08 February 2016

Something Clicked

I think something finally happened that I've been waiting a year and a half for. At least I hope so. And if I'm right, it could mean a lot of writing will happen in the near future.

Ever since the PitchWars fiasco, I really wanted nothing to do with my book. Didn't want to work on it, didn't want to look at it, didn't even want to think about it. Well, mostly. There was still that tiny urge somewhere in my mind that still had hope for this story and still wanted to make something of it, but it just wasn't strong enough. It was buried under mountains of self-doubt, and honestly, some doubt caused by others as well.

So I haven't done much on it during that time. I've thought about it a bit, came up with some new ideas, thought a ton about the two sequels I have in mind, but didn't actually write all that much. Maybe a line here or there (or lots of random dialogue from Book 3), but most of what I wrote down were just ideas to work on later. I just couldn't get the words out. I kept waiting for something to click, for me to just be able to snap out of it and start writing again. It just wasn't happening.

But then last Thursday night happened. Through some sort of weird process comprised mostly of watching an hour long interview on YouTube and listening to music (this will only make sense to me so I'll spare you the details), I was feeling inspired. I had this very particular feeling of anxiety, which I knew from having it before meant I wanted to write. Now, usually if I feel like writing, I will basically take whatever I can get. Doesn't matter which book it is, which characters, or even if every word is awful. I'll still take it. But the problem was I had no idea what to work on.

So instead of writing, I started reading. After listening to a particular song, it made me think of one of my chapters, so I started reading it. But once I got into it, I wanted to read the chapter before it. And I went a little crazy. I had actually forgotten how good this chapter actually was. It was actually surprising that I had written it. Despite the fact that I knew exactly what was going to happen, every moment still had my heart racing. There were particular sentences that gave me chills. It certainly wasn't as awful as I had led myself to believe.

So did this lead to actual writing? Well, sort of. I think it led to a complete change in my mindset. After I finished reading, I went back to the very first scene in the book and started tackling that. I got out two paragraphs, and while I ended up cutting one of them the next day (it just didn't seem to fit the voice), it was still something. I think the words I did actually write will work. But the main thing is that I felt different. I actually wanted to write again. I wanted to think about my story. I wanted to figure things out. I haven't felt that way in a long time.

While I haven't really had time since then to write, I'm hoping once I have a free moment the words will start flowing again. And hopefully they won't stop.

On a side note, The Muse Party Blogfest: (Anti-) Valentine's Day Edition is one week away! Sign up and bring your muse to the party!

03 February 2016

Blog Insecurity

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click the link to learn more and sign up!

So what am I insecure about lately? You mean besides the same old, same old, right? For once I actually don't want to talk about writing, since nothing's really changed (still). I think I've completely unloaded all of my insecurities on that at this point. But one never really runs out of insecurity, do they? 

I've had quite a few blog related things on my mind lately. I definitely don't have the same momentum that I had through most of last year, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I have a lot less time now to write more posts, so I'm lucky to get one post a week out. But I'd rather be writing something that actually means something than just trying to fill space.

There are also a lot of things coming up in the near future that have me feeling a bit insecure. The A to Z Challenge is coming up way too fast and I officially signed up the other day. But I'm still not sure on my theme yet. I have a few ideas but I'm having trouble figuring out which one to use. My initial idea that I also mentioned last week was guilty pleasures. I've come up with a bunch but I don't know if I have 26 guilty pleasures, particularly one for every letter. Most of the ones I've come up with are just TV shows or junk food. I'd really like to have more of a variety of topics but I just don't know if they're there.

My second idea would actually be writing related, most likely to be called "The Revision Project." It would be kind of a way of dissecting what parts of my novel need to be fixed, sort of as a way to actually get me back on the revision track. My worries with this is that it may be too personal. I feel like some of the posts may be slightly therapeutic and I'm just not sure if people will care. Plus I'll probably be dishing out a lot of information on the book which may not keep everyone interested.

Besides all the A to Z brainstorming, I've got my own blogfest coming up in less than two weeks! I'm really excited for it but I'm worried it won't be as good as the first one. I still haven't written my post for it yet either. The signups are slowly getting up there but I don't know if they'll match the first Muse Party Blogfest. I know people will have fun with it, but I still worry that they won't.

I think what I always worry about with anything is that no one will care. Maybe that's an insecurity I need to get over.

01 February 2016

Lost & Found: Valentine's Edition Bloghop

Today I'm taking part in the Lost & Found: Valentine's Edition Bloghop, hosted by Arlee BirdGuilie Castillo-OriardAlex J CavanaughDenise CoveyYolanda Renee, and Elizabeth Seckman. We're being asked to share a story of love lost or found. I decided instead of fiction or a personal essay, to share some poetry instead. And not just one poem, but two!

While I feel these particular poems definitely need some heavy editing, if I had tried to start fixing them, I would never be done, so decided to share them as is (otherwise I'd never get this post done!). The first poem is a more personal one, and tells a story of love first found and then lost. The second is based on a piece of fiction (and actually helped me create the last two lines of my novel), and is more about love not necessarily lost, but complete. Enjoy!

