I am down in the dumps. I am not at ease. I am trying to manage my feelings and concerns about my toddler’s latest appointment with the developmental pediatrician. I tried to give myself a pep talk, listen to gospel music and take a walk, but nope. Still blue.
No parent ever wants to hear that something is wrong with their child. Parents are like superhero’s sworn to protect and serve their children. We will go to war; go broke; go gray in the service of our children.
I have been here before. This battlefield is not new.
I remember the feeling of going to war for my first child. At the age of fifteen, I started noticing things that were changing in the way that she behaved. I spoke to her school counselor and mentioned my daughter’s weight loss. She made note of my concerns and then brushed…
Before starting this review, I have to start with a disclaimer. I love Stephen King. He can do no wrong. Having said that, I did not start this book with high hopes. While I love Stephen, I know nothing about Owen. In September, I attended a presentation by Stephen and Owen in Naperville, Illinois where the authors discussed writing the book and read a few excerpts. I didn’t pick the book up to actually read the 699 pages until this past Sunday.
In the near future, mother nature presents an epidemic that effects only women when they go to sleep. They develop a cocoon that shrouds them. If the cocoon is disturbed, the women wake up zombie-like and go postal on the poor man who disturbed them. This epidemic becomes known as the Aurora virus.
There are a host of characters…almost too many to count. But a few of the main characters –
a woman named Eve/Evie who has something to do with the epidemic, is immune to the sleeping sickness and is a sort of supernatural being who steers events
Clint – a psychiatrist at a women’s prison where a lot of the action takes place. If Eve is the woman in control, then Clint is the man working to set things right
Lila, the town Sheriff who tries to stay awake with coffee and illicit drugs
Frank, the town dog catcher who is mighty angry!
As with any King novel, there are many characters with back stories and conflicts to get through before we get to the meat of the novel. What happens to the world with no women to temper the angry and often violent impulses of men?
In the small town of Dooling (most of his novels are set in a small town), chaos and violence ensues before we get to the final showdown.
While there are plenty of supernatural and spiritual elements – a magical tree, a woman named Eve who communes with animals and an alternate world with only women, this book is also a commentary on fake news, rampant tales of sexual violence and assault and police shootings. In a way, the book puts men on trial. And they are found guilty.
There is no clean and happy ending. But too much has gone down for that. The book does end with hope. And sometimes, that’s all we have to go on.
Just a few days into the new year and I am so excited about 2018!
2017 In Review
During the year, there were birthday celebrations, my anniversary and a few family gatherings and weddings. So besides the news and Donald Trump’s tweets, I can say that last year was great and filled with food, family, love, reading and writing. All of my favorite things.
The year ended with me writing over 50,000 words during Nanowrimo (a first for me) and winning an all expense paid trip to a week long writing workshop in Paris, France!
My husband and I hosted Christmas this year so there was lots of family over; I went to the movies with my mom (Christmas tradition) and my baby got to spend time with her great grandmom.
I spent New Year’s Eve with my family and had the kids write about their year in review and their goals for 2018. My son impressed me so much. His word for 2018 is responsibility!
I’ve read a lot of posts on social media from people who seem to frown on New Year’s resolutions. The thinking is that people throw out resolutions with no real resolve to follow through on them. I think its great that people post their intentions for the year. Even if they don’t see it through at least they gave some thought to their goals/plans for the year. Perhaps accountability can turn wishful thinking into accomplishments.
I have started setting my intentions daily, weekly and monthly. Last year I found that participating in challenges (health, gratitude, writing) really helped me to focus and continue to stay motivated. Of course, there were times that I didn’t follow through but I stayed in the game and kept playing until the end. So whatever helps me to stay on course, that’s what I’m going to do.
I wanted to do 3 writing retreats this year and two of them are already a go. I have a few other plans and intentions for my family, writing and health as well. My vision board is now my screen saver and in addition to my normal planner (Erin Condren Life Planner), I have ordered the Daily Greatness Journal (which seems like a pocket life coach) so that I can continue to be great! Finally, because I just couldn’t find the exact planner that I wanted I have started to create my own. I’m just playing around with it now but I should have a good one by the end of the year. So next year, I won’t have to buy anyone else’s planner.
I hope that 2018 has great things in store for you! Any special intentions, resolutions, plans and/or goals you want to share?
I once saw a quote from a meme on Instagram before that said to “trust your struggle”. And I filed that in the motivation section of my mental Rolodex.
The past few months have been yet another lesson of adjustment for me where I am repeatedly reminded to Trust My Journey. I left my previous job and became a contractor thinking that I would make good money and could concentrate on writing my “great novel” only to discover that I wasn’t making enough and I really didn’t enjoy what I was doing. So I had to scramble around trying to figure out a new plan. All the while, also dealing with life as a wife and mother and full time graduate student in this new city (2 years and still new to me).
I spend a lot of time being a resource and helping other people but when it comes to my own struggles, I tend to not talk about it (I do write about it) and find ways to keep myself lifted up. When you are a “caretaker” for others, there are times when you need a “caretaker” but you don’t always ask for help. Last Friday, one of my best friends posted on my Facebook wall and said to “Trust Your Journey”. I thought it was nice.
Today, though I realize how necessary that reminder was/is. There are so many valuable experiences, skills, connections and necessary people that we pick up along the Journey that are necessary and valuable to our lives.
Now, I’m not just saying that because this week I was published in my school’s annual publication, had a small feature in our monthly newsletter and won a scholarship to a week long writer’s workshopretreat in Paris, France!! All expenses paid!!
But I was reading an article today about Viet Thanh Nguyen who received the MacArthur genius grant for his novel, The Sympethizer. In the article he talks about how there was no over night success. It took him “20 years to learn how to be a writer”. For him, those 20 years paid off in a big way.
Of course, I’m not there but along with the intrinsic rewards that I get along the way, there are all of these other meaningful journey enhancing moments that keep me moving forward. Little by little. Step by step.
So let my reminder serve as a reminder for you. Whatever your dreams/goals are and whatever the obstacles/challenges you face, trust the journey. And enjoy the ride
Nanowrimo will soon be here. Being the pantser that I am, last year I just started writing on Nov 1st and my efforts fizzled out just after 8700 words.
So this year, I’m trying to plan my way through (as much as can be done for a pantser like me) and I’ve rediscovered the Evernote app. I’ve been writing things down and organizing my thoughts about my plot and characters and I’m slowly working my way to an outline.
This year, I’ll be writing in the Ulysses app because I’m still not over the learning curve for Scrivener. I think Scrivener is beautiful but I haven’t quite gotten the hang of it yet. Ulysses is much easier (for me) to just jump right in.
I will also be published again for my school’s annual publication, Mosaic and I’ve written a small feature in my school’s monthly newsletter Write On!
I’m working on my courage to submit to a few places in the next 6 months. But for now, I am just gonna concentrate on this one story (I’ve changed the title 3 times already so I’m hesitant to even put it here) and winning Nanowrimo 2017.
How have you prepped for Nanowrimo? If you’d like to be writing buddy’s, I’m “Underthera”
So I last year, I started Nanowrimo in November but I only wrote 8764 words before I quit. So I’m giving it a go again this year, but this time I am using the month of October to plan.
I am more of a pantser than a planner and that works for the small projects that I have done for school but I want to try to plan and outline more for this project. This Work in Progress has been in my head for awhile. I have written a few of the characters already in other projects because they hang out in my head just waiting for me to get it right. Hopefully, this is the time!