Monday, October 25, 2010

I never realized how wonderful a few hours of "boredom" were until I had a child. It is all in about the past 6 months that I have come to realize how much I can actually get done in a 60 minute period of time when I view that time as precious and limited. Needless to say, for the past seven days I have had numerous blog post topics pop into my head, but here I am a week later just now posting for the first time. Much to my dismay, this post doesn't touch base on a SINGLE thing I have thought to blog about, but rather is serving as a blank spiral for my exhausted mommy brain.

Here it is 5:00 p.m.

Caroline is taking a nap. I have cleaned the entire apartment, folded AND put away clothes, lit a candle, opened the windows and now I sit embracing the silence.

I know there isn't much substance to this post, but I can't bare to relish in my blog when I have a book I'm in the middle of writing. I need to spend this valuable time working on that. So for now I say: I'm taking all my good ideas for blogs with me as I go. I will hopefully be back sooner than a week from now!

Random " Likes"

Monday, October 18, 2010

So often I find myself inspired by the strangest things.

Thus, the old Ford truck with a cracked window. I keep imagining one of my characters driving a pick-up, distinguished by the broken window. There's a story behind the crack, I'm not sure what the story is yet though.


From a creative mind stand this's like a chalky charcoal color. Wonderful! I need to get out the sketch book and transpose this window into either a clothing or floral design. My mind is turning. I love the handle too. It's classic, straight lines, clean.
Movin on...

This arrangement is a lot like the one's I sketch. I love the "spunky" pine cone like inserts. This wheat color looks amazing with the navy. Defiantly a color combo I will be integrating into my winter wardrobe this year.

Trust, Love, and Twenty Dollar Pumpkins

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I was driving along the road the other day, and I saw a pumpkin that had rolled off it's cozy little porch and into the street. It was an nice looking pumpkin, identical to the one illustrated in children's Halloween and Thanksgiving storybooks. I considered, only for a moment, stopping and picking it up. Then I absent mindedly wondered if that would be considered " stealing". I mean, the street is technically public property right? So " legally" it was just as much MY pumpkin at that point as it was it's terrible owners. Makes sense. Then naturally my mind wondered even further ( as it always does), wondering: " If hypothetically I was to stop and pick up that pumpkin and the previous owner saw it and considered me a thief, then couldn't I just pay the difference and move on with my life. How much could a pumpkin like that cost? Seven bucks? maybe twelve? Certainly no more than twenty dollars. Twenty dollars, I decided, was the maximum I would have to re-reimburse the owner for either the taking or destruction of their flawless pumpkin. By this point I was like about a mile out of the neighborhood, but I had just successfully put a " value" to that pumpkin; deciding how much I found it to be worth. I find that I do this quite often with material things...figure out what I think the maximum cost of damage would be if I were to destroy something and someone be upset about it. Then, as expected, my mind went a step further.

How often do I place a value on things that are not easily replaceable? How many things in my life have I come across that simply no amount of money could mend if it were to be broken? The initial idea I kept coming up with was trust. Once someone feels safe in confiding in you, and you become a refuge of sort, trust's value increases to an unmatchable number. Trust is something that once it is taken away, no dollar bill can buy back. No haphazard apology can regain it. At what point do we as humans see trust as something with such high a value that it can not even be accurately described?

On the other hand, what about the things that we can not give a SPECIFIC value to. For instance, love is something else we have decided to try and define in terms of value. We tell ourselves that it's so important to hear, yet we allow ourselves to be annoyed and " not lovable" when we are not in the "mood" to be loved. Funny that it is, but love is "madness" of the heart. A constant battle between mind and spirit. If it's sincere, love is something that can not simply be said but must be demonstrated. I've found that we often times think we can place a value on love simply because we can compare our love for someone or something to the love for someone or something else. Love has no tangible value.

I guess where I am going with this is: There are things in life like smashed or stolen pumpkins that we can fork over a days pay for and move on down the road without missing much. Then, there are other things such as trust and love, that once taken, said, felt, expressed, lost, etc. can not be " paid off", and that have much higher value than any man could buy. Take the time to recognize those infinitely valuable things in your life and always remind yourself, " your no twenty dollar pumpkin."

When Is It Okay To Walk?

Monday, October 11, 2010

I was homebound. On the downward slope, wind to my back as though it was ushering me along, I steadied my pace and concentrated on my breathing. I find it funny when people say, " running is my time to think." I mean, for me, ALL I can think about IS running. There is no room in my head for miscellanious thoughts...I'm much too busy scoping out my next rest spot. I alternate between " Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth" and " Okay, I just have to make it to that ' School Zone' sign and then I can walk." I suppose the more you run, the less you think about running, but I've been running for years now and I havn't gotten to that point. Forget relaxing, running with my coach is anything but relaxing. Yes, I said running with my coach. She is the most useless, good-for-nothing, phony out there. The coach in my head never fails to let me down.

