Quote of the Week

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that I had not placed in the top of the last contest I had entered.  I was excited to have advanced at all, let alone make it to the finals, but I was still disappointed – to get so close.  Ah well.  It’s time to move beyond this latest round and look forward.

Easier said than done.

It was a huge boost to my (writer’s) ego to get that bit of validation, but now here I am again, starting at square one.  I have that tune in my head, “second verse, same as the first”.  Creatives have a tough gig.  So I was trying to find a quote this week that speaks to those of us who continue to try, despite the odds, because passion dictates that we do.

I present the following:

Churchill-Success

Yes, this is a quote that most likely relates to a world war, but the message can be applied to anyone who continues to strive towards their goal.  It is my hope that we all do!

Best Wishes and Happy Writing!

Quote Monday

It’s time to get back to routine, and as most of you probably remember, I used to enjoy my routine.  It’s a bit of a vague memory at the moment. 😉

On Mondays I like to share inspiring quotes – something to start the week off right.  I like this one:

situationelevation

Keep working towards your dreams!

In Search of a Silver Lining

silver-liningI’ve been wondering for the past few days if I wanted to talk about the election and the ramifications.  As you all know, I’ve tried to make this blog a positive place where I hope you’ll find inspiration and, when I actually sit down to write, tips you’ll find useful.  This blog also serves as my diary, in part.  I try to limit the scope to the writing sphere, and although it may not appear so, at least not in the beginning, I’ll get to that bit by the end.

So yes, I’ve decided to talk about it.  At least a little.

I’ve been trying to find a way to remain positive and to find the right words to share here, with you.  Even as a writer, this has been extremely difficult.  I’ll be honest, I cried when the votes were tallied and discovered that a candidate whose entire platform was built upon some of the most deplorable things I’ve ever heard had the audacity to walk up to the podium to accept the presidency and say we needed to come together…the word “hypocrite” came crashing to mind.

I was, in a word, horrified.

I’ve never been politically inclined, or evidently overly patriotic.  Since I was 19, I’ve been trying to find a way to move to England, and I had only become a US citizen two years before.  Did I think about reinstating my Canadian citizenship?  Yep.  Will I?  Well, in my desire to travel and live around the world, it is easier to do so as a Canadian, sooo maybe.  (And no, I was not one of the many who crashed the Canadian immigration website.)

The night of and the following morning, my eyes were glued to social media as if I were witnessing the carnage of an accident.  I couldn’t look away.  But then the gloating started.  The “stop whining” started, and from people I considered “friends”, well, at one point in my life, I mean we’re just Facebook friends now, but still.

Were they so oblivious to what this meant to so many?  Were they just ignoring all the threats made?  The insults?  The blatant lies?  Or were they under the impression that his whole persona was just for show?  That underneath all the “isms” is an actual decent person?  Do they really believe that someone who had aided in dividing the country so greatly is actually the one who will bring us together?

And this is an honest question – Is this what they believe?

Talk about delusion.  There are a number of quotes about the actions of people vs their words, and in either case, the president-elect has shown us his true colors.

I have worked a long time in the food service industry.  I have been assaulted by men at least a dozen times, both physically and verbally, because in their minds, their tip for me providing them with food and drink also included a grope, fondle, grab, or enduring a disgusting string of insults under the guise of a compliment.  Only a couple of weeks before the election, these two older white men who have become regulars at one of the restaurants I work for had the nerve to say that all women would happily allow a man in a position of power to grope them, as if it were some sort of special commendation.

I looked at them aghast and said, “No, we wouldn’t!”

It is not a compliment.  It is not welcomed.  It is not acceptable.  We are not asking for it.  For many of us, we’ve had no avenue to defend ourselves against such behavior.  And when we do speak up, we’re bitches and being difficult, and the assailant gets a slap on the wrist.  And if you’re wondering why we’re feeling even less secure, it’s because the chosen leader of our country not only condones such behavior, but has also perpetrated it (and on minors, no less).

This is just one example of one of the “isms” you think we’re being cry babies about.  There are a number of groups who have been trying to make strides in the direction of equality that now feel an even greater upward battle is just beginning.

Then the voices of rational people started to join together and grow louder.

