So, I haven’t updated my blogs or anything in a while. I wish I knew what stopped me until now. I must admit I am a procrastinator by nature. I put things off until I have to do them. I know when I write these posts I dig in deep and ponder…and wander…and ponder some more. I believe my thought pattern went something along the lines of ‘It’s not the right time.’ Or whatever that means.
However, writing is different. This year I learned just how much I love it. I’m one of those who live almost entirely within their heads. It’s almost as though I’m a tiny person living inside this overgrown machine that has joints that are starting to creak, hair that rusts, and has lost a few pieces but otherwise still functions well enough. When things happen to me, or more accurately, when I react to them, it always takes me an extra second to process it. That’s because as a writer/poet/artist, what happens to me always happens twice, and occasionally, depending on the nature of the event, even three or four times. The reason for this is because everything that happens to me also happens to the people inside me; that is, the characters in my head with which I share very cramped quarters with, whose voices will often drown out my own. I see and feel what ‘they’ see and feel, whoever they are.
It’s been another crazy year. I went from working three part-time jobs to one full-time, then added a second part-time back in. At the moment I work sixty-plus hours a week. It’s not easy but I’m used to it. I know it’s a miracle this machine called my body hasn’t broken down more often. I can only thank God for that and ask for His continued blessing as I try to find one job that will work better for me. Right now, it’s not so bad. My second job is one I’m familiar with and it is a much more relaxed environment, even though it’s security. Security is where I draw and write the most. My first job may be retail but it’s still the nicest store I’ve ever worked in. Earlier in the year we changed managers again and the new guy is great. I feel sorry for him though, because he has three little boys and likes to be very active in their lives –i.e. sports. He probably won’t last long. It’s a thankless position. To be a manager in that job, you practically have to live there. Otherwise, I might have gone after it myself. Seeing as how I really have no life anyway, I’d rather not, even if it means better pay. I’ve been slowly but surely working through my finances. Two great things include my being able to pay rent again. That may sound strange but I feel quite guilty when I can’t pay rent to my dad. One credit card is gone for good-HALLELUJAH! Now I just have to work my way through the others. The day I have none is the day I rejoice. My goal is to someday never have to rely on them ever again. They are poison, pure and simple.
Next year will have me working extra hard to settle on one good job that gives me time to work on my dream job-write and draw comics. This year I had an epiphany. It wasn’t a sudden verbalization or a new idea, or anything like that. I just got mad…sort of. It wasn’t the sort of anger where I berate myself for my own shortcomings. I used to do that a lot and it never did me any good. No, I just got tired of waiting and decided to just go and do my absolute best work, my best effort and see what happens. Well! It turns out that when I give myself a bit more patience, I will crank out something pretty decent, as my Miss Impossible piece showed me. I also banged out two short stories in less than two weeks. Fan fiction, but I loved it. In fact, I loved it so much I lost sleep over finishing them! My writing forced me to admit I have a very dark side. I like horror, suspense and creepy stuff, but rarely verbalize it. I don’t read a lot of horror, although I have read my share of Stephen King and Laurell K. Hamilton. As a Christian, it’s tough to admit that you enjoy that stuff, but sometimes you have to show the power of evil, if only to show how powerful good is when it is victorious. I like reading about the suffering of the protagonists and how even after the world gets thrown at them, somehow they find the strength to win. Both my art and writing are still not where I want them to be skill-wise, but I’m much better than I originally gave myself credit for. I’m going to use the resources I have and if all goes well, A Stray will see the light of day next year. I think Miss Heather Wittenborn has waited for me long enough.
I will also see if I can’t do something with my poetry. I might have enough for a book. Poetry does not come easy for me. I may only do a tiny handful of pieces in a year, although with my new attitude on my art and writing, maybe it will come to me faster. I guess I’ll have to find out.
I’m also returning to acting. The more I see shows and movies, the more I think to myself, “That looks like so much fun!” Hard work, of course, but fun, and I will work tooth and nail to reprise my role as Sister Hubert in Nunsense, come March 2014. I’ve been in and out of theater since I was six years old, and ever since I stopped around 2011, I have missed it terribly. I’m a natural-born storyteller, and acting is just an extension of that.
In other news, my niece turned five and is quite wise beyond her years. I can’t believe she will be in kindergarten soon. Wasn’t she just a widdle peanut yesterday? What happened?? The other day she found out she’s going to be a big sister and is super excited. She’s already quite a leader when it comes to others, and she’s a natural performer, too. We’ll see how she takes it when the ‘spotlight’ isn’t going to be on her as much with a new baby in the house. He or she will be due next July, which is funny because both of my parents have their birthdays at that time.
More changes on the wind include my grandparents. One is in her 90’s and it’s quickly becoming apparent that she will no longer be able to live independently. I’m grateful that she’s held it together for as long as she has. Two of her sisters have Alzheimer’s, and it is so hard on everyone. She doesn’t have it but it’s clear her mind isn’t where it once was. As for my other grandparents, they were planning on coming down this Christmas as usual (they live farther up north) but my other grandma fell again and twisted her ankle, so they are staying home. The thing is, ‘home’ is what caused her to fall. They have a lot of steps, and it’s clear that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to move about.
On a last, sadder note, my dear friend in Denmark lost her father right before Christmas. Everything in me wants to fly there just so I can give her a hug in person. And so on it goes-life and aging and death. I’ve lost family members this year, too, and will soon greet an addition. Traditions change, although the spirit of them remains. Just remember to hold your loved ones a little tighter this holiday, because you really never know when the day will come when you want to but can’t.
To all of my friends and family, near and far, both here and across the pond, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. I may neither see you nor speak to you as often as I’d like, but please know I think about you constantly. I love you all.