to write them.  I’m in that writing-my-novel box, not the come-up-with-several-shorter-things-that-are-fresh-and-totally-unrelated-to-your-novel box, and frankly?  The idea of the second box sounds kind of scary.  That said, I’m excited about crawling inside, because it sounds like a worthy (and fun) challenge.

Box #4: Coming up with fresh ideas has never been my strong suit.

Boxbuster Goal #4: Write interesting things, from fresh ideas, that mean something. I can come up with fresh ideas for stories, but a lot of times, they either take forever to occur to me, or just don’t feel special enough.  I want to train myself to think out of the box when it comes to writing fresh ideas.  This includes everything from the plot itself, to the characters, to descriptions, to settings, to scenes: I want to make something special, something that cannot be labeled cliché.  I want to write not my first idea, but maybe the fifth.

The key to this goal is the phrase “train myself” — I want to devote time to working on ideas, to be more intentionally observant in everyday life, and to think away from paper.  What I mean by that is, I’ve noticed it’s hard for me to think through ideas while jogging on the treadmill, for example, or while doing anything where I can’t physically write/type my thoughts out.

Box #5: I like to make general goals instead of specific ones.  General ones aren’t as painful to fail.

Boxbuster #5: The first four goals were pretty all-encompassing, so I’d better include some specific goals that pertain to the writing itself. I tend to write about generally non-controversial issues; it would be a challenge for me to write something outside this comfort zone.  My current WIP stars a young male; I’d like to write about a young female (I’m thinking anywhere from five to thirty-five).  I want to write at least one piece that’s been inspired by song lyrics, and at least one piece that takes something extremely clichéed and puts a fresh twist on it.  I want to write something inspired by my experiences in Shanghai.  And, I shall give myself the freedom to make these inspirations manifest themselves as either an invisible top-layer of lacquer, or as the more in-your-face splash of red paint.

So, there you go.  This is going to be a lot of work, but I’m excited about it.  Also, just so you know, part of the workshop includes writing updates about our progress.  We’re to post every Sunday, so expect that here.

Other participants from around here include Linda Cassidy Lewis, Melissa, Cassie Hart, Chibi Doucet, Amber Dawn WeaverAshley Nava, and (of course) Merrilee Faber — I’ve linked to their blogs from their names, if you want to check out their goals (which should be up soon, if they’re not up yet) or their progress along the way.

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Merrilee Faber’s Creativity Workshop

23 Apr

Something really cool just landed in my lap, and no, it’s not a spilled glass of iced water.

It’s an opportunity.

A challenge.

A here’s-a-chance-to-grow-in-your-skills-and-discipline-and-creativity sort of opportunity-slash-challenge, dropped down from the sky courtesy of the amazing Merrilee Faber.

Basically, she’s taken the initiative to organize and put on a fourteen-week Creativity Workshop (one week of intro, thirteen weeks of workshop) from May 2 – August 5.  There’s a whole slew of awesomeness wrapped up in this opportunity, including a wide range of applicable topics to be covered by Merrilee and the various guest bloggers she’s lined up. Here in a minute, I’m going to direct you to her two most recent posts for more information.

To quote Merrilee, “It is a workshop about teaching yourself to be creative when you need to be, not at the whim of the muse or the tides or the phase of the moon.”

I don’t know about you guys, but this sounds great to me.  For more information about what kind of work is involved, what kind of topics will be covered, who the guest bloggers are, and to sign up, follow the links below.

A brief overview (the what, the why, and other answers to questions)

More details, schedule, and sign-ups

Let me know if you decide to join Melissa, Cassie (JC), yours truly, and — of course — Merrilee, as we brave this adventure.  I fully expect it will rock.  In fact, it will probably rock so hard that I’ll spill iced water all over my lap and then be inspired to write something creative about it.

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All Was Well.

24 Mar

“All was well.”

– J.K. Rowling | (The final sentence in the Harry Potter series.)

And, indeed, I imagine all was well with J.K. Rowling as she settled on those final words, those ten little letters, last in line behind the several million letters that spelled out the story about a boy, a scar, how he got it, and what it meant.

