Friday, June 28, 2013

Self Doubt

Oh boy! Here I go.

So, last night I was thinking about this book series I've been writing. I'm stuck. Not writer's block stuck, but too many things happening in the wrong order stuck. Then, I realized I had messed up a major plot point. From the moment I started this adventure I knew how Book One ended, but when I started writing, that moment seemed to happen halfway through Book One. That's ok, I thought. I can stop somewhere else. NO! No, I cannot. It doesn't work like that. The story doesn't flow correctly, and it's all wrong. It is just WRONG! Now, I have to go back and fix it. All of it. Whole chapters have to be rewritten. I mean, I didn't want to do rewrites until it was time for edits. I wanted to get it all written first before I changed anything. However, the damage is irreversible. It has to be changed. It's so frustrating.

Here's where my self-doubt comes into play.

I have started countless writing projects through the years. From musical to plays to short stories to novels to this series... and I have never completed one. Not a single one. I love writing. I love thinking in stories. I love all of it, and yet I cannot finish a single project. Why? I'm so glad you asked...


My entire life has been spent being told I wasn't good enough. I wasn't smart enough. I wasn't talented enough. I wasn't thin enough. I wasn't pretty enough. I wasn't creative enough. Over and over and over again.

Now, I understand constructive criticism. I know how to take it, file it away, and use it to my advantage later. I also know deconstructive criticism. I know when to just forget about it, but sometimes you just can't forget about it. One mistake can haunt a person for the rest of their lives. One negative comment can haunt someone for the rest of his/her life. It happens.

Being told you're not good enough over and over again, can lead you to believe it. Once you believe it, the damage is done. I am not afraid to admit that I believe I am not good enough to accomplish any of my dreams. Acting: not good enough. Singing: not good enough and not of the correct race for my vocal type. Writing: not good enough. Finding Love: don't even get me started on that one. I have all of these big dreams, but I don't believe in myself enough to attempt to make them happen. It doesn't matter how hard you work, if you don't believe in yourself, you won't achieve it.

That's where I stand right now. I don't believe. Some people will give me a hard time about writing this post. Some will tell me how wonderful I am and how I should believe in myself. Others won't say anything because they have nothing to say. I'm to the point where their words don't matter. Like the lyrics of "Die Vampire Die" state:

"The last vampire is the mother of all vampires, and that is the vampire of despair. It'll wake you up at 4AM to say things like... Who do you think you're kidding? You look like a fool. No matter how hard you try, you'll never be good enough... Why is it that if some dude walked up to me on the subway platform and said these things, I'd think he was a mentally ill asshole, but if the vampire inside my head says it... It's the voice of reason."

Everyday is a struggle to prove myself wrong. Everyday I try, and everyday I get more and more discouraged. But... if I don't try, I'm resigning myself to live like this forever, and this life I currently have... this is not living. This is merely existing, and existing isn't good enough.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Voices and Names and Inspiration

Writers are strange people. I should know... I am one. We think in stories, dialogues, and details. We think of the way things were, how they are, and how they could be. That's the best part... how they could be. Endless possibilities await in that one phrase.

I haven't been writing much the past few days. Mainly because work has taken hold. Writing doesn't pay the bills, so work can sometimes be more important. 10-12 hour work days plus commute time, etc., etc. You get the picture. But today, something strange happened. I was working on paperwork. Organizing my folders, tracking training hours, etc. when I noticed I had notes from my research for my series in my work notebook. Pages upon pages of quotes and ideas. I even had an outline hidden in there. Sometimes organization isn't my strong suit. Sometimes, I just write whatever I'm thinking down on the nearest sheet of paper, and sometimes, that happens to be my work notebook.

That sent a spark through the realm I've created/am creating. I'm not one of those writers who knows exactly what is going to happen in my story before it happens. I mainly let the characters speak for themselves. That can be a bit messy.

 **SPOILER**: A few character names are about to be revealed. I apologize ahead of time. Of course, it might not matter because I could just be writing this for it never to be published.

