Version 3.0 – Author #MFRW


Happy Friday! It’s time for the MFRW 52 week blog hop for 2018!!  YAY!

This week’s prompt: What I would do If I couldn’t be a writer.

Who is the evil person who thought up this prompt???  This is the stuff of nightmares! Are they a horror writer? Was it Stephen King? OR  maybe it was a descendent of H.P. Lovecraft.

*shudders*

If I couldn ‘t be a writer,  I would probably have pursued teaching as my second career choice. I worked as a civil servant for the department of defense,  my degree is in cartography. Back in those days,  I was firmly convinced that science was where the money was at,  and only pure genius writers could earn a living actually writing.

Well the years start coming and they don’t stop coming
Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running
Didn’t make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb
So much to do, so much to see
So what’s wrong with taking the back streets?
You’ll never know if you don’t go
You’ll never shine if you don’t glow

I digress. . . but, All Star seriously sums it up. Getting on the career track, following the ruts, doing the things you think you are supposed to do and then somewhere down the road you run out of gas, and look around and realize this isn’t where you wanted to be.

I was late in the game to allow myself to pursue my dreams of writing. I don’t know,  I guess with my upbringing and the push for success, I didn’t allow myself to chase dreams. I was already labeled a daydreamer, and I resented that my mom said it with an air of disdain.

Yes, I have mother issues. I’m dealing with it!

So, after Ellie version 2.0, stay at home mom left me with time to read, time to do crafts, sew, crochet, . . .did I mention read????  I read voraciously.  I read to my kids.  My eldest daughter’s favorite book was Moo Bah, LALALA. I can recite it from memory.  My youngest daughter’s favorite was Goodnight Moon. I can also tell that one from memory.

When we ran out of books to read before it was time to go back to the library, or we had exhausted our home library I began making up stories to tell them and they liked mine better! It gave me the boost I needed to pursue my writing aspirations.

About that time,  an opening came up at our local paper to write an opinion column.  Trust me, I have an opinion! LOL

When both of my kids were in school, I started substitute teaching at their school. There were certain parts of the substituting that I really enjoyed. So if I couldn’t write, I probably would have pursued teaching science at the junior high level.

I’m sure it would have paid better, and set my husband’s mind at ease. He tries to be supportive,  but the unknown factor of writing is whether or not people will buy your book.

Money isn’t everything, but it sure helps out to pay the bills and buy groceries! Hence I keep the dayjob as mortgage loan officer until my books fly off the shelf!

It could happen!!

 

Never say never!  It’s the beginning of a new year,  a time to dream and let your hope rise! What would you do if you couldn’t pursue your dreams? Would you vet your creative interests in another direction or shelve them?

So here we are with Ellie version 3.0 – author, editor, mortage loan officer, blogger – doing what I love, trying to manage my time effectively to get the things done!

Go check out what the other authors are saying, you can find that list here: MFRW BLOG HOP

Write on my friends, write on!

Anniversary


Aztec 1

Today is my 1 year anniversary from my big car wreck.  Since then a lot has changed.

  • A large amount of money has passed through my hands to the hospital, to doctors, to the xray lab  and other  places. ( Enough money that I could have paid for a full year for my daughter’s  college)
  • My perspective on  everything!

On life –  I am grateful for each  new day.

On health  –  oh that I would have valued it more before injuries.

On  time management – I have things to accomplish while I am still alive and  don’t want to just waste my time anymore.

The first few weeks after the wreck I suppose it was a state of shock, it was almost as if in a dream state.  I kept trying to figure out what happened, but was in a brain fog that I couldn’t seem to shake.  It wasn’t very long that I knew I had to get off the pain medications or  I would be addicted to them. I tossed them – whether it was a smart decision or not who knows.  Xrays from my neck and back show that  it wasn’t all in my head, and that the  injuries were fairly severe.

So, I’ve been living with pain.  Trying to manage, trying to motivate myself to do things that I don’t feel physically like doing,  and things I can no longer do physically.  My mobility has been  greatly reduced.  Initially this led to a  pity party on my part,  comforting myself with food and  laziness. To which end I had gained  38 pounds.  UGH!

After all the work I had done previously to take off the extra weight, and  get healthy – this has been a  trial of setback after setback.   It does nothing to  your self esteem when you  wallow in self pity.  NO,   I had to get off my butt and get back in life or I would be permanently sidelined.

I’ve been doing a challenge with my friend this past month and have taken off 12 pounds.  It’s a start.  I’m not beating myself up over not keeping up with the workout routines, but rather  accepting this is what I can do now, and I did more this week than I did last week.  It’s a small step but I think in the right direction.

I’ve had a great group of friends that have supported and encouraged me. Without them I think I may have given up.  I owe them a lot! I feel I am on the right track again, even if it is taking longer than I had anticipated. I’ll get there, and with a new appreciation of mortality, I will be more mindful of my time.  Having fun  – on purpose.  Working hard- on purpose. Pursuing my dreams – on purpose.  Making every day count – on purpose.

Bad things happen!  It’s what you do after that defines you. I’m not going to wallow in self pity or worry about the unfairness of it all.  That thinking leads to a bottomless pit. Life is unfair but opportunities abound all around us all we have to do is open our eyes and grab just a few of them.

Me?  I’m not giving up and in fact are more determined than ever.  So in a way this anniversary is not  a bad thing, not a remembrance of  being broken – but of having my goals and dreams defined. I was taking a lot of things for granted and I no longer do.  I was  letting  time slip away from me too casually.  Not anymore. There is time to play in my new schedule but there is serious work time as well.

I hope that all of my readers value each day,  each one is a gift. A new opportunity at every sunrise.

Write on my friends, write on!

