Not normal...but lots of fun.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Just Keep Swimming

I keep trying to write and blog despite the fact I continuously fail at it so epically, so often. But, you know, I truly believe that if I keep trying, I'll succeed eventually.

It's an interesting belief. If you just hold on, if you just keep trying no matter how many times you fail, you'll get there eventually. Success will happen if you're tenacious enough. Or, as Dori says in Finding Nemo, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.

So, just to let all you guys know, I'm still swimming. I'm writing my book, working on my blog, and I still plan to get published. It's just taking longer than I want it to.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Jobs and Writing: Can You Manage Them Both?

Writing is a wonderful job all by itself. But it's hard to pay the bills on a writing career, especially in the early stages. The common solution to this is getting a job in some sort of secular vocation.

I recently switched jobs from working from home, to working for Walmart. My days are filled with work, work, work, and my nights are filled with sleep, sleep, sleep in an attempt to recover. I haven't written a word since I got my job, and I'm forced to wonder: Will I be able to balance writing and secular work?

Reason says yes, I can and I will. Other people have done so, and if they could manage it, so can I. I'll just have to continue reminding myself of that in the hard days ahead.

Here's hoping I get back to my real work soon. And that my bills are paid a little better with my new job, than they were with the old. Have a great day, and happy writing!

Writing Quote of the Week: "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." - Douglas Adams

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Be My Guest, Be My Guest, Be My Guest

Guest Posting is the smartest thing you can do for yourself, if you're a blogger. Have a guest poster on your blog, or guest post on someone else's blog, and your ratings will go up. That's because guest posting is advertising and good business in general. You're telling your readers that you're fascinating enough for someone else to want to write on your blog or to allow your content to appear on their blog.

It's also tons of fun. Plus, it forges friendships you might never have otherwise made. I, personally, got to guest post for Kathy on her blog, Bliss Habits, this week. It was tons of fun, and she is a delightful person to work with.

If you'd like to check out my posting about Creating Worlds, click HERE.

I suggest everyone check out Kathy's site, in fact. It's concept is fantastic, the layout is gorgeous, and Kathy herself is incredibly personable and friendly. The whole concept of Bliss Habits, in case you're wondering, is about cultivating bliss in Kathy's life. She uses 13 habits that she concentrates on each week to help her in cultivating that bliss in her life: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, and surprise.

I also suggest you all grab a guest posting somewhere as soon as you can. And offer for other people to guest post on your blog, if you can.

Speaking of which, if anyone is at all interested in guest posting on Kyla's Not Normal, I'd be happy to look at any kind of postings you'd like to send me. Just contact me at my email address,

I'd really appreciate it if anyone who has guest posted in the past could share their experiences in the comments below. I was terrified of guest posting before Kathy talked me into it. I'm sure other people feel the same as I did, and hearing how the experience was for you may help them break into the unknown.

Hope you all are having a great week and that this post helps a few people break into the delightful world of guest posting. Have a great day, and happy writing!

Writing quote of the day: "An old racetrack joke reminds you that your program contains all the winners' names.  I stare at my typewriter keys with the same thought."  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Forgive But Never Forget.

Self-forgiveness. The concept is one we all embrace: we're human and so we make mistakes that we must forgive ourselves for. Yet, in practice, many find the concept difficult to implement in their own minds.

How do you forgive yourself and move on when you fail to do what you've promised, not once, but over and over and over again? How do you forgive yourself when you fail to meet the goals you know you need to, in order to succeed? How do you forgive yourself for being what you are: human?

It's not an easy thing to do. Forgiving oneself for being imperfect is next to impossible. At least, it is for me. But I have to find a way to do it if I want to ever succeed in anything, because, the fact of the matter remains, I am imperfect. I do make mistakes. And I fail more often than I like to contemplate. If I never accept that, forgive myself, and move on, I'll never find success. I'll be stuck in a rut in the road. My wheels will keep turning, but I ain't getting anywhere, if you see what I mean.

I read one of the most inspiring posts about self-forgiveness today that I just have to share with all of you. It was written by Elizabeth Gilbert over at her very own website. In this posting, she shares with you how she views writing. She's a successful writer herself, with many published books, but she shares how she started out sending short stories to places like the New Yorker, and was rejected over and over again. But she views writing like a religious calling, and has dedicated her life to it. She never gave up and told herself it wasn't her job to write WELL, but to simply write.

