Positivity Journal, Week One

I got to write Day 7 on my Positivity Journal tonight. So it’s been one week of doing this experiment of sorts. I’m proud of myself for keeping with some unplanned, time-sucker. No, it doesn’t really take that long, but the half an hour or so I spend on it daily (nightly) could be spent doing things that some part of me might tell the other part are more ‘worthwhile’. Good thing I’m apparently choosing to ignore that part completely, because I really think this is helping.

No, I’m not magically running around thinking that everything is daisies and roses. (I’m not really a fan of daisies or roses, so I should probably use more personally-appropriate flower choices for that.) I do think it’s doing precisely what I wanted and intended for it to though, which is making me stop for a bit and break it all down. Not only that, but I’ve gotten to put a few things on there that I don’t want to forget. Having a laugh with people, and things like that.

This is telling me a little more about myself than I thought it would. As I said in the post where I was initially talking about doing this, I’m not writing feelings down and things along those lines. But I think this is probably the most ‘me’ that’s been written down in a very long time. Maybe it wouldn’t be so if I wasn’t putting +’s and -‘s next to things (along with a few other symbols that I made a key for), and it wasn’t so blatantly obvious how I feel about totally normal occurrences. I definitely don’t plan on anyone ever getting their hands on this.

It’s not that it’s all bad, but I’m really not used to writing anything about myself anymore. (Past these blog entries which are almost always about myself working.) At some point, I got pretty accustomed to only spilling less-than-pleasant aspects of my life/thoughts/feelings to my husband (and very few close friends). And there they sit on paper with little symbols, probably saying much more about how I feel and who I am as a person than any legitimate journal entry ever could or would. I wasn’t expecting that, which seems a bit silly in retrospect.

There have definitely been positives. Laughs, as I said. Comments made that I don’t want to forget. Communications. There was a quote I heard that really struck a chord with me, and it got its own special symbol that it – thus far – only shares with a pep talk I had to give myself halfway through the week. It’s almost funny what difference a few written words might potentially make with a person.

There have, of course, been some negatives. One, for acknowledging that sometimes . . . I’m a very bad friend. I lose track of time, and I don’t get back with people as soon as I’d like to. I don’t check on people as often as I’d like, even when I know things are/were going on with them that need checking on. It’s something to work on, and that’s not negative. I’m trying.

There was even realizing that I must’ve subconsciously put a negative next to something I’d intended to label as ‘random’ (with a dot) because I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I supposed that said enough. Maybe sometimes I know better than I know. ha

All in all, it’s definitely been an experience – one that’s given me precisely what I hoped I would get from it and then some. This is me taking a small bit of my time daily to acknowledge my own life, rather than just my work life. So I’m giving into it, and getting back from it.

It’s definitely funny thinking that, with my writing . . . I’m a pantser. It’s the only time I don’t try to plan every minuscule aspect of life or what I’m doing, and I do it that way because it’s the only way that works for me. (I plan everything else.) Coming up with the Positivity Journal was completely random, and for once? I just went with it. With my stories, I always have to trust that the characters will work things out themselves. Even when I worry they can’t (or won’t), at some point along the journey with them, it always hits me that I do start to trust them. Maybe this random idea I went with that ended up being very good is only proof that sometimes . . . a little bit of pantsing in my own life might not be such a bad idea. Maybe sometimes, I just need to have a bit more trust in myself to get everything worked out. 🙂

(But if I never needed to sleep, I could get everything worked out much faster than what I do . . .)

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Positivity Journal

I usually apologize when I haven’t been on here (or anywhere) for a while. I’m not going to do that this time. I’ll explain, and explaining will (eventually) get me to the title of this post. This is going to be a long one. Proceed if you dare . . .

I posted something about a month ago that I really didn’t want to, talking about how I (mentally) was not doing so great. Then I posted about two weeks later that I was feeling better (in comparison). The in comparison was key there. The fact of the matter is that the not-so-greatness has been going on for well over a month and a half now. I’d usually rather not say anything like that, and I believe I’ve only done so on here a small handful of times. No matter what sort of stuff [going on in my life] I talk about on here, this is ‘work-related’ to me. This blog has my ‘author name’ on it, my ‘author photo,’ etc. This isn’t a space where I toss my deepest feelings out into the abyss of the interwebz. I don’t toss my deepest feelings out anywhere, really, apart from in one-on-one conversations. That’s just me. So apart from saying, “I’m in a weird/bad/whatever headspace,” there’s usually not anything like that. That might change one day, but I’m not holding my breath for it.

