Ten reasons to ask your friends to visit my blog

It’s been a long, difficult summer. I had glorious plans of sneaking off to a cabin to complete my WIP, but life had other plans for me. GRADUATE SCHOOL. I have my Master’s, but in order to maintain my job as an adjunct instructor for a community college, I needed to add more graduate hours in English to my resume. So off to school I went. I push the cliche’ here, but I do believe things happen for a reason. There was a reason why I had to drive to the Boro every day this summer and leave for campus around 8 a.m. and sometimes return home around 8 p.m. and THEN do homework. I needed to cross paths with some of the people in my classes. They added additional brush strokes to the picture of life I’m painting.

But back to the blog. There are CERTAIN types of people who might just benefit from the ramblings of a psycho writer chick. Here we go. Do you know any of these people?

1. People who need to make a connection…
I am probably the most emotionally vulnerable person in the world. But I know there are other people like me out there. Perhaps your friend is like me too. I say things in my blog that I can’t say to anyone else, and because I use deeply constructed metaphors, most people don’t really get what I’m talking about. But sometimes various words were meant to be heard by just the right people. Perhaps your friend is that person. Perhaps not. But there is always perhaps.

2. People who don’t like being baited into argumentative situations…
What I write is definitely differently. I purposely stay away from topics that tear people apart. I avoid politics, and I avoid religion. I believe God loves us with a love so deep we cannot fathom, but only you can develop that personal relationship. God calls YOU to him. He doesn’t tell me whom to condemn. If I could wrap each of my readers in a great big hug and tell each one, “Hey, you’re loved,” I would do so. Seriously. That empty feeling of having no one is unbearable, but we don’t have to feel alone.

3. People who are incredibly geeky, silly but are too shy to admit it in person…
Hey, I’m the poster child for adult dork. I still play make believe and wonder “what if.” I have an unquenchable sense of adventure that I really have to rein in because I know most people simply would not understand. I do NOT take myself too seriously. I spent my summer (when not studying) questing for Steven Tyler. I say questing because I do not want to be arrested for stalking. I coerced my students into make a Video Plea for me, that he would allow me to meet him at his concert. I posted comments on every Atlanta radio station FB, pleading for someone to help me make the connection. I contacted his booking agent and tried to book him–then found out that my VISA card would be declined. I could not pay the $100,000 fee. Sigh. Oh well. No luck for me. But the fun was in the adventure.

4. People who are afraid of EVERYTHING…
I am fearless on some days. On other days I’m afraid of everything. Most of all, I’m afraid of lies. The worst thing for me is dishonesty. Everybody fails to live up to expectations. Those faults are forgiveable, but premediated, intentionally hurtful lying is crushing. I fear being suckered in. But don’t we all? But isn’t it silly to not to take a chance for the fear of rejection? Rejection stings for a little while. Regret may last forever. I’m also afraid of frogs. They are Satanic little creatures that scare the dickens out of me. I am afraid of trains. I panic at every railroad crossing. I am afraid of flying, but I am going to Ireland. I have made peace with my maker, and should the plane go down, well, I am ready to go. I also fear bugs with a lot of legs. I fear scorpions, unless they play guitars. And I fear missing out on my most important dreams. It’s easier to accept yourself as being “normally unnormal” when you realize your fears aren’t any weirder as anyone else’s.

5. People who make the most out of unfortunate situations by adding a little quirkiness…
What is so wrong with being quirky? I work with teenagers because quirkiness is a natural part of their character. Adults don’t understand. That’s why I feel I fit right in with adolescents. We think alike. But quirky is fun. Quirky people take of their shoes and walk in the rain during a thunderstorm because they don’t want to get their shoes wet. Quirky people carry a can of Febreeze around a stinky classroom as if were an Olympic torch. If one must deal with with moldy, mildew carpet, one can surely find a way to make the experience “interesting.”

6. People who can’t say how they really feel so they let music do their talking…
I don’t open up to people. But I have an advantage. I’m an English major! I understand metaphors–conceptual metaphors, now, thank you MTSU summer of stylistics. I can say what I want through the lyrics of a song, mine or someone else’s. So can you. So can your friend.

7. People who believe their animals talk back to them…
Sometimes my best conversations aren’t with humans. I mean, who else do you know who will lick your face after a bad day of school? Who else will show you that you are needed by pawing at your backdoor, demanding to be let in, refusing to eat his meal, until you arrange it just right in the bowl?  It’s nice to be needed. Our four-legged friends let us know we’re needed. I could write a novel based on the feline and canine characters in my neighborhood. But I think that’s been done before, i.e. “twilight barking” in One Hundred and One Dalmations.

