Friday, June 28, 2013

How Seasons can Strengthen a Novel

I was reading Jim Butcher’s novel “Proven Guilty” a few weeks ago. Within the plot, the main character, Dresden, struggled against the summer heat as he weaved through the plot. I found the element interesting. In fact, in one scene Dresden left without his shielded trench coat due to the heat then wound up vulnerable in a battle with a monster. I started thinking about this and realized most books are without seasons. The authors may describe certain regional elements. For example, if characters are in Louisiana they will discuss the humidity and if the characters are in Arizona they will discuss the bright sun. But nothing is given in extremes.

In fact, most season books I can think of are theme related: Christmas joy or Halloween horror. One seasonal movie “Valentine’s Day” centered on that particular holiday. I’m not sure why people believe seasons have to relate to holidays. The only reason I can think of is that the holiday is the center of the story they want to tell. With the Valentine’s Day movie, the theme was obviously how couples and singles deal with the glamorous holiday. Yet, I remember reading a mystery by Marry Higgins Clark called “All Through the Night,” that was centered around Christmas time. This is the first book that was not focused on Christmas in the Santa Clause or Meaning of Life type stories. Yet, just like in Butcher’s novel, it added a flavor to the story.

I think, as writers, we are missing the power of seasonal elements. Sometimes the worst things we have to face as humans—the most destructive “monsters”—come from natural elements. In Butcher’s novel, the choice of wearing a protective coat that will compound the already unbearable heat and leaving it behind against ferocious villains is an interesting one. When he leaves it behind, the reader understands. When he decides to take it along and suffer the heat after a gruesome battle, the reader understands and sympathizes. Such a simple act, and yet it heightens conflict. In Marry Higgins Clark’s novel, the story centers around a woman separated from her child seven years ago. Solving this mystery around Christmas only heightens the emotion of the plot. What was once simplistic and ordinary became captivating.

I think writers stray away from seasons for a simple reason. Nobody wants to read a book with Christmas in it outside of December, so the time of publication becomes important. Likewise, readers may not want to read about summer heat while cooped up by a winter storm. Yet, I think seasons are still important for a few reasons. First, they provide added conflict. Second, they can help the setting—an Arizona summer is vastly different than a Louisiana one. Third, in an industry stressing the importance of description, it provides an easy avenue to break up the dialogue.

I think the bland atmosphere is important. But, every now and then, we should venture into seasons and see where it takes the novel.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Creating Beauty in the Desert of Arizona

Living in the desert of Arizona, USA, we tend to get two seasons instead of four: winter and summer. However, I think most locations would argue that our winter is actually "fall," especially in the low desert like Phoenix, but you get the point. Yet, it cannot be denied that there is still beauty in the desert. This picture was taken outside of a community college where I work part time. It doesn't show beauty specific to the desert--although if you look close in the background you can see a row of our state tree the Palo Verde--but it does show how we can create our own beauty.

I think that's a lot like life. We cannot control the situations in which we live. But we have the power to change our surroundings. We can create beauty...even in a desert.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Is Writing Fun or Work?

The question for this week comes from Angela Garcia. Thanks!

"Is writing fun or work?"

Writing most definitely starts off as fun. When I found my passion for it, I was twelve. I thought it was so fun that I preferred it over going out with friends. There is a type of joy that comes from the creation. I have tried to describe it to people, but I’m not sure if it comes off clear. So, let me try here. Imagine the best book you have ever read; the one that captures you in your gut. It consumes you, insisting you hurry through life to get back to reading. You fall in love with the characters, totally buy into their lives, and emotions run high as you discover how everything will end. Writing is kind of like that. Only, it is a little different. I already know the ending. So, for me, when I write it is about the journey, how I am going to lead my characters. But I still fall in love with them, care for them…even when I kill them off.

This is where the work comes in. Stories don’t just pour out of writers…at least nobody I know. For me, I usually hit about page 80 and have to fight with the plot a little. Then all goes well until about page 200 and then I have to fight some more. The Lord of Nightmares battled me more than any other book I’ve written, so much so that I ended up gutting out the middle at one point and re-writing it. But, the fight is worth it when everything clicks together, the ideas start flowing once more, and the characters drive forward.

