A random, eclectic mix of thoughts, feelings, observations, and experiences – LIFE

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

NaNoWriMo Excitement

It’s been a while! I know!

ImageThere has been a lot going on. Without getting into too many details, there has been lots of figuring out, waiting games, wedding planning, NaNoWriMo prep, being a first-time ML for NaNoWriMo excitement, and on and on and on. The good news: EVERYTHING IS FINE. What is it that they say? Everything works out in the end, and if it doesn’t it’s not the end… Or something. ANYWAY. Lol. I’ve just gotta STAY CALM and KEEP LIVING. Or KEEP CALM and LIVE ON. (They should make one of those graphic thingies for that quote.)

Look what I just got:

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EXCITEMENT!

I want my region (The Bahamas) to be AWESOME. I’m hoping to attract people who live in The Bahamas, are from The Bahamas, or wish they were in The Bahamas… Or people who just know I’m awesome, and hope to be equally awesome, and see this as a great way to do it. That means you, mkay? You’re included. If you’re NaNoWriMoing, definitely join the Elsewhere::Bahamas region. You can still be “homed” to whatever other region you like. You can join as many as you want. Ours will be awesome because we’re doing lots of Live-on-Twitter events. Wine parties, word wars, word sprints, and chats. You know you wanna!

I got the blog all set up, and I’m posting at least twice per week. In October, I’ll be focusing on planning and general NaNoWriMo prep. In November, there will be lots of motivation, fun(ny) posts, links to coolness, music suggestions, answers to questions, etc. The Facebook page is also up, and waiting for you to LIKE it! AND. Of course… TWITTER! Follow BahamasWrimos!

Let’s have some fun being crazy novel writing people! 50,000 words to write 30 days. WEEEEE can do EEEEET!

I have more things to tell you, but I let the NaNoWriMo excitement get a little out of hand in this post. There is more to come!

Tidbits:

  • Totally went to a bookstore to get ONE book. They didn’t have. Went to another. They didn’t have it either. I left with a bag full of stuff. Only spent $20, but still. It wasn’t the book I wanted. Lol. I LOVE bookish things!
  • I’m really excited about NaNoWriMo. Wait… Did we already cover that?
  • Wedding planning just got a whole lot better. I discovered the most amazing site ever. We can get pretty much every tangible thing we need. For less than a million smackeroos. Yep. That’s right. Spending less, and still getting a lot of AWESOME. Huzzaaaaah!
  • Football practice has been AMPED. UP. Trainer dude worked with us at the last two practices. Everyone had aching thighs. No one else openly admitted it, but even my bootay was a lil zingy. Haha. I have no fear. This bootay ain’ goin’ nowhere. (See what I did there? I rhymed.)
  • I’m reminded that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to be on the GO, GO, GO! Not literally… Just BUSY. LOVE it. I thrive on having a million (good) things going on. It makes me feel so amazingly good and useful and of value. Crazy? Maybe. But I like iiiiit.

Hope you’re having a great week!

Tell me tidbits. What’s going on with you? Will you please join the NaNoWriMo fun/insanity? *smiles sweetly*

If you’re joining the fun, let’s buddy up! Find me here.

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Thankful Thursday

Lots of things have been happening. I’ve been acting on things more than thinking about them lately. I’m holding myself accountable. I need to do what it takes today to be happy and fulfilled tomorrow.

Here’s a little slice of goodness from my week:

  • Got to the grocery store, FINALLY.
  • Picked up three movies to watch. Babe and I are whipping through tv shows and movies like nobody’s business and it’s getting harder to find things we haven’t seen yet AND would like. May soon resort to the classics. Haha.
  • Doing much better with water consumption.
  • Finally proved that I’m not completely inept, and I DO know how to throw and catch a friggin’ football. (I just refuse to put in full effort when I bored, nearly to death, and simply tossing the ball back and forth. Give me a challenge, and I will accept!)
  • My application to be ML (Municipal Liaison) for my region (The Bahamas) in NaNoWriMo was accepted. WOOT, WOOOOT! So exciting!
  • On the FINAL round of edits for my food flash for the Food & Drink themed short story competition. I’m letting it rest for a week before taking my last look at it, doing final tweaks, and sending it off.
  • Finally working on a story I had resting for months. I think it’s been months. I’ve decided that some of the suggestions in the critiques were way off base. They wanted me to give them more story. Backstory, really. That is NOT what a flash piece is about. I decided to make it even shorter. Cut it from almost 1200 words to under 1000. That is MAJOR.
  • Planned my entire ML month – In-person events, online events (Twitter hashtags/chats), created a blog, listed blog enough blog post ideas to post 2x/week until the end of the year, created a Facebook page, and secured venue for in-person events. All I need to do now is plan my novel (which I started months ago).
  • Projects, projects, projects! Lots of things to work on. I love it.
  • Positive feedback. I’ve been doing a lot of critiquing on Scribophile, and sometimes I think I may be taking things too far, BUT I want to be honest. Makes no sense posting work for crits if you don’t want the good, bad, and ugly, right? So I go hard. A lot of people seem to appreciate it, and send me the nicest little messages, thanking me for my help. One woman even said I’m a great editor AND writer, and called it a “power combo”. WOW. Mind. Blown.

