I had an interesting conversation via email with another writer. She took me to task about this post and I'm so grateful because we both gained insight from the exchange!!! Sometimes, I think there's nothing better than a healthy intellectual discussion!

To clarify--just as basketball teams depend on one another on the court, the writer depends on her support system outside of writing; however, when it comes to that single moment, that solitary ACT of writing--the external support system doesn't matter. The writer must trust and believe in herself.

By saying that the external doesn't matter for the writer, I am specifically speaking about the ACT of writing. Writing is solitary (unless you're collaborating with another writer).

For example, when a basketball player shoots the ball, she doesn't shout to her teammates, "Everyone crowd in and get a hand on the ball. Now let's all shoot together." In basketball, you've got only 24 seconds on the shot clock. Players pass around the ball and as time wears down, the ball ends up in only ONE-SINGLE player's hands. This player must make a solitary, decisive, brave act to shoot.

My first comment was about this single, solitary moment. No one can write and do the job for you--writing is a solitary act and it all comes down to you, the pen, the clock. That's all that matters. The external fades away.

If you're too afraid to shoot, time will eventually expire.

For people who don't love basketball, this analogy might be useless. I'm looking beyond the surface of the sport. For me, basketball is more than "getting the ball through the hoop" because the outcome depends heavily on who's holding the ball. The player's internal landscape in that moment makes all the difference.

It's internal. It's spiritual. It's inspiring.

Can you tell that I'm ready for Sunday's game? :o)
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scififanatic: (Default)
( Jun. 12th, 2009 06:47 am)
I was born into a family full of sports fanatics. Thus, I grew up loving basketball, football and tennis, to name a few.

I never fail to find some kind of lesson I've learned in a game that I can apply to the life of writing. In fact, I find some sports are full of artistic patterns; that pass Bryant made to Gasol, Gasol's spin move to the basket--PURE POETRY!!!

Last night, after losing game 4 in overtime, the Orlando Magics coach said that he's tired of hearing about experience being a factor in these final games. "Experience is a cliche," he said!

On one hand, I see his point. Experience isn't enough to make a team great. Other factors such as character, health, referees (or the lack thereof, such as in last night's game), coaching, court (being home vs. being away), etc.--all these things and so many more are factors of winning. So I see his point...

And then, I have to disagree.

Last night, against all odds, the Lakers won the game in overtime. We *should not have won* and I know that sounds like an insult to my home team but it isn't. It's really the highest praise.

Experience comes not because the Lakers happen to be one of the best NBA teams in the history of professional basketball. Experience came last night when the Lakers showed that they would not doubt themselves, they would not give up in the last quarter, in the last minute of overtime.

Likewise, the experience of a writer does not come from external factors: attending conferences, going to school and getting degrees in creative writing, networking with some of the best writers, talking about writing, joining critique groups, etc. Yes, all of these elements are very helpful but they don't guarantee a win for the writer.

Ursula K. Le Guin, one of my favorite science fiction and fantasy writers says it best in her essay from The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction:

"Experience isn't something you go and get--it's a gift and the only prerequisite for receiving it is that you be open to it." Last night, the Lakers were open to the possibility that they still had a chance to take the game. They didn't give up on themselves.

LeGuin goes on to say that writers should be less concerned about their external influences and more focused on their internal drive. "Know your own soul. Know your mind and heart. This knowledge is not lightly or easily gained but you must learn the landscape of your being. Write with imagination, which is your tool, and plow your own soul. Write from inside, from as deep inside as you can get by using all your strength and courage and intelligence."

She says, "That is where great books come from. The novelist writes from inside. What happens to him outside, during most of his life, doesn't really matter."

In other words, if experience is the teacher, then you ARE the principal, the dean, the president of all the knowledge that affords you to be a winner at writing. Very little outside of you matters.

That's the look I saw in Derek Fisher's eyes when he made not one but two crucial 3-point shots. Nothing outside of you matters. Reach deep within and know that you can win against all odds.

No one is interested in giving you anything in this world. You have to take it and that starts first with pushing yourself beyond the limits that appear in your path.
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scififanatic: (Default)
( Jun. 8th, 2009 02:10 am)
 
18,450 / 58,566
(31.5%)


Not having a working car (it broke down earlier this week) while living in Los Angeles affords me a lot of free time to write.

