Frustration

I need to relate two stories tonight that show just how frustrated I am, and how crazy the world feels right now.

When we left for Louisiana, Dale wanted to leave at the break of dawn like normal.  So we got up and got going and decided to get breakfast on the road.  Boo does not like McDonald’s for breakfast, so we stopped at our local popular gas station/convenience store to get her a donut.  When we went up to the register, there was a man that looked like he could have been trying to decide to get in line.  I grabbed Boo’s arm and took a step back to let him in front of us, because I was raised in the south and that’s what good manners looks like.  But do you know what he said?  “You don’t have to be afraid of me.  I don’t bite.”  Do I need to mention that this man was black?

The second incident happened tonight.  Just a minute ago.  If you’ve read any of my blog for any length of time, you might or might not know that I love riding my bike.  That I know a thing or two about bike riding.  That I know the local laws involving riding bikes.

So when you cross the street illegally, on a bike, and you’re over the age of 30, I’m going to call you on it.  Especially when I am the one who could have hit you because you don’t know the laws.  And then I’m going to try to talk to you rationally about it.  So please don’t continue riding off.  Stop and listen to what I have to say.  I don’t care that you are a black man on a bike, and I’m a white woman in a car.  I’m trying to help!

For those who don’t know, a bicycle counts as a moving vehicle, and is supposed to follow all the rules of the road.  Running a red light is illegal, which is what he did as I was trying to turn right on my green light.

I’m sorry.  I’m done ranting for the moment.  Maybe everyone needs to stop jumping to conclusions all the time and actually have a conversation with your fellow human beings, instead of just assuming all the time.  My heart is sad and frustrated that I can’t seem to get basic communication across.

Okay.  I have to go.  Thanks for reading this far.
Hugs,
Melinda

 

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FMF – Try

I’m joining up with Kate and the authors (yes, it does sound like a band name, Marie) over at Five Minute Friday.  Today’s word of inspiration is Try.

GO

I feel like I’m trying too hard and not accomplishing anything.  There’s a poem called “Try, Try Again.”  And it fits in with the old joke, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?  Practice, practice, practice!”

I don’t know what I’m trying to do.  I don’t know why I’m trying so hard.  But I feel like I’ve been running for days and with no break in sight.

But is it too much to try?  I think my tag on this post is going to be ramblings.  I’m not sure what I’m even talking about anymore.  Maybe I’m trying too hard.  lol

But I do know that I have to try, no matter what, because my life verse is “Whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord.”  (Colossians 3:17, NIV)  I always try my hardest, my best.  Because I’m not doing it for me, I’m doing it for God and His glory.  That’s what I do.  I try my best.

So I will continue to try, I will continue to run, and I will continue to do my very best.  Because God wants me to.  And in the end, that’s all that matters.  Right?

Hugs,
Melinda

A. Non. O’Mouse

Facebook is notorious for one person doing a thing, and then everyone else doing it, too. Sometimes, it’s very hard not to cave to peer pressure. 

The recent fad is an anonymous app, where you can leave a comment for someone else, either compliments or criticisms. And it’s completely anonymous, right? This wouldn’t be used for bullying at all. 

Right? 

Well, I’m not signing up for it for a number of reasons. One, I have this blog. If you want to leave me a compliment or a criticism or anything at all, this post is for you. 

Fire away!

Hugs,

Melinda 

My year, so far. An update.

Alright I’m home from fireworks, festivities, and fellowship.  I’m going to try to summarize what’s been happening, and over the next few days/weeks, make a plan or outline of how I’m going to be moving forward.

Basically, this year has cost us upwards of $6,000 already, and it’s not slowing down.  There was a major storm on March 6 that caused some extensive hail damage to our house.  The same storm spawned a tornado that destroyed several homes about 15 miles from here, so I’m grateful we only had hail damage.  But the cost of replacing the roof, a wall of siding, and windows required that we had to take out a small loan in order to take care of the repairs that the insurance wouldn’t cover.

The result is that we (Dale and I) decided that I needed to find a source of income.  Which meant that after 15 years of not having a paid income and a lot of volunteer positions, I had to put together a resume.  I wasn’t worried about finding a job, because I’m willing to do just about anything.  So, I’ve been working since March 22 at a box store that will remain nameless so that I can continue working there.

It’s a good job.   I really like it.  I get to help people.  I get lots of steps in, and I get to practice being friendly (even when I don’t want to, just like at Faire), and it seems like they like me there.  I even made employee of the month last month!

It’s only part time.  And even though it’s part time, it’s enough that we’ve decided to let Little Bit go to public school next year.  With that and Faire, I’m busy.  And yes, we’ve considered a whole host of options.  She has decided that she is excited to go, because “if I’m around Christians all the time, how can I bring others to Christ?”  Her 12 year old heart amazes me.

However, when our neighbor banged on the front door yelling about our tree and threatening to sue us because a branch fell on his roof, I panicked.  Dale and I decided that the all the roof issues, tree issues, car payments, and two girls who need to go to college, that I needed to consider finding a full time job.

