Chy - 7

Hello Again

This title wasn’t meant to reference the fact that I’ve not posted on this blog in, oh, A THOUSAND YEARS, but a topic I’ve been mulling today while packing boxes for our upcoming move from Bristol to Edinbrrrrrr. (Edinburgh, for those not aware of how much colder it gets there than here, a mere 360 miles away). To pack, I need to first unpack, and that included the box at the very back of the bedroom closet, under the pile of everything else.

In it, I found these:

 

And these:

 

And of course, I did what any sane person would do. TRY THEM ON. I also went searching for photos of these babies in action. It’s actually quite hilarious that I thought I’d need to take these not only from Nashville to Sacramento with me when I moved there, but then from Sacramento to England. I wore these on stage playing bass in my old band Cashmere Love Crash, and other various bands. And possibly I bought the leopard ones hoping someday I’d get a complete Mimi Marquez from RENT costume together (my style guru circa 2003) but it never happened. Life can be rough.

 

In any case, I clomped down two sets of stairs to show my husband who had a chuckle and pointed to the rubbish pile by the door, but something in my heart twinged. These boots are so representative of who I was at the time. Someone who lived in Nashville with a close friend, out playing gigs around town at night or seeing other gigs, sometimes multiple (ooh la la) in one night, working as a barista at the fabulous Fido in Hillsboro Village, and just generally having what seemed a very exciting twenties. These trigger so many memories of the time I felt more free and life seemed a wider path than ever before or since.

Revisiting the memories is a blessing. I’m grateful for memory. It’s one of those bazillion things so easily taken for granted, but when I think of any who struggle with hateful disease that steals their memory from them, my heart aches unconsolably. Memories remind us of the fun, amazing, beautiful times, but also the embarrassing, the painful, the challenging — the times that are maybe more likely to shape us. Who we were “back then” is not bad, even if it’s more of the latter than the former list. It’s still part of who we are, or at least, I choose to see it that way.

Even if I’ll never get on stage and rock out on a Zeppelin- or Radiohead-inspired tune again, I am so grateful for that time of my life. And as a writer, all of it feeds into my stories. Every experience. It might seem so far from who I am today, but it’s not. She’s still inside — and so is the me at 5, playing with my sisters in the backyard; and at 15, painfully shy and passing notes to one of my few friends in a school I felt certain was designed to tear me down; and me in my late twenties, living in California and working 3 jobs without a clue where my life was going; and me turning 30, back at university, this time in Falmouth, Cornwall, falling in love with the sea and the wind in my hair and not yet realising that place would leave an indelible mark on me (and my novels).

My birthday this year felt like a big one. It could’ve been scary, and yes, I had some tears, which is stupid because I should just be grateful I’m here still, right? But I’m a kid at heart. I will always feel like a kid. My amazing husband and friends and sisters threw me two massive surprises and I had a blast, so I can be nothing less than grateful.

They say you shouldn’t look back because that’s not where your future is, but I don’t think it’s wrong to do so. It’s a reminder of all the people you were, and while you might not be that person every day anymore (or any day!), they made you who you are, and that’s worth considering, and celebrating. And just before a massive transition like moving 360 miles away from the friends and normal we’ve known here, with other significant changes no doubt on the horizon, I think it’s helpful to look back as a reminder, a starting point to figure out where to go next.

I’m still the girl with the leopard print boots. They might just need a fancy dress party to come out again.

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Chy - 7

7 Things & #Writemotivation

So fellow writer Jody Neil Ruth set the challenge of answering a series of questions which I’ve put off for nearly 7 days, but now it’s blog time again for #Writemotivation so I’ll throw them all together. Sorry for my tardiness đŸ™‚ Doesn’t help that my new-in-June MacBook Pro decided to get a dead pixel, which required a new display, and the new display 2 months later had a faulty bit that crashed the Wi-Fi, so I was given a brand new MBP on Saturday which took all weekend to restore from backup. Fun!

Absolutely nothing relevant here. But it’s me in the Brecons.

