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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Poem: Things Happen for a Reason

Here’s something I scribbled down at work today. Someone recently said this to me in so many words and I’ve taken it to heart. Just trying to remain positive on such a dark and rainy day.

Things happen for a reason

you hope to start at point A

and end at point B

you hope to be happy

you hope that the journey is worth it

you hope that the path you chose,

is the one that goes

you hope this heartache

is merely passing

 

Sometimes the path is winding

with bumps in the road

and gaps and ravines

or sometimes you’ll come

across something in between

mistakes and pain

forever stuck in the rain

when the bottoms of

your pants get wet

 

such is life

the ups, the down

trying to figure out

your way around

 

 

Buying Alcohol at 9 in the Morning

imageThis post isn’t about writing at all, really. It’s not even about alcohol, either.
This summer I turned twenty-eight, (woo me!) but I was having a thought last night, and I have no idea what it means to be a twenty-eight.

Should I feel like an adult? An old lady? Should I just give up all together and realize that being an adult is waay overrated? Hmm. There’s a thought.

Here I am on the brink of thirty, (clearly,) and all I want to do is travel the world, try awesome new food, and adopt a new pet…maybe a rat. It would be cool to have a rodent I could train to do tricks.

Last night, I went to bed at 10pm, and woke up at 8am with Mike this morning. I picked up some things to make enchiladas at Wegmans for dinner tonight, (we here in upstate New York loove our Wegmans), and grabbed some bottles of wine at the nearby liquor store…all before 9am.

Am I getting old?

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My purse I bought.

I tried shopping last night and I realized I don’t even know whats in any more. I picked out a purse and thought, Oh my God, what if its an old lady purse?!

One of my girlfriend’s assured me that it was definitely not…but I guess my point is, I don’t know who I am anymore. I’m way too old to shop in the juniors section, but I’m too young to graduate to cardigans and carpet bags.

I’m ready for that time where I’m not a jittery twenty-year old trying to figure life out, but I don’t have visions of buying a house, or having kids…yet. I still feel like I haven’t done anything.

I guess it makes sense that I am feeling this way, because I’ll always be a kid a heart. The unconventional sort who likes to wear Jon Snow t-shirts, and Star Wars leggings, (I totally don’t have Star Wars leggings, but now I want some!), and who likes to write notes for stories in the shower on my trusty water-proof notebook.

I want to travel the world in a camper that rocks back and forth on the highway, and I want to drink wine at 10am and eat s’mores for breakfast. I want to listen to music with the windows down, and I want to experience new things, and learn a new language.

I’m too old to sleep till noon anymore, because, let’s face it, when you get older, time is a currency all on its own. But I’m not ready for the white picket fence and suburban neighbors. Who of any of my generation can afford that anyway?

I want to live a life of plenty, and I want to be that crazy neighbor that has painted every side of her house a different color.

I want to celebrate the life of an unconventional and I think we should all cheer to that.
I want to live the creative life that I was meant to…

Because there’s no age-limit for creativity, and I’m completely fine with that!

Hope everyone is having a great Saturday!

The Liebster Award Nomination!

Thank you to Dainelle Hunter for nominating me for the Liebster Award! It means a lot to me that you thought of me. 🙂 I hope this gives readers more of an insight into my writing and what this blog is about.

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The rules are as follows:

1: Thank the blog who nominated you and link back to them.
2: Make a blog post telling 11 facts about you.
3: Answer the 11 questions from the blog who nominated you.
4: Prepare 11 questions for those you will nominate.
5: Nominate 11 new bloggers (those who have less than 200 followers) by commenting in one of their blog posts.

11 Facts About Me:

~My favorite TV Show of all time is Firefly. (FireflyThe fact that it only had one season is an atrocity.

~I only write with one with kind of pen. (Gel pen, black ink, pilot G-2 07.)

~I hate memes where the sentences are deliberately spelled wrong, drives me nuts! (Like: ‘he’s doin me a hurtin’….grrrraaggh)

~I like to write movie and TV show reviews.wpid-img_20140602_185717984.jpg

~I love libraries and books stores.

~I am a tea drinker, love tea.

~I love being outdoors; the trees, the quietness.

~I have an obsession with nicknames. A lot of my characters have nicknames. I think its interesting how people/characters are much more than the names they are given, and the ones they’ve grown into.

