Getting my Life Back

So, I’ve been sitting at home, back in Kentucky, since April. I have checked and double checked our baby registry. I have been Bible art journaling. Even though I don’t have a lot of energy to do so, I have tried to help out around the house as I can. And yesterday, I realized. Why am I not writing? Why am I not playing piano every day? These two activities are ones that I LOVE; have much finger dexterity in February or March, but I have it back now! Why is the child in my womb not hearing her mommy play music all the time? Why has my creative slow simply stopped?

So, I am re-discovering ANNA. I have made a commitment to write and play the piano, 30 minutes a day each. I have an author friend who was starting to write a book in October or November, and she published it a few weeks ago. Why do I drag my stinkin’ feet every time I close in on a goal of mine? Yeah, the first book I self-published, I went about it all wrong. But that doesn’t mean I should STOP. I had to cancel piano lessons in January, because of my relapse, which led me to live in Minnesota for a few months while everything was figured out health-wise. But I have heard interest of new students—why have I not been pursuing them super hard? Um, if I leave it all up to them, they won’t be taught!

In the next year, I plan to WRITE. I plan to self-publish more books that I think my audience will enjoy. Books that have been cooking in my head for YEARS, that simply need to be refined and rewritten. I didn’t even sleep very much last night, because my brain was remembering all the things I have wanted to do for so long. I have two months until baby comes. Then, even though I’ll be exhausted, I will still be at home. Even if my body can’t do everything I want it to when I want it to, I can WRITE. I can PLAY. So, what am I waiting for? I even got up at 6am this morning because I couldn’t wait. (I’ll probably crash in a few hours, but hey, I’m up now!)

Here’s to getting my life back!

Meyer Accepts Stringer Position at Local Paper

extra era     Anna Meyer accepted the opportunity to write for the Appilachain News-Express while a reporter of theirs is on medical leave.

Meyer has been living in Pikeville, KY for more than a year. She has made friends at church and throughout the community. One of those friends, Lisa Forsyth, is related to the editor of the News-Express, one of the local newspapers in town. When Meyer brought up to Forsyth that she was interested in working at a newspaper last Sunday, Forsyth put a little bug in her nephew-in-law’s ear about Meyer’s writing talents.

In a Facebook message, Forsyth relayed to Meyer, “I pitched your writing talents to Russ [Cassady] and he said to come to the News Express office tomorrow to talk with him! They do have an opening that they were getting ready to fill and that’s the reason for the rush!”

Meyer reported to the office the Monday morning. Cassady was surprised to see her so early, but brought Meyer to the publisher of the paper, Jeff Vanderbeck. The two men interviewed Meyer. Meyer came home and sent Cassady some writing samples. Vanderbeck called her Wednesday afternoon, asking if she could come in the next day.

“It has been years since I’ve written journalism,” Meyer said after receiving the call. “But I’m excited to have a deadline and a reason to write again, besides it just being for-fun.”

You can look for features written by Meyer in the News-Express starting next week.

I PUBLISHED MY VERY FIRST CHRISTIAN FICTION BOOK!!!

3D promoI started writing “Saving Vindicity” the summer of 2011.  And I finally published it!  This book is now available on Amazon for Kindle.  Click here to download it for yourself, read it, and leave a review!

I stopped after writing it, because I was waiting for the “right time.”  Well, who knew when that would be.  After I had a friend read it a few months ago, and she didn’t have much criticism, I decided to go through with it.  The marketing stuff scares me, but I thought I’d start out with this blog. 🙂

Buy the eBook for Kindle here!

This is my very first book of many.  Eventually, if it does well, I’ll release it in paperback.  But I have more writing to do, as it’s on with the next book!

Anna E. Meyer ❤

T-Swift’s “Love Story”

Yes, I’m a T-Swift fan, and I’m not sorry about it. Ever since she became that new country singer, I was a fan. Still am. I love that she writes her own music and that she’s so personable and nice and everything. Anyway, that’s beside the point. I love this song.
Listen to it!  And watch the video while you’re at it.  🙂

Here are 8 reasons why:

