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Time to Write

Rachel: “Why the hell am I putting myself through all of this?!”

Rachel and I were having a discussion about why writers write after she finished revising the latest draft of one of her novels. Honestly, unless we’re Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, we’re not making much writing, especially when we just start out. Rachel and I both have day jobs we love and enjoy, and we make decent money. So, why write?

Rachel has completed at least three or four novels, as well as a children’s picture book or two. None of them are published (yet!), but she has submitted and queried a few of her finished works. Her latest novel that she has finished revising is in its fifth draft (hence the quote at the top of this post). After finishing that up, she had sent me a, “Tag, you’re it!” text message to let me know that it’s my turn to critique and edit. I’m very proud of her tenacity regarding her writing, even if we do have “What are we doing?!” moments.

As for me, I have quite a few strong beginnings of novels in the works, some a couple of years old. My problem is ending the things. It’s difficult finding the time, the creativity, the whatever-other-excuse I can find. Within these past couple of days, I’ve been reading Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers. It’s a brilliant read so far; I recommend it to anyone and everyone who enjoys reading and writing! Rachel and I found it among the writing books in Barnes and Noble during our last visit, and I’m in the middle of the chapter about finding time to write.

Reading some of these stories about people resolving to stop procrastinating and write even when they just have 20 minutes to spare was fantastic. Why can’t I do that? Even if it’s just a bit before going to work, to sleep, waiting for the kids to come home… I already bring a little notebook and a pen with me everywhere, and I can definitely write more during my lunch breaks at work.

It may not be New Year’s, but I can certainly make this as a resolution, right?

Happy blogging, everyone!

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Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Home

 

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Scribble: Crown 2

A continuation of “Crown.” Hope you like it!

Rosalie smiled to the little freshman whom had asked for directions. “Of course I can help,” she said, placing an arm around the girl’s shoulders and steering her toward the northern stairwell. “The art department is right down these stairs, all the way to the ground floor, and to the left. You can’t miss it.”

The girl thanked Rosalie and followed her instructions. Rosalie’s smile dissipated into a smirk as the girl disappeared down the stairwell. The girl’s skirt was frayed on the side. Not too noticeable, of course. In fact, the boys of Rothwright would be more interested in its length – or lack of it – than the state of the material.

“That’s not the way to the art department.”

“Of course not, Noelle,” Rosalie said. “Anyone who thinks she can pull off an outfit like that deserves to get lost.”

“You’re just jealous of how great her ass looks in that skirt,” Noelle said. Rosalie huffed and returned to her locker. She primmed in front of the mirror hanging on the inside of the door, checking to be sure her red hair was straight, her teeth were free of lipstick or lunch, her mascara perfect.

“My ass is going to be the only one that Flint is checking out this year,” Rosalie said, her eyes glancing at Noelle behind her.

Although Noelle’s gaze was focused on her cellphone, she scoffed. “Please, that hottie can have any girl – and probably any guy, for that matter – in this school with just a wink of those gorgeous blue eyes. The worst part is that he knows it.”

“Which is why I’m going to stand out,” Rosalie said, slamming her locker shut, the clang drowning out the school’s bell. “I’m going to stand out and make him work for my attention.”

Noelle walked beside Rosalie to their class, brushing past other students with her elbows as she returned a text message. “Come again?”

“That’s my plan.” Rosalie beamed to a few young men that she had the pleasure of knowing. She giggled at one’s smirk, but she returned to a more serious air as soon as the boys were out of earshot. “I’m going to become so irresistible that he will become the chaser rather than the chased.”

“Good luck with that,” Noelle said.

“You don’t think I’m good enough–”

“Guess what my gossip ring has just informed me?” Noelle showed Rosalie the series of text messages she had been absorbed with throughout the morning. “New student this year. A sophomore, like us, a somewhat pretty thing with dark hair, eyes, and last season’s fashion trends.”

“Are you taking bets on how long she’ll last?” Rosalie asked, chuckling to herself as she read the texts’ description of the new girl. Apparently, she seemed shy and polite. When she had bumped into one of Noelle’s more reliable ring members, the new girl had ducked her head down and apologized. “With how demure she sounds, I wonder if she’ll stick around even for the semester.”

“It depends, I suppose,” Noelle said. The pair slowed down at the end of the corridor. “Who knows if someone will guide her through Rothwright or if she’ll be left floundering all on her own. Ciao for now, Rose. I can’t keep Mr. Hunks waiting too long.”

