When Showers & Construction Paper Collide…

As all my fellow writers probably know… sometimes inspiration strikes at a moments notice and you get something really good & you’ve got to write it down immediately. — Sometimes that happens at just the right moment… and other times…. at just the wrong moment. — This is a story of just the wrong moment.

I was going over scenes & dialogue in my head. So basically I was talking to myself… as if I was imaginary people, cause that’s not weird at all..Β  the whole back & forth… when I got a really good exchange. — I was like, ohhhhh! That’s good. That’s so good. I’ve got to write that down.

Except I was in the shower.

My laptop was in the living room. There were other people in my house. So I couldn’t very well throw on a towel dripping wet all over the place & run go get it. — I was like I’m going to just finish my shower & then do it. — But y’all…. I was antsy. I was like that exchange was so good and if I forget I’m going to be so mad. — So I moved on to plan B.

Find a notebook.

Now you would think… as a writer… I’d have one stashed in my bedroom somewhere. But no. I couldn’t find one. — I got out, wrapped up in a towel, dripping water all over the place while I engaged in a frenzied search for a notepad of any sort. Any would do. But, alas, nothing.

I found one piece of yellow construction paper & and an orange colored pencil. (Don’t ask, I don’t know. πŸ˜€ )

Anyhow. So there I was. Soak & wet, dripping water onto the bathroom counter and floor, after having dripped it all over the bedroom, and writing out dialogue with a pencil on a piece of construction paper.

To top it all off… the orange colored pencil was dull and wasn’t really showing up well on the yellow paper, so I had to re-write over several worlds multiple times. — It took a bit.

I did eventually manage to get it down and hopped right back in the shower to finish up.

But it wasn’t without an adventure first. — You can be sure from now on I’ll have a laptop, a notebook, or something within reach while I’m showering.Β  — I learned my lesson. πŸ˜€

 

 

 

It’s Happening!

Another day down in the books. (Insert thumbs up here.)

Wrote 3000 words & finished a scene I’ve been working on for like 3 days now.

It’s flowing, it’s smooth, it’s good. (Ignore that I’m biased because, I, of course, think my own work is brilliant. πŸ˜€ )

I even sent a little snippet to my best friend/sister-in-law & I was like, “I don’t think I’m half bad at this.” And she was like… “Yeah, you have a knack for it.” — Yes, we talk like this… kindly, don’t judge us. πŸ˜‰ ) — Then she told me to hurry up so she can read it in its entirety and not just the little teasers I keep sending her. πŸ˜‰ — I mean… the snippets & the teasers are good… it’s all good, amiright? πŸ˜€ — If you don’t think I’m right… please don’t burst my bubble. Everybody has the right to bubbles!

Anyhow… progress is being made… we’re moving along.

Y’all… it’s happening.

There have been moments along this journey where I very much thought it would never happen. — It’s happening. Right now.

I’d kick myself for all the time I wasted… but I genuinely believe that I wasn’t ready until now. I couldn’t have done this before…. because I wasn’t in a place where I could do it.

I’m in that place now & it’s happening.

I know that there were a whole host of people who didn’t & maybe even don’t now, believe me or in me. That used to bother me so bad. I mean turn my world upside down bad… because I already didn’t believe in myself.

Y’all know what is beautiful? I believe in me now. — I have a confidence that I didn’t have before… That God has given to me… that has changed everything.

Nobody can undo what He has done. No amount of disbelief in me… can shake my belief in myself. You can’t shake my foundation… because God built it… it’s quake proof. πŸ˜€

But I’m sure there will be people who read this & think… Yeah. Right. Okay. Here we go again.

And y’all wanna know something…. That’s alright. I don’t do any of this for any of them. I do it for God first and me second. — But once upon a time…. I would have felt that to my core. I needed people to believe in me… in an effort to convince myself to believe in me, and when they didn’t… it just reinforced my disbelief in myself. (What a hot mess that was!) — & now…

If you aren’t #1 or #2… that’s God & me… & you do have an opinion that is one of doubt… that’s okay… you can have it, it’s yours to have… but it’s irrelevant. — You can’t tear down what God has built… and He has built me up.

