Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ang Talks About Writing A Novel & Has Fun With Gifs

Last night, I put the final (for now) touches on good ole Fluff, Nonsense, & Other Emo Crap. For the record, my wee story doth have an actual name. I've been calling it Fluff & Nonsense for a year and it feels like home. What's the actual title, you ask? Soon, my friends, soon I shall share.

For now, I've got to find ways to occupy the good ole brain-brain while five of my nearest and dearest weed through my madness. I could do the laundry or clean the bathrooms or dust something, but what's the fun in that?

I could do this, but alas, there be no oceans near me.
So here I sit thinking about the writing process and the road to publication. Most published authors have their story up on their blogs or hidden in their FAQ. I've read far too many of them not to be considered a stalker. Who hasn't?

Their stories always begin with I worked really hard and wrote a book and then either a. I knew a guy who knew a guy who knew this agent and BOOM or b. I've landed in every slush pile from here to Timbuktu and after years and years of rejection my amazing super agent took a chance on me and BOOM or c. I decided to take my fate in my own hands and self-published and BOOM.

I like the boom part best. No matter which road an author chooses, every author wants the same thing, an explosion, be it financially or socially or career-ly or mentally or whatever-ly.

But it all starts with that first elusive sentence: I wrote a novel. One of the simplest sentences to write and yet one of the most daunting tasks a person can undertake. So how does it get done? I'm not sure what most people do but I can tell you what I did. And you can take it or leave it. Let’s be honest, you’ll probably leave it.
Peace out, fool.
It started with a book I read last summer. I will not name the book. I will say that while I did somewhat enjoy said undisclosed novel, I felt it was a wee bit lacking. Not in a major way. Just in a *shrug* this book could have been better sorta way. What's a person to do when they are dissatisfied with a story? Rant at their best friend, but of course, which in turn leads to ideas for amazing stories that must be written like yesterday. And what's a writer to do? Well.Write. Duh.

So that's what I did. I sat down around midnight-ish and wrote 3000 words just like that. *snaps fingers* Then I edited it and shipped it off to the best who read it lightening quick (cause she's amazeballz) and responded with I WANT MORE!
An accurate depiction of the best after reading my offerings.
And I thought, why not? So I cranked up my jams, ignored the laundry, the kids, and life in general and wrote. I wrote every day and within a month I had roughly 50,000 words. BUT there was one small speed bump. My final semester of classes started. With a heavy heart and fingers that itched to write, I put good ole Fluff & Nonsense aside and picked up my textbooks (math, Spanish, and astronomy respectively). However, there was one saving grace. I was also taking my final creative writing class. In which, I had to meet with two professors weekly and turn in pages for them to critique. At first, they only wanted thirty pages. Then, they wanted forty. Then, they wanted fifty. When they asked for sixty, I begged for mercy being that I had to edit fifty plus pages, not to mention, pretend to speak Spanish, study the orbit of the Moon, and remember how to add and subtract equations or some other absurdity. Oh, and lest we forget my day job of keeping four kids alive.
The wonderful thing about my portfolio class was the in-depth conversations I had with my professors. For the first time, I was discussing my characters with someone as if my characters were real life people. Please understand, for me, they are real people. I love my characters. I want the world for them. But I never expected others to feel the same. Not only did they care, but my professors enjoyed the story. And let me just say, they are not my target audience.

When the semester was over and I'd regained my sanity after the whirlwind holiday season, I jumped right back into writing. I shut the door, as Mr. King recommends, and I wrote daily. Whether it was ten words or ten thousand, I made sure every day I put a little more of the story down. By the end of January, I had a completed first draft. BOOM.
It happened just like this & there were cupcakes.
Then I set it aside, let the brain-brain rest, and tried not to peek at it. It drove the best and I crazy, but I was insistent on doing things the right way… for about a week, then I emailed the whole kit and caboodle to her and she read it in a night. Meanwhile, the mister took one for the team and read Fluff & Nonsense too.

And then, we all discussed. We discussed characters and plots and motivation and scenery and dialogue. We discussed the good and the bad and the ugly and the flat out horrid. We giggled and high fived. We cried and got flustered. Words cannot express the joy I experienced in those moments. I'd have to say, I believe it was detrimental to my writing process.
Oh, we danced. Don't you dare doubt it!
That is not the end of my story. Far from it. As I’m learning, it’s only the beginning. But it’s the most important part. Without the book everything that followed and everything that could potentially come is null and void.

As I search for a point to this long-winded post, I guess it comes down to a somewhat simple thought. When writing, it is important to reach out to other. To have a support system, cheerleaders with pom-poms ready who don’t mind texts at one in the morning about how you’ve just realized your main character has three different last names and you can’t decide which sounds best and will they please, for the love of sprinkles, sparkles, and cookies, just pick one out before you lose your damn mind.

People who will call you out when you’ve been slacking. People who will laugh with you and sometimes even at you. People who will believe in you, especially when you just can’t believe in yourself. People who will talk about your characters as if they were their best friends. People who won't tell you it's too hard to write a novel, but instead they'll say YOU CAN TOTALLY DO IT!

*takes a bow*
If you don’t have people, find them. They are out there. Check Twitter. Check Facebook. Check blogs. [Hey, look at you, you're already on a blog! *high five*] Check your local library. Check your local community college. Don’t have money for classes? Do what I did, sign up for some financial aid and give it a go.