The Last 7 Songs I Listened To: (just now realising the potential for embarrassment here. I’m on my “Chill” iTunes playlist, so … don’t judge ;))

  1. Aurora – Hans Zimmer
  2. Songbird – Kenny G (this is the part about not judging)
  3. The Road of Trials – Austin Wintory
  4. The Secret Life of Daydreams – Jean Yves Thibaudet (Pride & Prejudice)
  5. Trane to Conamarra – Bela Fleck & the Flecktones
  6. Green Mile – Esowellnic
  7. Rebecca – Craig Armstrong

Last 7 Books I Read: (this is hard because I’ve been doing a lot of beta reading lately)

  1. The Fiery Cross – Diana Gabaldon
  2. Drums of Autumn – Diana Gabaldon
  3. Voyager – Diana Gabaldon
  4. Dragonfly in Amber – Diana Gabaldon
  5. Cross Stitch/Outlander – Diana Gabaldon
  6. Writing Down the Bones – Natalie Goldberg
  7. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien (not the first time ;))

7 Favourite Movies: (I stink at narrowing down this category)

  1. LOTR trilogy (yep, one movie, I cheat. But if I had to choose, I’d say Return of the King)
  2. Harry Potter (I’m SO cheating here, but if I list 3 of them, Deathly Hallows Pts 1 & 2, and Prisoner of Azkaban, I’m just taking up too much real estate… deal with it!)
  3. Atonement
  4. Dances With Wolves
  5. Withnail & I
  6. Sliding Doors
  7. Happy-Go-Lucky

Whew. That was hard. There are about 10 more that should technically go in my favourite-films-ever list.

7 Songs that are Significant to My Stories (two different stories):

  1. Raining at Sunset – Chris Thile
  2. How to Save a Life – The Fray
  3. The Cottage on the Beach – Dario Marianelli
  4. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
  5. The Hospital Room – Leon Willett (Dreamfall soundtrack)
  6. Everybody Here Wants You – Jeff Buckley
  7. True Love Waits – Radiohead

7 Favourite Authors:

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. J.K. Rowling
  3. Simon R. Green
  4. Ian McEwan
  5. Kazuo Ishiguro
  6. Diana Gabaldon
  7. Emily Giffin

I’m going to be lazy and omit the last, which is to bestow the questionnaire on others. Not that I don’t care what others are interested in – by all means, answer away and let me know! đŸ™‚Â But I think this has made the rounds and a lot of people will have already done it, and as I’ve just amped up my job search to find something before the end of this flippin’ year, I choose not to make time to track down who’s not done it yet đŸ™‚ Sorry.

Which brings me to my resolution last night to spend a lot more time on the 2 things most important and vital right now: finding a job, and finishing the stories I’m on. I love emailing and tweeting and all that, and I will never stop! But I need a bit of a break right now so if I’m less active, it won’t be for forever. I just really need to take the reins and get myself organised. I’ve been in limbo for way too long.

On to #Writemotivation…

1. Reach 70k word mark on WIP first rough draft.

This is looking less and less likely. As previously stated, at the start of the month, amazing Leigh gave me some much-needed feedback on MS#1 and I’m DETERMINED to finish edits for this bastard baby by the end of the month. This month. So that I can then do #4 below.

2. Revise 1st MS based on any beta feedback received.

That’s what she said!

3. Send feedback for beta reading (if not done by end of August).

I finished one round. But I’ve acquired a lot more beta reading (yay!) since I wrote this goal. Probably not possible, because I’m going SUPER slow (boo!). Sorry, Andrew & Jamie & Rebecca. I want to be thorough! Thanks for your patience đŸ˜€

4. 1st MS x3.

Even if I do this on the last day of September, I’ll be relieved, because that’ll mean I finished the edits for MS#1 FINALLY.

5. Revise query for WIP to include changes. Done.

6. Set aside specific time weekly to read blogs/comment/cheer! Doing.

There you have it. Thanks for reading & I hope your goals are much less overblown & far more successful đŸ˜€ Chin chin!

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