Y’all…. It’s happening. — & I’m excited! πŸ˜€

 

 

Y’all…

I gotta tell y’all bout what just happened…

About a month ago I started writing every day.. I still write every day, just so ya know.. that hasn’t stopped.

Because of that I write way more often, obviously, and I’m better at it. I genuinely believe that writing, in a lot of cases, is a God-given talent. It’s no different from the singer or the painter or the musician. It’s art, just like all the rest. Anyone has the ability to write, and that’s great, but I do believe that God gives some people an extra special ability to do so.

Just like I can sing… but you probably don’t want to hear it. While I’m capable of it, I was certainly not gifted with the ability to do it very well.

My husband can paint and he has real talent. Me? Ha! He’ll show me sometimes, like early on in the painting and try to explain what it’s going to be and how it’s going to come together.. and I’m like… I don’t get it. — He’ll say, you have to envision it… and I’m standing there like… Nope, I got nothing. — Because I’m not a painter.

I’m a writer.

I’ve struggled to stay consistent with writing and that has affected its quality. Writing is like any art. If you don’t do it very often, you’re going to be rusty at it and it’s going to show. With any art, not just writing. The more you do it, the better you are at it.

Here’s what happened…..

I downloaded a book earlier and started reading… I was stumbling through paragraph after paragraph because my brain was thinking like a writer, not a reader.

All I could see was sentence structure, the various tenses, how the author wove her words and sentences together, and the detail in her work. All I could see was how it was strung together…. and I realized it was because I’ve been so immersed in writing lately that my mind was reading like a writer, rather than a reader.

I have a God-given talent that I haven’t utilized the way I should have over the years. So it’s been pretty rusty when I did bust it out sporadically.

However because I’ve been using it so much lately it’s improved in a thousand different ways. One of which means I’m going to have to make an effort to put aside thinking like a writer when I’m reading.

I’ve never had that happen before. Sometimes stuff would jump out at me and I would think, oh that’s good, I like what he or she did there. — This was different.

This was…Β  I didn’t even know what I had read because all I was seeing was how it was put together. So I’m going to have to figure out how to shut that off, cause ya girl here likes to read. πŸ˜€

I just thought I would share that with you guys. Every day I feel moreΒ like the writer I’m meant to be… and I like it. And since this blog was always intended to be about my writing journey… seems fitting to mention it.

With love,
Heather.

 

 

 

 

This Is THE Game Changer…

So it’s been a minute since I’ve said anything more about the project I am working on. The last time I mentioned it, I believe I said something along the lines of, “Oh, I’m going to figure out some sort of schedule and devote to it the time & determination it is due… or something or other like that. (Definitely sounds like me. πŸ˜€ )

Anyhow, that was in July. (I’m pretty sure it was July, at least.)

I did not immediately do that. BUT!! I have some good news to report. You ready???

I did pick it back up in September. AND… here’s the important part.

There is no schedule. No rhyme or reason. BUT! I write EVERY DAY.

Imma be honest… some days.. it’s just a few hundred words. Other days though… it’s a few thousand words. — & I have made a ridiculous amount of progress over the last few weeks.

I find that sticking with it & the writing itself is now much more effortless. — But that’s not all…..

Ya ever wonder if you’re on the right path? If you’re going in the right direction? — Just a little bit of doubt… can really derail you when it comes to going all in on something. So I want to tell you a little story. — Stick with me… It has an astounding ending.. I promise!

When I started this blog.. I said I was writing a book. At the time, that was roughly 4 or so years ago. Also at the time… it was an entirely different one than I’m currently working on. — A lot has changed. I have changed a lot. — Lots of change, Y’all.

I couldn’t figure out where I fit as a writer back then. As a christian I thought I had to write christian fiction if I was going to write fiction.

I was also ashamed. — I’m gonnaΒ be real with you. — The literary world looks down on a romance novel. That’s not great literature. It’s second-rate. It’s blah blah blah. — Okay, there are all sorts of opinions like that out there. I was letting those opinions.. affect me in a way that was causing me to try to change the romance aspect or be ashamed if I wrote it.

To both of those things… at several different points along the way… I said, screw it.

I am not meant to write christian fiction and I have embarked upon a romance series … and every one else’s opinion is completely irrelevant. If anyone has a problem with any of it, anywhere, no matter who they are… then my work, what I write… is not meant for them.

