I think what I really need is to cut my life back to basics and take stock of what I have and how to best nurture the things most important to me.
Fall is naturally the busiest time of year for me, and coiencidentally it's when people want to "get together" the most too. Football season is usually the excuse for this - "let's get together to watch the game!" And I've been a social butterfly these past couple of months and participated in all sorts of gatherings, visits and get togethers.
But folks, this butterfly needs to retreat to her cocoon. No offence, but the Carolina's bye week didn't come soon enough for me this year. I need to sit out a few. The season is going on, but my "to do" list and my schedule don't get it. There are things I need to tend to around the house and with the technology committee at church. I know I said I was going to take a hiatus from my in-progress writing projects, but I really do want to get back to them with as few distractions as possible, and that means I need to put my nose to the grindstone and get things done now. And if you want me at my best during the busy holiday season, well, I need a break.
I mean no offence, of course. I just need some time to myself every now and then to catch up, rest up, take stock, and move on. I need to recharge my batteries and right now I'm running low. I've come to the conclusion that I must be an anomoly, because this seems to be a need that not many other people have. Other than my family, only Rick and one other person has admitted to needing time to themselves. It seems others actually clamor to fill those empty spaces in their lives to the point where there's no quiet, no hiatus, no opportunities to simply "be" and exist in communion with the Lord and the world. Doing, doing, doing. Well, I admire their energy and their tireless dedication to their social schedule, but I'm not afraid I can't operate like that. My life is very full right now and all the "blessings" keep me quite busy. It can be a challenge to find those moments and days with an empty spot on the calender. And they aren't usually give, so it looks like I'm going to have to take them.
I'm burned out. I need to clear off my plate to I can be true to my priorities and focus on what really matters - not on what the world says should matter.
So I'm starting today. I'm sitting out the USC-Florida game. I know, it's a big one and how could I. It's simple, really. The need for quiet in my soul outweighs "the big game." As I said, I need some time to catch up on some stuff around the house and with church so I'll be free to resume work on Move next month when I end my writing hiatus, and what better time than by focusing on that while the rest of the world (around here) is tuned into the big game. Plus, I still have Feathered Frenzy to finish, and I already have an idea for my next writing project which is a novella I hope to start in 2013. And promotion work on my already published works never ends. So there's lots to do there and I really need to get focused and get back to work on my writing soon, and taking care of the other things on my plate will really help with that.
I know life won't always be like this. I'm quitting volunteer activities in 2013, so I won't have to make decisions based on things like this soon. That was another decision I made this week. I need fewer meetings in my life and the truth is that I need to focus my time away from work on home, family and writing and that doesn't leave time for much else. I wanted to be more involved at church, and I will certainly continue to be a greeter and help with activities as I can, but I can't be bound to a committee anymore. It just doesn't work in my busy life.
As for the rest - well, eventually I'll retire from work, so that won't always be eating up most of my weekdays, but that's far away as I'm not even at the halfway point of my career. Frankly, I do have concerns about being bored if I didn't work, but those aren't concerns I need to ponder now or any time soon. Until then, it's the immovable object in my life and I have to work around it. Those aggrivations and annoyances aren't going to stop and I have to march on and do what must be done because it's my responsibilty and financial support, now and in the future. That's a reality for most people and it's something that should be easy to understand and respect.
Yes, life is busy, and sometimes it won't give you what you need so you have to take it. That's what I'm going to to today. Because if I don't take care of myself and my needs, then I'm not much good to anybody else, now am I?
That's all today. I hope you have a great weekend.
Since my last blog entry got a lot of views, I thought I'd expound on it a bit more. It seems to me that people are testy and rude these days. I know that life gets busier in the fall - school starts back up and it seems that everything else cranks into high gear this time of year. I can certainly say that the fall tends to be my busiest season, personally and professionally.
Another thing happening is that a lot of people are going through transitions right now. For example, we're in between pastors at church right now, and that's a common scenario as it seems there's been a lot of turnover with churches in our area lately. I've also heard people say they've experienced changes in their jobs due to staffing issues or other administrative decisions that have been made.
