Poem: Rain

Sigh, I love rain…how many poems have I written about rain? Too many. Very much a rainy Thursday today. But despite the gloom, I had a rather nice day!

rain-122691_1920

Big drops in tiny puddles

leaves heavy and wet

cats shaking paws all befuddled

Let’s see if it’s stopped yet

Rain boots and big umbrellas

yellow coats and squeaky shoes

’round a corner, “let’s splash that fella!”

sniffley noses, colds and flus

For me: it’s a good book and hot tea

quiet adventures, all alone

it’s not lonely, my book and me

It’s…a feeling of home.

 

I like writing silly poems like this for you guys. It entertains me…and rhyming is fun even if you’re just doing it for fun. Hope everyone had a great day! Happy writing!

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NaNoWriMo: Results Revealed, and Future Blogging Goals

My NaNoWriMo attempt was a complete failure. Trash. Zilch. Nothing. I managed to write probably about six pages and half an outline.

But the truth of the matter: I’m not ashamed.

Because I was able to realize something.

When I created this website, I did so with the thought that I would also self-publish a novel; Dawn’s Risingwhich was a novel idea I created purely for the purpose of this blog, and that is the problem.

dawns rising cancelledI wasn’t writing my story for the right reasons. I wasn’t in love with it. I didn’t perfect it, I didn’t craft it. I thought I could just sit down and write something worthy of sharing with others, a “practice novel,” but I realize now that I am too proud and care too much about presenting something to an audience that is less than worthy. In order to truly perfect the novel, I would need time, and the truth is there are other projects that I care about more.

I’m realizing, even without my pipe dream that was Dawn’s Rising, my blog is beginning to develop itself. I am finding amazing writers and people out there, and I am writing. I’m writing reviews, and blog posts, but I am still writing. It is excellent practice, and I’m so very proud of myself and my perseverance.

And although Dawn’s Rising is taking a temporary to permanent hiatus, I am excited about the projects that I can now devote my time to. No more wasting time worrying, analyzing and not writing. I want my writing to feel alive again, not like a chore. Although, there is always that fine balance when you write for work or pleasure, but why not have both?

I do want to thank those who have supported and inspired me on here. And I am sorry that I do not have a finished work to present to you that I promised. However, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be other stories for you to enjoy.

I want that fire back. The complete and unaltered joy of taking pen to paper and nothing exists but me and the story. The feeling that you’ve gone through time; you’ve gone somewhere that no one else has. I want to devote my time to sharing the writing that I care about, so no holding back!

I will continue with the reviews, articles, poetry and short stories and anything that seems worthy of sharing for all you writing, movie, TV, food or story lovers out there.

And that seems like a worthy goal.

Happy writing everyone!

 

 

 

 

NaNoWriMo Days 1 and 2: Let’s Go Places!

NaNoWriMo Day 1: I slept late, went to the mall, ate dinner with a friend and got my hair cut.

NaNoWriMo: Day 2: Slept late, drank a cup of tea, did dishes, and looked at Grad programs.

The point: My NaNoWriMo month is off to a rough start, but I wanted to take this opportunity to say that I’m going to give it a try. It’s the busiest month I’ve had in awhile, what with the holidays coming up and new jobs…and Agh! But this is important to me.

Except, I’m going to use the rules as “guidelines,” and well, cheat…essentially. I’ve already got my story in mind, and I already have a brief brainstorm, ANND I have already about 9,000 words written.

dawns-rising-cover-page1.jpgThe story that I’m going to try to write in its entirety, even if it is a crappy first draft, is my story Dawn’s Rising, which I had hoped to self publish, and use as a platform for this blog. It’s been on a hiatus for awhile, but it still lives…somewhat.

Bringing that idea to life is very important to me, and something that I still want to complete and finish….whether good, bad, ugly…I just have to face my fears, learn how to create a compelling plot, and storm on ahead no matter how many self doubts try to bring me down!

So I am going to be using NaNoWriMo as a motivator…and hopefully get some kind of finished product as a result!

Any other fellow NaNoWriMo writers out there? What are you going to write about?

I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Writing everyone!

Special Friday Post: What would you guys like to see?

