My Happy Place

IMG_5607.JPGThe house is quiet.  Everyone is happily napping in their respective rooms. I’ve accomplished what I set out to do today and, instead of stealing a nap as well like I probably should… I find that comfy little corner of my couch.  The one with the old wine stain and something else brown… either dirt or dog poo, I refuse to find out, and curl up with yet another book.  One that promises not to send me into an emotional rampage wondering how some people get published.  Not only published, but become “best sellers” while others sit on the shelves of book stores for several years before their so eloquently woven words find the right hands and are sent off into the world of “The Bests Of”.

I guess it can all be chalked up to preference.  I went through my Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult phase where I was happy with that perfect little happy ending where no grit or drama exists.  Only that twinge of heartache that makes you think you’ve really pushed yourself, but it’s a lie.  Those books end where you have to swat those little imaginary hearts from your eyes and around your head, but (as much as I enjoyed them) I want MORE than that.

Maybe I’m pickier now that I have so little time to carve out for reading.  I have to squeeze it in along with the other thousand things I have to do in the day and I want to make it count.  Maybe It’s because my life is not really that interesting (in a good way) and I want some dark shit to stir up my insides.  I just want to be emotionally invested in a book.  I want to fight sleep at night because I just have to get through another chapter.  Just one more.  Okay maybe two!

After getting through 1 and 1/3 books that just disappointed my soul, I really found myself (here I go again!) rethinking my whole journey.  Is this what is expected of me?  How was this person taken seriously?  Not only is the story dull, but I just don’t feel attached to the words at all… like at all.  You know how they tell singers to feel what their singing?  I think writers need to do the same.  You cannot just churn out words, you have to live in them.  Feel them if you think anyone else is going to do the same.

So I put the disappointments aside to regroup.  I can’t let my head get in the way of my progress.  I  then, opened up White Oleander… and sweet baby Jesus it’s as if those pesky hearts are floating around my head.  But not in the Sparks/Picoult way… in the creepy Aimee way where I find pleasure in the misfortune of the characters on the page.  This book (and I’m only into the second chapter) is a breath of fresh air after the dull one I forced myself through.  THIS is what inspires writers, or should.  THIS is where I can collect more of what I want in my own stories.  This author has such a way with words it’s just beautiful to read.  It makes losing this prime nap time soooo incredibly worth it.

It’s writers like this that keep my spirits high.  Lots of people have lots of opinions on how I should be moving along my way with this.  Lots of people who have not done this, or don’t quite understand why I am doing this to begin with.  There are so many other avenues I could have chosen.  Easier ones.  Ones that wouldn’t have me up at night wondering if I did enough with my book, or currently doing enough.  Ones that would give me instant gratification, and maybe even a paycheck by now, a meager one, but something.  But really, this whole thing isn’t about making money.  Do I want to?  Yes.  Duh… I mean who wouldn’t love to make money doing what they love.  What stay at home mother doesn’t think Gee it sure would be nice to feel like I’m contributing.

I’m doing this for more than all of that.  Anyone can just go upload some words, call it a book and move along.  Anyone can have that kind of blind confidence where they don’t care if anyone else thinks what they’ve done is worthy. THEY think it is.  I want that recognition.  I want an agent or publisher to read it and give me feedback and help me make it the best it can possibly be so that when it IS published, I know I worked my ass off and earned that spot on the shelf.  I also want to have a contract that protects me and the work that I’ve done so that no matter what, it’s MY work and I have final say in what happens to it.

I’m not in any rush.  But I am hungry.  I am eager.  And it’s an amazing feeling that only true passions can give you.  And I get to feel it guilt free because I have an amazingly supportive husband who only expects me to put my whole heart into this.  And I do it gladly because regardless, this is what I love to do.  It’s my outlet and my happy place.  I am naturally a person who wants to fully commit to anything I do, but this is one thing that (although stressful) it’s in a good way.

So I wrap this jumble of random thoughts up with this!

BBQ Chicken SandwichIMG_3949.JPG

1 lb chicken breasts

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp paprika

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

1/2 yellow onion, diced

4 cups chicken broth

1-2 cups Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ

Instructions

  1. Bring chicken broth with salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, garlic, celery and onions to boil.  Place chicken in and boil until cooked through.
  2. Remove chicken from broth and place in a large bowl. Shred with a fork.  Mix in sauce to taste.

** I saved the broth and cooked it down to use in a meal the following day!**

**You can eat it on any bread – I just toasted the pretzel buns and made sliders**