Fun in the sun. There's nothng like it. I spent 80 percent of my waking hours yesterday in the sun reading and writing. Then I went to my writing group and I had sooo much fun. We critiqued two different novels, and it really helped me realize that everyone else was having the same problems I was. It also gave me a little more confidence about submitting my novel for critiquing. I would like to get the entire first draft done first, but that might take me another two months at least, so I am not sure. I can give them the first few chapters, but I know that by the time I finish this book, there will be things I need to go back and add in the beginning. I will also have a better sense of a few of the characters, who on the page are still a little weak. I guess it depends on what I want to get out o the critique. For me I would really rather have it be less focused on major plot elements and more concentrated on structural problems, tone, character development etc. I feel like if I post it now, the comments that I get might be helpful, but will probably be things I already know. And even if I don't, what I am really worried about, is that there comments will make me hesitant to keep writing in the direction I am moving in, adn I don't want to restructure the plot for a third time.

Anyway, I need to go to work, but I am going to start a writing challenge again. Sort of my own. But I want to get another 50,000 words by the end of May. I think that is doable, well I know it is, and if I get more than I think that will be cool. but for now, I will post daily my word count, as well as my best and worst line etc, so that you can see what my writing challenges are like.

happy day. I'll write back later.
Hey, Ya!!!

Howdy web patrons! I have had the most awful week. Just one big fat problem after another, and I don't want to get into any of it here, because as much as people want to know about it, talking about it only gets me more upset.

So instead I decided to stay in, (thanks gals for letting me bail) and eat some food (which I haven't done in almost twelve hours) and take some medicine for the god awful migrane that I had going. I laid patheticaly on my bed with my eyes closed listening to the west wing, and for the third time today, I cried. But for the first time I also laughed. It is an odd moment when you hear yourself laughing and realize that you haven't done that all day, or all week. It is an odd sensation in your body, a lightness and a sense of no worries, that you get when you laugh, and I mean really truly laugh, not one of those fake laughs.

But I love West Wing and the episode I watched today, really got me. It is always the end that gets me. But the President and CJ were standing outside looking at the stars, and He was talking about how the last piece at the concert surprised him. And how so many people must have told him that his music was no good. He said he would have to write him a letter thanking him and praising his work. And I was just thinking how true that is. No matter what we do for a living or for a hobby, whether we write, we sing, we build houses, we invent things, we explore, we create...No matter what we do, there will always be those people who tell you you're doing it wrong. There will always be those people who don''t believe you know what you're doing, or don't think your work is valid. But there will always be people on the otherside. People who recognize your contribution, your skill, and your talents. people who appreciate the sacrifices you made and benefit from them. I guess as a person we just have to decide who is more important. Are we going to focus on the people trying to hold us back? Or are we going to focus on those who recognize our brilliance? For me, I suppose ninety editors could reject my work, and I could let that get to me. Or I can keep picturing the high school student down the street, or the stay at home mom who stand in line when the store opens to purchase my works. Some people may think I write trash. And you know what? I am ok with that. Because I started out writing for me, and for people like me, and I hope to continue writing that way.

I hope that what ever it is that you do, you take a step away from the supervisors, professors, parents, and spouses that try to beat you over the head with your inadequacies, and focus instead on people like me, your friends, your fans. Because like it or not, no matter what it is you do, there will always be at least one person out there that thinks the world of you. That idolizes you, that sees you as a rolemodel and a mentor. Keep going for them, Keep working for them and you'll find that the journey will be worth it.

Hey!! Guess what? I'm writing. Yep Writing again!!! Yeah, so it looks like my dry spell has come to an end. I pulled out the novel this weekend and read through about 100 pages of manuscript. Discovered most of it was not as bad as I thought. In fact if it was a book, I would have been pleased, and mad that it wasn't finished yet.

I also realized that while some of the 280 manuscript pages will be cut, some of the scenes I thought I would lose are going to be stuck back in, just in a different order. If feel like I finally have the skeleton of a novel and not six different subplots of a really lame tv movie. So I am at the library and about to finish mapping out the plot for the end of the book. Then I have four scenes to rewrite today. All I am doing is writing today. I don't care if the house goes up in flames. Which it might if you heard what happened to my computer on Friday.

