Archive | July, 2012

A Writer’s Frustrations

19 Jul

I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. I’m not really sure why, but the nights have brought me a lot of tossing and turning with a side of mind-racing. Perhaps it’s because it’s that time of year that makes me anxious. What once was a summer of potential and possibilities is now a summer half-over with not nearly enough accomplished. Perhaps it’s just because I’ve had a lot on my mind. Whatever the cause, last night’s musings centered on things both philosophical and literary. I’m a little too confused angry indignant confuddled everything to tackle the philosophical today, so instead I’ll focus my energies on the literary. Specifically, my writing.

Finishing my novel was something that was on my summer bucket list (an update on that list will happen on a later date). Suffice it to say that, like always, my novel has been sidetracked, and, like always, I’m frustrated about that. It seems like there’s always something. First it was getting into my graduate program. Then it was getting through my son being a newborn. Then it was getting my teaching license. Then it was finding a job. Then it was surviving my first year of teaching. Now it’s finishing my graduate program. The list is never-ending.

I can’t help but wonder if it’s supposed to be this hard. If I’m going about this “being a writer” thing all wrong. All of my reasons for not writing seem like valid ones at the time, but it’s not as though I’m the only writer to have ever had priorities in life. Hell, I read somewhere Stephanie Meyer wrote Twilight late at night while bouncing her babies on her lap. Now the  quality of writing that is Twilight is not what I am aspiring to, but still. The girl got it done. I can’t seem to function that way. I try to stay up at night to work on my writing and find myself dosing off with my head on the keys. I try to write while Child is playing, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to say to him, “No, Jack, Mommy can’t help you build that ‘super cool tower’ right now because she’s writing.” So do I get much done? Absolutely not. It seems like time alone in the house (or Child’s nap time) is the only time that I can get any real writing done. And, of course, that’s also the only time I can really get any work on my master’s done, or whatever the excuse of the day is.

The novel I’m writing is a novel loosely based on my experience starting a new school in the midst of sixth grade. It’s been my dream to write this story for as long as I can remember (or at least since sixth grade). It’s inspired by Anne and Jo and Betsy and Margaret and Willa and Anastasia and all the other characters I treasured as friends who showed me that I was not alone in my girlhood frustrations. I feel like it’s a part of my existence and that until I finish it then I am somehow incomplete myself. I have the bulk of the plot worked out in my head, and the words come easily when I sit down to put them to paper (er…screen?). I just need to find the time to finish it before I self-destruct and implode.

Now the summer’s not over yet, and I only have 1.5 weeks of my graduate program left. So there’s still time for me to at least make very good progress on my novel before the start of school. But I’m going into that last month of summer with less accomplished than I had hoped, which is never a good feeling. Still, if I know nothing else it’s that life is fleeting and opportunities must be seized when they arise. So before life gets any more crazy, I’m going to find a way to spend August doing what I need to do. What I think I was born to do. There’s just no other option.

On Anniversaries, Idina Menzel, and Savoring the Moment

9 Jul

Today is Husband and I’s seventh wedding anniversary. Seven years ago, we got married in heat so intense in it made my bridesmaids look like this:

I had told God I didn’t want to be cold on my wedding day. He listened.

Husband and I went out and celebrated on Saturday by going to see Idina Menzel in concert.

She was sick (poor thing), but magnificent none the less. Later that night while Husband was snoring and I was still trying to fall asleep (I envy his ability to fall asleep within seconds of hitting the pillow – lucky bastard), I was struck by just how fitting it was that we had seen her, of all people, for our anniversary.

It was Husband who took me to see Rent for the first time back in 2002. The date was significant because it was our four-month anniversary (back when we counted our anniversaries by months), and it was the first time we had done anything “fancy” together. (Our dates typically consisted of dinners and renting movies; we were not, and still aren’t, very high maintenance people) I loved Rent before I ever saw it live. I loved the music, the message, and the cursing. How many musicals do you know that say “shit” within the first 25 words? I loved it even more after I saw it that day. The clothes, the dancing, and the power behind those words. And to experience it all with the boy I had crushed on for over a year? Priceless.

Us on our way to Rent for our fourth anniversary.

Idina spent some time at her concert on Saturday talking about Rent and Jonathan Larson‘s message, and how it became especially pertinent after his tragic and premature passing. Rent encourages us to live our lives to the fullest, treat each day like it could be our last, and not waste time regretting things we cannot change. This is a philosophy that I buy into whole-heartedly, although within reason. I’m not going to blow my savings account on the off-chance that I’m not around tomorrow to spend it. But, I do believe in trying my hardest every day to be the person I want to be. I believe in taking chances and putting myself out there. I do believe in savoring every single second I have with those who are important to me.

What fills me to the brim with happiness is just how many of those moments I have savored, thanks to my incredible husband and our wonderful marriage. Moments like this…

and this…

are ones that fill me with a joy I hadn’t thought possible before I met Husband. He is my everything, and together we’ve created a life that’s as close to perfect as I think you can get.

So here’s to us, Husband. Thanks for the first seven years, and I can’t wait for the rest! I love you!

For more gag-worthy sentimental mush, see last year’s anniversary post here.