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Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Day for Relaxed Gladness

After a week of 30 degree weather on the Outer Banks, (translated: FREEZING, for us beach-blooded people at least), today was a perfect 65 degrees, with all the sun one could want, and just a breath of breeze blowing, and a warm breeze at that. It was the type of day that makes you remember that winter doesn't last forever, that spring is really going to follow.

We've passed the shortest day of the year, each day now followed by one a little longer, a few more minutes until the sun sets behind the ocean, a few more minutes to appreciate life here on the beach.

After two weeks of holiday travel, visiting family, and two very tired children who've been off schedule for days, today seemed like a day made for people to just stop, take a deep breath, and actually enjoy the madness; at least, now that it's mostly over. A day of recuperation, and calm gladness, for lack of a better way to describe it. Feeling happy, but relaxed; sitting on the porch and enjoying the day instead of using it to get something done, and not feeling the least bit guilty about it. A wasted day that is perfectly un-wasted.

Days like today put me in a great frame of mind to write. I'm not stressed about it, or anything really; that would be near impossible in the frame of mind today induced. I know that when I sit down, even though I have no ideas at the forefront of my mind, my fingers will start going across the keyboard, and words will appear, becoming sentences, building into paragraphs, even pages.

I sat out on my porch tonight, and just let myself loose in my head, letting go of all the unintentional, and unavoidable, tensions that keep everyone grounded in their day to day lives. The lake across the street, more of a large pond really, was reflecting a porch light from a house sitting at it's far edge, gently rippling and swaying, and somehow beautiful.

For me, that reflection, and the fact that I could just sit and take it in, absorb it really, was the greatest gift I've received this year. I'm happy my family is healthy, I'm happy we could all be together as we so rarely can these days, and I'm happy that we are, for the most part, happy.

But more than any of that, I'm happy that I was given those few moments on the porch to actually realize those things, to let them sink way deep down into me, where I can truly appreciate them.

I hope the New Year brings more of the same. =)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Horoscope

I like to read my horoscope on every morning when I get on the computer to check all my mailboxes. I don't live by what they say, and I'm not super into the whole astrology thing, but I do think it's fun to read and relate things to. Plus, when they're good ones, why not use that little extra to make it through the day? I mean, seriously, every little bit helps, so I'll take what I can get.

Recently, starting about a week before I decided that writing a book while raising an autistic 2.5 year old and ridiculously active 1 year old (HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHLOE!) was a great idea, my horoscope has talked about writing. Here's the one I have for today.

Incredible feelings of enthusiasm, optimism,
and sheer joy could fill your heart and mind today, dear Taurus.

Your life is changing in a positive way,and even though it may not be readily apparent, you're sensing it intuitively.

Romance with someone from far away could be in the cards.

If you're a writer, publishing is right around the corner.

The only downside is that occasionally you might feel panic as

if all this will disappear.

Stay focused!

I'm feeling pretty stoked about my day now, and about life in general. =) I'm hoping that while my husband is playing his usual Sunday afternoon football game with the guys that ol' Rob Pattinson will show up on my porch with his newly shorn hair and profess his undying lust for my brain. Hey, a girl can daydream, right? Haha, okay, so that's a little far-fetched even for an Ali daydream. Still...

It's so true about the panic thing though. I often worry that if I don't write as much as possible, I'll lose it. Then I'll have to tell people I'm a loser instead of a writer. (Slightly sarcastic there, but also a little serious.) I should know better, since I've spent years ignoring my writing ability in favor of what I called "living my life" at the time, and it's still there, patiently waiting for me to utilize it. But that fear never goes away completely I don't think, at least not for me. While I don't think that writing is what defines me,..........wait. Okay, actually, I do kind of think it defines me, to a certain extent any ways. So without that, who am I? I'd just be "that girl Ali, with the really long hair", like that's some kind of amazing skill. "Oooooh, she can grow her hair really fast! Super awesome!"

Ummm....yeah. Not so much, I don't think. I'd much rather be Ali the writer with really long hair, haha!

In a tiny aside-I still feel like such a poser saying, "I'm a writer", which probably will last until I have something published. Anyway, this has been kind of rambling, and I'm not going to fix that, sorry. My cup of coffee is empty, and it's time to refill and start the daily battle of keeping the house decently un-messy. Oh, and to write of course! ;)

Elephants are my fave, for those of you who don't know, and this one is so happy!
Check out that grin! Perfect for my horoscope-induced euphoria today.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas (yeah, I said it)

Holy cow, the holiday season is madness, and I haven't even (hardly) left the house! I don't think I have ever had such a full calendar, even before I had kids and had a "life", so to speak. I mean, it is literally like every single day is planned down to the minute.

Part of that is because it helps me not go completely postal on my kids during the day if we have a schedule of some sort; with Colin being autistic (possibly-still being diagnosed, huge pain in the butt, don't even get me started), he has to have things on a schedule or he'll have a meltdown. So my day is full of lists from the time we wake up until the kids are both asleep, and then my "free time" at night has been filled with present wrapping, last-minute bargain shopping on the 'net (I am such a pro, it's ridiculous), and cleaning everything I missed during the day. Oh, and trying to read a little of Book 10 in the Wheel of Time series. (And reading just a little is like, impossible. You have to commit to read this series, and by book 10....yeah, I'm pretty commited.) And snuggle for a millisecond with my husband before I fall asleep.

So every time I get ready to write, I just sit down and stare vacantly at whatever is in front of me, so overwhelmed to actually have a minute of my own time that I can't even do anything with it but watch it slip away, and then looking back at the wasted staring I did once my kids need something (which is ALL THE TIME.)

