These are blog posts from a previous blog that I used to manage. A lot of what I had been writing and will continue to write is about the evolution of a writer. For current posts you can find them on main blog page.
Day 15: Time For Changes And Letting Go
I am in, I guess week three of quarantine, at least I think so. The days seem to run together and go by so quickly. I’m sure for those who have been in it a little longer would say otherwise, but for me, it’s like a weird vacation where I’m not allowed to go anywhere.
One of the most excellent parts to come from this is that I have time to do things I don’t usually get to do. For one, there are so many places offering free online classes in a variety of things right now. I have so many photography-related courses signed up for that it’s getting crazy. Udemy.com has been fantastic in offering classes at discounted prices, and some are free.
Honestly, though, although I have gotten some classes on writing, I haven’t gone through many of them yet. I’ve become a Netflix bum, sleeping, eating, and reading. Writing has gone to the back burner all last week and half of this week. I’ve been bad. It’s a rut that I allowed myself to enjoy for a bit, but as this is the new reality for who knows how long, I need to get into a rhythm. I’ve been asking the universe for it, and it’s time to give it a go..
The question is, how do you set up your day to work for you instead of against you? Having a regular job where you go in at a specific time, work, and come home is a plan set for you. It is what it is. I believe the key factor in this is discipline and being a little stricter on how I prepare for the day rather than going at it all willy nilly.
I don’t know how many of you out there have already mastered breaking up your day while working at home, but I would appreciate tips.
On that note, I also want to mention that our little space here is going to be changing soon. I’m planning on switching over to wordpress.org and getting a domain name set up. It’s time for a makeover, and it’s time to be a little more particular with how things function around here. During this quarantine, I plan on continuing my education to be a better writer, to have a more presentable blog, and more examples of my evolution as a writer for you guys. At the moment, the only thing standing in my way is thinking up a domain name. It is not that easy, guys, a lot of the good names are taken or way too expensive. It’s crazy! In the meantime, please be on the lookout for when the change occurs. It could happen today, tomorrow, or next week. If you don’t want to get lost in the shuffle, please follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/100wordsastory. Any new changes will show up there.
Okay, it is time for the writing sample of the day. As I said before, things will be changing around here, and I’m sure you’ve all seen that in my previous posts. Many samples have gone over 100 words a story, and that’s part of the change that is coming. I’m working on displaying more extensive pieces of my work, and today you will see another. This piece is just part of a larger story that I have worked on and held on to for maybe ten years, give or take. I am continually tweaking it, and I feel pretty comfortable with the part I’m going to share and say that it’s ready. I’ve realized that now is the time to start letting go of my baby, and see if it can survive in the world. It is rather long, but I would love for you all to have a look and give it a shot.
Please feel free to leave me comments on what you think or any questions you may have for me. I don’t bite, I promise.
Day 14: Regrets, Lessons, and Evolution
I did a thing. So my dream of having an awesome professional camera has come to fruition. I bought myself a little birthday gift, and I hope to soon share fabulous pictures with you guys along with my posts and stories.
I know pictures aren’t everything when it comes to blog posts, but it doesn’t hurt. All I need to do now is learn how to use it. Yes, I know, you point and click the button, but there’s so much more to taking great pictures than that, and I want to learn how.
Also, I’ve been toying around with the idea of making a vision board. I can never seem to figure out what I want in life or what I want to do with myself. I know I want to read, write, take pictures, and do what I want to make me happy. I want to make it so that I can do those things all the time and have it benefit me. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to convince someone to let me do these things and then pay me for it. I know I bring this up all the time, but now I’m trying to think up ways to organize my thoughts better on it. I think the gist of vision boards is to organize your thoughts on what you want into visuals so that you can achieve it. I want something tangible in this process.
One thing that I’ve learned recently is that I need to stop settling for just any place to work because, in the end, that’s never going to work for me. In my daily job search, I am continually reminding myself that although I could easily do several of these jobs, they are not what I want to be doing. My current job isn’t terrible, but it’s not what I want to be doing several years down the road.
I bet yall are wondering how this is something that can help you. What does this post, this blog mean to me? How do yall benefit from my ramblings? I guess part of my constant ramblings allows other writers to see my evolution as a writer or as a person. It definitely allows me to go back and see that evolution as well. I also like to think that I might inspire you in some way.
Please don’t do what I did in my life. You’re all better than that. Search for ways to continue your learning outside of the classroom. Don’t settle for a job that won’t make you happy. Stop waiting for later. Fight to evolve from where you are now to where you want to be in life.
One of the greatest regrets I have in life, up to this point, is not educating myself sooner about what I wanted to do with myself. Not only did I not know what I wanted to do, but I also didn’t even try to research anything. In my attempt to hit the ground running, I hobbled myself, and now I limp through life. It is my hope that I can still turn this ship around. That’s what I want for everyone who reads this. I want you to see that it’s not too late for any of us. I know it’s not for me, and I refuse to believe otherwise.
A lot of the journey so far has been learning about what I don’t want. I think now is the time where I need to focus on what I do want and how I want to get there. I remember a few years ago before I moved to Tucson, I had realized that I needed to be kinder and gentler with myself. It’s something that I think we all don’t do enough for ourselves. This realization is something I feel that I have forgotten over time, and instead, I’ve been focusing so hard on just surviving. The world is not so kind to those of us with softer hearts, and as someone pointed out to me, it seems as though I’ve sealed off certain parts of myself to the not so kind world. Perhaps this has hindered me in the end, cut off my voice, kept me from my journey and evolution.