When I was young, I could write when inspiration hit. I used to say I didn’t want to write on a schedule because I thought it would turn what I loved into a chore. I have since seen the inexperience in my opinion. I have to write on a schedule or it doesn’t get done. And, guess what, I still love the process. Similarly, a lot of part-time writers have is that if they get the huge book deal from a top publisher, then they will have deadlines. Deadlines mean writers can no longer take their time with the creation. The question becomes, does it become work? It should always be somewhat difficult. After all, sometimes the best things in life come with a struggle—that’s what makes us appreciate their value.

Right now, writing is still more fun than work. I think the moment it becomes work, I will have to find a new passion—or at least step back and remember why I got into the business in the first place.

Have a question for me? Wondering something about my novels? Have a question you always wanted to ask any writer? Click here and fill out the form. I will try to answer one every week.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Changing Seasons: Persephone

The tale I find the most interesting in mythology is the one regarding Persephone. Daughter of Demeter, Persephone was out playing in the fields one day. Hades, god of the underworld, took notice, "fell in love," and kidnaped her. Demeter, of course, threw a fit and let every plant on the earth die until Zeus intervened.

However, because Persephone had eaten 4 pomegranate seeds (or 6 I can't remember) she had to stay in the underworld for 4 months out of the year. During her stay in the underworld, Demeter would let the plants wilt until her return, hence the emergence of winter.

What strikes me about the myth is that Persephone marries Hades and is queen of the underworld. So, basically a stalker kidnaps the woman of interest, marries her, and everyone agrees she has to live with him--that it's only fair. The myth never discusses if she "loves" Hades and enjoys her time with him. The myth goes against all modern love stories. It reinforces the possessive husband and devalues the woman's choice.

Try to sell that story in today's market and publishers would laugh you out of their office. But, there its stands as the explanation of why we have winter months. Gotta love the tragedy in Greek Mythology.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday's Quote

"Little by little, one travels far." ~J. R. R. Tolkien

I like this quote because it works in so many different situations. When setting any goal/dream, we tend to think of the entire journey. And, if you are like me, you think you should get there in two really big jumps. What life has taught me so far is that I must be patient. This is not one of my virtues, although I certainly try, so I have to keep reminding myself of it.

The things we want takes time. But, we have to keep moving forward, even if it is just one little step at a time. Eventually, we will look back and see how far we have traveled. For me, looking back gets me excited. Just imagine where I can travel next!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pacing a Story: It's about Patience

Most people consider pacing only in the suspense genre, and I agree this is an important element. The very definition of a suspense novel is that it keeps the page turning until the very end. In fact, a boring suspense novel is an oxymoron of sorts. Yet, I will contend that pacing is just as valuable in all other genres. In fact, when an author nails pacing, readers will always shout they couldn’t put the book down and were sad when it ended.

A novel should take the reader on a rollercoaster ride. What many don’t realize is such a ride has to be crafted. Think of the actual rollercoaster. Engineers spend years planning every twist, turn, loop and leveling. The same idea holds with the progression of novels. Attend any writer’s conference and you are sure to find one of two workshops: the three act structure and plot lines. I actually hate the plot line. This is the curve English teachers sketch on the chalkboard. It shows a steady climb until it peaks and then declines to the conclusion (which is always higher than the initial starting point). One, I am curious why the end always is higher. Two, it reminds me too much of a bell curve. I understand the philosophy behind the structure—attempting to discuss pacing—but true novels do not follow this steady path, at least not where reader’s emotions are concerned. A true plot line should look like a rollercoaster ride…but I guess that wouldn’t be as pretty on a chalkboard.

Pacing is tricky. One of the biggest challenges is not to rush, at least for me. I get so excited. My emotions push me to get to the end. But, if I rush, then the story will fall flat. That actually happened to the very first novel I wrote—which only lasted 50 pages, so it turned into not even a novella. I grew impatient to reach the end, and thereby destroyed the ride. The best advice I have been given is to slow down a scene when it starts to get good. This is easier to do in the revision stage, where most of my description takes place. But, slowing down too much can kill the tension as well. I just finished a novel in which the author conducted scene after scene rehashing information through dialogue in different viewpoints. The result was a feeling that he was trying to hit a required page count instead of following the natural progression of the novel.

Pacing is by far what makes a novel difficult to write. It is also the most important aspect of a plot.  As writers, we need to be engineers. Have the patience to allow a story to develop. But, we also need to be flexible. After all, our ride is not metal. We need to adapt mid-ride, if necessary. Only then can we create a story readers can’t put down, and that is the best feedback a writer can receive.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Books with Good Pacing

So, I have been discussing the need to let a story flow naturally. I truly believe that pacing is both created as well as allowed to happen. I thought I would provide a few novel options that I think have captured the art of pacing.

