Tania's Words

here is an empty shell- a resonant shadow- waiting

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Crock pot dinner gets 2010 off to a great start.

Well, lets face it…I was a bit of a blogging failure in 2009. In fact, I’ve been a bit of a blogging failure ever since Bloggate 2007 ( I’ll explain that one later). Anyway, moving on. If Step One is admitting I have a problem, Step Two must be assigning blame.  Now, now, don’t you start with your pious, “There is no one to blame but yourself” speeches…  I must blame someone, if only because the blame game is so much fun, and I don’t really feel like taking the blame myself.

Actually, since it is a new year and all (although generally I don’t do the whole new year/resolution/starting over type crap, believing instead that each day is a new opportunity to try again, and commit to being a better person, whatever that may mean to you),  I feel the urge to recommit myself. To creative pursuits, to blogging, finishing at least one novel, and of course, being a better person. Mostly this is due to the amazing inspiration of my love, Jenney, whose blog has me in stitches quite often, and who is generally a totally awesome woman.

I defense of, well…myself, I must say that 2009 wasn’t a complete letdown in the writing and creativity fronts. I did finish the second edit of my first novel, and began working on the third. I took a giant leap of faith, and began emailing chapters of said novel to friends for advice, critique, and tomato throwing. I also managed, somehow, to complete another 50k NaNo novel this year, in a record 10 days (a success which I owe completely to Maura for egging me on in our strange little competition, and Dan, for letting me hole myself up in the study for hours at a time while he played with Parker).

Anyway, on to 2010. The start of a new decade. I think that some goals are in order. I love lists. Lets face it, who doesn’t? The satisfaction of crossing something off of a to do list is pretty awesome. I’ve been guilty in the past of adding things I’ve already done to a to do list, just for the satisfaction of crossing it off again and feeling accomplished. Yes, I am that lame.

Ok, so lofty goals for the year

– Finish editing novel #1. Also, re title it. Hate the title. Begin shopping for an editor.

-Write at least one poem. (I wouldn’t want to overdo)

-Read every book chosen for The Book Club

-lose the rest of this darn baby weight

– Raise $10,000 in sponsorship for Relay For Life, and for my team, Frankie’s Kids, hit our fundraising goal of $1500!

-Begin working on baby #2

-Keep up with my blog

-NaNo 2010…though maybe not in 10 days….

– Read every Jane Austen book (ok, so this is a cheat, since I started this in 2009 and am halfway through the books, but again, I like to know I can cross at least one thing off of a to do list.)

Make dinner today

All right…I know that I will think of more, but for now, that ought to do. I have a plate full of things I must get working on. At the moment, I am not working on any…well except for the Jane Austen part. I am in the middle of Mansfield Park. Although it is slow going; I’ll admit, it’s no Pride and Prejudice. But it has it’s own charms, and I am enjoying it. Maura and I both want to be through with the Austen’s by the end of January (I think), which means that in a few weeks I may be crossing at least one thing off of my list. Wonderful.

Plus, in recent and stupendous news, I already  made dinner- that is I threw lots of canned goods and some frozen chicken into the crock pot. Yay, I get to cross something off of my list! The year is off to a roaring start!

Does feeling it make it so?

I think it must be in the air. I’ve been reading others blogs and there seems to be a general feeling of suppressed creativity.  I think most writers (and I speak for writers because that is the only art I really know. I would say all artists, but I can’t be sure), feel this way at one time or another. As if something is rising up through them, but they don’t know what it is just yet. I can feel this today, inside. I have a story to tell, words to place. They are unfamiliar yet. I don’t know their shape or meaning.

There are times when I love feeling this way. It is a feeling that reminds me that I still have it. I still have the drive and desire to write. That there is still something tangible that I want to grab a hold of. I don’t know if all writers feel this, but I worry that one day, it will be gone. That I will wake up numb and not even realize. Not even miss it. Does that make sense?

Conversely, I dislike this feeling because it feels stuck. Static. I feel like I want to be writing something meaningful and true, but I don’t know what it is yet. And sometimes, nothing happens. I end up crocheting like a madwoman or reading some Sharon Olds and just forgetting about it because nothing comes.

