Two days ago, we took our beloved girl, Dana, a golden retriever, to the vet for surgery. She had developed a tumor in her chest and we were told that it needed to be removed before it grew too much and went inside her body to attack other organs. My girl behaved heavenly all the time, as always, but I was disheartened when I saw her scar, it was huge, and could only tell how much pain she was on after the surgery. Besides, the anesthesia did a number on her, when we brought her home, more than 8 hours passed before she could actually sit down, but couldn´t walk yet. I was concerned that she couldn´t walk and wanted to pee but couldn´t. It was the first time where I felt impotent, and couldn´t avoid to look into her eyes and beg that I wish she could talk, so I knew exactly if she wanted to pee, if she was in too much pain, etc. Fortunately, she managed to get on her feet and pee. She was still walking dizzily.
I really hated myself for putting her through so much pain and promised her that I would never do that again. This is her second surgery, she had another tumor extracted before, but this time it was too hard on her. According to the vet it´s because of her age, she´s nine, but I feel these problems are just taking a huge take on her. Through her eyes, I felt as if she was trying to tell me: Why are you doing this to me again? And I really couldn´t help but to feel miserable.
People´s eyes are supposed to be their windows to their souls (I don´t remember who said this, sorry), but this also happens on animals, and so intensively on dogs. Her eyes were so full of feelings, pain, and still so much love, I wonder if humans are able to ever express those eyes. And when we exchange looks with my girl, I can´t help but to feel terrified of losing her…
This post may seem a little bit different from others, but I just felt I needed to write it.
And you, how do you feel regarding your beloved pets?
This is a continuation from my last post (Once I forgot the typewriter, I forgot how to live) and final part (I promise):
From those writing experiences and my relationship with my typewriter in my child years. I sadly left the writing world, and forgot about my dreams. Many years later, I started to pay attention to other things in life, and stopped writing until I was probably out of college, or even after I had finished some postgraduate studies.
I studied a career that was never meant for me, so when I read about a short-story local contest in the newspaper, I heard a voice calling me again… I didn´t win anything, but being more mature this time, I acknowledged that writing was truly a passion for me.
For many years, I had several jobs in a career that I never liked, and a life situation where I was always unhappy. Finally, I decided that I had to find what I really wanted to do in my life and shout it to the world, and I did.
Now, I´m a writer, even if I don´t write that well yet, or even when I have so much to learn, I consider myself a writer, because writing helps me to be sane, it helps me communicate with the world, and it helps me discover a life where I feel everything is possible.
Image source: archolatheatre.com
I have started writing this year, and I chose to do it in English (because all the books I read are in English and writers tend to write according to what they read) and I feel absolute and totally happy and satisfied with my life, because for the first time I´m acknowledging who I am, what I want to do for the rest of my life, and I´m totally confident that I´m working hard on it.
(This is a continuation of the previous post: How to make your kid an avid reader/writer)
I still remember when I was little, no computer yet in my house (I got my first computer when I started University) but we used to have a typewriter (well, we still do, it´s there forgotten somewhere in a dark place of my house). I had read in the newspaper about a writing contest, sponsored by the government in my city, and I thought it was a hell of opportunity for me. I was no more than eight years old, and decided to enter this contest for ‘novel writers’. I´m convinced that it was just for adults but I didn´t pay attention to it. I just wrote with my typewriter a wonderful story (that shamefully I never kept a copy) of a fantasy world. Since typewriters didn´t allow you to make mistakes, my presentation was extremely awful. Being a kid, I wasn´t conscious yet about having to redo a whole page whenever I had a mistake on the typewriter, I would just use an eraser and type over the mistake.
When I was done, I begged my Aunt Nancy, who used to live near the post office, to put the papers in an envelope and submit it to the P.O. box of the contest. Of course, I never won or anything and the writing must had been really embarrassing, but I was just eight years old! Nevertheless, having such a wonderful imagination (that I still have fortunately), the story in itself must had been a lot of fun.
At that age, I felt there was no limit for me and no barriers to achieve whatever I wanted. What a shame, I was never encouraged to follow these dreams. I wrote short stories for my mom and some members of my family before I was 10. I have a couple of them stored in a box, and of course the writing is terrible but the stories, the creativity, the characters were great. But what I remember the most is that I always felt fulfilled whenever I wrote those stories.That sense of fulfilment shouldn´t be forgotten, we should live our lives with the intention of feeling always like that.
However, I did forget it… and it was shameful because it led me to years and years of an unsatisfied and unhappy life….
P.S. will continue…
I never post advice for parents, but I thought this title was actually the objective of this post.
