Nothing's gonna stop us now

Greetings and Happy Holidays! It has been a while since I have posted anything. Sad isn’t it? Honestly, I don’t know what my problem is. I was doing so well, and then wham…I can go weeks for a time without thinking about posting something. Maybe I need to pay someone to remind me to post.

So now it is again the end of the year. As the year comes to a close I look back on all of the ambitious goals that I set for myself last January. Did I accomplish any of them? Nope. Not one. Well. I’m still alive and healthy, and I do have a job, but other than that no. I’m still working on the same God forsaken novel. True I have made a lot of progress, tightened the story, gained some focus, gotten outside perspectives…but it’s still not done. Not even a full draft. But after chucking out 75,000 words of what will probably be a 100,000 to 120,000 word novel….well you can see why it isn’t done.

Some people will point out, that if I hadn’t started revising the novel I would have a completed albeit terribly flawed draft. It would have been something no other eyes would see, something that would be burned as soon as I sold the rights to the novel so that it couldn’t come back to haunt me in the future. But it would have been done. And for some reason that holds a lot of weight for me. To be able to hold up a stack of papers, and say, “here it is my manuscript” it is a big decision…and part of me feels like only then in my heart can I claim to be a writer.

I know, I know…we’ve had this argument before. What makes a writer? Do you have to be published…do you have to share your work…do you have to be successful…It’s one of those things that you can’t define and one of those things that will vary from person to person. So somewhere along the line I got it stuck in my head that I cannot really call myself a writer until I have a completed draft of a novel. Some would say that that would be like an athlete saying they can’t call themselves a runner until they have participated in a marathon.

How did we get on this? This is not what I wanted to talk about. Backs away quickly and steers the conversation in another direction.

Why fret over everything that didn’t get done this year. A lot did get done. It was unplanned and perhaps those are some of the best accomplishments ever. Now I am setting goals for the next year and I am a little more realistic about what I can get done. I also know that because I want to have a pretty substantial and somewhat clean draft when I am finished that it is going to take me a lot longer to get through this novel. For example, write now I have critiqued the first chapter with two different groups and am going to push together the first two chapters with changes to another third group. This I think will give me the opportunity to see if I have corrected the problems I had with the earlier drafts. More importantly, I have found that doing it this way allows me to feed off of the energy and momentum I get from others reviewing my work. I get this high from talking about my stories, and hearing other people’s suggestions. For the creative process it is great to have someone else to bounce ideas off of. Personally I don’t think I could do this any other way. I think that is why my first unfinished attempt was so awful. I need the continual review to keep me fresh and on track. I don’t have the creative stamina to do it all on my own in isolation.

So my goal is to get a draft of this stupid book done, to start setting up the next novel…and somewhere in there to sell a short story. Lol. Just one. It also promises to be the premiere year for WriteNOW, my love child. We are going to hold free workshops for teens in the Columbus area. I am really trying to be responsive to the needs of young writers so I am trying hard not to firmly set up programs etc.

So see you in the New Year. Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed. Ask me if I submitted chapter 1&2 for review yet. I need to do that before the New Year. Oh wait that doesn’t give me much time. Guess I better get crankin.

Change is a comin'

The funny thing about change is that you never realize it has happened to you until someone else points it out. Or in this case three or four people. That's about how long it takes for me to notice something. I could have gone from twiling in the middle of Madison Avenue in a pink tutu, to performing ronds de jambes in the Palace Theater, and still not comprehend the changes, sacrifices and successes that I have made. Oh sure, there's the obvious, but it's always the not so obvious stuff that's the most important.

So I have had interesting conversation with three interesting, albeit very different people and the dramatic conclussion is that I have changed. Although you may never get me to admit this again, I didn't know everything five years ago, and I have grown a lot since then. I will say that I don't know everything now, but I am much more comfortable admitting that fact. This alone is evidence of my growth.

Change is a funny thing, because it is human nature to resist change, to fear change, and yet who wants to be stagnant? Change may be scary but it is also what makes life so great. One of the many things that I have come to learn is that the greatest things are often the scariest, the ones that hurt the most to lose, the ones that cost the most to gain. If it was easy, it just wouldn't be as great somehow.

So I have changed, physically, mentally, creatively. I am writing in a genre that I would never have even picked up a book in five years ago. I am questioning a faith that I was born into, the only faith I have ever known. I have an inner strength and love that doesn't stem directly from the opinions of others. I know that a life isn't measured by how long you live, but how well you live it.

I'd say that's a pretty good position to be in. I know that it will only get better. It has too. because at least in few months I will be finished with a draft of this book!

The Land of Writers

I am back from the Land of Writers. I attended Context, a small, local science fiction convention. It is run by a friend of mine in my writing group. A lot of the members of my group sit on panels and lead the writing workshop. I attended the convention last year as a volunteer, because lets face it, I am not rich, and had the opportunity to meet an editor, and learn a little about the business.

Since that convention I have attended two and a half other conventions. Marcon, RWA, and the Columbus Writer's conference. And each one is extremely different. I was going to pass on this conference, because my life is crazy enough already, but some talk on my writing listserve made me reconsider. For that I am very glad.

There's something about being in a roomful of writers, talking shop, throwing around ideas, feeding the imaginiation, and nurturing the creative soul, that is irriplaceable. There are times when I walk away from conventions and workshops dissapointed. But when I learn something new, when I network with serious writers who share my passion, fight my battles and overcome my obstacles its incredibly rewarding. It's nice to know I am not alone. It's nice to talk with people that have made it. Even nicer to talk with people who are still trying.

I learned something this weekend, a lot actually. I have not been very productive in the last few months. Everytime I sit down to write a story or work on my novel I freeze up. I get overwhelemed by everything that has to be done. I feel the anxiety at getting it right, the first time, and I can't get through a single draft of anything for fear that it will turn out to be crap. Not exactly writer's block, the ideas are there. Sometimes even the words are there. But there is also fear of failure. I know first drafts of anything suck. I write all day at work and the first draft is never good enough. It's always the third draft of the fifth draft or the ninth draft that gets submitted. So why, with my fiction was I obsessing over the quality of anything I put on paper?

I had to prepare a short story or novel excerpt of 7000 words or less for this weekend's writing workshop. I had a story started, and completely outlined. I was 8 pages in, and made time in my schedule to complete it. All I had to do was write. Instead I spent three hours reorganizing the outline, creating the characters and trying to think of a title. I spent all of an hour writing afterwhich I had one and a half pages of crap. Frustrated, and realizing that I would never have anything ready of professional manuscript quality in time to post. So I then began riffling through everything I had written in the past three years. I picked out various pieces, reviewed them, outlined ways to revise them. That was just the beginning of my revelation.

I submitted two chapters of a novel I had written almost a year ago. I did some revisions, line edits, polished it up, and then sent it in, aprehensive about the reaction of my writing peers. How would it stand up? More importantly, how would the writing instructors, of whom I know and admire, whom have made several professional sales in the last year alone, feel about my writing? It's sort of like I have been living day by day, always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm waiting for someone to scream "there's a traitor among us!" pointing at me and yelling at the top of their lungs. "She can't write!"

But the workshop taught me a lot. Most of all it helped me to re-establish confidence within myself in terms of my writing. I got a lot of positive feedback for a piece that I abbandoned months ago. I was commended on my technique, mechanics, style, voice, dialogue, narrative, foreshadowing, and my ability to use them appropriately. And I was reminded of a comment my first creative writing professor in college told me. "You're too good of a writer to fool the reader with cheap gimmicks. Trust your voice and the story will come." Maybe it won't always come the way I want it, but the funny thing about writing, is that the reader doesn't know all the crap that you do. They come up with their own ideas, and theories and expectations. They don't know if it took you two days to write or ten years. They either like it or they don't and most of the time, they like the things you think are least worthy.

So I guess I am rambling on and on to say that, sometimes we beat ourselves up for no reasons. We hold ourselves at such a high standard that we sometimes forget to reflect on how far we have come and we fail to see how well we are doing. But if you stop, re-assess, you'll find that you're actually making forward progress. And if not, maybe it is time you get back on track.

SIMS 2 rematch

Funny thing that Sims game. It came in handy after all. And you thought I was just wasting my life away, another generation x slacker. WRONG!!! Try again.

I am taking a novel writing class and yesterday we went over character development. Now everyone has his or her own theories about what makes a strong character. And to be honest, no one really knows which authors use which methods, or any method at all. But lets say for example they do. The instructor explained character motivation as the driving force, and asked us to look at life as a game. Every time you do something it either adds points to your life score, bringing you closer to your ultimate goal, takes away points bringing your further from the goal, or do nothing either way. So we had to come up with a list of motivations…and guess what. The list was the same as the Aspirations for the SIMS2 game. And it is a perfect example of what we were discussing. Each character has one driving force, and all of their actions, their desires and their fears, revolve around that force. It also takes into account personality type, which guess what, was the second thing we talked about. Character development is on of my favorite things ever. I could spend hours creating characters, in fact I have a ton of characters who have never entered a story or novel. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. But I love analyzing their motivations, determining what they fear and why. Maybe I should have been a shrink. Maybe that is all a writer is, a shrink with a god complex. But that’s ok. I can handle it. Peace out.

