Monday, June 2, 2014

A Whole Year?!?

Image From Free Digital Photos
Wow, I had no idea I'd been away for so long. I knew I was pulling back due to my health and depression over it, but I didn't know it was this bad. So, what have I been up to in the world of books and writing? Not much really. I've been reading more than I have in the past few years, but writing has been a bust since my last post. I tried doing Nanowrimo last year, but I was going through something in my no defunct relationship that caused me to not finish. But returning to my blog, catching up on some author blogs, and seeing how some of you have gotten published has motivated me to return.

So, what's next? Well, after a very hurtful and painful breakup, like seriously why has no one told how painful one of those can be, I've decided to use it to write a romance novel. I would still like to write young adult novels, but the story inside me right now is a seasonal romance novel. It's going to start around Christmas time, much like my story, and go over the course of a year. I'm working out the details now of what I want the story to be. It is going to be VERY loosely based on my experience but still the same feel of my actual story. I'm super excited to get started on it.

I'm also going to try to read more. I am a slow reader, which really irritates me, but I won't let that keep me from setting goals and reaching them. I wish I could be like those of you who can read 2-4 books a week. I literally have towers and stacks of books yet to be read. I've been reading them though and I've actually read some that I've had for years and never read. And I keep adding to the stack. The Dollar Tree, dollar stores in general, and Amazon bargain books are pure evil for me. LOL! You can find some interesting gems in there. I know most people prefer current books, but I like to read a good story, period, so if it's at a dollar store and I find it interesting, I will read it. Now granted, because of this I have ended up with some duds of books, but even those are beneficial because they show me how not to write a novel. Sounds cruel, I know, but it's true, it's how writers learn to better their work. So I would like to work up to reading at least 2-4 books a week, but even with all the free time I have, I just can't see to do that. I guess if I read a book a day I could, but I'd literally get nothing done...not that I am doing that now if I am truly honest. But I am changing things, so I hope to start getting a lot done.

Speaking of reading books, I also want to do some book reviews here. I figure since I am reading books that not many people are probably reading, some of you may find reviews on them interesting. I've already talked about some of them on Goodreads, some of which I will be posting about here. Right now I am currently reading a book by Martha Stewart. I wasn't sure how I'd like it, but I am actually enjoying it. I'll make a post about it when I am done.

So my sleep pattern has been all over the place. I find I am more productive in the morning, even though I swear I am a night person. But there is just something about being up early before anyone else, listening to the birds chirping, and having a moment of "ah" to just sit and collect your thoughts and reflect on the day ahead of you. I would like to start getting up early, writing for an hour or more, and then start working on other things like my online shops I am trying to open and return to freelance article writing. I really feel there is a good story inside me and I want to share with the world. I'm constantly daydreaming new stories, I just need to figure out how to get them out of my head and into the written word.

And I guess this is as good a place as any to end this post. I plan to tweak the layout here some, find some new blogs to blogroll, a majority of mine are dead now. I seem to find blogs about anything with a goal, like weight loss or writing a book, tend to die off after a while. It's hard to keep working toward goals that require a lot of work, dedication, and motivation. So I totally get it and understand. I hope some of the authors come back like I did, and in the mean time I will try to find some other active writer and review blogs. If you have any suggestions feel free to pop them into my comments section, even if it's your own link, I'd love to check it out. And on that note, I will talk to you all later. Take care. Bye for now. :-)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Writing...I want to write.

Image From Free Digital Photos
So it's been a while since I have written here. I kind of felt I had nothing to write any more. I wasn't actively working on a novel and the only writing I was doing was for internet marketing, which was helpful in getting me to write everyday, but it wasn't writing I wanted to do. I was doing these things called quests on one site I am a member of and most of my articles came from the quests. Now I have over 100 articles and most of them I don't even want to work on because they were something I felt forced to come up with and not something I would have written on my own. But now the website is cracking down on sub-par work and articles are being locked for bad writing, and I had 8 of mine locked sadly.

