Tuesday, January 29, 2013

3:30am.

This morning, I woke up at 3:30. It was completely unintentional, but you know what? After an hour of being frustrated, I got over the fact that I should be sleeping and just accepted that I wasn't, I was kind of glad to be awake. Here's why:
Things I did in the 16 hours between 4:30am and 8:30pm
     -- Peer reviewed an article for The Public Purpose
     -- Watched the 5am news in peace
     -- Packed lunch
     -- Got ready for work, commuted 45 minutes, worked 9 hours,
         commuted home (during which time I consumed ZERO caffeine)
     -- Stopped at Bakeshop for a treat because I was so awesomely
         productive at work today (if I may say so myself!)
     -- Made dinner
     -- Drafted this post

Clearly, this whole waking up early is not a new thing for me. One of many examples: yesterday, due to the ridiculousness of DC-area inclement weather management procedures, I was not due to go into work until two hours later than usual. I found this out at 10:30pm the evening before, so I set my alarm for an hour later than usual so I could (theoretically) catch a few extra zzzzz's but also get a few things done in the morning. I woke up 30 minutes before my usual alarm. What happened next, you ask? I baked scones, made some ridiculously delicious lemon ricotta blueberry pancakes, set the slow cooker for dinner, got ready extra slowly, and still got to work early.

This morning, when I was again up early, I was frustrated at first. An hour later, I got over the frustration and got productive. So here's the new plan: when I wake up less than 3 hours before I need to get up (REM cycles, people...), I will try to go back to sleep. If I don't get there within an hour, I'll get up and get some things done that I would otherwise have to do after work. My hope is that I'd be able to get an early bedtime the next night.

Good plan in theory, I think, but we'll see how it goes.






Oh, and one more quick thing, because I know this is getting long...

My blog is three weeks old today, and not to sound all stalk-tastic, but I know who some of you out there are. For the most part, I know these things because you've told me or we've talked about the topics I've covered. But can I just ask...where did the rest of you come from?!

Well actually, I know that, too:
Screenshot, 1/29/2013, 8:20pm -- WOW!!!


But honestly. What are you doing in Greece and Bangladesh, and how did you find my modest little blog? Of course, it's fine if you want to sit back and read from the shadows, but I just wanted y'all to know that (a) I'm glad you're here and (b) you've piqued my curiosity!

Have a great night, everybody, and may you sleep better than I do! :-P 


<3 KSM

Monday, January 28, 2013

Distance.

A dear friend's birthday today reminded me of one of my most and least favorite parts of adult life: distance. (Time, too.) Before this past Memorial Day weekend, I hadn't seen this particular friend for over four years. When we reconnected, it was like not a moment or mile had lapsed.

Similarly:
  • I currently live just under 800 miles from the only house I knew until after I turned 24. When I moved, I left three of my best friends: the three women I shared that house with for all those years. Now, when I go back, it's like I never left.
  • Two of my very best friends in the world live 1,176.6 mi (18 hrs) and 885.5 miles (13.75 hrs) away. For the first three years I knew them, we saw each other for a total of only 27 days...non-consecutively...and that's only if you count the days mostly consumed by late night and early morning flights. 
  • Two more of my best friends are people who were first my teachers but who I have only since gotten the privilege of calling my friends. Now, they're even better friends than they ever were teachers - and believe you me, they were some of the best!
  • I also have two best friends here in my new town who live a whopping 20.3 and 1.6 miles from me, respectively. We share and trust, and the fact that I've gotten close to each in less than a year makes no difference.
I know in my heart that moving away from home was the best decision I've ever made. It makes going back that much sweeter, and I have grown in ways I cannot even begin to describe here. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and for me, distance has been part of the journey.

For that reason, my advice to all is this: Get out. Explore. But don't forget to hold your friends and family close, nor to take the time to go back home every once in a while. The return is what makes it all worth it.


<3 KSM

Sunday, January 27, 2013

"Today would've been."

Today would've been
a day of
celebration,
joy,
endurance,
love.

But instead of
staying stuck
on what
today would've been,
focus
on what
today really is
and what
tomorrow could be.

<3 KSM

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Home.

