City of Nethra

Official Site of Melanie Atkinson Books

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Twitching and Other News

It's been one heck of a crazy month. Between dealing with my six year old's surgery and the infection that ensued, several sick kids, Halloween, a car with a ruined transmission, and all the other unexpected joys in life, I've had very little time for writing. This usually leaves me a little antsy, stressed, and cranky after a couple weeks. Sure enough, right in the thick of everything and with no time for an outlet (aka writing), I developed a serious twitch in my eye. And it was the most persistent, twitchiest twitch of any I've ever seen or experienced.
Luckily, my kids thought it was the greatest thing in the world. All I had to do was call out, "It's doing it again!" and they'd drop their video game controls, forget whatever snack they were eating, stop mid-fight with their siblings, and come running just to witness the momentous occasion. Indeed, there's something totally awe-inspiring about an eyelid that moves and twitches all over the eyeball completely by itself. Multiple times a day. Every day. For two weeks straight.
That is unless it's YOUR eyelid. Then it just feels like a very large fly is tap dancing across the surface.
Stress can do awful things to a person and I am no exception. And when things get really stressful and I don't get some writing in, it gets more and more difficult to sit down and try to find the inspiration to begin again. I was going to participate in nanowrimo but I realized it's just not going to happen this time. In spite of this, however, I plan on dedicating this next week to writing.
It's easy to get discouraged (as I've mentioned before) but amidst all the craziness, I've also had some really inspiring moments that have made me want to get back to work.
The first came this week on election day. My good friend of seventeen years, Mia Love, was elected to the House of Representatives for Utah's fourth Congressional District.
Now, whatever your politics are, Mia has an incredible story and she's admirable for many reasons. One of them is that she doesn't give up, ever. When things get difficult, she works even harder, sets more goals, and pushes forward with more resolve. In the time I've known her and in the time I shared an apartment with her, I've only seen her speak in a way that indicated what she was GOING to accomplish, not what she might or wished to accomplish. Her determination knows no bounds and even in the face of harsh critics (She's in politics- it's bound to happen), she's unfazed. She presses forward with an eye on what she believes in and what she knows is right.
That's always been a bit of a struggle for me. I battle discouragement daily but during the time I've watched my friend's political career blossom and observed her positivity, I've been inspired to keep going with my goals, though they may take a while to fully achieve. Watching the excitement over her success from those that voted for Mia and supported her through her campaign has served to strengthen my resolve in my own goals. Congratulations Mia! I'm so excited to see all the amazing things you're going to continue to accomplish!
The second thing that has helped dispel discouragement is the sense of accomplishment that comes from doing something just downright fun and actually having it work out. Remember that remark I made in my last post about my kids needing therapy because I was the type of mom to make them dress up like Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet for Halloween? Um, yeah. I was serious. . . . . 

 I spent a good several weeks on these costumes, (my amazing mother did the bonnet which I wasn't even going to attempt) and I pushed my meager sewing abilities to the extreme in order to make them. Yes, my daughter would have preferred to be Elsa for Halloween like every little girl we've ever met since that blasted movie came out but she eventually agreed to humor my obsession. My son was pretty enthusiastic actually and needed no cajoling (BECAUSE HE'S AWESOME! Seriously, what ten year old boy thinks Pride and Prejudice is totally great? My son, that's who!!) Anyway, these were based off the A&E Pride and Prejudice miniseries from 1995 starring Colin Firth and Jennider Ehle and I reworked several patterns and even drafted a bit of my own to create these costumes. I did it so I could live vicariously through my kids (I SO need a reason to dress up Regency style! Someone, quick! Invite me to a Regency party, please?!!) and because I just wanted to challenge myself. What I wasn't expecting was the incredible positive feedback and excitement from the friends on Facebook who saw the results of my efforts. It was enough to make me think, "Hey, maybe not everything I do is a wash. . ." and from what I was told, it made enough people, friends, and fans of the original miniseries smile and laugh.
And THAT, that alone was worth it.
After all, isn't that why I'm writing? Not everyone is going to like what I publish. I even got my first real snarky review this month. . . (Yay, I'm legit!) but like Mia has shown, I can't let negativity and critics stop me from accomplishing what I believe in.
The true reason I write is because I want to provide good, clean stories that will make people FEEL. Stories that will put smiles on their faces or give them something to think about, something to ponder. I want to provide something that gives them some joy, or hopefully an escape from some of the things they face in their lives. And hopefully there will be enough people in the end who will be happy I attempted it.
So eye twitch, broken transmission, sickness, and all, not a terrible last few weeks and I learned a lot- enough that I wanted to share.
And now for the final bit of news. On Saturday, November 8, I'm going to be featuring another author on my blog. She writes clean young adult novels and her first book is on sale on Amazon for only 99 cents right now.  Sara Gauldin's book, "Alive: The Corporeal Pull" has got awesome reviews and it's a guaranteed clean read for teens and adults. Currently, it's ranking pretty high on Amazon's list of top downloaded books and her second book is set to be released soon! Keep an eye out for the feature, spread the word, and go get her book while the sale is on! I know what I'll be reading tonight!

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