So I haven't written anything in a few days, and now I'm getting a little antsy in my pantsy's, just like after I drink a lot of syrup (please tell me you've seen Super Troopers, otherwise I'll sound crazy. And so will you-how have you not seen this hilarious movie?!)
And even though it's 10:30pm right now, and my eyes close all by themselves at 11:45pm every night, no matter where I am (which makes me feel so old at 25), I am going to write. I have a icy cold can of Coke (my FAVORITE!) in front of my that I just opened to help me along the way. Hey, I know it's not the greatest before-bedtime beverage, and I don't care. You only live once, it's the holidays, I'm worth it, blah blah blah. I'll regret the lack of sleep tomorrow, but as for tonight...

I'm off to find out what my people have been doing in my absence, dilligently journaling their journey, wherever it may lead.

In case I lose another few weeks in the holiday time warp that is my life right now, I hope yours is fantastic, and remember to be kind; it costs you nothing, but it's priceless to others.

~peace & love~
(spread it around!)

1. Robert Pattinson

2. 1965 Ivy Green Mustang Fastback

3. A Vacation
4. This Awesome Chair to Write/'Net Stalk From

5. A Weekly Massage

6. World Peace

Thursday, December 4, 2008

For Carolyn-She's Made of Awesome

While you may read this and wonder what it has to do with writing, just keep going; all will be revealed in time, young wheathopper.

I woke up this morning because my son, who is 2 1/2, was laying on top of my daughter, who is 1, who was hitting me in response, while laying between me and my husband. When I say this morning, I mean 4 am. While we have a king sized bed, it's a little cramped with 4. Not to mention I didn't remember getting my daughter in the night and letter her sleep there.

So I tried to get my son back to sleep in our bed, (something I don't normally do but I was too tired to get up), which woke my daughter up. So I carried her with one arm while she was nursing (no small feat since she's getting longer and heavier now) and dragged him back to his own bed with the other. Less than 5 minutes later he was back in our bed, and she was awake again. By this time it was almost 5 am, and pretty obvious to me that sleep was out of the question. My daughter drove this point home by sitting up, laughing, and pulling my hair.

While I can be a morning person, that usually only applies to the time 7 am or later, which is when the kids usually wake me up. Needless to say, I was not happy this morning. In fact, I was in a downright crappy mood. I stomped out to the kitchen, slammed the coffeepot around, and glared at my kids, both of whom were smiling and probably thinking I was pretty funny. Come to think of it, I looked pretty funny with my crazy rooster hair.

After rationalizing that watching a 30 minute Little Einstein DVD before 6 am did not make me a bad mother, since the alternative was me beating them into submission (kidding), I sat them down to watch it and got on the computer to do my morning routine of checking emails and sites I love.

After reading the comments Carolyn had left me on this blog, my entire day was better. I'm not saying that lightly either. I would have continued my day being crabby (to put it lightly) unless something great happened, which luckily it did.

There is nothing better than sharing a joke with someone, and I'm starting to think that the feeling is multiplied when the person is a virtual stranger. I've never met Carolyn; in fact, we live about as far apart as is physically possible while staying in the US. She found my blog by chance, and after reading her first comment, I read hers.

And I laughed and laughed and laughed. (C.-the dress you're wearing to church really got me.) Here was a woman almost a continent away who shared the same slightly twisted, occasionally perverted, and definitely silly sense of humor as me!! How was that even possible? I thought I had met the few people who understood my brand of silliness, and I've always counted myself lucky to have that small handful of people. And here was a woman miles and miles away, who found me by pure chance, and she is HILARIOUS!! Seriously, I crack up reading her comments, and I totally understand what she means. Better yet, she understands what I mean, which is no small feat.

Not only that, but she encourages me to continue my writing. It's one thing to have a close friend, husband, or family member tell you you're doing well; they're required to, it's a rule. Like when you were going to prom in a hideous dress your mother knew you'd hate when you grew up and looked at the pictures, but she ooohed and aaaahed over it, telling you that you looked beautiful, NO MATTER WHAT. It's not that I don't trust them, I just know they wouldn't be brutally honest and tell me something sucked if it did. And while I don't know if Carolyn would tell me that either, I like to think she would. And her praises come with no strings attached, from one stranger to another. Although now I think of her as a friend, not a stranger.

So now the sun is finally rising, and it's rising on a good day in our home. Thanks to a sister-soul God or fate was kind enough to send my way, I am in a great mood, and I will not be forced to hurt my children. Just kidding, but parents will understand the impulse. I'm drinking my coffee, watching my son get yogurt everywhere, and listening to the Hannukah song by Adam Sandler (and who doesn't smile when they hear that?).

It's gonna be a great day.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tiny Little Nothing

I saw Twilight. Not really writing related, but I talk about it everywhere, so I figure here is no exception. My brief (seriously) thoughts on that are here.

Twilight Romance by Brent Lynch

Inspiration-Point Blank

Inspiration is a strange thing, coming from any and everything.

I had the strangest...I can only call it a zing...of inspiration today for Story 2 while I was watching Grosse Pointe Blank, the 90's movie with John Cusack, and Minnie Driver. If and when this book is published, (fingers crossed!), no one would be able to pick out the place that came from it, because it wasn't like a direct thing. Just a look, a general feeling at a certain place, an idea that popped up like a little brain-bubble.

So I just thought I'd share that randomness that is my thought process, and also let you know that things are going well, I'm starting to sink back into the writing zone-(*has anyone seen the Crankyankers character in the "Phone Zone" skit? yeah, that's what I'm hearing right now.*)-and the tingles are starting up again.