“This is your vacation homework.” my mom would say. When I was a kid, my mother used to prepare vacation homework for me. I was the only kid in the family and didn´t have many friends, so on school vacation, I actually got bored watching TV. Since I was an obedient kid, I would think of my mom´s “vacation homework” as something I had comply with or I would be facing some severe scolding. Most of this homework was reading, and that is the best gift that my mom ever gave me.
Image source: http://www.elizabethstreet.com
I was born, grew up, and still live in Bolivia, a country where if you say you´re a writer, people would look at you with disbelief and even pity. Writers don´t make any decent earnings here, and of course it´s never a good career choice. So as a normal young girl, with very good grades, I went for what I thought was an excellent career choice for me and for everybody else in my family: “Industrial Engineering”. Just the name sounded good, hard, complicated, and something that everybody else could be proud of, with lots of job´s opportunities, good salaries, and all the things that people advised you when you graduate from high school.
I´ve never received the advice “do you what you love to do, what you´re passionate about” and I wish I had.
story will continue…
P.S. I came up to the conclusion, that in our current lives where we get tons of emails, blog posts, and so on… the shorter the better, so I decided to write short posts from now on…but I will try to make them to sound as complete as possible on their own…
Image source: blog.princetontutorial.com
Oh men, If I thought I would had a weekend like the previous one, years ago, I would have laughed really hard. I´ve always envisioned myself writing a novel in the late years of my life. I would say “SOMEDAY I will write a book, when I´m retired, and have time, and blah blah…”, but then one day I just decided to say that is BS! I will accomplish this dream “RIGHT NOW RIGHT HERE”, not in the near future, or someday when I´m in a retirement house, but NOW, when I have a day job and almost no time. I made the right decision…
For the past months, I´ve been trying to write my first novel. I started writing short stories first but when I got what I thought an interesting idea for a novel, I decided to give it a go. I decided I was going to put ‘writing´ as number one in my priorities list. No more “extra activities” that would drive me away from it. I would write everyday, if possible, until I actually made a habit of it.
Then, to not bore you anymore with the process to achieve this goal, I started to research about the process of writing books, how to build up characters, plots, etc. So much material about it, you wouldn´t believe me.
Image source: http://www.arcolatheatre.com
Finally, I decided to enroll myself in the Writer´s Digest bootcamp: Agent One-on-One: First ten pages, which basically focused in the first ten pages of a novel. We got a video tutorial from Ms. Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary Agency, who was brilliant, the cleverest person I´ve ever listened to. She gave excellent advice of what Agents were looking for and what she expected to find in the first pages of a novel. She also talked about all clichés, and all the times she got to reject queries from writers. I was “Oh my, I´ve never going to make it!” I did some research about her clients, looked in the web for their books, and believe me , those were quality material, beautiful books, written so amazingly that I was “I don’t stand a chance, English is not even my native language! I´ve never going to be at that level” But I was already registered in the course, with 200 $us invested, which here in my country is a LOT of money.
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So to shorten things, Paula Munier was assigned as the agent who would review my pages (out of five agents in the bootcamp). I was thrilled, maybe she was the toughest one, but the one I´ve imagined myself working with. I sent my pages, expecting to receive a critique that would say “this is not good, you really have to improve, you should consider changing careers, or are you sure you want to be a writer?” I was already mentally preparing myself for that, telling me that I would try not to take it so bad, that I would improve, that this was just a course, and that I was there to learn and to improve.
What I got was: “Nice work, Easy and Fun to read, Engaging premise, Likable hero, Colorful cast of characters, Unique great style” and I was … My god I was stunned.
Of course she also described the parts where I could improve, like improving the flow of the scenes, avoiding overwriting, American grammar and punctuation (the British influence of course), and some issues with my second scene. But nonetheless, I was thrilled.
Image source: http://www.kariwolfe.com
And true, there is still a lot to improve, but it is all about the HARD WORK, and nothing else. If you want to write, you have to do it all the time. You have to read millions of books, if you want to improve your craft. It´s hard work and nothing else. Revision after revision and craziness along the way of course! I usually find myself about to go nuts when I get into one of those hard “revision” sessions, like I would dream with characters and get traumatized with grammar rules. But it is worth it.
In the end, we don´t get a second life, we only have this one, we´d better make the best of it. That means we only have NOW and THIS LIFE to make our dreams come true. We’d better devote ourselves and work our asses off to achieve our dreams, or else when are we going to do it? There is no other way around.
Believe in your dreams and just work the hell out of yourself to make them come true!