You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘writing’ tag.

This is me making an effort to get the words flowing this morning.

I like Fall. In spite of my commitment to feeling cold as little as possible, the brief experience of Fall we have here in Texas is something I dearly love. An opportunity for cute layering and boots, a solid reason to never be seen without some kind of warm beverage in my hand, and colors– magical colors that you’ll miss if you blink.

This small window of Fall also tends to give me a creative boost. Novel writing is a journey like nothing else I’ve ever been on. I like thinking about how for each writer it’s sure to be a different kind of journey, deeply personal in completely different ways. The section of writing I’m working on right now is rather painful. It taps into my own experiences in life and love and of course, it tends to sting.  And I get in deep, this has always been a thing for me while reading, too. I’ve been known to put a book down for years because I had become so deeply drawn in that it was effecting my mood and general state of mind. I can’t do that with writing and expect to get it done, so my answer is to balance my feelings with other creative processes. Get out of my own head for a little while, give myself a little break from the content that is causing me to brood, and look at other people.

One of my favorite artistic distractions at present is Instagram. I’m not a brilliant photographer, but I deeply enjoy what some people are calling iPhone Photography. For me the pleasure is in using the camera that I have at hand to capture something subtle I’ve noticed. It’s nothing fancy, just fun. My particular favorite theme for this hobby is Photos of Strangers. I’ve perfected the art of snapping a photo without the subjects knowledge, which, let me tell you, isn’t easy, but it’s necessary for the type of photo I’m looking for. I don’t want awkwardness (unless their natural awkwardness is what’s inspired me to snap the picture) and I don’t want a posed photo either. The key for me is capture people doing what people do when they don’t realize anyone’s looking.

Here are a few of the shots I’ve gotten, enjoy, and happy Fall. =)

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Silence. My answer to a mind that is so full of ideas and so frustratingly slow at figuring out

how to bring those ideas to life. Everyone who says anything about blog writing would surely call my blog a huge disaster– I break all the rules. It doesn’t really matter.

I found myself sitting in a booth and enjoying a meal twice today. If you’re a lady, you know

that sitting in booths can be a love/hate situation. On the one hand they’re comfortable; the seat is more forgiving than a hard chair and in most cases you feel like you’re in your own private corner of a restaurant. In general sharing a booth with someone feels more intimate and cozy. Sadly, when it’s time to go you’re faced with the less pleasant side of booth-sitting, which is getting out of it. I’m not sure if men have this problem, I’m sure some must, but I think of this as an issue that, for the most part, frustrates women.

You’ve managed to glide into the booth with relative ease, not the same as taking a seat in chair,

granted, but you’ve executed it with enough grace that it doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable, but. If you’ve had the misfortune of having shared one side of the booth with your dining partner, rather than sitting across from them, then you are as far from freedom as is possible. You begin the undignified lean-and-scoot method used by all interior booth-sitters, gently, hoping with all you’ve got that by some miracle you’ll be able to do this without looking like you’re bouncing your way out. The level of dignity lost depends solely on the lower half of your outfit. There are a few fabrics in existence that are merciful during this stage of escape. However, if, God forbid, your legs are bare, then you might as well kiss your aspirations to Audrey Hepburn-esque poise goodbye. As flesh clings to vinyl, you realize that your partner has already made it to the door and there’s a bus boy making his way to clear your table. Desperately you begin to cling to the edge of the booth, trying to claw your way out. Finally you’re able to swing your legs around the free end of the booth and scoot your bum down the remaining inches of the bench. At that point you focus all of your energy on not looking like you’ve just done half an hour on the stair-stepper and make any necessary adjustments to clothing that have crept from where they should be during the ordeal. Once you’ve righted yourself, you walk out, head held high, as though nothing at all unusual has taken place, but feeling certain that every person in the restaurant has watched and taken bets on whether you or the booth would win the fight.

After suffering the interior booth-sitters fate twice today what I’ve realized is that this scenario,

my friends, is very much what writers block is like for me and I have come to this conclusion:

There’s no lady-like way to get out of a booth and there isn’t a poetic way to end writers block.

Consider this blog post the beginning of my lean-and-scoot, desperate clawing, leg swinging attempt to get myself out of the wordless hole I’ve been lurking in. =)

Rachael, Kristin, Kaylan, and Kari

Rachael, Kristin, Kaylan, and Kari

Writing a novel is the best thing I’ve ever decided to do.

It’s hard work. It’s frustration and tears. It’s learning about myself one sentence at a time.

At this point I don’t care at all if anyone else loves it the way I do.

 

So, most of my spare time is in some way, shape, or form, given over to this writing project. When I’m not actually sat down at my desk or a table at Starbucks filling blank digital pages with the words in my head, I’m thinking about a character and the way they smell, or talk, or wear their hair. Or I’m thinking of what I need to go back and re-write, what needs to be added, a detail that I didn’t know until I had written this far. Honestly, it’s work that is very hard to step away from and for the first time in my life that’s a really good thing.