I've gotta say I'm glad, I was worried after a few days of complete blank-brain, but I'm thinking now that was just the holiday induced food coma stifling any thought that didn't involve cramming more leftover stuffing into my mouth. ;)John Cusack in Grosse Pointe Blank

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Writer's Infidelities and Rivers

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, also known as gluttonous family day. I love eating all that food, and then eating all the left overs I said were for the next day. Right now, my house smells like Dutch Apple Pie (thank you Sara Lee), and it is DELICIOUS!!! A far cry from the smell that preceded it, cooking collards. (I'm in the south, we eat collards, deal with it.) If you know that smell, you feel my pain, and if not, well...that apple pie still smells amazing!

It actually is kind of a homey smell to me, not because my mom used to bake or anything when I was little, but just in general. Maybe it's not just the smell that makes it homey, but also the fact that the oven is warm, so it's like a cinnamon scented fire kind of. Just smells like a house should when it's cold outside-to me at least.

But something is keeping me from lounging on the couch waiting to see Rob on Leno in fifteen minutes...I feel like I'm cheating.

Not because I'll shortly be drooling over how ridiculously, adorably British and perfectly flawed Robert is. Because I now have more than one story. Strangely enough, it's kind of reminding me how I had to adjust to two kids.

You have to share the time out as equally as possible, but sometimes that doesn't work. Sometimes, the baby needs more attention, and the older one is slightly ignored. In return, occasionally you have to go out of your way with the eldest to make up for it, and in turn end up ignoring the younger. (*big sigh*)

Apparently I am unable to do anything at all without mentioning my children. It's a disease called "parenthood" and I apologize for that.

So back to the point. Writer's infidelity. Hmmm...okay. So I have this new story, and it's great. It's a great plot, no question. I know that a great writer would have huge sucess with it. I am not a great writer. I'm so new I still have that new car (writer?) smell. And while I can see it flowing like a movie from scene to scene, I can feel it, every emotion, everything, I'm scared. Because it's so perfect in my head, once I start writing it, I worry I'll screw it all up and then hate it and it will be ruined because of me. So that's one thing.

The other thing: Story 1. I, as usual, jump right into the deep end without knowing how to do more than doggy paddle. The story I have in my head for that is a lot of work. I mean, sit down, spend hours researching things, thinking long and hard over other things....just some pretty exhausting stuff. It has the potential to be a really good story, although as different from the other as night and day, but it's going to take some work.

You all remember how I feel about work, right? (see old post below if you've forgotten)

So I have a story that I need to have a pile of research on before I do too much more, and another story that I feel like I could write in one marathon 13 hour sitting, if that was possible. But it's not, and I don't think that writing a little bit in the hour here and 30 minutes there that I have free will do it justice.

Let me take a moment to explain the "rhythm and flow" of how I write. Imagine a river, nothing too big or small. The top of it is glassy and smooth, barely a ripple to show it's moving. But as you get further and further down into the water, the current gets faster and faster, until you get to the riverbed under all that water, covered with pretty stones.

So when I start to write, the beginning is the top stage. I'm just floating along, like a water lily, on top of the river. The longer I write, the deeper I get, and that current picks me up and starts to swirl me around, and the writing just flows out beautifully. That continues like a crescendo until I hit the river bed. Generally, the river bed is what happens to my mind after a long time in the current, a whole ton of caffeine, and the early hours of the day after midnight mix together. I get so much, there are so many thoughts and things firing off and exploding in my brain that there is know way for me to focus on just one intently enough to write on it, much less get all of my ideas down. That's generally when it's time for bed.

So, since I usually get only an hour, two tops, I don't have a lot of time to get down deep in that river. And I feel like if I try to write Story 2 from the top of the river, just floating, it's going to screw it up. And on the other hand, I have like, enough research for a thesis to get this really awesome story down. Ugh.

Things are great though, don't get me wrong. Not one by two stories! Tis the season! Hahaha...or maybe hohoho?

Bad jokes, sorry. I must race to my couch so I can commence drooling over Mr. Pattinson ASAP.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

An Embarrasment of Riches...or Stories.

Still haven't seen Twilight yet. =( But I'm hoping to go Tuesday, and I'm super thrilled they're making the next one, New Moon, with a bigger budget, so that's pretty sweet.

So I've sat down to write a few times over the past few days, and the same thing keeps happening. I open one story, stare at the open space just waiting to be filled up with words, and I start thinking about my other story. For the sake of labels, we'll call the original one Story 1, and the new one Story 2. I'm super creative, I know.

So Story 1 still has tons of work, months and months of work, and I'm still feeling it the same way I was. But Story 2 keeps sticking it's head in where it's not wanted, and it keeps whispering to me to play with it instead. And I really want to, because Story 2 is completely different than Story 1, and there's just something about it....

There is no way I even want to think about attempting to write two stories at once, not for my first time. While about thirty different analogies just flew through my head, every single one of them was not really appropriate, and mostly perverted, so I'm not going to use one. Suffice it to say, two is one too many to start, and I don't want to get overwhelmed and give up. So I think I'm going to start working on Story 2 mainly, and see where that goes, and if Story 1 wants some more attention, well, I'm sure it'll let me know, and we'll go from there.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Shouldn't Have Left You (without a dope beat to step to)

Pardon my title, for some reason that line from the Aaliyah song is what I thought of, so I used it.

I'M SORRY!!! It's been an entire week since I posted, but there's a reason. A few reasons, actually, and both of them good.

#1. Twilight. Yep, that's it. It premiered this week/weekend, and the internet has been overwhelmed with interviews, pictures, and various random things concerning Kristen Stewart, who I just adore because she's kinda bitchy, and really smart; Rob, who I could just listen to allllllll dayyyyyy loooooooong!! I'm so obsessed with all things Brit, it's really ridiculous. And Nikki Reed is just so beautiful I am forced to search out flaws, which simply aren't there. She really is just gorgeous, naturally. (ugh.)

