Friday, June 19, 2009

Strange But Wonderful Dream

I woke up from a 4 hour nap and had the strangest dream that I cannot figure out the meaning of.

My 5 youngest siblings were in it. I was standing outside a classroom door that appeared to be a high school room set up and the first person I saw was my second oldest sister Meg (4th of 6 in order for those of you unfamiliar with my family) was sitting in the middle of the classroom staring at the front of the class. I adjusted my view and saw the teacher was my oldest sister Kate and standing across the blackboard was my only brother Ted (oldest sibling). I could not tell what they were instructing the class but I look further and my youngest two sisters were sitting next to each other in the back corner of the class.

I cannot remember the last time I had a dream that had everyone of them in it at the same time like this. The dream caught me off guard because when I was this seemingly random and meaningless classroom I saw my sister and when I looked to see who was teaching I was surprised which may not seem like that big of a deal but I cannot ever really remember feeling surprised about anything in my dreams before.

It was wonderful to see them all in the same place in my dream and it being in a school must be a good sign with whatever it might mean. It was strange though why was I not in the classroom and just watching them. I wish I knew what the class was about but it seemed that Ted and Kate were doing a good job teaching it because everyone sitting in the room was watching with keen attention.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How should I handle this situation?

I want to ask everyone for some advice and insight into this situation that cropped up this morning.

A friend of mine who I was close to and dated briefly in high school reemerged in my life a couple of months back. Lissy (not her real name but she deserves privacy) and I talked on the phone for a 3 or so hour conversation shortly after finding each other online. I was so pleased to be talking to a friend especially one I have known for a long time but fell out of touch with after I was married in 2004.

After talking on the phone and catching up about life, most notably the fact that she is pregnant . I invited her to dinner so we could chat further. She agreed and we set a date for the next week. A couple of days before she texted me and told me her boyfriend Mike (again not his real name) said he was not comfortable with her seeing me. I respected that though I thought it was unreasonable but I did not want to put her in a position. I responded that she was more than welcome to invite him along but that did not sway things in my favor and we did not talk much after this.

We recently started talking more and with her due date now come and gone she was told they would induce her pregnancy this week. She told me this as I have been interested in her becoming a mother so I was pretty excited to hear the news. She was to be induced yesterday evening and was slated to enter motherhood early this morning. The hospital she will be at is not far from my work so I asked her if tomorrow morning I could stop by and give her, the boyfriend and the baby my best and say hello. She said that would be great and I made plans. This morning I went shopping for baby items so I could arrive without empty hands. I am not a parent but I know how overwhelming it can be for a first time parent trying to get everything they might need for the baby. I decided on some thermal blankets and a nice fleece blanket perfect for the crib or car seat. I texted her to see how the delivery went and she told me she has not yet had the baby.

Before I could ask if everything was alright she texted me and said that Mike feels it best if I would not stop by. I was finally frustrated by this especially since I felt he is denying his baby the chance at some things that I might bring and really is it his choice who she is allowed to see or not? Now she did warn me that he is protective and a little obsessive about her which is fine whatever makes them happy. I really would like to see her and the baby and make sure they are doing fine. She has been an important person to me and now that we have reconnected I do not want to lose that bond again. But how do I go about approaching this with Lissy and/or with Mike? I don't have any intention of doing harm to her the baby or their relationship I simply want to regain a friend I was foolish enough to lose years ago.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Finding My Method

I have not been doing as much writing on my stories as I might like but I am staying busy with writing related activities. I purchased a couple of new books to assist me in writing one of which goes over tips on some of the most important aspects of writing a novel such as title, POV, literary devices and methods of keeping your story flowing with detail and heightening the conflict between characters.

I have been experimenting with an idea that occurred to me while I was at work. I wanted to start using character and plot webs for my story to help give my story detail and direction. For those of you not familiar with a web, you take a piece of paper usually unlined and make a circle/oval in the center of the page and in this box you will write most often your characters name or a location within your story. You will make short lines from this central bubble and connect them to other bubbles which will be labeled with other details pertaining to the main central bubble. For example let us say your main bubble is your main character, you would write his or her name in the center bubble and branch of with bubbles like details about their appearance, hobbies, job, fears, strengths, weaknesses, goals etc. You can branch of this second level of bubbles and so on and so forth until you have exhausted your ideas on one particular leg of the web.

Using this technique to me has several benefits. First off it gives you a pallet to simply use short descriptive blurbs about your character, idea or plot without being burdened with writing sentences or paragraphs on lined paper. This freedom can often unlock a pattern of ideas that might otherwise never have been tapped. It will also allow you at a glance to look at several different details about your character or scene and how they might tie together or effect a future scene or supporting character.

