Wednesday, June 7, 2017

#IWSG JUNE - "I Quit," Double Graduation, and Summer Schedule

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OPTIONAL June 7th IWSG Day Question: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I've said "I quit" more than once.
  • When a "friend" shared one of my short stories without my permission ... I quit sharing and I quit writing for a while. 
  • I quit when I couldn't seem to concentrate long enough to write more than 15 minutes at a time when my children were toddler and pre-school age (I truly appreciated If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Give a Moose a Muffin - those books represent early motherhood to me - all the joy and all the messes.)
  • I quit for three months at a time when I waited for magazine editors to respond to some of my early short stories - "Dragonfold" and "The Crystal Sword."
  • I quit for a few weeks in 2015 after a particularly bad book fair - rain all day, books dropped in mud, when painful social anxiety had me huddled in a corner and I couldn't seem to shake it off and I was landed between an ultra religious group that chased people down with their flyers and a young man who self-published his book in found materials that he bound together himself. That particular day, I was told that I "really should write about dragons." That I "had obviously stolen" my author name (it's my real name). That I "shouldn't write Christian fantasy" (once from a fantasy reader and once from a Christian who abhors fantasy). I know I wasn't the only one having a bad day - the lady across from me cried on her husband's shoulder after someone said something rude about her poetry books. (I bought one a few hours later and it was good.) I'm not sure I'll ever attend that fair again since it seemed to be occupied by trolls - or maybe it was just a bad year.
  • I almost quit last year after I had invested time into a new novel project that died a slow, painful, plot-plodding death and I felt like all my marketing efforts were worthless.
  • This year I almost quit during the first waiting part between my first biopsy and the first results. (This week, I'm on my fourth biopsy of the year for a new health concern - it's getting to be a new normal.) Good News as of Thursday - I don't have breast cancer!!!
So, what made me come back?
  • I'm stubborn, hard-headed, and determined.
  • I like to play with words and now and then in my hardest moments, I find it ironic that I've had poetry published when it's my "go-to" for my off writing days, but that irony keeps driving me forward as much as the fun I have with poetry writing. (And I have gratitudefor a particular 10th grade writing teacher who told me to give poetry a chance - Thank you, Mrs. Bee Evans.)
  • I daydream stories all the time and I love writing them down.
  • I write because it helps me process my thoughts, my emotions, my faith, and all my crazy ideas.
  • I came back because I want my daughters to know that it's worthwhile to work hard at a dream, even if it isn't a financially successful dream (yet). 
  • I came back because I refuse to let fear to conquer me.
  • I came back because of the awesome encouragement I receive from family, friends, and IWSG.

BTW - "Dragonfold" found a home at Mindflights in 2009 and "The Crystal Sword" became my first self-published novel Champion in the Darkness in 2013.

Double Graduation?
Is it possible to graduate twice from high school?
Yes, it is - if a student is a home-schooler in Washington State and attends Running Start classes at a local community college.
My oldest went to her first graduation ceremony at Harbor Christian Homeschool Cooperative on Saturday, June 3rd. (She's in the center of the top pick in this photo collage):

Earlier that day, she walked in the Gig Harbor Maritime Parade and that night she went to Senior Prom hosted by the high school with friends:
Anna is in the black skirt.

The next day, she helped lead Youth Sunday Worship at our church - which included roles for every young person in worship, in the short film that we created "High School Parable," in a presentation of a Veggie Tales story, and in a beatifully choreographed dance about the Prodigal Son. The worship ended with an amazing gift of encouragement for all of the high school seniors in words, prayer, and gifts of Bibles which had been highlighted by members of our church with notes and prayers. Of course, the only photo I took comes from a goofing off moment of worship rehearsal before everything started:

It was a jam-packed weekend. 

In two weeks, she'll graduate from Tacoma Community College with a general associates degree and another high school diploma  (this one from an accredited insitution and not just "mom").

So ... I'm headed into my Summer Schedule early.
But, what does that mean this year?
IWSG - first Wed
Goals Hop - last Friday
Potentially a fair number of extremely short writing prompt posts with some off weeks/moments. I won't expect or hope for comments on these, but I plan to put them out there in the hopes that they will be "of service" to my fellow writers.

Hootsuite will have tweets, google+, and facebook author posts on auto-pilot most days.

Have you ever "quit" writing for a while? How do you celebrate the end of the school year? And, do you have a summer schedule?


Patricia Lynne said...

Stubbornness is one thing keeping me from quitting writing when it gets rough too.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Oh, that book fair sounded awful!

Wishing you good health news - fingers crossed! Please take care....

Christine Rains said...

