It’s that time of the year again…

Today is November 1 and you know what that means…It’s time to get crazy!

Crazy like a writer, that is.

That’s write (see what I did there? 😊), today begins NaNoWriMo, which for some crazy reason I decided to try again this year. But I haven’t written a word on my novel yet today, and I probably won’t, which is going to put me at a startling deficit when tomorrow rolls around.

Don’t get me wrong—I’ve written plenty of words today. I’ve probably even hit the magical 1,667 mark. But the words I wrote weren’t for any personal projects, so alas, they don’t count.

November 1 also means that NaBloPoMo has begun in earnest, which I’m hoping will get me back on track when it comes to my dearly-beloved-yet-sadly-neglected, wordy home here on the interwebs. But with my friends at #TeamTinyPeppers cheering me on, I’m sure I can get back in the swing of things this time.

Because willpower—I has it. Sometimes. If food isn’t involved. 😊

So what about you? Are you participating in any of this month’s writerly activities? I want to hear all about what’s going on with you down in the comments!

(c) 2019. All rights reserved.

The one where she feels totally embarrassed…

…because holy cats, has it been a while since I’ve posted! Like, a ridiculously long while! If anyone’s still hanging around, what’s new with you?

For me, I FINALLY finished my BA in May. Woooo! It was an exciting semester for me for a variety of reasons, and I’ve got pictures to prove it. In March, my bestie and I road-tripped down to St. Louis so I could present a paper at the annual Sigma Tau Delta conference. It was so much fun! I wish we could have been there for all the opening ceremonies, but I had to work that day. :/ There were a ton of awesome panels, including mine, which was all about John Milton.  Some of the other amazing panels I attended were on Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, VIrginia Woolf, and James Joyce. So! Many! Fun! Things!

I also attended a fascinating talk given by Nnedi Okorafor, and I’m now well into reading her Binti series. Sooo good.

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But after two years of hardcore writing and studying, I needed a little break. My brain hurt. My hands hurt. And then we moved, and EVERYTHING hurt. But things at Casa Kauffman seem to have settle down for now…just in time for school to start up again. :’) :’)

It’s been a long day, though, and I’m feeling a little run down, so I’m gonna spend a little time with the ones I love. After all, that’s what’s really important, right?

So here’s to new beginnings and new adventures! I’ll see you around!

(c) 2019. All rights reserved.

Wild Places

I long for the wild places,
Unsullied by man,
And far from the bright blinking
Arc at the edge of the land.

I long for the wild places
And the freedom to be
Unbordered, unbounded,
Unbridled, and free.

Instead I am trapped
In a red ring of power,
Far from the meadows
And fields full of flowers,

Far from the places
I long so to see,
And far from the me
I feel I should be.

I long for the wild places
I’m not sure still exist.
I hate that I feel like
I’m no more than grist

For a mill that consumes
Every last thing in sight,
Every bulb, every stem,
Every petal of white.

I long for the wild places,
And I’ll go there someday,
Even if it means bribing
A cowboy to take me away.

(c) 2018. All rights reserved.

On thinking

I think in other people’s words. I think in movie lines and song lyrics and passages from books. Sometimes, I even think in advertising slogans. Often, I think in sound bytes.

Why?

It’s quite simple, really. Thinking in someone else’s words is so much easier than thinking in my own. Thinking in other people’s words is safer, less painful. It keeps me from having to dig deep, from having to face uncomfortable possibilities.

Thinking in other people’s words keeps me from really getting to know myself. And therein lies the problem.

If I never dig deep enough to find out who I am, do I really exist? If  I think in other people’s words, am I a real person, or simply a copy of a thousand other selves? A clone?

To think in other people’s thoughts is to blend into the background, to be an indistinguishable part of the whole. I contain multitudes, but I don’t stand out from them.

Sometimes it’s necessary to stand out, to stand on one’s own. But by thinking in someone else’s thoughts, I keep myself chained to a pole, unable to stand on my own.

I am a sapling in a biosphere, immune to the wind…until the transparent sphere falls away. Then I will fall, for my roots are shallow and weak.