The Midwest, and Wisconsin in particular, has always been home. Even this past summer, I told a new friend that maybe I'd probably stay here in the DMV for a couple years post-grad but then head back. I truly believed that, and I wanted my permanent career and my own family to be in the Midwest.

Six months later, I'm not so sure. This place I came to because I was so frustrated with the stagnant scenario in the suburbs of Milwaukee has become dear to me. It surely lacks the charm and kindness inherent in my hometown, but this new city has its own appeal. I'm often intrigued by the wildly successful and ambitious people here - both those I know and those I haven't yet met. I still love to explore the new places I haven't seen yet and make new memories in this crazy place, even though it's sometimes hard to navigate. I love the moments when, in the flurry of daily activity, I stumble across the slightest bit of Southern Charm, be it in a big porch swing or a horse in the back of a truck.

You thought I was kidding?!
[ King St, Old Town Alexandria, 01/12/2013 ]

Anyway, I'm coming up on 2.5 years of living in the DMV, and I've never loved it more. Sure, it's got its own variety of quirks and annoyances...and its #novaproblems, though many of those are actually #wmataproblems, #dcproblems, and #firstworldsmartwhitegirlproblems. But when it really comes down to it, if you're going to have problems, these are the best ones to have.

Of course, there will always be things to miss about home. I miss my family and friends, the Friday Fish Fry, Sunday hot ham and rolls, and Packer Parties, but the beauty of it all is that I can always go back. I'm 793.1 miles from home, not 7000...and even if it were 7000 miles, I'm from the first world, so I could book a flight and be home the next day. The fact that you can take the girl away from home but you can never take the home out of or permanently away from her is perhaps what I like best about life.

So for now, and maybe for quite a while longer, I choose to stay in NoVA. Sure, I'll have to inject some Midwestern Charm into my life and friends here, but it'll be worth it. Besides...even if the Midwest is always home, I'm starting to think you really can find and make a second home that feels like the first.


<3 KSM

Friday, January 25, 2013

The way I see it.

Many times, I think I see things differently than others do. From dating to careers and socially appropriate communication limits to what constitutes "fun" on Saturday nights, I'm fairly sure my mind just works differently. Again, this is for better and for worse.

I'm not sure if others notice this on a regular basis, but I often do. It happens in everyday conversations with friends and colleagues, when people say things I just don't agree with, either on principle or in context. I guess I just perceive things differently, and I wonder where it comes from. Yesterday, I told Mom she did too good of a job - that she raised me too well - so now I feel guilty too easily for letting others down or putting myself before the team. While it's true that Mom's to blame, I can't really fault her for it, either...

Thanks, Mom, for making me conscientious and selfless. That part's definitely the "better" part.


<3 KSM

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Yesterday and today.

Some of you may have noticed (I hope) that I didn't write yesterday.

I didn't know what I wanted to say, so I said nothing. That was a good and probably intelligent choice. I wish I had made the same decision on a related topic today, but I just can't keep my mouth shut sometimes. Just as I'm "slow to trust, but I'm quick to love," I'm also tough to quiet or settle down once I get worked up. This is for better and for worse.

Today I'm even less sure what to say.

Life's like that sometimes.


<3 KSM

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Office Observations."

I wore a scarf in the office today. No, not into the office - in it. And no, not an infinity scarf as is currently en vogue - I mean a black knit winter scarf. It was damn cold. As evidence of such fact, I tell you this: Christine Across the Way honed a new talent today - typing with gloves on. Apparently wearing long sleeves is just not enough at the new place.

I should probably preface all this with the fact that I was also frozen out of my last office on a daily basis, but that was because my boss was a 68-year-old man who consistently thought the office was too hot and whose thermostat also regulated my office. It was summer then, so I resigned myself to the fact that wearing a skirt or short sleeves for the purpose of commuting meant I'd need a scarf, pashmina, cardigan, or - some days - sweatshirt for the office. Anyway, my new office is colder and louder than the summer one was. I'm getting used to the noise, but the cold could be a problem.

I'm not the only one who has observed this problem. The Executive Director called maintenance last week, Dominique Down the Hall just received the space heater ordered for her office a few weeks back, and, like I said, Christine Across the Way was wearing gloves.