How about you? What are you thankful for this week? What has you feeling great?

Monday Madness

It’s Mondaaaaayyyyy! Did ya know?

I feel all fgfkgjfjfgnb today. So much to do! I went through some websites that have information on submissions and contests, and FINALLY updated my little planner. I’ve given myself deadlines to get pieces done and submitted. I need to be ahead of those deadlines if I want time to post them to Scribophile to get feedback from other writers. I have at least one piece due every week for the rest of the year! Crazy, right? That’s not even including the assignments for my Writing for Children & Teenagers course. This should be interesting.

Here is some info on my work in progress:

  • Food Flash – It’s for a food festival, and they’re looking for short stories up to 2500 words on the theme of “Food & Drink”. There are no other restrictions, so I decided to make mine short and sweet. Well, it’s really not sweet. It’s kind of evil. But I like it! I’ve been getting crits on it for a few weeks now, and it’s ALMOST to where it needs to be. Before the end of this month, I’m going to have to let that baby fly.
  • Ice Cream Truck – Have I ever mentioned the super annoying ice cream truck that comes by our place EVERY day at the SAME time? It drives me crazy. I hate it. The music is awful. The other day, I was trying to have a little nap. Note that I am NOT a nap person. I HATE it. I was just SO tired from waking up a 6am to get a ride to work and working all day. Enter the ice cream truck. Playing CHRISTMAS music. I HATE Christmas music. It really annoys me. Anyway, I got my Neo, and wrote a little story. I was pissed when I wrote it, so it’s funny in a snarky sort of way, but it needs work.
  • The Other – It’s about a married woman who is seeing someone else. Her husband is also seeing someone else. Their marriage is pretty much over, but they still live in the same house. Things get a little weird. I wanted this to be a short, snappy piece, but a lot of the critiquers keep asking for more. They want to know more about the woman than I really care to tell. The story isn’t meant to be ABOUT her. I’m struggling with it. I like it the way I wrote it, but it needs to please the reader too. I’d decided to let it rest a while. BUT… It’s perfect (in theory) for a magazine’s theme that I want to submit it for. This week. GAH!
  • Comatose – A woman is in a coma, completely unresponsive. She gets an unexpected visit from the daughter she never had a relationship with. The daughter offloads and rants, but the woman can’t explain herself. I gave this one a looong rest. Time to look up the crits and polish her up. From what I remember, people wanted more backstory on this one too. To me, that’s not what ¬†a short story is about. A short should be started as late as possible – close to the action – and focus on as short a time period as possible. I’m going to have a look at WHO is saying WHAT. If the people who want backstory are novel writers (primarily), I’m gonna have to veto their opinions. This baby needs to fly too!

That’s just what I have already written. There are some other ideas floating around. Can you tell how busy my week is going to be? It’s okay though. It’s about time I put more time and effort into what I REALLY want to do. It’s just difficult to balance a day job and home life with my work. I don’t want anything in the equation to suffer. This may take some trial and error, y’all, so excuse me for blogging far less than I used to. I’ll be back on track soon, I hope!

How about you? How is your Monday going? Any goals for this week?

Tweets of Life

I know, I know. I have to catch you up on things. I really don’t remember very far back, so I decided to consult my twitter feed. I had a look at some of my most recent tweets, and it helped to refresh my memory on some things. I tweet very randomly, so expect that sort of feel from this post too.

