Tell The Truth…for now.

Okay, this is going to be the last TTTT post for a little while. They’re going on indefinite hiatus while my summer starts churning into something far busier than I ever expected. They’ll occasionally resurface, but maybe a little differently (mostly likely in the form of rants rather than current-day snippets. You’ve been warned!). Much of what I usually say here can be added to the What’s Up Wednesday blog hop that I’ll be participating in as a result of Ready. Set. Write!

Yep, I’m joining in. Ready. Set. Write! is a summer writing intensive hosted by Jaime, Erin, Katy, Elodie, and Alison. It’s open for signups today, and set to run until August 28th. Check out any of their blogs for a far better explanation than I could give (plus an opportunity to join in on the fun!). 

So, that’s the (short) truth for today. Writing, writing, writing. I’m excited to set some writing goals and join in on this community. No matter how crabby/grumpy/hermit-like I get when I don’t write, I still need strict priorities and goal-setting to get it done. 

And that’s the truth! 

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Tell The Truth Tuesday: Scrivener and Staples

Today has a theme! Things that begin with ‘S’.

1. Staples. I love refilling my stapler. It’s one of those little perks of working in an office; using cool office supplies because you’re actually doing work. I never use enough staples at home to refill the stapler.

2. Sunshine. What happened to it? I don’t understand you, June. It’s almost summer, and it’s 60 degrees and threatening to rain.

3. Software. I need Aeon Timeline. I’ve been needing something like this for a coon’s age, but it’s only available for Mac. *sob* I need to stop looking at it.

4. Scrivener. This beauty is available for Windows, and I’m going to break down and buy it tonight, I know it. I’ve wanted it for over a year now, but I’m a reluctant-to-change-what-if-it-breaks-my-mojo sort of writer. But if I can’t have Aeon, at least I can have Scrivener.

5. Swamped. Did I miss a memo or something? Is it Monday? Because the volume of work on my desk and the amount of time in a day and the events that are supposed to happen this week and all the things I’m supposed to do and nope, this isn’t a collision course at all.

Your turn! What’s the truth for you today?

Tell The Truth Tuesday

Today’s list is Things-I-Should-Have-Done-This-Weekend-And-Didn’t-Because-I-Was-Doing-Other-Things

1. Grad pictures. My sister is graduating this year, and she’s having a party in June. We were going to shoot a fresh batch of pictures for these invites, but it keeps not happening. This is mostly thanks to the rainy weather, too much traveling, family coming to visit, and general lethargy.

2. Comics. Three years ago a good friend of mine had major leg surgery. He was in a children’s hospital in St. Louis for over a month, and wore a leg brace with sixteen pins inserted into his leg, allowing the doctors to rotate the lower leg bone into the proper position over the course of nine months of therapy. Yeah, it was a big deal. As a get-well gift, I drew him a series of comics detailing our friendship, including the origins of our nicknames for each other: Charlie. Well, Charlie is graduating, and I have given myself a deadline of two weeks to finish a second Charlie-is-an-adult/goes-to-college comic. For being mostly stick figures and colored markers, it takes far more time than I usually give myself through my endless procrastination.

3. Reading. I was going to read non-fiction this weekend. Get through some of my fat biographies that I really do enjoy. Instead I curled up with To Kill A Mockingbird and was treated to a stunner. While I’m sorry that I didn’t get to read more, I’m not sorry that all I got was this fantastic book. Wow. Sometimes we give classics a free pass because the author is famous or his/her books are revered…but then you get a book that can stand on its own in every decade.  This one needs a reread.

4. Writing. Sigh. I didn’t get a scrap of writing done over this extended weekend, and I’m fit to burst with the need to write. I’m finally settling into the idea of rewriting this old project, and it isn’t taking long to reawaken my love for it. Must. Write. Now.

5. Rest. One of the things I love about my family is our ability to just be together. We don’t have to be planning maniacally or driving six different places to have fun. We can lounge together and drink coffee and tea and make waffles and watch Finding Nemo and be hermits all weekend and simply enjoy the fact that we’re together. Unfortunately, this weekend was travel and traffic and rainy days and less time together than a non-holiday weekend. I was on the road fighting Memorial Day traffic, driving 6 hours to my hometown in order to spend only 16 hours there. We had fun, but it wasn’t restful, and I’m still discombobulated from the whole thing.

How was your weekend?

Tell The Truth Tuesday: Weekend Thoughts

I love writing. I love getting the words out on the page and I love getting to know the writing community. I’m thrilled that school is done for the summer and I’m giddy about being able to write to my heart’s content. But, every once in a while, something else takes over.

This past weekend, it was this:

I’m not in this picture…I was actually the one up on stage, leading the songs for these 150 kiddos and 50+ volunteers.

Writing can often be/usually is all-consuming. I find myself looking for photos that relate to my WIP. Meal time becomes a contemplation of what sort of sustenance my character(s) consume. I occasionally even evaluate my wardrobe based on what I imagine my main character to be wearing. When immersed in a world of your own creating, you begin to eat, sleep, breathe, live, and occasionally even dream about that world.

Which is why last weekend was one of the best, loveliest breaths of non-writing air that I could imagine. After being swamped by work and school and health difficulties since January, I thought I was ready to dive write into my writing world. But I tend to forget that the writing cave, as comforting as cozy as it is, can be just that: a cave. I may think that I can jump from one all-by-myself hole into another, but life needs to be lived sometime.