So I stopped writing on those sites and I stopped blogging. Mostly because I felt due to my current life situation that I literally have nothing to offer. However, I have decided to bounce back and start writing again. I want to start working on novel writing, but this time through way of short stories, I'll explain that in another post. I want to start blogging again, here and on my other blogs that I will eventually have linked on this blog if you find yourself curious about my other interests. And I also want to start internet marketing writing again, this time just about topics I am interested in. I have stopped doing quests and that has made me feel better. But because I have stopped I haven't written anything since. But I have finally figured out that on one site I want to write about mostly holiday stuff since I love holidays, and on another site I plan to write mostly about dolls and crafts since that is another interest of mine. I will on occasion write about writing too, but I haven't decided which site I will put that on yet. But I want to work through all that here on my writing blog. I don't have any writing friends and so this shall be my place to sound off on all things "writerly", since mentioning it to other people kind of gets me a "pat on the head" response. And yes, I believe I just invented a word there, feel free to use it and pass it around. Perhaps in a few years it will make it into Websters and I can say, "I did that." *insert cocky smiley face here*

So I am going to make three most posts following this one explaining my individual plans for all three writing goals I have made for myself. Hopefully I should have those up today. I hope I get more readers here to stop by and share their writing adventures with me. I plan to become more active in the writing community, and I am looking forward to some online writing events coming up in the next few months. So hi again anyone who reads this. I'm back, and I'm ready to write.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I really am participating…I swear it.

So, Camp Nanowrimo is going the way of most of the Nanos I have written.  Not to well.  I’m letting other things in life get to me and I’m refusing to find time to write.  And even when I do find time to write, I refuse to write.  Why? Because writing sucks. It’s hard for me. I’m impatient. I want to story to flow from me and instead I am have writer’s constipation.  So Nano is so hard for me to do.  Don’t get me wrong, I will pull this out because I want to, but my story is just not forming well. I don’t like outlining, even though it does help me some, but I’d rather see how the story unfolds as I go along.  I’m wondering if I can write the first draft, outline for the second using first draft bones, and then go back in for the fleshing out with that in hand?  I mean it’s my novel and writing isn’t just done one way or another right?

I guess what’s getting me is that the story I am writing isn’t right. This is a rewrite of last year’s Nano because I didn’t finish it and hated it by the time Nano was done.  Why?  Because the story was just flopping around like a dying fish. There was no saving it and so I left it. This year I decided to try again with the original novel in mind, but then I realized, the time frame of that novel wouldn’t work and I’d have to try something else.  Also, the two times before I tried to write the novel they both started with the dreaded, and not much liked, waking up opening.  Yeah, I think it was brilliantly written, but seems a lot of novel’s start that way, and I’m not a sheep, so I had to be creative and go for a different opening.  I think this time around I have it starting much better, but then I fell back into the previous novel’s plot and it wasn’t until the other day I realized I really can’t go with that plot.  I have to change it because the time needs to be in Spring and not Summer.  But then the plot had to change because things that were happening in my story at the time would already have happened by Spring and they were the focal point really of the novel.  So what now?  Well it finally hit my how I could rework it and I think that it might make for a better more challenging novel to write.

I haven’t even tried writing a synopsis for my novel.  Wait, I am lying, I did try a quick one to post on my Camp Nanowrimo author’s page, but it was more like “this happened and then this happened”, instead of what the story is about.  I think I need to get into it more before I can do it and maybe study on how to write a good synopsis.  I always figured that could wait since I am just writing now, but I guess I need that in mind too so I can actually talk about the novel without actually talking about the novel. Hope you understood that.

So what’s next?  Well I am going to face my fear of killing my novel at almost half way into Camp Nanowrimo and starting fresh.  I can do this.  It’s not as scary as it seems and if I don’t hit 50k by the end of the month that’s ok because at least I would have started the novel and it would be the right novel this time around.  So here goes, Camp Nanowrimo 2012, take 2.

Writing away,

Monday, May 14, 2012

Is There A Fourth Wall In Writing?

So I am reading a book right now that is part of a mini series of a series, hope I didn’t lose you there. Anyway, so in this book I am learning some things that I find irritating in writing.  One major thing being, breaking the fourth wall.  The narrator of the book I am reading, which shall remain nameless, keeps having a conversation with the reader. The author’s favorite thing to do is ask the read rhetorical questions.  I really hate that.  I hate that I am engrossed in the story and I am feverishly reading and getting my mind in the heads of the characters and there situations, and then bam!, I am suddenly pulled out of the story with some “witty banter”. Why?

