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It’s the Little Things

This past weekend one of my co-workers was in a wedding. She showed us some pictures and we admired her dress for a few moments before she stated, “It had pockets.”

The knowledge that the dress had pockets just made it ten times better.

I’m not a dress kind of girl. Pretty sure the only dresses that are in my closet are from a couple of weddings when I was a bridesmaid myself and maybe my senior prom dress from ten years ago. But hearing that a dress has pockets makes me so incredibly happy, as it does for most of the women around me. Pockets! You don’t have to lug around a pocketbook!

It’s something small and silly but, hey, women love pockets. Dunno why the folks who design our jeans haven’t realized that yet.

With that said, I’ve been kind of feeling like I’m in a rut lately. Nothing too bad, but with the changing schedules that tend to come when summer ends, I just feel like everything is all over the place. I need to recharge and just take a deep breath, and think of the little things that make me happy, aside from dress pockets:

  • Sleeping in my own bed after being away for a couple of nights
  • Walking barefoot in the grass or sand
  • Snowfall
  • Being greeted by my pup when I first walk in the door
  • Even being greeted by the cat — he’s a bit more aloof, but he tends to come into the room after I come into the house to give me a little greeting
  • Seeing how happy the turtle can be when she’s exploring out of her tank
  • Watching all the baby fish that have “appeared” in my sister’s tank these past couple of months
  • Animals in general, really
  • Chocolate
  • Writing something I’m really proud of
  • Likewise, rereading old works and pieces and still being happy about them
  • The crinkling sound of written notebook pages
  • Having that one pen that glides so smoothly across the page
  • Video games
  • Green tea
  • Thunderstorms, especially when I’m staying at home for the day
  • Laughing until my stomach hurts
  • Pajama days

I’m thankful I can keep going with my little list, and I hope you can enjoy making a list of the little things that make you happy as well.

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Posted by on September 11, 2018 in Home

 

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Write Shit

Someone on Tumblr asked, “What do you guys do when you feel down about your ability as a writer?”

Write shit.

Seriously. Write whatever comes to mind, make it deliberately bad to torture that little niggling pest in your head that keeps whispering to you that your writing sucks. The further along you go, the more you practice both writing and ignoring that inner pest. There are parts in my WIPs where I felt myself losing steam so I just hit the enter button a couple of times and go off the rails, talking to myself through the page and the story until I’m ready to go back to the actual novel.

Alternately, write something you want to read. Write something that only you will read (unless you later choose to share it), something that is completely and shamelessly self indulgent to get more comfortable with your writing. Try out new styles while writing these self indulgent stories or just use them to practice and bolster your confidence with your current style. I have notebooks and notebooks filled with self-insert fanfiction that will most likely never be read by anyone else but me, and I have a great time writing and rereading them whenever I need a boost.

Breaks are good too! Don’t forget to stay hydrated, to take a look at the sun once in a while, to talk to someone else beyond your computer screen/notebook pages.

We’ve all been there and we’ll all be there again. Self-doubt is the permanent neighbor to creativity because you’re inventing something that has never been seen by anyone else in the world, and it’s downright scary to think that others may believe you’re just crazy rather than seeing what a brilliant gem you’ve just shined. Eventually, though, self-doubt will be like that old neighbor that spouts out conspiracy theories that you’re sometimes forced to hear, and you’ll learn to humor this neighbor, even if they make you a little uncomfortable, before taking a deep breath and going back to do your own thing.

You got this, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, least of all a whispering pest that’s all in your head!

Now I gotta practice what I preach.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2018 in Home

 

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Fat Cat Books

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I recently discovered a little bookstore by the name of Fat Cat Books. I’ve spoken to the owner due to something related to my work and when she visited my office, she left her card behind due to my amusement and delight at the name of her store.

While I haven’t visited the physical bookstore — the few times the store is open clashes with my work hours — but the website looks promising. Nice and clean, easy to navigate, and an adorable fat cat sitting right on the homepage. The company boasts rare, vintage, and out-of-print books for sale and the prices don’t seem to be too bad either. Most seem to sit around the ten dollar mark and, while there aren’t any images of the book covers, each blurb has a little description of what the book looks like in its current condition along with the print edition it’s in.

It’s a fun site to browse around and their email always seems to be open for inquiries about books. Perhaps if you’re looking for a vintage title, or just want to support a small, indie bookstore, it wouldn’t hurt to look around Fat Cat Books.

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2018 in Home

 

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It’s Been a Little While

Like, almost a year, actually.

I’ve been more focused on Double Jump, the gaming blog I run with Rachel, for the past year. It’s be great, considering how much we both enjoy writing, gaming, and working together. We’ve been meeting awesome fellow bloggers in the gaming community, too.

This particular little blog has always been in the back of my mind. It was my first experience here on WordPress, after all, and it’s been a great help with writing, habits and multitasking, and another way to socialize. However, between my day job, Double Jump, and other hobbies that I’m trying to develop into skills, this daily blog was the one to hit the back burner first.

