Tag Archives: write

Freedom! Kind of…

I finished.  My first semester of grad school is over.  My time is now free.  Last night, I sat down and felt a little strange because I didn’t have a discussion to respond to, a paper to write, research to do, a chapter or six to read for the first time since January.  I don’t know why this felt so much more intense than before.  It’s possibly because I am at a different place in life right now that it seemed harder.  My focus is more on my daughter than on school.  Damn distraction.

I finished though and so now, it’s time to get back to the real work.  The writing, the sewing, the reading…

It’s funny though because I’m stuck in academic writing mode.  I can’t help but feel like I need to include massive amounts of academic verbiage that exemplifies the fact that I am able to write at the desired level of my recent professors.  It’s a strangely hard habit to break.

Give it time though.  I’m reading the first Castle book…yes the one based on the television show.   I can’t wait to write the review for that one!  I also am back on the WW bandwagon after an abysmal winter.  Not to mention I have other things happening that are going to prove for a fun summer.

It’s good to write about nothing.  It’s good to not have to cite in APA format. It’s good to not worry about whether or not I have included enough references.  It’s good to just write.

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Is Less More?

I am determined to complete 31 days of blogging this month.  No matter what it takes.  I have signed up for NaBloPoMo for a few months now and have yet to complete an entire month. So far, this month, I have done every day.  I did not follow the prompts but that’s ok.  I don’t have to.  I just have to have a post for every day of the month.

Calendar

Today, I’m not feeling inspired to write anything in particular.  I mean, it’s not because there is a lack of news stories I can throw my two cents in on but I’m not a pundit so my opinion is probably just better kept to myself. I could talk about the Royal Baby Watch but, that feels wrong.  I could talk about tv but right now, I don’t know what show to talk about.  I could talk about books but we all know where that will end up…

That brings me to the [clichéd] thought, is less more?   Can the post for the sake of a post hold any intrinsic value?  Or, is it better to not even attempt a post every day and wait for the truly meaningful posts?  In my quest to write these 31 posts, am I writing too much? I know that the initial answer is no, you can never write too much.  NEVER.  But on days like today, is this more just a way for me to continue to exercise my writing muscles?  And the initial answer to that is yes.

writing muscle

I think that even though there is no real point to this post (or is there?), the mere fact that I’m taking fifteen minutes to write something, anything is a very good thing.  Do I think that my overall blog will suffer?  No.  I think that everyone has days where they are just trying to come up with something and that’s ok.  We don’t have to always be “on.”  Today is one of those days.

I hope you were able to stay cool today and I hope tomorrow you have a way to stay cool, dear reader.

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Characters That Want a Different Ending

Lately, I’ve been really focusing on my writing.  You can see that in my blog.  I’ve been posting more regularly and writing with more freedom, playing with prompts, and really just writing to write.  It’s been exciting for me.

I’ve been suffering though from a long bout of writer’s block.   I had outlined the end of my NaNo book and was happily working toward that end and then one of the characters said, “You can’t write this ending.  It’s rubbish and it’s not what’s supposed to happen to me.”  I looked at it and realized this character was right.  So I outlined again.  And again, that character said, “Tsk, tsk.  Still not the right ending for me.”  And I had to look at it and agree again.  It wasn’t the right end.  Back to the outline again.

This has now happened five times.  I just don’t know what I’m doing.  All of a sudden, this idea that was flowing along so nicely during the month of November is now at a stand-still, being held hostage by a finicky young woman who seems to want something but won’t say just what.

Calving

Writer’s Block is one of those things that people either believe in or believe to be a myth.  I am one of the ones who think myth.  I may not have had much progress in getting toward the ending of my book, which makes it hard for me to want to be part of a writing/revision group when I don’t have a completed piece, but that doesn’t mean I have stopped writing altogether.

While I’m waiting for this character to figure out exactly what it is she wants, I am going back and expanding on spots that needed a little more.  I’m editing other sections and removing the non-essential parts.  I’m adding more scenery and other information that helps me get a little closer to getting that ending that is supposed to be matched up with the rest of the story.

