Saturday, March 31, 2012

Paranormal, Personal, Or Both?

I'm sitting here in San Antonio in my hotel room on the last day of my stay here.  My friend is sleeping.  We got in late last night partying with the ghosts.  She's sleeping in, but isn't it always like writers to forgo irrelevant things like eating and sleeping when the muse hits them? 
I'm sure the guys at Ghost Hunts of San Antonio won't mind me writing about the tour last night.  Free Publicity, right?  While I don't think we caught any ghosts--I need to review the footage--it was fun to hang out with people who are into the supernatural.  It's kind of like writers:  we know there are others out there like us.  We just have to search a little to find each other.
Ok, so as one would expect, San Antonio has some interesting history.  Just the Alamo alone is full of energy.  Our tour guide Robert was great.  I've been on other tours before, but this was the first time I'd been on one with someone who is hardcore into investigating.  On other tours I've been on the guides might have been doing it for extra money or have a cheesy presentation, but on this tour it was less fanciful and more factual.  I was hoping for this since on the website it said Robert had been on GHI and was affiliated with T.A.P.S. I wasn't disappointed. Robert was a professional, not a performer, if that makes any sense at all. 
What did I like best about the tour?  The information.  I liked the places and the stories and have some new places to explore when I'm next in San Antonio.  We talked about how much we experience is truly paranormal or can be explained by something else. And, he mentioned that cemeteries aren't the best places to do ghost hunts. He reminded me of the fact that sometimes we see what we want to see.  If you go to Marie Laveau's tomb did you really hear Voodoo drums or did you expect to? 
It made me wonder though, how much of it is our own creation?  Seeing your grandfather or your wife who has passed.  Did you see them or is it your own energy creating them?  Sitting at the Alamo the other day it was all serene and peaceful, but for me it felt sad.  This beautiful place was actually a site where a tragic battle took place.  Beneath the peace was an undercurrent of anger and despair. What was this I was feeling?
I wonder, how much of our paranormal experience is truly paranormal or residual energy  from history or our own emotional experiences creating phenomenon that becomes so real to us it's almost tangible?
If you want to check out Ghost Tours of San Antonio go to

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Distractions & Writer's ADHD

I'm not sure what day this is in my Challenge Crazy, but it's close to completion.  Which is good because I don't have long as I'm also going out of town for a conference.  It's been hard to meet the challenge due to distractions.  Especially in organizing the books.  I have a few--maybe a few hundred?--and they're all wonderful.  I get bogged down in stories and forget the reason why I'm looking at them in the first place.  So, I've had to resort to reminding myself with things like timers and rewards.  15 minutes of work gives 15 min of reading and so forth.

I have also been distracted by my other project, but it's almost completed.  I'm saddened by the fact that I have some trees that need to go, but they're dead already or fixing to be.  It's turning out better than I'd hoped. Nail guns still rock! Now, though, paint wars are right up there.

Almost Done!!!!

Nice Distraction
Today not only was golf on NBC, Graeme McDowell was doing well enough to be seen.  Seriously?  Of all the times he decides to play well.  There's some conspiracy to keep me from getting my creative space clean and pack for my conference. It's his fault I have an ulcer.   Now, I find out we're going to be in Houston at the same time?  Hmmm...won't comment on this in case I need to plead the 5th later...
So, I'm well on my way to the A-Z Challenge.  I hope I'm on the right track but it sounds like you can't really get it wrong. I'm thinking I'll go with a theme, but am reluctant to post it yet in case I change my mind on it. Writing is like that for me.  I have a hard time finishing one thing because other characters start competing for attention. I guess I have writer's ADHD.  It's hard to filter out and focus on one project.  I wonder, does anybody have suggestions for staying focused on one project or is this a hazard of the business? 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Challenge Crazy Day 3--Day 2 was a work day

wahoo! primer white
So, in case you're wondering, the house is still coming along.  It's been nice enough weather to get some painting done. We're wading through mud to do it, but a little paint and dirt never hurt anyone.
I'm also working on my personal challenge of getting my creative room in order.  Yesterday I cleaned out papers and shredded three bags of it!  The recycle guys were excited as well. It's not all together yet, but it's on the way.  I still have 18 days to do it, but I also have to go to my career that pays the bills and a conference in San Antonio. You remember the Alamo, right?  So, I'll be busy before the April Challenge starts. 

The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.--- 
Bertrand Russell

I'm taking a class about writing memoirs.  I'm more of a fiction girl, but since I like the people in the class I thought, hey, that might be fun.  We talked about snapshots the other night.  Not like photos, but in writing small memories, snapshots of our lives. As I've been thinking about this I've learned about myself and what's made me who I am today.  I think of all the things my grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents--all the stories of our family that we've told and how many have been lost.  It's important to write these stories down, or at least tell them to our kids and grandkids (if you're old enough to have those!)  We always are growing and changing, but we can't forget where we came from.  Our family, for good or ill, shapes our lives.  We can change ourselves, overcome bad experiences, but we can't change our history.

