Dancing outside my comfort zone

Best laid plans often go astray, and I’m living proof

Today was definitely one of those “best laid plans” kind of days. I’d fully intended to spend time working on my latest novel. I did not intend to procrastinate. But in my defense, what I worked on was definitely related to my writing.

Yesterday, I started building my website including, prematurely importing all of my blog posts, all eight hundred and something of them. Today, I realized that was not my plan at all, so after figuring out how to link my blog to my website, I set about deleting all eight hundred and something posts from my web page. In my usual, ‘dive into the software and just start poking around’ manner, I spent today adding and deleting things, changing themes, and eventually discovering that I really did have access to more than the four rather boring themes they offered on the theme page. The trick was just to figure out how to find them.

After adding and discarding about five themes, I finally settled on one I could live with…for now. That’s when the fun began. I approached this as I’ve always approached new software. That is, with the idea that it has to be able to do what I want it to, I simply have to figure it out. My first challenge was linking both mine and my daughter’s blogs to the website as I really didn’t want to have to manually update it every time we wrote another post. At one point, I had hers working fine, but when I clicked on mine, it just wandered around the website, aimlessly looking for love in all the wrong places.

Eventually, I realized that there were at least three places which needed instructions on redirecting a hyperlink. Once all three were filled with the same information, Voila! The blog and website talked to each other. What fun! My next challenge will be finding out how to keep from getting a 404 error on the “Home” hyperlink. Stay tuned, as this may prove to be a rather humorous process.

Learning to follow my heart but listen to my brain (at least occasionally)

My Hermit side finds it very easy to get so wrapped up in a project that everything else becomes secondary and, in fact, dispensable. Everything, of course, except catering to the needs of my furry roommates. They tolerate a great deal, but empty food dishes and full litter boxes are non-negotiable!

With today’s small victories, I really wanted to stay home, work on the website some more and maybe tackle the writing I’d neglected. I knew, however, that if my missed one of my twice weekly dance nights, I’d be kicking myself by tomorrow. Nevertheless, I was feeling rather disconnected for the first hour or so until something clicked and it turned into an exceptional night. It wasn’t just the dancing, nor, to be honest, are the best nights ever just about the dancing. The energy was great, my friends just felt really good to be around. Conversations were lively and the camaraderie was something I found I truly needed.

A writer cannot write in a vacuum

Just as I did with the very first story I ever wrote, I need characters. What better place to find those characters than around people? As I build my characters, I know that some of their qualities will come from people I know or observe. But I can’t make those observations if I hole up in my house all the time. (As I sit here, I realize that at some point, I’m going to have to find a place for the girl with the rather ample derriere who somehow manages to twerk the line dances!) How often have I sat with friends, making up a story about someone at the bar? So why not turn it around and craft a character after someone I’ve observed? There was a guy tonight, with longish wavy hair sticking out from under a cowboy hat. He looked rather familiar, and in fact, smiled and waved at me when I was on the dance floor, but I can’t place him, other than the fact that he kind of looked like a youngish Barry Manilow, if Barry had ever been seen dressed in black cowboy attire. Just another one for my character file.

So there you have it. I can easily make a case for avoiding human contact, but I’m learning that there’s at least an equally good case for seeking it out. Both the human interaction and the people I see will help me make my characters more believable and individual as I write them. My next assignment will be to spend time observing how they demonstrate various emotions. I’m struggling with showing rather than telling what a person is feeling and am desperately in need of better word pictures right now.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the lessons I learned today.
2. I am grateful that I know when to be alone and when to seek company.
3. I am grateful for so many people to observe and from whom I might gain insight into my characters.
4. I am grateful for a weekend of both work and fun with my friends, new and old.
5. I am grateful for abundance: ideas, lessons, new skills, people, friends, love, laughter, inspiration, peace, harmony, health and prosperity.

Blessed be.

I invite you to visit my daughter’s blog at https://heathersculinaryadventures.wordpress.com/ which can also be reached via my new website: http://www.shericonaway.com/. Feel free to leave comments or suggestions when you visit.

I’d also be delighted if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

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