Still one more thing I'm seeing a lot of is people getting sick, and having a hard time getting better. A lot seems to be going around, and no doubt stress over it being a busier time contributes to difficulties kicking the nasties out of your system.
Folks, I get it. I really do. My iPhone calendar looks like it has chicken pox with all the dots on my schedule. I live by my reminder app more than I care for. I too have struggled with sinus problems/infections and now Rick has a virus and I wonder if it's not making it's way to me. And transitions - oh, I feel your pain. My upcoming novel, Splinter, was born of frustration over a transition in my life a while back that was very nearly more than I could take. So I do get it. But having been there, done that, and singing verse one thousand of this same old song, I can tell you one thing:
Being an idjit doesn't help.
Seriously. Stress is understandable and it's natural to get frustrated, but being mean and rude to people because you're out of patience and don't want to expend the extra energy on at least acting civil just makes it harder. In fact, it creates more problems. When you get snappy, people that might have helped you are no longer inclined to do so, and in fact they might choose to get back at you by sabatoging you or doing things that they know will make life more difficult.
Don't ask for it. And don't assume that you won't have to deal with people again, either. True story: One time early in my career, I transferred between divisions in my office. Thought I'd never see those folks from the old office again. Well, lo and behond, they consolidated two years later and every one of my former co-workers moved right in with me. I was very glad I didn't burn any bridges there! And it can happen anytime.
When I was a child, my granddaddy always told me that what goes around ALWAYS comes around. He said nothing goes unrewarded - or unpunished. "Watch your actions and words," he would tell me, "because they will come back to you. Even if you forget them, they still come back. And sometimes it takes a while but it always happens." It's a Biblical concept from Galatians 6:7 and by golly, I can't count how many times I've seen the truth of his words. Granddaddy was right and had a healthy respect for this universal truth. The problem is, too many people close their eyes to it and even when it happens, they're blind because they don't want to acknowledge that perhaps things went wrong because they were mean, or made a bad decision, or were just an idjit.
You don't really get away with anything. You may think you do. It may seem like you do. But you don't, not really. It hunts you down and gets you, many times when you least expect it. Whether you see it for what it is or not.
My point is that life is hard sometimes, but acting with discernment and widsom will help you get through those tough seasons faster and better. It won't be easy, but it will be easier than doing it the hard way by freaking out, or being mean, or rude, or shutting down. It's hard, but it's worth it.
So yes, I feel your pain. I certainly understand. But there's no excuse for being an idiot. So just don't do it and things will be alright. At least, it's easier for people to have patience and compassion for you when you act like a civilized, dignified human being - even if you don't feel like it.
That's all for today. Happy Friday tomorrow. I hope you have a great weekend.
You have to admit that there's something about October that's inspiring. The weather is cooling off and people are taking their last opportunities to get out before the cold weather sets in - and before the pandemonium of the holidays starts! It seems to me that October is that perfect time in the fall where all things are in harmony and life is ripe for adventure. Perhaps this is why I've been inspired to write not one, but two short works that are set in October.
The first was my novella, Quarantine
. This was actually the first serious piece of fiction I wrote. It's about four women that work that find themselves quarantined in the administrative office of a hospital after a quarantine kills another employee and sickens the rest of the staff. The illness, a bacterial form of pneumonia, was actually spread through flu shots given two weeks prior - and they find out that it may be no accident that a tainted batch was give to their staff. While locked in the office, they discover that there's a shady history behind their nice little office and discover that an infection might not be the least of their concerns. Quarantine
is available through Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/88323
and through Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/author/sherrimoorer
and is only $0.99. If you're looking for a short mystery read that packs a quick punch, this is the story for you.
My other October read is a long story titled Resonance
. This story is about eighteen year old college students that find odd things happening in the woods behind their home after one of them buys a mysterious painting. This is a Halloween story that's geared toward teens, but adults that enjoy horror during this bewitching season might also enjoy it. I know, the theme of ghost stories might be a bit cliched, but I still enjoy them from time to time and I believe readers do too (how else can you explain the endless succession of Paranormal Activity movies?). Resonance
is even shorter than Quarantine
and best of all, I'm offering this one for free through Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/88653
. It's my way of thanking readers for supporting my writing and the work of all indie writers. So go download this one and enjoy!
