Monday, October 31, 2011

Facing our Fears


So tomorrow, it the official start day for Nano (or tonight at midnight rather). It's my first time and I'm a little freaked out but I'm keeping it together. (If you're doing it, look me up - Scribbling Scarlet) I've got lots of great cheerleaders. But all this first time Nano business has got me thinking about people who don't give things a try because they're afraid.

Now, I'll admit, there are great opportunities I probably passed up because I was afraid. Afraid I wouldn't succeed. Afraid I'd make a fool of myself. But it usually always comes down to afraid of failure. I do know one thing though, we definitely won't succeed if we don't try. 

So I'm psyching myself up. Why can't I complete Nano? Thousands of other people have that probably started with the same outlook. So I say, "Lets do this!" Am I still afraid? Sure, but I'm willing it take it on and give it my best shot. Is it possible I won't complete? Yes, there's always a possibility but if I don't I still will have walked away learning valuable lessons and tips for next year. I think Eleanor Roosevelt said it best when she said...
So for those of you doing Nano for the first time or anything you're afraid of for that matter, writing your first book, entering your work in a contest, giving a critique partner your work for the first time ( I am not looking forward to that-but I'm going to do it!) Go for it. Do it. Do it afraid. Regardless of the outcome you will be better for it and you definitely won't succeed if you don't give it a shot.

So good luck!!!

And if you need some music to help get you psyched, this is a good one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTvu1Yr3Ohk&ob=av3e

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Has music inspired you?

How deeply are you affected by music?  I, for one, am.

The right song can lift me up or bring me down (which I don't prefer but it happens). It can transport me to anytime or place; one year ago to a girls night out, five years to a summer vacation, ten years ago to a New Years party. We associate music with people, places, emotions, objects. It's quite powerful. Music can even drown out my worries and inspire characters and scenes in my writing.

There's one scene I wrote in my current WIP, the final scene to be exact, that was inspired by a song. I swear I must have had that song on repeat for thirty straight minutes until it was complete (and I never tired of it ~ I still love that song). That song kept me completely enveloped in the mood of the that moment.

I love music. Even as I type this I have Florence and the Machine flowing through my ear buds feeding my brain. Most of the time I prefer soundtracks. I'm not sure if thats because of how the combination of songs placed strategically thought out a movie reaches me on a deeper level but whatever the reason I tend to favor them.

My most recent soundtrack? probably SuckerPunch but I'm planing on getting the sound track to Hanna ~ that was awesome. 

Apparently I am not the only one. Here are some tweets from some well known YA authors I saved to show what I'm talking about.

 Veronica Roth author of Divergent (read and highly recommend) , Tahereh Mafi author of Shatter Me (Waiting {waiting!!!} for it to hit shelves) and Myra McEntire author of Hourglass (read and highly recommend) also make it known in these tweets they are also affected by music.

So what about you? Has music inspired you? What song has most recently spoke to you?

Heres my most recent <3... by Foster the People called Call it what you want. ~ Enjoy!
~t

 



Also, if you're having problems leaving a comment and receiving somthing about "null" and "Cookies" I'm trying to fix that. Thnx for stopping by.



Saturday, September 17, 2011

Book-Stack Contest


Janet Reid, aka The Query Shark is hosting a book-stack contest. An idea she admittedly stole from Tahereh Mafi, author of the up and coming "Shatter Me" (which has been in my TBR on goodreads for months). 

Write a poem using books you have (any) and post a pic. Deadline is tomorrow (Sunday 9/18), noon (additional instructions on Janet's blog). I tried posting this earlier today but blog was being uncooperative about posting my picture in it's correct form *smacks blog* bad blog!

Below is my entry. Best of luck if you enter!





“The Blood of Angels”

Once THE LUCKY ONE.
Now BANISHED
FOREVER,
BEYOND EXILE.

No longer a HOST
MATCHED
In an ANGELS GAME
Of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES
Living in a CITY OF GLASS.

One drop of ELIXIR
And I am cast WITH A VENGEANCE
From the TWILIGHT
Of my SPHERE.

My HALO
CATCHING FIRE
As I tear ACROSS THE UNIVERSE.

Now  DARK VISIONS
Of WILDEFIRE
LINGER
And ECLIPSE
The CRESCENDO
Of the BREAKING DAWN.

I  SHIVER
Under the HUSH-HUSH
Of the NEW MOON as it casts its glow on a
CITY OF BONES;
A DAY BY DAY ARMAGEDDON
From the BLOOD OF ANGELS.

Sunday, September 11, 2011



 Alright, so I'm a little behind. I received this award a little over a week ago by one of my awesome CP's, Jani Grey  ~ Thnx Jani!

"The basic idea of the Liebster Blog Award is to showcase bloggers with less than 200 followers. When you get the award, you keep the love going and give it to 5 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

The list below are five ladies I chose to pass this award to. Now, it's quite possible that they have already received it (thought I didn't see it posted in recent blogs). But if they did, that's okay ~ I'm happy to promote them anyway.

I've only met these ladies online, either through Ladies who critique or Twitter. I've chatted with each one of them sometimes often others briefly but we all have a common goal; to become published authors.