Also, I'm slowly accepting that no matter what, I'm not much of a morning person. Thus, I wrote in the afternoon and again in the evening after I exercised and ate. This scene took a long time to revise but I think I'm fleshing out this side character little by little.

Today, I realized that my rough draft is actually a crazy draft of what will be the third book in a trilogy! Yes, I'm writing a trilogy.

It's all happening subconsciously. I'm leaving out several details as I work through the first round of revisions. These remaining sections tell the story of my main character's little sister, more than a decade later from my current novel's timeline.

It feels great to know why all those strange things appeared in my rough draft. I was trying to tell both character's stories at the same time, in one person. But it's all so clear to me now.

Each piece has a place...

This is one of the many reasons why I love writing. I look forward to unfolding more mysteries tomorrow.
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scififanatic: (Default)
( Jun. 7th, 2009 02:11 am)
I wanted to finish this chapter tonight but it's already 2:11 a.m. so I'm going to stop and pick up where I left off once I've had some sleep. All in all, I feel good about this section. Hoping to keep this going tomorrow.



Also, as I make my way through the story arc, picking different scenes to focus on and revise slowly, I'm starting to realize that my total word count will likely end up being more than what I've got. That's because this first revision has deviated quite a bit from the rough draft.

Change feels so good.

Now I'm off to have sweet dreams about Joey Castillo, drummer for Queens of the Stone Age. ;)
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This is the second post I've titled with words from the new Tori Amos songs. I'm hoping to write a review of Abnormally Attracted to Sin this week but for now, I'm posting a follow-up to this entry. (I also plan to write posts about sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison and one of my favorite athletes, Serena Williams, this upcoming week!)

But back to the point of this post. Currently, I've revised 14,597 words of my YA sci-fi novel. I'm 403 words short of making my goal (15k words) for the month of May but so what. I'm taking my time and I like that!


14,597 / 58,566

This weekend, I had an awesome time with [personal profile] stinglikeabee at the museums (more on that later this week too!) and got two distinct short story ideas--one an alien sci-fi story and another a steampunk story--and I started writing the former this weekend; so, that cut into some of my editing time for the novel.

After checking out museum row, we headed to The Grove, which was a lot of fun. There's an awesome Barnes & Noble there and I bought a set of tarot cards--something I've been dying to do for the last year.

Today, I did my first tarot reading for myself and I drew the card Hierophant (Reversed) the V of the Major Arcana cards. There were other cards in the spread, of course, but this card fell under the "current issue" placement and resonated strongly with me.

The Hierophant (Reversed) corresponds with learning that the result is sometimes more important than the ritual. In other words, I approach things with originality and it doesn't matter that I'm revising this novel in an unconventional way, that I need to learn to be okay with striking out on my own path.

Sometimes, I can get obsessive with goals but just because I'm 403 words short of my mark isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm taking my time and revising in my unique way. In the end, my product will hopefully be bizarre and bewildering and mind-boggling, all the better for it.

My goal for next month? 25k. Whether or not I reach that goal is not the focus. I'm learning, slowly, to follow the beat of my own drum. "Can I join you?" said the Lady in Blue. "I can play too."
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So I'm awake but I should be sleeping. There are a few things that have me way too excited to sleep:

#1. I found out that Tori Amos will be at the Greek Theatre on Friday, July 17. August 1, 2003 was the last time I saw Tori perform at the Greek Theatre. (If you live in SoCal but you haven't been to the Greek--you're missing out on one of L.A.'s greatest pleasures.) Music + summer nights + stars = Bliss.

#2. I also found out that I'll get to meet my friend Gord Sellar this summer!!!! I'm insanely excited about this! Given that he's a sci-fi writer up for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, I'll be rolling out the red carpet treatment for my buddy. That means that I've got to take him to see the Avenue of the Stars in Hollywood (because he's a star) and we'll likely dine at uWink (because it's the food of geeks...I mean gods). C'mon, admit it--you miss Atari computers!

#3. I had a late-night conversation with a grad school classmate from Mills College. We talked about writing scenes, plots (and holes), trilogies and inadequacies.

It's this last topic that has me awake late at night writing this post when I should be sleeping. All writers, at some point, feel inadequate. Yet I'm always amused by this quote from William Faulkner:

Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error. The good artist believes that nobody is good enough to give him advice. He has supreme vanity. No matter how much he admires the old writer, he wants to beat him.

