Archive for February, 2009

To all the girls I’ve loved before (Part 4)

February 13, 2009

But enough reminiscing for now, I think.   Nostalgia can be risky in large doses, after all.

Love it or hate it, tomorrow is Valentines Day, so here’s a candle to either warm your heart or remind you that the day WILL pass (whichever you need more). 

But either way, here’s a thought you might find useful:

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.”

– Anais Nin

To all the girls I’ve loved before (Part 3)

February 12, 2009

Moving ahead in time several years, today I find myself reminiscing about a girl I’ll call “Little Squirrel.”  Our time together (such as it was) was equal parts rewarding, challenging, and frustrating, and though the course of my life runs smoother without her in it, I can’t help but feel it runs a little poorer as well.  (That’s a common theme with me.)

I call her that because I once told her she reminded me of a squirrel I saw taking shelter in the crook of a tree during a storm.  I WANTED to bring the squirrel to better safety than that, but I knew that even if I could communicate to the squirrel that I meant no harm, it would have likely told me it felt safer where it was . . . no offense. 

Sometime after I told her that story, the figurative storm that brought her into my life moved on, and like her namesake, she moved on as well, and I’ve never seen her since. 

I don’t know if you’ll ever read this Little Squirrel . . . I hope you’re doing alright, even though my gut tells me you’re probably not (though my gut is known to jump to conclusions, so I still have hope).  For the record, I wouldn’t mind seeing you again someday.

And if that day happens, I ALSO wouldn’t mind, assuming you can spare it, seeing my money again as well.

To all the girls I’ve loved before (Part 2)

February 11, 2009

In most cases I figure the statute of limitations isn’t up yet, so I’ll be using pseudonyms, but for this story I think it’s been long enough that it’s safe to let you know her name was Lori, she was the girl next door.

We never dated, or kissed, and I never really even had a crush on her, but she was the first girl that I ever saw without her top on and that it meant something to me. 

Mind you . . . we were playing in a kiddie pool behind her house, we were both EIGHT at most, and there wasn’t really anything to see and I had even less idea WHY it meant something to me . . . I just knew that it was supposed to.  As I recall, I summed up my reaction with the phrase “Woo-Hoo!” when the top of her swimsuit slipped off.

At which point she resoundingly (and deservedly) mocked me for acting stupid, pointed out *I* wasn’t wearing a top either (I was in standard swim trunks), rolled her eyes and went “Woo . . . Hoo,” and we went back to playing in the pool after she fixed her top. 

Stupid it may have been, but I still smile when I think of that day with Lori, so here’s a candle for Lori for her part in my first real (if clueless and unsophisticated) attempt at appreciating the feminine form, as well as my first real taste of feminine mocking for said attempt.

Let the record state that I DID get better with more practice.

To all the girls I’ve loved before (Part 1)

February 10, 2009

I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day.  Oh, I’ve had good ones and bad ones in my time, but as holiday’s go I tend to rank it at about “Arbor Day” level, but without the importance of reminding people of how vital trees are. 

But honestly, one of the reasons I dislike Valentine’s Day so much is because I tend to get sentimental around this time, and I start to reminisce . . . not really about the good times OR the bad times, per se, but about the really STUPID things I remember most about my past relationships.  Maybe it was something stupid that I did that I wish I hadn’t, or something stupid that she did that somehow still manages to make me smile after all this time, or maybe it’s just a stupid situation we shared, but the common factor always seems to come back to the word “stupid” somehow. 

So . . . now you know what I’m going to be talking about this week.  I understand completely if you want to just save yourself the trouble and mark on your calendar to start reading again NEXT week.  For those that are sticking it out, remember that I DID warn you.

So here’s a candle for all the girls I’ve loved.  No matter how much I got hurt by them . . . no matter HOW right it was for us to part company . . . I still think of all of them from time to time, and wonder how they’re doing and if they’re alright.  And sometimes . . . again, no matter HOW right it was for us to part ways . . . I still miss them.

I TOLD you “stupid” was going to be common factor.

Extended Weekend

February 9, 2009

Somewhat impromptu, but I got a better offer than working today.

So here’s a candle for better offers.

“What a wonderful world it is that has girls in it!”

– Robert A. Heinlein

Long week . . .

February 6, 2009

And Chapter 2 . . .

Isn’t going to be done on schedule.

I have no outside influence to blame for chewing up my time.  In fact, a number of good (and unexpected) ideas occurred to me as I polished the chapter, and I think the chapter was improved far beyond my original concept because of them. 