 Anisa Jaycott

 Jennifer Johnson

Juliana Haygart

Heather Reid


Leah Miller


Get to their blogs or websites and check them out, strangely enough only two of them lives in the states ~ which I find fascinating.

Don't forget to keep this award going ~ pay it forward!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why do you really procrastinate?

Why do you procrastinate? This is something I've had to ask myself recently.

The internet makes it really easy to procrastinate, doesn't it? But why do you really procrastinate? 
Do you allow laziness to take over more often than it should? Maybe your just avoiding the hard work you know you need to do? Maybe its a certain chapter or you just don't feel like taking the time to research what you need. Or is it something bigger?
Maybe you're afraid?

Afraid of what you ask?  Well maybe you're afraid of what happens when you finish your MS? Because once you're finished then you must move on to the next step, which is have a critique partner look at it. Maybe you're afraid your critique partner will come back saying they "don't get it".  Or maybe its because having your work critiqued puts you a step closer to querying. Maybe you're afraid of rejection by agents? Or maybe you're afraid of what happens after you land an agent. Maybe you're afraid you won't land a publisher? Or maybe you're afraid of bad reviews?  And then maybe you're afraid if you are published you're book won't sell? Or maybe you're afraid of public appearances? The list goes on and on. There's a lot to be afraid of and While I'm sure all of these things are in the backs of each and every one of our minds. Are you still ready to go all the way and face each of these things?  Or not?

If you're procrastinating maybe you should ask yourself why.

For me, I procrastinate because I have the occasional lazy fit and I'm short on time. But you know as well as I do, when you want something bad enough you'll work it into your schedule. If you're passionate enough about it.

I also needed a little help in being more productive with out putting crazy amounts of pressure on myself. A big help is setting short term realistic goals and doing short bursts of writing. Micheal Hyatt posted a blog about "batching". What's batching? Well, I've give you a quick idea so you know if you're interested before clicking on the link. 

Batching
Batching is simply a form of time management that allows a person to maximize concentration and decrease distraction. Batching is setting aside an intentional amount of time for intentional tasks and making an intentional effort to not allow the distractions or interjections of others break that focus.

He singles out one method of batching called the Pomodoro Technique.

It basically gives you a formula of how long your attention span is good for. How long you should write and break, or do anything for that matter. I found it very helpful, maybe you will too? Good luck with your procrastination!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Citrusy Treat

Last week I started a writers workshop, a six week course. I enrolled with the goal of improving my writing craft, as I believe everyone who enrolled did (accept for the gal from the Philippines who's trying to improve her English ~ awesome for her!)

This was the assignment given yesterday. 

Find a candle, set it in a safe place near your computer, and light it.

Write a one-paragraph only description of the lighted candle. Show us your candle so we can experience it with you. Be honest. Use specific words and sensory details as a way to focus rather than trying to aim for universal truths. The truths come on their own if you are accurate and honest. Feel free to let ideas emerge from your description. Emotion may also play a part. That's fine. Explore the power of description.

I'd skip obvious comparisons like "dancer" and "soldier." I'd push yourself to consider your own unique impressions and experience in this moment.

I like this exercise because it helps you practice focusing outwardly—experiencing what's going on with a burning candle—while you also focus inwardly—listening to your mind coming up with the words to describe your burning candle.

Take a few risks and let illogical words creep in if you like. You're only practicing, so feel free to write poorly. This is how you will learn. Try a first draft while writing freely, then revise, building on what you've written. Reread, rethink, and rewrite a bit.

Enjoy the paradox of trying to be interesting to your readers while you also struggle to be accurate.


And this is what I wrote : 

Citrusy Treat


My candle is almost at the end of its life. Having been used all summer there is only a small amount of honey golden wax left in the bottom of the jar. Reminding me of a jelly jar, it has a small rectangular shape, its upper corners replaced with plump curves. There are thin remnants of wax that cling inside empty walls softening the flames glow.  The wick is long; reminding me I should have given it a trim before lighting. The flame doesn’t mind. It wraps itself around the twine just the same. It’s deceiving, that flame, giving the illusion of a golden ball hovering above the twine when I know how tightly it clings to it. The wax slowly softens releasing its scent, filling my nose with a warm citrusy bouquet and the slightest hint of spice, perfect for summer. As its honey golden firmness transforms to a syrup, it pools deep at the wick shallowing toward the walls of the jar. Through the syrup I can see its clean fresh wick sprouting from a hidden place like a cats-tail in a pond. But soon this citrusy treat will be gone. And I will be eager to replace it with new scents of cinnamon and pine for winter warmth. I will not miss it. Not right away. But when the white crisp snow is replaced with the sadness of gritty gray slush I will wish for it, remembering its summery perfume. 

 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The LOLA & THE BOY NEXT DOOR, CROSSED, SHATTER ME contest.

Over at Taherah Mafi's blog, there is a contest with great prizes.
 
