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One Cobble at a Time

January 27th, 2014

Sandra Tayler's Journal

responsible woman

A cobble by itself is just a small stone, but when many of them lay together they create a path . My life is made up of many discrete parts. I have to find ways to fit them all into place so that I can continue to journey where I desire to go. This journal records some of the cobbles that create my path.

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January 27th, 2014

It is always interesting to me what transformations occur on my internal landscape when we hit my birthday. There have been years where I reached a landmark age and felt strange about it. Some years I’ve really needed affirmation and appreciation. There were times when I needed it and didn’t get it. Other times I needed it and it arrived. For several years I posted short stories on my birthday, but then came a year when that felt too stressful so I stopped. I’ve had forty one birthdays, which is a large enough sampling that I can confidently say that I don’t know how birthdays will affect me in the future.

So much of how I approach my birthday depends on the months that came before. This year I had an extremely affirming Kickstarter experience in December followed by a wonderful convention last week and another convention to look forward to. I’m feeling full-up and that fact of my birthday feels somewhat irrelevant. I like feeling this way about my birthday, because on the years where I really needed recognition I wanted to feel this way instead.

Except I think I might be wrong in this. There is true value in celebrating a person, not because of anything they did, but because each person is a miracle worthy of celebration. That core fact sometimes gets buried in the trappings of gifts, notes, cakes, and balloons. Then we lament the physical symbols of celebration, when what is truly lacking is the recognition of value. It is so much easier for me to celebrate someone else than to celebrate myself. It is easier to see how amazing my friends are than it is to recognize similar things in myself.

“How old are you Mom?” Gleek asked as we drove home this evening.
“Forty one.” I answered.
“Really? I thought you were like 38.” She kept talking and I got the sense that somehow she didn’t want to think of me as being that old.
“I like being Forty one. It is a good age.”
“I thought people got upset about being forty.”
“Some people do. But I’m here. I’m healthy. I’ve accomplished many of the things I want in life and I’ve got time left to accomplish more. This is a good place to be.”

It seems like a good assessment. I’ve got a whole year ahead of me to enjoy being forty one.

Comments are open on the original post at onecobble.com.

Writing Habits

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responsible woman

I have friends who write novels. Many novels. Long novels. I have friends whose books are shelved face out at Barnes and Noble. Some of them have been on the New York Times Best Seller’s list. I have friends who shepherd their books solo through drafting, editing, design, and releasing out to the reading public. Many of my friends have won awards for the words that they have written. I don’t really covet the awards, shelf placement, agents, editors, sales, or recommendation lists. All of those things come, or don’t come, after the primary effort is done. First my friends had to write the words. Hundreds of thousands of words. They sat at their keyboards and worked until they had a novel, or two, or ten. This is something I have yet to do. It is something I admire. I’ve blogged, written essays, created two picture books, drafted short stories, and crafted a memoir. These things are not insignificant. They are good and important works, but I have not written a novel.

My novelist friends succeed where I have not, because they have habits that I do not have. I’ve been watching them lately and looking at my daily schedule. I’m trying to figure out which habits I can fit into my life and what things that are currently in my life will have to get pitched in order to make space. Because no one gets more than twenty four hours in a day, not even novelists who create alternate realities. The time for considering is almost over. I need to start shoehorning writing habits into my days. I’ll start with one or two and see how far that gets me.

Comments are open on the original post at onecobble.com.

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