August 25, 2014

Writing My Way To The Future

A part of me is saying not to write this blog post. The other part knows that writing, any kind of writing, will remind me of all the reasons I have to be as full to bursting with amazement and joy as I was this morning.

I mean, just writing this I can remember what it felt like walking down to my second class feeling the sun shimmering down through the leaves (I hate the word shimmering... especially in reference to sunshine, but the sun really was shimmering.) I don't know exactly what it was, but somehow everything just sort of fit into place and I knew I was right where I belong.

Then later, sitting in my first Introduction to Professional Writing class listening to my professor's accent and taking in the details of the round room and the gorgeous skylight and the one straight wall that cut the circled room into a slightly more than half circle.

It's like my life has always been up in the air and tossed around in every direction imaginable, and now all of a sudden I've been dropped down into college, and I was so terrified to come here and so worried about this huge thing in front of me called college, but now I'm here and it's wonderful. I feel like a college student; I feel ready to be a college student. 

Of course nothing gold can stay, and there's always a little shadow to block out the sun if I let it. Communication with old friends is really hard when all of my old friends are busy with college beginnings as well, and all over the world. I feel like so many of my friends are slipping through my fingers and I know that I can't catch them all and that really hurts. Dating an amazing man who's on the other end of the country is really hard, especially during these first few days as our schedules are changing and unknown and we haven't been able to Skype or talk over the phone since orientation started.

But I want to focus on the good. Live life moment by moment and take hold of the present instead of wishing for the impossible, even if the impossible is just a phone call. So here's a bit of a peak at my new college friends. (Hopefully if they ever find out I have a blog and write about them they won't mind. There is a danger to befriending a writer, after all.)

They're from all over the country and somehow ended up bonding over the fact that we're all freshmen in the same residential hall. We call ourselves the Breakfast Club, or at least mentioned it once, but I think it fits. We don't quite fill the exact stereotypes, and there are more than five of us, but it sort of works. One guy looks like John Cusack, another is just loud and friendly, another ridiculously quiet, one girl is practically a hippie and calls me Mexico, another is a crazy and fun New Yorker, the other is my roommate who's studying game programming and likes anime and manga and South Park, another carries around a long board and is slightly crazy and cheerful, and one is mostly normal in the best way possible.

Anyway, I suppose sleep may be a good idea. I do still have a couple more first classes tomorrow, so I should be wide awake and ready for them. I have a feeling this post doesn't make any sense and doesn't flow very well, but I think I mostly write these blog posts for me, anyway. Every once in a while I lean toward some kind of audience, but usually it's just another way to keep myself writing as often as I possibly can.

August 23, 2014

Chicago to Champlain

I wish I could have had time to write a post during my time in Chicago, but alas, life moves far too quickly for that. During my week in Chicago I wanted to take up every moment possible and enjoy every second I had. Which I most definitely did. I experienced what it's like to stop time and teleport, and spent a lot of time with some amazing people who I hadn't seen in far too long.

I honestly can't even think of what to write as a highlight of the week, because everything was just so wonderful. We watched movies, played cards, talked, walked along the beach, even found tacos al'pastor! Delicious.

But then all of a sudden I was driving to the airport, and walking through security, and watching the earth drop out from beneath me. Then I was in Montreal, Canada, my sixteenth country, and my mom was there again and I got to see her after such a long time away. Then we were driving down to Vermont and meeting strangers who gave us a room in their house for the few days we were here.

And now?

Now I'm in college, which is absolutely insane.

Now I am a freshman at Champlain College and I am surrounded by people who I will spend the next four years of my life with. I am hearing about the Professional Writing Program and learning how to get involved with publishing and magazines and poetry readings and writing workshops, and I am making new friends and setting up a dorm room and staring at the globe on my desk wondering where all of this will take me.

For one of those overplayed ice breakers we were supposed to talk to someone else for two minutes about ourselves, and then they would come up with two truths and one lie about me. My three things (already adapted so they are all true.)

I'm from Mexico. I've already written two novels. I brought a typewriter with me to college.

Of course there are way more than three things to describe me, and if I was told to choose out three facts from my life these probably aren't the three I would choose. On the other hand, they fit pretty well. Although I would need to add in a fourth fact, something about my tattered old Bible that I love so much, or the importance of God in my life, considering that is probably the most important thing about me.

But anyway, I'm in college, typewriter and quill and globe and everything, and as terrifying as it has been, it's also exciting, and crazy, and wonderful, and overwhelming, and breathtaking, and beautiful all at once. It's college; and I'm here.

August 10, 2014

Stuffed Inside my Suitcase

My suitcase and I have a very special relationship. After all, we have traveled the world together. We went to my first Writer's Convention in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, we've been back and forth between Colorado and Oaxaca, we've gone camping all over, we've gone to the beach, we went to Peru, we went on a cruise to Jamaica and the Bahamas and Grand Cayman, and most recently we traveled through Europe. Now we're headed to Chicago, Canada, and Vermont, where hopefully we can finally take a break from each other for a while.