1. ARC of CROSSED + ARC of SHATTER ME

2. ARC of LOLA & THE BOY NEXT DOOR + ARC of SHATTER ME

3. ARC of SHATTER ME
 
Do I want you to head over there and enter? No, not really because it lowers my chances but I did my job and promoted :o)
 
In all honesty though, I've had Shatter Me on my goodreads "to read" list since May when I read a review by Nathan Bransford who said the book would be taking the world by storm this fall. The man is beyond credible in my opinion. Here are some other great reviews by Taryn at A fools golden paradise , and raving reviews from Abigaile over at Reading Teen and Emilia at YA Highway.
 
I'll be happy with any place!
Good luck to everyone!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

This Week 7/31-8/6

The following are blogs/aritcles I found especially helpful this week.

On QUERIES (I can never read enough tips myself). - Query Writing, a guide for the anxious by Sarah @ Greenhouse Literary Agency. Query writing by Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent. And what definitely not to do if you want to land an Agent by Janet Reid (Query Shark) Red Flags in the Query Hoard

Writing Tips (I can't get enough of these either) - Describing appearance: moving beyond hair and eye color by Author Jody Headlund.

Why are so many writers plagued with insecurities?  Author Jody Headlund explains how insecurities plague writers/authors at every stage of their careers. (So it's not just the unpublished).

This is a blog by Author CJ Redwine that I found inspirational, You're kind of a big deal

Thoughts on making it big, written by a literary intern. I found this extremely insightful and wondered it this isn't exactly what's going on with authors Stephenie Meyer and Suzanne Collins right now. (It's a bit lengthy but so worth the read).

What is high concept? Some agents say they only want this. I'd read tid-bits here and there wondering exactly what the definition was but never got a clear answer. Here in her video blog, Rachelle Gardner, explains it perfectly.

And finally a terrific new blog for writers called The wordserve water cooler  by Authors all represented by Rachelle Gardner.

Tips for landing an agent from The WordServe Water cooler,  in other words authors who've been there.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bye-bye Borders

It's kind of old news now but it's kind of a bummer that Borders is going out of business. My heart really goes out to the employees, I hope everyone is able to find another job ( I know it's a stretch but there's nothing wrong with hoping for the best).

One good thing that has come from their liquidation is that my personal library has radically improved. Check out my great buys.

In the 1st picture I bought $100 worth of books for $27 (4 hard backs). In the 2nd I spent like $21 (2 hardbacks ~ not sure how much I saved). All the red stickers were 10% off.


Now, in the 3rd pic, 3 of the 4 were originally $17.99 and the other was $16.99. I got them at 25% off so I got $80 worth of books for $53 ~ not too shabby. Cheaper than Wal-Mart or Target and they're all hardbacks and books I really wanted. (side note- I bought the last Wildefire and Shiver in the store, yay for me!)


I will go back and hit them at least one more time in hope that I can score decent prices on Longer & Forever (sequels to Shiver) and there are a couple of other old school books I want. They were out of Divergents so I will have to go somewhere to grab that up.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Strong Readers

I just read an article in Publishers weekly that Janet Reid posted on her blog. It actually brought tears to my eyes. It really surprises and upsets me how thoughtless parents can be sometimes when referring to their children while their children are present. In this article, a young girl about 14, was in a book store searching for just the right book. She would occasionally bring different books up to the counter and ask questions. At on point the book store employee went with the girl back to the YA shelves and made some recommendations. Upon seeing the recommendations the mother made the comment, "She's not a strong reader" then made some reference that the girl rarely finishes books. It kind of irritated me. There have been times where I didn't finish a book, does that mean I'm not a strong reader? No. It doesn't. Like this girl I'm very selective in what I read. If I can tell from reading the back of a book or the first page that I'm not going to like it, I don't start reading it. There have been books that in the beginning held my interest but somewhere around the middle I lost interest. That in no way classifies me as someone who's not a strong reader. And how horrible that girl must have felt to hear that. Obviously this girl was taking her time looking for just the right one.

This article reminds me of when I started getting into reading. I was a junior in high school. I was not an early reader (That's what I call those that started reading prior to junior high). I wish I had been. I was not encouraged at an early age to read for enjoyment.  It wasn't until someone from high school turned me on to the Vampire diaries that I really understood why all the early readers read for fun. Then I went nuts reading Christopher Pike and RL Stine. And then  I was discouraged. Usually because my mother didn't like the fiction and fantasy that I did. She called it junk or trash. After that I went through phases where I would get really into a series but it wasn't until the last few years that I started reading on a regular basis. It's it's mostly YA. Now I can't imagine not reading. It makes me wonder how my life might be different if I had been encouraged to read at an early age. I mean, it is what it is. No use wasting wishes now it all played out the way it did for a reason. But because of it I strongly encourage reading to my son. He's not quite two but he loves to be read to. He brings me books when he wants them read. Or there's time where I check on him in his room and I find him sitting contently in the middle of his floor flipping through a book. It all played out for a reason. Just gotta go with it.

Some of the best writers...

Do you know who I think some of the best writers are? Songwriters. Specifically The Killers, Brandon Flowers, Dave Keuning, Mark Stoermer and Ronnie Vannucci.  


