Thursday, October 27, 2011

Scared and Loving It

Have you ever stopped to think-really think about-what you're scared of? I'm not talking about any deep soul searching (unless you're up for it). Just name the first thing you can think of.

Me? I'm afraid of forgetting to turn something in on time in my classes. I'm afraid of messing up so I usually talk myself out of trying new things. I'm afraid of responsibility and, as strange as it sounds, of greatness.

I'm also afraid of zombies and anything headless, but that's another story.

It's important to understand what you're afraid of? Why? I honestly believe that you can not know yourself until you know what you're afraid of and understand why you're afraid. This isn't philosophical. It's coming from someone who appreciates good, old fashioned horror.

You cringed, didn't you? Most people do. Or they look at me like something weird just crawled out of my mouth and onto my shoulder. Horror, as I see it, enjoy it, and write it, can be defined...well, I'll let the Horror Writers Association describe it for you: GO HERE. Don't worry, it's not a long read. I think you'll find it enlightening. Go on. I'll wait...


There. Now you know. I don't dig pointless gore and disgusting mess that modern America has dubbed "horror". For me, horror is more about the human condition, about people facing their fears and discovering what they're made of (or, on some occasions, what they're not made of). Once you've faced your fears, you feel invincible. You feel a lightness, an odd sense of being, as if you can do anything.

Until you come up against another fear. And then you have to go through the stages all over again. It's all about conquering self. Not the ghost, goblin, traffic cop or mother-in-law.

So. What ARE you afraid of?

Go on. Scare me.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

my favorite halloween tale

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. An oldie but a goodie. I have always loved this tale and it has always scared me senseless. Why? Could it be the fact that something could walk around and "think" for itself without a head? That's just disturbing to me. Missing limbs don't bother me, but remove a head (or just the eyes) and I'm totally creeped out! Seriously.

When I was little, I would watch the cartoon version on the Disney Channel. CARTOON. And I would have to sleep with the light on. Every unaccounted for noise was the Horseman coming for me. Why would he come after me? I don't know. My name has absolutely no similarities to Ichabod. And for that, I am most thankful.

But I kept watching it, kept scaring myself stupid.

And then I'd read it. Talk about atmospheric! Have you ever READ Irving's original short story? You must. And I won't even put a link to it online. No, this story needs to be savored with the crackle of the turning page for a soundtrack. Trust me on this one. Dig it up from the library. Read it. You'll be glad you did.

Then came Tim Burton. Let it be known: I have a huge crush on Tim Burton movies. Seriously. Just about anything he does I love. Slap his name on it and I'm there. When his version of the old Hessian came out, I went. Why? To get over a life long fear of all things headless. Did it work? No. I'm still terrified of the idea of anything walking around without a head. But I love it. And I watch it, as many versions as I can find, every year.

And I still have to sleep with the light on.

So. What's YOUR favorite Halloween tale?

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Monday

Hey guys!

Thanks for commenting Friday! The wedding went well, I did get free cake (as well as some amazing BBQ!) and some great shots as well. I got to shoot the film camera which is way more my speed than digital. And I didn't have to hold a single reflector. Huzzah!! The bride and groom are both good friends of our so the entire weekend was enjoyable.

As for the elevator speech, it went great. According to my professor I'm a natural (What the what ?!?!) and I made a 100 on it. Yes, I am tooting my own horn. Go me.



Sorry the posts haven't been about anything in particular lately. My focus is off. I feel as if I'm on the cusp of something. What the something is, I haven't the foggiest. Speaking of fog, that's about how my brain feels right now. Expect more rambling posts in the near future. As in this one.

Happy Monday! I hope your week is fabulous and, if like me, you're lacking some focus, things will come together soon.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Random Post!

See? At least I warned you. Don't worry, you'll thank me later.

This week has been crazy!! You'd think composing a speech that has to be less than two minutes long would be easy. Ha! I say. It's an elevator speech. Apparently everyone needs one. People compose them for businesses, causes, even book pitches. I thought about doing the last one, you know, considering I'm a writer. But honestly, I couldn't figure out the best way to describe my book! I've been working on the darn thing for over TEN YEARS and I can't figure out how to describe it to a total stranger in less than two minutes. Am I a wuss for not fighting through it? Maybe. I decided to do something a bit easier. It's a business idea I'm working on. It allows me to be sarcastic and witty. I wield those swords well so I decided to go with that.

