Tag Archive | trials and tribulations

Follow-up on the Goal

So… workshopping your story is like ripping out part of your soul and handing it to someone else, then trying not to bleed too much while they critique it. Poor little story.

 

Because I care about my story and because I want my story to be good, I’ve taken in to the Writing Center twice, Writer’s Workshop once, I’ve had two people from class workshop it, and I’ve been to my Creative Writing teacher three times. Every time I go, he finds something new that needs work. That’s good. I wish the other resources were as helpful as him (I feel bad going to him so much, since he’s only one person and has an entire class of people to help out). Still, it gets hard, and sometimes it feels like the story will never be good enough.

 

I just want people to like it.

 

It was due for class yesterday. We turn in three stories during the semester. Once I get this one back, I’ll see what fixes I should have made to get a better grade, then I’ll workshop it with a good friend of mine when she comes to visit, and eventually I’ll submit it to the school’s literary journal, Outlet.

 

I know it seems strange that I’m going to submit something after my experience last year. I hated submitting my work. I didn’t think I should submit anything unless I truly that it was worthy of being published, which I didn’t. This time will be better because: a) I like my story better, b) I recognize this will be my last opportunity to submit undergrad work, c) I’ve already gotten a rejection letter before, so it won’t be a new experience.

 

Besides, I’ve got to work toward something. I need to have some sort of ambition, or I won’t get anywhere. I still don’t know what’s going to become of me when I graduate in April. Publishing is not the goal so much as feeling worthy and having the courage to submit the thing. That’s no small thing. It’s hard to have courage when the story never seems to get done, only closer.

 

If I were to get what I want, really get what I want, I’d be able to share the story with others and they would laugh, meditate, find understanding and clarity in the story, and ultimately end on a high note, feeling better about life. A lot of short stories I’ve read end on a low note, which I think is rather mean. I know there are disappointments in life, but I think there are more happy endings than we really believe. At any rate, I want my readers to enjoy the story. Laugh and meditate. That’s going to be the goal.

 

I’ll give you more updates on the story later. It’s called “Cracked.”

Still loving life

Well my friends, I found out I’m not nearly so close to done with that big project that I had thought I was, and I wasn’t finished facilitating seminars either– I went in once more to substitute a final session. I’ll be doing some volunteer work for most of Saturday. I’m doing something new, face painting. I wonder how well that will go. Maybe I’ll have pictures.

Life looking to be a quite busy and a bit sleep deprived from now until finals, but for all that I’m still loving life. I owe a lot of it to my friends, the love they have shown me has had a bigger impact on me than they can ever imagine. I hope to have the same effect on others.

Next semester is going to be even more challenging. My two best friends are getting married to each other, I’ve got to prepare myself for an unknown future… who knows what kinds of projects I will involve myself with. There’s no way I could have anticipated what I did this semester, and it has been an interesting one. I made a bunch of homemade cards, I helped my roommates prepare for lessons and a wedding, I became a Seminar Facilitator, I developed some sort of story ideas… Life is so full. It’s hard, it’s exhausting, but I love it nonetheless.

 

Don’t get me started

So this is my first post of the year. The reason why I didn’t make any previous posts was because I didn’t think you guys wanted to hear about how anxious I was about leaving. I love it in BYU-I, but for some reason I’m always reluctant to return there and eager to leave when it’s almost over. I don’t know why it bothers me so much, it’s so irrational. But my stupid emotions take over. The result is that the impending flight makes me anxious, even to the point where I lose my appetite (which is quite devastating to me, as you can imagine). I didn’t plan on posting until after I had gotten into Rexburg and I had settled down and was ready to take on the new year.

That was supposed to have been today. But it won’t be.

