Not normal...but lots of fun.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Practice Makes Perfect

Or at least, deliberate practice makes you pretty darn close. If you stick to it long enough.

That's the key to life, isn't it? Sticking to things. Making habits. Keeping habits. If you want to become something, do something, you have to stick to it long enough that you can actually accomplish something within it.

I suppose that's what school is supposed to be about. Teaching us daily so that we can learn things through incessant drills and annoying schedules. We grow to dread the stuff so much, we hate growing up and learning that we're going to have to do the same mindless stuff to make a living, too. And to learn things outside of work? More annoying schedules forcing us to do dreaded drills.

But if it gets me to my ultimate goal of becoming a world-renowned writer? I'd do just about anything.

In that vein, I'm designing a schedule for my writing, to improve myself. And I need some honest opinions to help me along. What would you say, from this blog, are my weakest points? What skills would it benefit me to study in repeated drills to become a better writer? What would you say I'm the worst at?

I really need honest opinions here. Criticism would be wonderful. I just want to know where to start on my journey to becoming a better writer!

Writing quote of the day/month/year: “One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Blog, Blog, Blog

I've just built my third blog, Keep It Short & Sweet, because third times a charm, right? Well, I thought about it as I built it, and, honestly, I miss my old blogs. I miss what they represented. I miss writing on them and looking at them and spending time upgrading them.

My new blog is where I'm going to be posting short stories I write. So, it won't really be like a blog kind of blog, you know? Kyla's Not Normal was always somewhat like a diary. I talked about whatever came to mind and used pictures to illustrate what I was thinking. It was fun and carefree. I miss that. I don't even know why I just gave it up, never to come back again.

Maybe it was because of what it represented in my mind? A big, whopping failure. Another thing I couldn't stick to in my life.

I don't react well to failure. Never have, never will.

And so Some Are Made was born. I built that blog to document a life change. I wanted to change everything about my life. I wanted to work on and improve who and what I was. I still want to do that. I don't understand why I shouldn't pick it back up, if that's what I want.

I think it comes down to a mental image I have in my head. I have these blogs mentally stamped with that failed sign you see above. I come back to these blogs, and it hurts me inside, because I didn't do what I set out to do. I didn't stick to these blogs the way I was supposed to.

Looking over them, the last few entries of both blogs became sickeningly similar. I began to apologize, over and over, for not being able to write enough in my blogs. For not being good enough. For not trying hard enough.


Forget that. I'm not apologizing anymore. I'm only human, and it's past time I accept that and try to work with the shortcomings that come with it.

As an update, for anyone out there still counting: I've finished the first draft of Dragon Marked and am well on my way to finishing the second. Soon, I'll be starting Never Trust A Pixie, and I'll be sure to keep you updated with my progress.

Can I promise I'll stick to this? Not on your life. Can I promise to try? Oh, yeah! And I do promise. I'm going to give it my all to stick with blogging this time. So, here's hoping that the third time really is the charm, right?

Writing quote of the day/month/year: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Maya Angelou

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Some Are Made

The idea that some of us are born great, while others have to find their own way to achieving that has long fascinated me. Because it begs an interesting question: What could I do to become great?

Anyone out there who is reading this, you may remember me as that girl who used to blog. For a little while. Didn't quite make it, though. And, honestly, that seems to have been the story of my life. I'm the girl that started to do something great. And then stopped, never quite making it to actual greatness.

Well, I stopped blogging because I met a boy at work. And suddenly everything I had always centered my life around didn't seem to matter. All that seemed to matter was that boy. I fell in love with him, I obsessed over him, and I did everything I could think of to get him to return those feelings.

But he didn't.

Oh, he said things like he loved me, he just wasn't IN love with me. And that we'd always be good friends. And he was so thankful to have me in his life. And we would have been together, if he didn't have to move away and to go to college. He made a lot of promises even when he left. Promises like he wouldn't actually leave me, we'd see each other a lot, we'd talk on the phone, we'd stay in touch.

And then we didn't.

It wasn't a complete abandonment. Not at first. At first, he talked to me quite well. We did the whole friendship from afar thing. But then he started to drift on me. Stopped talking about anything that mattered. Would only text me back if I asked questions about the weather or if I should visit a club that week or not.

I texted him one day, telling him how I needed to talk to him and I thought I might have broke my hand. I waited 2 days to hear back from him, and didn't get a single reply. Finally, I asked him if he even cared about me at all. I got this long-winded reply about how he was just too busy to give me anything but the bare minimum. I angrily replied that that wasn't the bare minimum; that was absolutely nothing. The bare minimum would have been a text message asking if I was okay.

I haven't heard from him since.

I've never felt heartbreak before. And it hit me in a big way. It was worse than I'd even imagined it to be. I sunk so deep into depression, the world seemed dark and bleak. My days were filled with thoughts of self-loathing. I bombarded myself with negative thoughts of how I obviously wasn't good enough. Because, if I had been good enough, he wouldn't have left me. He would have returned my feelings. It would have been different.

But that isn't how it works, is it? Sometimes people just don't return your feelings. Even if they say they do.

About a month after this, I woke up. I looked around me, at the life I was leading, and thought to myself: "No wonder he left you; who'd want to stay with someone like this?" I hated myself for what I'd become. I hated my life.

But I've always had a saying I'd say to other people if they asked my advice on things like this: if you really hate your life that much, get up and change it or stop complaining and learn to enjoy it. Throwing yourself a pity party and wasting your energy on negative thoughts gets you and the world no where.

That advice came to my mind all of the sudden. And the thought of that boy returning and seeing me sunk inside the dark, bleak hole that I had allowed my life to become galvanized me into action. I refused to let him ever see me like that.

Which brings me back to the quote at the top of this page.

I have finally come to a conclusion in my life. I want to be great. I obviously wasn't born that way. At least, not in the ways that I wanted to be. But I could MAKE myself be great.

And that has been my mission ever since. To change the parts of myself and my life that I don't like, and finally become the person I've dreamed of being since I was 5 years old. And now, over 2 months into the change, it isn't even about the boy anymore. It's about me. It's about the person I can become and the dreams I can achieve if I just set my mind to it. To look at my life now, it's shocking to think that only 2 short months ago I was depressed and miserable.

I never want to go back to that place.

So, I've created a new blog. I could have continued my old one here, but in the spirit of a fresh start, I thought it best to begin with a clean slate. Thus Some Are Made was born.

If any of you are still listening to this old, ratty blog, I'd love to see you again. Why don't you stop on by? Check it out here.

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