Monday, November 18, 2013

CheersFest 2.0! (If your name is Gary, do not read this post...)


Have you ever attended a Christmas party where you bump into the ONE person who was always there for you during the past year? You'd thank them for being such a RockStar, right??? 


If you remember last year we all roasted our Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh in the first ever CheersFest.

This year, we decided to choose a new victim. (Er.. roast-ee) 


The 2013 recipient of the CheersFest is none other than Arlee "Lee" Bird!!!!! 

On his main blog, “Tossing It Out,” Lee describes himself, in part, “as a writer, speaker, entertainer, music lover, collector, husband, father, grandfather, friend, traveler, seeker of truth and wisdom.” He majored in English while at the University of Tennessee, has blogged since 2008, and currently has six blogs that delve into his diverse mind.

The original brains behind the annual A to Z Challenge, Lee can be counted on to pay it forward and is a well-respected member of the blogging community.

Hosted again by Mark Koopmans, Me, David Powers King, Stephen Tremp and The Ninja Captain himself, CheersFest 2.0 will go LIVE! Dec. 9, 2013.

In order to proper cheer (or roast) Lee, here are four questions for you to answer on CheersFest Day, but please keep the retorts short – (no longer than 20 words each):

  • Why did Lee come up with the A-Z Challenge?
  • If someone dreams about being a juggler, what does it mean?
  • Is a post by Mr. Bird worth two in the bush?
  • Who could play Lee in a documentary? (Living or dead.)

In +/- 100 words, (excluding the title) write flash fiction using all these prompts:
  • Bird
  • Juggler
  • Challenge
  • Brown Jacket
  • Tossing

For Bonus Points:
  • In +/- 40 words, can you come up with a caption for Lee’s Facebook picture? 

As usual, the Very Demanding Rules of CheersFest include:

  • Join the Linky List *below*
  • Have fun
  • Post your 200 (total) word contribution ON Monday, Dec. 9, 2013.
  • No, seriously. Have Fun!

Two winners – chosen by Lee – will each win a prize:
  • An autographed color photo of Arlee Bird appearing as the Court Wizard in the World of Fantasy Players. Also included in the first prize pack are an assortment of promotional materials from Lee’s show biz days with a personal letter and a brief history of his entertainment career.
  • A personalized graphics design from Jeremy at Being Retro for the winner’s blog. (Jeremy will design a header, badge, button, banner, or whatever might appeal to the winner.)
Excited to roast and toast our blogger buddy, Lee?
If so, the Linky is now open. Sign up and we’ll see you on Dec. 9th

Red. Head. Out. :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It's Okay Not To Be The Best...

I’ve been sick.

And I’m not one to go into details about my personal life on my blog—I like to stick to the writing, the journey, books/etc, but I thought it might be therapeutic to share the thoughts I’m having and how it’s affected my writing journey.

(To just give a brief back story so you all don’t think I’m dying—which I hope I’m not!—I’ve been passing out—even woke up in an ambulance a couple months ago. After an EKG, they could clearly see I have an electrical problem, so for 30 days I get to wear a heart monitor 24/7 to help discover what’s going on more fully. There are some other health issues I’m not going to go into that are associated with this, but I figured I could share that much so my thoughts below make sense)

It’s ironic that I would be struggling during NaNo of all times. As I’ve been watching others putting up ridiculous word counts, I’ve been crying because I haven’t felt my hands for days, unable to type. (Again, I only share this to help paint the picture of the last couple months)

I’m the type of person who lives in one extreme or the other. Either I completely immerse myself in a project and ignore everything until it’s done, or I don’t bother doing it. (I know, not very healthy) Like most of you, I have a need to be great. I have a need to create something amazing. I have a desire to make it happen, regardless of what the success rates are. I think that’s called being a writer.

But as I’ve had my health ripped away from me, I’ve discovered something. I don’t need to have all these things. I don’t need to be great. I don’t need to create something amazing. I only need to be here. Alive. In the present. Living. (And this is where I would get personal if I was going to, but I’ll just leave it at that…)

But I’ve also discovered something else. Through this trial, I’ve found something I’ve never found before. Balance. I’ve been writing. And it’s felt so good. But I haven’t been obsessive about it. I haven’t shut out the world when I have to get a scene done. I’ve been able to open my current WIP and enjoy it, and then put it away when other things (that are more important) need my attention.

I’ve been able to write without falling into the one-sided extreme. (Which might not seem like a huge deal, but it is for me!) So while I think NaNo is an amazing thing—and I do—I also know that it’s not healthy for a person like me. A person who constantly needs to be making sure she is finding the right balance.

So the lesson I’ve learned in the last little bit is that it’s okay not to be the best. It’s okay to not push ourselves until we die. It’s okay to find our pace and be content with ourselves. It’s okay to see other people racing ahead, but to be perfectly happy with the pace that’s right for us.

A couple months ago, I started to fall into a place where I didn’t remember why I was writing anymore. But I’ve rediscovered that reason.

And it’s simple.

It makes me happy.

So while I'm continuing to find that balance, I'm going to enjoy:  

Figuring out Scrivener
Wearing green pants I'd never thought I'd wear (Because of the color--can we say Christmas elf?)
Leftover Halloween treats
And the best of all... Nutcracker season!!! 

Red. Head. Out. :) 

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