Origami Roses

She knew before it happened—
there was softness in his voice
and a looming February holiday.
One day felt longer than the months before—
the careful footsteps around each other,
the coy remarks and lasting glances.

He made her the center of attention,
forced to clutch a glass vase to her chest.
Two were received every hour—
vibrant red petals and green stems,
white tags asking of her commitment.
When he appeared with the final two,
her answer was easy to give;
she knew it after getting the first.

Those roses were elegant, everlasting,
but they weren’t real.
Though he labored over every fold
with sincerity and passion,
they would always be fake.

Maybe then she would have seen the end as possible,
instead of believing his emotions
that could not last as long as these symbols.
She would have preferred real ones
to wilt quickly for her; they would have been
much easier to throw away.


He asks if I am happy.
Happy! What a strange word.
I couldn’t begin to comprehend
what it means. Which isn’t to say
that I am sad, either. But what
is there to feel when your work is done?
When you have molded yourself for so long
and find that there are no more bits
of clay to stretch, no marks to carve.

Happy? No. What I am is complete.
All my unfinished parts sewn together
and finding their place. And the pain
was entirely necessary, to rip up
all those pieces before they could
be brought together. Now I can say
that I am my own.

But what is left, after something
is complete? What can you do,
but move on to the next thing? 

**As an added bonus, I've also realized that while the poems themselves work for the theme, the fact that I'm showing you my poems at all does as well. Because what I've also lost is my love for writing poetry. Back in college I could write a poem a day, but at some point I just wasn't able to. Maybe by sharing and eventually editing my poems, that love and ability will be able to come back.

27 January 2016

The Good, the Bad, and the Blogfest

I thought I would throw together another fun facts post, since I had way too many things I wanted to talk about. A few things are good, some others are not (or at least aren't yet!). Oh yeah, and some kind of blogfest, or something...

The Good

- I have this weekend off! Working every other weekend instead of every single weekend ever makes my current job infinitely better than my last one.
- My fiance had jury duty yesterday and luckily didn't get picked for a jury, plus came home early and since it was my day off, we got to go out to lunch and spend some time together.
- As much as I would have loved to go to the first ever Broadwaycon this past weekend, being in New York during the snowstorm would have been a disaster! While my main reason for not going was money, I'm glad I didn't cave in and go.
- The snowstorm didn't hit us too hard here. I walk to work, so all I had to do was put on some boots. Plus while I was working, my fiance cleaned all the snow off my car <3

The Bad

- I won't be switching to earlier hours at work because something went wrong with the person they hired to take my hours. So now I have to wait until they hire another person, and it's a really long process. Guess it's still 11-7:30 for me for a while...
- I didn't get to read any blog posts on Monday since I pretty much went to bed right after work. I also procrastinated too much on Tuesday and probably didn't get to everyone's posts like I wanted to.
- The A to Z Challenge sign ups have already begun! Can you believe it? I can't! I don't know if I can participate this year. If I can come up with a theme like, within the next week or so, then I can try to write my posts ahead of time. If I can't get them all done before April, then there's just no way I'll have time to take part.
- I have had a theme idea floating around in my head but I'm not sure if I have enough ideas for every letter: guilty pleasures. I think it could be fun but I'll I've thought of so far are a few TV shows and some junk food. I don't know if I have 26 guilty pleasures at all, let alone one for every letter of the alphabet.
- There was a bomb threat made to where I work on Monday night (and is also right up the street from my apartment). Luckily it turned out to be nothing. There have been a ton of bomb threats around my state in the news lately and they need to stop!

The Blogfest

In case you missed it, I'm hosting another Muse Party Blogfest! This one is the (Anti-) Valentine's Day Edition. Whether you love Valentine's Day or hate it, if you have a muse (or a character) you can still have fun at the party! Find out all the details and sign up here!

Well, that's pretty much all that's going on right now. Writing? you may ask. What writing? There was never any writing...kidding. I have no idea! Add that one to the bad list, I suppose. But I'm trying not to dwell on it.

Has your week been good or bad? Have any guilty pleasures? Have you signed up for the Muse Party Blogfest (you should!)??

18 January 2016

The Muse Party Blogfest: (Anti-) Valentine's Day Edition

Blow up the balloons and grab your party hats, it's time for another muse party! After two seconds of much debating, I've decided it would be fun to get all of our muses and characters together for another day of shenanigans. But this time, there's a theme!

That's right, this party is a Valentine's Day muse party! Well, sort of. While I'm sure none of us are romantically involved with our muses (that would be weird on so many levels...), we do still love them (sometimes). Whether you have a real life Valentine or not, you may love Valentine's Day or hate it. I actually can't stand it most of the time, but since this party has absolutely nothing to do with sappy romance and greeting cards, I thought it would be fun.

It just so happens that my musiversary (that's muse anniversary for those of you playing at home) with Jordan falls on the day after Valentine's Day. So he's kind of always been my anti-Valentine. This year marks our fifth musiversary, so it seemed like a great time to celebrate and throw a party! 