“I’m sure Mr. Hanks,” Rosalie said, enunciating the teacher’s proper name with a smirk, “is missing you terribly right now.”

Noelle laughed and strode down the left hallway while Rosalie went to the right. She strutted into her English literature classroom, nodding to the teacher while taking her seat. Miss Lason looked exasperated, as expected, at Rosalie’s slight tardiness, but apparently did not feel the need to scold Rosalie. It would not have done any good, of course; Rosalie was never bothered by being a few minutes late to class.

“Welcome back to Rothwright, students,” the teacher said, gaining most of the students’ attentions. “If you would, please be kind enough to welcome a new student in the area.” Miss Lason beckoned to a young woman in the front row.

Rosalie quirked an eyebrow as she watched the other woman stand up beside Miss Lason, and found it a touch amusing that the new girl would be in her first period class. Sizing the new girl up, Rosalie scrutinized the simple pairing of a black sweater with snow leopard print skirt that reached her knees. White pumps completed the ensemble, and Rosalie wondered if they were to help compensate the girl’s lack of height. Even with the heels, the girl barely reached Miss Lason’s shoulders.

“This is Crystal Bowen,” Miss Lason said. “She’s from Boston, isn’t that right?”

“That was my last city, yes,” Crystal said, her accent light with a hint of a southern ring to it. “I was born in North Carolina. It’s exciting to be in in New York City.”

“We hope you enjoy living here,” Miss Lason said, directing Crystal back to her seat. “Now, class, we’re going to start the year off with To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Rosalie didn’t spare the teacher passing out copies of the novel a glance. Her eyes were focused on this Crystal and the appreciative looks that a few of the boys were granting her. Not that the new girl noticed as much. Perhaps Rosalie will take Noelle’s words into consideration and teach Crystal about what goes on in Rothwright outside of the classrooms…

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Scribbles

 

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Scribble: Metamorphosis 2

A companion to this post (from a year ago!), these are more 100-word drabbles about “Downfall” sharing the metamorphosis theme. Hope you enjoy them!

Mutation

He believed that the Magics of the world were pretty much done going through revamps. Why try to improve something that already worked well? There were few mutations having to do with the Magics in this day and age, and he was fine with that. He was content with being an Air Mage; he didn’t need to try to figure out how to work the others as well. When he had just started at the School, a classmate had died trying to harness the power of all three Magics. He saw no reason to try to repeat the failed experiment.

Adaptation

“A Mage must always adapt to his or her surroundings,” was one of the first lessons he had learned while at the School. Being an Air Mage, he had reign of the most flexible form of Magic, and he was forever thankful for its ability to help him adapt to any landscape. It mattered not where the class practiced, for the winds were always present and willing to help him try to defeat his classmates in friendly sparring bouts. He did have difficulty adapting to teamwork situations, however; perhaps that was one reason why she and he were always clashing.

Revision

Revision was definitely needed. Biting the guy had only succeeding in giving her a lousy taste in her mouth when her fangs had ripped through flesh. Not only that, the bite hadn’t affected the enemy as much as she had wanted it to. Instead, he just threw some Fire Magic in her direction, and he narrowly missed her. She had rolled away from the man, snarling and growling while she mentally tried to revise her original plan. Wolves were creatures of Fire as well, so the Magic wouldn’t affect her too much, but she would rather not have singed fur.

Variation

Air Magic had the most variation among the Magics of the world. After all, Air could be a breeze to cool down the hottest day or a fierce twister ripping up everything in its path. True, it could not alter the ground like those who practiced Earth Magic nor could it destroy like a Fire Mage, but Air could certainly be inventive enough to survive in the Magic world. He was curious if the Spiriters’ connections with the Elements were similar. His companion’s Spirit partner was of Fire, but she wasn’t as stubborn as some of his Fire Mage classmates.

Shift

He had once asked her if it hurt at all to shift. Honestly, she had to pause to think of a response. She had been shifting all her life. Her older sister had liked to joke that she had been born in her wolf form; she was so used to transforming. Physically, shifting had never hurt. Mentally, however, was a different story. It hurt to lose the extra power that her wolf form granted her, but she knew it would hurt even more if she stayed so long as a wolf that she forgot how to transform back into herself.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Scribbles

 

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(Non)Existant Social Life

Cormack: “How desperate are you for gold that you would take a prince hostage?”

