Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Absentee

Hello, Blog World. Between all of the crazy things I have going on, I've been scarce, except maybe on Twitter. I know. That's because I've only had about 5 minutes at a time to spare, not long enough to catch up on all of the blogs I love so much. 

My head is exploding, and as much as I've tried to appear happy and sane, I haven't been. If you see a smile on my face, it's me trying to linger on the little things that keep me going. You know, the stuff that keeps me from perfect darkness. Because right now, it's all this body can handle. I'm in survival mode, and it may be that way for a while. 

But know that I'm still here, still spending spare moments on reading whatever I can. Your stuff is part of what makes me smile. That, and chocolate. So even if you haven't heard from me, it doesn't mean I hate you and never want to read another post again. It just means that I haven't had the time or possibly energy to leave a comment.

When I get this all figured out, I may have something to share. But until then, know that I'm still here and still love you all. Until then, know that you are awesome and you make my day.

Until then.... Peace.

-Tsira

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Journals

I find it so important to keep a journal, as a writer, yes, but just... as a person. I fall into cycles, and thoughts I had several years ago come back with more force. And being able to see the way that I pushed through things helps me overcome those feelings.

I was reading my old blog, which has been hidden for years, today. I did this for many reasons, the first of which was to look for poems and other writing that may not exist anywhere else. It's important to me to save that stuff. But as I was reading, I came across this post:

"I've been reading my journals obsessively. I went through, annoyed that a wannabe master of English would make so many spelling and grammatical errors. I made a lot more when I was 8, 10, 11, 12... back in 2001 when I started my yellow journal I thought I was a decent writer. I used too many commas. I spelled things wrong, sometimes because I was going too quickly to care, sometimes because I was crying as I wrote and couldn't even see my own hand, and sometimes because I'd never actually seen the word before--I'd only heard it. Words like "ornery" I consistently spelled as "awnry" because I'd never seen it on paper before. I spelled it the way it sounded in my head. In my earliest journal days I talked about things that were happening like they were in the past tense, saying "I went to sleep and dreamed" instead of "I'm going to bed now. I hope I have pleasant dreams."

My completed journals, beginning my life journey as of 1998.
Certain writing sparked memories to return. I wrote, "Sorry, this is random, but I liked his hair that day." and suddenly I remembered exactly what his hair looked like. Other things surprised me, things I'd completely forgotten. In the last entry of one journal (which took up 18 pages) I had a lot to say about how things were that day, writing every thing that popped into my head. When I lost my train of thought, I'd start on something else. In my last entry, I made a comment about how everything reminded me of Jaron. He was inextricably glued to my thoughts, his puzzle pieces taking their place in random areas of mine.

I also mentioned in that last entry that I was so vague. Jaron didn't want me to read his journal, but I read the last entry anyway, and I remembered how he described everything. He had written what it felt like to kiss me. I never said anything like that in my journal. I was afraid to even admit it to my journal. My journal, which no one was ever supposed to see but me, and I was still too scared to write anything in detail.

I had decided to change that. But I noticed that after that day, I fell into old habits again and didn't say what I wanted to say. I'd only said it once.

I didn't talk to my journal the way I did with Jaron. And he called me vague and mysterious. Shows you how much I included in my diary."

So what did this mean to me? 1. I'm not perfect and never will be, and I can accept that. 2. Feelings that I have now are not isolated. At some point, I experienced them before, and I can draw on that experience to help me deal with and overcome challenges now. 3. Memory returns much better when I include striking details. 4. Things that I didn't write down are often fuzzy or completely gone.

Journals are your journey. To me, it's not only important to keep a journal, but to write in it often, including extremely personal thoughts and feelings. When I realize that there's something missing, that I kept some detail to myself, I mourn the loss of that moment. I guess that's why they say writers should save everything. Every bit of work you've done is worth something. Doesn't matter if it was the crappiest manuscript in the world--it's a part of you, and you are valuable.

Don't sell yourself short. Keep a regular journal.

-Tsira

Monday, September 3, 2012

Summer Goals

So it's been a week since I started school/work again, and it's been surprisingly easy. Right now it's mostly stubbornness and laziness that are irritating me, and the one I thought would be trouble has been like a little angel (although I'm sure that's just a honeymoon phase). Also, a few of the kids this year have some sad circumstances at home, and it always shows when they come to school. My heart goes out to them and their families, and I wish I could do more to help. But for now, I have to be content with talking to the kids and helping them cope during class.

The beginning of the school year also means I failed at a few of my goals. I haven't finished my rewrite, regardless of the many late nights and hours spent poring over my manuscript. I still have several heroes, a Rex, and Starfire to finish painting. I haven't drawn all of the character combinations for Dungeonball yet. I got close with all of these things, but I'm just not there yet. I could blame it on my bad habits, on playing too many video games (particularly Xenoblade and FFXI), on stress, or on the distractions the internet provides. But the truth is, I don't care what the reasons are. I don't want to fuss over those things, because they don't matter. All that matters is that I keep going, and that I get these things done. And I will. Soon.

I started a sticker chart for my home-based writing group a few weeks ago, and I know it's helping. Being held accountable for stuff, even in small ways, motivates me to be responsible.

Actually, I know why I haven't met my writing goal. But I won't bother to whine about it or try to excuse myself, because I don't need that. I just need to write.

Well... I'll leave off with a list of things I did accomplish this summer:
  • Read 5 books, and wrote at least 3,000 words per week.
  • Painted and varnished every small monster, treasure, and spawning point, 4 heroes, and a Rex, meaning I've completed over 40 miniatures.
  • Created 31 original characters for Dungeonball.
  • Storyboarded, researched, and begun drawing for the children's book I'm illustrating.
  • And yes, finished a few video games.
So, not as bad as I'm making it sound. Regardless of my failure, I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish. Now the question is, will I be able to make my goals by the end of the year when I have to work every day?

-Tsira