Last night I did take some time to step away, though, and I had dinner with my sisters.

All of them. Including my sister in-law.

We had dinner at Abuelos in Austin and then coffee and desserts at Mozart’s after.

It was a beautiful and fun time together.

I figured I’d better enjoy it while I can because someday I’ll write a novel about all of them and then they’ll all hate me. Ha! =)

This morning I woke up to my Monday 7:30am alarm and went into the bathroom.

When I came out I realized that my bed looked like a small tornado had been sleeping in it. My duvet cover was rolled and twisted into a heap on the left side of the bed up by where my head would have been. No wonder I’d woken up kind of chilly!

So. Mondays are for writing and I am listening to new writing music and trying to not be too bogged down by yesterday.

Yesterday was a hot mess.

So many emotion, so many random bouts of crying, so many things not going the way I thought they should have. When you’re a girl you have these days. Maybe guys have them too, I’m not really sure, but the way these days are met by the men in my life with a look of confusion and mild terror makes me think not.

So here I go.

Writing.

Wish me many good words.

photo (14)But not really.

I am supposed to be taking video of myself talking about lust for a church project that I wrote about over here.

After 1+ hours of trying to make this video happen I feel utterly ridiculous and have learned the following which I will share with you via bullet point list (so that it looks official and I feel better about myself):

  • Speaking and writing are different. I like to do both, however, where I write best when I’m alone the complete opposite is true of speaking. Staring at a video reflection of myself and talking is weird. Just. Weird.
  • I make terrible faces which I would rather not know about (above is an example). This is why God put my eyes in my head and not in the palms of my hands. I’m sorry  that means all of the people I talk to have to endure it, but we must all play our part.
  • Sometimes webcams make computers crash which means you have to resort to taking video with your phone.
  • What I think is cute hair is not cute hair in videos.
  • For me, maintaining train of thought while talking requires gesticulation with both hands. This means that I sound like an idiot in all eight videos I took with my phone.
  • Propping the phone up on something to free your hands prevents you from getting the good selfie angles. And apparently I’m vain.

 

Finally, and with more anguish than was really necessary I looked to the heavens and groaned, “God, I love you,  but why does loving you have to make me look so stupid?!?!??!?!!”

And God said, “Really, Katie?”

So I put on my big girl panties and called my sister and asked her to take the video of me later this afternoon.

The cool news is that God doesn’t draw comparisons, he’s not giving me a list of people who have it way worse than I do, because lets face it there are many things worse than having to take a video of yourself. He’s not rubbing that in my face. He cares that this process makes me feel like a rambling, ridiculous, ill-qualified, idiot and he loves me, horrible faces and all.

So later today I’ll make the video and not because I got slapped with how insignificant my feelings of ridiculousness are, but because God loves me and I love him, too, and he asked me to do it.  Period.

 

I’m a phoenix in the water
A fish that’s learnt to fly
And I’ve always been a daughter
But feathers are meant for the sky
So I’m wishing, wishing further
For the excitement to arrive
It’s just I’d rather be causing the chaos
Than laying at the sharp end of this knife

With every small disaster
I’ll let the waters still
Take me away to some place real

‘Cause they say home is where your heart is set in stone
Is where you go when you’re alone
Is where you go to rest your bones
It’s not just where you lay your head
It’s not just where you make your bed
As long as we’re together, does it matter where we go?
Home home home home

So when I’m ready to be bolder,
And my cuts have healed with time
Comfort will rest on my shoulder
And I’ll bury my future behind
I’ll always keep you with me
You’ll be always on my mind
But there’s a shining in the shadows
I’ll never know unless I try

With every small disaster
I’ll let the waters still
Take me away to some place real

‘Cause they say home is where your heart is set in stone
Is where you go when you’re alone
Is where you go to rest your bones
It’s not just where you lay your head
It’s not just where you make your bed
As long as we’re together, does it matter where we go?
Home home home home home home home

‘Cause they say home is where your heart is set in stone
Is where you go when you’re alone
Is where you go to rest your bones
It’s not just where you lay your head
It’s not just where you make your bed
As long as we’re together, does it matter where we go?
Home home home home

Home – Gabrielle Aplin

Quiet mornings around here are actually “quiet” mornings as I live in an apartment. This apartment is one building with only four units owned by a couple who live in California. They are stunt people in their 30’s. My age.

The couple who live above me have two daughters and, it seems, various step children. Their day (every single one of them including weekends) starts roughly at 6am with the stomping of children, the running of dogs, the doing of laundry and the vacuuming of floors. There are some days I feel slightly less gracious about it than others.

Today it’s alright. I got up early myself to do some chores and arrange some things, so I figure we’ll all just make noise together.

