Straight Outta my Mind
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Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday celebrated to remember friends and family that have died. Evelyn embraced her heritage head on and loved every thing about it. She was fluent in Spanish and enjoyed the food, the celebrations, and her family. She loved visiting her grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins in Mexico. One year for a school project she dressed as Frida Kahlo, a famous Mexican artist.
Every year on this day we celebrate Evelyn’s life along with the others we have lost. Two weeks from now would have been her 22nd birthday. Although she’s been gone for nearly two and a half years, some days it seems like an eternity since I’ve seen and talk to her. Other days, it seems like she just left yesterday. We miss her every day and love her very much.
For many years I have wanted to get back into writing fiction. That’s not to say that I wrote a lot in the past, but I did write some stories that I’ve never shared and that are now lost.
I’ve moaned and groaned about not being able to get my ideas on paper. As many writers know, procrastination comes easy when it’s time to sit down and write. All of a sudden your bills become important, cleaning your house becomes important, and then there’s Facebook.
I read an article or a blog post the other day that basically said that until you become serious about being a writer, you’ll find all kinds of excuses to get out of doing it. A lot of people say “If it’s so hard and you can’t find the time, then maybe you’re not a writer”. That’s bullshit. Get rid of those people, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
Writing or being an artist of any kind is painstaking. It’s not that we care so much about what our audience thinks, don’t get me wrong we do. It’s about what we think about ourselves and our own work. We are our own worst critique. We have that voice inside our head telling us all the time about how much we suck. As. we. work.
I recently talked to a friend of mine about how she writes. How did she get her ideas out of her head and on the paper? This is what she told me, “Take that idea and put it away if you can’t work on it right now. Write something else, just write. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, just write.”
All of the books on writing say the same thing, but for some reason it means more when it comes out of someone’s mouth that you know and who has been where you are, who is also still where you are, even though they’ve written and directed full length motion pictures.
So today, I did that. After a couple of false starts, I fired up my favorite distraction free writing environment, Writemonkey, and I set a goal of 2000 words or 30 minutes, whichever came first. I had a break for food and to briefly check email and respond to a couple of Facebook posts, but I’m happy to report that I wrote just over 2000 words. Were they good words? Some were, some weren’t, that’s for the editing process. For now though, I’ve started a story about love, adventure, and ants.
I’d also like to give a shout out to Rory’s Story Cubes for helping me come up with the idea.
I also want to thank my friend Issa Lopez for her inspiration.
It’s been just over two years. My new reality sucks. I don’t really know who’s walked away from our grief, but I know who has stayed. Thank you. We love you.
Grieving the loss of someone you share the deepest loving bond with can be difficult to witness. People will twist and turn your reaction to your devastating loss into intentional wallowing. To quote Mr. “T”, “I pity the fool.” Yes, yes — ignorance is bliss. The reality is that while I will grieve Amy the rest of my life, I remain fully aware my sadness will indeed isolate me from many people from my past. It already has as they need to be in the mood to deal with me and only reach out to me on certain days. Out of obligation, I guess. The confusion lies here as I am not able to go in and out of the ring with them. You are either with me or you are not. And just to be clear, grievers require so little and are not contagious.
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One of the most popular and high-end restaurants in Reykjavik, #Perlan with it’s glass dome, gives patrons a 360 degree view of the city and the surrounding mountains. #Iceland2015 via Facebook Pages http://ift.tt/1sKac00
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