Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Moving in to a New Year

Well, Christmas is over and I didn't get all that I asked for, but I have hope for 2012.  I have a good job, an amazing husband and two wonderful children. What more could a person ask for, right? Of course, there are a few things, but too mundane to share on here.  So, I am thinking about my New Year's resolutions. I have a few.

1. lose weight - but don't we all place that on our lists? I know I have since I was nine, but that is a totally different blog topic.

2. read more - I go through phases of reading.  Sometimes I read three books in a week, and then I don't read for three months.  I would like to be more consistent.

3. write more - I need to make time to write consistently.  My job can be time consuming and soul sucking at times, which keeps me from writing at night.  My kids help in that department as well.  I'd like to get a solid three days a week of writing in this year.

4. be my own cheerleader - as a writer, it's very easy to get discouraged and encouraged within minutes. I need to remember that if I don't write, no one is going to write it for me.  I also need to remind myself that I am my own advocate.  I want to maintain a positive presence while sticking to my goals and not giving up on myself.

5. be a better mom - I think all moms have room for improvement. For me it involves patience.  I tend to have a quick fuse with my own children mainly because I can't lose it on the kids at school.

6. make more time for my husband - in a crazy schedule of mothering, reading, writing, grading, etc. I need to remember that he came first (always).

That's it for my resolutions. I think they are ones I can stick with. 

I do have the same as last year - find agent, get published, etc. but that will happen when it's supposed to - God will let it happen.

Happy New Year everyone!

PS what are your resolutions? Share and compare...we can support each other.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pretending

Perhaps it's the time of year that makes me reflect on my life, but tonight I'm more pensive than normal.  I just finished watching Something Borrowed and realize that I am Rachel.  I am not the Alpha in any of my friendships.  All through life, I have been the friend just wanting to make my friends happy.  In college, I had a roommate who dominated everything.  She was the lease holder on our apartment, while I was just a visitor for a year.  When she wanted entertaining, I was there to fill the gaping hole for her. Whenever I tried to assert myself, she fought back making me feel as though I had done something wrong.  Then I moved.  My next roommate did the same.  Then I met my husband who treated me as an equal in the relationship.  I loved and still love him wholeheartedly.  We still play equal roles in the relationship.  But when it comes to friendships, not much has changed.  My current "best friend" is a great person, but I still get the impression that I'm not equal and I am guilty for allowing it to be this way. I pretend to be Alpha - in my classroom and as a writer, but never with my friends.  I pretend to be dominant, when really I sit back and let life happen around me.  Querying is much the same, but that is because we can't be aggressive as writers when it comes to someone else evaluating our work.  We must sit back and wait.  I gain control in my life through writing, though imagine every character I write is a little bit of me.  The same insecurities.  The same passive nature.  The same everything.  The difference is that I can write them changing their ways.  I can make them brave. I can make them assert themselves and the outcome is good.  Why is it that I can write it, but I can't say it? I don't know the answer to that question.  What I do know is that writing is empowering.  It allows me to be someone I'm not.  It allows me to behave aggressively when in reality I sit quietly waiting for a reaction.  I honestly think (no I know) that I am not the only person like this.  I've yet to meet an author who is overly confident with no insecurities. Is that what brings us together as a community?  Do we then pretend we fit into different roles within that community when the reality is that we share a common role?  Yesterday I read an article about why writers SHOULD self-publish.  I've read a lot of these articles and months ago, I believed in what I read.  But the reality is that most of the articles reflect someone who is trying so hard to receive approval for that decision.  I know I was three clicks away from self-publishing, but something in the back of mind stopped me telling me that that's not the approval I was/am looking for. I want someone to say "this is good".  Ok I know this is bearing a bit of my soul, but it's the truth.  And I would much rather read what someone has written from the heart than what they think someone wants to hear.  Anyway, as I said before, this may be more reflective because of the season.  I'm sure it is and tomorrow I will want to take this post down, but for today I speak the truth.  I write to connect and make other people know that we are not alone.  To be human means to have feelings.  I am more than a little human at this given point in time. And now, I stop writing this post and go back to my Christmas wish.  Santa, I want to be published.  Please send me an agent/editor who will appreciate me and my writing for what it is - honest.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I know I'm 35 and a bit old to be writing you, but in the spirit of Christmas, I thought I would send you a note. Before I ask for anything, I want to say thank you for allowing me to have a healthy family for Christmas.  I know my in laws aren't coming this year, but we are still able to spend time as a family this month.  Our Elf on the Shelf, Elliott, has been a wonderful addition to the family and he's been watching the children so closely, I'm sure you know they have their ups and downs, but generally speaking, they are truly wonderful kids.  I love them both with all my heart.  My husband has been carrying on your spirit so wonderfully this year. He's truly been working himself to the bone wanting nothing more than to make us all happy.  What he may not know is that we could have nothing, and I'd still be happy with just his love.  He's the best thing that has ever happened to me.

As far as presents go, Amber wants an American Girl doll that looks like her and Nate wants a bike.  I know for fact that their dreams will come true.  My husband wants nothing more than a bottle of cologne, so that will happen as well.  As for me...I am completely content with husband and children.  Of course, I am not foolish to lie and say I don't want anything, but what I want can't be purchased. I want to be published.  I know this is nothing you can do, but what I do know is that I can work my hardest and never give up, so what I want this Christmas is the faith that it will happen in my lifetime.  That is it. 

Christmas is my favorite time of year and I thank you for the Christmas spirit.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing my children and the people I love happy.  Thank you.

Merry Christmas,
Jamie

Monday, December 5, 2011

December Crazy

Is anyone else feeling a little frantic with December on us?  The semester is winding down, I have a few sticks in the fire with my writing, and Christmas is right around the corner.  Yikes! December is crazy time, yet, it's also my favorite time of the year.  Today, my classes were discussing the spirit of Christmas and the season of good will.  I had to create a metaphor for them to understand where I was coming from, so I thought I'd share it with you all. 

Disneyland is the happiest place on earth.  My family has gone twice and each time, it always amazes me how people are genuinely kinder inside the park.  Our first time going, we rented two strollers for our kids (they were 4 and 6 at the time).  We loaded up the strollers with backpacks and other belongings worried about leaving them unattended while we were on the rides.  To our surprise, people just don't touch the strollers.  We even left our strollers for a couple of hours to reserve our seats for Fantasmic.  When we returned they were completely untouched.  There is a magic in the air preventing people from breaking the law.  It's amazing and refreshing reinforcing the notion that it's definitely the happiest place on earth. 

The same can be said for Christmas.  This time of year brings a feeling of hope and charity to so many who normally are rather selfish.  I listen to teenagers every day talk about donating their time to local charities by wrapping donated gifts and later delivering the presents to the needy children.  These kids are proud of themselves for doing good for others.  It makes me smile daily.  Even my own children are asking to pick names off the donation tree to help other children.  There's just something about the season that brings the best out in others.  I can't help but love every moment of it.

So, even though December can be frantic getting ready for the holidays and such, I'm grateful for my family and my life.  I consider myself very fortunate to have what I have and want nothing more than to bring happiness to others.  I do have my own Christmas wishes, and hope they come true, but if they don't that's ok.  My time will come when it's the right time. 

Happy December and I look forward to wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and the best New Year.