Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Random post of RANDOMNESS!!

Hello school. Could you PLEASE throw a break in between now and August? Sincerely, Burnt Out in Georgia.

Really wanting to see The Avengers. HOW did I not know Joss Whedon did this? See, I TOLD you I was busy!?!? Oh, and btw, the only reason I want to see it is because I've developed a weird-villain crush on Loki. :D

Tired of reading about the Enlightenment. Thank GOD the French Revolution happened and jolted me out of that!

Bought a new Irish Pub cookbook. Think I'll make some chicken and leek pie tonight. Mmmm...

Only fourteen more weeks until my summer break!! Yippee!!

I actually -brace yourselves- WROTE this morning. Something OTHER than school work!! I'm sure you felt that tremor this morning. It wasn't an earthquake. It was the sheer inconceivability that I sat down to write!

*InconCEIVable* Say this with a lisp. It's way funnier.

Off to make dinner and talk myself into running! Have a wonderful week and forgive this random mess :D

~Jen

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Playing Catch Up

**DISCLAIMER** This one's a bit long what with the pictures and all.

Good morning, dear readers! How is Tuesday treating you? As we all know, last month was crazy! Inspiring! Panic inducing! It was the A-Z Challenge. While I didn't post everyday (nor did I get around to half as many new blogs as I wanted) I DID finish my story. Now, I have a new toy to play with :D I knew it was going to be a longer piece when I started the challenge but I wanted to get it out there and see what kind of reaction it received. Judging by your comments, I *need* to write this story! So thank you all for your encouragement and for giving me back my passion for writing. Seriously. I was beginning to wonder if I should change my major to history...again.

What else have I been up to besides school work, school work and MORE school work? Well, with these new classes, I've actually had some down time! Huzzah! I'm hoping this down time won't come back to bite me in the rump in the coming weeks but I'm enjoying every second of it! This is week 2 of my current classes and so far I'm able to breathe (as if my appearance here two days in a row isn't confirmation enough of that!) Here are a few pictures of some things I've been working on. You know, for your viewing pleasure :

When I get bored, I usually re-do something in the house. These chairs were given to us by a good friend and, while they serve their purpose in life well, they weren't exactly the best things to look at. So, I gave them a little kick:

BEFORE

AFTER

Ta-DA! Amazing what a little fabric and a staple gun will do!

My mad decorating skills didn't stop there! No, I found this desk for $5 at a yard sale. I've been looking for a writing desk for sometime and $5 fits snugly in my budget. It went from blah to well...I'll let you decide:

BEFORE

AFTER

*that's Colby, by the way. he has a penchant for sitting where he shouldn't and looking at the camera when you're not taking a picture of him specifically...*

Ooooh! Aaaahh! Actually, this one made me take a step back and say, "Good job, self! Nice work!" Yes, I do talk to myself like that. Most of the time I have nice things to say to myself :D

Finally, the courtyard. WOW was it a wreck when we moved in to this loft last July. Here, see for yourself:

Moisquito coast. Seriously. So, with a LOT of elbow grease, a gallon of bug spray, and more swear words than I care to confess, here's the progress:

PROGRESS


A BIT BETTER

BEHOLD!


So. There you have it! I haven't just been holed up in my little loft, gouging my eyes out with Milton and Descartes and more misogynistic literature than you can shake a tomato stake at! I've been out, gotten some fresh air, and refurbished some furniture! Now if I could just figure out how to convince my landlord to let me paint those gosh-awful brick red walls...

Thanks for indulging me!

WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO BESIDES WRITING, WORKING, AND A-Z CHALLENGE RECOVERING? ANYTHING INTERESTING? SPECTACULAR? DOWN RIGHT BORING? JUST CURIOUS :D

Monday, May 7, 2012

A-Z Reflections and a big THANK YOU



Good morning! Today, Alex has asked us to post a reflection on April's A-Z Challenge. What can I say? The challenge is perhaps the most intense and exciting thing I've participated in since I started blogging over 4 years ago. Sadly, I wasn't able to post every day (and I'm STILL trying to catch up on all the emails, comments, and NEW FOLLOWERS I have received! Don't give up on me yet, guys!

