Thursday, July 12, 2012

These are the Best Days

Isn't it funny how you can never recognize the best days of your life until after they're already over? I can't believe how well this year is going. I mean, of course, in comparison to other years in my life. This has to be one of the best (and the worst) months of my life to date.

First, yes it's true. After years of searching I finally found my Godmother. I haven't seen her in, oh, decades. It wasn't from lack of desire - but I was a kid and I was stupid. And by the time I figured everything out - almost everyone had slammed the door in my face. And finding people becomes a little harder to do when the people who know the answers don't want to talk to you.

But I did it anyway, I found her. Rather, she found me. Either way, I couldn't be happier.

I've also made the half-way mark in school, still maintaining that 3.98 GPA. I know, I know - I should have fought harder on that one paper and had them change my grade. But his reasoning was sound and although I disagreed with the professor, it is his class.

And, I'm finally getting the ball rolling with things like my didactic and my internship. Neither of those have been started yet - but the ball is at least rolling. So that's something.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ooh, if I weren't me...

I have been seething for much of the day today. I simply cannot believe the level of... well... cheating that is still prevalent at the graduate level.

I mean, okay, children cheat. True. But hopefully they're learning that cheaters never win.

High schoolers cheat. Well, teenagers are supposed to rebel and break the rules - that's how their brains are built.

By the time people go through undergraduate school and graduate school - the powers that be should start being able to weed out the cheaters from every one else. I mean seriously.

So I receive an email from another student asking if I would write her final paper for her and she would pay me. Are you kidding me? Not only would this entail doing her work for her, but she would have to send me information about her partner - personal, confidential information that is not allowed to be discussed or shared with anyone.

So many ethical issues - I really just want to slap he, tie a big scarlet C around her neck and boot her out of the school.

But then I'm thinking to myself that no... That would not be the best thing to do. I could just turn her in, but then I become the little rat who can't win on her own merit and has to knock someone else down in order to win.

And, these are psychology teachers, right? So somewhere down the line they must be able to catch on without my having to point it out to them?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November's Gone... Already?

Every year I wait for November to get here.

And every year November runs away from me.

I can never believe just how fast it goes by.

In case you're wondering, I'm talking about NaNoWriMo. You know, that writing exercise every year to see who can finish a 50,000 (or more) word novella within the month of November.

Just over 24 hours to go, and just under 13,000 words to finish.

November, you have screwed me again! But I will get the best of you and finish this. I just might not sleep at all until December.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

You're only as good as...

Okay - so I have a few guilty pleasures. Nothing major or life threatening.

Well, at least they aren't threatening my life. I guess I can't really speak for every one else who shares in these same guilty pleasures.

But I have recently started watching a few *gasp* reality television shows.

I know!

I know!

And to tell you the truth I'm not even sure how it all happened! Chopped is just a great show... Project Runway and Food Network Star just kind of snuck up on me... And before I knew it I just had to know.

Would Josh win? Would Jeff be the next Food Network Star? Who would be Chopped?

Who was I going to look for at my favorite dress shops? And what crazy new recipes would I be able to run away with from the new show?

It's just all too much! And I just had to know. DVR - don't fail me now!

And now I bet you're wondering just what all this has to do with anything, right?

I'm right, aren't I?

Well, there's one thing that they say in almost every episode of all these different shows...

"You're only as good as your last ______________."

Go ahead, fill in the blank with anything you like that relates to your field:

... design.
... dress.
... meal.
... cookbook.

... novel.


Yes, that's right. You're only as good as your last novel. And this thought has me completely freaked out. What if my novel isn't that great? I mean, what if I think it's great and everyone else thinks that it sucks?

And let's face it - almost every time the judges on Project Runway announce who is out - I get pissed because it's always my favorite designer. Clearly, my taste does not match the taste of the professionals - the experts who truly know what they're doing.

What if it's barely mediocre?

And even worse... what if my novel never gets finished?

I have been wracking my brain trying to fit in the time and imagination between school and work and writing. I don't know how every one else has always been able to do this - because I really do think that I might just lose it soon.

But, as they also say on each of these shows:

"I didn't come here to lose... "

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Margins and spacing, check.

Chapter headings, check.

Sub-headings, check.

Reviewing rules of grammar regarding dialog... checking.

I had no idea about all the new grammar rules that are out now. Well, considering that my last writing / English / typing class was back in high school (which was, well, a long time ago) I guess many of these "new" rules could have been around for a long time.

For example, in 1994, when writing a list that contained three items or more, a comma followed each item up to the last:

Item one, two, and three.

Now, apparently, that is incorrect - the last two items on the list do not have a comma between them:

Item one, two and three.

