My Writing Journey

Soon I will be starting an “Intro to Creative Writing” course. These online courses always start the same: “Let your fellow students know all about you!” This time was a bit unique. We had to discuss our writing journey. I figured I would share it with my bloggy peeps 🙂writing-journey

Hello everyone! My name is Faith!

My first official story was titled “Lisa and the Mean Girl.” It was a third grade assignment and one of the first assignments I had to do within a new school. While others were writing two page stories and spending more time creating artwork, I was writing a chapter book that I knew would one day be a best seller! I was two chapters and 14 pages into it when my teacher informed me that we were moving on to other material. According to the note home, I never edited or revised my work like I should have. My teacher didn’t want to necessarily say that I was negligent in my work, as I was leagues ahead in regard to development, but I needed to learn to work within the time frames given to ensure I get my work done on time. I still don’t really know what to make of that assessment.

My love for writing flourished in fifth grade. My teacher, Mrs. Bednarz, made us write in a journal in the beginning of each day. Sometimes she would give us prompts, but we could write whatever we wanted to. I would take a prompt one day and spend weeks working on it. I even drafted up series pieces. She let me work on them in my free time and even encouraged that we share what we wrote with our classmates. This memory may be skewed a bit to inflate my pride, but I remember everyone saying they loved my stories and couldn’t wait until I was ready to share them. Mrs. Bednarz called me the class writer, and made me promise her than when I became a published author I’d dedicate my first book to her.

Middle school was hell, and I don’t think I wrote at all during this period. I was mercilessly bullied. Apparently, my muse does not work when I am in despair. In my sophomore year of high school I took a creative writing class. I honestly don’t remember anything at all about the class. I do remember that I wrote one piece, a short story in which I tried to focus on the characters learning empathy for the people around them. The teacher said the piece “moved him” and that I had a rare gift. It reinvigorated my love for writing.

The next stage of my writing development isn’t one I usually speak of, but since I know in this class I will be surrounded by kindred spirits, I will share it. I spent the rest of my high school time thoroughly engrossed in……fanfiction.. I wrote about my friends and I, and later members in my online group, meeting famous boybands and the torrid love affairs that ensued. I had about 500 followers and AOL (kind of dating myself a bit) had frozen my account a few times thinking I was sending SPAM emails. I even made a bit of money writing specific pieces for girls. It’s the closest I will probably ever get to published work.

When I graduated high school I finished a novel that I have never shared with anyone. I titled it Standing Next to Perfection. It was based off of my friend who attempted suicide trying to be everything that everyone wanted her to be. I have also spent over fourteen years developing another story. It’s not cohesive, and I don’t plan on ever making it so. The characters I see as representations of myself and I write about them when I feel I need to deal with the world around me.

After I had children, my writing took another hiatus. I did, however, blog. Writing about the world around me was a great way to connect to other people. I still have a blog, but it’s pretty neglected as of late.

In 2013, I began my college journey and was introduced to a new type of writing: Composition. Most people I know hate this style, but I love it. I love the ability to not only write, but argue and defend what I feel is right. I have never experienced a “writer’s high” such as when I feel like a paper is coming together. After a year, I was referred to the Writing Center to become a peer writing tutor. Mostly I worked with what they call 096 students. These are students who are not quite ready to start college level work. One of their first official writing pieces is a personal narrative, in which they write about a moment in their lives that changed them. Working with these students was one of the most humbling moments in my life. I did my best to instill my own love for writing within each and every one of my students. All in all, working in the Writing Center made me appreciate the personal voice that everyone has within their writing.

In this time I was also asked to write a few pieces for the school’s newspaper. I didn’t really care for it as my focus at this time was on larger issues. I was Vice President of Student Government, served on the campus’ Governance Council, and held various executive board positions in three major clubs. When I wrote in this time, it was to serve the student’s agenda on various issues such as security issues and non-binary gender inclusivity.

Upon graduating from my community college, I had to hand off all my fancy titles, including peer writing tutor. My goal for my time at SNHU is to focus on developing my skills as a writer and gain the credentials to return to my former community college as an educating assistant. Although I do not plan on ever formally publishing anything, I am working on a few things. I am working on a youth fantasy novel based a bit off of the children in my life. The story focuses on the impact that children can have on the world around them especially in times of war and strife. I am also collaborating on a zombie apocalypse piece with my son. It focuses on the detrimental side effects of industrial farming/fracking within our society and uses zombies as a catalyst to promote better treatment of the environment. Finally, I am creating a collection of short stories based on my experience as a submariner wife. In each piece I take a look at most of the stereotypes associated with this title and use my background within sociology and women’s studies to create a unique lens on the experiences we endure.

Who Are You? Character Edition

Facebook has this new craze where you post three characters you identify with. It’s been interesting to see who my friends and family see themselves as within the dramatized characters seen on screen. This took a lot of time for me to really think on what characters are a good representation of myself… but I finally did it!

