Monday, September 20, 2010

Where WoW becomes an analogy:

I have nothing much to talk about other than WoW (heh, *ahem*). And since I've made a vow not to get on and play until I've at least written something, I shall tell you about what WoW and Seth are helping me learn about myself.

I know! Life lessons from WoW! Who would have thought?

My husband and I were talking about the way Seth learns. Steven said, "I just wish he had more confidence. He can do it, but he's afraid to fail. And to him failing is worse than not learning something."

I had to stop him. "Yeah, but I'm exactly the same way. If I don't know how to do something I don't try because I don't want to look stupid."

"I know," he said, giving me that look that meant he'd like me to try to change as well.

I really thought about how I've essentially taught Seth, through actions, this behavior. Which is not the greatest, I'll admit. And I've decided that I'm going to start trying new stuff. I don't plan on jumping out of an airplane any time soon, so instead I decided to tackle the one thing that scares the pee out of me: playing a dungeon in WoW.

Now, of course, I've been run through the lower-level ones. But I wasn't really playing them. I was being run through for the EXP. That's not a big deal.

What scares me is actively playing and being judged on how well I do my job. I've never felt confident that I knew how to play well enough to hold my end. And really, if everyone wiped because of me, I'd feel like a complete idiot. Trust me, they do tell you how dumb you are. These 12-yr-olds can kick my butt six ways to Sunday on this game. I always hit that panic mode and forget what I'm supposed to be doing!

Everyone who plays is probably shaking their heads right about now at the fact that playing an instance scares me. Because it's pretty much the point of the game.

I decided (after much agonizing debate) that I was going to try a dungeon. Granted, it was on my hunter, and if there is anything easy to play it's that and Steven went in with me the whole time. Thank god, because I was seriously confused and his "dismiss your pet," "focus on XXX boss" and "GOD, HEATHER, DO NOT RELEASE!" really helped me.

But still, I was sick to my stomach the entire time, shaking and I nearly threw up afterwards. The three more dungeons since the first haven't made me feel any better or more knowledgable. I wouldn't even consider going in by myself at this point. And HELL NO, I'd never do it with my shaman yet, with or without him.

I am making progress, though.

What does this have to do with writing? EVERYTHING.

I live in fear in a lot of ways when it comes to my writing. Am I good enough? Is this novel worth writing? Editing? Am I writing in the right genre? Can I write in another genre?

Etc. Etc. ETC.

My default answer is to walk away from the new, unproven thing and go back to what I've been comfortable with. Like knocking my head against a wall, repeatedly.

I am trying something new. But, geez, it's hard. Not the writing part -- the internal part. I wish I could turn that part of my brain off.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Long and Short

I've been trying to write this post for three weeks. I've started it any number of ways and then:

*delete* *delete* *delete*

Sometimes I struggle with how transparent I want to be on this blog. I tread through the murky waters of what's too much to tell, etc. I want to be interesting. And I want to be honest and I don't want to be depressing.

The truth is, I've been having a really hard time with writing.

There I said it. I mean, it really should be obvious. I've all but abandoned this blog and I'm not present on Facebook much. And twitter? What's that. ;)

It's not the act of writing, per say. I'm not suffering from a block. The words would flow, if I wanted them to. In a way I do want them to, but...

See? There's always that infamous "but."

I got too caught up. Involved in other peoples success. At some point my happiness for others turned to jealousy.

I'll admit it. Jealousy is natural, I suppose. It's not productive, though.

And then there's the crux of my crisis: Where am I as a writer?

For years I've felt like I was a YA author. It's in the title of this blog. I love YA. Let's be honest, though, it's not like I've been uber successful at it. I have to question myself as to why not.

YA has never come as naturally to me as writing, say, a paranormal romance or urban fantasy. But the stories that were choosing me all ended up very YA. It's the type of story I naturally gravitate toward writing, though the voice is not.

A quandary, all right.

On one hand I have a YA MS that is pretty close to being there. I do need another rewrite (one that I'm not looking forward to, but can be done). On the other, is pursuing YA what I really want? It's certainly not the only genre I love.

I was never any good with changing the labels I chose to wear. Not that I haven't changed labels before. This seems harder somehow. It has put me in a space that is undefinable for me at the moment.

