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D is for Determination

determinationLately things have been standing in my way of my goals, objectives and dreams. I’ve felt like curling up in ball, crying and drowning myself in a pool of chocolate. Fortunately, I haven’t  been able to find a vat of chocolate big enough in which to submerge myself.  Also, my mama taught me that the only real thing standing between me and a dream is me.  In order to achieve what you set out to do, you have to take steps toward that goal.

A friend asked me the other day how I was able to get the things done I say I’m going to do.  It’s been a long road of discovery.  The first and hardest lesson was not to over commit myself.  When I was a kid, my brother dated a girl who always told me she was going to do things with me, take me to lunch, go see a movie, cut my hair, etc. She NEVER followed through.  It hurt me to the core. I remember talking to Mama about it and I told her that I would never promise someone that I would do something and not do it.  That’s been a hard oath to fulfill, but I try.  One thing is for certain, if I tell a kid I’m going to do something, I do it.

When I was teaching high school, I would promise my class that if everyone passed the test, I’d make them cookies. I can’t tell you how many times I was up at 3 AM baking. I’d made a bargain. The students studied (or cheated, who knows?) and everyone passed the test. I  had to hold up my end of the bargain.

Over the years, I’ve come to understand my limitations. I learned not to give all the classes tests on the same day, or the same week for that matter. I learned to make cookie dough on the weekend when I had free time. I’d freeze the dough and bake the cookies when I needed them.

I’ve also learned to set realistic goals. For example, the likelihood of me climbing Mount Everest, or the hill to my upper field, is nonexistent. The likelihood of me cooking a four-course, gourmet dinner for my mother’s birthday is very high. I know my skills. I know my abilities and I know my willingness to do certain things. There’s no way in the world I’m going to read the owner’s manual of my new camera. Just not going to happen.  I will take the camera out, play with it and learn how to use it.  Will I know everything it is capable of doing? Nope. Do I care? Nope. I’m not going to be taking action shots at a football game anytime soon. I’ll use it for things I want to use it for. If the need arises for those action shots, then I’ll read up on how to use the camera for them.

cat determiniationWhat is a realistic goal for me, isn’t realistic for others. When I told my parents that I wanted to write a book, my dad smiled and my mother gasped in horror.  I had no idea how to write a novel, but I knew how to write. I’d taught English for years and written scores of grant applications (great works of fiction.) This was a realistic goal for me. For my mother? No way. She can’t even write a sentiment on a birthday card. If she’s feeling particularly effusive, she’ll write: happy, happy birthday.

My current goal is to finish the urban fantasy I’m writing, Loch Lonnie.  My 14 year old cat got cancer and required a great deal of care. Then, he died. (Yes, I’m still in mourning.) My computer crashed and I lost 2 weeks of work. (No lectures of backing up documents, please. I’m an idiot and didn’t do it as often as i should have.) I broke my kneecap, which is now probably going to result in the need for surgery. Livestock has gotten ill and required a great deal of care.  Other farm issues have required attention. Organizations I belong to have had a great deal of infighting and drama.  I haven’t written in weeks. But you know what? Even though all those things have happened, the only reason that book isn’t finished is because I haven’t written. It’s me standing in my own way, nothing else.

Sure, those are legitimate excuses, but the bottom line is the only way Loch Lonnie is going to be finished is if I sit down and write. Mama was right. I’m determined to get the first draft of the book finished by the end of this year.  And you know what? I will.

If it is to be, it is up to me.

Simple as that.

 

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C is for Cowboys

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat is it about a cowboy that makes my knees melt? You’d think that I would’ve gotten over the lure of the mysterious cowboy after marrying and divorcing a bull rider, but nope. I still dissolve into a puddle at the sight of a strapping man in a Stetson.

There’s more to a cowboy than the hat and boots. It’s a philosophy, a oneness with nature and the land, an appreciation for the beauty of God’s creation.  It’s hard to describe the cowboy mystique. Rode hard and put up wet? Diamond in the rough? The fact that they stay in the saddle a little bit longer?

I have no idea what the allure is, but it’s strong, almost primeval. I’m not the only one with such an attraction. Check out the scores of erotica written about cowboys.

I’ve had enough cowboy-themed fantasies to fill volumes of erotica novels and yet I’ve never written one. I’m not sure why. I think I want to keep my cowboy to myself. He’s strong, sturdy, deeply scarred and full of compassion. He’s a gentleman–the type of guy you’d introduce to your mother.  He understands me and comforts me in times of need. He pleasures me like no other. In the dark secrecy of a moonlit field, he shares his thoughts and dreams with me, and only me. I don’t want to ruin the fantasy by describing his lovemaking skills in a book for all to read.

He’s my cowboy. One day, I’ll create an erotic cowboy for the masses, but I’m keeping this one for myself.

 

B is for Brain

sapiosexualTo me there is nothing sexier than a smart, articulate, witty man.  Sure, I find certain physical attributes attractive: beefy forearms: great smile, thick thighs and broad shoulders; however, no matter how attractive I find a man physically, if he can’t carry on a conversation, it doesn’t work for me. The term for this is sapiosexual–someone who is aroused by intelligence.

I’ve often wondered what determines a person’s level of intelligence. Degrees don’t work. Some of the stupidest people I’ve met have doctorates. Some of the smartest people I’ve met are uneducated rednecks. So, I think the beauty of the brain is in the eye of the beholder. An intellectual connection is just as individualized as a physical connection. What sparks flames in my brain, might not spark flames in the brains of my friends. Although, I can assure you my friends and I are more likely to sit around an marvel at a man’s brain than we are his looks.

It’s hard for me to figure out what I find attractive about a man’s brain. Philosophy on life? Sense of humor? Well read? Mechanically inclined? It’s easy for me to point out the physical traits I find desirable, but the mind is a tricky thing. Dr. Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory is brilliant, but I don’t think I’d ever drool over the guy.  DSI John Luther from the BBC series Luther, now that’s my kind of intelligent. Why? I have no idea. Just like I can’t tell you why I find cowboys more attractive than men in Armani suits or why I find Latinos more attractive than wholesome, blond Mormons. All I know is that if the man connects with me intellectually, it doesn’t matter if he’s a blond Mormon in an Armani suit, I’m aroused.

The brain really is the biggest sex organ.