~I am a dog person. I like cats, too. But if I were to have one pet it’d be a golden retriever, lab, or a mix.

~My favorite color is now purple. (It used to be blue but my grandma passed recently and that was also her color.)

~I own about five different Star Wars t-shirts.

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Answering 11 Questions for being Nominated:

1. Why did you start blogging?

  • I started blogging to get myself to write an least something a day. I wasn’t writing anymore and it worried me. I would go weeks without writing anything. I started blogging just to get back into writing.

2. What do you love/ hate about blogging?

  • I love how freeing blogging is. It really is like writing in a diary, you can feel free to be yourself and that’s that.  I hate that I don’t have the time to write daily or more quality posts.

3.What is your philosophy?

  • I’d say…Live life to the fullest, no regrets.

4.What career are you pursuing/ What is your occupation and why?

  • I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Ideally a writer, who actually makes money. 😛 Right now I’m in data entry.

5.Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

  • Hopefully published! And working on other projects.

6.Who is your favorite fictional character?

  • I’ve always loved Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He is supposed to be the bad guy, but by the end of the show you can’t help but love him. He’s so pathetic and amusing.

7. What is your favorite movie?

  • I have a lot. Inception, Star Wars (of course), Princess Bride, Guardians of the Galaxy are probably the top faves though.

8.What is your favorite book/ quote?

  • I am a big fan of Maggie Steifvater. All of her words are great. But I really loved this one from The Dream Theives:

“There are three kinds of secrets. One is the sort everyone knows about, the sort you need at least two people for. One to keep it. One to never know. The second is a harder kind of secret: one you keep from yourself. Every day, thousands of confessions are kept from their would-be confessors, none of these people knowing that their never-admitted secrets all boil down to the same three words: I am afraid.”

9.  What is your zodiac sign?

  • Gemini.

10. What is your biggest fear?

  • Fear of failure is a big one for me.

11. Describe the strangest dream you’ve ever had.

  • I had a dream I was a dolphin once. I was leaping in and out of waves, it was so much fun and exhilarating…and then I woke up.

Questions for Nominees:

  1. What is your favorite book of all time?
  2. Why did you start blogging?
  3. What is your biggest fear?
  4. If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?
  5. What is your favorite kind of food?
  6. What is your favorite movie?
  7. What is your favorite thing to do during the Summer?
  8. What is your Zodiac sign?
  9. Do you believe in the supernatural? (Vampires, werewolves, ghosts?)
  10. Describe your strangest dream.
  11. What would you say is the best thing about you?

And that’s that! I can’t wait to read what you guys come up with!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! 🙂

Some Non-Fiction: Today’s Observation, a Conversation at the Lunch Table

I’ve been listening to David Sedaris’ Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, at work for the last few days. His book is a collection of essays about his life and some short stories. For some reason, it inspired me to try a little bit of non-fiction writing. I do need to record more of what I do, and the conversations I have on a given basis. Mr. Sedaris apparently writes too much in his journal, or so he confesses.

Non-fiction isn’t always easy for me. I don’t know if writing about your life, and the people in it is easier for some – but for me, I have to hold onto the little bit of friends I have. So it is difficult for me to just let go. Being a writer is about writing truth…and I worry too much about what people think.

Anyway, the point is, I am trying to challenge myself to try something new. I do not write enough about my life, and that is a shame. As boring as it is, there’s got to be some gem amongst the stones, right? Right?  Ahaha. Here goes.


 A conversation at the lunch table.

“Someone stole my carrots!” I look down into my lunch bag at the lonely tub of hummus. It stares back at me blankly, smudgy, feeling like old cement.

“Well that’s just great!” I say as I shove my lunch away. “Now I have nothing to eat my hummas with.” The last part is said with a bit of a whine. If its one thing that pisses me off, it’s going hungry.

I look up to a stare from my fellow co-workers. The woman next to me gets an uncertain look. “Someone stole my soda once.”

“Seems unlikely,” says another woman, her hair is grey, long, down her back. “I mean, if it was a bag of chips…”

“At least you have pasta,” says another.  A young woman, who reads graphic novels and writes in a journal covered with cartoon characters. “I have this,” and she gestures towards a microwave pizza she bought in the vending machine. It’s one of those french bread kinds, that are usually better in an oven.

“How it is?” I ask, already a bit skeptical.

