Friday, March 24, 2017

March Writing Update

So I normally don’t toot my own horn, but I’m quite proud of myself. I hit every single one of my writing goals that I set last month. How about them apples!

The biggest highlight of the month was participating in MadnessPoetry. What an absolute blast. I ended up losing in the 2nd round to a really good poet. But my poem about a dinosaur salon still won the kids’ vote, so I’m really happy about that. I would love to participate next year. Currently, the ‘Elite Eight’ are battling it out and voting is open. If you have a sec, you should check out the remaining poets’ poems.

The poetry competition has inspired me to participate in NaPoWriMo. I’ll be attempting to write a poem a day for National Poetry Month in April. How great will it be to have 30 new poems under my belt?

Here are a few highlights from the past month:

  • Wrote 2 poems
  • Competed in Madness! Poetry and made it to Round 2
  • Submitted to 2 literary magazines
  • Received 2 rejections
  • Scratched out a 2nd draft of a picture book
  • Read 3 books
  • Wrote on the blog every week
  • Attended my online critique group and a new in-person group

And here are my goals for the upcoming month:

  • Write a poem a day in April for National Poetry Month
  • Get 4 very rough picture book drafts done for Camp NaNoWriMo
  • Write on the blog every week
  • Read 4 books 
  • Submit flash fiction piece to 2 more places

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Depression Sucks--Part II

This past Saturday, I wrote a post about being in the throes of depression. I wrote it mostly as a way to vent a little and maybe as a way to feel a little better. By Monday, I was on the mend, and today I feel like my normal self. Whee. Who knows how long it'll last. Could be days (gosh no), weeks (please), or months (wishful thinking).

The point is, I am feeling better. But you know something? I now cringe at my post from last week. So much so that I want to just delete it. I feel embarrassed to have it out there. I don't want people to pity me, or think I'm trying to get attention. In short, I am ashamed of my bouts of depression.

Why is that? If I had high blood pressure or the flu or some other ailment, would I feel so reluctant to say something? Probably not. Logically, I know there's no good reason for me to be so mortified that others know I occasionally struggle with depression. See? I automatically try to underplay it. It's only every once in awhile. Just a little bit. Occasionally. Yeah right.

I can't make much sense of it. I guess that's another reason that depression sucks. Depression is like an abusive partner--it convinces you after the fact that the emotional beatings it doles out really aren't that bad. That you're overreacting. That you're really the problem and so it's something you shouldn't talk about with others because they'll judge you for being so whiny and pathetic.

I don't know--maybe I am being whiny, but I don't think so. Either way, I am just glad that I'm out of the fog and able to function like a normal human being. Here's to being a bit more open. Who knows, maybe it'll help.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Depression Sucks

Well, that’s a duh statement.



Depression can come because of some outside influence: you’re sick, your favorite basketball team lost, you’ve lost your job, someone you know passes away. All of these things and so many uncountable others can send a person spiraling, and in some cases, into an extremely harrowing, down to the bone, sadness. A sadness that, at times, doesn’t seem to want to let go.

But what about the depression that decides show up unannounced, walk in the door, hang it’s hat, lounge around on the couch in it’s underwear and eat all your Cheetos for no apparent reason other than to screw with you? What if there isn’t any outside catalyst? Yeah, that kind of depression sucks too.

No matter how many times it happens to me, I still I don’t get it. I’ve got a loving and supportive family, a happy home, a host of activities that I normally enjoy. But when this stupid wet blanket comes to hang around, it’s like moving through sludge. You know when you’re having a nightmare and you’re trying to fight someone off, but you can only move super slowly and you can never get any power behind your punches? That’s what depression feels like for me.

I guess I’m just writing to vent, and, as I type this, I am feeling a teensy bit better. I have resources at my disposal that I use and they do help. So I know that it’ll pass—it always does. But it still sucks.

Friday, March 10, 2017

New Opponent, New Word

Everyone is probably sick of me talking about the Madness! Poetry tournament, but I’m going to write a post about it anyway.

The first round went even better than I had hoped. Marileta Robinson was a fierce competitor, but somehow I was able to come out on top. Even though we were given two different words (stalwart and albeit) and no topic, both of our poems ended up having dancing elements in them. And both had some punny endings. :) You can read them both here.

In round 2, I’ll be facing off against Michele Krueger, a poet teacher in California! That’s not intimidating!

My new word is clientele. What on earth am I going to write for that one? We shall see. We’re heading up to Orlando tonight and then it’s off to Disney World for my birthday tomorrow. I probably won’t have much time to edit the poem tomorrow, so here’s to hoping I’ll be able to get the bulk of it done tonight. Poems are due Sunday bright and early (for me) at 8:00AM.

Voting for round 2 opens Sunday afternoon and goes through Tuesday. I will be sure to keep everyone posted.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Books, Movies, and Non-Newtonian Fluids

Two months into the year and I am already behind in my reading. February was an all around slow month. I felt like I was moving through a non-Newtonian fluid most of the time. But we all have rough patches, so hopefully I’ll perk up a bit and get some more writing and reading done.

Of all the books I read in February, I can definitely say that James Herriot’s All Things Bright and Beautiful was my favorite (it’s the only book I finished last month). I loved the 1st book in the series and the 2nd was just as good. When I was younger, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Not sure what changed, but reading Herriot’s books makes me slightly regret the shift.

 I love the outdoors and I love animals, so reading about the rolling hills and green grasses of Yorkshire kind of makes me pine after that lifestyle. John’s always talking about how he would love to move back to Europe. Maybe it’s not to late!

The Oscars have come and gone. We ended up making it through 5 of the 9 Best Picture nominees. My favorite of the 5 was Manchester by the Sea. Not a happy film by any stretch but it did feel real, grounded and satisfying.

I also got in a few episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Every time I put one on, it just makes me happy. Can’t go wrong with some Star Trek. And I finally watched an episode or two of Supernatural. I was actually surprised that it was kind of creepy and not really cheesy. I plan on slowly making my way through the series.

I wish there were more good sci-fi/fantasy programs that were 30 minutes long. It’s difficult for me to justify sitting down for an hour at a time when I could be writing or reading. Many of the shows that I enjoy, John doesn’t like, so I end up trying to watch an episode here or there during the day. Don’t get me wrong— I know John would sit down and watch something I exclusively like, but I much prefer to see something that we’re both interested in watching.

My goal this month is to read 5 books and see a few films in the theater. Check by the 1st week in April to see if I'm able to do it.