Before I hop into putting-my-life-together-using-twitter, let me tell you this. This morning, it was like my life is a movie. You know… With a soundtrack. I got in the car, started it… Silence. Right at I shifted and reversed out of the parking space, the music started. Right at the beginning. JUST like in the movies. Cool, no? I know you wanna know the song. Here ya go:

Ok… So the tweets:

I definitely read NUTELLA. Then I saw that it’s due Friday, and backtracked. *sighs* <— Response to this tweet: I am LOVING this novella. It’s almost finished. Which is good. Since it’s due Friday. ūüėČ

“Try calling the manager at [number]. No, wait. Call Portia. She might answer you.” WHAT?! <—Yeah. That’s the response I got when I called the local telecommunications company (we only have one – UGH) to ask about the new corporate cell phone service.

If you’re paying someone to tell you what you already know, you have a problem your money can’t solve. <— Just wanted to show you some of my genius.

Bad habits don’t just go away. They must be broken. <— More of my genius.

“We call him DNA. Dead On Arrival.” <— Someone really said that to me. I guess he was referring to the newly formed political party that won a total of ZERO seats, but still… Stupid.

“You like Bueno Maz?” <— Same guy asked my cousin this. Took me a while to realize he meant Bruno Mars.

I need to give everyone their own light. <— My niece tweeted this, after she tweeted that someone BBMed her and she was going to answer them. I RTed.

This man wants to know which side of cousin’s family I’m related to. “Oh, so all of y’all basically look alike.” Um, yeah. Sure. <— Pretty sure I do NOT look like this particular cousin. At all.

Okay, so those tweets didn’t really give you much insight. There are others that would do a better job, but those are just so GOLDEN. I had to share them.

I’ve been working on my writing a lot more lately. I’m really happy about that. I’ve been banging out critiques like crazy on Scribophile, and stacking up lots of karma points (needed to post my own work). I already have LOTS of points, but when you crit a lot, your work gets highlight (they call it “in the spotlight”), so more people give critiques (f0r more karma points). I edited two pieces to near perfection. Really excited that they are nearly ready for submissions. Also wrote a completely new piece last night, inspired by the stupid ice cream truck that woke me from my evening nap (that I REALLY needed). More on this stuff later. I’m off to polish my story for my second assignment in the ICL course.

Hope you’re having a productive week. If you’re on twitter, share your best tweet of the week. If not, tell me something else. Lol.

Ideas on Paper

Thankful Thursdaaaaayyyyy! WEEEEEE! *running around in circles*

It’s been quite the week. Let me see how I can calmly share two parts of it. *takes deep breaths*

I’ve been sitting on a lot of ideas. I think a LOT. I compartmentalize too. There are things that I want to do, things that I can do, things that I wish I could do, things that I simply won’t do, and things that I choose to do. They cross up in funny ways. There are things that I’d love to do and would absolutely rock at, but I refuse to do because my situation is not ideal. For example, I have a bunch of business ideas. I breathe, and BAM. A new one is in my brain. I know that I can plan it and make it happen. Will I? No. Why not? Depends. These days, it’s mostly because I just hate where I am, and don’t want any ties here, particularly when I’m finally able to get out of here. Crazy? Maybe. But that’s the way it is right now.

One thing that I can get going while I’m here is my WRITING. I can bang out flash fiction like nobody’s business. I wake up with three sentences, and when I write them, the rest of the story sort of tumbles out. That’s not to say that it tumbles out in perfection. They go through a process before they are perfected. Short stories take a little more, and novels take more still. My combined strength and weakness: I’m a researcher, planner, and perfectionist. I refuse to write a single word of a novel until I know where it is going. The turning points – every twist and curve. The moments of tension. And I have to know what I am up against. I read up on the craft of writing. Research cities, towns, and islands – possible settings. Their climates, populations, location in reference to other small and major cities/towns/islands, economy… I need my work to be authentic. It’s important to me. More times than not, if perfection isn’t the clear outcome, I won’t touch it.

ImageSO. I have a bunch of short story ideas, and a handful of novels. What I’m really excited about is what will likely be my debut novel. It’s a standalone book right now and, yes, STILL in the planning stages. (See previous paragraph.) Along with that, I’m excited about two series ideas that I have. I completely LOVE the ideas. One of them came completely at random (about 3 months ago), and will likely be a YA series. The other came this week. I’ve always wanted to open a certain sort of business. I did all the planning when I was in university, then decided that I don’t want to take it on in this country. Then, I jokingly told friends that I’d open the same sort of business, but with a particular slant… Jokingly. Sort of. HA. Well, it would never work here for various reasons, but you know where it could work? In a BOOK! No, wait. A SERIES of books. So the stories in the series would be set around this particular business. Sort of like the cafe in Friends. The Max in Saved by the Bell. Now that idea won’t go to waste. EEEEEE! Exciteeeeed!