Whatever you do, get yourself some people. Because you might write alone, but let’s be honest, you are writing because you have something to say, something to share. So find some people to share it with and listen to them. I think you’ll find that you’ll stop writing for money or fame or any of that other unimportant stuff and you’ll start writing for you and your people. And in return, you'll find the motivation to earn the right to type that ever elusive sentence: I wrote a novel. BOOM!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The One Where Ang Attends A Book Signing & Almost Pees Her Pants

Last night, I attended The Smart Chicks Kick It! tour. It was my first author signing. After decades of being an avid reader, I FINALLY got the chance to actually meet a few of my writing idols. And let me just say, they did not disappoint! So excuse me for a moment whilst I fan-girl out. The likelihood of me rambling on like a loon in this post is extremely probable. Please forgive me. I know not what I do. Please forgive me, I can't stop lovin' you. *dramatically bows head*

1. Where Ang says thank you.
Before this party gets started, I must thank two people.

First, the best, Kim, who emailed me last week & said: Hey, some of our favorite authors are coming to your hometown and you are going. The end.

Secondly, I want to thank Carrie from Stalking the Bookshelves for answering all my n00b questions about signing etiquette and what to expect.
*high-fives & twirls all around*

2. Where Ang looks for a sucker date to drive her to go with her to the shindig.
I needed a date, cause let's be frank, fan-girling alone ain't no fun. I knew only one person would do:
 That would be me & Sarah of Sea Sarah Blog aka my sister 
aka the hottest up and coming book blogger in the world,
I know, we're smexy.
We can't help it.

3. Where Ang gets a new book & some swag.
Now, I've heard of the wonders of swag. I'd be remiss if I didn't admit I've spent the last few years in a perpetual state of jealousy over those who swag seems to rain down on like manna from the heavens and lil ole me in the corner stuck in a never ending drought. But, by the book gods, the storm clouds rolled into my desert home last night and rained down upon me!

From tattoos to chocolate my cup runneth over.
At the event, I bought a copy of
Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr. 
I brought five books from home to be signed, as well. 

4. Where Ang accosts an author & chit-chats about nonsense. 
While the Q & A session was fun times, my favorite part was actually getting to meet the authors. I had no game plan going into the night, I just hoped I wouldn't wet myself or turn bright red as is my M.O. I am happy to report I:

a. did NOT jump over the tables and beg the authors in attendance to be my best friends.
b. pee myself when said authors actually laughed at my lame jokes.
(the p.s. This is a Christmas miracle as I drank a huge cup of iced tea right before the Q&A started and was virtually on the verge of wetting myself the whole night. I kid you not.)
c. manned up and asked one of my all time favey-faves to take a picture with me.
Oh that's me and Kimberly Derting.
Excuse me whilst I gush. She has no CLUE how cool I had to play it in this moment. She is not only one of my all time favorites, but the first published author I have EVER spoken with in the real world. *swa-oooon* For the record, Sarah refused to use the flash cause she didn't want to blind Mrs. Derting. Thusly, the picture is a blurry mess (at this moment in time, I will not point out that my sister's husband is a professional photographer and she's better than this). Alas, the picture is proof we actually met and I'm a happy camper.

5. Where Ang is encouraged & rambles on a wee bit. 
After leaving the signing last night, I felt this great sense of purpose and exhilaration. Writing is not easy, for the most part we authors are alone. Sure, if we are blessed, we have amazing support systems and people raining down encouragement on us, but when push comes to shove, when an author sits down to write their little ditties, they are lone-dogging it. And when the time comes to take a step out and try to make your dreams come true, it's hard not to feel as if every door has slammed in your face before you've even begun. It's hard not to feel too young or too old or too small or too naive or too unconnected or ... 

But being at the signing last night and meeting the authors really pulled into focus what I want to achieve. I might be too naive and far too small and waaaaaay too unconnected, but by golly, they were once right where I am. They had a story weighing down on them and a desire to have it heard and they worked and they stressed and they probably felt just like I do, but they didn't allow it to hold them back! 

*cues the music* 
And this is how you end a post, folks. BOOM!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Five Favorites

It's been a good long time since I've done a favorite things post.
They make my heart happy and remind me of my good friend, Annie.
Let's give it a go, shall we?

Drink Me
photograph taken by Aka
I *heart* lemons.
They are all the good things.
This summer I perfected the art of lemonade makery.
You can find the recipe here.
I tweaked it a wee bit. 
When making the simple syrup I add the zest of one lemon
and I fill a two quart pitcher about a third of the way with ice
then strain the simple syrup over the ice before adding
the juice of four (large-ish) lemons & four cups of water.
Make this today.
As in now.
Like now NOW.

Read Me
Once again I am behind in my reading goal for the year.
I bumped my goal down to a hundred (that's from 150).
I'm still seven books behind, but determined to get 'er done.
So I've picked out seven books I've been meaning to read.

I started with
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
and I do so enjoy it.
It's a mob story set in a future when chocolate is banned
and kids are drinking beer legally.
The story centers around Anya,
a young girl whose dead father
was the city's most notorious crime boss. 
She has to take care of her dying grandmother,
her older brother who is special needs,
and her baby sister,
all while avoiding falling in love with the DA's son
and murder charges. 