The only reason I ever post things along the lines of what I did a month or so ago is when whatever headspace I’m in starts impacting my work rather than my life outside of work. It definitely has this time.

Typically, when I get in ‘a mood,’ I’m so preoccupied with work that I don’t even have the time to think about it. I have such a one-track mind and get so focused on what I’m doing that whatever else is going on in my life sort of slips somewhere behind a closed door in the back of my head. Sometimes (like when I’m writing), I’ll get so caught up in what I’m doing that the door doesn’t even have the chance to get opened again. Then, by the time I might’ve gotten around to it, whatever was causing the unpleasantness has usually lessened for some reason or another. (Issues getting resolved or me just calming down about whatever it was.)

This has probably been the worst mindset I’ve been in for . . . a very long time. I tried just about everything to drag myself out of it. I wrote. (I FINISHED ANOTHER BOOK.) I did (a few) non-writing work-related things. I got out of the shed. (A lot of that was due to a messed up sleep schedule/sleep related issues and it being too hot for me out here.) I played video games. I watched some TV. Did (a few) things outside (and got a good reminder of why I enjoy being indoors). I EVEN GOT OUT OF THE STATE.

I really tried just about everything, and no matter how okay (and even sometimes great) I would be doing at any point, I kept mentally backsliding. Now, we all know (and I have no problem with admitting) that I am a very negative person. (Not outwardly, but inside my head.) I used to consider myself realistic, and I don’t think it really hit me just how much I was kidding myself with that until pretty recently. I do believe that I look at the glass as neither half-full nor half-empty, only that there’s a glass filled to the midway point, but I’m always worst-case scenario. I’m always planning things out and trying to mentally prepare myself for whatever horrible thing that’s next on the path. That’s just me. And really, in a way, I’m totally fine with that. I wouldn’t be me if my dad couldn’t make jokes about the sky falling and me responding with something like, “If [whatever] happened . . . it could.”

I don’t have a problem with that sort of thing, but I WILL admit that I’m getting worse about it, and I don’t like that. I feel like in a lot of ways, my anxiety has even gotten worse. And I’ve been trying to push myself out of my ‘safe bubble comfort zone’ for a while now.

And it’s so freaking weird, because at some point along the way, I’d slowed down all the negativity in my head that I was really worried about – the negativity that pertained to my work. The, ‘What makes you think you could ever do this?’ sort of questions. The, ‘You know you’re not good enough for this,’ remarks. The responses to those had turned into, “Because I can,” and either, “Yes I am,” or, “I’m doing it anyway.”

So what’s been with the mood? I’m still not really sure, but I’ll be honest and admit that I’ve kind of been a wreck lately. I’m sure pretty much everybody knows there are some times that are harder than others to put a (figurative or literal) smile on your face just because you have to. It’s been hard for me lately, when trying to take care of all the stuff that needs doing. So I didn’t do much of it.

I cry a lot over weird things. Movies, TV shows, sometimes music. Sometimes commercials. When I say cry, I mean tear up. I don’t actually cry often. (You may think it’s not weird to cry at the things I mentioned, but it’s what sets it off that makes the crying so weird. If I watch LOTR:ROTK by myself, I’ll sob when they’re all riding into battle. It’s just so epic. Even after watching it more times than I even know, I still fight against sobs.) I cry REAL GOOD (getting all Southern there) when I’m writing/editing sometimes. The point of saying that or even bringing it up at all is . . . I don’t cry about my real life often. Once in a blue moon, usually when I’m extremely frustrated over something that makes complete sense to be up-in-the-air about. So when it gets to the point where nothing in particular has happened, and I’m just feeling nothing short of completely broken down . . . that obviously means I let myself get past an okay point to be.

I don’t really have a solution for it. (Though starting to re-watch Merlin drastically improved my mood.) I can’t magically make this workload go down. Even working on it doesn’t really put a dent in it. This isn’t a story in a book I’m writing, where I can depend on fake people to fix something. This is my real life. I’m just a feeble, little human. And no matter how I feel about my books, or my work in general, sometimes I need a good reminding that I’m more important than they are. (Because I can’t get them out of my head if I’m not in a place where I can.) It’s easy to forget sometimes, and it’s just as easy to beat myself up over needing to get whatever done and not doing it when I think I should.

So while it almost feels like it killed a part of my soul (I say that about a lot of things but rarely mean it like I do here) to not work as much, or as well, or as efficiently as what I ‘should’ have . . . I needed the break. That’s why I really can’t apologize for missing the posts I’d JUST set a schedule for, because I needed to take care of myself. And you know what? It’s been really freaking nice to spend some substantial time with my husband.

