Back In The Saddle
It has been far too long since I posted here. Summer has a way of sidetracking me --- that' is a good thing, right? I mean, we all need a little vacation now and then, except...I wouldn't exactly call what I've been on a vacation. It's more like one heck of a wild ride.
Summer means I'm still doing everything I usually do, only now with house full of bodies (living ones, thank you very much!) and noise. Even though the hectic pace is kept up, my writing projects are not. Sure, I get in a few hours here and there, stolen mostly from budgeted housekeeping and gardening time. I try to sneak in a sentence or two while the TV is blaring downstairs or - shame on me! - when I bribe my youngest with games on my Ipad. But solitude is my style - my writing style, that is - and so it hasn't been easy to work at home. No excuses, just fact.
With the beginning of the school year right around the corner, though, it's time to get back in the saddle again. First things first: I have to make sure to pick the right horse.
I have so many books I want to write, it's hard to decide which unfinished manuscript to take out for a ride. Do I keep going with my series? Organize my essays for a book of daily inspirational tidbits? Work on the memoir? Polish up the children's picture books? If I take too long choosing my ride, I may just take the lazy man's way out, putting it off until tomorrow. A tomorrow that may never come.
I don't really want that. The only way to change the result is to change what I'm doing.
Last night I got spurred into action by climbing unto the wrong saddle: I filled in at the front desk at my old "day job". After the initial discomfort of trying to remember how to do once simple tasks, and familiarizing myself with the new operating system, I managed okay. It was a job I never minded doing, and they would probably have me back, if that's what I wanted. However, to use one more horse analogy, that steed is not going to take me where I want to go, not for all the prodding in the world.
And so, it's time to get back into my custom made saddle of being an independent writer/author/illustrator. That means making choices and acting upon them, working hard, and doing the unpleasant bits (no one likes to muck a stall! - Can anyone say "marketing"?) in order to enjoy the rest of the ride.
Here's to happy trails!
What's On Your Radar?
As a writer, I am always gleaning, mining the mundane for the sublime. It's not something I can help doing, it just happens before I'm even aware of it. But then again, I do try to keep my eyes and mind open.
The world is full of hidden wonders - some not so hidden - some buried under layers of misconception or irrelevance just waiting to be discovered. Whether or not we find them may depend on what we're looking for.
Truth is on my radar. Wisdom is my gold.
That wasn't always the case. There was a time when being right was more important to me than being educated, when appearances took precedence over practicality. A time when my little concentric world revolved around, well...me. I was tuned into whatever supported my dearly held beliefs or made my arguments stronger. I preferred validation over truth, a pretty narcissistic way of thinking.
"To see truth and beauty, our vision must focus outward, even to see it within ourselves."
The world, you see, is a mirror; we are the reflection. If what we're looking for is only ammunition to mount an attack, well, there's plenty of that lying right there on the surface. If we seek ugliness, then that is what we'll see in everything, including ourselves. To make ourselves feel better, we may point out the flaws in others and ignore our own. But... if we're looking with a higher purpose, with an aim of seeing the best in everyone and everything, we will also find what we're looking for. We'll see the beauty and light that surrounds us - all of us, regardless of our differences - and bask in its glow.
"Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise - think on these things."
You don't have to agree with anyone's theology, or lack thereof, to recognize the simple truth in that. Fix our radar on these and we can overcome any darkness. Love will grow in our hearts, and we'll add our light to make the world a brighter place.