Last night, I was thinking about making Friday a special post day. In which you guys would look forward to something recurring – either a continuing story, or a movie review, or a book review, or…something. I’m a big foodie, maybe I’ll post a picture of my lunch or something. (You think I jest? Just wait. 😉 )

canstock4658567So, what would you like to see every Friday?

Here’s some ideas…feel free to chime in with your own of course:

  • A recurring story, each Friday we will see a new chapter, or new piece of that story. (I’m thinking short story length when it is done, not novel length. Maybe 20 pages or so.)
  • A poem.
  • Book review.
  • Movie review.
  • TV Show review
  • Pictures…of something pretty?
  • Writing prompts/ story inspiration
  • Food; either something new I’ve tried, or some of my favorites
  •  A list of anything; probably in article format. Like 10 favorite places in the world, etc…

**Did you know: Charles Dickens Great Expectations was published first in serial form in Dickens’s weekly periodical All Year Round, from December 1860 to August 1861. (Wikipedia).

Well what do you guys think? Here’s your chance to weigh in!

I do like the idea of a continuing story…but let me know what you want to see, though, and I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Happy Writing!

 

 

Dawn’s Rising Update

A few years ago, (honestly I can’t believe its been that long already) I started this blog all with the hopes of helping my writing career.

The idea was to write my ‘first crappy novel’ and see about self-publishing, creating an eBook of my very own. Well, I’m here to say that the dream is still a live and kicking…if a bit delayed and slow going. :/

dawns-rising-cover-page1.jpgThe trouble is: the story. I had an idea, I started to write, and suddenly it’s not good enough. I want to go in one direction, the characters go in another. I read on someone’s post last night, about discovering who you are as a writer. How you can’t really write, until you decide who you are.

Am I the organized type? Do I write on the fly? Do I write outlines?

Well, I can say right now, I detest outlines in any form, although I have tried a few now and then. I write notes, and I brainstorm ideas, usually in a notebook dedicated to the specific project. Usually I start with an idea of how I want a scene to go, and then I write, trying to get a feel of how it affects the characters, and generally how they feel about the situation.

I know that seems strange, but characters (sometimes well-developed ones) are alive and as real as people (at least in my head), I’m sure other writers feel the same. It’s hard to take a story in one direction, when you’ve got a character giving you the stink eye and being like, “seriously? you’re taking it there?”

This is the reason I love the movie, Nim’s Island, which is about an agoraphobic writer who is influenced and encouraged by her main character (who is adventurous and the complete opposite) to go and do and be something she is not. In the movie, Jodie Foster shows us how hilarious and how true it is for writers that their characters seem so real to them.

So anyway, Dawn’s Rising lives!

So much so, that when I wrote some more on it last night, it fought me all the way.

I think from now on, I am going to let it go and be what it wants to be, sometimes as a writer you have to learn when to surrender. Also, I think I’m going to start writing the story from the middle and then write the beginning last. I’ve read somewhere, that many writers use this approach when writing large novels.

Some things have changed a bit. But I’d thought I’d post a small synopsis of what I have so far, for those that are still interested:

Dawn’s Rising –

Angel Desoto longs to be an actress. After graduating from college, and working as a waitress, she stumbles into a world where she might have landed her greatest role yet. But when did demons, and witches and parallel dimensions exist?

Anyway, do you have any strategies when it comes to plot building, or creating a story?

Happy Writing people!

3 things to think about this thursday evening

I stopped at a KFC on my way home from work and there was a long line. I figured hey, I’m hungry I’ll wait a few extra minutes. It took a while for some customers to receive their food; as the workers were scurrying around the kitchen, they inform some customers of the wait, as they had to make some new batches of sides.

As you can imagine, one customer put up a fit. “This isn’t fast-food,” he says loud enough so the whole dining room can hear him. “We’ve been waiting for several minutes and you don’t have any food. You have to make everything, this is ridiculous. This is the last time I’m coming here!”

The manager was called out to console him, and while the man complains, I can just feel the atmosphere in the room drop: it’s so heavy, full of implications, irritation and impatience.