I’ve realized that I can’t stick to any sort of actual schedule right now. I just can’t manage it, and that’s okay. (Did more of that writing up posts on here and not posting them stuff.) Trying to do that didn’t actually help like I thought it would. It just made things worse for me. So I’m just going to post about whatever, whenever (like I’ve done pretty much forever on here). The sky isn’t going to fall down. People might have issues with how long it’s taken me to comment back, but I WILL comment back. And I’d rather say what I want to say when I can say it than say what I can say in a small space of time. (That makes sense in my head. I know I could’ve worded it better.)

Anyway, the whole point of all this is the title. I read an article today, and it was almost like something clicked in my head. I really feel like I’ve been in this cesspool of negativity for FAR too long. (I don’t like not being able to work.) I thought of an idea earlier.

I’m going to start a positivity journal. Not like a real journal, with feelings and all. More like a list.

I wrote however many words today. I actually went to the gym. I got whatever done. This happened. So and so said this to me. I laughed about some event.

And not all positives either. I’m going to put the negatives in there too. (Herald’s E-key broke. Husband fixed it.) Because when you break down your days, you might have one massive negative, but you’re going to have a crapton of small positives thrown in there. For someone who naturally focuses on negatives . . .

I just don’t want to do that anymore. I feel like writing it all down might put things in a different perspective for me. I’m hoping so.

I’m just a feeble, little human, and my feelings are relevant. Being down, or overwhelmed, or sad, or angry . . . that’s relevant. But those are the things I naturally cling to. Those are the things I typically remember when all of this other stuff slips out of my head. (My memory is so bad.) And I would really like to remember everything else.

Husband and I had a talk about [something awesome] today. It really meant a lot to me.

I accomplished this today.

So I’ll be able to look back at some point, and I’ll remember the moment of writing it down if I write it down, meaning I’ll actually remember the event. (I remember almost everything that I actually write down.) One thousand words written might not seem like much, but they add up. Add about 90,000 more and you’ve got a book. All the days broken down.

I don’t expect doing this to change me. I’m the most self-deprecating person ever. (If you want to challenge me on that, we’ll lose together.) I’ve mastered getting in my own way, and I’ve lived most of my life like that. (What a skill to master!) So I might have a day where the sky is falling down inside my head because my anxiety is intent on pulling the damn thing down, but that doesn’t change what’s going on around me.

My feelings, no matter how relevant, do not undermine my accomplishments, my dreams, or the good things that happen to me.

I’m not aiming to fill my life with only positives. I’m too realistic (there’s that word again) for that. I’m aiming to acknowledge and accept the positives that already exist. That’s all, and I think this is a good start.

I know there are a lot of people like me out there, and really . . . I just wish so badly that we could all let ourselves focus on the good. Good things happen. It’s easy to forget sometimes, overlook. I just don’t want to do that anymore. Whatever struggles anyone else is going through . . . I hope you find a way to overcome them. I really do. I’m working on my way.

No matter what I’m working on, I just have to remember that my most important WIP . . . is me.

 

Female Friendships

I was hoping to do a post today entitled: ALL THE COLORS Pt. 2.

Obviously I’m not doing that, which is because I haven’t yet attempted what I planned to attempt in ALL THE COLORS. I’m still planning it, but I haven’t got all my supplies out of the boxes they’re in yet. I’ll try it out at some point, hopefully soon.

So instead, I’m going to be writing a post about the importance of female friendships in novels, and in life. This is inspired by Vampire Academy coming out in two days, which I am EXTREMELY excited about.

Most of the reading I do is in the YA genre. I don’t always WRITE in that genre (it’s a bit difficult for me to keep the cursing to a minimum [depending on how badly a character wants to do it] and wondering about the line where *cough* other things are concerned), but I prefer to read in it. My reasons for doing as much aren’t related to this post, so I’m not going to get into that because I’m trying to stay on subject with the new schedule. (Is mentioning something getting into it?)

One of my largest problems (it’s not the only one) with the genre is the lack of female friendships that the heroines have in their lives. More often than not, it seems to be piling a bunch of males in with the one female to develop (sometimes) meaningful relationships and friendships with. If there are females, they seem to be put on the back-burner and are more for keeping up appearances rather than adding any sort of legitimate substance. They’re underutilized, in my opinion. (Kind of like something else, which I will probably get to in another post.)