I feel as if I was once awake, fell asleep, and still haven’t woken up. I want to wake up. I want to wake up and be excited to begin the day and know that if I don’t feel like doing something, I don’t have to. Maybe I should do an “Eat, Pray, Love,” kind of thing. If only we all could do that, perhaps we would all be a little more focused and a little bit happier.
Okay, storytime. I found this one in one of my writing books. I’m loath to call it a journal or a diary because it’s not. It’s where snippets of writing happen to end up. In my writing process, I tend to jot down things at random that aren’t full stories. Sometimes that’s all they are, and other times they turn out to be part of something more. If anything you’ve seen here at the end of my posts looks like something you want to see more of, hit me up either here or on Facebook. Sometimes another set of eyes can see something you didn’t see there before.
Day 13: Commitment Is A Scary Word
*Written earlier this morning, sent when I was more awake*
Hello my lovely creators!
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my evolution as a writer. I’ve concluded that I have a fear of commitment to my writing. When I was pondering this, I started by saying, “I think I have a fear,” however, by saying that I think I have that fear shows even less commitment to admitting that fear.
I know what you’re thinking, “But Virginia, you are writing, what do you call this?” Well, yes, you are correct, but when I talk about having that fear, it’s more about the idea of sitting down and working on my longer pieces. It’s the story that requires me to completely immerse myself into the plot, the characters, the emotion that comes with really feeling out the story. Now and then, I do find myself delving into my work, but I always seem to find an excuse not to do it more often. And I wonder what it is that keeps me from wanting to dive so deep into my work.
Recently, I went out to this beautiful mountain area that I’ve never been to despite living here for a little over five years and visiting several times before that. We drove up this long road that had several curves, and I’m sure it would have been quite enjoyable if only I weren’t sitting in the back seat. The entire ride, I sat next to a fussy baby and a dog panting at the back of my head. The only view out of my window was the up-close side of the mountain. By the time we got to the top I was definitely car sick, but it was worth it. It had to be below 30 up there and there was snow and fog everywhere. It was the most beautiful piece of nature I had ever seen in person. I would have lived there if I could. As I was standing there surrounded by all the trees and tiny waterfalls, all I could think was how much I wished I had somewhere in that place I could go and write.
Ever since we moved to this new apartment, I had been hoping that having my own space would help me write more. The funny thing is that so far it hasn’t helped me write more of my stories, but I think it’s given me more desire to work on this blog. I’m more conscious of how long it has been since I last wrote, and I’m more willing to put the work into it. So I think there is definitely something to the idea of having your own space, which is something I’ve talked about before many times. Perhaps this is my gateway drug to getting my butt into gear. Still, I wish I could live in that place up in the mountains.
So here’s the crux, I’m clearly very much in my own head and able to write here, but how do I switch over to the piece of space in my head that will allow myself to get in that story writing mode? It’s an ongoing process that clearly will take time. I need to carve out a space of time for myself that is not crunch time before I have to get ready for work, or that moment just before I have to go to bed. Hell, I was supposed to go to bed 45 minutes ago, but had a sudden thought and had to start writing. I need to find that time in my day, every day, for just this and nothing else. I think that is the only way writers can genuinely get down to the business of it. It’s a commitment to yourself and your work, and that’s good for you. I don’t know why it scares me so much.
Yall simmer on that, and in the meantime, you can check out something I wrote a few years ago when I was broke, looking for a job for several months, and living with my sister. It’s a little rough, but I thought it was an interesting find from my journal. If anything, I can see the evolution of this blog. It seems to be evolving past 100-word stories and letting yall see my evolution as a writer. If any of this moves you: like, comment, share.
Day 12: Laundry, Learning, and Writing
So here we are again, late night early morning. Laundry is in full swing, and I cannot sleep. Don’t get me wrong; I could definitely sleep. I’m one of those annoying people that can lie down, close my eyes, and pass out. Right now, the dryer is running, and I could easily go to bed, and instead, I chose to write. Who does that at 3 AM? I suppose I do.
I guess it’s better than the alternative, waking up in the middle of the night with an idea. It’s one of the most magnificent ideas to have ever woken up a writer or anybody for that matter. It is an idea that you just had to write it down before you forgot. You need to write it down before you had to pass out again. Morning comes, and you look at this strange scribbled mess, “peace muffins, purple flies staring me in the face.”
The part about the purple flies actually happened too. Except it wasn’t something I wrote down, apparently I said it in my sleep.
Earlier in the day, I had been working on something that I’ve had for five years. It’s funny how you can look through your work and know that it’s not something that’s going to be short. This small bit of writing could be a book one day. Whether it’s something that gets published or is even liked by anyone else is another story. The only downside is that it’s all over the place right now. It’s broken up into three different documents right now, and I’m trying to get it down to one. The writing so far is broken up into different sections, and nothing really fits together just yet. Every time I read through it, though, it even catches my interest. I’m getting to the end of a paragraph, and I’m thinking, “Hey, where’s the rest of it, I need more!”
It’s days like this that I wish that someone could just pay me to write. That I wouldn’t have to go to the regular job I have now, I could just stay home and keep going. Isn’t that what we all want in life, to be able to do something we love doing? I’m part of several Facebook writing groups, and I see posts from other people feeling the same struggle as I do. It’s so frustrating sometimes and such a slow process to get through for the results you want.
