A Lost Friend

For decades gone past and decades thought to come, but not now. Why? An offense. Perhaps, but seemingly small. Something so small to throw it away for. And yet, to her family, the same thing she does because alienation is somehow comforting.

Olive branches abound, but without result, and I’m left wondering: why? Is there more to try? More to abandon? More to know? But silence doesn’t yield many answers in the bitter cold. Occasionally my mind searches for clues it can’t find. Give up, give up, give up, counsels the other side of me. So mostly I do.

But every now and again, like a perfect sunset, the voice whispers again to try. How many olive branches must I send? How many olive branches do I want to send? In me old feelings rage for revenge, but pointless they truly are. After all, bitterness is merely drinking the poison you meant for another and it damages only yourself.

So, for now, I have to let it go, let it sink to the bottom, let it disappear. I hope for a better future, rooted in the reality of possible permanent loss. Too bad. Too sudden. To the next time.

Have you lost a friend due to their choice and not yours? Do you have a voice inside encouraging you to reach out every now and again? Or have you let it sink to the bottom for good?

I didn’t know what to write for a blog post. And to be honest I haven’t known what to write, so I thought I’d practice expressing my feelings for events in my life. Not always sad, but today this came to mind. I actually sent this friend a Christmas card after having not reached out for several months. The parting was this year. She’s pretty stubborn, so I think it may be a long while. And it may be that this is the end, but to quote Kermit the Frog, “Life is made up of meetings and partings; that is the way of it.

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler on Pexels.com

Keep Trying. Even If You Keep Failing.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I haven’t been great at blogging, despite joining #Row80 to try and motivate myself. It’s not that I’m unmotivated per se, just that with a 9-month-old super energetic kiddo, and a part-time job, to the surprise of no one, I just feel tired and often I forget.

But I still want to do this. And that’s the thing. In fact, that’s what separates those who do and those who don’t. To keep going. Consistency is the real building of success. Now, in the beginning that consistency may not be so perfect. I always think of working out, I guess because it’s an easy to grasp analogy. You probably won’t get in shape if you don’t work out with some consistency. But you definitely won’t get in shape if you don’t work out at all.

I have weeks where I just have a bad week. And there’s a part of me that tells me: Well, you screwed this up, so you might as well quit altogether. Wrong. There’s more strength in dusting yourself off and trying again and again than trying hard for a few days and quitting completely.

You may be in a season of your life where accomplishing the goals you want to is just tough. Accept that and keep moving forward. I didn’t accomplish all the goals I wanted. I didn’t do NaNoWriMo, at least not the way I intended. But I have been outlining another book. I’m still creating.

There isn’t a time limit on your creativity. You may have put some on there, but keep creating even if you miss it. Now, yes, I acknowledge there are some deadlines you’ve gotta make, like if you’re submitting to a contest or an agent. But don’t waste the energy getting down on yourself for not measuring up the way you think you should. Shrug your shoulders, try to do better, and try again. And again.

I’m not giving up on you blog. And there’s no way I’d ever give up on writing. Let’s try again.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated? Are you more forgiving or more condemning of yourself when you miss your goals? Do you have a post about this topic? Post a link in the comments and I’ll come check it out.

Introverts Unite (At Your Own Separate Locations)

I have a man who is in charge of recruiting at a college frequently complain to me about Facebook and how he doesn’t like/understand it. I find this extremely amusing and somewhat tragic as he’s a recruiter at a college. Since 99.9% of all college-going kids are going to be on Facebook you’d think he’d be learning all he could about the elusive Facebook on the ever more elusive interwebz because it is a tool that can help make him look better at his job.

Alas, he is ever stubborn about refusing to participate in that fad the kids call the Facebook. It doesn’t stop me from reminding him how ironic it is as a recruiter that he refuses to use a powerful recruiting tool.

But I digress.

What I set out to talk about was Facebook. More specifically how I appreciate Facebook for linking me to article I would never have sought out on my own. Take a recent article on the HuffPo about how to interact with introverts.

It includes a neat infograph/comic that describes how to understand introverts and being an introvert myself, I jumped for joy. Plus I felt like it gave me a lot of insight into how I deal with people.

The gist of the article, which is info a lot of you probably already know, is that extroverts gain their energy being around people while introverts generate their own energy being alone. So an introvert values that energy as precious and doesn’t want to waste it on unnecessary interactions. One of my favorite parts of the infograph.

via Huffington Post (Roman Jones)

via Huffington Post (Roman Jones)

When I’m in a conversation I feel like is a “just to talk” and not that the person actually cares that I listen to the words they’re saying, I do feel this angst/anxiety to exit quickly. It does wear me out to have these interactions. Not that I don’t want them. But I think understanding this about myself can promote a better relationship between those friends of mine who are extroverts and me.

If you have introverts in your life or are one yourself, I highly recommend checking out the full article, especially the infograph.

That’s not to say I don’t like extroverts, even though they do steal my energy. For me it’s usually a mostly equal trade off. Extroverts help me get out of my shell (or hamster ball) a little bit and typically allow me to be a little more silly and goofy with them. That’s particularly why I like the variety of personalities and people in the world. It would be too dull if we were all the same or even similar enough.

