the girl with the books…

Posted by in Navel Gazing and Other Hysterics

It has been a long time, Friends. I’m sorry about that. Life happened, and well, blogging fell down to the bottom of my priority list. Exciting things have happened though:
– I published 2 stories “A Crisis Of” and “Getting Past the Gate.” You can follow these links to read them and I hope that you do. You know I always love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to send me a comment or a note if either of them speak to you.
– I started tweeting! You can find me on twitter @mgnlcs. Sometimes I say interesting things! Michael Farris Smith follows me! And David Joy has retweeted me! *fangirling so hard*

 

 

 

 

 

– I sent my completed novel manuscript Song Birds and Stray Dogs to an editor who is doing some polishing so I can start the submission process – it’s terrifying and exciting!
– I’m way behind on both my story submitting, and my pleasure reading. I’m hoping that I can find sometime this summer to get caught up on both.
– I also turned 36 in February. I’m now officially on the back half of “mid-thirties” and I’m not exactly sure how I feel about it. I’m fully aware that age is just a number, and physically I’m in better health, and have more stamina than I was/did 20 years ago.  I have an amazing family, I’ll finish my second graduate degree this year, I have a job that I love, and I’m healthy and blessed. I am also more comfortable in my own skin than I’ve ever been, and I think that part of that is a function of age. I’m no longer a girl, and I’m no longer willing to be called a girl. I’m a woman. I have opinions, I know my own mind, and I’m not afraid to ask for what I want. Is it 36 that brought this? Maybe a little, but more than anything, it’s been writing that has given me this confidence to embrace what makes me special, and be unafraid of claiming my place.

me in a charleston alley, celebrating 36! with age comes wisdom!   photo credit: my husband

Things I’ve learned from writing that I’ve applied to all areas of my life:

I don’t have to be the best, but I have to try my best. There is always going to be someone who is more successful than me. I don’t have to begrudge other people their successes. Their work is no reflection on me, only mine is. If I’m putting out my best effort, that is good enough.

It’s better together. Community is so important, and my community needs to include people who have opinions that are different than mine. A community encourages and challenges me, and makes me stronger and better.

I am worthy of respect. I need to be open to other perspectives, but I don’t have to suffer fools. If someone disrespects me, I don’t have to allow them to continue. I will allow myself to walk away.

Never stop. You can’t rest on your laurels and you can’t give in to defeat. No one cares that you won that one contest that one time, or that nothing you’re submitting is sticking. Keep moving. Keep learning. Keep trying. Keep pushing forward. The pace doesn’t matter, the direction does.

Be flexible. Part of this is recognizing that other people have needs too, and that mine can’t always come first. Part of it is learning the importance of kindness, of doing something that inconveniences me, just because it will help someone else.

Not everything is about me. It’s easy to think that the reason someone is being a jerk to me, is because they don’t like me, or that that journal won’t take my story because they don’t like me personally. Or that my peers at school don’t respond to my post because they are trying to make life hard for me. But, most the time it isn’t. There is a relief that happens when you realize that most people act the way they do because of things that have nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them. Most people don’t spend any time at all thinking about others. This kind of sucks, but is kind of amazing too. It’s not about you, let it go.

Ideas are the only thing that matter. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what sex you are, how experienced or accomplished you are, or how physically attractive you are if your ideas are great. Conversely, none of those things matter if your ideas suck. Work on your ideas. Fill your life with people and experiences that inspire you to do your best work.

Finally, there is nothing that authors like more than to hear from readers – lets connect – comment, send me a message through the contact me at the top of this page, find me on facebook, or twitter. I want to hear from you.

*** I 100% stole the quote in my header from Goodreads, but I have no idea where they got it from. ***