Saturday, September 25, 2010

Power

Power is not something we typically think about but rely on for every facet of our lives. Last night I found myself without power and it was an eye opening experience.

The area in Alaska that I live is known for violent wind storms which can topple trees, pummel houses, and relieve roofs of their shingles. With wind gusts strong enough to set semi trucks on their sides, trees and power lines don’t stand much chance.

The power company is very good about clearing trees and restoring power but on occasion, such as yesterday we have extended black outs.

The whole experience was unnerving but coming home to complete darkness was scary. I was lucky enough to have a small flashlight on my key chain to light my way through the house. I was luckier still to have a stock of candles to light the place.

This is where I come to my point. Even with a flashlight on me and the candles easily accessible, it was still disorienting and confusing. It took me a few minutes to adjust and realize what I needed to do, then find the candles and lighter.

It got me thinking about the other people in the area whose power was off. I wondered how many people were prepared. Do you have a flashlight and candles for sustained lighting? Do you have the things needed if the power should remain off for a day or more?

Living in Alaska we have unique challenges and emergency 72 hour survival kits aren’t odd to find in a person’s home or car. I have one in my home but it is hidden in a closet in a room that I use to store junk in. Having these things easily accessible is important if the time comes that you need them.

Are you prepared? Do you have a plan and the materials available should an emergency arise?

I know what you are thinking. “I could just go to the store.” If the power is out, the registers won’t be working. Even if they are, how long are they going to have what you need if everyone else is looking for the same thing?

Below is a link to ready.gov – it has a list of things you’ll need but might never have thought of. Whether you are preparing for the Zombie apocalypse or just wanting to be prepared for a wind storm that might leave you in the dark longer than you hoped for, check it out. Being prepared shouldn’t only be for boy scouts and no one should have to remain in the dark.

http://www.ready.gov/america/getakit

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My first hula hoop art!


I just had to share my very first hand made hula hoop. She's simple but beautiful! :D

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hope

Such a small word but in those four small letters lie the potential for greatness.

If you look up the definition you’ll find many different ways to say the same thing. My favorite is this one: To cherish a desire of good, or of something welcome, with expectation of obtaining it or belief that it is obtainable.

Today I read a blog that led me to a page for Levi’s, We Are All Workers – episodes. (see link below) Watching these videos and the commercial, I felt inspired and hopeful for an America that is strong. We didn’t get to this place taking the easy path. It is those who kept going when the outlook was grim that pulled through, survived and then thrived.

These are the things I wish I saw on the evening news. Stories of hope. It is often the opposite that can be found on network television which is why I don’t watch it. I’ve sometimes wondered as to how we are still standing if the only thing happening in the world is violence and corruption. And then I stumble across the stories of people doing things like this and I’m reminded of why I love this nation.

It is people like these who aren’t willing to go down without a fight and those who’ve stepped in to lend a hand where one was needed that give me hope. It is these kind of stories that make me want to pull my head out of the sand and do and be more, myself, instead of just watching others.

http://us.levi.com/shop/index.jsp?clickid=header_explore&categoryId=2929279&AB=CMS_Home_Portraits_070110

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Outside the Line of My Comfort Zone

Ok, so my previous post was about the reset button, about starting over fresh every day. In that post I talked a little bit about the universe or God giving us hints. Well sometimes those hints get so loud it feels like the universe is screaming at us, giving us direction since we are failing to “get it” on our own.

For me the last week or so has been that way. It might just be my subconscious going into overdrive lately because as with most people, I’m afraid of dying, but not for the obvious reasons. I am afraid because though I have been alive for a while, I haven’t fully lived. There is SO much I want to do and I’m wasting this time I was given not doing it.

Yes sitting behind a cubicle helping people with their insurance, and helping my co-workers so they can also actually help people too is important but in the end not to me and my growth. I’ve come as far as I can in this endeavor, learned as much as I can, gained as much from the experience as there is for me. Now I’m on the hamster wheel, just doing the rounds.

So, instead of being upset with the company that bought us out and then in turn is making it nearly impossible for me to do my job the right way. I am going to say thank you for the big nudge that I needed to see that it IS actually time to move on. Get off the merry-go-round and find something new to feed my intellect, tickle my imagination, and nourish my soul. Or at the very least give me some NEW experiences.

When the universe is shouting at you, you really should listen. And when it’s saying, “Live! Don’t keep letting the opportunities pass you by.” You have to really take stock of yourself and realize comfortable isn’t always good.

My goal is to live life just outside the line of my comfort zone!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Restless

I need change often or I get restless. Here is the result of today's restlessness.

