Monday, January 31, 2011

thirteen - you're beautiful

[A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you]




Years ago, I watched "What the bleep do we know?" and it planted the seed that THE SECRET grew into a fundamental shift in everything I believe.  It filled in the gaps that Christianity had always tiptoed around and made me understand there was so much more than anyone had ever let on. 


But before I had my epiphany, I learned of the works of Masaru Emoto, a Japanese author who is famous for studying the effects of positive and negative emotion on water and illustrating his results by freezing and photographing the water molecules.    Over and over he realized that positively charged water - that is water that had been shown prayer, love, compassion - formed beautiful snowflakes.  Negatively charged water - that which was show belittling or threatening emotions - was unable to achieve the same level of beauty.


This set my mind in motion.  If a glass of water could exhibit such a difference from emotional stimuli, how would the human body react, seeing we are 95% water.   If a single molecule can become such a unique and beautiful snowflake, imagine the potential in each of us.   And for people who are abused, degraded, neglected, unloved - just how detrimental these feelings are to the person as a whole.  


This comparison changes the way I see other people, the way I react with them.  It has changed the way I think about myself.  When we feel down on ourselves, we are causing the most damage, perpetuating the decline of our own positive crystallization.    I'm sorry, Tyler Durden, we really are unique and beautiful snowflakes.   And we have the ability to be exceptionally more.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

twelve - hero worship

[Favorite super hero and why.]


Everyone loves superheros - that is the Superman's, Spiderman's and Wonderwoman's of the world.   I myself have a soft spot for the Man in Steel, Neo, and Capt. Jack Harkness.   But these aren't really heroes.  Sure they teach morals and stand up for truth, justice and the American/Human way.  But they also hide behind magical powers that can't and don't exist in our world. [Note to Stephen Hawking:  Yes, On a quantum level all of this exists, but I don't want to blow their minds, not do it?]


Heroes to me, true heroes are the people who step out of their comfort zone to make a difference.  It is the business man who, instead of walking to the other side of the road each day to avoid a homeless man asking for money, walks up to him instead and offers him help.     


It's the teacher who doesn't make what she's worth to begin with, who gives up her own time to better her students.


Its a every person that's ever been at the right place at the right time to catch a falling baby, stop a man from walking in front of a moving car, saved a friend from suicide. 


Its the three people in Arizona who stopped and held the gunman, the woman in the school board meeting who tried to stop the shooter with her purse, the brave souls on the plane over Pennsylvania on 9/11.  


They are every single soldier, policeman, fireman, health care professional, politician, working class hero, single mother who chose their job because they truly, deeply want to protect our lives, liberties and freedoms, and in some cases giving up their own to do so.


Heroes are each of us, when we choose to stop thinking about what we should do and just do something.


But I have to admit, we could use better costumes.  :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

eleven - my own worst enemy

[A habit that you wish you didn’t have]


Billy said something last night that truly resonated with me - "I've never understood why people want to fuck with themselves."   And when I thought about it, it's exactly what I do.

A friend recommended the book THE WAR OF ART, in which Pressfield talks about "resistance" being the name of the negative force that keeps us from bettering ourselves.   I encounter this, but I'm pretty sure my self-sabotage trumps this.   I have plenty of examples:

The numberous nights that I am completely exhausted yet stay up til 1 am staring at something useless on the computer.
Offering myself a tasty treat if I complete a task, then fart around for half an hour helping myself to the treat anyway.

 The difference between resistance and self-sabatoge is the blatent fuckery I put myself through.  I hear the voice telling me no.  But it doesn't make a difference.   The thickheaded bitch-of-a-bully that lives in me says "What are you gonna do about it."  And I back off everytime muttering "nothing."  But this isn't out of self pity or a desire to be victimized - it's out of boredom.  It's pathetic.

I suppose the habit comes from listening to her.  I can stand up to her and I do, quite frequently.   But its easier to just let her win - like arguments with my teenager - I could win, but its exhausting.  It's much more entertaining to maintain this relationship of lethargic self-loathing.