I roll my eyes and cross my arms. I am irritated because I am hungry and tired, but I know better than to take it out on the poor teenagers making minimum wage. I fantasize taking a big stick and whopping it on the back of the man’s head. I think about confronting him and being like, “Let it go. What is your problem?” But I don’t.

The rude man who is being difficult is asked by the manager, “how can I make this better? What can I do for you? You are our guest, we want to make you happy.”

I’m thinking: What about the rest of us who has to listen to HIM? Who’s going to console us?

Somewhere in this predicament of bad customer service, I think that somethings gone terribly wrong. It makes me think:

  1. How there are two sides to freedom of speech
  2. How social mores sometimes hinder society
  3. And how we need more heroes to stand up to the A-holes of the world

Just something to think about. It was a long wait, lol.

Food for thought…as it were. 😉 Happy Thursday everyone!

Character Files: “The Conductor”

I’d like to try something new to add on here – I call it “Character Files.” In my struggle to find some kind of story inspiration some time ago, I purchased a book called Writerific II: Creativity Training for writers by Eva Shaw, which offers encouragement, but most importantly, writing prompts for the creative writer.

One such prompt, has a page full of groups of words. Each group of three words is meant to inspire a story, by using each word in a story or situation that you may create. I decided to take it a step further, and as such created – Character Files.

spy8Each group of words inspired me to create a character, someone who may or may not have a story – a character that I could store away in a file with other characters I created, that I could return to and use that character for story inspiration if need be.

There are a lot of word groups in the writing prompt, and I’ve only created a few different characters already. But I was pleased with the different results. This particular example took me to a place and genre that I don’t normally write, but it allowed for some nice practice of sensory images. Here goes…

The words are:  pigeon   voltage   train

“The Conductor”

He is a nobody, tall and willowy with a pale face, and dark brown hair. His back is straight as he sits on the park bench in his navy blue conductor’s uniform, his long legs bunched up in front of him as he reads the newspaper.

            Looking at him, no one would know that he’s killed someone and framed somebody else for it, although, he twitches occasionally at every other sentence he reads. His brown eyes squint, his face bunches and then goes straight. Two-thousand volts of electricity frying their way through his veins. It could have been him. The memories eat at him, peck at his brain like a flock of crows.

            The sight of the butchered man he killed in the alley late that night. The rain pouring in his ears and over the curve of disgust on his lips. The bastard he caught sleeping with his wife…maybe he should have killed her too.

 

He smelled the rain that night, and he never smelled anything more visceral. Felt his thoughts mix with the sewage and the blood water that swirled around the man’s body, the man that he killed, a milkman, another nobody. What was so important about this stranger that made his wife take her pants off?

He thought, just once – it was a fleeting thought really – that maybe he should be down in the sludge and the darkness of the alley, too. Let the smell of something putrid, the river of feces, blood and rain water pour over him. Feel the fear of something cold and slimy creep its way across his bare skin. Let it feed off of him for a moment and taste the sponginess of his brain, the holes there, the parts that were missing that tasted brown, like something sweet and rotting. Let blood pour out of his nose and his eyeballs bounce down his face. Let him feel hell just once.

Instead, he swiped at the water on his chin, shook his head like a dog, shivered once, pulled his coat around his shoulders and walked home. The knife he used on the stranger who was defiling his wife, he hid in his cousin’s apartment, still wet, the blood dripping.

The next day, while drinking his morning coffee, he placed a call to his local police department to let them know that his cousin, an alcoholic and a man who occasionally liked to feel up little girls, was in town and that he came around the other day begging for money. His cousin had threatened him with a knife, which the conductor described to the police in great detail. A butcher’s knife, he said and then shuddered with a slight catch in his throat. There were groves and barbs on the blade, the kind that shreds through skin when you use it. Mostly likely cut a man in two. Or remove somebody’s head.

The next day he read the front headline of the newspaper while he sat on a park bench on his lunch break: Child Molester Arrested for Murder. He folded the newspaper carefully and tucked it under his arm. The sun felt warm and soft on his navy blue uniform and he looked down at his shiny, black shoes and smiled to himself. It was going to be an excellent day.