The problem is that I don’t want a “job.”  I want a career.  And now the question is, how does a 41 year old woman who has volunteer experience, but no paid experience go about finding said career? Because quite honestly, a degree in theater just isn’t going to go very far.

So there are three things I have been looking for.  Something I enjoy doing and that I am good at, something that can make money, and something that won’t take away from family time.

It’s scary!  To not know which direction to go, to take care of your family, to factor in any extra learning you might have to undertake.  Because to be certain, if you pursue a new career, there will be school involved in some sort of fashion.  From online courses, community education, maybe even going back to college.

So while it’s scary, at the same time, it’s almost awe inspiring because of the possibilities.  I could go back to school and study just about anything!  There are some limitations, primarily physical, but I could study anything I wanted.  (I can’t be an astronaut.  I’m too old.)

For your amusement, I will include a list of some of the careers I’ve considered this past week:

  • sonographer
  • court stenographer
  • conductor
  • opera singer
  • DevOps manager
  • manager
  • teacher (music or English)
  • programmer
  • chef
  • photographer
  • Uber driver
  • historian
  • veterinarian
  • librarian
  • sign language interpreter
  • bartender  (but I don’t drink so I don’t know that that would work. lol)

All of those are going to take time.  A lot of time, and a lot of study.  Not that I’m opposed to it.  I’m actually at the right time of my life to undertake a new career.  I’m just not very patient, so I tend to want the results right now instead of 5 years from now.

Dale and I went on a date yesterday, and we were talking about my options.  Again.  He made a statement that just made my heart soar.

“Why don’t you write about your journey on your blog?”

Can I?  Can I really?

We then had a talk about how I have a book inside me — I know it’s there — and about how to make money from a blog while writing my book.

To finally summarize this long story, I am going to still work at the store, but I’m also going to be working on my writing.  I found an online course that I am going to take to help me polish my writing up.  The days that I’m not at the store, I will be on my laptop either studying or writing.  I’m going to be looking into how to make money on my blog.  (I apologize in advance for paid posts and advertisements that will pop up in the future.  I will try to maintain a level of professionalism in my writing, but I have to pay the bills somehow.)  And I’m going to be trying to find writing opportunities that I haven’t explored before.

In short, I’m going to try to treat the business of writing as a business.

What is my career?  I’m a writer.  I always have been.  Now, I’m going to let the world know.

Hugs,
Melinda

Surround yourself with inspiration for writing

I almost forgot to read chapter three of On Being a Writer this week.  This chapter is called Surround, but quite honestly, I haven’t really worked on arranging my writing life to where I can write on a consistent basis. I try to have a quiet time for Bible study first thing in the morning. I need to find a time for writing. I wonder if right after my Bible study would work, or if I should find a different time. We’re going to be rearranging the computers and dining rooms in the next few days, so I wonder if I can make a space for me to write.

Alright. On to surround. This chapter talks about how a writer needs to surround herself with input and ideas that will feed creativity. One of the authors likes to visit an art museum, and the other reads a wide variety of books. The idea is that you will surround yourself with things you love and it will inspire you and you will write about your passions.

Which brings up another point. I’ve heard it said before that you should write about what you know. One of the authors mentioned an essay by Ben Yagoda called “Should we write what we know?” in which he mentions that it’s possible to research and learn what it is you want to write about. That you want to be so fully involved and in love with your subject that the passion spills over into your writing.

The exercises at the end of this chapter ask you to evaluate what you are surrounding yourself with and to think about what you could change. If you want to write about art museums, you don’t read books about car mechanics. I’m not immediately sure what I could change, with the exception of my use of social media. I’m on Facebook way too much. Twitter is where I’ve met most of my author friends. Tumblr is okay. Pinterest is a great place to gather ideas. But overall, I just spend too much time online.

I’m not sure what the exact changes I need to make are, but if I want to continue to write and write well, I need to change something.

We’re also supposed to have a short essay on who our favorite authors are and how their work has influenced our lives. For myself, I would have to say C.S. Lewis is probably the most influential to me, because of the Chronicles of Narnia. That was my introduction to fiction and classical literature. I have never forgotten the stories of Aslan and Puddleglum, Eustace and Reepicheep. The imagery Mr. Lewis painted was and remains some of the most vivid pictures I’ve ever read and imagined.

But I’ve also been influenced by the writing of Max Lucado, specifically his earlier works, such as God Came Near. One of the chapters in that book is simply questions for Mary. When I read that chapter as a young lady, and realized that I could simply asks questions and still make a point, my writing style changed. The short essay style chapters are similar to the style of this blog.

To make a long story short, I need to surround myself with things that will inspire me as well as arrange my life and space to make my writing time more consistent.

In other words, I need to sit down with my husband and tell him everything I’m learning, and ask for his suggestions and help.

Hugs,
Melinda