Goodbye, Old Friend, This isn’t the End.

We are only on day 20 of 2016, and already we’ve had to say goodbye to some amazing giants the creative world, from voice actors, tv and movie stars to an amazing legend in the music business who’s influence spanned decades and generations. Mourning has been great and vast, and completely understandable. As one tweet reminded us:

Why we mourn

And while it is heartbreaking to realize we will never get to see anything new from these artists that doesn’t stop their influence or their lessons. As Lin-Manuel Miranda said another tweet:

Work is going no where

“The work’s not going anywhere.” And this I have to protest slightly, because yes indeed, the movies, the music, the shows, the images are not going anywhere. You can still hit play and learn something about yourself, about the world, that isn’t changing. But because their work is still around this also means they will still continue to inspire. So I have to say to Mr. Miranda, the work is going somewhere. It’s going into the minds of generations to come, to boys and girls and every gender in between who will find the work they left behind and will grow from it and then put even more fantastic, jaw-dropping, world-changing work out into the universe as an homage to their idols. The wheel turns, the cycle begins again.

For me, I see this somewhat great exodus of artists as a thing, not of sadness but one of hope. The path is clearing, and new art is on its way. Because as I write this – as you read this – there are people going about their business never knowing how they will shape the mind of another and change the world as we see it. The girl struggling to save up to finally quit that job they despise. The screenwriter complaining to their friends about the scripts they are working on for no pay. The boy making that latte for that annoying and demanding customer while their mind creates the next scene in the novel that will be made into a movie that yet another young person will see and create a work of art based off that.

The death of an artist is never the end, there may be a pause, and it may not be the same but art is ever growing, ever changing. Art is one the most vital things in our existence. No matter what a school system will tell you or teach you, no matter what is funded, what is paid for, what is considered more important, art or a “real” job. Our history books maybe peppered with facts but what connects us to the past is the art. We have museums upon museums filled with sculptures, paintings, and even to this day books from the 1400’s are still around. So when thinking about how to honor these amazing artists we lost, I say do not just lose yourself in the past work left behind, but put more work out there. Scare yourself silly by going and doing and CREATE something amazing and inspire the next generation.

Good Luck my fellow artists, goodbye to my dear old friends, and hello newcomers, welcome, what have you got to show us now?

 

It’s time to Push Myself out the Nest

So it’s been, a glorious ten weeks? since I sat down to write a blog. No, this project isn’t abandoned, but as much in my personal life, it’s part of a routine I haven’t yet gotten to memory. In unnecessary defense, the title of this blog is Wisdom from a Young Pup, and training new pups takes a lot of time and a lot of discipline and repetition to get new tricks down to an art.

Yes, 2015’s NaNoWriMo was a fail for me, but I am not discouraged, the story that came from that has taken seed and has grown into a beautiful little sapling that I am extremely excited to raise into a proper flourishing tree. However, my one hang up is a previous story. I am done with its first draft and it just needs to be completely typed up before I can officially let it go for a new project.

I needed these few weeks to reflect on my life, what I want to approach me in this new year,  who do I want to be when January of ’17 comes along. But I am an introvert with an authority problem, which means I need to be pushed and prodded to get productive things done, but I also despise being pushed and prodded to get anything done. This is all completely internalized because most of the pushing and prodding comes to me in wonderfully supportive and interesting ways but my personal guilt twists it into something nasty. (^^Notice the “unnecessary defense” comment above) So I have to work on that and see why it is I react this way.

While I reflected and made my choices of what to let go of in 2016, I focused on family, (my mother, father, and our dogs). I worked my tail off as a hostess in a nice restaurant over the holidays that really did fill my Introvert’s Level of Interaction with People quota for two months.

I know this year will be a good year, a productive year. The last two were so hellish to say the least. I survived a personal attempt at my life; I witnessed my grandmother’s dying process up close and personal, gained new friends and lost a few too. I was more than ready to put those two years at rest and start afresh by the time November came along I couldn’t create anything.

Here are my Goals for 2016:

Write 100 times more this year. I don’t need to keep good lines and interesting thoughts in my head. I have a tendency to think that if it’s not about a current project, it is useless. That thinking just stunts my growth as a writer.

Explore more: Santa Barbara while small compared to other cities I have called home is still bright and teeming with life and activities. My life isn’t just meant to be on my computer, I crave and need intellectual stimuli from wonderfully creative and interesting people to talk to and to also help me expand my personal thinking and my writing.  I may not see myself settling here forever doesn’t mean I need to live isolated and away from what makes me happy.

