My Path? You Mean I Have One?

Let’s see, where was I the other day when I had my great epiphany? Oh yes, that’s right, I was looking at all of my friends on Facebook with their fabulous lives when the little green monster named “jealously” started her incessant whispering.

Normally I would listen to her and spend a little while in her company but for whatever reason, on this particular day, Something (or Someone) decided to shut her up once and for all for me. I don’t know how it came or first formulated but it was an intuitive thought from Somewhere Else, it seemed, that entered my brain that day. The thought went something like this, “Why don’t you walk your own path Carol and quit worrying what others are doing?”

As soon as that question entered my mind, I clicked the power off button, closed my laptop, went outside to smoke a cigarette to ponder this more. Where had that remarkable and incredible thought come from after all? Why all of a sudden at that particular time and day? I wasn’t going to question it anymore, I decided. No, instead I smiled and my heart pounded with excitement over the possibilities.

I’ve known for a while what it is I want to do but I have never seriously taken any real action on it before. I’ve been too scared. I never fully committed myself. I would start and then stop, start and then stop. I would always come back to it but I would never finish anything. I would never follow through. Of course I am talking about writing.

Well, I don’t know where I was going with this when I first started out with this blog post, something about making my own path or some silly crap. No wait, it’s not silly crap. I will stop treating it so nonchalantly and I pledge, now, to start taking myself a little more seriously and treating my passion with respect.

Some actions I have taken recently – I have been attending a local writing group and I am registered for the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction workshop. I also submitted an essay to Skirt magazine back in February and plan to submit more. I have my topic for the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction workshop and have started the writing. I have to have ten pages done and submitted by September 2nd. I am also in the process of interviewing several artists at 16 Main Gallery to write a blog post about each.

Oh, and I’ve also been reading up a storm lately. I’m on my sixth book since January.

🙂

Here is a quote I found recently that I absolutely LOVE and is partly responsible for my changed outlook:

Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them. ~Orison Swett Marden

I will leave you with some other quotes (about writing) that inspire me (and make me smile):

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. ~Anaïs Nin

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ~Sylvia Plath

If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

Writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see in the making all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals. ~Don Delillo

Now that I have found my own path, I need to find my own voice.

All right then, carry on….

Reading and Writing

Here I am again, one month later, updating my blog. Sad and pitiful indeed. Oh well.

Yes, I am still reading my book picks for 2011. I am also reading with my Soul Sisters Book Club. This month’s pick is The House At Riverton by Kate Morton.

Here is a list of books I’ve read since January:

The Constant Princess – Philippa Gregory
Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen
Bitter In The Mouth – Monique Truong
Sarah’s Key – Tatiana de Rosnay
Naked, Drunk, and Writing – Adair Lara

That is five books since January. Do you know how many I read all of last year? Two. I know, right?! I think I am reading more because of the eReader! Seriously, who would have thought an eReader would make me a speed reader. I can’t even begin to try and explain this theory; why I have taken to an eReader. It is truly a mystery. Or maybe I am gobbling down these books for other reasons; escape, I’m more settled and matured, or I’m a late bloomer? Who knows.

Now for book reviews. Yes, I owe some book reviews. I’ll get it on that next.

But for now I have some other exciting news. Well, to me it is exciting. I have paid my registration fee for the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction workshop. This will be my first ever writing workshop to attend. I am scared to death. Why did I pick creative nonfiction? I have no clue. Yes I do. Because an online writing acquaintance is the director of the workshop. I trust her opinion. But now I need to figure out what exactly creative nonfiction is really all about. I can’t quite wrap my brain around it. I mean I know but I don’t know and I know that makes no sense whatsoever. Eh, I’ll figure it out eventually.

The workshop is in September and there is only room for 20 participants. I need to have my writing submitted by September 9th, yes, it’s that kind of workshop – critiquing involved. Yikes! I have to have 10 pages, double-spaced of my writing done and submitted for others to read. Heart pounding out of my chest and starting to hyperventilate just typing that sentence. Eh, it ain’t nothin’ but a thang baby girl. It’s just writing.

Update, Finally

I can’t believe it has been a month since I posted something last. I am so ashamed. But here I am now. I wanted to update everyone about the books I’ve been reading from my 2011 Reading List, remember?

I have finished two books on the list – Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I am now on Bitter in the Mouth by Monique Truong.

Later, I want to write a book review for each, as separate posts like I did for the book Breaking Night by Liz Murray. I don’t know how much of a book review it will be, probably more like a synopsis! I need to find more time to keep up with this blog.

A couple of my friends have formed a book club too, we call it Soul Sisters Book Club. We have a private Facebook group for the out-of-towners who want to participate too. We’ve had two meetings thus far and only three of us have shown up but that’s OK, we had a blast! We are thinking of including a conference call for the people who live out of town that can’t make it to the face-to-face discussion.

Our next book selection for March hasn’t been chosen yet but it will probably be something that is not on my 2011 Reading List so I will be reading TWO books at once if I don’t get Bitter In The Mouth done by the end of February, which I should, it’s not a long book.

I have really enjoyed reading my books. It has been keeping me sane lately. I love the escapism of a good novel.

Also, I have done some writing stuff too and I’m wondering if I am even cut out for this writing thing. The first project that I actually saw to completion was not much fun after all. But I was proud of myself for sticking it out and actually WORKING it, and seeing it to completion. That in and of itself was a great feeling. Yes, I got rejected but so what, it was my VERY FIRST SUBMISSION. I was expecting it. Again, I was just happy with FINISHING something I started. Ya know?

But what I have realized in finishing that particular project is that I don’t much like the WORKING part of writing; the editing and re-writes. Yuck. I have learned I just like to write crap down and then walk away, like journaling or blogging. Well, now that it has passed and over with and there has been some time between the finished project and now, I guess I can look back and say it wasn’t THAT bad.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll be back with the book reviews soon.

Alabama Snow

This is not a picture of me and it certainly isn’t a picture I took. Credit goes to Robyn Henry of Hokes Bluff and you can see the original upload HERE.

But this photograph just tickles me to no end! Every time I look at it, I have to giggle! This is so true of southerners. And I love it. Personally, I think this picture should have gone national! It is just too funny.

Here in my backyard, we received close to 7″ of snow. Can you believe it? In north Alabama? This is a rarity, obviously.

Anyway, it’s been fun having to stay home. The Gent has prepared Chicken Spaghetti and we are fixin’ to feast and then watch the BCS game. I can’t believe I am about to type this, but….. War Eagle. OK, that was difficult to do for I am an Alabama fan, and Georgia fan, and never an Auburn fan but since they are representin’ the south in the BCS game, well then, I have no choice. War Eagle! There I did it again.