As artists, we feel this sense of competition and yet what we truly contend with is ourselves. Each writer knows that she is not writing to her greatest potential. There's a sense of dissatisfaction about everything she writes and I think that this discontent is helpful because:

#1. Only a fool believes she's clever. Now I can't take credit for this one. I've been on an acid ear-trip lately with music by Queens of the Stone Age (I wanna have Josh's babies--please!!!). In other words, you should feel inadequate because there's always someone smarter than you and this person will make you feel like a moron. Rightfully so. This humbles you.

#2. Sometimes we aren't ready to tell the story. A writer wants each novel or short story to be perfect and sometimes your imaginings are intellectually out of reach. This means you need to write a bunch of crappy stories before you're ready to tackle your genius.

#3. Yes, you're a genius. So many people TALK about being a writer but very few are ready to transition that adjective into a verb. If you write, you've answered the higher call. You've acknowledged that you are an imperfect being who desires to transmit the language of the unknown as perfectly as you can, as clearly as you can, as forcefully as you can.

This void that every writer seeks to fill is called The Hollow. If you're feeling inadequate, it's because that emptiness you seek to fill is yours and yours alone to complete. No one can tell your story but YOU. Creation is your skill and it is a talent that only you can fill. You are the key master, the gatekeeper, the god of your own design.

You are a genius and those doubts floating through your mind are simply apparitions in the wind. Stay rooted. Everything else will disappear and you will fill that silence, fill that void with your imaginings only like you can.

Because you are an artist, a genius.
scififanatic: (Outer Space)
( Apr. 19th, 2009 11:33 pm)
It's so hot here in SoCal tonight. The forecast shows warmer weather this upcoming week. Eep! I nearly melted while writing inside the house so I washed and dried off the patio furniture, took a pitcher of ice water, my pen, pad, and iPod, and I wrote outside. It was lovely!

Tonight, I spent nearly four hours on two paragraphs. I think it was worth it. For several weeks, I've been trying to get over the hump in this section and I think I did just that. It's not smooth sailing after this but at least I climbed those hills.

In the meantime, I'm feeling a little bitter that I've got a lot of teaching to do this week. Is the semester over yet??? I'm looking at my calendar. SIX MORE WEEKS!!!

Part of me wants to pass up any summer assignments they offer me but I really need a new car. Ugh. Why can't we just start using Monopoly money? This way, everyone can pay the same amount of money for the board game and we'll all be rich.

Clearly, I'm ready for bed because I'm dreaming. :)
scififanatic: (Dandelion)
( Apr. 12th, 2009 11:43 pm)
I feel reborn. My nine days in Virginia were wonderful but I don't think anything can top the experience of meeting poet Gregory Orr. Some of you may remember one of his poems, which I posted a while back. I first read Orr's work during the fall 2004 semester at Mills College in a special topics course called "The Poet's Voice" taught by poet Chana Bloch. I've been a big fan since.

My friend Lori encouraged that I email Orr and I was glad for the push. Gregory Orr is so giving. We spoke about writing for nearly an hour in his office at the University of Virginia. He changed me. Not from a what but to a where. Our conversation was, particularly near the end, very personal for me. Orr opened my eyes and articulated so many things my heart has been telling me this year; having these ideas and feelings confirmed has helped me change my trajectory as an artist.

2009 is keeping its promises. I've got so much work to do these next several months as I continue to revise my work.
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scififanatic: (Tori's Eyes)
( Mar. 29th, 2009 02:03 am)


Inspiration...or freeing the ghosts.

I blazed through two chapters of my WIP. Revised them quickly. I love these "new" sections because they are still authentic. Original. Me.

I revised them when everything was illuminated, when my novel's world turned to night.

This makes a lot of sense...

Now the question is: how do I hold this feeling? How can I stay happy in the heavy arms of the world?
scififanatic: (Tori's Eyes)
( Jan. 8th, 2009 04:37 pm)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
7,021 / 58,566
(12.0%)


I started revising my most recent novel last month. I'm pleased with the progress so far. It took learning some painful lessons in 2008 to find a positive place for my writing and my process.

For a time, I fell out of love with my writing because I lost direction and I also underwent some personal problems. People probably get sick of hearing me talk about Tori Amos but hey--she is my muse (along with Octavia, of course). Tori doesn't care about what people say about her outlook, her fashion, her music. This is why I love her so much. She dares. She doesn't dare to be different--she dares to be herself, flaws and all.