Glad you came back. Your writing is fantastic. Stubbornness takes hold of many of us and good for it!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations to your daughter. You raised a fine young lady.
What a horrible fair. Who says stuff like that to people? That Christian probably hated the Narnia books as well.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Tyrean, I agree with Christine. I loved Champion. Congrats to your daughters. You are a busy family. Holding you in my heart and prayers!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Patricia - yes, sometimes someone telling me I can't do something, just makes me say, "oh yeah! Watch me."

Madeline - It was remarkably bad.

Christine - thank you!

Alex - Thanks, Alex! And yes, it was the oddest experience. Most people in the writing and reading world are super supportive.

cleemckenzie said...

When I read your post I marveled at how resilient you are. Writers not only go through all the downturns and hardships everyone does, they can express their experiences so others can relate to them. Great job at sharing those times, and then encouraging us with your decision to stay the course.

Crystal Collier said...

Awesome. I love your counterpoints. There are definitely reasons and times to quit, but also reasons and times not to.

Huge congrats to your daughter! Here's wishing you sanity through the crazy summer!

Julie Flanders said...

I agree with Lee, I admire your resilience and admire you for sharing your experiences. It's inspiring to know you kept at it and I'm so glad you didn't quit. I think I remember you sharing about that horrible book fair back when it happened and I felt so awful reading it then and now. I've had two bad experiences at fairs but not quite as nasty as what you went through.
Congratulations to your wonderful daughters and I will be thinking of you and hoping you get the all clear with the latest biopsy. So sorry you have had so many health concerns to deal with.

emaginette said...

Writing is a definite challenge. And it only gets worse when facing certain expectations. I'm glad you're still with us.

Anna from elements of emaginette

krystal jane said...

This looks like my list of quitting. Stubbornness is a gift. It really is. :) I wonder if it's possible to live a struggle-free writing life. I don't have meltdowns anymore, but I question my sanity s log these days.

Congratulations to your daughter!

Em-Musing said...

Life can be hard, writing can be hard...but they're both worth the battle. You are a strong woman, strong by faith.

Chemist Ken said...

Every time I see a good movie, I want to immediately rush home and work on my story. Every time I read a chapter in someone else's book that demonstrates how to use a technique I've been struggling with. I want to work on my story. Every time I'm alone in the house (not very often) I want to work on my story.

All your quitting moments scare the heck out of me. Not sure I want to share anything with anyone, writing-wise.

Jen Chandler said...

Oh my heart is aching for you at that book fair!!! YIKES! What awful ... people .... I just don't know how people can live with such bitterness. I had some odd experiences at a craft fair I did years ago: people watching me, criticizing what I was doing when I set up and then wandering in to preach at me about the dangers of paraffin wax in candles. Wow. It's a crazy world out there but the fact that we keep writing and keep telling stories is testimony. Don't give up! Keep writing!

And congratulations to your daughter! What an accomplished young lady :D Best of luck with all the new biopsies. I'm so sorry there's new stuff cropping up. I do understand though. When something new pops up with me I just go, "Oh? Really? I guess it's your turn now, huh?" Like my legs today...le sigh! Keeps things interesting that's for sure!


Murees Dupé said...

Tyrean, you are brilliant. I'm sorry for all the stuff you have been through the past few years. That book fair sounds horrible. I hate it when people break others down. It's what cowards do, in my opinion. You inspire me so much, because you went through all that and you stil came back, and you kept writing.

Congratulations to your daughter. Your kids are amazing too. Clearly you and your husband are great examples to them.

Wishing you well and hopefully no more medical issues. Sending good vibes your way. Please take care.

Robert Bennett said...

Keep on keeping on. Stubbornness definitely has its place and it can do you good sometimes. :)

C.D. Gallant-King said...

I love the Give a Mouse a Cookie Books. The book fair sounds awful though.

Sarah Foster said...

That book fair sounds like a nightmare.
Congrats to your daughter!

CWMartin said...

Not the same thing, but after a particularly bad day at work, in which I threatened to gather my pictures at day's end, I calmed down, looked at the statement for what it was. Next day a "self-help" poster was put up at my station, and one of the items on my "to-do list" was, "No more 'suicides' ".

Nick Wilford said...

That's a lot of great reasons to keep going. I also made the mistake early on of stopping while waiting for feedback on something. The best idea is to write something else and keep learning and developing.

Jessica Therrien said...

You are busy!! Congrats on getting your work out there despite it all!

Chrys Fey said...

I can't believe that happened to you at a book fair. I never imagined one could be like that, though I've never even been to one. That makes me nervous.

I'm glad none of that made you fully quit.

Mark Noce said...

I can't blame you for taking a writing break after someone shared your work when you weren't prepared for it. But it looks like you've managed to balance a busy life and a busy writing schedule:)

Yawatta Hosby said...

