September 9, 2016

Ideas Catching Fire



Oh my god, oh my god!! I just came up with the greatest idea for a novel!! A series, actually!  It’s called The Moshfeigh.  Oh, I could just bury my head in this idea and not come up for months. I don’t want to say much about it other than it’s science fiction and it's very Ursula Le Guin-esque. Lush world, competing idealogies, one insignificant being must save her species from subjugation. Lots of social and political intrigue. Hmmmm. 

I’m at the exciting world-building stage that’s in some ways the very best! Because you haven’t had to do any hard work yet, just play play play.

One itsy-bitsy problem: I have at least five book ideas ahead of this one. Two in my Wyoming Chronicles series, two in the Round Earth series, and a memoir. And why oh why do I always think in series?

You heard it here first, folks. Let's see which idea wins out ...

September 5, 2016

Despair to Optimism



As I’ve mentioned before, I have long cycle manic depression. Not diagnosed or anything, but every 3 months or so I cycle from optimism to despair.  In the despair phase, I feel like I totally suck. It’s hard to get anything creative done, because, you know, what’s the point? In the optimism phase, I’m manic, I’m going, I’m a creative fireball.

I’m not way out there. In optimism, I’m not unreasonably manic. I’m just upbeat and motivated and getting a lot done.  In despair, I’m not suicidal (usually).  I’m just reamed out, empty.

And, at the moment, I’m transitioning from despair to optimism. Could you tell? By the fact that I’m blogging? 

Something that happens, which I always notice on this part of the cycle, is that I turn outward.  My mind and emotions are no longer a hamster on the wheel. Instead, projects come toward me like road signs and I follow them and everything starts to hum along.  I notice how absolutely fabulous it feels to create and to put things out there. Who cares if these victories are tiny ~ publishing a blog post, posting a photo for photo-a-day, having a meaningful exchange on Facebook with another writer. 

But, the thing is, because I open up and start saying YES to the universe, good things come my way.  A friend recently sent on a call for a writing opportunity, and I followed up.  Had I been in the depths of despair, I would have let it pass. But since I’m revving up, I took it and followed up. And I got the assignment! 

It would be so easy to say, “Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, girl! It’s all in your power to control. Why don’t you just be optimistic all the time?” Well, as many of you know, it’s not that easy.  It’s also a subtle way of blaming the victim. “It’s your own damn fault you’re depressed. If you’d just eat better/get some work done/focus, it’d all go away.” Riiiiiight. 

A lot of the time I can white knuckle it.  I can force myself to get things done. At least get up in the morning and get dinner on the table. But, sometimes, I just can’t. It takes more emotional energy and courage than I possess. 

But when I’m on, man oh man. One of my most recent novels I wrote start-to-finish in two months. TWO MONTHS. 

At least I’ve learned moderation in my habits (thanks in part to my supportive husband). That makes the lows less low and the highs more sustained. When I was a teenager and knew nothing about moderation, it was all lows, pretty much. 

But really what I wanted to say was that CREATIVITY ROCKS!!  Nothing beats the feeling of things coming out of your brain and body and into being. Nothing.  It’s manna from heaven! 

September 2, 2016

Slow TV

Feeling rushed?  Try some slow TV.  Watch the complete train trip from Bergen to Oslo, Norway.  All 7 hours, 14 minutes, and 13 seconds. No car crashes, just rolling countryside.  I love the idea!!

September 1, 2016

The World Is an Alien Place


You know, if you really think about it, the world is an alien place.

We go through our days living inside our heads and bodies and rarely really look at things or think about things. 

Or maybe I should speak for myself:  I go through my days living inside my head and body and rarely really look at things or think about things. 

But if you take a moment to observe and to question, or to do some research, you realize that the world is fantastic, and truth is stranger than fiction.

I mean, you could spend your whole life just reading about and figuring things out about the world. It’s truly amazing.

I remember realizing, when I came to college, that I truly could be anything and that anything I wanted to learn was literally right there within my grasp in the library. Now it’s on the internet, the whole world of knowledge.

It made me want to scream with excitement and possibility.

The world would be a better place of everyone wanted to scream with excitement and possibility.