In other news, I’ve started something that I hope I can stick to doing. I made myself an account with www.udemy.com. For those of you who have never heard of this fantastic site, it gives you access to learn about all kinds of things. I managed to snag several courses for an excellent price, and I am excited to start. Of course, I bought one about writing because no matter how much we think we know, we can always stand to learn more. I also purchased sessions about photography and software used alongside photography.
When I started up my blog, for the second time, I knew that I had wanted to write posts and include pictures that I have taken. I’m not too fond of the idea of posting photos that aren’t mine, that and it scares me that I would use a picture and get in trouble for it because of copyright reasons. Aside from that, I’ve always loved the idea of having a really good camera. Although I am aware that cell phones these days can take some fantastic pictures, something about having an actual camera in my hands feels legitimate. To sum it up, I am trying to arm myself with as much knowledge as possible and to find a way to obtain what I want. I’m hoping to get enough money back from taxes to get some equipment and put what I’ve learned to work. Wouldn’t that be a kick? I end up having a career in photography. Keep your eyes open for future posts with my own pictures that look amazing. Meanwhile, check out tonight’s writing buddy. His fur looks a little funny, but that doesn’t stop him from being a cool little guy to hang out with at three in the morning.
Well, my lovely friends, to be fair, instead of one of my 100-word pieces, today I will share with you part of that story I mentioned earlier. I’ve only had a couple of other people see it, and I know some of it won’t make sense to you, but I like it enough to share. If you want to know more, don’t be afraid to ask. You can leave a comment here or follow me on Facebook and message me there.
Day 11: I Am Behind, This Is From December *shrugs* – Peaceful Moments, And Other Realizations
Hello, my lovely creators! Today, instead of my usual Netflix binge before I have to get ready for work, I am choosing to sit my butt down and do some writing. It’s all part of the plan to get things going. It would be a beautiful moment, me sitting here, sipping my coffee, eating my breakfast, gloomy day outside with a chance of rain in the air — all good things, except for this room. Still trying to put some things away from when we moved, and it is still in piles here and there. I won’t shame myself for not finishing it yet, because why should I? I put away the majority of this stuff, and I will get to the rest of it when I get to it. I hate looking at it while trying to enjoy this peaceful time of the day.
I took my peaceful moment, and I Facebook stalked this guy I knew from college. A little background, he was one of the best writers I knew in my class. This guy wrote some amazing stories that had me feeling quite intimidated. All of the teachers loved him, and of course, I had a crush on him. It didn’t hurt that he had the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen, and, to me, he looked a little like Malcolm McDowell. Well, when he was young, of course. I don’t know that I feel the same way about that comparison now, but I loved me some A Clockwork Orange at the time, so that comparison happened.
If you’ve only seen the movie and not read the book, you are not doing yourself a favor. Go read the book!
Anyway, I was looking this guy up and noticed that he was part of this group that does skydiving. While I looked through some of the posts and recent pictures, all I could think was, “I wonder if this guy even writes anymore.” This kind of prompted me to finish up making my food this morning so I could sit down and do some writing myself. It got me to thinking about a few things. One of the major things is something I remember my grandfather commenting on in regards to his grandchildren and college. This is a second-hand memory; I think I overheard it from a conversation between my parents, so it is a little fuzzy. I think it was about one of my cousins who had gotten a new job. My grandfather made the observation that none of his grandchildren seemed to be working any job related to what they studied in college. I was still in college when I overheard this, and it definitely rubbed me the wrong way. I still think about it to this day, and it irks me that he’s right. I’ll tell you though, it was not from a lack of trying. I’ll keep trying until writing helps bring home the bacon if you know what I mean. It burns me up inside when I think about it, and sometimes I like to just sit there and simmer for a while because it taunts me and lights a fire underneath me. It makes me want to get moving and write a book just so I can dedicate it to him saying, “See, Grandpa? I used my college degree.” I do actually have one, a bachelor’s in creative writing with a minor in English and American literature. Let’s see how far that takes me.
Other than that, as I previously mentioned, I’ve been doing a lot more reading. I’ve been taking things in and absorbing work by other writers. One blog I ‘d seen had mentioned Stephen King and his book, On Writing. It’s funny how often King and this book gets mentioned in other peoples blogs. I have the book, but have not gotten around to really reading it. I keep starting and then just kind of drift off from it. By the number of times I’ve seen people comment about it and sometimes refer to it as if it were a writing bible, it looks like I really need to hunker down and read it.
I don’t ever intend to write any kind of stories like his, but you would think that someone who has had as much success as he has would have something to say that can help the rest of us.
As you can see, I have been slacking off again, but it is for a very good reason. I started a new book series that actually stemmed from watching a movie on Netflix. It’s not a bad series, but it kinda falls into that category of Twilight and 50 Shades. It’s called After, and it started out as fan fiction and just kinda rolled from there, gathering quite the following. It’s definitely a page-turner, one of those books where you can’t just have the first book on hand, you need all of them. Right now! That’s what I did, I got all of them in one go instead of seeing whether or not I liked the first book.
BTW, here is a picture of Malcolm McDowell for reference. I do not own any rights to this picture, you could have just looked him up yourselves, I suppose. I decided to do it for you.
As always, please enjoy my tiny creation at the bottom of every post. I like to share my writing whether it’s something old, new, or a scrap that’s been reworked. Let me know what you think, or just drop a line and say hi.
Day 10: Stop Waiting For Later
In my attempt to shake things up, I’ve started reading more blogs rather than just focusing on my own. One of the major things I have struggled with is getting back to reading. I started small by reading a book that I know very well, and just let the simple pleasure of reading a favorite book wash over me. It doesn’t hurt that I have a little free time at work where I can pull up a digital copy and just sit there to read for a few hours.