So back to the scarf. As if it weren't bad enough that I was asked about it, it wasn't even effective. Girl needs a parka to survive in this climate-controlled cubicle! As I sloppily write these office observations, note that my fingertips are shades of yellow, white, and grey, not, in fact, the typical pink of my Prussian self.

It's kind of ridiculous, really, but I wore a scarf in the office today.

Note: The monologue above is based in reality but does not follow my day verbatim. That is, I did not get confronted about my work wardrobe on Day 6.


<3 KSM

Monday, January 21, 2013

Public.

Put up a front.
Build a facade.
Wear a mask.

It bothers me the way people are different in public than they are in private. I don't mean in appearance or personality, really, but in the way they relate to others. I'm tempted to think that the reason there are so many ways to talk about this concept is because of the frequency with which people do it. Now, I know that sounds pessimistic, but I honestly wonder if it might be true.

I think there are often unspoken rules between individuals that the two have a different relationship in private than in public. To an extent, I can understand and accept this. Sometimes other people just don’t understand, and sometimes it's for the better. I tend to think this is the exception rather than the rule, though. Sometimes it's just plain unfortunate, wherein the scenario plays out because of public perception and reputation issues. It’s like high school all over again, and the consequence is that people get hurt.

There's probably not a solution to fix this, but it concerns me. Perhaps most frightening, though, is the question it brings about, though: how many of our friends do we really know?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Music and lyrics.

I've thought before about writing music.

Now let's be real: I haven't played an instrument since the fifth grade, and to say I even played then is a stretch. (Um, you'd have to practice, so...) Similarly, my voice isn't half-bad, but as much as I may love my music, I'm certainly no musician. So naturally I want to write music. Needless to say, this has never worked out.

Why, you ask?

Because for as many topics I come up with to write about here and in my other projects, I cannot come up with even one semi-original lyric. Basically I write mash-ups of my favorite songs, which isn't really going to get me anywhere.

So why do I post this?

Not sure, really. All I can say is that this post was inspired by this picture prompt (Do forgive: a girl can't just be inspired all the time...):
[ Source ]

Mostly, though, I think I write this because I'd love to be able to produce the lyrics that express what I can't say...


I'm telling you that, it's never that bad / 
Take it from someone who's been where you're at
Laid out on the floor / 
And you're not sure you can take this anymore


And all my walls stood tall painted blue / 
And I'll take them down, take them down and open up the door for you


Yeah, I'm falling from cloud nine (it was out of the blue) /
I'm crashing from the high /
You know I'm letting go tonight (yeah, I'm letting you go)


Sometimes I wonder if you wonder /
What it could have been like /
When you're sitting there drinking coffee /
Are you thinking of me


This downtown apartment sure makes me miss home /
And those bills there on the counter /
Keep telling me I'm on my own / 
...Yeah, I still feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be /
But don't forget to remember me


And oh yeah... Don't judge me based on my music. Mmmkay? Thanks.


<3 KSM

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The perfect book.

It's a strange concept: sitting down to write a book. The possibilities can be mind boggling, and that often leads to decision paralysis. (You PA and poli sci types know what I'm talking about.) There are just too many options, and you can't commit to any one, so you write nothing. This has happened to me on more than one occasion.

Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo, offers a suggestion in that book I'm reading: plan your novel in one week, then write. The week gives a solid springboard but doesn't allow one to pre-write the book and ruin it. You brainstorm the characters, settings, some ideas...then get writing. It starts, though, by identifying what qualities make a good book. These are mine:
  • For me, the perfect book has moments of panic, but everything turns out well in the end. 
  • The characters are the people closest to me and those I want to know. They're hardworking, loyal friends with good moral bases. Yes, sometimes they're people in my real life. No, you can't ask me not to include you. (That's like asking Taylor Swift not to write about you after breaking up with her.) Sorry, you know me now, so you have to deal with this reality...although you probably liked me better before you knew this little tidbit, huh?!
  • Usually I'm the main character, or she's highly relatable.
  • There's foreshadowing, and lots of it. 
  • Minor details come back, and sometimes they bite you in the butt. (As in life...) 
  • Love.
  • Distance.
  • People save quirky mementos, like plastic spoons and take-out delivery bags. 
9 times out of 10, I'll get started with the same type of scenario, but where the characters end up tends to be the interesting part. That's the gist of the planning phase: outline characters just enough to give them personalities so they decide where their own story goes, then start writing their story. I'm all about this method: if you get too into a story before it even exists, you're looking for failure. (Been there...) All that said, I'm giving it a shot. I'm sure you'll hear much more about this later, but it starts Monday.

