Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rising Stars, Climbing Mountains.

So I love the way Aimless Writer uses eighteen-wheelers in her short story (how short is flash fiction?), A Short Story to Nowhere. And she can paint, too, gorgeous flowers. I know painting is just another art, another skill, but it’s one that stuns me every time, one that makes me just think Wow! I could never do that!

I’ve been obsessively coming up with projects to keep me busy at the beginning of next year, trying to schedule my schedule, shorten my sleep time, and figure out how to fit more into a day with no partner at home. This is turning out to be a good thing, because I’m actually starting to look forward to the next few months. Busy is crazy, but busy is fun, too. And if I can stay busy enough, time will fly, right?

Tonight I was working on a little scholarship thingamabob, and reading over someone’s application. Boy, does she have her sh*t together. I love (most) high schoolers and college-age students. They’re at such a cool time of life. Infinite possibilities, plenty of time to live and make mistakes, and something else about them. They’re not quite sure who they are yet, and I love watching them become. It’s good to remember to continually explore oneself and the world around.

Anyway, my point was, as soon as I read her application, I was possessed by this calculating. I immediately thought, okay, two more years, and I’m going to recommend this girl for ... and ... and I need to tell ... about this amazing girl.

What’s funny, is that I’d read about many other students and did not have that reaction. What’s even funnier, is this girl has her stuff together so well, that she doesn’t even need my help. It’s clear she’s going to get where she wants to go whether anyone helps her or not.

I don’t know why I’m possessed by this need to tell the important people about this girl I don’t know who is so on track she doesn’t even need my help. Maybe it’s some sense of justice. If she doesn’t fly to the top of her goals, something’s wrong with the universe.

When you have a goal, sometimes it’s better to look up to the top of the mountain, chart your course, and then keep your eyes firmly fixed on only the ground a step or two or three ahead. Maybe look up now and then to make sure no course corrections are needed, but other than that, keeping your eye on the next step is often better than keeping your eye on the mountain top.

Amazing how far you get that way, and how quickly.

Anyway, I was thinking about last year. I can’t remember ever ending a year with a major goal unfinished, but that’s how it is this year. Two of them, actually, but I may yet finish one. I may yet finish both, but that would be a bit of a shock.

I’m a little disappointed, but I’m charting a course correction.

What about you? Are you taking stock? Any disappointments? Not to be a downer, so what are you most proud of this last year?

9 bonus scribbles:

Erica Orloff 12/20/2007 07:44:00 AM  

New Year's is always really significant for me. I write down my goals, and I take stock. I don't do resolutions so much as try to see where I've been and where I want to go.

I don't know that there's anything that stands out as my proudest moment . . . I am disappointed that I didn't make more time for my kids--I'm always "here" but not always mindful and "present." I have goals of wanting to start a free school for migrant workers--teaching English for free. That's still a goal, and I had wanted it set up by now, but then the end of the year got insane.

I am glad I learned to purl! (love knitting--and it's a goal for next year to get better at it) . . . and that I sold my fantasy trilogy . . .

Anyway, I will definitely be contemplating all this in the next two weeks.

Aimless Writer 12/20/2007 07:55:00 AM  

Thanks for your kind words, Spy. You da best!
Painting saves me. I usually paint theater sets but neither of my kids did any shows so I had to paint SOMETHING! Set painting is big and messy and totally fun. What's life without a little paint under your nails? More of my work is here:
Great to hear of that kid who has it all together. Kids like that inspire us!
When my dh goes traveling I do things I wouldn't do when he's here; eat ice cream for dinner, stay up until the wee hours of the morning writing, turn the kitchen into an artist studio, paint pictures on the windows (santa at christmas, bunnies around easter, palm trees in summer), sometimes even flowers on the walls, (hey! he left me alone! Not my fault!) rearrange the furniture to see something different, throw out junk thats been collecting that he won't miss but wouldn't do himself, clean at midnight because I'm bored, try something new from the craft store and then there's shopping! Keep busy-try something new-paint something! Take a class.

Edie 12/20/2007 09:56:00 AM  

I'm glad you're thinking of projects to do when DH is gone. :)

I'm happy with the books I've written. I think my writing has taken a huge jump forward. That's probably what I'm most proud of this year.

Carrie Lofty 12/20/2007 10:30:00 AM  

Successes: many. My hubby graduated from business school--a family effort, believe me--and we've adjusted to yet another new town. The girls started school. And my first sales. Of course.

Disappointments: very few. Can't think of any. This has been a good year for me. Wishing health and happiness to everyone for 2008!

spyscribbler 12/20/2007 11:36:00 AM  

Me, too, Erica! I celebrate it twice a year, even, once on Halloween and once at the New Years. Different goals, though. I spend about three, four weeks on it, so I'm sure I'll drive you guys nuts by the end of it, LOL.

A free school for migrant workers sounds awesome! See, I'm just glad if I help out in a little way. You think big, that's cool.

Congratulations on the fantasy trilogy! Is that the top secret project?

spyscribbler 12/20/2007 11:39:00 AM  

Aimless, do you mean sets for the theater? I love the theater. Those were definitely my favorite gigs!

I've always wanted to paint pictures on the walls, LOL! I'm thinking about getting a dog. I'm trying to calculate how he would feel about this, without asking him and getting a flat 'no,' LOL.

spyscribbler 12/20/2007 11:40:00 AM  

Edie, it really sounds like this has been a fabulous writing year for you! Way cool! I hope I make as much progress with my writing next year. I want to take a giant step in the next few months. I hope!

spyscribbler 12/20/2007 11:41:00 AM  

Carrie, I have a friend's husband who just did that, and it is really a family effort! Congratulations on your first sales.

I hope you like your new town! I also hope you have a great 2008, too!

avery,  12/21/2007 01:39:00 PM  

I really don't take much stock in the hype around New Year's and its resolutions. It all seems so insubstantial and subjective. Only humans assign meaning to time, right? Nothing else in the universe cares that we think we're getting a fresh start. I'd rather work to have fewer reasons to require a new beginning than grace myself with a clean slate day.

This year I'm very proud I started submitting to agents. I'm irked no agents have offered representation, but that's more my ego messing with my head than any actual disappointment with myself or my story.