The one aspect of my life I've managed to keep the bitch-at-bay is writing. It's obsessive for me and something I know I HAVE to do if I want to achieve any success at it.  Also, I love it!  Meeting all those unique characters, losing myself in them, assimilating.   At the same time, all the escapism is just a prolonging the inevitable.

In July, we're moving.  My inner bully isn't allowed to come.



Friday, January 28, 2011

ten - what's in a name

[The meaning behind your Blog name]

Wicked MoXie has been so much more than just a blog.  It began as an alter-ego, morphed into a craft emporium and stumbled upon her inner voice.  Now, it's just a reminder that all of that was me.

Wicked MoXie came from a desire to create something off the beaten path.  I've always worn my true self, safely guarded beneath a bland boring facade - its easy to be ignored, being honest about who you are is terrifying.

I was doing pretty good hiding.  And Wicked MoXie was becoming quite successful.  That's when I balked - the only thing scarier than being honest about who you are is achieving success at it.   I suddenly HAD to perform and I quit. This was a pattern - a terrible evil pattern - and it almost destroyed EVERYTHING.   This was 2008 and Wicked MoXie was dead.

I started writing, not as Wicked MoXie, but as Michelle Frank.   I put myself on the line, handing out eighty thousand words, asking others to judge ME.  And I was met with praise and positive criticism.   And I didn't balk.  I kept writing and refining and improving.  Where jewelry and wedding invitations left me feeling like a one woman sweatshop, writing was like creating a masterpiece with every word I conjured.  Each day was unique and different, each adventure exhilarating and satisfying.  

I keep the name Wicked MoXie to remind me how far I've come.  And how far I'd like to get.   The desire to quit still rears its ugly head - it lies about my abilities, tries to break my spirit.  But I have persevered.  It's three years later.  I've written all or part of five novels.  Each day I wake up to a new idea - plot, character, setting.  I spend time at the day job creating dialogue.   I enjoy the thrill of meeting a deadline.

Wicked MoXie is Michelle Frank. Without her, I wouldn't be me.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Best Ideas...

...don't always make the greatest realities.  

My daughter started doing the 30 day challenge on FB and I thought it would be a good idea for building a habit.  It was also intended to be an outlet for my writing - for personal exploration as well as growing my craft.   But I didn't do my research.

I read through the list and thought the choices sounded interesting.  But as I began filling out the daily challenges, I found them to be anything but.   Most seem to not apply, the rest boring and obvious.   Today was the icing on the cake.

I was supposed to post something I bought today.  Aside from Little Caesar's pizza, I didn't buy anything.  I suppose I could have ordered something online, but spending money just to have a blog post didn't seem like a responsible thing to do.   As well I could have posted things I'd like to buy, but that defeats the purpose of the challenge.

Todays post went up at 7:30 this morning.  I set all thirty days with their title and  topic to post on 30 consecutive days.  This was a motivating factor, giving me a deadline in which to complete each post.   Most of the posts are actually written the night before, but "something I bought today" couldn't have been completed yesterday, so I was going to buy a pineapple this morning for my juice.  Instead I slept until 10.  (Given the choice between a pineapple and extra hours of sleep, which would you choose?)

I've decided not to start over, but I am going to revise my list of challenges.  I hope to create something more interesting than a box of take out pizza.

nine - wait a second, this isn't working

[A photo of the item you last purchased.]

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's for Dinner?


Quick and Easy Spaghetti Sauce

3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/2 onion (chopped)
big hand-full of fresh kale (minced)
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 can diced tomato
1 lg can tomato sauce
1 tbsp sugar
olive oil

In a sauce pan, heat a couple of tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic, onions and kale.  Add beef, basil, pepper and salt; brown and drain.   Add diced tomatoes, paprika and cumin, then add tomato sauce and sugar.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.  

Tonight I sauteed some whole green beans in olive oil with a spicy herb blend and a couple of shakes of soy sauce to serve on the side.


Let the sauce simmer while the noodles cook.   My kids love this sauce and the hint of sweetness the sugar gives it.  I'm willing to give the tiny bit of sugar to guarantee the extra veggies get gobbled up.  I can easily sneak in bell pepper, carrots, celery and spinach (and I usually do, I just didn't have any on hand.)


eight - it starts with an earthquake

[A song to match your mood.]

