April 23, 2008

I need to … (part 2)

Filed under: Uncategorized — writebrainit @ 11:31 pm

(if you haven’t read part 1 – I would skip down to read it first.)

“I need to jump in more puddles.”
I continued to have this thought again for several days. When this happens to me, I know that I have not grasped the important of why it is remaining in my mind. I wondered, ‘what is it that I have let go from my childhood that I need to let back into my life?’ That wasn’t enough, subconsciously, there was still something I think I was missing.

(This is where you get the odd introduction of how my mind works.)
When I wondered what I was missing, I realized I was asking the wrong question and for a short time, the question switched to ‘what am I missing?’

I miss riding my bike in Montana, the tree house on the edge of town, playing outside, spending time with a really good friend, dreaming as much as I used to, planning my dreams.
When I was younger I would plan what dream I was going to dream of before I went to bed, and I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in that dream. I can’t do that as much anymore, now I try and I have no control of the dreams I get to have. I miss those dreams. I miss hugs.

Those are just a few of the many thoughts that popped into my mind. My thoughts pretty much ended when I had the thought of ‘I miss hugs.’ Suddenly that became the thought that kept running through my mind. You may or may not know, I come from a big family and being the oldest child and an observer, I have spent a lot of time looking at our family and the different dynamics of it.

Being the oldest of a lot of children, I never there was always a lot of hugs in our family. The thing I noticed as I got older was that there seemed to be an age (9-11ish) where the hugging seemed to stop. It’s not something I am bitching about or whining about, it just seems that this was the time, the hugs stopped. When I reflect back, I am sure that is about the age we all were basic, uhm…pukes! and we were starting to seek that independence. I look back and think how hard this must have been for my mother to allow us to step away and grow.

I noticed the same pattern with my nieces and nephews – it is always the little ones who are very free with the hugs. Luckily I have some of my older nieces and nephews who approach me and just give hugs. I love those times. I think that for a long time, I also grew to allow this time for my siblings to grow and become as affectionate as they wanted, if they wanted hugs, it was up to them to give them. TEC (the retreat program I worked with for years), hugs flowed freely. I think it was one of my favorite parts of belonging to TEC.

Now I joke about my ‘personal space bubble’ being bigger than most. There is some truth to it, for people who are new to me, old friends and my nieces and nephews, there doesn’t seem to be a bubble. But ask me that last time I hugged my sister or brother, and I don’t think I could tell you, other than the ones who have gotten married in the last few years, I don’t think I have. This line of thinking led me to think of who else misses the hugs and I thought of my mother.

The hugs I give my mother are very seldom, so I can remember the last time I gave her one. That is sad to me, because I know that if there is anyone who needs or deserves a hug, it is my mother. You would think that knowing this would be enough to give her a hug every now and then. I have siblings who hug her often, either on the coming or the going of meeting at her home. I want to give her a hug. I don’t know if it embarrasses me, or if I fear her reaction to getting a hug from me would make it uncomfortable, but I want to get better about giving her hugs. To the woman who said, ‘I need to jump in a puddle;’ I now pound my own fist and say, ‘I need to give more hugs.’


I need to … (part 1)

Filed under: dreams,hopes,memories,retreats — writebrainit @ 11:24 pm

“I need to jump in a puddle!”

Recently I was graced with the opportunity to attend and participate in a retreat. Now I used to work on a lot of these, and I honestly miss them. Even when there was work involved, the retreat and prayer aspect of the weekend always left me with a real sense of peace. The people in attendance all minister to youth in one way or another, so I admit that I had some initial struggles with why I was invited. I didn’t allow it to bother me too much though, I used to minister my faith to the youth of the world, things change and I no longer do this. However, I think I didn’t allow myself to feel out of place because I still work with youth as well – working with children who have mental and behavioral health concerns. And there’s the whole thing of ‘and they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love…’

We prayed, listened and shared, fairly quickly. I was blown away by the immediate honesty and sharing of feelings and emotions. There was both tears and laughter. I know that some of the immediate emotion was shared because many of these people know each other fairly well and work, collaborate and share together.

One of my favorite small group sharing opportunities occurred on the second day. We were split into groups of three or four and were to share some of our memories. I can’t remember the exact direction, but it had to do with thinking of something we did as a child that we are missing right now in our lives. I don’t exactly remember the one I shared because I really do miss a lot about my childhood – I think I shared about riding my bike in the small town we lived in. I often think back to my childhood in Bozeman, MT and while I am not resentful about our move to Nebraska, but I do often wonder how different my life would have been had we remained in Montana. It’s funny because recently I have re-connected with some of my friends from that time and with the stories they have shared and the direction their lives have gone, I know my life would have been very different.

Anyhow, back to the retreat. After the small group sharing, we had the opportunity to share with everyone something that we learned from our small groups. One woman shared that she had learned something from one of the people in her group. She had talked about jumping in puddles. When she spoke of this, there was such excitement in what she was saying that had it actually been raining, we would have all been racing outside to jump in puddles. She ended her comments by punching her fist and saying, “I need to jump in a puddle.”

