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Becoming Lola – Changing Jobs

Becoming Lola – Changing Jobs

workingI quit my job. From the beginning the job sat in my gut, the idea that this job and are were a bad for me and my skills and ultimately, it wasn’t what I really wanted to do.  I kept at it making the most of it, even through the job functions that I really didn’t like, the tedious boring creation of certificates, dealing with members and their money questions, all the while trying to do my job well.

In my heart what I wanted most was to be a writer. If I couldn’t make it as an author at least I would be writing for a living. Nothing in my current job was heading me toward either road. I made the decision to quit.

This was a good decision even though there isn’t another job to go to because what I want is a consulting gig, three to six months writing technical manuals about software. I like the idea of starting and finishing a project and having time off. Time to do what I really want, finish my books. But in order to be submitted for the job, I need to be available immediately, hard to do with a full-time job.

Sometimes we need to put ourselves first, our needs and desires. And sometimes we have to trust in our vision and dreams and put some effort into what we really want. You can’t success in your goals if you don’t put any effort into them. Wishing and hoping doesn’t make it happen, hard word and time does.

On my way to becoming who and what I want to be takes determination and trust in my gut. It’s never let me down.

Oops I Did It Again…a Rewrite That Is

Oops I Did It Again…a Rewrite That Is

The Day of First Sun - Copy to Use I was 7 years old when I read my first Nancy Drew book. There was something in that smart girl that resonated me and I wanted to read every adventure. But I didn’t just want to read the stories, I wanted to write them, create my own world, characters and adventures.

Life, it sometimes gets in the way. Infertility, a difficult pregnancy, the death of a child, threw me off of my course, the path I set for myself when I graduated college.

It took a wake up call, meeting a high school classmate, a published author to fuel my jealously, to snap the dream back to me. I finally wrote that book.

It took all of 6 weeks from start to finish, all 170 pages of it. It took at least 15 drafts two of which were self published. I hired marketing help.

I wasn’t ready. I didn’t understand how to edit, forget about using Twitter and Facebook effectively. Without holding up my end of the bargain, marketing, well it left me back to square one.

A horrible book release for book 2, left me constantly 5 minutes away from quitting. Paralyzed to move forward, which is where I’ve been for over 2 years as I try to figure out y life as a non writer. But I still come back to the desire to make it right, to finally live that dream.

I’ve been lucky because had I not gone down that road, I wouldn’t have met a collective group of great, smart women who have taught me some of what they know about marketing, writing and editing. And I would have learned nothing.

After careful thought, I re-wrote my first book again. I re-thought the entire series. Rather than selling books with flaws, I chose to improve the product. The premise was good but… I hope I fixed the but.

That is why I chose this major rewrite. I took a long look at the book and the series and pinpointed where I fell short. I took out chunks of the book, changed relationships and rewrote what turned out to be a majority of the book. Though the story is the same, it gets there in a different manner. One that I hope answers questions, feels complete, with characters that are worth reading about.

I often wonder why no one has said to me, you’re an awful writer you should quit. I’ve mostly experienced encouragement, just enough to ignore the bad reviews. Just enough to try again. Maybe this time I’m nearly 10 minutes away from quitting, and at least in the end I know I’ve tried.

I’m very proud of version 20 of The Day of First Sun and I look forward to it’s release. I can’t wait to share.

It’s been an emotional few years picking myself up and dusting myself off, but I did it. Sometimes it’s all we know what to do.

Pre-order The Day of First Sun, check out Amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What You’re Worth

What You’re Worth

How do you measure what you’re worth? I don’t mean your bank account or the things that you own. Do you judge yourself by what you’ve accomplished, by the job you have or the completion of a dream?

Lately I’ve been measuring my worth by my accomplishments or lack there of and it weighs on me. Where I thought I would be at this point in my life I am no closer to achieving.

I’ve struggling with what I think I’m worth as an employee. Am I only good enough for a file clerk position or am I worth more as a writer, an organizer, a planner with valuable ideas that are helpful to my employer?

When I succeed I’m cocky and believe I can handle any job that’s thrown my way. When I fail, I dwell and worry, upset that I couldn’t do more with what I had. My worth as I view it, decreases and any change to my status at work feels like a demotion. Whether it’s good for business or not. But is it good for me? Do I have more value than what this job entails?

Should I measure my value to society, to my family, to my friends by how others view me or should I find a new measuring stick and realize that I am unique, an individual with valuable things to say.

