30.

Numbers aren’t scary by nature. But sometimes, in a certain context, they can be. Today, the number 30 scares me just a little. Because today, that’s how many years I’ve been on Earth.

I mean, I suppose in a way it’s kind of thrilling. 30! Three decades of learning and growing and living. It’s easy to focus on what I haven’t done in 30 years, or just how old I will be in 30 more years, instead of focusing on what I have done in 30 years.

Graduated college.

Married my best friend.

Found a writing community.

Started the process of querying in hopes of becoming a published author (a long-time dream).

Bought houses and cars. Went on vacations. Other “grown-uppy” things that I couldn’t really do 10 years ago.

I may not be exactly where I had hoped to be in all aspects of my life, but it’s not a failure to not be on a certain timeline. The important thing is I am moving forward.

And as I move forward, I have two goals for myself that I feel encompass the things I have been learning lately about what kind of person I want to be.

30yearsgoals

I believe I have been improving in these areas over the past year or two, and I want to continue to do so. When I start to think of myself first, I want to stop and consider others. And when I consider not pursuing something I want simply because of fear, I want to move forward anyway.

I don’t want to think of life going downhill from here. I want to think of life as getting better, richer, fuller, and more meaningful. I want to continue to grow and learn and try.

So here’s to 30.

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Birthday Book Haul!

My birthday was this Sunday, and while it has come and gone, the gift of books remains! I also got some music, TV/movies, and some some cute Funko Pops, including one you’ll see hanging out with my new books, but of course wanted to highlight THE BOOKS…

book-haul

Yes, that’s Hermione! I know she would approve of books for birthday presents. Now I just wish I could read all of them NOW, but I’ll have to wait and read them one at a time. I also just realized a few days before my birthday that Sharon Cameron is a local author and I’ve seen her for the past three years at the local SCBWI conference I attend! That made me even happier to get Rook.

Now… any recommendations for which I should read first? 

It’s My Birthday!

worf-crusher-cakeHonestly, this a self-indulgent post, and it only serves as a way for you to wish me a happy birthday, ha ha. I was hoping to see the above guy and gal (Michael Dorn and Gates McFadden from Star Trek The Next Generation, for the uninitiated) today at the Nashville comic con, but sadly terrible scheduling + higher than expected price of admission (high considering I wouldn’t get to see everyone I thought I might that would thus make the price worth it) = not happening. So sad. Hopefully I’ll get to see them some other time. But I will be eating  cake and receiving books, so that is the plus side, huzzah! I’ll keep you posted on my book haul! 😉

Star Trek Convention 2013: Part Two

Read Part One if you haven’t already!

So just days before the convention, we learned that Kate Mulgrew (Captain Kathryn Janeway from Voyager), who was supposed to be the headliner for the weekend, would not be making it to the convention. A few weeks before that, we learned that Robert Picardo (The Doctor on Voyager) would not be attending either. Luckily Chase Masterson stepped in with a couple weeks left to spare, and then with just days left until the convention, fortunately they were able to get Tim Russ (Tuvok from Voyager) to fill in!

trekcon-timTim Russ isn’t quite Vulcan himself, but he is pretty straight-laced and calm in his manner. He did go into “Tuvok mode” at one point, and it was like he flipped a switch in his mind. It was amazing how he could turn it on and off as he did. It also sounded like he knew how to have a good time with his fellow cast-mates. I was grateful that he came to fill in a void in the lineup and enjoyed hearing him.

trekcon-ferengiNext were Max Grodenchik and Aron Eisenberg, appearing in full makeup as their characters Rom and Nog from Deep Space Nine. Pictured here with them is Armin Shimmerman, who played Quark but did not appear in his makeup, and spoke later on his own. Max and Aron were doing a skit, which quite frankly, wasn’t that great on its own (especially since they were reading from their scripts!) but the derailing of it was quite hilarious! They just let it go and started cracking their own jokes, and my face literally hurt from all the laughter.

trekcon-ferengiloveHere “Nog” taught a convention audience member the “Ferengi Love Dance,” which you can see Nog do in the season six Deep Space Nine episode “You Are Cordially Invited.”

trekcon-deniseNext was Denise Crosby, who briefly played the role of Tasha Yar on The Next Generation (by briefly I mean, less than a season. Spoiler for anyone who hasn’t watched The Next Generation: she gets killed). I’d be lying if I said I was a Tasha fan, because I’m not. But it was interesting to hear Denise talk, especially about what she was able to do later on with The Next Generation.