Wow, I'm sorry you're going through all those health scares. I hope everything works out for you. I love your positive attitude towards not quitting writing because you won't let fear conquer you. I've quit writing fiction a few times in order to just focus on short films and comics, but I keep coming back to novellas and short stories. I guess I'm stubborn like you :)

Keep smiling,

Lynda R Young said...

I quit for ten years and was on the verge of quitting again this year because... reasons.
That book fair you attended sounded truly horrible.
I'm so glad you found the encouragement you needed to keep writing.

Olga Godim said...

Writing is a pursuit for the brave, and you have courage in spades to deal with all the crap life throws at you and come back stronger every time. Keep going, Tyrean. Congrats to you and your daughter!

M.J. Fifield said...

Yeah, that's a terrible fair experience! I hope it was just having an off year and isn't like that all the time, because WOW! That's awful. I was yelled at at one event for not having a large-print edition of my book. But that woman was amazing compared to what you had to deal with.

Congratulations to the graduate!

(And may you get some good health news! Sending good vibes your way...)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Cathrina - Thank you!!!

C. Lee - thanks for all of your encouragement!

Crystal - Thanks! I'm just hoping that summer is less crazy. :)

Julie - Thank you! Yes, that book fair was the worst in what is now an almost comical way (someday I will laugh). I am thankful for all the IWSG writers who keep on writing, blogging, and going throughout all of life.

emaginette - me, too.

Krystal - our "quit" journeys look pretty similar - I noticed. :) Let's just keep on writing.

Em - thanks! God provides, and I try.

Ken - don't let my moments get to you. I love that you have that strong urge to write all the time. I write in my journal a lot, but the fiction world sometimes is what gets me.

Jen - Thanks! Yes, life is interesting. :)

Murees - thanks for your encouragement!

Robert - Stubborness is good.

CD - awesome books ... and not going back to that one, unless I get to the bestseller's list and can drive up in a limo. :)

Sarah -Thanks!

CW - that's quite a to-do list. Wow. Hope work is better these days.

Nick - yes, it is!

Jessica - Thanks!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Great reasons to keep writing. Congrats to your daughter. What a wonderful time.

Erika Beebe said...

I always feel your passion in your posts. Thank you again for another excellent post. I feel like I really see you even though we have never shaken hands in person. I pray for you all the time and I hope you are ok. Your children are beautiful and I am glad you refuse to quit.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats on your daughter's graduation. Yes, I have had many interruptions in my writing but like you have come back to it. While I don't write fiction right now, I am a writer every day and love it.

Gwen Gardner said...

Sounds like you never really quit, you just took a break. And you have a lot of publishing successes too. You're an awesome role model for your girls!

Juneta Key said...

Beautiful family. Congrats on Graduations. That fair sounded awful. You are inspiring. Sending prayers your way with those new norms. God Bless. Happy IWSG
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Tyrean,

So happy for you wonderful health news! And we are ALL GLAD you kept on writing. I remember vividly when Champion in the Darkness debuted in 2013... I still remember the intro I did for it durning that year's A-Z! Your journey has had its ups and downs, but from what I see, many more ups than downs! Congrats on your STUBBORNNESS. LOL. I share that with you and hopefully one day soon I will return to writing, too.

It's such a tough road full of potholes and sometime we just run out of gas.


Heather R. Holden said...

Wow, that book fair sounds like an absolute nightmare. Not surprised you aren't tempted to ever attend it again!

I love your writing, so I'm glad you've always been too stubborn to quit permanently! Still, as someone who has quit art in the past, and continues to consider it sometimes, it's comforting to see all the times you've stopped writing. Makes me feel less abnormal...

And two graduations?! Wow, impressive. Many congrats to your daughter!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to your daughter on her academic successes! Sorry you had to go through that horrible book fair. But what a great role model you are by not letting it defeat you. I'm glad your stubbornness has helped you persevere with writing. I really enjoyed your Champion series. And that's wonderful news about not having breast cancer. I hope your other health issues have equally good results.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean - wonderful news about your daughter and the performances ... brilliant to be so involved; equally I'm so pleased for your news. Now to enjoy the summer months ... writing, being with family and feeling free from cares for a while ... enjoy - cheers Hilary

Michelle Wallace said...

You have amazing kids, Tyrean!
Congrats to your daughter!

Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor said...

What an awful experience at that book fair :-(

I love wanting to demonstrate perseverance to your daughters as one of the reasons you stick with writing. You're a great role model for them.

Arlee Bird said...

The nice thing about saying you're going to quit is that you can change your mind if you want to. Temporarily quitting doesn't preclude coming back with a new sense of dedication or even a "vengeance".

The end of a school year doesn't mean that much to me personally anymore, but since my wife is a teacher we celebrate the end of the school year by taking a vacation to see our kids and grandkids.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Cherie Reich said...

I'm glad you haven't quit writing for good. :)