I Am a Calm Blue Ocean… of.. Words?


Look, I just… Unflinching optimism just isn’t my natural state.  And statements of said unflinching optimism, spoken sans irony, bitter sarcasm, or weary sighs do not often from my lips spring forth.

But, you know.  It’s three days before the start of Camp NaNoWriMo, and today’s Prep Challenge (found in the Camp Care Package) is to write “three affirmations: one for each of your three biggest fears or anticipated obstacles in starting your April writing project.”

So.  Here we are.  I am the architect of my life.  I am worthy and deserving of love.  I am a calm blue ocean.  I am going to give this an honest attempt, even if this it sort of antithetical to the way my (admittedly) messed-up brain works. I radiate beauty, charm, and grace.  My nature is Divine.

What are my biggest fears about Camp?  Same as my big fears about embarking on any major creative project:

  1. That none of my ideas are original, and that nothing I have to say has any merit, or has been said before (and better).
  2.  That I’m hopelessly lazy and distracted, and won’t actually follow through and finish the project.  
  3. That I will finish the project, and it will suck, and I will be forced to confront the fact that I am a hack and everything I do/attempt/touch is destined to turn to utter shit in my hands.

These aren’t concerns unique to April; this is the overriding internal monologue that often dictates my life —  White, middle-class, able-bodied mom – ugh, yeah, that’s an interesting sounding perspective on the world.  That angle totally hasn’t been done to death.  

When was the last time you actually finished a project longer than blog entry?  Oh, and speaking of blog entries, how long did that last particular feat of literary brilliance take you? Eight days?  Jesus Christ, you’re pathetic.

You know you’ll have approximately 3.5 seconds of feeling good about yourself if you do finish, and then you’ll read someone’s summary and excerpt, and holy shit, did they really write this in thirty days, because their prose has the cadence and grace of a Bolshoi dancer, and yours… well, you remember those hippos in Fantasia?  Yeah, so, like that, but worse, somehow.  Why do that to yourself again?

And before anyone feels the needs to point it out in a misguided attempt to reassure me – I don’t fully believe any of that all the time.  I have good days and bad days, as does everyone, and those reactions are the worst of my worst days.  But there is a grain of truth to them that I think need to be acknowledged.

I am — demographically — a dime a dozen.  My perspective, on a broad scale, in not especially unique.

I have trouble focusing on and completing even the most basic, essential tasks — I’ve expounded on that at length.

I’m not a bad writer, but inevitably I stumble of fellow NaNoers who have a style or a flair for words that is enviable, and that always causes me to cast a critical eye on work that I would otherwise have been quite proud of.

So, I’ll try these affirmations.  They won’t be quite as pithy as “calm blue ocean,” but I’ll try.

Three Affirmations

  1. My beauty is in my details.  My experience in the world may be typical on a macro scale, but the microcosm of my life and thoughts are unique to me.  Every voice deserves to be heard (though I will try to both respect and not to speak over the voices of those who share fewer of my privileges.)
  2. A year ago, I would not have been able to complete even those blog entries – small steps forward are still steps forward.  One at a time will still get me where I’m going – if not in thirty days, eventually.
  3. That electric thrill I get when you read other people’s beautiful words can be harnessed and converted from envy to inspiration; I need to let it push me to get better, not give up.

Did I do the happy thoughts right?  Did I do good?

What are your affirmations for Camp?


Let’s Gather Round the Campfire and Read a Campfire Blog

I wrote a small reflection on my past experiences with Camp NaNoWriMo – what my expectations have been, and why I feel like Camp hasn’t, in the past, worked for me – and why it makes me a lazy shit.  Meh, I guess you have to read it.

On that note, thirty poems in thirty days seems more-than-doable from this side of April (expecially with a word goal of just 15k), but I feel like I should at least start drafting some skeletonic outlines, especially for the first few days.  The explicit acceptance (and encouragement) of Camp for works-in-progress means I really have no reason to be caught “off-guard” or unprepared on April 1st.

Who else is doing Camp, and what are you doing?

A-to-Z Writing Challenge Theme Reveal


My son has been sick this week – truth be told, I feel like he’s been getting sick, sick, or getting over being sick in a more-or-less perpetual cycle all winter – and the one, single, solitary upside of my poor bubsy being sick is… he naps.

Holy sweet Jesus, he actually naps.

The ride home today – from my parents house, to pick me up from work, and back home – put him out.  I stumbled in, let him sprawl out on the couch, brewed a pot of coffee and read my blogroll.


Embarrassingly, I’ve been functionally absent too long to catch up entirely, but I got a few days in and even managed to drop a comment or two.  While enjoying my leisurely scroll through the blogosphere (SUCH DECADENCE), I discovered that more than a couple of people I follow were participating in April’s A-to-Z Blog Challenge.

And, since I’m already doing Camp NaNoWriMo, and because my unofficial-until-this-very-moment-but-in-retrospect-so-so-fitting motto is, “Nothing is worth doing that’s not worth overdoing,” in addition to writing a poem-a-day in April, I will be writing a blog entry a day* as well.

Apparently, today is the day when participants reveal their themes, which, thankfully, is not a necessity, because I’m rubbish at themes.  Luckily, as this blog is semi-personal, I think my theme will be “exploring the self,” which is a pretentious way of saying I will be composing the same self-indulgent brand of personal essays as I usually do, albeit with an alphabetical twist.

Bear feels better after his nap, by the way – he’s over the worst of his cold, and I’m hopeful that as we ease into Spring, we might finally be breaking out of the cycle of sickness.  I’ll be glad to have a happy and healthy little Bear in April.

…I’ll sure miss those naps, though.

*except Sundays, which is a luxury not afforded to me by Camp, so it’s much appreciated.