Shakespeare in the…Parking Garage?

image

I almost forgot to share this – I snapped this in the parking garage I park at for work. Looked out my windshield one afternoon and had myself a laugh.

It warms my heart to see that people have the same Englishy nerd sense of humor that I do! Lol.

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Happy Halloween!!!

I know it has been a while since I posted last and I’m going to try to make up for it in the next coming weeks…

On another note, I recently acquired Photoshop again and I thought I’d do up a little something to celebrate. It’s amazing what you can do with just a picture, some paint tools, cut and paste, and filters. (Gotta love those filters!)

Anywho, enjoy!

halloweenThe black cat in this picture actually belongs to a friend of mine. Believe it or not, the cat really is about the size of a big pumpkin, he’s HUGE. He gets mad whenever I pick on his weight. It’s hilarious though, if you could see this cat waddle…

Anyway, hope everyone has a safe holiday!

And go crazy!! ūüėČ Have a good one!

Hurricane Sandy – Check out these cool pics!

Well, still getting battered by the hurricane up here in upstate, NY and probably will until tomorrow evening, (the wind outside right now is terrible!) Can feel the cool air blasting through the cracks in the windows and downstairs in the basement the water is creeping slowly across the floor as it seeps into the house…

The power went out for about four or five hours and we broke out the candles. Ate dinner to candlelight, wondered at the silence when all the humming of machinery is turned off and I cradled my phone to my chest and then sorrowfully shut the power off to save the battery for tomorrow.

I did grab my camera, which was fully charged (and clung to that – yaay an electronic device!) and was able to take some pictures of the storm.

Was playing around with the light settings and got this…(I am not a photographer by any means but like taking good pics as well as anyone), but imagine my surprise when I got this!

Anyway, well the power came back on an hour ago, we turned the TV on to check out the news and I thought I’d share these pics. I’m a tad nervous because I have to be out and about tomorrow – so fingers crossed!

Prayers and thoughts go out to those that were seriously impacted by this storm!

Ramblings of a Distracted Writer

Glider at Harris Hill, NY.

Well…was thinking about what to post…(I know I’ve been rather quiet lately.) But I do have some good news!

Got a job interview next week at the airport near me and I hope everything works out fine. The job doesn’t have many hours to it, but I figured what the heck…it’s something and NOT retail!

Also, I hear there are some pretty good flight benefits working for an airline…so that’s something! And it will give me something to do…(been sooo bored lately!)

Wish me luucck!

This weekend has been another busy one for me, so will probably not get to post again until Monday. Been thinking about the purposes of this blog and I realize I have been distracting myself. The idea is to help advertise myself and my writing, not use the blog to distract me from writing! (Oh, the woes of a distracted writer!)

I want to focus more on writing itself and getting this book together. Not sure how much time I’ll get to spend on here, if I do get this job, but I am very excited nonetheless. My goal is to make writing a full-time career of mine, but there is nothing wrong with it being a part-time job as well! ūüôā

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.

New Cover Page!

It didn’t take me surprisingly that long to finish this cover page…so here it is! ūüėÄ

Later, I will¬†include¬†an excerpt of Dawn’s Rising as I update the page…

The Amazing Adobe Photoshop CS6

So, for anyone who has been reading this blog, you might notice that I’ve had trouble downloading a free trial of Photoshop CS6. Well, I have some good news! I borrowed a friends faster and high-speed internet and I am pleased to say that everything is alive and well in the Photoshop world.

It took me an hour or so to remember how to use it, (it has been about 3 years) but I have about three-fourths of my cover page done for Dawn’s Rising and I am very pleased at how it is looking so far!

So, here I am writing a quick blog to emphasize how amazing Photoshop is for making cover pages. If you¬†know how to use the program and have it on your computer, I would definitely use it for an eBook cover page. (Or, you can always do what I did and download a free 30 day trial.) It is easy using the various filters and effects¬†and it really¬†makes the cover page your own–and also a work of art. I am no Photoshop expert, far from it–¬†but it really makes any effort you put into your page look like its been professionally done.

