A Quiet Walk By The Falls

I never get tired of these falls by my house. I write about them all the time, I know, but I can’t help it. I love the sound of the running water. So relaxing. I like the way the water smells. I like jumping from rock to rock on the edge of the shore, like I used to do as a child.But that water. There’s no other music like it in the world…this is my crack. This is the sound I fall asleep to. This is the soundtrack for many of the poems that I write.

Adventure is found along the shores of creeks, and falls and rivers. When the water just continues on and on and beckons…it teases you to follow, to discover where it ends.

How I wanted to jump in and go with it tonight, guys. There is freedom here, and longing. I wanted to see where it would take me. I wanted to go, go, go…

Is there something like this that inspires you?

Happy Writing!

My Plot Points are too Weak?

I’m actually sitting down to work on the plot for one of my stories tonight. Woo! This is progress!

However, I have a few questions. How do you know when your plot points are too weak? This is my problem:

I’ll sit down to write out a few scenes or scenarios for an outline, and suddenly doubt creeps in the further I get into the story. Suddenly, I’m filled with doubt and questioning my motives and my characters motives: would someone really do that? Am I going overboard with my character’s emotions?

So of course, turned to google for some answers. I found my answer here, on this blog, who uses J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as an example of a book that has great plot points; which makes for a compelling story as well as evokes an emotional reaction in its readers. (I mean kudos already goes to this blogger who references my hero, J.K. Rowling.)

I guess the important thing to note here, when it comes to plot writing, is to make sure that your character is influenced emotionally, (so emotion is great!) you want your character to change/face some obstacle in someway, but you also want your story to resonate in the mind of your readers. Huh.

Not too difficult I should think? Right? Do you guys have any insight on how you go about plotting your stories?

Happy Writing everyone!

 

 

An English Major’s Struggle To Find a Job

I recently took a new job here, (go figure, right?)…something that has me typing information at a desk, not customer service, not worrying about sales pitch – did I get it right? Just plain old monotonous information, and type-type typing away.typing-clipart-16-COLOR

And while this job was described to me as incredibly boring, I can’t but help be somewhat relieved. Left to my own thoughts, my own devices, I am more productive, less stressed and overall satisfied. Plus, I don’t have to talk to anyone if I don’t want to. Is it sad how much this is a relief to me?

Ever since college I have been struggling finding my way or niche in this world…I watch friends of mine, graduates from the same college get jobs at corporations, in the classroom, or go on to pursue higher education at graduate school.

I am proud of them and their accomplishments, but where does that leave me? Taking a job in retail, in customer service, in collections…finding places that pay the big bucks with little need to think or grow? I don’t live in an area that offers an overwhelming amount of options, either. I feel like I have ruined my job experience…even the manager that recently interviewed me said he was worried about hiring me…”Your job history seems a little…scattered,” he said.

“Oh, I know,” I said, and then shrugged. What could I say?

“I missed the boat when it came to moving to Florida?”

“I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up?”

Life is difficult and not always forgiving when it comes to pursuing your dreams and passions. I got an English degree, so everyone assumed that I wanted to be a teacher. I worked in customer service, so everyone assumed that I’m great on the phone, and love to help others. (I am great on the phone by the way. Former debt collector here, watch out!)

But what to do…what to do, when all of the world seems to be telling me that I am a failure? I took the jobs…because I needed the money. Not everyone has a savings or rich relatives. (Oh, but wouldn’t that be nice!)notebook in candlelightSince I was a young teen, the one thing that I consider myself great at is writing. This led to the thought: “I’ll be a writer.” Yet, with the pressure on to pay the bills…is such a desire a pipe dream? Or should I really just bite the bullet and go back to college…even though I don’t know what I want to study?

The questions are endless and the emotions boarding on that feeling of overwhelming sadness. I think the real answer to these questions are:

Do what makes you happy and don’t worry what everyone else thinks.

My head is grasping for the words of advice I’ve heard many times: “Don’t give up, you’ll get there.”

“Believe in yourself.”

“Never stop writing.”

“Don’t lose faith in yourself.”

Yet, they seem to be falling on deaf ears this afternoon, or falling in the cracks of heater and getting lodged there, (God knows little heat is getting out!).

doryThe sun is peaking out of the clouds now, and the snow has finally stopped. For some reason Dory’s voice from Finding Nemo has snuck its way into my head:

“Just keep swimming…just keep swimming…What do we do? We swim!”