What did I learn? A lot. I learned that if I want to write -and I mean REALLY want to write- I really have to go after it. It's not going to just show up at my desk, scoot my school work aside and say, "Yo! Get with it!" I kind of wish it would. Make things a heck of a lot easier if it did.

Or would it?

Discipline is an ugly word in the world today. People like instant coffee with their drive-thru breakfast. When you're going after something as elusive seeming as publication, spending your spare time doing what others consider work (and it IS HARD WORK) sometimes you can feel alone. And more than a little crazy! Or, if you're like me, you find your time monopolized by things that, though you chose to do them, takes away from you the precious writing time you crave.

I realize that no one can give me more time. I simply have to MAKE the time for the things that are most important to me. AND I don't need to beat myself up with I feel I fall short. Others have different schedules. Others have more, I don't know, gumption to post every day and comment and visit and -well, I swear THOSE people have a time turner and I wish they'd let me borrow it weekly!

That all said, I had an amazing time with the challenge, met some amazing new blog friends and I look forward to meeting others that I've yet to visit! I'm sure I'll be thinking about this challenge for a long time. It has really helped me take a good, hard look at my schedule and my priorities.

Thank you Alex, Lee,Matthew, and all the other amazing co-hosts out there!! You guys ROCK!!! Seriously.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group


Time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post hosted by the amazing Alex Cavanaugh! If you haven't heard of it, or you're just dragging your feet, wander on over and sign up! You'll be glad you did :D

After the A-Z Challenge, there's only one thing I can really think of when I hear the phrase "Insecure Writer" and it's this: AM I DOING ENOUGH? Am I doing enough writing, enough promoting, enough blogging, reading, working on my craft? Am I encouraging others, helping others in their journey? AM I DOING ALL I CAN WITH WHAT I'VE BEEN GIVEN?

I wasn't able to post everyday during the challenge. I crammed posts together and I did finish the story to which I was committed. Some people call that creative. Others, cheating. Maybe it was a little bit of both. But the point is, I had to make a decision. Devote the majority of my energy to school work and miss a few days of A-Z posts? Yes. I had to. As of yesterday I am officially a college senior. One more year and then it's on to grad school. This is something I've wanted since I was about seven years old. And it's hard. REALLY, REALLY HARD. Had I only stuck with it when I was fresh out of high school...nah. I was SOOOO not ready for all this back then. I mean seriously, who is?!?!

The point is, I had to make a tough decision. Actually it's a tough decision I make everyday. Spend 6-8 hours + on school work and not get any writing done OR spend considerably less time on school work and eek by with some Bs and Cs. Honestly, the last option really isn't an option. The better grades I get, the better chance I have at getting into the grad school of my choice and the better opportunities I'll have afterward for college teaching positions. This is a decision that will effect the rest of my life. And so I toil.

BUT

Writing is WHY I'm in school. It is an English/Creative Writing degree after all. So what about all that writing? Well, it's all cooped up in classes like "Humanities 201" and "Introduction to Shakespeare" [which just happens to be my schedule for the next 8 weeks]. Instead of working on a novel or screenplay (which I'd rather be doing) I'm writing weekly term papers on Baroque art and the mental anguish of Macbeth. Sure, it's writing. But it's not...WRITING.

The point is, my mind is constantly on what I feel I SHOULD be doing and now what I AM doing. If I'm working on school work, I feel I should be blogging. I mean, that's where my platform is going to come from, right? And everyone knows how gosh-almighty important that writer's platform is these days! And what about that novel? That screenplay? Those short stories and essays I had planned on writing each day and submitting? Yeah. Those. Well, they're all playing second fiddle to Bachelor of Arts. And I have a feeling they will until June of next year.

Am I doing enough? Am I doing all I can with what I've been given? I honestly don't know. Part of me screams, "Yes! You can't do any more!" but there's another part of me, deep down, that whispers that maybe, just maybe, if I was brave enough, I could kick it up another notch and really shine.

What's got you feeling insecure today?