This leads me to wonder, though: are these the same things people want to read about?! If not, does it matter?


<3 KSM

Friday, January 18, 2013

These past several weeks.

This past week has been fantastic. I feel much more like myself, and in realizing that fact, I'd like to offer an explanation. That said, listen up.



For 15 weeks between October and January, I was out of work. I learned a lot in that time and needed the ego check, so I'm thankful for the experience - in retrospect, of course. From the beginning, though, the whole concept rattled me to the core. So much of each of our identities lies in what we do for work, and, for most people, the majority of waking hours are spent at or commuting to and from a job. I've found this to be especially true in The DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia), and having graduated recently made it all the more obvious. Imagine: "I just graduated with my master's degree, and all day long I sit on my couch writing cover letters while half-listening to daytime TV." Um, yeah. Lovely. Despite the fact that I had accepted a great opportunity to work in a project-based position over the summer, I felt like a complete loser. It was damaging to my self-esteem, and that fact alone negatively impacted some of my relationships, especially with those who were geographically nearby and forced to deal with this version of me.

For 7 weeks in November and December, I didn't talk to a friend who had become a staple in my life and was indescribably important to me. During the same time as I felt professionally lost, I became socially confused and emotionally dependent. I felt like I could have written that old lyric: "I was a dreamer before you went and let me down..." As much as I consider myself to be an independent young woman, I missed just having that friend to count on. I censored conversations with family and friends, and I hated what the change did to me. As much as I wished it weren't so, I knew I was no longer the bubbly, happy, sarcastically funny girl I had previously known myself to be.

For almost 3 weeks now, things have been on the upswing. The transition from 12/31/2012 to 01/01/2013 was more than just the turning of a calendar page. I consciously adopted a new perspective, a brighter outlook, and a positive attitude. With the new year, the United States did not fall off the (fictitious) fiscal cliff, and (as a result) job prospects picked up. I endured three interview opportunities during the first full week of the year and accepted a new position that is unique and challenging and allows me to make a tangible difference in people's lives. In short, brighter outlook coupled with renewed faith has led to a new, very fitting job, rekindled relationships, and...significantly fewer tears.



I will never get those weeks between October and January back, but the lessons learned during that time will stay with me:
  1. Be open - to change, to possibilities, and in your communications and relationships. 
  2. When you think things can't get worse, they can. A positive attitude goes a long way in making them feel easier, though. 
  3. Work hard, especially when you don't want to, and you will be rewarded.
  4. Faith conquers all - even love. 
These past several weeks have been some of the best and worst of my life, but I wouldn't change any of them for anything. Endless thanks to those of you who stuck by even the regrettable versions of me.


This post powered by:


<3 KSM

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Insomnia.

I haven't slept well these last few nights. I think it's because once you become a writer - I mean really devote yourself to it - the ideas just keep coming. It's like a manic state, wherein you just can't "calm the eff down." Part of me (um...the sleep-deprived part) wishes I could - says the girl who hates to be told to calm down.

Case in point: the other morning, after falling asleep on the couch at 8pm, then retiring to my bed around 10pm and sleeping til 8am, it was still physically difficult to get out of bed. Exhaustion had set in, and I had to get a handle on this insanely amazing, yet annoyingly uncontrollable creativity.

That was a week ago, and I still haven't quite figured out the best solution. I'm starting to not care, though: let the creativity take over. I think maybe such is the life of a writer.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Influence.

Over the past few years, I've noticed that many of the things I've loved most in life have been things that were well-loved by some of the most important people in my life.

Jeni and her poetry, way back when...
Curling, courtesy of Lynn...
Political science and government - so loved by Cathi...
Invisible Children, introduced to me by Trent...