As my regular readers now, I’m taking a writing course. Writing for Children and Teenagers with ICL. I sent my first assignment around Tuesday of last week. Well, I got a letter and my assignment with notes back from my instructor yesterday. WOO! I’ll share some lines from the letter with you. All points are direct quotes from the letter.

  • I enjoyed the bathtub romp with Alex and his toy friends. You‚Äôve written an imaginative fantasy story in the 3-part structure that is familiar to young readers.
  • I like the generous use of dialogue and action; you write dialogue very well, with an authentic voice for this age level. The blend of dialogue and narrative enriches both character and plot development as the reader has something to see as well as to hear.
  • You‚Äôve stayed firmly within single viewpoint, giving the reader the chance to closely identify with Alex throughout, and to build empathy for him.
  • Your theme emerges nicely as a result of Alex’s actions.
  • I like Alex’s actions. They are realistic, credible. And his uncertainty adds tension.
  • Such lively likeable characters, and lots of action in this first story, Alicia! A great theme too.

There are two things that I can do to sharpen it up. I didn’t really have expectations for the feedback. I tried not to think about it at all. I’m really happy that she enjoyed the story, and my errors were minimal. The only things I need to do are:

  • Put the main character in control. I let the mom step in to make some magic happen. Don’t know what I was thinking since I KNOW the main character has to be the hero. He had to do part of it on his own, but that was very subtle, and probably too high-level to be recognized by young readers.
  • Open with dialogue. I did a good job of showing instead of telling through the story, but I did some telling right at the beginning. I shy away from opening with dialogue because it’s tough to pull off (in writing for adults), but I guess writing for children is an exception. Lesson learned!

So as you can guess, I’m thankful for new ideas and great feedback on my short story for my writing course.

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Hey, look what I found! A brown-skinned girl (although the description says “boy”) sittin’ on top of the world, just like me!
Source: http://igotitall.net/index%20images.html

What are you thankful for this week? Anything new and exciting happening? What causes you not to act on things, or make use of ideas? How do you fight back?

Mother’s Day Flower

She tried to make me give him a flower. It wasn’t fair. I refused. No. I will not give him flowers. That’s stupid.

“He’s your daddy, and he’s being your mommy too.”

Oh, really? And who’s fault is that? Not mine. I’m 10 years old, and all I have is a father. My mother is gone. I hardly ever see her, and it’s his fault. I will not give him flowers. I will not reward him for the pain he has caused me. I refuse.

“Show some appreciation. He does everything for you. Pays your school fees, makes your breakfast, packs your lunch…”

I don’t care. These things happen when you have children. You grow up, and you have to do things that you may not have had to do if you didn’t have them. Moreover, when you drive your children’s mother out of their lives, there are gaps you have to fill in. No. I will not give him flowers. I will not make him feel good about what is he doing. He is doing it because of what he has done.

“Just give him the flowers for Mothers Day. It won’t take anything off you.”

No, it won’t. Because I won’t do it. I will not do the wrong thing. Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean I have to listen to you. I will not give my father flowers for his slaps, punches, pushes, angry words, high speed chases, and embarrassing scenes. I will not. You cannot make me.

“You are being ungrateful. Why are you so uncaring?”

This is what happens. This is the result. I got tired of feeling, so I gave myself over to numbness. This is much better. Give me that ginger lily. I’ll give it to him. I will hand it to him like my school bag. Something to carry for me. It’s the least he can do. I carry so much because of him. Not for him. Never for him. But because of him. And when I take the ginger lily back from him, I hope he knows what it means. That I am taking back every care I ever had. I am taking back that unconditional love that children give to their parents. I am taking back my trust. I am taking back that flower. He does not deserve, and he can’t keep it. He can only carry it until I’m ready to take it back.

No, I did not give him the flower. He didn’t deserve it. And neither did I. I didn’t deserve any of it. None of the things he did to me, intentionally or unintentionally. I certainly was not going to do something to myself that I didn’t deserve. I refused to lie. A gift to him would have been a lie. A lie I refused to tell. I kept that ginger lily, hidden away. When he found it, it was dead. Just like everything inside his little girl.