Now, maybe it's because I love everything they've ever written. And I continue to wear our their Albums on a weekly basis in my car and on my iPod (my personal fav is Day & Age). I think what appeals to me about them is their brilliant lyrics, incredible music and Brandon Flowers voice. I love his voice, it's light and airy. He has a smooth feel good sound.  But really, songwriters tell a story in limited words. It's kind of amazing. And since they are limited, the words they choose are usually very powerful.  Sure it's easy to get your story out in 50,000-100,000 words in a novel but in 300, smooth flowing words in a much bigger challenge I think.


When I first sat down to day I had a couple songs in mind that I wanted to use as an example but when I started reading the lyrics, they're all just so great it was really hard to choose. I finally decided on Dustland Fairytale (a bit of trivia~ this song was written about lead singer, Brandon Flowers, parents). It was really hard to decide between this and When you were Young. 'll put the lyrics below. I won't go into detail about what represents what and all that. Just take a couple minutes to really read the lyrics and I'll also post the video. I love this song.

 


The Dustland Fairytale beginning

With just another white trash county kiss in '61.
Long brown hair, and foolish eyes.
He'd look just like you'd want him to
Some kind of slick chrome American prince.

Blue Jean serenade
Moon River what'd you do to me
I don't believe you.

Saw Cinderella in a party dress, she was looking for a nightgown.
I saw the devil wrapping up his hands, he's getting ready for the showdown.
I saw the minute that I turned away, I got my money on a pawn tonight.

Change came in disguise of revelation, set his soul on fire.
She said she always knew he'd come around.
And the decades disappear
Like sinking ships but we persevere.
God gives us hope but we still fear what we don't know.

Your mind is poisoned.
Castles in the sky sit stranded, vandalized.
The drawbridge is closing.

Saw Cinderella in a party dress, she was looking for a nightgown.
I saw the devil wrapping up his hands, he's getting ready for the showdown.
I saw the ending when they turned the page, I threw my money and I ran away.
Sent to the valley of the great divide
Out where the dreams all hide.
Out where the wind don't blow,
Out here the good girls die.
And the sky won't snow
Out here the bird don't sing
Out here the field don't blow
Out here the bell don't ring
Out hear the bell don't ring
Out here the good girls die
Now Cinderella don't you go to sleep, it's such a bitter form of refuge.
Why don't you know the kingdoms under siege and everybody needs you.
Is there still magic in the midnight sun, or did you leave it back in '61?
In the cadence of a young man's eyes.
Out where the dreams all hide




If you want to know exactly what some of my other favorite songs of theirs are. Here they are in no particular order.
Neon Tiger, Bones, Uncle Johnny, When you were young, All these things I've done, Joy ride, Sams Town, Indie Rock n Roll, Forget about what I said, Human, Spaceman, Mr Brightside. 


Enjoy The Killers, as I do.

 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Out in the open

So I've decided to make my blog public. Originally I set it up as a daily diary of sorts to be used as a tool in my writing excursion. Though it didn't become a daily habit.  But it finally dawned on me, how am I going to meet other writers if they don't know who I am or what I'm doing on here? So keep in mind that any blogs written before this date were really only even intended for my eyes. So in other words I'm putting myself out there, in the open for you to read my private thoughts and fears. Makes me vulnerable but it's a building block to help my on my path.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My hiatus

Does everyone get so burned out when they're writing that they go a week or so where they don't want to even think about writing? Because that's how I've been this past week. I've taken a week's "hiatus" if you will. I hadn't even been in the mood to blogt. It's like I went two straight weeks of thinking and breathing my story every minute of the day that I just burned myself out. I would wake up in the middle of the night and when I'd try to fall back asleep I was thinking about my book, it had completely taken over my life. I was taking every spare moment of my time and putting it towards my book to think, write, edit. In the mean time I read about a fifteen and twenty-two year old who've had books published and that was a little discouraging. It doesn't help that when I reread what I've wrote other than the dialogue I'm not loving my writing, is that normal? Am I trying too hard? Have I not found my style? I even hate rereading my blogs where all I seem to be doing is complain. I mean, granted, I'm not doing it to another person only here, but I hate listening to others whine and complain. Maybe it has something to do with it just not being up to my standards. Even back when I used to draw most of the time I wouldn't finish because I was disgusted with my work it wouldn't turn out anything like I wanted. So maybe that's the problem I have with my writing. Also I can't seem to get it to flow. I know what I see but I'm still having trouble putting it into words that flow on paper like music. I think that has to do with lack of education. I've search for tips on line for writing fiction in third person limited but I haven't really found anything useful other than finding out Harry Potter was written in third person limited. So at least that's a book I can kind of study and use as a guide. I try to remind my self that it's not good writing that makes a story good it's good editing. I guess I should stop worrying about all the spelling and grammar and what not and just get the story down. If I accomplish nothing else in life (not counting raising children) please God let me finish this book.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mark my words