My Tori Rant )

I draw on the strength of these women, of so many great women who've gone on before me; we're walking a similar path. My pain is theirs as theirs is mine. If they can overcome all obstacles, then so can I.

I've decided that for every 10% I revise in my novel, I will mark my progress with something positive. I've been eying this stainless steel necklace for a while and finally, it's on sale for $10!



scififanatic: (Tori's Eyes)
( Jan. 5th, 2009 03:19 pm)
My muse likes vanilla scented candles, writing long hand on legal pads.

And of course...Tori Amos.

Her favorite song of the moment? "Flying Ducthman"

Hey kid, I've got a ride for you.
They say, your brain is a comic book tatoo
And you'll never be anything.

"What will you do with your life?" Oh,
That's all you hear from noon 'til night.

Take a trip on rocketship, baby
Where the sea is the sky...

Flying Ducthman, are you out there?
Flying Ducthman, are you out there?
Flying Dutchman...

They can't see what you're born to be.
They can't see me.
They can't be what they can't believe.
They can't see what you see.

They can't see...
They can't see...

Are you still out there?
scififanatic: (Default)
( Dec. 10th, 2008 05:30 pm)
I took a look at the first few lines of a half dozen books picked randomly from my shelf.

These are all books that I've read. I learned quickly that I wouldn't need to read the first three pages. These authors establish place and time within the very first line!

Check it out. )

I’ve got some ideas for my next round of revisions. I won’t tackle them just yet. I need to rest and let my subconscious work it out tomorrow.
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scififanatic: (Default)
( Dec. 10th, 2008 05:00 pm)
My current WIP is a sci-fi/fantasy novel (no surprise) and in this story, time must be fluid. I know this because I've written the novel from beginning to end in a linear fashion. This did NOT work. In the revisions, I'm rewriting everything from scratch.

This is working well for me and I love the feeling I get not knowing exactly where time starts and ends as I write (this sense of fluidity relates to one of my novel's themes)...but I know that in the end, once I piece it all together, my readers won't appreciate not having a firm sense of time and place so I'm trying to figure things out before I move to the next section.

I haven't traveled much. As a kid, I visited Ohio every summer with my Granny. I LOVED Ohio, at least what I can remember of it as a kid. Naturally, I'm thinking of using this in the story. (I'm assuming Ohio gets really cold in the winter. It needs to be cold for the intro.)

Eventually, my characters move to Long Beach, California, which is where the majority of the story takes place. (Yet another reason why I'm having trouble picking a time and place for the opening--they aren't there long.)

What I think I'll do tonight is examine some of my favorite novels, take a look at the opening 3 pages to see how place and time is established in different ways. I don't want it to be overt. It needs to blend in with the landscape. I can't stand it when stories overtly dump information: this is what the character's eyes look like, this is the color of her hair, etc. I don't mind the info...it just needs to arise out of the moment for me not to get pulled out of the story.

How do others handle the necessary information that readers look for in the first five pages?

Okay--I'm off to do research!
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scififanatic: (purple flower--black woman)
( Dec. 10th, 2008 03:28 pm)
Yesterday, I tackled revisions from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. I stopped for an hour to eat and a half hour to watch an episode of "Fringe" before I realized it was a rerun. (That's how tired I was.) Finally, I threw my hands up and called it a night.

Revising is a slow process, which does not come natural to me. Most of the time, I can compose quickly and when it comes to editing my work, I don't want it to lose that fire, that natural rhythm that comes when you allow yourself to write freely. So I edit slowly, making sure to keep the "personality" of the work, so I don't end up with something bland and boring.

Every drop of blood I spend on a word, on a sentence, chopping dialog, cutting out useless descriptions, adding specificity to the environment so it too shines, slicing sentences into two, helps bring my characters into full color. In the end, I'm hoping it'll all be worth it. My deadline is August 2009. That sounds like plenty of time but it means I've got to stay focused...and disciplined each day.