100 English Words

As I read, I make note of words I’ve never seen or heard before, are interesting, or are underused. I keep them in my writing journal. Even when I don’t have it near me, I write the words on the newspaper, napkins, scraps of paper… Anything in my reach. Everyone loves beautiful words, right?

Here are 100 beautiful words that I StumbledUpon a while back, and never got around to sharing:

Ailurophile A cat-lover.

Assemblage A gathering.

Becoming Attractive.

Beleaguer To exhaust with attacks.

Brood To think alone.

Bucolic In a lovely rural setting.

Bungalow A small, cozy cottage.

Chatoyant Like a cat’s eye.

Comely Attractive.

Conflate To blend together.

Cynosure A focal point of admiration.

Dalliance A brief love affair.

Demesne Dominion, territory.

Demure Shy and reserved.

Denouement The resolution of a mystery.

Desuetude Disuse.

Desultory Slow, sluggish.

Diaphanous Filmy.

Dissemble Deceive.

Dulcet Sweet, sugary.

Ebullience Bubbling enthusiasm.

Effervescent Bubbly.

Efflorescence Flowering, blooming.

Elision Dropping a sound or syllable in a word.

Elixir A good potion.

Eloquence Beauty and persuasion in speech.

Embrocation Rubbing on a lotion.

Emollient A softener.

Ephemeral Short-lived.

Epiphany A sudden revelation.

Erstwhile At one time, for a time.

Ethereal Gaseous, invisible but detectable.

Evanescent Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.

Evocative Suggestive.

Fetching Pretty.

Felicity Pleasantness.

Forbearance Withholding response to provocation.

Fugacious Fleeting.

Furtive Shifty, sneaky.

Gambol To skip or leap about joyfully.

Glamour Beauty.

Gossamer The finest piece of thread, a spider’s silk.

Halcyon Happy, sunny, care-free.

Harbinger Messenger with news of the future.

Imbrication Overlapping and forming a regular pattern.

Imbroglio An altercation or complicated situation.

Imbue To infuse, instill.

Incipient Beginning, in an early stage.

Ineffable Unutterable, inexpressible.

Ing√©nue¬†A na√Įve young woman.

Inglenook A cozy nook by the hearth.

Insouciance Blithe nonchalance.

Inure To become jaded.

Labyrinthine Twisting and turning.

Lagniappe A special kind of gift.

Lagoon A small gulf or inlet.

Languor Listlessness, inactivity.

Lassitude Weariness, listlessness.

Leisure Free time.

Lilt To move musically or lively.

Lissome Slender and graceful.

Lithe Slender and flexible.

Love Deep affection.

Mellifluous Sweet sounding.

Moiety One of two equal parts.

Mondegreen A slip of the ear.

Murmurous Murmuring.

Nemesis An unconquerable archenemy.

Offing The sea between the horizon and the offshore.

Onomatopoeia A word that sounds like its meaning.

Opulent Lush, luxuriant.

Palimpsest A manuscript written over earlier ones.

Panacea A solution for all problems

Panoply A complete set.

Pastiche An art work combining materials from various sources.

Penumbra A half-shadow.

Petrichor The smell of earth after rain.

Plethora A large quantity.

Propinquity Proximity; Nearness

Pyrrhic Successful with heavy losses.

Quintessential Most essential.

Ratatouille A spicy French stew.

Ravel To knit or unknit.

Redolent Fragrant.

Riparian By the bank of a stream.

Ripple A very small wave.

Scintilla A spark or very small thing.

Sempiternal Eternal.

Seraglio Rich, luxurious oriental palace or harem.

Serendipity Finding something nice while looking for something else.

Summery Light, delicate or warm and sunny.

Sumptuous Lush, luxurious.

Surreptitious Secretive, sneaky.

Susquehanna A river in Pennsylvania.

Susurrous Whispering, hissing.

Talisman A good luck charm.

Tintinnabulation Tinkling.

Umbrella Protection from sun or rain.

Untoward Unseemly, inappropriate.

Vestigial In trace amounts.

Wafture Waving.

Wherewithal The means.

Woebegone Sorrowful, downcast.

Source: 100 Most beautiful words in the English language* | Deshoda РStumbleUpon.

What are some of your favourite words? Learned any new words lately? Does the underuse of a particular word pain you?