As May ended, and I wrapped up writing my novel, and started thinking about June I took into consideration some of the things I felt my soul was longing for.
I’d spent most of the previous five months writing on one or another project. It’s a lot of brain work. I knew June would involve beginning first edits on my novel, and I wanted to finalize my first children’s book. More and more brain work.
I remember lamenting to my husband that I don’t have time to do art. My evenings are full with writing and my weekends also plus all those grown up things one has to do like groceries, laundry, etc. I decided to schedule time each week for me to do art. It gives my brain a break, while still exercising that creative part. Not to mention exercising my soul.
So Tuesdays & Thursdays are for art. I have a feeling I’ll have a stack of completed things come the end of the summer. Maybe I should open a shop.
Here’s a few things I’ve done.
all is gold (acrylics on canvas) – gift for friend
charcoal on canvas board – gift for brother
Stacked Stones (Ombré Acrylics on Canvas Board)
July 13th, 2013 I wrote the words, “The dark sky was ablaze.” I thought I was writing a short story.
By the end of chapter one, I knew that wasn’t what was happening. The first chapter of my first novel had been completed and 48,500+ words stood between it and “The End”.
Yesterday at approximately 8:05 PM I hit 50,000 words. This has been one of my biggest accomplishments, second only to nearly 14 year’s of marriage, and possibly completing my first 5K race.
On Instagram over the weekend I promised that I would reveal the plot/story of my novel. It has been something I’ve kept secreted away from all but a few people. Fearful of judgement, scoffing, being told, “That’s already been done, move on sister.” [Oh! Hello, my INFP is showing!]
So soon….I will share the big reveal. It is a story I am excited about. One that has literally been haunting my dreams since January 2012.
See you soon!
I didn’t write much here about joy this past year. I think that was for a number of reasons. A couple being: my writing was slowly transitioning from things in my daily life being put out for public consumption to being privatized and putting fiction out there. 2013 had been a hard year for me in many ways, and stepping into a year focused on JOY-FULL was a transition in itself.
A recap of my JOY-FULL year would be: Wow! In a single year. This word terrified me. It’s kind of like asking for patience. The only way you learn it is by going through that space between the rock and the hard place. But this year turned out a little different than I would have expected. The first (literally) six months were great. — A few weeks ago our pastor at church defined joy as the gift from contentment and contentment as the gift from joy. — This is what the first half of the year looked like. 90% of the personal things I’d dealt with the entirety of 2013 no longer plagued me. In fact, that portion carried on throughout all of 2014 not just the first half for the most part.
And then July hit.
If you are unaware, the end of June we were informed my husband was being let go from his job. This was both terrifying and thrilling at the same time. We’d felt for YEARS that he was no longer supposed to be there, but fear has a repulsive way of weaving itself into your peace. Fear of loss of income and taking the next step kept us rooted there in spite of the effect it had on not only my husband’s health and well being, but our marriage. July marked our first month of self-employment and a single income. I won’t lie, there’s been times it’s been hard. And I won’t lie again and will say it’s been good for us. Within less than 24 hours of finding out he lost his job he received a call for what would be come his biggest client of the year, with two come backs for more work. Self-employment itself is stressful. It’s a whole new set of problems, but my heart is more at ease knowing I won’t come home to find my husband having suffered from a mental breakdown or heart attack…..or worse.
Yet in spite of this all, this last half of the year was good and mostly contented too. Sure there were the missed “Oh I really just want to go get a latte. Or ice cream.” moments. But that is stuff we can live without. And really, that’s what allowing joy to invade your life does.
Some 2014 Fun Facts:
• Ran my first 5K (which ended up being a total of 3.52 miles, in 1 hour 1 minute 17 seconds)
• Went to Renn Faire for the first time
• Went to two comic cons (no I didn’t dress up)
• Read 49 books (challenged myself with 45)
• Got my novel up to 30K words
• Finished a short story (minus edits)
• Celebrated 13 years of marriage and 39 years of life and 17 of those with him
• Took a painting class (okay it was a bring your own wine type, but still)
For 2015 a new Word and Goals:
Goals: Before Christmas I decided to set myself some feasible goals for the year in regards to my writing. I was in the midst of finishing up a short story that will be the title story for a volume of short stories I’m working on. I have a number of projects going, and two waiting to be started. I wanted to finish at least of a few things. For now I have goals set through May, and then will at that time tackle the rest of the year.
Novel: I currently have just over 30,000 words. My first goal is 40K by the end of February and 50K by the end of May.
Children’s book #1: Lest you think I’m allowing 3 months for the span of 40 to 50K, I assure you I’m not. March will be devoted to re-writing and all edits for my first children’s book. (This one is special).