Doing this simple act is really a huge help.  I find myself going back and reviewing everything, revisiting characters, conversations, even clothing choices.  All those things help make the ending a little more clear.  I had a pretty good breakthrough last night but it actually made the ending a little less clear because one of those magical things happened.  As I was writing, the character in question said, let’s see what happens if the professor does provide the key ingredient.  Even though it was never in my original outline, it works.  Now, I have a whole new direction to go in and that is exciting!

Writer’s block is more of a mental hurdle we place in front of ourselves.  We can either let it stop us or we can choose to work around it.  Simply writing a journal entry a day is one way to keep the writing going.  Even though it’s not directly related to whatever it is you’re working on at the time, it’s still writing and you may find something in your writing that can help you go back to that story and finish it.  Just keep writing, even if you feel stuck, write something different, like a small essay on the weather that day, a review of a book you recently read, a letter to a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Write anything.  Then go back to your story and see what magical things happen!

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Exercise. It’s Not Just for Muscles!

A long time ago, I decided I liked writing stories.  It was a fun thing to create characters, pick what they looked like, what they did, what kind of lives they lived.  It was even more fun to figure out how they talked and what kind of conversations they would have with the other people I invented in my head.  It just was so much fun for me.  I was happy when I wrote.

I wish I could say that I got tired of writing.  I never have.  Every school paper assigned to me was writing.  I didn’t care what kind of writing I was doing, I just wanted to get words on a page.  I loved turning my thoughts into sentences that had proper grammar, wonderful words, and hopefully some kind of point or meaning.  While I wanted to do nothing other than write stories, the years that I had to spend the majority of my time writing papers, I took that for what it was – writing.

Now, I have time to write and so I choose to blog as one form of writing.  Is it my passion?  Yes and no. My passion is for the stories that pop into my head.  The characters I see everywhere and the people who live in my mind’s eye are so intriguing.  Do I wish I could spend all my time just writing about them?  Of course I do, but I know that there is more to life than just locking myself in a room with an endless supply of Dr. Pepper, my computer, and a notebook with some blue Papermate pens.

dr pepper addict

I sometimes even find it tough to log on here and empty my brain but, I do it anyway.  It’s important, you see, that I write every day.  Whether it’s here using the daily prompt, in my journal planning out a character’s back story, or writing out a section of a story that’s been stewing in my brain, I need to write every day.

I once had a college professor say that writing is something you need to do even when you don’t want to do it, much like exercise.   If you don’t do it, you won’t get the results you want.  Lots of writers have said that (or something along those lines), to be honest.  And please, don’t think that to be a writer you need to be someone who has published something.  You don’t.  You just need to write.  If you write, you are a writer.  If you get published, you are a published writer.  Either way, you are a writer.

writing 2

At the end of the day, I may not feel like blogging, but to be honest, I don’t always feel like exercising either.  I do it though because I know that it’s important to keep my skills in shape, so to speak.  I need to be able to play with words.  I need to write long sentences.  I need to write short, descriptive, action packed sentences.  For me, there’s no question about energy to write, it’s just do.  If I don’t, I might not get anything done because the words will stay rattling around in my head!

This blog was written as part of NaBloPoMo January 2013.  The theme this month is “Energy.”  Today’s prompt was “How do you find the energy to write when you’re not in the mood?”  Check out the other great blogs participating this month by clicking here.

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NaNoWriMo Has Taken Over My Life!

I have never written so furiously before.  My fingers have not flown on a keyboard like this in years.  It feels good.  It’s liberating.  It’s amazing how pushing yourself to write a little every day keeps those creative juices flowing.

If only it were as simple as drinking a juice box!

The ideas have been flooding me and I can’t seem to get them out of my fingers and on to the keyboard fast enough.  Why, then, am I so far behind on my goal of 50,000 words by the end of November?

I suppose Life happens.  I suppose having a holiday in the mix didn’t help either.  I am going to hit that 50,000 word goal.  I like this story.  It may not be anything earth-shatteringly new but I like it.  It’s fun and it creeps me out.  Hopefully it will creep other people out too.

I need to finish it and re-work some of it.  I haven’t felt this confident about anything I’ve ever written, even if I still secretly feel like it doesn’t live up to the standard I would like to see myself at (there’s the perfectionist in me rearing her hideously disfigured face).