Here’s the other thing. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.

4 years ago… when I was working on the other book that I have since abandoned (Years ago) ….

I was in the living room floor and I was stumped. I couldn’t figure out what to do with it or where to go with it. I had papers scattered everywhere. My lap top open. I was trying and nothing was working.

I asked God, I said, What do I do? Where do I go with this? Tell me what to do. & I motioned all around me at the papers and work spread about, where do I go with this? …. and God said…

Charlie is important.

& I said, say what now? Charlie? See there was a character named Charlie. & he was not a huge part of the book I was writing. He was in it. But a minor character. & I said, I don’t understand. — & God said again….

Charlie is important.

Y’all I tried so hard to fit him into that book and figure out what in the world God was talking about. Cause, look, that’s all He gave me.

It didn’t work. I did end up tossing the book to the side. & I reasoned that I had not heard correctly and must have thought that up myself. That was 4 years ago.

A couple of months ago I was working out and something had recently happened that had brought some of my past screeching back to the forefront. and my mind was on that. — Well in the middle of working out… God revealed to me with such clarity…

Charley’s story is your story.

And I stopped and I was like that’s it! (Mind you, the Charlie of my old creation was a guy and I had long forgotten all about him. This Charley, is a woman, and completely different character.) I had been wracking my brain trying to figure out her back story for months. I knew her quirks, and her personality and character. and I had always said she was the character most like me of all the ones I have created. But I hadn’t put all of the pieces together yet.

I was excited that I finally had the answers for her and I started working out again… and God said…

I told you Charley was important.

Y’all!!! Now see here, I had long forgotten about that. It was years ago and I had concluded that it was never God to begin with.

I stood there for several seconds just in awe. God knew.. He knew 4 years ago when I had it all wrong and I was going down the wrong path and it wasn’t working out, that years in the future, I would get on the right path and He would get to show up and say, I told you then.. so I could give you the revelation now.

And y’all.. I’m telling you.. it was such a powerful moment.

He gave me one little piece of a puzzle, that made zero sense at the time, because He was planning to give me the rest of the pieces years down the road when I needed them. — See.. Charley’s story was always going to be important because it was always meant to be the closest thing to my story. I didn’t know that then… But He did. — He knew I’d create a whole new world, with all new characters & that I would eventually name one Charley at the last minute because the original name I had for her just didn’t seem to fit somehow. He knew it all.

If there was ever any doubt, and okay let’s be real… there was heaps of it!!

It disappeared that day.

I know I’m on the right path. I’m going in the right direction. Charley’s story isn’t the one I am currently writing. Hers will come a little later on. But God revealed to me in that moment that I was going in the right direction. & all the doubt fled. I now know with certainty these characters and their stories are the ones I am meant to tell.Β  — So between knowing that and making the effort to write each & every day…. (& let’s be real… God guiding & blessing all that I do.. ) — I’m in a place with my writing that I’ve never been before.

& y’all!! It feels fantastic! πŸ™‚

Love to all!
Heather! πŸ˜€

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Is Long… But It’s Good! :D

So if you’ve been keeping up with me at all.. & if you haven’t, you’re missing out.. I’m loads of fun! πŸ˜€ ) you might remember that I recently mentioned I’ve been actively losing weight. Well guess what? I have officially lost the entire 30 lbs I set out to lose in February. — I may lose an extra lb or 2 before it’s all over & done with for good… but I have at this point reached my goal weight. — Which begs the question, what next?

— We’re gonna pause right here cause my dog is looking at me like she needs to go outside & potty, stand by……………………………………………………..

I’m back! πŸ™‚ Not that you would have ever known that I left & then returned in the first place, but since I shared it with you.. I did take a few minutes to trot outside with the pup mid-blogging this here post. πŸ™‚Β  (Yeeeeahh… the word ‘here’ shouldn’t be before the word ‘post’ as it’s redundant & totally unnecessary… but I like it so it stays! Let’s just toss proper grammar out the window for tonight. — I feel like breaking the rules. πŸ˜€

Okay, where were we before I got distracted? Oh yeah. What next?

I recently blogged a bit about how I have learned so much about things like motivation, discipline, & determination from my weight loss journey & it’s really changed the way I see tasks that I’ve set for myself.