All These Things I've Done is a wild ride.
Ms. Zevin's writing is simple yet beautiful
and always profound. Plus I got meself a new book boyfriend.
Thusly, all is right in the world.

Hear Me
This weekend, the mister picked up Relient K --- Is For Karaoke. 
It is-- for lack of a term befitting its greatness-- amazeballz!

Wear Me
I bought this from esty--
pic taken from heathers happy
Annnnd I love it!
The shop owner is heather of heathers happys.
She's got some extremely adorable rings & other charm necklaces.
The cost of shipping was excellent (two bucks, thank you very much)
 & my order arrived days after I ordered it.
Overall, heather made me exceptionally happy!
Go forth and check her out.

Think Me
I found this quote on Pinterest this weekend.
Just something to ponder.

And there they be, 
a few of my favorite things. 
Got any favorites you'd like to share?
You should.
Come on.
I dare ya.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Middle of the Ride

Mood music provided by Kim aka the bestie.

I've been a tad bit overwhelmed, a wee bit anxious, and overall freaking out. Simply a pleasure to live with, I tell ya! I'm an enthusiastic person and I try my best to remain positive, but please understand I'm a realist. I've done my homework and I know the depressing statistics. The probability of me getting published (in the traditional sorta way) is slim to none. However, it's far easier to deal with that stark reality when you're in the thick of writing a story. At least, it was for me.

I was so busy daydreaming and plotting and scheming and swooning and crying that I didn't have time to worry about queries and summaries and pitches and log-lines and cover letters and  line-edits and agents and markets and... *brain explodes*

All of it came crashing down on me last week. I couldn't sleep. I could hardly eat. My brain was a skipping record and the phrase on repeat-- you can't do this. you can't do this. you can't do this.

Drama. Drama. Drama.

I'm much better now. The best and the mister took turns slapping me, told me to get a hold of myself, and reminded me to take a deep breath, stop all the fretting, and get back to work. (I have no clue what I'd do without them.)

And that's exactly what I've been doing. I'm trying to focus on the things I can control. I can control the quality of my manuscript. I can control who I query and the quality of the letters I send out. I can control my attitude by maintaining a realistic yet hopeful mindset. Most importantly, I can keep myself in control, slow down, focus on taking one small step at a time, and not write myself off just yet.

I've been reminding myself how much I love to write and that I've been writing for years without worrying about impressing others, but for the pure joy of the experience. And most importantly, I've been focusing on one plain and simple truth-- the world will not end if my book doesn't get picked up by an agent.

Robert Frost said:

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life. It goes on.

Just another simple, yet undeniable truth.

How do you maintain a positive attitude in the face of such insurmountable odds?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Now This Is All Me

Excuse me whilst I put on a lil mood music.

 *sings along with song::
  lights turn on and dark turns outside,
blindside, dream big, you're next in line, it's plain
now this is all me, now this is all me*

Well, hey there.
I bet you're asking yourself,
Self, what's Ang up to?
And why the dance party?

Truth be told, 
every day is a dance party 'round here,
on this day,
 I have a most excellent reason for 
flailing about like a loon.
I have officially finished my third draft of Fluff & Nonsense.
Lines have been edited,
characters have been straightened out,
plot holes ain't so holey,
adverbs have been cut ruthlessly,
dialogue tags are respectable saids & askeds,
in general,
it be a book.
What's up next?
Well, good ole Ang here,
(and you always know someone means 
bizness when they break out in the third person speak)
needs to put on her big girl pants,
write a few query letters,
and *gulps*
send them out to agents.

I know I'm heading toward rejection.
Don't take that statement the wrong way.
It's a fact. I will be rejected.
I'm actually looking forward to it.
I'm ready to earn my battle scars.
Ready to see if I'm one crap-shoot away from winning big. 

I also know my wee lil story isn't perfect.
More edits will be made.
More of my soul, time, and energy shall be poured into it.
But I think after a year of writing,
a year filled with the good, the bad, and the ugly,
it's time to take a leap of faith 
and see if we can cap this year off with a bang.
*crosses fingers*
For now,
please excuse me whilst I dance.
And feel free to join me!
*tosses sprinkles & sparkles in the air*

Monday, August 20, 2012

Simple Truths

Life is full of simple truths. The kind of truths we really don't want to face. Some we try to run from. Others are easier to embrace. There are those that can be ignored. And a few we can lie to ourselves about. But truth is truth, no matter how hard it is to swallow and face it we must.

I've been dealing with an overwhelming amount of truths of late. Truths about myself as a person. Truths about the people around me, my friends, my family. Truths about my goals and all the things I'd love to accomplish before I die.

It's not as emo as it sounds. In fact, if I were honest, it's been quite refreshing. Sorta an airing out of the good ole brain-brain. A refresher course in Hey, you’re just a human being, and you should stop fretting and stressing and grieving and simply live, because this is your life. The one and only.  So what are you going to do with it? What are you going to leave behind?

And then it hit me last night as I laid in bed while reading a good book and listening to rhythm of my sleeping mister's steady breathing--

If I want to live my life to the fullest and be the best me, I cannot do all the things. I cannot be everything and so I must decide what I can live with and what I can live without.