Maybe this says that I'm easily influenced. Hard as that may be to hear, I'll accept it.

But what about writing now? Might I finally get to be that difference in someone else's life, as so many have been in mine? I hope this to be the case. It's not about the content but the dream: I want to write and publish a novel, and if that desire, drive, and (hopefully) success can inspire another to go out and achieve their dreams, then it will all be BEYOND worth it.

I've said for years that I just want to make a difference in people's lives. From my students to my friends, it's all about making a difference in somebody's world. I live for that. Now, maybe...just maybe, this new love of mine might be able to make that difference. I don't know how or when, but it's possible. Anything is possible.


<3 KSM

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thank you!

Today marks one week since I started this blog, and I just want to send a huge THANK YOU out to everyone who's stopped by, even just once!

Honest-to-God facts:
  1. I didn't know if anyone would read what I had to write: I just needed a way to create "soccer practice" for my writing. 
  2. I am completely flattered by the level of readership I've gotten so far. (Canada, Germany, and Greece?!?!) I do not take any of you for granted.
  3. I appreciate 100% of the feedback I've received, both positive and critical. (Don't be afraid to leave it publicly in comments, either!)
  4. I don't feel "locked in" one bit. I'm totally loving this. 
So for anyone who may be wondering in the back of his or her mind how long this blog will last, you may be wondering a while. Also, you may not have too long to wait if you want to be in the test audience for a book: the material just keeps on coming!

Also (and I only offer this because I've been asked), if you're at all inclined, please do share/post/RT!


With heartfelt thanks,
<3 KSM


Monday, January 14, 2013

Why I write.

Yesterday, every neuron in my brain told me that after that soul-searching post, I needed to write something with a little less "heart" today. Something with a little comic relief.

Well...I'll give you one of two.



Though not unusual for me on face, I was shocked when I pulled my latest library loaner out of my bag on the way home from work today. I say this isn't unusual because (a) it's me, and (b) time to read is one of few public transit advantages, so I do read and write on Metro pretty frequently. Anyway, this was surprising today because I've been up since 4am as the result of a disturbing dream followed by insomnia.

While I'm sure you're dying to hear about the dream, a writer's sleep issues will have to be the subject of an upcoming post because I'd rather share what I read today:
"...remember, above all else, that your novel is not a self-improvement campaign. Your novel is a spastic, jubilant hoe-down set to your favorite music, a thirty-day visit to a candy store where everything is free and nothing is fattening. When thinking about possible inclusions for your novel, always grab the guilty pleasures over the bran flakes. Write your joy, and good things will follow." (p. 88)

Okay, I'll admit it it: I'm reading a book about writing a book. Mock me if you want, but if you want to know more about a subject, what do you do? Read. I want to write, so I'm reading.

My point is this: my writing is love. I write about what I love. I write about who I love. When they say to write about what you know, I'm writing about love because I love my life, even with all its shortcomings. I write because I love it. When it really comes down to it, writing is probably a big part of what makes me neurotic, but I even love that. So yes, even when it's a spastic guilty pleasure that makes my imagination run amuck and my real life go awry (more on that and The Chapter that Changed My Life later, too)...I love it.

So that's it, really. I write as an outlet, yes, but also because I love it. As a result, a lot of heart does go into it...both for better and worse. It's for that reason that I truly appreciate those of you who have voiced an appreciation for my inane spasticity and keep coming back for more.

<3 KSM

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Church and faith.

Sometimes when I go to church, it makes me feel guilty. I know it shouldn't be that way, and I know it's self-inflicted. Still, it's there. I absolutely love my new church and everyone I've met there: don't let that be mistaken. Actually, I'm sure they're the ones who have inspired me to fix this problem. The remedy is relatively obvious: I need to live a more faithful life every day, in all aspects of my life. The doing, however, is the hard part. But I guess it all comes around to faith: the more you give, the more you get. 

Credit: Kimberly S. Meyer
I'm not sure church and faith have any sort of a chicken-and-egg relationship, but what others think about that idea has always fascinated me. It probably doesn't matter what others think about it, sort of like the "God doesn't care what I wear" mindset of choosing what is appropriate church dress, but it's interesting to me nonetheless.

