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Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

It’s like they were reading my heart when they posted this.

You have been working at the literary coalface for months. Your second draft has taken far longer than you expected. At times working on your second draft has felt more like going to war than embarking on a wonderful journey of creative discovery. You know far too much about your characters and after spending an […]

via The Benefits of Taking a Break From Novel Writing to Craft Short Stories #MondayBlogs #Writer #ShortStories — BlondeWriteMore

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I finished my first ever Master’s class almost a week ago and it has been almost too busy this week to even realize it – yet, when I think about doing this week and adding studies in, I shudder. We are taking a break until January – one, holidays and two, apparently we weren’t quite mentally prepared for the amount of exertion starting a masters would entail. I know all you people who already have masters are laughing at me right now, and I do not blame you at all.

On the delightful side, one of my best friends in the whole world came to visit me for the long weekend! We walked five miles yesterday, and took the path from near my apartment to Alexandria, where we proceeded to eat at Bilbo Baggins pub and then shopped. I convinced her to buy two dresses and then we went to a bookstore and I walked out with too many to carry without the assistance of a paper bag. It was so much fun! We spent all day walking there and shopping and then my husband came and picked us up and we went home, ate dinner, and watched Anne of Green Gables while we had cocktails, popcorn, and cupcakes from Alexandria Cupcakes. Truly a girls day. Now we are back in Alexandria, crashing at a cute little coffee shop and supposedly writing, but really doing random thing like shopping online or uploading photos to facebook. The plan is to go out for dinner, go back home, watch Anne of Avonlea and play with makeup – especially Tarte’s Mermaid Palette.

We are both planning to do NaNo this year, and are so excited! She is still determining her exact plot, but I think I am finally going to finish (or attempt to finish) that fantasy book I started a few years ago – the one that keeps writing itself even when I don’t want it to? Yeah. Ethrill. I have no idea what is going to happen, and I am becoming impatient for the characters to tell me. With only, what, 25 ?, days to go – it is actually time to start thinking through it!

NaNo1

 

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I am a little afraid to look at how long it has been since I have posted anything. But I have an excellent excuse. My husband and I just started a masters program! I won’t spend too long on this, since all my friends have already heard my numerous complaints, but it has essentially sucked away any and all free time that we had. Life has basically been a mix of Exercise>work>cook>study>sleep-for-5-or-6-hours>start over. Not that we’ve given up all fun – we are going to the normal every other Tuesday game night tonight and it will be a welcome break. But it still feels like we are stealing time we should be using to study.

As if that wasn’t enough, we also signed up for the Arlington Citizen’s Police Academy, which takes place every Thursday night and is a three-hour class basically teaching you the ins and outs of how the Police Department works. The first class was last week and extremely interesting, so I am glad we signed up – it just takes away another night in which to do things.

I took all my breaks at work yesterday (which has also been insanely busy) to catch up on all my messages I’ve been ignoring for about two weeks and my poor friends and family finally heard from me! It took all my breaks and more to catch up. 😛 I think that is what I hate most – my inability to respond to messages in a timely manner anymore – I do so pride myself on timeliness.

I also have been doing absolutely no writing. Which might be why I feel so completely overwhelmed and like I have no life at all anymore despite the fact that I love learning. Don’t get me wrong – this class has an insane amount of work – which I hear is typical of masters’ classes – but it occurred to me a couple days ago that if I actually made time to write as well, I would feel more fulfilled. Not picking up a pen in two months is a little rough. So I am establishing a new goal of writing 15 minutes a day no matter what. I did it that one time for a week straight – perhaps I can do 2 weeks this time? Maybe I’ll make it three weeks – the rest of the class – let myself have 15 minutes in another world a day.

find time to write

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We were supposed to be booked solid last week between me getting back from Cleveland and a variety of engagements throughout the week, but somehow or another, we managed to get two evenings (mostly) free. It was delightful. Last Tuesday we biked to the library. Daniel doesn’t quite understand the concept of just browsing all the beautiful books, so he selected one book, and sat down and read for a couple hours while I took my time perusing all the shelves. Blissfully talking-free, quiet, and rejuvenating. I may have come away with 12 books. I am not sure I will actually get through them all, but it was just lovely to take any book I felt like. Our library seems to have a propensity to murder mysteries – I swear, a majority of the shelves were murder mysteries – and almost no inspirational fiction, but I still managed to find a lot of intriguing covers, including murder mysteries related to baking and disowned gentry.

