#ROW80 Goals

Okay.. measurable goals!

Here goes my list for Round of Words in 80 Days! ūüôā

1) Continue to blog at least four times a week. 2x a week on one blog, 1x a week on the other two.

2) Write three pages/1,500 words a day on novel in progress.

3) Do not take a magnifying glass to work in progress. Just get the words down for now.

4) Continue to build author platform by reading other blogs and commenting (love this part!)

5) Walk in Tyler State Park 3x a week minimum. (meditation – thought process for writing)

6) Ride motorcycle to work three times a week (weather permitting)!

ROW80!
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What Riding The Ninja 1000 Courtesy of Cycle World Magazine is Teaching Me

I’m not sure if you heard although I¬†have pretty much told everyone.¬† I entered a contest of sorts¬† for an opportunity as a guest editor for Cycle World Magazine, one of the top leading motorcycle magazines in the country.¬† All I had to do was write a little quip about why I would be the best candidate along with my networking info (Facebook, Twitter, etc).¬† What I got if selected was a date with a 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 motorcycle for 90 days.¬† A free ride for the¬†summer.¬† Sweet!

I entered and forgot about it.  Imagine my excitement when I opened my inbox a few weeks ago to discover out of all the entrants, I am one of the chosen ten.

Yes, I screamed.¬† Yes, I did a happy dance.¬† And yes, I told everyone I could find… even complete strangers at my second job.

Shiny and New!

I got the bike on Friday, May 27.  It is so beautiful!

I have had it a week.  And I am learning some things.

1)   Know What Is Ahead

It is so important to get to know something before you take it for a ride.  A car, a motorcycle, a relationship.  These types of things cannot be rushed into.  We have to get to know the situation just incase any surprises pop up.  Like say a deer in the path of my vehicle or a bit of a temper in a new mate.  There is no such thing as knowing too much.   When I first got the Ninja, I made sure I sat on it for a bit and really got to know the bike.

2)  Power Is Not Overrated

This bike has mad power.  At first I was a little intimidated by this force.  But as I am getting to know the bike (see above) I am respecting its power and realizing that power is definitely not overrated.   The bike, whose name is THOR, and I are bonding as the days pass and we dig each other.   It is packed with torque, which at first I did not like.  As Thor and I bond, I grow fond of the torque.

3)  Confidence Is The Ultimate Accessory

Weren’t expecting that one, were ya now?¬† I say this because I was pretty nervous when I first got this bike.¬†¬† I have only ridden a Ninja 500 for the last four years or so and a Suzuki¬†GS 750 for a wee bit before that.¬†¬† I noticed that when racked with nerves, my riding sucks.¬†¬†If my confidence is shot, so are my skills.¬† Second guessing is always a bad idea, especially on a motorcycle.

In the past week, Thor and I did not get in as much ride time as I would have liked, but we did get in a few hundred miles.  I have to get to the 600 mark so that I can take it in for a first service and then get back out on the road.

Over Thinking – The Destruction of Creativity

A roulette wheel.
Image via Wikipedia

You walk into a pool hall, a bowling alley or a casino for the first time.  All brand new and shiny, you are awed.  You take your first break of the rack, throw the bowling ball down the lane for the first time, or you bet it all on black.

WINNER! WINNER! WINNER!

Wow, this is easy!¬† You think.. but then you actually do start to think.¬† And then before you know it, you are scratching on the pool table or sinking the 8 ball prematurely.¬† Your bowling ball keeps gravitating to the gutter and you’re pretty sure you should leave the casino before you sign your kids over to the roulette wheel dealer.

Every time we over think something, we destroy the creativity and naturalness of what is to be.

Let’s take writing our plot for our story or blog.¬† We break it down into small pieces in an outline.¬† We have topics, sub topics, and then we have all the goodies to stuff inside.¬† I don’t know about you… but when it comes to writing fiction, I have to leave the outline right in front of my face.¬† I am still working on how to get it so that it is a transparent film over top of my computer screen.¬† Like back in the day with those projector screens in school.¬† As if!

Over thinking has been the creation of my demise.  Kind of an oxymoron, but I think you get the gist.   I get a simple idea, and then before I know it, I am adding too much sugar, taking out a lot of salt, and voila!  I have some nasty concoction that was once awesome.

Of course we have to have characters, a plot, a sub lot, and all the other cream that gets stuffed inside.¬† Easy… one thing at a time.¬† Outlines help me out because I have a tendency to travel on one road and then I see a little offshoot, and before I know it, I am writing ten pages about the sub plot (which is starting to interfere with the main plot) and.. wait, what was I writing about?¬† How did this purple Smurf get in here?¬† Damn my over thinking!