The deeper question, the simple question, the undeniable truth:

If today, I were lying on my deathbed, what would I regret? What would I miss the most? What reasons would I have to fight to stay alive?

I've been cleaning house of late, both literally and figuratively-- trimming the commitments I've made, cultivating my dreams, taking a moment to stop and breathe.

It makes me feel a tad bit guilty. I'm the type of person who's always put others first, their problems, their feelings, their needs. But lately, I've been putting my needs first. It’s a strange and wonderful thing. I always thought it would make me more selfish, but in many ways, it’s made me more aware of the people around me.

Made me aware of just how badly I want to spend my life with my husband, hold onto my kids in the here and now, spend time with my best of friends, share a few thoughts here and there with you, and write. I long to write.

I cannot do all the things. I cannot be everything to everyone. And that’s okay. But I can be the best me, the me who daydreams, the me who hates cellphones, the me who twirls, the me who is shy, the me who wears her heart on her sleeve where its more prone to get hurt.

These are not earth shattering revelations. They will not change the world. But they will change me. Or better yet, they will allow me to be me.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

an emo post

Hey, so yeah...

I've been thinking about this post for a week now.
You know the post--
blah blah blah life
blah blah blah emo
blah blah blah drama queen

It's the sorta post that says nothing 
but means everything.

It doesn't say,
hey I've been extremely sad of late,
what it does says is 
I've been dealing with some stuff.

It doesn't say,
the thought of being social right now overwhelms me,
what it does says is
hey I might not be around for a wee bit.

It doesn't say,
not being around makes me feel like a loser,
what it does says is
hey, I'm sorry
and I hope y'all can forgive me. 

 It doesn't say,
three months ago today my dad died and I just feel off,
what it does says is
I miss you all.

Maybe that's the most important part of the post?
So here it is,
the I'm gonna slip into a lil cocoon
and rest my head for a wee bit longer post.
Not too long.
Just long enough
 to grieve,
to think,
to heal.

But the whole time I'll be missing you.
Yes you.
Because we're friends, you and I.
And that's oh so important to me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kreativ Blogger Award

It's party time, friends, cause I got tagged
not once, not twice, not three times (a lady)
but you guessed it four times!
My cup runneth over!
What did I get tagged in?

And who be these amazing tagging fools?

A very berry heartfelt thank you to all!

Dear Reader, 
Please make sure to check out 
these awesome bloggers/writers/supporters/friends.
You will not regret it!
I do so swear.

Now onto the shenanigans!

The Rules:
1. Thank & link back to the person who nominated you.
2. Answer the ten questions.
3. Share ten random facts/thoughts about yourself.
4. Nominate seven worthy blogs for the Kreative Blogger Award.

The Questions:

1. What's your favorite song?
Okay, blah blah blah, there is no WAY I could pick a favorite song. But what I can do is give y'all a list of the Top Five Songs I Listen To On Repeat Of Late.
1. Cameras -- Matt & Kim
2. Of Minor Prophets -- David Bazan
3. Keep it Together -- Guster
4. We Are Young -- fun.
5. Magic -- B.O.B. ft. Rivers Cuomo *
*theme song aka the get pumped song

2. What's your favorite dessert?
My favorite dessert tends to change on a whim, yet chocolate is almost always involved.
This month's dessert of choice:

3. What ticks you off?
The word swag. It's just not a good word. sssssW-aaag. *shudders* I've got beef with the creator of this horrid word.

4. What do you do when you're upset?
Become a blotchy mess of rashness and feel all tongue tied. The mister always knows when I'm upset because I get freakishly quiet. A poker player, I am not.

5. Which is your favorite pet?
A hedgehog. His name was Herbie. He shall always be miss.
*raises a bottle of Jack* 
*pours out a fifth*
*bows head*

6. Which do you prefer: black or white?
I like black sharpies and white chalk.

7. What is your biggest fear?
Losing one of my not so lil cuties. We've had some touch and go moments with a few of them, and let me just say, Not.A.Fan.

8. What is your attitude mostly?
I tend to be overly positive toward others. The kind of positive that is so disgusting it makes a person want to vomit. Now, as far as my attitude toward myself, in general, I'm self deprecating emo in the corner.

What can I say? When you've got two brains (a medically proven fact) things get complicated.

9. What is perfection?
I'm not one for perfection. Give me messy, loud, and out of control any day of the week. Perfection makes me nervous and leery.

10. What is your guilty pleasure?
The Vampire Diaries. There. It's out. Phew.

The Random Facts:

1. I am obsessed with socks, long socks, short socks, slipper socks, striped socks, socks, socks, socks. I want them ALL!

2. I despise ketchup. Just the scent of it makes me physically ill. It's something I've learned to deal with in a world covered in condiments.

3. In general, I am not an animal lover, but I am a vegetarian (who eats fish sparingly) so I feel it evens out.

4. My dad's nickname for me was Pinhead. He used my head as a target when golfing in the winter time. It explains a lot about me as an individual.

5. When I was in junior high I came up with the pen name--
                                                                                 wait for it--
                                                                                         Ivory Nights.

6. I have one tattoo and it took me a decade to commit to it. It runs along the inside arc of my right foot and is a quote from one of me and the mister's songs.