  1. I love story songs. Possibly because I’ve always liked hearing and telling stories.
  2. She uses classic literature (Romeo & Juliet, The Scarlet Letter, and Pride & Prejudice) as her story.
  3. Some of these classic pieces end in tragedy, but she blends them together to make it a happy ending.
  4. I love the story of P&P. Don’t get me wrong. The book starts out a little too slow for my taste, but have you SEEN the Lizzy Bennet Diaries on YouTube? Fantastic remake. Okay, I love classic literature retold in a modern setting (I kind of write that way, too). The song skips all the stuff where Lizzie won’t talk to Darcy because she feels judged by him, it just gets to the good part where they both love each other.  I love how much Darcy loves Lizzie.  Anybody with me on that?
  5. I like R&J, too, just not the tragedy part. She took the part where they weren’t supposed to be together and used it, just not all the families killing each other and stuff. Awesome.  Romeo and Juliet had an amazing love, too.  The romantic in me is sighing softly.
  6. I was also that weird kid in high school who enjoyed reading TSL and analyzing it. T-Swift only took a reference from this book, the part where Hester Prynne, who wears the scarlet letter, is alienated from society. Well, T-Swift kind of just uses the reference to underline the fact her dad didn’t want her seeing Romeo; she was like a scarlet letter to Romeo.  (But the rest of the lyrics and where they are from just indicate their love for each other was like in the aforementioned stories.)
  7. I know she took all the happy parts out of these stories. Frankly, when I’m writing shortstories or even the novel that I’m working on, I use the Bible as a basis of my stories, and pull stories from there. But I never pull stories that don’t end so well. For example, in my stories, people don’t die, they just get knocked out (kind of like Batman doesn’t kill).
  8. And, finally, why I love this song: Taylor Swift is an awesome artist in general. I loved her when she was in the country scene, and I just followed her to her pop music. Okay, so I wasn’t a fan of all her heartbreak songs (because they were all so similar), but I loved her happy little love songs. (“Our Song” is another great one of hers, by the way.)

I like story songs because I like stories. What kind of songs do you like the best?

Anna E. Meyer

Character Development: Looking at Guardians of the Galaxy

Yesterday, Dr. Wile E. Coyote and I went and (finally) saw The Guardians of the Galaxy. We were discussing it later (of course), and agreed that we like other Marvel movies better. I really like all the Avengers movies. But Guardians tied that in nicely (that is one of my favorite things about Marvel—everything somehow connects!). Anyhoo, I realized that my favorite part of those movies is watching characters grow and develop.

[NOTE: If you haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy yet and want to, stop reading. Otherwise, continue.]

Guardians_of_the_GalaxyEach of the five characters who breaks out of prison, Rocket, Groot, Gamora, Peter, and Drax, grow at some point during the movie.

Groot is the “muscle” of the Rocket-Groot partnership. It’s just he and Rocket. Until they find friends. He begins to grow when he is speaking with Rocket, not about to let their friends just be taken. It is evident when Groot grows his branches around his friends to protect them and utters the words, “We are Groot.” Ugh, my heart freaked out about that. It was so touching! But I knew he’d grow back.

Drax was like one of those always-angry bullies, willing to do whatever it took to “get even.” Drax grew when he told Groot that he had been letting his anger control him—he realized it. Yes, he’d lost. They all had. And it made him more empathetic to the others who had lost much, also.

Rocket was like one of those bullies who you’re not exactly sure that he’s a bully, but he pulls all sorts of stuff on others and is super smart. He DID return to help his friends, which was a big step for him (even though out of everyone, he was the most hesitant). Rocket grew when he was sitting in the midst of Groot’s sticks. Groot had been his only friend. But when Drax comes and pets him, Rocket relaxes. He has lost, but he still has friends!

At the very beginning, we meet Peter Quill as a boy, right until we see him be abducted by a UFO. He protects himself because he doesn’t want to get hurt. He didn’t reach for his mother’s hand, because it might hurt, and he hears her die instead of watching it. He doesn’t stay close to anyone, not even the “family” of men who had abducted him and basically raised him. But he is willing to help Nova, especially when he sees Gamora’s heart to save it. He DOES want to help. We see Quill’s growing toward the end when he holds the stone and reaches for Gamora’s hand, too. At the very end, he opens the package from his mother that he’d been hanging onto for 26 years, because he can finally move on.

These five, who had escaped prison, save Nova. Their hearts have turned around. The five, who hated each other, are now good friends who stand up for each other.

Watching characters grow is one of my favorite parts of a story. This Saturday (today), on this day that I have nine hours to myself (because Dr. Coyote is in the library), I have been working on writing and fixing spots in my story that I’ve been looking at for too long. Maybe it’s time to take a new approach. How are my characters growing? Can I see them all grow? Or do they stay the same?

What do you look for to know if a character is strong or weak? What else could I look at besides character growth? What do you like to see in characters?