It’s easy to be motivated & disciplined when it’s fun or you’re in the mood for it. When you’re seeing results & when you’re optimistic & ready to go & get at it. But what I had to learn is staying disciplined & determined when I didn’t feel like it. You don’t lose 30 lbs in 4 & a half months by keeping with it only when it’s fun or you feel like it. You do it by keeping with it all the time. No matter how you’re feeling about it any given day.

I’ve never fought so hard to reach a goal before. Not without quitting a thousand times along the way. (Which I also talked about in a previous blog post.)

I went from no exercise to exercising every day. I can’t tell you how many times there were days when I just didn’t feel like it & on many occasion had talked myself out of it. But I would rally & get up & do it anyway. & sometimes I would be annoyed the entire time, just grudgingly going about it because darn it I would rather be reading a book or watching tv. But I would tell myself, 1 hour & then you can watch tv or read or whatever you wanna do for the rest of the day or night or what have you. But first…. 1 hour.

The same goes for changes in my diet. Portion control & calorie limits & making due with teeny, tiny, minuscule, barely there, slices of chocolate pound cake cause one regular slice contains more calories than an entire meal! That’s hard. It takes discipline. It takes determination. Let’s be real… it also takes the mighty hand of God! For it is not my strength, but His! πŸ˜€

So what’s next? Writing. That’s what we tackle next. I have to take the same tactics that I took with losing weight & apply it to writing. It’s easy to do when it’s fun or I’m in the mood or it feels good or it makes me happy. Not so much when I don’t feel like it or it’s not coming together or I’m terrified I’m a talent-less hack. (Let’s be real, that last part’s not true.. but there will be days I’m sure I’ll feel like it!)

So that’s where I’m going next. I’ve said it before over the years. Probably a million times. The difference in then & now… is that I have learned so much about myself from this journey that I know what that journey is going to take. — Ya girl here is about to fight for her writing. I’ve been fighting for myself. For my self-worth, & my body, & my soul, & my spirit, & I’m not finished in that arena. — On top of that, I’m about to add to it.

A couple of paragraphs above, I wrote, “that’s what we tackle next.” We. I don’t do any of this alone. I’d never make it. I joked about God’s strength helping me with pound cake consumption… but if I’m being real with you, I need you to know that I didn’t do any of this on my own or by myself. I exercise 1 hour every day, but that hour is God’s time. I spend it with Him. I pray, I talk, I worship, I listen, I learn. Some days more than others. I just want to be clear that while it has definitely been my willingness to stay disciplined & keep going…. it has always been His love, & His grace, & His mercy, & His strength that make any of this possible. — So when I say we… I literally mean, we. πŸ™‚

I haven’t figured out the logistics of a writing schedule or anything like that yet. But in the next couple of weeks I’m going to see what unfolds & what I work out. So we shall see what happens!

Until next time… πŸ˜€

 

 

 

 

A Purpose Lies Ahead…

I wanna say a little something real quick.

While working out earlier it hit me that some times in life we get in places where we can’t see past where we are currently at. Especially when those places are painful. When we don’t know which way is up or down & we can’t seem to claw our way out of the darkness we find ourselves in. It can get hard & tunnel vision becomes a real thing.

I’ve been there. As I’m sure most people have been. — Once upon a time I couldn’t see how or why in the world I was ever going to make it. It’s now years later… & I can see it.

I used to think there was no hope. I used to think that I was so incredibly broken that I would forever be in pieces. I couldn’t understand why in the world God would have me here, on this Earth, so shredded & torn apart. & I used to ask Him, why? Not why am I in pain or why is this misery in my life… but why am I here at all when this place is breaking me & I could be with You instead? Because I knew back then.. Ya know, this is a fallen world & full of sin & it’s bound to be a hard place to be sometimes. So that’s not the question I had for Him when asking why… it was why am I here, rather than why does it hurt so much.

In those moments, when I was lost in my own misery, He would always show up. Never giving up, never quitting on me. He would show up with an I love you, it’s going to be alright, I’m with you, you’re not alone. But I would still struggle with the why.

Because I could never see past the pain. I couldn’t see down the road, to the future. I couldn’t see what was on the other side. Or even a light at the end of the tunnel. It appeared to be darkness ahead.