7. I enjoy being bundled up and wear long sleeves pretty much everyday, even when it's 118 degrees outside.

8. I've always wished I was Canadian, and I have Anne of Green Gables to thank for that.

9. If I could eat guacamole everyday, all day long, I would. *heaven*

10. The whole time I've been answering these questions my youngest has been hanging on my back whispering random questions into my ear. It's awesome.

The Nominations:

Kim -- @citygirlinAK
Sara -- @reraveling
Carrie -- @onebookishmom
Jen -- @cupcakegirly
Rachel --  @rebunting
Zoe --  @ZoeHarrington_
Bonnie --  @missbonnie13

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction -- Foggy

Once again, party people, I'm trying something new.
What might that be?
Why, Five Sentence Fiction, but of course. 
Lillie McFerrin is the creative mastermind behind Five Sentence Fiction.
Here's a breakdown of what it's all about:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
Cool beans, right?!
I thought so.
Plus, the number five is involved,
there is no way I could possibly pass this up!
So, let's give this a go, shall we?
*rubs hands together*

The newest word is foggy.
The following is my humble first offering.

Shelby’s thoughts were sluggish, her body heavy, her senses dull. The sound of beeping poked at her, the air thick with the scent of ammonia. She felt the prick of a needle and tried to focus on the voices swarming above her. Her murky mind struggled to see beyond the haze, tried to grab onto something concrete. But the gloom rolled over her, wave after wave of mist, and she sank deeper into its embrace.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hurray for Flash Fiction Day!!

Good morning, one and all!
Today is 
Did ya hear the angels sing?
You can clickity click here to find all the happenings.

In the spirit of Flash Fiction Day
and for the love of all things wordy,
I am sharing with you, my dear friends,
a lil dity I put together just yesterday morning.
And without further ado,
I give you--

Dedicated to 
@bullishink for her encouragement
@citygirlinAK for her hand holding


Sophie opened her bedroom door in a stupor. She stood in the threshold and examined the room. Everything was in its place— same pale blue walls, same white curtains, same quilted bedspread. Pictures of her friends lined the vanity mirror and a pair of socks dangled from the hamper. She breathed in the scent of cinnamon. All of it familiar, yet none of it felt real.

Closing the bedroom door, she walked to her bed and dropped down to sit, resting her head in her hands. Her eyes slide shut and she ran her fingers through her hair. Behind her eyelids, she envisioned a field of gold and a barefoot young man running through it. His laughter filled her ears.

“This is my world. This is where I belong. This is my reality,” she said over and over again, her voice whisper soft and lacking conviction.

Sophie raised her head. Her eyes scanned the room once more and collided with her reflection in the vanity’s mirror.  Her face looked haggard—her green eyes lined with red, her dark hair wild.

Could he be watching her? she wondered. Her stomach fluttered at the thought. She knew the probability of him being there was slim to none, but just the thought made her heart swell and her hands tremble.

Sophie stood and walked toward the vanity, but stopped in the middle of the room. She reminded herself to breathe, begged her heart to slow down, believed she might be insane. But she knew the impossible truth, Luke was real.

There were so many things she had wanted to tell him, but didn’t. And maybe, just maybe, she could say them now and he would know how she felt.

She swallowed hard and took the final steps that brought her directly in front of the mirror. Her knees pushed up against the table.

Sophie raised her hand, stretching her fingers out wide. Her palm connected with the hard cold glass of the mirror and she shivered.

“Luke,” she whispered and stalled.

She drew in an unsteady breath and imagined she was staring into his eyes. She watched a tear slip down her cheek. 

“Luke, if you’re there, I…” she paused, closed her eyes tight and started again. “I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for bring me into your world, for sharing your magic with me. I wish I could have… I wish I would have told you, but I was frightened.”

Sophie’s eyes popped open and she looked into the mirror— deep into the mirror— past the image of herself and straight into the heart of the world beyond it.

“I love you,” she said. “And I will never forget you.”

On the other side of the mirror, a young man stood with his hand pressed in perfect alignment with Sophie’s and his eyes stared directly into hers.

“I love you too,” he whispered.

 word count: 485

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Lucky Seven Meme

Hey howdy hey, party people.
Just shy of a month ago
the loveliness that is Angie Richmond
of Write Me Happy tagged me in a meme post.
My motto in life is better late than never,
so let's get this party started, shall we?!

Here's how the meme works:

Go to page 7 or 77 of your current MS/WIP
Go to line 7
Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences or paragraphs and post them as they are written.
Tag 7 authors and let them know.
 Since I am all about loving the one your with,
I've decided to post an excerpt from a story I wrote
just last Friday based on a dream I had a few weeks ago.
I decided to do seven paragraphs.
p.s. This is barely editing and smack dab in the middle of a scene.
Have fun.

Darcy and Gideon—unable to see more than a foot in front of them—shuffled down the steep stairs, testing each step as they descended into the darkness. The weight of Violet on her back pressed into Darcy and she feared tripping. The end of the staircase brought them to a doorway made of dirt, rocks, and tree roots. They walked through the threshold and entered a cavern. The ground and walls were made of packed earth. Roots and stones jutted out of the walls. The scent of decaying vegetation filled the space and made it hard to breath.  Dust filled Darcy’s nose and mouth. She glanced above her and stifled a scream.  A man and woman hung from the ceiling. The man dressed in a tux complete with gloves and a top hat. The woman wore a long gown of white shredded at the hem. Their feet were bare. Skeletal in appearance, their glowing faces were as sharp and angular as the mysterious man the children had followed.

