Inspiration, Censor, Editor, Pet

Inspiration, Censor, Editor, Pet
Miss Mouthy Mouse

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cleaning My Plate

Food is a conduit to all things Southern, at least in my opinion. It pervades every part of our culture; it builds and destroys relationships; and it has rules for every occasion. With those rules comes two that were drilled into my head from an early age: never put more on your plate than you can eat, and always clean your plate.

I can't say that I've always been successful with both of those rules, and in reflecting on it, these rules moved past food and seeped into other parts of my life. I almost always have too much on my plate, whether by choice, by default, or by the excess mind-baggage brought on by having an ADD brain that is hellbent on working overtime without time and a half pay! This all leaves me questioning myself, wondering if I'm measuring up or letting people down. My to-do list is a barrage of shoulda, coulda, woulda, hafta's.

So here I sit, taking some time out of the to-do list to blog and reflect on what I would tell me, if I were my friend. And that's the key, isn't it--if I were my friend. How many of us take on work, hobbies, and relationships to fill up our time and lives so that we can live from outside ourselves instead of from within? How many of us define our worth based on how others see or react to us? How many of us clean our plates and stuff down the contents whether we're hungry or not, just because "we're supposed to?"

I want to buy new dishes and eat from them whatever makes me feel good and healthy. I want to be more thoughtful about what I put on that plate and be okay with deciding it's fine to change my mind about eating something if I lose my taste for it.  I want to balance good choices with decadent dessert choices. Most of all, I'd like to be able to be my friend. I have lost sight of that through the years, while I've been busy trying to clean my plate.

picture from

Sunday, November 3, 2013

NaNoWriMo Update

Who'da thunk it?

On November 1, I, along with more than 200,000 other folks, began a mad dash to write 50k words in 30 days. My plan was just to get into some type of rhythm with writing--to make it part of my daily life. I didn't intend to "make buddies," participate in writing sprints, or be in a group. I just wanted to put myself first and write with no guilt over "not having my work done" before having some fun.

Here's what happened!

  1. I met some folks online who asked me to help brainstorm some ideas with them, so I did (they had some really interesting premises), and I found out that they had some great ideas to help me too!
  2. I found out that Casper has a Writers Group with some women I already know (and like) so I'll have camaraderie face-to-face a few times this month!
  3. Checking in with other writers pushes me forward.
  4. When I sit down and sink into my story, the words just flow.
  5. Not re-reading what I've written keeps me moving forward.
  6. Showers and talking to myself about what my comrades have suggested has helped me navigate a situation I didn't know how to do--and introduced 2 new characters I didn't have a clue about.
  7. I have a hard time pulling myself away, so I have to really be careful not to shut out all the other things I have to do to be a responsible adult.
  8. I have written over 10,000 words in the first 3 days of the challenge.
Now, of course, I won't be able to shirk all my duties and concentrate solely on writing this week. I have a full-time job, a volunteer position, friends, and other commitments. However, now I really know that I can write 600 words in 45 minutes. I know that there should be NO REASON I can't spend 30-45 minutes (minimum) per day on this thing that I like to do.

Not a bad payoff for 3 days' worth of effort. I'd say I've already won.  The only thing I feel a little weird about is the whole conversation between two of my characters, Fairlee and Elna who had a big fight over whether walking a ferret on a leash would be harder than putting a diaper on a chicken. I don't know where that came from.