Something About Fear


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I’ve noticed something very curious about fear, both in general and as it relates to writing.  It’s always there, I’m just very good at trying to look the other way.  And we all know how well that works.  It doesn’t.  Every time I sit down to write, there is  fear that starts fluttering away in my chest.  An internal dialogue starts, always self-depreciating.  Ironically, I don’t experience this when I write a post on Facebook; a place of complete exposure.  But when the fear comes, I will not write.  Anything.  I just click that little red “x” in the upper right hand corner of the empty page with the proclamation “I can’t do it,” and busy myself in something else.

At first I thought it wise to figure out the “why” but I remembered that even if I do figure out why, I just end up constructing a mental fiction about it, filled with drama and intrigue, and it just compounds and completely defeats the purpose.  So no scrutinizing whys.

I’ve managed to make friends with my other arch rival, pain, why not this unfounded and irrational fear?  So, I invited fear to come and sit awhile.  Like pain, it too came quietly.  It sat very still, not the jittery, sweaty thing I had imagined it to be.  When I looked into its eyes I didn’t see quivering terror.  I saw a luminous softness, and somewhere behind the softness there was longing.  And in the quietest of voices, barely above a whisper, it explained its loneliness.  With a childlike innocence so tender and fragile, it was feeling very isolated.  Separated.  It longed for union and that union had to begin with my acceptance of its existence.  Another dear old friend just needing a loving embrace.  Another one I had forsaken.  Stupid me.  Coward to the bone.

But fear, when you invite it without resistance or definition, is such a tender thing.  An infant, all pink and soft and helpless, wanting to be nurtured, to be accepted, to be whole.  But this wholeness it longs for is not with the outside world or anything material or with anyone else.  It has awakened into the cold light of an illusory world and has become lost in the gaudiness, mesmerized by the din, believing its fairy tales and its horror stories.  It’s utterly confused.

So, I took its wee hand and patted it.  A comforted understanding bloomed and it simply faded away.  All that remained was a grateful and radiant smile.

 

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From Zombies to Orange Chicken: The First 50 Lines Challenge


Thanks to Char at Joy in the Moment, I discovered a fun new writing contest.  If you’re in the mood to exercise your creativity, I encourage you to drop on over to TheAccidentalNovelist where this contest is being sponsored for more information.  The name of the contest is “The First 50 Lines Challenge”.  Unfortunately Round 1 is over, but today marks the first day of Round 2 and its still open to newcomers.

The Round 2 Challenge is to take the 5 winning first sentences from Round 1 (if you’re just now entering the challenge) and construct an opening paragraph for each, writing as quickly as possible without stopping.  Then choose your top 3 and submit them under the comments section of Round 2 at TheAccidentalNovelist blog.  This round is open until March 5th.  Winners will be chosen and names will be placed in a drawing for a chance to win some prizes!

The 5 winning sentences from Round 1 are:

  1. Nothing was tastier than brains, not that he could remember any other flavour.  (by Esther Jones)
  2. Nobody wanted to claim the abandoned baby on the hill. (by 4AM Writer)
  3. There’s no such thing as a good day in Antarctica. (By Annie Cardi)
  4. If you destroy someone’s life, they’re yours forever. (By Annie Cardi)
  5. I blame everything that happened on orange chicken. (By Char)

My 5 paragraphs in no particular order are:

Nothing was tastier than brains, not that he could remember any other flavour.  It was both the perk and the downfall of being a zombie.  Burt The Undead pondered this a moment, searching the hollow of his cranium for what troubled him in it.  It was like trying to catch a fish in a barrel.  Sure, you might lose an errant limb or ear, but the hunger for sweet, delectable, warm, rubbery brains was something you just couldn’t deny.  Unfortunately the living didn’t give them up easily and they obviously didn’t understand.  The difficulties of being the animated dead were lost on them.  A zombie can’t run after them.  And reasoning with them?  Forget it.  Humans never listened and zombies have rotten tongues.  All you can do is hobble along on rotten limbs, watching pieces of yourself drop off, and groan.  He wondered if it was this underuse that made those brains so sweet.  He drooled as a bit of his chin fell into his lap and decided to put his thoughts away for another time.  It was time to hunt for dinner.