I want to come back to it, though. It’ll probably be more slice-of-life than just focusing on writing and reading, although I’m sure those will still be heavy topics on this blog, and definitely not everyday. Perhaps a post will appear a couple of times a day, maybe even going back to the weekend prompts and scribbles as well.

In the meantime, I hope everyone has been well!

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2018 in Home

 

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Sonder

Sonder. Noun. The realization that each random passerby is living a life as rich and complex — vivid with ambition, friends, worries, love, and craziness — as your own.

Sonder has quite a few meanings depending the language you look up. In French, it’s to probe. German, literally set apart. German also has the word sonderling, which means somebody set apart with a mind of their own. There seems to be tons of history in this one word that is evolving to mean that every single stranger you pass by has as complex as a life as you.

Of course, we all know every passerby is living their own life. It’s just one of those subconscious thoughts you always have. Sonder, though, is having that sharp realization that, hey, that person might also have a dog that she’s thinking about snuggling when she gets home. That man may be on his way to pick up his child from a friend’s house. That woman probably worries about her credit card bills like I do. Perhaps that man, instead of wondering about the lives of strangers, is inwardly freaking out about proposing to his boyfriend later tonight.

Rachel and I spent a couple of hours at the emergency vet for our cat yesterday. Chase the kitty is fine, thank goodness, but there were other families there for all sorts of reasons.

There was a young girl crying in her teary-eyed mother’s arms, and we know that she’ll be going back to school this year without having her furry friend greet her when she comes home at the end of the day. There was an older couple with a cat singing in his carrier while his leg was bound in a cast. A gentleman brought in his fluffy dog who wiggled her entire body in greeting to everyone else who passed by.

The vet tech who took our cat for his initial check-up got pee on her shoe — judging by how harried the staff seemed yesterday, I wonder if she remembered about it when she got off shift. There was another vet tech who had the displeasure of handing a couple a box and saying, “I’m sorry.” Her voice was monotone — she’s either said the same too often or her mind was on the possibility of preventing the need to say it to another family later.

Rachel and I were waiting for about an hour after we saw the actual vet, for Chase to be done with his tests and for his medications, and I just couldn’t help but wonder about the different people we saw. The word sonder popped up into my head again, a word that I’ve seen around on my Pinterest due to my interests in books and writing and words in general. Writing-wise, it’s something that I always tried to keep in mind for every character — no matter how minor — I add to my stories.

We writers take our inspiration from life, right?

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2017 in Home

 

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A Story’s Technology

How much of a role does technology play in your story? With how quickly technology evolves in our world, how do you go about being sure your story’s level of technology is feasible?

Despite first being published in 1998, the final battle in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series took place in 1998, a time when cell phones were beginning to become the norm. Imagine how different that series could have gone if it was set a decade or two later — muggleborns coming into Hogwarts with cell phones, WiFi signals getting crossed in the air with magic and sparking unintended side effects, Harry simply being able to text Sirius in the Order of the Phoenix instead of charging into that trap at the ministry.

Placing a story in the future grants one the freedom of imagination when it comes to creating new feats of technology, but placing a story in the past grants a different kind of freedom, one that allows the writer to create and write around the challenges of a world with less technology.

So, what level of technology does your story have?

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2016 in Home

 

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Growing

How many unfinished story ideas do you have on your computer (or in your notebooks)?

I have too many. They’re about magic and wizards and gamers and superheroes and just-moved-here neighbors and thieves and kings and halflings and wolves and what-the-hell-am-I-doing people. Universes are continuously building themselves in my brain, so much so that I can’t remember what is going on in the real world sometimes.

(Of course, I’m sure everyone experiences that kind of feeling at one point or another no matter what you do for living, be it writer, heart surgeon, parent, or dancing bear.)

Rachel and I had made a pact to work for an hour a day on our current W.I.P. and I… have been failing miserably. I’ve been doing better in trying to get my life in order, such as meeting with a financial adviser to figure out money stuff and making an appointment with a personal trainer at my gym to figure out exercise stuff. I have a good job that, while it may eat up the majority of my day, will definitely benefit me in the future. Squeezing in that hour for working on what I want just makes me tired, and I find it sad.

I was never a fan of “growing up,” in all honesty. For example, fairly recently, Rachel and I splurged and made Raphael and Donatello Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle dolls for ourselves are our local Build-A-Bear. Still, being in my mid-twenties, my life plan includes getting a hold of my finances and being sure my body is fit enough (especially with my desk job) to be healthy. My long-term goals definitely include writing, and I know I will continue to chip away at that.

Nothing’s going to happen overnight — my plan for my finances, falling into a gym routine, finishing those half-stories on my hard drive — but I’m working on it all. In order for my long-term goals to come to fruition, I need to plant those seeds. I don’t have much of a green thumb, but I’ll do what I can.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2016 in Home

 

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