When I woke up this morning, I was rested but I was still distressed. I ate a quick breakfast and headed straight for the problem areas, the areas I said only needed to be "good enough." You can't settle for good enough. You've got to kick yourself in the pants. This is why, I reread Octavia E. Butler's essay "Furor Scribendi" this morning. She said: "Revise your writing until it's as good as you can make it. All the reading, the writing, and the classes should help you do this. Check your writing, your research (never neglect your research), and the physical appearance of your manuscript. Let nothing substandard slip through. If you notice something that needs fixing, fix it, no excuses. There will be plenty that's wrong that you won't catch. Don't make the mistake of ignoring flaws that are obvious to you. The moment you find yourself saying, 'This doesn't matter. It's good enough.' Stop. Go back. Fix the flaw. Make a habit of doing your best." (Butler, Bloodchild and Other Stories 2nd Ed., pp 140-141)

Butler is always right. I can't accept any less than my best. What I've done today is my best. I didn't throw up my hands and give up. I gave it my all. Each day, has to be like this. If so, I will see the work get better. Discipline.

The citizens of my city deserve nothing less.
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Where I'm the mayor...

It's terrible that I hear so many negative voices as I edit. I keep going over what I've edited, looking for holes and mistakes. Each time, I find something new. I'm at a point where I'm beginning to wonder if I'm making up the problems in my head, seeing things. It's like I'm trying to anticipate the negativity and trying to correct the problems before the criticism comes.

It's a terrible thing, the want to be perfect. It's all a cruel illusion because you're never as bad as you imagined and yet never as good as you dream to be. So I will settle for "good enough" for this round and tackle the city's problems tomorrow.

It's a city whose landscape is never concrete; the blueprints can never be final.
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Since yesterday, I've been thinking about how writers set up a story from start to finish. For some, there is much planning involved (researching character's names, outlining, etc.) and for others the only planning is figuring out where to jump in and start writing (the cafe, the park, the beach, etc.). And then there are writers with a variety of methods in between the two extremes.

Either way, all writers end up going over their books for the revision, scrutinizing everything from a single word to a character's name.

I've read published books where everything fell into place so perfectly, I thought the author was simply a genius. In talking with another writer yesterday, she worried her character's name seemed a little too obvious. Since I've read most of this new manuscript of hers, I had to disagree but later I worried that I rushed through my opinion without explanation.

Her worries are valid and that got me thinking about how difficult it is for a writer to see her or his work clearly. It's difficult to tell what's contrived and what's working so well that it seems effortless.

For example, this morning I got to discussing Anakin Skywalker on [livejournal.com profile] dawn_metcalf's journal (which is a great read, btw) and then I still had this conversation from yesterday in my head. Anakin's last name, on the surface may seem contrived. He "walks the sky" because as a young boy, he's taken away to live among the stars and study the ways of the Jedi. This may seem contrived until we learn the ways of the Jedi: they visit worlds and seek to restore a balance among the galaxy. This character's name then becomes organic to the story. His character traits elevate him out of this contrivance. Later, this becomes completely ironic when Anakin turns to Darth Vader only to "walk the sky" in a quest to conquer all worlds in the galaxy.

Similarly, Lina Mayfleet from the novel City of Ember loves to run, she has fast feet, and ultimately, her discoveries help the citizens of Ember flee their dark city. Sure, it seems contrived but when you read stories where all the symbolism is working in favor of creating the characters as real people who do heroic and crazy things, the reader simply goes along for the ride. There's a comfort in reading stories that feel organized in this way. That's not to say authors can't play against those expectations--that's brilliant as well!

I guess the conclusion I'm coming to is that a character's name certainly matters and whether it seems all too obvious or obscure will depend on the character's view of the world, what she or he says and does, how she or he feels, etc. Me? I'm TERRIBLE when it comes to character names but that could have something to do with how long it takes me to figure out who my characters are and what they want in the story.

Then I start thinking about characters like "Waldo" from the Where's Waldo books and how the reader is forced to define what he wants--to be found. Maybe Waldo likes to get lost...maybe he doesn't want to be found. Often, I feel like my characters play those hide and seek games in my stories. Sometimes, it's difficult to know who they are and what they want...and sometimes, I wish they would just state the obvious.
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scififanatic: (Trent in Sunlight)
( Oct. 30th, 2008 11:30 am)
[livejournal.com profile] fiction_theory and Jade Park, have both given me lots to think about, as usual. I always love their posts.

Lately, they have me thinking about what it means to write dangerously, to write from the "underground" where your work takes on a life of its own. Writing in a "dark place" where your work reveals truths, no matter how ugly they make the characters look or the readers feel is a dangerous pursuit. I don't believe I've gone to this place yet because, as Jade Park says, we tend to sock away those experiences. Some works take you to a place, pull you into crevices, whether you want to go there or not.