No, we don’t think all his supporters are hateful people.  No, we do not want him to fail.  That was never even a thought.  He will be our leader, and there is a great deal riding on his “broad shoulders” and his leadership.  We’re all counting on him to be successful.  We’re all hoping for that, even amidst the fear many of us are feeling.

The irony of it all, I suppose, is that for a man who wanted to break down the political system, he has shone a bright light upon it and made a lot more people want to get involved.  Well, maybe not so much irony as a blessing.  Perhaps this is that silver lining we’re looking for.  I don’t overtly share my beliefs.  I try to find quiet ways to do things for the causes I believe in, but that quiet side is done with sitting in the shadows.  She is beyond incensed and ready to find an outlet.  There’s just been too much.

And this is where we get to the writing.

As writers, we have our voices.  There is a great deal we can do.  Whether you write a non-fiction essay about the ramifications of this decision, or you write an allegorical fantasy that thinly veils these contemporary times, we have it within our means to say so much for so many.  We don’t have to stay silent and wonder what we can do to make a difference.

pinWe have our voices.  Let’s use them!

And on a side note, I truly appreciate the safety pin movement created during Brexit, and offer my support to any who need it.  I’ve added my email to my About page.  Feel free to use it if you ever need a friendly ear or a word of encouragement.jossquote

Keep your chins up, my friends!  Let’s do what we can to stay positive and to bridge the divide.  Let’s be kind and open-minded.  Let’s stand against all the “isms” and find a way to help one another.  We’re all in this together!

xx, Rach

Quote Monday

I’ve been in a state of avoidance.  Finding consolation in escapism.  And the only person that affects, the only person that suffers, is me.

I don’t know why exactly either.  Actually, I have a couple of theories.  Regardless, it’s about doing what you can with what you have in the hopes that you can keep moving forward.

2Choices.jpg

Here’s to starting off the new week on the right track!  Wishing you all the best!

 

How to Recover from Burnout

SherlockBoredAs many of you are aware, I like my routine, but something about it recently has created the side effect of “burnout”.  I’ve had little motivation to do much beyond what is absolutely necessary, and even those things have taken great effort.

I’ve been tired.  I don’t feel compelled to write anything.  I haven’t done those responsible things you’re supposed to as a grown up, and it sort of came out of nowhere.

I feel that some of the blame can be placed on the vicarious living I’ve been doing through books and gaming, even my own stories.  All these characters are having adventures, meeting new people, and are seeing amazing sights, while I sit on my butt.  The other day at work, it was yet another slow night and I was writing notes for my fanfiction when the cook asked me if I was writing about my own life.

I couldn’t help but laugh, like a big hearty laugh.

I told him I write fantasy and science fiction, so that didn’t really apply, and then I waved my hand about the bar/restaurant as an explanation.  This is my life, well, my working life any way, and it blows.

We moved back to a city I don’t like to get back on our feet, and all we’ve done is struggle.  I was unemployed in LA for two years, and since taking this current job a year ago, all I’ve done is job hunt, so I feel like I’ve been perpetually searching and sending out resumes for a good job (to no avail) forever.  This in turn affects my writing.

I think it’s this cycle that has caused the burnout.  I’m just frustrated and bored with my life.

Falkor2014Luckily, I do have one thing to look forward to, and it couldn’t be more timely, Gishwhes is upon us.

The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen begins tomorrow morning.  This will be the fourth year The Sis and I take part on Team Falkor.  It is a crazy week of creative endeavors, acts of kindness, nearly impossible tasks, and sometimes utter nonsense that brings together a group of people from around the world with one purpose – to make a change – for ourselves and for others.

So, what does this have to do with recovering from burnout?

The routines we rely on, the normal day to day that sometimes wears us down is something we occasionally need a break from.  This is why vacations are so important for overall well being – they tend to relieve all those internal and external pressures we put upon ourselves and bring us back to our equilibrium while reinvigorating our passions.

But…sometimes we are constrained by our circumstances, and yet we need to find avenues we can explore that inspire and invigorate us.  Gishwhes, for me, is the perfect example of that.  It’s challenging and creative, makes you think outside the box, and for the most part, costs very little to be a part of.  Also, the feelings of creativity, inspiration, and kindness last long after the hunt is over.

