Monday, January 24, 2011

Oh, Hello There...

Wait, what frog did I forget about? I don't have a frog... Oh, blog! Right. It has been sort of sitting here doing nothing all by its lonesome, hasn't it? To the folks who follow me on Twitter or "like" me on Facebook, I'm sure you've noticed a distinct lack of presence there, as well. So the question becomes, what exactly have I been doing since mid-December?

As you may have gathered I work for one of the two book retail giants in the US, so the last half of my December was eaten by work, my coven's Yule ritual, a full-moon Esbat, Christmas gatherings with my family and my husband's, my 28th birthday, a couple of friends' birthdays, and New Year's Eve. It's a very, very busy time for me, though likely not much more so than it is for the greater part of the country. Nonetheless, that tells you half of it.

For anyone who may recall, early last year I wrote a few posts on the topic of remodeling my brain (you can click the tag in the list to the right to find those earlier posts) and explained that I was in the process of trying to re-evaluate myself and hammer out a few things in my life. As often happens when one makes an attempt at completely re-defining themselves, I hit a few detours along the way, got distracted by something flittering past the window and chased it out into a field until I couldn't find my way back. At the end of May last year, I then attended the first annual Writing on the Waves conference, a writers' retreat and seminar taught by Lynn Flewelling, an author whose work I love, and someone whom I've had the honor of coming to call my friend.

This resulted in yet another shift in direction for me last year as I began to spend a great deal more time focusing on my novel, and I revamped my blog around my writing and spent many posts talking about it. I also wrote some 63,000 words, which is more progress than I've made on any written work in my life. Over the course of the first five months following the workshop, I read countless articles on writing, networked with dozens of authors or authors-to-be on Twitter, and learned a lot more about my story and story-crafting in general than I ever imagined I would.

But piece by piece, I lost momentum. I lost the inspiration I needed to keep the book alive, I lost track of my studies of Irish Gaelic (a long time personal goal of mine), left my intent to study magick, Wicca, and witchcraft in more depth on the back burner, and completely forgot my attempts to, as they say, be the change I wanted to see in the world and in myself. So at the end of the year, I wound up accomplishing none of the goals I'd set myself, except for buying my lovely new MacBook as a reward and motivator to keep working on the book. Oh yes, the book...

Which brings us back to the first week of January, when the onslaught of the holiday shopping madness has finally relented, and I had the time and the quiet to evaluate the state of affairs in my life. Resisting the urge to down that whole bottle of Irish cream my mother gave me for my birthday, I realized once again that the only way to make changes happen is to exert effort to that effect. So on Monday the 3rd, the LoseIt! application went back onto my phone, and I started working on eating healthy and going to the gym again. On the following Monday, I started again on my Irish, but this time with a notebook to keep track of all the bits of grammar I learn as I go--and there are many, many bits of grammar to learn--in between working on the exercises in each unit. I'm reviewing my notes from The Inner Temple of Witchcraft that I took last year, and working through the exercises and lessons there as well.

And this blog post marks the first substantial non-work-related writing I've done since November. In the interest of transparency, I will post my goals for the coming months and the year in a separate post, as I have several goals and multiple topics under which they fall. Clearly, I'm already well underway with some of them, but my writing has been the last thing to fall into place. Starting today, it joins the list of priorities I intend to maintain.

It's good to be back.