NaNoWriMo 2017

If you don’t know, it’s NaNoWriMo time! This month is National Novel Writing Month. Participants spend the month writing a novel — the ultimate goal being 50k words. If I remember correctly, 50,000 words is around 300 pages which is the average length of a novel today.

For the past three years I’ve participated and completed the 50k word goal. It’s not easy. They say to write 1,667 words a day and you’ll reach the end complete! The thing is life tends to get in the way. When you’re stuck, 1,667 words seems like an impossible goal. When you’re on a roll, 1,667 words is like nothing! So it’s an exercise in consistency.

During this month, if I make any posts at all there’s a very good chance that it’ll be ranting about how NaNo is kicking my ass. This time, though, I’ll be writing something a little different. Normally, it’s completely fictional with a character or two based loosely on someone I know. Now it’s going to be a little more personal. I’m going to be writing some about my life — friends, family, all the crap I’ve been through. At the end, I’m hoping it’ll turn into a happy ending (which will be the most fictional part of the story). At least, maybe. I’ll probably start writing and it’ll turn into something completely different.

If you’re interested in writing, even if you don’t think you’re good, you should at least check it out! It’s fun! Go to NaNoWriMo and see if there’s anyone else in your area. You can be anonymous or not. You can meet up with people if you want or you can do it solo. I’ve only met with the group in my area once when I was in college. Since then, I haven’t attended any write-ins or kick-offs.

Best of luck to anyone out there participating!

Signs

It’s a little too personal than I’m comfortable with sharing, so I won’t go too detailed.

I recognized something in my life that I’ve kept for years. I’ve justified it by saying it’s just artwork, etc. But the truth is, down in my soul, I’ve known it isn’t good. It’s a HUGE temptation for me and when I give in, it completely drags me away from the Lord and my bible gathers dust.

I knew I had to get rid of it. I didn’t know how. Just throwing it away, I could still go get it. Giving it away seemed even worse! I know it’s something God doesn’t approve of and giving it to another person, leading them to sin wasn’t right. So what other way is there? Fire.

It was between the trash and fire. The trash, I could wait until the last minute before the city picks it up, and throw it in. Or I could totally destroy it. So I prayed.

I got on my knees (literally) and asked God to give me a sign. If he wants me to destroy it with fire, put fire or flame in my dream, otherwise I’ll do my best to resist until the city picks up the trash. I begged, genuinely begged and pleaded with him to tell me what to do. I asked him for guidance and said I’ll do whatever he tells me to.

I can’t say I remember much about the dream, but I remember one very important thing. Flamethrower.

Why was a flamethrower in my dream? No clue. But there was my answer. Burn it.

So the next day, I gathered everything that had anything to do with it (which was surprisingly a lot) and burned all that I could. It made a huge smoke cloud, and it was windy so that was even worse. But I did it!

I asked for a sign. I got the sign. I did what he said. As I watched the embers of the fire die, I just felt this weight on my soul gone. I didn’t even realize it, but it was like carrying a really heavy bookbag all day at school, getting used to it, then dumping it off as soon as you get home. You feel like your shoulders are lifting. It was that, but deeper.

God is real! God is alive! He is listening!

If you’re struggling with something, pray about it. I mean, just talk to God, ask him for guidance and be prepared to follow through. Learn what God’s will is, make sure what you’re asking is in line with what he wants, and pray in Jesus’ name. I asked for a sign just like Abraham’s servant did (Genesis 24), something specific that couldn’t be confused as something else. Something specific for me to know.

Just try. Give it time. Like baking a cake. You can lick the frosting bowl and wait for the timer to ding saying the cake’s ready!

…or you might think I’m just crazy 🤷🏻‍♀️

The Waiting Game

After all the work and time and preparing I’ve done, now I have to wait. I’m used to instant gratification. It’s a nice concept, except when it isn’t. I’ve done the work, made things, listed them (still making things). Now I’m waiting for buyers. All the excitement is gone. Not gone, but severely diminished. I know logically that it wasn’t going to be like I list all the things and people start buying them immediately, immediate success, but I think I had just that kernel of hope that it would. Just that small bit of unrealistic expectations has been enough to completely derail me.

Right now, I think it’s different because I’ve set up a “craft table.” Every morning when I let the puppy outside I walk past it. And I can’t not touch the beads. There’s something about the feel of them, like putting your hand in a jar of marbles. It’s the only way I can think to describe it, but feeling them makes me want to do something. That’s how I’ve ended up making things. It’s all right there, one spot, out in the open and I just can’t resist! Besides, having an Etsy shop gives me a good excuse to keep buying more things!

I know I’m not alone in that – doing something and then expecting immediate results instead of waiting for the reward of success in the end. I think some of us (me included before) have prayed and asked for something from God and when there isn’t an immediate response or answer we understand, we get frustrated and give up.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him. — 1 John 5:14,15

The Israelites were in the dessert 40 years before they reached the land God had promised for them. I know it’s not going to be 40 years. But I think it’s a good comparison. 40 years,, 400 years of slavery before what God had promised Abraham and Isaac and Jacob came to be.

So, a few days? a few weeks? That’s nothing.

If we ask for things that are in accordance with Him, we’ll get it. God, the creator of the universe, who can hold the oceans in his hands, will take care of us. But he wants us to come to him. It’s something I’m learning and writing helps me process. This is me processing and I’m sharing.

