Writers Need Other Hobbies, Too!

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Pictured I colored and sent to my Mom, lol 😛

Slept in super late this Sunday as per usual, and made pancakes and bacon for brunch. Got some stuffed pepper soup stewing away in the crock pot, and here I am sitting here at my desk spending some quality time soaking in my light box’s rays.

Sundays are usually lazy days for me lately, and today I am feeling creative. I have not been the most diligent writer as of late, but I must not let writer’s fear get me down.

All my activity in the kitchen this afternoon, reminds me how important it is for us writers to have other hobbies besides writing.

You need to give yourselves a chance to be creative with everything.

Lately, I’ve been coloring, working on a cross-stitching project and baking more in the kitchen. Although, sometimes I use these activities to procrastinate on writing projects that I should be working on instead, I feel a sense of freedom on working on other things.

Expand your horizons – be open to new ways of creating.

Chefs are creative when they are in the kitchen; painters dabble with different textures, different colors; bakers create freshly baked masterpieces of flaky, buttery bread and crusty goodness.

Athletes create different exercise routines, different ways of pushing themselves to the next level, of knowing what they can and can’t get away with when it comes to their bodies.

As writers, we have to get used to thinking about things in a different way.

If you just stick to what you know, or if you stick to one thing, you may become an expert at that one thing but you will limit yourselves when it comes to creating.

Writers know that the more you know the more knowledgeable you’ll become and the more useful your writing will be to others.

Never limit yourself as a writer, or as a creative person. Craft, paint, hike, climb, explore, taste and try new things.

We never know what will spark that next great inspiration. What do you like to do to stay creative?

Happy Writing!

 

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Vacation in the Outer Banks, NC

I haven’t posted much for a few days, but I’ve been on vacation!

img_20160610_162157167.jpgThought I would post what I remember from the trip here since I have a terrible memory and want some kind of record of it.

***Be warned, this will be a long post!

(But don’t worry, there will be a lot of pictures, too, so you can always scroll down and just look at them. :P)

13453095_10154174176120610_1622201492_oDestination: Frisco, NC on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks. (Cape Hatteras National Seashore!)

Length of Stay: 2 Nights. Leaving a few days for travel, etc. So…4 days.

I did not expect all the cornfields. There’s a lot of farm land driving on down from Virginia to the Outer banks, and its a great combination of rural landscape and the ocean in the background.

We arrived at Frisco Campgrounds in the afternoon on Friday, and the ranger, who’s grey-haired and a bit stooped and brown from the sun, hands us a campground map and says in that laid-back southern way:

“Well, here’s how it works: you go around and pick out two or three sites that look good to you and then you come back to me and tell me which one you want. Some look like they are empty, but they’re not, so you got to pay attention.”

13453479_10154174165540610_1034518977_oThe first site we picked out, I got stung by a hornet as soon as we went to move the picnic table. (Looks like they were building a nest, and we were not allowed to help!)

At the second, while setting up our tent, I stepped on one of the small cactus plants which were scattered amidst the grass and sand like prickly, evil minefields. Oh, and did I forget to mention the fire-ants? (although, they didn’t really bother us.) And the mosquitoes? And the wind that nearly blew our tent away the second night?

But despite mother nature getting the better of us, we were able to get our tent set up and got to see this view:

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img_20160612_091725798.jpgThe beaches were mostly empty as they were used primarily by the campground and there weren’t that many people staying that weekend.

img_20160610_171635529.jpgThis might also be due to the fact that the board walks used for access to the beach were flooded from the recent tropical storm. See all that water there in between the dunes and the shrub-like trees?

Yeah. That’s not supposed to be there.

img_20160610_171639339.jpgMost of the campsites had some pools of water tucked into the corner somewhere. In one campsite, the picnic table was surrounded by a nice lake of water, and one of the bathrooms and showers was also surrounded (this also added to the mosquito problems) but despite this, we still had a good time.

