Friday, December 20, 2013

Judge Me A Ten?

I think my favorite quote ever (or almost ever) is Shakespeare's "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages."

Phil Robertson has a stage. The Duck Commander had a stage on the A&E network before they fired him for voicing his beliefs in an unrelated interview (but that's beside the point). Before he had a stage with A&E, he had a stage simply by being a walking/talking person who carries on relationships with other people.

In all the brouhaha that went on yesterday in relation to A&E's hit show, Duck Dynasty, it slowly began to dawn on me that this is just a drop in the bucket. At this precise moment in time, sure, Phil Robertson made the proverbial splash in the water, with perhaps a few more ripples than the average person, but since the day he's been born, he's made ripples because he's a living, breathing human being.

I may be slow on the uptake (freely admitted), but I suddenly realized yesterday that I have a stage, too. We all do. Every single one of us. My stage, sure, is considerably less large than Phil Robertson's, but that doesn't mean that it has to have any less impact on people than his does.

Every thought, every action that I put in front of people, my husband, my children, my friends, my readers, complete strangers, will be judged in some way, shape, or form, just as I form my own judgements when I see what goes on around me every day. 

Before someone blasts me for using the word "judging," please let me explain. I make judgements every day. 

Car coming. Is there enough space for me to cross the street before he gets here and I splat like a bug on his windshield? No, I think I'll stay put.

What's five more bucks for this cheap DVD that I've been wanting to have? No biggie, right? Except we've been over the grocery budget for two months running. Maybe not this time.

That girl just called my daughter a name. Should I go over and tell her to back off or let my daughter fight her own battles?

We all judge each other every day. No matter what side of the coin you're on regarding the whole Phil Robertson thing, every one of us has made judgements concerning him. 

So my point is, if people are going to be watching me on my stage, passing judgement on every action or word that leaves my mouth, I had better make good and sure that what I put out there is worth the refining fire. 

When all the fluff, chaff, and dross get burned away from my actions and words, I hope a few gold nuggets come into the light. It may be wishful thinking, but one can dream, right?

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Blank Page

I'm 6,788 words into my newest novel, the second book in a young adult urban fantasy series about a young girl caught up as the centerpiece in a political revolution such as the world has never seen.

Only 93,212 words left to go. In this book. And then, there are the next two.

George R.R. Martin, author of The Game of Thrones and subsequent sequels, once famously said, "I don't enjoy writing. I enjoy having written."

I won't necessarily completely agree with him. I do enjoy writing. I enjoy it a lot. Mostly, however, I enjoy writing snippets. A title here, a prologue there, even a chapter . . . or two. But when I stand at this end of the book, and gaze at that end of the book, I feel a bit like a clown fish would feel if I were released from the relative safety of my tiny Petco saltwater tank back into the Pacific Ocean.

It seems overwhelming and daunting.

Daunting: adj: tending to overwhelm or intimidate

My thousand-words-a-day rule is my thread of hope that I cling to every day. Every day, I sit down during my kids' nap times and peck out a thousand words minimum on my laptop. It may not make much sense, it may not even add to the storyline. But it's a regular discipline that I maintain stringently. I don't miss a single day. It's not a lot of words; I read blogs from other authors who write ten thousand words in a day and send off manuscripts to their publishers every month or two. 

At this stage in my life, I can't do that.

But I can write a thousand words. So I will. Eventually, I will stop the story around 100,000 words, look back and say, wow, I did it.

Baby steps.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Potty-Straining Take 2 or 200... Something... I've Lost Count

Sometimes, I throw my hands up in the air, and wave 'em like I just don't care...

Trouble is, I do care, but I've pretty much given up. Every time I give up, I think, I'll try just one more time, and then I give up again, and I throw my hands in the air again, and wave 'em like I just don't care... again...

It's a vicious cycle.

So what's this all about?

The process of training one's masculine offspring to urinate/defecate in the proper receptacle instead of into the offspring's own raiment, thereby promoting maturation and cultivation of the offspring, ushering him from infancy into the proper development of an older child.

In other words: potty-training.

I've lost count of the times I've thought, I think I finally did it! I think he's finally trained! And then, like an evil imp that comes back to mock its audience, he sinks back into wet jeans and wet underwear... one more time.

Sometimes, I feel like a bull-dog, sinking my teeth with stubborn tenacity into an issue that refuses to be resolved, never letting go, never seeing hope of a solution.

Charts: check.
Prizes: check.
Encouragement: check.
BIG Prizes: check.
Cleans up his own messes: check.
Alarms every hour: check.
Alarms every half an hour: check.
Privileges taken away: check.
Pull-ups: check.
Regular underwear: check.

Success: nope.

I don't know. I've said it before and I'll say it now. When he moves out to go to college or wherever, he's going to start changing his own diapers.