#2. New Story!!! Yes, that's right! I was sitting on the front porch, freeeeeeezing to death, and looking at the stars, finding my favorite constellations. I've always loved them, their stories, so I always look for them. Orion has always been my favorite. So, I was sitting there, looking for Orion, when a new plot line pretty much punched me in the face. It came from no where, and I love it, and I'm going to start a little outline and see what happens. But I'm pretty excited about it, so I've got that going for me, which is good. (I adore Caddyshack, sorry for the references I always make.)

I'm still continuing with my original story, but I haven't written a whole lot out this past week. I've spent more time just thinking about it, where it's leading, and a few details that are mucho importante, which I can't seem to make work the way I want. I've got no more time now, but I'll be back later with more details.

Until then...!

Friday, November 14, 2008

No Sooner Said Than Done

Precisely the reason I keep this blog. I'm getting ahead of myself again. So let me clarify.

Yesterday, less than an hour after I'd published the last post, which I'll refer to here as Doom & Gloom, I sat down, and wrote for the next two hours. Sweetness doesn't begin to cover it.

And not only did I write but I got through something I'd been putting off. A beginning. Not quite The Beginning, at least I don't think so right now, but a very important one nonetheless. And I do not like writing beginnings I do not like them Sam-I-Am, I will not eat green eggs and ham! It's so much easier for me to write the parts I love, the parts I see in my head like a movie scene. Of course, those scene's are the highlights of the story, big deal things. And while they're the meat, they need some bread on either end to make a nice fulfilled sandwich.

(Can you tell how much I seriously love food? To quote Woody Allen, I lurve food; I luff it.)

And I wrote one, almost completed it actually, before I had to save my youngest from the world's tightest hug from my oldest. He really loves her, a lot.

Back to it though, the reason I felt like I had the ability to write is because I talked myself into, I inspired myself into it, by writing the last entry. Which is pretty cool to me that I can release pressure into one outlet, freeing up space for another outlet to fill. I'm not sure if that makes sense to anyone but me, but that's how I say it in my head so I'm not changing it here. I've noticed that if I go back and try to change what I've written into something easier for someone outside of my head to understand, through each draft something of my original intention is lost. Which defeats the purpose to me.

On top of the world again, I guess, for now. Haha, well, not quite that much, but I am feeling pretty good. It gets easier each time I write to get back into my characters heads, and their world, which makes it easier to write, which makes it easier to get back into them, which....see where I'm going with this?

I had "Dance Hour" with my kids this morning, so hopefully they'll be tired enough to take a nap together and I can get some more writing in. God knows it tired me out enough for a nap.

Au revoir for now =)

PS-I'm in the process of editing my playlist slightly, adding some, removing others. Don't everyone run there at once.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ups & Downs

I'm feeling slightly discouraged today. Nothing huge, just the inevitable downswing that follows the initial euphoria.

Don't get me wrong, I am still feeling pretty dang good about having taken this huge step towards actually doing something with my life. Thinking about it, which I do all the time, makes me smile.

I suppose it's just me realizing that it's VERY HARD to try and start a novel with two very small children who require a ton of attention. Then there's the house that stays in a constant state of "wreck", which requires time to prevent said wreckiness from taking complete control. Oh, and my husband would probably like some small modicum of my attention as well.

These are things I've always been aware of, but the actuality of it sinks in more and more each day, when I want to sit down and lose myself in the world I'm creating, and it has to be put off for some reason or another. This is, I believe, the part in my own story where I buckle down. Which anyone who knows me will tell you, I am not good at things that require me to buckle down. That is usually the beginning of the end for me. I do not have a lot of self discipline, and unfortunately, acknowledging that fact doesn't really do anything to help. Which really seems rather unfair, I think. If I can admit I have a problem, shouldn't I get some sort of recompense? I mean,.....oh never mind what I mean. I'm a slacker way deep down, and while I have tried hard in the past few years, what I consider my actual "growing up", it's still a daily battle for me. And what self-discipline I do have goes towards raising my children so they aren't affected my the same laziness I have.

But do not lose faith, faithful readers! I am not going to walk away from this. I'm not going to put it aside and let it slip into the hazy gray underneath part of my mind, where all good ideas go to die. Well, not die really, they...sleep. And every once in a while they wake up enough to make me feel guilty for putting them there, until I lull them to sleep again. But not this time. Big words, right? Not really. Most of those other ideas were half-formed, mostly useless things to begin with, so letting them sleep isn't the biggest crime in the world. This however (my writing a book), has been a constant in my subconscious for as long as I can remember. And I'm not saying that lightly; literally as long as I can remember, my earliest years of childhood, I wanted to write. The entire time I swore I was going to be a teacher, artist, zoologist, I left it an unstated fact that somewhere in there would be a book, something written by me. To put that into the enforced coma-ward of my brain with my other sleeping dreams would be the worst crime I could commit to myself. The thought of me actually doing that kind of scares me. Well, to be completely honest, it really scares me. Because what would I be then? That would be like cutting the one thread I have left holding me to the future I've wanted my whole life. I would just float around, aimlessly, in some sort of strange purgatory. Ugh. Doesn't that sound pretty freaking scary to you?

Anyways, it's not going to happen that way. Maybe it's that same fear that drives me this time, or maybe I'm actually getting some semblance of self-discipline in my life. Maybe self0dscipline is mostly fear. I'm not really sure, being new to the whole realm of self-discipline. I'll have to sit down and think deep thoughts of how the two are related. After I write a few books. =)

So while it is tough to have to realize that I'll be sleeping less in an effort to get some real work time in (I adore sleep), I think that it's a given that something has to be given up in order to gain anything, and sleep isn't really the worst thing to lose.