It started out fine. We got up early, we arrived early, we got in the plane on time. But they had let the water in the plane freeze overnight instead of doing the proper procedures which would have taken care of it. When it became obvious I would miss my connection, I had to make calls to reschedule my flight and my shuttle. My new flight couldn’t be arranged for today, I’m going to have to wait for tomorrow. I had to stand in line for a long time so I could talk to an agent, and then wait some more at baggage claim, and ask Dad to pick me up and take us home, so that we can wake up super early tomorrow to try the whole thing again.

I was hungry and thirsty, but was too stressed out to take care of it. Besides, I had to make calls and watch luggage, dragging along with me a heavy carry-on and laptop case. And, because I have low emotional stamina, I cried. I hate crying, but I can never, ever seem to help it. When I came home, my face was red , so one of my sisters thought I was cold. Then felt it and found out it was hot. Yeah, that would be because of the crying, but I couldn’t explain that without breaking down again. Did I mention that my other sister had already moved into my room by the time I returned?

I had so looked forward to having this whole thing over, and to seeing one of my friends this evening. Now that won’t happen. I’ll be scraping for a couple of hours of sleep before the nightmare begins again. I’ll be traveling on a Sunday too, which is never ideal for me. There are many things I’m grateful for, situations we avoided, but right now I just feel a little bit miserable and I want some chocolate.

 

 

On the way back home we turned on the radio and the very first song was “Bad Day.” HAH!

 

2013 review

This year was… quite the experience. Especially during the school year. I don’t know if I can say I’ve ever experienced higher highs and lower lows within such a short period of time. On the one hand I made some wonderful new friends, was able to share my ideas and artwork with others, got an opportunity to teach Sunday School (something I’ve been wanting to do for a while), got good grades and was able to get a full-tuition academic scholarship, was able to buy myself a new computer when I needed to, and had some of the best movie nights ever. On the other hand, the work load was heavy, a friend disappointed me, I’ve never felt more envious in my life, there were times of loneliness and confusion, and when all was said and done, there was nothing I wanted to do more than go home.

 

Except that I couldn’t go home. Because there was a family reunion scheduled for that side of the country two weeks after school let out, so I spent those two weeks vacationing with my grandparents. In the end it was about a month after school that I was finally able to be home. I was still trying to recover emotionally. I needed time alone, but I never got to be alone. I was always in a car or in a tent with somebody else. Camping is not how I generally like to spend my vacation. I don’t quite understand the allure of going out of your way to use an outhouse, freeze to death at night, and live out of a suitcase. When I wasn’t camping, I was on the road, visiting distant relatives I’ve barely met before, or looking at various historical sites and canyons. The canyons were great, by the way, but going to three different canyons in three days was a bit much for me. How is it that my grandparents have higher stamina than me?

On the other hand, during that vacation I was introduced to Sherlock and I got to watch a live performance of Les Miserables.

 

Things at last stabilized when I got home. There were still bouts of loneliness and bitterness, but I was in a safe environment. I could pursue my own projects. In fact, I consider those homemade audiobooks to be one of my great triumphs this year, because I tried something different and expanded myself. I learned new things. And while I was working on it, I was able to be deeply focused in that project, and I could forget about everything else. Other than that, I also did a couple of art projects that I am proud of.

 

In 2013 I learned that things don’t always go the way you expect and that people sometimes disappoint you. But life goes on. There is pleasure to be had at… creating and teaching, the way it expands you and the way you find you can contribute to other people’s lives. I loved 2013, really I did. But it hurt sometimes, and it was hard, it challenged me. I guess that’s alright, because that’s what I asked for. All in all, I’m glad it happened.

 

One last thing, I wanted to do a tribute to some of the artwork I did this year. I hope I will create more and better artwork in the future.

 

Small minded

Sometimes I think I live in a world of small minded people. Usually I don’t let it bother me too much, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and sometimes that leads to irritation. But it’s not the small mindedness of others that I’m thinking of. It’s mine.

 

Oh I used to dream. Sugar plum dreams so strong they were enough to give you toothache. I’d picture the magazine cover home, decked out in all its holiday glory, inside there would be a golden glow around the piles of presents and the piles of food, and Christmas music in the background. I used to dream of it. Not that I would wish for it, just that it would give me something to think about at night when I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited.