I am saving that post to be re-read over and over again whenever I don't feel I'm good enough anymore. Whenever I've written a chapter I think isn't up to par or failed to meet a deadline or forgotten to post something on my blog (which I would never do *cough cough*).

Discipline is important to being a writer. But self-forgiveness isn't just important; it's a necessity if you mean to stay sane.

However, I don't want to be too lenient on myself. So, I'd like to make an addendum to Ms. Gilbert's post: It's important to forgive oneself for our mistakes, but we can never forget them. If we forget, we'll doom ourselves to repeated lessons in failure. We'll forgive every stupid mistake we make and never strive to do better.

Do you agree? Is this a skill you are great at, or do you struggle forgiving yourself for your failures? Are you, perhaps, too lenient on yourself and don't strive to learn from your mistakes?

I'd love to hear from all of you! If you'd like to hear more on the subject of self-forgiveness, head on over to Vikki Petterson's blog post on the subject. She tackles it so well, it makes a girl feel envious, I swear.

Hope all this helps you guys and that you have a wonderful day! Happy writing!

Writing quote of the week: "If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad."  ~Lord Byron

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Do You Like It Fast...or Slow?

Blogging, that is (had you going there for a minute, huh?). Are you a fast blogger, or a slow one?

I didn't know there was such a thing as fast or slow blogging, until I discovered a very interesting post on the subject over on Anne R. Allen's blog. She talks about how so many bloggers out there start off excited and thrilled to be blogging, blog every day for a month or two, then their interest begins to wane and they stop blogging so much, only popping onto their own blogs to apologize for their absences every once in a while. After enough apologizing, the blogger often times burns out and quits blogging altogether.

Does this sound familiar yet? I am probably the worst at this, myself. I've been on here since last June (closing in on a year now), but most of my posts are apologies for being gone so long. I am determined not to just be another blogger who quits and lets the blog die. This is MY blog, and I plan on making it last until and after I'm published, thank you very much.

So, fast blogging (blogging every day) has not been a hit for me. I'm just not regular enough, and inconsistency is the worst sin of them all in the blogosphere. But maybe slow blogging...

What is slow blogging? It's a blogging movement styled after the "slow food" movement (as opposed to McDonalds-style fast food). In this movement, you don't try to blog every day, but instead attempt to blog once a week or even once a month on a designated day. The idea is based on the concept that quality is superior to quantity, and if you blog less often, you'll probably spend more time and effort choosing your words and subject carefully.

I like the idea, myself. I think it might be just what the doctor ordered, in fact. How about you? Do you like it better when the blogs you read are done fast? Or does slow blogging seem easier to keep up with? Do you think it would help your blog develop slow and steady, or are you great at the fast and furious pace?

I'd love to hear your opinions. However, I have made the decision for myself. Henceforth, this blog shall be updated every Saturday on a weekly basis...

Here's hoping I can do it! Anyway, thanks so much for reading and I hope you all have a great day! Happy writing!

Writing quote of the week: "The ablest writer is only a gardener first, and then a cook:  his tasks are, carefully to select and cultivate his strongest and most nutritive thoughts; and when they are ripe, to dress them, wholesomely, and yet so that they may have a relish."  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

That's Just Sick

Has anyone heard about this horrible stomach virus hat has shut down nursing homes and schools across the U.S.? Here's a link to an article about it, if you haven't: USA Today's 'Stomach flu' rips through he nation.

I can personally attest to this illness, as both me and my dad had it. I have no puked in over 12 years now...until the other night. This stupid virus kicked my butt and had me shaking and shuddering over the ever-so-pleasant household commode for hours Saturday night. If it were only that one night of unpleasantness, I'd be far more happy. But, no, I've managed to stay sick to my stomach for 3 weeks! That's almost an entire month!

I am so sick of being sick. My mother had pneumonia and stomach issues at the same time, so I had to take care of her while being sick myself. AND my dad had it and we were both retching over the toilets on separate ends of the house on the same night.

So, I'm very sorry I haven't been on lately, folks. And, yet, I'm also not sorry. I was very poor company while ill. You wouldn't have liked me if I had come on here. I was truly not my abnormal Kyla-self.

But I'm on the mend now. Hopefully we'll have a break from extreme troubles in my life for a while, and I can get some writing done. If wishes were fishes, we'd all have a fry.