I’ll completely admit that writing female friendships is a tricky thing. When you’re female, you KNOW how tricky female friendships can get, especially around the age when YA main characters are. I’ll also admit that the male/female friendship ratio I tend to work with is usually pretty indicative that I personally find friendships with males easier. BUT, there’s a quality over quantity aspect. And I will say that in any series I’ve finished, the main female character has AT LEAST ONE extremely meaningful friendship with another female. Doesn’t necessarily happen in the first book of a series, doesn’t necessarily not happen in the first book of a series, but it happens at some point (thus far). It happens because . . . that happens in life. I also believe it’s important.

I think for younger females, it’s good for them to see that friendships with other girls can be healthy. It doesn’t have to be backstabbing and all the other nonsense that comes along with being 16-18 years old (and younger, and older). I think it’s good for them to see that. It’s true that you don’t always get back what you put into a friendship, but sometimes you do.

While I’ve always made friends easier with males (for the most part), some of the most meaningful connections I have in my life are with females. Females communicate together in a way that you just . . . don’t get with males. And no, it’s not all make up and clothes (but yes, that’s fun).

I have no problem saying that Aster eventually develops several meaningful relationships with females in the Reave series (apart from Agatha). Some of them come later into the game than others, but they help her grow as a ‘person’. These females (I’m not giving them away) help her in ways no one else ever could.

I say writing female friendships isn’t any trickier than writing love entanglements. No, they’re not as ‘appealing’, but by god . . . they’re real.

And that’s one thing I loved about the Vampire Academy series (apart from Rose being badass, which she was). Rose and Lissa, whatever connection aside, have one of the deepest friendships I’ve ever read. No matter what boys get thrown into the mix, or what crap, they are always there for each other. I think that’s beautiful, and I think it’s important.

When you have girlfriends and you throw boys into the mix, things can get a bit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . difficult. When you’re young, a lot of times you think the boy is the one that matters, and don’t get me wrong, they matter in their ways. It’s usually not ways you realize at the time.

You might cry on a male friend’s shoulder when you’re falling to pieces over a boy. I know I did my fair share of that when I was younger (A BIG SORRY here to any of you who had to deal with that), but it’s different when you’re sprawled out on your best female friend’s bed, a complete wreck. There’s no, “I knew this was going to happen.”

That comes later, if ever. Usually not.

Girlfriends know you don’t want to hear that garbage, especially when you’re in pieces (you probably did know and don’t need reminding). All you want to do is cry about some jerkface who probably didn’t deserve your time or the tears you’re crying over him anyhow.

I’m not devaluing one sort of friendship and talking up the other. Some of my best friends in the world are male, and I would not give up those friendships for anything, but neither would I with my female friendships. What I’m saying is that it’s all important.

There’s really not much that compares to the bonds females can form with one another, especially in the fueled flames of adolescence. I can easily say that, being well past that time, I’m glad to see it over. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it for what it was, or the people involved. But it’s easy to look back and realize that you take things for granted when you’re young.

So hug your girlfriends and always remember . . . they can’t be replaced. And those connections? They deserve to be written about. They deserve so much more than what they’re given.

Thank you Richelle Mead for doing a fantastic job of that when it seems to be so rare in the genre.

(Also, on a completely unrelated note: I’m trying to get an actual SCHEDULE made up for reading people’s blogs on here. It’s taking me longer than I want it to with all the work I’m doing, but I AM working on it. Please be patient with me until that time, and then I’ll actually have a daily schedule for it to hold myself to.)

🙂

Bucket List

When I was younger (probably 17-18 or so), I wrote up a list of things I wanted to do in my life. That list, unfortunately, has been lost – along with any and all the endless amounts of notebooks I’ve had throughout the years. Shame. It’s an even bigger shame that I can’t remember the things on the list. Not really.

There were probably things like, Get a tattoo, or Travel to [some unknown place]. I’m sure it’s baffling to at least one person out there that I can’t even remember where I wanted to travel to seven or eight years ago. I can say that it likely included destinations where my friends were located then (as I used to have a LOT of friends scattered across the country, and still have a few of them, actually).

I can say that, since that time, I’m sure I’ve done a lot of the EASIER things on my list. I didn’t do things like, Bungee jump, or Skydive. I don’t want to do those now, and it baffles me why I ever wanted to.

