well hello again

Testing...testing...<tap,tap,tap>...Is this thing on?

That's how I feel as I sit down to blog for the first time in what feels like a very long time.  Between homeschooling, house guests, a Thanksgiving trip, and a crazy little notion to write a novel, seems that spare time has been lean around here lately. But it's good to be back.

I have so much to tell you. Where should I start?

First the quick summary: The kids? Good. The baby? Getting big. Sleeping great. Cute as a button. Garrett? Busy but awesome. Thanksgiving trip? Rockin'. Christmas coming? Bring it.

I'd like to take this opportunity to say that Pentatonix won The Sing-Off and that is as it should be.

Seems like we've covered our bases, how are you doing? Really doing?

All joking aside, I do feel like there is a lot to say. There's something about being away from your everyday life that brings a clarity to the whole picture. As we drove home from Colorado on Sunday night, I felt a lot of personal renewal in regards to where my life is going and direction in specific to the question of "Now what?"

I feel something (or Someone, perhaps) drawing me back to find my center, to slow down and focus on a few major things at this point.

I've realized that, for me personally, the internet is really not helpful in this phase of life. Oh sure, I can grab recipes in a flash and look up answers to questions like "Are hermit crabs crustaceans?" or youtube whatever song is in my head that I can't seem to recall the second verse of. Those kinds of things are fun and useful and doesn't disrupt the flow around here too much.

But there is another sense that the internet, in it's abundance of ideas and opinions and convictions, clouds my understanding of what God wants me to be doing. I feel like I am at a point (and this is a specific place on my personal journey and not a value statement on these things) where I don't need any more ideas about homeschooling or decorating or living life in general: I need to 1) just do the things I know I need to do or 2)pray about the areas where I don't know what to do.

All that to say, the internet is an awesome source for ideas once you know where you're headed. It's not a great tool to figure out who you are, or what that looks like as a ________ (fill in the blank).

Does that make sense?

In other news, I've been attempting to write a novel. With two days left, I am about 20,000 words shy of the goal. This reality has both depressed and inspired me, but at this point, where I realize that there is no way to finish besides farming out my kids and drinking Red Bull for 48 hours, I think I am ok with it.

I was pretty discouraged last week when I was prepping for a trip  and realized that when we returned there would only be two days left. But I guess I see that though I didn't 'win' (technically the goal is 50,000) the whole exercise of writing taught me a lot, and I feel good about that. Here are a few things I learned:

1- I'm a very subjective writer. Some writers have outlines and plans and scenes that they have laid out and are working towards. Though those things are good and I'd like to grow in my ability to do any of that, I enjoy myself most when I just write and see where the story takes me. Sometimes it feels like I have a rhinoceros on a leash and I'm trying to take it for a walk in a specific direction. No matter how I pull, if it doesn't want to go there, I can't seem to make it. I guess my own lack of specific direction shouldn't shock me as I have never been particularly scheduled or detail oriented, but I guess I thought I would feel more control over my story. Instead it seemed to control me.

2- I really enjoy writing. I enjoy writing a paragraph over and over until it finally says what I'm trying to make it say (which is good- but not very conducive to writing a lot in a short amount of time.) Which leads me to my next point...

3- I got so bogged in trying to write well, I didn't write as much. I should have focused more on word count and less on the quality of what I was putting down. This would have helped the story progress faster and keep momentum.

4- I thought it would be easier to create believable characters, but it was actually really hard. I have a new respect for all my favorite authors- heck, any author that actually has been published- but particularly the ones that create characters I love.

5- My life has time for things if I'm willing to make it. For about two weeks, I wrote for two hours every night. (There was only actually one week of the month that we were at home and didn't have anyone staying with us- so writing time was more limited than I expected) Two hours. 120 minutes. When I think of the list of "Things I Don't Have Time for in this Phase of Life"- suddenly most of those are probably doable if I am really honest. <sigh>

So I guess that's it for now. I am definitely going to keep working on this story as I would really like to finish it. I'm not sure what the future holds in regards to writing, but I know, if nothing else, it's good to mentally be working on something. And I enjoy it. And it's free! So there you have it.

In other news, I rearranged my dining room today. Don't you love rearranging furniture? I know there are those personalities out there that hate to rearrange furniture and never change around rooms. I, however, am not of that personality. A good room shake-up was just what the doctor ordered.

Well, it was nice to catch up. Hope your Thanksgiving was thanks-full.  I know I owe ya a quick 5 from last week, but you're just gonna have to let that one go.

'Preciate it.

Catch ya later.


Victoria said...

I think 33,003 words in a month is pretty great. :) One of the things I have learned (and not implemented) in all my studies about writing is that most writers actually advocate quantity over quality. The theory is that out of quantity COMES quality, eventually. It's why they say that if you want to be a writer you should write every day, even if it's stupid. Sooner or later something good will come out. Again, not tested, but I believe it.

Any chance you'll let us curious types know what your story is about? :)

Teresa said...

Couldn't you just cut and paste the last 3,460 words out of another story?

That would work.

Christy said...

your comments about the usefulness (or lack thereof) of the internet make perfect sense to me. perfect.