Now granted this book is from the 90s and it’s Young Adult, but I started to wonder if teenagers from that time found this interesting.  Then it hit me, umm duhhhh, I was a teenage from that time, lol.  And no, I didn’t find stuff like that interesting.  I had read other books from the series that were written by other author’s, and I assumed that all the authors got notes on how to narrate the story so they would all have the same feel, but none of the other books I read really broke that 4th wall.  Nope, they did something else I don’t like instead.  Foretelling.

Ok, so umm, I am reading through this book for a reason.  To find out what’s going to happen.  So why would you tell me about what is going to happen before I even get to the event?  And after reading some great advice blog posts about showing instead of telling a story, I can better understand what the advice meant. Along with the foretelling in these stories there is also a lot of telling in general.  I don’t want to be told how she is feeling.  I want her actions to speak words. I want to be pulled into her mind and if she beats the crap out of something because her boyfriend dumped her, I want to feel her rage by being shown it.  I don’t want to read, “Lily was really angry”.  No, just no.

And one last thing these books are becoming irritatingly know for are putting words into the characters’ mouths that would not normally be coming out of them. The characters in this book like to do the swears that are always cut off at just the right moment, or it is just said they swore. So I know these characters outside these books in another form of media and they are not the cursing kind, at least not to the extent in this book. It’s just this one author that I have seen has them cursing. Now I’m not against cursing, but only if it fits the character.  These words do not fit the characters at all.  I’m not sure if the books were going for shock value or if they were trying to use the “lingo” us kids were using back in the day, but it just failed to “impress”.  I have two more books with this author and if it weren’t for me wanting know how it ended I would have stopped at book one.

So yeah, I had to share my little thoughts with you all on that.  I’m glad to see that my way of reading is changing and I am finally learning what I do and don’t like about writing. I feel guilty not liking something about someone’s creation, but if I do become successful at becoming published, I know I will face the same sticky wrath of judgment.  So I might as well have my say.  Speaking of which, I may post some more book issues in the future, but I would like to let it be known that I won’t be telling the titles of any of the books in question simply because while I might not like a technique used by a writer it doesn’t mean I will bash them in a public forum like my blog.  I just want to share my reader’s observations in hopes that they may help someone else with their writing.

And on that note I am going to close for now. It’s almost 5 am and I’m super tired now. I want to read one more chapter, but it’s really late now. I’ll read more later.  And I will talk to you all later as well.  Be good until then.  Bye for now.

Barely able to keep her eyes open,

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Vultures Are Out


So if you aren’t into writing or reading Young Adult novels, then you may not know about the novel “Purity” by Jackson Pearce that recently came out. Now let me first say I have not read the novel yet, but I know basically what it’s about. Here’s the info for those who don’t know about the novel.

A novel about love, loss, and sex -- but not necessarily in that order.

Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.

So already we understand this is a novel about teenagers, virginity, and losing one’s virginity.  Throw in some doubtfulness about God and well you have a meal fit for the vultures.  And boy did they come out. In a fairly recent article on Jezebel, we learn more about the novel as well as read some great excerpts from the book.  But if you head on down to the comments section, you will see that the fangs, claws, beaks, what have you, have come out.

Now, here’s my ish.  The article was about the book and sharing the book with Jezebel readers. However, when I read the comments, a lot of them were picking on Jackson’s way of writing as well as her stance on not being in support of self publishing.  What do those have to do with the actual story? I can kind of understand some were upset that they didn’t know what they had read was a work of fiction and that ignited some of the hate, but others knew and trashed how it was written.  I thought the excerpts were well written and told the story well. The POV was from Shelby, which every time I hear this I giggle because my last name is Shelby. Anyway, like I said, we are in Shelby’s mind, so naturally the voice is going to be younger. Hello, the book is YOUNG ADULT, and yes I know that doesn’t mean the reader has to be a young adult, but you must approach the book like one.