“They are the guardians,” the man said gaining Darcy’s attention.

“The guardians of what?” she asked.

“Of this world and the next,” he said. With a sweep of his arm a door appeared in the wall of the cavern. “They have agreed to allow you four children entrance, but they have rules you must abide by.”

“Rules?” Darcy asked.

“You are not to eat or drink anything beyond this door,” the man said.

“But how will we…” Gideon began.
Annnnnd time! 
Now onto the fun part.
*rubs hands together*
Alright, folks!
Ready. Steady.

  1. Mindy Sue
  2. Lisa Shambrook
  3. Meg McNulty
  4. Jessica Grey
  5. Sarah
  6. Kerry Freeman
  7. Laura Huntley

Friday, May 11, 2012

Five for Friday -- Let's Get Silly

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Friday who?
Just Friday, silly.


My calling is clear.
I'm to be a comedian.
*hangs head in shame*
Let's move on, shall we?
It's Friday.
Things have been happenin'.
I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

1. This week in the land of Tweets.
Angie did @surlymuse and I a solid and declared a Day o' Naps!
Kerry showed off her walker.
Ang (amcas) left me speechless, as per usual.
Sara and I discussed our upcoming Whelmed Party.
And I convinced my newest tweet-tweet friend Jennifer to eat a bowl of guacamole.
Just doin' my duty, folks.

2. This week in writing.
I wrote a synopsis,
which is a miracle.
How'd I pull it off?
Well, first I tweeted wtf is a synopsis.
Then Eva replied--
 Where did the link lead?
To a post by Susan Dennard on how to write a synopsis.
It is an excellent resource.
It made writing my synopsis of Fluff, Nonsense, & Other Emo Crap enjoyable.
On top of that, it reminded me why I loved my lil story.
I actually cried!
As I read through my freshly edited synopsis,
I realized I was proud of my work.
*a moment*
You see since I started re-editing last week,
I've felt I should change the title to Crap.
I can never thank either of these ladies enough for
a. taking the time to share their knowledge.
b. just being pure wonderment. 
Truly truly, I am ever so grateful.
*hugs for all*

3. This week in reading.
I still haven't read a book.
Long story short, I just don't feel like it.
There's more to it, but...
What I have been reading are a multitude of wonderful stories
I've found right here on the webernet!
Here are (you guessed it) FIVE flash fictions/poems
that I thought were the bomb dot com.

Seriously, people, READ THEM.
You will not regret it.

4. This week in The Stache.
Can there be another stache as great as The Selleck?
I didn't think so.
This week I'm bring back an oldie, but a goodie.
Folks, I'm a vegetarian and let me just say I'd go meat for a slice of this action:
source o' wonder
Too much awesome.
I know.
If you think your heart can handle more go here.
Trust me.
Just do it.

5. This week in Pinterest.
buy wonderment here
My bestie and I created a bestie love Pinterest board.
It has made my heart insanely happy.
It will be good for your heart, as well.
I promise.

Annnnnnd if there's anyone still with me,
tis what I know and what I've got.
I hope y'all have a fan-tab-ulous weekend.
I'll be seein' ya on the flippy-flop.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Word Vomit

Please excuse me for a moment,
whilst I word vomit all over you.
There's refreshments on the back table
and a lil mood music for your ear holes to partake in.
You're welcome.
Let us begin.

What in the hell am I doing? During the course of the last few days, I seem to have this thought at least twice every two seconds, give or take. Since "the event," my brain-brain's been in sleep mode. However, this weekend I woke up to find it all swirly twirly. Apparently, it just needed to reboot for a month plus. Now it's ready to come out and play. It's not totally fixed, but it at least wants to bring some things to light.

For example, my brain-brain doth say, the stack of library books sitting on your desk? Yeah, they be overdue by at least two months and maybe you should drop them off and beg for forgiveness and leniency. Oh and you know those kids who claim you have to fed, bathe, and protect them, well two of them have birthdays in a month and maybe you should get on that. P.S. No one can find clean socks. Oh and....

Me thinks you get the point.

A billion-trillion thoughts are being thrown at me, begging me to remember I have a life and I should probably get back to living it instead of just going through the motions.

What my brain-brain really wants to get back to is the writing thing. But on that front, it's even more confused. I keep starting and stalling multiple projects. It's like I have a hundred half eaten chocolate bars lying around my house. Frankly, it's shameful.

Do I start editing Fluff, Nonsense, & Other Emo Crap? And if so, how do I fight down the feeling that it is all crap, not to mention, that I'm doing it all wrong?

Or do I focus on editing something smaller, like the not so flash fiction story I wrote for Anna Meade's long over fairy contest?

Or do I keep working on that freaky dream I had the other morning?!

Or do I start writing book three, inspired by the song of awesome, lies, and my new found love of horror movies!?!

Or do I look into five sentence fictions?

Or do I join another flash fiction contest?

Or do I finish my 22 Things post?

Or do I finally start the Lucky 7 Meme post?

Or do I.....

I think you get the picture.