Don’t let life pass you by! Lay hold of your dreams today!

What Kind of Architect Are You?


We as writers are  architects of a sort.  W e build and create worlds, universes, characters, and a story that we hope sets the world on fire  as the next phenomenal  success.  OH come on,  we all know writer’s fantasize about such things.

A  great writer and friend recently announced his success with a  huge contract.  I was so excited for him, yet slightly discouraged at my own lack of contract.   I’m not jealous, bear with me here.    I happen to know for a fact that this  person is hard-working and diligent in his writing.

I have to admit a certain  bit of self-pity  for why I didn’t have a  contract, but in all honesty I  let things get to me  and I quit  writing for several months.  First, there was the sabotage and destruction of several years of my work.  I felt devastated and betrayed – how would I ever recover?  * insert melodramatic arm over forehead here*  Which was shortly followed by accusations thrown at me like a barrage of live ammo.  This led to confusion, heartache and more feelings of betrayal.   Then  on the heels of that came the news that my friend  who was in the process of leaving her abusive husband died in a car crash  the day she finally decided to seek shelter in a safe house; she never made it there.  My aforementioned personal grief tied with the grief of her untimely death led me to an automobile accident.  I think sleep apnea also played a part in the unclear thinking as well.

I was far more rattled than I admitted or would ever like to admit.   Between the psychological effects of the other things and the physical injuries from the accident, comments like “Wow you are lucky to be alive” were made light of and  was quickly reminded  why it was all my fault.

I was responsible for the car crash, I freely admit that.  Ruined a perfect driving record up to that point, but no consideration  was extended to me for why suddenly I had a lack of judgment.  Whatever, I’m not trying to make excuses here, just saying it like it is.

My point is I withdrew.  I  didn’t write,  I didn’t talk to many people.  I didn’t do any of the things I knew I should be doing.  I just couldn’t handle it emotionally.   I spent days fighting the sensation that my world was falling apart at the seams, and that  my trust was betrayed on such an intimate level I may never recover.   Through all of it though, I’ve had some great friends that slowly coaxed me out of that shell, and back to my usual self.   Getting the sleep apnea addressed also had a tremendous effect on helping me to get my feet back under me.

It is not easy for an overachiever such as myself to admit failings; any failings or weakness.   It’s not easy to  be in a place physically that  the pain is mind numbing and I can barely walk from the bedroom to the kitchen without wincing.  I’ve been so busy beating myself up over not being able to do the 3.5 miles that I was doing just a year ago, that I didn’t allow myself any  sort of praise or sense of accomplishment for walking 1.8 miles because it was a ridiculously slow pace.  I was too focused on what I didn’t do to acknowledge that it was 1.8 miles more than I was able to do a few short months ago.

Set backs happen.  We just aren’t used to them happening to us.  I’m a great coach for my friends, cheering them on with the smallest accomplishments but extend absolutely no mercy or grace for my own small progress.

So, you may be thinking I’ve gone  on another tangent but I haven’t.  You see, my friend Abyrne’s success was a reminder to me of  what I was working for, what I’ve been trying to achieve.  Before my life went to hell, people were coming to me for advice, for hints and tips. After I crashed and burned –  sat on my butt and felt sorry for myself and reverted to old habits – nobody was seeking me out for advice.

Several people have  given me opportunities to assist them  in building their own dreams.  I took a few, let a few pass.  Maybe I chose the wrong ones, maybe I didn’t, but every single choice is a learning experience.  In each  opportunity was a hard and fast reminder of  my architecture.

What am I building?   In assessing  what I’ve  done for this year, not much.   I hooked my wagon to a team of horses that didn’t go to the destination  they claimed.  I’ve given a lot of hard work to someone else’s dreams meanwhile my own blueprints lay on the light table gathering dust.   I’ve been building someone else s dreams, not my own.

How in the world can I be upset with Abyrne?  He has been diligently plodding away  doing what writers do while I  wallowed in my own self pity and newly acquired injuries wishing it to happen.  It doesn’t work that way.  Nobody is going to work on my dreams.  Nobody is going to build my dream castle. Yet, here i was giving some of my best efforts to someone else s dreams.   Whose fault is that?

NO, Abyrne inspired me to  do what I knew to do in the first place which is to write. I know I can write well.  I know I can put a good story together.  I’ve spoken publicly and had the audience rolling, holding their sides from laughter.  I also know I can put another sort of story together that keeps my readers on the edge of their seat wanting more and turning the next page.

So . . .

I am exercising that little word that I have trouble with – NO!  I am reclaiming my own dreams and blueprints.  I am spending less and less time  donating my time to  other people’s dreams and building my own!  I  Like Pitbull, the artist.  I like the line he says in “Feel this Moment”:

Time is  money only difference is I own it! Like a stopwatch let’s stop time and enjoy this moment.

I can’t say that I owned it.  I knew better – know better!  When you recognize a bad habit though you change it.  Working class exchange time for money whether in a 9 to 5 job or through  other means of income.  Wealthy class exchange money for time.  I want to get to the point where I can pay  someone else  to do the things that are taking up too much of my time.   For now I have to regain  my time for money and it’s not for minimum wage.  I have skills, knowledge and abilities.  My time is valuable and I have to be the one to set the boundaries.

Here’s a truth that is universal:  people will treat you like you will let them treat you.  How are you being treated?  Do you like it?  Do you feel like you should be treated better? Treated with respect?  What are you doing that  you are allowing them to use you and treat you poorly?

I  was feeling sorry for myself and  feeling like I wasn’t worth anything.  I was being treated as such. NO MORE!

My architectural firm just began  its latest project: a long overdue dream castle!

What  are you building?

Write on my friends, and don’t  sell yourself short!