Tag Archives: Blog

On Writing

I started this blog back in February of 2015 in my freshman year with a transformative Creative Writing class. The class itself wasn’t all that transformative, yeah I learned good writing techniques and words for things I was already experimenting with. But I was transformed. I learned that my words were important. That people wanted to understand my perspective on life whether that was my Grandma or people from the 122 countries who have visited my words.

When I first started I was writing literally every day with multiple pieces per day. I joined the NaPoWriMo movement in April where you are, supposed to, a write a poem per day for the whole month. I ended up posting 50 pieces on my blog that month. I was always scribbling in one of several notebooks or typing a free verse up. I loved how I felt having finished a poem, the satisfaction that occured.

I continued on at this level for a couple years. In the process my poems and creative essays were published nine times and I had my play produced by a major university. I posted at least 3 times a week. Sure it was difficult to keep to the schedule sometimes, but it was worth it.

I made some great connects with fellow bloggers, some by their words and others talking personally. I follow so many other people’s lives no matter whether it is told through poems, pictures, or write ups about their day. I have found a great community here on WordPress.

But last year my Junior year of testing, huge academic stress, and personal issues hit and my urge for writing slipped. This wasn’t a writer’s block, I’ve dealt with that many times. This was different. To be honest, for the past year almost all of my posts have been saved from years ago that I dug up to have something to show. Sure, writing still gave me pleasure and release, but it wasn’t as much needed as before. I yearned for it’s satisfaction, and yet somehow I didn’t feel like something was missing.

A spark of inspiration would hit that a year ago would have taken a good 250 words to explain, but it would pass before I could get my fingertips to keys. No matter how hard I tried no logical form of letters would escape my keyboard. (You can read a poem about this here)

It’s been over a year since I’ve written my novel. In a year’s time I’ve written only ten poems. I’ve written two short stories in a year. That’s it.

It’s sad.

But I’m accepting it.

However during this time, I have also written a play that received high praise and discussed options for touring. I also written another play to try to see if a third piece can be performed at the major university to break the record there for amount one person’s work has been performed. But my motivations were different for these. I wrote for others, not for myself.

I’ve been writing all my life (read a piece about it here) and have continued to keep a journal for five years. I still have been doing this and have no intention of stopping. It’s fitting though that the journal I’m writing in its cover says, “My Journal: The Original Blog”. Sometimes I just record what I did that day, a funny story, a perceptive. Other days I write lengthy opinions, prayers, parallelism to my life, poems, frantic thoughts.

I don’t want to say good-bye to this place made up of ones and zero and yet which is so so so much more. This has been my life for four years. I’ve written so much. Honestly, sometimes I stumble upons a piece that I completely have forgotten I wrote. Like the words are new to me and they came from my brain only a year ago.

I miss writing poetry the most, a form of expression that I thought was silly years ago. It is true thought captured on a page. (I explain what poetry is to me here)

I will continue to be here. And my blog will continue to be here. But my blog and I will not continue to be here together.

This send off is hard. It’s heavy. It’s thick. But it’s not messy. I knew it was coming for a time.

Writing is still and always will be a major part of my life, but it will depend which part. Writing for everyone and anyone, for a small group of readers, or simply for me.

So I’ll still be around, writing and wandering. But this blog is going to be static for a while. I don’t know how long a while is, but there are 432 other pieces of mine to read.

See me later,

~MavelVarietal

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Lessons From a High Ropes Course

Yes, I will be following the trend of writing a blog post after completing a high ropes course. And yes, I will be following the trend of telling you that I learned more life lessons than physical strain or balance. So, let’s get rolling with all that motivational writing and inspiring speeches! 😉

First, like many other bloggers, I figured out why I am a blogger and not a monkey.

I got stuck two or three stories up in the air and called out for my mommy.

Well, let’s begin at the beginning first though. I was born at Genesys Hospital  . . . Okay maybe not that far beginning. 😉

I went to high ropes course with my sister and my cousin. I had already completed three lower level course, I was feeling pretty bold so I went for the challenge.