Find a job that I adore that pertains to what I want to do as a career: I need to either work with reading, books, publishing ideas, but also I miss the thrill of live theater, the craze of a film set, I need to find my job in something in these fields. I would lose my head so fast in a retail job or an office job, and while hostessing is great fun and I make enough money, I want something that fills my soul, not just my wallet.

And finally I need to

Trust myself more: The last few years have been like going through a dark and dangerous forest. I had to watch my back, my thinking, watch for obstacles in my path, and then figure out a way around said obstacles, many of which were downright mountains! Only now I have found myself out of the forest and in a clearing, I am still blinking in the sun, still revealing how easy it is now to breathe. But habits and actions I gained in that forest to help me survive are so ingrained in me, I am still not ready to trust this new clearer path for me. It will take many a mile before I know I can put down my weapons, stop looking over my back and walk with peace and to enjoy the view. My journey is just a Journey, I may not have a goal to get to, but that is better, I can meander on this path of life, I can explore offshoots and smell flowers. I am not in a race with anyone, and that is wonderfully freeing!

So Happy New Year to everyone! Let’s see where it takes us this time!

 

NaNoWriMo– What is it? And Who is Insane Enough to Attempt It?

10:33! Hey! I told myself I would start writing by 10:30, but like any great writer, procrastination tried to tempt me away. Let’s see in the last hour I have: Fed the dogs, taken down our measly Halloween decorations (Seeing as I worked my decorations consisted of caution tape and a sign begging the tricker-treaters to not enter the yard.) made sure my room was clean, the windows opened, my computer was working properly, my choice of background music was perfect, and my tea was made. And now here we sit.  Procrastinating by writing about everything but the topic at hand! OKAY! Here we go!

HAPPY NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH!!
Now NaNoWriMo, a project (according to Wikipedia) was started by Chris Baty in 1999 with only 21 writers and in that time it has grown, to over 300,000 participants. From November 1 right through to November 31 at 11:59, the participants are challenged to write a 50,000 word novel, from start to finish. Ideally it is meant to be an original idea, thought up slightly before or during the challenge itself. To achieve this you must write consistently at about 1,600 words a day. Here’s a handy calendar

2015-NaNoWriMo-Calendar

(Calendar filched from Google Images but actually the website for this looks helpful and a great tool. Have a peek!)

Now that sounds easy enough and 1,600 words doesn’t seem to be that much until you factor in life, interruptions, distractions and holidays. If you are a student it’s even worse you have all those factors plus school work, midterms and social life. Most writers give up a social life pretty fast in the challenge, opting instead for writing groups, word count challenges etc and basically saying to all non-writer friends, “I will see you after the holidays!”

You do have to be a bit of a masochist to take this on, but that is something every writer is no matter how much we want to deny it. We live in our heads, we write deeply personal items and then we ask the world, the public, to read what we wrote and in their own way judge it. We spend so much time getting to know the ins and outs of imaginary people, to find what makes them tick, makes them human, makes them alive–then we ask those very characters that become like our own children to walk through fire for us and some cases face death all for the sake of plot, drama and tension. And in November we ask  those 300,000 participants to do all this but do it in just 30 days!

I have been a participant of this challenge for about five years. I will admit I never finish. The word count rises, I get scared and I opt out by about week two. But this year! Oy, this year.  I plan to take on this challenge whole heartily, to write to my hearts content and to explore this idea in my head for ages and to finally accomplish something great in regards to writing. As well as keeping up this little blog, I may use this this month as a bit of a journal and venting station. But if you wish to watch my progress personally or participate in this challenge you can get started here. I am under Renee W. Koppelman, come be my buddy!

Well that is the jest of what my next month will be like and now I sign off on the blog and go and start on my novel and to knock those first few 1000 words out of the part! Good Luck to those who take on the challenge!

“Go my book and destroy the world as it is.” -Russell Banks.

No More Excuses!

The writer titles the blog post that might–will– be filled with excuses as to why she hasn’t written anything in almost three weeks.

