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The Woman in the Mirror

The Magic Looking GlassWe writers (and artists in general) know that true art is an expression of ourselves. Whether it be a commission or a free-flowing piece, there must be that little grain of something that says, “This is who I am.”

I’d lost that with “Calypso.” I’d become so focused on the fame and the finish line that I lost sight of why I was writing in the first place: to tell a story. I’d lost my connection to Kira in my multiple attempts to make her more intriguing. I’d lost my connection to the romance and mystique in my failed efforts to create more drama. I’d worn myself out trying to match the political intrigue and mind-games that some of the Greats achieve. I’d lost myself.

I would love to tell you that it’s all better now, but that wouldn’t be true. Perhaps this is any writer’s struggle, the tug between how you want the characters to sound and how you keep your connection to them. I don’t know. I know very few writers who have openly said that they struggle to connect. I can tell you that it is getting better. As I stop demeaning myself, I’m beginning to see the qualities of Kira that are also in me. Rather than seeing myself in the weak, whining, scared child who was my first incarnation of Kira, I can see myself in the overly-righteous, stubborn, logical Kira that is beginning to form. I am finding my connection again.

This may seem trivial to many of you who read this blog. I know it’s not the usual topic I blog about (not that I’ve been blogging much lately), but it’s a major part of my journey. On top of that, if I’m struggling with this I’m sure some other writer somewhere out in the void is having the same problem.

If you are, take heart. Step back and examine what is wrong. Why can’t you connect? What part of your character is blocking you? I’ve been amazed by the complexity of the human spirit. I can at once be the self-effacing girl-child that I first wrote freely, but I can also be the strong leader that is now beginning to flow. Hopefully, the revelation or the struggle helps someone. Otherwise, I’ll be content with discovering more about myself.

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S. G. RickettsToday is the third day of school and my brain is finally feeling rejuvenated! Call it boredom, call it focus, call it nerd-dom, but I always feel better when I’m in a classroom. There is something amazing, something nearly magical, about a classroom. Ideas are exchanged, facts are taught, knowledge is imbued. Ah… I love it! I’m strange,  I know, but I always have a secret countdown going in my mind for any new semester.

With the return of school also comes guilt-free access to libraries. Guilt-free access to libraries brings quiet, peaceful, clutter-free spaces. Quiet, peaceful, clutter-free spaces promotes writing! (And I feel that I should credit my 8th grade logic teacher for that lovely flow, regardless of the missing “therefore.)

I’m excited! Are you excited? Not only will Puck be progressing past the chapters I’ve already written, but Calypso shall slowly become more polished as well. Unfortunately, I missed my goal for 2012 of having Calypso out to agents by December, but 2013 is a new year! Today is a new day! Optimism! Yay! (Not sure where this energy is coming from… The espressos have abandoned me for months, so this must just be EXCITEMENT!)

If you’re not acquainted with Puck yet, shame on you. Based off a story I wrote for a BookRix contest months ago, it follows the rather ordinary life of Rebekkah As-Yet-Not-Last-Named, her spunky best friend Joe (and his collection of v-neck shirts and paranormal paraphernalia), her shape-shifting cat guardian, and a rather attractive man determined to ruin love across the globe. Interested? Check it out at my sister blog site, sgrickettsonline.wordpress.com. Chapter 3 will be up on Friday. If you love it, share it with your friends. If you hate it, please keep hateful posts to a mildly-spitting minimum. (Free speech and all, but seriously… Your bad ju-ju will rub off, and that will make me cry.)

I decided to do the  crazy and start a web serial of my own to allow y’all a little more reading material (albeit INCREDIBLY slowly) while you wait for Calypso to head to agents and publishers all around. (Hopeful thinking creates realities, right?) Think of it as a benevolent advertisement. We all benefit: you have a story to read and the time to agonize over what Rebekkah will do next or what delectable creation will come out of Joe’s mind next (Recipes for both the white chocolate mocha and the creation in the posted chapters will be going up.) and I gain a larger readership to join those of you fabulous enough to already be following me. A win-win, I’d say. But, I need your help in order to accomplish it. I can post blogs all day long and no one might read them. You, as the reader, are invaluable. If you like a post or you like Puck or Calypso, share it on Facebook. Tweet it. Do any of the other number of sharing options you can. DON”T steal it and say it’s your own. I will hunt you down and cut off your fingertips.

Consider this: the larger the crowd the blogs draw, the better I look to potential agents and publishers. It’s much easier to promote a book that people already want than one no one’s heard of. And who doesn’t love a great alien love story/survival tale?

 

Anyway, enough of my blabbering. Welcome to 2013! Check out Puck. Keep your fingers crossed that my A.D.D. allows me to edit Calypso. Read a book as often as possible. And… Drink more coffee!

"Sleeping Ocean" by princessofshadows, deviantart.comDistant. Disembodied. I am floating adrift in a sea of uncertainty.

Is there such thing as a calling? What is my purpose here on Earth? Is there even such a thing as purpose, or are we mindless drones, set upon a path of anonymity to keep the world turning? I need to know. I need to have something tangible, something I can grab hold of and focus on. I’m tired of simplistic answers. “If your heart is still beating, you have a purpose.” But what is that purpose? And I’m infinitely tired of Sunday school answers. “Your purpose is to glorify God in whatever you do.” That’s all well and good, if God doesn’t mind me spinning aimlessly along on my hamster wheel.

Glory and meaning are in all things, but I am in no way convinced that just anything will do as a purpose. After all, I’ve been taught that each person has a place in the body of Christ. Why then not in the scheme of the world? After all, a nose knows it is a nose. It doesn’t wonder whether it should be an eye or an ear. I wish I had a clue as to what I was meant to be, just like the nose. Instead I am amorphous. I am an anything, able to mold myself to fit whatever is needed of me. I am a jack of all trade and a master of none. I hate it.

Oh, how I envy the few who have the stroke of destiny to weave their tales for profit. I envy their comfort in grasping their purpose, their security in knowing they need only follow that path, their joy in following those dreams. I envy them while I sit anxiously spinning in my wheel, endlessly living check by check in a job I am “suited” for.

With a family and with responsibilities, I am bound by reality. Callings must needs be pushed back, if not forgotten, in the wake of necessity. Food and shelter take priority over that peace of purpose. And the wheel continues to spin. Effort and strength and will drain away. I am going nowhere despite my best efforts.

Perhaps the truth is that I feel helpless. I know my purpose. I see it each time heart strings are plucked by words I have written. I feel it each time the pen touches paper. And yet… I am helpless to follow it. Nothing died that first year of college, and everything was born, but my dreams shifted to the farthest corner of my reach.

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Then again, how else is a calling defined but through hardship? Maybe my hamster wheel is not as static as I thought. Maybe the sea around me is not quite so uncertain.