I got challenged alright.

I was half way across the obstacle when I figured out that I was stuck and was getting tangled in ropes. I also knew that I couldn’t go backwards, so the only way was to go forwards. First motivational/inspiring/life lesson: when you feel tangled in life or just want to go back to better yesterdays, the only thing you can do is keep moving forward. You can’t live life looking in the rear view mirror. Neither can you live life looking backwards on a high ropes course. Instead of looking back at a haunted past or better memories, use those to fuel you in your journey forwards. Instead of looking how far you have to go on the high ropes course, look at how far you have come.

So I untangled myself and felt quite pleased that I had thought about that life lesson. I took a few steps . . . and fell off the rope.

Don’t worry, I didn’t fall three stories, I had a harness on.

That harness was actually still caught on the rope. Just enough for me not want to get it off the rope and just enough for me to wish it hadn’t been caught. With the harness caught I couldn’t wouldn’t move because it was an extra safety. So I did the only logical thing to do, I called out for my mommy on the ground below.

Oh, and did I mention that my hat had fallen off, my hair was all in my eyes and my glasses barely stayed on my face? So I put my glasses in my pocket, and without them I can’t see five feet in front of my face. Well that is if I could see at all because of my hair. Oh what a pretty sight I must have been.

Second motivational/inspiring/life lesson: do what the Bible says. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “For we live by faith, not by sight”. I took a deep breath and just closed my eyes, tried to find a way to get myself back onto the course.

Third motivational/inspiring/life lesson: God is like a high ropes course harness. God is always hanging on to us as we navigate the obstacles of life and will keep us from falling when we make a wrong step. It is okay if we make some mistakes because we know God has our back.

Fourth motivational/inspiring/life lesson: to move forward you have to trust God and sometimes that means letting go of what little control you have. To move forward on the course I had to let the harness slip off of the rope. I trusted my harness and it didn’t let me down.

So I finally made it through that obstacle, only to watch my cousin zip through what I had struggled so hard on.

She’s a monkey, not a blogger.

Of course all of this happened a year ago. Don’t be silly, I wouldn’t showcase my masterful failure days after it happened, I need time to lick my wounds! 😉 Fifth motivational/inspiring/life lesson: it is okay to admit mistakes and problems to others. 2 Corinthians 1:4 says, “[Jesus] who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” Admitting troubles can be an outreach tool.

A couple weeks ago I went back to that same high ropes course and tried that same obstacle. I don’t know if I deserve that old saying though, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”.

I watched others complete the obstacle and analyzed what worked and why. I then compared what I learned with what I did wrong last time. Sixth motivational/inspiring/life lesson: self-analysis works. ‘Nuff said.

I completed with course not in record time, but I did complete the course. I had three secret weapons though: past experience, watching and learning from others, and I prayed the whole time. Knowledge is power, but God is all powerful, so I’d rather take God over knowledge.

Seventh motivational/inspiring/life lesson: God cares about and listens to even our little problems. Prayers don’t have to be all about world peace and finding the cure to cancer, prayers can be about everyday things or even about high ropes courses.

Eight motivational/inspiring/life lesson: facing old struggles with God can be empowering. You not only feel accomplished but also good because you relied on God.

Once I finished the course my mom’s first words out of her mouth were, “So when are you going to write a blog post about the high ropes course?”

Yep, I’m a blogger, not a monkey, but more importantly I’m a Christian. Thank you God for being my harness.

high-ropes-course-58665_960_720

Pixabay/user:Hans

Me: Year One

365 days ago I logged onto WordPress for the first time and willing to take those first few keystrokes literally changed my life. This being my 225th post, I figured I would break through the computer screen talk/type a bit about my blogging experience.

By blogging I pushed myself to become a better writer; not only that but a better person too. Creating this blog has lead to new friends, new or deeper ideals, various awards, and expressing myself in ways that my daily journal could not.

