Monday, March 25, 2013

Momentum & congrats to Mr. Caleb Warnock

While chasing our dream we have to remember on simple rule- never underestimate the power of momentum. No matter where you are in the journey of pursuing your dream you need to trust in yourself.

You may be down for the count or ridiculously tired of the rejection but none of that matters in the end. Momentum has a way of propelling you to greatness. One moment you could be ready to quit your dream and the next you could be on the cusp of everything you ever wanted. 

You just have to keep going, keep fighting. Sooner or later, momentum will find you. 

PS-Major congrats to Mr. Caleb Warnock for signing a contract for six new books. This man has been our writing mentor (L.G.L.I for short) and dear friend. We're so happy for you!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Embarrassing moment alert

This Saturday I walked around a grocery store with apricot facial scrub all over my hair. Let me give you the dirt. Have you ever had one of those nights were you just can't sleep? You try warm milk, deep breathing and sleep aids but nothing works. Well, that would be my weekend. Apparently, I was so sleep deprived that I washed my hair with my gritty facial scrub. 

I walked around everywhere with my mother. I helped her shop, get her hair dyed and ate frozen yogurt. It wasn't until the end of the day that she noticed mid bite of yogurt that I had the scrub in my hair. I looked like I slept the night on the beach. Yeah, it was that bad. 

My friends, long days are gonna find us while we chase our dream. There are gonna be embarrassing moments as a result. I say, embrace the crazy times.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

American Idiom

A little while ago my youngest son was doing something for which he needed to be very well behaved. He wasn't. So naturally as his mother I corrected him the first moment I could. Informed him that he needed to behave better than that in public. Suddenly his eyes welled-up and he looked at me and said, "Mom! You're making me feel like  a Canadian Idiot!" *

Er . . . huh? Okay, that wasn't my first response. My first response was "Hahahahahahahah!" My second was, "Er . . . huh?"

Turns out there's a song called "American Idiot" which has been spoofed by Weird Al, and the spoof is entitled "Canadian idiot." No idea where my Little Dude would have heard this. But how interesting that he picked up on it.

The other day I was in the car with him, his friend, and my husband. I mentioned in passing that one of my other children was acting "all pooped-out." Now, I think this is a pretty common expression. But the gales of giggles that immediately burst from the boys, and the baleful look my husband gave me, indicated otherwise.

Oh come on. Really? He hadn't heard of feeling "pooped?" It just means "tired." And . . . um . . . okay. If you think of it literally, it is kind of . . .  Well I was shocked. Never in my life had I thought of being pooped-out in that way. But my husband did. Swore that no one in their right mind said "pooped" for "tired." (Of course, we won't bring up the fact that in the middle of all the little-boy-laughter my son sucked in enough air to tell his friend that "pooped" meant "tired." And he said it without any prompting from me. So maybe the huz just isn't as cultured as the rest of us. I mean, if an eight year-old gets it . . . )

This made me wonder about other expressions and how they came to mean what they do. We'll probably never know how "all pooped out" became "really really tired" instead of "really really cleansed." But wouldn't it be interesting to find out?

Here are a few more idiomatic expressions. Maybe you can figure out where they came from and let me know:

Playing by ear  (as opposed to playing by rear. or some other body part.)
Pull your chain  (old fashioned toilets had chains. is this what people mean when they say "I'm flush with pride" or "I'm feeling flush today"?)
Put your foot in your mouth  (yeah, I'd like to see you do that)
Bad blood between them  (if there's any blood between them, it can't be good)
Beat the rap  (there are some raps I'd like to beat with a stick)
Blow your stack  (how else do you cool your pancakes off?)
Salt of the earth  (why not basil of the earth? or cinnamon? i love cinnamon.)
Say Uncle  (like this isn't sexist. say Aunt! say Aunt!)
Take guts  (i'd rather take pictures)
Tongue in cheek  (mmmm. i don't get this one at all. you can't talk with your tongue in your cheek)
Double Whammy  (isn't the Whammy some sort of super absorbent cloth? why would I want two of them?)
Dutch treat  (dude. If the Dutch are treating, I'm there.)
Laughing stock  (is this anything like Woodstock? because I'd rather go to Laughingstock any day. sixties music's got nothing on funny people.)
Zip it  (okay fine. guess you've had enough of me being an idiom.)

*No Canadians Were Harmed In The Creation Of This Post. The Author Has Nothing Against Canadians, Has Visited Their Lovely Country Many Times, And Wouldn't Mind Hanging Out In Victoria Again As Soon As Possible. If You Wish To Take Issue With "Canadian Idiot," Please Contact Weird Al Yankovic. In Fact, I May Do It, Because I Think He Has Warped My Child.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Daring Greatly

This isn't meant to be a book review so much as a recommendation. Brene Brown, Ph.D is a researcher who specializes in shame, vulnerability, courage, and worthiness. I know what you're probably thinking, because I thought it too: "People actually study shame?" Apparently they do. And it's a good thing, because I just finished reading her book, Daring Greatly. Twice.

The book's title comes from a famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs; who comes short again and again . . .
Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."
Of course, the arena Roosevelt talks about is different for everyone. For a writer, it can be showing your work to a group of strangers, or even a group of friends, for the first time.  Sometimes we come out of a critique session with our faces marred by dust, sweat, and blood. But what matters is that we show up.

Since I got the book as an audio download from the library, I don't have a copy to refer to. So I'll share some of my personal takeaways. Someone else's impressions might be totally different.

What stood out for me the most is Dr. Brown's definition of guilt versus shame. Guilt says, "I did something bad." Shame says "I am bad." Therefore, Guilt = productive, motivating, something we can learn from. Shame = counterproductive, paralyzing, takes away our will to try again. The trick is being able to separate the two. Feeling guilty is okay. Allowing the guilt to turn into overwhelming shame is dangerous. Until now, it had never occurred to me that guilt and shame were two different things!

She also specifically referred to the trouble some artists (writers!) have with tying their self-worth to their work. I know I've done this. I can't pinpoint when or why it started, but I've grown up with a notion that as long as I did everything perfectly, I would never have to deal with the pain of criticism. Psh. You can guess how that worked out for me. Now I think that some of the discouragement I've felt when people have (constructively) criticized my writing was actually needless shame. "My work isn't that great, so I must not be that great, either."

Crazytown, no?

Right now, my arena is my very first screenwriting class. Most of my classmates have more experience at this than I do. Some of them are very talented. Yeah, I'm intimidated. But that's okay. I don't have to be perfect anymore. What matters is that I show up and let myself be seen. I've decided that 2013 is going to be my year of Daring Greatly. After all, isn't that just another way to say Challenging the Gnome? Bring on the dust and sweat and blood!

What's your arena? I'd love to hear about it so I can cheer you on!

You can read more about Daring Greatly at Dr. Brown's website HERE

I also recommend her two TED talks, The Power of Vulnerability and Listening to Shame.