Right now, I have a few characters chatting it up in my head. That's a downfall of writing a story centered around one character but affecting so many different characters. It's centered around Emily (more on her shortly) but it is more about how she affects, changes, or doesn't change (who knows... I'm not even sure) the world around her. I hear Emily most of the time, but there are many other active characters in the story. There are multiple POVs throughout the series other than hers, including Jake, Hayden, Hiero, Andrew, and Micah. Wow! I didn't know about that last one until I just typed it. How fun is that?! But lately, it's been the smaller characters who just want to chit chat away. Louisa, Gatlin, and Henry for starters. They are a HUGE part of this story, but it's never told specifically from their POV. That doesn't mean they don't want to be heard. That's part of the beauty of creating. Telling someone's story through the eyes of someone else. You might be thinking, "Why not just write in third person?" Well, I could answer that question in detail but that would give away too much. Let's just say... it's impossible to have the impact that is needed if the story is written in third.

Other than the characters of that specific project, another voice has crept in. It doesn't belong to that story. It has a story all of its own. I think it is a one book story too. Though, I never know until I start writing down my ideas. For now, I know the name of another character but not the character who's POV it is coming from... the object of affection's name is Coy. Over and over... I should probably start jotting ideas and comments down soon. I'd hate to lose a perfectly good story because I didn't want to pay attention.

Anyway... that's what my mind/imagination sounds like. No wonder people think artists are mad.

Now... onto the real reason I'm writing this post... Emily. Well, more importantly... what Emily means to me.

I have two characters that I feel are extensions of myself. Any actor knows what that feels like. If you've ever heard on actor talk about having a difficult time letting a certain character go, you might understand what I mean by this.

One is Kait. Kait is an experimental character. She has existed for years. Her story is ever-changing, ever-evolving. She's your ordinary girl. She began as a character in a short play I had to write for my Dramatic Structure class my sophomore year of college. Then, she took on another life in a musical I've been working on for nearly 5 years. It started as a  sort of catharsis, but nothing ever came of it. It remains a challenge even now. To me, Kait is my weakness. Not just in the fact that I cannot seem to write her story, but also because she has my weaknesses but tenfold. The things I have overcome, she cannot bare to face. She's a representation of my darkest moments, but I adore her. The problem with Kait is that the characters in her story seem to be more important to her than she is. I haven't found a way to fix that, but I have a feeling it is one of those "Sarah... look inside yourself" moments. Anyone who has ever been too trusting, too forgiving, or too caring can understand that feeling.

Emily, on the other hand, is not only my muse (yes, I understand she is fictional) but everything I'd want to be. I'm not kidding. Emily is... well, that might give away too much. Emily was born out of an idea that I wanted to read a book series about a _______ type character. Did you really think I would give that away?! Honestly?! Immediately, the name Emily popped into my head. It's very fitting and if I ever publish the series I might explain why, but for now just know that it makes sense in many, many ways. One of those ways is the fact that my mother wanted to name me Emily. It was my favorite name as a child. (These aren't really the reasons it is so fitting, but alas.) Emily  is almost everything I'd ever want to be. Her lifestyle is completely unlike my own, but I find it inspiring. She's fit and healthy and beautiful. She's a masterpiece. Of course, I would say that because I created her, but I think she's remarkable.

I've been inspired by my own fictional character to better myself. When I'm eating healthy and being active, I feel better... not only about myself, but about my ability to connect to her. Anyone can write a story. Anyone can create a character, but sometimes that character helps you realize your own potential. I think that happens because we dream up these characters. If I can dream it, I can be it... Right? It's so simple and childlike... but it helps me. Artists... whether they be painters, writers, actors, dancers, singers... create because they have to. It's hardwired into us. This idea of creating something beautiful or thought-provoking or terrifying or whatever is within us. We can do nothing else. So, we tell stories. Honestly, story-telling is just human nature. It's how we learn and grow... and sometimes we inspire others, but sometimes we inspire ourselves.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Destiny vs. Choice

Ok, friends. I'm about to get real... really, really real. This is something that absolutely DRIVES ME MAD! The idea that life is either pre-determined for us or we are given a choice. There's no middle ground for people. There's no sense of destiny intertwined with choice... or at least, there's not in my part of the world. My current belief system is very different from how I was raised, but I don't plan on delving into what I believe now. I just want to point out something that gets under my skin that nobody ever wants to talk about.