Okay, so it's been forever and a day since I blogged but on a good note I've written two more chapters. However... I have discovered a blog called the Query Shark and it's not only very informative it's unbelievable frightening. I never imagined these are the lengths I'd have to go to. I mean, writing alone is hard work. But now I have to follow strict guidelines for query letters. Just when I think I've gotten a handle on what's going on, I'm thrown for another loop.I think that I have a great story. I think that my readers would not only relate I believe they would find themselves slipping into the story. I believe it feels real like you've read about a day in your own life only better. I'm still just stumbling with the flow of words. Writing in third person with a limited view I feel like I'm starting all my sentences with "She". Then I read posts from this query shark and as helpful as they are, they're harsh, very harsh. I already feel like an idiot who's "behind" with out having someone yell it at me. The thing that continues to drive me is the fact that I want to do this. I want to continue to do this. I just keep having to go back to all the helpful e-articles I've read on how writing a good book isn't about good writing it's about good editing. But at this rate, my book won't be ready at least for another year. I'm afraid I'll be tore to shreds for my past/present tense of writing. Well, now I'm just babbling randomly. I'll keep working. I want to  finish my book.If for no other reason I just want to see it complete and polished to my my liking.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Taking a break.

What to write? I don't do this daily as I'm supposed to but tonight of all nights I am forcing my self. Mostly because I'm burned out on writing for the moment. I need to read a good book but I have none on hand. Well, none that I haven't read recently. I haven't had time to stop anywhere to look for something either. I went shopping last week and stopped by some best sellers but nothing jumped out at me. Absolutely everything is about vampires and as big of a fan as I am, I'm burned out on those as well.

A new story idea popped into my head tonight but to be honest I'm not actually too excited about it at the moment. I think that comes from the burnt out place that I'm in. Can't write about it here...

What to do??????

I'm amazed at how few original stories there are these days. Of course most of what I have to go by is movies. It's easier than reading about every new book that comes out. Most of everything is a remake of some sort. Depressing really. The same goes for music. Love stories are all about the love triangles and the ungettable gets or about sex. All similar.

I wonder where Lewis Carol came up with the idea for Alice in Wonderland? brilliant. Or how did Jane Austen steal our hearts with all her love stories? I know they had to experience it to some degree or at least witness it from a distance. I need to free my head. My story doesn't excite me anymore. Hopefully it's just a phase. What will be will be.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My brain is empty tonight. For once I didn't start a blog with "So". Pat on the back to me. It is though, empty. I can't think of a single thing. Actually that's not true. The thought just crossed my mind yet again that I have no education. That I'm trying to "run with the big dogs". Now, granted, I'm not actually trying to run with the big dogs quite yet, I haven't even left the porch. I was watching Harry Potter today and the half-blood prince and I decided to look up JK Rowling on Wiki. Here I'd always heard of how she went from living in her car to being a millionaire all with in five years but when I look up her history,  there's a lot more to her story. She went to college or a "university" as they like to call them in Britain. She was a teacher and she was actually going back to school. I bet writing came easy to her. I bet she didn't struggle with spending half and hour to write the perfect sentence. I can't remember the exact time but I believe she banged out all seven books in less that ten years. Amazing and intimidating. I'm not ever usually on a soap box but I figure if this is my private blog I can certainly whine all I want.

Anyway, for some strange reason I'm not in the mood to write tonight. I know it takes me a while to get into the zone but my heads not in it tonight so I decided to blog instead. I'm looking into getting a new book to read. I think I've found one but it's not to be released until April 26th so I'll be waiting. The one thing I have a problem with reading while I'm writing is I don't what to be reading a book and have it worm it's way or it's story into my story. Or what about the type of book? What if it puts me in to an "action" type zone and then I take my story in that direction and it doesn't fit with the rest? I'm also afraid that reading someone Else's best seller will  intimidate me while I'm writing. Intimidated enough to make me give up. I don't know. It's just another one of my struggles.  Anyway, I'm tired tonight so I think I'll give into my body and call it a night.

next time.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My battle

So, I'm really battling tonight. Battling with insecurities and fear. I think of my story and I fear it's not original. I think of my writing and fear it's not up to par. I get on amazon and read about books similar to mine and theirs seem like far better stories. I feel inadequate and uneducated. I felt I'd possibly found my calling and once again I doubt myself. It's almost as if I need to learn a different language. Actually learning french or Spanish would probably be easier. I can see everything play out in my head from the tiniest detail to the smell of the air but I'm having problems transferring it in to words on paper. I know you have to start somewhere and I know no one begins perfect but I feel like a first grader trying to compete at Harvard. Sometimes it takes me forever just to write one sentence just up to my standards. Imagine how high everyone else's will be. The flow of the sentence has to be just right or I sometimes have trouble going on. I just need a short break. I need to read something inspiring.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A promise to myself.

