Friday, May 27, 2011

What the eff is a meme?

Hello my friends!

So, Jenny Phresh (you know, the crazy one with the shopping carts and ponies and hypochondria who also thinks that I'm thought provoking, yes me, she's crazier than I thought) tagged me in this lovely challenge started by Green Woman (not her real name, I know, I'm just as surprised as you are), called Writing is NOT like a Box of Chocolate: A Meme.

After promptly looking up meme to see what that is (here is the link to the wiki reference), I sat around in a dumbfounded state for, oh, three days or so before coming up with this:

Why Writing is like Climbing a Mountain: Or How I learned to Suck it Up and Try Again

It's not very original. OF COURSE writing a novel is like climbing a mountain. Everyone and their mother comes up with THAT metaphor. However, there's a personal experience that I felt would correlate and make it a tad different than maybe what you're thinking.

Here's the story. Last year, on Columbus Day (I work for the government and therefore get weird holiday's off, like Veterans Day and Flag day. Yet I have to work the day after Thanksgiving. Don't ask me, I don't get it) I decided I was going to hike Mt. Rose, the highest summit in my area.

For those of you who don't know, I live in Reno, Nevada. I've heard stories of the amazing view from the top of Mt. Rose, a panoramic that spans the entire Reno/Sparks Valley, and on the other side is the gorgeous Lake Tahoe. So, I thought, hey I have the day off, my kids daycare is open and I can chuck them onto someone else, it's about time I did this.

So I did.

I went with my very good friend, Georgia ( <--shameless plug, her candles are AMAZING, btw) and she was 6 months pregnant at the time (trooper, right?).

It was a beautiful hike. It had snowed recently, and some of it had melted from the summit, creating beautiful waterfalls and streams on the way up. Plus, autumn was in full swing and the greens were turning yellow and red and the whole thing was like a Bob Ross painting (just a little something here and there, happy little trees, etc).

It was also a cloudy day, especially around the mountain, so there were some spooky parts where we were basically walking through the fog and I was convinced a dude with a chainsaw would appear at any moment, but we made it through to the summit in pretty good time.
And this was my "view from the top":

That's right, I climbed a mountain and my reward was...nothing. No breathtaking views, no Tahoe, no anything!

I know what you're thinking, it's an awful story, I should end it with my grandmother coming in and punching me in the face, just to make it more interesting.

And how does it relate to writing?

My first WiP was exactly like this mountain hike. Pretty little trees included. I pranced along, everything was GREAT, I was a GENIUS and the millions of adoring fans and crisp dollars were just waiting at the top of the summit.

And then I got to the top.

And I found out the millions weren't there.

All that awaited me were some realizations (wait, I'm NOT a writing prodigy at the tender age of, oh, THIRTY?!) and a long hike back down.

(And for the record, on the way down the mountain, we were behind this old dude who kept farting! There may be a metaphor there, too.)

Does that mean I'm never going to climb Mt. Rose again?


Does it mean that I'm going to give up writing just because I've got ton of crap to learn still, and miles to go before I sleep?

Hell no.

Sometimes, you have to climb a mountain more than once in order to appreciate the view.

Plus the way up, although grueling at times, is also exhilarating and amazing. And that goes for both writing and climbing a mountain.

(Also, I've made plans already to hike Mt. Rose again in June so SUCK IT CLOUDS!)

(Also, I think I made a record on this post for most parentheses used EVER.)

(And CAPS!)

And oh yeah, I'm supposed to tag three people to participate in the MEME challenge, if they so desire.

I'm tagging:

1. Mary Baader Kaley- my lovely of loveliest beta's who disappears from the web for two days and sends me into panic attacks, who will come up with something just as lovely as she is, for sure.

2. Bethany C - my erstwhile lov-ah (we sit in hot tubs eating spiced meat from this here igloo cool-ah - anyone who gets that reference gets a big sloppy KISS!) who I am sure will come up with something both funny and poignant (no pressure, or anything).

3. Joyce Alton - a new blogging buddy (who has a wonderful and informative blog) and I can't wait to see her thoughts!

Now go forth and be brilliant!


  1. Lol on the old man!

    I thought your metaphor wasn't cliched at all. It's so true how when we've worked so hard for something, we immediately expect a reward only to find that there is none. In the words of my 3-year-old: "It's not fair!" (followed by the cutest pout ever. Yes, so not fair.) There are so many lessons to be gained from this, but the one I liked best is how you're going back to climb the mountain again, despite past experience. You go, girl!

    Thanks for sharing this. ;)

  2. Awesome response! I love reading all these. And I think I have more caps on an average post than you do here, haha... though that may be because we teenagers have a flair for UNNECESSARY CAPS ALL THE TIME

    er, yup. Hope your next climb is radical!

  3. Love your response: I climbed a mountain and nothing spectacular happened! Also love that you're gonna go ahead and climb it again anyways.
    - Sophia.

  4. Lovely, er, view at the top of the mountain, Mary.

    Thank you for this honor. A writing meme? Can it be a critiquerly meme? :p

    I'm disappearing again for a few days, but I'll be back on Tuesday (didn't want you to worry. I'm always a text away). Plenty of time to think about this.

  5. Awesome post! Love it! I'm having so much fun following this meme around the webbernets.

  6. I miss Bob Ross and his white man's afro. He was sort of like Valium, only with freckles and a paintbrush.

    The Welshly Arms IS renowned for its shanks, after all...

    My next post is dedicated to answering this meme, mi...what?!

  7. This was totally nailed it! I loved it. I'm a hiker and I've certainly had this happen to me as rain and biting insects!

  8. Haha. Good job, girl! You rocked the meme. And how true...things don't always look the way you expect them to once you get to the top. Great metaphor. You are all doing so good with this! I'm putting mine up tomorrow. :)

  9. LOL!

    New here and I wondered the same thing .. had no clue what a meme was.

  10. Glad you're participating in my blogfest on Monday. And your blog's name fits it perfectly!