Tag Archive: favorites


 

It’s my favorite time of year again.

The days are growing shorter, the air cooler, and people are running the streets dressed as all manner of spooky, sexy, scary and silly beings. As if that weren’t enough, there’s candy, turkey, stuffing, and candied yams everywhere you go, and the foliage that the Big Apple is known for is in full glory. And yet, there’s a far more intriguing aroma in the air.

Fresh paper and stale coffee, mixed with the scent of desperation and unwashed bodies.

Oh yes. It’s time for NaNoWriMo 2012.

Writing a fifty-thousand word novel in thirty days may seem like the final circle of Dante’s Inferno to some people, but it is without a doubt my favorite crazy undertaking of the year. Two years ago, in 2010, I completed my first manuscript, and it is impossible to describe how amazing that feels. Even if your book is the worst thing you’ve ever read, seen, or smelled, you can’t help but smile at the stinking mess that you’ve made. Hey, it’s warm and it’s yours, right?

The real magic is, somewhere along the way you actually fall in love with your novel. And maybe it’s really not good. But the entire month works to prime the pump of your creativity. You may have 49,500 words of crap, but even that would leave you with one really good page (1%). We all have better ratios than that. And I’m willing to bet that not many people have ever attempted to really write that much anyway.

Over the last few years, I have consistently made determinations to indulge more frequently in my creative pursuits. None of them are paying the bills right now, and so year after year, those determinations get swept under the rug in the pursuit of more immediate and less artistic goals. But something odd has been happening lately. I’ve noticed a growing sense of sadness that haunts those dusty dreams, and that terrifies me. At twenty-three, I am starting to see how and when people give up on themselves and their dreams. And it starts with paying the bills.

NaNoWriMo is an one-month crash course in learning to carve time out of your schedule—whatever kind of schedule it is—and focus on a goal that is much bigger and ultimately (gasp!) more valuable than your paycheck. Focusing on a creative project in our downtime refreshes us, and it gives us a chance to live our lives fully and free of resentment. We then cease to carry bitterness and baggage with us into our less fun, but necessary endeavors, making us better in every aspect of our lives.

I know, I know: you don’t have time to write a novel. But when will you? Will you ever be able to make the time to pursue something you’ve always wanted and never done? Or will you continue to push it to the side because you’re just too busy/tired/broke?

The same logic stops people from exercising, quitting smoking, going back to school, starting a family, and asking for a raise.

What doors have you closed lately?
If you’re ready to open them again, click here.

Image courtesy of Kaboodle.com.

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Five Guidelines for the New Year

Happy 2012!!!!

So, I wanted to kick off this year on a high note by chronicling some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.

1. Know thyself.

Uttered by the famed sage Socrates as the definition of wisdom, knowing oneself is the key to why we are all here.  Life is a game in which you first figure out who you are, and then launch yourself into the equally daunting task of figuring out who you’re meant to be.   There is nothing to be gained in forcing yourself to be who you think you should be if you’re really not.  It seems like it would be an easy thing, but truth be told, there are some voices that are louder than our own, and tuning them out is not easy.

2. Good ideas are fleeting- start on them as soon as possible.

Paraphrased from the John C. Maxwell book in my bathroom, it bears notice that most good ideas never come to fruition simply because people never get around to following through on them.  It happened to da Vinci, it happened to Clinton, and it has happened to me.  If you have a great idea, take the first step immediately or plan a time to do it.  It may change your life, or someone else’s.

3. If it can be done in less than one minute, do it now.

This one is a real game changer when put into practice.  It is at least fifty percent of the literature available on time management.  This simple idea will revolutionize your home, organizational skills, relationships, finances—no kidding.  Try it.  It’s one of the best things I’ve EVER heard—I really can’t over-sell this one.

4. You can do anything for fifteen minutes/You can do anything fifteen minutes at a time.

Some people will not notice the difference between these two ideas.  The first one means that anything in this world that is not fatal can be tolerated for a set amount of time.  The second is more poignant.  Anything in this world can be broken up and managed in fifteen minute intervals.  You want to find the secret to anything you want in life?  Anything impossible or overwhelming is insultingly easy once broken into fifteen minute bites.