20 Random Questions about ME

Here’s something a little different…in case you were curious about the person behind the blog. I’ve posted a lot of posts, but nothing very much about me. So I made some of my own random questions…Maybe we’ll find out that we have something in common! 🙂

1212122120 meeeeeeee

1. What room am I in right now?

I am sitting in my office. I can hear traffic outside my window right now, and the weather is kind of gloomy and grey, but it is so nice having my own writing space. Even finally put curtains up this morning! They are purple.

2. Margarine or Butter?

Butter all the way! I grew up with Margarine though, yuck. I think butter is the best for cooking, though.

3. Who is my favorite celebrity crush?

For guys? Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth. For girls? Mmm…Keri Russel? She is soo pretty.

4. What is my favorite kind of food?

Italian food, yum! Anything with sauce, cheese, pasta, some kind of chicken or mushrooms…or meatballs, siigh, or garlic! Getting hungry thinking about it.

5. What is my favorite TV Show?

Right now, Game of Thrones. But LOST still remains a favorite.

source: zdnet.com

6. Who is my favorite author? Who do I most admire?

J.K. Rowling, of course. If I could come close to the depth and detail that she has created in her worlds, I would be alright, I think.

7. What do I order when I am out for breakfast?

Pancakes and sausage, home-fries and fried eggs over-easy. Last time I ordered bacon and ham, too.

8. If I could have a superpower, what would it be?

Superman powers – super strength, speed, X-ray vision, ability fly. Yeah, it’d be fun to just like jump over a building and be where you need to be.

9. What is my favorite animal?

There are so many. I really like sea creatures. Whales are probably my favorite; Blue whales, humpback whales and killer whales but I also like frogs, and turtles too.

10. What is one of my favorite books?

Graceling, by Kristin Cashore.

11. What music do I listen to on a day to day basis?

On Pandora:  a lot of 90’s hits, but also Ingrid Michaelson, and Disney songs

Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

12. If I could travel anywhere in the world, where would I go?

New Zealand. I want to see all the gorgeous scenery that was viewed on all the LOTR movies, it’d also be extremely cool to visit Hobbiton, too.

13. Fiction or reality?

I have a theory influenced by the movie, The Words, that writers struggle with living in fiction or reality. They can chose one or the other, but after awhile, one or the other becomes the reality. The idea is to find the balance between the two, but is that truly possible?

14. Car or truck?

I have a tan Toyota Camry 99. Trucks are cool for those that have something to haul around, but I have no need for it. Plus, I love my Camry.000_0010

15. What do I like best about summer?

The heat! I like being so warm that’s it’s like there’s a blanket wrapped around my shoulders. I can wear flip flops and a dress and at 8 o’clock at night it is still 80 degrees… yeah, that’s my idea of a nice summer.

16. If I were to fix dinner right now, what would it be?

Something simple and comforting. Probably some kind of chicken breast, mashed potatoes and peas.

17. Why do I write?

I write because I feel like half myself without expressing myself on the page. Because there is some kind of peace, some kind of balance in myself when I get the ideas down on the page. One day when I was fourteen and in  English class, I decided I wanted to be the one whose words were quoted and cherished, like something sweet and savory in your mouth. I wanted to be the one to impress people with my words.

100_010718. What was my favorite pet’s name?

His name was Patches, he was a black and white cat who was a goofball and very mischievous. I have never had a cat with such personality before. He’d pounce the other cats when they were sleeping, he’d follow them places, he was a loud mouth, he had terrible luck when it came to hunting mice.

19. If I could live in an alternate reality, where would it be?

I sometimes think about worlds out there other then our own, I wonder what it would be like to live if the sky was purple, the grass was blue and the water was pink? What if we have five limbs instead of four? What if our whole world was underwater?

20. Where do I see myself in 10 years?

Published. No doubt about it. Settled down someplace warm with my graduate degree. In some kind of academic career, or writing professionally, perhaps with a family of my own.

 

Hope you enjoyed! Thoughts below if you got ’em!

Part 1 Confessions: Struggling with Writer’s Fear

Something that I’ve been avoiding writing about for awhile now…

And that is about Fear…or, most importantly, about MY FEAR.