That phrase kept playing in my head for the next several days. Her excitement at the thought of jumping in a puddle had me excited. I have jumped in puddles, so in my mind, I made it my own and thought, ‘I need to jump in more puddles.’ Again it ran through my mind over and over for days. It has been too cold out and there aren’t any puddles, but believe me the next chance I get, I’m jumping in a puddle.

April 21, 2008

Scheduling, Research and Queries

Filed under: queries,submissions,time,writing — writebrainit @ 12:32 pm

I have been working at scheduling my writing. This weekend I spent a lot of time researching different companies to submit my Wishman story too – I think I have officially changed the name to Wishes and Pockets, which I think might make it more appealing as opposed to the longer title of They Called Him the Wishman. Then I was researching query letters – I have written a couple, and the initial companies I sent the story too, would not take simultaneous submissions, so I then had to play the wait game. I did not like doing this – then there was no helpful hints. I know they receive a lot and don’t have the time – the one company I submitted it to had a 12 week wait period and if I didn’t hear from them in that time, I can safely assume they have decided to pass on it. Again, not liking this, but I thought I had a really good chance with this company as I had checked out other children’s books they have, but I move on. The agent I submitted to responded fairly quickly – to the negative. Still it would have been nice to know if it is a good query or not.

The thing is I would like to sell the book on it’s merits alone. I have even played with doing the art myself and selling it on iuniverse.com or something – who knows, that might still be coming. I actually have some ideas for art, even though my drawing is not good enough, I have been playing with some of my photographs and think that there are programs out there which would allow me to work them into the story. But first I am gonig to try what I wanted to do from the beginning which is to first send it to all the companies which will take simultaneous submissions (ss), then if no one bites, I can work with sending it to the companies that do not accept ss. It’s like Josh Stolberg said when I saw him at the Omaha Film Festival – he sent out 75 copies of his script at one time, and only one responded with an offer – but that’s all it takes, right?

Right now I am trying to figure out more of a writing routine – I want to at least completed some writing every day, this weekend I had a lot of writing time planned and it really seemed like the research of it all became my focus – in addition to getting my house back in order for company both tonight and tomorrow. I think that whatever writing time I have scheduled, is good, but if I have to do some research, I will have to set a specific time to allow me to get back to the writing.

I am excited to have gotten a bit farther on 2 of my stories though – one is a psychological thriller that I have hit a few roadblocks, mostly when it comes to presenting it to my writers group. I have become so aware of some of the critiques that they catch, that I find myself trying to fix those before reading at the meeting – which I honestly believe is the right thing to do, instead of reading it and thinking, ‘I knew they were going to say that.’ The other story is one that I really believe I am writing for a screenplay, but not having written one before, am thinking I should write it in story form first. This one is a little exciting to me, when I was thinking of the story, the main character was always a male. However, when I was thinking of it as a script, I know it only works and is more marketable if the lead is a female. Well, I realized that if I know this, I need to make the main character a female and go from there – so much has come together with this story since doing this. Now, I need to have some time to write, lol. This is becoming less of a problem as writing becomes more of a priority for me.

April 19, 2008

Writing Websites

Filed under: Uncategorized — writebrainit @ 11:41 pm

Writer’s Digest just came out with there list of the top 101 websites which are helpful to writers. I went through and noted the ones that I found interesting and helpful (although I included a couple of others that I have found as well):



April 6, 2008

I was robbed 2…

Filed under: Uncategorized — writebrainit @ 12:31 am

Yesterday, I went to a friend’s wedding. I was their picture-taker (I hesitate to say photographer because it was too much pressure). It was a great day, great wedding, and the pictures turned out fantastic. The day didn’t end so well. I had every intention of coming home and writing a new blog, but got sidetracked. When I went to my car, I noticed my stuff was lying on the seat of my car then I noticed that my car radio was gone. My passenger side doors were open, but I don’t ever leave my car unlocked, so I knew someone had been in it (duh, right, it’s not like I carried the radio into the reception with me). So I went back and talked with a police officer who was at the wedding. He gave me a number to call and said I could call from home – he actually said that the house I was parked in front of was a major meth house that they kept trying to catch, but hadn’t yet been able to. When I got back to my car, I realized that they had in fact broken my car window the back passenger (triangle one). I called the police as I drove home.

I was initially very pleased with how I was handling the situation – I wasn’t freaking out, until I went to bed and when I got to thinking of them going through my glove box and having my address, I did freak a little. Anyhow, so the new blog was put on hold and I thought I would re-post one I had written for another blog back when my house break-in happened. It follows:


Okay, so last week – not one of my better weeks. On Tuesday, I had decided that after my last appointment I was going to go and see Ice Age 2 for several reasons – one, I couldn’t find it listed when it is coming out on DVD and I really wanted to see it, 2. It was playing at the cheap theater in West Omaha, and 3. I had an appointment out that way. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I forgot the theater wasn’t a Douglas Theater, so there was no cotton candy – much to my disappointment. Anyway, I then headed home; glad it was early enough that I would still be able to get some stuff done.