In January I’m going to start working on a book. Just typing that is mildly horrifying to me only because, well. I don’t want to be one of those people who says, “Oh, I’m writing a book” and then it either never comes to be or  it’s cheesy or something. I have no idea if it will be a good book, I have no idea if anything will come of it, I have no idea if anyone will take me seriously when I say, ” I’m writing a book”. I honestly have no idea if I even have any business writing a book.  What I do know is that its something I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl,     … actually, it’s something I’ve believed would do since I was a little girl. There was never just the wanting to, there was always the certainty that eventually it would happen.  What I also know for the first time in my life is exactly what I want to write and how I want to write it. In the past when I’ve thought of taking on a project like this it’s always gone fuzzy in my mind at some point because it could never quite take shape. This time I can see it with razor sharp clarity and it’s leaking out of me in ways I can hardly contain.

Good sign I think.

Anyway. I’m going to be doing that and I’m not expecting it to be earth shattering, ground-breaking, amazingness. But as a dear friend encouraged, “Everyone must start somewhere. Everyone must have a first so that you eventually get to your best.”

I’m about to enter a new season. I’m going to be spending a lot of time writing… well at least more time than I have been. I’m excited and a little nervous about it. But I am absolutely sure that it’s something that needs to happen. I guess the part that makes me nervous is that I know if I am going to do this there are going to be some big changes that have to take place and change is always scary.

With my schedule the way it is now I will never be able to squeeze in the amount of work that I know I need to be doing and even if I could manage to get it in I don’t know how I would be able to focus through the whole thing. This means that I am going to have to take a leap of faith, trust that God is in control and free up some space. I know exactly what space needs to be freed, It’s just really hard getting it done.

This afternoon I just kept thinking I wished that I could have someone tell me when it was the “right” time to take that kind of leap. Is there ever really a wrong time? I don’t know. What I do know is that I don’t want to get 30-40 years down the road and think, “man I wish I had stopped doing a job that was sucking my soul dry and took a risk to write, to travel, to get involved in the things that I care deeply about, to speak up and speak out.” I have to do those things. I can’t not.

Pray for me.
I don’t know what all of this looks like.
I don’t know where this will take me, but I want to be willing to go. I want to be able to drop my nets to follow Jesus.

I’m a fairly intelligent person, I feel. Some days I get some grief from some people about the fact that I write about fashion, makeup, celebrities… relatively unimportant things like that.  Some days I’m the person giving me grief. There is a method to my madness, however.

I’ve been keeping diaries, journals, web-journals for almost as long as I could write. I remember the very first diary I had… I wish I had kept it, but I couldn’t have been more than 6 when I got it and it didn’t occur to me at the time that I would want it down the road. I got it at a garage sale, the pages were different colors and the outside was a kind of soft plastic  with a gum-ball machine on the cover, and then there was the lock and key. That lock was what had attracted me to it, the idea of having my thoughts locked up safe, sound, and secret on the pages thrilled me even then.

I can’t put into words what a difference it makes to have my feelings immortalized in some form of print, but there’s something satisfying about it. Feelings and thoughts are like vapors over the span of a life, and it’s almost as though writing them down gives them weight… significance… so that the richest or most devastating of them doesn’t just pass away into nothingness over time.

I was aware of that even at that tender age, and so from that time on I kept a journal, and dutifully dealt with all of the drama that came with it. Tear stained pages (oh yes, and there were moments when I intentionally cried right over the pages too), sisters trying to sneak a read, and then there was the lovely time a friend found and read a portion and then quoted it…  in front of the entire youth group. That was fun, you know, in a mortifying sort of way.

This was an area where my mother shined, however. In this she was the best mother she could possibly be for me. She never once touched, opened, or read one of my diaries or journals and she upheld my right to that privacy to a fault.  You can ask any one of my sisters who felt her wrath for having breached it. To this day I consider it the best gift she’s ever given me, second only to life. I can only imagine how hard it must have been to know that so much of the unknown was there on those pages, and to have the grace and dignity to just let it be. I hope that if I ever have children, that I can be like my mom and give them that same freedom, as it has meant so much to me.

Through all of my struggles, learning about life, the highest of the highs and lowest of the lows, writing has always been my faithful friend and coping mechanism. I consider my journals a conversation with God that’s spanned over 20-something years.  And with the introduction of web journaling, it became a conversation with others too and spawned friendships that I never could have imagined. Those journals were like a sanctuary for my mind, being able to not only write down the things going through my head, but to have others read them and understand.

So why now have I mostly abandoned writing about thoughts and feelings publicly and instead spend my word count on shoes and lipstick?  The simple answer is that in this season of life, the thoughts and feelings are too big, and often times they hurt too much to spell them out, and it comes as a relief to let go and think about ugly shoes.

Not to worry though, I still keep a hand-written journal for the hard stuff ;>

I’m looking for blogs to add to my blogroll so if any of you know of a fantastic blog that I just wont be able to live without please let me know

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