What do ya know, I’m getting paid to read!
Blog-wise, I’m reading more about other people’s experiences as writers or as freelance writers. I can’t even begin to think about how I’m supposed to dance with that devil. I know it can be done and people can make a living from doing that kind of work. The question is, do I have the chops for it? How do you know that you can make it out there doing something like that? According to some people you have to take your lumps and start out doing content writing. Just thinking about that kind of work makes me feel like I want to crawl back into bed and pull the blanket back up to my chin. But then my feet poke out at the bottom and I get cold easily. It’s a short blanket, I really need to get a longer one.
It’s a lot to think about.
The point is that I have a small flame going and I want to burn that mother down.
I haven’t written anything new in terms of flash fiction. I’m thinking about getting a book with compiled works of flash fiction to help get me back into the groove. I know there are plenty of websites and blogs out there with exactly that, but at the same time, I would love to have a physical copy in my hands.
When I think about researching other people’s work and how they got to where they are, it makes me think about going to school. It reminds me of how there would always be someone who was in charge of putting together a plan about what we would be reading and what we would be doing. All of these things would all be directed towards bettering your craft and improving yourself. Unfortunately, outside of your formal education, once you’re on your own, you are the one in charge of improving yourself and finding those things that will help you become better at what you do. I guess that’s what I’m trying to do, create my lesson plan. My creative drive is needing some gas and I’ve got to find some soon.
There is this teacher that I think about when I need to get some writing done. He would come to class and tell us about how lazy he was being with his writing. He would always conclude with deciding that over the weekend he would be doing some “ass time.” It just meant that he would be sitting his butt down and getting to work. He also had this word for his constant evolution as a writer. He called it Chaconing. It’s a wordplay on his last name, which is kind of neat. It’s been a long time since I’ve talked to him or since I’ve been one of his students, but he was my first creative writing teacher, and one that I hold in high regard. When I think back to his class, I think about this word and I’ve realized that I’ve stopped Chaconing or Virginiaing. That looks like a very weird version of his word, but I don’t have one for myself, so, here we are.
I’ve stopped evolving as a writer, and have not given myself a chance to evolve. Not that the opportunities aren’t there, but rather they’ve become the paths I’ve chosen not to take. I don’t feel like I regret the things I’ve done in my life up till now. It’s more that the current path I’m on isn’t taking me anywhere I want to go, and now is the time to take off the blinders so I can roam freely. Somehow in this explanation, I’ve become a horse, which is fine, I just don’t know how I got there. Either way, it’s time to do what I want to do.
Why now, why not a long time ago? I think that when I graduated from college, I was more focused on getting out and just doing anything to establish myself in the world. Read that as instant gratification. I wanted to earn a lot of money doing whatever I already knew how to do, and everything else I would just figure out later. Well here we are six years later and nothing has been figured out. The only thing that’s been figured out is that I hate doing customer service, and if I have to work, I’d rather be doing it at home. I don’t mind interacting with people, I don’t mind helping them, I do mind when you’re doing all you can and they just get ruder by the second. As I said, if I could stay at home and read and write all day, I would.
So all of you lovely writers out there who get where I’m coming from, what’s your advice? Do we all just have to take our lumps before anything real comes from our writing?
Until then I’ll do what I do best, be patient and keep moving forward.
By the way, up top, you will see a picture of that view I was talking about in my last post. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go read the last post. In fact read all the posts, because why not? It’s a little hard to get the best picture because of the way the light shines at that time of the day. However, the view is beautiful. I wish I could spend more time looking at it. Sadly the bills have to get paid and we have to eat. I can’t quit my day job just yet, or night job since it is the second shift.
In the meantime, here’s an oldie, but a goodie. Need to get some ass time done and crank out new stuff this weekend.
Day… Whatever, screw it! A year later and it’s day 9.
That’s right folks, it’s been maybe a year since I last posted and I am way beyond slacking off in reading and writing. I’ve jumped ship and instead of swimming, I chose to drown. It’s the way I have felt for a good long time.
It’s been around a month since we moved to our new apartment, and although it’s been a crazy adventure with one thing after another, we’re in a much nicer place. I think that getting out of our previous apartment was just the change I needed.
Sometimes it feels like I’m making excuses saying that I needed something to kick me in the pants and get moving on my writing. I think change is a valid way to kick-starting yourself. A change of scenery, a change in your situation, there are so many things that can affect you and what you do. Hell for me it was a complete stranger! It took someone that did not know me at all for me to feel like I need to put down the Netflix and get myself to do something.
I’m not happy with my life. I’m doing work that I don’t want to do. I wake up and I just want to go back to sleep. I feel like I can’t read and I feel like I can’t write. Quite simply my situation is not ideal. Even my health is not ideal. It’s time to seriously make a change.
So here’s the change. My boyfriend now has his room for his office and I have the living room to myself and my guinea pigs. I get to decide exactly how I want everything to be set up. I even have a fireplace for those cold nights, a balcony, and a tree with long hanging branches to entice my imagination. There’s even a little hummingbird that stops by now and then to squeak or chirp at me. Not quite sure how to describe the sounds they make. Perhaps there will be pictures soon.
It’s not exactly what I wanted, but at the moment I do have my own space. I have the chance to let my mind settle and be comfortable enough to let things flow like they used to.