Imagine all the colors possible in mother nature…let them fill your mind and breathe them in and hold them close to your heart, like a feeling that you’ve stumbled upon an accidental paradise; and even though, it’s not perfect, it feels like it is because of the way the sights and the sounds and the smells assault your senses.

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Walking through it, the water was like the color of cherry juice with a hint of rusty-brown at the edges. But glancing out over the flooded land, the sky made it look the bluest of blues, as the grass and sea oats swayed in the breeze and the water rippled, caught by the wind.

Large, black tadpoles swirled around your ankles as you walked through the water on the boardwalk. There’s the gurgle and splash of the water as you step through and the sun is bright and makes everything sparkle.

At the end of the boardwalk there’s the climb through soft deep, warm sand to the top of the dunes, and then there’s the intake of breath and this view:

img_20160610_171705896.jpgNothing to see but ocean and no one around for miles, but for a few people. Here on the beach if you have ORV, feel free to drive them down by the water, which I thought was kind of neat.

For dinner that night we went to Dirty Dick’s Crab house (no lie, that was its name!) and got this platter for two:

13410720_10154174173440610_660206797_o(1)It was full of crab, shrimp, clams, potatoes and corn. So, so good!

That night it was star-gazing and listening to the chorus of frogs and insects hum and croak and drone through the campground…the noise was really quite impressive.

13467543_10154174166340610_1375642821_oThe next day, we climbed the lighthouse at Cape Point, and got these views:

13446092_10154174166020610_915295096_o 13445900_10154174165830610_11397569_oSee this water here in the above picture? Yeah, that’s not supposed to be there either…it was the campground we were first supposed to stay at, which got flooded from the storm.

13441739_10154174165900610_29198612_oMike, the other half was quite funny when he was taking these pictures…he had a hard time getting close to the railing as he was afraid of heights! Meanwhile, I’m hanging my head over the side like a loon, but I did get dizzy walking back down the swirly stairs.

13441863_10154174165780610_2062672348_oIt’s the tallest lighthouse in North America and pretty impressive.

I got all sorts of sun burnt that day, though, and that night we had problems with the wind blowing at our tent, so the next day it was packing and the drive back home.

We got stuck in traffic for a few hours on 95 coming through Virginia somewhere around Richmond. It was 100 degrees at some point, so thank God for AC!

On our way to find food and a bathroom in Williamsburg, VA, we accidentally drove through historical WIlliamsburg, which was a treat.

Passing through Maryland, we saw a car on fire on the side of the highway and then driving through Pennsylvania on 81, I got car-sick.

But I have to remember these little oddities and that’s what makes a vacation as special as it is sometimes:

13446312_10154174176320610_2080884460_o 13460763_10154174176370610_1774136575_oSeeing some of the annual kite festival as we were driving through Kitty Hawk on Friday.

13442010_10154174165530610_394978242_oThis adorable little deer which hung around our campsite for some time that last night, and only ran away because our tent flapping in the wind scared him.

img_20160610_182449115.jpgSea turtle nesting sites…

img_20160610_155745190.jpgWalking in the surf…

img_20160610_202107193.jpgAnd a good sunset to end a busy day.

I’m ready for our next beach time adventure! (I do have a new beach umbrella and kite to try out!)img_20160613_120439217.jpgI didn’t go too crazy on the souvenirs as we really didn’t have the money, but I did get me a new key-chain to add to my collection. And anyway, a picture is already worth a thousand words.

Now there’s the question:  Where to next?

Happy Writing!  (And Traveling!)

Restless…on a Friday? Again?! Yep. I’m a Writer.

I was out of work early again today. And I practically ran out of the building. I’ve been worried more and more about the lack of hours at my job, but I hate the idea of applying for something new.