My inspiration was to take this a step further. I went to OfficeMax and purchased this tablet of paper which is a large pad of paper that is typically used for presentations because of its large size. With this particular kind you are able to use these removable glue strips and tape it to your wall. Each sheet also has a sticky top edge allowing you to tape it to the wall or marker board that you might be using. I also purchased some magic markers with 8 colors which will allow me to color code some of the information and using different color helps bring attention to different ideas or segments on the character web. The separate colors will also allow you to tie several webs together for the same story such as interactions between characters or similar concepts between scenes can be in the same color giving your better coordination of your ideas. I wanted to put this on a large poster first because it gave me more room to work but second I could post several of these on my walls and at a glance from my paper or computer I could see my character or scene more clearly and quickly reference an idea from that web or any of the others hanging next to it. I really feel like this method will help me in creating more connection between characters and will allow me to create more dynamic and life like people to read about.

In times past I have not put this much preparation in place before I started the bulk of the project and I think adding this step of preparation will allow me to stay more focused to the core idea of the story and better utilize my characters within the central conflict surrounding the story.

I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has either developed their own ideas or found something of from someone else that has really helped them in creating their stories.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Getting It Off My Chest

I have been dealing with something that I have kept most of my friends and family from and I think it is time to put it out there, share it and try and begin the healing process.

I separated from my wife Molly in January and moved out to an apartment in Thornton.In that time I began a relationship with someone I worked with. Yes I know, you should never get involved with a co-worker but as anyone who knows me well will attest. I have a habit of ignoring very common advice that I knew BEFORE I ended up jumping into whatever I was involved in. For worse she has a family and a husband and yet I found myself star struck by this woman who is several years my senior. Should I have know better, used better judgment? YES. I rationalized it in the beginning by saying that life was short and we all deserve to be happy and damn the future, today is the only thing that matters. In reality it was the pain I was suffering taking over my ability to make good choices for me and I let myself down and those around me.

Then I compounded my judgment by falling in love with her. I have never believe that falling in love is a choice that any of us have, it is something that happens to you, often when you least expect it and with those you never would have guessed. So here I was freshly separated from a marriage of 5 years and involved in a romantic relationship with a married mother who I worked with, good job Drew really hats off to you sir....

We had some wonderful times together that I would not ever trade and will never forget for the rest of my life. As most of you reading will have guessed by now, things ended and they did not end well, I won't go into it here but I will say that her other half found out about our companionship not once but two different times.

I find myself missing her everyday, while it has been two months since the last time I set eyes on her, it seems to be getting worse for me, not better. I know that I will love her all of my life and I may never fully get over her, who knows, time will tell.

I have found some peace in the fact that I hold no regrets over what happened or the choices I made. Now that might seem strange to most but to me it was something that made me happy and I enjoyed making her happy. The things we said, did and shared have changed me so deeply and I am thankful for the experience. I did a lot of growing up in the last few months and I am a different person because of it.

The lesson I learned above all else is one of strange conflict in one of our most sacred ideals. When we are young, most of us are told by parents, teachers, friends and family that we can accomplish and attain anything that we want if we only put everything we have into it. This is a piece of advice that I have always pondered but was too damned scared to ever think of putting into action. My relationship with her showed me that, well at least for now, that you can put everything you have as a person into something and you may very well not get what you want out of it.

Realizing this was painful and frustrating for me but it was also tremendously liberating in the fact that I did the very best I could. I worked my hardest, I was honest and forthright with my feelings and showed her the affection she deserved. I know now that when push comes to shove and I try my hardest at something I will not always achieve it and that is okay.

I am thankful for the time I spent with her, the wonderful moments that we shared and the dreams I have had of her. I will try to move on, move passed the pain of not having her to talk to or have her eyes to look into. I know chances are good that I will never see her again and it is something I have not yet accepted, I am hopeful that I will set my eyes on her again someday. Though if this does not happen and I do not get the closure that I want with her. I want her to know that I was blessed to have shared the time, the feelings and the warmth together. We both did the best we could and I wish her the very best, both for her and her family and all of those she cares for.

You changed me forever my angel and I hope that I did the same for of fortune my love.....

Meeting Family

3 years ago my mother's mother remarried to a man named Derek. Derek immigrated from England to live with her here in Colorado after they met on the internet. I have enjoyed getting to know Derek over the last couple of years and have been pleased with the time over the last week where I have spent some time one on one with him.

I am often reluctant to accept new people in my life, it might be some fear of change that we all have but that reluctance soon faded with Derek. I quickly saw how much he cared for my grandmother and how well he treated her. My grandma was faced with polio when she was a young girl and has had to endure being confined to a wheelchair since she was 9 or so and he has been so helpful getting her around in everyday life. They are one of those married couples that really get along well and compliment each other with their strengths. I am very thankful that my grandma has Derek in her life and I have been blessed to spend time with him. He has shared many interesting stories with me when I have visited.

This last week his son David and granddaughter Hannah came to the States to visit Derek. I was pleased when my grandma and granddad asked me to help pick them up for the airport. I have always enjoyed picking people up from the airport, it is exciting to have people come visit where I call home and now having two people from England has been an extra treat.

