Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Got a deadline tomorrow...

Which means I'll be burning the proverbial 2:00 AM oil...

and you all will have a post next week!  Promise! :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Check Out The Updated Hall Of Fame Section!

It's right over here, on the right hand side:

(okay, go to the right, THEN scroll down, under the ABOUT ME section.)

I've put the best entries of 2012 in there! Only four months into 2013! This is early for me! Ya-wooooo!

In going back through last year to figure out what qualified as Hall Of Fame Posts, I realized that, whoa. A shitload of stuff happened last year. Good and bad. So much stuff happened, in fact, that I'm surprised I'm still standing. Which is why I had to sit down. And cry a bit.

 But I'm okay now. So feel free to peruse at your leisure! Yay!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hoping and Knowing (And a Beagle!)

2013 has been pretty quiet on the writing side.  When you play the At This Time Last Year I Was (Fill In The Blank) Game, it’s pretty bad.  Basically, you don’t wanna play that game unless you’re on an UPSWING.  If you’re not on a career upswing, it’s a bummer.

I’m not on a career upswing currently.  Considering that for the past two years, people have been paying me to write things, sometimes for not much, sometimes for more than I thought, and here we are in 2013, and nobody is paying me anything to write anything.

This is nothing new.  Every writer’s life has upswings and downswings, of course.  Months of activity followed by long stretches of inactivity.  I have plenty of friends I can look to for examples. 

And I remind myself that when all of this started with the Magic Phone Call in 2011, that it was a call I couldn’t possibly have foreseen, I didn’t know to work for it, to even pray for it.  God was working behind the scenes in ways I didn’t know to work for, or even how to pray for.

So I tell myself that the same thing could be happening here:  that God is once again the Grand Tinkerer, fiddling with cosmic knobs, dials, building doors to roads He wants me to go down, and if I just hold on, if I just sit and wait on His timing, that more will be revealed.

Sure, I have plenty of times where I start thinking flutter anxiety bird thoughts of it’s a lie!  A lie!  2011 – 2012 was a complete aberration!  We now return you to your regularly scheduled life of Always Trying and Rarely Succeeding When It Comes To Writing!  Happy Trails!

And then I have to remind myself - Patience, patience patience.  I can say that I know God is moving behind the scenes, cooking up something, and being all Grand Tinkerer-like, but the truth of the matter is that I’m HOPING He does. 

It’s a very very thin line between KNOWING and HOPING, and I tend to fall on the side of HOPING more often than I should, these days.

Because the common fear is what if what I KNOW turns out to be not true?  That what I was telling myself was me KNOWING, was me just HOPING?

Then you go back and tailor your Hopes.

So instead of I Hope God Is Preparing The Next Writing Opportunity For Me, it’s…

I Know God Will Never Leave Me.

Instead of I Hope God Will Lead Me To A Future Where I’m A Professional Writer And I Move Into A Place That Has A Bathtub, it’s…

I Know God Has A Plan For Me.

Maybe that plan involves writing.  Maybe that plan even involves getting paid for my writing again.

Regardless, I have to take comfort in what I Know.

And continue to wait.

And here is a picture of Bella Beagle.  Just because.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

When The Lights Go Out

So last night we had severe winds in Los Angeles, and I arrived home to discover the power was out.  This wouldn’t be a bad thing in and of itself, except for the fact that I’m dogsitting over at the Beagle House for Bella, Bonnie, and new beagle Beulla.  Since they’re dogs, they don’t really care if it’s daytime or nighttime, as they spend 80 percent of their time sleeping, so it might as well be night to them anyway.

But I quickly have to feed them and give them their meds using the last bit of daylight outside.  And while I just pulled that out by the skin of my teeth, the next order of business was trying to find a flashlight.

You’d think this would be easy because, you know, it’s a FLASHLIGHT.  I know exactly where the flashlight is at the Shabby Shack (but then again, the Shabby Shack is the size of a closet, how could I NOT know where everything is.)  I even know where the flashlight is at Scamper Butthead’s house, that’s how long I’ve been dogsitting at that location.

