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!

 

 

 

 

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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!

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!

2012 in review – I thought this was interesting…

Much thanks to those who have kept up with me over the year! (You know who you are) Happy blogging everyone! 🙂

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Dawn’s Rising – December Update

I took a few candle light pictures when we had the power out back when hurricane sandy blew through. I guess is how they used to do it, huh. I guess all that is missing is a fountain pen.

I took a few candlelight pictures when we had the power out back when hurricane sandy blew through. I guess this is how they used to do it, huh? All that is missing is a fountain pen.

When I launched this blog at the end of the summer, I had a few ideas in mind:

I was unemployed, I had nothing better to do and I needed to find a strong writing community. I wanted to finish my first “crappy” novel and I wanted to have fun doing it. And I wanted to find other TV lovers out there who felt just as passionate about imaginary characters that I do.

***I found that writing community and have been encouraged by the go-get-’em attitudes that other struggling artists like myself have out there. And I’ve been able to keep up with my favorite TV show – a happy shout out to all my fellow Once Upon a Time fans out there!

But where does this leave me on the progress of my “crappy” novel?

Me being silly!

Me being silly!

I got a new job, (recently) full-time, with mediocre pay, that is more or less at a call center, where I take chats and try to sell things to people online for a company. While the job is easy and the people are friendly, it is definitely something I don’t see myself doing for a long period of time; and while I am struggling with the fact that I am so bored already with this job, it has, inadvertently, put me back on track with the writing of my novel…

Awhile ago, I even created a lovely banner up above^ to help motivate myself and set a deadline, but well, life kicked in; I had to start this new job to pay the bills, and boys distracted me again. (Guys really are a kryptonite when it comes to my writing, gah!) And…I only got about 1/4 of my crappy novel written.

But, never fear! I am back to writing it again. I don’t have a dead-line as of yet. I think the important thing is to push myself to write, even if it is just for my own pure entertainment. And on that note, I wanted to give you guys a preview, even though it is probably too early for a preview, but I wanted to prove that my novel-in-progress Dawn’s Rising does exist and I intend to finish it!

excerpt from Dawn’s Rising – “The Hub”dawns rising cover page

          “The Hub” turned out to be a restaurant. A bar and grill in the middle of nowhere, on a flat, dry rock where everything looked the color gray, even the low building they were walking towards was an ash grey color with a white-capped roof. There was a blue neon sign that said “The Hub,” in cursive lettering, hanging crooked on a single, dark door. It flickered on and off in the darkness, although the stars above them were casting their own light. Angel had never seen so many stars in her lifetime and the sky felt closer to her than she had ever felt it before. She felt like she could suffocate in it, breath in its purple blueness and cough out a super nova.

            Except for the building and a few cacti next to and behind it, The Hub was the only thing…anywhere. That and a gray-purple dirt, that stretched on for miles and miles and what might have been the ridge of low, hard purple mountains in the distance. 

            “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” said Clint, next to her. He must have seen her awe-eyed expression as she walked in the dry, cracked dirt next to him. The boy with the dreads, who had introduced himself as Ian was walking just ahead of them, and Angel could see the faint outline of Neil and Chase several feet in front of him.

            “Where are we?” she breathed.

            She watched Clint’s clean, handsome face as he appeared to think for a bit. He was short and broad-shouldered. “Center of the Universe probably…half-way between this and that,” he said.

            “Were not on earth anymore?”

            “No,” he laughed. “But don’t worry…you’ll be alright.”

            She listened to the sound of their feet kicking up dust in the darkness. She was still in a dream. She must be. “Why are we here?”

            “Boss likes this place because of the people he can find here. It’s…like an information hotspot.”

            “The Hub,” said Angel. “Like the center of Universe?”

            “Something like that,” he said.

            “So…we’re on another planet?”

            “Not exactly. More like a gray rock floating in the middle of nowhere…like a Meteor. At least…that’s what Neil told me one time,” he said.

            “It’s…nice,” she said, because she couldn’t think of anything else to say. Her heart was pounding. How could they breathe? She was trying to understand. “Who are we looking for tonight?” she said, faintly.

            Clint shrugged his wide shoulders. “Dunno. Anyone he can find I would guess.”

            “A demon,” said Niel loudly right in front of them, the small gold ring in his ear glinting in the darkness. Angel and Clint both flinched, slightly. “We’re looking for a demon.” They were so busy talking, that they didn’t realize they were right in front of the building and the three other guys were standing there, waiting.

            “But don’t worry, we won’t let him get you,” said Niel. Chase just winked down at her, laughter crinkling at the corner of his eyes.

Well, what’d ya think? Thoughts below if you got ’em! 😉

Once Upon a Time Review 11/11/12 – Becoming the Wolf and Bad Dreams

I enjoyed the Emma-centric episode much more than Red’s for some reason…and I think a lot of that had to do with the love story. Red’s was great too, but the wolf pack seemed to lack credibility. I think if they expanded the flash back through a few episodes, Red’s relationship with her mother, or lack there of, would have made more sense to me.

Disclaimer: Spoilers in this review!

Photo credit: ABC.

In Story brooke, Red gets framed for the murder of Gus the mouse and another man by Spencer/King George as he tries to take his revenge on Charming. For some reason, he has it in his mind that Charming is not as good as every thinks he is and wants to reveal that he really is just a lowly Shepard who can’t lead his flock sufficiently or whatever. Mainly, I just think King George is dumb.

In flash back enchanted forest world, we pick up some time after Snow and Red join forces, (after Red has to leave her village for killing Peter and everyone discovering she is a wolf.) Red discovers a wolf pack and coincidentally her mother is with them, surprise! Granny lied again! The pack teaches Red how to become the wolf and in doing so, she can control it.