A writer’s fear. Yikes. A crippling phobia that leads to self doubt, blank pages and writer’s block. I am so worried about whether or not my writing will be good or not, and I don’t get anything written.

IMG_20140401_182813

If you all remember, back in August, I purchased Writer’s Market 2014 with much excitement and enthusiasm, all with the intention of moving myself forward on the path of freelancing and writing as a way to make a living.

I thumped the gigantic book on my desk and then stared at it apprehensively for a few minutes. (No lie.) With a deep breath, I managed to page through the first few pages, and then I pushed it aside, opened up Pandora and started listening to something soothing. Query letters? Submissions? Deadlines? Limits?

Words that didn’t seem intimidating before were suddenly hitting me in the face. Where was my inhaler again? Where was this all coming from?

So, I thought. And I thought some more.

All these questions buzzed through my head: How do I make the submission process, editing and proof-reading work for me? What are my goals? Do I have any? What will bring me satisfaction? What do I want to write and where do I want to send it to?

Wait a minute, self. Slooww down.

I need to keep constantly reminding myself: everyone has their own way of dealing with something. As writers, we should remember that each of us has our own style and that can be applied in all that we do. No one is the same, embrace it!

Also the most important thing right now: Write, Write, Write!  (<<<Something that I will keep reminding myself no matter what! How am I to succeed if I don’t try?)

In the next few days, I will be doing some of my own research to help counteract this weight on my shoulders, and on my chest. I will succeed as a writer. I just have to have the courage to face my own fears!

No April Fool’s jokes for me today, too much to do! Stay tuned for Part 2: My ways to Counteract Writer’s Fear!

Laundry, a menial chore – a nice journaling opportunity!

Moved to a new place in the last few months, and the building we are living in doesn’t have laundry on site, so every week or so I must make that dreaded trip to the laundromat. I hate doing laundry, and I hate laundromats, but the last time I brought my journal along and it gave me this somewhat amusing (if a bit depressing) journal entry:

ZZZZZ

3/5/14

I hate the sound of a laundromat. The way everyone’s laundry bumps up and down and goes every which-way, it makes me feel like there’s a hovercraft nearby, the rinsing and the swooshing, the quick, jagged vibrating of a laundry load full of jeans. The heavy slosh of an empty washer only half-full, only half used.

The dryer doors that fly open in mid-spin on a whim, flinging out their contents…be free undies…be free towels…be free…

Then there is the final rinse, the final spin, the heavy drone of a washer that bids you to keep waiting, groans and shudders, waiting….waiting…wait. One final spin, a heavy moan and then it shudders. It’s done.

How disturbing that washing clothes sounds like sex on paper, but it’s not like that at all.

Doing laundry is not sexy. It is the un-sexed, the final hangnail, the equivalent of having a migraine with a piercing light shining down on you.

It is like finding a stain on your favorite t-shirt, drumming your steering wheel in long lines of traffic, a fly buzzing in your ear, diarrhea, a sink full of dirty dishes, an open wound, the stink and the squelch of feet stuck in cold mud.

It is that raw, open feeling of words not said, of empty spaces, of regrets that come flying back in crowds of laughing, boisterous people. It’s like realizing you’ve forgotten something very important, and that dread of forgotten assignments…a pop-quiz, a failed class, the feeling of social paranoia. It is that trapped, dizzying realization that no one is coming to rescue you – life really comes with disappointments, heart ache and hurts.

And no one is going to rescue you from the overwhelming joyless feeling of living sometimes. Sometimes, all you can do is feel lost in the hullabaloo of it. Sometimes all you can do is look around hopelessly at the blank, wide-eyed, too-beautiful people and hope that they won’t notice that you might smell like prey to their eyes, that you might be that one person that might make this second of their lives a little more entertaining.

But ah, I digress – laundry. That menial chore that reminds you that there are other hopeless people in the world around you. You may think that you smell like roses most of the time, but in the end of it…eventually, all your clothes smell like shit. And that’s enough to bring dread to anyone.

Yeah, I really hate laundry. One day, when I’m rich and famous, I’ll hire someone to do it for me. But for now, it keeps me with the realization, and reminds me that no one is perfect – myself included.