Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year Resolutions: Balança

Calvin new years resolutionsLast year I failed to make resolutions. I was in an extremely happy place. Planning parties, hanging with friends, and, as mentioned previously, playing tons of capoeira. 
I didn't feel the need to make any hefty goals to keep myself on track. For the first time, I felt, whole-heartedly, on track. I was playing capoeira on a regular basis, and weight was shifting automatically because of that. I was five months away from graduating college, and I felt very confident about the upcoming semester. I had become part of a community and was enjoying time with others, which in turn meant I was taking time for myself. All of my normal goals where in check. Everything was chugging along and taking care of itself. No need for resolutions.

That was last year.

In August, I moved with my family to Baltimore. To a place where I knew no one. To a place where going to capoeira was quite the trek, not a simple stroll. To a place where I was starting all over. A place where many things that once consumed my day, guided me on my happy little track, and moved me forward--they were no longer around. A place where, although I still had my family, I felt alone.

This year, I need the goals. I need motivation. I need to get my butt in gear. After the last six months of first trying to do it all, failing miserably, and then sulking because I am not Superwoman, I have got to come to peace with my new situation and get busy making the most of it.

In the beginning, I drove three times a week the 45 minute drive to DC to try to get to capoeira. I felt this was important since it had been a huge part of my life in Atlanta for the previous year. However this turned an 1.5 hour activity into a 3.5 hour adventure. So, I had to trim. And even at once per week, it is not enough to keep my activity level where it needs to be for consistent weight loss and the long drive makes becoming a part of the community so much harder.

This, strangely, is good for me. (Pollyanna strikes again) A chance to start fresh. I have a nasty little habit of going "all in", and abandoning other aspects of my life. READ HERE I had let self-doubt replace my writing, photography replace self-doubt, uncertainty to replace photography, capoeira to replace uncertainty, and now I'm in a place where I am starting fresh and struggling to find my footing.

Photo from

My New Years Resolution is simply this -- Balance.   

I want my life to be filled with family, friends, writing, capoeira, photography, yoga, spirituality, art, music, travel, and laughter. I want to learn new things and get better at what I've already explored. I want to make tons of new friends and visit my current ones. At the end of the upcoming year, when I am preparing for 2014, I want to feel that I have enjoyed the year the best I could have. I want to have a beautiful collection of memories.  That is what I want most in 2013.

There will be goals. I want to find a local group of writers, become more involved in the local capoeira group(s), continue to make my body healthier, learn Portuguese, finish a second novel, get Iron Thirst published, master my headstand, actually pull off a macaco, travel more, and many other things that I plan to jot down to hold myself accountable. But at the very top of that list, the most important thing of all, I want balance. I have learned stacking my entire existance on top of one activity leaves me in a vulnerable place. I have to share my skills and my time with all the things that I enjoy and love so that things don't slip away, but if they do--I have other things to fall back on.

Now to start making that long lists of wishes for the next year. I know going in that not all will be checked off. Some will sit on a list and be replaced with real life and new paths. And I am ok with that. What's the line? Shoot for the moon and land in the stars. Seems a decent enough anthem for 2013. So good luck to me. And good luck to you. And have a Happy New Year!

Do you feel your life has balance or do you struggle? Do you try to do it all or bury yourself in one interest? Have you written your New Years resolutions or are you winging it?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Kindle Killed My Reading

I am convinced that buying an eReader made me stop reading books. Follow my logic, oh, because I've got buckets full.

I used to tear through books. Archaic books with binding and such, owned them, swore by them, loved them. Under my bed was a long see-through blue box filled with my "to-be read" pile. I would slide it out, pick up a book, turn to the first page, start reading, and if it didn't grab me - I'd toss it back into the pile and pick up another. Rinse and repeat until I found the one that would hold my attention. That book would be finished within 3-7 days.

Then there was everybody else that kept giving the plugs for the Kindle, Nook, iPad Books, etc. I understood the logical need for an electronic way to read and store books. I understood that they were probably cheaper. I loved the idea of downloading the sample to make sure it grabbed me like a good book should. I liked that I could have a new book in an instant with simple clicking and confirming the purchase. I was sold. I needed a Kindle.  As a lover of books, how could I survive without a Kindle?

And that was the beginning of the end. I downloaded sample chapters. I built up a handsome library. That was over a year ago. And I have yet to finish a book on this device.

I'm not knocking the Kindle. One day, maybe a gazillion people will read something written by me on one of these all powerful, technological creations. Ok, probably not - but hey, let the idea float around in the universe. They are just simply not for me.

I miss beautiful books. The cover art, the smell, the weight shifting from one hand to the next as I am pulled deeper into the novel. The anxiety that builds as the heroine is digging herself deeper into disaster, and there is only a tiny bit of space until the end, and I pray she figures it out, but it doesn't look likely. (exhale)  

(My family unpacking a box of books after being in the new house for about 6 mths).
I,mean, seriously, when would this happen with a Kindle?

I'm sure of it. It was the Kindle that killed my reading. Not the hours of schoolwork, not the busy schedule, not the packing and moving across states, oh no. That would be just making up excuses. It is much more logical to blame it on the Kindle. :-)

So, are you an eReader or archaic book reader? What's the last book you read?  Have you been going through an olympic reading sprint or a dry patch?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Blog Salvaged...

In case you were wondering where I've been, I'll tell you. I have been walking barefoot through South America, studying indigenous people and learning of their primitive lifestyles. Building tools with my bare hands, trapping game, planting corn. Ok, that's a lie. I've just been strapped into the backseat of life's car and letting it drive me all over the place. I met tons of interesting people, played tons of CAPOEIRA, and then ended up in Baltimore where I'm trying to figure out my next one act play.  I was on the fast track and loving every minute of it, and now I'm in a place where picking up a book and just sitting and reading is actually an option. (I was quite scared that I might have forgotten how.) Oh, and somewhere in all of that - I graduated college. Woohoo!

Last weekend, I was transferring all of my old files from my old computer and in the process I found my old works in progresses. The (never really) finished novel, its sequel, and about four other stories that were once loved dearly and then tossed aside, replaced by new projects. I found all my photography projects, sewing ideas; my self made DJ mixes, and other artistic outlets that never saw the light of day. 

Then, I started thinking, "Mmm, wonder what ye ole blog looks like?" I typed in the address on Firefox and was dumped on an unfamiliar black screen talking about cosmetics and skin care. "I know for sure that I never took up makeup as an artistic outlet. This is not the Alicia Frey you were looking for."  Had I really been gone so long that someone else replaced me?

Yep, it's been over a year since my last post. Three years since I've worked on a novel. A year and a half since LiciaJo Fotos. And the other projects really shouldn't even be counted. That person seemed a million lifetimes away from where I am currently sitting. Next step, turn to page one of IRON THIRST and try to retrace my steps. In a matter of a week, I read it, its partial sequel, and many of the other WIPs. I have missed those people, the ones that used to live inside my head. It was fascinating as I turned the pages to hear them whisper in my ear, "Actually, I would say that differently," "Probably could use another Bristow chapter here," and "Where the hell did you go?"  (Of course Bristow would speak the loudest.)  CLICK HERE IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN INTRODUCED TO BRISTOW.

I was able to save the old website by getting another domain. I figure I will start back slow. Maybe a short story, stick to some nonfiction, or pick up one of those abandoned stories and see if they can be resuscitated. Clear!  I've missed all of you. Hopefully, you are all doing well.  Some of you, I've kept up with on Facebook, but I'm hoping we can all get reacquainted and even add a few new friends to the mix.  I would love to hear from you. Say "howdy" in the comments if you'd like.