I was raised Southern Baptist. I was raised to believe in God and to follow his plan after I had made the choice to except him into my life. Now, people prayed and prayed and prayed for my salvation when I was a child. Once I said I had done so or "been saved" as they say, my choice was taken away. I was expected to live a certain way, be a certain way. I was expected to change everything about myself because of this one thing. I was expected to keep my mouth shut and follow the path God had planned for me, even though they always preached freewill and God giving us a choice. In their eyes the choice was follow him or don't. That was it.

Honestly, I'm less than 2 months away from my 27th birthday, and I have NO IDEA what that path is. When I was a teenager, I was definitely a "Jesus Freak." I believed everything they told me in church. I tried to be the perfect daughter, the perfect student, the perfect Christian. But guess what? I wasn't. My parents still got ill with me. My grades weren't always the best, but I went to church every Sunday (morning and night) and Wednesday if they had a service. If the doors were open, I was there. I wanted to find this path God had etched out for me on his big map of souls and their intended paths. I wanted to know. I wanted him to tell me, to show me what I was meant to do in life. I had the choice to chose him, but I wasn't allowed to choice anything after that. Oh boy! Did that change!

When I went to college, I started to think for myself. I started to search and explore other ideas, religions, beliefs... paths. I started to delve into things my family wanted me to stay away from. I'm not sure why. I feel more connected to the world and more alive thanks to the things I've learned. I've made choices. Some of them were terrible, but I learned from them. I've started to figure out what my strengths and weaknesses are because of making choices. I say started because I don't think anyone ever fully knows everything about themselves there is to know.

Somewhere along the way I have chosen to believe in both destiny and choice. I believe both are possible. In fact, they coincide. There's no one or the other. No heavenly entity is going to come down and tell me every single step to take. Nor do I think that is going to happen for anyone else. I don't think there is one path. I think there are MANY! Many paths laid out in front of us and WE get to choose. Not some higher power, but us! We can continue walking the one we're on or we can veer off onto another. It doesn't matter. If we're allowed freewill one second but not the next, what was the point.

Just LIVE! Stop looking for some greater power to point you in the right direction. I've prayed for that. Sometimes it has worked but most of the time there isn't an answer because I truly believe God (or whatever higher power you may believe in) wants us to find our way around ourselves. If you feel truly lost, by all means, pray if that is what you feel compelled to do, but don't live your life solely in the pursuit of the almighty pre-determined path. You'll miss a lot learning opportunities. I know, I did.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pleasures of the Guilt-Ridden Variety (Part One)

So... I was over at CRAZYTOWN reading away like any normal (boring) day of training new employees, when I stumbled upon an article titled "Guilty Pleasures." That's when it struck me! I will inform all of my glittery friends of my own personal guilty pleasures. I warn you... there are many, but I'll try to only post the most ridiculous.

This is my number one guilty pleasure in all the land. Honestly, if you were to ask my friends what my favorite movies were, they would more than likely reply with "anything really bad." Now... don't get me wrong, there is such a thing as a movie that is SOOOOO BAD that even I cannot watch it. It's happened on more than one occasion. But... here's a few examples of really bad movies that I LOVE!
High School Musical 2
The whole franchise is absolutely, terribly loveable, but the second installment is my FAVORITE! There's something about combining Corbin and Lucas and baseball, that really makes me want to party. There's also that epic moment Zac has when he grabs the sand, slowly rises, and then throws the sand down. I'm not kidding... I probably watched that moment on loop about 30 times in a row. It's hard to find anything funnier than that moment. That moment is cinematic GOLD!
I, honestly, cannot describe the ridiculousness of this "horror" flick to you. You'll just have to watch it yourself. I watched this with a few of my guy friends last summer, and I thought we were going to die from laughing too much. I'll give it a little credit though. It had one stomach turning moment... one of those "bug crawls out of dead body's mouth" moments. Those will give me the willies every single time!

