Thursday, January 03, 2008

cause and consequence

I don't make resolutions any more. They doom you to failure. I figured out a few years back that the only way to make change is to change habits, and that can only be done one step at a time, with each decision you make during the day:

--How is your stomach going to feel if you eat cocoa and cookies instead of a real dinner?

--Do you want to hit the snooze button twice more, or do you want to get up and make yourself some breakfast so you won't be starving at 10 am?

--Won't you sleep better, and be less restless tomorrow, if you do your standing meditation tonight?

--You know Sit's going to review that sword move tomorrow, don't you think you better practice it?

And so it goes. I can't claim I've been dedicated to my tai chi practice, but I've been more focused while I am doing it, and finding reasons to do it more regularly. It keeps my body warm and loose in this cold weather, and keeps my mind calmed and makes me feel prepared in class. We've been working on the "kicks" form for a few weeks; that's the form we use for competition. A couple of the newer students were ready for it, and I welcome the review. Sit's been refining my form and technique a good bit, and I'm being more conscious of the correction and trying to apply it universally. I'm already thinking ahead to competition in the summer, and we have a paid gig at a Chinese New Year party in February.

Doing a little tai chi every night is relatively easy. It's picking up my other projects that's difficult. I'm working on the "go" button--conditioning myself to just pick something up and work on it, rather than spinning in circles because I can't decide what to do first. I have had some success. New Year's Eve day I cut out and assembled a skirt that's been in my to-do pile for at least three years. It's hanging up now, needing only to be hemmed. Tuesday afternoon I started taking apart a blouse that I bought back in 1992. It's a beautiful blue-gray silk that I love, but I bought it when fashion was oversized and it's big enough for two of me. I finally ripped it apart. I'm looking forward to wearing it again.

The only thing I can't find motivation for is writing. It's not a matter of "inspiration"--I know by now that if I put my fingers on the keys, the words will come. It's just I've gotten tired of spending hours on something that has earned me little recognition and less money. Sewing is easier and more lucrative, and unlike fiction, most people have the sense to realize when they can't do it.

But--sigh--I only have two more scenes to write on Feng Shui, and my writer's group meets Saturday. Feng Shui should be a very salable little story--good length, contemporary tone. I'll try to wring some interest out of myself over lunchtime for the next two days.

P.S. I found a blog called Danger Gal Friday. It's devoted to kick-ass female characters in fiction. I put it on the sidebar so I can visit it regularly; you may want to check it out, as well. It's not militantly feminist, it's just a guidepost for those who gravitate toward such things.


Anonymous said...

"I don't make resolutions anymore."
In my lifetime, thirty-nine years and then some, I have made two New Year's resolutions, both of which I have kept. For '82, I resolved to quit smoking my pipes. As far as the letter of the promise is concerned, I have not reneged. The second one was to make no other resolutions.
Now, I did fall off the wagon briefly as far as tobacco is concerned; in '85 I smoked a couple little cigars. After that adventure, my tongue seemed as if the Soviet Army had trudged across it. Since then, I have eschewed the wicked weed.

Lisa said...

Thank you so much for linking to me and I'm happy to hear that you're enjoying my blog. I hope you don't mind if I return the favor and add you to my blogroll. Writing the Danger Gal blog has really helped me understand better what I want to do with my own characters. It's given me a sense of purpose with my writing that I didn't have prior.

You've got a really interesting blog yourself. Hearing you talk about shirking standing meditation reminds me of how remiss I've been with my yoga practice. It's easy to forget how much better we feel afterward when we get out of the habit.

I'm sifting through your stories/excerpts now and am so far intrigued by Galatea as well as others.

Holly said...

Welcome, Lisa, nice to have you drop in. I'm glad you liked Galatea. After looking at your blog I went right to my archives and reread that story. I haven't done any real work the Quinn Taylor stories in about four years. Of course the media climate has changed somewhat since then. Now there are a surplus of vampire/demon/alien-hunting Kick-Ass Heroines out there. Maybe this would be the time to try to sell Quinn's story again--but it would require a serious rewrite and I don't know if it's worth it--see above about time v. remuneration.

I would definitely appreciate the reciprocal linkage. Thanks!