So I told someone else about my book last night. She's the one person that I decided from the get-go that would be the only person I could trust to read it and give me constructive criticism. It was so nerve racking. We'd gone to see a movie (The new Jane Eyre, which I loved) and we were having dinner afterward, I'd been considering telling her since the night before. I went back and forth, back and forth. Afraid that if I told her I'd jinx myself that somehow all the ideas would drain from my head and then it would be as I feared just a phase. Not something real. So as we sat there munching away on our salads watching everyone cruise the loop, I began to sweat and I told her, "I have a secret I want to tell you." Her eyes were huge with wonder. Immediately I eliminated one of her thoughts, "and no, I'm not pregnant." I think she'd been holding her breath the way she exhaled. So as I sat there mustering up the courage to finishing telling her my secret she waited almost becoming impatient. I apologized and said it was just hard to say but assured her it wasn't anything bad then she corrected me, "what might be great for you could be bad for everyone else. You're not moving are you?" I laughed and told her no. I told her that my secret would not affect anyone or change anything. So as I sat there taking a deep breath feeling the breeze under my arms grow cooler against their sweating I began, "Now, I'm sure you're first response would be to laugh at me because I would certainly laugh at someone who told me this. Not in cruel way but in a "sure you are... " kind of way." Her eyes begged me to tell her already. I told her "I know, I know, I'm getting to it. Now I've built it up to be this big thing and it's really not." I took one more deep breath and closed my eyes, "I'm writing a book." And of course her response was supportive and happy, she thought it was great. "Why would I laugh at that?" she exclaimed. I told her because in my mind if someone told me that I'd think "sure... and next week you'll be a sculpture artist and the week after that you can be a cowboy." But she was supportive as I knew she would be and asking what the book was about. I told her I'd started it last July and the first couple of months just seemed to be research. I told her I only had fifteen chapters, that when I hit a wall I'd have to do more research. I confided in her my fear of lack of education and poor writing abilities. She urged me to not let my fear of that stop me and to  keep reading other books and reminded me the best writers are readers. So as she drove me home I told her about my story. Now the only other person than myself to know the story. I was afraid to tell anyone premature, afraid they would only think I was doing it for the attention. I babbled away on the drive home, jumping from one detail to the next, from one character to the next. She would occasionally ask questions about my story and I always had an answer. I almost felt like I was telling her a story of something that happened to me. So as she dropped me off at my house I asked her what she thought of my story. She told me she loved it and looked forward to reading it. She said she was impressed with all the research I'd done and how many actual historical facts I'd included. I was relieved. Not at her approval but that what I thought was a great story, indeed sounded like a great story to someone else. We said our goodbyes and I walked in my house, anxious to write. I think I only banged out a couple pages but it was a couple pages more than what I had. And when I finally went to bed, I tossed and turned as the ideas floated in and out of my head the ideas turned to dreams but of course when I woke they were fuzzy and random only bits and pieces of the ideas they started as. But that tells me one thing, my subconscious is as excited as my conscious...
I'm reminded now of last week when I googled for more help on  writing and I came across a blog by Scott Berkun. The blog was titled "Is your book idea good?" His answer? Yes, I promise. If it excited you and captivates you  it will do the same to others. As I went back over the evening in my mind listening to my story being told out loud it excited me all over again and confirmed my feelings and now only drives me to finish it. I know it won't happen over night and it might take another year but I will. I'm promising myself.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

rush, rush, rush...

So I'm limited on time to blog. (Did you pick up that this one also started with another so?) I have the rare opportunity to blog my hubby and son come home. He offered to pick him up since I had to run an errand. So now t hat I'm rushing there are far more spelling and grammar mistakes and no time to correct them but now... on to business. So the other night I banged out a chapter. I was totally in the zone a luxury I rarely have. I don't usually have the time to sit down, reread what I've done recently so I can get into the "zone" but I did and it just flowed it was great. It barely seemed to take any effort at all and that is what I imagined writing to be like. I even read through today to do some editing and very little was needed I felt. But I do feel that my writing is very amateur and raw. I read and article today that Stephenie Meyer is working on two new books and finishing up the Host trilogy. Well I absolutely loved the host and I really love Stephenie but then all the pride I felt the other night after finishing a chapter was completely stomped on when I started thinking too far ahead. I want to be a writer like that. I want to band out 2 or 3 chapters a day and have it be effortless. Just my hands and mind being the interpreters for my imagination. But I still feel so dumb for lack of a better word or uneducated. I'll have to stop my train of thought because sometimes I can't form the right sentence or I can't get the words in the right order. I'm having a hard time projecting the feeling in my head into words I can put on paper. Now, I know that this will not happen over night. I know this. The hard part is reminding myself and believing it. It's like any skill, drawing, piano, base ball ~ practice makes perfect. So with out trying to burn myself out I take every opportunity to try to better my vocabulary. Word exercises. I mean that's the whole point of this blog. And then I feel guilty. Guilty that I should be spending more time with my son instead of pursuing selfish interests but then I try to justify that I need something for myself and I already spend a lot of time with my son. But can you ever really spend too much time with your child??? It's a battle. Then I look at my story. I feel inspired by other stories but is it too similar to anything in particular. what if it becomes a best seller then it's picked apart and I'm called a plagiarist? what if the story's not good at all and I'm the only one interested only because it's my break from reality? I have one person in mind that I would want to critique it. My husband is the only one who knows about it right now but to be honest I don't think he'd be the best judge. He's not into and kind of love story. But my friends has one pace for everything ~ slow. And is easily distracted ~ "squirrel!". So I don't know what to do. I don't know any legitimate writers other than the one and only one I'm friends w/ on face-book. I dunno, I guess I'm just doubting myself a lot right now. I guess I can say one good thing: I typed out this entire blog before going back and correcting any spelling errors. Progress!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Faux Pas?