I was reading a blog recently, and the writer was telling about her recent experience staying in this tiny house in Virginia. You guys should check it out sometime, I highly recommend it. It reminded me of what I always say, everyone needs a place of their own to write. Everyone needs a place to go and dedicate time to their craft and create. As I was reading about her getaway, I felt such a strong longing to have that kind of luxury. I would love to be able to get away to do revisions, to create, to just unpack everything in my head and be able to sort through it. It is my dream to spend my day reading and writing while getting paid to do it. I can’t think of anything that would make me happier.
BTW, here’s the link to the blog I was talking about, go check it out.
With that, I would like to say to my friends and my fellow creators, I thank you for sticking around and sticking by me. I hope that you’ll continue to support me as I try to pull myself out of this weird limbo and get to where I want to go.
In the meantime, here is something I was dabbling with one day at work when we had some downtime. Something of which we seem to have a great deal of late, and it is driving me nuts. It’s not my usual word limit, but we can break the rules now and then.
Day 8: New Projects and Making Changes
Hello, my lovely Creators!
Today a friend of mine asked me to help him with a project he’s been working on lately. For a while, he’s had this idea of putting together a video game. His area of work is more on the technical side, so he has asked me to help with the storyline since he knows that I write.
It seems like a big project and certainly something that I’ve never done before. I’m not even sure how to begin something like that. My only real fear is that I don’t know how to do what he wants and it will snowball into a big mess.
However, it is a step in the right direction to get me more into the flow of writing and getting projects done. It’s a learning experience that I think will be good for me. I mean, “Hello!” look at how much I’ve slacked here.
The last few weeks have been one thing after another, and rather than seek refuge in working on my blog or coming up with new stories, I’ve been binge watching movies and TV shows.
I know it’s a kind of slump that occurs now and then, and I probably shouldn’t beat myself up over it. I just feel so unaccomplished lately. For those of you that attend to your blogs more frequently, how do you do it? What moves you on the days that you feel like you have nothing to say? What drives you?
I guess for me it’s about trying to find some sort of structure and routine that I’m comfortable working on every day.
Back to my original point, I’m going to attempt working at this project and see what I can do. I feel that, as writers, it is good to try to expand on what we do and branch out in unfamiliar areas. Wish me luck!
On a side note, thank you to everyone that reads my posts and likes what I have to say. It means a lot to me that you stop by, even for just a little while. 100 Words A Story is something that I’ve been working on for a while but can’t seem to get off the ground as I want, but that’s not going to stop me from committing to it. My hope is that one day I can put together a book of my flash fiction. This small space I’ve set aside for my writing is only the beginning, and I thank all of you who have started this journey with me.
p.s. Take a look at my new writing buddy!
Day 7: The Importance of A Comfortable Writing Space
Hello, my lovely Creators!
Recently, I went back home to Texas for a visit, and while I was there, I grabbed a few things of mine that I left behind when I moved to Arizona. I pretty much left behind everything when I went. Most importantly I left behind my books. Boxes and boxes of books sit in my old bedroom of my family home, waiting for the day they can return to a proper bookshelf.
One thing I’ve noticed on this journey of mine is how vital it is to feel comfortable in your space. By space I mean the place where you sit every day as you open your document on your computer and start typing, where you sit with your notebook and your pen or pencil, the place where you take out your paints, open your software, set up your stand and sheet music. The place where you create, whichever way it is that you create.
For my boyfriend, his space must be clear of anything that could make it difficult to concentrate or could get in his way. As of late, he has added these funny looking arms to his table that hold up one of his monitors and the tablet he draws on which connects to the computer. They allow him to bring monitor or tablet closer or push them out of the way. It makes things more efficient and straightforward. He does 3D art and the fewer distractions, the better. Having fewer items around him is all good and fine for him, but that doesn’t seem to work for me.
Before I moved, I had a room to myself that had my desk and computer in it, however, my desk was far from empty. I had bonsai trees and pictures in frames sitting at the corners. Shelves of varying sizes sat full of books around me. There were seven in all if you can believe it. I’m sure there would be more now if I had everything set up properly. Knick-knacks filled up the small spaces on the shelves along with more pictures. I had candles placed around the room and lanterns with tiny tealight candles sitting on standby for when I was ready to write.
That was my thing; I loved having candles lit while I would write.
When I left home all that was left behind, and little by little I’ve been bringing a bit of home back to Arizona with me. On my last visit, I managed to snag a couple of my lanterns. It’s all part of my master plan to make my space more like it used to be. I even have a new bookshelf set up right next to me with the few books I brought with me and a few that I’ve bought since I came here.
The point I’m trying to make is that although people can write anywhere, and I have, sometimes it’s good to have space just for you for that purpose. It’s something that I have noticed about myself at one point. I didn’t feel like myself anymore. I felt empty and alone in a place that did not resemble me at all. I know we are not defined by the thing we own but if they are things that bring you comfort and ease your mind, are they not important?
I know that when I move from my apartment, it’s going to be quite tricky packing up all these things and carrying it all down a flight of stairs, but it’s worth it.
Little by little, I feel more comfortable in my space and little by little I feel more like myself.
I don’t know why I keep giving you guys two stories each time I post. I guess I want to share it all with you. These were written a day apart, so there you go. Let me know what you think.
Day 6: Lessons From My Foray Into Video Games
Hello, my lovely Creators!
It may seem like I’m about to go off on a different tangent here but I promise there is a point.
Lately, I’ve been on a video game binge to the point that I even started thinking about having a live stream for when I play games either by myself or with friends. It seemed like a fun idea, especially since it would take my mind off of the things that are plaguing me these days. I even started working on getting things together using the software that other streamers use for their live feeds on a site called Twitch.
