Here I am Trying to Stay Motivated

I have this story that I’ve been trying to write a draft for. But after working all day sitting at a desk for 8 hours, do I want to come home and sit at my desk to write? No. It’s so frustrating. My notes/drafts/brainstorms are all on my computer, so it’s just so much easier to type out my draft for my story. Buut…I’ve been doing everything else tonight.

Here’s some things I’ve been trying to keep motivated:

Listening to Music ~ This has been doing a great job in keeping me relaxed, and I’ve switched to the Pop/Hip Hop workout station on Pandora, which makes me want to get up and dance, of course.

Stumbleupon.com ~ Mike’s really the reason why I know about www.stumbleupon.com. You basically create an account, edit your interests and click stumble. Next thing you know you’re surfing the web based on your interests. Can be very inspiring for writers.

Looked at Vacation destinations ~ This is really because Mike and I are shopping around for a place to go this coming summer, but this might be a good way to trigger a location for a story.

Also came upon this ~ 33 Ways to Stay Motivated. This was a stumbleupon result.

I’m jamming away, relaxed (now maybe a little sleepier) and trying to get that passion for writing. So funny how when writing becomes work, I suddenly am not inspired at all. Except when it’s like 10PM on a Sunday, and then suddenly all hell breaks loose. So typical.

What are you guys up to tonight? How do you stay motivated? Any tips?

Happy Writing!

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How Was your NaNoWriMo?

Hi Everyone – I’ve been a bit MIA on this blog as of late…and I don’t know why.

It could be because I started a full-time job this fall, and I just don’t feel inspired after a long day of sitting typing at a computer. Also, about mid-November I was sick for like a week with a cold, and that about wasted my November.

On the positive side, though, I have been writing more as of late. I think it all started after watching Outlander one Sunday. I was curious about the books and I went on Diana Gabaldon’s website, and something I read of hers inspired me.

It was what she said about the first book of Outlander. She said she wrote it because she wanted to see if she could write a novel, and Outlander was just a trial, a for-fun novel.

Well, several books later and a successful TV Show and she is still writing. I guess it made me realize that you shouldn’t doubt yourself. It might not be as awful as you think it is, and if it is awful…who cares? It was meant to be a draft, right?

If Diana Gabaldon can do it, well then so can I. Plus, my writing process seems to be a bit similar to hers. I tend to just wing it…I’ll have a rough outline, but otherwise I tend to be at the whim of my characters: “alright, guys, where do you want to go next?”

How was your NaNoWriMo? Any words of wisdom for the rest of us?

(Also, my NaNoWriMo wasn’t all that successful, but I got some more useful scenes written for my novel-in-progress and that’s something!)

15 Minute Journaling: The Butterfly

I wanted to post last night, but work has kept me busy the last few days. That’s why I think it’s a good idea to relax, and just let the words take me – time for a 15 minute journaling session.

notebook in candlelight

And for those of you who don’t know, “15 Minute Journaling” is something I used to do in one of my creative writing classes in college. The teacher would write a prompt on the board, and then we would write in our journals for 15 minutes.

It’s amazing how many stories have come out of those sessions, and amazing how much of a stress reliever it can be sometimes.

15 Minutes here I go! But first I need to find a writing prompt. Google brought me to this page > http://www.writersdigest.com/prompts < Writing prompts on writersdigest.com.

They remind me of the prompts my teacher used to give us. Quirky and not at all like the norm. My writing prompt app never gives me the idea of writing about a character with an extra arm…everything is so normal. Ah, what defines normal anyway?

Here we go. 15 Minutes on the clock please! Feel free to write along if you want! This is the one I chose:

“A Few Sips Off” – You take a few sips of your drink and feel different. That may be because your torso has an extra arm protruding from it. Another sip, another arm. Then a wing. What happens if you finish the drink?

I asked the magician to give me a potion to make me beautiful. In my mind, I had it all figured out: a dress shimmering a blue and green, like the tail of a mermaid, a pretty version of the Cinderella dress. This isn’t what I asked for.

I choked on the last few drops. It tasted like copper, like the time I bit my tongue and blood poured into my mouth. It was sweet and metallic and I gagged. I looked down at the vial that had held the purple liquid in horror. It crashed to the ground and shattered into a million bits as my fingers began to change. I was shrinking! My arms became long and black and hairy. Two arms sprouted from each side of my torso. My jeans and t-shirt disappeared. My long body was black and green-blue iridescent. I cried out as wings sprouted from my back, long and blue and black. My face elongated and my vision blurred. I had freaking antennas on my head! Was I a butterfly? I felt the wings on my back flit nervously and air brushed my face.