Sometimes we need something along the lines of a purple Smurf.  Maybe your purple Smurf has a dog named Vlad that shoots flames out of his paws.  Who knows.  It is good to have a scratch pad or something to the side (I do this.. it gets the distractions out of my head) to doodle your cockamamie ideas.

You never know…. getting it out of your over active imagination might lead you to something big!¬† For today, there is only do, or do not.¬† There is no over thinking.

If I Could Create My Own Half Hour Show

If I could create my own half hour show; no holds barred.¬† It would probably be a cross between the earlier years of the tv show Roseanne (which I can identify with) and Night Rider.¬† I would play the lead role.¬† I’d be an insecure teenager living in a blue-collar home with a domineering mother and a father who drinks too much.¬† I’d go to school and be miserable in plain sight.

But at the end of the day, when all are fast asleep:

I’d sneak out my bedroom window with my cloaking device and silent shoes.¬† I would hover down to the driveway which is to the far left of my bedroom window and summon my bad ass 1970 Monte Carlo with a bored out 350 engine and 4 barrel carburetor.¬† I would get messages from my dog Snippet, who runs the operation from his doghouse in the back yard. ¬†¬† Snippet’s doghouse greatly resembles Snoopy‘s doghouse from Peanuts: small and average on the outside but kicking it bigtime on the inside. Snippet would update me on people to assist and avenge.¬† I would do the job for free because it gets me out of the house.¬† Snippet can leave his house when ever he wants, so he begs me to ask those who require our assistance for doggie treats.¬† Snippet does not like Beggin’ Strips.¬†

In my Emerald Green Monte Carlo I chirp second gear and rush to the aid of a young boy whose cat happens to be in a tree three blocks west.¬† Snippet, now in the front seat, asks me why we have to save the damn cat.¬† “It’s just a cat,” he howls.

“There, there Snippet.¬† Cats never hurt you,”¬† I whisper.¬† Snippet and I get into a philosophical conversation about cats and dogs as he tells me how the movie by the same name did no justice to dogs.¬† I concur to appease ol’ Snippet.

Just as I turn the corner, I spot the tree.  I put the car in neutral and roll quietly into a perfect parking spot near the maple tree which looks out of place in front of the yellow sided house on a small city street.  I get out of the car.  My cloaking device and silent shoes now activated, I sneak up the tree and grab the howling cat by the neck.   I look over to the house that belongs to the tree and see a boy in my class staring out the window.  He saw me.  I hover over to his window. 

“You’re dreaming.¬† Go back to sleep,” I say hoping that it works.¬† I do not yet have the ability of mind control.¬† I hand the cat to the boy as he puts his arms out.¬†

“Thanks,” he stutters.

“No problem,” as I turn I remember, “Do you have any doggie treats, boy?”¬†

The kid disappears for a moment and comes back with some Whiskas cat treats.¬† “Will this do?”

Snippet won’t know the difference.¬† I tip my hat, and bid the boy ado.

I go back to my idling Monte Carlo, Snippet is glaring at me and won’t acknowledge me for the next three days.¬† That’s okay.¬† Extra treats for Snippet for behaving.¬†

I pull up a half block from my house, my mother is awake on the couch watching some night-time soap opera.  I tell my Monte Carlo to park until next time.  Without a rumble, the car takes off.

My father is passed out in his chair.  I order Snippet back to his abode.  He goes graciously.  I use my cloaking device and silent shoes to sneak in through the back door and up to my bedroom.

I did my good deed for this episode.

That is my first idea born from boredom for ridiculous half hour comedy/drama show.  Gotta love sitting staring at a blank screen!

Fear: A Silent Killer

There is a difference between fear and a phobia.¬† Fear is to be afraid of something.¬† Phobia is to be irrationally afraid of something.¬† That’s pretty simple, right?

The number one fear in America is the fear of spiders. Almost 50 percent of women and 10 percent of men have a fear of spiders.   I personally love spiders.  I am awed by them and rescue them from squashation before my co-workers have a shot.

Fear holds us back from so much.¬† Phobias hold us back as well, but they are irrational and so, only gross amounts of therapy can help us with that.¬† And most times that doesn’t even work.

