Eye on the prize

Writing is such a weird emotional thing. It’s hard. If you sit down with a plan to write something, it’s going to be harder — Lauren Miller 

Yeah, writing is a weird emotional thing. And I am referring specifically to fiction writing. Yes, there are other forms of writing (non-fiction, poetry, essay, journalistic, etc.) but I’m not focussing on them.

I think being creative is a weird emotional thing. Period. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Anything worth having, anything worth experiencing, anything worth creating, anything worth fighting for will be hard. 

When it’s hard and you want it badly enough (please excuse any double entendre you might perceive), yeah, you’ll get a little emotional. Depending on the obstacle I encounter, either I get mad and double down on reaching the endgame, or give it the stink eye and double down on reaching the endgame.

Regardless of my emotional reaction to the obstacle, I always have my eye on the endgame. I can’t ever lose sight of that. No matter how much life can get in the way, no matter if I’m in some sort of holding pattern when it comes to moving forward with the storytelling, my eye is always on the prize.

And what is that prize? Being able to successfully tell the story I want to tell. Being able to tell the story my characters want told and to do justice by them. That’s my prize. 

How do I know I earned my prize? By how I feel about the completed first draft of the manuscript.

For my upcoming book, Risk, I was pretty proud when I arrived at the complete first draft. I’m not proud because I just finished writing it. I’m proud because I knew the story that needed to be told was completed. From Point A to Point Z and everything in between felt right. I have no regrets.

And as a writer or as a creative person, having no regrets is so important. Even if there are regrets, acceptance of those regrets is just as important. You can’t let them eat you alive. There are lots of other things in life that will try to eat you alive. Don’t add regrets to that mess.

Another part of the prize for me is I knew the goals I set for myself when I started writing this book had been achieved.

There’s nothing more satisfying than realizing your goals. Those are the things I can call my own. No one can take that away from me. And yeah, I’ll pretty much rip anybody’s head off if they try.

No turkey

Well, it’s Thanksgiving over here in Canada. 

I have to admit I’m not one for holidays regardless of the time of year. I see it as a day off more than anything else. Although Christmas might be a little different. But not by much.

Growing up, the most obvious thing about Thanksgiving was the fact my family got to eat turkey and pumpkin pie. We might have had it for Christmas too, but we leaned towards roast chicken or roast duck for that occasion.

One time we had goose. That was interesting. Not really a fan of goose.

I’ve only roasted turkey a handful of times. I’m really not a big fan of cooking turkey in the oven. Stinks up the kitchen, stinks up the house. I’m funny that way but I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that sentiment. 

Most of my adult life, I had been responsible for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinner. In the last few years, I’ve been abdicating that responsibility. Just too much work. As long as the family gets together over some sort of meal over the long weekend, it’s fine.

I never really bought into the Norman Rockwell concept of celebrating holidays. Outside of my realm of true comprehension. I think it’s the idea of the perfect family gathering is what I can’t wrap my brain around.

Or maybe family gatherings at specified times of the year has me feeling itchy about the whole thing. Forced confinement makes me itchy even though it’s temporary. Sometimes it doesn’t matter who I’m with. It’s forced confinement. I don’t mean to insult anyone when I say that.

I might be too much of an introvert. But then I do have to ask why we have designated holidays in order to get together. People can get together whenever they feel like it. There are more special reasons to get together that have nothing to do with what’s designated in a calendar. Weddings. Birthdays. Engagements. Graduations. Etc.

Although, I kinda suck at those things too. I might be too low key for my own good. Again, I’m fine with it. 

Anyway, however you spend Thanksgiving, hopefully it will be a good one. I’m just looking forward to not having to cook a turkey or a big meal. 

Besties for life

My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me – Henry Ford

This past weekend, my best friend spent the weekend with me. She was in town for business so it was a great opportunity to catch up regardless of how busy my schedule was.

Lots of hilarity and silliness ensued. Highlights were:

• Listened to a four year old boy do a low key belch while we were paying the bill for an awesome lunch. Christ, the belch lasted at least ten seconds. Nobody heard it except for us and maybe the kid’s mom and his little sister. We were laughing so hard we were crying. Swear to god.

• Visited one of the major tourist spots in the city and made our first selfie of the two of us. Twelve years of being besties and we finally have a picture of the two of us together. What the fuck. We were way overdue.

• Visited the city zoo and park. We didn’t visit the zoo but the trampled around the English garden, looked at the memory stones and watched a woodpecker bang away at a tree. That bugger has a hard head. Ouch. The memory stones were sweet and sentimental. A couple were pretty funny. Someone was referred to as a ‘good pig’ on one of the stones. What??? Not quite sure if the person was referring to an actual pig or a person.

• Visited mutual friends and proceeded to have a highly inappropriate conversation. Hilarity ensued again. By the way, did you know that having a pineapple somewhere in your home signifies you are a swinger? I did not know that either. Anything pineapple, seriously. Pineapple on a t-shirt. Ceramic pineapple. Whatever. I don’t even know if I just gave away the secret, but there you go.

• Discovered that saying ‘Bork, bork, bork’ really fast is really fucking funny. We’re just dorks. Plain and simple. We wanted to find a couple of helium balloons, inhale the gas and say ‘bork, bork, bork.’ No such luck.

• Aside from the hilarity, we snarked and bitched about Brett Kavanaugh and the shit show that is the Supreme Court Justice nomination proceedings. I won’t get into it further at the moment. Too infuriating.

When it’s all said and done, I loved having my bestie around for the weekend. She’s one of the handful of people who can bring out the best in me. What I mean by best is she makes it easy for me to be me. She accepts me for me. She loves me for me. Unconditionally. I feel exactly the same way about her. 

She is the living and breathing definition of a best friend. I couldn’t have asked for a better person.