Hello Again

This title wasn’t meant to reference the fact that I’ve not posted on this blog in, oh, A THOUSAND YEARS, but a topic I’ve been mulling today while packing boxes for our upcoming move from Bristol to Edinbrrrrrr. (Edinburgh, for those not aware of how much colder it gets there than here, a mere 360 miles away). To pack, I need to first unpack, and that included the box at the very back of the bedroom closet, under the pile of everything else.

In it, I found these:


And these:


And of course, I did what any sane person would do. TRY THEM ON. I also went searching for photos of these babies in action. It’s actually quite hilarious that I thought I’d need to take these not only from Nashville to Sacramento with me when I moved there, but then from Sacramento to England. I wore these on stage playing bass in my old band Cashmere Love Crash, and other various bands. And possibly I bought the leopard ones hoping someday I’d get a complete Mimi Marquez from RENT costume together (my style guru circa 2003) but it never happened. Life can be rough.


In any case, I clomped down two sets of stairs to show my husband who had a chuckle and pointed to the rubbish pile by the door, but something in my heart twinged. These boots are so representative of who I was at the time. Someone who lived in Nashville with a close friend, out playing gigs around town at night or seeing other gigs, sometimes multiple (ooh la la) in one night, working as a barista at the fabulous Fido in Hillsboro Village, and just generally having what seemed a very exciting twenties. These trigger so many memories of the time I felt more free and life seemed a wider path than ever before or since.

Revisiting the memories is a blessing. I’m grateful for memory. It’s one of those bazillion things so easily taken for granted, but when I think of any who struggle with hateful disease that steals their memory from them, my heart aches unconsolably. Memories remind us of the fun, amazing, beautiful times, but also the embarrassing, the painful, the challenging — the times that are maybe more likely to shape us. Who we were “back then” is not bad, even if it’s more of the latter than the former list. It’s still part of who we are, or at least, I choose to see it that way.

Even if I’ll never get on stage and rock out on a Zeppelin- or Radiohead-inspired tune again, I am so grateful for that time of my life. And as a writer, all of it feeds into my stories. Every experience. It might seem so far from who I am today, but it’s not. She’s still inside — and so is the me at 5, playing with my sisters in the backyard; and at 15, painfully shy and passing notes to one of my few friends in a school I felt certain was designed to tear me down; and me in my late twenties, living in California and working 3 jobs without a clue where my life was going; and me turning 30, back at university, this time in Falmouth, Cornwall, falling in love with the sea and the wind in my hair and not yet realising that place would leave an indelible mark on me (and my novels).

My birthday this year felt like a big one. It could’ve been scary, and yes, I had some tears, which is stupid because I should just be grateful I’m here still, right? But I’m a kid at heart. I will always feel like a kid. My amazing husband and friends and sisters threw me two massive surprises and I had a blast, so I can be nothing less than grateful.

They say you shouldn’t look back because that’s not where your future is, but I don’t think it’s wrong to do so. It’s a reminder of all the people you were, and while you might not be that person every day anymore (or any day!), they made you who you are, and that’s worth considering, and celebrating. And just before a massive transition like moving 360 miles away from the friends and normal we’ve known here, with other significant changes no doubt on the horizon, I think it’s helpful to look back as a reminder, a starting point to figure out where to go next.

I’m still the girl with the leopard print boots. They might just need a fancy dress party to come out again.

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In Which I Gush About My Friends.

On our recent, second hike up Buachaille Etive Mor, Glencoe, Scotland.
On our recent, second hike up Buachaille Etive Mor, Glencoe, Scotland.

It’s been a crazy few weeks with this whole moving-house thing. Intoย our own house. Yeah. I’ll probably say that phrase about 500 more times before we sell it and move back up to Scotland. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m often fond of tallying my many moves – this marks my 32nd that I can remember. Not because I love to move. I despise it, in fact. It always makes me feel unstable, and a little lost. I guess I like considering how many times I’ve survived it in the past, because I still have yet to feel like this is THE move. But for now, it’s a biggie.

On top of that, my writing time has been sporadic yet I’ve been burning with flames.. flames, on the side of my face.. breathing, breath – heaving… Okay. If you’ve never seen the movieย Clue, you’ve missed out on this classic bit from Madeline Kahn (Mrs. White). A-hem. Yes, I’ve been on fire with things to write and thanks to some guy named Murphy and his law, that’s precisely when I’ve no time to do it.

That said, this past week a few friends – the kind I never see because I’m an ocean away – have been instrumental in helping me see I should not give up. Brad, Joy, and Kerry, thank you so much for the kind words. More than that, thank you for sharing your valuable time, and in some cases, own struggles with me. In general, I am so grateful to have wonderful CPs, and rad friends who might not write but don’t mind reading. ๐Ÿ˜‰

In the midst of some recent annoying self-doubts, everywhere I’ve turned – the awesome writer blogs I follow, random devotional books dotted around the flat, a quote on a daily calendar my Mom thought to share with me – things keep jumping out that smack aside those doubts and tell me to just get on with it. So yeah… it’s been busy, but it’s been good, I think.

I hope your October is off to a great start, and if you’re a fellow writer, get those NaNo plans in place! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Moving Right Along

IMG_3717If you’re a kid of the 70s/80s like me, or just someone with admirable taste, you read those words and immediately begin humming that song from The Muppet Movie, one of cinema’s classics. That was my hope, anyhow. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Scotsman and I officially own our own house, as of yesterday, for the first time. We’ve got a lot to look forward to, and a lot toย get through. Carpets, appliances, furniture, you name it. So suffice it to say I have been and will continue to be tied up with that for the next several weeks at the least. NaNoWriMo is coming up in November, though, and I will be ready and raring to go by then.

In the meantime, I’m in the midst of taking a few weeks off editing, and am back to looking around Query Tracker and furiously taking notes, reading interviews, and researching. And I have managed to find some time to redesign my blog. It’s not perfect, but I’m no coding wiz. I think it’s a big improvement, anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, to all my #Writemotivation friends, I hope to be back and hitting the goals in November. September’s been weird – for the first time, I finished all my goals within the first week, and with one manuscript out with a few readers (and some lovely and amazing feedback already received), I’ve been away from Scrivener. And it feels weird. But I think even the things we love most, we need a break from.

I get into bed and am so exhausted lately I can’t even read an entire page in whatever book I’m reading now. And even just this past week busily away from the writing and editing, I’ve come to realise how much a part of me it truly is. It’s crazy, but it’s awesome. I miss it so much. So if nothing else, this time has been a great reminder of why writing is so important to me. Even one day going by without opening a document feels like missed opportunity. To quote Gloria Steinem, writing truly is the one thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else. (Okay, spending quality time with loved ones trumps that, of course, but you know what I mean).

Hope you’re reaching your goals this month. Are you going through upheaval, too? Any tips on how to keep the creative processes going when you’re swamped in other chores? The main thing I’ve been doing is making mental notes about my next story so it can stew in the background until I finish working on my WIP.

Happy Autumn!


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