So this is my third blog and I'm noticing that I start them all with the word "so". I don't know if that's a writing faux pas or if that's acceptable. I keep reading all these ehow articles to help improve my writing and it just keeps talking about how all through life we're taught proper punctuation and grammar and in the end if you actually decide to become a writer you can throw that all by the way side because a career in writing means there are no rules. You can have fragments galore! I find that hard to believe. I find that I judge my sentence structure just on what flows. If I reread it and it just seems to go on an on and makes me want to stop reading all together then it's not only a run-on, it's a run-on gone bad.Like lyrics to a song. You have to keep a rhythm, that's what makes it flow. Fragments which end up framed in that hideous red squiggly line once again scream at me "wrong! Wrong!" But when I'm reading a novel it's the fragments I love. They are so simple, to the point but powerful among all the long winded trains of words. So if we spend the first half of out lives being taught all these rules only to ultimately break them, should we choose a career as a writer, why teach them in the first place? Just one more thing to make me question the American educational system. But I actually have a real dilemma and I'm hesitant to write it in my blog for fear that someone may read it even though I turned a lot of my settings off for others to see it. I'm afraid if I hash it out here in what I set up to be my personal journal that someone will come across it and steal my idea. I think a lot of myself don't I? Assuming that my story is so good that someone would actually want to steal it? Honestly, I think that I have a great story idea and the more I research and develop it I think it could be great. The dilemma I"m having now is that some of my side characters seem to be developing a story of their own that I feel could out shine my main character and that's a no-no according to ehow.com. But I think it may actually help to type out my thoughts. When I start going through everything in my mind I just get off course, distracted by something else. Maybe I'm finding my side character more interesting than my main character and they're developing a voice of their own maybe I shouldn't fight it. Maybe I should let it flow. Maybe that's the real story?Actually just sitting here deciding if I did want to type anything specific about my story I just realize what would be a brilliant way to give my side story a voice! And I can do it in the sequel! I love it when I'm caught off guard by a brilliant idea! So I'm off to make notes! ~later

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sleep baby, sleep.

So I haven't blogged the last couple days like I was supposed to. Partly I think because I didn't have the time and partly because I didn't know what to write about. I mean, as practice I'm supposed to sit down and type for twenty minutes, no corrections, no stopping. Can anyone really do that? If I have a spelling mistake I must go back and correct it other wise that red squiggly  line just seems to be yelling at me, "you screwed up" "Mistake! Mistake!" Maybe that's one of the things I'm supposed to work on? Just getting the story out as quickly as possible while it's there. Not worrying about spelling and grammar and punctuation. But then what to write? I'm supposed to just keep flowing, jumping from one thing to the next even though one thing might have nothing to do next. Right now I'm having trouble focusing because I'm letting my sixteen month old child cry out in his crib. It's his nap time and up until this last week he's napped on the couch or the floor or in someones arms. I know, I know. But he fights ridiculously hard napping in the crib. Not at night though. At night as soon as he starts rubbing his eyes I can lay him down and walk out and he won't make a peep. I hate listening to him in there, yelling, throwing his fit to be out here with us. Even though if he were out here with us he'd be trying to fall asleep. You'd think considering how ready he is for a nap he would embrace just sleeping in his crib. He knows what its for, he sleeps there every night. He's been crying for fifteen minutes now. He can go over an hour if he's up to it. He doesn't seem to fight it as hard or as long at home as he does at my in laws. I'm sure they give into him more than we do. He's taking more frequent breaks between crying now, just two or three seconds but that's the first sign that he's beginning to give in. But it's not soon enough for me. I hope that it only takes a couple of weeks to break him of this but deep down I think it'll take closer to a month. He's such a fighter when it comes to anything. That's a good thing I think. Of course it will have it's down side. I blame my husband for it but I know he gets it from both of us and I really see a lot of myself in most situations. It's weird being a mom. Weird in the sense that I still can't believe I am a mom. That I'm responsible for another human being. I wonder if he'll be easier to sooth when he can start understanding me. I'm hoping so.He's been crying for nearly twenty-five minutes now and his cries seem to be angrier. Quick burst of screams between sobs. I can almost picture him reaching up on his tip toes, clenching the top rail of his crib, his little body shaking with fury during those quick screams. I hate listening to it but not as much as I hate that he has to go through it not understanding why. My mothering instinct wants me to go running down the hall into his room, scoop him up and rescue him. Rescue him from the anger and misery of it all. But I know that will only make it worse. If I go in there now after more than thirty minutes of crying it will have all been for nothing. A waste. It's quiet now. He must have closed his eyes for a few seconds too long and succumbed to the sand man. We'll see how long it lasts. Sometimes it's only fifteen minutes. The quick recovering gasps being the after effects of his traumatic nap experience jolting him as he sucks in that air. I've spoke too soon, the screaming is back but only for a minute. I hope the final result will be long uninterrupted afternoon naps. A more sound sleeper. Comfortable in his crib. It no longer being a scary place during the day.  I hope my goal is reachable. It's been fifty minutes now and though his sobs will briefly get weaker he seems to still have the energy for the occasional angry sreams. It has to get better. Right?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's always dark in the beginning...