Hmm…I am a terrible swimmer, but I can keep going, no matter how difficult it is…

The truth of the matter is, I am not unhappy here, sitting at my desk in the sunshine, which is creeping through to land on the floor and the cheery, yellow walls of my office.

I can keep on swimming, and I can begin to stop listening to what others think…because only my opinion matters in this instance. Being a writer is my pipe dream, and that’s all that matters.

I can keep on swimming no matter the cost.

About this Blog Update

In light of my more recent news in cancelling Dawn’s Rising, I went ahead and changed my About this Blog page.

It is clear to me now that this blog isn’t what it started out to be, and that’s okay. We all learn as we go, right?

Now, I will be focusing on my passions for this blog, and they seem to boil down to: writing, fiction, (mostly young adult fiction) poetry, TV/movie reviews, and food. (And for those of you interested, I currently have been reviewing the newest season of Masterchef Junior.)

And thanks so much to those who have chosen to follow me through the ride! There are truly some amazing, creative people out there. 🙂

Happy writing!

 

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!

 

 

 

 

The FIFA World Cup, pizza and a quiet summer evening

Me and my boyfriend are broke, broke, broke. I’ve stayed home all weekend all with the intent to save money on gas…I’ve missed birthday parties, festivals, and good times with old friends. I’ve been bummed, I’ve been frustrated, but I push through all with the knowledge that hard times are there to teach you to learn from your mistakes, to push harder, to be tough in the times of great stress.

Even though it seems like life sucks, I remind myself that it is not the end of the world, that I have a place to live, people to love me and food in my belly. I mean, that’s all a person needs, really.

pizzaAnd lotsa, lotsa, pizza! (Just kidding, tehe)

But enough of the drama, we might be poor but we can appreciate the little things and that includes spending time together, enjoying pizza and watching the World Cup – here we Americans call it Soccer, of course.

I, personally, like the term “football,” really, as I’m not a great fan of American football (I know, I’m a traitor to everything American, whatevers,) but we are both thoroughly enjoying this great opportunity to view something that we don’t normally get to see. And who said that Americans never watch Soccer? Pssh.

I’m starting to notice the different styles between the countries. The Japanese are fast, quick. Ghana has great footwork. Greece, great defense. And the US? They play differently than EVERYONE.

soccer

USA vs Portugal, FIFA World cup

Their passes are long, their dribbling not as intricate… (well, maybe right now is not a good time to judge, we are down by 1 – AH, never mind, they just scored! WOOO!

I am falling in love with “football.” We never get to watch it here in the US, a sport that is more popular everywhere in the world but here, and most of the time, we Americans don’t get a chance to watch it. There’s so much drama, strategy and excitement.

Every game is just one big stress-ball, next minute one big party. I’m ready to jump in line with all the other soccer hooligans, I’m ready!

Well, just thought I’d say a quick hello, and hope everyone in the blogging world is doing just grand and had a great weekend! I’m enjoying this warmer weather here in upstate New York and love that there is blue sky and green on the trees. Enjoying the simple things…whatever they may be.

Happy Writing people!

(FYI my final reviews for GOTs to come soon.)

Have you been keeping up with the World cup? Who do you want to win?

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!

15 Minute Journaling: Don’t let fear get you down

I need to do some writing, so what am I doing? I’m sitting here doing everything but that. I’ve painted my fingernails, I’ve gotten on Facebook – I’ve even read a few other blogs here on WordPress, including some of my own posts. Then why aren’t I writing? What am I afraid of? I thought I’ve gotten past all this.

Me, being silly!

Me, being silly!

I guess the fear was this: What’s the point of writing if its going to turn out terrible? Well, that’s not the point is it? The point is WRITING.

All things writing. Write, write, write, write, write!!  Gahhhh….Now why am I sitting here staring and fearing the blank page?

In all things in life you can’t let fear let you get behind, and that includes writing.

I’m even sitting here with my new headphones on (a nice birthday present from yesterday, woo hoo!) trying to drown out the world, and FOCUS.

Hmm…okay, let me visit my book shelf and see if I can scrounge up some writing prompts. That might help.

A few weeks ago at the Barnes and Noble, I found this book: A Writer’s Book of Days: A spirited Companion & Lively Muse for the Writing Life by Judy Reeves.

