Arthritis Awareness Month

I am writing on a subject I deal with every single day of my life, and there is no escaping from it. JRA is better known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, and since May is Arthritis Awareness Month, I thought I would write about it.

When I was seven years old, in the mornings I would feel stiff and achy like my joints were frozen in time. My mother dropped me off at school, she noticed I was limping in the mornings and after school I was fine. She questioned me if I hurt my leg, and I said no. Then my mother took me to our family doctor, and the tests revealed the diagnosis of JRA had already begun attacking my knees and ankles. Since this was the early 80’s, there wasn’t much information, support, and hope for my family and me.

After my diagnosis, it seemed that society had written me off, I remembered the adults in my life whispering ‘that I would be in a wheelchair before I was twenty-one.’ I was determined not to let that happened to me, neither were my parents. Thank God for my parents.

One day, I went to the store with my mother, and I was perfectly fine at the beginning of the errand. An hour later, I was sobbing because my aching knees and ankles refuse to bend and the pain radiated throughout my body. My mother finished her errand, taking me home where I could recover. Throughout my childhood, I fought against a crippling disease that was determined to transform me into a living statue by using invisible chains to bind my joints in place.

At the same time, I dealt with a society who still clung to a 50’s attitude towards the disabled that shouldn’t be seen. Another side too, I was a bright, beautiful girl who walked like an elderly woman. Let’s face it; a child should be happy, healthy with a promising future. I wasn’t that child; my reality stunned people by eradicating their illusions about life in the 80’s leaving people petrified.

What I longed most as a child was to be set free from the pain and desiring acceptance. 

That’s what a person with RA or JRA craves for support, understanding, and acceptance to endure the everlasting war. If you know someone that is fighting this awful disease just ask what can I do, or give a hug to show your support.

May 25 2017

I have been working on my latest WIP (Work-In-Progress) since I want a complete draft written before I return to finish the second installment of Deadman’s Planet. 

A couple of weeks on fleshing out the idea, developing the characters, and figuring out the overall plot to perceive how the story is evolving. Then I started the outline process by filling in the gaps and how the characters will perform their roles in the story’s structure. 

Last night, I was reminded why I loved to write. A feeling of joy raced through me, making my skin tingle with anticipation while I was writing; that’s when I discovered an unexpected turn happened in my current story’s plot, which had me bouncing in my chair.

Lo-and-behold, my minor character presented me with a little gift, well a huge gift. I needed him to fill in a gap, and he revealed what he had been concealing from me, providing a lot more than I was expecting! I’m very excited and curious to observe how my story will progress and develop in future drafts. 

The thrilling adventure of writing to uncover the story that is waiting to emerge, and the precious moments, I long for in my writing; to unearth this writing gold by gathering powerful words to create an excellent story for my future readers. 

CCP Effect

2017 has officially arrived! The year is fresh with new beginnings and promises waiting to be seize. Perhaps, one of your goals is to write that novel or continue on a on-going novel. The realization sets in with the massive undertaking of writing a novel creeps into your thoughts and creating a wave of doubts to flutter around in your mind.

Now, the task seems more daunting and an overwhelming to finish the first draft of your manuscript. 

Those are normal emotions to have from my experience. When I start a new project: a short story, a blog post, or the first chapter of my novel, I find myself in a brawl with the Mind Battles arena. 

It’s the realization of the task of writing. In my mind I see what needs to be written. It can be a overwhelming emotion to deal with. At times, I wondered if I can write a scene at all; let alone, a complete first draft of a manuscript.

How I handle these battles in the Mind Battle arena with CCP Effect.

What is CCP Effect? That is a simple answer: Confidence, Commitment, and Passion. Three very important tools that writers need in their mental toolbox. When used the effect produces a complete first draft.

Confidence: Believing in your ability and your story despite the nagging doubts or fear that creeps into your mind. As you continue to pound away at the keyboard. That is confidence. At times, may not feel like it, but the strong belief to keep going no matter what your internal editor, family, and friends tell you.

Commitment: Setting a certain time in your schedule to sit down. Just write your story regardless how busy you are with work and family obligations. Even if you have 15 – 30 minutes, you can get a lot done.

Passion: Is simply put, a love for writing and always searching for ways to improve your writing abilities.

Let’s take a quick look at Confidence: it’s a belief in your ability and story no matter what your doubts say or the world. I see with newbies (beginning amateur writers) struggle with their internal editor while writing the first draft. 

Tips on keeping your Confidence intact:

• Turn off your internal editor by ignoring your doubts or replacing your thoughts:

  1. That’s what writing is for to produce a first draft.
  2. What I don’t know I can learn it.
  3. It’s the first draft, and that doesn’t need perfection. 
  4. Be quiet, I am writing here! ( I told myself many times that.)

• When writing a first draft don’t show it to your friends and family. They will start sharing their opinions or give you unnecessarily feedback that you are not ready for. That can feed your doubts and your internal editor. I have learned that one, the hard way, by listening to others negative thoughts to much in the beginning of the writing process can kill a story. 

• The first draft will be terrible. It’s not supposed too be perfect. So, don’t believe the myth it needs to be perfect, so just finish the first draft. 

Commitment is where a lot of writers fail because they don’t make their writing a priority. It takes commitment to write a story, whether it’s a short story, novelette, novella, or novel because it takes time to develop the story. Writers who don’t set time in their schedule won’t have a complete draft of their work or take a long time to complete it; I have witnessed that with my writer friends.   

Tips on Commitment:

• Be realistic about your life and your obligations. If you are married with children and working a full time job. Let’s say you have health issues besides your other obligations. Is it a realistic goal to have a first draft completed in a month? Most people fail because they don’t study their reality of their life. Your writing goals must fit with your life style and your schedule.

• If your schedule is jammed full of your obligations, then carved out 15 – 30 minutes everyday or three days. You will be surprise how much you can get done in writing the first draft.

• By setting a certain time in your schedule you will start getting your creative juices flowing. You’ll find over time sitting down to write will be easier to get the story on paper or screen.

Passion is something you love to do that brings you joy in life, like the love for writing. I don’t know if passion is born or develops over time. It is an important ingredient of success to be a publish author in today’s market. Passion will keep you going in those dark moments of writing when it seems hopeless.

Tips on passion:

• Protect your passion by avoiding yourself from negative people. 

• To keep your passion strong, read books on fiction writing to learn new techniques.

• Read your favorite novels to keep your creative juices full.

• Take time to relax and hang out with your family and friends. Just because you are a writer doesn’t mean you’re a hermit. 

When CCP Effect is use, you will get your first draft done. That’s a wonderful feeling to have at the end of your endeavor.