Meanwhile, Henry is still haunted by dreams that turn out not to be dreams, but a limbo of some kind. Whenever someone endures a sleeping curse, according to Mr. Gold, they return to that limbo in their sleep and to unimaginable horrors. He does, however, give Henry a medallion or potion of some kind that will help Henry control what happens in that world. On the house! Interesting. But, we are not fooled Mr. Gold! Magic ALWAYS comes at a price!

Henry also discovers Aurora in limbo with him and introduces himself and so the episode ends with Emma and Snow in shock. How can their friend dream about Emma’s son, a person she’s never met?

Some Observations:

  • I personally hoped the dreams had something to do with another big bad…sigh. The queen of hearts seemed like such a fantastic idea! But plus side: Emma and gang now have a way to communicate with Story brooke.
  • Rumple so easily giving up a magic solution to Henry for his problems. On the house he says…but remember how giddy he was to teach Regina her magic?
  • The mob and the whole “Kill the beast” feel to the end of the episode. Where was Gaston?
  • Oh! King George burned Jefferson’s hat, his only hope for a portal to enchanted forest world. Charming almost lost it. Maybe he really is just human after all?

Highlights:

  • Granny with that cross-bow again! She’s so awesome.
  • Charming as sheriff. Still looks good. Yep.
  • Ruby and Gus the mouse scene…I wonder when Red will have some kind of romance in her life?
  • Loved seeing the closeness between her and Belle, too!

I can’t believe we have to wait a whole two weeks just to see what’s going on in this dream world of Aurora’s and Henry! Ugh! Does this mean more flashback world of the sleeping princess? Hope so!

A sneak peek below:

Dawn’s Rising – Angel, My Angel

Sometimes you’ll stare at your word processor all day and only a few worthy sentences will come out. Sometimes it’s those sentences that surprise you the most…

In Dawn’s Rising, one of my characters, “Chase” plays guitar. I have a scene where my main protagonist “Angel” is sleeping on the couch and Chase is perched on the end of the couch playing a song on his guitar to her. They don’t know each other very well at this point, but it doesn’t mean the resulting song doesn’t have meaning:

            Angel like a gem

            that glitters when she speaks

            angel, my angel

            stronger than she thinks

            don’t you know you’re angled?

            multifaceted blue

            angel, my angel

            I love you…

I have never written songs before and wish I had the talent to find the music that belongs to these words I wrote last night, but I hear them in my head, and that’s good enough for me.

It’s a slow song, like a lullaby that has a few verses to it and this is just the first one, or the only one that’s he’s written so far. He has a deep voice, but not too deep, with bit of husk to it. The result is a voice that is sexy, rough and smooth at the same time…like the sound of someone’s voice when they first wake up in the morning.

This is a perfect description for Chase, who’s normally put together, but still a bit rough around the edges.  He would not have the perfect tenor’s voice. His voice would be more like the earth: rich, and dark and deep; full of mystery and longing. Full of a thunderstorm, the lightning that crackles just beneath the surface.

I love the poetry behind it, though. Even songs, no, especially songs should taste good on the tongue, too.

Contact Me If You Dare

Well, today was a busy-work day on the blog. Decided to create a new Contact Me page where you will find an email address to contact me as well as a Facebook page. It’s up there. ^

I stupidly created a new Facebook account, not realizing that I only needed to create a new page from my current personal account…sigh. Sometimes the older I get the more I don’t understand technology. It used to be so much easier when I was younger and now all the sharing capabilities and networking and everything is starting not to make sense to me anymore. 😛

It’s all brilliant of course but it’s like trying to keep up with a race where the lead runner is always running too fast! The important thing is to have contact information for future reference, of course. And a way for your viewers to know what you are up to…etc.

Anyway, here is a link to the page I just created today: www.facebook.com/amandagreyfiction

And my email address of course:     amandagreyfiction@gmail.com

Happy blogging people!

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.

Dawn’s Rising – Meet Chase Holden

My craptastic cover for Dawn’s Rising. All I can say is: Isn’t Photoshop just awesome?

Well, worked on Dawn’s Rising a little bit last night and just wanted to write a quick post to say that it still amazes me sometimes the power that some characters can have over the writer.

I’d been having trouble working on the story lately, and then I tweaked a few things and viola! My characters come alive with attitudes and minds of their own.

Sometimes it’s as simple as a name. This novel is teaching me a lot about the importance of names and how the name should match the character in all ways!

I used to firmly believe that it was the name that made the character, and if the name isn’t right, well, that’s that. How foolish I’ve  been!

While the name definitely does have to be right, if you are set on a name, you have to match that character to the vision you have. For me, whenever I let go of my original plans and let the characters form themselves, (go by instinct), I seem to have a better story and more rounded characters.

They show me where they want to go, who they want to be with…etc. I’d been trying so hard to stuff a character in a name, only realizing last night, that the reason the name didn’t fit was because I had created the wrong character. I gave him a different personality, a different body type, a different attitude and then he’s there. He’s real, he’s handsome, he’s stubborn, he’s thoughtful.

So meet…Chase Holden: He’s tall, about six feet. With a musician’s type body, long and lithe, with broad shoulders and strong arms. He’s got tan skin and short, dirty-blond colored hair, with green eyes. (He uses these eyes to his advantage…the clever bastard!) He can be ass sometimes certainly; he’s got his own form of mood swings. Right now, I have him wearing blue jeans and a long-sleeved blue, flannel shirt. On the outside, he lives simple…but don’t let that fool ya, this one is complicated. He does play guitar! He’s got a secret. And only Niel knows it. 

Hmm. What can it be? 😉 Time to focus on writing…Hope everyone has a fantastic day!