IMG_20140608_171217531

It’s basically like a writing devotional. It offers you daily writer prompts, as well as lessons for each month on writing and how to improve the craft. I have a tendency to over think some of the writing prompts – actually now I’m starting to realize that I work best sometimes with a challenge. It’s okay to take the prompts where you need them to go.

It is fun sometimes to see how creative you can get. Instead of just one word or one sentence to get the creative juices flowing, lets try about five of them.

Here are the prompts for five days in June from June 6th – June 10th:

June 6:  While the world sleeps

June 7:  I have a confession to make

June 8: “There is a place somewhere called Paris”

June 9: Across the railroad tracks

June 10:  The place where wild pines grow

15 MINUTES ON THE CLOCK….GO!

There is a place somewhere called Paris,” she told me with a flick of her blond hair as she started reapplying her lipstick. She squinted at herself in the tiny blue compact mirror and then smacked her lips loudly. “They say that everyone walks around naked, I’d like to go there sometime.”

I eyed her smooth body, the tan legs and free arms, the way her hips curved over her jean shorts. “I bet you would.”

“Don’t be an ass,” she snorted as she put her make-up away. “It exists somewhere out west they say, across some railroad tracks at some nudist colony. You know, the place they say where the wild pines grow.”

I couldn’t imagine her anywhere surrounded by naked people, much less trees as a walk through the park seemed too much for her most of the times. She hated the squirrels that scurried down the trees, she hated the babies that cried on the playground, sometimes I think she even hated me.

I was her boyfriend, too. The one she was supposed to love – supposedly.

I have a confession to make,” I breathed into her ear as I wrapped my arms around her thin frame and crushed those curves against me. “You’re beautiful.” I kissed her neck. “You’re sexy.” My hands trailed down her hips. “You’re lovely.”

She laughed a cruel, sarcastic laugh, and pushed me away. “Please,” she said with her hand on my chest. “Don’t make a fool of yourself.”

“I didn’t want to be here anyway,” I muttered. She’d taken me for a drive, and then had parked on the side of the road across from the local park. I could see pine trees and several screaming kids running towards picnic tables as she’d put the car in park. The air tasted fresh on my tongue, was cool and fresh in my nose.

Then she’d uttered those dreaded words as she turned towards me. “We need to talk.”

We walked hand and hand for about two minutes and then she pulled away from me. I could see the coldness in her posture, the way her body seemed to be trying to avoid me. She adverted her eyes, pretended like she was crying. But I knew she wasn’t.

“You live in your own world,” she continued then. “Like, everyone else could die, and the world could continue sleeping and you would be the one outside of it, like in slow motion or something. Living your life oblivious to those around you.”

God, she was so stupid sometimes. “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“Of course you don’t. The world doesn’t evolve around you Isiah Crane.”

“It doesn’t revolve around you either,” I said.

“This is exactly what I’m talking about!” she cried, as she turned back towards me. “That sarcasm! You’re so God-damned sure of yourself!”

I thought about that. I mean, why wouldn’t I be? I was smart, strong…and intelligent. I was pretty sure I was good looking. I shrugged. “Yeah, I got nothing.”

She started to cry then, loud, horrible tears. “I don’t understand why you’re so mean to me.” I didn’t really understand anything either. How she seemed to use everything but the truth to get what she wanted. She played games. She probably thought: maybe today, I’ll grab his balls and tug just a little bit more. I winced as I thought about it.

I didn’t want anyone tugging anywhere. “So this is it, huh?”

She brought her hands away from her face. Her mascara had left black tracks down her cheeks. “Aren’t you even just a little bit sad?”

I looked out at the fresh air surrounding us, the trees and green grass and water gurgling in a fountain nearby. Everything seemed brand new all of a sudden. I laughed once. “Should I be?”

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 7 Recap: Who is the Mockingbird?

Spoilers ahead!

Photo credit: HBO.  Sansa appreciates the snow in the Eyrie.

Well, what can be said about last night’s episode? What can’t be said?? For an episode that was said to be a ‘filler’ episode by my boyfriend, an awful lot happened.

The episode starts out with Jaime berating Tyrion about turning down the deal with Tywin to take the black. Jaime claims that he has “thrown his life away.” They exchange words about their father, how he wants to see Tyrion dead and Jaime back at his rightful place at Casterly Rock, yada yada…the thought is that Bronn will fight for him.

Bronn is sent for, and comes to explain to Tyrion that he has a chance to marry, and he has gold, (as arranged by Cersei.) He says that he is Tyrion’s friend, but likes his life more. The conversation ends, and they shake hands and the meeting ends on a good note…I think.