But I can’t help but wonder if my failures should be proud moments because even though I didn’t make it, at least I tried. I can’t go there because that’s just bullshit. If I merely accept mediocrity and failure even though I tried, than the only option is to give up. I’m not there yet. I still have dreams, I still have a passion for something. Unfortunately that is precisely what I measure my worth at. It’s not enough. I want more. I’m tired of plans and decisions not ending the way I hoped. And that alone pushes me forward, gives me purpose and hope. Maybe I should measure how I feel about myself by my ability to not give up, to keep trying when everything points to the fact that maybe I should quit.

I’m finally over the mini crisis I had last week, when it felt as though I was being demoted for the inability to do the job I was hired for. I knew as I took over the job from someone else, that it wasn’t the case. I was moved to a position more suited to my abilities. I knew that. It’s what I do for a living, not who I am and not how I should value my self-worth.

How do you feel? How do you value yourself, your worth? Please tell me it doesn’t involve your job, or your bank account or even your accomplishments. tell me it’s because you are unique and an individual. We all offer something to someone in our lives. As long as we’re true to ourselves, I think we’ll be okay.

Never Tell a Writer to Stop

Never Tell a Writer to Stop

I’m tired. I took a full-time job to pay for the marketing to try to sell my books. I come home, take care of the children, the bills, groceries, dishes and take care of the other commitments that come with living in the real world. It makes me no different from other moms. I’m not claiming I am. And this isn’t about how my life may or may not suck.

It’s about my second job. The one I’ve been working at for the last four years. The one I’m not getting paid for, the one that takes me away from friends, commitments, children, relaxing. Again, it’s not a mom thing. I’ve been an unpaid mom for sixteen years. No, this is about the dream, the job I really want.

When people ask how I’m doing, I mostly say I’m okay, unless I’m really tired, really stressed and really needing a good writing session. And frankly I don’t complain much about it because most people tell me, maybe if I’m that stressed, I should put the books away for a little while.

I’m tired of explaining myself to everyone. It’s not a simple proposition to put the book down. It’s like cutting off a limb. It’s a part of me. When I’m not writing, it gnaws at me, crawls through my skin reminding me that there’s something else I’d rather be doing. I almost waited too long to begin my journey and if I put it away for even just a week, I may out of habit never pick it up again. I can’t do that.

Even as my world can sometimes crash around me as I struggle to get the laundry done, the groceries bought, the children taken care of, have a social life, I desperately reach for something to hold on to so that I don’t drown in my daily life. My life saver is writing. When you want something badly enough and you can’t shake it, you keep at it even when everything else is in danger of falling to pieces. It’s my life line.

Never tell an aspiring writer to put it away for a little while. We have a story to tell, an emotion to release, a message to say. If we put it away for even a little while, it burns a hole in us and we’re no longer being true to ourselves. .

One day maybe the non-writer will understand.

 

Slivers of Time

Slivers of Time

I regret one thing. That I didn’t follow my dream in my thirties. Forget that I had children, watched a baby die, suffered from post-partum. Those things shouldn’t have stopped me from practicing and to be perfectly honest, writing about those experiences probably would have done me some good.

But I didn’t and it wasn’t those things that prevented me from writing and creating. It comes down to one reason fear as a result of the lack of self-confidence and not believing that I could do what I put my mind to. As a result of my regret I have an unrealistic time line in my head. At almost forty-six, I feel like time is running out.

To continue with my journey, I got myself a job which hindered my ability to write, because of time. As my time feels like it slips away, I feel as though I’m defeated, as if I’m giving up on my dream. Whether that’s realistic or not, it sits in the pit of my stomach and keeps me awake at night.

We’re hardest on ourselves, we expect perfection and when we don’t achieve it, it messes with our minds. It messes with mine as the clock ticks down another sliver of time.

As my emotional half struggles with age and time, my rational side of myself realizes that it all comes down to confidence and a belief in myself. When it wanes, I need to remember the people in my circle, those that believe in me and in my vision. Because if not for me, for them, I keep pressing forward because that’s how you push through the lack of self-confidence, let someone else carry you. For me it’s my editors. As a writer you have somewhat of an intimate relationship with your editors. They know your books as well as you do, they understand you as a writer because you write what you know, what you feel and they become intimate with your characters as they assist you in crafting your story. I put my complete faith and trust in their words, their thoughts and their support. Without them I may have quit a long time ago.

We’re always hardest on ourselves, because we want and we work and we hope that it comes out well. I fight the slivers of time that make up my life not because I fear the future but because I fear the past and time that I didn’t allow myself to explore who I was and what I wanted to be. They tick down and I feel that pressure to accomplish something and do it soon.

It all comes down to confidence, finding it and keeping and letting that lead you forward.

