Nicole Sharp

Writes

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To Bemoan….

I have been known to bemoan the writing process. Well not all the parts of the process. I love the writing. Sitting in my own space, creating strangeness. Creating characters. Creating extensions of myself. Getting lost in the story. Love it.

Now, the editing. I can deal with that. It’s not always easy. But getting to the editing is the hardest part. Once I begin, I can see the forest a bit more clearly and have a better understanding of what can remain and what most go; all in the name of conflict and story arc and stuff like that.

Outside the scope of sitting down to a pen a paper, a computer…the business side of it…that shit I bemoan.

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a wee Irish tale…

Amid the rolling green hills of Country Cork Ireland, tiny villages dot romantic landscapes every now and then. Mountains rise and fall, and “inlets along corroded coast lines” (I stole that one) give the southwestern coastline of Ireland the look of a land ripe with legends.

It was in one of those little villages, a fair distance from the coast line, but within the confines of County Cork that our Irish ancestors lived. You know, a great grandparent, some great aunties and uncles, random cousins who have become unnamed faces in old black and white photographs. Well, perhaps the names haven’t survived, but some of the folk-lore has. And what better day to dust off the stories handed down from generation to generation and breathe new life into them once more than St. Patrick’s day.

My dad has been telling me this story as long as I can remember. St. Paddy’s rolls around and at some point, he reiterates the tale handed down to him by his grandmother and a great-aunt.

The story goes like this…

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Unapologetically Woman…

 

I was born upon the slowing tide of women’s rights.

Surrounded by the dying breath of poems about Rising and art work depicting womanly strength.

I was inundated with perfect ads for perfect hair and perfect skin and perfect weight and perfect clothes and perfect teeth and perfectly perfect perfectness.

I ate a steady diet of lists depicting The Sexiest Woman Alive and how to look ten pounds thinner.

I keep afloat while the swells of what society decided I ‘should be’ ebbed and flowed.

I was tossed about in a pubescent tornado while grandmothers insisted reliance on a male was still a girl’s best option.

Directionless ideas itched and pushed, attempting to break free from stagnant casts. Tempting me to stand.

I dug my heels in and closed my eyes and screamed inwardly as I endeavored to dream pioneer dreams. As I tried to go the way none of my ancestors before me had gone.

I was enlightened by Maya and Gloria and Virginia.

I was inspired by Susan and Zora.

I was emboldened by Rosa and Marie and Oprah and Madonna.

I was educated by Ursula and Margaret and Madeline and George.

I was scared. I was wobbly. I was frantic.

Still…I took stuttering steps forward. Forward. Forward.

I was set free by Toni and Jane. By Alice and Silvia. By Willa and Lucy.

I have fallen. I have been bruised. I have been kicked. I have been shunned.

I have given up. I have sinned and repented.

Still…I go forward. Forward.

Judy and Frida, Georgia and Alice taught me about beauty.

I have toasted dreams and basked in the glow of laughter at a table designed for life.

I have been violently supported by my mother.

I have been treasured by my sister.

I have been held up by dear friends.

Then…

Forward was the only way to go.

I have fought. I have raged.

I have prayed. I have won.

I am not a success. I am not a failure. I am not a commodity nor a product. I do not need to be patted on the head or demonized.  I am not more and I am not less.

I am a breath of life in an infinite space.

Moving forward.

But of all the things I am and am not.

Mostly, I am not sorry.

 

Kindness…


So, there is this guy who is going around the world with this idea. The idea being that amid the horrors and difficulties many of us face on a daily basis, kindness abounds.

I needed something to watch for like five minutes while I was pretending to rest and be getting over my cold last night. I stumbled on this show on Netflix called The Kindness Diaries.

Leon Logothetics is the man behind this show. An Englishman who went to the right schools, got the right job, and was living the life society sold him.  But after he achieved everything he was ‘supposed to’, he found this horrific truth. He wasn’t happy. Actually, he was downright depressed and miserable.

So he did something amazing. He decided to go away. Actually, he decided to walk across America with only five bucks and the generosity of strangers. That experience resulted in a book and a TV show called “Amazing Adventures of a Nobody.”