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Kiki, pictured in the middle of this Bad Moms Trio, was an easy one. Let’s just say, I should be suing for copyright infringement as this is me when I am in mom mode. When my thai momma friends and I go out to see a movie we are usually the loudest people in that theatre. My friend M throughout this movie kept poking me and hollering “That is you, Faith!!!” And there was even discussion that there may be a video of me doing the same exact drunk dance walk Kiki does.. only I was probably sober at the time..

Anyways, what makes me connect to her, is how tied she is to her husband’s envision of how she should act and be as a mother. Now, my husband is actually pretty zen about my life choices, so I’m not comparing my relationship to hers.. but I do often feel like I am internally combatting between being a “proper” domestic stay at home mom who cleans and makes brownies for school functions and a person who is really doesn’t mind a messy house…… I do, however, project this internal struggle onto my husband a lot.. that’s not cool..

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Lorelei Gilmore … I have identified with her since before I graduated high school. The quick sarcastic whit coupled by the fact she lives in a small town in Connecticut AND works at a hotel. Me… mee.. mee.. We share the same management philosophy, love for coffee and both raised our daughters to be more than we can hope to be.

If only I had parents that were very well off…..

ROSE ABDOO, BELLAMY YOUNG

Mellie Grant: First Lady, Senator and hopefully next President of the United States (I am only in the middle of season 5.. no spoilers).

Like Mellie, I am a bit tired of being cast in my husband’s shadow, meant to play only a supporting role. I am smart.. I am hardworking… and I feel destined to be more than what people keep saying I should be.

Also, I’m not afraid to bitch slap the most powerful man in the world when he does me wrong.. although my slaps have been verbal and of lesser power people.

I envy that she demanded what she felt she deserved and as far as I can see is excelling at it.

Did anyone else play this game on facebook? What are your three choices???

Daily Prompt: Silence

I spend at least once a week walking a nature preserve in my area. I get there around 8:30 and walk by myself in the silence that surrounds that area when others are off working or at school.

It’s a new experience for myself. Usually there is always someone in tow. A child, a friend, SOMEONE that I have to cater to in either parenting or conversation.

I get to think thoughts .. I get to observe without distraction….

I get to Pokémon hunt without judgement….

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It’s by far not the most responsible thing I should be doing with my time. My house is messy, I have homework I should be working, the usual. But it’s been one of the most cathartic moments I’ve found since I felt my world shifted.

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Today I went, and it was the day after a major rain. The paths were muddy and puddles were predominant. I nearly bust my butt and skidded a few feet in an attempt to keep my balance. It would have looked hilarious if anyone had been there to see it.

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via Daily Prompt: Silence

To Play or Not to Play: that is the question….

 

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When I was an elementary school kid, I don’t remember anyone having an extra-curricular activity that wasn’t a seasonal sport. Granted, I grew up relatively poor so that probably influenced my experience. In middle school, however, there were after school programs that met and a late bus that was able to take kids home afterwards. I was a member of the Amistad society, Young Educators society, and the art teacher eventually let me hang out in there the rest of the time. I loved that time. In high school, I was selected to be a part of special program which was out of town. No more late busses, so I wasn’t a member of any after school activities or clubs. Loving the after school programs made me almost quit the program, and there’s so much I feel I lost out on by not having those opportunities.. I’m a bit bitter by that actually..

With that said, when my children get excited and want to try something, I encourage them and usually bend over backwards to give them that opportunity. You want to do gymnastics! Let’s sign you right up! Football! Ok! I had NO IDEA just the amount of afterschool programs and the EXPENSE of it all..

Last week my son said he wanted to be part of a production performing Lion King. My son performs all the time for the dojo, and he has no fear of being on stage. He’s so funny and energetic and one who loves entertaining public audiences that a play just makes sense.  I think I was just as excited as he was..

We went to the initial orientation and the ladies were nice… but I nearly choked on the schedule. Three times a week for two hours.. There’s some expenses involved…Parent volunteer needs. And it wasn’t being held at his school like I assumed, which meant major transit.. it conflicted with his bjj/karate schedule, which is a concern because he’s testing for second degree black belt next year and during this “cycle” it’s expected karate come first. There was just so many conflictions, but I didn’t want to let my son’s hopes up.

So I largely kept my worries to myself.

Which is a lie, I panicked to my momma friend whose child also has the bjj/karate demands. She assured me we can make it work. We could trade kids and one of us would do the little kids karate run and the other would do the play. Then she reminded me that this crazy was only for a few months.

We can do that, right?

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At the orientation my son said he wanted to try out for Ed. He was given some music to practice for an audition that was to meet a week later. He spent the next day you tubing the links they wanted him to for references to sing….