They arrived last Wed. and the 5 of us drove up to Buffalo Bill's grave on Lookout Mountain on Friday and spent the day enjoying the mountains including a trip to Idaho Springs where we partook in Beau Jo's Pizza who is renowned for their Colorado Style Pizza.

I had to work the weekend and Monday so I was unable to spend more time with the family, but Tuesday I spent the whole day with my grandma so Derek and his family could join could travel with some friends to Estes Park and enjoy more of the beautiful scenery that Colorado has to offer. I am sure it is unlike anything they have in England and maybe all of Europe, it is incredibly beautiful this time of year and with the heavy rain we have had over the last month has left everything green and growing tall.

Today I believe we are going to McDonald's (they wanted to eat American McDonald's) and maybe to the Red Rocks Amphitheater before heading to the airport around 4. I am going to laugh tomorrow if the weather turns into a bright sunny day, just after they leave.

I have some errands to run this morning before catching up with the family. I hope all is well to everyone reading this. Call someone in your family today that you have not spoken to recently and say hello.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Let Me Introduce Myself

I am thankful of where I am in my heart.

I have spent the last few years of my life searching for purpose and meaning. I have done it be engulfing myself in hobbies, leaping blind into relationships and trying to look inside to find the answers.

I have written before, dabbling in short stories, poems and even giving a hand at writing novels but those fell to the way side. I found myself distracted and unwilling to overcome those distractions to take part in a craft I have loved and admired all of my life.

Spending so much time and energy in this quest for purpose I could never have guessed that I would turn a corner and there it would be. I was talking to some of my friends and we were discussing what our dream careers would look like. I listened to the answers and found great energy in their passion. A golfer, pilot, business owner, motorcyclist were some of the ideas shared by my companions. When they turned to me for my answer for the first time in my life an answer came to mind without thought or mediation....a writer.

While the discussion turned to money and notoriety and how their career paths would measure up to one and other. I found myself satisfied with the very act of writing, be it short stories, novels, poems or even blogging, I just wanted to write.

Why haven't I chosen to write before, this idea couldn't simply be from thin air? The answer is, I have been scared. To me it is easy to succeed and fail at trivial activities such as working a retail job. I knew that my hobbies and my job did not define me as a person, I took solace in the fact that I was more and even though it was never shared to the world, that I was more and that could never be taken away from me.

I have a gift or perhaps its simply something everyone in the world possesses and I have been naive to it. I found ever since I was young maybe 9 or 10 years old, I would have these stories, characters, events and conflicts in my head. I would lay in bed in the mornings or before I lay down to sleep in the mornings and I could literally spend hours day dreaming these scenarios.

At first I loved it and then it began to creep deeper and deeper into my everyday thought. I would be at school and something would trigger a new idea or perhaps a wrinkle on a story from the past and I would find myself completely absorbed into this world inside my head. It was distracting at first and then it became overwhelming to my Psyche. I was unable to focus on anything for more than a few minutes before my mind would wander back to my stories.

I got to the point where I fully believed something was wrong with me. I couldn't imagine anyone else being caught up in such thoughts and emotions. I struggled to find peace or at least a way to cope with these mental lapses into fiction.

I thought that perhaps writing them would give me peace but I instead found myself crippled with a fear. A fear that if I shared my deepest most private thoughts that I would be ostracized from my scarce circle of friends. Instead I continued to lock them deep inside my heart and it manifested its self in stronger ways than before. I would wake often from having really vivid dreams, so real to me I might lay in my bed for sometime wondering if it was not infact real. I would also find myself walking by myself or sitting alone and I would be talking out loud. I would be mumbling lines between my characters, expressing emotions from the conflicts or just running through a dramatic event in the story.

Even more recent months now that I have found more time to spend alone, I find a sense of comfort in these urges to play storyline after storyline in my head. I find myself wanting more than ever to just write these ideas down. I want to just write and write and write. Fame and fortune play no part in my need, my deep seeded need to express myself. To share these sensational characters with the world and more importantly myself. I fear now, not of being shunned by society but by ignoring these people talking in my head, these individuals which are so very real to me. I need to let them out, let them be heard and their pain and joy shared with anyone willing to listen.

I will be many things in my life, an employee, a friend, a family member maybe even a father but none of that will change what I know, that I am a writer. I do not write for myself, I write for the people that allow me to listen, I write for their freedom their expression.

I do not know where my writing will take me or who I will become because of it but I know now that I must share my gift because gifts are terrible things to waste. All of this time I have been searching for my passion my calling when all along it was already there, buried in fear and hidden behind so many emotional barriers.

It is time to share what I have been given and perhaps it will help even just one person even if that person is me. I am thankful for what I have been blessed with and now I will show myself that I really can achieve what I am meant to achieve.