Meanwhile, I struggle to even find the time to focus on any one of these questions, let alone decide where to start (see need for clean socks & kids who believe I'm their slave). This maelstrom of madness has left me at a standstill. I long to take part in the fantastic new community of writers I've recently met, I long to edit my purdy lil novel, I long to write something new, I long to simply know what the heck I am doing, what I should be doing, but the answers aren't coming and I'm getting all squirmy wormy inside.

In the end, I know I need to take a deep breath, stop the insanity, batten down the hatches, and get to work. I know the answer is hidden somewhere in the black cavern that is me brain space. Or maybe I just answered it...

The real question just might be,
will I allow all this to stop me 
or can I pull it together just long enough to get 'er done?

As I sit here in a quiet house,
my thoughts tumbling over themselves,
I realize I need to find balance, focus, and let some things go.
I know I can't do it all, even though I'm desperate to.
But what do I let go and where do I start...
Dang it.
I've come full circle.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Five for Friday -- With A Little Help From My Friends

It's Friday. 
I've got my Avenger tickets in my pocket
and a feel good vibe floating 'round inside my heart.
I think it's all the fairy dust in the air of late.
Whatever it may be,
I'm embracing it, jumpin' back in the saddle,
and putting together a fun times post complete with
and marshmallow villains.
It will all make sense.
Ready. Steady. 
Let's get this party started!

1. This week in Tweet Tweet Land.
I made new friends.
It made my heart happy.
Here's why--
Sarah from re-raveling and I told fairy tales about eyelashes, big toes, and marshmallow men.
*out -- ya know how it goes on twitter. typos be running wild!
 Susi Holliday (who's blog is here) cackled and my heart sang.
Victoria Pearson (who's blog is here) came up with the best job EVER.
Jessica Grey (who's blog/website is here) wholeheartedly supported my decision to make a tumblr vs being productive in life.
p.s. I also made a pinterest, because ya know, I don't have enough to distract me.
And my lovely friend Katie and I discussed Ben & Jerry's. 

2. This week in writing.
Speaking of Ben & Jerry's, 
this took place yesterday.
 Editing of Fluff, Nonsense, & Other Emo Crap commenced this week
and, let me just say, my brain-brain hurts.
It's a good thing the doctors decided I have two,
cause I'm pretty certain this whole process is gonna cause one to explode.

 3. This week in crazy awesome news that made my heart stop!!!
Speaking of exploding brains,
about a week ago I entered a flash fiction contest
hosted by @SJIHolliday & @ruanna3.
I do so declare it has been the best experience EVER!!!
Eighty-eight stories were submitted.
I've read every single one of them
and honestly adored them all.
There is no way I am going to win.
Having the privilege of playing a small role in this event has been my prize.
And then, low and behold, an announcement was made that knocked my socks off.
What is this wonderment @SJIHolliday is speaking of?
Why a published anthology of all the stories from the contest,
but of course.
ALL the stories, which means ME!
That's right, folks!!!
An actual physical book made of paper with stories in it
will have my name and my words in it!!!
I feel honored.
I feel stunned.
I feel verklempt!
I feel...
*brain-brain failure*

How doth one follow up that news?!
Oh, I know where to go next!

4. This week in heroes of the stache.
Speaking of feeling honored,
it's May and time for us to support our local staches.
This week I'm paying homage to a great hero of the stache--
Mr. Tom Selleck.
You, sir, are a god among staches.
Long live the stache!!

5. This week in yeah buddy.
And last, but oh so far from being least,
my family and I sent messages to our Rocketman last Saturday.
i love you, rocketman
It's been over a month since "the event."
It's weirdy in a far too comfortable kind of way.
And yet, I keep asking myself if it was all just a really bad dream
that I'm going to wake up from any day now.
For now,
I'm grabbing onto everything good and wonderful
and I'm refusing to let go.
Thanks to all of you for helping with the good and wonderful parts.
*hugs all around*
See ya on the flippy-flop.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Flash Fiction: Once Upon A Time Contest

The following is not only my first flash fiction attempt,
but my first entry into any type of writing contest.
I'm doing it for the sake of silliness,
tomfoolery, and shenanigans.
Also cause @ruanna3 sent the Excuse Fairy
to my house and man alive is she a feisty one!
The following contest is hosted by @ruanna3 & @SJIHolliday.
 You can find the guidelines at Yearning for Wonderland.

 And without further ado,
I give you a little ditty I shall now dub--

Once Upon A Puzzle

“Mom?” Adam whispered.

Adam’s wide eyes scanned the cramped space, a beat-up desk, two chairs— one wobbly, one with duct tape across its center—and scuffed yellowed linoleum. Huddled against a grease stained wall, Adam searched for his mother. One moment, she’d been sitting at the desk working on a jigsaw puzzle, while telling him a story about a panda bear who’d lost his teapot and had to travel from China to Australia to steal it back from a pesky kangaroo, when poof, she’d vanished.

His mother had been driving him to school that morning when their tire had blown out. They’d found themselves stranded in front of an auto shop. A man covered in grease and smelling of gas had ushered them into the waiting room. He’d grunted indiscernible words and disappeared through the only door in the room. Seeing a half finished puzzle on the desk, Adam’s mom started working on it, while Adam slumped in a chair.

Panic caused Adam’s heart to pound, his hands slick, his mouth dry. The windowless room pressed in on him, the air stale. His ears hummed and the tang of acid filled his mouth. A tear slipped down Adam’s cheek and he brushed it away. He straightened from the wall with a quick jerk.