Anna E. Meyer

The First Week of Classes Complete: Update on Life of the Meyers

Books, books, books. I love reading. I love writing. I love having them on my bookshelf, even if I haven’t had TIME to read them yet. I finished writing my query today, and after I finish a synopsis, I shall start sending in my query and proposal (each agent calls for a different type of submission). Everything has been working out (again). I have had trouble with motivation and with writing just the right words in the past, but it has come together. Maybe it is because Dr. Wile E. Coyote has found his own niche for studying and has been at the library most of the weekend. Goodness, if this keeps up, I could have another three novels written before we get to clinicals! I have a list of things that I want to write but I have to take it one at a time. As I am working on the query and synopsis of my completed novel, I feel a push to begin the sequel. I have been learning so much about writing styles and writing in general from resources that I have been diving into! Also, I have found this whole new genre of books out there that fit mine completely: Christian urban-fiction. I’ve been reading reviews on Goodreads and going to websites and I just want to read all these books now, too! But of course, I don’t have time. I’ve discovered that this genre has been growing a lot since the late 80s, but I didn’t even know that until after I finished my book. And I’m just so excited about it, that I want to talk about it with people, but of course, they have not read it yet, because I am not yet published. *sigh* I’ll get there. (smiley face)

And THAT leads me to the totally awesome job I have at Sound House Music: teaching music lessons to students who are paying me for lessons and are excited because they WANT to learn. In public schools, you get those students that are just going through the motions because band is an “easy A” or their parents want them to play in band. I haven’t figured out how the music lessons and writing exactly will work hand-in-hand, but I have such a passion for both of them that is just erupting from my soul right now. I currently have 3 students, but another wants to get started when school starts up for him (public schools have already started here in Kentucky! Is that early or what?). And when word gets out that I can give lessons in more than just drums and piano, I will hopefully have even MORE students! I am so excited. I may have talked about all this here before, but I don’t care, because I’m just excited. Kind of like I’m excited to start sending my query in. I KNOW I’m going to get a lot of rejection before I will get a book published, and I KNOW that I beat myself up about music stuff too often. Which is great that God has been giving me such encouragement lately! – next paragraph –

I have talked about the friends that Doug and I have been making here, even before school started. Well, us and some friends I’ve mentioned here before, who I’ll call the “Bang!ers” because Bang! is the only game that is played when these particular people gather and play a game, met for a prayer night the Friday before classes started for our students. We first went around sharing prayer requests, and I shared how I didn’t feel “good enough” for my job at times. Among so much more prayer, that lie and those self-esteem issues were attacked. And I have been feeling the prayers. Much more, I can feel when those lies creep in and I throw them away, because God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). He has also given us authority over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19), so we can command it away. And this week, the small group I am in began going through Ephesians. We read Ephesians 1 for this weekend, and in our discussion Sunday morning, we talked all about our identity and how Paul tells us over and over of the many spiritual blessings we have received in Christ (it’s every spiritual blessing, actually!). The Lord has been attacking lies before The Student, as well, so we’ve been able to encourage each other. I am continually amazed by God’s incomparable love and blessings, his grace and his peace, and his constancy through EVERYTHING.

How is Dr. Coyote doing after this first week of classes? Well, he was at the library for hours at a time this weekend. It has been a roller coaster. Some days, it’s like, “Uuuuuugh,” and other days , it’s like, “This is the best ever!” Apparently, life of a med student. He has already been changing his study strategies until he found something that helps him study a lot better than his undergrad studying technique. His studying is like a roller coaster, as well. Sometimes, it’s like, “I was just plowin’ through!” and other times, it’s like, “I had to push to get it done.” Doug received his iPad keyboard today in the mail, and is currently geeking out about it. Maybe after supper, he’ll be done geeking out about the iPad, and be ready to geek out about anatomy? 😉

 

Adapting to this Kentucky resident/med schooler/spouse life! 🙂

 

Anna (AKA the native Minnesotan/music teacher/writer and science is like, whaaa?)

Things in Lists

Things I Find Easy:
– Being happy when Dr. Wile E. Coyote comes home for lunch and seeing him when we’re both at home in the evening (which, such as last night, was 9pm. Other times I’m home.  Other times I’m at work and it’s like 6 or 7).
– Writing Christian-based stories, poems, and blogs (and, if you’ve been following my blog here for awhile, may have seen a few stories and poems here and there, also! Feel free to check out the archives).
– Sleeping in our super-duper comfy bed (thanks, Papa Meyer!).