Thanks to everyone who kept cheering me on even when I got crabby. Thanks to my writing group who pushed me when I didn't want to be pushed. My stories will be so much stronger because of you.

I'm out.
So I realize that once again it has been a week since I posted anything. For that I am sorry. I have been in a funny mood lately. I have been unmotivated to write, and thus unmotivated to write about writing. Perhaps it is some weird form of Writer's Block. But what is worse for me is that I have also been unmotivated to read. I find it so hard to pick up a book, because as soon as I get a few pages in I start thinking about all the writing I need to do. Sometimes I get inspired by what I am reading and run to my computer, ready to pound out a couple of chapters. But I get there, and suddenly one or two paragraphs is like running a 12K marathon. I just don't have it in me.

Honestly, it scares me a little. Like I am some big fraud. Like if it is this difficult maybe it isn't meant to be. Maybe I have the love for writing and books but I will never have the talent, the heart but not the skill. I sit here everyday and I call myself a writer, but even that, I do with a sense of hesitation. When I talk to people it is like I am role playing. Like I am pretending to be something I am not. But who defines writer? What makes a writer? And what makes the difference between a writer and an author?

For me I guess the difference is that an author is someone who has been published. And a writer is someone who writes. But if that is true then why do I have this reluctance to call myself a writer, when by my own definition I meet the merits of the term?

Then there is this sense that I have to prove myself to everyone around me. I have to prove that I am a writer, that my writing is good. Most people who know me know that I want to write. They know how far I would go to reach that dream. And yet I still know people to this day who talk to me as if it is some far off dream. As if they have been giving me time to frolic in the fields of innocence, but now I must face the harsh realities of the world. They still suggest that I do things, which I made quite clear I didn't want to do. They still talk of my writing as if it is a hobby. Something I do at night while watching TV to keep my fingers busy. Something that I will wrap up with bows and ribbons and sell at the local craft show. But it isn't a hobby. It isn't even something I do for fun. Sure sometimes it is fun. But right now, and most of the time, it just feels like work. And when I come home from work, the last thing that I want to do is work some more.

I don't know how to get around that. I don't know how to separate my writing from my work. I don't know how to convince people that I am serious about my writing, that I am not holding on to a dream, that I am not wasting my time or settling for something because I am scared to go after something else. And more than anything I am tired of people looking at me and talking to me with that, "you had so much potential" look.

Yes, I am scared. Very scared. Scared that I will try my hardest and it won't be Good enough. That I will never figure out what I need to do to improve. That one day I will wake up and "the others" will have won. They will have beaten the dream out of me. They will have slipped under my skin and milked away the starving writer in my blood when I wasn't paying attention. I don't want this to happen but sometimes I am not sure that I can stop it.

Hmmm. This was not what I had intended to write at all, but something hidden deep with in my unconscious mind. I suppose it had to be said. I suppose I needed to read this before I got out my manuscript and began hacking away at it. I will go and continue my journey and hope that someone else will learn from my struggles. I see so many of my friends struggling. Some realize it and some don't. I wish I could take their hand and walk them to the door. I see it, clearly marked and I know the safety that lies beyond. But they must find it on their own. They must knock with their own hand. Just as, I am learning I must take the burden of my journey on alone.
I hate to do this, because I said this blog would be mainly about my writing, and my path to becoming a writer, but honestly I feel the need to speak up, and it will connect back to my writing at some point, so bear with me.

You all should know that I am a huge Janet Jackson fan. I grew up listening to Rhythm Nation, pretending to be her. When other girls were playing house I was doing concert tours in my basement for the neighbors. As I got older I did stop emulating her, but I never stopped being a fan. When I went to her Velvet Rope Concert I was floored at the connection I felt with her up on stage. Being that close to someone that I had idolized for so long, it is a breathtaking, life-altering moment that I hope everyone gets to experience at some point in their life.