My own two cents to the extroverts is to be cool if us introverts just don’t want to chat. It’s not that we don’t like your or want to hear about your stuff, but we may be low on energy and need to recharge.

So are you an introvert or extrovert? Did you find the article helpful? What advice would you give to an extrovert dealing with an introvert or vice versa? Especially you extroverts. What advice do you have for us introverts? Let us all know below.

You’ve Gotta Work At It

I work at a business college of sorts when I’m not gallivanting off to take people on vacations, so I’m around a lot of 20-somethings. And these 20-somethings are the might-still-be-18 or just-turned-20-somethings. Young is my point. Sometimes they seem really young.

But as I writer I think it’s supremely important to eavesdrop on as many conversations as you can, more especially when they occur in your vicinity and you didn’t even have to seek them out. This particular conversation wasn’t hard to eavesdrop on, not only because it was happening behind me prior to the beginning of a forum, but also because they were loud talkers.

It was a girl and a guy. The girl spoke of her high school years, which happened waaaaaay back in 2013. She was the star athlete of her tennis team. She had actually transferred to that high school, but because she played tennis so well, they put her on the team and she was the top player.

She mentioned how her school probably, like, totally sucked. Like, they just wanted her because she knew how to play and that made her look good in comparison.

I truly believe she believes she wasn’t that good at tennis in a general sense, but she was probably hamming it up a bit to feign modesty for the guy she was trying to impress.

But it was something she said that really struck me that almost made me turn around and correct her, but a) then they’d know how much I’d been eavesdropping and b) I doubt they would have cared what I had to say anyway.

She said something like:

I’m honestly not that talented. I just worked hard. I practiced like 4 hours a day and practiced really hard and that’s why I was any good at playing. But I wasn’t born with talent like some people.

I won’t do the all caps on you, so just imagine this next bit is me yelling passionately, but I wanted to say to her: talent is nothing without effort. Do you really believe someone like Serena Williams got to where she was today because she picked up a racquet and discovered she was suddenly a pro tennis player. She may have had a natural ability to learn quicker than most, but I can guarantee you she was out there busting her butt, probably harder than anyone before her to get where she is today. True talent comes from hard work. You’ll never be very good at anything if you don’t put in gut-wrenching effort!!!

I know this is an attitude prevalent among our society. That anything you have to make effort doing means you lack that talent. I know for a fact there are many aspiring writers out there who believe they just write and liquid gold pumps out of their keyboards onto the screen. We probably all still have that attitude a little bit when we scoff at editing our work. Even though I know editing has made my writing a bajillion times better than before, both then and now and in the future, sometimes I still just want to be lazy.

But even to get as far as I am today, I had to work hard at it. And the thing is, if you put in efforts to magnify whatever talent you have, you increase the amount of it.

So my dear 2013 high school graduate, the fact is you are talented at tennis precisely because you worked at it.

You’ve gotta work at it. You’ve gotta work at anything you want to be the best at. Many articles say it takes about 10,000 hours to master something, which means unless you’ve already spent 8 hours a day for 5 years of productively doing something, you can’t call yourself a master.

Sure, there are people who haven’t put in this time who get far or in a writing case, get published. But if they truly want to master their craft (and they should) the improvements should continue on. My own personal goal is to always do better than my last project, which is honestly why Book 2 is killing me. But I’ll get there, because I’m working hard.

Hard work is the answer. Hard work gets us there. Hard works makes our talent shine.

Have you noticed an attitude of ‘born gifted’ around you? What would you have said to Miss Tennis Player? Have you noticed your own talents improve because of the hard work you put in? Anything else you would add?

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

Last night I went bowling. But that’s not the whole story. The summer of 2012, the BFF and I had this summer pass we bought that let us play 2 free games every week. So we went and bowled and bowled and bowled. Sometimes our games were good, other times not so much.

In fact I used to tell people I bowled a two-seventy—two games, seventy each. 😉

It was soooo frustrating to practice so much and feel like we weren’t improving. We looked up techniques, asked other bowlers, but our scores didn’t seen to move.

It had been awhile since I’d last played when it came to last night, and it seemed like things were going as they usually did. Then this happened.


I’ve never gotten a turkey before. Ever. This was a personal best for me. Part of it was taking a step back, the other part was not over-thinking my techniques.


It’s good to study technique and practice and improve yourself. But there can be too much of a good thing. Sometimes a break is necessary to move forward.

But what you take a break from depends entirely upon your individual situations. Maybe you’ve been editing too long. Maybe it’s time to start editing. Maybe you’re reading too much. Maybe you’re not reading enough. It’s just as important to cut the wood as it is to sharpen the saw and vice versa.

A mentor of mine recommended after finishing Shade I write something completely different to freshen my writing. I switched from third POV to first and from fantasy to a bit more contemporary. That’s how Project Clemmings was born. And it seems like this has been much easier to write–not that it should be easier per se. I just feel like I’m finally bowling a 142. I have a wise mentor.

So whatever you’re doing, take a look at your projects and goals and ask yourself how you can take a step back. How can you rejuvenate yourself as a writer? Or how can you keep yourself rejuvenated?

Then bowl a turkey.

Have you ever had to take a break? Was it helpful? What do you do to rejuvenate yourself?