Whatever Wednesday – Dreams

Whatever Wednesday – Dreams

I believe dreams represent the purest form of fantasy we unleash through our subconscious. They represent the truest freedom we can experience. Totally unrepressed and totally creative.
Miguel

I know there are a lot of people out here who don’t enjoy science fiction or fantasy because they prefer stories that are grounded in reality rather than in the make-believe. This idea fascinates me because the fantasy is all around us. We start reading with books from Dr. Seuss, we watch Sesame Street or read Harry Potter. And in our personal lives, we dream. The dream, the ultimate fantasy in which  we create worlds that often times make no sense are completely scary and odd and are not in any way based in reality.

Did you know that we have on average, about five dreams a night. We would then, on average, dream for about six years of our lives. We do our dream in REM sleep which can last as little as five minutes or as long as two hours. During this period our brain waves are more active while dreaming than when awake.  We spend so much time dreaming and many of us don’t even remember what we spent the night dreaming.

So what is the purpose of our dreams? Might they be a reaction to our daily lives, a way for our brain to sort through the images and experiences of the day and put them in some order that makes sense to us?

I have a recurring dream. It’s not uncommon, I know others have had a similar dream. But it always appears at times in my life when I’m searching for a career or ready to make that move from stay at home mom to career woman. It started when I graduated college and couldn’t find a job. It took me two years to find a permanent job with benefits and in that time, I spent much of my dream state reliving that dream when you show up to class for a test and realize you haven’t been to class all semester. You find yourself scrambling to learn the material in the next five minutes so you can either write that 50 page paper or take that final. It’s stressful as you look at your eminent failure. I usually wake up realizing that in my waking life, there’s something more that I’m looking for. I stopped having those dreams after finally getting that first job and it’s rarely showed up again. I must be more satisfied in my life or maybe I’m more confident and finding a job isn’t as stressful. I can’t say for sure.

Other visions and dreams appear to me at times. They’re far more mysterious as I haven’t found a source for what they mean. I’ve had that dream that I’ve been running without shoes. Though the more common version is dreaming about being naked, my stops at the shoes. You know how difficult it is to run through the forest without shoes on? I do know it has something to do with feeling vulnerable. Do I feel that way? Along with nudity there’s the dream about loosing your teeth. Also about vulnerability. Since I’ve had that as well, I must feel vulnerable at some point in my life.

How about the dream that I’m being chased by a lion, alligator or some other wild animal. I’m guessing it means I’m running scared from something. What that is, I’m not sure.

Here’s a quick list of the common dreams. Have you ever had any of them?

Naked/Nudity – This can mean lack of freedom or vulnerability. Feeling exposed or baring your soul.

Flying – You’re finding a way to move beyond your limitations or soaring above your problems. It may also mean feeling carefree and weightless, represent success or your amibitions are being achieved.

Lateness – Missed opportunity, disappointment or the inability to make a connection.

Teeth – Dreams about teeth can represent decision that need to be made. Debating both sides of an argument. If you loose your teeth maybe yo feel a loss of control.

These are some of my most interest reoccurring dreams. What are yours?

Thanks for the information at http://www.dreamanity.com/all-about-dreaming/dream-facts.html

The Bad Stuff Becomes the Good

The Bad Stuff Becomes the Good

Why do we only dwell on the bad stuff that happens rather than the good? Well in my case it’s probably because there’s been so much bad. And each one of those bad things, I seem to have ended up on my feet rather than in a pit of despair. So why can’t I concentrate on those victories, because there have been many.

Though I watched my daughter survive an undiagnosed disease which she eventually succumbed to after eleven months, I have the choice to dwell only on her death or I can bask in the success I had during her life. Organizing a large nursing staff, prescriptions for narcotics (they’re given in triplicate), dealing with insurance, coordinating hospice, taking care of a healthy twin while doing all of this and living through stress and in the end, I gave her the best life I possibly could.

The point isn’t to applaud myself but to realize that sometimes, even when things are at it’s worst there might be something to take pleasure in or to be proud of even under extreme circumstances.

I must remember that when I feel myself a failure because the books are selling at all, or I’m having difficulty managing Twitter and the blog and my author Facebook page. I can’t just congratulate myself on the fact that I’ve written two books and have two more nearly finished.

Should I do that though? Simply accept that I accomplished the minimum and move forward. Or maybe what I should do is let my frustration fuel a desire to keep pushing, keep writing, make my books the best that I can so that maybe, all the hard work will eventually pay off and I can live the dream that I set for myself.

I think that in the end that’s what it’s all about. Accepting who you are and the accomplishments you have made while still striving for even more. We should always set our limits higher than we think we can go.

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