The Hunger Games Movie Poster I know this book series is probably over referenced, but it is still a good example of pacing. Suzanne Collins does not rush the story. She takes her time introducing Katniss. She doesn't jump into the game, which is tempting since it is intriguing. Instead, she takes her time to showcase the capitol, bringing the society and politics to life. She also develops the characters so when she does enter the game, the emotions are that much greater. Her three books are clearly organized, but do not feel forced. They let the story develop one page at a time.

Mary-book1.jpg I grew up reading Mary Higgins Clark. I kept coming back because, simply, the woman knows her pacing, especially in this particular book. She doesn't fill her books with one action sequence to another, which seems to be the trend right now. She knew how to dangle facts, lead a reader as she developed a story. She took the time to introduce the characters, making the reader buy into caring about them, all the while dangling the element of danger.

The Woods

This is probably my favorite of Harlan Coben's novels. But, in all of his novels, the intrigue is curiosity. How is he going to wrap the story together? What events are happening? Again, he takes his time developing characters and their back story. But he doesn't linger for too long. Plot twists and turns are obviously crafted from the beginning. But, what I admire about him is his ability to spend just enough time in each element: character development, back story, plot twists, gathering information. It doesn't "feel" like a dragging investigation. He keeps the reader interested from page one.

Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1)

I actually love all of the books in this series, so decided to show the first book. In all of them, Harry Dresden juggles his role as private investigator, consultant for the police, and wizard. Once again, the plot is obviously crafted and intertwined. Yet, Butcher spends just enough time in each plot line. The dialogue always leads the reader somewhere, although the destination is never certain. I also like that he never relies on the convenient twist turn--one that was not developed and introduced as an epiphany after building toward a completely different avenue. He spends time developing Harry as a character, as well as the various individuals in his line of work, but he doesn't overdo it. He also takes the time to allow Harry to be misdirected, and yet it doesn't feel like wasted pages.

Ultimately, the power of pacing, no matter the genre, is to guarantee a reader is always moving forward. Everything advances a plot. The moment a story starts to dawdle, the pacing is destroyed and the reader becomes bored. At least, in my opinion.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Advice for this Week

I decided every Wednesday should be devoted to either answering questions from my readers or giving words of advice. Today, I decided to give a piece of advice I learned while writing my newest novel (the third book in my Atlantis series).

Most writers I know map out their plots in some way. Most who know me would be suprised by this declaration, so let me explain. I hate outlines just as much as I hate the arizona summer heat. I feel they constrict me, limiting my creativity. With that being said, I always know the ending to a novel. I need to have a destination before I can plow forward. But, I also do a rough three chapter breakdown as I write. It's kind of like chess. You gotta have future moves in mind, a strategy so-to-speak, before just moving pieces.

But, whether maping out the entire plot or just a few chapters at a time, I think the best advice I can give is to be flexable. Things change in the course of a plot. For instance, my characters last week led me to my destination a little quicker than I had anticipated. But, despite the minimal planning I let them. Otherwise, the story would seem forced. I wasn't rushing, I was just following with the flow of the story. I think it is important not to be too regid in mapping novel plots.

So, my adavice for this week: Don't force things to stay according to plan. Allow ideas to develop and change as the novel progresses. Your story will be much better as a result.

Have a question for me? Wondering something about my novels? Have a question you always wanted to ask any writer? Click here and fill out the form. I will try to answer one every week.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Merlin Vs Olympian God, who would win?

When I was little (and to a certain extent now) Merlin was my favorite sorcerer. I think it's because I also love the time period. But the thought of a powerful wizard existing and helping mere mortals intrigued me even in elementary school. I guess I was born to exist in the fantasy genre.

Anyway, it wasn't until high school that I became intrigued with the Olympian gods. In a way, both are very similar. They both have certain powers. They both interact with mortals, although the gods are more manipulative. I'm not sure why, but recently I have been wondering who would win in an epic battle between Merlin and one of the Olympian gods. For the sake of discussion, let's just say Zeus.

The TV series Supernatural always places any "god" character at the top of the power list. These are the ones that they have the most difficulty defeating...many times not really "killing" them. In all fairness, they deal more with demons than sorcerers. The Jim Butcher series The Dresden Files deals with a wizard who takes on other supernatural elements They all have their strengths, but he seems to struggle the most with the "strong" other words old. So, who is stronger? A god or a wizard?