I walked into my house about 9:15 and noticed that my living room lamp was knocked over and my laptop was not on the chair next to the couch (where I often use it). I assumed my dog had gotten out of the kitchen and somehow knocked it down. But as I walked to the kitchen I noticed the baby gate was still up and the dog was in the kitchen. I remember thinking, ‘Okay, if Elvis got out here and knocked it down, how did he get back into the kitchen without knocking the baby gate down?’ That’s when I turned on the dining room light and noticed that my laptop was gone. Elvis was sitting in the kitchen looking out the back door and I went to let him out and noticed that my backdoor was broken in half. I let the dog out, odd I know, and grabbed the phone to call 911.

911 tells me to get out of the house until they can get someone there to search it. Two officers show up – one male and one female. They thoroughly search the house and I have to admit I was very relieved. They were in there for quite a while and only used their flashlights – which unnerved me a little. I kept wondering how I would know if they were in their and had attacked the police. Eventually they came out – I was frustrated from the get-go – they were way too casual. The let me know that the crime lab wasn’t coming out because they said the door was painted and they wouldn’t be able to get any prints off of that, hmmmm…the screen door which they had to open first was metal. Then lying in the middle of the living room is the hammer they used to pry the deadbolt out when they snapped the door in half. Now I pointed this hammer out to the police several times. They instead went to interview my neighbors to see if they saw anything – the one set of neighbors that I know was home, didn’t answer the door when he knocked on it (I know because they were sitting on the porch when I got home – now, I don’t know exactly when the robbery happened because they had about a 6 hour block of time to look and take things.) Thankfully, they only took a few things – my laptop, digital camera, flashcard and a cheap DVD player (which was sitting right next to my Xbox – isn’t that weird?).

There is one thing that I am still thinking was funny. Before they went to search the house, I thought of telling them ‘I’m gay,’ as a kind of warning in case they questioned the new Playgirl lying on the living room floor, the shirtless male calendars I have hanging in a couple of rooms, the lube I have sitting on the back of the couch and a couple other areas around the house – lol. I was going to do this as a kind of apology, in case the saw anything they didn’t want to see, and then I thought – ‘Why, what does that matter – they still have to search my house?’

So the officer comes back and says that he was only able to talk with one of my neighbors and they didn’t see anything. He gives me the report number and tells me that a detective should be calling in a few days and when I have the serial numbers for the items stolen (if I have them) to call him with those. I ask again about the hammer – he says, ‘oh, that’s not your hammer?’ I’m like, ‘no, I told you that,’ (At LEAST 3 times). So he says he will go back and call the crime lab and ask them. He comes back in and says they are not coming out, but he is to take the hammer with him. He takes a piece of notebook paper out of his notebook – wraps it around the hammer and carries it out. But he also comments, ‘well this is wood – so they won’t be able to get a print off of this, either.’ Nice, huh?

I block the door really good, so that no one is getting in that way – of course, until the door is fixed, I’m not getting out that way either. Tomorrow is a week since the robbery and I still have not heard anything from the detective. I have called several times to try and give the serial numbers of the items I have and to report that one more item was stolen – a flashcard, but the number is always busy. I found another piece of evidence that I have been trying to report too, but I can’t get through.

The night after the robbery – I was BBQ-ing for me and a friend that was coming over and as I was going up the deck, I kept getting a feeling that something was out of place. Finally after my third time of passing it, I realize what it is – there is a large can of one of those energy drinks sitting right there on the post of my deck – I try calling the detective although I am sure they will not do anything with it either. I finally put a plastic bag over it and picked it up – very carefully and have it saved on my front porch. I will try again when I go home for lunch to call and see what is up, but I really am having a hard time getting through to anyone. I have a co-workers brother who works in the crime lab – I am thinking about asking her about this.

The thing that really un-nerves me about the whole day last Tuesday, is that there is a part of me that wonders if they were in my backyard when I was home for lunch. First of all my gate was in the closed position, but the locking mechanism wasn’t down – I never, never forget to close that – I have even left messages for the mailman that he needs to close it as I have a dog and he could get out. And then, I don’t really know how to describe it, but I remember thinking that my dog was acting a little weird. I don’t completely know how to describe it – but one of the things that he was doing was watching the back door as if he was looking for someone to come in and I don’t know what else to say – it was just my intuition that had me thinking that he was acting a little different. Subdued, if that makes sense.

Okay, so for the last week – I have barely left the house.On Friday I returned to work and spent the majority of the in and out of mini-panic attacks (I’ve never had one but I am assuming that when your heart starts beating rapidly and your breathing begins to be strained and rapid – it’s a panic attack). I am better now, but still constantly wanting to run home to make sure everything is okay. I have been tearing up at the drop of a hat – you know a friend or family member gives me that look of ‘I’m sorry’ and I just well up with tears. It’s been nice to have support of family and friends, and I realize how lucky I am that I have renters insurance, that they took as little as they did, that I wasn’t home when it happened and that no one was hurt. I know that even though there is this fear of ‘they know what else I have now,’ statistically it is very rare that they ever return to the same house, but still…

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