I’ve never done anything like it so I’ve been playing around with the software, learning about overlays and how to configure all these things to work together so that when I load my game, and I turn on my camera, people can watch me play my favorite games and I can converse with them at the same time.
Well, it seemed like I had gotten everything working and I even tried going live. However, the software kept getting disconnected, frames were dropped, my live feed kept freezing, and it was a disaster. I couldn’t figure out how to fix any of it, and one thing led to another to just make me feel worse about it.
All I wanted to do is try something that looked like fun and maybe even get a few others in on it as well. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Twitch; it is a place where people do live streams of themselves doing just about anything. The majority of people using it seem to be gamers, but there are plenty of other uses for it. Some have suggested that I play the most popular games, games I’m not even interested in playing. Why? It’s the best way to get more viewers, and since I’m a girl, there is a higher chance of people watching if I play those type of games.
I’ve seen girls like that, and I can tell you right now, I am not that, and I never want to be like that. I’m not saying they are all out to seek attention and an easy way to get money or whatever material item they want. It just really seems that way and I’ve heard similar opinions around the grapevine. One of the biggest suggestions I keep getting is that because I’m not a “pro-gamer,” I should play the most popular games and maybe even be a little risqué. I am disgusted by some of the things I’ve heard. Sadly, they are not wrong, but it’s not who I am and getting an incredible amount of viewers is not what I’m after. It’s ridiculous that if I haven’t been playing since I was five or because I’m not a guy, I can’t be taken seriously.
What in the world does this have to do with writing?
I enjoy writing. More people should do it; it’s cheaper than therapy. I am not a professional writer. I don’t get paid to do it. God willing someday I will be if I keep at it. Never say never. That doesn’t mean I can’t do it. That doesn’t mean I can’t learn other ways of doing it to better myself.
I know that as I become more comfortable with putting my writing out there, there will be people who will criticize what I write. Criticize, not critique, there is a difference. They will tell me that it’s no good, that for anyone to be interested, I should do it this way instead. I’m sure they mean well and are full of good intentions. However, this advice does not always help.
Something I firmly believe when it comes to writing is that if you are giving any sort of feedback on anyone’s work, the best way to help them is with constructive critique. You break the bones of the writing so that they can be set right. You don’t break them to try to form something completely different from what they are supposed to be.
Although these people meant well, since they know me, and are trying to be nice about it, their words of advice are not helpful in what I want to be and what I want to do.
In the case of my adventure in streaming games, I don’t want to be another cliche. I merely want to enjoy myself and enjoy this with my friends.
Regarding my writing, we’re not in school anymore. There is no right way, and there is no wrong way. It’s a matter of expressing yourself precisely in the way you mean to. I’ve found my voice, and I know how I want to use it.
So with that my lovely Creators, today I’m just encouraging you to keep doing you. As for myself, I need to be more vigilant in my writing, read more, seek out new learning opportunities.
Be bold and guard your voice. You know who you are, don’t let anyone try to change your mind.
And now for another story.
Day 5: Revisiting the Finished and Unfinished
Hello, my lovely Creators!
I don’t know about all of you, but I’ve been having a hard time focusing lately. I can’t seem to get my mind to settle down and take in the world around me. Usually, when I write, I listen to music to help me focus. If I want to create something, like one of my stories, I listen to other random music or I’ll be watching a movie or a show and an idea will come to me. However, it hasn’t been easy lately.
To help remedy that, I went through some of my old work. One thing that I came across was a much longer story that I was working on before. It started out as one of my 100-word stories but just grew over time. Little stories that seemed like they stood alone actually started to fit together.
I remember feeling like it was unoriginal. When I was writing it, I was still riding the high of Cassandra Clare’s ‘The Mortal Instruments’ series and the whammy of Karen Marie Moning and her ‘Fever’ series.
It wasn’t as if I was trying to copy their work; I only wanted to allow them to fuel my desire to create something similar because I loved it so much. Either way, it made me wonder how much we use other people’s work to help bring about our creations. While reading through each small piece, it made me want more. It’s kind of like when you are reading a book, and when it comes to an end, you want more. Sometimes if you’re lucky, there will be another book, and then there are other times where you feel cheated at just the one book. It made me want to pick up that project again. I just don’t know if I’m ready to commit to it.
It’s like the one short story that I’ve been holding on to for several years. Initially, I had finished it, but in those years since I completed it, I kept adding to it like a crazy person. So now it’s longer and has parts that aren’t finished, and I can’t seem to rally myself to be satisfied with it and try to publish it. I want to work on other projects, but I can’t seem to make myself let this one go. It was something that I had done for a creative writing class. My teacher shared his thoughts with me saying, “Good God, this story’s powerful. The child’s voice is strong, the dialogue believable, the outcome devastating.” (No, I did not memorize that, it’s written down in his report he put together for me on things to work on. I’m not that crazy… or am I?) He said a few other great and helpful things, which definitely empowered me but I’m just not satisfied with it. I’ve just got to get down to it, and that’s all there is to it. I don’t know how to make myself do it.
I would like to hear from all of you, who inspires you? What work do you admire and incorporate in your creations?
I want to let you lovely people know that I appreciate you taking the time to sit and read about my thoughts and what I’m up to in my little life. It means a lot to me, thank you.
I’ll share two pieces that I did for yall. I hope you enjoy it and I invite you to answer the above questions or comment on my post. Thanks!
