Tenacious Tuesday #1

For my first post on a Tuesday in 2018, I’m introducing Tenacious Tuesday. Tenacious Tuesday is all about hanging tough and keeping going. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

I’d like to think that is what I do on a daily basis. I keep going. 2018 is about keeping going for me. I will persevere and rise above.

I’m going to try something a little bit different this year on Heron, There & Everywhere. I’d like to attempt to follow a themed approach. Each day will have its own theme. I’ve tried to stick with what I know and what I like.

Mondays will be Musical Monday. I will write about anything music-related from my favorite bands, songs or concerts. Music is a huge part of my daily life.

Tuesdays will be Tenacious Tuesday. Tenacious Tuesday will be about challenges and hanging in there when life knocks me down. As a trucker’s wife, every day is a challenge.

Wednesdays will be Wellness Wednesday, and I’ll write about anything health-related that my family deals with – autism, ADHD, diabetes, celiac disease, diverticulitis, etc.

Thursdays will be Thoughtful Thursday. Those posts will be more random in nature from poetry to creative writing to random musings.

Fridays will be Fictional Friday, and that will be the day I post book reviews and anything book-related.

Saturdays will be Sentimental Saturday. I will write about my favorite things. My beloved squirrels will probably show up here.

Sundays will be Silent Sunday. This day will be photos only, no words. I love photography and have thousands of photos.

It is my hope that following a more organized approach will keep me writing more consistently in 2018. Please let me know what you think.

Over Planning

I have never been able to work with an outline. Hell, I usually don’t even have a solid plot in mind. I have a general, vague idea, and my stories or musings spring from there. I prefer to write as it comes to me, on the fly, off the top of my head, with my hands racing across the keyboard to get it all down before I lose it. I do my best work when I just write and let my fingers take me where they will. I ramble and wander, figuring it out as I go.

Worried how some of my creative efforts have meandered along, I spoke to my hubby, and he suggested that maybe working from an outline would give me direction and make for a tighter story. I freely admit that I don’t like outlines. If I write an outline, I almost never stick to it. I say too much in an outline because putting down cryptic bullet points makes no sense whatsoever to me. Why bother? Outlines always seemed so pointless.

Wanting to be a better writer, I gave hubby’s idea of using an outline a shot. I forced myself to sit down and made an outline. I researched ideas, and I wrote a framework for a novel. Using Scrivener, my favorite writing software, I researched characters, drafting up complete bios for them, complete with pictures of people found online who fit the idea of the people I had in my head. I researched and set up plots for scenes, and I created detailed places for the scenes to happen.

I wrote a prologue with an exciting opening scene. After the action of the prologue, I decided I’d go back in time two weeks and write about how the characters got where they were when the prologue scene happened. And, that was as far as I got. I waited for inspiration to hit, and I got nothing. My mind was a big, fat blank.

My problem with planning and plotting it all out is that now that I’ve done that, the story is already written in my head. It has a beginning, middle and an end, and the pure joy of writing it and creating it moment by moment is gone. I already know where the story will go and how it will end so I no longer feel the need to write it. It’s like I’ve opened the book and already read the ending. I’ve spoiled it for myself.

This stalled effort taught me an important lesson. Outlines don’t work for me. Too much planning puts a real damper on the joy of writing for me. I need the surprise of not knowing exactly where I’m going.

Images courtesy of Pinterest

WordPress Anniversary

Blogging life for me began in June 2012 (almost five years ago). WordPress informed me on Friday that I registered with them four years ago. I was two-thirds of the way through my first college degree. I’d had some success with college level writing, and I was nearly finished with a web design degree. At the time I not only felt like I had something to say (after more than fifty years of living), but I also felt creative and clever. I was struggling to adjust to life with my husband out on the road for five to six days of each week. My hubby and a dear friend both suggested I blog.

