#UpbeatAuthors – Following Your Dreams

I cannot remember a time when I did not want to be an writer. Does that make working toward becoming a published author a dream or a goal?

I do know one thing: my children saw me working toward fulfilling this dream. I like think that gave them a positive role model to pursue their own dreams. They watched me cry when I received a particularly hurtful rejection; they celebrated with me when I had a writing contest win; they witnessed the hard work that goes into making dreams come true.

I hope I taught them that dreams are important.

Road Trips and Friendships

I love a road trip with the right people. I’m lucky enough to have the right people in my life.

On a recent journey, the driver had picked up several music CDs from the library. One of them was Awesome Mix Volume 1 from the Guardians of the Galaxy  movie. While singing along and chatting, we learned that one of our foursome had never seen the movie. We always watch movies in the evening, and had we known she’d never seen the movie, one of us would have packed it. Someone else had never seen the second movie.

OK. Double feature time.

Out came the cell phones. Two of us were checking availability at the Best Buys, Targets, Barnes & Nobles, and even Red Boxes in the various towns ahead of us. “Target in This Town has the second one.” “Best Buy in That Town has the first one…damn, it’s Blu Ray. Forget it.” “Oh! Maybe we can order it from Amazon and get free shipping.” Except the place we stay is in the woods and doesn’t have a delivery or mailing address.

We eventually tracked down the movie at a Wal-Mart near our final destination. The next day, the Driver made not one, but two trips to get both DVDs.

That night we laughed until our sides ached as we watched the movies back-to-back.

Recalling our on-the-road antics with the Internet still makes me smile. These are the very best kind of friends to have. Kind of like Guardians of the Galaxy.



#UpbeatAuthors Don’t Dwell

One of my brain’s favorite past times is reminding me of every stupid thing I’ve said in a social situation (as an introvert, I’m socially awkward, so this can go on for hours!), every mistake I made raising my children, things at various Day Jobs I could have handled better, and so on.

Sometimes I think my brain hates me.

But then it comes up with a story idea. A great story idea. A story idea I love.

And I’ve come up with a method to fool my brain. When it starts in with the “remember the time you said…” routine, I remind it we have a plot problem to think about. We need to write the next scene: what is it?

My brain falls for it every time.

Quirk Question

One of life’s quirks that annoy me:

The 10-key calculator/adding machine has been around for a long time.

Touch-tone phones came around in the 1970s.

Why aren’t the key pads the same?

The numbers 4-5-6 and 0 are in the same position, but the others are not.

My guess is because alphabetic characters were assigned to the numbers on dial phones, so if you were an ORchard or GRanite exchange (old phone talk), you would still be 6-7 or 4-7.

But alphabetic exchanges were already long gone when touch tone (push button ) phones came to be.

Okay, I’m whining. I use the numeric key pad on my computer with one hand and make calls with the other. I am constantly mixing up my ones and sevens etc. because number pads aren’t standard.

Positioning of gas pedals and brake pedals on a car is standardized. Hot water faucets are on the left and cold on the right. Why can’t we make numeric keypads the same?


#UpbeatAuthors: Tips for Making It Through Hard Times

A Day Job co-worker and I were talking the other day. We’ve both been through some rocky patches in our lives. Different stuff, but life-changing events. And we both said the same thing: staying in the normal helped.

No matter what happens to you, life continues. Jobs, families, bills. Too often, the grief, the panic, the “what-am-I-supposed-to-do-now?” are overwhelming. One can feel as if one is drowning. I will never forget the waves of helplessness washing over me as circumstances seemed to conspire against me. Nightmares invaded my sleep.

During one particularly trying time in our lives, I said to my husband, “Go to the party, just like you planned. I’m going to my meeting. We can’t stop living. As long as we keep things normal for the children, we prove we’re stronger than what’s happened.”

Yes, people need to grieve. To rant, rave, vent, smash dishes, scream into pillows, or whatever else is therapeutic for that person at that moment. Then take a shower, get dressed, and go to work. Do your normal. Or find a new normal that carries you forward. Keep busy. Scrub your kitchen floor. Plant a garden.

This moment is temporary.