Monday, October 31, 2011

It was a dark and stormy night...

NaNoWriMo The best excuse out of the whole year to write starts tomorrow. Are you going to do it?

There are contests for people who write the most words. Support groups for people sprinting through a novel in a month.

Me? Uhm, I'm celebrating by actually getting my laptop and flashdrive out of hiding. If I can find my flashdrive. It's been SEVEN months since I last wrote.

I feel like I'm at an AA meeting. My name is Laura Bingham and I haven't worked on a novel for seven months.

Wait, I just found my pink flashdrive. (Why couldn't have been green?)

Now I want to plug it in and see if the story I started is still any good. Maybe I'll start over. It would be the perfect excuse...November starting tomorrow and all.

Then the question is, can I still write?

Yes, the seven month writing diet was painful. Necessary for studying for my TCRG exams, but agonizing all the same. And yes, it turns out this was a successful weight-loss strategy, not that I intended it to be, but as long as we're talking about diets...

But now that the diet is officially over, it's time to see if my brain still knows how to string a story. There's only one way to find out. I can't believe I'm nervous that I might have lost my touch. Maybe I wont' be any good at it any more. Writing might have been one of those flukes.

Even if it was, there's no way I could live without it. Bring on November. I'm ready.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Day After

Never before have I seen so many worn blue Ar Rinci Foirne books; clutched in front, opened and fervently studied, or sitting hopefully on the exam table before all items were required to be removed from the candidates' tables.

There was no need to present a badges labeling candidates for the October Vancouver TCRG exams. The nervous energy prior to the written exam would have kept any normal human out of the area. All of us standing there as if either impending doom or eternal glory awaited the outcome of what we were about to undertake.

The anxious air was thick.

I'll admit, sweat trickled down my spine.

Then off to the races. Two hours have never gone by so quickly. The intensity of answering each question felt so focused that by the end, I could not even remember what all of the questions were. Each one held my absolute attention and there was no room in my head for any other thoughts.

Then another half hour waiting in the hall for the next test.

My legs shook for a full ten minutes. I don't even know why, except that every ounce of me wanted to pass all of these tests and two hours of sheer focus must have taken its toll.

They played 19 set tunes twice while we wrote down their names, time and bars. This was the easy part of the night. Until I realized that one of my questions had been answered wrong and after scribbling my four different guesses, there was no more room on the space provided for my final answer. Hopefully the panel will have a magnifying glass to read what I wrote.

And then the days to follow were filled with dancing and studying. A little sleep and a quick bite in between, but not much else.

At the end of my last test, my panel leader told me I could go relax and enjoy the rest of my day. I could be happy. She told me I could be happy.

And where I thought I would be instantly filled with a rush of relief, I found that she was right, I did feel happy. Later as I flew over San Fransisco I found another feeling. Deep gratitude. So strong I could not do it justice in words. This is the feeling that has stayed with me since the end of my test.

My brain is still recovering from overdosing it with Irish dancing, but my heart is filled with gratitude. The whole experience taught me more than I could have ever projected. It changed me. And in spite of my flaws and weaknesses, I have no honest regrets. I came and gave what I could, and left with more than I had.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Stolen Inspiration

Read it. Believe it. As far as I can tell, it's all true.

“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

Friday, October 7, 2011


Check out a new book- there are so many out there right now that I'm excited about. Here's a new one.

ALIAS by Mandi Slack

Hop on over to her blog.

She's doing a virtual tour all month.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wings of Light up for grabs

MMmmmm, I'll take that one....

If I could pick any kind of cake in the world, you should know it would be a Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake. Is there anything closer to heaven? (Don't answer that. I'm still dreaming of Godiva chocolate cheesecake.) Of course, we're pretending that this gorgeous cake is said cheesecake that I will never be cured of.

The best part about it being my birthday is that I get to share it. I love sharing my birthday! My kids love it too. Funny how that works... But I can't think of a better way of spending my birthday than making the people around me happier.

So, although I would go completely broke if I tried to give EVERYONE something, I'm going to give you a chance to win a copy of WINGS OF LIGHT.

All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me what your to-die-for-dream-birthday cake would be.

And tell me your e-mail address so I can get a hold of you.

Contest ends Saturday, as in October 8. Love you all! Hope you have a beautiful day.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Almost There...

I'm freaking out. I am taking the biggest test of my life in two weeks. TWO WEEKS!!!!! AAAAaaaahhhhh. I've studied my brain out and I think it's melted into puddles and the steam is leaking out of my ears.

Am I going to remember anything?

I seriously need a miracle. Sort of counting on one. I'm planning on studying until the very last second, but will it be enough?

Oh yeah, and I'm turning older tomorrow and that really can't help my odds. They say one year older and wiser too, but I'm sort of thinking- one year older and more forgetful. Maybe being forgetful makes you wiser. Hmmm, there could be some correlation.

And dancing. Oh the dancing. I need one FABULOUS day. Just one day of doing what I know how to do without messing it all up. So many dances- I just need to be my very best for a few hours.

Okay, I'm done ranting publicly. I'll save my freaking-out session for loved ones and strangers on the street.

Meanwhile, if you live around here- COME to my book launch next Friday from 7-9 PM at my studio (2840 Wildwood St., Boise 83713). It's just a bit of fun. Bring the kids.

And the best part of today- my older sister's birthday. Happy birthday Tonia! It's always nice to know that someone will always be older than me. It makes me feel young. Ha ha... Good thing you never come to my blog! ;)