I feel like I know what I want to write-  a story idea that came to me in the midst of a 4 am feeding. It might be absolute lunacy, considering my state of mind at the time. However, I’ve learned that I can do it. I realize that sounds completely hokey. But it is true. Completing my NaNo novel in ’07 taught me that I absolutely can write a book. Before I did NaNo, I was always afraid that I didn’t have enough story in me. That I wasn’t creative enough to write a whole book. Especially after years of poetry writing, during which I learned agonize over each word., when I struggled to learn the art of speaking in four words what should take 50.  Unlearning and allowing myself to use as many as possible (50,000 ideally), was a struggle, but I did do it.

Ok, so maybe my NaNo novel is no masterpiece.  In my defense, it was written on a whim, in 30 days.  And maybe I’ll never complete it, and there is a great chance that no one will ever be allowed to read it, but that is ok. Because I can look at it and know that I have it in me.I feel that I must add though, that all this talk about being a writer is making me a bit self conscious. As if others will read it and think, ” How presumptuous for her to call herself a writer.”  I’m not published, not many have read what I have to offer, and I may not even be great, good or mediocre. Does feeling something inside make it so? All of my life I have known that this is what I love more than anything. That I have the desire to write. Does this make me a writer, or is that insanity and arrogance?

Now if only I had some spare cash and a room of my own. Instead, I think I’ll go make a bottle and plot my strategy for writing during afternoon nap time.

On Blogging

It has been a while now that I have contemplated whether or not to restart the old ball and chain I so fondly called my blog. A part of me has long thunk, eh, why bother? My blog rarely served as anything more than public therapy at best, and/or a detailed recounting of the daily minutiae I like to call life, at worst. Not the stuff of greatness.I really made few new connections as a result, and I doubt that anyone who read it really got much from it (other than a chuckle or two at my expense). A good friend of mine recently wrote a three part series surrounding her desire to get back to a more creative life.  Her words really had an impact on my whole  start-the-blog-up thought process. The more I digested what Emily had offered, the more I realized how much more or less I could do with my blog.  I could keep blogging the way I had for years- recounting my day, the things that aggravated me that day (and there are many), the small victories.  I’m not sure there is necessarily anything wrong with that, and to be honest, with a new baby at home and a thriving marriage I want to keep tending too, I must ask myself if I really have time for much more. Some days, I am so tired from the non stop cycle of 4 am feedings and constant baby-talk that I have little to no brain power left.  And I can’t speak for anyone else, but at least I have always enjoyed my blog.  Is that enough though?

I guess it all has to do with intent. And desire. Do I want to be just another of the millions of random bloggers out there who think that their word counts for something? Does it count for something just by being? Or does it count when I make it count, when I come to the table with something to offer?

Big questions, I know. Well maybe not for you. Depends on who you are. If you are anything like me- insecure, doubt ridden, and paralyzed by a fear of failure that keeps you from ever reaching as high as that highest bar (just in case you might come short of actually reaching it), then you probably understand what I mean when I say, I just don’t know. I don’t know if I have something to offer that anyone else will want to read. I don’t know if I can inspire, educate, interest others.  But I do know that the last four years have been marked by such an intense fear of failure, that I have just stopped reaching.

The truth is, this blog could very well be just a reinvention of the old.  But for the first time in years, I’d like to try. I’d like to take a chance at failure- how else could I be giving myself a chance at greatness.

Now, now, calm down. I realize that a simple blog is hardly the realistic forum for greatness.  But I am not.  Hopefully taking one step will lead to another and then more. Hopefully this is the first step in realizing so many goals I have talked myself out of- finishing that first book, writing more poetry again, going back to school, becoming more active in my community- so many things.

It is interesting how the details of our life are so interconnected. The first blog I ever had was inspired not only by self-doubt and insecurity, but by a few girls who, in the time since, I have greatly come to admire and respect. So thanks Emily, Roz and Lorraine. It seems as though somethings remain the same.