April in Retrospect

Wow, it’s been almost a month since I last posted. So, I know it looks like I fell off the face of the planet (and not just in my blog either), but I have not! Or, at least, I have fallen back on, rather like Two Flower in Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic. So, let me cover the updates that have happened in the past month:

On Napowrimo: As we’ve already mentioned, I fell off the face of the earth on this one. I realized I had completely forgotten several homework assignments, and finished all of that instead. Of course, by April 18 or so, I had hit the crappy haiku phase of the month and decided petering out might be the better choice in order to save you from dealing with bad poetry. Of course, this means I never finished talking about some of my favorite poems, so I hope to finish those features in the coming weeks.

On Script Frenzy: I wrote maybe 40 pages during the month of April, a little more than one page a day. That’s about how much I write in one month anyway. On the bright side, I am now preparing to start episode 5, and, well, there’s always next year. Of course, due to some falling outs over here, Stix may be put on indefinite hold. But now that I’ve dived in, I figure I might as well keep swimming.

On the hectic parts of life: I said that I’ve been very busy. Most of that has been covered in school and work, and mostly school. I’ve been planning my trip to Lithuania, and let me tell you, travel plans are a pain in the butt. I started this plan in the middle of March, and I am still not done. Thus far, it has involved figuring out when and where I will complete my practicum (next fall/spring volunteering in the local school system, as I have), how long I will be in Lithuania, and making stops on either side of the international trip to visit friends and family. Oh, and letting my job know. Now, I still have to finalize the final leg of the trip (when am I coming home, where am I going to stay), as well as figure out some logistics of my stay in Lithuania, namely where and and how long I am going to stay in Vilnius before and after my term in Klaipeda, and getting my paperwork to the Ministry of Education. Whew! On the bright side, I will get to see Simon for the first time in several years.

On the beginning of May: The other reason I have been busy is that I attended this year’s OWFI Conference in Oklahoma City. Remember back on April 15, when I said Patrick Rothfuss changed my life? I wasn’t lying about that. Last school year, after a fallout with a teacher of mine, I stopped writing for about six months, and it was reading The Name of the Wind that got me writing again because, in essence, it is about having a passion that is bigger than you are and loving something with such intensity that being without it is akin to being dead. Anyway, at OWFI, I finally got the opportunity to tell him this. And then he hugged me.

But it doesn’t stop there. I also got to attend a workshop with the fabulous Jordan Dane, who had some stellar plotting advice, and I got to spend most of the weekend with Desiree Holt, who is not just a great author, she’s an amazing woman. And she was so encouraging to me, as well as the other young people in attendance and all the folks there. The whole process has rejuvenated me. Oh yeah, and I got third place in the poetry slam. I also made some poetry connections! The first place slammer came up to me and said “Okay, I gotta know about you. You have done this before. Where do you slam?” He said I was great and have a bright future. And he turned out to know, on some level, Danny Solis, a professional performance poet with whom I did a performance poetry workshop several years ago. I met a poet from Fayetteville, who has connections to slams and slammers not too too far from me. And I met an origami superstar. Did I mention lots of autographed books? In other words, could this weekend have been more fantastic? I don’t think so.

On self confidence: I discovered another secret to Percy’s success, and it’s not the fact that she writes 2000 words a day… okay, it could be that. I mean, I don’t feel like I have the time to do that. I have fifteen hour days between work and school, and adding the time to write that much would see me never sleeping… see, there it is. Percy’s secret (even to her, likely) is that she is so amazingly self-confident. I don’t believe in myself for anything… except when I’m slamming poetry. I recently learned that chronic procrastination is a sign of low self-esteem. Not really a surprise here. So, I have set on a journey to break through the barrier of my low self-esteem. How? I have no idea. Right now, all I’ve got is a constant playlist of music with lyrics that essentially add up to “you are awesome.” As for the writing thing, I may not be able to write 2000 words every day, but what about one day of every week? I don’t always have fifteen hour days.

A little housekeeping: I must mention that May 9 was James Barrie’s birthday. Because, well, he’s James Barrie.

And the Giveaway. I know I am super late with this, but I promise I have not forgotten! I mean, forget Silverstein and Suess? Blasphemy! Thank you for your patience. I will be contacting the winners tomorrow, or, as it is past midnight already, later today. But for the moment, I need some sleep. Or I’ll never get back to writing. Happy Mothers Day Ya’ll.

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