Any time in between will be filled with short stories and edits on those. Oye!
Word of the Year: I can’t remember exactly when my word for 2015 first came to me, but I know it was during the summer. It actually came in two parts. The first morphing into the second after my friend Elora pointed out the obviousness of two words I felt were calling me.
My word for 2015 is Beauty. Now before you think I’m diving into a self-serving, superficial state, let me state that it is in the form of finding and discovering beauty in everything. A nice transition out of a year of JOY-FULL. I’m excited and a little anxious. But I know I need to see the beauty all around me.
Oye this is a long post. And I apologize. So much I wanted and needed to say. Happy 2015!
the light faded. its last moments captured in a jar, burning up the rest of the wick. the wax spent.
this is alchemy, she thought. the finality of light. a spark. a magic moment.
we are constantly on the search for light, she said allowed to the empty room. we are constantly on the search for something brighter instead of being enthralled with what we already have. we too often accept the mundane instead of allowing the magic in this world to overwhelm us.
the flame died away and the final spark withdrew.
i am wild.
i am the rain falling on the tin roof.
i am a river, rushing.
i am fierce.
i am tattered.
i am broken
and i am mended.
i am a howl in the night.
i am the roar
…… of the ocean.
i am the warrioress
longing for home.
i am the hawk
on the hunt.
i am wild.
well, she started, no stars on which to wish on tonight. she pulled her coat more firmly around her, the chill pre-winter air prickling her fingers. life has a funny way of smacking you when you’re already down doesn’t it.
just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there. sometimes we have to add a little oomph to our wishes. a little rocket fuel. things get in the way. life gets in the way. i replied to my cynical friend.
i stepped out from the eve of the house and looked at the grey clouds that covered the night sky. i wish… i wish for love. not only to be so, but to do so. i wish for dreams, not necessarily to come true but that i would dream freely. i wish to see her…it’s been over a year and my heart aches to hug her. i wish for the world to see the beauty and the art that exists everywhere.
“i got you a surprise.” he said walking in the door. she smiled that smile that curled his toes. “chestnuts.” he said with a smirk threatening to break his straight face.
she wrinkled her brow and continued to load the dishes into the dishwasher. “chestnuts?”
“yeah like the christmas carol. i figured we’d roast them over an open fire, sit back with a bottle of pinot grigio, snuggle under an old quilt to keep jack frost at bay.” he winked at her.
she eyed him curiously. “only problem with your plan there, love, is we don’t have a fire place and it’s 80° outside so i doubt jack frost is going to be nipping either of our noses. i’m not opposed to the wine though.”
“here.” he said simply. she held out her hand expecting only heaven knows what. into it he placed a cube. a delicate morsel of chocolate sprinkled with rough sea salt. she smiled that smile and bit into the rich caramel.
“i wouldn’t know what to do with chestnuts, but i know what these do for you.” he kissed her forehead and placed the bottle of wine on the counter.
with pink dollar store chalk, she scrawled “Dear 2014…” across the sidewalk in front of the defunct,empty best buy building and stood up.
the year had gone not so much as she had expected. she’d expected pain, a tough year, a year full of strife. i mean, that what you usually get when you publicize that you’re going to focus your life on joy, she thought to herself. but this year was different. yes she felt the spaces around her currently were thin, yet on average this year had been good. she’d seen joy throughout it.
she brushed her hands absentmindedly on her black skirt. 2014 you were beyond my expectations. you brought joy. you brought humongous changes. you gave me grace. she finished her letter in her head and left the chalk on the sidewalk thinking perhaps it can be a prompt for someone else.
at dusk, when the light begins to fade, a magical thing happens. the unassuming bare themselves and shed their unnatural state.
at twilight, when shadows overtake, if you are patient you will see the ordinary transform into something quite extraordinary.
as one by one fireflies dance and become luminaria floating in the web of tree branches. the desert dry land becomes lush green grass. the crows play fiddles while the fae and the toadstool loungers dance and laugh and make a merry time, and gnomes in blue felt hats blow smoke rings into the night air.
the moon replaces the sun in the arc overhead and the stars come out, and the supernatural becomes natural.
Saturday Stories: A (weekly) feature on PrudyChick.com. All stories are written by Prudence Landis [unless otherwise noted as a guest post]. Photo credit: Prudence Landis
Prudence is a 30-something writer who lives in Arizona with her husband Shawn and their chihuahuas Lengua and Zeus. She writes her life, her experiences and her crawl back to hope. Eventually, she hopes to visit India – a place that’s captured her heart without ever stepping foot on the soil.