I have several tattoos. I’ve been a lot of places (outside the continental US, but haven’t had my feet off American soil). I’ve lived in five states since age 17, and right on the border of another. I’ve visited more states than I care to count right now, for one reason or another (almost always involving seeing people that I knew more so than doing THINGS). I’ve gone snowboarding more than once. I’ve been to the top of a mountain (driving, not climbing, but that’s one experience I don’t care to do again as I was nearly having a panic attack the entire time). I’ve seen the northern lights in person. I’ve gone whitewater rafting. I’ve been in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. I’ve gone snorkeling. I’ve driven to the point of being utterly lost and found my way home without a map or GPS or smartphone, both literally and figuratively.

I’ve written a book (quite a lot more than a), which was always on the list.

I’ve done some things in my life. I used to do so many things on a whim. I’d get an idea in my head and just . . . do it. It made for some amazing experiences, I can’t deny that, but it also made for some amazingly bad experiences along the way.

I’ve realized that – most of the time – when you reminisce with people, you filter through the memories. You laugh about the good (laying on a blanket around a bonfire with some of your best friends, staring up at the stars, while people play guitar and make up ridiculous songs sang in a Schwarzenegger-like voice), and skirt around the bad. You skirt around the bad and the REALLY bad is rarely ever acknowledged.

It’s better that way, I think. You know what happened and why talk about it when you can laugh instead?

BF and I often reminisce, as we have about 16 years or so of life spent (mostly) together to reminisce over. I realized that . . . most of the time, when I speak with people who have been in my life for a long time . . . reminiscing is involved (as long as there’s time to catch up and get past the ‘how have you been the last several months?’).

I have a lot of things that I still want to do, rather than talking about things that I’ve done before. They’re different wants than they likely would’ve been when I sat down however many years ago to write the old list. Then again . . . I wouldn’t know.

I’ve seen a few people have those sorts of lists on here, and it made me really think about it.

Rather than randomly spout off the things I still want to do, I’m going to make a new list and put it on here. I will cross things off when I get to them. I may never get to most of them, but I’m going to try.

It’s much more difficult to do when you get older and have so many things to take care of, but it’s not impossible. It’s much more difficult when you set your sights higher, but it’s not impossible.

It might take me a few days to get it up, but that’s the goal.

Aim for the stars.

A Word

The word moment is a tricky thing for me. There’s really not any other word that be used in replacement to prevent over-usage. Instant only seems applicable under certain circumstances, as does second or stretch of time – things of that nature. Sometimes only one word can be used – should only be used – when all other words would fall short of doing justice to a situation, a message you’re trying to get across, something you’re trying to explain the right way, or some hidden thing that you might be the only person to notice.

Words are a big deal to me. If I told people how many words I’ve written over the last several years, I would get The Look – the same look that I had on my face yesterday when watching YouTube videos of a guy getting scared while playing video games (it’s the, “You need to get out more,” look). Most numbers, when thinking about it, should usually be kept pretty close to the vest when they pertain to personal things. It’s taken me a bit of time to realize that.

Words are my entire life. I wake up, I read the ones I wrote the day (night) before, and then I write more. When I’m editing, I read the ones I wrote, add more, take some out, and move them around, trying to make all of them as close to perfect (my perfect) as I can get.

I don’t know how many times I can say, “I fail words constantly, but they never fail me,” or some variant of that with the same message.

And moment has always given me headaches. It took me an extremely long time of writing stories to realize what I said up top. Sometimes . . . nothing else fits. People might criticize you for it, but you know what fits in your own writing, and in your own life.

But, if we’re getting technical, I should explain.

Writing is like . . . medicine for me. It’s my way of coping with stress, and struggles, and life. It is for most people who do it, but then again, I think most people who do it manage to balance life better than I do. I go and crawl into my shed – sometimes almost literally when I’m just waking up – and I stay in there. I force myself to come out sometimes, just to do things I need to do. More often than not, it takes me several days to manage some things (which things I’m talking about shall go unmentioned past mentioning). I put things off because something inside of me says . . . I need to. For myself.

I spend my life – almost every second of it – writing the moments of people’s lives that only exist in my head. It prevents me from having my own moments. It’s healthy in ways, but not in others. Is anything in the world ever ENTIRELY good for anyone? I don’t think so. A new study comes out daily, contradicting the one before it. This is just me. It works. It makes me . . . better.

The point of this is that I had my own moment two days ago.

Normally, I would explain – rattling off for 2k words about events leading up and the like. I don’t feel I should.

I’ll only say that I realized two days ago that, well . . .

Words don’t mean the same thing to everyone that they mean to me. It’s easy to say the things that you mean and mean the things that you say, but when words are thrown in to any situation . . . the possibility for failing them is almost inevitable. The difference between, “I have faith,” and, “I hope,” is the difference in saying you believe something will happen, and that you believe it won’t.