trekcon-arminThen we got to see Armin Shimmerman again, though this time it was him taking questions instead of crashing Max and Aron’s skit. He was extremely gracious to the fans, which again, I just really appreciate. Even though the Ferengi on Deep Space Nine (or in general) drive me crazy, and even though Quark is included in that, Armin shared something about his character that I thought was neat. He talked to one of the writers of the show about the finale episode, and talked about how so many characters got to hook up with someone else and/or get to go on to a new chapter of their lives, and he was like, “So what happens with Quark?” The writer shared with him, “Quark is the heart of Deep Space Nine.” And when I thought about it, it was true. It’s quirky and not very Star Fleet like, like Quark, and also, he really helped the morale of the station through hard times just with his bar. It was a neat perspective.

trekcon-g&t1Terry Ferrell was scheduled to come out again, but we also got treated to Garrett Wang again, and the two of them together were so funny! Here, Garrett is teaching Terry how to do a George Takei “Oh my!” impersonation.

trekcon-g&t2There were hugs…

trekcon-g&t3High fives…

trekcon-g&t4And general silliness. Somewhere in all this, Terry also admitted she has never watched Voyager (the show Garrett was on). Whoops.

trekcon-rene&nanaAnd last we had Rene Auberjonois and Nana Visitor, who played Odo and Kira Nerys on Deep Space Nine, respectively. It was fun to see them together; you can tell that they enjoyed working together. And Kira is so hot-headed and high-strung on the show, but Nana seemed much more sweet and mellow, so that was nice to see the difference between her and her character.

And that was it for our weekend! (BTW, for my newer readers who haven’t read my post about getting into Star Trek and want to know what all the fuss is about, check it out!)

Beyond the convention… 

As I have mentioned, I have had such a busy September! In addition to this convention I also attended a writing conference, went on a mini-vacation, and celebrated my birthday! At the writing conference the keynote speaker was Jay Asher, author of the YA bestseller Thirteen Reasons Why, which I am reading now, thanks to the co-worker who told me about the conference buying the book while we were there and then loaning it to me.  It took Jay many years to sell his first book, and even now as a published author he still has not released much, as he is a self-proclaimed slow writer, and I found it oddly encouraging. This in conjunction with what he said about, “Just because you enjoy reading it, it doesn’t mean that is what you should be writing,” (not to say you shouldn’t write, because if you love it you should do it!), made me realize I don’t have to try to break into the writing industry with an epic six book YA dystopia series like I think I need to.

I’ve been highly considering participating in NaNoWriMo this year for the first time, and so it’s making me consider which story idea (out of the many that I have) I want to focus on for that, because I’m thinking I might want to push aside this huge dystopia series idea I have right now. (Also, this is only representative of one agent in the YA market, but he’s getting tired of dystopia and is not looking for that at all when he reads queries from new authors, so I wonder if the tide will be changing in that genre soon.) I’ve got a month to figure it out.

Other pictures from this month…

biltmoreMy husband and I went to Asheville, NC, and visited the Biltmore, and it was really neat. I’d definitely recommend it if you have the chance to go. Then the day after my birthday, my friend took me to the zoo where we checked out the new…

kangarookangaroo exhibit! And if they came to the path, you could pet them, so we got to pet this guy right here! All the others were lazily lounging in the grass. I was sad I didn’t get to see them to hop around, but was so happy this guy let us pet him. His fur was soft! I definitely want to go back and do it again! And I also got a lot of books for my birthday…

IMG_0854It’ll be a while before I get all these read. I also seriously need a new bookcase. Maybe for Christmas…

Phew! That was a lot! What have you guys been up to? I’m still trying to catch up on blog posts!

Birthday Reflection

I like to self-reflect each year on my birthday, to think about where I have been and where I might be going. And I have to say, just in the past few months even I feel I have learned a lot.

I’ve learned that those things in life that you think won’t affect you, very much can – and some of them will.

I have learned of the amazing power of perspective – how everything looks different to everyone depending on where life has taken them.

I’ve learned how to take criticism and not internalize it in a personal way.

I’ve learned that I will never cease to be a work-in-progress in my marriage, my friendships/relationships, my job, my spiritual life, etc.

I’ve learned that talent helps, but hard work, persistence, and being personable help more.

I’ve learned that I can connect with people through writing.

I’ve learned to filter out the things in social media that drag me down (well, mostly at least).

I’ve learned that there are a lot of people out there who do really love the same things I do, and yet there’s still a unique combination of interests and desires that I have that make me who I am.

I’ve learned that everyone is “faking it until they make it.” Some people are just really good at it. Or I perceive them to be.

And I’ve become more increasingly aware of my faults as I grow older… And though this could be discouraging, I guess it’s good that I notice them. I just need to work on them instead of making excuses.

BirthdayCat

Ah, the late twenties. I have to admit that there are times I wish I would have accomplished more at this point in my life, but at the same time, I feel pretty content and at peace with exactly where I am at.

Thanks for sticking with my self-absorbed, reflective birthday post! You deserve a slice of chocolate cake if you made it this far! The book/movie/TV posts are coming back soon, I promise. 🙂

mom-told-me