Later on in the episode, Prince Oberyn comes to visit Tyrion in his cell. It’s odd…a place so dirty and (presumably) smelly, yet Prince Oberyn seems right at home. He seems the type that can slip into any place and look like he belongs. The man is that comfortable in his own skin. It is refreshing for us, but must be terrifying for the rest of the characters on Game of Thrones, because who’s to know what the man will do next?

Like, decide to be Tyrion’s champion? Prince Oberyn is there at King’s Landing to get revenge, and he wants revenge against Gregor Clegane, or ‘The Mountain,” for raping and killing his sister. Gregor Clegane  is the champion that Cersei has chosen, (A.K.A killing machine and The Hound’s brother.)

Meanwhile, somewhere not so close to King’s Landing, Arya and the Hound pass an old man on the road who is dying from a stomach wound. He goes on and on and says a lot of things that aren’t particularly important. Arya says that “nothing is just nothing,” the Hound puts him out of his misery and teaches Arya where the heart is all in one stroke of his knife.

The next time we see them, the Hound and Arya get attacked by those trying to get the price put on the Hound’s head. Arya remembers one of the attackers as someone who has insulted her but she doesn’t know his name. The Hound asks the guy his name, he gets on Arya’s list, she stabs him in the heart. The scene ends with the Hound saying, “you’re learning.”

It’s an amusing scene, and fitting of Arya’s character, but should I be worried that I find such scenes somewhat amusing?

Later on in the episode, we see that the Hound is hurt by their attackers. He asks Arya about the sword she got from her brother, then he tells Arya the story of what his brother gave him. The scar on his face. Touched by the story, Arya offers to help clean his wound and stitch it up.

On Dragonstone, Melisandre convinces Lady Selyse to bring her daughter Shireen with them on the long journey. I’m guessing to King’s Landing? Melisandre claims it’s because the lord of light will need her. More blood sacrifices, perhaps?

Meanwhile, in Jon Snow’s world, Alliser Thorne is continuing to give him trouble; insisting he lock up Ghost, won’t listen to Jon’s suggestions about fortifying the wall and overall just being a regular pain in the ass. Here’s hoping he gets what’s coming to him soon…something that will probably happen because he doesn’t listen. Personally, I think Thorne is such an ass because Jon has the ability to lead, his friends are also loyal to him and Thorne is threatened by it.

In Meereen, Dany has her own version of trouble. Daario claims that he is only good at two things: women and killing men. She makes good use of one of those things. She tells Daario to strip. Something I thought that was a little out of character for Dany, but as she is growing into her role, I could see why she would make use of what she has…but it seemed odd. This is no longer the frightened little sister of Viserys that we saw in season one of this series.

While it is obvious that Daario desires her, there is no softness in Dany’s expression. She is still Queen. Ser Jorah doesn’t approve, of course. However, Dany does listen to him when he advises her not to kill all the slavers in Yunkai, where she sent Daario and the second sons to reclaim the city. She changes her mind and says that they will have a choice to follow the rules in her world, or die.

We also see a bit of Pod and Brienne in this episode. While not main characters, I love these two as there never seems to be anything bad in them. While stopping at an Inn to catch a decent meal, they meet Hot Pie who tells them that Arya is still alive, and that she was traveling with the Hound. Pod deducts that they would be heading towards the Eyrie, where the girl’s aunt lives. Sansa might be there too.

Meanwhile in the Eyrie, Robin…annoying, spoiled, stupid, whiny Robin, destroys Sansa’s snow Winterfell and throws a tantrum. Sansa slaps him and then immediately regrets it. Lord Baelish sees and says that it’s what his mother should have done a long time ago. (He makes a good point, you know.)

Sansa questions Lord Baelish about why he killed Joffrey and he confesses it is because he loved her mother, and says in a different world she could have been his daughter. Then he kisses Sansa. She pushes him away, but aunt Lysa sees.

Threatened by Sansa and jealous, and a trifle crazy, Lysa holds Sansa over the moon door and threatens her. Lord Baelish manages to calm her down, and then reveals to her: “there is only one woman I love,” he says,”and that was your sister.” He then pushes Lysa through the Moon Door and the episode ends.

-I thought this a great ending, as I was never a great fan of Lysa. What will happen next you think? Thought’s below if you got ’em!