Fear of the unknown kills us.¬†¬† And in unknown, I don’t mean ghosts or extraterrestrials.¬† I mean the future.¬† I mean change.¬† Change affects the future.¬† We’re so busy trying to maintain the humdrum present; getting the same thing for breakfast everyday, driving the same way to our thankless job everyday and putting on the same after work clothes everyday.¬† We don’t even recognize that we’re afraid of change until…

One day someone says, “You want to go get sushi for lunch?”¬† And the mere thought of this is paralyzing.¬†¬† Sushi?¬† But, I eat turkey on whole wheat with mustard every day. I hate mustard, but it’s fat-free. This thought is immediate and uncomfortable.

You say, “Thanks, but I brought my lunch.¬† You know, turkey.”¬† You feel like a dweeb as soon as the words start falling from your lips, but it’s too late.¬† You can’t take them back.

Most of us are so comfortable inside the box as we gaze upon the wonders of “what if” that we do not dare disturb the monotony of our world with sushi.

Have you ever talked to someone who incessantly complained about their life?¬† You offer ideas and feedback and all you get back is constant rebuttals of “why it simply will not work.”

I’m too old.¬† It’s too hard.¬† I don’t have enough money.¬† I’ll fail.¬† They’ll laugh at me.¬† Someone already thought of it. I can’t.

All of these statements say one thing.  I am afraid.

What are you afraid of?

Have you ever done something in spite of fear?¬† Maybe you stood up to your boss.¬† Maybe you told your spouse that your marriage wasn’t working out.¬† Maybe you, like me, decided to say “screw it” and submit one final article to a site that turned you down three previous times.¬†¬† Doesn’t it feel good when you stand up to fear?¬† How many times have we said, “that wasn’t so bad.”

Fear kills our spirit.  It robs of us finding out whether or not we should truly be afraid in the first place. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”. ¬† I never really understood what in Hades ol’ FDR meant by that until I decided to leave my husband of seven years.¬† And it hit me.¬† Fear should be the only thing I fear.¬† Fear held me back.¬† Fear kept¬† me isolated.¬† Fear does these same things to you.

Fear kills us for as long as we let it.


Ideas (unedited rant on writing)

I’ve read in a lot of books about writing that in order to get anywhere with writing it is necessary to write at least a page a day.¬† I was at one time trying to break into the fiction market.¬† I was writing at least five pages a day about whatever popped in my head and I would not stop until I reached five pages.¬† This type of writing is called free writing.

I stopped writing for a couple of years.  Life happened and I had to buckle down.  Being practical superseded trying to live my dream.  I am trying to break back into the market again.  However, this time I am going down a different road.  That is the article road.

I find this to be a lot more challenging than fiction writing.  See, in fiction writing, I could write whatever I wanted.  There is little requirement for facts in fiction writing.

Article writing requires a lot of facts.  Facts are not hard to come by.  Finding facts that are indeed facts and not an interpretation of the facts is the difficult part.

So I get out my notebook and I write a list of all of the things I would like to write about. Then I write facts in big bold letters next to each idea.

Sports, Motorcycles, Women, Abuse, Alcoholism, Running, Eating right.  These are some of the ideas I have jotted down.  Some of these ideas are articles in progress which may make it to my blog or may be a victim of the delete button.

I was fortunate enough to get a response when I posted a link to my blog here on my Facebook page.  A writer guy I am friends with on there gave me some good advice.  I have to love it and I have to keep writing.

Ideas come from living.¬† I have to reach deeper and pull out some of the stuff that may make me a little uncomfortable to write about.¬† This world certainly wasn’t built on playing it safe.¬†¬† My writing won’t be built on playing it safe either, it seems.

Creative Writing Prompts

Having a hard time figuring out what exactly you want to write about?  Below is a list of writing prompts to spark your imagination.

РYou find an old box in your basement that does not belong to you.  Do you open it?  What is in it?

РYou are jogging through the park and as you come around the bend you notice a woman sitting on the edge of the path.  Is she happy or sad?  Do you stop to talk to her?  Why or why not?

РYou have been given the gift of flight.  How do you view the world?  What do you notice from above that you never noticed while on the ground?

РYou see a rainbow in the sky and decide to follow it.  After what seems hours of walking you get to the end of the rainbow.  What is there?

– You sit down next to yourself on a park bench.¬† What do you say to yourself about what’s going on in your life?

– Sitting on the beach you see something floating toward you.¬† You walk over to the object.¬† It is…

РYou notice an old couple holding hands at the park.  They are in a deep conversation.  What are they talking about?  What are their facial expressions?

РYou find yourself in a new land.  What is around you?  Are there people?  What do they look like?  Can you understand these people when they speak?  Are they friendly?

РYou can only choose three books to take with you on a year-long journey.  What three books do you choose?  Why?

РYou decide to move out-of-state.  What state do you move to?  Where do you go to meet new friends?