Things I Find Difficult:
– Remembering that my husband loves cell biology and is also a neat freak because of it (thus, the farm girl in me who doesn’t mind dirt and fat in meats gets only a tad annoyed).
– Researching agents who represent christian authors (and trying to figure out how to go about this whole “publishing” thing).
– Being a morning person after much disrupted sleep (because the whole symptom thing kind of stinks).

Things I Find Often:
– That I like to pray for my husband because God is super faithful.
– That I  looooove to write (and make lists, apparently) — I can’t stop, even if I tried.
– That I notice the MS, especially when I forget about a few of the exercises.

Things I Find Sometimes:
– A crabby husband (but don’t worry, he’s usually good at letting me in on why he’s stressed and a little….uncooperative?  Then I can help).
– An empty notebook (you know, the college-ruled kind that is on sale right now for back to school stuff.  *cough*).
– Stretching works!

Things I Find More Often Than I Thought I Would:
– An Anna hug when needed eases some stress and brings comfort; a Doug hug when needed is a release of tension and anxiety and no-more-words-just-ahhh.
– More than one book on our bookshelf by one author.
– Stretching works.

Things I Plan on Finding:
– Date night every week (smiley face).
– A whole lot of students that I can teach something at my music lesson job!
– A helpful exercise routine that my PTs keep telling me about..

Things I Hope to Find:
– Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment is amazing!
– An agent who is interested in selling my book!?
– What? Not even strangers notice the MS?

 

Other Things to Update You With:

– Dr. Wile E. Coyote is adapting to this med-student thing, and by next year, he’ll have it down.

– Work for me at Sound House Music has picked up a bit (and we expect it to pick up more with school starting and word getting out that I can teach all percussion, brass, woodwind, and piano).

– I have an infusion scheduled for Friday because THE ORDERS FOR MY MEDS CAME IN (after three weeks to a month of this hassle, mind you, but it did come!).

 

Sign-Offs:

– Peace out.

– Love you all!

– I like lists.

Anna

HOPE

Hope: noun (first definition) the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best

I took a quiz on Facebook today that told me in five simple questions what my happy word is, and it gave me HOPE. Normally, I take those Facebook quizzes for funsies and just laugh at the result. But I liked the description on this one: “You refuse to give up on anyone, including yourself. You see the best in others. You think happiness should be shared. You spread your message of optimism as much as possible. You will keep believing when everyone else has stopped. You think good will always prevail in the end. You believe if we trusted each other more, the world would be a better place. All we need is a little hope.”

I downloaded “e-sword” (basically, a really neat tool for studying the Bible in-depth, even though at first it looks like an old, ’90s computer program or something), and in the KJV, I looked up “hope” and got 130 matches. It’s interesting that modern translations substitute other words like “wait” or something. But the Hebrew dictionary entry for “hope” is this: “tiqvâh tik-vaw’ From qâvâh; literally a cord (as an attachment ); figuratively expectancy: – expectation ([-ted]), hope, live, thing that I long for.”

The word hope gives joy and expectancy. In the trinity, who is continually at work here in ways we can’t see; in the physical return of Christ. In each other. I do believe in sharing happiness with others. Smiles are contagious, you know. I can’t be in the doldrums longer than I want to because of my optimism (even before I was on anti-depressants and cried a lot and freaked….I still smiled, which is kind of weird when I think about it now). Hope is the word that was on those red rubber bracelets before the National MS Society decided that orange was a better color for their logo. Hope for a cure of MS and a better tomorrow. I have dreams and hopes for myself and for the way things will be. I hope to become an author (now with the name “Anna E. Meyer” instead of Olson, as I formerly wrote of often…smiley face). I hope to teach others of the subjects that I love—of music and playing it; of Christ and the many things I’ve learned and want to pass on; of simply living a hope-filled and a Christ-filled life. Because Christ is hope. He is my hope and the reason for my continued smile. It is he whom I trust, and my Minnesota-roots that have taught me to trust others, as well.

There is always a reason for hope. Even when life feels down or bad things happen, God is there. There is a silver lining. Hopes of mine have already become realities: my hope of a husband who loves me for me (well, that’s a month away still, but he loves me for me even now); my hope of writing for an audience (thanks to this blog and readers like you for my start), and my hope of a future, even with this blasted MS. I graduated college in 4 ½ years. I’m currently living in an apartment with three other roommates whom I love like sisters. And I’m getting married in a month! God is good.

Smiling,

Anna

What are your hopes? Have you seen hopes become realities?