Words.

I’ve been waiting three years to hear certain words. I hadn’t known – not exactly – what they were. But I heard them two days ago.

My father said, “I think you could’ve been a [INSERT MEANINGLESS WORD] and it would’ve just been a stepping stone. You would’ve ended up here. You’re doing exactly what you should be doing.”

There were more words said, but the last sentence up there was the one that got me. It was the only one that mattered.

I cried.

I cry over the lives of the characters that I write. I do. Often; I’m not ashamed to admit it. I laugh, and I cry. I cry about my own life a very small handful of times a year, if even that.

It was kind of amazing, having my own moment.

Just thought I’d share it. It’s funny how a moment can seem insignificant to some people, but can be the furthest thing from it for others.

I really can’t explain how much I hope all of you are having your own moments out there. That’s not me saying, “I don’t believe it will happen.” I’m saying that I hope it does.

Sometimes . . . a word is just a word. It’s everything behind them that matters – feelings and thoughts that hardly anyone can ever do justice to, express correctly, or truly get across.

When we fail with words, it can be so much worse than anyone ever thinks about. But if we fall, stand up, and try again?

It might be the one thing someone needs to hear, or see.

Words are never just words to me. They’re my life. That doesn’t mean I’m not falling.

Fail, Fall, Stand up, Try again.

Lions, and tigers, and sex sc – Wait…what?

Ah, the dreaded three letter word that starts with S, ends in X, and rhymes with HEX.

It’s not such a dreaded word in reality (at least not for most people under whichever circumstances), but for writers who are not Romance novelists? Oh yes, that word is SO dreaded. I’m not sticking all of you other writers out there into that little box with me, but I’m definitely in it and I know I’m not the only one.

I have to keep in mind that most of you who read my blog have had zero interaction with me off of here. I email with a few people. I’ve talked on the phone to one person a few times. So yes, the only way most of us all know one another is through interactions on WordPress. In a way, that can almost give you deeper insight to a person than you’d normally get – at least in my opinion. We share our hopes and dreams on here – our pains (not paints, way to ruin a moment with a typo, C), our struggles, and our ambitions. We share our WRITING. I know you all get me on that level, which is fantastic.

I’ve said on here before that I’m a pretty closed off person in some ways. If I know you, I’ll spill my deepest secrets (or the next level above the deepest) to you in a heartbeat. I can be a very open person. But let me give you a little insight . . .

If I did NOT know you, and you came up to me on the street and started rattling off about sex scenes, one or both of my eyes would likely start twitching. I would sweat profusely. I would be polite and say, “Hey, Random Person, this is somewhat inappropriate.” At least I would want it to come out of my mouth that way. It would probably be more like, “Whoa dude, wtf are you doing?”

That’s me.

I’ve written a lot, alright? That type of stuff HAPPENS when you write books, because that type of stuff HAPPENS in real life. I’m a fan of The Cut-Off. If I lead up to something happening well enough, I’m PRETTY SURE your mind can fill in the gaps. It’s my goal as a writer to make that happen. It’s better that way, I think (just my opinion). At least I am better at it that way, which . . . sometime you out there can be the judge of that, if you ever want to be. When writing Young Adult, it’s almost better to do it that way, again in my opinion. And I don’t want to feel like I’d be responsible for a crapton of sexually deviant teenagers running around doing things that they do. Hey, they do it, but I don’t want to feel responsible for it. And I would feel responsible, even if nobody ever accused me of it.

Oh my GOD, ALL THE EVILS IN THE WORLD ARE MY FAULT!!

That’s how my brain works, okay?

There’s a part of me that’s not comfortable writing YA at all, as I cover a lot of subjects in my books that I’m not sure the younger end of YA readers . . . I’m stopping myself there, as I cannot say who should and should not (or would and would not be able to) handle whatever. But I’m less comfortable writing in the adult genre, in ways.

I’ll give you a scenario – it’s a truthful scenario that happens quite often with me while I’m writing (or editing) a book.

I’m sitting there in my shed (I have every intention of posting an entry about my shed on here, so let’s leave the shed at that for now), writing (or editing). Sexy scene comes up. I type (or read/write) a few words. I giggle. I type a few more, put my hand over my face, and start talking to myself (“Oh my god,” for example. “I can’t believe I just wrote that,” for another). I type a few more and giggle again.

It happens.

There are some scenes in some of my books that – I kid you not – will have me nearly rolling around on the ground giggling in uncomfortableness. I do weird things when I’m uncomfortable, if you haven’t gathered.