For now, off to church. Maybe I'll learn more about this elusive balance there today?

<3 KSM

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The way things are now.

I believe hard times are for growing.

Such a positive sentiment usually comes from someone at a good place in life. Au contraire, my friend. Had you asked two months - heck, two weeks - ago, I'd have said you were full of it. Hard times were for feeling bad, leaning on others, and trying unsuccessfully to find the hope that things would get better. I'm generally an optimist, but man...this felt like rock bottom. I thought it was. But then, you know what? I realized it wasn't. No matter how bad it gets, it could always be worse. Even when bad turns to worse, as it did for me, it can still get even worse. Granted, I don't want to be the one to test that theory...so let's just go with the assumption, alright? Okay.

Anyway, the point is that things were bad. The problem, though, was that I knew they were bad. I focused on the fact that things were not as I wanted them to be. With that perspective, they wouldn't ever get better. I'd always see the bad and probably never realize the potential for good. That said, the solution was simple (albeit not obvious, at least to me): get an attitude adjustment.

I know that sounds easier said than done, but you know what? I realized through doing that it's really not. For me, it was the birth of a new year. As I said before, I'm not big on New Year's Resolutions, but it seemed as good a time as any. "It's a new year: I'm going to have a better outlook." Okay, great.

So what happened, you ask? It was so. Zero of the things I had been unhappy about changed, and yet the burden felt easier to manage. That was a great start, but the really cool part was yet to come: within 10 days, circumstances did change. It probably wasn't because of the attitude adjustment...but you never know. (Not sayin'...just sayin.')

My point in all this?

I used to have a blog called "Life is what you make it," and I still believe that. If a situation isn't to your liking, you should, as a rule, change it. There's nothing stopping you. If someone in your life is holding you back, have a talk or make some space so you can fix it. (But do try to avoid hurting people.) If your job sucks, find a new one. (Don't up and quit without a new one: fair warning.) If a place, a circumstance, a fact about yourself isn't to your liking...do something about it. Heed the opportunity for growth.

And now I'm reminded of a song by the one group that has a song for every situation, The Eagles. (Listen now. You're welcome.)

They say every day is a gift. If your present isn't a present, do something to make it so.



*stepping off my soapbox, even though this is it*
<3 KSM

Friday, January 11, 2013

Excerpt.

The following is a very brief excerpt from a little something I'm working on. I'd love to hear what you think!
Every so often, the creativity bug bites me. I don't always know what triggers it. It's almost like a recurring syndrome - always there, just sometimes in remission. That's what happened today.

I think it could have been the little blonde girl on the Metro - the one with the sparkly eyes. Those, combined with her huge, genuine smile totally rekindled my internal fire, just as her eyes and smile lit up her face. Oh - and she wore purple shoes. I thought they were red at first, but those were her socks. Yes, red socks with purple shoes. It was totally like me to notice the shoes. It would have been totally like him, too.

<3 KSM

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Blast from the Past.

Earlier today, while searching for some forms on my computer, I stumbled across a file entitled "Journal" with a last modified date of 5/8/2010. First off, forgive me: I'm not generally the type who names files so nondescriptly. As if I wasn't intrigued enough by the name to need to open it, I also noticed the date. Considering I've barely had my current computer for a year, I had no clue what the contents might be or why it was even here. Upon opening said mystery file, I found a glimpse into my life before moving to DC. There were a couple blog drafts - ones I actually remember publishing (somewhere...) and yet still saved, for good reason: they're actually decent, insightful. Along with those, though, were some poems. Deep, heartfelt ones that still tug at my heartstrings.

This past summer, I took a trip and reconnected with an old friend, to whom I was very close back in 2010. I know some of the poetry is directly connected to him, and I believe much of the rest arose in response to my changing relationship with a second friend.

Kenny Chesney thinks it's funny how we all have songs that "somehow stamped our lives / takes us to another place and time," but I absolutely love that fact. Today I also loved how this piece took me back to another place and time...


“Protector”
It’s no secret. 
I miss him. 
See pictures
From way back when
And even though it’s over
Just want to protect him.
But there’s no way
Because
He won’t let me.
So I
Will continue
To try
To protect
My protector
From the memories
Even though
I only
Want to make new memories
With him.