I am going to continue using it for various photos and cover pages that I might post on here, so look forward to updates. Also, as imagery inspires me, creating the cover page itself has given me ideas for the story and various plot twists. It’s been a very exciting project so far!

I was going to post a preview of the cover page here, but I would rather wait for the big reveal when it’s completely finished.

A quick look: I am now¬†researching¬†how to create a realistic sun-rising effect or sun burst effect…any tips or pointers would be awesome.

Self Publishing — Great Writing or No?

I was doing some reading today on Smashwords.com and was taken to this page: http://blog.smashwords.com/

It is Smashword’s¬†blog, where there is an interview with a self published or “Indie” writer, Rachel Higginson. (For those of¬†you wondering what¬†Smashwords¬†is, it is a company that helps you¬†create your own eBook. Out of all the eBook publishers out there, they seem to make it the simplest and the cheapest to publish to Kindle and all the other¬†Electronic stores and I have chosen them to publish my own eBook.)

Rachel expresses in the interview, how she had a dream of being published since college, but all of the queries that she sent out to publishers kept getting rejected.

Now, she is a self-published writer and making a living at it! The article felt inspiring to me, who has the very same aspirations…to see my work in¬†print and to make money from it someday.

Nasty spider who built its web in the corner of my house. Sometimes the art of writing is like a great web–there are so many different strands that make up the greatness of the whole, that sometimes one weakness can corrupt the overall structure.

I have not read Rachel’s work, so I cannot say anything¬†as to¬†the quality of her writing…but if she is a best seller, it must mean that it can’t be too terrible right?

My biggest fear is this: to present something that I might consider a work of art to the general public and have it be trash. There are many best sellers out there that have been critiqued for that very reason (Stephenie Meyer for example). They write a novel that reaches a¬†large audience of people and while their characterization and their plot line isn’t original, or their writing, something in¬†their story drew people in.

While one can argue that the writing is not great, the writer has presented an idea that is catching. While the plot is mediocre, and the writing cliché, I would like to argue that in some cases, there is a way to write good cliché.

And perhaps this is the case in many self-published novels. While editors are waiting for that next, great, purely, original idea, the readers and general public are saying: No, we like simple and we like fun and no amount of originality can make up for a good, simple and relatable read.

While I want to be a great writer and to be appreciated for the art of my writing, I also want to create a book that is relatable and fun for a wide audience. I think to create something that is relatable and fun to read is also difficult, because it comes down to style. Every writing style is different, just like every writer behind the writing is different.

My question is this: Is there a way to write well, but also make it accessible?

You see books out there classified as “great reads” but they are not best sellers. And while great reads are not always easy reads, they are not always the most interesting either.

Is there a way to write intelligently, but also make it accessible?

I think, that when it comes to a great writer, great writing is all about balance. And every self published author, must find their very own balance. Finding that balance, on the other hand, is a whole different matter…

New TV Show: Revolution! Yeah!

Is anyone as excited as me about this new TV show coming on NBC in the fall??

My Dad’s only comment: “Where do they get the bows and arrows and swords from?” Hehehe. I love him.

Finally, NBC’s taking a show of post apocalyptic¬†proportions¬†and presenting it to us for entertainment! (Eh, with the exception of¬†Terra Nova…and we¬†all¬†know how thaat¬†turned out.)¬†J. J. Abram’s involved, so it can’t be too terrible, right? Very excited about this!

As I am an avid TV watcher and lover (of course I am!¬†I’m nerdy like that!) I will occasionally¬†be reviewing some of my favorite TV shows on here. Revolution will most definitely be¬†making an appearance. Also, keep an eye out for reviews of Vampire Diaries, Bones, and Once Upon a Time later on.

I love the summer, but I am excited about the new season of TV starting soon! FINALLY! Something worth watching! Can’t wait!