Nobody wanted to claim the baby on the hill.  Nothing good came down from that place.  Not even the crows and coyotes ventured up there anymore, much less the townsfolk.  They all had good reason, as Billy Clements was remembering now.  No one had gone up there since the bizarre murders of the Foreman family more than a year ago.  The house had been quickly and quietly abandoned as soon as the sheriff finished his investigation.  They all wanted to forget but the hill wouldn’t let them.  Those strange lights and murmurs where there should be none kept folks turning their eyes away from it.  Still, he had no choice.  He had to go up there.  No one else would.  The moon, as if sharing his anxiety, slipped behind a cloud and darkness fell across the road like a dirty pall.  Billie took a few steps up the dusty road and the night insects fell silent.  The wailing started again, even more eerie in the strange silence.  It raised the hairs on the back of his neck and he shivered.

There’s no such thing as a good day in Antartica.  For starters, the days either stretch on interminably into white bleakness for months at a time or are nonexistent for much the same.  Then there’s the cold.  It’s not an “oh gee, we sure are having a cold snap” kind of winter plains cold.  No, not at all.  This was more like a “the skin on my face is frozen and I’m afraid if I touch it, it’ll shatter” kind of cold.  Maybe cold wasn’t even the right word for it.  Hell with a broken thermostat was more like it.  But, there I was and there was research to do.  The reports of fresh tracks had come in just prior to my arrival and it was up to me to determine what made them.  Unfortunately, the locals were about as frosty as everything else and cooperation was at a premium.

“If you destroy someone’s life, they’re yours forever.”   The words bounced around inside Samantha’s head like rubber balls as the bus trundled down the crumbling highway, heading for the coast.  Her forehead banged against the cool window glass in a steady rhythm to its rocking and it was somehow comforting.  The large woman sitting beside her had thankfully finally fallen asleep.  She had plagued Sam with constant questions the first hour; questions she didn’t want to answer.  She didn’t want to talk or think.  She didn’t want to remember Rob and what she had done.  She didn’t want the image of the stricken look on his face burned forever into her brain when she told him it was over.  He hadn’t said a word.  That horrible broken expression in his eyes was the only reaction he’d allowed her and it hurt.  She wasn’t even allowed the emotional release of an argument.  He had just stood there as she picked up her bag and walked away.  She squeezed her eyes shut as the tears pressed and burned against them.  The woman beside her began to snore dryly and Sam’s misery poured finally poured down her face like bitter rain.  She watched the performance in her reflection.

I blame everything that happened on orange chicken.  The train was late, it was raining, and dinner was condemned to be a disaster before I could even set foot inside my door.  And, of course, everything hinged on the main course.  The culmination of the last 5 years of blood, sweat and tears rested on impressing Lee tonight and that chicken, my mother’s recipe and my specialty, was going to be the soul-stealer and deal clincher.  Like the rain beating its cold insistent little fists against my umbrella, my anxiety hammered against my chest.  I looked at my watch for the twentieth time.  There would never be enough time.  All that hard work was rushing down the sidewalk and into the gutter along with mydreams.  I would just have to cancel everything.

I have to admit this challenge wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, but it did give me the opportunity to stretch myself a little bit and take directions I might not usually choose.  It also opened a whole treasure trove of ideas for other writing projects.  It’s really fun!  Why not join me?

National Novel Editing Month (NaNoEdMo) Begins March 1


Affectionately known as NaNoEdMo, the 6th annual National Novel Editing Month is set to kick off tomorrow, March 1.

What is NaNoEdMo?

As per the official NaNoEdMo website:

“You have entered the portal to the crazy world of novel editing. Have you written a 50,000 word novel but haven’t edited it yet? Then you’ve come to the right place! It is here that people from all over the world gather together to spend 50 hours in March editing their novels. This is not as easy as it might sound but the forums are available to get advice and ask all the important questions you may have. Advice from real published authors will also be here to help you and a certificate of completion awaits each winner at the end of the month.
We know it’s a crazy thing to do, but it is loads of fun and we do hope you’ll stay. We’ve got many pots of strong coffee brewing to help keep you going as well as a store room full of sugary candied goodness just waiting for you to jump in and start editing!

Think you have what it takes to edit fifty hours in one month? Then sign up and get your red pen ready because on March 1st the fun begins!”
Anna, Queen of NaNoEdMo

If you participated in The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) or if you have a manuscript you’ve toyed with editing, then wait no longer!  Join us for a month of hard, happy and satisfying work.