Lost in the shadows...

I am ready for my public flogging. I was getting good at this for a while, updating regularly, and every once in a while writing something worth reading. That was before I had a job. A job that, well, lets just say has caused enough stress that my right eye has begun twitching again. For those of you who have never experienced the eye twitch, I can tell you that it is directly related to stress. I still remember the first time it happend. Winter quarter sophmore year of college, between midterms all the way up until finals. It was a long and probably insane quarter. There were lots of adjustments to deal with...and as usual with life, those adjustments don't come easy.

But the eye twitching has stopped, or at least been temporarily sedated upon the presentation of my first paycheck. Ask me tomorrow though, and my answer might be different.

Speaking of college a few weeks ago I went back to the old stomping grounds (can I call it that if it's been less than five years since I left?) I had a blast, which was a little odd since most of the people I was friends with there are now gone. But I still have some really good friends there, so I guess in this case quality is better than quantity.

I am really just rambling, but what do you expect from a girl whose been unable to stop playing "The SIMS 2" for an entire weekend. I think that my ability to process anything above a third grade level right now is minimal. But I must give credit where it is due, and the Sims 2 game is awesome. I am not too thrilled about the new graphics, but it is so much more realistic. The characters have strong personality types based off of their astrological sign, and their life aspiration. The women get pregnant and go on maternity leave, the toddlers must be potty trained, taught to walk, and talk. Teens can sneak out at 1 am. You age and eventually die, leaving insurance to your children...and the cycle just continues, although none of my characters have died, I did recently have my children taken away by social services. My oldest child flunked out of school, and in my defense, I couldn't find her homework! lol. maybe the dog ate it? No seriously, but now I know how to do homework thanks to some savy internet friends, and I am going to try again, from scratch, and not make the same mistakes! wish me luck.

Now you totally think I am some computer nerd, or gaming geek. I have no life. I admit it. But what the hell. I only live once, and I work my butt off during the day. I deserve to spend my weekend doing something that makes me happy. It's no different from me falling in love with a book and spending the entire weekend reading the series! which I have done before. I have a slightly obsessive personality when it comes to that. But I don't get to splurge very often.

And on that note.... GO SPLURGE!!! You have my permission! Woo Hoo!


I have come accustomed to the drool hanging from my cheek. Disturbing yes, but just one of the many small sacrifices I have to make in order to stare at naked Brad. Sure, there are no goods showing, and honestly I don't know if I could handle that. But I went to see Troy at the dollar movie, and eventhough it has been out forever, it was packed. Almost sold out. And I sat next to this other chick who was by herself, and I know that all of the women were there to see Brad. And it was worth each and every penny I spent. I would gladly lay down another 100 copper Abes to see those beautiful thighs and the chizled abs, and let my imagination wonder.

I watched another movie with Brad in it, but it just wasn't the same. I'm not sure if it was the little spartan skirt, or the rippling muscles, or the powerful war hero that did it. But whatever it was...IT WORKED!!!!

Two thumbs up for Troy. Even if it is for all the wrong reasons.

ps-I suppose technically Mr. Pitt sold himself for a dollar last Saturday. Way to pimp yourself!

To be a writer....

What does it mean to be a writer? Some have told me that"if you write, then you are a writer." Hmm. Maybe. But writing and saying you are a writer to me are two different things. I dance in my living room but that doesn't make me a dancer. I sing in the shower, but that doesn't make me a singer. I write in my office but that alone doesn't make me a writer. To be a writer implies that my career, my life's work, my occupation is writing. It is not about writing a short story over the weekend, that no one but myself will ever see. To be a writer, for me, is to live and breath writing. To make a living and a profession out of writing. To inspire, advise and mentor those who aspire to do the same.

That is what this blog is all about. Someone commented that there is no such thing as a wanna-be writer, because you either are or you aren't. I disagree. This is about wanting to be something more. This blog is about my journey to a life that revolves around writing, that is writing. I am getting closer to it. My life revolves around writing, just not entirely the type of writing I want it to revolve around. I write grants. It is a very technical, and very persuasive type of writing. Then I come home from work and I write short stories. And when I am really motivated I write novels. But most of my writing never makes it outside of my bedroom/office. I am a perfectionist, and a lover of words, and that makes it very difficult to feel comfortable enough with a piece of writing to let others see it. I am getting better at it but it can still be an issue at tiems. So yes I write. I write all the time. I write more now than I ever have, and in that sense perhaps I really am progressing towards my dream of becoming a writer. But writing doesn't make a writer. Can someone be a politician without ever winning an election? Can someone be a writer without being published?

I'm not saying that you cannot call yourself a writer if you don't have a NY Times bestseller, or a PhD in Creative Writing. You can be published in a webzine, or a literary journal, or a harlequin romance (:)) but for me to be a writer you must share your writing with the world. That is something that I have not fully embarked on. And I suppose that is what I am trying to do. It is where I am trying to go. I write because I have these ideas, characters, and worlds in my head. Interesting stories that I want to share with others because I think they will find them fascinating as well. I suppse I write because I never really wanted to stop playing pretend. I never wanted to leave the imaginary world behind.

I hope that before the year is up I will have at least one sale. But that assumes that I will finish revising a story! And I have spent way too much time writing this blog...I must go do some character development! Woo Hoo.

Going for Gold

Tis the season of the olympic spirit and I am feeling like anything is possible. That could be the $750,000 grant we just recieved to implement a statewide project, or it could be that my novel--which until now has been complete chaos--is finally beginning to get its sea legs, or maybe it the fact that I finally am doing something that I love. I am a big believer in everything happening for a reason. Some days are good and some days are bad, but the bad ones only make me stronger and prepare me for what lies ahead. I have never been extremely religious. I believe in God, or some higher being, but I have a lot of issues with organized religion. I'm not going to get into those issues here. Unless someone requests that I do so. I only bring it up because, despite my slightly agnostic tendenacies two sayings, both of which are tied to religion have been my mantra, and my motivation. The first is "God wouldn't put me through this unless he believed I was strong enough to get through it". The second is "If you're going to walk on water you have to get out of the boat." The first one refers to the trials and tribulations of life. The second relates to Jesus walking on water, doing the impossible. According to the Bible Peter asks Jesus to allow him to walk on the water and Jesus simply says "come". It is pure faith in the lord that allows Peter to step out of the boat. And you can't know what is possible and what is impossible if you never step out, if you never try. I suppose this is why I am starting this organization. I have a passion, I have a talent and I have a certain set of skills that with a little bit of faith and a lot of hard work it just might be possible. If I don't believe in that, then what's the point? If you can't dream, how do you live?

I say it again, for anyone fighting their own struggles. Please don't wait for life to come to you. Don't wait for answers, find them, seek them, fight for what you want. And when you fall, when things don't go your way, cry, mourn and move on. Life is short, it is precious and if you don't believe in yourself first, it doesn't matter who else believes in you.

The sneak preview

So don't hate me. I have written in my blog. Unfortunately my computer crashed before the entry posted and I lost somewhere in cyberspace. Don't you hate when that happens.


Life is interesting. I have to thank an old friend now, because it was while talking with them that I had one of those life shattering epiphanies that kick you off your feet and leave you flat on your ass. Hmmm. Can I say Ass? well if not sorry. I was referring to the animal. lol. Anywho...I had this amazing revelation that provided me with insight and understanding into the decisions I have and have not been making for the past year and a half. But I say that is way too long and it is about time I start stepping up to the plate. I think it's time to KICK IT UP A NOTCH!!!!!

That being said, I should explain my last entry. It wasn't exactly clear. I have indeed started my own organization. I have bylaws, and the beginnings of a business plan. I have an invite list for board members. I have papers to file for incorporation and 501(c)3 status. And one day, hopefully sooner than later, we will have paid staff positions. I already have a list of people I would like to work with and or consult with for specific areas.

Anway, please check out the website and purchase something on our cafe press shop! I will try and let you know when things are updated. Until then, keep your eyes and ears open. You might be on my hit list. If you want to be more involved send me an email. I will get you on the mailing list.

I'm out.

I'm not just the President....

So, uh...I think I just started my own organization! lol. I mean it. It's for young writers, and if you want to know more about it, well you will just have to go to my cafeshop (see link above or go to and purchase something so that I can pay to for web hosting. Ok OK seriously, I have some information I can give you. But I really really need to get some sort of site up and running. I only need to sell um...10 Items to pay for the site. And I promise to send you a personal thank you letter with your purchase.


I am serious.

Lol... Check it out. I have a lot of work to do. I look forward to hearing your comments. I take requests for merchandise as well.

Blog Damnit!

Ask and ye shall recieve.

Why is it so easy for me to put other things ahead of my writing. I had the whole day off and do you know how much writing I actually got done? None. Zero. Zip. Instead I did a load of laundry, baught a clothes hamper, went shopping for fabric, made an extravagant and new recipie for dinner, reorganized my bookshelf, rented movies at the library, played a computer game, consoled my only half sick sister, made a list of things to buy for my apartment, AND watched the democratic convention. But no writing. Actually this is the closest thing to writing that I have come to.

