Last week I went on vacation and my writing slump felt like it was coming to an end. Then I realized that maybe I hadn’t been paying enough attention to myself. Maybe I was neglecting what my body and mind needs. Suddenly, the school year was over and I was on a beach without a care in the world, enjoying the breeze, listening to my son’s laughter, my husband next to me, and inspiration hit. Sometimes we just need to take a breather and life becomes manageable yet again.
This year was supposed to be my YEAR of WRITING, but something happened. Life.
The truth is that I let life overwhelm me for a bit.
So in an attempt to help me put every worry in it’s place and remember what is really important in our short lives…here are my confessions:
Did you miss your chance to win a free copy of The Girl Who Saw Words?
Never fear… I scored you one! Hurry!
Happy Reading!! Please leave a review! I would love to hear your thoughts!!
(If the link doesn’t work anymore, leave me a comment please and I will fix it.)
This new year is a year to feel positive, to be determined, to work intentionally, and to live life to the fullest. Where did all that come from? Well…
The past few months of 2016 have been hard for me.
- Towards the end of 2016, I felt like I had lost my way when it comes to writing. I had gotten some negative feedback about some work I had submitted and received more rejections. I have had rejections in the past…many. That is the life many writers have in hopes that one day someone will say “YES!” I am fine with that. I am fine with working to improve myself; in fact, that is how I feel everyone should be no matter what career you are in. As a writer, as a teacher, as a mother, there is always room to grow and learn. It was just too much to take at once with everything else.
- I was struggling with my special education caseload this school year. It has taken me half a school year to truly understand my students with autism, to make that connection with them, to understand how best to help them learn because each person with autism is completely different than the last. Finally, though, I am able to laugh with them, make jokes with them, take pride in their work, miss them when they are gone, and they are becoming more and more successful in their school work.
- I have also been struggling with TRYING to be positive about my mother’s condition. I don’t speak of it often actually. I don’t want people to feel sorry for her or us; I don’t need that. I don’t know what I need, but pity is not it. Perhaps just understanding. It has taken me a long time to even say: My mother has Alzheimer’s. It is a weird condition where if you haven’t experienced it, then you might not quite grasp what happens. Unfortunately, I have been through it as a child helping my mother and trying to keep her happy as she dealt with her father going though Alzheimer’s. So when she was diagnosed, it was hard to admit. It was hard to believe. It was even harder to see.
I tried to tell myself to be positive, yet over the holidays..she didn’t make her key lime pie. It sounds strange to say. It sounds trivial. However, to me, it was a breaking point. It had been her tradition for decades. She never missed a holiday without making her pie. It sent me the message that I can’t pretend to be positive any longer. She isn’t the same mother who is overly dramatic (in a good, giddy way), who loves shopping and feels every fabric in the whole damn store (it used to irritate me, now I miss it), who laughs so loud that you can hear her from across a large room or even a large restaurant. She is the same loving mother, but she is different. She isn’t as bubbly, can’t recognize who I am in a picture, doesn’t call like she used to, can’t drive by herself, and cannot tell you much of what she has done in the past day or week. I think I miss her laugh the most though.
After spending the holidays with my mother, I realized that I can MAKE myself be positive or I can BE positive….about everything:
- I can miss my mother’s old ways or I can celebrate the mother I had and enjoy the mother she still is. I will not waste our time together feeling sad about something we cannot change…I will not waste our time together.
- I can raise awareness and help others in any way I can find who have Alzheimers and/or family members of those with Alzheimers.
- I can be upset about reviews or rejections or I can continue to write for me. I can remember my love for writing and take it from there.
- I can work as hard as I can as a special education teacher and find ways to help all my students be as successful as they can be.
Somehow, everything feels better so far 2017. I CAN do this. I am laughing more, talking to my mother more, and my creativity is coming back. This will be THE year…THE year of positivity, THE year of appreciating what I have (not what I have lost or might lose or what I don’t have), AND THE YEAR OF WRITING!!
I am taking part in a writing/photo challenge on Instagram and am loving seeing everyone’s feeds! (Please follow along and join me! @inawritingday)
Are you taking part of a challenge? Comment and let me know!! Or comment and let me know how your 2017 is going! I would love to hear! 🙂
THE BOOK LAUNCH PARTY IS ON!!!!
I tend to write in different genres. I love writing all things horror, short stories with surprise endings, but I also LOVE writing young adult and children’s books. I wish I could write lovely romantic stories, but it just doesn’t call my name.
My latest book, The Girl Who Saw Words, is about a girl who has Synesthesia. If you aren’t familiar with that term, it simply means when two or more senses are sort of combined. There are many types of Synesthesia and I never knew I was a synesthete until I was thirty years old. No one tells you on a daily basis (or really ever) how they experience the world. I experience Ticker Tape Synesthesia where I “see” the words I say and the words I hear. If too many people are talking at the same time, there are too many words for me to read and I cannot understand what is being said. If I go to a busy restaurant that is too loud, again I cannot hear. I don’t tell people the long story of what synesthesia is..I just simply say I have “old lady ears.” They nod their heads in understanding. No need to explain more. Some people love to hear about the truth; others don’t trust anything that sounds abnormal. However, to me, not seeing words sounds abnormal. How do other people understand the words that people say if you cannot see them?
My point is that I used to NEVER tell anyone. Then I had my son. I realized that if he saw the world I do, I wouldn’t want him to be ashamed. I would want him to be proud of it. My children’s book was born. I needed for him, and for everyone, to feel proud of who they are..no matter how different they may or may not be.
On that note…let me say there are MANY cool things happening this week!!
- Book Launch Party with SCBWI! Join me in this book celebration!! I am beyond excited about this!!
- An Amazon Giveaway just started!! It won’t last long so enter for your chance to win a copy of The Girl Who Saw Words!
- I am getting ready for NaNoWriMo! Want to be my writing buddy as I try (yet again) to write a complete novel during the month of November? Find me on the NaNoWriMo site: jwtaylor1
So far this summer, I have read one full young adult trilogy (The Internment Chronicles), two books in a young adult series (Red Queen Series) and impatiently waiting for the third, am currently reading Six of Crows (young adult yet again), and I also read the book pictured above (Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson). It is the only book that I have read this summer that isn’t classified as “Young Adult”. My summers are full of having fun with my son so I usually pick books that I can easily read, plus Young Adult has it all: action, love, romance, supernatural, etc, etc.
I am a special education teacher so during the school year, depending on IEP meetings, other caseload and class responsibilities, I might not have time to read for myself. Summer is when I do that. At the end of the last school year (which means just this past May), a friend at work said “You have to read this book!” I don’t usually read romance or drama so the book isn’t one I would pick just from the cover. I just don’t enjoy them. She went on about how one of the characters has Aspergers, yet that is not what the book is focused on. Sure, they mention it here and there, but it isn’t the main focus. This got me intrigued. I still didn’t read it until mid Summer, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down.
As a teacher, I absolutely just adore how the author popped in the Autistic characteristics and work that psychologists do to help those on the Autistic Spectrum. She even included a children’s book that has been helpful in those cases as well. She did this in such a way that it made the characters more lovable and easier to relate to.
As a mother and as a lover of books, this one is a definite read. I do not want to give more details because for me, going in blind was the best. I was so pleasantly surprised by this story and it immediately grabbed my attention from the beginning. Trust me. It is nothing like you think. Just read the first two chapters and you will be hooked. ❤
This weekend, my children’s book is free on Amazon. The Girl Who Saw Words is unique in that it describes what life is like with Synesthesia. So…what the hell is Synesthesia?