The use of quotations and some punctuation have also changed. Has it really been that long for me? As I continue to stumble through this manuscript looking for these unknown errors I'm starting to question, for the first time really, whether or not I am truly cut out for even writing such a project.

I wish I could blame society... Believe me, I wish that. That I could say that this mightn't be happening if we could settle on proper language and grammar rules and stick with them.

That maybe so many people out there have refused to learn proper grammar and so we caved to the mediocre and changed the rules to accomodate them.

But, of course, it's not society's fault. Not the mediocre or the lazy... It's a sign that I am rusty; that hobby writing alone is not quite enough to keep up your skills and stay up to date with changing trends and rules.

That I should have been trying harder to stay on top of my game. Trust me, it will be a lesson I'll not soon forget.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I don't really know when I started to realize that the American Dream is, in fact, overrated. Or perhaps overrated is the wrong word? I don't know - you tell me.

I do know that as a little girl, I was filled with hope... Hope that all stemmed from what has become "The American Dream". Work hard and you can get anything you want. Study hard and you can be anything you want to be. Of course, this is only if what you want coincides with what your parents and teachers want you to be.

I know what you're thinking... No, that can't be. But it is.

You see, when I was little I went through many of the same phases that other little girls go through. I wanted to be an astronaut, a baker, a famous chef... I wanted to learn to play the piano, become a novelist, and be the next great singer / actress. And while I was little, these plans and aspirations were, for the most part, met with enthusiasm from my parents and teachers. Everyone said I could do it. Everyone said I would achieve my dreams.

But that's because at the time these dreams fell in line with what their dreams were for me. For some of them, they knew I would eventually change my mind... For others they thought, eh, I was young and still had all the time in the world to get working on them. But then I started to grow up and my dreams began to change. Not all of them; but enough of them to make everyone realize that if they didn't start to tell me the truth - that you can't have everything you want no matter how hard you work or study - that I was going to pick the "wrong" dream.

The earliest example that I can recall on this was when I was a teenager. Of course, there are two laws that govern the lives of all teenagers. The first required that I rebel against everyone of authority (especially my parents), keep secrets and most especially stop "working up to my potential".

The other law that governs all teenagers is that you have to find yourself. Finding out the type of person you really are, what you like or dislike, what your role is and what you want it to be. What cruel timing on Mother Nature's part to force us to go through such an important growth and learning period while we're still awkward from pimples, crushes, and bodies that just don't fit, hormones that are being held hostage by every emotion and - to top it all off as though that just wasn't enough - adults don't understand what you're going through and so they can't help you.

And believe me, even as a teenager I knew that most adults wanted to help me... they just couldn't. And it's not completely their fault. As a teenager - we all like to think we have the world by the shorties - but in reality we don't have a clue even about our own bodies. We don't know how to say what we feel. All we know is that every nerve at every point in our brain is on fire - we laugh hard, we party hard, we get pissed off at the smallest things, we hurt hard and we fall in love hard. Teenager do everything hard - they are the extreme human beings and they don't know any other way to be.

Wait... Where was I again?

That's right... The American Dream.

So, in class today, we had to run through some introductions and tell a little about ourselves. The session was great because I got to hear about so many different stories from so many wonderfully diverse people.

And then it was my turn. And my story was met with disdain and contempt. "You're planning to write a novel and practice therapy? Isn't that expensive and selfish? You're planning to work with children? Are you crazy?"

"Is all this just an afterthought for you? Or was working in psychology always your dream?"

Well, okay class. You caught me. Psychology was not always my dream. But sometimes the best dreams are not the dreams that you planned and worked for all your life. Sometimes the best dreams just find you.

And if that makes me selfish - well then, I guess I did get a part of the American Dream after all.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Yet Another Dream For Me

So, here we are, and I'm doing it again... Launching off on another long-awaited dream.

No, this one is not of publication...

 At least, not quite publication.

 No, this one is of finally getting to finish my Master's Degree.

 That's right. as of today - I am rejoining the ranks of "Student" ... I start my first day of the rest of my life today.

 Well, to be more specific, I start my graduate studies as a psychology student.

 I know, I know what you're thinking.

What does this have to do with writing? And will clients be able to take me seriously if they see that I write fantasy / sci-fi novels?

 Well... I look at it this way. Perhaps my work as a therapist will help me develop deeper, more profound characters that my readers will fall in love with.

Or perhaps my writing will inspire me to help my clients in a way that no "traditional" therapist might think of. Either way, my vocabulary is bound to benefit, right?

And with all the research papers and writing that I will need to do while I'm in school... I doubt that I'll fall out of practice.

 There are still a lot of decisions to be made, like which population would I want to work with and where do I find an internship. What type of therapist do I want to be? (I had no idea that there were so many!). So - yes... Another day, another dream. Why settle for just one?