Hmm.  A case of writer's block? Yes. Fear of failure? Yes.  Too much of a perfectionist? Yes. All of the above. And instead of facing that, learning how to work around it, it is so much easier to just do something else. Something easy.

Despite that I still feel that I am well on my way.  There have been a lot of changes in the past year. And a lot of discoveries in the past two or three months.  I have learned more about what I want, and I have made progress towards getting those goals.  I am hopeful that I will see those goals fulfilled.  Financially, physically, career wise, it may have taken longer than expected, I may have had to step off the traditional path, but I can finally see the finish line.  I am in the home stretch.

That being said, I will sign off with a quote from the Alive's Best of Columbus Issue, "Best place to have illicit sex that, while initially pretty gross, will eventually offer fond memories, assuming you pass the Ensuing STD tests...over the broken air conditioner in the alley behind bernies!!! Nuff said.

Jib Jab


Can I say that one more time. Oh hey, look my toolbar changed. The whole post format is different. When did that happen?  Guess I should have been writing more in my blog.

Sorry about that. Like I said, my personal life kind of shifted into high gear. Hopefully after today I will be able to slide back into neutral or at least flip on cruise control and maintain a steady pace. I miss writing, and I haven't had much time to write. And I miss all my blogger friends. It is every comforting to be able to post on a blog. I encourage everyone to try it. Ok not really. I don't want you to stop reading mine!

I do have a little question to put out there though. Maybe this is completely normal, and I am not the only one who experiences it, but for those of you who actually write, do you find that other authors motivate you to write? Not in the traditional manner. But for me, the other day I was wondering around in the library and ran across this book that looks like I could have written it. It has all the elements of a great story. But every time I go to read it, I panic, because I am afraid it is my story. I think oh my god this is one more person I have to compete with. This is one more author who got published, and one less publisher who will show interest in my stuff. Ok so maybe that isn't entirely true, but I look at it and think, man I really have to speed up my writing process if I want a shot at this.

But maybe that is good swift kick in the butt I need.

Last night I got some good writing done. Again, the first time in a while. It's so weird. Sometimes the characters are stubborn, and I'll be honest, maybe I am too tired to give them the proper encouragement, lol., but still some days it's just a lot harder. I am thankful for the days when it isn't hard.  When it's like writing about your best friend and the stories you shared over drinks in the bar.

Ironically enough it seems I have the most trouble capturing emotion. Which is ironic because I am a highly emotional person (in a good way. I'm not neurotic). I just give a lot of weight to the emotional state of things, I encourage people to listen to their hearts, follow their instincts...blah blah blah,  So it is weird that of all things, I have the toughest time getting my characters emotions on the page.

OK I am really rambling here. Check out the This Land cartoon. I love that.

Peace out.

Everything's bigger in Texas

Sorry. It's been a while since you've heard from me. I just returned from a week in Texas. It was business, trust me. Next to maybe, alaska, there is no other state i would rather avoid. Although, even alaska had temperatures in the high sixties last week. It was looking pretty promising from 100 plus Dallas.

And now I am back from that bizarre place. And thrilled. But once again I am stuck writing. i am upset because I wrote the beginning of this chapter, and now I can't find it. I have a hunch that it is on a computer disk, unfortunately it won't load now, on my computer. Great. Now I need to rewrite it. And I am struggling, because I liked what I had and I can't get that back.

Then I went to the library, found a new book, that is sort of on my topic, and as always I freaked out, because I think, great one more book that people will compare me to. Or that could have been my novel. I get scared that someone else is going to write my story. Ironically it just puts more pressure on me, and make it harder to write.

So that is my life. Plus I have a had a lot of distractions both at work, and in my personal life. Writing is still a priority, of course, but I had to shift gears a little bit. Anyway. I'll get there. It's just going to take time.

So it's almost my year anniversary. If only I could get a completed draft of this stupid manuscript. I would feel a little better about it. I have got to go to work now.


Life's little choices...

It's funny. The older I get, the more confident in myself I become. I can see why they say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. You learn all about yourself from difference experiences, you learn to expect specific outcomes from certain situations. Me, I've learned to trust my gut instincts.

Over the last five years it is amazing how independent I have become. Well I understand that part of this is because I am at the point in my life when you become independent. Going off to college, starting your first fulltime job, these are things that are supposed to happen at my age. But it's more than just paying my own bills, or doing laundry, or choosing an apartment. I have really learned how to stop letting other people make decisions for me. Now when I talk to people about things, I do it with a concrete decision in my mind. Sure I will listen to someone else's opinion. It might even allow me to think of new things that I didn't consider. But I know that if I change my mind, it isn't because someone wasn't happy with my decision. It was because it wasn't the right decision for me at the time.

I guess you can probably tell that I have been making a lot of major decisions. I have. But I've always been overly cautious about things. I have never been the type of person to just make a major decision on impulse. Hell I do very little on Impulse. I have to be mentally and emotionally prepared. I know that bugs a lot of people crazy. I'm not saying I don't like to go out and have fun. I just like to plan things out. I like to understand the pros and cons.

Anyway, I am veering off track here. I can give a quick writing update. I haven't really written much of anything yet. I took a break to read two books. It's funny because I find that I am learning a lot about writing styles and techniques of my favorite authors. I have one more book to read, which coincidentally has to do with a central theme in my own book, and once I get this second chapter revised, I will start back on the short story. I've got a busy few weeks ahead of me. But oh well. I did say that I like to be busy.

The Fatality of Boredom

I had to write again because my last entry was a little more negative than I like. But don’t fret. I am over it. I decided that part of my frustration was simply that I was bored. I am not one who deals well with having nothing to do. Doesn’t that just sound like a perfectionistic over-achiever? But anyway the very next day I came into work and I had a new project waiting on me. And imagine that. I have been in a better mood ever since.

I guess it is good that I learn this about myself now, while I am young. I get restless with something because I get bored with this. So the solution? Find something else to do. Keep things new and exciting. And that pesky fear of commitment. Well I think that the Marriage conference in Dallas will help me get over that. Yes. I said marriage conference. And yes, it’s in Dallas of all places.

Again. Oh well.

I have to have faith that, just like everything else, some good will come out of this.

Ok I am going to go now. But I leave you with this. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Take this job and shove it...

One of my favorite movies of all time is Office Space. Ok well I don't know if it really is one of my favorite movies, but for the moment it is. I like my job. I do. I am grateful to have it. However I am getting a little restless right now. It's warm outside. I am still used to having summers off. I'm tired of working on projects that never get used or utilized to their full potential, of getting pulled onto projects that I probably shouldn't be working on and have no experience in. Sure, sometimes that means I get to do cool things, things that at other places I would never get to have a say in. But not always. Not this time.

Anyway, I would rather be writing. After all a writer must write. If not that then at least reading a book. So now that you understand my frame of mind, you can understand why this is one of my top movies right now.

I always get restless. I suppose everyone does, but some just suck it up and others break. I'm a breaker. I don't like doing the same thing for too long. I get frustrated. I hate being tied down. I can't imagine working at one place for five years, or ten years. How can anyone work at the same place for that long? This fear is part of the reason why I fight so hard to be a writer. I want to live on my own schedule, doing the thing that I love the most. I want to wake up when I want and have the option of sitting on my bed and cranking out two chapters, or hopping down to the bookstore and taking notes in the cafe. I want to be able to take a break at ten if there is a interview on the radio I hear, or sit outside if it is a beautiful day. I want to wake up knowing that those choices are mine, and not feeling like I'm forced to spend my time working on making someone else's dreams come true. When do you stop working for someone else and start working for yourself? Do I have some unnatural flaw that prevents me from holding down a sane job? Do I have some extreme fear of commitment?

That is, I am sure, just what my mother would love to hear. That I, her eldest daughter, has a fear of commitment. It would only further her belief that I will not get married for another ten years. Ten years? Good lord. I want to be working on my second divorce by then. Honestly, talking to my mother about weddings was stressful enough to make me want to elope. My mother I am sure would love that. I have never really included my family into my personal life, even as an adolescent. There was always this piece of me that I had to keep to myself. I suppose that getting eloped would be that part of me, desperate to get the last laugh.

But Alls well that ends well. And this saga I call life will end well. I have to have faith. I have to believe. Otherwise, what would be the point.

So I am thinking of innovative ways to make money, and support myself while I write. Any suggestions out there? I would greatly appreciate it.

Techincal Assitance

Yes, I know that was spelled correctly. This is exactly how the woman who makes are name badges at work decided to spell it. It has been a running joke all year. However this blog is to post about some technical difficulties I had with the blog. Honest to goodness I have been writing entries. It's just that the past two times I have tried to post them, they never go through to the server. See. Scroll down. Yep. There's the entry for Wed. Just now appearing. Nice.

And Wed. was my favorite entry too.

Oh Well. I have lots to say but no time. So maybe later tonight.

Happy Happy Joy Joy

YEA!!!!! I cannot believe it. I am so happy right now. I have been working on my novel since about 2 o'clock. Working and actually making progress. Good progress. I mean I have been writing on it ever since marcon, but today, for the first time in a long time I feel really, really good about what I have written. It's funny. It's sparks interest. There's conflict, and emotion. I have tried so hard to make sure all of these stupid elements were present. And today, today it just happens. It just comes out, and everything clicks. I've finally found my character.

How can I explain this in terms that nonwriters will understand. It's like going on a company retreat. You know your co-workers, you might even be friends with them, know their wife or their kids. But until you stay up half the night just talking, until you have that intimate bonding experience, there is still some distance between you.

That is what it was like with this character. I knew her, I knew her history. I could picture her clearly in my mind. But every time I sat down to write, she just wouldn't open up. I had to guess what her moves were, what actions she would take, and most of the time they were wrong. And now, she just goes. I'm like the cameraman that follows all of those celebrities around on reality TV shows. She isn't acting for the camera anymore. She's just being herself.

Hmm, let me introduce you to Lainey, my protagonist. She's young and gorgeous, with super-human strength, and a pile of bloodstained laundry. She doesn't drive under 80. She eats her steaks rare, and she's the number one suspect in an assassination plot. And even though she will beat me up for saying this, she's a softy at heart.

So I am going to go back to writing now. Actually I think I will fix some dinner first and then write. One chapter down! Woohoo!

Advice from the pros...

Sorry. It's been a few days. But all in all I am getting a lot better about posting.

Last night I had my writer's group meeting. The first chapter of my novel was critiqued and I was very happy with the results. Oh sure. It wasn't perfect. But almost all of the comments were very helpful. I finally feel like this novel is making progress. And I can see how much my writing is improving because of my writing group. I learn from critiquing others pieces. I learn by reading their comments on my pieces. Sometimes I read a story or chapter over and over again, and I can't put my finger on what is wrong. And I will workshop it with my writing group, and they will be able to help me figure out what is missing, or where it went wrong.

I read over the comments today, and I am still very satisfied with the first reaction of the chapter. I wasn't clear enough on a few ideas but I realize that, and it is only a days work to make the changes. Not only that But Kathy, who has published 4 novels, and taught creative writing, has offered to work with me on a one-to-one basis after I expressed my frustration with getting together the first few chapters. I am grateful that she is willing to work with me. I really admire her and her writing. She does pretty amazing things with her stories, and even though her novel is something that I probably wouldn't pick up off the shelf and read on my own, I am hooked to her story, and can't wait to read more of it.

So now I am rambling about how wonderful my writing group is. I could do this for days, but I think that I will spare all you readers out there. I have a much more interesting post coming up. Stay tuned.

Five Nights of Great Sex...

Nope. Get your mind out of the gutter. I'm talking about TBS Sex and the City. Can I tell you how much this show rocks.

I would like to point out however, that I was always a huge fan of Sex and the City. I could jump on my feminist soapbox and rant about how women aren't allowed as much freedom to talk about their sexuality as men. I can point out a thousand ways in which society confines women, and punishes them for being both too sexual or not sexual enough. But I said I wouldn't get on that soapbox and I'm not, except to say that Sex and the City, sort of help level the playing field.

So yea! Hooray! Whoopee!!!

OK so I am going to go do something. LOL. Not sure what. But something.


Signs are everywhere! I went to the library today and both books that I put on reserve for research on my short story, were there eventhough I hadn't been contacted yet by the library. Then I went over to the new books area and I found Catherine Asaro's new book (a writer I met less than a year ago) and as I kept looking I found another book from Rosemary Laurey, a former member of my writing group. I finally decided to stop looking when I found a third book, this time non-fiction, on Teen life in Africa, which is related to the topic in my short story. I figured if I kept looking I would only find more books that were interesting so I had to leave immediately if I wanted to get any writing done over the next week.

So now I have like a billion books to read, but that is ok. Because what else is there to do in the summer but read. Well that and summer blockbuster movies. Which I must admit, I have a huge weakness for. I love the cheesy action flick. I can't wait for Spider Man 2. I love the movies that create all the hoopla. There is always two or three movies that everyone knows will be a hit. And even if it isn't the hoopla before hand, the hype...It makes it all worth it.

But anyway, summers are meant for reading. As a child I used to spend the day curled up on the couch lost in a book from the moment I woke up, until the moment my mom got home from work, and yelled at me for not doing chores. I would carry a paperback with me everywhere, in the car, at the mall, to restaurants. I wanted to read at all times, and I had to make sure that I could read whenever I had a spare moment. When I hit 12 I started reading adult novels, because I went through young adult books so quickly. I kind of wish I was a teen now, because the YA market has exploded, or at least it seems like it has. I must admit that I have been known to breeze through a YA novel when I need a little light reading. Some of them are really quite good. And unfortunately, between working full-time and writing all other times, my time allotment for reading that doesn't directly benefit those two categories is slim to none.

Someone once told me that if you don't read, then you might as well not even talk to me, because we don't have anything in common. I disagree with this statement. Do I have time to pick up a copy of war and peace, or reread Moby Dick to analyze whether or not my opinions on it have changed since reading it as a teen? No. But that doesn't mean that books aren't a part of my life. In fact they are an important part of who I am, seeing as I am a writer. And seeing how I want to open a bookstore, well yes books are a part of my life. But that doesn't mean I have read everything under the sun. I want to, but there's just not enough time. And even if there was, part of being a writer, is living. You can't write about what you don't know, what you haven't lived, or seen or heard of. I think that is part of the reason I didn't major in English at College. Sure there was a creative writing program at the university, it might even be good, or better than I imagine. But you can't write about writing. Or you can, but it would be rather dull, and probably a lame impression of something that has already been done. But new ideas, fresh inspiration, that comes from life, and learning.

So now that I have gone way off track with this entry I will stop and read some Pablo Neruda. I love him. Although I am not really that sure about this book though. Well see.

Oh, by the way, I did actually submit my first chapter of my novel to my writing group. I suppose that is progress. I spent most of Tuesday revising it. And every step was painful, and I only anticipate that it will get worse before it gets better, but oh well. Sometimes life hurts too. I watched Big Fish, yesterday. Good movie. And the main character, he says that "the most painful things, usually turn out to be the most rewarding when your finished." I agree. Getting their may hurt, but it only makes the finish line that much sweeter. Let's just hope eventually the process gets easier. I don't want to be going through this same pain in twenty years. New Pain! New Pain!

another quiz....

I Knew it...

You are going to marry Brad Pitt. He is always
friendly to anybody he ever meets and he is
very talented as an actor. He is also very
sincere and friendly. He will respect you until
the day he dies. Congrats!!

Which male celebrity are you going to marry? (14 choices now!!)
brought to you by Quizilla

Teenage Drama Queens and Harry Potter

So life with a 14 year old girl no other thing I can think of. Everything is a crisis, everything is an emergency needing immediate attention. It doesn't matter what you agree to because she will simply say or do the exact opposite of what you want. It makes me want to not have kids. Or find a really nice boarding school for those pesky teenage years. Let them get angry and overdramatic at some other adult.

So I watched the new Harry Potter Movie last weekend. Did I like it? Yes. Did I love it? hmmm. Love is such a strong word. I'm not ready to make that kind of commitment yet. So without spoiling it for anyone who is slow and has yet to see it, I am going to attempt to explain my issues with this film, sort of a form of couples therapy. lol. You be the shrink.

Ok. The book is just better. I know I know, everyone says that. But IT IS!!!! The book is sooo much better. I mean the first two books of Harry Potter are good. Not great, but for what they were supposed to be, they are good. The third and fourth book are great. A little thicker, a little more complexity, a little more emotional and personal conflict. They aren't the Nancy drew type mysteries of the first two books. The fifth book, well that is just to get you from point a to point C. There is a lot of information in there, but it's a very large book for what little actually happens.

The first two movies are excellent. I think they did a wonderful job translating the world of harry potter on screen. It was, in fact, the world of harry potter in the first film that made me curious enough to read the books. Watching the deleted scenes of the second movie, there are scenes that I think they should have kept in, that helped solidify the story, but the film was funny as an elephant's butt, so who cares if they took out two or three shots here or there.

But the third one, well it is shorter for one. I am all for the shorter movies, but you can't rush the story. Certain information needs to be explained and I just felt like it wasn't. I felt like the only reason I had any clue what was going on, was because I read the book.

But another theory could be that the reason I like the book better is because I recognize how much time and energy went into writing the book. To see the back story, the foundation, the intricacy of the book cut from the movie, it is sad.

Ok it is has been a long time, and I keep getting pulled away from this message, so I am going to end now. But I reserve the right to return to this subject at a later date.

Meeting Adjourned.

The Beer Quiz...

Requires more thinking and coordination than one would imagine. Anyway, I think I am going to have to stop taking these quizzes, they are getting a little too personal. Honestly though. Despite what the quiz may suggest, I am not an alcoholic. I am however 23.

FORGET BEER, PASS THE LIQUOR: Oh, beer's fine, but
if someone else is buying, you want the
expensive stuff. Really, you're not that
concerned with other people; the drink is much
more important. You love to entertain and
adore attention. You don't always know your
limit, but how important are limits? Live life
large, and drink double shots.

The Greatest Beer Quiz, ever!
brought to you by Quizilla

Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My!

I saw the lion king last night. It was wonderful. Visually stunning. I would see it again if I could afford the tickets. The costumes, the props, the set, it was all beautiful. It must be amazing to see your work come together in a show like that. I don't think that I will ever write anything that will become a broadway show, but hey you never know.

I got an email from an editor who will remain nameless, with submission guidlines for a new anthology. Now that I have those four pages of rules in my tiny little novice hands, I can honestly say I was scared I wouldn't get them. I don't know why. I still have those nightmares of editors shredding my stories and shoving them into an exploding can and sending it fedex. Someone told me a few weeks ago, that as long as an editor doesn't send you a regection letter FedEx, you're ok. Could you imagine! "This story was so bad, I had to contact you within 24 hours to tell you how much you suck!"

So I am still reading STORY. There are a few other recommended readings that I might check out, but now I have a whole new list of books to read as research for this short story anthology. But I am really eager to start putting some of this theory to practice. I had a few Ahh Ha moments, while reading, and my own novel is stronger because of it.

After much thought on this whole idea of how-to books on writing, I decided that you can teach specific elements of the craft, but you can't teach imagination, or creativity. Writing is hard. It's the reason so many great writers had tragic deaths. Ok maybe that isn't the only factor. But it is hard work and I truly believe that anyone can have a good idea, know a little bit of grammar and decide they want to write a book. But there is a reason so many people start and never finish. It takes a certain amount of insainity to spend hundreds of hours on something that may only serve as firestarter. There are no promises with writing. No guarantees. And it isn't the best way to get rich quick. Heck, it isn't the best way to get rich period. You have to do it because you have no other choice. Because you can't imagine not writing, because you have this story and you are going to burst at the seams if you don't tell someone soon. Me, I have hundreds of stories. Well, maybe not hundreds, but I have at least three novels rolling in my head at this vary moment, two of which are the first books in sequels, and about fifteen short stories in progress, or sketched out.

Sometimes I know the characters, and they want me to share their story. Other times, I have never met the characters. I just know the event, the outcome, the climax. I see bits and peices and I have to put them all together so that they make sense to the reader. I can do it. It will just take time.

Craft Craft Craft....

So I am making progress on my novel. I worked for about three hours yesterday and now have about 40 pages. I am going to do a brief revision on this chunk so that I can post it to my writing group. That anal retentive nature of mine won't let me post anything without at least one round of revisions. I am excited with the changes I have made, and feel like the story is really coming together.

I owe a great deal of thanks to a member of my writing group, who suggested I read Robert McKee's book "Story". It has been so helpful. I got it about a week ago, but distracted by Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I didn't start reading it until Sunday. Now I can't put it down. I read it over my lunch break. I read it from 5 when I got home until 9:30 when I stopped to print off my story. Not only do I find it entertaining and easy to read, but it is exactly what I was looking for. I wanted very specific and precise definitions of what a story is, the elements it contains, and how they should be pieced together. This book does just that. And even though it is primarily written for screenwriters, it is easily transferable to fiction, since the stories of films are primarily fiction themselves.

SO I suggest that anyone trying to write a story, or curious about the craft of writing, read this book. I really like a comparison he makes in the first chapter. "If your dream were to compose music, would you say to yourself: 'I've heard a lot of symphonies...I can also play the piano...I think I'll knock one out this weekend'? No. But that's exactly how many screenwriter's begin: 'I've seen a lot of fliks, some good, some bad...I got A's in English...Vacation time is coming...Maybe I'll write a movie."

I love this, and I would argue that this is exactly how many new writer's come to be. I could even argue that it is how I came to be, minus one crucial element. I read lots of books. I was always good at English, and Writing, and yes, one day I thought I can do this. But the difference is, once I decided I could do this, I immediately looked for ways to master the craft. My trouble was that there are very few books, good books, that deal with the craft of writing. I think that writers, simply like to be expressive and talk of the joys of writing, the ups and downs, the antecdotes that make us laugh, and cry and connect to one another, but there are few books that deal with the structure of a story, the elements that should be present. Oh sure, there are the books that list the main items that everyone knows, plot, character, setting, beginning, middle, and end, climax, resolution...These things are always mentioned but not much help and in most cases already known. But what makes a plot? What differentiates act one from Act three. How long should a scene be? How do you decide where to place that scene? Where does your story begin, where does it end? These are the questions that I have been trying to answer, and finally I have an answer. Even if I disagree with some of what he says, at least it's an answer, a set of rules that I can follow or break.

Ok so I am going to go back to reading the book, because in talking about it, I decided I missed reading it. Maybe I will revise the first two chapters tomorrow.

Oh and by the way, I am going to see the Lion King tomorrow. I wonder if I can apply the story to the structure device McKee has created?

Look how good I am at posting to the blog!!! I'm shooting for daily, and I suppose as long as I am in a good mood, I will be able to keep that up.

which 80's toy are you?

I took this quiz and found out the following....

You're an Etch-a-Sketch!! You're the creative,
artsy type who doesn't need to actually utilize
a single muscle group in order to have fun.
Doesn't matter though, you're still cool.

What childhood toy from the 80s are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday Afternoons...

So it is Sunday afternoon. I have the house to myself, after a long and yet exhausting weekend of fun filled adventures with Harry Potter. It's just me and the dog, some blues music and a margarita. The only thing that could make it better would be reading a really good book.

But I don't have a really good book to read, and I hope that writing a really good book will make up for it. Some days I wish I could speed through the writing. I wish I had the discipline and perhaps the talent to sit down and crank out 20 or thirty pages. Part of my problem I realized is that I am such a perfectionist. I spend so much time worrying about what I have already written that I can't get out of the first act of the book. Or at least not successfully. I've made three plot changes so far, and it seems like a bit much, but I really think they are necessary. With each new change I think the plot and the story gets better and better. Or at least I hope it does. I don't think that I need to do any major plot changes, at least not for the part that I have outlined. I am just going to go right now and see what happens. And I am going to try my hardest to focus on moving forward and not reworking the first three or four chapters to death.

Everyone says it. Don't get caught up in revisions if you don't have a complete draft. I would say it too if I was an experienced author. Because logically it makes perfect sense. Revisions are like plastic surgery, like remolding your house, but you can't do that until you have the basic foundations, the basic structure. You have to have something to work from. Me I have nothing to work from except for these worlds I have created in my head. And sometimes I think I am never going to manage to get them out on paper, at least not enough that I will like them. But like some drug addict, I can't resist the attempt to try. I can't walk past a laptop and not have the urge to sit down and tell my story. Or my character's story.

So I keep writing, In hopes that maybe one day I will finish this book, and it will actually sell.

How to be a geek:101

When did being a geek become cool? When did we stop caring what other people think about us? One day pleasing everyone is the most important thing in the world, and then one day, it just isn't. It stops. And it's a good thing it stops too, because life would be damn hard if we had to spend the whole time trying to please other people. Even the concept is flawed because as humans we a very inconsistent. What makes us happy one day, we could care less about the next. Look at pop culture, look at pop music. Look at teens. Fads come and go so fast they often leave skid marks (very badly dressed skid marks).

I'm not saying that I don't care what people think of me. I do, a little. I'm a writer and I want people to like my writing. I want them to enjoy my books and short stories. In a sense I am trying to make a career out of pleasing people. Maybe not pleasing the world, but pleasing a group large enough to get a decent royalty check. I care, but somewhere along the road, on the path to growing up, you care less and less.

I think I can pinpoint the moment when I stopped caring. The moment was immediate, the withdrawal, the backlash, that lasted a lot longer. I was in college. It was my freshman year, and I remember sitting in my dorm room thinking, I can do anything, I can be anyone. Something happens when you are pulled away from everyone and everything you know. All of the expectations that family and friends place upon you, they are suddenly gone. In college, no one knows if you were teachers pet, or a drama geek. No one knows, if you were a skater, or a player, a jock, or a homecoming queen. And it's nice to be at that place where you can reshape and remold your personality. I think we do that several times in our lives, until we become the person we want to become. Each new job each new school, each new love. We have a chance to change, and we become a little more free if we are willing.

I love those moments. The moment when you look up and realize that you can get lost in the crowd, that you are surrounded by hundreds of strangers and you can check your baggage at the door. Maybe that is why I love New York so much. Maybe that's why I love writing. It's just one more thing that I can get lost in. Do I live vicariously through my characters, sure I do, when I write, when I read, I get do things I would never do in my own life, for hundreds of perfectly good reasons, but that is what a good story does. It pulls you into the story.

Anyway, if you are curious about becoming a geek check out I love this site.


So I am feeling much better today. Yesterday was the first day I had that was good. Ok the first day I had in the real world that was good. My weekend was fabulous, but I was in a different world. A world I loved, but don't live in every day. Anyway, I am finally feeling good. I did a tarot card reading on Tuesday night. I think the cards surprised me. I knew I was sort of in a funky mood. I knew I was being bitter and petty to people I cared the most about. Not all of it was intentional. But I couldn't help myself, and I needed to find away to release the bitterness and negative energy inside me that I had been carrying around for days. I needed to stop blaming my friends for not being the people I wanted them to be.

So I got this really cool book from the Library, called "The Writer's Mentor". It's funny how I have moved from reading about how to write fiction, to reading the war room stories from authors themselves. I prefer the latter. (sorry about the interruption. My dog just joined me on the bed. Dogs are great. Did you know people who own dogs live longer happier lives. They are also less likely to get depressed. Dogs are great because their love is unconditional, and they rely on you so much, it's like to the dog you are god. god with the food. lol.)

Anyway, I started reading this book, "The Writer's Mentor" which is full of wonderful quotes and tidbits of advice from hundreds of famous writers. So today's quote is this, "writing is finally a series of permissions you give to yourself to be expressive in certain ways. To invent. To leap. To fly. To fall." (Susan Sontag) I think that is very appropriate considering my last few posts.


I know who I am going to marry. I met him at the convention. He's tall, with broad shoulders and rich bronze skin. His hair hangs down to his waist but he often twists it tightly at the nape of his neck. Not into a bun, but an intricate Boy Scout knot. He's dressed in all black. Crisp button down shirt open at the collar so the sterling silver chain can be seen. He looks good in black.

He likes to listen to my stories. He sits at my feet, at the foot of the bed, listening to my words. They make him laugh, fill him with wonder. How can anyone create a world such as this? He doesn't understand failure, or how I can doubt my future as a published author. "You're already an author," he says. "Start smiling."

Political Junkie Overdose

So Yesterday was Memorial Day, and what better way to celebrate than watching 10 hours of West Wing? Ok, so maybe Politics is my thing and no one else's. That's ok. I can still argue that this show has some of the best writing I have seen in TV for a long time. Absolutely beautiful. OK and so I have a connection to one of the writers, it doesn't make me biased!

So I spent the other half of my day doing research. Way, way too much research, but I found some interesting stuff. Like the story of Lilith, which depending on who your source is, Lilith can be seen as the spawn of Satan, or the first feminist.

Anyway I want to share this version of the story with you, because I think it is just nifty...

This is taken from the text of "The Alphabet of Ben

Sira", the text is dated somewhere between the 8th & 10th cent. CE, and its place within Judaism has been debated.

Soon afterward the young son of the king took ill,

Said Nebuchadnezzar, "Heal my son. If you don't, I

will kill you." Ben Sira immediately sat down and

wrote an amulet with the Holy Name, and he inscribed

on it the angels in charge of medicine by their names,

forms and images, and by their wings, hands, and feet.

Nebuchadnezzar looked at the amulet. "Who are these?"

"The angles who are in charge of medicine: Snvi,

Snsvi, and Smnglof (more common names Senoy, Sansenoy,

and Semangelof). After God created Adam, who was

alone, He said, 'It is not good for man to be alone'

(Gen. 2:18). He then created a woman for Adam, from

the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called

her Lilith. Adam and Lilith began to fight. She said,

'I will not lie below,' and he said, 'I will not lie

beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to

be in the bottom position, while I am to be in the

superior one.' Lilith responded, 'We are equal to each

other inasmuch as we were both created from the

earth.' But they would not listen to one another. When

Lilith saw this, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and

flew away into the air. Adam stood in prayer before

his Creator: 'Sovereign of the universe!' he said,

'the woman you gave me has run away.' At once, the

Holy One, blessed be He, sent these three angles to

bring her back.

"Said the Holy One to Adam, 'If she agrees to come

back, fine. If not she must permit one hundred of her

children to die every day.' The angels left God and

pursued Lilith, whom they overtook in the midst of the

sea, in the mighty waters wherein the Egyptians were

destined to drown. They told her God's word, but she

did not wish to return. The angels said, 'We shall

drown you in the sea.'

"'Leave me!' she said. 'I was created only to cause

sickness to infants. If the infant is male, I have

dominion over him for eight days after his birth, and

if female, for twenty days.'

"When the angels heard Lilith's words, they insisted

she go back. But she swore to them by the name of the

living and eternal God: 'Whenever I see you or your

names or your forms in an amulet, I will have no power

over that infant.' She also agreed to have one hundred

of her children die every day. Accordingly, every day

one hundred demons perish, and for the same reason, we

write the angels' names on the amulets of young

children. When Lilith sees their names, she remembers

her oath, and the child recovers."

- The Alphabet of Ben Sira

Anyway, maybe you found that completely unamusing. If so, then there is a good chance you won't like my novel. Or at least this one, which I am hoping will become a series. Anyway, I did my 1000 words this morning at five AM. Now I am going to write some more.

Movement on Mars

I am writing. I am writing, writing, writing. I figured out what was making my novel move like gum stuck to the rubber sole of my shoe, and I am writing. And it feels good.

I have a new outline one that is fast paced, one that is based off of a strong foundation of research and preparation. I know my characters like I know my best friends. I know what sets them off, what gets them riled up, how they will react to good news and bad.

More importantly I am about to tell a story that is mine and mine alone. Uniquely mine and I believe that there is an audience for it. That people will find my book interesting, and wonder why no one has ever come up with the world that I have come up with.

Writing this novel is like sharing my imaginary friends with hundreds of new friends. I have lived in this world for so long. I am about to jump head first into a mad rush of typing just to tell the story, the whole story, to a friend who is dying of cancer. Ok there is no friend that is dying of cancer, but that is what it feels like. Someone once described a short story to me as, "The Moment". It is the one story you have to share before you die. The most important moment of that characters life, the moment everything changes.

I suppose that is the critical element in a story. The character has to go through a change. On their journey from point a to point z several things happen. And just like a 40 year old adult in therapy, every single event that takes place in life shapes and molds a person. It either kills a small part of them, makes them a little more bitter, a little more cynical, or it gives them more faith, more confidence, more hope.

I got some good advice this weekend. And I had a lot of people who simply pointed me in the right direction. People who took my hand turned me a few degrees to the right and said, this way. Here is where you want to go, this is what you were looking for. I was close, I was on the right road, just missed the last turn, that's all.

I was also reminded of the power of belief. I got to see how far I have come in the last year, and I came to realize that no matter how impossible my dream of becoming a writer might seem to some, it is inevitable to me. This is what I was meant to do. I feel at home when I am with writers, when I am talking about writers. I get lost in it. I can go 12 hours without eating. I can go 24 hours without sleep. I can get lost in the writing, in the story, in the message. Is it exhausting? Yes. But that doesn't mean it isn't worth it. Because there is nothing better than putting the final staple in a short story, or the binder clip around 200 pages of manuscript. There is nothing better than looking at a stack of crisp white clean pages with rows of black text and knowing that this, this is the story you've been dying to tell. And though it hasn't happened I live for the moment when the first stranger will come to me and say this book, this novel, I couldn't put it down. I couldn't stop reading, and I loved it all. And for every 10 people that hate it, if one person fell absolutely in love with it I will be happy.

OK. I am going to go back to writing now. I have a few chapters to rewrite so that I can post them to my writing group. I want it posted before the end of the week.


Part of me wants to stay here forever, part of me is resenting the moment when someone will come and rip it all away. Not intentionally, it is a weird kind of thing to describe, but just by being, they are taking away. Their presence overwhelms my sense of self. Walls come back up, intentional or unintentional, and it's like I forget how to breathe.

So I kind of want to savor this moment, this weekend, the things I learned, the people I met, the side of me I discovered. I want to bask in the glow for a while before reality slams into me like a freight train. I am not ready to deal with other peoples problems, be it work, or personal, and because I do care, and I don't want to offend them, I think I am just going to stick to myself for a couple more days.

hmmmm. Yeah, I am not going to say anymore. Silence is such a wonderful thing.


That's what this week has been like. I feel like banging my head against the wall until the pain stops. I wish I could fall for an eternity, with no strings, no voices, nothing to hold onto, no one to pull me back to reality, away from the things that mean the most to me. I'm tired of dealing with people that think they are the only ones with problems in the world. That they are the only ones that get to bitch and gripe about how miserable life is, and how crappy their day was. Sometimes I can be the supportive ear, sometimes I can sympathize and if at all possible I will try to take a little bit off their plate. But not this week. Right now all I want is to have my own freakin breakdown. For once I want people to look at me and say, gee this is really getting to you. You aren't just a little stressed, something is really f*in going on here. And if people can't do that, if they can't see that I am in need of a serious mental and emotional breakdown, that I need to be secluded from life for 24 to 46 hours, that I need to recharge and find out who the hell I am and where the hell I went, then I don't want to see them and I don't want to be around them because it is just one more thing for me to deal with.

And I just don't have the strength.

That being said, my writing life is stuck in neutral. I gotta figure out how to switch gears before I crash and burn.

So much for posting three days in a row. But hey, I actually got a post in. And on a weekday no less. Amazing.

Life was so much easier when I wasn't doing anything at work and I could update my blog regularly.

Sop my writing is finally back on track. It is crazy, but I really have been in this sort of funk. And I know you are probably tired of hearing me say this, because I have probably said it before, that now I am ready and pumped and my writing is back to where it once was. But honestly that would be a lie. Even when I wasn't working my writing outcomes were low. I just wasn't as productive as I wanted to be. For me, it seems to be a matter of discipline. I sit down to write and I get to something that is complicated and it is much easier to decide to do something else. It is so easy to walk away.

And now that my schedule is kind of insane and my freetime is limited I feel like something has to sacrifice and I don't know what that something should be. If I am writing, I can't read, I can't exercise I can't go hang out with friends, I can't date, and all the times I am doing those other things, All I think about it I could have been writing.

OK not all the time. For a while I lose track and actually enjoy myself and whatever I am doing. But reading for example. Everytime I pick up a book, I think, you should be writing not reading. You'll never sell a book if you don't finish the manuscript. I am beginning to understand why people lock themselves a way in log cabins with nothing but a typewriter. It is hard. There are so many distractions. So many reasons to walk away. And it really frustrates me that I can't enjoy a good book anymore. I feel like until I get this stupid draft done, I need to work on it. And yet there are so many good books that I want to read. My list just keeps on growing longer. Even books from my favorite authors books I would have read in less than a week. It has taken months to read. And finally I get to a point where I can get lost in the story, which is my favorite part, and it takes so long now to get to that point.

But I am grateful for my writing group I say it all the time. But the last meeting really got me motivated. Especially since another writer is battling with the same thing. I think that I am the type of person that needs deadlines. External deadlines. Like a grant. I know it is due in two weeks. I have to kick it up a notch and the adrenaline starts going and I can crank that sucker out. But without that deadline without that goal, I flounder. I flop around like a wet fish trying to find its way back to sea. Don't let me be the floppy wet fish anymore!

Hmm maybe I should set a goal to be done with a complete draft of the manuscript the the Columbus writers conference in August. I think that is reasonable. I have an outline and the group is reviewing the first two chapters for the June meeting.

ok I am on the verge of rambling. Verge you say? Yeah right. All I do on here is ramble.

So g'night. Peace Out.
Look at this. A post two days in a row! Think I can do three?

So I am finally starting to get pumped up. I mean really pumped up. I think it finally hit me that in the next two months I am going to be doing totally awesome wickedly cool things. I mean it. In less than two weeks I will get to see Laurell again. (Shut Up!). No I am totally serious. And not just for one day. Oh no. For three. Three fun filled Days with Access to Laurell. (Stop it!). lol. But I mean really, what is the likelyhood of her running around actually talking to people versus acting like some worn down celeb. I mean I get it. There are going to be tons of people there, just to see her. and whopee. She has the right to want a little privacy. But I mean, you have to treat your fans well. Just like if you're the boss you treat your employees well. They are an extremely critical part of the process. Highly crucial element in determining your success.

So do you think that I will get stuck on the elevator with her and actually get the chance to say hi, like I did with Catherine Asaro. Highly unlikely. I am sure she will have her own mini enterage with her. Is that you spell that? It must be a french word. Darn french. Always spelling things as differently as possible from the way they are pronounced.

So anyway... speaking of France. I decided yesterday that I am going to save up some money once I start living of of a full time salary, and go to Europe. There are a few places I want to hit. France again, isn't really on the list. But it could be added if someone wanted to persuade me to swing by. I want to travel in Italy. I want to see Ireland, and the Big G.B. Maybe spend a little time in Spain. But my biggest desire is Italy and Ireland. I have wanted to go to Italy for about two and a half years now. And gosh darnit I am finnaly going to go. Who's with me? (We could take the Harry Potter Tour, lol. Visit all the site locations for the films..!) Fans are allowed to come too. lol. I will travel with a fan.

Start savin now.
So the program I am using to do this blog changed. I would like to say that is the reason that I have not posted in a while. That the technology is in a period of transition and I there are still a few kinks that have prevented me from blogging. Is that a word? Blogging? Anyway. That isn't the truth. The truth is I am too damn busy. For the blog, not for you. I am 23 and I already need a personal assistant.

So, my life is not about to slow down anytime soon. Not before July, and even then, probably September is more realistic. But I can't keep making excuses. I just need to be grateful that I have a life to keep me busy. That I am blessed with a job that I like, and a family who most of the time cares, and friends, friends who would move mountains to make my day just a little bit brighter. I would be nothing without my friends.

So I promise that I will have something published by the end of this year lol. I have two or three short stories, that I am feeling pretty good about. The deal is I was told to submit them to the top dogs first, and I don't know if I like that. I don't have any illusions about the superiority of my pieces. So I sometimes feel that submitting them to the big prestigious markets is a waste of time. I could send it straight to the little fish who are more likely to take it anyway.

What else do I need to say. Hey you know if I get a story sold then can I get a fan club? I really want a fan club. Does the founder get to be the president?

Ok so I have sooo much to do. I need to keep working on HP3 Party. I need to review 4 stories, I need to revise the first three chapters of my own novel to submit next week AND I have a story to mail out and two others to finish. Getting all that done this month, let alone week, is pushing it. But that is going to be my goal. I gotta speed up my writing process. I think it's about time I kick it up a notch.

Peace out.
omg. I am so sorry to all those dedicated readers out there who have been tuning in since april 19th looking for updates to my blog. Two things have prevented me from doing that. My job and my computer.

I have worked 50 plus hours for the last two weeks and my schedule has been extremely out of whack because of that. Plus my laptop has been very temperamental. Can I tell you, I have been having nightmares about the Dell guy. Dude you're getting a Dell is the last thing I want to hear right now. But I can't lay all the blame on Dell. I hate Microsoft too.

So other than that I am steadily chugging along. I need to get another computer badly. My printer broke two weeks ago. So this weekend I bought a printer for $1. Yes I said $1, although technically it was less than that because it was buck a bag and I also had the Norton Anthology of American Literature, and three extension cords in the bag. The best thing... It actually works. Yes it is slow, extremely slow. But it works. I've been doing a lot of research and have wanted to get a new printer so I am going to start saving for a laser printer now. I had one at OU. They were nice. Well I am more concerned with speed, since if you have ever tried to print of 250 pages you know how painful this can be. Especially when you have to keep running into the room to refill the paper tray before the printer times out. And as much as I love color. It is not a necessity.

Hmm. Am I rambling?

So there is a lion loose in Gahanna. I kid you not. My alarm went off this morning and at that precise moment that the dj said, "If you went to bed early last night" hmm 8 is early right? "then here is the breaking news. A lion is loose in Gahanna. I kid you not." Now this is 5:55 in the morning, I burst out laughing and almost fall out of the bed trying to keep from waking everyone else in the house up. To give the story an extra twist, the gahanna high school mascot is the lion, and while searching for the lion they stumbled across a rather ugly looking coyote.

OK well I am tired, I am going to go work on the HP3 Party Plans. I gotta get these invites out.

Fun in the sun. There's nothng like it. I spent 80 percent of my waking hours yesterday in the sun reading and writing. Then I went to my writing group and I had sooo much fun. We critiqued two different novels, and it really helped me realize that everyone else was having the same problems I was. It also gave me a little more confidence about submitting my novel for critiquing. I would like to get the entire first draft done first, but that might take me another two months at least, so I am not sure. I can give them the first few chapters, but I know that by the time I finish this book, there will be things I need to go back and add in the beginning. I will also have a better sense of a few of the characters, who on the page are still a little weak. I guess it depends on what I want to get out o the critique. For me I would really rather have it be less focused on major plot elements and more concentrated on structural problems, tone, character development etc. I feel like if I post it now, the comments that I get might be helpful, but will probably be things I already know. And even if I don't, what I am really worried about, is that there comments will make me hesitant to keep writing in the direction I am moving in, adn I don't want to restructure the plot for a third time.

Anyway, I need to go to work, but I am going to start a writing challenge again. Sort of my own. But I want to get another 50,000 words by the end of May. I think that is doable, well I know it is, and if I get more than I think that will be cool. but for now, I will post daily my word count, as well as my best and worst line etc, so that you can see what my writing challenges are like.

happy day. I'll write back later.
Hey, Ya!!!

Howdy web patrons! I have had the most awful week. Just one big fat problem after another, and I don't want to get into any of it here, because as much as people want to know about it, talking about it only gets me more upset.

So instead I decided to stay in, (thanks gals for letting me bail) and eat some food (which I haven't done in almost twelve hours) and take some medicine for the god awful migrane that I had going. I laid patheticaly on my bed with my eyes closed listening to the west wing, and for the third time today, I cried. But for the first time I also laughed. It is an odd moment when you hear yourself laughing and realize that you haven't done that all day, or all week. It is an odd sensation in your body, a lightness and a sense of no worries, that you get when you laugh, and I mean really truly laugh, not one of those fake laughs.

But I love West Wing and the episode I watched today, really got me. It is always the end that gets me. But the President and CJ were standing outside looking at the stars, and He was talking about how the last piece at the concert surprised him. And how so many people must have told him that his music was no good. He said he would have to write him a letter thanking him and praising his work. And I was just thinking how true that is. No matter what we do for a living or for a hobby, whether we write, we sing, we build houses, we invent things, we explore, we create...No matter what we do, there will always be those people who tell you you're doing it wrong. There will always be those people who don''t believe you know what you're doing, or don't think your work is valid. But there will always be people on the otherside. People who recognize your contribution, your skill, and your talents. people who appreciate the sacrifices you made and benefit from them. I guess as a person we just have to decide who is more important. Are we going to focus on the people trying to hold us back? Or are we going to focus on those who recognize our brilliance? For me, I suppose ninety editors could reject my work, and I could let that get to me. Or I can keep picturing the high school student down the street, or the stay at home mom who stand in line when the store opens to purchase my works. Some people may think I write trash. And you know what? I am ok with that. Because I started out writing for me, and for people like me, and I hope to continue writing that way.