The one thing going against Merlin is his "human" element. How does one go about killing a "god"? They are, by definition, immortal...right? So, I would think a god can only be defeated through manipulation and out-maneuvering. Wizards are super-human, but still human. They bleed. Therefore, as much as I love Merlin and thinks he rocks the supernatural world, I would have to say any of the Olympian gods would defeat him. But, I would still love to see this epic battle.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday's Quote: Dr. Seuss

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”~ Dr. Seuss

This was last week's top quote according to my facebook page. Of course, who can go wrong with a Dr. Seuss quote? I like it for two reasons, one because it speaks to the genre I have grown to love. Fantasy fiction is a way to escape reality. The "problems" my characters face, as well as the characters I read, are no where close to the problems I face in real life. They may parallel in some metaphorical way, but they have to battle wizards and demons. It is an escape that I find refreshing. Yes, I know, I am weird.

The second reason I like this quote is because it branches to all forms of fiction, not just the fantasy genre. We all need an outlet. If it's not books, perhaps television shows. Or camping. Or scrapbooking. We all need something that gives us a break from the demands of life. It is, as Dr. Seuss says, a necessary ingredient to life. I would add it is a necessary ingredient to a happy life.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

The Importance of Training

The biggest criticism I have about writers actually has nothing to do with them. It’s that, by the time they become a public name, their journey is complete. As readers, we rarely see the actual hard work leading there, only the result. Sure, when I tell people I am published, they acknowledge the challenge. However, I think most believe the difficulty comes from the competition and rejection. Most don’t consider the writer’s ability from start to finish. I know I didn’t, and I am the one going through the process. Because we don’t see the writer’s development, we think authors are born. They just decide one day to write and the bestseller pops out. Selling it was their only challenge. 
I think this is partly true. The successful authors—the ones who not only finish their book but also are able to gain a following—have an inherited talent. But, that talent still has to be developed. Because I have no examples in the writing field, let me compare it to the talent reality shows currently playing. My favorites are The Voice, So You Think You can Dance and Master Chef. Each of these shows begins the same: the auditions. Millions try out. In fact, most shows love the panoramic shot depicting the crowd of hopeful contestants. It is talent that gets these people through the auditions. It is what gets them noticed. Sure, there are some who came without any previous training, but most have trained before auditioning. Regardless of their background, during the course of the show, these individuals are exposed to the best in their business. And, the ones who go on to be successful on the show learn and grow from the experts. 

Writers are no different. I learned a lot from reading other people’s work. But I grew the most when I started focusing on honing my skill. I joined creative writing courses and critique groups. I discussed before the importance of choosing the right group. Just like any other training, there are some that may actually destroy someone’s ability. Writers can lose the unique voice that makes them good. They can lose their confidence and even pick up horrible habits. It’s important to choose training wisely. But, it is still necessary. No one is going to wake up one day and crank out the perfect novel. In fact, most writers I do research wrote two or three novels before one got picked up. Even Stephen King started somewhere. He focused on short stories. Others took a similar route writing for magazines. 

There are those rare writers whose first book made it to the big time. But, I wonder if they had actually never ever dabbled in writing before that book. My guess would be they had. Training is necessary. Without it a writer will become stagnant. And, in a world with millions of people who want to publish, competition is too great to accept good-enough. So push for the best and never settle.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Creative Edge in Beads?

I didn't tell most of my friends I wrote until my first book came out. But, once it was out, so was the secret. I write. Which meant for birthday's, Christmas, or any celebratory event, my gifts quickly turned into writing-related objects: pens, fancy notebooks, etc. I actually do love these cliché gifts for writers. I always need more paper to scribble ideas onto. But, the one I found the most interesting was the "creative" beads. It was a few years ago when the whole Zen movement was big; different beads for different purposes. What's even funnier is that I received the "creative" beads twice over the course of a few years. I never wore them, but hung them on a stand next to my an office I have now found I barely write in.

But, when I once found myself in a horrible writer's block that lasted for weeks, I took one of the beads and rubbed it in my hand. Don't get me wrong, I didn't sit in the middle of the room and mediate or anything. I just sat back in my chair and held the beads. I would love to say they fixed my writer's block. As I recall, I did start writing, but most of what I wrote got thrown out later. However, it DID get the wheels turning. Was it the beads? Or the power of suggestion?