I came home and pulled out all the books, showing them one by one to Daniel, and then informed him that instead of starting one of them, I was going to start on the book I borrowed from my sister “Princess Academy”. But he just started laughing. He pointed to the book that I was going to start reading and several of the others, many of which related to fairytales in some way, and informed me that I had very specific tastes. I didn’t deny it, but it did get me wondering. Why do I read so many fairytales-based books, yet I don’t write fairy tales at all? I noted this to Daniel, commenting on how I loved being transported into the alternate worlds of fantasy and fairytales, but most of the books and short stories I write are – not necessarily gritty, but underlined with hardship and sorrow. The only fantasy book I’ve ever written has very little lightheartedness in it, and focuses more on him getting through trials than fairytale aspects.

Daniel thought about it for a moment, and then said, quite eloquently, I might add, “The books you write are where you are from and the books you read are where you want to be.”

I think he is a right, to an extent. I am a firm believer that everyone is a maker of their own destiny (with God’s guidance, of course) and that while your past/childhood can inform choices, it should not be used as a crutch, nor is it to blame for choices currently being made. However. I still thought he brought up a good point. I’ve made a lot of hard decisions in the past, grew up pretty fast, and have had a fair share of difficulties. They helped make me into who I am, and I don’t regret any of it, but it still has impacts you don’t even think about. Like the stories I write. Stories of people “growing up”, no matter how old they are, and learning how to deal with difficult things. Learning the world isn’t about them. Learning to grow out of their comfort zone and forge ahead into a better life. They do relate to my past whether I realized it before or not, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just means I am taking lessons I have learned and showing them to the world, hoping to ease someone else’s way.

Someday, though, I will also write fairytales.

strong person

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It has been  long couple months of travel. From May 25 to date, I have traveled to Oklahoma, Florida, Kansas, New York, Minnesota, and Cleveland and have another trip to Orlando scheduled in 12 days. Needless to say, I am beginning to feel a little exhausted. Today, especially, having worked 23 hours in the last two days, I am feeling just plain weary as I try to work through 12 pages of meeting minutes, reports, documentation that has fallen behind due to my trips, and prepare for the next trip. Energy seeps out of me at every additional outing, however small. But, life goes on and I would rather try to enjoy it than live for a time when I can just sleep and not move for a week. Thank God for the staycation earlier this year, though. 🙂

I have not touched my writing since sending that simpering, weak romance out for people to review – and no one has said anything about it yet. Thankfully I’ve been too busy to dwell on that too much and when I do think about it, I rather easily convince myself that they are simply too busy to read it yet. I’ll give it another couple weeks and then send out follow-ups asking for feedback, dreading the response. But it is time to get back to it. I am sure some of my weariness is due to not having put a pen to paper and letting out some of my emotions in my stories. And my mind wanders back more and more to Picture of the Past. I am ready to be done with it – eager to be done with it – and more than that, almost looking forward to the rest of the process of tearing it apart to make it better.

There are so many stereotypes and lessons learned and suggestions and best practices for writers that, when one does enough research and reading on it, it is enough to make even a hardcore writer give up with hands in the air. I try to follow them – sometimes. I have yet to be able to complete a profile on a character – because I feel like I am still getting to know them myself while I write it. And, as you all know, I keep starting, stopping, and re-starting an alternate blog dedicated to writing, since that is what all the experts say to do to “make your social media footprint”. Have a blog dedicated to one subject. Keep your readers coming back. Keep a schedule. Make it something that benefits them. And on and on. Ugh. No wonder I can’t keep it up. It drains me just thinking about it. So, after talking it over with my friends, I have decided to give it up. I am going to throw caution and best practices to the wind and do what I want to do. I am going to just keep this blog, because this is the one I like. I like the server, I like the audience, I like being able to write about whatever I please in any format I please without worrying about making it beneficial for the reader.

So, instead of continuing my blog in blogger (Ha! Continuing – I don’t think I’ve touched it in months), I am going to break down some more of my shell – and post this link in my social media profiles for people to find if they so desire. Someday I may even advertise it. Maybe. But above all, I am going to enjoy myself. Because that is why I write in the first place. I love writing. And I write for myself and my God, not for my readers. Why should I keep a blog for my readers?

Although that doesn’t take away from the enjoyment I feel when my posts get “likes”. So don’t stop. 😛

forget-all-the-rules-forget-about-being-published-write-for-yourself-and-celebrate-writing-quote-1

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I know I don’t write as often as I have been recently, but I have been busy with editing my book, which I FINALLY titled God’s Masterpiece. I am still not sure I like it, but it is better than not having a title. I have sent it off to about five people to read over and edit which is a huge step for me. I am both terrified and hopeful at the same time.

