Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Life's Lessons

I've had a bad case of the blahs recently.

There's stress at my day job, frustration with the economy, issues with money. I'm kind of a tired mess.

But this won't be a "poor me" blog. It's a kick in the butt to myself. (Is that even possible?)

When I get to feeling sorry for myself, I remember the best and brightest person in my life - my Grandmother Gertrude.

Gram was the strongest, most giving person I have ever known. She was widowed at a young age and raised five children on her own cleaning houses. The "down on your hands and knees" kind of cleaning. She taught me that you always had to work hard for what you wanted, and that made you appreciate it even more.

She had a temper and was very particular about certain things, which my Mother says I inherited. But Gram loved her family, and would do anything at all without hesitation to help us. I literally saw her give up all that she had on more than one occasion, because she thought someone else needed it more than she did. And she never expected anything in return. That kind of unconditional love spoke volumes about her.

She helped raise me as a child, then spoiled me when Mom moved us away. We would have slumber parties with soap operas and stay up all night reading romance novels in bed. We would talk for hours and laugh until tears flowed down our cheeks. You never needed much to have a good time with Gram. She found joy in the simplest things.

When I grew up, she was still always there with loads of support. Whenever I needed her, she would make sure to be there, arms wide open, without question. She made me feel safe, loved, and like I could do anything. There was never an ounce of disappointment in her eyes.

Gram died from cancer April 15, 2005. She fought her battle bravely, just like she did everything. And though she's no longer with me in this world, I feel her presence when I most need it. (which happens to be often)

I still miss her fiercely, but through her eyes I could always see the person I wanted to be. What she taught me remains in my heart forever and spurs me onward.

She would have been so excited and proud to see my first novel published.

And then she would have said "now buckle down and do it again!"

...I'm off to write...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Love of Language for the Language of Love

I think the question that writers get asked most often is "What made you want to become a writer?"

For most, the answer usually has to do alot with having characters and stories in their head that beg to be let out.

I get that.

But for me, the true base reason I am a writer is that I have a love of language.

Words are truly magical to me. Somehow, they give you the capacity to take what you are feeling and thinking, and explain it in a way as to let someone else experience something.

Words let writers evoke emotions, create new worlds and new people, and take the reader on a journey - a journey that without words, would be impossible.

And it's not just the words themselves. The choice of words plays a part, too. Our society has given certain words so much power that they have become taboo - seen as vulgar or inappropriate.

That mystifies me. How can a word be "bad" or "good"? And who decides this? Words are neutral. The only meaning they have are what we choose to give them. Words are a means of expression, of communication. And I believe that all words deserve the opportunity to be used. To not do so is a waste of what seperates us from the animal kingdom.

And I think the most overused, yet most misunderstood word is love. As a writer of romance, the language of love plays a very important part in my writing. We have limitless words to describe what love is, but do any of them truly evoke that emotion? It is a challenge all romance writers face, yet one we take on willingly each time we pick up a pencil, or turn on a computer.

And so my love of words keeps me treading on this path of a writer, prodding me onward to find new and exciting ways to use words to my advantage.

Because without words - all words - what would a writer be?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Vacation Time!

I'm on vacation this week.

No, I'm not going on some trip to a tropical climate, or even straying very far from my own house.

Money is tight, and we can't afford to do things like that.

But that doesn't mean I can't have a good time while staying as far away as possible from my day job! In fact, this week is kind of a little peek into what my life would be like if I was able to write full time. I can plan my day arround what activities I like and when, then throw some writing time in wherever I can!

And so, I will read, relax, write, go out to dinner, and spend alot of quality time with the love of my life. Even after 17 years together, we still like to spend time together.

And hopefully, this week will provide me with the necessary skills to make it through to the next vacation!

It's not glamorous, or mysterious, but it's my idea of a good time!

What about you?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Thankful For...What?

I've been a lazy blogger lately.

My brain hasn't been able to process much beyond my day job and life's errands. I think alot of it has to do with how the world has put everyone on an emotional roller coaster as of late.

The economy is so unpredictable, people are forever on edge, waiting for the perverbial other shoe to drop. In one instant, lives are altered by the decisions that corporate mongers make - downsizing, paycuts, hiring freezes. And some corporations are even instituting stricter rules and regualtions, or piling on more work to employees, because they know that options for them are limited.

You never know what might happen next. Big decisions carry even more weight than before, because you never know if you'll have a job from one day to the next. Statistics even say that most American families are only three paychecks away from bankruptcy.

Yet, through it all, I continually here the plattitude "well, you should be thankful you at least have a job for the moment."


Have we really come to the point that we have to be thankful for the opportunity to be miserable? They always say that it could be worse. But dammit, I say that it could always be better!

These large companies are heading for a wakeup call, and it won't be pretty. American workers are growing tired of rising duties and expectations, with little praise or compensation for it. And they will find it exceptionally hard to market and sell their products without dedicated workers down the chain.

What will the CEOs manage for their millions, then?

Just some pessimistic meanderings.

Apparently, I'm growing jaded as I age...