Yes, October is a great time of year, in reality and in fiction. I find it interesting that this season leading into dormancy for nature is focused so much on holding on to life. Interesting indeed, Just take a look at books, movies and TV shows set this time of year and I believe you'll agree.
That's all for today. The maintanance guy for the HVAC unit just left so alas, I must head in to work now. I hope you all have a great day and a good end to the week. Enjoy fall! We're getting into the best days of it.
A fall beach trip! I wondered if I'd be up to it after going to San Francisco a month ago, but it's been nice. I have to tell you, too, that it's nice to be free of a schedule. Too much of my week happens in regimented blocks of time where things are "allowed" to happen. It's nice to break free of that every now and then.
We're at Ocean Lakes Family Campground in Surfside Beach, SC (south of Myrtle Beach) with my folks. It is nice, although we're having a rain shower right now, but that should pass soon. Seems a cold front is coming through, but that would be welcome, as it's been a bit warm for fall here.
And how about those Gamecocks? Not only did they make sure that Georgia would have nightmares of Clowney tackling them for a long time, but I hear they're #3. Wow guys, great job. Don't screw it up, please!
And today would have been my Granddaddy's birthday, had he lived. He'd have been 98. Of course, the chances of him making it to 98, well, not good. But I am remembering him. And ironically, I also chose this as the birthday for Jana Lanning, the protagonist in Anywhere But Here. Heh heh. No coiencidence there. I planned that on purpose.
That's all for now. We're heading home tomorrow (ugh, back to reality that soon? Oh well).
I hope you have a great start to the week. Take care and I'll see you later.
Ah, Labor Day weekend - the unofficial last weekend of fall. How do you feel about that? Do you say "welcome fall" and embrace the change of seasons, or are you a bit blue that summer's waning?
I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it's been a brutally hot summer. It was nice to have Isaac bring in some more moderate temperatures last week, but it has been warm again yesterday and today. Not that I mind the hot. I'd rather sweat than shovel snow anytime. But it is nice to have temperatures a bit more moderate. Human beings can live in 80 degree weather. But 110? Not so easy.
It's also kind of nice being able to go out to lunch again without every place being so crowded. With so many people "out and about" between school being out and traveling, I had to cut back on going out to lunch because I couldn't get in and out of places in an hour during my lunch break. Running errands was tricky too. It's nice to have our population sufficiently spread out so that it's possible for me to eat out or pick up a few things at the store during my lunch break without having to stress over getting back to the office by 2. And I'm talking about places right around the corner from my office!
But on the other hand, I am sad that summer's ending. Spring and summer are my favorite seasons. I like the warm weather, and the long days. It's already getting dark noticably earlier than it was a few months ago. The bluebirds have moved out of the birdhouse and won't be back. The rose blooms are smaller. And the cicadas don't chirp nearly as much as they did. There is something a bit melancholy about things winding down.
Not that there's anything wrong with fall. People are back on a routine, so there's less stress with "covering" for vacations - and when you do go out, it's less crowded. There's also college football and fall festivals and TV shows starting their new seasons soon. I have to admit that the reruns are getting old.
I changed some of the house decorations from summer to fall yesterday and it was a mixed bag for me. It was sad to put the roses away, but the fall bouquet is an inspring spalsh of color in that entry way - the yellows and oranges just look great and are a nice change of pace. And switching from roses to apple cinnamon isn't so bad either. It's nice to have something different. There are, after all, merits in every season.
That's all today. Have a great Labor Day weekend. Be safe, have fun, and enjoy an extra day off.
Hi everybody; I hope you're off to a great start to the week. Remember my last entry, when I said that the truth was showing itself? Well, it happened again. Somebody that turned on me got turned on by the very person they were defending. All I can say is to pick your tirades carefully. You look like more of an igit than they do when they show themselves. It's not judging in this case. It's truth showing itself, as it always does.
