Stagnant and Sidetracked

Um, hi.

Yeah, I’m still here. Still alive. I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth or anything.

I just bonked.

If you’re not exactly sure what I mean, I’m referring to this old Powerbar commercial. Specifically the 2nd one with the runner.

A preacher I know once used the running commercial as an example, and I’ve always had the mental image in my mind.

In other words, I’ve been going so hard for so long that I ran out of energy. I bonked.

Now, this is nothing new with me. I know very well from many experiences in my life that I can push myself and be productive and achieve great things. However, if I overextend myself too much, or push too long without necessary breaks, I crash hard. In one specific, extreme case a number of years ago (before children), I’d had day after day of crazy busy things going on at the school where I taught. I sat down on the couch after lunch (this small private school ended the day at noon), then my husband walked in the door and I realized it was 5 p.m. To this day, I’m still not sure what happened to that afternoon. I assume I just fell asleep in a sitting position, but who knows.

Back to nowadays, I’ve been doing a lot each day since NaNoWriMo in November last year. I’m a stay-at-home mom with a 5-year-old and infant twins, which is enough in itself to keep any one person busy. Add that to my husband working between 40 to 80 hours a week (depending on how many side jobs he does), I don’t get much of a break from just being Mom. I had a pretty good routine going for a while, which consisted of me doing my writing in the mornings (usually between 6 and 8 a.m.) before the kids got up and in the afternoons during nap time. Unfortunately, my 5-year-old has apparently outgrown naps AND decided that the crack of dawn is a great time to wake up now. And my twins have figured out scooting and are on the verge of crawling, so I can’t just plop them down on a blanket for a while to write. Or do anything else that gets me out of sight for too long.

Anyway, I just got back from a week and a half vacation with my family down in the Denver area where we went to the Denver Zoo, Water World water park, and the Butterfly Pavilion, in addition to spending time with my family and celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary at The Melting Pot. That vacation was just what I needed to reset myself mentally and physically.

Since I’m nearly caught up on laundry and unpacking from the trip, I’m going to be re-evaluating my schedule and figure out how to balance myself better so I don’t crash again.

And in the meantime, I found a little writing activity that rekindles an old passion of mine. During my teen years, I was obsessed with the Redwall series by Brian Jacques and I was an active member in the ROC (Redwall Online Community). I spent many afternoons and evenings role playing on various message boards.

A few weeks ago, one of my old RPing friends (who later became a real life friend) messaged me about a writing competition known as Redwall Survivor. Basically, you apply for one of the 10 positions by writing a 650 word story featuring the character you’re entering and a panel of judges narrows the field down to the top 30 (3 entries in each category). Then voting is opened up to everyone and one entry is selected from each category, leaving you with a cast of 10.

If you make the final 10, you then use your character in conjunction with the rest of the cast, following a rough plot line that’s been decided by the admin. Each round (which is supposed to last about a week), each member of the cast writes a short story to advance the plot.

But there’s a catch.

Each round is voted upon by the viewers (or readers) and each week, someone is voted “off the island” and must then write their death scene. This continues until there are only 3 writers left. Then, the viewers vote on the winner from these 3 survivors.

So, my friend talked me into applying. I used one of Holly Lisle’s techniques called the Shadow Room to come up with a character and wrote a short story with said character. I submitted it shortly before we left for our almost 2 week vacation.

While on vacation, I checked up the progress on the Redwall Survivor forums and found that I made it into the top 30. Voting and critiquing ensued.

I made it into the Top 10.

Vacation threw a bit of a wrench into the works, because I couldn’t do much talking with the rest of the cast until I got back home to my computer, but the long and the short of it is that I’m in and the first posts are going up today and tomorrow.

Now, I’m not going to reveal who I am until the competition is over (or if I get voted off), but if you want to check out the fun, visit the Redwall Survivor forums and check out Mossflower Odyssey III: The Lost Treasure of Captain Blade. 

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