Despite being boring, I like my job. Data Entry isn’t stressful. You don’t have to talk to anyone you don’t want to. But I happen to like my co-workers. For once in my life, I am surrounded by like-minded people my age and it is wonderful. We all seem to hate that we can’t find that high-paying job that we’ve all been searching for, but we like movies, we like food, and we like to laugh.

Even though it is not the best job in the world, the people who I work with make the job worth it. I found the same environment once years ago at my first job (at Wal-Mart surprisingly,) where you feel like part of a team, and your co-workers are also your friends. (I guess it’s easy to bond over a common enemy. Heh.)

100_1392But anyway, was telling my Mom on the phone this morning how I’m so sick of trying to find jobs that I don’t want. I understand that you have to work to pay your bills, but when it comes down to it…at the end of the day, I’m not a sales-associate, I’m not a debt-collector, I’m not an indexer, I’m not a customer service representative. I’m Me. Amanda. A Writer.

I’m a writer.

And I’m sick of making excuses about that. A person who studies to be a doctor, tend to work with sick people. A person who studies to be a teacher, teaches. I studied to be a writer, so I’m going to write. I’ll carry my burdens, and I’ll pay my bills and I’ll do what needs to be done.

But I’m not going to sit here any longer and feel ashamed or feel like a failure, because I can’t seem to find the job that works for me. Because when it comes down to it, maybe I can’t find that perfect job, because I was not meant to work at those places? Hmm.

Epiphany? Food for thought?

I say, us writers, or artists or whatever, need to stick together. Because not everyone is meant to be a top executive, or administrative assistant or successful business person.

Some of us are writers, and none of us should feel ashamed about that.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Poem: “Scribbles”

Just some silliness. I wrote this on my lunch break today on my phone.

Scribbles

A writer without a notebook,

is like a painter without paint

A poet without ink

A politician who can’t think

A mathematician who can’t solve

A dog who can’t bark

A writer can’t write,

an artist can’t…art?

So I’ll take my fingers

to the keyboard at hand

I’ll write on my phone

and type what I can

It’s an amazing relief

to find time for scribbles

Because writing is voice,

(Although it seems like drivel.)

Happy Writing people! Thank God it is Friday tomorrow! 🙂

The Beauty of Fall

Trees starting to show their color in a field next to my house. Hopefully we will get some sunny days soon…

Although, I hate the cold weather, I sometimes forget how lucky I am to live in area where I get to witness the changing of the seasons.

To see the beauty of fall: the robust reds, the bright, yellow-greens and oranges of all different shades; light orange, red-orange and some the color of grapefruit.

Bright yellow trees on the corner next to my house.

The smell of the crisp, cool air, the wind that’s got a bite to it; the smell of wood smoke, a hint of sweet, tart ripe apples. Yeah, this is fall, my fall, and I realize I appreciate it a bit more this year than I ever have before.

I don’t know, maybe I’m getting old…Maybe I’m finally realizing that although new places are fun and exciting to see…sometimes, nothing can beat the comfort of home!

Colorful trees in the field behind my house.

Craptastic Cover!!

My craptastic cover for my short story “An Interplanetary Dinner” that I just created in Photoshop!

So, be a dear and go check out my new Short Stories page…it’s up there ^  😀

Did I mention how much I love Adobe Photoshop CS6?! I gotta see if there’s a used version I can find somewhere…my trial is almost up! 😦
Aww…

The Writer Brain: Seeing the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Well, went to bed last night and I had a total of 10 views on my blog. Just checked my stats here at about 5 o’clock and I have 109 views! And from different countries, too! (I love that. That you can connect with someone halfway across the world. Oh, the power of words…thank you Mr. Internet!)

So, thank you, Joss Whedon fan out there, who shared my post: A bit of Joss Whedon, Firefly, Dialogue, and Great Writing. It is interesting the traffic change that just one “share” can do…amazing!

More Myrtle Beach…but I love the blue color here – looks so otherworldly! If only it was in better focus…

So, as I was sitting in church this morning I had a thought about what I was going to write about today, I guiltily recorded it in my phone’s notebook as some old lady looked on – no ma’am, I am not texting in church, honest!