I will be participating in my first NaNoEdMo this year with my manuscript “Falling Up”.  According to the official countdown clock, the fun for me begins in just 32 minutes!  The downside of this is it’ll limit the amount of time I’ll have to blog and when I do, I’ll probably be obsessing over the editing process.  So bear with me, dear readers.  Hopefully, when all the dust settles, my very first novel will be crafted, polished, and ready to publish.

For more information about the National Novel Editing Month, go to NaNoEdMo.net.

My Versatile Blogger Nominees Are…


On January 21, 2012 I was awarded the Versatile Blogger Award.  You can see that here alone with my seven personal facts.  At that time I was to nominate 15 other blogs I thought deserved the award.  That night I passed on five of them, and tonight I’m finally awarding the remaining 10.

My remaining 10 nominees for the Versatile Blogger award are:

  1. Inspirational Thoughts from the Back Pocket
  2. Living Life in Glorious Colour
  3. Dear Kitty.  Some Blog.
  4. Believe Anyway
  5. Why Evolution is True
  6. Photos from the Loony Bin
  7. Being Arandam…
  8. Joy in the Moments
  9. I Choose How I Will Spend the Rest of My Life
  10. Unwritten Truth

If you’ve received the award previously, then know I feel you deserve another one.  You are all deserving and I enjoy your blogs immensely.   Congratulations!

The responsibilities of the award are:
1) Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
2) Share 7 things about yourself.
3) Pass the award on to 15 more bloggers.
4) Contact the bloggers you’ve chosen to let them know that they’ve been selected.

Candle Lighter Award Recipient!


Moonlightened Way has just been awarded The Candle Lighter Award for lighting hope in the blogosphere.  I’m so tickled and touched I don’t really know where to begin.

First, I want to thank Arindam for presenting me with this award.  Please visit his blog Being Arandam… and get to know him if you already haven’t.  He too was a recipient and after reading his blog, you’ll know why.  He writes straight from the heart with an honesty and freshness that illuminates the word inspiration.  I can only hope I’m as deserving of this award as he is.

What is The Candle Lighter Award?

The Candle Light Award

The Candle Lighter Award was created by blog author Kate Kresse.  Kate states:

“I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist.”

Part of her uplifting of others was the creation of this award.  Please visit her blog Believe Anyway.  You’ll find amazing things there.

The only rules for this award are that it’s given to those bloggers who contribute to the hope and inspiration of others and that it be passed to other deserving bloggers who do the same.  I will also be sharing the award with others.  You’ll be updated here when I do.

Receiving this Candle means more to me than I think Arindam could possibly know.  It’s been a life long journey and goal to reach out and inspire others, but being an introverted person made it difficult.  The internet has been my answer.  Here I can comfortably express myself and reach out to others without the usual anxiety introverts feel when attention is turned towards them.

It was only recently that I began this blog.  It’s my first attempt at blogging.  I’ve felt a little clumsy but this Candle is lighting my way to continue to fulfill it’s meaning by joining the ranks of its recipients in shining the light of hope and inspiration into the future.  Thank you again, Arindam.

Do You Like to Write?


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If you like to write like I do, why not join me at Hub Pages?  I joined a few months ago and now I’m addicted.  I’ve dabbled in writing off and on for years but always ended up putting it away because I had no idea what to do with all of it.  Well, now I do and I’m also earning a little extra money for my efforts.  Feel free to drop my profile page and check out my articles.

You see, I love to surf the internet and read.  I love to learn new things.  Now I can write articles about what I learn and share it with my readers on Hub Pages.  I’ve also shared my poetry and prose there.  It’s such a brilliant community of writers sharing all kinds of expertise and talent, I wish I had known about it sooner.

I thought at first it was a gimmick.  I tend to be so leery of these things, but I was having so much fun writing that I forgot about the money part.  I was stunned to see it was true.  You really can’t go wrong.  All you need to do is join (it’s free), write original quality articles on topics you enjoy and sign up for their ads and affiliate programs.  There is so much support, commradery and guidance you can’t help but learn how to succeed.

Since starting Hub Pages, it’s also motivated me to write the first draft of my first novel and started this blog.  So drop on by.  We’d love to have you.