 

It was a wonderful thing to have in childhood. It’s good for children. But then you grow older and your mind shifts, and that’s fine too.

 

Our car’s gotten worse. It doesn’t work at all now. Our Christmas this year will be even more simplistic than usual, partially out of the greater need for practicality and partially because there aren’t a lot of material things that we want. And people, if they knew, might pity us. But they don’t understand. There are things that I want. Of course there are things that I want. Things so deeply that they can’t even imagine, because they’re still off in the shallows chasing after the holiday sales and technology toys that’ll be outdated in a few  years.

 

I don’t indulge in the sugar plum dreams so much these days. Not that I have a problem with cherishing fantasies, but I’m a genuine soul, so I don’t engage in daydreams that don’t reflect what I really want.  I don’t want bells and whistles and Christmas cards from relatives whose only communication with us is via Christmas card. I wouldn’t mind going to a Christmas party (I like food), but I’m at all cut up about the fact that it might not happen due to transportation. The gift situation is similar.

 

What I really want is for my friends to think of me fondly, and let me know they think of me fondly. I get so desperate for attention sometimes. I want to be appreciated in a very real sense, not the Facebook “Like” kind of approach. I’d also like to be able to create something, a story or a piece of artwork or similar, to develop my talents and be able to do truly remarkable things with them. But I’m not sure that’s something my fellow mortals can help out a lot with. I’d be content with a show of friendship, however that may manifest itself. There’s more than one love language after all.

 

“There are greater things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dream’t of in your philosophy.”

Struggles and discouragement

I wanted to try doing something with humor. A search for kindle books through the library proved unfruitful. I thought I could do something with humor, because I like telling funny stories and because I like to be funny in my creative writing. I’ve tried writing comics before, I wondered if there was potential for comedic storytelling. At the very least, I wondered if I could get further with that than with art.

 

But they don’t teach comedy in school. I don’t know how to go about it. There are no “How to” books on kindle format that I can access online through the library that can help me. Google search’s fruitless. So there’s a part of me that thinks it was a dumb idea anyway. I can be funny sometimes, in conversation or when I write, but it’s probably not something I can bank a lot on. I really only got the idea because my roommate thought I was funny, and I thought things were funnier when spoken aloud than when read in writing. I suppose that’s partly because you laugh more when other people are laughing, and reading is an individual thing.

 

This is so discouraging, I thought I might do something. Not as a career, of course not, just…. something that I can be proud of.

 

How do people find out what it is they’re supposed to do and accomplish in life?

Concerns and Thanksgiving

I remember back in the day when my biggest fear used to be public speaking. These days there’s not much that can grip my heart with an icy hand like dealing with finances. It takes a lot out of me. I have such a tendency towards worry. Thanksgiving is coming up. Ideally, Thanksgiving is a time when we set aside feelings of greed and, I submit, concern for what we lack so that we can focus on and give thanks for what we do have.

 

But lets face it, that’s easier said than done, especially for we who are cautious. I can go without a lot of things,  I just need the assurance that my needs will be met and that everything will be okay. It’s like I said before, I would willingly give up getting Christmas presents and all of that if it meant having a working car, or being able to put more money toward tuition and rent.

 

Still, let me say that I am grateful that our needs have always been met, and that I’ve never had to worry much before. I really have been taken care of. I believe things will continue to be alright.

 

Autumn is passing swiftly. More so than I was really prepared for.

 

Test of endurance

I’m discovering that writing is a test of endurance. I love that I have these projects to work on, it makes me feel like I’m doing something valuable, but sometimes it’s just hard to keep pushing yourself to work on it, because these things take time. My Sherlock spoof just needs to be burned (as in onto a CD, not as in what I should do to some of my past artworks), so now I’m writing up a Princess Bride spoof (I’m about 2/3 done with that), and then I’m also working on more like a comedic storytelling (of the nonfiction-from-my-life) kind of variety. But writing gets stale after an hour or two, just like artwork does. I’m thinking I need to mix things up a bit if I want to keep the color in everything.

