Very pleased with my word counts but I’ve found so much story in the twists and turns this month that the stories are nowhere near over. Originally, I was going to alternate NaNo months with revisions, but I’ll continue with these stories while they’re fresh in my noggin.
GOALS FOR MAY & BEYOND:
1) Round of Words in 80 Days – This challenge, as the name suggests, has 50 more days to go. I’m glad that I’ll have check-ins twice a week to keep me on track.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Tonette, we’ve gone past the halfway point of the write-a-palooza. Why this theme? I promise, this is not a morbid post of me contemplating my own mortality. I want to share with you a talk Brad Meltzer gave on the subject, but it’s not what you think. Heck, even if it were, I’m such a huge fan of all that he does in spoken, written, and visual form, I’d listen to that, too. He is a wonderful storyteller and a writing role model that I look up to. The video is about sixteen minutes long but worth every second.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Your words to a family member, to a friend, to a complete stranger, those words are your power. ‘Good job! I like what you did here. You have a real talent for that.’ Those words are power and they’re your power and if you don’t use them, time fades and your power fades with them… Ordinary people change the world.“
When thinking about what your obituary might contain, you shouldn’t mope about death, but rather, take the opportunity to really think about how you live your life. How do you want to proceed each day? What motivates you in your chosen profession? What are your passions? What are your goals? If you’re able to accomplish some of these, how do you show your gratitude to those who helped you get there?
Despite the negative vibes associated with the word itself, Brad Meltzer has transformed the idea to help us reevaluate our priorities. We need to stop traveling through life like automatons. This life is fleeting and it’s up to us to live each day with gusto. And it’s important that we do not live each day merely for ourselves, but for those around us, whether we know them or not. Simple acts of kindness such a holding the door for someone who has too many grocery bags, saying thank you to the person who reopened that elevator door as you ran into the building, appreciating the patient bus driver who waited for you to board despite the fact that he’s been driving all day and dealing with people far less pleasant than himself. Imagine how better life would be for everyone if we all just smiled and were kind to one another.
I hope that the theme title alone does not offend people, especially those in Boston. My heart aches for them and for anyone who goes through such tragedy. Comedian Patton Oswalt said it plainly and said it well: “So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.””
We all have it in us to spread goodness around. As a writer in the global community, I take that opportunity each day. I am thankful for what I have, hopeful for what I have yet to gain, and humbled that so many others struggle when there must be a better way. I don’t want to think about what my life was like in retrospect. I want to live my life right now in the best possible way, one thank you at a time. One smile, one good deed. We all have it in us.
If there is anything that I want to be remembered for it is not the millions and millions of books I sold throughout my career 😉 or perhaps the awards won for my writing contributions to film and television. I hope that people remember Tonette dela Luna as a kind, humble, and grateful person who was willing to help people every chance she got. I’ve been blessed to have family and friends around me that share the same ideals. On a global scale, I’ve only mentioned two people out of billions that had something poignant to share about the power of humanity. If I may be so bold as to count myself in their esteemed company, that makes three. Three down, the world to go.