Rachel and I went to our local Barnes and Noble again to write today. With Rachel’s school semester being over, it’s easier for us to go there usually about once a week. We make a pit stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for a breakfast of bagels and English muffin sandwiches, then get frappuccinos and smoothies at the Starbucks in Barnes and Noble. We go so often, a few of the baristas know Rachel (who usually gets the drinks while I guard our table and laptops) by name.

I was all set to be productive today. I had my flash drive and laptop plugged in and ready to go, I had my packet of prompts and names, even notebooks and pens in case I felt the need to write long-hand or just scribble story notes. However, a friend Rachel and I hadn’t seen in a year or two saw Rachel’s Facebook status about our “writing date,” and he showed up to see us. Don’t get me wrong, it was great seeing him again, and us three had fun conversing and catching up with each others lives. Yet, Rachel only got perhaps 400 words written (when she can usually pull off a couple of thousand, at least) and I typed out only a sentence or two (one of which is the quote at the top of this post).

Our friend was not bothering us, far from it. It was a little awkward attempting to write, though, while also talking to him. We didn’t want to ignore him while typing, and we weren’t too keen on the idea of him trying to peek over our shoulders at what we were writing. In the middle of the conversation, Rachel and I just quietly shut down our laptops in order to continue being social.

I wonder how other writers feel about these types of situations. Is it annoying when friends show up and interrupt your writing time? Or does it signify that maybe you should have more of a social life? What about when others ask about what you’re writing when you’re trying to type away? Is it bothersome when someone attempts to read along as you write?

As a writer, I will work around, over, and underneath these types of obstacles, despite how awkward those situations can be, and I hope everyone else can do the same.

Happy blogging, everyone!

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Home

 

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Scribble: Crown

A new story concept, it’s tentative title is “Crown.” I have no idea why, that’s just what popped in my head when I went to save it to my flash drive. Considering that the majority of what I read and write is considered fantasy, this was fun to write. This little blurb would probably be considered young adult drama, but it is extremely early to tell. Who knows, maybe it’ll end up fantasy eventually. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this nonetheless, and comments and critique are always welcomed:

Crystal was named after all the wealth her mother wished to have. She had been the result of a fling when Sheryl Bowen had been seventeen years old and smitten with a foreign exchange student who claimed he was a prince. He had returned to his home country when Sheryl had been about to pop. Sheryl had never heard from her supposed prince again.

Despite growing up fatherless, Crystal had seen her fair share of men. After five years, her maternal grandparents refused to shelter Sheryl any longer due to her many boyfriends and unsteady jobs. Crystal went along with her mother wherever Sheryl ended up. Growing up, Crystal had met many of her mother’s male “companions.” Most were decent, and the only true complaint Crystal had were her lack of friends.

Generally Crystal adapted well, however, and enjoyed living in many different towns and cities. Sheryl had a habit of moving after interesting jobs she found online. She claimed to keep switching jobs to keep from being bored and to expose Crystal to different elements of the world. Crystal knew that her mother just preferred to follow guys.

The father-figure that Sheryl planned for this year was a Mr. Charles Hensley, some businessman from New York City. Sheryl had an “accidental” meeting with Mr. Hensley when she was a receptionist at a publisher’s firm that he visited in their last city. One look at Mr. Hensley’s strong jaw, broad shoulders, and ocean-blue eyes a woman could dive into – all Sheryl’s words, of course – and it was good-bye Boston, hello New York. Sheryl said Mr. Hensley had left her his business card with his address. Crystal believes that Sheryl found Mr. Hensley with the help of Google.

New York wasn’t the worst place to move to, so Crystal didn’t complain. She had been getting rather bored of Boston’s schools, and was looking forward to starting high school in a new city. Their apartment wasn’t so bad either, despite being a bit small.

“No penthouse?” Crystal asked as she took her first steps into the apartment. Her shoes clicked against the hardwood floor while she wandered into the living room, her hands funning over the leather couch.

“I thought it would be tasteful to work our way up,” Sheryl said, joining her daughter.

“Or is this all we could afford?” Crystal asked, moving away to look out the window. There was a park across the street, the greenery flanked by dull, gray buildings.

“Of course not.” Sheryl’s heels clicked over toward the open kitchen, and Crystal turned to watch her mother begin to unpack dishes. “It did help to cover the cost of your education.”

