Friday, January 29, 2010

Today is a New Day

It's been a crazy, overwhelming week and I've felt like a rickety little sampan caught in a monsoon storm.

Besides the health scare, one of my non-writing dreams crashed and burned. I'd applied for a career in the foreign service -- passed the initial test, took a language test and submitted five personal essays and finally got eliminated. Since the essays were based on my personal experiences, I couldn't but help feel my life didn't measure up. Yes, major pity party and waterworks. Therapy included early morning talk session with the hubby and a scrabble match, prayer, lists, chocolates. All that sank into a conclusion: I'm doing the best I can and that's all I can do. Today is a new day.

But there's been good stuff too.

This week my WIP was chosen as a honorable mention in the QueryTracker contest, which resulted in an agent's invite to query. So I worked on the query letter some and should be able to send it off (with sample pages) by tomorrow. Eek!

I also submitted another short story to a spec fiction market. Waiting for their reaction.

And, I think I've a better beginning for the short story I'd been working on last week.

Somehow, the positive things seem like small, baby steps in comparison to the disappointments. But steps --any kind--keep moving us forward.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Not in the plans

Yesterday I landed in the ER after I felt bad --numbness and tingly on the right side, a black hole of emptiness in the center of the chest, dizziness, nausea, S-L-O-W thought process. My reaction? I lay down, until much of the feeling passed. Then drove to work. Just another day.
My friend at work --who happens to be a nurse-- heard all this and insisted I call my doc, which resulted me ending up in the ER for hours, undergoing all kinds of tests. Final diagnosis --all tests for a heart attack turned up negative, but now they suspect the beginnings of a stroke.

Lessons learned:

1. 37 isn't too young for a heart attack or a stroke.
2. With women symptoms don't have to be on the left side, could be on the right or any where else in the chest cavity.
3. It's not as dramatic as in the movies, instead the symptoms can creep up on and catch you unawares.
4. None of this was in my plans, my resolutions or my lists. Yet it happened. Life happens. So I'm going to stop putting off things for later and just do what I want to do. Such as write the story I want.
5. I need to take care of myself. Sometimes life gets busy, and exercise time falls by the wayside. Or life stresses me out, so I indulge in comfort foods --fries, nachos etc. Well, payback can be a bitch. So I am going to make me a priority.

So I guess I learned a few new things (part of my resolutions) but in an unexpected way. Sometimes the universe knows better what I need. And I definitely needed this wake up call.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Another list

Speaking of lists, here's a great one I came across on author Marjorie M. Liu's blog. While all of it is relevant, I love #5.

Let's hope I've linking success here:

Marjorie M. Liu's List


I like making lists. All kinds of lists --from grocery lists to lists of books to read. When I'm stressed, I make lists --of things to do, pros and cons, solutions, options. Lists help me think, calm me down.
So I decided to end my week with a list. A list of what I've accomplished this week. I'm hoping that will help me keep on track with my goals, show me where I stand before its too late.

1. Finished editing my manuscript Wild Fire. Yay! Still too raw from the experience to say whether I really hate the book or am just sick of it and actually like it. Anyhoo, I did send it off to a reader. That's a step in the right direction.

2. Rewrote my short story as a poem and submitted it to another market. Waiting to hear back.

3. Wrote 1,055 words on a new short story. Not finished yet.

4. Read two books --a J.D. Robb and an Inspector Ghote mystery. Looks like I'm into crime and detecting at the moment.

5. Signed up for a food writing class, which starts next week. I like food, I like writing...should be a good combination. But homework!? Looking forward, feeling nervous.

6. Asked the hubby out. Waiting for him to pick me up after work, so we can explore downtown a bit, have dinner, a conversation before we go pick up the kids and resume the chaos that's called family.

Here's hoping for a great weekend all around!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Late Resolutions

So, I've finally settled into 2010. I no longer automatically date my checks 09 and "Happy 2010!" trips and trots off my tongue easily. I've had time to reflect on the past year and dream on the new one, and these are my resolutions:

1. Laugh more --esp. in situations where the only other option maybe to cry or lose it. Given I've two kids, two cats, two dogs and the typical male of a husband, I'll have to recite this one as a mantra on a daily basis.

2. Learn something new --while publication has been a life-long dream, I can't let it consume me. One of the most important things I did last year was to realize that I can and do have more than one dream, one hope and I'm going to continue to build on it.

3. Write more -- regularly and more than my WIPs. I'm going to have fun and explore other forms --poems, short stories etc.

4. Send my words out to the world. I'm not going to let rejections, long periods of silence and my own doubts pull me back. I'll keep sending my writing out. To that end, I've already submitted and got rejected on a short story this month (while the rejection was very kindly worded and I appreciate it, an acceptance would have made my day). Anyhoo, I'm thinking of reworking the piece into a poem and sending it elsewhere.

So here's wishing for all kinds of wonderful this year....