Another thing that kind of bums me a little bit is that, in order to write well, to make it real to myself, I have to lose myself in that story, that world. And I can't do that now. Even when I do get the chance to write, I can't just tune out everything else. My kids need to be watched, the dishwasher needs to be emptied, and something has to be made for dinner. And in the three hour space between the kids going to sleep, and me falling asleep, I have to dedicate some of that time to my husband.

I wish it was possible to just dedicate a solid 4 hours of each day to writing. Time for me to really sink into it, learn all those small details about my character that make them so interesting.

If wishes were horses then beggar's would ride, and etc. So no pity party. Just a refreshed sense of commitment to my work, and (hopefully) willingness to lose in order to gain.

I'll leave you with this little bit of wisdom (*snicker*)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Oprah is Articulate Fo Sho!

This doesn't really relate to my writing a book, except perhaps to show how quickly our own perceptions become something very solid very quick.

I'm waiting for my next Robert Jordan book to come in, and I picked up a book I hadn't read yet that I'd bought at a thrift store a few weeks ago. I'd heard of it somewhere, but I couldn't really place it. It came out when I was pretty busy getting my own life in order with a new baby and little things like that, so I wasn't super aware of what was going on with pop culture in the outside world. I knew that it had been a big deal though, so I figured it would be worth a try.

That book is A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. Perhaps you've heard of it too?

Yeah, well, just in case you were living under the same rock I was, he's the author who "duped Oprah". She actually said to him on her show that she "felt duped." Me too.

He published his book as nonfiction, and there's controversy about how many liberties he took in his "memoir" about addiction, and entering a program, and successfully beating those addictions.

I wasn't aware of any of this when I started reading it last night. After the first two pages, I was pretty sure it was going to go on my very long list of great books that I love and will recommend.

I read to page 73 before I went to sleep last night. This morning I picked it up and started telling my husband about what I was reading. He actually listened longed enough to hear me mention the title, and that's when he popped my glorious little bubble by telling me about controversy surrounding it.

Yeah, no wonder I remembered hearing about it. (*sigh*)

I looked online and looked up information on it, and now I'm kind of upset my husband chose this book of all books to pay attention to when I talked about it. I was so into it, it was so great! And I thought it was true, really his journey to Hell and back.

But now I'm not so sure. If I'd started it knowing it was fiction, I don't think I'd have any problems. But as it is, I don't even know if I'm going to read it anymore. Which is really sad. It feels like waking up on Christmas morning, being surrounded by presents, and then being told Santa is a big, fat, lie. It really just takes the enjoyment out completely. For me at least.

Maybe I will finish reading it some day, and I know the story is amazing, whether it's fiction or not. It is still the kind of story that pulls me in, and I know I'll enjoy it. But I feel robbed of the...innocence, I guess is the word...that comes from opening a book, taking in the story, and forming an opinion. I feel like if I read it now, I wouldn't really take in the story, I'd just read it while wondering on a deeper level, "Did this happen? Was this real?", and that really takes the magic out for me.

Ugh, what a drag. That's exactly how I feel now...draggy. I need to find another book to read while I'm waiting, one that I can lose myself in and forget my disappointment. Any suggestions?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Music To Write By

So I put up part of the playlist I listen to when I'm writing, or trying to write at least. These songs are either inspiring to me, or remind me of a character, or a plot line. I mixed up the order I play them in, and I set it on automatic shuffle as well, because I didn't want to give anything away yet. Eventually I'll come off more detailed details, but right now I'm at the earliest beginning. Like baking a cake, sort of, I don't want to ask people to taste the eggs for me, I have to at least mix all the ingredients up into that delicious cake batter we all love to sneak before the cake is done. ;)

I do have to ask that you listen to at least one song specifically-L'apres Midi- by Yann Tiersen. I just love that song, it has stories just flying out of it.

11/29/08 edit-all the songs on the playlist now are amazing, Iron and Wine being a huge influence right now

Also, if you notice song there more than once, it's supposed to be. ;) That means it's important, and I listen to it repeatedly.

Enjoy, and feel free to share your music, I always love new tunes and new inspirations!

Ecstacy by Maxfield Parrish

Marshmallows DO NOT Mellow Me!

I forgot to mention in my last post that, in my frenzied day of writing, I devoured approximately 456 of those mini marshmallows. Thankfully, I ran out before I could make myself sick off them, but I was definitely up late with all that sugar rushing through my blood! But I did get some pretty sweet (bad pun intended) stuff down so....

Today I sat down to edit again, ugh, I really don't like to go back and re-read what I've written but-(drum roll pleeeeease...)


Haha, yes, I actually edited the first half of a chapter, and in doing do I had a few ideas about how to continue. Which is great, obviously. Hopefully this will teach me that editing is not the worst thing in the world to do. Hopefully. Although I do have to agree with Ms. Meyer when she says, "I am most creative when I'm procrastinating."

I also found some amazing pictures for my Conservatory scene. I always look for pictures to help me get inspired, whether it's for character or places. And while I'm not (of course) going to tell you what exactly the Conservatory scene is, I had to share what it looks like, because it is BEAUTIFUL! It's the Horniman Conservatory in London, which I desperately hope to one day see in person. I think this could inspire anyone to write! See for yourself...

Also in my thoughts today....

