Friday, March 25, 2011

What I've been reading

I thought I'd pass along some of the great books I've been reading lately.  As always, the genres vary with my fickle mind.

*The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen--Literary Fiction.  As always Mr. Franzen blows me away with his observation of the everyday human existence. It's a guilty pleasure to watch these dysfunctional characters fall apart and then pick up the pieces.
*A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness--Paranormal Fiction.  Being a witch or a daemon is hereditary and the MC has been denying her genetic witch roots for years.  After accidentally summoning a bewitched ancient text she meets a Vampire who changes her life for better and worse.  Great debut novel.  Two more books to follow, so says the author on her facebook page.
*Shiver (and its sequel Linger) by Maggie Stiefvater--YA Paranormal Fiction.  A new take on how werewolves are made and, of course, young love.  The third and final book in this series will be released in July.
*The Raven Queen by Jules Watson--Historical Fiction.  Retelling of the ancient Irish tale about Queen Maeve.  This book loosely ties into her last stand-alone novel, The Swan Maiden (retelling of Deidre of the Sorrows).
*Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr--YA Paranormal Fiction.  This is the final book in her Fairy series, and it was a great ending.  I'm glad she didn't try to drag this out like another YA series that started out with a bang but now seems just annoying (rhymes with Mouse of Light).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Vote for WWTS!!!

We Were The States are competing for a spot for Live on the Green.  Vote for them on Lightning 100's website between 10 a.m. and midnight (central time), even if you aren't a Nashvillian...go ahead and vote if you like music at all.  They are good, because I said so.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Resistance Is Futile. Uh, this guy says it's not. I'm with him.

 (Image from Google Images search for "resistance")
Today I started reading THE WAR OF ART by Steven Pressfield.  A Must Read for all artists, writers, musicians.  Heck, anyone really.  Seriously, go buy a copy.  
I can’t comment on every point he makes, but I’ll touch on the ones that hit me hardest.  I’ll cover Book One today—Resistance:  Defining the Enemy 
It is invisible.  That sneaky little shit! 
Resistance is Internal.  We blame it on our jobs, our kids, our stress.  No.  It’s inside us. It will say anything, do anything to trick you.  “Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”  (Pg. 9)
Use Resistance to solidify what we really want.  “The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”  (pg. 12)
You cannot reason with Resistance.  It has one goal—to stop you—and it never tires of the game.  
Resistance never goes away, taunting you until the bitter end.  There is no First Blood.  It’s a Death Match.  And it is strongest near the end, when your goal is within your grasp.  Watch out for it.  Don’t let it get you.
Resistance is not self-sustaining.  Our fear is its daily bread.  Without the fear, Resistance dies.  
*The number one symptom is Procrastination.  And I excel at procrastination.  We are bosom pals, BFFs, comrades, brothers [or sisters] in arms!  It’s the easiest to rationalize because what’s the harm in waiting another day to start?  No one’s gonna keel over because I didn’t write today, or the last however many days.  
He goes on to list others like getting into trouble, creating drama or going on about your drama, criticizing others, alcohol, drugs, and on and on.  These things get you attention.  Much easier than buckling down and finishing what you started. 
*Unhappiness.  This was, by far, the most profound because it described me to a T.  
A low-grade misery pervades everything.  We’re bored, we’re restless.  We can’t get no satisfaction.  There’s guilt but we can’t put our finger on the source.  We want to go back to bed; we want to get up and party.  We feel unloved and unlovable.  We’re disgusted.  We hate our lives.  We hate ourselves.”  (Pg. 31)
That pretty much sums up the last four months, some points more than others.  According to Pressfield, the only cure is...drumroll, please...doing our work. 
*Self-Doubt.  I have this in spades.  But Pressfield says this can also be our ally.  Being scared shows how much we want this thing, be it a novel, a painting, or a song.  So while I feel like I’m drowning in it sometimes, at least I know for sure this isn’t a phase.  Am I a writer?  He says if I ask that question at all, then I am.  Whew.  I was starting to wonder *g*
*Fear also points us towards what we should be doing, just like the quote above from page twelve.  It guides us.  More fear=More certainty.  I don’t know about you, but I’m scared shitless.  Scared that I won’t finish one book, let alone all the ideas I have brewing upstairs. 
*Rationalization—Resistance’s fraternal twin (my term, not his).  The problem with rationalizations is that they are legitimate issues.  I_do_have three kids, one of which has Asperger’s.  I_am_the only income right now.    I_am_working full-time plus overtime to make ends meet.  I_don’t_have babysitters or family nearby to help.  This is all bullshit.  He cites Tolstoy (had thirteen kids and still wrote WAR AND PEACE) and Lance Armstrong (won Tour de France after cancer!).  I used to be my own example of this—Supermom who bakes gluten free brownies for the school function after cooking for a family of five and getting them to bed and_then_staying up to read and write.  But somewhere down the line, I let Resistance get the upper hand.  
It is my goal to get myself back and beyond where I was before.  Eliminate Resistance.