I tell you, reaping and sowing is so true that it seems people would have a reverential fear of it. Granddaddy certainly respected this as a life truth, and I see why. Heck, my own experiences have taught me that lesson, and other people remind me of it all the time. If I ever forget to check myself, I only need to live for a day to be reminded.
Anyway, moving on ...
I finally started my next writing project: Improving my skills at writing short stories. It's something I've long neglected. I've known for a long time that I need to study up on writing stronger short stories, but I've always pushed it to the background to work on novels. Well, I'm ready now. I found a couple of ebooks on writing better short stories, and I did a couple of drafts of 600+ word stories that I posted to my portfolio at Writing.com for feedback. I hope this works as well as it did with the novels. I made progress with them fast - in a matter of months! We'll see.
Hopefully, my meeting schedule is letting up. In fact, Wednesday is the last meeting on my schedule until February. That doesn't mean that some won't pop up. In fact, I'm certain they will. But the degree of formality should be much less. Nothing to up the ante on the dress code at least (I hope!).
I can't believe it's almost Halloween! I know a lot of people said it was a long, hot summer, but it seemed to leave without warning. I was out watering my roses and thinking, I can't believe these will probably be my last blooms of the season. So I cut 3 of them and put them in a bud vase in the kitchen. One last taste of temperate weather. I'm sure the first freeze is probably a matter of weeks away.
You know what I believe my problem really is? It's not the season, it's displacement. Usually, Fall is a natural season of winding down, but I don't feel like winding down. I'm marketing a book, have another one on the way, and am focusing on improving in another area of writing. I usually slow down this time of year, but I just don't want to this year. Then again, the reason I did that in the past was because we went into license renewals at work around this time of year - but since they changed us to biennial license renewals, well, there are no renewals because everything is valid through 2013. Wow, that's odd! This will be my first year without license renewals since I started this job over 12 years ago. No wonder I feel like something is missing - it is! It's amazing that this one change in my job is causing so many adjustment issues. I don't need to wind down at home in preparation to gear up at work. Everything is different, but you know what? I'm not really bothered or upset by it. I see it as opportunity
Yes, life has a rhythem to it and mine's been thrown, but I'm sure I'll find a way to establish a new rhythem. I've never done much writing in the fall before last year when I participated in NaNo, so this will be carving out a new experience for me. I think I want to keep this up and see where it can go. It's refreshing, and kind of exciting!
Well, there are snippits of a little bit of everything going on in my life. I hope you're doing well. Somebody will be back later to update - and since I'm doing short stories, who knows what it will be? A character? A new draft? More in my Sidekicks to Superhereos series? Who knows? You'll have to stay tuned.
That's all tonight. Take care.
I cant' believe tomorrow is Labor Day and the summer will be over. Well, summer isn't "officially" over for a few more weeks - maybe a month or more based solely on the weather - but Labor Day is the end of the summer season. Wow, where did it go?
If I had to sum up this summer, I'd call it a perfect reflection of real life. There have been highs - like publishing a book, and lows - like 2 friends dying of cancer. And everything in between. It hasn't been perfect, but I honestly can't call it bad either. And I feel I must add that there were so many great movies out this summer too - the DVD's coming out this fall are going to be awesome!
I know a lot of people say it's been a long, hot summer. I'll agree with hot, but long? No. It seems we were just having our spring free thrift day at the church - but that was in mid May. It doesn't seem like over 3 months ago but it was. Time flies. Granddaddy always warned me to not wish my life away, but I suppose it's equally futile to cling to the past. Best to live in the present.
Am I ready for fall? Doesn't seem to matter - it's coming at the speed of time and it is what it is. I suppose one thing I do need to accomplish this fall is finishing up Splinter. That's the novel I was working on before the contracts for Blurry and Anywhere But Here came along. I suppose I better get that wrapped up before Anywhere But Here goes into pre-production in early 2012 if I want to submit it for publication next spring.
Well, that's my musing for the day. Enjoy your Labor Day. It's supposed to be a rainy one here, but that's ok. The summer came in with some vicious storms (and power outages at interesting times and under interesting circumstances too). I suppose it's natural it should go out that way.
Goodbye, Summer 2011! It's been real.