Times have changed: I have changed: Feelings have changed. We'll always have the memories, though...which, according to the subtext of this piece (it all flooded back instantly), is for better and worse.

<3 KSM

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Simplicity.

G'd evening, all!

To be honest, I don't know who's reading this. In last night's sleepless excitement, I sort of forgot about that part. Yes, really. I had a couple friends in mind who I thought might be interested, but when I got back online this afternoon, I remembered that anybody could be reading this. Oops? Nope, not really.

See, it's fairly simple. If I want to publish one day, I need to get used to the fact that pretty much anyone will be able to read (and criticize) my work. In that respect, though, I guess I'm on the right track because reading and criticizing is exactly what I invited you all to do yesterday.

So I entitled this post "simplicity" but then admitted that my writing and hitting the "publish" button is anything but simple. This might lead you to wonder where I'm going with this post. Well...I did warn you that this blog is going to be a mixed bag, right?! Still, I understand your confusion. Basically, it comes down to the fact that sometimes I just get to thinking about curious topics. Sometimes these thoughts come on as the result of a lyric or something I read, and sometimes they seem to just pop out of nowhere, but this particular cognitive process (to which I'm devoting significant time, which I know is probably weird, but I can't just forget about these things sometimes) was actually sparked by a conversation I had with a friend recently. Out of respect for all involved both now and in the future, I will always be discreet about names and details, but I'll just say it was nice to catch up with an old friend.

I'm sure it's obvious that said conversation wasn't actually about simplicity, but the things people say sometimes lead to bigger ideas once I start kicking them around in my head. In this case, I'm talking about the way people just throw around simple advice, thinking it solves problems but completely ignoring the implications. Who hasn't been told to
               "Get over it." 
                    "Don't worry about it."
                              "Just do it already!"

I could come up with other examples, but you get the idea. Who hasn't both given and received such (horrible) advice? Given my over-analytical nature, I'm sure I take these nonchalant comments worse than most people, but I wonder... Life isn't really that simple, is it?!

Let me know what you think, either about this topic or about my writing. (Criticisms? Post ideas?) In the meantime, I'm sure I'll still be mulling this over!

<3 KSM

Happy New Year!

It's a new year!

For many of us, getting a new calendar means setting resolutions - lofty goals that fall by the wayside within a matter of days or weeks.

As what I'm sure will be the first of many assertions here, let me just say that this blog is not the result of a resolution. This project is actually being started as the result of a 1 a.m. writing session during which I came across something I wrote nearly a year ago: 
04/21/2012
Not sure why, but I really just wanted to write today. Maybe it's the Newseum influence. Maybe reading Paleo Project Jenna's blog this morning, describing how she writes every day. Maybe the journal release last night. Who knows... But I wanted to. And now I want to continue. Every day.
After writing that paragraph, I went on to write for a few days. That blue, yellow, and green flowered notebook then turned into a depository for sermon notes, shopping lists, job search leads, and the occasional "burst." Yes, I said burst. You know what I'm talking about, even if you're not a writer:
burst (b…úrst) - n. - (1) the moment of brilliance when an author comes up with the perfect way to say the thought (s)he's been struggling with for a month; (2) the product of significant airport time after a trip with little alone time
Anyway... Even on the rare occasion when said bursts did follow a common theme, they were were disjointed and unedited. Still, they made up a story, albeit one that still needed to be written. That story is in the works; however, that story is not the reason for this blog.

Plain and simple, I'm starting this blog as a way to get myself to practice. I can't just wake up one day and decide to write a book. (I've tried. Recently. It didn't go well.) Just like kids taking music lessons or playing sports, I need to learn more about my craft. I need to receive feedback. (Yes, especially criticisms!) I need to become more confident in my writing and, hopefully, to hone what I hope is a talent. So here I'll practice. There's no telling what you might get: freewrites, poems, narratives, conversations...everything's free game (because it's my blog). Most days it'll be shorter than this, so I don't lose you...but even if I do, I hope you might come back the next day. I'd love your feedback, and even if not, I'll keep practicing.

So here it goes: Sit down. Type.