“Did you have to dip into my college savings again?” Crystal opened a couple of boxes, trying to find her belongings.

“No, no, that was just one time.” Sheryl had abandoned the dishes and had moved to another box with books. “I was talking about your new high school.”

“Since when does public high school cost more than the taxes?” Crystal asked.

“It doesn’t,” Sheryl said cheerfully. “The Rothwright school costs a pretty penny, though.”

Crystal gawked. “I’m going to school there? Mom, how… Why?”

Sheryl smiled and tapped Crystal’s cheek when she passed by with a box of curtains. “Only the best for my daughter.”

Crystal watched Sheryl hang the curtains, then leaned against the wall, her arms crossed in front of her. “Does Mr. Hensley work nearby…?”

“Don’t be silly,” Sheryl said. “Charles works downtown, near the Brooklyn county line.” Crystal waited but a moment before Sheryl added, “His son goes to Rothwright.”

“Ah, a natural ice-breaker.” Crystal nodded in understanding, yet rolled her eyes. “Planning on ambushing Mr. Hensley at a PTO meeting?”

“Perhaps.” Sheryl winked. Growing somber, she said, “You do understand how prestigious this high school is, yes? Everything you do will be noticed by everyone.”

“I’m also the new girl,” Crystal said thoughtfully. “I’d be scrutinized more than the average student.”

“Very true,” Sheryl said. She went to her daughter and tugged at Crystal’s sleeve, eying the material. “You’ll need a new wardrobe.”

“What’s wrong with my clothes?” Crystal pulled away from her mother’s grasp.

“Please, dear,” Sheryl said, shaking her head. “We’re in New York, a city that is always at the height of fashion, among other things. Your appearance will be a key factor in creating a lasting first impression. Come, let’s go shopping.”

“What?” Crystal watched Sheryl grab her purse and head out the apartment door. Crystal jogged to catch up to her mother. “Now?”

“No time like the present,” was Sheryl’s response. Crystal sighed and resigned herself to her mother’s plans.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Scribbles

 

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Moving Forward

Jack London: “You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.”

So, I disappeared from my blog for a bit and, with it went my habit of writing every day. That’s just the kind of writer I am: sporadic. It’s a wonder if I’ll ever get anything other than one-shots and short stories completed, but my lack of focus on a solitary novel is not going to stop me from trying.

I’ll do my best to update this thing more frequently. It definitely helps my muses to be surrounded by posts and blogs of other writers. I want to add more posts about prompts and story concepts, which will be up momentarily after this post, as well in order to receive feedback, advice, thoughts, etc. Maybe I’ll add a characters page too? I don’t know.

Happy blogging! 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Home

 

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Caught Up

Caden: “Forgive me if I’m being too curious, but may I ask why you were all in Akyna to begin with?” … Luyu: “No, you may not ask.”

Hi everyone! After skipping yesterday and being very confused by my word program’s way of counting my words, I’m all caught up to today’s goal of 10k words (with 14 extra words)! I started off great, just typing away, but by the end of it, all I was doing was asking myself, “NOW how many more words?” and “Am I caught up yet?!” I should have stolen Rachel‘s idea to grab a sticky note, write something along the lines of “Keep writing!” on it, and stick it over the corner of the computer where it shows the word count.

So after I was all set and done, it got me thinking. Am I getting bored of my novel? Shouldn’t I be more excited about writing this thing? If I was, I wouldn’t want to stop writing it, right?

I think that’s just the kind of writer I am, though. I’m much more sporadic and I usually do not write the same story every day. My mind goes in all sorts of directions and detours, and I’ve been doing very well these past two weeks about sticking with “Downfall.” I know I like the novel. I’m enjoying the characters. I’m not entirely sure where they are taking me, but the ride has been interesting so far and I have a vague idea as to the ending, at least.

I’m not so sure about Caden, the main character. I like his personality, and he’s fun to write, but he has a problem with getting distracted from his curiosity. He had his own goals at the beginning of the story, and now he’s on a totally different tangent. The goal is still in the back of his mind, of course, but he doesn’t have as much of a desire to fulfill it at the moment. Not only that, but his attitude toward “the other race” changed quite quickly since the beginning. He was never truly prejudice against Spiriters, but with the way he was raised, I still think he got used to them too quickly.

Well, we’ll see what happens at the end of this draft. Happy blogging, everyone!

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Home

 

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