“Untitled (perfectionist)” by Sarah Hobbs – Check out her other work here http://www.solomonprojects.com/artistpage/hobbs/index.html

Even if it’s not up to my personal standard, at least in four days I will be able to say that I wrote 50,000 words, the average length of a novel.  With any luck, I will be able to say it in 3 more days!

Then the real fun begins.  Fixing plot holes, re-writing scenes so they make more sense, checking continuity.  Then, I may just try to submit it to a few publishing houses.  What the hell right?  I want to wall-paper my craft room with rejection notices and then hang the framed acceptance letter on top of them.  I’ll take a picture of it and pin it on Pinterest, it could become the newest design trend for struggling published writers.

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Researching, Accuracy, and Writing

I’ve been making the mad dash lately in an effort to really close my writing gap.  Today is official the mid-point for my 30 day writing project.  I have 15 days to get to that coveted 50,000 word mark.  As it stands today, I would have to 2,180 words per day to finish by 11/30.  Theoretically, it’s doable.  Realistically though, I am beginning to have my doubts.

Today’s challenge has been finding out more about a place I need to describe.  It’s kind of an important thing and I have it stuck in my head that this one place is so integral to the story.  It’s got to be half way around the world.  It’s got to be somewhere where there are ancient ruins of a civilization that had multiple deities.  It has to be somewhere there isn’t a lot of technology.  It’s to got to be somewhere there is the chance that people could be killed and not found for weeks or months or even eaten by wild animals.  In my head that’s somewhere in Western Asia (think India, Nepal, or one of the smaller countries in that region). For some reason, I can’t let this image go.

Something like this…that’s what I’m thinking of and stuck on.

And so begins the research.  I have never been to this part of the globe.  I have only seen it in movies and documentaries.  I have read about it through authors who have been there.  This makes for a romanticized view of this area.  Now, I see this romantic view in two different ways.

My first thought is that it could be somewhat problematic to make it semi-believable since I have no working, personal knowledge of the region or area.  Despite the genre of story I am working on now, I want it to seem somewhat plausible.  I want readers to believe that maybe it could happen or that the world in which these events are occurring is real.   I know as a reader, I love being immersed into a world.  I love believing that what I am reading is real even if the events occurring there are not even close to possible.  It’s just one of those things I like.

The second way to look at it is that maybe a romantic view of this world isn’t that bad.  Maybe since it’s just a setting, albeit an important setting, it’s not going to make or break the main story line.

A more romantic view of this region

I know that this questioning and need for research is  part of this is my inner editor shrieking in her cell, but on some level, I agree with her.  I know that this month is all about just getting the words on paper but I feel like in order to do that and move on, I need to spend time I don’t really have to research something that may or may not in the end have an impact on the overall story.  In the end, after editing, it may not be as important as it is currently is in my head.

As a reader, I know how I feel about things like setting and how accurate it is.  What do you think about setting?  Do you really care, in the end, if the setting is accurate?  Or is it the characters that make you really believe a plot?

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NaNoWriMo Update

Here we are on November 12.  NaNoWriMo is almost at the half-way point.  I have been writing a lot.  I passed the word count from last year so that’s a good thing.  However, here I am, slightly stuck and watching my word count slip farther away from the daily goal.  Sigh.

My inner editor has managed to yell loud enough that her words are starting to make their way to my brain.  I need her to shut up.  She needs to just keep her mouth shut for 18 more days.  That’s it.  And since today is almost over, it’s really only 17 more days.

The worst thing is that I am behind.  Today’s word goal was to be at 20,000 words.  I am only at 12, 495.  Not good.  I have a lot of ground to make up but, see here’s the thing.  For the first few days, I was just writing with no direction.  I had this character in  my head.  I knew her.  I didn’t know what was going on with her though.  Then last week, it just hit me.  I knew what her problem was.  I knew what she needed to do.  I spent a lot of time trying to learn a little more about the big bad meanie who would be in her way.  There was a lot I didn’t know.  I finally had my outline more solidly nailed out and it felt good.  I felt like I really could work with it.  But then I looked at the NaNo site and realized how off par I was with my word count and I got nervous.