This weekend some friends are getting married and my husband is the photographer. I usually assist him (read: carry equipment and hold reflectors when necessary). It will be fun, but tiring so I've spent the week doing school work so I wouldn't have to worry about it this weekend. Hence the "no blogging" zone this place has been. Double hence the "no visiting" blogger I've been. Oh well. Next week is another week, right?

Happy weekend to all! Get out there, be fabulous, write your hearts out! And remember to have fun :D

xo Jen

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

pausing for station identification...

Twelve hour power outage.

Public Speaking class requiring a speech a week.

Pain in the neck.

A gloriously gloomy day.

I'll be back soon, loves! Do take care.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pillows, yes, pillows.

First of all, I just noticed I have a couple of new followers. Hooray and welcome :D Tea and coffee are served all day and there's always something sweet in the kitchen. Make yourselves at home and feel free to rummage amongst the steamer trunks and bookshelves.

Oh, and that silly blog title. Yeah, see, remember that LIST I blogged about the other day? Well, I wanted to try an experiment. One that has me writing every day. It may not be on my novel, but I'm still putting words to paper and/or screen. These little essays are enjoyable romps through words and I thought, hey, why not post them here!

So, if you log on Monday and notice me talking about really random things like sheep, the Headless Horseman or pillows, you'll know that I've not gone crazy; I'm just following the yellow brick road of that ridiculously long list I've constructed. Which I'm still constructing! Seriously; this topic collecting is getting out of hand...maybe I can find a homeopathic remedy for it... one of these trunks...

Happy weekend to all! Now go forth and be FABULOUS! And don't be afraid to write about whatever comes to mind. Even pillows.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hello my name is Jen, and I'm an Insecure Writer

Maybe there are some writers who are born with an innate ability to not care what other people think about them. I, however, was not one of them. Every time I sit down to write, either creatively or academically, I am concerned with exactly how I sound to someone else's ear.

Was that phrase too archaic?
Did that word make sense?
Is my character insane and, if so, should I care?

I'm always second guessing my writing, heck, I've always second guessed my life.

Until recently.

I'm in the final year of pursuing a degree I started 16 years ago. A Bachelor's. According to "everyone" I should already have that, already have several degrees. But I don't. I stopped, I started, I stopped again. And here I am, thirty-something and still in pursuit of that first degree. And I'm ok with that. Really. I can see now that to finish what you start is really the goal. Once I achieve this educational goal, I can move forward to the others. It doesn't matter if people think I'm lazy or easily distracted because I wasn't able to settle for one program of study until now. I matters that I know where I'm headed and that I take the steps necessary to get there.

The same is with writing. I can't worry too much about what other people say, that I should already be finished with that darn novel I started ten years ago (yes, that novel does exist, on a shelf...somewhere). I shouldn't care that the story I'm working on now has nothing to which I can compare it. And I shouldn't care if people question me about my writing and I have no other answer than to show them a stack of red-marked papers and grin.

"It's none of their business that you have to learn how to write," Papa Hemingway said. "Let them think you were born that way."

I love to read Hemingway's quotes when I'm feeling down about my own writing, when I'm insecure in the path I've chosen. I'm sure he had his moments of doubt, but his strength is what shines because he wrote from a place deep within that we all, as writers, must go: the very heart of his passion. A passion for words and story.

Insecure or not, I must get to that place. That's where I must go. And it doesn't matter if those around me understand or agree. It matters that I see the vision to the end.

Now, go forth and be FABULOUS!

**This post was for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The List

I created a list a thousand years ago.

Or so it seems.

Can't really remember why. Something I read perhaps? A spark, an ember of an idea from some brilliant soul.

Whatever the reason, it started and grew and grew some more until the folder which it inhabits is bent and burgeoning with paper guts peaking out from all corners.
My Master List I call it. Snatches of ideas. Words. Phrases. Memories. Colors. Constellations of ideas there and waiting for my imagination to connect the dots, form the pictures.

Write every day, the experts admonish. A novel, a poem, a half remembered dream?
Matters not, they cry, so long as you write. And so I created a list, a thousand lines long.

Or so it seems.

And for a while, yes a long while, I have fodder enough.