Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mark’s Reverb 2010

Mark’s thoughts on the last year and his writing per the prompts from reverb 2010 (in no particular order):

1 word to encapsulate my 2010:

Full. By full I mean both busy and blessed. Work, classes, writing, editing, a new book started, parties, time well spent with friends and family, lots of books, movies and other diversions—but full. In most ways good: gainfully employed, creating, and trying new things, hanging out with people I like and love. In some ways bad—every day, weekend and most weeknights booked or over-booked. Full.

1 word for 2011:

Who knows until the fat lady of 2011 sings? But—I hope: FOCUSED. In particular being focused on completing both my novels (done in a form so I can finally look for an agent). Being focused on being present in all the things I do: my day job, my writing, my roles as a spouse, parent and friend. Yeah. Focus for me in 2011.

Thing I could do daily that I could eliminate (or the 11 things my life doesn’t need in 2011):

1) Organize and thin down all the incoming digital input I receive daily: e-mail (no less than 4 accounts); twitter (over 1,000 people I’m following); a dozen or so blogs that I follow at least, etc. It all becomes information overload that I’m not very good at keeping up with. Some of it has got to go. Not sure my strategy yet, but I’ll get there.

2) Time wasters: A chronic problem for me: games, video games, online poker, TV, digital news feed (per above). I took a month off from just online poker and made quantum leaps with my writing during that month. January 1 I’ve decided to kill my poker account. Trying for four aces and millions of fake chips is just another form of procrastination for me. It’s gotta go. This gets back to the “focus” plan for 2011.

Make. What was the last thing you made?

Sweet, sweet love.

TMI? Sorry, you asked (or rather those Reverb 2010 people did).

OK, so of course as a writer I have put down lots of words on paper this year, creating fictional characters and worlds that I hope someday others will want to pick up and read.

Besides the writing (and other pastimes as noted above) I am blessed with a creative 7-year old kid. Some mutual friends recently gave us a stop-motion camera setup—so this is the movie that I helped create. We hope you find the storyline enthralling. I am sure it is just the first of many. (Thanks Jerry & Janette and family) Hope it plays for you... it was a challenge to post it to blogger.

Body Integration This year, when didyou feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?

I took a fencing class last winter with my son. This was his first foray into that sport, but for me it was a refresher course. It turned out I was the oldest pupil in class (the 21 year old instructor usually referring to me as “Dad”), mostly fencing with teenagers. I was sadly reminded how long it had been since I had last fenced by my initial attempts at catching my breath and legs that burned from muscle fatigue after the classes. BUT I was also was pleased to find I could keep up with the class—doing footwork up and down the lengths of the gymnasium and scoring points against the much younger, more fit fencers. I was also usually was the number one pick for team games where often half of the class fenced against the other half of the class. It was a lot of fun, but I found I continued to enjoy the mind-game/strategy/concentration part of the sport just as much as the physical work out. I even found out that fencing with the épée—the one type of sword I had never tried to fence with before—was something I was really good at (class champion). Yes, I am adept at stabbing people in the toe and hand. Watch yourself.

Lesson Learned What was the best thing you learned aboutyourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

I broke my arm in September. For the first couple weeks it was really inconvenient. I couldn’t do little things like tie my own shoes or button my own work shirts. (This made me thankful for my helpful family). I found I really don’t like having to rely on others or ask for help (but I already knew that).

This broken arm happened on my second day of my “book in a month” class at the Loft (it was actually a six-week class, so the title is a bit misleading). I missed that class—and for the rest of that class I was also reduced to half-typing speed at best. Despite this injury and my reduced physical capabilities I found that it really wasn’t slowing me down much. I only missed one day of work due to the broken arm. In the writing class I hit all my goals I set, and ended up creating more material in a month than I ever had—around 30,000 words (and more words than anyone else in this class). My learning? If I focus (there’s that “F” word again) I can overcome any obstacles to accomplish whatever I set my mind to. So can you.

Wishing you great success and happiness in the year ahead.

Back to writing.


Jon said...

I love the stop motion movie. Great stuff.

Shawn Enderlin said...

nice post, and nice to see someone else taking up the #reverb10 anthem. :-)

Couldn't see the movie though -- maybe that's because I'm on Firefox?

Mark Teats said...

Thanks, guys.
Shawn, sorry you couldn't view the movie. A different browser might play it. I will act it out for you at our next meeting if need be :)