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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Be not the slave of your own past...

I think that I mentioned something about reflection earlier in one of my posts. That's where I've been lately... in a place of introspection and self-awaking with regard to my writing endeavors. Now, I'm certainly not trying to sound too deep. I'm simply stating what's happening in me. Now, this has happened before, to a degree. But, never with such resolve as I've seemed to muster this time around. I'm determined to go beyond my past.

On of my favorite quotes comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson. I even have it framed and on my bookshelf in my writing area. (Mary Engelbreit painted a great pic to go with the quote.) He said, "Be not the slave of your own past - plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience, that shall explain and overlook the old."

That, my friends, is where I am today. As I contemplate 2009, and what I wish to accomplish, I meditate on this wisdom. Now, I cannot guarantee my self to be a published success. What I can guarantee, or shall I say what power I hold, is that of resolution and dedication to the craft. If I give it my best, my true and honest best of self, I can insure that whatever happens, I can be assured that my time will come.

I hope this serves as inspiration and encouragement for those of you struggling to find your voice or your identity as a writer. Always remember... writers write!

XOXO CJ

Shoe Mood:









Getting back to business!

Now, this is just a little something that I do on my website. Everyone seemed to love knowing what "shoe mood" I was in from day to day. So, I thought I'd do it here. It's just a little fun way that I like to express myself. ;-)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I'm Feeling "Scrappy" Today...

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas this year. We sure did in my house. It was a very reflective one as well as relaxing. There was something quite pensive and peaceful about it all. Very different from years past. Not that they haven't been nice, it's just that I think I'm in a different "place" this year. Things took on a deeper meaning for me and my family. Aside from the wii, guitar hero, and the ipod touch, that my girls were surprised with, they too, took on a different and more meaningful attitude towards this holiday, in-spite of the exciting gifts they received.

I'm excited to have this next week off from school and ministry. I've needed a break for some time now. Best of all, I'm fully recovered from that stupid viral funk that hit my tummy-tum. WOW! That threw me for a few loops. The "Jingle Jam" that I directed went on after a snow delay, and was wonderful! The kids did a fabulous job! Now, I lay and wait for New Years, contemplating my next year and what I want to make of it. What about you?

Well, sweet writer friend and fellow cyber-lit-chick Nora, nominated me for the "Honest Scrap Award." What an honor, seriously! It's nice to know that people see me for who I am...I hope.

As taken from Nora's explanation of the process:

"Scrap means left over, fragments, discarded material. Many times truth and honesty are discarded material, considered fragments and left over. People like us need to tell it like it is, and let the scraps fall where they will. There are 2 guidelines for receiving this award. One, you are to list 10 honest things about yourself. Make them interesting, even if you have to dig deep. Two, present the award to 7 other bloggers."

Okay, here it goes...

1. I'm 41 years young. Now, I know that that might not seem like one of the honest things to list, but, hey... how many times have we've been told that women should never admit their age? Well, I'm admitting it, and am proud to do so! I'm not ahsamed to be aging. I'm finally at a place of real contentment, courage, and confidence.
2. I tend to take on too much, making me a, "Jack of all trades and master of none." Then I get terribly frustrated with everything and everyone.
3. For someone with such a type A personality, my desk it a total mess. And there are times when I'm really busy that my house looks like it threw up on itself. (Particularly my laundry room and writing area.)
4. I've walked away from writing on three separate occasions. Just gave up on myself. But, I've recently found a renewed sense of self in my identity as a writer, and believe that the third time will be a charm.
5. I didn't meet my biological father until I was 25. I still struggle at times with it all. We are no longer in communication after a few years of trying to make it work. Sometimes, parents can be so selfish.
6. I never realized how selfish I was until I became a parent.
7. I'm a shoe whore.
8. I have no patience for perpetual stupidity. I try... really, I do. But, I've not been able to stomach it. (Especially, when I'm the one being stupid.)
9. I still miss my Grandfather so much it hurts. Especially when I want his input on my writing.
10. I think I will always wonder if I've been the best wife and mother that I could have been.

There they are. 10 honest things about myself. Now, I must nominate 7 others. Let's see... Kelly Pollack, Danette, Angela, Becca, I'll be back shortly with the others.

XOXO CJ

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh, how I love Christmas...

The brisk winds and crisp chill of the air. The honking of geese as they fly south for the winter. The faint ringing of church bells in the distance on a dark still night. The crunch of snow beneath my feet as I trudge along the whitened path. The array of colored lights reflecting their beauty off of the ice like multicolored semi-precious stones. The laughter of children as they are wound with the energy of the holidays. Christmas carols, foil-wrapped presents, and the desire to do good deeds. Holiday plays, manger scenes, and star-topped trees. Good wishes, merry spirits, and feeling the depth of love. Being loved. Celebrating a special birthday. Oh, how I love Christmas.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sheeeeee's Baaaaaack!

Hey Y'all! Got back from warm Florida a week ago and have been running and screaming like a banshee ever since.

Had a fabulous time with our families. Visited St. Augustine (one of my all-time fave places to be), savored Thanksgiving at a relaxed pace (almost forgot what the word "relax" meant), and enjoyed just taking a breath. Especially at the beach. I miss the ocean living here up north and more than two hours away. I was a spoiled Native-Floridian, never more than 30 minutes away from the fresh salty-air and beautiful white-noise of the ocean waves for most of my life. Heaven on earth is what the beach is to me. Simply delightful. But, now I'm back and returning to normalcy.

Anyhoo, needless to say, I DIDN'T make the NANO deadline. But, I will say this, although I fear the judgment of cliche', I have a beautiful beginning of an awesome manuscript with a totally fab hook. (In my humble opinion, of course.) So, I'm honestly pleased, and on my own deadline for completion of my first draft by the end of January.

I should have known that I was taking on too much by signing on to do it. But, It did force me to press in and find the next story that I was looking for. How 'bout you?

Also, I wanted to take this time to encourage you to buy books this holiday season. Some publishing houses are experiencing lay-offs and restructuring, so... BUY BOOKS! Support your fave authors, publishers, and book stores. Imagine a life in limited print. No wonderful smell of dusty pages turned by fingertips dampened by the tongue. Okay, I know it sounds dramatic, but could you imagine if publishing houses were few, and we had to rely on e-books and comp. screens to read new releases? Uggggh. No thanks! I'll save the screen for blogging and surfing. I prefer books for the reading.

XOXO CJ

Must Reads

  • "A Long Fatal Love Chase" by Louisa May Alcott
  • "Gone With the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell
  • "I Capture the Castle" by Dodie Smith
  • "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo
  • "Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier
  • "The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing" by M.T. Anderson
  • "The Grace Awakening" by Charles Swindoll