the dry well

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I can’t really pinpoint the moment my inspiration well dried up and left me living with a blinking cursor and a blank screen.

But it happened. Somehow, this thing I loved doing, just stopped being a thing I loved doing.

I don’t know why. I don’t know how. But I went from being excited about writing everyday, to avoiding it like it was exercise.

The worst part of not writing was that I’d also stopped daydreaming.

It was like losing a friend. But no matter how much I wanted to repair that friendship, it was too arduous a task. It was overwhelming. It was hard fucking work. And even though I missed it, I didn’t really miss it enough to work at it.

There was a time that writing didn’t feel like work; it felt like an escape–a mini-vacation. At one point, I had convinced myself that I had nothing to escape anymore…the bad marriage had ended. I didn’t need my daydreams to get me through life. But that wasn’t really true. When I first started writing, I was happily married. I wasn’t escaping anything. I had always been a daydreamer, I started writing to give my dreams a plot. To expand their worlds. And to give me a creative outlet. I loved creating.

And then, just like that, the feeling was gone. The love was gone. The daydreams were gone.

*poof*

Nothing.

My last book was published in 2010. That’s six years ago, y’all. That’s a long damn time in the world of writing. I had tried over the years to ignite a spark. I’d have a story idea, a niggle of a character, and I’d sit down and hammer out a couple of pages. And then I’d never look back. The niggles never grew into nudges. The ideas never seemed to stick with me. And I never went back to them.

Recently, I had the opportunity to ghost write a series. It was one of the most challenging things I’ve done because mentally, I wasn’t ready. I began to hate it. But not because I didn’t like the story or what I was working on. I hated it because it wasn’t mine. Because I had no control over the story.

Suddenly, after 3 months of writing something for someone else, I felt the desire to CREATE again.

A tiny drop of inspiration fell into my well and the echo it created was magnificent.

An idea formed. One that I couldn’t stop thinking about. And now, after 6 years…I am working on another book–with ideas pouring in for follow up books.

This feeling, is an addiction and I never want to kick this habit again.

 

 

The Vandy update

“It is with great regret…”

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My son’s response to Vandy’s rejection…

Of course we’re disappointed. But the reality is, this is Vanderbilt’s loss. The pain was eased greatly by the comforting feel of $100K that Hendrix had offered him 2 days prior. We don’t know why he wasn’t accepted, but the why doesn’t matter. He could be too male, too southern, too poor, or just too average for this year’s applicants… It’s very competitive, and even with a 32 ACT score and nearly a 4.0 GPA, tons of community service and excellent recommendations, we knew there was only an 11% acceptance rate at Vandy. But that didn’t matter. It was his golden ring, and he went for it.

And he’s handling their “it’s not you, it’s me” letter like a goddamned champ.

So now it’s up to Rhodes to give Hendrix some competition. He has no desire to apply anywhere else. He’s being selective about his education, and even though he’s tempted to apply to the U of A just to see how much they’d offer him, he’s not going to bother, because he has no intention of attending that school. He wants smaller, more personable, more student oriented campuses. That’s the culture in which he thrives and that’s what he wants to continue.

We move forward…Black and Orange Warrior or Black and Red Lynx ? Sorry Black and Gold, you’re just not our style…

 

 

 

black and… orange? gold? red?

college collage

This week, my youngest little bird was accepted to Hendrix College and offered $100K in academic scholarships. This doesn’t include the other scholarships he’s applied for.

To say I am overjoyed for him would be an understatement

Last night he found out that he can log in to his Vandy account today after 5:30 pm CST to see if he’s been accepted and how much need-based financial aid he’ll be receiving. (Scholarship information will come later.)

We will hear from Rhodes in January.

I am so nervous for him and so damn excited. I want so badly for Vandy to accept his application, and for the tuition assistance to be good enough along with his scholarships that he can attend. It’s his first choice. Hendrix and Rhodes are neck-n-neck for 2nd. He loved all the schools so much and would be happy attending any of them.

But Vandy felt like his soulmate. You could see it in his eyes as we walked through campus and toured the dorms.

I’m wearing my black and gold today, in hopes for good news tonight.

I feel rather positive that he’ll get in…but there’s always that niggling what if he doesn’t… and you know what? so what what if he doesn’t? He tried. He put forth a great effort and for whatever reason, if he didn’t make the cut–it will make him stronger and more determined to succeed at either Rhodes or Hendrix. But at least he wasn’t afraid to take a chance.

Talking to Rader’s godfather and my best friend Nick this morning he said that when he was afraid to leave for school his dad said “You know what son, I don’t want you to go, but you better get the hell out of here.”

And that right there sums it up perfectly for me. I’ll miss you when you’re gone, but you better fly away little birdie!

Okay, bitches! Keep your fingers crossed for good news! Maybe tonight, I’ll be the mom of an incoming Vanderbilt Freshman!

 

METANOIA

Hello old friends. How’s life been treating you since I’ve been gone? Have you been eating your veggies and taking your vitamins?

I know it’s been a while since I’ve been here, and I know that’s probably been tough for you. I hope you can forgive me. I just needed to take some time away, find myself, begin again.

Unfortunately, I’m still looking for myself. I’m apparently very good at hide and seek.  Continue reading

a month of mel history lesson

Gather ’round the blackboard, boys and girls of the internetwebz. Ms. Melf has a history lesson for you…

Once upon a time, there was a feisty-once-blonde-now-red-head named Melf. Oh wait, that’s a fairytale beginning…this isn’t a fairytale!

2009 was a big year for me. My second book was due in February and in early January, it was barely half written. I started working part-time, was still a full-time mother, and had long ago forgotten what sleep was. I was falling into a very deep depression because my 16 year marriage was falling apart and then in March, I was gonna be 40 years old.

I never worried about being 40 before. Age is a number and I certainly don’t feel that 40 is old. (and can I say, after being carded twice last week, I don’t feel 41 is old either) But with so many life changes happening at once, I was starting to dread my birthday. Hell, I was dreading getting out of bed everyday.

I have never dreaded my birthday. I’ve always had to plan it myself (yes, including most of my own gifts) but even though I was the one planning my annual birthday trip to Oaklawn & dinner at the Brau Haus, I still loved it. I think everyone should embrace their day. It’s magical.

So the fact that I was becoming sad about my birthday worried me. I had been trying to take control of my life…something I had lost a long time ago. I was planning to run my first 5K, I was exercising and losing weight, I had surrounded myself with wonderful people…but still, something was missing.

That something was me…I was relying on others to make me happy and that just wasn’t okay.

I needed to find some self-fulfillment. I was finally self-aware. I knew the marriage was crumbling, I had turned my book in, and I needed to figure out how to find happiness during what felt like the darkest time of my life.

And that’s when THE MONTH OF MEL was born.

I decided I was worth having a month to myself. I created my 40 Things to do at 40 list, (which I think actually only had like 36 items on it) and I began to live the month of March like it was made for me.

And by the end of that month, I had found my sparkle again.

Now, the MONTH OF MEL is a tongue-in-cheek celebration of me. Trust me, I learned the hard way, if I don’t celebrate me, nobody will.

And dammit, I’m worth celebrating.

We all are.

I encourage you all to adopt your birthday month. Celebrate yourself. Find your sparkle. Believe me, if I can find mine again, anyone can…