Light pulsed from the table where he’d last seen his mother. Adam’s feet dragged as he walked toward the table. The light wasn’t coming from the desk, but from the completed puzzle. Adam’s body shook as he reached out a hand toward the puzzle. He wanted to stop himself, but couldn’t. His fingers brushed its corner.

“Adam!” He jerked his hand back, cradling it to his body.

He glanced around the room, his eyes wild. He’d heard his mother yell his name. But how?

“Mom?” Adam reached out once more, laying his palm flat on the puzzle.

“Adam, run!”

Adam’s hand fused with the puzzle. He gasped and bumped into the desk’s chair, which landed with a crash. The light of the puzzle faded as the door creaked open and laughter filled the empty room.

word count: 348

Thursday, April 19, 2012

22 Things - Take Two

Recently, my life was put on hold.
When you're in the thick of things
it's easy to get derailed. 
That's what happened to me.
This train is one hundred percent off the track,
cars haphazardly laying about,
engines stalled,
passengers wandering amongst the wreckage aimless,
conductor without a clue what to do next.

As I sit here,
I remember where I was headed,
I'm just not sure how to clean up this mess
and get back to chugging along. 

Then it hit me--
And I couldn't think of a better way 
to start piecing my life back together.

What's 22 Things?
In summation:

The 22 Things Creative Change Challenge
is being hosted by Angie Richmond of Write Me Happy
    22 Things is a Creative Change Challenge. By signing up, you are announcing to the world - and more importantly yourself - that you are breaking free of the long standing idea that in order to make changes in your life, you have to do BIG things. 22 Things is about making a list twenty-two small steps you can take - right now - to change your life.
 You are more than welcome to peruse my original post
and Angie's post for more information and awesome lists.
In fact, I highly recommend doing so.

Now where was I?
Oh yes,
getting my life back on course.
So 22 Things seems a bit much to tackle right about now,
but five things...
Well now there's a number I can embrace.

So here's five lil things I'm gonna work on in the next month
and an update on what I've accomplished since March 14th.

1. call/text a family member everyday and tell them I love them
This simple task has brought me oh so much happiness
and made the last month do-able.
Tell a friend.
Tell your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/fish/whathaveyou!
Just spread the love.

2. take my vitamins everyday
I've been hit and miss with this one.
Mostly hit.
I'm putting it in my win column.

3. take a long walk once a week

While no walk ever seemed longer than the one from
my car to my dad's hospital room, I'm pretty sure it doesn't count.
Thus, the whole I'm gonna get out in the fresh air more often goal
 has been a ginormous failwhale.
This is one goal I'd like to make a reality in the next month.
In fact, why not start today?!

4. stop being afraid of editing Fluff, Nonsense, & Other Emo Crap (title copy written)
Still haven't edited this beaut.
The plan Stan?
To read it for the first time in a two months next week.
Starting Monday.
Here's how I see it,
I want this story to be the best of me,
so why would I rush it?

5. do at least one page in Wreck This Journal a week. 
This is a new one.
The awesomeness that is my bestie gave it to me whilst she was visiting.
It goes against everything I am to wreck a book
yet I'm wondering if it's just what the doctor ordered--
a little creative destruction.
We shall see.

So there they are,
the five little things I'm gonna work on for the next month.
I already feel a tad bit more in control.
Just a tad.
It's a start.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Time To Mourn

My Dad is dead.

Great way to start a post, eh? Blunt. Cold. Harsh. Either a desperate cry for attention or a need to purge oneself of an inescapable and ugly truth. Maybe a little of both. I haven't figure out which yet.

What I do know is there is a cog missing in my life, an essential little piece of me that is no longer there. There are moments when the world seems okay, the sun shines, the air feels crisp and cool, I'll breathe in the scent of freshly baked cookies, and a little voice will whisper into my ear, I love you so much, Mommy.  The world feels do-able. And then, like a sharp knife in my gut, a single thought will leap out at me:
My Dad is dead.

Like a skipping record, it will repeat and the world will jerk out of focus. Much like the unforeseen cancer that spread throughout my father's body destroying everything in its path, the thought overwhelms me and brings me to my knees. I long to rebel against it. Demand the world stop and fix it. I feel small, helpless, lame. 

Mostly I feel stuck. I know I must move forward, yet how? I mean I sorta know how, but maybe I don't want to. Maybe I don't want that day when it's okay he's gone, when the world is more than do-able. Days when it doesn't feel so strange he isn't here anymore. Days when it feels alright to have fun. Days when words come easy and life is good. Days when I just forget. How can the world be without him here? It just doesn't seem possible and yet here I sit with the reality of it staring me right in the face. 

My Dad is dead.

And I realize with a sudden and swift intensity that I have two options-- to let this control me or to fight back against the desire to give up. For now, I know this is a time to heal, a time to weep, a time to mourn, a time to embrace, a time to mend, a time to be silent, a time to figure out what the hell just happened and try my darnest to make sense of it, or maybe just accept it. Accept the fact that on March 28th, 2012 I watched my father die right before my very eyes and the world twisted and warped and became something I was unprepared for, that I have no words for, that has changed me in ways I don't even realize yet, that has left me speechless and weak and wanting, that has left me silent.