When Your Load is Too Much, Your Priorities Are All Wrong

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“God has future Joy for all His people who do not seek to escape suffering but, instead, seek to fulfill God’s purpose in it.”

“Suffering exists because sin exists. Jesus suffered and died to ensure suffering and death will end by righteous means one day.”

These verses can be applied to anyone’s life, at any time in life.

I have sat here in front of my computer for thirty minutes, typing and retyping. My quiet time, writing time, and my me time have been exhausted from my kids and sickness this past week. I have gotten very little work done, no writing accomplished, and after last nights little shenanigans, I’ve lost my legs like this poor donkey.

I need a babysitter.

I need a maid.

 

 

I really have nothing else to say other than, God bless Moms.

-Donna

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Writing and Life: Can I Make Rocky Road Out of Vanilla?

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Okay, I take back the comment on my previous blog about being undeniably weird. I am still weird, however my circle of reference is quite small.

My family took a trip downtown this past weekend. (Note that I have a baby and a semi-grown toddler. We don’t get out much) We came across adults dressed as fairies, young men with waist length dread locks, youngin’s dressed in next to nothing and feeling fine, and generally a group consisting of eclectic Midwesterners.

This makes me feel quite vanilla. That and my first critique on the first 800 words of Within The Cleansing Fire from people other than my family or friends. Which I might add, critiques from them keep me going and make me proud that I’m not too afraid for the public to read my amateur story-telling.

Ouch. Burn. Bleh. I instantly began reading a new novel brought to my attention that has a similar plot. Dead person POV. Wait!! That was my idea! I have read hundreds of books in a limited genre range. I knew there were hundreds of thousands of books in my genre, I just didn’t think it was so similar. Nor did I realize how bland and vanilla my writing was!

So, this kept me up all night wondering. How do I make my vanilla writing into something capable of capturing the audience’s attention. I want the texture, excitement and craving that rocky road provides.

I wouldn’t say my life has been perfectly vanilla. I have emotions and situations to pull from, but in no way am I as different and mysterious as the fellows that frequent downtown after dark. I’m well educated, but spent little time in the English department in college. Reading books and forums is about as educated in writing as I will get these days.

I would say yes, I can most definitely make rocky road from vanilla. I just need to add in a dash of experience, a smidge of humbleness and a handful of approval to get there.

I see members of my family and friends take criticism and failure only to get back up again and continue on. I can too. I may never get published, and that’s okay. I’ll have my vanilla and rocky road stories to keep me company and entertain my friends when they need a good laugh.

-Donna

Where Do You Come Up With This Stuff?

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There’s an overwhelming consensus that I’m the weirdest person my husband has met. (That’s probably the case in every marriage) But he married me, right? His fault, not mine. What anyone else thinks is insignificant, but I am curious. I always thought I just project everything in my mind, don’t hold anything in, and overall think the same as everyone else with the exception that I am more translucent.

Social gatherings, girls nights out…I can get pretty weird. Weird like say awful or shocking things that aren’t quite kosher to say in public. I try to hold my tongue and it’s improved with age. So, this brings me to what the heck is going through my (any weird person or writers) mind to come up with this stuff?

Creatively, I believe one has predecessors which carried the artistic gene, the weirdo gene, or better yet the lazy gene. The last was just a joke. We may look lazy, but our minds are constantly spinning. New ideas, new plots, new products, new medicines! Just kidding, I wish I could creatively make up medicine to save people. Alas, no I only think up fictional stories.

If you are allowed to let your mind wander, you can create any storyline imaginable.  One of my best friends read some of my book and her first question was, “where did you come up with this?” My answer was, “I just imagined if my husband died what would happen?” And the story just trickled in from there. That may be a horrible thing to think about, however I was spending a lot of time alone because he was traveling and I wondered what I would do if he left me alone forever.

I take into consideration all the places we have visited and lived, which gives me the basis for locations and scenes. I am lucky in the fact that we have lived in four different states across the country, so I have a lot to pull from. Many of the emotions my characters experience are easy to emulate from my own experiences. Of course all of the scenes are fiction so most have not happened to me, but some have. I’ll never tell. *creepy voice*

Sometimes I will watch people and create their story, or wonder what their story might be. Everyone walks a different path, everyone experiences different things. Even if two people have experienced the same thing, their perspectives are going to be completely different.

I fell in love with love. Partly because I finally found my love, and he taught me what passion is and what pure compassion towards another means. I want others to be able to feel what I feel, even if for a moment. He’s the most forgiving, understanding  and frustrating man. Therefore, I take out the frustrating part on my keyboard. 🙂 He tells me to stop saying all the weird things I say and just put them in my book, so that’s what I do to save those around me from my eccentric ideas. He’s never read ANYTHING I have ever written, which may be a good thing because he might ask me to stop.

I day dream about the good, the bad, the ugly, the past, the present, the future and eternity. My imagination is limitless, although I do place restrictions believe it or not, and I know I am not alone. Everyone is just as weird as me, they just hide it better.

-Donna

I’m no poet, but here goes

My computer has been in the shop for three weeks and I still have another two before I get it back. Therefore, I’ve been working on short snippets to put somewhere in the book. They turned out to be more like poems. Which I’m not a fan of poetry, so I don’t know where I’ll put them. Maybe at the beginning or end…

He hated what he saw in the mirror so he cut it out
The blade fine and quick through his flesh like words slipped from the tongue
He can’t take back
His heart beat slow wringing out the last pain
The pain replaced by humiliation he accepts his fate

I Wipe Butts and Type All Day

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Today’s blog is written to sir mix-a-lot tunes. If you sing the title of this blog to his song it’s kinda catchy.