Once I reached the bottom of the hill, approaching my designated " walking point", I could again think outside the rehelm of pain. I silently cursed my coach. I mean, coaches were supposed to be encouraging, and full of motivating phrases to keep pushing you through. Mine, on the other hand, would have rather sat on her lazy butt all Sunday afternoon, reading a book, eating ice cream. Once my lungs again felt functional, and I wondered why I had ever began walking when I was feeling so good now. I started to ask myself something that I think every wanna-be-runner asks: When did it become okay to walk?

In high school, it was never optional. You ran or got benched. You ran whether you felt like your throat was as dry as sand paper or your stomach was in your chest. You ran an 8 minute mile, because walking wasn't optional in order to keep up with the best athletes. So again, I wondered, when did I start telling myself it was okay? So often my mind gives out WELL before my body. My lazy coach tells my body that it's tired and it's going to "DIE" when by body is confussed because it feels fine. The mind is powerful thing, and it almost ALWAYS wins this battle. SO, I find myself walking briskly, disgruntled about the fact that I slowed for NO reason!

It is in this time of question, that I was struck with a bit of fear. How often, I questioned, does my mind tell my body it's too tired in other areas of my life? How much more could I accomplish, how much better of an employee and mother would I be, how great are the things I could achieve, if only I wouldn't let my mind give up before the rest of me was litteraly unable to go further? To this sobering thought I found do answer that left me content because I realized that the answer was reason enough to start pushing myself past those self imposed boundries.

I havn't yet prepared myself for the emotional, phsyical, and mental challanges that lie ahead if I choose to make a change in my approach to success, but the one thing I know is that in order to get there, I have GOT to fire my coach!

Love and All We Don't Know About it

Here is what I know...

Love was supposed to be a cuss word. Think about it, they all have four letters which is what they have become infamous for: shit, fuck, hell, damn, and love. You know why love should have been a cuss word? Because most often times it is used when the speaker is at a loss for a more distinguished word to say. People can use " four letter words" as frequently as the phrases " A" and "The". Thanks to the people that abuse the words, they sound cliche and have little meaning than to display ones ignorance. Love is no exception to this realization. It has been over used and watered down so much today, that when it is truly felt and sincerely expressed it is under appreciated.


Why bother at all? If the reality is: Love is just another four letter word, then why do we bother to give it any significance in the first place. It's sincerity will ALWAYS be questioned, it's presence will ALWAYS become unnoticed with time, and it will ALWAYS be used, " too little" or " too much", never a satisfying amount.

Someone once said, " To love is the single greatest thing any being can do." I must disagree. If the " single greatest thing I will ever do" is equal to the single greatest thing lets say an abusive, drunken, unemployed, lazy man can do, than I mind as well quit life right now.

Love is involuntary when it's real. It burns like fire in your chest just begging to be released so it can burn through your life. If someone were to ask me if I would choose to love something I would say, " absolutely not." For it is something that will never be appreciated enough to justify the pain ones heart must endure in order to be considered, "in love."

But because love is involuntary and it burns until you set it free, I have concluded that
... I know nothing...

A Bag Full Of Nightmares. ( ABC Stories)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Anticipation grew in me as I waited to enter the room. Behind those closed doors stood a world of evidence to crimes that may never be solved. Carefully collected clues to criminals that might not ever be caught resided upon those hundreds of shelves. Darkness engulfed my presence as the steel door began to shift slowly to the right, wearily accepting my entrance. Every woman and child that had been a victim's nightmare sat in an indistinguishable, labeled, brown bag, right before my eyes. Floor to ceiling the obviously full shelves stretched, forming rows of tragedy throughout the room. Galvanic emotions swept quickly through my body causing a need to brace myself against the cold door frame. Half a decade had passed since I was one of those helpless victims, but still horrifying memories and images flashed through my mind at the most random of moments. Incomprehensible numbers were presented to me when I asked the detective "how may?" " Just in this facility alone, mam, we currently house just shy of 500,000 victims' cases, but we are the smallest of 47 other housing units in the nation, " he informed me. Keeping my astonishment to myself, I swallowed hard and slowly began to walk the calloused rows, caressing each shelf ledge as I passed. Lifelessly I stared at each bag, at each label, at each life. Masses of people had suffered, still suffer, from a crime they did not commit. No one understands how long the wounds take to heal unless they have had the same tragedy plague them personally. One time forever changes you: who you were, who you'll be, how you see yourself and every unknown face around you. Perfectly innocent people fall into the hands of a stranger that will change them. Quietness is just as terrifying as the crowd to a victim of this crime. Regretting my decisions to come, I continued to walk. Sometimes we have to face ourselves, our circumstances, and our past in order to break free of the line that someone else seems to be holding on to. Tragedy is what we make of it, so I was there to make an impact on the world through mine. Uniqueness is no word when it comes to a rape case. Variety only surfacing in victim names, each case is the same. Whether it is by a friend of a foe, to the young or the old, rape is a scar written across every part of the inner and outer body, that will never go away. Xenophobia is built in every single victim, forever making it a challenge to re adapt to everyday life. You wonder why the world we live in is so corrupt? Zealous strangers are leaving way too many innocent people a bag full of nightmares.

