I Wish Dogs (and God) Could Speak

I’ m up early with the goal of finishing The Whiskey Rebels since I’ve finished my final edit on my book when I’m bothered by my male mastiff.  I just took him out and I couldn’t tell what he wanted so I shooed him off.  He kept doing this and I thought he just wanted to go sniff around outside.  He was acting absurdly weird the other day and we went out 10 times.  So I ignored him and he pooped in the middle of my floor.  Poor puppy!  Next time, I’ll know.

During this time, I was petting him, wishing he’d speak and tell me, “Hey, Mom!  I gotta poop!”  Then, it would have been easy.  I would have known what he had wanted from me and what he was trying to say.

So I wish God (whom I know does speak and very similarly to my dog–in cues and such) would speak as well.  I just finished my editing book again and am facing querying again, which I am not looking forward to.  I just wish God would lead me to the right agent.  I keep praying this, over and over.  I’m just so frustrated right now with a lot of things with regards to getting my book published that I do want to quit (although I doubt I ever will).  Quitting is definitely easier.  Yet, I have worked so hard on this project, I have to try, even though I have no desire at times.

Lessons From Editing

I have learned two things from finishing my umpteenth edit of my novel:  1) I could do it.  I didn’t believe in my heart that I even wanted to go there again–experience once more what my character experiences and re-live some of those events through her eyes.  But I did do it!

2) A peace has overcome me as I finished the last stroke.  It’s as if, finally, the story has been told and my work is complete.  I feel God has spoken all He can through this novel and it’s ready to be unleashed on the world.

Now, getting someone else to believe the same thing is the task at hand.

“If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing.”  Benjamin Franklin

“Let everything you do be something beautiful for God.”  Mother Teresa

Ode To the Dogs in My Life

Isn’t it amazing how our pets always know what we are feeling?

My male English Mastiff just came up to me and wanted some pets (he doesn’t kiss though).  So, I petted him.  It’s like he knew that his Mommy was dealing with some things and wasn’t in the best of moods and needed some love.

The thing about my male mastiff is that no other family would take him.  He’s almost 200 pounds, scared of people (we think he was beaten as a puppy), and in his old age, not favorable to other dogs.  He slobs, drools, sheds like no tomorrow, and in general takes up a lot of space.  Yet, he’s loved in this house, especially by my kids.  He belongs here and even though I sometimes complain about how much trouble he is, no one wants him gone.

His undying devotion and love is proof that he is worth it.  I have no doubt he’d die to protect his family.  His love is unconditional, even when Mommy accidentally slammed the door on his tail.  He’s always there when you need him.

The same goes for my female mastiff.  She’s the lover in the family.  She kisses and likes other people.  But she’s old too and spends a lot of time on our bed.  Yet, when my son curls up with her at night, we can’t imagine our lives without her.  Despite the fact we now like in an apartment where I have to pick up their poops and have no dog door so I have to take them out myself, I do it willingly for all they do for me and my family.

Aren’t pets the greatest?

Why Could I Not Achieve Things Seemingly Impossible?

David Liss, The Whiskey Rebels, P.309

This makes me think of my novel.  I’m dreaming to get it (or some other writing) published against all odds and I think, “Why not me?”  I’m just like anybody else with a good story to tell so why not me?  Against all the rejections, the no’s, I should come out on top.  This is what keeps me going, keeps me writing, keeps me believing in myself and what I’m doing.  Hopes and dreams—if you don’t have those, you might as well give up.

There Was So Much Out There, All for Me to Take, if Only…

I would grasp it. P. 265

Another quote from David Liss’ The Whiskey Rebels.  Great stuff.  We all know that possibilities are endless in this world.  It’s the grasping part that hinders many of us.  Sometimes it’s the knowing what to grasp or the actual process of grasping it.  Later, Liss asks, “Why else live if not to do it?”

This is a great question because we can get caught up in the monotony of life and lose focus sometimes.  It’s good to be reminded now and again that there is more out there than getting the kids off to school, soccer practice, and dinner.  Life is about living and doing, not just living.

On p 286, “Everything begins with someone who either does something or does nothing…”

So my question to you is: which will you be today?

The Whiskey Rebels

I’m getting such gems from this book by David Liss (could I ever be this good?).  On P. 220, “…beauty that made me love her, before I knew that our minds were perfectly formed for one another…”  This is great because I think most marriages are this way.  You see the outside first but once you’re married, you know the person so intimately that it seems your minds are perfect for one another.  Each compliments the other’s strengths.  I know this is the case in my marriage.

Liss goes on further a few pages down, describing marriage as, “…committing to law what was already in our hearts,” which is basically what a marriage ceremony is—committing to both the laws of the land and God’s law.

“I should live the life of my innermost desires.” Liss says this on p. 245, describing what a character wants for his wife.  Isn’t this what we all want for ourselves as well?

I know for me this is what I strive for every day.  I get up each morning and exercise because I want to be healthy and strong for my family.  I sit at my computer endlessly, typing and attempting to create what is on my heart and on God’s.  I strive to get my kids into the school I want them to go to because I want the best for their little minds.  I homeschool them until that point because I believe that the public system is not good enough and, frankly, I can do a much better job than they can.  I want them to start taking lessons of some sort once we catch up financially so they can discover what their passions are in life and lead the life of their desires.  I want my husband to figure out his passion in life and follow that to wherever it leads.  I pray every day that I find a literary agent who believes in my work and therefore in me and what I’m trying to accomplish in this world.

I think we all want to be living for something, something of our choosing.  Is that too much to ask?

Being Content in Life’s Circumstances

So, today church was about being content and grateful for what’s in your life and to not take things for granted because it can all vanish in an instant.  I am trying really hard, but I often let life get to me and I really don’t know why.

I’ve been through some tough times and we’re on an upswing right now:  new job, new apartment, new school, etc.  We have money now, especially here in the next couple of weeks once we get our taxes back and pay some debts off.  Still, I can’t help but feel…down.  I’m going to start P90X again tomorrow after two weeks off from our move so I hope that helps.

My husband’s out of town so we can’t move any furniture in until he returns.  I don’t have internet until the 11th (I’m just writing these and will post once I get it), which is really making me feel disconnected from the world.  I haven’t been inspired to write or query.  I haven’t been inspired to do much.

I’m back in contact with my sister after about 4 months of not speaking and she’s annoying. She’s well off but all I hear out of her is how poor she is and it’s getting old.  This is not to mention her other miniscule problems in life.

Then there are the moments when my son crawls into my lap and I just hug him and kiss him.

Still, it’s hard to get over feeling overwhelmed and down.  Today’s message was to trust in the Lord since He’s all we have really.  Our stuff can be taken away, people can be taken away, and even us will go one day.  He is the one constant.

So I guess I have to read my Bible more and trust more in Him and His plan.  Where else can I put my hope?

I Knew I Must Find My Voice, and Soon.

The above quote is P. 166 from “The Whiskey Rebels” by David Liss.  Great stuff.  It’s from a character who is struggling to write like I sometimes do.  A writer always knows they must find their voice and the sooner the better.

Three pages later, the same character says, “Somehow we were happy.  Somehow in the midst of our ruin we had each found something, some part of ourselves we had been missing, I in my writing and Andrew in his secret.”

I love this too.  I find myself in writing like this character speaks of.  This is just a reminder to follow your passion no matter how bad it gets.