Tag Archives: Blogging

Because We Have To

A few days ago,  I was really feeling down

I wasn’t my bubbly self and I haven’t written creatively in a few days

I had a busy weekend coming up that I needed to be myself.

I had a few hours after I had finished my work and before I had to run off somewhere

so I wrote a chapter my novel and couldn’t stop

within three hours I wrote 1550 words

it just started spilling out of me and my fingers were foxtrotting across the keyboard.

After I finished,

I was full of energy again and back to myself.

I think I had so many words that needed to come out that they were literally weighing me down

I write because I like to and because I have something to say,

but also because I have to.

Today I was rereading my second favorite book and it fit perfectly:

“What I’m trying to say is some people do things because they feel they have to. Some people paint pictures or make sculptures because they want to. They choose to do it. But some people do it because they feel that’s what they must do. . . . [Creating art or writing] it’s the only way they know how to make sense of themselves and the only way they can make sense of life. It’s the only way they know how to say something about themselves and about life they feel they need to say. . . . Strikes me you’re saying you do it to keep yourself alive.”

~ Aidan Chambers in Dying to Know You

typewriter-801921_640

Pixabay/Unsplash

Advertisements

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

One and a Half Regrets

People say to live life with no regrets, but that is almost impossible. 1½  regrets is pretty darn close and I’ll take it. The first one is silly: deleting a computer file that was critical. Not life changing, but I wish I didn’t delete the file. Now for the eyebrow-raising half regret.

I wish I started writing sooner. I thought not writing sooner was like a ball-and-chain made of pen and paper. Tears and joyful recounts were told to my parents and not to the thirsty pages of my journal. My thoughts were trapped in my mind, and not my eternal soul. I could be a more developed writer, and have a different, possibly better, perspective on life. Sounds perfect, right? But just like with all time-travel sagas in movies, even the small pebble on a pond makes ripples.

I like who I am, who I am becoming, with great tribute to writing. After-school hours would have been purple pens gracefully caressing off-white pages, but forgoing school clubs, reading and friends. Would I still be the same person if I started writing sooner? I’ve gone through some challenging experiences, and writing would have been a soothing companion, but what would I have otherwise not learned? Writing is life changing; how would this pebble’s ripple have altered me?

That’s why it is only half a regret. I honestly don’t know if I would change when I started writing, given the chance. I cannot go back in time, but with writing I can see back in time.


This piece got me published in the Creative Communications Fall 2015 Essay contest! 🙂

flicker

flicker

I Look Back

I have kept a journal on and off my whole life. I started my first journal when I was three and had my mom write with me at least twice a week. It’s interesting to read and see the world through a three, then four, then five, then six, and then beginnings of a seven year old. The things that were important to me, the people long forgotten. It captured moments and memories as plain fact, but no thought from my young self. Memories recorded from my parents building our family’s house to my first day of school to good recipes.

Then what is interesting is that I recently cleaned a drawer that a eight-year-old self pack ratted everything away in. Every amusement park ticket stub, family game night score card, things I made with my cousins, all there. It’s so interesting to see the paper objects that captured memories and how important to me they were at that time. I found a half written through journal I kept after first learning to write. The Bible verses that stuck out to me, notes passed back and forth from the Tooth Fairy, dreams. I also found short stories written and how silly some of them were and other stories were gracefully molded into something somewhat good. I was amazed that my young self knew how to form lines like that.

For Christmas of my Eighth grade year, my sister got me a book called ‘642 things to write about’. I practiced with perceptions, imagery, and slowly revealing the situation. This is when my need for expression through words and description really started. I had a compulsion to write and explain things in my mind. It helped my sort my life out and put it into words that now I am grateful to look back on. It was weird, but I would get almost a physical light ache if I had not written in a while. How amazing language is!

But by later in that spring, I still wasn’t getting my writer’s full of words and my mind down on paper. And so Marshalls got a fourteen-year-old riffling through all of their notebooks until she found the perfect one. It was a new experience for me, and it was exciting! I sat down to write and imagined everything that I liked or wish the author would have added to a novel written in journal form. The date, where I am, the time, and what day of the week it is, always end with a fact not a thought or feeling, the number of days I have written and a piece of advice to my future self and a picture to represent the day even though I am a horrible drawer. And of course a colorful pen, never pencil nor black or blue.

I have been writing with those same rules now for years and have only missed two days. My average length is two pages with thoughts, reactions, and experiences. My longest entry is fifteenth pages in a little more than four hours. Panic attacks are written in those pages. Homecoming dances are written in those pages. Rededicating my life to Christ are written in those pages. The very first rough drafts of my novel Varietal is written in those pages. My life is written in those pages.

I then started this blog in February of 2015 and have loved it so much. But there are some things I feel that I just can’t put on here. Sure there have been times when I felt like I wanted to quit writing my journal, but I just stick with it. It is mind-blowing how far I have come from a child me twirling around in my kitchen dictating to my mom what I did that day to my thoughts and ideals of today.

I just wonder when I look back at myself now years from now, what I will I think? What will I see? Will I take my ‘Future Self’ advice?

IMG_20150906_162429112

Some, not all, of my journals over the years


This was an exercise in writing my first memoir that I posted.

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

The Blinking Cursor

The blinking cursor

It is the scariest thing in the world

to some people

or to some

the most magical

So full of potential to help

or hurt

Always waiting

never stopping

blink, blink, blink

Begging you

to write

Put thoughts

into words

and words

into keystrokes

It’s nagging

It’s hopeful

It’s reminding you not to procrastinate

It’s an inspiration

Only writers

or creators

or high schoolers not wanting to do a term paper

will understand

It’s your badgering agent

It’s your cheerleader

Or maybe it’s just the computer’s way of saying

‘Type here’

The blinking cursor

It is the scariest thing in the world

or the most magical

 StockMonkeys.com / Foter / CC BY

StockMonkeys.com / Foter / CC BY