Day 4: The Things We Wish For
Hello, my lovely Creators!
Today I found myself struggling to answer what seemed like a simple question in regards to my writing. I work at a yoga studio part-time, and a man came by to inquire about yoga classes and what we have to offer. I had no trouble answering his questions and providing him with some information that I had learned along the way. I am no expert, but I did not have to try too hard to find my answers.
For some reason, he began to ask me about whether or not I go to school. I saw no harm in telling him that I had finished school and that I didn’t have any plans to go back for anything else. He followed this up by asking what my major was, to which I replied that I had a bachelor’s degree in creative writing. With interest, he wanted to know what I planned to do with my degree; if I was planning on being an author.
It was at that moment that I found it difficult to find the words to explain what it means to be a writer. How we go about using the fancy degrees some of us receive. I didn’t know how to tell him that although writing is what I went to school for, it was not what I was currently doing with my life. I wasn’t sitting at home every day, all day, creating stories. No one was paying me to come up with the next bestseller. Of course, neither was I using my abilities in my current day job. To be honest, I felt a little embarrassed.
Instead, I told him about what I want to do as a writer. I explained to him what I wished I could do. If it were up to me, I’d be working in a publishing house, learning the ropes or I’d be working in a bookstore where I could be near the things I love most. I know what you’re thinking, why isn’t it up to me?
Well, I guess you could say that I don’t have the means to go where the work is, believe me, I’ve been searching for a way. As for working in a bookstore, I’ve tried, interestingly enough it’s not that easy to snag one of those jobs. I must be doing something wrong.
What I didn’t say was that I wish I could be at home reading and writing all day. I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like that isn’t too much to wish for in this life. Silly as it may seem, nothing would make me happier.
All of this got me to thinking, why don’t I begin to chase that dream? What is holding me back so much that I can’t move forward? I believe I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. The only thing in my way is myself. I wonder how many of us are holding back and keeping our dreams to ourselves. How many are staying silent because they’re too scared of the rejection or even the possibility of having your dreams come true?
It can’t just be me.
With that I shall leave you all with this, I hope you enjoy.
Day 3: The Things That Trigger You
Hello, my lovely Creators!
Recently I have come to realize that it is true what they say about writing every day. It is a habit that all writers should form and it is one that I have not been practicing myself. However, I do wonder if those that give this advice even follow it. Does Stephen King write every single day of his life? Did Charlotte Brontë write every day? Perhaps some writers have that moment where they say, “I just don’t feel like it today.”
I have heard other people say things like, “Don’t wait for inspiration.” I just cannot subscribe to that idea. There always has to be some sort of inspiration. It is not about waiting to write until inspiration comes along, I think it is more of knowing what triggers it for you. Lately, I have been looking for those triggers. The only way I know how to trigger the inspiration is by using my senses.
Sometimes I listen to music, especially music by Michele McLaughlin or a new favorite, Luna Magica by Piano Pacifico. For some reason, this music is my biggest trigger. Even playing the same song over and over at a loud volume tends moves things along. I think it has something to do with the repeating patterns. If it is a song that I have played repeatedly I already know what it sounds like, there are no surprises. For me, it blocks everything out, but at the same time, it keeps me focused on what I am doing. It also became one of the best ways to help me study when I was in school.
Other times it is a memory of a smell or a feeling that can be just the right kind of inspiration. When it rains, everything just smells better. I have noticed that the air does not smell the same here in Arizona when it rains as it does when it rains back home in Texas. Even though both places are basically in the desert, things still smell differently. I am not sure what it is, it just does not smell quite like home to me. Things like that bring out memories and emotions from a specific time in my life that feeds my imagination.
If you are struggling to write and feel like you have some blockage, you might give this a try. Practice with something small like a 100 word story. Write about something you remember that can trigger you with smell, taste, or sound. Do whatever helps the words move more smoothly for you.
Tell me, for other bloggers out there, what helps you get the words flowing?
For this piece, I used a writing prompt that allowed me to use my technique for specific triggers. It helped me to focus my thoughts and pull together my writing of this memory. Please have a read and comment if you desire to do so. Thanks!
Day 2: A “What The Hell” Attitude
Hello, my lovely Creators!
Earlier today I was watching a movie called Julie & Julia, and I discovered an interesting quote. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it.
Anyway, the movie involves a well-known cook named Julia Child and a woman, Julie, attempting to cook her way through Julia’s cookbook. It’s one of my favorite movies, but I don’t know a whole lot about Julia Child. I decided to remedy that today by looking her up and stumbled on a quote that worked well with what I’ve been thinking lately. She said, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” It got me to thinking about myself and how I approach my writing, and I think one of the things that hold me back in my writing is fear. Amongst other things.
Most writers seem to struggle with fear. Fear that they aren’t good enough and, oddly enough, fear that they are good enough. So many writers put their heart and soul into their work and send it out into the world hoping that it will resonate with others. There’s always that crushing sense that no one will read what you write and when they do they’ll think it’s trash.
No worries to those that read my posts, I have no intention of guilt-tripping any of you. Your opinions are your own, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’m not one to say that my writing is any good, but I also don’t think it’s terrible. Perhaps unpolished is a more accurate description.
I have those same fears, and for me, it’s also the fear of completely immersing myself in work and just getting lost in it. I want to be able to do that, but the outside world is always calling. A lot of the time it speaks of things like bills and debt. Things that require you to have a stable income. It makes me feel like I’ll never be able to dive in the way I want to in my craft. Being a writer was something that I always dreamed of, and it’s still a dream of mine, but it seems like it has drifted a bit further downstream over the years. Believe me; I have no illusions that I would be able to live by my writing entirely. Many writers know this, there isn’t a lot of money in writing. Don’t let those bestsellers fool you.