Glad to see all of you again (if you're still reading; I wouldn't blame you if you'd given up on me)! Life has been crazy as usual. If any of you have ever lived on a farm, you know how vividly it paints life. On one end of a farm, you can have death and disease, while new life is born right under your eyes on the other side.

That's what happened here. Our calves got sick at the same time the humans did. We've lost two calves already this year, and the two remaining look ill now, too. We're hoping they'll survive, though. But, meanwhile, in the goat pen we had the miracle of life put in a truly grandiose appearance. Grandma, our oldest female, had twin babies last week, and cuter creatures you've never seen. I named the firstborn (a boy) Starburst as soon as he was born, for the huge star mark on his forehead. His sister, born a few minutes later, we named Lightning Bolt for the vivid white stripes across both her sides.

Watching them run and play never fails to put a smile on my face. I wish you could see it. I'll have to get some pictures to share on here.

This is NOT them. But it's close. Aren't they cute?
Hope all of your weeks have been equally incredible, but perhaps less sickly. Have a great day everyone, and happy writing!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Triberr - A Blog's Best Friend?

So I just joined the new (at least to me) Triberr, a social networking site all about blogs! Bloggers create a free account and connect with other bloggers who write about similar things that you do on your blog. It's all about creating a "tribe" (and joining other tribes) where each member contributes and advertises for the other. It's really interesting and looks like it could really benefit every blogger out there.

I find it very interesting. What do you think? Is it worth the time it costs to work with? Or do you think connecting with other bloggers who will help grow your blog isn't worth the time you invest in it?

Love to hear your comments and anything you've heard on the grapevine about this interesting new tool for us bloggers! Have a great day, everyone, thanks so much for all your support, and happy writing!

--Blog post and Triberr membership inspired by Social Media Mash by Word*itches. Check it out if you want to hear more about this and other Social Networking tools people can use (especially writers).

P.S. Click HERE if you wish to check out Triberr (or even join) for yourself!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Emotional Baggage

I've been gone a while again. But with the added benefit that I now understand a lot more about myself. Whenever I'm too stressed, I can't write. You can tell me I need to. I know I need to. But I can't. Stress weighs me down better than a rock in a cloth bag, sinking in the stream. I can only swim when the rock is removed, or at least shrunk a bit.

Some of my former readers may remember my aunt who moved in with my mom and I last summer. For the rest of you, my aunt is a mentally disturbed individual with a lot of problems in her past. We were letting her stay with us because she was virtually homeless and in a really bad position. We cleaned her up and let her rest with us for six whole months. And do you know what she did to repay us?

She married the guy who lived with his parents across the street from us, stole a truck and hunting gun from someone who lives in our town, and robbed a bank right down the road from our house. Then, she took the money, gun, truck, and then fiance back to her parent's house where she was then discovered and arrested. Her new husband was the one who actually walked in the bank with a bandanna over his face and the gun in his hand and robbed the bank of its money. He even shot the gun two times in the bank, over the heads of the patrons there!

I have never been so horrified in my life! How could she do this? How could HE do this? I mean, she's an absolute nutcase, we knew that, but what's his excuse? Oh, and they were caught with drugs (enough to get intent to sell instead of just possession) and drug paraphernalia. They have like four felonies, and two or three misdemeanors.

It's all so unbelievable. We're embarrassed and sad and angry and a whole host of other emotions that I don't want to even get into. But because of the stress from this whole mess, I haven't been able to write for weeks! I couldn't even think about it. My creative juices were at nil, and my desire to work was even lower.

Finally, though, I'm getting over it. But it made me think about my lulls in writing in the past. They only occur when there is a major upheaval in my life and the stress becomes overwhelming. My emotions control my writing ability so much, it's a little frightening.

How do other people do it? How do you get over the major stress and write anyway? Is it a matter of discipline? Do I not have enough? Or do I just have more stressful events (by the way people talk about my life, lots of people seem to think so)?
I mourn the stressful events of my life, and the loss of writing that I've accrued because of it. BUT, when I think about it, I also have to be a bit glad for what I've experienced. My exciting, terrifying, horrifying, sad life has given me a lot of inspiration for stories and a lot of insight into how my heroes and heroines might feel. I have no doubt it has made me a better writer.

What do you think? Do you stop writing when something major in your life happens? How many major things have occurred in your life, and do you think those things made you a better writer?

Thanks so much for reading, and I'm sorry I've been gone so long. It seems to be a constant trouble with me. But at least I come back with some exciting stories to tell! ;) Have a great day everyone, and happy writing!