8. People who do stupid things…
Okay. Here’s one of the best reasons for your friend to read my blog. We all do stupid things. But I do a whole lot more stupider things than normal people. I can make ALL PEOPLE feel good about themselves if they compare their antics to mine. Allow me a few examples of proof. I hotglued my lips together while hanging posters in my classroom. (Long story.) I sprained my ankle while talking on the phone one night on a warm summer’s evening. I thought I would go for a walk and chit chat. I missed the pavement and ended up in the ditch with my leg in the culvert. I had to claw my way out. I dress inappropriately. Only I could wear a button-up shirt inside out to school. Feel better?  I bet your “challenged” friend will too after reading my blog.

9. People who believe in serendipity…
I believe we sometimes stumble on the most important things in our life. Sometimes we’re too stubborn, jaded, or blind to see the obviousl. Sometimes we have to run face first into the wall of fortunate discovery. Simply put, I believe in hope. Usually, we can’t make situations work out the way we plan them, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work out.

10. People who need encouragement…
Do you know friends who feel as if they’ve done too much damage in their lives for anything good to happen? Do you know fpeople who feel no matter what they so, they’ll mess up anything good that happens in their lives? I may be the geekiest, quirkiest, clumsiest, goofiest, awkardest, shyest, least confident person on this planet, but if I can do anything right, perhaps I can convince your friend that hope, love, and happiness are out there, waiting.

As I try to jump back into writing, I would appreciate your vote….I mean your endorsement. Please encourage someone who needs a friend to read my blog. I appreciate every reader, and I appreciate your support.

Can I get there from here?

This past week one of my sweet little newspaper babies came to me for advice. With graduation just a few months away, she was overwhelmed with the thought of stepping into the world on her own. Bless her heart. I understand what she’s feeling. I just can’t fix it.

When I graduated, I had no idea of what it was like to be on my own. I tried to do what everyone else wanted me to do. I knew what I wanted, but I didn’t know where to find it or how to get it. I guess you could say I was like a pinball in a machine, propelled into life, bumping from here to there until I found myself where I am now, slightly bruised but a whole lot bolder.

My little newspaper kiddo asked me, “What if I make the wrong decision? What if I do the wrong thing?”

I wanted to say, “Brace yourself. It’s going to happen.” But I didn’t want to make her cry.

The truth is life is full of uncertainty, but for those who believe, life is all about hope. Is it possible that every road we take leads us where we’re supposed to be, even if we get off on the wrong exit on the interstate of life?

Old timers say, “You can’t get there from here.”  I say, “Why not?”

Last summer when I wrote my first manuscript, I jumped in blindly, never considering how many mistakes I would make. It’s taken a while to fix them, but step by step I’ve made progress.

For months I’ve stayed up late, polishing my work, submitting it to my critique group, and revising. It’s amazing how I’ve managed to go to work each day on so little sleep. But the journey’s been worth the effort. I’ve learned so much. I’m a better writer, a more confident writer.

A couple of days ago I submitted my entry to the 2011 ACFW Genesis Contest. There was a moment before I hit “send” when I wondered, “What if I pour everything into my story and the judges hate it?”  

It’s scary, being vulnerable, putting your heart on the line.

I wish I could tell my newspaper student that every step she takes will take her exactly where she wants to go—or that she’ll know without a doubt what she should do. But I’d be lying if I did.

Our troubles may be difficult and even painful, but every bump in the road can be to our benefit—if we put our trust in God. He said so (Romans 8:28). So even if we mess up, God can make it work for our own good. No matter what.

In other words, living life is like writing our own book. God’s critiques show us the revisions we need to make.

Just as young grads are afraid to take their first steps into the world, we older folks sometimes fear that we’ve traveled so far away from our dreams we’ll never get find them again. In other words, we wonder “can we get there from here?”

Sometimes what we want seems impossible because we can’t figure out a way to make it happen. But just because we can’t figure out a way for it to happen doesn’t mean that it won’t.

So, my frightened student (and anyone else who may sharing these fears), as you set forth into the great unknown, know that no matter what decisions you make (or have made), God can take all situations and make them turn out for your good. We have to work for an attitude that accepts that everything we go through makes us stronger, better.

The alternative attitude leads to a life dominated by fear and regret.

Choose wisely to avoid as many heartaches as possible, but ultimately, if you believe, you’ll get where you’re supposed to be—no matter what.