I’m sure a lot of the commenters have not suffered loss and the pain of that loss.  I could clearly understand and believe that Shelby would be torn keeping a promise to her dying mother and wanting to please both her and her dad. She’s young and I can understand the fear of standing up to your dad, especially when you know he’s trying so hard and he wants what is best for you and you don’t want to hurt him. I don’t think those negative commenters could let their minds wrap around that.  Perhaps they were afraid to do so. Perhaps not experiencing loss caused them to not be able to. Who knows.  I believe that Jackson said she wrote this novel around the time that her grandfather passed away and that incident sort of helped her connect to the loss of a loved one.  Sorry if I butchered that, but I believe that is what she said in her live show.  But I mention this because I too have lost someone close to me, my brother, and so I could understand the giving a dying person their wish and trying to make it come true. And if it’s a person’s mother, even more so.

So this all got me thinking about my writing and how other people would approach it.  No matter what kind of story you write, there will be people who will hate it. There’s no getting around that.  I don’t know how Jackson handles the negativity from book reviews. I know that goes with the territory of putting yourself out there, and she seems to just be one brave cookie by nature, but I’m more of the kind to take things to heart. It got me wondering, can I handle being an author if it happens to me.  Could I handle such horrible things being said about me? So of course I had to research how other authors handle negative reviews and I found myself on another article by Mike Duran about how authors need thin skin.  Umm, author say what?

So after reading the article I totally got what Mike was saying. He basically says that if authors, or anyone for that matter, were to have thick skin and not let what others are saying getting in, they may be missing out on some great critique.  I’m always open for critique when it’s constructive, and I think that’s the case for a lot of people, but it’s those who want to be negative and hateful just because they can, that gets to me. I’ll all for listening to what others have to say and then making my choice about it later.  So having a thin skin isn’t so bad, I suppose.  But I think the “skin” issue has to be almost like a jacket. You put on the proper one when the “weather” calls for it. Thin for the constructive critiques and thick for the non-constructive critiques.

So I’m not an author, yet, but I have had my work critiqued before, and sometimes it’s brutal.  It can be hurtful, and I just had them on poems, short stories, and plays. I couldn’t imagine how hard it would be to read such negative things on something I’d spent months on.  Of course the supporters far outweigh the non-supporters, but still I can’t imagine how authors get through it. I guess it really just comes down to a choice. You can choose to ignore what is being said and just keep on keeping on, or you can choose to let the harsh words consume you and let them ruin something you truly love and admire.  It all goes back to not writing a story for the masses, but writing a story that you truly love.  Odds are, if you love, others will too. And I think that’s just what Jackson has done and will continue to do. She writes the story she wants to read, and if we all jump on board great.  And if you don’t get on board…humm well I guess as long as you bought the book you are hating on, then she’ll find a way to deal with the hate, all the way to the bank baby. Winking smile

And on that awesome closing note, I shall bid you all farewell.  I am still writing and working on reading more.  I plan to update the blog soon to make it a little less Blogger default and more my style.  Hummm, my drawing skills, now that is something you will not want to miss. Open-mouthed smile  I’ll talk to you all next time.  Be good until then.  Bye for now.

Writing away,

Monday, April 30, 2012

I've Won!!!

I've won this year's Script Frenzy with just a few hours to spare. Now granted, I could have done so much better on the script this year. I got started on the first day, let most of the month go by, then have been typing all weekend so that I could finish in time.  I'm glad of the work I did, but I am going to continue the script throughout May without the stress of competing with time hovering over my head. Will I do Script Frenzy again? Humm, perhaps.  I'll let you know in a year.  ;-)

Going to go let her back relax from hours of non-stop typing,

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Leap Day Musings by Mandy Hubbard

So I was hunting around the internet for writing inspirations and I found it in the form of Mandy Hubbard. I have yet to read one of her books, but have been wanting to read her Prada and Prejudice for a long time now. I hope to be able to either get it from the library or buy it very soon.

On her blog she gives writing advice to those of us with the dream of joining the ranks with her and becoming a published author.  In one of her recent posts she talks about reflecting back to Leap Day 2008 and where her career was just four short years ago. Her story is inspiring and she encourages us all to continue on our journey. We may not make it there in 4 years, but if we are persistent and believe in ourselves and our work we will make there.  Have a read and feel inspired. Smile

Feeling inspired,