Dec 042017

250 words.

On the surface it doesn’t seem that hard, and yet I’m sitting here wondering what the hell I was thinking when I decided to take on this “challenge.”

Let me back up a step.

A few weeks ago Sam Falco, a friend and (if I’m being honest) someone who I consider to be a bit of a mentor, tweeted about a 14-day, 250 words per day writing challenge that he was taking on. The point was just to write, essentially. Kind of like Morning Pages, I suppose, but instead of being stream-of-consciousness writing that nobody was supposed to read the point was to get the work out there in front of others.  I kept tabs on him during the challenge, making sure to poke him when I hadn’t seen a post go up on a given day and thoroughly enjoying what he put out there. Several of the pieces he wrote made me want to reply in kind, but mostly it just reminded me of how much I used to write back before the days of Twitter and Facebook.

I miss those days.

All those factors combine with another pretty big one. Today is the first day, pretty much since 2001, that I am no longer a student. I have completed the coursework for my second Masters degree, and I am just waiting for the final grades to come in before I can officially say I have earned my Masters in Business Administration. It’s been a very long, very hard, and very expensive journey. It feels odd to know that part of my life is over. On the plus side, I have a very strong desire to put some of the things back into my life that went by the wayside while I was finishing up school. Acting, for one. Reading for pleasure is a big one in there too. And, of course, my writing.

So. 14-day challenge. I’m generally scornful of the whole challenge thing, so we’ll see what happens. I may end up cheating and pulling out a few of the many unfinished drafts that are clogging up my WordPress Administrator, but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll just enjoy expressing myself in more than 280 characters for a change.

We’ll see.

The song currently stuck in my head is…

Jan 022010

Image courtesy of adamr.stone via flickr.

Alex approached me as I was getting ready for bed last night to tell me that his blood glucose level was low. This was, quite honestly, a bit of a shocker considering how much food we had eaten over at our friend Kari’s house during the course of the day. I realized, though, that I’d had him take his evening shot of insulin when we got home and that he hadn’t eaten anything since so it made sense. It was just weird. In any case I told him that he could go ahead and make himself something to eat because I was about to literally pass out in my chair and I was not in the mood to stay up and cook something for him.

“Oooh!,” he says to me, “I’ll fry up some fish!”

Alex got a deep fryer for Christmas. He didn’t get it from me, and when I saw it on the list of things that he wanted for Christmas that he passed on to his Grandmother I specifically told her that she did not have to go out of her way to get it for him. She did, though, and now he’s the proud owner of a Sensio 13401 Bella Cucina 3-1/2-Liter Stainless-Steel Deep Fryer. While I must admit that having a deep fryer is pretty much the height of awesome if you’re a teenager and you like to cook, this item concerns me for a number of reasons. The obvious one is, of course, the fact that I’m overweight and have had two strokes and fried foods are really not good for me. On top of that, though, I have that whole parent fear of him burning himself while using it or burning down our house (or both). This is an irrational fear, and I am aware of it, but that doesn’t stop me from having it. Like me, the boy is silly and can be highly irresponsible, but as a general rule he takes himself pretty seriously when he’s cooking and he’s never given me a reason to think that he’d do something stupid that would result in injury to person or property.

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Dec 192009

Probably not too terribly interesting to you guys, but there ya go…

Week One, Exercise Five

Write a letter to the editor in your defense. Mail it to yourself. It is great fun to write this letter in the voice of your wounded artist child: “To whom it may concern: Sister Ann Rita is a jerk and has pig eyes and I can too spell!”

To Whom It May Concern:

I do not understand this exercise. It is poopy. Poopy things are not fun and I do not enjoy doing them. Unless it’s taking a real poopy. That isn’t so bad. I like to read when I’m having a poopy.

Yeah, for real. I’m totally not getting this exercise and I believe it’s one of the reasons I’ve been held up for the last few weeks. Letter to the editor in my defense? What’s up with that? I think it is supposed to be in response to the horror story that I wrote about, but I’m not really sure that I have any particular person I need to reply to in regard to that one. I mean, I’m the only person who made me feel bad there. Nobody else was responsible.

So there ya go, editor. That’s my letter to you and the statement I need to make. You don’t have people bringing you down. You bring yourself down. You are surrounded by people who support you in what you do and believe in you. The only thing stopping you is your own mental blocks.

Which, in the end, is what all of this is about.

Week One, Exercise Eight

Imaginary Lives: If you had five other lives to lead, what would you do in each of them? Whatever occurs to you, jot it down. Do not over think this exercise. The point of these lives is to have fun in them – more fun than you might be having in this one. Look over your list and select one. Then do it this week.

Actor (full-time), Writer, Teacher, Motivational Speaker, Nutritionist

Nov 242009

Another exercise I had was to write a thank you letter for one of my happy pieces of encouragement…

As I mentioned in my post yesterday I had a very hard time coming up with three enemies to my creative self-worth due to the fact that I had far more positive artistic influences in my life than negative ones. That said, I had an equally hard time listing three positives because there were a LOT to choose from. I did manage to finally pick three to write down, and of the influences I selected was Salvatore “Sam” Falco.

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Nov 232009

Editor’s Note – As part of my work with The Artist’s Way I am occasionally required to complete certain assignments that are intended to help me discover the things that have me “blocked” as an artist.  Unlike the daily exercise of completing 3 pages of long hand in a journal these stories do not, necessarily, have to be private.  As such I figured that since I was writing this anyway I’d go ahead and put some actual content in this journal for a change instead of letting it fester here unused.  Please understand, though, that what I am writing is not necessarily going to be a rational take on my experiences or any kind of plea for help.  On the contrary, these entries are actually part of a conscious effort to improve myself and my self-worth.

I have been asked to describe one of the “monsters” from my past that has held me back as an artist.  I really had to think hard about this because, frankly, I’ve had more support than not in my quest to be an artist. After thinking about it for a while I did manage to come up with my three, and here are the details on one of them…

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Mar 032009

I think I might need to take another look at The Artist’s Way. Sam got me a copy of it several years ago, but the touchy-feely aspects of the book really turned me off and I put it down.  I don’t even know where my copy is.  Krystalle picked up a copy of it for herself a few weeks ago, and while she was just as put off by those aspects as I was she has been working with the program and it seems to be making a big difference for her.

I need to do something, though. I feel like I’m out of touch with my writing.  I’ve gotten used to communicating via 140 character messages on Twitter and I seem to lose cohesion on my longer posts very quickly.  Yesterday, for example, I started writing a piece on super hero archetypes as leaders and why Bush, who could be compared to Batman, failed.  It started out strongly enough but I just kinda fizzled out and ended up saving it to a text file on my desktop.  I may or may not pick it back up again at some point.

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