Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Fluff: Open Letter

Dear Praying Mantis,

I’m sorry I sat on you.

It’s been a rough week for me too…

Crushingly Yours,

(Oh, and I've written my first post of tips about NaNoWriMo. You can check it out, here.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Political Alienation…

[Stepping on to the soapbox…]

So, full confession, this is the first Presidential election that I’ve been really following.

Sure, in past years I’ve known who was running (which is the first step to being politically savvy), and I probably watched a couple of minutes from the debates.

But I certainly didn’t watch them in their entirety, or read commentaries, or political blogs, or watch talk-heads prattle on about why their candidate is so totally awesome! (All of which I’ve done this year.)

And I wouldn’t say that the reason I’ve been more involved this year is due to the candidates, themselves. (I’m not too fond of either of them, truth be told. The person I was rooting for didn’t get the nomination.)

But, it has to do with the fact that, finally, at (ahem) 33 years of age, I understand the difference between the main two parties.

And it’s more than just little things. It’s big, fundamental differences on what this country stands for, where it should be headed, and how we're going to get there!

Yes, many (if not most) politicians are smarmy. Yes, many (if not most) love power and the wielding of it. And, yes, many (if not most) can be downright dishonest.

But…and there is a but… that does not mean that “They’re all the same.” Or “It doesn’t matter.” Or “There’s no real difference between the two.”

They’re not. It does. And, there is.

And if you’re voting, you should know that.

If you don’t, do a little reading. Or ask a friend (who’s nice and respectful) to tell you what he or she thinks. However you go about it, get the information! (From both sides of the aisle.) You should understand the arguments for and against everything you believe in. (And as a bonus, it makes you much more interesting.)

Now, there are side effects to informing yourself:

1) You care a lot more about issues and outcomes (which could cause you to be overly passionate about things—much to the chagrin of people talking to you.)

2) You become frustrated with people who don’t care, or can’t provide a single reason that they’re voting for someone other than “He’s new and for change.” Or “He’s old and for change, too, sort of!” (FYI: If you tell me who you’re voting for, be prepared for me to ask you “Why?” and expect real answers.)

3) Or, you come to realize that the party you’re currently a member of no longer represents your world view. So, after this election, you’re switching!*

The bottom line is that the election is going to be over before we know it. But, the ramifications will be felt for years to come.

So, make sure before you hit the polls, you know what you’re giving to the future.

[Stepping off of the soapbox…]

*Yes, all of these reasons happened to me. So, be forewarned

Monday, October 20, 2008

Two Weeks Notice…

Nov. 1 is the start of National Novel Writing Month.*

So in the next two weeks, sign up and mentally prepare yourself for the exciting adventure of writing a novel in an insanely short amount of time!

I did it last year, and although it almost killed me, I’m doing it again.



1) It was fun to see where forced writing would take me. Being inherently lazy, having a deadline really helps. And I didn’t have time to really plot things out, so my creativity was stretched.

2) No matter what else I didn’t accomplish last year, I can say that I wrote a novel—who cares if it was crappy!

3) I loved the sense of community with other writers from all over the world! It was nice to know that I was in the same self-induced stress boat as a guy from Japan and a woman from Australia.

And I want you to join me this year!

Go check out the site and sign up. I mean it!

It’s hard, but not too hard. And don’t give me the excuse that you’re not a “writer.”

If you know have to write, you’re a writer! It’s a simple as that.

All you have to do is write 1667 words per day for 30 days, for a total of 50,000 words!

That’s it! And then you can call yourself a novelist!!!

There’s no need to plan ahead. Last year I didn’t. I just dove in and let whatever happen, happen. This year, because I knew it was coming, I’ve been thinking of the general direction I want my story to go. But, I don’t really have any of the details worked out. I loved the organic process of the whole thing!

So, please, please, please sign up!

I’d love to have some friends to share the highs and lows of writing a novel…

*I'm planning on doing weekly check-ins on my "Poet by Night" blog. So, heads up!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

See! I’m not a liar!!!

So, for months and months and months, now, I’ve been saying that I entered a poetry contest (by accident, actually) and my poem received an honorable mention (which was a complete surprise—since, again, I didn’t know I had entered the contest).

And all of you dear friends were like “That’s great Liz!” “Way to go!” “You’re the best.”*

And then months passed, and nothing. No proof that what I said was true.

I stopped bringing it up because I was afraid you’d all start thinking I was telling a tall tale. You know, that I had somehow confused having a poem published in a literary journal with reading a poem in a literary journal by someone named Liz.

But, yesterday when I got home from a long day at work, there was a surprise waiting for me in the mail…The Summer 2008 edition of Segullah and when I opened up the pages, there I was!!!!

A full page with my poem on it!!!


You can see the cover here. (And you’ll notice on the lower right of the webpage, under the Poetry section, you’ll see my name.”

I’m thinking of pinning the journal to my shirt and wearing it around town.

So, if you want to read it, just ask. I’ll have it on me**…

*These aren’t direct quotes. But, I’m assuming they’re close to what you said… =)

**And if any of you subscribe, not only will you get wonderful essays and poems by and about Mormon women, but you’ll also get my autograph. You know, for when I become a world famous poet.***

***Because when I become a world famous poet, I’m planning on moving to a small cottage in Ireland, where I’ll be a recluse. And then, it will totally be hard to get my signature, because if you stop by, I’ll probably throw stones and yell at you in Gaelic to get off my property.****

****Of course, I might let you in and give you an autograph if you’re there to film a documentary on my life, à la Grey Gardens. Because I’m sure, by then, I’ll be REALLY quirky. I can’t guarantee that I’ll be living with raccoons, and have a hot plate by my bed, but it’s very likely that I’ll have some kind of hygienic issue and questionable pet. Like my hair will be puffed out to the size of a small moon and I’ll have a pet jaguar.*****

***** I’d love to have a jaguar…I’d name him Kirk.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Feminist Dilemma…

So, lately I’ve been feeling a little on the outs with women.

LDS and non-LDS alike.

I find that I’m a little too feminist for some, and WAY not enough for others.

This has been brought to the forefront of my mind because of a certain woman who is running for office. I’ve heard numerous women weighing in on whether or not she should. And I’ve heard all their reasons why they think she shouldn’t. I’ve also heard women expressing their feelings that she’s destroying the women’s movement because she’s an anti-feminist.

I’ve held my tongue during all of this; partly because it’s political (and you know how I feel about that), and partly because I don’t agree with either side.

But, it does make me feel disconnected.

Do any of you feel the same way?