So on Thursday I packed up my younger siblings and drove to Des Moines, where I dressed in red heels and a WWII-era handmade dress. I painted my nails and wore lipstick and had a fantastic red bow in my hair. I organized eight sessions over the course of two days for the 150 kids aged 5-12 who were in the children’s program, and I loved every minute of it. I didn’t check facebook, forgot about email, abandoned my blog, and only kept my phone with me in order to receive the hourly texts from a dear friend who became my prayer partner throughout the conference. I stood up on a stage and taught sign language and used an air slingshot and wore my incompatible-with-earrings microphone and did ridiculous faces and sang “I’ve Got Joy” in every style imaginable. I got down on my knees with the kids who were crying for their parents and sobbing over dropped lunches. I received hundreds of high-fives and gave hugs and learned names and tied the apron strings of our fabulous drama team. I spent my evenings doing dishes at the camp where the volunteers stayed, and I cut up apples and made snacks and prayed and was encouraged.

I’m going to be catching up on sleep for the next month, I think. But it’s worth it. I’m looking forward to having an entirely free weekend to disappear into the writing cave, but until then, I’m okay with being occasionally distracted. As much joy and release as there is in our fictional life, it can’t replace the experiences in the real one. You can’t always view your non-writing commitments as a nuisance or unwanted distraction. It’s called life, and it is what allows us to have something to write about.

Tell The Truth Tuesday: How To Survive Finals

I’m writing this as an epilogue to my coffee-filled and sleep-deprived week spent doing my straight-from-hell take-home accounting finals, so please note that this is a bleary-eyed, end-of-the-tunnel take on the end of the school year.

But…here’s Tuesday’s dose of honesty in list form:

HOW TO SURVIVE FINALS

1. Do what you can beforehand.

I had two massive comprehensive problems that were counted as part of my tax final. We were informed of their requirement two weeks before they were due, and while we had material yet to learn in order to complete them in their entirety, I had the opportunity to do most of them well before they were due. And I didn’t. Worst. Idea. Ever. Or so I realized after midnight on Sunday night as I counted down the hours until they were due and realized that sleep and my 8 hour workday had to fit in there sometime, also.

2.  Sleep.

Don’t believe anybody who says that sleep is overrated. You read better, think better, speak better, function better…caffeine is great; sleep is better. Mother’s Day afternoon I found myself redoing the problems I had been doing at 2 A.M.   It would have been far better to get the sleep needed and only do the problems once rather than spend twice the time and get half the sleep.

3. You’ll do only as well as the time you put into it.

A.K.A. You can’t expect an A+ grade on a B- effort.  I hated my government accounting class, but it was the one I’ve done the best in. Why? Because I struggled so much to learn it. For me, lack of comprehension = more studying = more effort = better grades.

4. Don’t assume.

This applies to nearly everything. But it came up on a final I have to turn in this afternoon; one that I need to discuss with my professor. There’s an entire series of problems that I believe should be answered N/A, because the information given is inadequate. I met with a few of my classmates for study group yesterday, and we discussed the problem. Most of them were turning the final in anyway, having plugged in some numbers using an assumption about the data given. I may be wrong on my assumptions, but I can’t be afraid to ask questions. I’m not just going to school to get a diploma that says I learned something–I’m going in order to actually learn it.

5. School finals are not directly related to the apocalypse.

Or failing at life, or anything remotely similar. You may rock this last week, or completely bomb it. But stressing yourself into old age in exchange for book-knowledge is a highly unfair tradeoff. Like everything else in life: you win some, you lose some, and you count your blessings at the end of the day.

So yeah, I survived. I intend to sleep for a week and start reorganizing my life around something other than an accounting textbook. I’ve got new summer commitments and a lilac bush blooming outside my window. My life is good.

Oh, and I’m signed up for classes next year, too.

Tell The Truth Tuesday: Finals Week Edition

I appreciate and despise take-home finals. While I’m grateful for the fact that I don’t have to be in class for 4+ hours taking a regular final exam, I also struggle with bringing one home and spending upwards of 7 hours on it instead. My government midterm was a 10 hour ordeal. Six of those hours were spent in an afternoon at the library, featuring one bathroom break and no electronics. Regardless of how productive I was/am, let’s face it: accounting finals are long, and without the time constraints of an in-class session, they’re even worse.

So multiply that times 3, add in the usual 40 hour work week, top it off with an out-of-state graduation to attend this weekend, and set a deadline of next Monday…now here is what my life looks like:


(source)

That’s all I’ve got today, folks. What about you?

Tell The Truth Tuesday

Full of randomness today.  Here’s the top 5.

1. It’s 80 degrees outside. I don’t know whether to be excited or confused because apparently it’s summer already? What happened to spring?!

2. Only two weeks of classes left. Whew. I can make it. Although it’d be helpful if my professors weren’t so trigger-happy with their quizzes and homework. I know I’m going to receive gargantuan finals in all my classes next week, so could you maybe lay off with the assignments this week? Give me a little time to prep? Please?

3. I drove back to my hometown (again) this weekend. I love everything about my weekends at home, although it’s still hard to have everyone ask when I’m coming back, as if that is still an option. I’m not sure if they truly believe that my move was on a whim or consider it a possibility that I’ll break my work and school commitments here to return.

4. I’ve started trying to write short stories (again). I’ve been on sort of a writing break for a lot of this semester, and I miss it terribly. So of course I’m writing again, with classes and end-of-the-school-year commitments breathing down my neck. Brilliant me.

5. Maybe it’s just the weather (full moon?), but drivers were crazy this weekend. Phone numbers on paper plates and shirtless college guys hanging out of their jeeps to leer on Interstate, gangsters in souped-up Cadillacs trying to chat at the stoplights (no, I don’t roll my window down on command), and prepsters trying to drag race in front of the mall (Okay, so it was the prime racing spot in the city and famous for what happens after midnight, but even still: I drive a 14 yr old wagon with the engine power of a sewing machine. Do I look like I’m interested?!).

What’s up in your life?