So it's kind of an anti-Valentine's Day party. But also a Valentine's Day party. Basically it's whatever you want it to be. We're celebrating the most nauseating of holidays along with the most dysfunctional relationships we probably have--the ones with our muses. 

All right, I'll stop rambling! The details! The Valentine's Day Muse Party Blogfest will take place on Monday, February 15. I'll be hosting the party here and you and your muse can come! On that day you can post on your blog and answer the questions I've provided. I'll be answering them, too, and visiting all the other blogs to check out your answers! 

If you don't have a muse or don't want to bring them, feel free to bring a character from one of your books (published or not!). If you came to the first party, you can bring the same muse/character or someone different. Maybe we'll get to see how much we and our muses really love each other...

Here are the questions:

1. Who did you bring to the party? Is he/she your Valentine or anti-Valentine?
2. Which one of you is the more romantic person?
3. What gift are you giving to your (anti) Valentine?
4. Are you guys wearing red or pink (or black...)? 
5. Did you bring any Valentine's Day treats? 
6. Name a song for our Love Playlist or Anti-Love Playlist (or both)! 
7. Got a great anti/Valentine party game? 
8. Feeling the love or just feeling nauseous? How will you have fun at the party?
9. Has your muse been a good Valentine? 

*Jordan's Bonus Question (feel free to ignore him...): Did you bring me & Sarah a musiversary gift? (Because we've put up with each other for five years and I think we deserve something.)

Feel free to add any other details you'd like to share! And be as pro or anti-Valentine's Day as you'd like. Or both if you and your muse differ. Sign up on the Linky List below to participate! 

11 January 2016

Who's Up for a Party?

I had an idea recently that I've kind of been on the fence about, so I figured I'd get some opinions on it before I made a decision. Last May's Muse Party Blogfest was a lot of fun and honestly, a much bigger success than I thought it would be. At the end of last year I wanted to do a Christmas themed one, but with the new job I just didn't have the time or energy to plan it. So I figured I would just do it again in May for my next blog anniversary. But then I realized it would be hard to come up with new questions for people to answer, and that would just be boring. So having a theme would help.

Well, Valentine's Day is next month. While I actually can't stand Valentine's Day, it just so happens that my anniversary with my muse happens to be the next day. So I thought, what better time to have a muse party? You've got a holiday and an anniversary all rolled into one! While I know I would actually like to do it, I don't know if I actually should. So I've been thinking about the pros and cons:

- Obviously, I can come up with Valentine's Day questions which would make this different from the previous muse party
- It would be on Monday the 15th and I have that day off from work so I would actually have time to do it and visit everyone else doing it
- That day is my fifth anniversary with Jordan, so another reason to celebrate (I guess...)
- I still have over a month to pimp it out and get signups!
- I have all day tomorrow off to put a post together with the questions and signup list
- My linky list subscription is still good so I wouldn't have to pay for it :D

- Well, it would be Valentine's Day themed but actually be the day after Valentine's Day
- It also happens to be President's Day and I know some people don't blog on holidays

Well, ok, not too many cons, so it seems kind of obvious, doesn't it? I'm just not sure if it's something that people would actually want to do, so that's kind of the point of this post. Let me know if you think it's a good idea and you'd want to join in and I will definitely put this together. If not, I'll probably just take a nap.

06 January 2016

The Year of No Resolutions

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click the link to learn more and sign up!

It's that time of year where pretty much everyone has made a list of goals they'd like to accomplish at some point during the year, or just things they'd like to do better. Usually I'm the same way (although apparently my muse despises resolutions...), but this year I'm trying something different. I'm not making any actual resolutions.

I have a few reasons for this. First, I just didn't really have any time to think about it. My full time job pretty much takes up all of my time. The 11-7:30 shift was a lot more difficult than I anticipated. I spend most of the morning just getting ready (both physically and mentally) for work, and then after work I'm exhausted. I just want to eat dinner, maybe watch some TV and then pass out. My days off are usually spent doing chores like laundry and grocery shopping. So there's not a lot of time left for anything else. Luckily I'll be switching to an earlier shift in a couple weeks (probably 6:30-3) so I think I'll be able to make better use of my spare time.

But the other reason for not making any resolutions was that I just wasn't feeling it. I feel like I make the same exact goals every year and never accomplish them. Lose weight, finish my book, publish some poems, read 100 books. It just never works out. I'm kind of tired of the disappointment.

So I thought this year I would take a different approach. I still have the same goals I've always had, but I'm trying to think of them in a different way. I don't want to push myself on too many things so that I burn out right away and give up. I want to start tackling these goals in a more realistic way. One step at a time. Maybe work an hour on UL's third draft at this point, maybe go to the gym on this day, say no to pizza and get a salad. I don't want to try to do everything at once or think too much about what needs to be done in the future. Just try to do my best one day at a time. And if I need a day to relax and do nothing, then that's ok.

I have no idea if this approach will work but I guess without making any concrete goals, even if I accomplish one tiny thing, it will be a small victory. I've just got to take everything one tiny step at a time.

How do you tackle your goals? Did you make any resolutions this year?