I’ve been trying to find inexpensive means of enjoying things in my current city, and you’d be surprised what you can do as a local.  Often times museums, shows, even restaurants offer special deals for locals.  Some movie theaters offer specials on a certain day of the week – here in Vegas we have $5 Tuesdays.  Some communities offer a number of free events through the county government, the library, or the arts district, you just have to do a little searching.

It’s no vacation to a tropical island or London, but it’s a step in the direction of doing something different.

If you’d like to a little break from the monotony, and maybe escape the threat of burnout, Team Falkor is always looking for unofficial team members.  Sometimes, an item calls for a specific landmark somewhere in the world, or the use of technology most of us don’t have access to, or something so random we have no idea how we’ll accomplish it, and yet, you could be the answer.

Next week will be a little unconventional, so keep an eye out for the unusual requests, and if you’d like to help, let me know, and join me in saying goodbye to burnout!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Quote of the Week

I’ve been told to lower my expectations.  They are generally fairly high.

I’ve surprised people with my vocabulary, because a person in the food service industry can’t be educated?

I’ve been playing video games since they were practically invented, and yet I still get sideways glances when I say I’m a gamer, because, you know, girls don’t play video games.  Okay.

We are all a mixture of contradictions and we should be proud of who we are.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise or stand in the way of your dreams.

Don'tDumbYourselfDown

This quote can also be used in regards to our writing.  Write the story you want to tell and there will be people out there that get it and admire you for putting it out into the world.

Wishing you the very best in all your endeavors!

Did You Miss Me?

Hi everyone!

What a couple of weeks we’ve had, right?!  Goodness.  I hope you’re all well and working harder towards your goals than ever in light of recent events.  Yet more reminders of how fragile life is and how unexpectedly things can change in the blink of an eye.

With that in mind, I’d like to kick off this week in my traditional way – with a quote.

There’s no reason not to follow your heart towards the goal you desire most.  Whatever it is, go after it!  Ignore the naysayers, and do what makes you happy.  Make the time.  Put in the effort.  Push yourself.  Dream big!

RiskForADream

Wishing you all the very best!

xx, Rach

Quote Monday (on a Tuesday)

I’m not really sure what happened to last week.  I was here.  I was up and mobile, but somehow, my computer remained in a dormant state.  The room which houses it remained dark and almost imperceptible – like that thing you see out of the corner of your eye, and yet when you turn to view it fully, it disappears.  My office was sort of like that, evidently.

And here I am, starting the new week off a day late.  Sheesh.  I think there’s an actual medical term for the state of permanent behind-ness.  If there’s not, there will be one soon, and Marek will be somewhere embedded within that 10-syllable phrase with a picture beside it of me rolling my eyes.  Maybe it will be slightly blurred from me shaking my head…I sometimes like to think it’s Fate’s way of keeping me out of harm’s way.  Eh, it’s as good an explanation as any, I suppose.

YourJourney

Along our journey, we may find it hard not to compare our lives with other, sometimes more successful, or more put together, counterparts.  In turn, there are those who may not grasp what it is we’re chasing.  The above quote is a great reminder that we each have our own path (but may be a little late in getting there).

Don’t let the naysayers derail you from what you truly want to do.  Dream big!

Have a great week!

Quote Monday

Besides the adorable-ness, the lessons are a great reminder of things (sometimes) forgotten with age.

ChildTeachAdult

As writers, I think we, generally, embody 2 of the 3, with happiness getting lost from time to time.  Writers, historically, have been known to be melancholy, depressed, repressed, vice riddled, isolated, and any variant of the above and much more.  I think it’s a good lesson to remind ourselves to find happiness where and when we can, and to embrace it.

Curiosity is a staple among writers.  We wouldn’t write the stories we do if we weren’t full of wonder at the possibility of what if.  Our stories lead us to amazing places, and we learn about topics we may never have even considered before creating our new world.  Keep learning and keep growing because you never know where your next great idea will come from.

Another staple – the fight.  We fight for our characters.  We fight for our stories.  We believe in our babies and in order to get others to love them as we do, we have to fight to get them out into the world.  Even when you’re tired, don’t give up.  Success may be just a moment away.

I then thought about these words in regards to my characters.  They’re people too and they have their own lives to lead, and could probably use a friendly word.  Amidst their trials could they find a moment of happiness?  Do they have a cause or a reason to keep fighting?  A little food for thought.

Wishing you all the best!  And Happy Writing!