Sunday, September 30, 2007

Update & Announcement

I spoke today, for the first time since giving his chapters back, to the man whose writing I critiqued. Find my anxiety about giving him constructive comments here. He was very appreciative and told me that I had picked up on patterns and flaws in his writing that he had never been aware of before and that no one else had ever pointed out to him. He said that he has found my comments very helpful as he has gone forward in writing the rest of his book. I was much relieved and felt that he was very gracious in his complimentary way. It was all very pleasant. He also told me that because I was able to be so specific and helpful he respected my opinion more now. Yay! I guess I did that one right.

So I started talking to him about a story that's been knocking about in my head and his eyes lit up as I laid out the basic premise. He told me he thought it was a clever idea and that I should definitely write it. That was the boost I needed. I have been toying with the idea of doing NaNoWriMo this year and his comment sealed it for me. I have never attempted anything longer than a short story before, but I think that this will be a forum in which I can really start with a sprint and keep on running without letting my internal editor shut me down. Having the permission to write crap (as long as there's lots of it) is so relieving, and who knows, maybe there will be some true gems in my piece. I'm anxious for the freedom that goes along with NaNoWriMo and exhilarated by the idea of living a dream I've been afraid of for so long. I've counseled with my husband and he is on board. He understands that this will require me to be mostly absent from family life for a month. What a great guy.

Are any of you doing NaNoWriMo?
Also, I'm trying to work out an outline in advance. How extensively do you outline?

Vocabulary Word of the Day:
ASCETIC - noun - One who renounces material comforts for austere self-discipline, esp. as an act of religious devotion

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Vocabulary Word of the Day

MALEVOLENT - adj. - Having or exhibiting ill will; wishing harm to others

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Vocabulary Word of the Day

FASTIDIOUS - adj. - Possessing or displaying meticulous attention to detail.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In Your Dreams

First of all, my apologies to those who are kind enough to check back frequently and who may have been disappointed in my recent lack of posts. My kids were sick, then I was sick, then a bunch of other time consuming things happened. I've been able to find time for commenting here and there (Woman cannot live entirely without Blog) but I'm hoping things will settle down and I can hop into routine again.

That said-

I am a very vivid dreamer. My mind can still easily recall clear images from dreams I had as a child. Don't even get me started on the one where Spiderman captured my mom. Terrifying.

I have noticed that through different eras of my life my dreams have carried themes. For a few years in my young adulthood I was always dreaming of being chased by someone with a knife or a gun, and despite my most clever means of escape they were always right behind me. And I was often shot or stabbed, feeling my wounds and wondering why I wasn't dead yet.

Then there was another bout where it seemed every unresolved issue I'd ever encountered was coming back, begging for closure. I dreamt of the boy who wanted to marry me but I broke up with him instead. I dreamt of the employers of a job I'd walked out on as a rash teen. In all the dreams I was forgiven and a lasting relationship was reestablished.

I bought a dream encyclopedia to help me decipher what some of my dreams meant, but wrote it off as hokey, finding most meanings as specific as fortune cookie fortunes. One entry actually said, "Dreaming of insects indicates that something is 'bugging' you." Hmm.

With my recent flood, however, of incredibly vivid and emotionally powerful dreams, I got the old book out again. I found most meanings just as ridiculous as before, but one meaning in particular stuck out to me. It said "Dreaming of a beautiful lover is like a gift to oneself, a recognition of inner beauty and strength."

I'll take it.

A few nights ago I had a brief but strong dream of a man who, by the emotion of it, was clearly intimate with me. This was not a sex dream. The only image I can retain is of my hand on his waist, the texture of his shirt and sturdiness of his hip beneath it. But this one image carries such powerful emotion, an understanding between two people that I don't think can possibly exist in real life. In that one moment I was the most euphorically beautiful, understood, empowered woman imaginable.

I've also been dreaming stories. Stories more creative and emotionally driven than I can create in a wakeful state. So, of course I've been writing like crazy, right? No, and I'll tell you why.

I'm afraid. These dreams are so perfect in the way I remember them emotionally that I can't fathom where to begin in relating them to others. I don't want to taint them. No matter what I write, something will be lost, for there are feelings in dreams that cannot be achieved during consciousness.

Or, can they?

Have you ever read something that has elicited a stronger emotional response than what you experience in your own relationships?

Do you have vivid dreams like this?

Please share.

Vocabulary Word of the Day:
SARDONIC - adj. - Scornfully or cynically mocking.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

All the better to blog with, my dear.

I don't like sitting with my feet on the floor. I avoid straight back chairs when possible. If on a couch or recliner you can bet my legs will be tucked up under me or that I am, in fact, reclined, with my feet up. I sit at the kitchen table for the sake of my family so that we can all be together when we eat, but if I'm eating alone I head for the couch.

The one place I just positively have not been able to avoid this most detested position is at the computer, a dilemma to be sure, considering my affection for it. Incidentally, I have found an uncanny connection between my sitting at the computer and the onset of the need to go number two. Weird, yes. Gross, for sure. But am I the only one who experiences this? Anyway... so I don't like sitting at the computer.

Well, ha, guess what? I am writing this post seated comfortably on my bed with the love of my life sleeping peacefully beside me, comfortably propped up with pillows. Yes, folks, I am the proud owner of my very own laptop!

Let me relate how this blessed occurrence, though a bit convoluted, came to be.

For a while I was becoming a real Craigslist junkie. With two little ones and burgeoning expenses I was after any way of providing the necessities for as little cash as possible. We found my daughter, well past the age of the toddler bed, a nice twin for an amazing price. We got a piano for free. Just for fun I looked at the electronics section, well aware I wouldn't be able to afford anything, but just to see what people might be selling. I found a guy selling an IBM ThinkPad for $150. He included a picture of the actual machine and a list of all its noteworthy features. I called my spouse and asked if he thought it sounded like a good computer. He did. So I emailed the guy and asked why he would be selling this computer for so little. He replied that he already had another one and just figured he could help someone out by getting rid of the other. Hmmm. Okay. A quick run to the ATM and we (meaning my kids and I) were off to pick the thing up.

As I pulled in front of his house I wondered if it might be best to hope he hadn't seen me and drive away. It seemed only slightly friendlier than something haunted and had it not been midday I'm sure I wouldn't have dared step foot on the property. With children held close and gripped tight we knocked on the door.

I'm not a smoker, but I think even a smoker would have felt overwhelmed by the pervasive smell. The carpet in the front room had been worn down to bare wood and the cracks in the walls stood out through the greasy wallpaper. The man, whose congeniality was in stark contrast to his haggard appearance, led us past two grim, staring women on a sunken couch. They might have been able to scrape up a set of teeth between the three of them. The women seemed oblivious to my greeting. The man showed me the computer, I handed him the money and hightailed out of there, wondering if I'd not paid for his next fix, and wondering also if the merchandise had been legitimately acquired by my host. I don't mean to pass judgement, but, MAN!

Upon inspection the computer had all it had been purported to except a DVD drive and wireless Internet. While these were not expensive problems to fix, I was left with a pretty useless machine for a while, since I couldn't get any programs put on it and I couldn't use the Internet. Thanks to SuperHubby, however, we're rocking and rolling. Time and a thorough cleaning have even left it smoke-free.

I'm looking forward to more control over my writing atmosphere, being able to actually see my kids while I'm on the computer (the desktop is in a kind of secluded location) and most of all, never having to write with my feet on the floor again.

Sorry my list of Vocab Words is by the desktop.

And thank you all for missing me while I was gone. I had a lovely time and slept in for the first time in years.