I Am NOT The Author of This Story (Just this Post)

We were going through Mark 2:1-12 at a Bible study on Monday. Just in case that reference doesn’t make you think, “Oh yeah, I remember that story!” allow me to refresh your memory. So, Jesus is back in Capernaum and everyone hears about it. Of course, they’re all flocking to him because they want to see him perform miracles like some circus act. Anyway, these four dudes are carrying their buddy on a stretcher because he is paralyzed. But they can’t even get in the house because it is PACKED. So, they go up to the roof, vandalize the roof to make a hole so the stretcher would fit, and lower their buddy right in front of Jesus. Jesus, seeing that the men actually believe Jesus will heal the paralytic and didn’t just come for a show, sees their faith and first forgives the sins of the paralytic. Then he heals him.

When I read these miraculous healings, I am awed by Jesus Christ’s power. And then I am filled with jealousy. There are SO many healings in the Bible. In fact, miraculous healings still happen today. So why am I not healed? I’m a storyteller and a rational thinker, but mostly a storyteller. I love a good story. Anna in the Bible lived with her husband for seven years and then was a widow until she was 84, when she got to see baby Jesus at the temple. So, it would be pretty cool if I was healed of MS after 7 years, right? So why wasn’t I? I prayed for it to happen, but I’ve had it for almost 10.

I realize now that there are more, better, and God-glorifying stories as I have MS. Being healed is a one-time deal. But overcoming struggles is a repeated process (day by day, hour by hour, etc). Did I just want to be part of a miraculous circus act? No. Even though that would be cool. I mean, I am a side character in this epic story called life (God is the main character, of course). I can glorify God through having MS, through my relationships, through my marriage (in 45 days), and through everything in my life in general. Yes, I am jealous of people in the gospels and even those I hear about now who have been miraculously healed. But, I don’t want to be a character in a one story, but many! I know that God would be able to use me whichever way he wants, but here looks like a pretty great place to be at the moment.

There’s another thing that we can never forget—God is the best storyteller in the history of the universe. I can’t be telling him what he should or shouldn’t do—I’m in the story. Only the author, who is outside of it, can write it. (So we should all stop trying.)

 

The Writer and Thinker of This Post,

Anna

Dogs and Men

A Look At a Dog

Dogs smell funny. They have bad breath and gas, too.

Dogs can be picky, but still eat many things, and when they do,

they might get sick. And then we, the humans, must clean it up.

We must feed the dog and give him water in a bowl, not a cup.

I tried that once (and it’s not the best idea ever).

Dogs sleep in random places, and are easy to trick (because we’re more cleaver).

Dogs want to play all the time; they like fetch and tug-of-war.

But we humans set the rules. We decide to let them out the door

or trick them into going outside before we shut it quick.

Dogs are not smart enough for my trick.

Sometimes, they’ll just cuddle and be calm.

But that will soon end, because it never lasts long.

There is dog hair everywhere because they SHED.

Even if they live outside, their hair will end up in your bed.

All in all, I kind of like dogs. They’re not so bad.

They are better than many other living things, so I’m glad.

 

A Look at a Man

Men smell funny. They have bad breath and gas, too.

Men can be picky, but they still eat many things, and when they do,

they might get sick. Because they never know when to quit.

It’s up to us, the women, to help them stay fit.

I tried that once (and it’s not the best idea ever).

Men sleep in random places, and are easy to trick (because we’re more cleaver).

Men want to play and not just talk; they like catch and wrestling on the floor.

But we women set the rules. We decide to kick them out the door

or trick them into doing dishes for us quick.

But men are too caring to see through my trick.

Sometimes, they’ll just cuddle and be calm.

But that will soon end, because it never lasts long.

There is hair everywhere because both of us SHED.

And then you get married, they end up in your bed.

All in all, I kind of like men. They’re not so bad.

They are better than many other living things, so I’m glad.

 

The Olson Family Dog, Pongo
The Olson Family Dog, Pongo

A Note About my Comparisons

Once, I hung out with my dog, but I was missing my long-distance hunny.

So Dr. Wile E. Coyote said that he sent the dog in his place (funny).

I mentioned how annoying the dog was, but he just shrugged.

And I began to see what he was talking about, so the dog was hugged.

It’s not that Dr. WEC is a dog or anything like that,

But I see the dog more often, and he’s not a cat.

And because the Doc is such a dog person, I guess I’ll hear his say;

Especially ‘cuz we’ll probably end up getting a dog one day.