My hubby had been using Blogger for his blog so I started out on that platform.  Blogger felt way too isolated for me. Blogger may have changed since then, but at the time there was no sense of community. There was no “Reader” like there is in WordPress where you could see other people’s posts. Maybe I was just too new at blogging in general, but I posted and never got any feedback from others. There were no blogs that I followed or people that followed me. I didn’t get any emails to alert me that others had posted. I was posting into a total void or vacuum. It was a miracle that I stuck with it, but I found freedom in being able to express my thoughts and ideas and put them out there for others to see. Of course I know now that had I linked my blog to Twitter or Facebook, I probably would’ve had more feedback. I was so new at it, I was clueless.

Since I felt like I was wasting my time on Blogger as I neared the end of my first year blogging I began to look for other platforms. I don’t remember now exactly how I found WordPress, but I did, and I’m glad. The switch to WordPress was the right thing to do. Had I stuck with Blogger, I would’ve quit. With WordPress, even on the days when I don’t feel like posting or have nothing new to say, there are friends I follow who always have something to say, and I can comment on their posts instead.

Thank you, WordPress. Thank you for forcing this shy woman to come out of her shell just a bit further. Thank you for the laughs, and the experiences. I’ve learned a lot, and I’m always amused and touched by the words of others. I’ve found friendships that have enriched my life. I wouldn’t change a thing about any of it. I don’t blog to be wildly successful or to make money. I blog because this is me and this is my voice, and the kindness of others takes away a bit of the loneliness while my trucker hubby is out on the road.

Thank you.

Plots and Life Experiences

It dawns on me that I have a number of life experiences that are unique. I really should write a book. If I could come up with a viable plot, I would do so. I love writing. I just don’t have anything unique to say at the moment. Most of the ideas I come up with have already been done. Too bad I can’t use something from my own life. Let me give you a few examples.

We had a firm meeting the other day. As part of that meeting they brought in a Lieutenant from the local Police Department’s SWAT team. He ran through a very lengthy (and grim) discussion on what employees should do when there is an active killer in the workplace. This is a presentation he does for companies to get them thinking about how they would handle an emergency situation. We watched a video that gave people in this situation (facing a killer) three choices – run, hide or fight.

Sadly, I have already faced a similar situation. It wasn’t a killer, though; it was rioters. In 1972 (7th grade), I experienced a race riot. We were locked down in our classrooms while the rioters ran loose through the high school hallways, breaking the glass in the doors. The teacher made us hide under our desks. The rioters did come into our room, and they slapped around one boy who had long, past his shoulder length hair (unfortunately, he stood out). Apparently, there were worse situations going on in other rooms and areas of the school. The Police came and arrested the rioters. The teacher drove us home that day. I am here to confess that hiding does work rather well in a terrifying emergency situation.

Today my firm rolled out a revised emergency preparedness plan. As part of that plan, they put a bomb threat report document on our desktops. It is a form that details what we are supposed to do in the event we receive a bomb threat phone call.

Yes, sadly, I have already faced this situation, too! It was my senior year of high school (1977). I worked a co-op job during the afternoon in the main office at my old grammar school. I was answering the switchboard one afternoon when a bomb threat phone call came in. The caller said he’d planted a bomb in the school. Of course, I passed the call along to someone else. I can’t remember now if it was the Principal or the senior secretary. Either way, the entire school was evacuated and the students were sent home early. There was no bomb. Too bad I didn’t have the helpful bomb threat form back then.

On a humorous note, this form tells me that I’m supposed to ask the caller their name and their address. I couldn’t stop laughing at that one. They’d have to be one of the world’s dumbest criminals if they readily gave that information up. “Yes, and if you could just give me your address, sir, I’ll send a policeman around to arrest you shortly.” Oh, brother! The form was obviously created by someone out of touch with reality and with no real world, real life experience.

Other experiences include four automobile accidents; three when I was driving (they weren’t my fault). I’ve had three cars broken into, and one was nearly stolen. I’ve had two major surgeries. I’ve had to make life-ending decisions for a loved one (my mother). I’ve been in love with and married to the love of my life for half of my life. And these are just a few things I thought of, off of the top of my head. With all of these experiences that have happened to me over the years, you would think I’d have a treasure trove of things to write about.

They always say to write what you know. I just wish that magical storyline would pop into my head. If and when that happens, I’ll let you know.

Images courtesy of Pinterest