Sunday, May 29, 2011

Return from Distant Shores

We returned about a week ago from Japan and are still recovering from jet lag. There are so many stories about our adventures that I have decided to do multiple blog entries about the trip. I will split it up with one about our days in Kyoto and the others about Tokyo. We also had a brief visit to Shin-Fuji where we saw Mount Fuji. I am thinking a blog post about some travel tips that we have learned and the benefit of going to Japan for research in my book.

As you can see, multiple blog posts are necessary. I will continue to update my blog on a regular basis since I will have more time. I have a few reviews of books that I would like to do and I am beginning my editing process on KIN. There will be much to talk about in what steps I am going to take to make this story the best that it can be and the process that it will take to make sure it becomes that way. So lots of things to look forward to and I appreciate those who have been waiting for recent posts.

Natasha

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Distant Shores

"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
- Andre Gide

A few weeks ago, someone posted this quote and it really fit the ideas of the future in my life. What is life without courage? The emotion that this quote forgets is the elusive fear that slithers in and succeeds in keeping some close to shore. There isn't anything wrong with that, but there is a difference that is apparent when one from each side has a conversation. I know people that ask me why I want to travel far away from home or why I want to be a writer. For me, there is that sense of adventure and learning new things. There is a world out there, waiting.

There is a comic that is floating around Twitter right now that really captures that fear of the artist and that this sense of adventure doesn't just come naturally. You need people to nudge your forward and remind you of your strength and to help feed your spirit. They will help you when you need it, but also believe in yourself.

This blog will be silent for the next two weeks. I am off onto another adventure and to help feed my spirit. It is spring so I encourage everyone to go outside, sit down at a table with a piece of paper, or hold tight onto someone's hand while having a long conversation. And don't forget to smile.

Natasha


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fortune Smiled Down on Me

I joined the military at the age of seventeen. I was scared and unsure. How do I pay for college? How independent do I want to be? A bunch of questions were always in my mind and I signed up thinking that I would travel, that I would have my college paid for, and all were selfish reasons. We were in peace time, I was told. It was a different time in 1999.

A month after my high school graduation in June of 2000, I was set to leave for South Carolina for my training and I would move onto Virginia after that. However, I got out due to medical reasons, and it was the hardest choice I made.

I applied to college right away, and that is when fortune truly smiled on me. I was accepted into the New Center program (now Corrick Center) at Minnesota State University Moorhead. I would start in the spring 2001. I moved to the big city of Fargo where I was hired at K-Mart, the place where I met my husband. On the first day of classes, I met one of my best friends and future roommate. I met two more of my best friends there, and we had a table where we sit to have lunch together. The professors would stop to talk to us and always had their doors open to us. They taught subjects that weren’t found on the larger campus and spoke to me in more ways than those on campus classes did. It was my second home where we had potlucks, the chance to earn scholarships, and were all encouraged to write and enter the annual writing contest. It was where I was first published from short stories to vignettes to poetry and where I gave my first reading.

The decision to leave the military was the hardest choice I made and it was the best choice. It helped form the life I wanted to lead. The Corrick Center was part of my growing. It was the place that gave me what I needed when I left home.

Today, it closed. Other students won’t have the same opportunity that I had to be entered into a four year university when your grades were high, but your ACT score was low. It is sad as I look at the new faces. I felt like a ghost as I walked through the halls today, watching and not participating, the focus of it all lost in memory. The memory of how the rooms used to be, the table my friends and I would eat at for lunch (and study), the missing couch where we took naps, the floating head picture, the faulty vending machines, the long halls to a creepy classroom, and our laughter that used to echo down the halls. It was all there, so real and heartwarming.

I don’t like the thought that other students won’t have the chance that I had, but I do know that it will always be with me. The touch of The Corrick Center won’t ever be too far out of reach for it will live on in the students that were taught there. There is no way that I can truly express the gratitude that I hold towards the faculty and what was taught within those brick walls. Your teachings and kindness will live on in your students.

To conclude, I thought it best to include the poem that I read some years ago. It was written for someone that I had helped me very much on campus and had passed away due to cancer. I think that it fits as I wrote it sitting against a tree on a beautiful spring day.

Invisible Heart

I do not see the sun anymore

only red light that

shines over the naked trees

making the branches look

like veins touching an

invisible heart

and it makes me truly see

Earth as larger

more important

like seeing a parent

as more than just a parent

but as a human being

and it makes me think

that there is so much

more I could be

taking for granted.

Natasha

Monday, May 2, 2011

When I'm not writing

I am going to admit that I haven't been writing. I am taking the time to do other things.

Helping run an awesome sci fi and fantasy convention. Playing Munchkin with friends. Finally booking our hotel rooms for our trip to Japan and doing last minute research. Taking long walks through our neighborhood that I adore. Throwing out stuff for Clean Up Week. Cursing the snow that fell on the first day of May. Drinking butterbeer with friends. Watching Ghibli Studio and Godzilla movies. Keeping and spilling a big secret. Reading the stack of books I ignored. Ordering a copy of Kin to take on our trip to edit and doodle in research. Cheating by writing editing notes for my manuscript and beginning to outline a collaborative story.

We have decided to go to Japan as planned. That means we leave later this month. I am ready to carry my manuscript with me wherever I go and will tackle the first edits throughout the month of June. It will be something to re-discover my editing process in the same way I have my writing. I have to say, I am really looking forward to it!

Natasha

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