Yes, I wake up and the first thing I do is wipe my sons butt. The last thing I do before I lay my head on my pillow is type something for my blog, blogmutt, or social media. That’s my day. So, I thought I’d dedicate a post on exactly what I’ve been doing all day besides running after the kids.

Three years ago I started working for the company Lionbridge. I signed a non-disclosure with them, therefore I can not divulge everything. I can, however let you know how to get started if you think you want to give it a try. I will touch on the blog writing further down.

If your looking for some supplemental income, like computer work, or just want something else to do with your time, Lionbridge is great. They offer work from home Internet analyst positions and center around improving global marketing and search engine results. While this doesn’t sound like most people’s career path, it can almost apply to any field and keeps your resume from having a huge gaping hole in it from staying at home.

As far as pay goes, it’s more than minimum wage, but not enough to keep me around any longer than the three glorious years I spent hacking away on my computer keyboard. Contractors (your not an employee technically because you choose when to work) may work 10-20+ hours per week scouring the internet and rating the results search engines give you. I got paid once a month, on time, every time. I even got a huge bonus around Christmas my first year!

Sounds pretty simple. It is. It begins to get cumbersome though. When my daughter was 5 months old I started the hiring process. I had to study a huge handbook and take three lengthy tests. After each round you pass, you move on, and eventually congratulations your an internet analyst!

It was a great company to work with. All correspondence was done via email and webinars. The company is located in Ireland, I believe, so listening to the webinars wasn’t so torturous. For me, after I had my son it was too much to try and get done with two kids and not what I wanted to do with my time.

Put the kids in daycare and go back to work for my sanity, you say? No. It gives me the heevy geevies thinking about creating realtionships and leaving my kids with someone I don’t know. And since I don’t have to, I’ll figure something else out. I have never excelled at being a conversationalist (something my friends know and my husband loves to point out), nor am I great at building relationships with new people and KEEPING them. My relationship with my keyboard has been great, thanks.

This brings me to current day. Three weeks ago I emailed my resignation to Lionbridge and applied to Blogmutt the same day. God knew my path and showed me the way clearly that Wednesday afternoon. Blogmutt approved my application and hired me as one of their hundreds, if not thousands, of writers the next day. These writers write articles for company blogs which don’t have time or the desire to write.

This opportunity came out of no where and has help me tremendously in getting my writing groove back. I learn new things every day about the subjects I choose to write about. The articles that have given me the most success are marketing related, surprisingly. They have almost every subject under the sun, including salon and property management subjects, which is right up my alley. There are other companies that do the same; Writers Domain, Hubspot, Content Writers, Writer Access. I wish I could write for all of them, but I do not have the time and energy to earn a big fat paycheck at the moment.

Every day I wondered how in the heck was I going to find the time to get back to writing. I can’t take a class. I can’t pawn my kids off on a babysitter. And while my husband has afforded me the ability to not work, I can’t seem to be content with the kids being my sole responsibility day to day. I didn’t grow up with a stay at home mother, so the concept scares me. What am I going to do with my career when the kids grow tiresome of me and don’t need me every moment? I am not sure many work fields I am interested in will accept me being out of the loop for so long.

I know things will work out, with a lot of hard work. I’ve read writing is the poor mans job. Well, that’s perfect because I don’t do it to get paid. I do it beacuse it’s fun and challenging. I’m contributing in a way that satisfies a part of me that’s been missing for so long. If you have any questions about any of the companies I’ve listed comment or message me. I’d be glad to answer any questions I can.

-Donna

Where Does Inspiration Come From?

IMG_2182Pain equals Inspiration.

My first inspiration to write came in Middle school. A young girl died from a tragic train accident when I was 11 years old. I wouldn’t say I was particularly close to the girl. We had a gymnastics class together and went to the same school. She was a grade younger than me so we only really played together in the gymnastics class.

The news came over the intercom, and the stories trickled in. Young minds grasping and spilling the horrid details in animated tales.

There was a tree in my backyard I would climb to sit and daydream. I thought no one would find me there. I gathered some paper and a pen, and climbed the tree later that week. I don’t remember what I wrote, but I remember not being able to express what I was feeling to anyone. I didn’t want to. I owned the hurt and I didn’t want anyone else to see it. I also didn’t know the appropriate reaction I should have since I wasn’t close to the girl.

I tied my letter to the tree branch as high as I could climb that day, and I sat on my stoop and talked to her. The days and weeks went by and I continued to climb the tree, open my letter, rereading it and talking to her. Until one day I climbed and didn’t see the letter. The ribbon flapped in the wind loosely.  The end of it empty and lonely. The rain and elements took the letter along with my interest to write.

With that being said. The pain was the first emotion to cause the inspiration to write. To focus the anxiety into a story and words.

Joy also creates inspiration, but a different type. It’s not as intense and isn’t as moving in some ways. That’s for a different day.

I do not enjoy the pain. I do not wish for it or wait for it. It comes and goes and leaves me with something I didn’t have without it.

Pain is not weakness leaving the body, but strength collecting in the little crevices it creates. Each pain collected creates a new link to my story.

-Donna