Monday, March 21, 2016

My dog doesn't understand selfies

...and fair enough, I'm not big on taking a bunch of pics of myself either. But I thought, hey! I should take a pic of my dog and I together because he's cute and that would be a nice pic.

So, I sat next to him on the floor and held out my phone.

Problem number 1: Benny didn't realize he was supposed to look at my phone.

Problem number 2: He was so excited I was sitting next to him, he kept sniffing and trying to lick me.

Problem number 3. He became so confused as to why I was sitting next to him BUT NOT LOOKING AT HIM that he started howling. I tried to reassure him by telling him it was okay and to look at my phone. He lunged, I'm trying to hold him back, he's howling, and I'm not even looking at the camera.

Which means we ended up with this gem:

And if we zoom in:

The confused horror is palpable.

It's tough being a dog.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Competition makes us stronger

I will always try to help people--yes, even if that means freely giving away tips and tricks and HARD WON lessons I've gleaned from my journey along the way to people who are in the same industry I am.

My *gasp* competition.

You don't see it as much in the writing community, but the music business can be a horrifically cutthroat place. There's a predominantly hoarderish attitude toward n00bs and how they must 'pay their dues.' I've always hated that bitter attitude.

But I've never understood keeping knowledge to yourself. If I can give some advice that saves someone from having to learn something the hard way like I did? You're damn right I'm going to tell them. Every time. Whether or not they take that advice isn't up to me. That's on them.

Why would I arm my competition with knowledge that could make them better?

That reminds me of a scene from the movie GO! (which, if you haven't seen, WATCH IT! It's one of my all-time favourites.)

The dad's talking to his son about how in his day, you got to the top by being greater, stronger, smarter than the guy who was already there. And now that's changed. NOW you just wait for the guy at the top to fuck up with ineptitude and BAM! You're on top.

IF it's a competition, I want to beat the best. (I do not think it's a competition, though it is a competitive industry.)

If I was on a BATTLE OF THE BANDS, I don't want to win because the best band's van broke down on the way over and I win by default. I want them to be there playing their asses off, making me sweat and smile and sing my fucking heart out, too.

When I'm playing pool with someone, I HATE winning because they scratch and sink the 8 Ball too early.

Just like the movie BRING IT ON, I want to win knowing that I have to bring my A game against another amazing team.

I don't want to win by default. I don't think I'm the best. I know with every book I write, I improve. I shed old habits. I hone my language. My drafts get neater. I compete against myself to be better than I was last year, last month, last week.

And I read something someone else writes, and I flail with delight at their skill. I smile, I wail, I want to be better so maybe my words can make someone feel the way their words just made me feel.

When you start thinking you're The Best, you're getting complacent, and saying you have no more room to grow.

I saw this video and it reminded me that competition makes us stronger. When we see the amazing talent that's out there, and realize we don't have to beat other people--we just have to try to be the best version of ourselves that we can, then we're all winners.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bookmobile! Like the Batmobile, but more exciting!

I grew up in a very small, rural community. Okay, that's not true. I actually grew up on a farm, and had to travel to *get to* a very small, rural community. And take a bus from there to get to my school.

My elementary school was very small and, sadly, the library was tiny. BUT we had this amazing thing called, The Bookmobile!

The Bookmobile was basically a huge RV that had been lined with shelves, and filled with books. It would show up every couple weeks and BLOW OUR MINDS.

Crammed full of books we hadn't read yet, it was a magical place for a voracious reader like me who had basically rampaged my way through the shelves at school and NEEDED MORE THINGS TO READ.

I thought that Bookmobile driver was a hero. Honestly, I’m pretty sure we all thought that the driver OWNED all the books and was letting us borrow them from his private shelves. We didn’t question why an adult had so many children’s books; we were too busy grabbing all the Berenstain Bears and Little Miss books we could get our hands on!

Such a small thing, new books to read, made a huge difference to our lives. And it still means the world to me. Waiting (somewhat) patiently for the next book in a series I love, knowing it’s On Its Way is almost as exciting as reading the book itself. Almost. Let’s not be silly.

There are so many authors out there producing new and exciting things for us to read, and suddenly I’m out there too, pouring my heart into the keyboard while words come out of my fingertips.

I’m not a kid climbing the stairs into the dark hall of the bookmobile anymore, but I feel just as excited – only now mine is the book someone might take off the shelf, or one-click.

I can’t tell you how good that feels. How HUGE that feels.

I can only hope that you’ve gone for one of your dreams as well, and made it a reality. Don't wait or put it off any longer. Work on it for even five minutes a day.