I have been traveling a lot for work and even now am on a train ride back from New York City. There is a man, a client, in New York who intrigues me. Not in a romantic (as in consisting of or resembling a romance) way but in a romantic (as in marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized) way. He has this aura of sorrow around him, but is still strong, gentle, and commanding all at once. I think I will base a character on him someday. In addition, there is nothing like a train ride to awaken one’s imagination.

So after forcing myself to work awhile, I finally took out my computer and jotted down random things, which I have decided to post below and may eventually use in a story.

Random #1:

She almost forgot the world around her when she looked at him. She forgot her own sorrows and background in the sudden desire of wiping out that morose expression that always lurked in the depth of his eyes, even if he was smiling. But the somber attitude that defined him did not stretch as far as his son. Just pictures of his son made his shoulders lift a little, his eyes open up, and the sadness disappeared. Talking about him made him almost a different man entirely. Still, she couldn’t help but wonder what it was that had caused the atmosphere of despair that otherwise encompassed his frame. She smiled up at him, hoping to erase some of that burden, hoping to make him relax enough to maybe let her in on what had so shaped his life.

Random #2

She danced with herself in the cold but soft rain. Oh, she knew how cliché it was, but she didn’t care. If they could do it in movies, she could do it too, especially when there was no one to see her. For just a moment she was a princess, long estranged from her family but to be reunited with them someday and restored to her rightful life. She was a damsel in distress, waiting for prince charming. She was an 18-year-old instead o fa 30-year-old, all her dreams still bright and cheery in front of her.

Random #3

The sweeping scenes passed by her like a fast-moving picture show as the train rumbled down the rough track. The rickety houses, green, swaying trees, multi-colored apartments, cars of every shape and size, abandoned and littered areas that had once probably held life and joy. There was nothing like a train ride to bring you all the aspects of different life – both the areas you avoided if you didn’t want to be jumped and the elite who likely never took this train because the Acela was better. And, of course, the in-betweens, who were neither rich nor poor, but lived their lives, hopefully happy and content, in the arms of someone they loved.

And then I also wrote a poem that in no way rhymes or has rhythmical qualities, but I like anyway.

Eyes wide, hands still, breath quiet

Moving pictures, brand new scenes

Trains hurtle on, worlds collide

 

Trees of green, grass that sways

Forests filled with dreams

Wires cross in between

 

Broken windows, broken dreams

Heartache, disaster, quiet scenes

Abandoned houses, littered streets

 

Glowing windows, brand new dreams

Lighted walks, hopes and schemes

Pretty houses, streets swept clean

 

Old bridges, unused roads

Broken cars, glittering streams

Dirty ditches, animals abound

 

Eyes wide, hands still, breath quiet

Moving pictures, brand new scenes

Trains hurtle on, worlds collide

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There hasn’t been a lot to update lately.

I just got back from a short trip to Kansas where I finished most of my book. I am literally on the last couple paragraphs and am having a bit of a difficult time getting the words out – not so much because I don’t know what to say but because I’m not sure I am ready for it to end. This may have ended up being the most fun/easy book I’ve ever written. Which is ironic since it encompasses everything I try to avoid (thanks, Abby, for daring me to write a modern, sappy, cliché romance). Then again, it is also possibly my shortest book at just about 55,000 words. Ethrill and Picture of the Past are both at about 100,000 words.

I think once I pen that last paragraph, though, I will be happy that I have actually completed a book in a reasonable amount of time and my mind has been floating back to Picture of the Past more and more lately so I think I am ready to get back to editing it. I’ve taken a pretty long break.

I’ve also been thinking it is time to get serious about churning out some short stories. I get so caught up writing books I rarely make time for them, but sometimes I feel like they are my most powerful works – though I may be biased. 😛 Either way, I know it is good practice and helps build my repertoire, which may be useful in the future.

I’ve also been getting more comfortable talking about writing – the more I write and read about writing the more I want to talk about it. The coworker who joined me on this trip finally found out that I write, after we’ve been working together for 3 1/2 years. Of course, she gave the typical response that she has started several books but not finished them. And that her mom is writing a book. But then she was kind enough to follow it up with stating admiration for people who do actually finish them, because she knows it must be difficult.

So progress is being made! I’ve also reconnected with someone from college (author of The River Rebellion) who is also a writer and have been crashing at her house on a semi-regular basis while our husbands play games. It has been really nice to visit and write with another writer, especially one who shares her work on a regular basis! I think that has helped me break out of my writing shell and opened me up to sharing more.

So that’s my current writing life! And, in general, life. 🙂

 

 

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