She shrugs. “It’s not as crunchy as I thought it would be.”

I respond with a thoughtful, “that’s too bad,” and make my way out of the break room. One thing I do like about my job: the people I work with. There are other things that leave much to be desired. A clean floor would be nice, for one.

“I suppose I could have left it on the counter…” I mumble a bit disappointed, turning the dial on my lock to shove my purse away in my locker. “But it sounded so much better being stolen. Other than me just being forgetful. You know, I was late to work this morning.”

The older woman with the long hair laughs. “And that’s your story and you’re sticking to it!”

“You’re darn right.”

I watch her head back up the stairs, back to work. Back to the monotony and a desk that smells like dust and sometimes burnt coffee. I’ll sometimes prop my folder up on my desk, to keep the computer from blowing hot air on my face. For some reason, this gives me a weird sense of victory. I suppose there is pleasure in the little things in life. Like I’ve beat the system. Like who cares if the computer may over-heat, at least my face is cool.

Back to work…back to work…

When I get home, I am hungry and tired, and I find a bag of carrot sticks sitting propped up against the microwave. I wave a fruit fly away.

“Think they’re still good?” I mutter, as I inspect the orange skin, that now looks dried and crackley, like they’ve been in the desert doing some serious time and not lounging serenely on my counter all day in an empty apartment.

My boyfriend gives a deep chuckle from the next room. “I’m sure they’re fine.”

I scrunch up my nose and laugh as I put them in the refrigerator, feeling suddenly like a little kid and then shaking my head at the absurdity of it all. How silly I was to think people would actually steal healthy food. Crunching carrots on the sly, isn’t exactly inconspicuous.

Unless there’s some kind of crazed vegetarian out there, just ready to go postal.

I’m starting to think I should be on the look out for Bug’s Bunny. I’ve tried the “What’s up, dock?” thing to Michael while munching on a carrot before. He doesn’t find it attractive.

Ah, next time I suppose.

 

A start at Flash-fiction: Smelling Sunshine

Just some musings in the car parking lot while I was waiting for my boyfriend to get out of work this afternoon. I’ve been trying to push my self to write more and more this week and it’s funny how comfortable I seem to be writing in the oddest of places.

Put me in front of my desk at home in my office and suddenly there’s everything else to do and check out. Like youtube. And facebook, and of course, 5 amazingly awesome recipes and articles and gah! I am a terrible person sometimes.

I’m actually pretty proud of this. I’m not sure what it is, exactly, but I’ll call it a start to some flash fiction, which I want to try to write more of. I do consider myself a fiction writer afterall, but…I’m having fun dabbling in a little bit of everything at the moment.

I hope everyone is having a great evening. Happy Writing!


Smelling Sunshine

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I blink, unable to see. The glare from the cars in the parking lot blind me; their busty trunks and fenders glisten, catching the day’s brilliance in colors of blue, gray, white and green. I can hear the brrrrggh of cars running and the rumbling cough and sputter of a car that doesn’t want to start.

The cool air blows through my car window and it smells like exhaust, tires and left-over winter, but its icicle-taste has gone stale in my mouth. Spring is in the air now and the world looks cheery, full of fake promises; like when a person says one thing and means another.

Sure, the world can look great on the outside if it wants to. The sky that robin’s egg blue, with white wispy clouds so high up, you wonder if the scientists up in space can see what you see. But inside and outside, everything and everyone is often something different.

Take this person. She is average height. Average looks with a plain T-shirt with writing on that stretches across her boobs, that says something obscene like “Bob’s Big Ones,” that makes you read what it says and everything else underneath.

Maybe she shouldn’t have left the house in those sweat pants. But she looks tired. Her brown hair is pulled back in a pony tail, and she wears a harassed expression. She’ll thank the cashier who wishes her a great day as she grabs her groceries, but inside she’s really thinking: God, just one more day. Am I really where I’m meant to be?

An old man in the deli misses his late wife of fifty years. A middle-aged woman clutches a tomato in her hand in the middle of the produce and worries her husband is having an affair with his secretary; this is just the color of lipstick that she would wear. A college student with braids, glasses and uni-brow, listens to music and thinks about geology as she grabs at a container of hummus.