I wish I had all the answers to these fears and doubts. All I can think is that somehow I have to find a way to dive in any way. I have to adopt a “What the hell” attitude.
Now I bet you’re wondering where I’m going with this post and really it’s just me airing my own fears. Something that I think a lot of people don’t do. It’s one of those things that people don’t like to face and I think it’s important to force myself to look at my fears. It’s how I want to write, forcing others to look at the things that we’d rather not look at directly. So I leave you all with these thoughts to mull over and I leave you with another bit of flash fiction.
Day 1: Gentle Reminders and Starting Over
***This one’s a little different as it was the first post after I revamped my blog the first time. Enjoy!***
Greetings fellow creators! *Sorry for the long post, but it’s been a while.*
While trying to think of something to write, I ended up looking at copies of posts that I have written on here previously. Please don’t think you’re missing something here; I removed all previous posts in order to revamp everything.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on here and a good part of that is because I let other things take over my life that had nothing to do with what I was working on. I had forgotten to keep working towards my goals, and in the end, everything had become unbalanced. In the end, I was unhappy, unhealthy, and just felt lost. I ended up quitting my job for unknown horizons. All the pieces of that job were nice and felt good to have, but none of them seemed to fit together.
I now have a job that is entirely different and is allowing me to find out what makes me happy. It may not be giving me the same stability that my previous job did, but it’s less stress on my mind and my health. I feel like I now have the opportunity to open my eyes again to life.
Now, what does this have to do with writing? Well, first of all, it lets me do this. Secondly, it allows me to stop and smell the legos. I’ll include that particular post I was reading with this one so you can understand what I mean. I’ll even add a second 100 word story to get the ball rolling.
All he wanted was to be near her. It broke his heart that she didn’t trust him and most of all it hurt that she didn’t trust herself. He could never understand how she could not see all the things about herself that made her amazing. She was like a feral cat that didn’t know love. Didn’t want to know anything about it. She needed to see that he was there for her and always would be there. He leaned against the door, listening, knowing that she craved a connection just as much as he did.
Day 12: Sometimes You Have To Stop And Smell The Legos
The other day I was thinking about my writing project, don’t worry I haven’t forgotten about yall, and about how long it has been since I’ve posted anything. I’ve kept to the idea that if you’re not writing, you’re reading and if you’re not reading, you’re writing. Well, today is one of those days where I’m not reading so I best be writing. Right now, I need to do some “ass time” and get things done.
Some days don’t feel right for writing, especially while hanging out at my sister’s house. I know that I could get around that somehow but long story short I just have to stay put and make do with what I have. I’ve learned quite a bit about children that I’ve never known before. You see I’m the youngest in my family so I never got to learn what it was like to be always around children under five. You must rethink about having any types of liquids close to your computer. Everything you own will eventually end up in their mouths. Chocolate is a very bad idea. So far, the worst kind of bite is from a two and a half-year-old that doesn’t understand they’re hurting you and laughs in your face once you finally get them off of you.
What does this all have to do with writing?
It means I’ve got plenty of new writing material.
No, it means that there are times when I have to stop for a moment and look around me. I have so many things clouding my mind and so many things that worry me. I sit here at my computer scrolling monotonously through job postings, redoing my resume, and writing numerous cover letters. Then all of a sudden there is a small hand grasping at my arm pulling me towards the poorly insulated Arizona room. A tiny voice asks me to come to build him a boat with Lego’s and adds the sweetest please you’ve ever heard, how can I say no?
Every day is different with its challenges. I’d like to think that writing at night is the best for me, but you never know what’s going to happen to change all that. I wonder how other people do this and I wonder if I’m complaining too much. It’s very likely that I am and I need to chill out.
So, in this journey of writing and sharing my work, I’m still learning to balance things out. I’m learning to adapt to my surroundings and try to go with the flow. I know that many writers have routines and have specific ways of doing things. It’s just a matter of trial and error for everyone. Today, in order to get this out, I find myself locked in a bedroom with a slumbering, slightly snoring sister. In the distance Toy Story 2 is playing, again. My brother-in-law is taking one for the team.
A solid routine is hard for me right now, things are so uncertain. It’s only taken me around 25 days to get to a day 12 post, but at least I’m still keeping at it. Here is the question that I set out before all of you. Do you have a specific writing routine? How do you maintain that set path?
Sometimes when my writing is working against me, I turn to writing prompts. There is this page on Facebook called 100 Word Story. Now and then they post writing prompts with a few words, and then you must finish it within the 100 word limit. It’s a great place to get ideas and to read the work of other excellent writers. You can also follow their blog http://www.100wordstory.org/
I turn to pages like this when I need a boost to get things moving again. Here is one of their prompts, and I figured I would share it with yall and see what you think. Please comment and tell me about your writing routines and your thoughts.
In the New Year, Alice wouldn’t eat gluten, over-spend, date men named Joey. She would recreate herself. Instead, she would perhaps become a student of Bridget Jones or maybe adopt the teachings of Elizabeth Gilbert. Do it up right this year and keep the promises she would make to herself. Learn to stop trying to fix everyone else and work on the mistakes in her own life. It wasn’t enough just to stop doing all the things that lead her down the wrong road. She needed to disappear. She needed to leave behind certain married men, especially ones named Michael.