And I feel fine.


I'm on the threshold of a million incredible things about to explode like a confetti cannon.  In the mean time, I'm going to be sorting through my life, eradicating the things that are holding me back and freeing myself from unnecessary clutter.    

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

seven - i do

[Your dream wedding.]


Since my dream wedding already happened, I thought I'd just share a few of my favorite photos.













Monday, January 24, 2011

six - death by cuteness

[A photo of an animal you’d love to keep as a pet.]

Marmosets are the cutest little critters on the whole planet (it's true, I googled it).  I would carry this little guy with me all the time and call him my Daemon.   
(His stare is hypnotic isn't it?)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

five - remember when

[A photo of yourself two years ago.]

This may actually be three years old, but I'm always behind the camera, so pictures of me are rare (or too horrible for public consumption.)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

four - peek a boo

[Your favorite photograph of your best friend.]

The hubs playing hide-and-go-seek while we made some t-shirt magic happen. 
He's my hero and my inspiration.   And he's probably going to hate the fact that he's on my blog.  
(I love you honey.)  

Friday, January 21, 2011

three - happily ever after

Your idea of the perfect first date.


I think my days of first dates are over, but when I think about getting away with my husband, this looks like the perfect place:
No one around for miles, but still speaking in hushed tones. Listening as the water, gathering on the leaves, trickles softly to the ground below.  Here I can smell the breath of new life taking hold of my soul, snuggling next to my husband as we take a break from our hike.  
Oh wait, this isn't my perfect first date - this is my happily ever after.  

Honestly, I don't think I've ever been on a proper date (dinner and a movie, whatever) so I don't have any real basis for comparison.    

Thursday, January 20, 2011

two - the juice is loose

[A photo of something you ate today.]



Delicate layers of freshly processed juice.  
Behold the grapefruit-orange-carrot-celery-ginger-sweet-potato-breakfast-of-champions.
Delicious and a super energy booster.


I started drinking juice daily about three weeks ago.  In that time, I've felt great.  I've managed to stay on task better, written more and overall been more level headed.  I'm still hesitant about juicing a variety of vegetables - I have a thing about eating things that taste icky (such as grapefruit and kale) 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Update


Broke 40k on my revisions, so I'm over half way there. 
*gives myself a high-five*

one - the beginning

[A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was.]


Today was better than yesterday, which in turn was better than Sunday.  Seriously, I think I have a chemical imbalance (or possibly the almost four weeks the kids were out of school finally caught up with me.)

But today was alright.  Work didn't suck, caught up on Torchwood & The X-Files, shared popcorn with Liz and read a couple of incredible articles about balance between writing for art and writing for public consumption:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anis-shivani/new-rules-for-writers_b_808558.html
http://www.jennycrusie.com/for-writers/essays/a-writer-without-a-publisher-is-like-a-fish-without-a-bicycle-writers-liberation-and-you/

I'm on the threshold of two days off  with a Jan 24th deadline and I feel great.

Here's hoping tomorrow is even better.

zero


In an effort to fit even more on my plate, I'm doing a thirty day challenge, starting tomorrow.   If you feel like keeping up, here's the scheduled breakdown:
Day 1 – A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was.
Day 2 – A photo of something you ate today.
Day 3 – Your idea of the perfect first date.
Day 4 – Your favorite photograph of your best friend.
Day 5 – A photo of yourself two years ago.
Day 6 – A photo of an animal you’d love to keep as a pet.
Day 7 – Your dream wedding.
Day 8 – A song to match your mood.
Day 9 – A photo of the item you last purchased.
Day 10 – A photo of our favorite place to eat.
Day 11 – What’s in your makeup bag?
Day 12 – A photograph of the town you live in.
Day 13 – Your favorite musician and why?
Day 14 – A TV show you’re currently addicted to.
Day 15 – Something you don’t leave the house without.
Day 16 – Your celebrity crush.
Day 17 – A photo of you and your family.
Day 18 – Something you crave a lot.
Day 19 – Another picture of yourself.
Day 20 – The meaning behind your blog name.
Day 21 – A photo of something that makes you happy.
Day 22 – A letter to someone who has hurt you recently.
Day 23 – 15 facts about you.
Day 24 – A photo of something that means a lot to you.
Day 25 – What’s in your purse?
Day 26 – A photo of somewhere you’ve been to.
Day 27 – A picture of you last year and now and how have you changed since then?
Day 28 – Your favorite movie.
Day 29 – Something you could never get tired of doing.
Day 30 – A photograph of youself today + three good things that have happened in the past 30 days