I mean, no matter how close we are, no relationship should have to deal with this amount of pressure. Me: "Come on suitcase, I know you have room for me to stuff in this one more notebook!!"
Suitcase: "My zippers are going to break!" (Just to prove it the suitcase zips through a shirt making it impossible to completely close or open to start over.)
Me: "Seriously? I hate you."
Suitcase: "Fine. Don't take any of your stuff with you."

Eventually we always seem to work something out, even if I've left boxes of my old things all over the world. Belongings just seem to multiply so much during travel. Oh well, I think I managed to squeeze everything in for now. But it sure will be wonderful to live in one place for the next year.

Anyway, I could write a blog post all about my college fears and excitement and all of that, but I think I've given enough of those already. Besides, for right now college somehow still seems pretty far away. (Far being two weeks.) So Chicago is the next adventure at the forefront of my mind.

I've only ever been to the Chicago airport, so I am very excited to go explore some of the city itself. However, of course I am mostly excited for who I get to explore the city with, my amazing boyfriend and his family and some other families and friends who used to live in Oaxaca. After four months of only limited Skype calls and Facebook messages, I am so happy to finally get to see my boyfriend again without unreliable internet and spontaneous computer access.

On a different note, my writer's side decided to suddenly get inspired about Equity Blue again. So while I had an entire summer full of writing time with no inspiration to write, I suddenly have a whole ton of motivation and no time to write. See? My theory was right; I write best when I'm busy. I guess the chaos of having something else to do makes writing just seem so much more appealing. So I have a beginning six pages of Equity Blue. That means I need to come up with fourteen more in order to conquer the twenty page block. (My theory that I can't say I'm working on a new novel until I've written more than twenty pages. Once I get over twenty pages then it's a keeper, before that it's just brainstorming ideas.)

So I'm off to Chicago for the week to see what new stories life throws at me and to hopefully be inspired to get back to Equity as soon as I get settled in to college so I can write out twenty pages and get started on the next novel which has been marinating for far too long.

August 6, 2014

Caves and Camping

Imagine yourself in the depths of the earth sitting on the hold, hard, metal seats of a little boat. There are fourteen people on the boat with and most of them don't know how to shut their mouth for more than a few seconds at a time. However, we stop in front of "Gibraltar Rock" and the tour guide turns off the lights and for a few seconds we get to experience total darkness. The blackness feels tangible, it's so thick. And then the lights come back on and I just want to close my eyes because the darkness was so beautiful. And then... then the tour guide pulls out a Native American flute and starts to play, and for once everyone is silent and the music echoes of the cave walls and it sounds so amazing.

Definitely one of the highlights of my week long camping trip. There's just something about caves... I know they're supposed to at least be a little bit scary, but somehow the silence and darkness felt more relaxing than anything. It was also pretty amazing when my aunt and I detoured away from the trail and explored a little cave on our own. We couldn't make it very far inside before it was all water, but it was so neat to watch the walls sparkled and find a cave salamander and some crickets and lots of frogs.

Speaking of frogs... I also watched one of the other girls on the camping trip chase a frog straight into a snake's waiting mouth. So traumatizing to watch the snake gulp down the poor little frog that wouldn't have died if I hadn't seen it and pointed it out to the other girl...

Oh, and I cannot forget the biggest adventure of hitting a deer on the way down. I was in the passengers seat and got to sit and watch as my windshield suddenly turned brown for a second. Lots of damage to the driver's car, but neither of us were hurt which was definitely a blessing.

Beautiful hikes, indescribable devotions in the sunlight every morning, and breath taking stars. I even got to see a lunar eclipse. All in all a very good camping trip, even with the disappointment that came right before, when my brother wasn't allowed to fly alone from Mexico to come and spend the week with me. I really miss my family, and it's been so long since I've seen any of them. It was so hard to hear that my brother wasn't coming after weeks of looking forward to seeing him.

Unfortunately, while I did write several pages worth of words, nothing worth showing anyone. I still have all of these ideas for the upcoming Equity Blue, but something is still holding me back from writing it. Maybe it's all the uncertainties and changing aspects of my life. It's hard to write when I'll be in a different state every week for the next few weeks.

Which brings me to wonderful news- I'm going to Chicago!!! I get to spend a week up in Chicago with my boyfriend and his family and some other families that used to go to my school in Mexico. I cannot wait to see some familiar faces from Mexico and spend some time with friends. And, of course, I am excited beyond words to see my boyfriend again after months of rare Skype calls and some emails and lots of Facebook messages passed back and forth as I moved from country to country. Five more days until I get to see him in person!! I cannot wait!

So not much happening in the pages for me right now, but a lot of adventure outside of them.