Work like hers does not happen by accident.

Letters don’t just fall into place, and ideas — no matter how magical — don’t just tumble, fully formed, beautiful, captivating, onto the page.  At the end, all is well.  In the beginning?  An idea.  Then, a first word, then many more words, until words fade into story.

But what about in between?  What happens, if not magic, between the first word and the final sentence, to make something special out of mere words, something logical and coherent out of ideas, something empathetic and captivating about characters?

I don’t know yet.  Whatever technical skill is involved, though, I’m inclined to believe that patience and determination are the yeast that make the whole thing rise into something great.

Before my long hiatus (spent in the unseasonally warm and disappointingly un-snowy Minneapolis, Minnesota), I promised a post about editing.  I thought it only fitting to start talking about this overwhelming process with a little bit of inspiration: even J.K. Rowling had to start somewhere, with a single word.  Everyone is a beginner at some point, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.  Some beginners quit, and some beginners end up writing seven Harry Potter books.

I’m a beginner.  Specifically, I’m a beginner who is determined to learn how to do this thing, to do it well, and to end up more toward the second category (and definitely far away from the first).  This is my latest post on what I’m learning, and as I warned in my pre-hiatus post, it may be a long one.  After almost two weeks of not posting, though (Not a trend I intend to keep up, by the way.  That was just due to Minneapolis.), I don’t feel too bad about the length.

The Problem

Editing a novel?  It’s a little (okay, a LOT) overwhelming, to say the least.  I thought I was more prepared to tackle this part of the project, but as it turns out, I was only somewhat prepared.  Though I’ve read loads about what to look for while editing, and have even done a great deal of actually looking for, and finding, those things to change, I noticed a problem.  How, exactly, was I supposed to go about changing things?

After making pages of color-coded notes for each scene, I wasn’t quite sure where to begin with them: do I start chronologically?  Or, with major issues and plot changes?  Do I switch the scene order first and then start with the changes?  I had stellar ideas about what actually needed changing, but was clueless when it came to physically making those changes.

The Solution

My Novel

Index cards.  After staring at the various iterations of my notes for a while, I finally figured it out: a stack of 336 pages of black on white is not the easiest thing to navigate.  I needed something tangible, an outline I could hold, a deck of scene cards.  At a glance, each scene needed to be as recognizable as aces or spades; one look at the whole hand, and I’d know in an instant the layout of that section.

The Process

Here’s what I’m doing, step-by-step, to begin physical editing work.  I’ll start with the cards, and move on from there.

  • INDEX CARDS. | One card = one scene.  Title of the scene goes on the front, in bold black.  On the back, I wrote the scene number and listed the pages on which it currently appears, for easy reference.
  • SECTIONS. | I read through the deck of index cards, scene title by scene title.  I grouped them into logical sections of varying lengths, each one ending in a climax of some sort.  This project currently has nine sections.
  • TO-DO CARDS. | For each of my nine sections, I created “TO-DO” cards.  They are hot pink, and I placed them at the beginning of each section.  Each one is flagged with a post-it flag, so I can easily flip between sections.
  • POST-ITS. | On the back of each “TO-DO” card, there are three small post-it notes.  From left to right, there is a pink, a green, and an orange stuck to each “TO-DO” card.  Starting with Section One and ending with Section Nine, I evaluated each section’s major issues.  On the pink post-its, I made notes regarding those issues: which scenes need to be moved/cut, where new scenes need to be written, what problems need to be dealt with first when dealing with that section.  On the green post-its, I made notes on plot and continuity issues.  On the orange post-its, I made notes about pacing, language, and other things that need general smoothing-out.
  • FEELING PREPARED. | Dividing the novel into sections, and figuring out what needed work within those sections, helped me feel more prepared to start physically editing.  My novel in deck-of-cards format helped me make notes about specific preparations I need to take in order to make major changes.  I feel confident that I can go chronologically now, because I’ve planted notes for myself wherever later-in-the-book changes need to occur.
  • MARK THE PAGES. | Starting with Section One, I completely obliterated my pages.  They already had red pen on them; this time, I went in with pink and orange.  Red, I used to mark general observations; now, pink marks specific changes to make, while orange is for thoughts and other ideas.