I think in other people’s thoughts, but I really ought to stop. My own thoughts have value and meaning, and it’s time I recognized that fact. It’s time I came up with a few thoughts of my own.

If I want to leave my mark on the world, I won’t be able to rely on other people’s thoughts.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Dream World

A lake of fire gleams
In the west, a warm end to
The remains of day.

The eastern sky is
A pastel rainbow, capped by
A gleaming full moon.

In light or in gloom,
In cold or in warmth,  nature
Inspires my dreams.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Golden Coup

Nothing gold can stay, says Frost,
And surely he would know.
For if the gold had not been lost,
He would have told us so.

Nothing gold can stay – it’s true.
But maybe if we try,
We can execute a coup
And turn that truth to lie.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Brain dump

They move in the mist,
Creatures of old-time myths.

***

She clung to the cup.
Her frigid fingers curled round the paper,
Desperate to draw
The last ounce of warmth
From the lukewarm liquid sloshing inside
As she scurried from building to building
In the bitter fall rain.

***

I want to be the next Great American Novelist.
I want to write great litrashure.
“You’re a great writer. You just have to find your story.”

***

I’ve been writing in fits and starts for three months now. In a burst of inspiration, I jot down the brilliance (because let’s face it – when you’re a writer and the spirit moves you, it (whatever it may be) is always brilliant) that comes into my head like medieval grace. But then, hours or days or sometimes weeks later, when I return to it, the grace is gone, and I can no longer remember where I was going with what I had written.

Not having finished anything is starting to really irritate me. The only things I’ve managed to finish writing have been for class assignments, and those were only finished with much wailing and gnashing of teeth as the deadline approached (and occasionally, as it whooshed by).

I imagine it’s going to get worse before it gets better, what with taking more classes next semester than I did this semester, and I suppose I’m going to have to accept that fact. I wish I hadn’t been so dumb the first time I did college. I wish I hadn’t let fear of failure rule my life. I was afraid I’d never make new friends, I was afraid my relationship would wither and die and I’d be all alone in the great big world, a little girl playing at being a grown-up. I think I was also afraid of success and sabotaged myself before I had the chance to succeed.

They say hindsight is 20/20, and they’re definitely right, but I wish I hadn’t always had to do things the hard way. Hopefully I won’t continue to always do things the hard way.

College in your thirties is definitely hard, especially when there are so many things you want to do that you can’t because you have a family and a job and so many things that require your attention. College in my twenties would have been so much simpler. Even if I still couldn’t have done all the things I wanted to do, at least the demands on my time were fewer.

Thank goodness, I guess, that I’m a self-directed learner.

Also, thank goodness for caffeine. Because without it, there is no way I’d have made it through this semester and no way I could make it through the upcoming ones.

All glory to caffeine! 😀

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Picture Perfect

Practice your ballerina hands, the email said, without much clarification on how to do that.

I looked down at my hands. They were frying pan hands, and the Teflon was peeling.

Practice pointing your toes like a ballerina, the email said. But I’m no ballerina, and all my practice was futile.

Practice smiling genuinely, the email said. At last, something I could do! But when I looked in the mirror, all I could see was the ruby nightmare that framed my face and glittered beneath the bright white vanity lights.

So much for that idea, I thought.

I took a deep breath and tried again. This time, instead of imagining…

Just when you thought I was out of inspirational quotes…

Today’s quote is one of my absolute favorites to come from this project, and it’s courtesy of Katie M. Dean:

never-be-afraid-because-you-will-change-at-least-one-life-with-your-writing-and-its-okay-if-that-life-is-yours-katie-m-dean

Seriously. There is so much I love about this quote that I don’t even know where to begin. It was like getting hit by lightning, a slap in the face of pure duh.

Like, why hadn’t I thought of this sooner?

This is quite possible one of the best quotes I have ever read. About anything. And I have a whole spiral-bound notebook full of quotations that I’ve been keeping for the better part of two decades – this one trumps them all.

Love. This.

What is your absolutely positively all-time favorite quote?

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.