That's not all I have going on right now either. There's a lot of other persnickety things that have cropped up in my personal life.

I've given myself a timeout. I stopped reading (most) blogs, stopped twittering, Facebooking, blogging. I've spent an inordinate amount of time playing WoW (such mindless fun! when I'm not being ganked by 80s.) and reading.

I'm just about there, I think. I've gotten the self-doubt under control and the joy of creating back. I want to write again which is most important, I think.

However, I'm still struggling. And will probably continue to struggle for a while.

There you go. Honesty. I feel a little better now.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Week Rundown:

This has been a CRAZY week.

Monday was the kids’ first day of school.

I can’t believe my kids are in 1st and 2nd grade. It sort of freaks me out.

Tuesday we had a Typhoon blow through. It was pretty gorgeous throughout the day, but since we were in TC-1 the kids weren’t allowed to go to school. Say what? My kids need some education! ;)

We survived (each other and the storm). I don’t think my kids noticed that we were forced to “remain in quarters.” They just sort of grumbled about the rain and went off to tear something apart.

I, on the other hand, was a little on edge and had a beer. Steven said, “There's no alcohol sales or consumption during TC-1.”

I took a swig, then told him, “For you, buddy. I didn’t sign the contract.”

Wednesday things got back to normal. I woke the kids up and Seth said, “You never let us have the day off.”

To which I answered, “Uh, hello? You had yesterday off for the typhoon AND IT’S ONLY YOUR SECOND DAY!”

By Thursday I needed massage. I mean, can you blame me?! It ended up being a good thing. You see, I’ve been having some major heartache about a project. I knew I was doing it wrong because one day I woke up crying, the next day I woke up and threw up… so I knew that it was my inner me saying: HEY, DUMMY, DON’T MESS IT UP AGAIN!

So I was lying there getting my muscles worked out and I thought – You know, this is less about THIS project and more about who I want to be as an author. And maybe it’s okay to have a do-over.

I went home feeling pretty good about it, ready to throw everything out and start again.

Then I got sidetracked when Bekah came home crying. “I want to be in kindergarten again! I don’t want to be in first grade. It’s so, so hard! I HATE FIRST GRADE.”

“What is so hard about first grade, honey?” See? I try to be supportive.

Between snot and tears she got out, “They make me SPELL stuff!”

I gasped. “The nerve!” hahahaha

I finally got her calmed down and sent outside so that I could work. That turned out fab. I wrote 2K like it was nothing. Not only that, I have the plot and I know what the end is. Huh. I need a massage every week!

Later that night, Bekah was complaining that “Hailey’s mom let’s her do XYZ.” I gave my stock answer, “I’m not Hailey’s mom,” and left the room.

I heard her saying things under her breath, so I walked back, stood at the door and said, “Excuse me?”

She blinked. “Oh, I was just saying how I’m so happy you’re my mom. You are so sweet.”

I forced myself not to laugh. “Are you sure that’s what you said? You’re not trying to be a snot?”

“I’m not a snot! I’m serious. You’re the BEST mom in the entire world and I’m so happy you’re my mom.”

What a liar. But I smiled and said, “Okay, then.”

When I walked away I heard Bekah snort and her and Seth fell into a fit of giggles. I thought they were going to choke they were laughing so hard. Sometimes it’s fun to let them think they got away with stuff.

Friday, was busy as well. I had a phone meeting and school visits for both kids. Last night I could barely keep my eyes open. But the kids wanted to do something so I suggested a movie.

When they couldn’t decide what movie (of course) I picked out The Princess Bride.

“It’s got pirates for you,” I said, looking at Seth. “Princesses for you,” to Bekah. “And a love story for me. It’s perfect!”

When we put the movie in, the screen shot shows Robin Wright in full princess garb. Seth looked at me and asked with a lot of suspicion, “Are you sure this has pirates?”

As we watched, it was one of those moments in my life when it comes full circle. I enjoyed every minute of it. Every time Seth would get squicked out, the movie would cut to Fred Savage getting squicked out about the same thing. THE KISSING! THE EELS! After the third time Fred repeated word-for-word what Seth had just said, Seth looked at me with wide eyes. “That kid is just like me!”

I tell you, it’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a movie that much.


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