I was thinking about this:  How as writers we always try to get the better story.

We twist and we turn things to suit our fancy. (Well, I do sometimes!)

For example, say you are presented with this situation: Your co-worker shows up late for work and then acts awkwardly around the boss.

My thoughts: What is she wearing? She looks sloppy. Okay, there’s a wrinkle in the blouse, her lipstick is smeared…is that cover-up or some kind of bluish-bruise on her cheek? Wait, no, it’s just a freckle. Perhaps the boss took her out for dinner. Maybe he hit on her. Oh, I know! Perhaps they went out to eat, got drunk, hooked up and now they are late because they had to get the morning after pill, but the car ran out of gas and maybe they had a flat tire…oh, and now she’s looking at me funny because I’ve been staring too long at the wrinkle on her blouse. Look away! Look away!

Well, you get the point. As writers we are always looking for the better story. We are always striving for that little bit of detail that will tip our readers off to the fact that hey, something important is about to happen here, pay attention!

In truth: The co-worker was probably late because her kid was sick and she acted uncomfortable around the boss, because he said something to irritate her the day before. That darn boss!

But, the other story was much, much more fun. I stumbled upon an episode of Castle the other day. It was a rerun of the first episode in the whole series, where Castle more or less accidentally helps Beckett solve a case. She gets irritated because he pushes and he prods: Why do people do the things they do? What’s their motive? What makes the better story? But he ends up helping her solve the case. Again, now, who doesn’t love Nathan Fillion?

For me, I am always seeing writing opportunities in normal situations.

For example: The old lady sitting next to me in church. She is wearing brown shoes. She’s got a hat on. White curly hair and sun spots on her legs. She is wearing a green skirt, a forest green in color, but her blouse that she wears is a turquoise green, patterned with flowered embroidery. Her clothing is old, but so is she. But the smile and sparkle in her eyes says that she is in excellent health. She acts nervous though; she told me during the greeting and welcoming portion of the service, it is because she is new, she doesn’t know anyone. But she is so kind to me, with a warm smile. She asks me about my interests. She smiles and pats my shoulder. She encourages me. This perfect stranger, who I only met five minutes ago.

My writer brain is thinking: Holy crap! This woman is a guardian angel. She’s one of God’s own. Oh, and she smells nice. Angels are supposed to smell nice, right? Perhaps she’s on a mission. I haven’t been feeling well…maybe she’s here to heal me, oohh, hallelujah!

(Laughs). Well, you get the point. Again. And I actually did think that today! What a nice elderly woman! I hope I see her again next time. And if I don’t…*cue creepy music*

I guess she was there for a reason. To inspire me to write this post to say: Hey, we writer’s do think differently sometimes…we prod and we poke and we stretch. We look for the detail that no one else sees. We look for the extraordinary in everyday situations. There is art in life. Just like we can create art. And going above and beyond the usual…

Well, that just makes everything much more fun!

Found a short story while I was cleaning!

My mother got these roses for me the other day, ’cause I was feeling so miserable this week. I think it’s safe to say, that I have the best mother ever! 🙂

Felt better today than I have in about a week and I managed to actually get some things done! Was cleaning out my desk and I found this surprise of a short story. I must have written it when I worked at my old job. (It was a customer service position that used to get really boring on week nights, so sometimes I would sit at the desk and work on some of my stories.) I used to joke that it was the first time I could say that technically I was getting paid to write, hehe…

Anyway, I love finding things when you clean! It’s like, I didn’t know I had that…I love the play on words here, too. I think this clever story came from the prompt:

“Before the end of dinner…”    

Before the end of dinner, Earth told everyone he had an announcement. “It is very important everyone and I want you to listen,” he said loudly. Jupiter cleared his throat and moved his chair closer to the table. Saturn pulled out a mirror and started reapplying her lipstick. The other planets exchanged glances with each other and then looked on. Some rolled their eyes; others picked up forks and continued eating. “Pluto, you too, I want you to listen, even if you are just a cold, little bastard…”

Pluto just glared.