It caused me to wonder. Is there something to be said for having a muse, so to speak. If I wore the beads on a daily basis, would I find myself more creative? I once read an article where writers told about the most inspirational object in their writing room. Most were letters from authors who inspired them, or an obeject that recalled a childhood memory. I think I never had an object becuase my "writing room" always changes. I have a laptop. I am mobile. In fact, if I write too often in the same space, I will feel stale in my writing. I need the change. But, I have never been accused of being normal.

Where does your creative energy come from? Is there something that inspires you? Maybe I should try to find mine...or seek the power of the Creative Beads--or just laugh at the thought.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Writing Books I Recommend

I was thinking about the "craft of writing" books that I have read in recent years. I remember when I first began, I was disinterested in reading books about writing. I just wanted to write! But, as I have improved, I have come to learn that books about writing are valuable to the process. They stir ideas, tricks I might not have thought about before. Of course, I have to be careful. There are plenty of "how to" books written by people who are no more successful than I am...or maybe even less. I once met an author who was selling a "how to write the perfect mystery" type of book and they had only published one novel locally and their sales were not that great. I tried to be polite, but left shaking my head. What makes that author an expert whose opinion I should trust? I think that's part of why I steered clear of these types of books. But, then I started finding the good ones, and those showed me why it was valuable to research the author.

The first book I recommend is for readers and writers alike. Stephen King's "On Writing." For a writer, it was hugely inspirational. The struggles he endured before he "made it" helps me continue. Plus, even though I hadn't expected it, I find Stephen King has some pretty profound and extremely motivational things to say.

The second book I recommend is mainly for writers. It is Writer's Digest series "Elements of Fiction Writing." I have currently read only two in their series, but both are phenomenal. And, because it focuses on certain pieces of writing, I can focus my attention on the aspects I want to strengthen. Plus, they are written by people who, by anybody's standards, are successful in their field.

I truly hope you find just as much enjoyment and value in these as I have.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The God of Writing: Philyra

I was curious if there was a god of writers. I didn't specifically find that god, but I found a greek god of writing: Philyra. According to my bing search, Philyra is the god of paper (how fun), writing and perfume. I think perfume is kind of strange to be associated with paper and writing, but I didn't assign the roles. But, more importantly, Philyra is a goddess. I emphasize this only because it seems there is a stigma that female writers can only perform in certain genres; for instance Romance. I don't tend to be a "feminist" but I like that the god in charge of writing is a female.

Philyra hung out with the Cronus, otherwise known as the father of Zeus, which just goes to show that writers can hang out with--and even attract--some of the most powerful individuals. I like to see the prestige of the profession carried over to mythology as well.

I wouldn't go as far as to say I would post a picture of Philyra in my writing space. But I certainly enjoyed finding there was a god in charge of something I love so much.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday's quote: Ernest Hemingway

"It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way."~ Ernest Hemingway

I love this quote because I think we all have this perception that talent is simply "God given." I don't know how many times I hear star judges say this on programs like So You Think You Can Dance, The Voice and American Idol. It irritates me a little. The first reason is the person saying this typically doesn't strike me as someone who has much of a relationship with God. But, more importantly, it leaves the impression that talent is something you have or you don't.

I believe I was born with a talent to create stories. But, that isn't to say I didn't have room to grow--and still do. In fact, everyone (whether they be a singer, writer, dancer, etc) can learn and improve. So, let the rest of the world believe a magic genie hit you with a wand and "poof!" you are awesome. But, secretly, you'll know the years of hard work that went into creating such a talent.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Does Changing Dreams Equal Failure?

I recently went to the graduation of a good friend’s daughter. Something about her Salutatorian speech has stuck with me: don’t be afraid to change your dreams. This is why I love teaching. Every now and then, teenagers will have a moment of brilliance that makes me stop and think. Her statement was one of those times. 

For the past ten years, I have been working toward one goal: make a living as a writer. When I started, that meant getting a traditional publisher. So, as I have progressed, this is my goal. I query agents. I query publishing houses. I read rejection letter after rejection letter and believe that my time will soon come. I just have to be patient. If you have been following this blog, you will know I discuss a lot about what it means to be successful. As I solidify myself in the world of adulthood, I find my teenage fantasies are slowly becoming more realistic. But, while my definition of success has changed, the goal has not. 

