I Wonder.

I wonder.

When God starts moving and I start really listening, I wonder what it is he’s trying to say. I have my ideas, these grandiose versions of The Plan, these little dots splattered on the atlas of my life, but they really hardly ever lead where I envision.

I go to a place like Calvin for their Festival of Faith & Writing and know within seconds that I’m somewhere I totally don’t belong. Please don’t get me wrong. It was a great conference, and I met fabulous people. But I’m not all that.

I can’t say for sure the exact reason I went. Coach said the Relief team was going and it’d be great if I came and represented The Diner. So I did.

My worst habit is that I find a million things that bug me. I do it all the time. I’m relentless and ruthless in my head. Sometimes out loud. Most of the time in my head though. Things that bug me about conferences like this are (in no particular order):

  • People who are fake.
  • People who pretend they’re listening but aren’t.
  • People who won’t tell the truth.
  • People who are pretentious and pompous.
  • People who act differently in front of different people.

I guess those things are probably all related. They drive me freaking nuts. And the people who have those attributes probably want to smack me to Ohio. We don’t get along. At least I see it.

Maybe they don’t because they’re too busy putting on a smile and watching that prospective agent from across the room. They can’t read the sarcasm in my remarks because they’ve stopped listening, they’re reading the lips of the editor that’s talking with that prospective agent. They laugh that fake laugh like they’re paying attention to me because I laughed, but I said that my grandfather was my least favorite person because he was fake and they didn’t even catch that I was cutting them down. They push me aside with a tart, “Excuse me,” as the agent makes his way near us. They push out their hands, shake with enthusiasm the agent’s hand while speaking of high brow literary bullshit. And it’s always funny to watch the agent regard them in the same way they just did me while the agent jokes with me about writing horror.

Or something like that.

And then I wonder what God meant by that.

Report: Day Two & Three Without TV. Superbowl Weekend.

I was trying to work on a new short story and I just can’t concentrate. I thought I’d blog for a few minutes–y’know, clear my head.

Saturday went horrendous without TV. Phil got tons of stuff done that he has put off hasn’t had time to do, like making our shower work. We thought maybe our well pump was going out. Turns out, the fixtures were full of gunk. That’s the part about living out here in the middle of nowhere that I like the least. Our water sucks. It’s hard, metallic, rusty, and gross. We buy lots of salt and filters.

He also moved our thermostat. With the woodburning stove (we sound like Little House on the Prairie, don’t we?) Anyway, I have a tendency to make the house way too hot, like 90-100 degrees in the living room. Ask Jen. We had all the windows in the living room open when we watched Indochine and it was still 86 degrees in the house.

Phil finished cleaning the garage and changed the oil in his car.

I screwed around on the computertried to write. I read a lot of research stuff. Watched some videos of Elvis singing and JFK getting shot. Read about the Miami Indian tribe and the mounds here in Starke County.

I cleaned out the fridge. Took a shower. Played a round of some survival game with Zane and Phil. Yelled at Eplained to Zane why we couldn’t watch TV.

Oh yeah, and I played with my oil crayons. I drew the flower and colored the leaf (I had did a pencil rubbing of the leaf in the fall, I found it in the sketch pad and started coloring).

I almost color coded my books, but I wanted to work on my story which is stuck at about 2,000 words.

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Writing, back to the grind

  • Last week, my friend needed me to help take care of her kids while her husband was in the hospital. I stayed at her house a few days, I did work on the story a little, but not as much as I would have liked to. Given the circumstances though, I did ok.

    I think I mentioned this, but I can’t remember. One day, I got stuck and words wouldn’t come out. I decided to grab some paper and a pencil and lay down on the floor to draw the cane the Old Man in my story whittled. And it came out so much better than I thought it would. This creative process brought out a theme of the book I didn’t fully understand, it was like a light went on. I don’t understand how I can write this story and not know this stuff, maybe its just hidden in my subconscious and I don’t realize it. However that works, I don’t think I’ll be the one to figure it out. The drawing happened, it worked, I get it now like I didn’t before and the words are flowing.

  • We had a busy weekend. Friday we saw a special presentation at the Merrillville Planetarium with Jen and her kids.

  • Sunday, my nephew’s birthday party plus an added bonus: a trip to the Grand Opening of the new Cabela’s! Phil got his Christmas present (early of course) and I picked up a few things for my Cowboy Christmas tree.

  • Monday was spent catching up on things here at home and ordering some goodies for the Cowboy Christmas tree. You are going to love this thing! I’m so excited!

  • So, here we are at Tuesday. The house is pretty well maintained since we haven’t really been here. I have a couple loads of laundry to do and the living room needs to be straightened, but its good for the most part.

I have no clue yet what I’ll be doing for Tackle It Tuesday. I’ve spent a bit of time reading the last scene of Whisky Lilacs and writing a bit more, Phil’s getting up soon and I need to make his breakfast and fix his lunch so after I see him off to work, I’ll finish my word quota and THEN concentrate on Tackling something other than this blog. LOL

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Random Bits

  • I found this guy, Rene Gruss, on MySpace I loved Bellatrix (free download this month.) I bought the whole album, right now Bellatrix remains my favorite.

  • I found this other guy, Brian Gleason, on MySpace, he has the most amazing natural country voice I’ve heard next to George Jones, George Strait, Josh Turner (Jeremy Camp, outside of country)–I mean one of those voices you hear and you know who it is, not because they’ve been played non-stop, but this guy has a I-have-to-listen-to-more voice. He’s incredible. He just sits down with his guitar and sings, he’s mostly put up requests. I’m not one who likes to stray from the original artist, I listened to him sing The Dance (Garth Brooks) and Anymore (Travis Tritt)
  • I’m behind on my word count because I was helping Kimmie by taking care of her kids, her husband’s in the hospital. I decided that even if I didn’t hit my target every single day, as long as I wrote, as long as I moved the novel forward on days like these past few, I’m good.
  • Yesterday, I didn’t write words, but I pulled out paper and pencil and drew. One of my characters carves canes and I needed a visual, but nothing exists like Orville’s walking stick, so I had to create it. If you know about Orville’s canes and you want to see the drawing, email me. Now, what I need is a real artist to make my elementary drawing into something beautiful. Any one out there?
  • So, I contradicted myself because I didn’t write words yesterday, didn’t “move” the novel forward. But that’s not the truth, I moved the novel forward more than if I’d written 10,000 words. Drawing that whittled cane moved the story forward and I discovered a theme I kind of knew was there, but the cane drawing made it POP for me.
  • I don’t have to be like everyone else when I create. If drawing a cane helps me wrap up an important theme of the book, I give myself permission to pursue those creative endeavors.
  • I like reading good books. If I don’t like a book, I give myself permission to put it down even if the whole world loves it. (Faulker, As I Lay Dying) I can’t read it anymore. I’m done. I don’t like it. at. all.
  • We’re going to see Jeremy Camp again this weekend! If you haven’t listened to him, you should.
  • I’ve been remembering a lot of dreams lately. So far, two of them will be stories. Don’t know if they’ll be short stories or novels, they both have the potential to be either. We’ll see what comes out.
  • I got some really, really, extra super cool news a little while ago but I don’t know if I can say anything yet. It’s pretty much killing me to keep secrets.

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