5.  Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

This one is near and dear to my heart—as a perfectionist, I have actually sacrificed getting things done at all for the sake of doing them perfectly.  I have accomplished a fraction of what I deserve or could have achieved because of fear and timing—which is all perfectionism really is.  But I recognize that at this point in my life, bigger and bigger opportunities are slipping away because I am afraid of not pursing them the right way.  The fact is, in life, the only way to pursue anything is by laying it all out there—by not being afraid to look stupid and embracing the fact that you could completely fudge it all up.

These are the things that I’m keeping in mind as I launch into my 2012.  I am going to take chances, make changes, stop being perfect, fuck stuff up, be a little irresponsible, and basically, enjoy what it is to be twenty-two in New York City.  I’ve always loved the fact that people saw me as responsible—and I am.  I know that there’s only so far from that I will go.  But I want to start enjoying my life and stop trying to be everything to everyone.  I want to let my hair down and take chances, and most of all, stop giving a crap what everyone thinks of me.  And you know what?  I think that in doing so, I would actually be happier and ultimately more likeable.

So this year, I chase my own dreams, and my own happiness.  Even if I make a little mess along the way.

Photo courtesy of MusicThinkTank.com.

Hot Men Are People, Too



 

Okay, so I haven’t been so diligent in my determination to blog every day.  I admit that.  But as you can see by the Wolverine post, quality suffers when you blog to blob.  But I’m hoping that there’s a mysterious wall that I can break through, like you put 100 crappy posts up and then everything that you write for the rest of your life is amazing.  So I am redetermining to hit my goal in February.
So just wanted to say:

Yesterday, at work, I saw one of the most gorgeous guys that I have EVER seen in my life.  He made most male models and movie stars look like homeless people.  He was tall, well-dressed, olive toned skin, perfect hair— come to think of it, he looked just like the love interest from my novel.  So glad that I didn’t think of that last night— I almost certainly would have said it.

So, he orders a beer and gets up to use the restroom.  We were fixing something in the men’s room, so he had to use the ladies’ room.  I was anxiously waiting to use the restroom myself, due to my new determination to drink eight glasses of water while I work.  So after a few minutes, he came out, and I waited what seemed like an appropriate, yet entirely  unreasonable length of time before rushing in.

The smell in that bathroom was unfathomable, and as I opened the door, it rushed out and greeted my nostrils with a cheerful aggression, not entirely unlike a department store salesperson.  I couldn’t do anything but laugh, which I quickly decided against, so as not to give the smell another way to invade my senses.

The guy was still hot when I left the bathroom, but decidedly more human, and I felt that I suddenly knew what it was like to be married to him.  Needless to say, all the fantasy of having him sweep me away on a white horse rapidly dissapated, especially when I considered the inherent olfactory truth of this daydream.

All this being said, I have a new appreciation for regular, slightly-above-average looking me.  I may not be wickedly hot, but I have never blown up a public restroom like that.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.org.

If this doesn’t make you smile, nothing will.  This has never failed to make me happy.

Onions Are Good For Your Soul

So I had absolutely no idea what to write about here, being that the only things that have been on my mind recently have been Buddhism, heartbreak, and whether or not I could get away with eating a week-old brownie (answer: emphatically no). I used my only good idea for my post on Lit Drift, the mega awesome literary blog that chose me as a new contributor for the site.

So, at my wit’s end, I went to LiveJournal, the veritable cesspool of ideas, information and curiously enthralling facts that it is.

Sifting through the writer’s block questions from days gone by, I found this query: “If you fall in love with a book or movie, do you tend to watch/read it again and again? If so, what’s your upper limit on repeats?”

I thought to myself, “Self, let’s answer this one!”

It just so happened that I was very near a copy of one of my favorite books, The Hero Of Ages, from Brandon Sanderson’s epically amazing Mistborn trilogy. I haven’t yet reread this one, but I do frequently reread books that I love, as well as re-watch awesome movies. I realized something interesting though, when thinking about this question. A lot of the things I love to watch/read make me really sad. Good examples include Lord of the Rings, Xena, Angel, and of course, Mistborn.

Tears are probably our purest form of connection to literature, music, movies, or any other type of media. But why do we love to cry? I think most people would agree that the best forms of art are the ones that hit you right in that soft spot. Whether we laugh with joy or sorrow, tears are a badge of honor to be conferred upon the highest quality of expression.

Does anyone else have a movie, book, song or limerick that they subject themselves to over and over again, releasing a new flood of tears every single time? I would love to know. I’m overdue for a good cry.