Saturday, October 29, 2016

When It's Worth It

My daughter is a huge fan of the Marvel superhero films. The Captain America series is her favorite, and the character she loves the most is Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. the Winter Soldier (Cap's best friend) who is played by Sebastian Stan. For the past two years, she's accumulated approximately 5 million photos of him on her Pinterest board, has photos of him printed out and hanging above her bed, has comic books and t-shirts and just about everything else she can find that is Winter Soldier/Sebastian Stan. She even wanted a birthday cake this year with him, and of course she got it!

Since Sebastian Stan goes to comic cons, I told her that if there was ever a comic con within driving distance of us, I would take her. Well, that opportunity came when we found out he would be Tulsa, Oklahoma, approximately a six and a half hour drive from us. That's about the same amount of time it takes us to go home to western Nebraska, so the drive didn't bother us.

After weeks of waiting, the time finally came last Friday. Because my health is crappy and travel only exacerbates it, my husband did the driving, and we ended up in Tulsa late Friday night. We were up early on Saturday and headed to downtown Tulsa for the event.

This was my first ever comic con, so I didn't know what to expect. But it was quite the adventure. Lots of people love to cosplay for these things and this one was no exception. I saw lots of Captain Americas and Harley Quinns and Jokers and Star Wars characters and on and on. My daughter and I didn't dress up (but we've decided that if we go again, I'm going as Agent Carter and she's going as the Winter Soldier), but that was ok - we had a blast anyway.

When my daughter was in line to meet Sebastian Stan and get his autograph, she nearly fainted, but we managed to get through it ok. Later, she was able to get a photo of the two of them together - and she still has a hard time believing she got a hug from her celebrity crush!

But after being at the event all day Saturday, waiting in line, not eating well, and being on my feet most of the time, I was in a lot of pain by the time we made it back to the hotel room. My knees ached, my body felt like it had been tackled by a football player, and I was so tired all I wanted to do was sleep.

This is the crappy part of chronic illness. I've had to learn to prepare for the inevitable pain and discomfort that attending events or going places will bring. In fact, I took Monday off from work because I knew I'd need the day to recover. As it turns out, I needed more than one day - I'm still in a lot of pain today and have spent most of the day in bed.

Was it worth going through that pain to see my daughter's dream come true? You bet. I don't regret it for a second. To see her smile, to see her meet her favorite celebrity and actually get to hug him? Totally worth it!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Tips for Pushing Through

I am one of those writers who struggles to get the first draft written. It's always been this way. There are days when the words flow and I write with a feeling of giddiness. Other times, it's a slog, like trying to get through a foot of oozing mud in the spring. Or like my joints are in the morning: stiff and painful. Actually, just writing this post feels like that!

But there are times when I must force myself to get the words down. I can fix them later. Thank God I can fix them later. For me, the editing process is where I enjoy writing the most. I get to play! I don't have to get it right the first time! It reminds me of this quote:




That being said, what are some ways to push through and write on those hard days?

A few tips:

1. Silence the Inner Editor
This is one of my major hang-ups. That little devil inside my head constantly tells me that the words I'm putting on the page are pure crap, and that I should just give up already. Putting a muzzle on my inner editor is the only way to get words on the page.

2. Accept that you're writing crap
During last night's writing session, I knew very well that I was writing crap. And you know what I did? I embraced the heck out of it. The result? I kept writing crap, but I was still writing.

3. Do a round of freewriting
As alluded to in my previous post, freewriting can be, well, freeing! Before you start working on your novel/article/short story, open a blank document on Word and just start writing. Don't worry about grammar or punctuation or even if your ideas make any sense. Just write. Put words on the page. Get the gunk out. And if you still sit down to your project and write crap? That's ok. Just see #2!

4. Take a walk. Listen to music. Draw a picture. Bake a cake! Color!
There have been times when getting out of the house and immersing myself in nature or putting on a good big band CD have lifted me out of my writing funk. Creativity begets creativity. I'm a big believer in the new coloring craze that has seized the world, especially when I don't care if I color outside the lines or if I make my grass blue instead of green. Go wild! Then go back to your work-in-progress and use that same mentality.

Remember Nora Robert's famous line: "I can fix a bad page. I can't fix a blank page."