And that was it. He went a whole week without practicing, or even discussing this play. Hell, I probably deserved a role for the hours that song was stuck in my head. Despite my suggestions and countdowns to the audition, my son spent his week watching Digimon in his spare time.

On his audition day, as we were waiting for the bus, he asked me to remind him to practice when he got home from school.

I don’t think I hid my twitchy anger very well….

I told him that this audition was something that he should have spent the whole week practicing for, not the hour before the audition. He was asking a lot of everyone that supported him to change their schedules, provide rides, and even finance his ability to do this play. His lack of practice showed he wasn’t willing to make the same commitment to the play as he was expecting me to make for it. I said I would still take him to the audition if he wanted, but this isn’t an organization that let’s everyone play. There are 35 slots for 50 kids auditioning. And I was willing to guarantee that those that really wanted to be in the play didn’t wait the last hour to practice. He had COMPETITION.

There were some tears, the silent and manly look away kind, and he went on the bus without saying much about it.

In retrospect, I feel like the meanest mom on the planet…

When he got home, he was fine. All smiles, he said he decided not to do the play and that was that.. Life has gone on. My sanity for the next few months is secured, but I’m sure my momma friend isn’t too happy we bailed on her united front. (although I did say I would still do the karate shuffle).

So, what I’d like to think we learned is that we just can’t do it all. If it’s important, it will work out. If not.. life goes on.

 

 

 

 

Summer Blues

I think I had a small bout of depression. Days where I spent a good deal of time laying in bed and staring at the fan.

Then staring into the fan turned into reading… A LOT.

 

At some point we fell into a routine that made the summer feel bearable.

We developed a pay to play system for the kids getting internet.

Our evenings were largely spent at the dojo. My son and I would walk the two mile loop while his sister was in class and his sister and I would read during his. In the beginning of the summer I took some evening classes but now my shoulder is so busted up I can’t even lift it up over my head.

Tuesday and Thursdays we’d play at the beach after hours. Three hours is just enough to get a good beach feel in without having to both burn our pasty white selves and pay a drive in fee.. Plus when Pokemon Go came out and the kids and I got addicted, I could sit by a Pokestop and bank on goods while they had their adventures.  

Fridays we’d go to the lake on base with our usual summer crew. They added this new inflatable water obstacle course that the big kids love. I tried with my daughter and we both weren’t coordinated enough to find it a good enough time.

Now summer is almost over and I wish I could have enjoyed it more.

 

 

Faithie the Homemaker

I have been a college graduate for over a month now…

I was told the entire semester before I graduated that I had the potential to be anything I wanted.

But that was complete and utter bullshit.

The people telling me that…..I don’t doubt that they felt it was true. I was supposedly a whiz in math, breezing through problems that left my class mates puzzled. My mind was a sponge for terms and applications. I was a gifted writer and confident debater. One of my advisors said that the reason I was so good at virtually everything was because I get so doggedly passionate about EVERYTHING set before me. That passion could set me in place to do whatever I wanted. It helped me rise in student ranks and become Vice President of Student Government. I felt like I was making changes, becoming this amazing person that could make my husband and children proud. I wasn’t sure where I was going, but I WAS going somewhere…

Reality though…

I have nowhere to go.. Beyond Cuma Sum Laude was a graduate with no clear direction because I had to hold my breath for the Navy to tell us where we were going in a couple of months. While everyone around me was finding paths to fulfillment, I was cracking jokes about becoming a stay at home mom again. I spent an obsessive amount of time speaking about my homemaker desires in an attempt to persuade myself that I should be happy with that lot…because in the end.. Where was there for me to go? I couldn’t exactly find a job or a new school to further my degree. I didn’t know what state or country I’d be laying my head in…………..

As deadlines for further decisions met, I watched things I really wanted slip away: positions at the college, college degree programs…. I was too proud to admit it how much that hurt. I smiled when people talked about their futures. Yay them.. Honestly, I am happy that those around me are flourishing.. They deserve to have the best of opportunities and I hope they go off and do great things.

But why don’t I get to flourish as well? Why do I have to be the benevolent benefactor (I literally got a plaque stating how I go above and beyond behind the scenes to make sure things happen, largely to the benefit of others getting the recognition instead of me…)

Upon my graduation day I joked that I was going to get a bachelors in surfing, because in my mind, if I couldn’t have what I wanted here, perhaps the Navy would bless me with an adventure instead of a clear career path. If we moved somewhere far away, then what I feel I sacrifice would have noble.

That didn’t happen, mostly because hubby would rather chew off a limb than go anywhere other than be where we live now. Like almost everything, he got his way. Not just him but my “support network”. My friends, my mom, everyone but the kids were deadset on keeping us here. As a result, instead of a bachelors in surfing, I’m now facing a graduate program in feeling like my wants and needs are invaluable to those around me.

This post is really a bummer… Hopefully I’ll be in a better place the next time I blog 😉