So yes, adult books have their downside, as The Cut-Off is generally not wanted or accepted.

But I’ll tell you something I learned . . . yesterday? Two days ago? The days blur . . .

I knew that I’d done a relatively decent job with the more ‘intimate’ scenes (not sex scenes) in the book that my editor HAS IN HER HANDS RIGHT NOW. I knew that I had because my husband’s response after reading one of them in particular was, “I felt like I was intruding.”

That’s one of those things where you think about it for a little while, and then nod your head in satisfaction when you’re alone. It must’ve been good, in some way.

I’ve never really felt like that – at least no more than I usually feel when I’m writing. I already feel a level of intrusion into the character’s stories that I’m telling because I feel like I’m telling the life story of some person that has no business being told. I’m giving words to their lives for other people to read.

I have to be honest and say that I finished writing this new trilogy last week. I didn’t want to say anything on here – partially because I’ve been busy (writing and now editing), and partially because I read on a blog awhile back that talking about writing prolifically can make other authors feel bad. I’ve actually been struggling a lot with both that, and the fact that I write full-time (without pay because I have no books released yet . . . give me some time to get everything in place and they will be out there, I promise). I don’t want to make anyone feel any negative thing due to what I’m doing, so I haven’t wanted to be like, “HEY, I FINISHED ANOTHER BOOK!” And then another one a few weeks later. But hey. I have.

Guilty feelings come to me again now.

So anyway, I had to say it so that what I say next will make sense.

I was editing the first book in that trilogy and came upon the actual first legitimate sex scene that I’ve ever written. It was torture writing it, let me tell you. I was pleased with it afterward. I thought I kept it classy (as classy as they can get). I postponed writing it for as long as I freaking could, let me tell you.

Anyway, came upon it when editing.

And by god, if I didn’t feel like I was intruding then I don’t know what that was. Well, uncomfortable, yes. But intrusive. I felt so unbelievably intrusive.

So, after getting through editing it and taking a few minute break afterward to try and fix my brain back into its normal – un-uncomfortable – mode, I sat there and I thought about it.

I’ll never be a Romance novelist. Not ever. Well, I can’t know that for certain, but I know for certain that I don’t want to be. I love the natural romance that happens between characters, but I’m not trying to turn love stories into the pornographacation (*ding* new Non-Word) of a character’s life. I will write and write (and write and write) about things that don’t happen, but I like my books to be realistic enough that the other things can make those unrealistic things believable. And throwing in a bunch of words that people DO NOT THINK into scenarios and DO NOT HAPPEN . . . Where is the believability there?

I’m not writing this to get into a debate about Romance novels. People like them, and that’s cool. I just don’t write them.

What I’m trying to say is that I learned, finally, that I CAN actually write a sex scene if I feel that I absolutely must – if the story, or the characters say, “Dammit, woman, TELL THE STORY!”.

And I’m proud of myself for that because it was such a freaking struggle for me.

But hey, I’m a bigger fan of the leading-up-to anyhow. For the most part . . . I think I’ll stick to what I’m good at when it comes to that sort of thing with writing. I’ll venture out of my box to grow, but . . . yep, done that. Check.

Sorry this was so long, but I haven’t been blogging very much. Pretty poor way of making up for it, come to think about it.

Anyway, if anyone else has had the same struggles – or similar ones – feel free to share. Maybe I won’t feel so ridiculous.

Hope everyone is wonderful out there.

🙂

Now if only I can get over the thought of my mom reading these new books of mine that she’s been asking to read . . .

Friendship: The magic of THE CLICK

I generally don’t tend to have ginormous blog revelations – brilliant things that I feel some unyielding need to write about on here.

I have had my first. It even got its own swanky title from the get-go, which is another first (I’m not good at following maps).

Friends.

Original, I know, right? Wait a minute . . . just hear me out.

We all have them. Maybe a hundred of them, maybe only one. Still, we’ve got them. And, chances are, if you added up your total of friends throughout the entirety of your life, you’d have a pretty dag on large list of names. Even introverts have someone to call their very own in Friend Land. If you don’t . . . then you probably need to get out more. I sit in a shed and write my years away and I’ve still got a few of them.

Now, we all know there are varying degrees and levels of friendship, and I’ll not get into the negative categories.

You’ve got:

The Acquaintance: The Acquaintance is nothing more than a passerby in your life. Someone you may stop and chat with for more than a hello when running into them at the grocery store. They’re the small-talkers, and they’re nothing more than that. At least not to you, and you to them. That’s fine and dandy.