"A writer who can take you to a place they themselves have never been, experience something they themselves have never experienced, and feel emotions they themselves have never felt...has succeeded."
- Courtney Surber
Hope I succeeded!

"A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the other one."

I heard this quote today and fell in love! As a writer I'm just going to go ahead and say... THIS IS SO TRUE! Don't get me wrong, a writer often uses synonyms when the word he/she uses tastes too dry, but I am guilty of using a synonym because it has a simpler spelling ( mostly when I don't have computer access)! On that note, I would like to relate this common laziness in writers to most of our lives.

Lately I have come to find that most often people make the decisions they do because it's "easier" than maybe the other option. This is especially true in the aspect of careers. People tend to gravitate towards jobs that are "easy" to obtain and maintain. Yet, interestingly enough, most people long for more recognition. Notice: All the famous people that you can probably think of didn't get where they are because they just walked in and filled out an application. No, these people did what everyone said would never happen to them.

I can relate. While I work an alternate full time job, I do not accept that I should give up on writing and face the reality that the possibility of becoming a published author is unlikely. If every writer listened to this we would have no literature at all.

The truth is, we should all attempt the things we've been told are impossible because we were probably told that by someone too afraid to do something that wasn't "easy". All good things in life are worth working for. Don't find another word just because you don't know how to spell the one you want to use.

Picture Perfect?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm sure I am a bit bias, but on a regular basis people everywhere comment on Caroline. Random people come up to us and say she's the most beautiful baby, and even today my mom said the UPS guy said, " you need to get that baby into modeling." ( Surprisingly more males gape over Caroline than women). After careful consideration, I think I will slowly get her into some contests or maybe some modeling. I too did modeling as a child, but I was a bit older so to be honest I don't even know where to start with this whole thing. Most agencies don't start will babies so young, but I am just wondering how companies like pampers, huggies, ect. get their baby models. So if anyone wants to contribute information to this new adventure please comment.

Anyways. So all this talk about the baby contest keeps bringing me back to the show " Toddlers in Tiarras" we've all seen it...terrible acting children raising monster parents. Yes you heard me right, children raising parents. That show epitomizes American culture. Since when was it okay for a four year old to tell her mother, " You are really getting on my nerves right now!" ? We all watch each week and laugh at this twisted life style, yet anyone who is a mother can understand how easy it could be to get sucked into this type of situation. We all want THE BEST for our little ones, even at the sacrifice of our time, energy, and sanity. In an essence, mother's tend to live an entire second lifetime vicariously through their children. When Suzy Q. does good in school, somehow as a parent, her mother feels like SHE has now done good in school. Our children's accomplishments are assumed to be our own.

So at what point do we stop thinking about our own pride as assigned, " proud parents" and start to really consider the long term affects of the short term achievements? Which brings me full circle to my new idea of putting Caroline in this because I feel like Caroline could benefit from this opportunity, or because I simply feel like I have the most beautiful baby girl and I want the whole world to know it? Maybe A little bit of both?

Back on the Porch

I should be sleeping right now seems how it 1:15 a.m. but my creative juices are just flowing and I'm running out of buckets to catch them in. I have already changed my facebook staus 3 times in the past 3 hours ( obsessive? Yes), I have added about 4 lengthy paragraphs to my book that I'm writing, and now I have spent 30 minutes trying to figure out how to get back onto my blog...clearly that 30 minutes were not wasted because here I sit.

Major focus these days? Running. I enjoyed running before I weighed 35 lbs. heavier than I had my whole life and felt like I was carrying an exercise ball in my stomach, but post baby Caroline I have found running to have a whole new meaning. Sure it's a great way to get in shape, but even more than that, running has given me the ability to have something for myself that involves NO ONE else. I run for me. When I run far and without rest, I am proud of my persistence. When I let my mind tire before my body and convince myself to stop, I am disappointed in myself. When I get finished running ( regardless of the productivity of the run) I feel like I've done something to better myself that day. Now, running has become a passion of mine and I am registering for three 5K marathons that will take place through the end of the year. The Allen Fall Festival 5K, The Turkey Trot, and The Frisco Frosty 5K. If anyone is interested in participating look em up and let me know.

Anyways, so the book I'm writing, has been inspired by this running passion. The catch? It sort of takes it to the extreme. Here's the gist: Single mom finds solitude in running, it starts off as a passion and quickly turns to obsession causing disarray as a mother, daughter, and girlfriend. Her selfishness in staking claims on running lead to her life being changed for the worse. So we will see how this goes. Already I am feeling good. The main character, Lucy, is starting to write her own story... I feel like am the translator, interpreting novel characters and translating them into real life language.

Okay, the bed is calling. Goodnight all!

-Courtney Jo

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