But I haven’t spent enough time at the Beagle House in enough strange circumstances to know where the flashlights are here.

So I checked the usual places -  junk drawers, the hall closet, nightstands near beds, all coming up bupkiss.  I do find one of those long gas flamey lighter things, the kind you use to light candles with, and go hunting around the house like I’m spelunking or something.  The hilarious part was that any turn or movement would snuff the flame off, and I now know how to make a horror movie.  YA-WOOOOOO

I’m sure this could be used as a metaphor for life – running around a strange house, desperate to find illumination before the daytime light runs out.  Sending up somewhat frantic prayers to God, Please please please help me find a workable flashlight, only to find those silly fake candles with the battery operated light to make it look like they flicker, and thinking THIS is how you answer my prayer?  This is not enough light!  HELP ME FIND A LIGHT!

And your answer is, eventually, a couple of cinnamon candles, some tea lights, plus two wall plug emergency lights, plus an LED light I keep in the glove compartment of my car, and finally, the lone flashlight that was under the sink. 

As predicted, the beagles did not care one whit about the encroaching darkness, so obviously they’re evil (kidding!), and luckily their owners get the hard copy newspaper, so I spent two hours reading the Sunday Times by this pasted together light before the power came back on (and the beagles didn’t wake up for that either, ho ho ho.)

So I guess perhaps the lesson could be – Your Resourcefulness + God’s Sense Of Humor = A Somewhat Workable Answer.

It’s enough for now.  :)

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Easter Sunday and Angels

So yes, they mentioned Easter on Easter Sunday at church.  Thank GOODNESS.  Sure, the sermon was still wonkily on the Beatitudes but at least there was the Call And Response that every Good Little Christian knows “He is Risen!”  “HE IS RISEN, INDEED!”  And they had decorated with white streamers and stuff, so that was good, so yes, Easter was officially acknowledged, which is good (they also had a Good Friday service, but I still prefer Palm Sunday).

The day before, I was doing some writing and this song pops up on my iTunes (sorry about the ad before, this was the best quality of the video that I could find.) 

I’m most familiar with the version that went on the City Of Angels soundtrack, as opposed to the original version on the Pop album.  But since the video they made went with the City Of Angels version, that’s the one I’m gonna work with here.

Nobody else here baby no one else here to blame
No one to point the finger...
It's just you and me and the rain

I’ve always liked the song because of the blatant yearning underlining the lyrics.  We all want God to send His Angels, a sign, a promise, rescue, deliverance, all that stuff.

If God will send his angels
And if God will send a sign
Well if God will send his angels...

Would everything be alright?

And it seemed eerily apropos for Good Friday through Easter Sunday, like most of the song (perhaps not all the lyrics fit, but a large percentage of them do) could have come from Jesus himself, longing for his Father.

If God will send his angels
And if God will send a sign
Well if God will send his angels...
Where do we go?
Where do we go?

I’m not intending to make a flippant comparison.  I know all the traditional things and metaphors and background behind Jesus and Good Friday.  But his transparent longing for his Father to rescue him, and the naked longing behind the song, both are born from the same place, I think.

If God will send his angels
Sure could use them here right now
Well if God would send his angels

One of those things about growing older is that you get more accustomed to the struggle, and less likely to continue calling for a sign that God’s there.  At  least, in my experience, it’s more of a It Doesn’t Matter How Many Times You Ask, God Will Show Up When He Wants To.  And you kind of settle into this okay temperature of living.  What used to be a bubbling cauldron of discontent is more of a subtle beating of I know You’re there, I know You can hear me, You know I need help, please help me (but I won’t be surprised if Your idea of help and my idea of help are completely different.)

Perhaps that’s what growing up is like.

And I don't have to know how /so where do we go
And I don’t need to why
And I don't want a promise
And I don't want a lie/ where do we go
Just know I need you/where do we go