I love the way Robert Jordan doesn't have any minor characters. I mean, if the man mentioned a name, you can almost guarantee that they will be back later in the story, possibly in a huge way. While I don't think that I could maintain anything like the epic saga he created, it is interesting to me, as a writer, to see his techniques, and his amazing skill in creating a totally believable world. He has about a hundred characters, tons of different cultures, times, and places, and every single one is so full of detail and personality that you have no difficulty in seeing it in his mind. I only hope that reading his work while writing mine will make some of that insight rub off!

And in a small aside, my spellchecker told me that when I misspelled "guarantee" above, it was corrected as Garfunkel. Hmmm...

I've also got an amazing playlist of songs I listen to when I write, either for background noise, or because it fits a character or a story line, so I'm going to (eventually) get around to putting that on here so you guys can hear what I hear. I'm sure you'll be dying of anticipation now, and wondering what they mean! (there was some pretty heavy sarcasm there)

Time to feed the little monsters, and hopefully continue editing after they go to sleep.

Wish me Luck!

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's Like Emeril Says...

I'm totally in the middle of a frenzy of writing right now. FRENZY!! I sat down earlier today while the kids were asleep, miraculously at the same time, to go over some old stuff, get some more details down, and then.....

It just took off, the story, the characters, everything, and I haven't stopped for more than a moment to make sure my kids were still alive and hadn't trashed the house too much. This is so incredible! Once again, the story has changed, but changed isn't really the right word. Where I had story line down before that felt incomplete, and not quite meaty enough, I now have perfection.

Well, not perfection, far from it actually, but there's so much more substance to it, and another thread of conflict that I can't believe I didn't see until today that is going to be awesome.

One of the many perks of writing a scene you want and then going back is the ability to foreshadow. Foreshadowing is one of my favorite literary devices. It's one of the reasons I'll re-read a book tons of times. It's so cool to be able to pick out little details you read before without knowing what was coming. The second time you get so much out of it!

I'm apologizing now for any misspellings and the terrible grammar and blah blah blah, I'm typing at warp speed right now, and I'm flying high on writer's endorphins =)

It's almost dinner time so I need to go wrap up what I've got, jot down some things I don't want to forget, and put it away for a few hours, until the kids are asleep.

Thank God my husband is as understanding as he is when I'm writing, since I pretty much use him for a baby sitter and ignore him the rest of the time. Seriously.

I'll be back soon, hopefully with more good news. Pretty soon I'll be giving a copy of what I've got to some super awesome people I know to see what they think.

(I'm saying that oh-so nonchalantly, as if the very idea doesn't strike fear deep into my heart)

Until then...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


"I am painting pictures which make me die for joy, I am creating with an absolute naturalness, without the slightest aesthetic concern, I am making things that inspire me with a profound emotion and I am trying to paint them honestly." —Salvador Dalí, in Dawn Ades, Dalí and Surrealism.

While there are many aspects surrounding and concerning Dali that I do not agree with personally, and many more I could never hope to understand, this quote speaks to me. It is exactly how I feel about writing, instead of art. Writing something that makes me so happy, without any false pretense, or worry what others will think. Writing a story that I like, that inspires profound emotion in myself, and putting it on paper in the purest, most honest form I can manage.

While I cannot claim to have the same motives with the book I'm currently working on, since I am hoping to have it published, and therefore do think about what others will think of it, the pieces I write for myself, on the spur of the moment, are exactly as Dali says. They're also my favorite writings.

Well, this was just something I ran across on my endless internet search for...well, anything that interests me really, and I was so taken with it, I just had to share. =)

I'd like to think, or at least hope, that everyone has something that they feel as passionately about as I do about writing, and Dali did about art. I cannot imagine what life, my life specifically, would be like without that passion, or obsession. I kind of think I'd either be extremely boring, or crazy.
Dali's Swans Reflecting Elephants

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Love Scenes Make Me Happy =)

I spent most of yesterday being upset that I couldn't write. It just wasn't happening. And my horoscope yesterday specifically said it was a good day to be artistic, especially with writing! Haha, not that I live and die by my horoscopes, but lately there's been quite a few about writing, and taking the opportunities available, so I think that's a good sign in general.

But yesterday, nothing worked out like I wanted it to. Imagine that, two kids and a messy house, and not having time for anything...who knew? =)

Once the kids finally went to sleep, I was waiting for Ryan to come home, and surfing the internet, not really with any purpose; I was debating on whether or not to try to get some stuff down. But I wasn't really in the right frame of mind, so I figured I would just try to edit some of the other stuff I'd already written.

Once again, those crazy characters grabbed my by surprise and wouldn't let me go. I spent two hours (!) writing a scene I'd been putting off, because it is so important, and I really wanted it to be perfect. I've really been procrastinating it because I didn't want to mess it up, and I wasn't sure exactly how to put what I was seeing and feeling into words.

And can I just mention that was the fastest two hours EVER! I couldn't believe it was almost midnight when I stopped. I love writing!!

But it turns out I didn't have to do anything. They told me exactly what would happen, I just had to keep up. And I'm pretty happy with what I've got so far. I haven't re-read it yet, maybe while the kids nap I can, but while I was writing, it was just laying itself out so well, I kind of felt dumb for waiting to try it.

The scene is pretty vital to my main characters, a turning point in the whole story, and the beginning of a serious conflict with one of my not-quite-main characters, which is going to be fun to get into.

So I think I've got most of that chapter down, and the way it ended it perfectly set up for the next chapter to start. I think I'm going to do that one next, just because I can see it in my head pretty well, which is a good sign. It's going to be from another character's POV I think, because I really got into her head last night...or she got into mine. She's my scheming female anti-hero of sorts, and her head is so full of twisted plots and connivances, I'm excited to see what kind of trouble she's going to cause. And believe you me, she is a trouble maker!

Yay, I'm so happy and excited still, I just wish there were a way for me to have two whole hours to myself everyday, in a room by myself, with my music playing....