“Now,” continued Earth, “I know I’ve mentioned this trouble with global warming…”

“Only about a thousand times,” cut in Mercury. She wore her long, red hair in waves down her back, and flickered gorgeous blue eyes at Earth.

At the long, rectangular table that the planets all sat at, Mercury was the most beautiful. In the past ten years or so, however, Earth only seemed to be getting a little grayer and fatter. He sat at the very end of the table and his black hair drooped over his forehead and into his eyes. And he licked his lips constantly, as if he were thirsty.

Venus had even gone as far to ask if he was sick. Was it Acid? Chemical Wastes? And Uranus told him he looked a bit tipsy and then asked if he’d brought anything to share.

Earth always thanked them when it came to inquiries about his health and pointed out that it was just the same old problem: pollution and global warming.

Ceres, their newest and budding member and perhaps a little nervous, (he’d only been at a few meetings and so far didn’t understand the other planets great importance,) suggested that perhaps a Meteor had struck Earth; he was certain that he had seen some of their cousins floating dangerously close in the outer limits.

Earth took this comment with a dry laugh, a grimace and then took a swig of his coffee. “Anyway…now, my fellow planets,” he continued. “There is something new happening in the outer hemisphere. Some kind of new development. My earthlings inform me that it is Aliens, but to me it is quite a dark matter.”

“What is it?” asked Mars, impatient. He fidgeted in his chair and asked for more coffee. He wore dark rimmed glasses, had an ash colored face and coal-black hair. It was rumored that Earth was his distant father, but Mars was rebellious and in denial.

“I’m not sure,” said Earth. He cleared his throat and ran a hand down an invisible wrinkle in his gray suit. “They won’t tell me much.”

“Is that why you’ve called this meeting?” said Saturn as she flicked her blond hair away from her face. “To tell us something is happening but you don’t know what? What kind of use are you?”

“Now there,” said Venus, who was motherly by nature and couldn’t really help herself. By all appearances, she looked young, but something like unrest swirled behind her dark, purple eyes. “He is trying. Why don’t you be quiet so the rest of us can listen?”

“I, for one, want to know about these Aliens, if that is really what these mysterious creatures are,” said Jupiter with great importance and a voice that boomed and resonated across the room. He was handsome, this Jupiter, with his dark, smooth face and tall, strong stature.

“What are Aliens doing in the upper hemisphere?” asked Uranus, dumbly. He had wide, blue bat-like eyes.

“My God, why can’t you pay attention?” said Saturn.

“Lay off, Sat,” said Neptune as she patted Uranus’s shaky hand. She had dark, brown eyes, and dull brown hair. “Where’s your rings, Sat? Huh?”

“Now, if we can call this meeting to order,” put in Jupiter.

“Did you try the veal?” said Mars to his neighbor, the young Ceres.

“I don’t eat that dirty stuff,” said Earth instead.

Uranus stared rocking back and forth in his chair. He chewed on the ends of his fingernails. “The stars are too loud,” he murmured. “The stars are too loud! Make them stop! Neptune!”

“Now, look what you’ve gone and done!” said Neptune and she grabbed Uranus’s hand and pulled him gently away from the table. “You’ve all frightened him! I hope you’re proud!”

“I don’t see what there’s to be proud of,” said Venus as she glanced about the room.

“Something about the Veal,” said Mars, thoughtfully.

“I thought it was all about that dark matter,” said Saturn. Her perfect tan forehead crinkled, uncomfortably.

“I don’t know what you are all talking about,” said Jupiter. And he looked uncomfortable, like he was too important for such conversation. “Earth,” he said loudly in his deep voice. “You called this meeting. You bring order.”

