Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wrote First Short Story About My Life

I wrote the first of a series of short stories about my life this morning. I did it freestyle by hand lying on my bed, while the kids were asleep, and my husband was out running. In this relaxed state, I can hear the words flow out of me and I capture them on paper. The next round is to type it up and edit it. And then share it with others to undergo a series of revisions, revisions, revisions.

I'll decide what to do with them once I have them all or mostly completed. I'm leaning towards self publishing to a book which I could design myself, or posting them on my blog if I get desperate. I'm writing my life in different chapters the way I see it, or saw it at the time, and my reconciliation of the events that happened. I've been haunted by these stories for years if not most of my adult life. It's like they want to be written  and they show up all the time clouding my head while I'm cooking, driving, breathing. So far, I've written these stories mostly in my head, when I get an idea or a new phrase comes to me, I add it to my mental memory. For years, I would think but what are people going to think? I hadn't even written about them yet and I'm already in anguish over what the people I know, the ones I call friends and family, would think.

For the last few years, I had been religiously journaling, or what Julia Cameron calls doing my Morning Pages which consists of writing three full pages every morning upon waking. I filled three 1 inch hard bounded journal books. Writing three pages daily about the current on goings of my life helped my memory immensely. I wrote about my anticipation toward events. Then I wrote to remember moments and events. I posted the date and time on each entry so I was no longer completely lost as to what the date was. It gave me the discipline for years to get up every morning at 5 am to write. It was a great source to vent out any frustrations. Fast forward two years later though, and my husband began to ask what I was also beginning to ask myself more often. Where am I going with all of this? I knew I wanted a way to move forward but I didn't know how. I realized that I could spend the rest of my life time pouring my thoughts into those journals with no end or recognition in sight. Shortly, well maybe not time-wise, but definitely event-wise because nothing much had happened since then, I got a blog. Then by the click of one mouse, I learned about an Open Mic Night, and from that, about a coffee house.  I went to writing workshops, and Open Mic Nights. I fell in love with the community of  writers, poets, and musicians who dare to spill their souls. And then, I opened myself up to my new creative friend, Lisa from work. In the months that I've known her, I've eaten more new types of food, Persian, Indian, Thai.than I have in my life time. We laugh that we are eating our way through the city. She has a contagious zest for food, music, and life and it's rubbing off on me. All this was great momentum to get me started on my first pages towards something I've always wanted to do but never made any attempts.

I've gotten to the point where I don't care (as much) any more.It's harder not to write and to feel like a coward. I hide behind an alias. I know this first piece is still choppy but it has the potential to be at least decent.

Saturday, July 24, 2010 -- Ideas Worth Sharing

I like listen to (Ideas Worth Spreading)  presentations while doing laundry. It has inspiring presentations on just about any subject. It's a great way to learn something new everyday. This talk by Ken Robinson stresses the importance of creativity.

I like to have unscheduled time during the weekends because I get to see my boys come up with all sorts of interesting ways to have fun and entertain themselves. They know already that when they tell me they are bored my usual response will be "Oh good! You're so lucky! That means we haven't over-scheduled ourselves. Now you get to decide what you want to do with your time." And, if they keep moping around the house, I tell them I could find ways to keep them busy by giving them some work to do. So I have seen them jump on boogie boards and slide down the stairs, I've seen spontaneous out burst of battles with swords, and all sorts of running around the house in costumes or not, jars of ants, praying mantis and frogs-things that would make some mothers cringe, and a house harder to keep up with. I move things out of the way, wrap pillows around the staircase posts, and I let them explore their creativity through their imaginations and play. Fortunately, my boys are more mellow  than hyperactive, so often time it's more Legos and quiet play than mud or running around. (I'm the mellow one in the family so if it's not genetic, it's definitely social.) Sights of creative play and imagination make me happy because I know my boys are getting what I had, a childhood.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Peeling Back The Layers

Sometimes when we hurt it leaves layers of scars much like an onion. When we decide to forgive and really feel it in our hearts, it's as refreshing as a new haircut. Then one day, we come across a part of the scar that is still there. We wonder why it's still there-then we realize this time we have to forgive ourselves for being so stupid or naive. In really deep scars, there's the incident itself. The layer of being angry about why things have to happen in the first place and a longing for a justification of some sort. That layer too must go, if we are to heal.

I do a visualization technique which helps me peel back the layers. I just find that sometimes when I get too busy for an extended period of time, things start to build up-the annoyances, disappointments, and frustrations. When I'm relaxed and centered, I can let things go pretty easily. But, when I've been running on near empty for too long, depleting my own natural resourcefulness, I need to refuel. I imagine sending the people I'm worried or angry with, or even myself up an escalator to God. If it's an incident, I visualize the scenario and throw it in a box, close it quick and send it up the conveyor belt along with the others. It helps! I always had a hard time grasping the concept of forgiveness. It was something you hear, and you know you need it but no one ever really clarifies how you do it with words or actions (at least not to me). And, my thoughts certainly weren't taking me there. So,  I found this the easiest way for me to move on, and forgive. I'm very visual so this works for me.  If you got really big issues, start with the small ones first. Pick the annoying coworker, and wave as you send him off. I bet next time you see him in the office, if you did it right, you won't feel the usual cringe you used to when you saw him. If you're atheist, you can visually send them off to another galaxy.  I mentioned the layers because if something is still sticking after doing this, then you have to look at the incident from the various angles and peel back each one of the layers. Acknowledge them and send them away.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award

I received my first blog award from fellow blogger and new friend, Catherine Winn of The Writing Room. It comes with the following five rules.

1. Thank those who loved me enough to bestow this gift. --Done
2. Share seven things about myself. --See below 
3. Bestow this honour onto 15 newly discovered or followed bloggers – in no particular order – who are fantastic in some way. --I'll do 5
4. Drop by and let my fifteen new friends know I love them.
5. Any rule may be modified by any recipient for any reason. --I reduced it to 5

2. Seven things about myself:
* I'm the middle child (well of 6)
* My favorite mixed alcoholic drink is Midori Sour (It's a green lemony/sour drink) 
* I work part time to spend more time with my kids
* Favorite wine is Lambrusco (sweet well-priced red wine)
* I have a phobia of fire 
* Favorite fruit: Watermelon (It's always good, refreshing and I don't get tired of it)
* Would I rather be a photographer or model? That's easy... photographer of course

I'm a big believer in paying it forward. My Versatile Blogger Awards go to:

* Patty Godinez of The Blowing Branches - I learn something new and insightful every time I visit.

Single and Thirty-Something - I like to drop in and see what single-thirty-something is up to, especially since I'm thirty-something and married.

* Nikki from for having an a great relationship with awesome parents, and for having a cute and creative blog site which she designed herself.

* Elvia from WritingsBeneathMyTongue for her sultry writing. 

Catherine A. Winn from The Writing Room - For insightful lessons of a writer's life.