As much as I hope you enjoy the next thirty days, I'm hoping to gain some insight into myself as well as a new blogging habit.  Wish me luck.  :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Update

About to crack 30k on the revisions and things should go much faster now.   I will have to add another one or two full chapters to account for the new characters, etc, but hopefully I will power through the rest of the chapters by the end of the week.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Today's Research


It was interesting reading, but these would have been more fun:


Update

I'm knee deep in S.S. revisions (yes, if you convert words to depth, 18.5k is approx. knee deep).     That is almost a quarter of the way finished.  I'm very excited about the process and the new depth the story seems to have acquired.   I'm not so excited about the Jan. 24th deadline, but I work best with a goal.  

If anyone out there wants to beta read some excerpts, I'll be happy to send them your way.

Friday, January 14, 2011

What a Difference a Decade Makes

Originally written January 4, 2010


Ten years ago, I didn’t know my husband.  I was still married to a man who didn’t love me or respect me.  I was miserable and didn’t understand that life didn’t have to be that way.  

Ten years ago, I was the mother of one child - a perky red-head just starting kindergarten.  

Ten years ago I was just graduating from college and started working at Walgreens.   It was supposed to be until I figured out what I wanted to do with my life.    It took 9 years and I finally quit.   I still am not entirely sure what I’m doing, but at least now I have direction.   And another retail job.    I’m pretty sure I’m stuck in a cycle.

Ten years ago I’d lost a lot of weight.  I was healthy, happy and confident for the first time in my adult life.   The me ten years ago understood that she could take care of herself.    The me ten years ago understood she could do anything,

Ten years ago I lived in a constant state of fear.   Not just anxiety or self doubt, but real fear.   The kind where you don’t want to breathe anymore out of fear.  The kind where you always look over your shoulder because you KNOW something is there even if you can’t see it.  

Ten years ago I was 27 and thought that I knew everything.


Today I am married to my soul mate.   We seem to have nothing in common except our quirky sense of humor and a genuine desire to be together.   It is a real blessing to have a man who loves me and respects me the way I am, without trying to change me.

Today I am the mother of two wonderful children.   The perky red-head has morphed into a  typical teenager, desperately in need of a hobby.   The other, an eight year old, is gifted with artistic abilities and an over sensitive emotional state.   Motherhood is a daily adventure and as much as I complain, I wouldn’t change a single day.

Today I am pursuing a passion for writing.   I am finally giving names and faces to the plethora of daydreams that have consumed me for years.   I am hoping that 2010 will bring me a much desired agent and in turn a wonderful editor and publishing company.   I am understanding that writing and work are going to have to coincide.  

Today I am fat again.   It didn’t take 10 years to put the weight on.  Most of it was left over from my pregnancy, but laziness and lethargy has packed on a few more.   Being complacent is what my mind wants me to do.  My body, on the other hand, craves activity.    I hope that I can find a healthy balance.    Personally I know that exercise will accelerate all my other dreams.

Today I fear very little.   The old fear is still there, but I’m just not afraid of it anymore.   Today I struggle with different fears - fear of accomplishment, fear of success, fear of approval.   Most of the fear comes from laziness and the unknown.   If I’m successful, it will make more work which could  be overwhelming.   See where I’m going with this?

Today I’m 37 years old and finally understanding that I don’t know a damn thing about anything.


*******************
I wrote this shortly after the new year last year.   Not much has changed in a year, except the red-head is graduating and the now nine-year-old had a much better command of her emotions.   I didn't land an agent - but honestly, I didn't put forth the effort necessary.  For now, I'm just enjoying the ride.