Speaking of music, I've started a playlist of songs I'm listening to while I write, I might stick that up here sometime so you can hear it too, if you're interested. =)

That's all for now, it's time to go clean the house I left to the elements (kids) yesterday. Cross your fingers for me to get more down tonight!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


It's been a busy couple of days, with Halloween and all, and, I'm ashamed to say, I haven't written anything in two days. But I don't feel super guilty, since I wrote so much last time, and I'll be writing more today.

Speaking of last time, I am kind of starting to understand what all these writers say about a story gaining a life of it's own. It's almost like a poltergeist takes over the keyboard, or my train of thought, or something, and just does what it wants through me. I'm just a tool to these characters I've made up. It's almost kind of scary...but mostly it's really cool. ;) I sat down to write a scene...and did most of a chapter, in a totally different direction than I had originally planned. In fact, one of my characters completely did a 360 from what I'd thought she would do. I haven't gone back to edit, because I never go back and read what I've written until much later, but I have a feeling I'll be taking a little bit of what I have in my head, and what I've actually written, and fuse them together.

I'm constantly reminded of why I love writing and English, and why I dislike science and math. In math, 2+2=4. Period. In writing, there isn't a single right answer, or wrong one. Everything is completely open to interpretation, free to take any avenue you, or the character, wants to take. If you get to a wall, you don't have to scale it. You can go around it, or you can just go back and write the wall out of the story, and write in something else, like, I don't know...a waterfall. Seriously, how awesome is that?

As usual, writing about writing is making me want to write. However, I have to wait a few more hours, so I'll just keep thinking about what I think will happen. I'm sure they (my characters) will completely surprise me anyway!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Somebody Give the Woman a Shrine Already

It's been a few days since I've written that is. The reason being, I've been writing a lot on my story! (Yay!)

My characters are really people now in my head, they tell me what they would do in the situations I put them in, I hear songs on the radio and they tell me what they think of them. I know I sound like a crazy person, hearing voices in my head, and fictional character's voices at that. But it's the way it works for me. My characters become real, and tell me their story, and I just have to write it down and not screw it up, haha.

I've decided to take a page out of Stephenie Meyer's book, so to speak. Most of you know that she is the reason I've finally "picked up the pen", and started writing. I often refer to her as my "Inspirational Dream Chasing Guru". I'm not going to go further into that here, because I've already written quite a bit about it on my Twilight blog. If you're interested in reading it, click here.

On her website, Stephenie said that she wrote the scenes she liked the most first, and then went back and strung all the scenes together. Um, can you say GENIUS?! Why have I never thought of that? I've tried to sit through writing the things that have to be there, the boring back stories, the important facts, to get to the good stuff. And 9 times out of 10, I'd get to bored, or lose inspiration, and never even get to the good scene!

Not this time though, not since Stephenie gave me such awesome advice. I'm writing my favorite scene at the moment, and let me tell's good. I sat down and didn't even think about what was supposed to happen next, I just wrote it as fast as I could to keep up with what I was seeing in my head. Of course, having two kids, a husband, and various responsibilities, I didn't get too far into it before I had to stop to make lunch, then stop again to help my mother mutilate a bookshelf, (that was pretty funny actually), and then get groceries.

I was pretty worried that if I stopped writing before I got it all down, I would lose something vital, or I wouldn't be able to start writing the way I was. What if I forgot something? This was my favorite scene, vital to my story, what if I couldn't write it?

Baseless fears it turns out. I picked up right where I left off, reading the last few lines I'd written, and the I was off and running again. Running so fast, in fact, I was just barely keeping from falling flat on my face. A pretty heady feeling, and very exciting.

So things are going pretty good and I hope they continue along this path! Now I have to go write since I've noticed my kids are entertaining each other...which will probably last all of 30 more seconds...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Character Study

I got one whole solid hour today to write!! Yay!! That might not sound like a lot to most of you, but the chances of both of my children being asleep for an overlapping hour is like finding hidden money or getting a Christmas gift you didn't think you were actually going to get.

I actually sat down with the intention of actual writing. Like starting a chapter, laying out a full scene, etc. But once I started going through all my notes, I kept adding in little notations and blurbs next to my character descriptions. I got so into thinking about what this character would do in this circumstance, and why this one acts this way, that I decided to run with it and wait to start the actual story itself.

(Is part of that procrastination? Of course; I am who I am. And it's still pretty scary to me, this whole "writing a novel" thing. But I'm more excited than scared, so no worries that procrastination will be taking over permanently.)

Once I quit pretending like I was just jotting down little notes, I really got into my characters. I just have such a clear view on them, I know them already! I know what kind of music they like (or don't), and their pasts, and what they look like. I know that one of them would eat pancakes every day if she didn't have to cook them, and that one runs 3 miles everyday.

Of course, it's impossible for me to get all this information that my characters are telling me and not get at least some of the story behind it. So then I start making those little side blurbs again, and wondering if I should start Chapter 1 with this or that...

Alas, I was prevented from getting into anything really juicy at that moment, because baby #1 woke up, and baby #2 wasn't far behind.

I have to admit, I'm surprised every time I start up again, every time I look at my characters and read what I've got, that I'm still interested. That there is still so much in my head to get out. I think that's what is giving me faith this time to keep writing. Because I can keep writing; in fact, I can't keep up with how much there is in there! It's like a dam was knocked down, and the flood is still there, just waiting for me to stick my toe in. And as soon as I stick my toe in, there's more floodwater. Doesn't make a lot of sense, but that's how I see it.

In an aside, I read a poem today that I love, and I wanted to share it with yous guys. =) I'm sure you were forced to read it in school, but some things get better over time, with new perspectives.


by Robert Frost.