    Section One

  • MAKE THE CHANGES. | After marking up Section One, I will make the actual changes on my computer.  This is where I am right now; I finished marking the pages right before my trip, and plan to start making the changes on Monday.
  • RINSE + REPEAT. | My plan, obviously, is to work my way through all nine sections.  I never intended for what I’m working on to be a final edit, so I’m sure I’ll have to go back once I’m done and tweak some things.  However, I think it will be much better after this pass.

So, there you go.  I’ll let you breathe, or eat, or sleep, or theorize about LOST now.  Just thought I’d share what I’m doing with you guys, because for all the what to look for when editing posts I’ve come across, there haven’t been too many that deal with the order in which to work those changes in.  As always, I reserve the right to humbly change my process, should it become mind-numbingly terrible.

For now, though, all is well.

Happy LOST Day!

2 Feb

At the risk of sounding like an obsessed freak¹ — after eight months of waiting (impatiently), it’s LOST Season Premiere day!  It’s only ten in the morning, but I’ve already learned a few things today.  (Be warned: I haven’t had many lattes lately, and I’m having one now.  That, combined with my excitement?  Put on your seatbelts, because I’m feeling some energy today.)

First?  Today might as well be a holiday.  Examples include the email I got from my music-teaching mother:

“Happy LOST Day!  I moved around my piano lessons so I can watch — if Obama can rearrange his State of  the Union address, I can rearrange my lessons!”

and the text messages with friends, á la Christmas Eve, yesterday:

“It’s LOST Eve!  One more day!”

and the greetings from not one, but two, of my barista friends at Starbucks (granted, we watch the show together every week, rotating from house-to-house, Bible-study style, with desserts and coffee):

“Happy LOST Day!” (shouted in chorus when I walked in)

Examples abound.  You get the picture.

Second thing I learned this morning?  I’ve been (*sob*) spelling the word premiere without the final e for days and days.  I felt like a schmuckety schmuck when I figured it out and promptly rushed to add the elusive e to my latest Tweet and the invitation to our viewing party this evening.  Crisis somewhat averted.

Third lesson isn’t so much a lesson; it’s more like confirmation that yes, in case there was any doubt, I am excited about the season premiere.  While it is completely abnormal to, say, dream that you are a cast member of the show (who may or may not be Evangeline Lilly) and that you are trying to get back to the Island via military plane leaving from Alaska-slash-Miami (apparently my dream-world has not seen the script for the finale)(or an episode, for that matter)(or a map) — it is completely understandable that this dream would poke its way into my head on LOST Eve.  Especially after watching the brain-melting minute-long teaser-trailer a couple times in slow motion² to catch all the sneak-peaks into what’s to come.  

Lest you think I’m merely jumping up and down as if I’ve just been surprised with a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas³, I should mention that while I have zero focus right now, I am nonetheless completely inspired to work on my novel.  In sort of the same way I’ve been inspired by J.K. Rowling, I feel inspired by the writers of LOST.  

Seriously.  To write a show where, six seasons in, loads of people still care about your characters?  Your mysteries?  Where people feel simultaneous hatred and compassion for your villain(s), simultaneous empathy and frustration with your heroes?  Where people can read a zillion things into what you’ve written because you’ve managed to share just enough to raise questions about religion, literature, and mythology?  Where you write on two levels — one for the casual (though necessarily consistent) viewer, who just wants a story; and one for the engaged viewer who loves to unscramble anagrams, look for symbolism, pick out hidden easter egg clues, read into the very purposeful placement of details?  Where people dare to get this worked up over a season premiere, in full confidence that you’ll deliver because you deliver every single time?

Can you imagine writing, and executing, a story like this?  Can you imagine ideas coming from your brain and resulting with people who wish each other “Happy LOST Day!” in Starbucks, people who rearrange piano lessons, a  President who agreed to not conflict with what you’ve created?  

I can’t really imagine what that must feel like, to be honest.  