A glass was rapped harshly on the table until its pieces shattered into Earth’s lap.

“Nicely done,” said Mars smartly.

Quiet!” said Earth. “I am sorry everyone. I did not mean to cause you all worry, nor was it my intention to cause chaos. I just wanted to take a toll to see how everyone will all be effected by this alien business.”

“Not effected at all on my end,” said Mars and for once he looked happy as he sipped his fifth cup of coffee.

Venus gave mars another glance, the coffee was making his dark hair stand on end. “There will be no troubles here,” she said. She smoothed a hand over her gray-brown hair which was pulled back in a French braid. “Although…it is getting harder for me to see.”

“I talked to you about that,” said Jupiter. “Red dots are not good for the sight…”

“Please,” said Saturn. “She can handle anything.

Mercury cleared her throat. “The sun informed me that the Aliens don’t like heat.”

“Where is he this time?” said Venus.

Earth shrugged, but it was Mercury who answered. “On vacation in Oahu. He informs me that there will be extra sun-burns there. He was almost giddy.”

Saturn snorted.

“If we’re done here,” said Neptune. “I’d like to take Uranus home now.”

Earth nodded and the two friends left.

“Close friends, those two are,” observed Jupiter.

“Yes,” said Earth.

“Why can’t we all just get along?” sighed Pluto.

Ceres glanced uncomfortably around the table. He wasn’t sure if that was a question that he was supposed to answer.

“It’s fine,” said Earth. “Meeting adjourned. Until next time.”

“Next time?” said Saturn.

“Yes, the earthlings inform me that there’s going to be a war soon.”

“Interplanetary?” asked Jupiter.

“Possibly,” said Earth.

“That should make life more interesting then.”

“Perhaps it will. I’ll see you all in another thousand years. Meeting adjourned. Oh, and Mars, would you please take care of your coffee cups? They’re littering up my trash.” He glanced pointedly at the waste bin next to the table, which was spilling over with plastic cups and plates from the dinner that they just had. Mars gave him a sullen look.

“Thank you,” said Earth, smartly, and he left the table with everyone else.

A bit of Joss Whedon, Firefly, Dialogue, and Great Writing

Well, had a busy, girlie day with the mother and sister shopping and while me and my sister came home both tired and worn out because we both have some kind of nasty flu bug, I’ve been veggin’ on the couch watching firefly. Did I mention how much I love Joss Whedon?

I love everything about the show. Great characters, great story, great setting, great writing…I love Nathan Fillion. (Uh, how dumb were they to cancel this show??)

Myrtle Beach. Was pining for some place warm and sunny.

Anyway, Joss Whedon is just an amazing inspiration and someone I look up to when it comes to great fiction writing. For those of you who don’t know who is he, he is the master mind behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Doll House. In the earlier years, he was on the writing team of Rosanne. Although more recently, he was the brilliant writer and director behind the movie Avengers.

He is also the reason why a lot of my writing is dialogue-based. From his example, I am inspired by what my characters say, and I want what my characters say to reflect who they are and have them contribute to the overall theme of the story.

There is some annoyance to read a book where the characters just sit around talking to each other and nothing happens. How boring. Just like with a movie, or a TV show, dialogue can make or break a story. And I don’t want that to happen to my writing. I want my characters to say something that actually means something.

Anyway, was playing around with new themes last night for this blog, and settled on this one (for now). That is until (if it is worth it) I will purchase the upgrade so I can fool around with the settings anyway I want! 🙂 Just wanted something that was more accessible to my viewers! Shiny!

Fun in the Sun – Losing the Grip on Reality

Soo, this weekend was a busy one…saw Nemo in 3D, went to a memorial service, shot some bow and arrows at a sporting event at a local church-camp, held some adorable barely month-old kittens and went to an ordination ceremony last night.

Well, Nemo 3D wasn’t as impressive as I thought it’d be, the memorial service was sad but beautiful, and the shooting just left me sore. (I have a chiropractor appointment on Wednesday.)

