by Molly Jo Realy @MollyJoRealy

“What have you been up to?”

Well, I’d tell ya, but then I’d hafta kill ya. Ack! No. Sorry. Just channeling my sarcastic brother and our mutual love for covert spy movies. And comedies. Ohmagosh, remember the Princess Bride incident? Poor Mom had no idea what we were doing as each of her adult children started quoting the movie when we all came home for Christmas. #goodtimes Christmas. Yikes. It’s just over five months away and I’m so not prepared.

Ah, but I digress. So, yes. Back to the question. What have I been doing? Because I regrettably admit that which y’all already know: I haven’t been blogging. C’mon. Three posts since Blue Ridge? That’s just utterly, well, sadly lacking in the blogosphere, amiright?

Let’s recap, shall we? Blue Ridge is the writers conference I’ve been going to each May for the last four years. It’s where I met my best friends, discovered that I’m not crazy, just a writer, and also learned there’s nothing “just” about being a writer.

Frankly, My Dear . . . : That One Time I Remembered Water Seeks its Own Level

Frankly, My Dear . . . : That One Time I Remembered Water Seeks its Own Level

And then of course you’ve heard me talk about readjusting to “normal” life; except how can life really be normal when your Google history has things like “how to kill two people with one bullet” or other gross things I’ll spare my mom from reading here. [Let’s just say parts of NOLA will be pretty, uhm, authentic in their descriptions.]

I’ve had a hard time with NOLA all year. The first draft was written, then went nowhere but to the cobwebs. When I started to edit and rework it, something was missing. Sure, it was going along okay, but it was just too . . . complacent. “Hulloh?!” my brain said. “Anyone there? It’s supposed to be a murder mystery, right?! Do you even know what you’re doing?” And while my alpha readers are all telling me “Oooh, great story” “It really sucked me in” and whatnot, I’m telling me, “There’s something missing.”

So I stopped the distractions. I stopped doing so much that I could only write late at night. I started keeping notes, talking out the story, doing What If’s to get through writers block. I’ve read two books in four weeks. Okay, seriously, when have I ever allowed myself the time to do that?! But *gasp* it’s true what They say.

If you want to be a writer, you have to be a reader.

One of my favorite quotes from TV is Pride on NCIS:New Orleans (go figure!) when he tells his team, “Go. Learn things.” One of my favorite things about writing is learning how to present the story in a unique fashion. I’m basically just transcribing the movie I see playing in my head. That is the end goal, isn’t it? That NOLA will be so amazingly received it will be made into a movie? Uhm, #heckyeah.

Guess what. No, really. I want you to guess. Mom, stop rolling your eyes. C’mon peeps. What? Nope you’re wrong. Okay, I’ll tell you: Water Seeks its Own Level.

What does that even mean? Well, nutshell #yesplease: You can’t keep something where it’s not supposed to be. A light under a basket still shines, the stars through the clouds still glisten. Water cannot be contained when it’s meant to run rapids or lap softly at the shore.

But wait. There’s more: So here’s the water reference, right? And water is, what? Life-giving. Cleansing. Tumultuous. Peaceful. All of the above. It is also . . . ya’ ready? Part of a hurricane. There I said it. Yup. Does that not make it personal to me or what?!

I know, I know. This blog is too long already. Thanks for hanging in there and reading to this point. I’m almost done. Promise.

I’ve spent this time since Blue Ridge figuring out what my levels are. Am I drowning? Am I dehydrated? I heard those tiny shadow-voices over and over. You’ll never make it. You can’t be serious. No one believes in you. But I knew know those voices were are wrong. Here’s a hint: no one knows you like you know you. So when you’ve got a flame inside that can’t be put out, fan it, honey. Let that fire grow and glow until those shadow-voices are dispelled. Surround yourself with whoever and whatever it takes to help you get from here to there to THERE. #justdoit

Water seeks its own level. And I’m a hurricane. And I’m a writer. Which means, I’ve been seeking my own level. I’ve spent the last month really figuring out where I belong in the Write World, and how to move NOLA forward, and all these beautiful mosaic life pieces are fitting together in a pattern I didn’t see because I was too close up. I’ve worked more on NOLA in the last week than I did the last four months combined. #wow

I took a step back. Slowed down the social media, the blogging, the whatever-needs-slowing stuff. And I saw (see) the bigger picture. I ain’t drowning, no way! I’m surfing, baby. All the way to the top of the wave. That’s what I’ve been up to.

Because that’s my level. And that’s where I belong. Wanna come along?

Where is your level taking you?

With music in my heart and pen in my hand,
Happy surfing!
~Molly Jo

I hope you’ll subscribe to my monthly newsletter. The July edition will be going out this weekend, with a focus on Shakespeare, springs, and songs. Interested? Just click on this graphic to sign up:

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Sign up for the Author, Etc. newsletter. Because there's nothing "just" about being a writer.

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Sign up for the Author, Etc. newsletter. Because there’s nothing “just” about being a writer.

And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!

That One Time I Created a Location Mystery Sub-Genre
Sweeten my tea and share: