I am disappointed in myself. When I stumbled upon the a to z blog writing challenge, I was thrilled. It was exactly what I needed for my blog. Immediately I jotted down each post title in my journal. There was nothing going to stop me from completing this challenge. I should have known some bad luck was lurking ready to strike. It was the day of the F challenge. I flipped open my laptop and immediately panicked when all I saw was black. I jiggled the cord of the charger, hoping it was the culprit. Nothing. I pressed my ear to the screen. The motor was running. Remembering this happened to me once before, I turned the laptop upside down and took out the battery and waited. I was sure when I put back the battery everything would be fine. Once again, nothing happened. Hysteria was setting in when I thought about all my documents. I wasn’t sure if I backed them all up. Luckily, I e-mailed myself my middle-grade and Ya novel, the two that mean the absolute world to me.
My husband thought maybe he could connect my laptop to his and get the screen to come up on his computer but I had no such luck. During this time, I came down with Bronchitis (I am convinced I was a hair away from pneumonia). I failed the challenge. There was nothing I could do. I couldn’t type every blog from my phone. It just wasn’t happening.
As of today, I am back up and running. I might not have completed every letter. I still might go back and blog the letters I did miss but for now I will continue from this point on.
I’m dusting myself off. I constantly feel like I am being tested. Like someone somewhere keeps throwing obstacles at me such as rejections, malfunctions, and responsibilities just to see if I will go back to writing. My reply is, throw it at me, no matter what comes my way, I will never stop writing. When I made the decision to write, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
My computer is on the fritz and I have been sick all day. I’m writing this post from my phone so forgive any mistakes. I had something else planned but I decided to go simple because of the circumstances. I’m listing 15 books I have read recently.
1. The Hunger Games
2. Catching Fire
4. Hush Hush
7. Heaven is for Real
8. The Magician’s Elephant
9. The Help
10. Water for Elephants
11. The First Fifty Pages
12. Bird by Bird
14. Tales of Mystery and Imagination
15. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
This coming June will be four years that I have been living without my father. My father was such a wonderful man. He was everything I aspire to be. He treated all people the same. He was well respected, intelligent, wise, simple and extremely loving. During his illness, my family and I traveled to Philadelphia to support him while he underwent open heart surgery. The night before he went into surgery, I read him my favorite poem by E.E. Cummings I Carry Your Heart with Me. I will forever carry his heart. He was my biggest cheerleader when it came to writing. He was the first one to believe in me. I believe he is on the other side pulling as many strings as he can to help further my career.
I Carry Your Heart with Me by E.E. Cummings
I carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
Do you have a favorite poem? Who does it remind you of?
1. Diligence – You must push forward, even when you don’t want to.
2. Determination- Believe in yourself. Trust that others will see the beauty in your written word.
3. Dedication- Once you commit to becoming a writer set aside time each day to hone the craft.
4. Drive – A writer with drive and passion will eventually get noticed.
5. Desolation- Find solitude so you can create without interruptions.
6. Daily Routines- Writing should be done every day. If you set a routine, you will be less likely to break it.
7. Deadlines- Give yourself deadlines. Eg. Chapter one must be finished by Monday. The short story has to be completed by Saturday.
8. Dreams- Dream big. Never let anyone make you feel that your dreams are not possible.
9. Desire- You must want to write. If writing doesn’t feel like a necessity it might not be your passion.
10. Decision making abilities- Chapters need to be edited. Word counts need to be cut. Favorite sentences need to be chopped. It’s not always easy making decisions as a writer but it is required. Characters need to love, get hurt, evolve and occasionally die. You have to be able to make those decisions in order for your masterpiece to appear.
ACT IT OUT
This blog post has been walking around my thoughts for a while. I’m glad it coincides with the first letter of the blog writing challenge from A to Z.
Have you ever got to the point in your story that is begging for an action scene? You stare stupidly at the screen in front of you. Your imagination presents to you a clear picture but the words you type out are bland. All you want to do is get your main character up the stairs (insert whatever scenario you are writing about here) quickly and down the hallway to the back bedroom where there is another hidden room that she can hide from the baseball bat carrying stranger. You feel her anxiety rush through your bones but yet you can’t convey it on paper.
There are a million action scenes that can be acted out right in the confines of your own home that will help make your scene stronger. I am forever jumping over obstacles, banging into things, pretending to shoot darts, stirring a pot just so I can experience the moment of the scene. What happens when I bump into something? Does pain shoot through my body? Do I bounce back? Do I bruise?
Please don’t think I like self mutilation because I promise I do not. But, I like to get down and dirty with my writing so I can help my readers experience the scene as if they are part of it.
If I was trying to get my character up the stairs, I’d probably find a flight and start racing up them. I’d pay attention to my movements. Do I stumble? Do I catch my fall with the palms of my hands slamming against the step above? Do I trip over clutter on the stair, causing my knee to smash into the step? Once I reach the top what happens? Do I turn back to see if the stranger is right behind? Or do I race down the hallway to the secret room only I (aka the character) knows about?
If this is not something you have done before, I suggest you give it a shot. It could be something as simple as making a pot of coffee. Act out the action and see what you come up with.