Source: desktopnexus.com

Source: desktopnexus.com

I felt cold, and clammy and brand new. Like the new skin on a wound just beginning to heal after someone ripped the band-aid off. I wasn’t ready for this bright new world. I tried to speak but nothing came out. My vision had doubled, and then quadrupled. I had been standing next to the table in my dining room…now I was standing on top of it. The table shuddered underneath my feet as I watched a huge form coming my way. It was the dark shadow of my tall, older brother coming to the kitchen for a snack.

Would he see me? Would he squish me? Or am I to remain like this forever? Beautiful and tragic? No, tragically small. Forever contained in this simplistic beauty, but as powerless as I was before.

Help me big brother, I cried silently and jumped up and down, my wings lifting me to one spot and then the next. Help!

***Oh, interesting. I have a few more minutes on my 15, but I think I will leave it at that.

What inspires you guys to write? Any writing prompts that you like to use?

Happy Writing!

“Parent,” a poem by me

Author’s note: 

I don’t often write poetry, but when I do it is pure emotion, and not usually edited like I would my short stories, or chapters in a novel. Just thought I would share something a little different on here.

I think writing poetry is good for all fiction writers, as it reminds us how important those sensory details are and to remind us that words have to look and sound good, too. Referring to my week of inspiration posts: Poetry is something that inspires me, as well.


100_0345Parent

Child

that’s what I am to you

although I see some of myself in your eyes

 

We are not of great height

our hands our small,

our waists are petite

 

I think sometimes people look at height

as the measure of someone’s worth

 

If you are closer to heaven…are you more in favor of God?

But we have tall hearts and sound minds

And eyes as blue as a crystal sea

 

Do you think I don’t notice when they turn to grey?

When they are stormy

Or the way they have clouded with age

 

I forever wanted to have smooth sailing as a child

would look in the mirror and ask you if I was pretty

I felt ordinary and insignificant and never realized

that’s a shadow you’ve been trying to get out from under

your whole life, too.

 

Like you, I am a mystery

not easily defined in an essential whole

We are pieces of a puzzle you and I

 

Our hearts are vulnerable

we care deeply and are quick to judge

God is someone great and loving and terrible

You understand him better than I

 

Maybe that’s the difference really

to have a parent who claims to have created the world

Well, my mother makes jams and jellies

I think that’s the difference really

Of you and I

 

There’s got to be trust and I feel like that shadow

you’ve been trying to get out from under

your whole life, too

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.

Inspiration in the dead of winter – the beauty of old things

It’s snowing here in upstate New York, (which isn’t surprising) and I’m ringing in the new year slightly hung over, but with a positive spirit. This is going to be the year that I’m going to get published! Doesn’t matter what, and doesn’t matter where or when, I will see my name in print in some form of publication and that’s that!

And despite the cold, the winter reminds me that a writer can find beauty in the most stagnant things. I often chaff at being cooped up inside and whine about the air that bites and dries the skin, but some days the sun does come out and you see the snow, white against the trees…

1513858_10152133881965610_108019176_nYou notice the blue of a frozen lake or pond…find the joy in a bit of gurgling water in a creek…and you wonder why it always sounds louder when icicles are dripping nearby, as if the rest of the frozen woods are holding their breath…

1533876_10152133824645610_873393832_nThe sun came out the other day and I was able to go out walking and took these pictures. In the ravine next to my house, there is an old junkyard. And where there is an old junkyard, you will find old things:

1557651_10152133814770610_1412887091_n 1520772_10152133810520610_400098364_n1526651_10152133864400610_841668839_nLike the hood off a 1950 green Buick that my father says he remembers having as a child.

I was inspired by an article I saw that showed the beauty of abandoned places, how old things feel haunting, have a sense of mystery, a story of their own to tell.

1525469_10152133868015610_1987141748_nWalking in the woods, I often find inspiration in the beauty around me, the sights, the sounds, the fresh air and blue sky. (This might also be why I love fantasy novels so much.) But inspiration is all around us – even in the dead of winter! You just have to open your eyes and see it!

What inspires you? Share something if you got it! Any New Years resolutions anyone?