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy's been swinging them.
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay.
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-coloured
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground,
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm,
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows--
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father's trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig's having lashed across it open.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate wilfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


So I haven't written today, and I don't think I'm going to. I went out last night, and that's always a double edged sword. On the one hand, I get to hang out with my friends, have a few drinks and dance, which I adore. On the other hand, I got four hours of sleep, and I'm always sooooo tired the next day.

Hangover=No writing...

That's enough to make me think twice about going out. Of course, my sanity is directly dependent on my time away from my kids, so maybe I'll just consider those "days after" as a day off. That sounds about right, normal people don't work seven days a week anyways...pretty funny though, that I'm considering myself as a "normal person" for that purpose alone.

On another note, I'm still excited about writing. I'm already in love with my character, and I hear conversations they have in my head. Things are definitely progressing in a great way so far. Tomorrow I'll start writing again, and I'm looking forward to that! I can't wait to see one scene particularly, between my unwilling hero and my leading lady...and another one between my unwilling hero and wanna-be leading lady...


Maybe I will write a little something today. =)

Saturday, October 25, 2008



What is that number you ask?

Why, that's the number of words I just typed out into a very rough outline of my story.


And I know it's 2299 because I used a counter ;)

So I put the kids down for a nap, and decided to type out what I had written so far. I always write everything by hand first. It feels natural to me to physically write, since that's how I started all those years ago. The act of writing is very important to my thinking process.

So I started typing some of my ideas and then it just took off. I had so many ideas pouring out, and for every one I got out, three more grew off of it. I basically changed the plot, for the better, with the same characters, (who I already love by the way...)

And the story just keeps growing. I'm really super excited right now, and scared to death, and loving it!!

Now I have to go back and try to make sense of it, and put it together, and flesh out some details...but it's there! The backbone of my story is there, and I'M THRILLED!!!

(Can you tell I'm still riding on the high of writing? Yeah, I thought so.)

I have to stop for now, since I'm trying to nurse my daughter and type simultaneously, which is hard enough to do here, much less to do at the frenzied pace I type when it's flowing...which reminds me I have to go interpret half of the words I used, I never go back when I'm feeling it so there are A LOT of misspellings and half words I just used for reference points.

Also, I have to come up with names for my two main characters. I want to get them right because they mean a lot to me, and right now I just refer to them as "him" and "her"...also need to come up with a name for one of the other characters, a girl who is catty and irritating and is definitely going to cause some serious trouble...and I really like her too, for some reason. =)

Okay guys, this has been a great day. To quote Miss Piggy, "yippee skippee!". I might not be back for a few days since tomorrow is Football Sunday...which means I'll have to give the computer over to my husband for Fantasy Football purposes...

but I'll try to sneak back anyways ;)

So Far, So...Good?

So I've been kind of hesitant with my writing, basically out of fear of coming up against a wall. But miraculously, I haven't hit it yet. (Yay!)

I know I will eventually, it's just a part of writing, but I'm really not looking forward to that part at all. Oh well, I need to just enjoy the good stuff while it lasts.

So I've got a few scribbled pages that I'm really pretty happy with so far; just a basic outline mostly, and some character descriptions. But I've also started adding in some plot conflict, and some secondary characters. This is actually pretty sweet, because along with the secondary characters comes plot conflict's like finding a twenty in the pocket of a pair of jeans you haven't worn in a long time. When you're flat broke and really need to buy the new VMAN mag because it's got the best pictures ever of my current favorite cast....(sorry, little sidetrack into my obsession...or should I say Robsession?)

Anyways, things are going pretty good, like I said, and keep those fingers crossed that things continue to do so.

Oh, did I mention that I think this is going to be a slightly sci-fi/fiction story? Fun fun!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I love the sign for "story" in sign language.

It's like you're pulling something out of thin air.


A Little More Beginning

I'm getting a little bit more excited, although still petrified. I've got two totally separate ideas down on paper, with a little detail added in. I think I like the second one better, just because the first feels a little too close to home. A whole "what if?" line of thought....which can be great fodder for inspiration, but seriously....who wants to live in the "what if?" and try to still be happy in their own world. I may come back to that one later, but for now, it just feels...too shallow. What I mean is, it is so deep for me, there's so much to it, that putting it down on paper right now doesn't feel like it could capature the exact essence that it should. Because it's a pretty big deal, to me at least. So for the second idea....

I've actually been tossing it around in my head for a few days, and I keep coming back to it. Something about it seems to work, and so far, I've got enough to go on, to keep filling in details. I'm hoping this is a good sign....this is the first time I've actually sat down and thought about a serious book idea, and tried to put it all out there, so I have no idea of what I'm doing. Haha, that's okay, I'm pretty good at pretending I know what I'm what I'm doing until I really do....or I'm so lost that it doesn't matter anymore, hahaha. heart is beatingthisfastasecond right now, in the afterglow of my little writing frenzy...or maybe "middleglow" is more appropriate. I might have a few more details in my head to put down now...

Or, I can wait till later since my daughter is determinedly saying mamamamamama in between my legs while I try to type this....(*sigh*)

I love my kids =)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Beginning

So I started writing last night, after my day of inspirational-Stephenie-interview reading. I'm pretty sure I've got the backbone of my story, which is pretty exciting. So I guess I'm going to try and flesh it out and see what happens. I'm unsure of anything past this point, since it's all new ground for me, but I'll say this: It felt amazing to be scribbling out pages of words in a flurry of thoughts last night. It felt incredible to see a story taking shape under my hands.

I think I can really do this. I AM doing this. My fingers are crossed, I hope yours are too!