But by midweek it was clear to me that the pacing was off, and I wasn’t quite hitting the note I wanted with Chapter 2.  Tweaking it took time, and though I think it’s polishing up nicely again, as I write this my usual work week is coming to a close and I’m running perilously close to empty anyway.  (To give you an idea of where I’m at, I just looked back and saw I had HONESTLY written “as I RIGHT this . . .”)

But it’s alright. 

Not only am I still comfortably ahead of schedule, I’m getting a better Chapter 2 out of all this, and it’s not like I’m hooked up to a generator that shocks me if I fail to meet some sort of quota.  The challenge is over the long haul, and my work schedule is a GUIDELINE, not a noose.    I’m not sure how far I am from finishing Chapter 2 . . . might only take one good day, might take a bit more.  I doubt highly it’ll be as long as an extra week, but no worries even if it does.

*chuckle*  It’s all part of living the dream of being a righter.  (Okay, THAT one I did on purpose.)

Relaxing vs. Relaxed

February 5, 2009

As my longtime reader (Hi, Mom!) might remember, at one point I mentioned realizing how easy it is to get hung up in the process of writing a book.  It makes sense in a weird way . . . if the process is what makes you feel good about yourself, stopping it by actually FINISHING the book is something that can be difficult to do.  That may not make much sense to the rational side of you, but there’s more to you than just your rational side, and it makes sense to THAT side perfectly.  Since it WANTS to feel good, it will helpfully provide reasons for you to keep revising and revising your work because finishing it means the good times are over.

Well . . . currently I find myself in a similar situation.

Not just because of my personal challenge, but also for just general “quality of life” reasons, I’ve been telling myself for some time I needed to relax more.  Given the schedule I’m putting myself under, this has become more important than ever, and I truly HAVE been relaxing more.  In fact, I’ve devoted more time to true relaxation activities and mental unwinding that I have in years.

So why don’t I feel more relaxed?

Then I realized what I was doing; I wanted to relax more, and I am.  I didn’t say anything about STAYING relaxed, and obviously if I’m going to relax more I need to get tense more so I have something to relax from.  It makes perfect sense . . . to the non-rational side of me, and said that way even the rational side of me is going “Yeah, I can see that, but what I MEANT was I want to be relaxed.”  The non-rational reply was, of course, “Then you should have said so.”

Just another example of why it’s important to be careful what you wish for.

A moment of reflection

February 4, 2009

“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials.”

– Lin Yutang

(Yeah . . . it’s been one of those days . . .)

Book update, the creative process, and focus

February 3, 2009

But enough about politics. 

My personal challenge continues to go well (I’m  currently polishing Chapter 2), but I’m reminding myself to not get cocky.  A few good weeks doth not a book make . . . not with me at least.   I DO take satisfaction that things are going so well, of course, but we’re a LONG way from the finish line.

It has got me thinking about the “creative process” though.  Some people need to be angry to be able to create, some people need to be sad . . . some people need to be in a “chemically altered state” (I knew a talented poet in college who was like that.  For whatever reason, I had been assured by those in the know that his work when he was sober was just pathetic.), and on and on.  It’s always a personal thing that allows someone access their creativity, and, as with other aspects of life, that thing isn’t always healthy in and of itself, but it always has a reason, like the man has to get drunk to cry because that’s the ONLY way for him to cry, and he NEEDS to cry sometimes.

Personally I try to shoot for my creative process to be a Zen thing.  I generally write best when I’m content and happy (there have been exceptions . . . ), and when I start having difficulty is usually when something is out of whack somewhere in my life.  The longer it takes me to gather the energy to get started for the day, the more out of whack something else.  

This is actually a useful barometer, which is one of the reasons why I keep it.  While there is a time and place to ignore something in favor of a larger concern (Like the time it felt like I had a wasp sting on my foot while I was driving in heavy traffic; NOT a good time to focus on the sting and ignore the tons of metal vehicles traveling at high speeds around me.), as a rule of thumb, if something is trying to get your attention, it’s generally doing so for a reason, and it’s usually worth taking the time to at least figure out what it is.

Trust me, it saves you time in the long run.  If you can’t deal with it right away (which will likely happen from time to time) at least your choice can be an informed one.

Transcending the political (Followup)

February 2, 2009

This is a point I wanted to include on Friday, but I thought it disrupted the flow and that it would stand better as an isolated observation:

Trusting the assessment of their “opposition” of someone loud, aggressive and obnoxious about their political views when being loud, aggressive, and obnoxious is what pays their bills, is like trusting a WWE wrestler to give a fair and balanced assessment of their opponent in the ring.   Either way the truth is at best going to be on the sidelines, and never in the match.