 

Fifteen Minutes of Fame – Words Worth a Thousand Images

Spent the majority of the day watching my niece and after the pancake and bacon making, the Lego Star Wars, and the playing on the playground, aunt Amanda is whooped! So, thought I might relax on some of the research of eBook making for the day, and focus on another very important interest of mine: Writing.

In my creative writing classes over the years, we used to take at least 15 minutes of the beginning of class to do a little creative journaling, usually inspired by a prompt that the professor provided on the board. A couple of months ago, I discovered this webpage:  http://creativewritingprompts.com/

It is a website that lists hundreds of writing prompts for free. Although a trifle simple perhaps, the fun is in not knowing what might spark the imagination just by scrolling through the various numbers on the page.

I usually like going through until one sparks my interest, but tonight I’m going to just pick a number at random by scrolling over the page…

#200: Create a story based on this plot: gets trapped in the bathroom on Valentines Day:

Hmm…now, let’s see what I can create out of that. I’ll give myself 15 minutes and will write it now, and¬†will leave it mostly unedited…like I would if I were writing in my journal (Beware of run-ons):

For some reason, Buffy the Vampire Slayer seems to come to mind…I imagine a girl crying, make up¬†running down her face, dark hair, a bruised eye and red lipstick that’s¬†been smeared a bit at the corners, giving her a grim smile…

Veronica wiped at her wet cheeks and her wet lips and then grimaced as she looked at her fingertips. The lipstick that she had carefully applied that morning was sticky and wet from her tears and looked like blood — she was just thankful enough that it wasn’t her own. Who knew that her date at the Valentine’s dance would turn out to be a Vampire? One really couldn’t tell these things…and who would know that he had a vampire posse, or was it a horde? attack everyone in the school cafeteria? She was sure she saw Mrs. Collins taken down by one of the monsters in the large, pink cake next to the punch bowl and¬†Mr. Peters, the Principle, watching, with a fork dangling in the air somewhere half-way between his¬†mouth and plate–¬†his piece of chocolate, pink-slathered cake smeared on the floor next the blood running out from the crown of¬†Mrs. Collins’¬†head. Her friends had all fled to their cars, but she, the idiot, just had to use the bathroom and first dates were usually rough the first time…right?

There was a tap on the door of the bathroom, the creek of the door swinging open and she heard footsteps and she very quickly tucked her feet up on the toilet she was crouched on. It could be one of them…ran the thoughts in her brain. I’m next…I’m another, quick, snack…. But the door swung¬†open and she was almost knocked¬† to the floor when someone with large, red, hair poked their head in and said loudly, “Well, hi!”

The head belonged to a young girl, with very, carrot-colored hair and a lot of it. It ran down her back, in a mass of curly, wriggling, orange ripples. The girl had to at least be twelve years old, a startling difference to Veronica’s own fourteen–whoever decided to combine the school into seventh through ninth graders were idiots, but that wasn’t what startled her. The girl had huge, blue eyes and she was wearing a too-cheery smile, the grin stretched widely across her face, white and fixed and planned…

Well, that’s that. Fifteen minutes and I’ve got a poor Vampire-attacked Veronica and a mysterious creepy-clown-like twelve-year-old. *Insert sinister grin here, haha*¬† Well, the cliff-hanger is kind of lame, and while not great, original plot writing, and very raw and unedited– where was that comma supposed to go again? The point is this: the imagery!

I forgot how great it feels to lose yourself in something that is completely different from other writing projects and I am very proud at the detail that such writing creates! Curly, wriggling, orange ripples and pink-slathered cake notwithstanding!

What a great way to get the creative voice flowing! By remembering that sometimes the simplest writing can create such alive, evocative images. And images are very, very important in great writing.

Occasionally, I am going to post in this blog with my random image-worthy creative writing prompts and here might be a way that can inspire other stories, OR, it’ll help to remind me to keep the visual images flowing on current projects.

Oh, and there is always that other thing: It’s fun!