 

Also the car is having even more problems, now the driver’s side door can’t open from the inside as well as the outside. It’s almost funny to me that we can be having difficulty driving a functioning car for the stupid reason of not being able to get in and out of the car. But Christmas is coming up, there’s not much chance we’ll be getting a new one this year. Which, to me, is kinda sad. We don’t need more books or movies or games, but we could really do with a reliable car.

 

 

Just wanted to add that I tried a new recipe today, which I don’t like doing, but it turned out alright. I should make a habit of this.

New Image: Ragna’s Wrath, and the curse of creative pursuits

Considering what a triumph I believe this image to be, I wish it got a stronger reaction on Facebook. I was feeling quite victorious yesterday when I finished, but now it just seems like a thing of the past.

 

 

Nevertheless, time goes on. I haven’t come up with a new image yet, and I’m not quite sure when it will be a good time to start creating products on Zazzle. I would love to do some creative writing, but it’s harder for me to feel like I’m accomplishing anything while I’m writing, since I’m so much better with art. With art I have something to show for all the time I put into it. But I’ll probably give it a try anyway.

 

 

People are happy when they are engaged in work they enjoy. Work is actually an essential part of our happiness. I like to be involved in creative pursuits, to me that is my work. But it’s hard. It’s wonderful to be creative, but there are so many challenges associated with it. You spend so much time and heart and energy in these projects, and then it really hurts if you don’t think the work is any good, or if people aren’t receiving it the way you want. I felt so accomplished when I finished this image, because I did something I didn’t think I could do at my level. Then I found out I could, and I wanted it to be celebrated. Failing to awe my audience sufficiently, then, is a bit of a blow. Sometimes I feel like I experience renewed disillusion every time I complete a project.

 

I noticed a while ago that when I feel lonely or isolated from the world, I’m more inclined to seek solitude. When I feel ignored, I’m more likely to want to shut down my Facebook, less likely to want to send an email to a friend, more likely to quit blogging. I don’t understand why this is, it sounds like avoiding food when you’re hungry, and that makes no sense to me. But that’s how it happens. Maybe there’s a creative goal I’m willing to pursue that will keep me out in the world, but I can’t think of any creative goal I’d rather pursue than art and creative writing.

 

My brother’s back

My older brother is back from serving a two-year mission.

Yesterday was really fun. I did actually manage to get some artwork done– which was good, because I think in my heart of hearts, if I were really honest with myself instead of lying to myself all the time, what I really wanted to do was read a cute romance. Conveniently, my sister brought home a manga from the library that fit the description perfectly. I am extremely wary of manga and anime in general, but I don’t forbid myself from them. I just wait until my sisters find ones that are actually good. This one, Library Wars, was cute.

In the evening I watched Les Miserables with my Mom and two of my sisters. It ended with us laughing at our own indignation that Javert didn’t get a close-up at the end. Then we hung out a little bit in Mom’s room, chatting about guys with good singing voices and Library Wars and stuff. One of my sisters showed some of her artwork. She’s getting good. This has served as the best motivation I’ve had in a while to work more on my current image, which I did afterwards.

We were all allowed to stay up late so that we could be there when my brother arrived. Now we’re all together again. It’s good.

As for my artwork… I like it well enough I suppose. I just… I get concerned about my work. It’s been a bit hard for me lately, in case you haven’t been able to tell. Discouragement, ailment, and now it’s just hard to have the motivation to work on it. I really would rather sleep or read something cute and sappy. I love artwork, but… it’s rough when you go through all the above, and then you’re not even entirely satisfied with your image. There have been only a few of my works this year that I actually like.

But, what with my brother home, maybe spending time with him and the family will help reinvigorate me so I can produce lots of beautiful work.