Today’s publishing world is filled with more paths than I have ever seen before (and I am still a youngster as far as experiences go). There’s the same self-published and traditional route. But then there’s the print-on-demand route, which seems to be the black sheep in between. But, recently, self-published has branched into the straight to e-book author. And the traditional route has split into smaller houses, or even independent publishers. Depending on the group of writers, one route is held above another, but it’s all subjective. 

What I found myself debating this week was what it means to change a dream. Does that mean giving up? I used to criticize my brother for giving up his dream of being a graphic designer at Sports Illustrated Magazine. In college, he would post motivational phrases on the mirror to help drive his decisions. Then, he turned thirty. I asked him if he was still searching for Sports Illustrated and he said no. He decided the management area is more of what he wanted. At the time, I thought he was giving up and accepting something else. But now, I wonder if he just changed his dream—and if that’s okay.

Because I’m analytical in my pursuits, I also wonder how switching publishing paths would relate. Is choosing another path giving up on a dream? Or is it adapting, changing the dream to suit a better purpose. After all, isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results? We talk about timing and luck, but does the time come when one must try a different strategy? I still believe in my ability and want to publish. So am I truly selling out if I switch paths? Could switching either lead to the original goal in a different way or, perhaps, lead to something better? I have no answers for you today, maybe in a few weeks. Just thoughts to ponder right now.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pandora: girl and wolf

I finished writing The Curse of Atlantis in high school. During that time, my brother--the graphic designer--created an image for a letterhead. I have since learned that writers really shouldn't do letter heads for their query letters, but, hey, I was seventeen. Anyway, as I am writing the third book in the series, I am reminded of this picture. It really is my favorite image from his creations because I think it captures the essence of the original story--the whole reason I wanted to write the series to begin with.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

It's all about Creating a Routine

For a teacher, in theory, the summer months should be the most productive. I have ample time to write, read, scrapbook, etc. Whatever I want to do, I have the entire day. Most teachers work twelve hours or more during the eight or nine months of the regular school year knowing they will make up for time lost in the summer.

For me, however, I find the summer months are the hardest months for motivation. I've been working nonstop, so when presented with an open day, my mind just stops. The adrenaline I've been using to propel myself forward has ceased and stillness remains. It took me four years of the teaching cycle to realize I work better on a schedule. In the absence of a schedule, I need a routine.

Call it my math background, or my OCD, or whatever, but I need a plan. This time is set for this topic, this time is set for writing and this time is set for whatever. Without the routine, I tend to waste a lot of time. Then, come August, anger and regret meet me with a list of the unaccomplished.

So, as I set about my summer writing schedule, I wanted to offer this advice. Most writers I know write on a schedule. They make time to write. It's not as "romantic" of a notion as writing when the "passion strikes", but it is an effective tool. I am hoping to finish my fifth book under my summer routine. Let's see if I can do it!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dionysus, the god of college merriment?

I don't always follow Wikipedia, but I love their description of Dionysus: the god of wine, parties, festivals, madness and merriment. That kind of describes a drinking crowd, I suppose. I thought I had read once that one of his descriptions was the god of intoxication as well, which makes sense given the others. He originally came about to celebrate the harvest of the vine. However, I have started to wonder if we were to worship the Greek gods today that Dionysus might be popular in the college crowd.

I know in our state, some schools are known as being the "party" school. What I also find is it depends on the location of the survey for which school is classified as such. What I tell people is that it is a part of any college culture. First time out of the house and kids sort of lose control for a few years. The hope is that they don't go too crazy and that their upbringing will ultimately control their decisions.

When I went through college, I did find pockets for the academics, where I stayed…but I have never promoted myself as anything but a nerd—in fact I proclaim it as a strength. I suppose my crowd would worship a different god in my scenario.

As a god Dionysus is appealing, much like the objects he oversees. But, I think it is good to notice he is in charge of celebrating a harvest. But, like all aspects, it can quickly turn to madness...and, I find, shortly followed by regret.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Monday's Quote

"Time is what we want most, but what we use worst." ~ William Penn

This one speaks volumes to me, and I'm sure many others. It seems there is never enough hours in the day. Life demands so much of our time. But, I also agree with the second part. I could utilize my time better. I could write more, etc if I could master the art of time management. But, we are all human. We waste time and we are slower on some days. I think the key is to recognize that being lazy on some days is important, but that a routine is also important. That way, we can utilize what time we do have.