But I needed that spark moment.  It was kind of like that moment when you are doing a color by number and you aren’t quite sure what it is you are coloring in (like when you were five) and all of a sudden, you color that one block and it hits you.  You can see the whole picture without its colors.  It all makes sense and at the same time, you can see all the options just unfolding in front of you.  It’s a satisfying feeling.  You finally connect with it and you are ready to tackle it and make it as awesome on the page as it is in your head.

I assure you, I do not sit on the floor and write like that. I like not having back problems…

So, here I sit, procrastination setting in.  I have the word document open and it’s there, talking to me.  Whispering really, over the shouts of that dumb voice that is itching to edit, re-write, and delete.  I suppose I should go, turn on my Pandora electronica station and write until my eyes blur.  How do you deal with procrastination?

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Filed under Books, Writing

Halloween and the Eve of Insanity

It was another successful year of trick-or-treating for the daughter.  This year, we did the whole neighborhood, for the first time, and she made out like a bandit.  She even had a few people recognize who she was dressed as, which of course sent her over the moon!  The Husband even got into the Halloween spirit in his Lucha Libre mask.

Now the challenge will be to ration out the candy so that we don’t all gain 10 lbs in a week!

Now, dear reader, you may be thinking that my title “…and the Eve of Insanity” refers to Halloween.   Sadly, you would be mistaken.  Tomorrow is November 1st.  For those who practice, it’s All Saint’s Day, a Holy Day of Obligation.  As a kid, I always thought it was the day we celebrated the saints we can’t remember, which it kind of is.  Then as I got older, I realized why it was placed the day after Halloween.  I have to admit, Samhain had a pretty cool story.  But I digress…

So, aside from the initial thought of “Where the [bleep] did this year go and how the hell is it November already?!”, I am about to make my November one month of intense writing.  I am doing it gladly and willingly, too.

November 1st marks the start of NaNoWriMo.  I mentioned it last week but here we are.  It’s time to start writing 1,667 words a day.  As I look over my outline, my inner editor is already rattling in her cage.  Little does she know, I have thrown away the key right now and am going to probably need to sound proof the room in my mind she is locked in.  Maybe even gag her.  She’s kind of a loudmouthed know-it-all.

So, I’ll try to keep you updated as to my word count and maybe even post an excerpt or two of what comes from this little month of writing insanity.  I keep saying insanity but, I love it.  I just hope that my inner editor, let’s name her Myrtle, will keep her loud mouth shut!

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13 Days and So Much to Say

I have been a poor blogger lately.  Nothing for 13 whole days!  Well…that’s about to change because these past 13 days have been a whirlwind of adventure and there’s a lot to catch up on.

In the coming days, look for:

Product Reviews

Book Reviews

Crafting updates/Holiday Crafts and Traditions

NaNoWriMo updates since November is practically tomorrow!

For those who are not familiar with it, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month which is the month of November.  There is a great organization that hosts a “contest” for writers.  The goal each year is to produce a 50,000 word novel.  It doesn’t have to be the next War and Peace, but it should have a plot that one can follow.  I see it as a way to produce a solid first draft.  It’s a great way for writers to work on putting that inner-editor to sleep for a month and just let the words flow.  It’s fun.  Lots of places do have groups that meet religiously each week for write-ins and word wars – another thing that was hard to do last year with a 2 year old because they were always held during the bedtime routine.

Image: NaNoWriMo.org

Last year, I sadly did not make the 50,000 word goal.  I hit a sad and pitiful 8,057 words.  I wish I could make up some excuse but in reality, I got lazy and just stopped making time at night.  This year, I am determined to at least make it to the 25,000 word mark.  I would love to say that I can hit the 50,000 word mark but I’m trying to under-promise and over-deliver.

I have an outline that’s almost complete.  I have a few ideas that are rattling around too so we’ll see what ends up spilling out of my brain and onto my computer.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t really excited for it.  It’s just a fun thing to try to do if you like writing.  If you enjoy storytelling, maybe you should give it a shot.  You never know what could come from it.  Plus, some real, honest-to-god writers participate and you can follow their progress while you “compete” to get to that 50,000 word goal.

Ok…off to take a walk and a bike ride with the Daughter who is practicing her pedaling in the hopes that Santa will bring her a “big-girl” bike.  60 days as of today!   GAHHHH!!!

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