I’m consistently amazed by the process of creation, especially when that creation is executed in such a compelling way.  This is at the heart of why I love to write: to watch things form, to hope that the details will fall in such a way that inspire any inkling of resemblance to this sort of thought-provoking stuff.

Now, to try and get some work done before descending into the inevitable pit of party preparation: that’s my challenge for today.

Revision Update, Phase One | 134 pages down, 201 to go | 40.0% finished!

¹We obsessed freaks, by the way, prefer to be called devoted, completely intrigued fans.

²What?  It had new footage.  Very weird new footage.  Plus, it played in the middle of The Bachelor, which I have zero interest in whatsoever (except for the fact that Mr. Jake Pavelka Bachelor himself grew up, literally, about two minutes from where I currently live.  His parents live next door to my friend.) so I was easily distracted.  And it was about one in the morning.

³Which actually happened, by the way — my husband’s work surprised us with an all-expense-paid Disney Cruise that we get to take later this year.  Hello, bathing suits, beaches, sun, and ocean (and the gym!)!

Post #100 | Greener Grass

11 Jan

This is Post #100, and my goodness: how that little number has kept me from writing all week.  I keep thinking, “It’s number one hundred!  It’s special!  Therefore, I need to make something special of it!”

What, though?

Well.  A quote has been simmering in my head ever since I read it weeks ago; now seems as good a time as any to share it with you guys.  This little excerpt is part of a much longer interview with Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time-Traveler’s Wife.  The question is in regards to her sizable advance for her second novel, Her Fearful Symmetry.

Q: How does that amount of money change your writing life?

A: …Back in the ’90s, I started going to artist colonies.  The one I go to most is Ragdale.  I remember the first time I ever went to Ragdale, and I was just like, Oh my…I’m going to get up today and I’m going to do what I want.  I’m going to make stuff.  And it was such a fantastic feeling to own your own day.  You know, nobody was going to tell me what to do that day.  And I thought, that’s what I aspire to, just to be in control of your time.  So there was a point a couple of years ago where I suddenly realized I had achieved control over my day.  And that was really exciting.  So from that point on it’s all pretty much the same: the freedom to make what you want when you want.  And I think that’s just what we’re all looking for is that kind of liberty.

– from the November/December 2009 issue of Writer’s Digest | click here to read the full interview

Her answer caught me off guard when I read it.  From someone who has achieved what so many writers aspire to — publication, loads of people who have read and enjoyed her work (though ‘overnight success’ came only after many years of hard work and twentyish agent rejections), a huge advance for her second novel — this quote carried a lot of weight for me.  

After all of this, it sounds like she’s most satisfied with freedom, liberty, control of the way she spends her time.  

I think this is an amazing reminder to those of us who are still on the opposite end of the “success” spectrum (whatever that means; I guess I mean the way success is commonly perceived, i.e. sales and popularity and money).  The money is satisfying to her because it buys her more time to do what she already loves to do: create.

Niffenegger’s wisdom inspires me to appreciate what I have, right now.  To enjoy each moment spent creating — whether those moments add up to eight hours a day or eight hours a month.  To not say “I’ll be happy when ____” but to drink in the experience as it happens.  To not wish for a day when I’ll be rich, or popular, or Queen of the Bestseller List, under the deluded idea that these things in and of themselves are a source of lasting, deep, inner happiness.  Because they’re not.  You can have all these things but still be utterly discontent, hungry for more, anxious and unsatisfied.  All of this reminds me of a verse in Ecclesiastes¹ that says, “A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work.  This, too, I see is from the hand of God.”

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not against popularity and money and sales and all the things that could come from the love of creation, and diligent work applied to that creation.  I’ve just been thinking about motivation behind my time spent creating, and a realistic perspective of the grass that looks so green on the “successful” side of the fence.  That no matter what happens today or in the future, I can take joy in this day, and the freedom I have to create.

Just thought I’d share that with you, since it inspired me to love what I do, even more, as I do it.

¹Taken from the NIV translation of the Bible, it’s from Chapter 2 verse 24.

The Forbidden Journey

27 Sep

I wonder how it feels to have a world you created in your head not only make it into seven books’ worth of print, not only sell a gazillion copies of said books, not only come to life in an eight-part film series, but to see the readers you’ve touched through your ideas actually be able to enter the world itself?