The Old Friend: The Old Friend is much trickier than The Acquaintance. They’re your close friends from childhood – the ones you grew apart from at some point between eating dirt (figuratively speaking) and having a real, grown up life. They’re the ones that you’ll either smile and wave at (possibly followed by unbearably awkward small talk about how life has gone over the past ten or fifteen years while both of you force smiles at the forces of the universe for smashing you together in that very instant), or you’ll just tuck tail into the nearest safe aisle and hide (which is what I do. What? At least I’m honest).

The Fix-er-upper: This is the friendship that requires constant attention and work to maintain. It could be something beautiful, if both parties put in the appropriate level of determination required. But sometimes? Sometimes The Fix-er-uppers just won’t work out. There’s nothing wrong with that. It happens.

The Fader: This is someone who – for no rhyme or reason – simply . . . fades out of your life, and you from theirs. It happens as well. It’s inevitable. You’d be surprised when you’re young by how many sparks of brilliant friendships chock-full of potential turn into Faders.

The Rekindled: I love this one. This is someone who potentially faded, but then – at some point later – blew up like a firework in front of your face. Rekindled’s cannot be ignored. But they take the work of ensuring that neither party returns to The Fader so that they can become . . .

THE ULTIMATE OF FRIENDSHIPS

The Storm Weatherer: These are the people who stick with one another through every whirlwind and flying car that the world has brought upon you. The Storm Weatherers are the most we can ever hope to have from another person, and the most that we could aspire to be for them in return.

But this blog isn’t about the levels of friendship. This entry right here is about the ONE factor that seeps into every relationship in your life, friendship or otherwise.

The Click.

The Click is the most magical of feelings. It’s what will turn a completely rational and levelheaded person into an absolute wreck.

I know this because I’ve experienced it. I’ve witnessed it. I write it.

It’s the thing that solidifies the beginning of something that goes beyond the ordinary. It’s the thing that ensures that – no matter what level of friendship a person becomes – they stick with you forever. They have an overwhelming effect on you, and they change things. They’re the people you allow yourself to get close to, the people you lower your defenses for, and the only people I – personally – will let have any effect on me whatsoever.

And there are levels to The Click.

There are the Smaller-Clicks. The people you feel drawn to in some way for no particular reason, but you still find yourself interested in them nevertheless. They’re the blogs you read more religiously than the rest. The status updates that you make sure you read completely when scrolling through the list of nonsense on your news feed. I might not always comment on something, but I read any new stuff to be read from the Small-Clicks. They can easily *Level Up*.

There are the Medium-Clicks. Those are the people who you’ll find yourself speaking to more often than others. The people who you chat with on a somewhat regular basis. The people who you find yourself genuinely interested, not only in what they have to say, but in them as people.

Then there are THE BIG CLICKS.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been confused about those – especially when I was younger. I’m much stingier with my Big-Clicks now. A Click is still a Click though, regardless of whatever happens after.

My husband was – and still remains – the biggest Click that I’ve ever experienced in my life. We get along almost all of the time. Arguments pretty much don’t exist in my world anymore (and if you knew how argumentative I tend to be, you wouldn’t even believe that I could/would keep my mouth shut with a person). We just . . . fit.

And it’s the exact same with The Big-Click in friendships.

They make no sense.

I’m a firm believer that, if you cannot get along with a person on a basic level, then you should seriously evaluate the amount of time and energy you allow yourself to spend on them. There are billions of people in the world, so there has to be SOMEONE out there you can get along with.

But I’m going to be completely honest and say that it baffles my brain how any two people can get along with one another. Everyone has different opinions. Everyone has different beliefs. And we will FIGHT TO THE DEATH (!!!!!!!) for those two things, generally. The Clicks go so far beyond agreeing on those two things. The Clicks, in my mind, have diddly to do with those two things.

I’ll spare all of you some nonsense about past lives and those Clickers being close to us then too. I’ve heard crazier theories.

That’s just how insane it is to me – that feeling of so badly wanting another person to think of you the way that you think of them. We all want to feel The Click, and we all want to be special enough for someone to feel it because of us as well.

Even for an introvert like me . . . it’s a magical thing.

We should all take a minute to think about the people in our lives, to think about all the things they’ve done for us – no matter how small – and then let them know that it (along with the person) is appreciated. And we should all strive to be there for them, in the same way that they’ve been there for us.

So – to all of my Clickers and close friends . . .

Thank you.

🙂