As a young woman who grew up in a vastly changing world with rapid advancements in technology, I know just how easy it is to get lost in that world. The hours lost just scrolling through the likes of Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest looking at and liking the same things, but if I refresh just one more time there might be an article that will change my life. The days on youtube watching everything from lectures out of TED talks to giggling at the cat and dolphin that formed an unlikely friendship. The weeks that flew right on by after I discovered Tumblr and its vastness of tastes, opinions, fandoms, knowledge and stupidity. As a young woman this is my world, things take value and priority that baffle my parents and some of my older friends.

I wish I could say it was just the internet that was my major distraction, but alas I am a reader. My room is filled with books that I have bought even when I have a mile long To-Read List already. And don’t get me started on the TV shows and movies I have been very interested to see. Being bored isn’t a problem for me and much of my generation, it’s just the plethora of options is so vast we become paralyzed with the choice of it all. As a writer this is toxic, dangerous and it takes a sh*t-ton of deep discipline to see all that glittering distraction and force yourself to be alone with your imagination and face that blank page.

Being a writer and friend of fellow writers, I have heard all the excuses, I have given the excuses also time and time again. The ironic aspect is what we love most in the world is looking at quotes and inspiration from those authors and writers who came before us. We have read in so many ways, in so many languages the only thing we must to do to conquer this is simply to pluck up the courage, turn off the internet, lock yourself away and just write.

And so Here we are. Here I am. Writing. It’s not easy. Writing is never easy, and those who think it is…well they aren’t writers. Because once you have put away the distractions, plucked up your courage, and are facing your blank page with concentration and discipline, the next step is “Well now I am writing. What am I writing? Writing what?” Because if you are like me and you only write when an idea hits and is fully formed and you can play in that world, you lose all the other ideas, all those little glitters of gold you brushed aside from the main prize, the giant golden nugget. But there comes a time when polishing that nugget you realize it’s just gold leafed and you have wasted time and effort on nothing of real substance. Or more like me, so many of your nuggets have been so vast and large just the thought of tackling them is daunting to yourself so you start looking for a way out. I have at least three epic novels in the works, and focusing on just one feels like you have abandoned the others. With this blog I plan to pan for smaller gold pieces while exploring and polishing those giant Novel nuggets over time.

I have said to friends who ask “How’s the blog?” Well! Very well! I have a plan to use it as my NaNoWriMo project actually. Take it little by little, and write a little every day, and what is it they say about doing something for thirty days, you make a habit out of it. Yes it’s perfect, yes I have a plan. A goal. I have control.

I know the truth, I know next month day after day will slip by and the word count for NaNo will rise and by week two I will shrug it off and contribute it to another year lost, what a shame. While almost every fiber of my being is used to this routine, its comfortable, predictable, it’s safe and normal, for me.

You know what? NO. Screw you, old self. I haven’t spent the last year stripping myself down and building myself back up again to be predictable. Screw safe, Screw comfortable, and FUCK Normal. This is how I wish to proceed in the world, and it’s about damn time I apply it to my life and to my writing.

So Yes! I will be writing for NaNoWriMo, (National Novel Writing Month), It will be a new fictional story, and it will be fun. Yes, I will be also writing here a little bit every day, because YES damn it, I deserve to gain the habit of writing daily, and to treasure and fight for my writing time.

Holding myself accountable, to earn the title I want so badly. I am a writer. I write. Nothing more, nothing less.

It Begins Here! See you on Sunday!

Welcome to My New Journey!

For many years, I have called myself a writer but my writing has been limited,  sticking to my own novels and escape writing. I scorned journal writing or Diary keeping. I realize how limiting this is, how much this is crippling me as both as a writer and an artist. So I have decided to create this new blog to start writing about….everything!
Now for introductions, Hi I am Renee! I am 26 years old-TODAY in fact! I have been many things in my life, I have taken on many a label and I have either tried to fit in to that Label or forced myself to be defined by that Label, but recently I have come to the realization that I am so much more then any title, any label whether its given or self imposed. I am so much more then Victim, Geek/Nerd. Bookworm, Small, Drop-out.  I am a passionate intelligent reader, I love learning I adore facts, I adore stories, I have survived time and time again, so it is time for me to explore all the ways I have survived.
The Title of the Blog came from a fellow an older friend who was listening to advice I was sprouting and I said “I know I am young.” and her response was “You are a young pup! But you have so much wisdom in you!”
So in this time of extreme growth, of exploration I have decided to take on anyone who wishes to join me on this. This blog will be part journal both writing and personal, part infodump, part review, part what ever I need in the moment of writing.
May you glean something from this, may I learn something about myself and challenge myself, and may we all have a little fun!