I mean, really – what Harry Potter fan hasn’t wished she could walk through the streets of Hogsmeade and drink butterbeer?  What Harry Potter fan hasn’t wished he could eat Bertie Botts’ Every Flavor Beans, get a magic wand from Ollivander’s, or purchase a Sneakoscope from Zonko’s¹?  Every Harry Potter fan I know, myself included, would love a chance to do these things!  And soon, thanks to Universal Orlando, we’ll be able to.  That’s right – they’re opening a theme park called “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.”  Oh yeah, and there are roller coasters, not just Potter-themed stores.  We just have to wait a little while to visit – Spring 2010, according to the article² I read this morning.

Now, from a realistic standpoint, we aspiring authors will not all become the next J.K. Rowling.  However, I think we can all agree: it’s inspiring to think all this started from an idea she had in her head, and continued by her diligence to execute it onto the page.  Years and years of diligence, years of patience, years of determination and love invested in her story world.

When I get stuck, I always get re-inspired when I think of J.K. Rowling.  The thought of affecting the lives of strangers through my ideas is exhilarating, whether it’s the life of one stranger or 10 million.  How rewarding it must be to have extraordinary love for the story world you created, and then see others so excited to love it, too.

On an unrelated, but just as motivating, note – check out Merrilee Faber’s post about finishing her novel!  Talk about patience and diligence – 89,600 handwritten words (notice the picture she posted of her manuscript), what appear to be seven dead pens, and somehow, her hands have not withered to claws, even after fifty-six consecutive days of writing.

¹It occurs to me that this may be the silliest group of words I’ve ever combined in a sentence.  

²Read the full article here.  It’s called “Universal Reveals Details of New Harry Potter Park,” written by Travis Reed, and I came across it on MSN this morning.

Sludgetrudger

27 Aug

It’s gray and rainy, my favorite kind of morning.  Most mornings like this, I find myself inspired and ready to write.  Something must be off here in Texas, though, because it’s been a strange twelve hours, and I need a bit more help in the inspiration department this morning.

It all started last night, after a long talk with a friend whose divorce was finalized Monday.  She’s only 22 years old, and there’s been some crazy stuff happening, but I just did my job – I listened.  And then, I left.

Apparently, the gorgeous landscaping at her apartment is actually a grass-covered swamp, which I found out by unfortunate experience.  I took a shortcut to my car so I wouldn’t have to walk alone in the shadows of her complex, and came out on the other side muddy and without shoes.  Seriously – I took two steps, sank down two feet, and am now short two flip flops.  Poor garden maintenance guy, he’ll probably think there’s a girl buried in the mud, because I just left them there.  With muddy jeans and muddy feet, I crossed the parking lot and drove home.

This morning, I ate a chicken biscuit from Chick-fil-A, which usually taste divine slathered in honey.  You know what’s not divine when it’s slathered in honey?  My glasses, and also, my entire eyebrow.  Somehow they both ended up covered in the gooey stuff, even though I squirted only a few drops onto my biscuit, at waist-high level.  No, I have no idea.

Also this morning, I almost rear-ended a car because they — and the car in the next lane — mysteriously came to a stop at a very obvious green light.  I joined in the honking cacophony, of course, and they sped up.

Got home, found my husband’s debit card on the table, so I sent him a text message lest he need money and worry about its absence.  He wrote back, “Whoops!  Forgot to put it back.  AND I just noticed my zipper’s down.  Goodness me…”  

Crazy times here in Texas, crazy times.  

Which means I must have amazing potential with my writing today, or else the universe would not be conspiring against me.  I’ve trudged through the sludge and honey, yet still feel excited about immersing myself into the little world of my novel and getting real with my characters again today.  

May your day be mud-free and your eyebrows un-honeyed.

PS: I finished this post about half an hour ago.  I feel the need to add that I just stepped on a wicked painful carpet tack, which for some reason, is jutting up right outside the bathroom door.  It feels worse than it looked, only a few droplets of blood sprang to the surface.  Sheesh.