I think some of the things that really changed my process and style of writing was participating in NaPoWriMo which was extremely challenging as I made a foolish goal of trying – succeeding mind you – for 50 posts instead of the required 30. I learned how to look at the world around me for inspiration whereas I had always looked into myself. By doing this and having recently re-dedicated my life to Christ near this time I began to see through my writing a better outlook on life I was developing.

A huge contributor to growing my blog size was looking for similar interested people on WordPress. Just by my sheer likes and followers I have, am I amazed that enough people like my thoughts on the world in the way I express them. I wrote about this before, but I find it so interesting that I learn of a person’s deepest emotions without ever knowing there name or anything about them beyond their ‘About Me’ page. I have found people who I would call true friends that live hundreds to thousands of miles away from me!

I do not believe starting a blog could have been as beneficial than when I started it. It helped me figure out questions and answer those questions in a constructive way and something to look back on to see my thoughts again. As I have said time and time again, I found who I am, but also what I stand for.

As you can probably see from my right side-bar I have had the honor to be published twice – hopefully soon I can make that a third time – and currently awaiting to see if one of my plays can be performed.

As of today, I have been writing everyday from 641 days straight with only missing two days of forgetting to write. Sometimes I hand-write for four hours and other times only ten minutes, but it always helps to put my day and feelings about it in colorful pen.

Although I do not talk a lot about it on this blog, even though part of my user name is the title, I am writing a novel called Varietal. Oh I know most people say they are, but it never goes anywhere, but I prefer to be an outlier in that generalization. My novel is currently 48,000 words which roughly transfers to about 185 pages in a book. I am no where near finished, but I had to start all over and scrape it all this summer. It is the exact opposite of what I normally read, but something that I love to write. The best way to describe it is novel driven by theme with touches of political satire.

I have only one regret about this blog. My username/pen-name. I think Marvel Varietal was a good fit in the beginning of my blog, but not for the current writer I am. Sadly, it is very hard to change once I am this far. I would want my username to be CallMeDearest. Because of Matthew 25: 21 “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” I want to be God’s faithful servant, his Dearest servant. Another reason is because a great mentor and friend calls me ‘dearest’ followed by my first name.

My absolute favorite quote about writing is written by Tahereh Mafi, “We write every day, we fight every day, we think and scheme and dream a little dream every day. Manuscripts pile up in the kitchen sink, run-on sentences dangle around our necks. We plant purple prose in our gardens and snip the adverbs only to thread them in our hair. We write with no guarantees, no certainties, no promises of what might come and we do it anyway. This is who we are.”

So that is about my two cents on my 365 days of blogging! 🙂

I recently wrote a bit about my writing for another blog and I thought I would share part of it here:

I am floating in a river of words, letting the current carry me where the individual droplets think my expression should go. I create tributaries into new styles when trying new forms, but the river has remained in the same direction. Writing not only helps me find who I am, but what I stand for. Certain forms and ideas cling closer to my pen such as poetry and short stories. I drink in my words and let them reconcile my thoughts. The seemingly never-ending pelting drops of life rain down on me and writing enables me to spray my turmoils into water bottles, fish bowls and swimming pools. I have found my specific current, my writer’s voice is forging a picturesque straightforward concept and then finding a crack to exploit in it. As I look back, I see how fragile and vulnerable my creations were, how, that life-giving sustenance slipped through my fingers. However, I am also proud to see that those pieces were put to use to help me get to this point in my river.

Wondering what is around the next river bend,

Marvel Varietal

year one

I Ponder

Isn’t amazing

that we can meet and

know the deepest thoughts

and fears

and loves

and beauty

of someone across the world

without ever knowing their true name

their job

or even what they look like

Their facial features

become the appearance of their page

Their voice

becomes the words and writer’s style

The judgement and stereotypes

melt away

and turn into reading between the lines

to truly judge if they are worthy

of clicking the follow button

I ask

I wonder

I ponder

Which is better?

Face to face

we not might give them the time of day

but

looking at a screen

we give them our deepest selves

but hide what everyone sees.

LucasRichter / Foter / CC BY-SA

LucasRichter / Foter / CC BY-SA