The new do.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Reset Button

Yesterday I was thinking about my life and how things haven’t quite gone the way I planned. A single line of lyrics came to mind. “I’m forgiving what I’ve done.” Pretty powerful line. How many of us can say that? We might ask forgiveness from those we’ve wronged, from the universe and from God but how often do we forgive ourselves?

Today while I was getting ready, the song the Lyric belongs to came on and it struck me. I believe sometimes the universe, or in my case since I believe in God, God gives you little hints to show you what you need. Often times we don’t even realize what the problem is and that is where these little hints come in so handy.

I didn’t realize the problem was me. I feel guilty for all the things that I feel like I can’t control so I either do nothing or I continue to do the things that are making me feel bad. But today armed with the little epiphany I received I’ve realized I need to forgive what I have done, then I can move on.

During this moment of clarity I also realized, every day is like a fresh, clean start. A reset button, if you will. Each day I can let go of my fears that I’ll never write another book as good as the one I recently finished. It wasn’t a fluke, I worked hard and though each new one will be different, if I work just as hard they will be amazing. And if not I get to try again with the next.

Also, I can keep my house clean, write, commute and work a full time job and find time for a life. I just need to accept that I can’t do it all every day but in bits and pieces. It’s far less overwhelming that way. And most importantly, if I make a mistake I just need to dust myself off and remember that somewhere in the night someone hits the reset button and tomorrow is a new chance to do it better.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dear Lucky Agent Contest on GLA

I love Writer's Digest. They are such an amazing resource for writers new and established. If you don't subscribe you should. At the very least you should be following them on twitter @WritersDigest - they tweet much useful information for us fledgling writers.

One such thing is the GLA - Guide to Literary Agents blog - which is having a contest. Yay! Who doesn't love a contest? They are such great opportunities for us writers. Often they offer things we could never get without, such as a critique from an agent. (priceless!) The contest that prompted this post is free! Yay! We all love free!

PRIZES!!!

Top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of the first 10 pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com.

It's judged by Roseanne Wells is a literary agent at the Marianne Strong Literary Agency.

Here's the link if you are a sci-fi or fantasy writer with a completed manuscript. (adult or YA - no MG) http://www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog/Dear+Lucky+Agent+Contest+Fantasy+And+SciFi.aspx

GO. ENTER! Today is the last day!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Funny things happen when someone besides you cares about your work.

Ok, so I’m not a published author. Yet! But I have let one of my babies out for more than just betas to critique and the response has been far better than I expected. It isn’t the first time I’ve given up copies of one of my works to readers in hope of a response that will help me grow as a writer but it is the first time that everyone has finished reading one and the response has been very positive.

Now that doesn’t mean there wasn’t feedback that caused me have to do more work. I had such great responses from everyone and they were all the same. “Give me more!” Yes that is an explanation point at the end of that quote and it is placed correctly because they were all enthusiastic about this request. So I did the part that isn’t nearly as fun for me, I went back and I re-read and I noted up my copy with places and things I could add to give them what they were asking for.

A funny thing happened though, when other people started to care about my work. It scared me. Before there were no expectations, there was no one that I had to answer to. Yes I did write with the hope of being published and knew that I would have people to answer to if that ever happens but at the time I was writing only for me.

Now when I try to write a follow up book I have all these people in my head. My readers, the agents who will read the revised version, and I worry about whether I’ll be able to deliver on the magic that they felt. Will the characters be true to the people they fell in love with and are so invested in?

It’s a little paralyzing to worry about so many people and I realized today that I’m just scared. Scared, not of failing but succeeding. I know that the book is special to me, whether or not it will be special to anyone else. The answer to that is already yes. Not everyone is going to love my book. I have no fantasy of that but there will be some and if I believe and keep trying, hopefully one of those people will be an agent who will be wildly enthusiastic about it.

So I’m going to set aside all those people in my head except the ones who want me to tell their story and I’m going to sit down and tell it for them and for me. The rest will fall in line.

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Favorite quote: Eew a box!
email: analaskangirl@gmail.com

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Monica Millard's books on Goodreads
Children of the Gods Children of the Gods (Chosen, #1)
reviews: 34
ratings: 44 (avg rating 3.91)

Chosen - A Children of the Gods Short Story Chosen - A Children of the Gods Short Story
reviews: 4
ratings: 17 (avg rating 3.47)

The Fall The Fall
reviews: 7
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.83)

Monica's bookshelf: read

Darkhouse
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Rebellion
Blood and Feathers
The Rithmatist
Forbidden Blood
Last Blood
Out for Blood
Bad Blood
Flesh and Blood
Blood Rights
Girl Parts


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