Every life’s a puzzle, and every puzzle a piece of the mystery. We are never what we say we are, and that includes the weather. Maybe that’s why I have this feeling that something bad is about to happen. I can just hear my mother right now: Oh, stop, you are being ridiculous. My boyfriend would tell me I am being dramatic.

But it’s there waiting for you. Waiting…Waiting…Waiting for you to….Strike! Just kidding. Waiting for you to wake up and open your eyes and smell the sunshine.

And I’ll see and see, and breathe it in as long as I can.

Life is what that is. Life.

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.

Poetry: I can write haiku, can you?

It’s snowing outside, tiny flakes coming down from the sky in all directions, swirling chaotically around cars and the pavement outside my window.

View from my office window.

View from my office window.

Naturally this makes me want to write, of course. I don’t know what it is…maybe because it’s warm in our apartment, I woke up refreshed (finally) after a good nights sleep and I have the day off from work.

Maybe there’s something in the way that snowy sleepy days naturally put me in a thoughtful mood, and thoughtful moods generally lead to writing…if I were a painter, I’d paint the heck out of a glorious snowy day, but alas, the best brush I have, is the brush of words on blank, blank paper.

And of course, the last sentence I just wrote had me thinking about haiku poems. It’s been ages since I’ve written one…not since college three years ago. I found a refresher at this website, here.

(From the website:) The haiku is a Japanese verse in three lines.  Line one has 5 syllables, line 2 has 7 syllables and line three has 5 syllables. Haiku is a mood poem and it doesn’t use any metaphors or similes.

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View of the moon and snowy trees at my Grandma’s house, the evening of Thanksgiving.

I don’t usually think of myself as a poet. My advance poetry teacher in college said to me once, “You are definitely a fiction writer.” And that seemed to cement the idea in my brain. He didn’t mean to say that I was inept at poetry, just that eventually all writers make a choice, and I am a lover of stories and so naturally fiction was my style of choice.

But lately, I am constantly reminded by poetry why writing descriptive, lyrical words are so important. Why some fiction is just poetry in an extended form. In a single poem, an image is created in just a few words. I think poetry is a great way to remind fiction writers how important it is to show, not tell what is happening in the story, but to focus on the concise, and descriptive words.

Here’s some haiku of my own. Some silly, some serious, some not really haiku poems at all, but all poetry:

The bright yellow sun shines

through icicles hanging

on the windowsill

 

 

icicles remind

us to mind the cold weather

bundle up you beasts

 

 

dogs don’t like the snow

wagging their tails between gusts

shivering snow and wind

 

 

the snow swirls around the pavement

children walk by with parents

hands howling in their gloves

 

 

So much depends upon a red wheelbarrow…

(Just kidding! haha…can’t get this poem out of my head for some reason! For those that don’t know this is the start of a poem, “The Red Wheelbarrow,” by William Carlos Williams. I remember there were those that either loved it or hated it in my poetry class. There was a great debate that followed about it.)

And lastly, another haiku of my own:

 

The dead of winter

snow falls down on black pavement

eat lunch, eat sunlight

This has been a lot of fun for me this afternoon. Feel free to comment with your own, if you like!

Happy Writing!

What Makes Life Worth Living?

These last couple of day have been stressful for us. My car is in the shop, it is 7 degrees outside, and until I get paid next week, I have about $2.

Life is not exactly easy when you live paycheck to paycheck, and although I am trying to look on the positive side, sometimes I do start to hyperventilate. The man in my life, although he pretends to be all manly and tough most of the time, said it this way: “We have each other, babe.”

And as corny as that sounds, I had a thought about it. It may seem like the end of the world when you can’t pay your bills, but it’s really not. Sure, you get behind, it happens. But life is in the people you love, in the people who love you and in the times you share together.

Love doesn’t pay the bills, but it sure does remind you what makes life worth living. And that’s all I need for the time being.

Oh, and brownies:

wpid-img_20150106_205957593.jpgI made these tonight with this recipe here, (with my own tweaks of course) and I think these will go well with a cup of hot coco, yes? 🙂

I counted on my fingers before bed…I have a at least fifteen friends and family that love me. I am not without love in my life. I am poor, but I am not worthless.

These thoughts of failure, life stresses and worthlessness made me think of what Clarence writes in George’s book in the end of It’s a Wonderful Life:

“Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends.”

No…they are most definitely not. I hope everyone is keeping warm, and positive this cold, Tuesday night.

Happy Writing everyone!