My mother holding two of the gray and white kittens. There are really four of them…when I am there again, I will take more pictures.

My aunt has these adorable kittens and when they are old enough…I’ll get to take one home! Yay! And the ordination ceremony was interesting, (my brother-in-law was getting ordained as a minister)…

Anyway, the point I was trying to make was this:

Woke up with a sore throat and sinus headache this morning, so I must have caught something at that ceremony last night, uggh!

So here I am huddled on the couch with a blanket, my laptop and some soothing music and wondering how sleepy NyQuil will actually make me…I doubt it’s advisable to apply for jobs in a drug-addled state…hmm…

But of course I did everything else this weekend, instead of writing. I managed to create another cover page for a story…but nope, no writing done…

It made me think about some of the things that I’ve read from other writers on here:  How a writer is an observer. Sometimes we become so preoccupied with observing, that we forget that we are also part of the reality that we live in.

Some emphasize that as a writer, it is just as important to live your life outside of the fiction world. Although things were certainly busy enough this weekend, it is something that I seem to be having more and more trouble with lately. Living in reality. Instead of zoning out…plotting, planning, hearing character’s voices in my head…

***One of the songs I was just listening to. I love the music in the Chronicles of Narnia movie. Another fine example of losing yourself in another reality!***

As the winter months come upon us, I start to dread it a little more…

Every year since I was a senior in high school, I’ve had what people call “the winter blues.” My doctor diagnosed it as “Seasonal Affective Disorder,” where my mood, attention span, etc. seems to be dependent on how much sunlight we may or may not get in a given winter. (I know, move some place warmer, silly! As soon as I get moolah, that might just be my plan!)

There is some correlation between serotonin and the brain, and for some reason, in the winter months…things are a little ‘off’ for me.

Things are certainly better than they were. I have a special sunlight lamp, my diet is much better and I try to exercise more, but there is something else that I notice. As I lose focus on the reality around me, I am able to lose myself in my writing and fictional worlds just a little bit more.

Anyone ever notice that a lot of great writers suffer or have suffered from some form of Depression? Robert Frost…Sylvia Plath…just to name a few…(one day I will do the proper research!)

While I am in no way planning to shut my head in an oven door, I find it interesting that as I become more withdrawn from the real world, the fictional world is welcoming me back with open arms.

This summer, I had the best summer of my life. (Everyone loves a summer romance!) I saw new places, I spent more time with my friends than I ever have before. I see this summer as bright and shining, full of sunshine a warm yellow; and the bright, rippling blue lakes that I drove by when I went to and from various places in the Finger Lakes area.

Me and some girlfriends at Robert Treman state park earlier this summer. (I’m in the brown t-shirt.) What a beautiful day!

And for the first time in about a year: I didn’t write.

Four months went by. I hadn’t written a single thing. (Handsome guys will do that to a girl…) But it makes me question myself. Should I still call myself a writer?

My notebooks didn’t get forgotten…I still had them with me wherever I went. I jotted down a few ideas, came up with a character name, a different story plot, but I didn’t string more than three or four sentences together. No dialogue got written. I might have started two paragraphs in a story and then, hey, there was swimming to be done, and kissing and movies to watch and cuddling…

But here I am, back to reality. Ironic, really. Summer romance done, full-time job over. The reality that I lived in this summer was probably as close to a fiction one as I’ve ever saw myself in.

I suppose the idea is this: When dreams aren’t being fulfilled in reality, I try to live them in the fiction world. What happens then, when I have a really good day?

Hmm, it’s a troubling thought. But I understand, (maybe more than some,) how important it is to maintain a good balance.

And I blame it on that movie, The Words…damn that clever, thought-provoking writing!

“Eventually, all writers have to make a choice,” says a character in the film. Do you live in the fictional world? Or maintain a grasp on reality?

Hmm. Here’s a thought: Why can’t a person do both??