Places with a Purpose

I’ve never been the kind of person who thinks that your bed is just for sleeping, your desk is just for studying/working, or the couch is just for lounging. I study, eat, sleep on the couch. You get my point.

But since I started this Etsy business again, things have been a little different. First, I kind of destroyed our living room by setting up two tables and a cart in it, but I don’t think people mind. To get to the kitchen for breakfast, I have to walk through the living room and get to see all my jewelry supplies. Using these tables just for making jewelry has really helped.

I didn’t buy into that idea of setting up a place with a purpose. Without even meaning to, I sort of did it myself. And it works! Of course, it doesn’t mean I’m about to not nap on the couch or eat a meal in front of the TV, etc.

Just saying… sometimes it works and sometimes it’s worth it.

Maybe there’s something you could try? If there’s any NaNo’s out there, maybe a specific chair or table or something just for writing. I don’t know. Personally, I’ll be writing wherever I can get my laptop!

Getting Things Done

Every day I wake up and think, “I hope I don’t waste this day too.” I know that life is short, anything can happen, you never know when your number’s up, yada, yada. I think about it quite a bit lately (I think because my step-grandmother just passed – no condolences necessary). So I wake up with the intention on accomplishing something that day.

But then my meds kick in and make me sleepy, or my anxiety crushes me, or I dissociate, or I can’t even make it out of the neighborhood because there happens to be a car behind me but they might be following so I race through the neighborhood like a madman to get home without being seen thanks to my paranoia and PTSD.

Finding something that I can do at home is good because almost none of those issues pop up! My Etsy shop has been up for about a year but I haven’t been using it. Now that I’ve got more listings up I find myself motivated and excited to do more. That is such a good feeling, and rare for me. I want to make more things to sell. Usually, I just give things away as a gift or keep it for myself. Selling them gives me an opportunity to make some money (to balance out how much I’ve spent on the supplies) and something to do. It’s more than me being able to say, “I washed the dishes and vacuumed the house.” To other people, that doesn’t seem like a big deal. They do all those things and go to work. I can’t. I wish I could. I wish it so much and I’m trying to get better, but it isn’t easy.

When I meet someone new (because I’ve taken a risk and went to a new church meeting thing once a week at night and it turned out I liked it so I’m going back), they’ve always asked my name and what I do. The last time I was around new people the questions were my name, my major, where I’m from (college). What can I say to those answers now? What do I do for a living? Nothing. Sorry. I’m a mooch. I come off as lazy and privileged. I know I’m lucky and that there are so many people in my situation who aren’t as lucky and don’t have the support system I do. Being able to answer them, “I run an Etsy shop,” makes me feel so good! Even if it doesn’t seem like much to them and no I’m no where near making a living off it, it’s still something other than permanently imbedding myself in the couch and burning my eyes out on TV.

tl;dr   Getting my Etsy shop going has gotten me going and I’m that real kind of happy that’s deep happy.

(Yes, I’m linking myself again. Sure, I’d love it if you bought something. But if you don’t, I’d be just as happy getting views on my “stats” dashboard. My standards are low.)

Etsy Shop

You may (or may not) have noticed the new widget in the sidebar for my Etsy shop, Emi’s Jewelry Studio. I’ve had the store for just over a year now and haven’t been very active. It’s hard to stay creative and on top of things when the depression kicks in and I’m just trying to keep my head above water.

Today is different. Right now I’m feeling crafty. So I’ve got some bracelets going and some rings. I haven’t actually posted the listings yet, but I am working on it. I want to put up a lot because it’s getting close to Christmas. I want them to available ASAP.

The problem is I have a tendency to make something that I love and I want to keep it. Several rings and bracelets have been made for the shop that I end up keeping. It’s gotten to the point though that I’ve got too many to wear and I don’t go out enough to wear everything. So anyway, I’m making lots of things to post before Christmas. I only ship within the US (because international shipping/fees is too much work, sorry).

This is shameless self-promoting. If you’re looking for something casual or a simple gift for someone, click on the badge! It’ll take you straight to my shop. Not a lot is up yet and it isn’t quite Christmas time, but keep me in mind! Be on the look out for bracelets, rings, and earrings! Some day soon I’ll have the right supplies to take the best pictures I can (because let’s be real, a good picture is the number one reason for even looking at a product online)!

Who knows? Maybe I’ll post a discount code on here for y’all! 😉

edit: just posted earrings and a bracelet for Halloween!

What a day…

So, I have a big yard. I’ve been alone for the hurricane and after and normally I’m not. I was gathering up all the branches from the back and dragging them out to the street for the pick ups. I basically bathed in bug spray because mosquitoes were so terrible outside. It was awful and I wasn’t drinking enough (I realize after I collapse against a tree and the mailman asks if I’m okay).

I accidentally took two days of meds on one day so the second day I didn’t take anything. Long story short, my meds were all kinds of messed up. I’m being eaten alive by mosquitoes, I’m getting all kinds of scratches cleaning up the yard, near fainting, and the whole time I’m mumbling to myself that I’m not grumbling or complaining (Philippians 2:14)…

I was just a train wreck. Then I hear my neighbor through the fence (who I haven’t met yet) asking someone, “Hey, do you hear her?” And I just really wished I had a pool so I could jump into it and stay under as long as possible.

It was embarrassing and pathetic. Now, after some time, I think it was ridiculous and a little funny. Medicine is important!

And now you know. I hope it made someone smile!