S. Darko
This movie is proof you shouldn't mess with a good thing. My love of Donnie Darko is endless, and then this happened. Oh, S. Darko... you are a bunny of a different color. That's for sure. Of course, you get sucked in and can't figure out why you can't stop watching. Then you realize... someone put Ed Westwick and Jackson Rathbone in the same film. It's like eye-candy overload!
Last... but certainly not least... I present to you...
Material Girls
This is a triumph of really bad films. This is my top choice in Guilty Pleasure Land. I will not tell you how many times I've watched this movie because honestly, it's embarrassing. When I'm sad, bored, angry, lonely, happy, cleaning, WHATEVER... I will watch this movie. Since I'm being up-front with you, I'll just go ahead and say that Hilary and Haylie Duff are guilty pleasures for me without this movie. I'm not kidding! It's a problem. There's so much about this movie that I love, I'm not sure how to explain it all. I don't have to think when I watch this movie. I don't have to do anything. This movie is like happiness on a disc for me.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

What to Write?

So... I'm sitting here at work thinking "I want to write a blog." So, I take out a piece of paper to jot down some ideas of topics to cover for a few days and come up with NOTHING! Honestly... I can't think of a single think to write about. It's ridiculous! How can someone who thinks in stories have absolutely NOTHING to write about on a blog?

That's why I'm asking you (the blog'o'sphere)... What do you want me to write about? It can be just about anything as long as it's not too vulgar/obscene/etc. Let's see what we can create together.

Keep It Sassy,


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hello, Again!

Hello, my sassy friends! Have you missed me?

I know I've been MIA for a while, but I have a few good reasons...

  1. I have been a horrible person when it comes to eating healthy and getting to the gym regularly. I'm not exactly sure what happened. Maybe it was exhaustion. Maybe it was going on vacation. Maybe it was pure laziness. Yeah... it was probably the last one. All I know is that I really have to get back to it. I feel terrible, but this Coca-Cola tastes so good! I'm so conflicted!!
  2. Writing... Writing... Writing...   You see, I've been working on a novel. In fact, I've been working on FIVE novels. One singular thought turned into an entire series that I cannot get out of my head. Empaths, Dragons, Demons, Fae (and many many more) have been dominating my thoughts. I don't want to give too much away, but I think it might turn into something amazing. Who knows? I don't. However, right now... I think this world I've created is FASCINATING!
  3. Work. Blah, blah, blah! I won't bore you with the details (mainly because I'm not certain of half of them) but work has been BUSY! My motto right now... "Train ALL the people!" Ok, that may be an exaggeration, but it certainly has felt that way the past few weeks.
  4. SHREK!!!! I did it! I auditioned for a show and actually got cast. After a 2 year hiatus, I'll be returning to the theatre! I'm excited and nervous (and well, I'm not gonna go into all the feels I have about it). Let's just say: I'm finally performing again, even if my character may be at the bottom of the plotline food chain. It will be fun because I'm working with some AWESOME people.
  5. Research. Remember when I mentioned writing? Well, with writing something as intricate as this world my mind created comes lots and lots of research. This is not a joke! I did less research for college essays! Right now my research includes reading The Nag Hammadi Library, Irish Fae Lore, and King Arthur and His Knights. I've also been watching A&E, National Geographic, BBC, and The History Channel programs on the Bible (Adam & Eve, The Garden of Eden, etc.), Templar Knights, The Devil's Bible, The Lost Gospels (trying to focus on the ones not found in the NHL), Mary Magdalene, Ancient Egypt, etc. Also... remember when I mentioned being cast in Shrek... well, I've begun character research for it as well. Maniacal laughter and speaking gibberish seems to be a great start.
  6. VACATION! My parents took me on vacation at the end of May. It was amazing. I have never been so relaxed. If you have never been to Tybee Island, I highly recommend it. Maybe, I'll be able to post pictures soon.
Other than all of that, things have been relatively quiet in my life. We shall see what happens once rehearsals start on July 1st.

Oh... I did want to mention that I am on the lookout for some awesome books to read. I know, I'm in the midst of writing one and reading a few others for research, but I want a relaxing book as well. I book I can engage in only as a reader. Drop your suggestions in the comments section! No one leaves comments anymore. Of course, I probably don't have readers anymore.

Until next time...

Keep it Sassy,