I hope that what ever it is that you do, you take a step away from the supervisors, professors, parents, and spouses that try to beat you over the head with your inadequacies, and focus instead on people like me, your friends, your fans. Because like it or not, no matter what it is you do, there will always be at least one person out there that thinks the world of you. That idolizes you, that sees you as a rolemodel and a mentor. Keep going for them, Keep working for them and you'll find that the journey will be worth it.

Hey!! Guess what? I'm writing. Yep Writing again!!! Yeah, so it looks like my dry spell has come to an end. I pulled out the novel this weekend and read through about 100 pages of manuscript. Discovered most of it was not as bad as I thought. In fact if it was a book, I would have been pleased, and mad that it wasn't finished yet.

I also realized that while some of the 280 manuscript pages will be cut, some of the scenes I thought I would lose are going to be stuck back in, just in a different order. If feel like I finally have the skeleton of a novel and not six different subplots of a really lame tv movie. So I am at the library and about to finish mapping out the plot for the end of the book. Then I have four scenes to rewrite today. All I am doing is writing today. I don't care if the house goes up in flames. Which it might if you heard what happened to my computer on Friday.

Thanks to everyone who kept cheering me on even when I got crabby. Thanks to my writing group who pushed me when I didn't want to be pushed. My stories will be so much stronger because of you.

I'm out.
So I realize that once again it has been a week since I posted anything. For that I am sorry. I have been in a funny mood lately. I have been unmotivated to write, and thus unmotivated to write about writing. Perhaps it is some weird form of Writer's Block. But what is worse for me is that I have also been unmotivated to read. I find it so hard to pick up a book, because as soon as I get a few pages in I start thinking about all the writing I need to do. Sometimes I get inspired by what I am reading and run to my computer, ready to pound out a couple of chapters. But I get there, and suddenly one or two paragraphs is like running a 12K marathon. I just don't have it in me.

Honestly, it scares me a little. Like I am some big fraud. Like if it is this difficult maybe it isn't meant to be. Maybe I have the love for writing and books but I will never have the talent, the heart but not the skill. I sit here everyday and I call myself a writer, but even that, I do with a sense of hesitation. When I talk to people it is like I am role playing. Like I am pretending to be something I am not. But who defines writer? What makes a writer? And what makes the difference between a writer and an author?

For me I guess the difference is that an author is someone who has been published. And a writer is someone who writes. But if that is true then why do I have this reluctance to call myself a writer, when by my own definition I meet the merits of the term?

Then there is this sense that I have to prove myself to everyone around me. I have to prove that I am a writer, that my writing is good. Most people who know me know that I want to write. They know how far I would go to reach that dream. And yet I still know people to this day who talk to me as if it is some far off dream. As if they have been giving me time to frolic in the fields of innocence, but now I must face the harsh realities of the world. They still suggest that I do things, which I made quite clear I didn't want to do. They still talk of my writing as if it is a hobby. Something I do at night while watching TV to keep my fingers busy. Something that I will wrap up with bows and ribbons and sell at the local craft show. But it isn't a hobby. It isn't even something I do for fun. Sure sometimes it is fun. But right now, and most of the time, it just feels like work. And when I come home from work, the last thing that I want to do is work some more.

I don't know how to get around that. I don't know how to separate my writing from my work. I don't know how to convince people that I am serious about my writing, that I am not holding on to a dream, that I am not wasting my time or settling for something because I am scared to go after something else. And more than anything I am tired of people looking at me and talking to me with that, "you had so much potential" look.

Yes, I am scared. Very scared. Scared that I will try my hardest and it won't be Good enough. That I will never figure out what I need to do to improve. That one day I will wake up and "the others" will have won. They will have beaten the dream out of me. They will have slipped under my skin and milked away the starving writer in my blood when I wasn't paying attention. I don't want this to happen but sometimes I am not sure that I can stop it.

Hmmm. This was not what I had intended to write at all, but something hidden deep with in my unconscious mind. I suppose it had to be said. I suppose I needed to read this before I got out my manuscript and began hacking away at it. I will go and continue my journey and hope that someone else will learn from my struggles. I see so many of my friends struggling. Some realize it and some don't. I wish I could take their hand and walk them to the door. I see it, clearly marked and I know the safety that lies beyond. But they must find it on their own. They must knock with their own hand. Just as, I am learning I must take the burden of my journey on alone.
I hate to do this, because I said this blog would be mainly about my writing, and my path to becoming a writer, but honestly I feel the need to speak up, and it will connect back to my writing at some point, so bear with me.

You all should know that I am a huge Janet Jackson fan. I grew up listening to Rhythm Nation, pretending to be her. When other girls were playing house I was doing concert tours in my basement for the neighbors. As I got older I did stop emulating her, but I never stopped being a fan. When I went to her Velvet Rope Concert I was floored at the connection I felt with her up on stage. Being that close to someone that I had idolized for so long, it is a breathtaking, life-altering moment that I hope everyone gets to experience at some point in their life.

I was a member of her fan club after that, (so please consider me extremely biased when it comes to everything that I am about to say) and I had the opportunity to talk with her online more than once. If it is one thing I have learned over the years is that Janet has some of the best fans yet. I believe that Janet realizes this as well because she goes through great lengths to do things for her fans. She treats them very well.

Fast forward to the infamous super bowl. I was excited to see her perform, I almost taped it but I decided not to at the last minute. In an effort to be fair, I will say that I was a little disappointed when I saw her outfits. I was like why does she always have to show off her chest. I was also like "those are extremely ugly"! But I do have to say as a fan I believe her when she says it was an accident, for several reasons. First, although Janet has done several photos in the nude(nothing showing of course) she has never revealed anything more than her bra in any concert or performance that she has done, and believe me I have seen a lot. Second if you have actually seen the footage you can see the sheer look of panic on both her and Justin's face. Third, while I am not a huge fan of Justin I have to believe that he is a good, honest and decent person. He and Janet have been friends for a long time. They even dated once!(scary) but I have to believe that if it had been planned Justin wouldn't have backed off the way he did with the media and the press. I believe that he would have fussed up to it being planned. Instead he is running around like a chicken with his head cut off and letting Janet take all the fall out of fear. What number am I on? Four. Janet, despite what everyone may believe, is actually extremely shy. And there is a difference between posing topless with your husbands hands covering your breasts in a room where only a handful of people are watching and the millions or billions of people they claim watch the super bowl.

But let's move on.

Shocked by what happened, I have become more disgusted by the manner in which the media has handled the situation. Immediately it was assumed that it was not an accident but an attempt to break the rules and perform a nude exhibition. The lawyer in me wants to ask what happened to being innocent until proven guilty. It seems more and more the media is living by the guilty at all times. The coverage of this situation will be a hundred times greater than the coverage of the FCC investigation that dismisses charges.

But I want to look at this Janet fiasco on an even deeper level. The charge is that it was explicit and indecent material on the public television where parents had no way of knowing this type of material would be on. I understand that to some extent. I have my issues with it however, because so many parents are worried about what their children see on TV, and not worried about what they see online, which is far worse than a bare female body part. The argument is that this was slated as a "family" show.

I disagree. It's football. And let's take a minute to think about what football is. because what it all comes down to is a sport where a bunch of testosterone elated men charge at each other at full speed, with the only goal to knock someone to the ground and prevent them from carrying a ball to the other end of the field. That's it.

So are we saying that extreme violence is acceptable but female nudity is not? Because none of us were breastfed? No child has ever been exposed to a female breast?

Then look at the commercials that aired during the superbowl. A majority of them were either rude, obscene, or violent, with a majority of them promoting alcohol. USA Today even reported that several commercials had almost a Frat Party Feel (there's something I want my children to see.) The reporter compared watching the whole event to hanging out in an R-Rated Comedy Club. R-rated huh? Isn't that 17 and up? DO I detect a pattern here?

And what time did the football game air? It starts at 7:30 on a Sunday night. It ends after 11PM. I don't know many kids who stay up past 11 on a school night.

So I think you get my point. The argument that Janet's boob has led to some corruption of our children, and that this FCC investigation derives from concern over parent's inability to control what their children see is weak at best.

Try this on for size. Why don't parents turn off the TV and give their children a book? When did it become the government's job to determine what is or is not appropriate for my child. Or for me for that matter. When we start creating vague lines and trying to define what is and is not obscene, we set a bad precedent for future generations. Saying it is ok to allow someone to tell you what to think. Sure there are banned books in this county. it doesn't mean I can't freely find any one of those banned books right now.

But I have a problem with someone else determining what is and is not appropriate for me. It's parents responsibility to talk with their children about what they see and hear in the media. And it is the parents responsibility not the governments. I shouldn't be denied something I find funny or entertaining because you think your six year old shouldn't be watching it. Change the channel. Turn off the radio. Put in a movie better yet, read a book. play again, do something that encourages stimulation of the mind so that your child might grow up to become an active member of society with the same ability to determine what they want to watch and read and listen to, as I have.

That should have been a PSA for the ACLU, of which I am not a member, but that is another discussion at another time.