Sunday, August 07, 2016

Fact or Fiction

A few years ago, we finally broke down and got satellite television. Before that we had a whole two channels - three on clear nights. We joked about doing a commercial for satellite television with the wife standing inside the living room, window open, shouting out to her husband who has his hands wrapped around the antennae pipe "A little to the right! -- No, No, back a notch to the Left - THERE, you got it!" Yeah, we did that a few times.

But the satellite did something I didn't expect. It highlighted the extreme differences in our likes and dislikes. He wants to watch the true to life news shows or the funny home videos or prank shows over and over. Me, I can watch the funnies and pranks on occasion but I would rather watch something with an element of fantasy or maybe something on history I can use to jump start my imagination. My husband swears he hates the sci-fi "junk" I watch for entertainment but without a doubt, he never falls asleep during the movies I choose and always falls asleep fifteen minutes into the more real-life based movies he says he prefers. Then it hit me. He falls asleep when he knows what's going to happen. The true to life things don't offer as many possibilities as the way-out-there things offered in sci-fi/fantasy.

And another thing hit me the other night when I handed over the remote to hide behind the paper of my sketchpad as I have often lately, but I couldn't escape from the volume no matter how I tried. It was then I determined I very much dislike hearing or seeing the dramas of "real-life" for entertainment. So I asked if he really must watch what he was watching. And the question was made as to how I could live so removed from real life.

I’m removed? Okay, he might have a point, but still, I laughed, shook my head and kept drawing the eye of my character who lives in the approximate year of 4352 among the ancient gods – humanity’s creators. I know it's not real. I also know pieces of it are based on a very real ancient society and that society's mythology.

I know suffering exists around the globe today. I feel the stab of helplessness so acutely when I watch the news I truly can’t stand it. I'm not ignoring it by not watching it. I do the only thing I know how to do and still stay sane. I take what I see or hear happening, what emotions that stirs, and put that emotion into my fiction books to maybe spin a new angle on topics and enable readers to look at it in new ways and truly think about things as more than just tragedies that leave people feeling crushed or powerless. I want to create a feeling of hope not so easily grasped, along with an escape from the constant hardships life will deal out to too many on a daily basis.

If this means I’m removed from real-life, then...I'm okay with that.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Reason to Interact

I've known for a long while now that I fit very strongly in the category of introvert. One big thing I have learned by studying what that means is that introverts need a reason to interact. I don't do small talk well at all. I find it awkward, painful, even. But give me a topic and purpose to bring it up, and I'll talk about it with you for hours.

I do think that is part of the reason I have trouble blogging. I come up with ideas regularly, but by the time I sit down to start writing it, I doubt anyone would find it interesting. I lose the purpose.

When I write, my purpose becomes that of sharing my character's story. When I paint or draw, the purpose is to show something from my mind and hopefully create an emotion others will enjoy in some way.

I've decided to do better with staying in touch with this blog and trust that what I share will help or entertain someone, even if I think it might not be interesting. So here it goes...

Don't Let Anyone Tell You "You Can't"

In my elementary years, I didn’t do so swell in school. I certainly didn’t think myself smart. Math was some alien language I hated and I quite literally felt there must be something wrong with me, I couldn’t make sense of it. English, reading-spelling class wasn’t much better. My spelling was terrible. It wasn’t until years later that I realized my spelling was affected by my accent. I didn’t have an accent, except, I do. 

In high school, I wanted to take drafting. I loved art, and thought it would be awesome to learn to use it for blueprints and such. I finally found something I was a little excited to learn. Then I was taken to the guidance counselor’s office and told I couldn’t do it in such a way for it to seem he was doing me a great favor, steering me away from failure. I know he thought he was doing the right thing. I was a girl, I didn’t do well in math, I needed to aspire to be someone’s secretary. 

Let me say, I think the world of secretaries, the things they manage, and how they keep chaos in order for those they work for. We need our secretaries. 

I’m not capable of doing that on a daily basis. I need variety and freedom to be.  

I graduated high school, taking all business courses and even made the honor roll once, maybe twice. I always squeezed by on years I didn’t do so well and just did enough. 

I didn’t plan to make writing and art my career. I didn’t even know I could have a career. If someone would’ve told me all those years ago that I would have 14 published novels, after working hard to learn the writing craft, I would’ve thought it was cool and a little crazy (considering my spelling handicap. Good editors are amazing). If they would’ve told me people would love my art, that would’ve made me very happy and I would’ve studied to improve my art a lot earlier than I did. If they added that I would have had a hand in starting and then working for and then running a publishing company that broke boundaries and paved new roads in the publishing industry, all from my very small town while raising a family, I would’ve thought they were crazy. 

The point of this blog post is: don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do what you dream and desire to do. Sometimes we have limitations, but if you want something badly enough, you can find a way to make it work. Or pave new roads to reach the goal.

We are all capable of amazing things. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.