All I saw was my shattered soul & broken spirit. A girl getting swallowed up by the world.

All those years ago I asked why. I begged & I pleaded. Why? But there was so much pain & turmoil I couldn’t see through it.

God has a plan for my life. It made zero since to me back then. I couldn’t fathom how that girl, who she was all those years ago… how she would possibly fit into any plans He had. So it didn’t make sense & I couldn’t see it.

But I can see it now. Because that girl… she fought, clawed, & climbed her way out of the darkness. (Slowly & not of her own strength, mind you.) — & when she came out on the other side… she was no longer the same person. She could see.

Every day I still fight the good fight, trying to keep my head up above the water. I keep moving forward, little by little. Good days & bad days, doesn’t matter, I keep fighting. Because I know why now. & because I know why… the will to fight doesn’t come from just trying to survive anymore… it comes from knowing that God has a plan & a purpose for me & my life & I have to keep moving forward to execute it.

So to anyone out there who reads this… God has a purpose for you. Whether you can see it or not… it’s true. So if you ever find yourself where I once was, feeling like you’re lost & you can’t figure out why in the world you’re here. That’s why. — & it’s a beautiful reason to be here. πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lies I Told…

I don’t care what anyone thinks of me. I don’t care if they think I’m not good enough. I don’t care if they think I’m stupid. I don’t care if they think I’m ugly. I don’t care if they think I’m pathetic or embarrassing myself every time I speak. I just plain don’t care what a single soul thinks of me.

& I just lied.

I care. I care very much & it’s one of my biggest problems.

I hear people say what I just said, how they don’t care what anyone thinks of them, and I wish I could say it with as much certainty as they do. I can’t though.

I care when someone thinks ill of me or little of me. I care if they think I’m unattractive or unintelligent. I care. It matters to me. It bothers me & that’s a problem. One that I need to solve.

Because while I care & while it bothers me… one thing remains the same…. it does not matter what anyone thinks of me… unless I allow it to matter.

I believe it was Eleanor Roosevelt that said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” (It was, I looked it up! πŸ˜€ ) & she was entirely correct.

Lately I (& God) have been working on me. Losing weight, exercising regularly, building myself up, working on the negativity that tumbles around in my head & turning it into something better, something positive & honest. Something worthwhile. I’ve been battling out the negativity I feel towards myself at times. The low self-confidence & feelings of not being quite good enough. They’ve ruled the roost, so to speak, for a long time. & I’m a work in progress.

I still care what people think of me. Too much. & I have to find a way to, simply put, just not care.

If someone doesn’t like me… oh well. If they think I’m a big ol dummy.. Okay, good for them, moving along. If they think I’m not worthy of them… cool, whatever… you do you, Imma do me. — I have to find a way to make this my reality. — If someone just does not like me, I have to be okay with that. & not let it turn into something ugly that seeps into my soul & convinces me that I should feel bad about myself because so & so says so.

It doesn’t matter what so & so says or thinks or anything else. I have to hold on tight to what I know. It matters what God thinks & it matters what I think. I line up with what He thinks, we’re on the same page. Every one else can go on thinking or saying whatever they want. It’s irrelevant. I know this… but I have to believe it, even in those moments when I can feel that negativity trying to creep in. I have to stand with what I know matters. & the negative opinions of other people are not what matters.

So I’m going to keep inching forward, little by little, til I get there.

In fact, some lady gave me some ugly looks at the eye doctor’s office last month (my mom was with me & says she thinks the lady didn’t like my shorts. Which were appropriate mind you, I’m not about to wear booty shorts up in the eye doctor’s office. Especially not mine.. he has crosses & bible verses hanging on the walls. Jesus is all over that room! I mean, come on, that’d be awkward! Jesus, The eye doctor, me, & some booty shorts all in the same room? I don’t think so! πŸ˜€ ) Anyhow, that lady looked right at me all rude & such. & at first I looked away cause it made me uncomfortable… & then I was like, no. I didn’t do anything to her. — So instead I looked her straight in the eye, like I got your number lady & I don’t care, & then I proceeded to walk around with my head held high like I owned the place. πŸ˜€ — She only got to make me feel inferior if I let her. & I didn’t.

Now I just have to apply that to my entire life! All the time.

Work in progress. πŸ˜€