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Rejection and the Writer

Since my blog is heavy on the daily ins and outs of the writer’s life; you know, the accolades and the challenges I face as a writer. It only seems apropos I talk about one of the stranger elements of this process. The rejection. I have willingly chosen to follow a career path that leads, more often times than not, to rejection. I wanted to talk about that today, but not just the normal run of the mill rejection, but rejection from a literary agent.

The dream of finding a real live literary agent to gush about has been swirling for a few years now. I dream of the day I’m able to gush wildly across my personal inter web spaces, “I have an agent! I have a downright, honest to God, Literary Agent!”

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To Quote…again

Today, I just want to have one breathing moment of powerful, lovely, happiness in one place. I am in the need of beauty. Beautiful words, beautiful images, beautiful ideas.

Joy is its own kind of rebellion. – Chuck Wendig

Monteriggioni Italy

“You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.”

– Maya Angelou

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Rebellious

Susan B. Anthony’s place setting from Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party

My hope. My soul. My passion. They are all mixed together in my love of prose and poetry. In literature. In lovely groupings of words. And in language.

As a writer I think about language quite often. How it can be simply functional. “I see a tree. Do you see?”

It can be lyrical. “I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.” John Green Looking for Alaska.

It can be playful. “At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby’s enormous garden.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald.

It can be memorable. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” – A Tale of Two Cities.

And of course language can be moving, “We cross our bridges as we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and the presumption that once our eyes watered.”
—Tom Stoppard, Rosencratz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

And language can be rebellious.

Good lord, language can be a form of rebellion.

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What’s in a name…

This will be fun…

With the dawn of a new…whatever the hell this is about to be, one of the things in danger (on a very long list of things in danger) are the arts. So in the name of creativity and art, here is a list of monikers for the Orange Monster in the Golden Tower. You know, in honor of today’s madness. Some names I’ve heard; other’s I went in search of. I tried to give credit where it was due, if I messed up, please excuse; I’m human.

(In no particular order.)

  1. Short-fingered Vulgarian – Graydon Carter chief editor for Vanity Fair.
  2. Orange Anus – Rosie O’Donnell
  3. Golden Wrecking Ball – Sarah Palin (who was reportedly not trying to be funny)

Jon Stewart offered the following:

  1. Fuckface Von Clownstick (a forever favorite!)
  2. Man-baby
  3. Comedy Entrapment
  4. Unrepentant Narcissistic Asshole

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Hopefully…

Hope is an interesting thing these days, isn’t it? I am stuck in a harsh wash cycle of hoping things work out and hoping I can fight the good fight for the long haul and hoping things will just somehow ‘work out’ over the next few years. The waxing, waning mess is akin to a gaggle of teenage hormones. Screaming and crying one minute; happy go lucky with a plan of action for their future the next.

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Go jump in a lake…

The New Year seems like it should be a time of year when people can slow down and take stock. This year, it seems like there is no slowing. The world continues to erode before our eyes and instead of finding a sense of peace, the need to fight and rage is a bag that must be carried over from that bitch of 2016.

But this is 2017. It’s a new year and I aim to treat it as such. Even if it’s for the space of one breath.

I realize it isn’t fruitful to don a complete Pollyanna vibe; by putting blinders on and cross my fingers and just hope things don’t get too bad. But I can’t live a life filled with worry. It does shitty things for my sleep and taking care of myself and my family. So I continue to try for a fine balance.

There are some awesome people out there offering up great ideas on how to cope. I could list them, but honestly, I’m not in the mood for that today. My favorite bit of advice to date, however, comes from Chuck Wendig over at Terribleminds. He suggested as writers, we “write…despite”.  No matter what.

It’s simple, elegant, and helpful for my state of mind lately.

However, one thing was business as usual in my little corner of the world. Sunday, January 1, 2017 seemed like a great day to go jump in a lake!

Last year, I braved the cold weather in a bathing suit and joined a handful of folks as crazy as myself as we immersed ourselves in the cold waters of Lucky Peak Lake.

This year, I signed up to take place in the 14th annual, Great Polar Bear Challenge.

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