I wonder, where am I taking my readers?

More importantly, where am I taking my characters...and where are they taking me? It's a delicate balance. Darkness and light. Too much light is blinding. I hate stories where everyone's happy in the end. What an illusion! Too much darkness can border on hilarity. Balance is delicate to our characters. I like reading stories where the scales waver between two realms. After all, isn't this what we struggle with in our lives? Balance. Control. These illusions.

Personally, I think we're all capable of taking our writing to greater depths. What I think most artists struggle with is letting that work into the light. Writing and writing for publication are two different things, indeed. Learning to write is a lifetime pursuit for me; this pursuit is not for happiness (or even publication) but for finding my own truths in the underground.

I write to find shit out because I'm afraid that no matter how much planning I do for my stories, something unexpected always comes about. I like those surprises but I'm also afraid of where they'll take me. Balance. Control. These illusions are dangerous.

Writing from the underground means I loosen the chains. I open up my eyes, my pupils are dilated and my vision is wider, far beyond what's in front of me. Until I can learn to write from this place, I won't have the courage necessary to stand by my writing; and when I do learn to write from this underground space, when I find my truth in that place, I hope I'll have the courage to let my work into the light of day.
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scififanatic: (Default)
( Oct. 6th, 2008 05:26 am)
Somehow, I think I've been given good banana vibes from goddess writers like [livejournal.com profile] dawn_metcalf. Her post was infectious. If you're feeling lost, brush her page and maybe you'll get the good banana vibes too. Seriously, I've been on stimulus overload for the last couple of days.

Believe me--I'm NOT complaining. After last month's drought, I'm glad to be resurrected from the dead.

At first, it started with two ideas; I figured the problem with my current novel was that it really deals with two different stories. Before I knew it, I was branching off into three different stories (one with totally different characters). Now, I just wrote out two ideas for two different novels. So that's ideas to explore for four different books (1 being what I think is a three-parter, and 3 separate novels altogether).

Whew! This feels good. Now I've got to decide which to write. It's official, I'm definitely going to do NaNoWriMo this year since I've been inspired with so much material this month. My only problem now is what do I go with for the month of November? I think it will be something completely new, and not the old novel.

This feels right.

Ya know, I was thinking about street artists: sketchers of caricatures at fairs, people who freestyle rhymes on a street corner, body paint artists at festivals, musicians on subway platforms, break dancers at a park. These artists don't burden themselves with perfection. They flow from the moment. Sometimes, I feel like the danger of working and reworking your work too much (and the biggest danger, writing for other readers) means that it becomes homogeneous with what already works, what's already being sold. I won't be lost in the crowd.

I refuse to be that generic. I need to get my hands on Agape Agape by William Gaddis. I read his novel once several years ago but now I'm starting to get what he was saying.

November can't get here soon enough!
scififanatic: (Afro puff)
( Oct. 5th, 2008 04:08 pm)
If a man or a woman can be an easy lay, and if both sexes enjoy getting laid, why don't we say, "I got laid off" afterwards? Instead, some say,"I got off."

Of course, getting laid off means you lose or are relieved of something. Laid off has a negative connotation, meanwhile getting laid is positive.

On another note, I can cleave (syn. break) all negative attachments from myself or I can cleave (syn. cling) to them.

The English language is so curious; I love it!
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scififanatic: (Default)
( Oct. 2nd, 2008 05:23 pm)
They're the best thing in the world, particularly the one I chose! ;)

Haha, I always like to tell my parents that I chose them. They just like to shake their heads and say, "Oh that Stephanie of ours."

Seriously, my mom is always there to listen when I'm frustrated. Sometimes, I'm like, "Mom, you don't understand," and then she'll say something that makes it all right. It surprises me--so she does understand. I guess that's just the magical stuff moms are made of.

She wanted to see what I wrote yesterday. After reading, she said the most perfect thing to me. I told her that I didn't think it was a beginning, that something didn't feel right about it. Then she said the perfect thing that made it clear; it was just the thing I needed to hear, to unlock myself from the grips of doubt.

I feel a little freer now. Thanks mom!

Times like these make me wonder if I could be a mom too. If I feel this way, I can only imagine how it must be for her.
.

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