I was a member of her fan club after that, (so please consider me extremely biased when it comes to everything that I am about to say) and I had the opportunity to talk with her online more than once. If it is one thing I have learned over the years is that Janet has some of the best fans yet. I believe that Janet realizes this as well because she goes through great lengths to do things for her fans. She treats them very well.

Fast forward to the infamous super bowl. I was excited to see her perform, I almost taped it but I decided not to at the last minute. In an effort to be fair, I will say that I was a little disappointed when I saw her outfits. I was like why does she always have to show off her chest. I was also like "those are extremely ugly"! But I do have to say as a fan I believe her when she says it was an accident, for several reasons. First, although Janet has done several photos in the nude(nothing showing of course) she has never revealed anything more than her bra in any concert or performance that she has done, and believe me I have seen a lot. Second if you have actually seen the footage you can see the sheer look of panic on both her and Justin's face. Third, while I am not a huge fan of Justin I have to believe that he is a good, honest and decent person. He and Janet have been friends for a long time. They even dated once!(scary) but I have to believe that if it had been planned Justin wouldn't have backed off the way he did with the media and the press. I believe that he would have fussed up to it being planned. Instead he is running around like a chicken with his head cut off and letting Janet take all the fall out of fear. What number am I on? Four. Janet, despite what everyone may believe, is actually extremely shy. And there is a difference between posing topless with your husbands hands covering your breasts in a room where only a handful of people are watching and the millions or billions of people they claim watch the super bowl.

But let's move on.

Shocked by what happened, I have become more disgusted by the manner in which the media has handled the situation. Immediately it was assumed that it was not an accident but an attempt to break the rules and perform a nude exhibition. The lawyer in me wants to ask what happened to being innocent until proven guilty. It seems more and more the media is living by the guilty at all times. The coverage of this situation will be a hundred times greater than the coverage of the FCC investigation that dismisses charges.

But I want to look at this Janet fiasco on an even deeper level. The charge is that it was explicit and indecent material on the public television where parents had no way of knowing this type of material would be on. I understand that to some extent. I have my issues with it however, because so many parents are worried about what their children see on TV, and not worried about what they see online, which is far worse than a bare female body part. The argument is that this was slated as a "family" show.

I disagree. It's football. And let's take a minute to think about what football is. because what it all comes down to is a sport where a bunch of testosterone elated men charge at each other at full speed, with the only goal to knock someone to the ground and prevent them from carrying a ball to the other end of the field. That's it.

So are we saying that extreme violence is acceptable but female nudity is not? Because none of us were breastfed? No child has ever been exposed to a female breast?

Then look at the commercials that aired during the superbowl. A majority of them were either rude, obscene, or violent, with a majority of them promoting alcohol. USA Today even reported that several commercials had almost a Frat Party Feel (there's something I want my children to see.) The reporter compared watching the whole event to hanging out in an R-Rated Comedy Club. R-rated huh? Isn't that 17 and up? DO I detect a pattern here?

And what time did the football game air? It starts at 7:30 on a Sunday night. It ends after 11PM. I don't know many kids who stay up past 11 on a school night.

So I think you get my point. The argument that Janet's boob has led to some corruption of our children, and that this FCC investigation derives from concern over parent's inability to control what their children see is weak at best.

Try this on for size. Why don't parents turn off the TV and give their children a book? When did it become the government's job to determine what is or is not appropriate for my child. Or for me for that matter. When we start creating vague lines and trying to define what is and is not obscene, we set a bad precedent for future generations. Saying it is ok to allow someone to tell you what to think. Sure there are banned books in this county. it doesn't mean I can't freely find any one of those banned books right now.

But I have a problem with someone else determining what is and is not appropriate for me. It's parents responsibility to talk with their children about what they see and hear in the media. And it is the parents responsibility not the governments. I shouldn't be denied something I find funny or entertaining because you think your six year old shouldn't be watching it. Change the channel. Turn off the radio. Put in a movie better yet, read a book. play again, do something that encourages stimulation of the mind so that your child might grow up to become an active member of society with the same ability to determine what they want to watch and read and listen to, as I have.

That should have been a PSA for the ACLU, of which I am not a member, but that is another discussion at another time.