Southwest Louisiana at Sunset
In crafting memoirs, we have the same histories as the rest of our families.  As writers, we have to decide what version of the history we tell.  That's the fun part of it all.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Challenge Crazy

Dreams can often become challenging, but challenges are what we live for.
Travis White

Got an extra hour of daylight this evening, but work on the garden shed--I like that title better than storage shed---has been hampered by the weather.  Apparently there are some rules about painting in the rain and climbing a metal ladder when it's lightning.  So I've taken the opportunity to work on indoor activities such as email and Facebook and the ever popular bill paying.  Apparently if you buy something with a credit card or do frivolous things like use water and electricity somebody expects payment for this.  Go figure. 
I have taken up a new challenge called the A-Z April Challenge.  It was presented by my friend Sylvia at our recent Bayou Writer's Group meeting and I researched it on her site, Writing in Wonderland.  She posted many excellent reasons for participating, so this is no April Fool's Joke--the Challenge starts April 1.  I'm very proud of myself for figuring out how to put a link to the challenge on here on my site. 
Not too sure what a blog hop really is, but in April I'll find out! 
So, I'm watching Hoarding, Buried  Alive on TLC right now.  It's similar to Hoarders on A&E. I enjoy both shows, but I have to admit, Matt Paxton and Cory Chalmers are my favorites--sorry TLC.  Watching these shows makes me think  my house isn't too bad.  At least I can open my fridge without maggots crawling out.  I know how old my peanut butter is and it's not six years! 
However, my house, computer, email folders, life in general could use some clutter busting.  I'm finding that I have another challenge as well:  not just to clean, but to stay that way.  Especially my writing and creating room.  I mean, how can I create in a room full of chaos?  Unless  of course I'm trying to create chaos.  
The blog challenge is in 20 days, which translates to about 483 hours, 29,022 minutes, which has to be enough time to organize a place to create my posts. 
I'm challenging myself to have that room organized  by the time April 1 comes around. 
??????CAN I DO IT??????

Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him    Aldous Huxley

Brave New World.  One of my favorite books. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Nail Guns and Writing

Why do I have this imagination? It's the only one I've got!  Neil Gaiman   
I know, you're probably wondering:  what happened with the storage shed?  It's one of those ongoing projects.  But it's been a fun process, having to modify things as we go along.  Like having to custom measure all the studs since the foundation wasn't level.
At least, I think it's been fun.  I'm not sure about all the others who have been helping me! 

 So, a few things that are important to know from this experience:  flexibility, in more ways than one!  I know some people's idea of construction is hire somebody.  The thing with that is you miss out on the creative process.  Many friends can't believe I'm doing it myself. I want it a certain way, so I'm doing it like I want it. As we go along we have to be able to adjust for the weird things that happen. 
Another important thing to know is:  Nail guns rock! You either understand or you don't....
I think they know what they're doing!
 Hardware stores are fun.  Where else can you go shopping and not dress up? In fact, if you don't have a dirty shirt and paint all over you they look at you like you might not be in the right store.  Who dresses to run get another can of paint or find the right size bolt?

So, this is where we are right now. It still needs paint and a few add ons, but it's coming along.  I'm excited.

Did I mention the creative process?  Kind of sounds like something you'd do in writing.   When we first start we're kind of scared, like using the nail gun.  We might get hurt.  What if we do it wrong?  You could shoot your eye out.
Then you push the trigger and words come out. You think that wasn't so bad.  Let me try again. Pretty soon, you're shooting words everywhere.  Sometimes they hit the mark.  Sometimes they miss and you have to try again. And, most of the time you don't lose an eye.    The more you use a nail gun, the more precise you are because you get used to handling it.  You respect it, but it's not so scary.  It's the same with writing.  The more you do it, the better the words come together.  The more precise you are and you don't waste them. You learn to edit, to listen to others, to be flexible in your writing, listening to constructive criticism and modifying as needed.
Like with DIY construction, I get the are you crazy? look when I tell people I write. That's their loss. It's fun to create and then you get the story you wanted your way, even if nobody else agrees.  It's your imagination, afterall.  The tale told the way you understand it. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fitness Concerns

I was doing Wii Fit tonight and I have this computer generated trainer.  If you've done Wii fit you know who I mean.  Mine's the girl.  She tells you how to do the exercise and if you're doing it correctly. It made me a little worried when yesterday morning I turned it on and she informed me she was tired and didn't get enough sleep the previous night.  Tonight I noticed she has a different hair style.  While I'm liking the short bob as opposed to the pony tail, it makes me wonder:  just what goes on in my Wii when I'm not using it?  I mean, one day I started to do my exercises and I had a new trainer.  He said he was filling in for my other one.  Just where was she, anyway?  Am I the only one who finds this a little disturbing? 
On the other hand, it is fun to do.  You have Yoga, strength training, karate, tightrope walking, juggling, hoola hooping, and....Snowball Fighting! Wahoo!  So, I guess I can put up with a creepy computer trainer with varying hairstyles. I keep going back to see just what those crazy trainers are up to next. 
On a different subject, thanks to all who commented on my story, Snowball Fight. And thanks to Sylvia for the contest. 
Here is the link if anybody missed it and would like to read it.

Also, check on the Bayou Writers Group blogspot for my interview as well as those of my fellow wordsmiths.