So... I'm writing a book. I know. I know what you're thinking. Oh, lord someone else who is absolutely ordinary who thinks they might be one of the rare people with the special gift of writing. It's almost like winning the lottery really. I mean, I guess anyone can write but rarely are they any good and even more rare there are so few successful. But it's weird, it's like last year it just hit me; all these books I read with all these great details and story's ~ I could do that. I've been doing that in my mind my whole life. Imaging stories and playing them out in my head. every time I wished I hadn't said something I'd replay back in my mind and replay it the way I wished it had gone. Or things I wish would happen like the guy I was in love with all through high school coming to me on the day of graduation to tell me he'd loved me all along. I could set the scene, know the dialogue and I could make my own heart swoon just playing it out in my mind. So back to why I decided to set up a blog. So I started writing my book last summer I can't quite remember how the idea came to me I was thinking about twilight, yeah the multi-billion dollar industry started by mom of three Stephenie Meyer. I loved her books on a level I'd never felt before. I was Bella in her book, I was there. It was me she was writing about. I watched Stephenie's interview in the extra features on the twilight dvd. How it all began with one scene from a dream and it blossomed from there. She'd never completed college, which I could relate to but no doubt had more education than my one semester. She was a stay at home mom of three boys, the youngest being a year old. My son at the time I started writing was six months. She wrote like crazy after her boys went to bed, I wrote what I could in my notebook at my kitchen table after my husband and baby went to bed. I felt that she could have been me. and with all the day dreaming and imagining that I'd done in my life I could put it all on paper and maybe, just maybe others would enjoy it as much as I'd enjoyed Stephenie Meyers books. That's what I wanted. If money came from it that'd be a bonus but to give someone else a thrill through my stories, that would be success in my book. So I wrote every night, in the beginning my husband would ask me what I was doing. I felt silly, I didn't want to tell him. I thought he'd laugh at me. Then finally one night when he asked again what I was doing and I brushed him off with another "nothing" he sighed and walked away frustrated. I decided to tell him prepared to be laughed at. And I told him he could. He could laugh at me and I didn't care. Isn't that horrible? I expected him to laugh because I probably would have laughed at someone else had they told me that they were writing a book. I deflated it from the beginning, told him that it was nothing big, just a hobby and it would probably never go anywhere it was just something I wanted to do; a creative outlet. He looked at me sincerely and said "okay" and kissed me goodnight. No teasing, no laughing just... support. How great is he? I'll answer that. The greatest I keep finding out. So again back to why I started this blog. I hopped on ehow.com and looked up "how to improve your writing" because I feel that my struggle is my education and my vocabulary. I'm sure my grammer and punctuation needs improvement as well but lets just take one day at a time. But ehow suggested I get a blog. write daily. write for twenty minutes with out correting or stopping or going back and changing anything. So I've already failed at that because I can't stand to move on to the next word and not correct a word that's spelled incorrectly. But then not only did I have to start a blog but I had to come up with a signature so I decided I didn't want to use my real name and I didn't want to do anything cheesy like "so n so's mom". Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my child more than life itself but this, this is for me and only me. So I've not connected my name to it in anyway but wanted my signature to have something to do with writing. I racked my brain and then walking across my kitchen to the fridge it hit me "Scribbling Scarlet" - perfect! Then the pressure of what to call my blog! For this I racked my brain even harder. I wanted to name it after a place because after all it will be the place I escape to when I need to deflate or empty my thoughts like trash. Shangri-la? No. Pandora's box? I had to look that up because I couldn't remember the story behind it, yeah, only evil comes from Pandoras box so that was not fitting. So finally I start looking up synonyms for a secret place and when I get to the S's I see Sanctum, "Scarlets Sanctum!" How perfect? It fit with my signature and everything. So this is where I start. The beginning. But It's always dark in the beginning. God sat in the dark heavens creating, planets, stars and light. So that it was what I will hopefully do; create stars and light. And this place, my "sanctum" will hopefully be where I improve. Improve my writing style and my vocabulary. Practice makes perfect so on top of trying to work on my book I need to blog for twenty minutes a day about nothing. The things so far that are bothering me about my own writing is my style I  guess. I feel like Eddy Haskel writing, all goody-goody. why is that? Am I turning my characted into a square? Surely I hope not. I feel like I over detail. I love to detail and I can see the scene playing out in my head but when I try to put it on paper or the monitor in this case the words don't flow like I'm lacking the words. I know how the scene makes me feel and how I want the reader to feel but the words aren't matching up, their lacking. I'm missing the most important tools. So hopefully between reading more books that I will enjoy and be able to study and practicing writing here I'll improve and figure it out. Don't get me wrong, I am under NO delusion that I'm going to turn out a perfect novel right off the bat but I don't want people reading it thinking a thirteen year old turned it out. You know? So wish me luck and hopefully five years from now and many best sellers later I'll be looking back at this, my first blog thinking I remember that hopeless feeling I had when I first sat down at my kitchen table and wrote this as my son was busy watching his favorite movie just so I could have those twenty minutes. Not sure what I'll do tomorrow. I guess I'll be back after he falls asleep.