Week Four: Challenges and Illuminations

January 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

January 29, 2012

“Begin your day by reading something nourishing.”—from Dani Shapiro’s 28-day writing habits challenge
That was easy enough with the second book of my Goodreads challenge, The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening. I had listened to it on Audiobook last year and was immediately hooked. It’s an addictive and fast read, so I actually have a little more than a snowball’s chance in you-know-where of finishing it before the month is over, thereby staying on schedule.

“Wait until you’ve been at work for awhile before checking email or going online.”—from Dani Shapiro’s 28-day writing habits challenge
I kicked the habit of checking my Black(Crack)berry as soon as I get up, and because of this productivity boost I was able to post my book review and work on my novel and still get to bed on time. (I am trying this no checking email every ten minutes thing at my day job, too. It is a bit more problematic, though, since people, especially my boss, like to pop into my office and say, “Did you see that email?”) It turns out that beginning the day by reading also helps with writer’s block, which I experience frequently. My brain freezes when I sit down knowing that I only have twenty minutes left to write something before I get ready for work, but reading for a few minutes first really gets the brain working.

Friday night I attended an Air Force awards ceremony for my friend, where I got to swim in a veritable sea of clean cut men in sharp uniform. Unfortunately, I had a wardrobe malfunction (note to self: always carry safety pins—always), so I spent most of the time trying to duck and cover, so to speak, and had to bail as soon as the dinner was over. No dancing and no flirting for me. I came home instead and stayed up way too late drinking vodka and reading. That helped me all but forget this latest episode in my trying-to-put-myself-out-there-and-meet-somebody comedy of errors.

Saturday morning was the Black History Month Kick-Off Brunch with guest speaker Donna Brazile, who quoted my literary hero Maya Angelou: it is through our defeats that we discover who we are and what we’re capable of rising above. When I heard that I immediately thought that this concept is the basis of all good stories, not to mention our life’s journey. It is because of the defeats that the hero grows stronger.

The weekend culminated in driving to Santa Fe with my homegirls to do a photo shoot for an upcoming web series. It was a beautiful Sunday New Mexico morning—sunny, blue skies, 32 degrees. We listened to Pink’s Funhouse CD and I sat in the backset with my notebook and my Blackberry, scribbling away.

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