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October is Here

The summer heat is fast fading. Making way for the cooler days of fall. And if you’re like me, a geeky horror fan, then you know that Halloween is not far off.

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The summer heat is fast fading. Making way for the cooler days of fall. And if you’re like me, a geeky horror fan, then you know that Halloween is not far off. I am giddy with anticipation for the coming of my favorite holiday. Spooky themes abound and everyone is in the mood for a horror movie or two.

This is my time of year! This is when I can truly be myself and wave my creepy little flag and shin as the Goth that I am. Living in a small town as really put a damper on my Gothic sensibilities, so this time of the year when Halloween is in the air I can dress all in black and embrace all the spooky things that I love so very much.

grid-cell-13485-1414611986-32See, happy Goth.

I love to bake and make things so I might make a few things this year for Halloween. If I do, that is find the time, I’ll post them up here for all to see.

I truly love this time of year. Autumn is so fresh and crisp. I love the changing of the seasons, with its burst of color in the trees and the colder weather making it all feel cozy. There is nothing like curling up with a spooky book, a cup of tea and a warm blanket. The days grow short and the nights longer. It just feels magical and mysterious, no doubt because I love to read all about myths and legends. So many ghost stories, never enough time.

Well I’ll be watching horror movies all month. I think I will start with the Scream franchise and then see what peeks my interest. I know, I know, a lot of people don’t care for the Scream movies. But understand that for me Scream was the first R rated movie that I saw in theaters without an adult. So It’s kind of big deal. I will also watch Halloween, Halloween II, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

I also plan to do some spooky reading. Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft for sure. Let me know how you celebrate Halloween in the comments.

 

Photo of Wednesday Addams found on google search.

Poetry, My First Love.

I feel in love with poetry at a young age. I read the greats and devoured each one in turn.

I’ve been reflecting on my early start at writing. At first short stories seemed beyond me, and anything longer than that was just so not going to happen. But I feel in love with poetry at a young age. I read the greats and devoured each one in turn. I would daydream about becoming a famous poet some day. So I began to write poems. Just little things that were not at all good. But it was a start. I was already a story-teller by nature.

I would tell my stories to my friends and share my little poems with them. They would encourage me to write then down. But any time I tried to write something more than a poem I just didn’t know where to start. From the age of 12 to my 20’s I only wrote poetry. As I wrote and read and talked to other friends that wrote I grew in my skills as a poet. Most of it wasn’t great, but that’s okay, I’m still very proud of it. I poured myself into my work and  pushed to do better.

Why did I push myself? Was it only for those silly dreams of becoming famous? While becoming famous would be epic but it’s not my reason why I wanted to become better. I love to write and I love poetry and so I wanted simply to be better as the thing I loved so very much.

Poetry for me was not only a way to be creative but it served as a way for me to express myself. Dealing with depression and anxiety was not at all easy but through my poetry I could talk about anything. That helped to give me courage in so many ways as a writer.

Poetry was my first love. I have quite the body of work now. No nothing published. As a confessional poet I find it difficult to put myself out there like that. I’ve kept my poetry privet. Shared only with a few friends.

Over the years I made the switch from poetry to short stories. It wasn’t easy to do but I had these stories to tell and they needed the outlet. Slowly my poetry took the back burner. Sometimes I write something new but mostly I’m just editing my body of work and rewriting a few poems here and there. I haven’t been feeling the pull that I had been for so long with my short stories. I feel like I should delve back into poetry for a while. Maybe I’ll even post something some time. Though just typing that causes my anxiety to spike. But us writers must me brave. So I will try to share something with you my readers.

Happy writing.

Worry

There are always things to worry about. Life is full of worries.

There are always things to worry about. Life is full of worries. We worry about money, work, and family. Most worries are fleeting as we go on with our day. Mostly we can still find the time to relax and not worry about all the things the stress us out.

If you’re like me and have anxiety then its a little harder to deal with those every day worries plus what the anxiety decides you will need to worry about on top of it all. I have learned to cope over the years. It’s still on going and will always be on going.

As hard as I have had it there are still others out there that have had it harder than me. This brings to mind a dear friend of mine dealing with a much more sever case of anxiety than mine are at least more sever than I am now.

She has not had an easy life and because of her childhood experiences she has been left with a crippling fear of the world. Her anxiety steams from this, I can see it and understand it. She does not. She only feels and believes that she is worthless.

She can not see what I see. And I see so many wonderful things in her. She is kind to everyone. She loves her friends dearly and will do anything for any one of them. She stands up for her friends thought she can’t do it for herself. She will give her last dollar to make sure her friends have eaten. She is warm, quiet, and sweet. She loves to laugh and loves to play video games. She loves anime and she loves reading. She is full of love for her family and no matter how they treat her she will not speak out against them.

The other day I saw her break. After a long period of effort she came crashing down. It broke my heart to see it. But I felt honored that she allowed me to be there with her and help her. Because in that vulnerable moment she spoke honestly about her pain. That’s never easy to do.

My dear friend is so far listening to my advice about getting help. All I and our friends can do now is keep encouraging her to keep going, to keep living. Because we love her and this world would be all the poorer without her in it.

Is This Writers Block?

Usually writers block comes at the start of a new project. The blank page and all that. This time is different, this time writers block as sneaked up on me. I didn’t realize it until today!

I’ve had writers block before and I know that it will pass and come again. It happens. Some times its worse than others and when it’s at its worst I put away my anxiety about it and just go live my life. I dive into a good book or two, I hang out with friends, try out new some new dinner ideas and do a lot of baking.

At the beginning of summer I had a lot of ideas. There was so much I wanted to do. But little by little my writing projects got put on the back burner. That’s okay thought I can get to them later, it’s no big loss there. Except now I just don’t feel like I know what to work on and when I think I do I can’t think of how to go about it.

Usually writers block comes at the start of a new project. The blank page and all that. This time is different, this time writers block as sneaked up on me. I didn’t realize it until today! This is extremely annoying because I’ve been living my life and doing all the stuff I do to help get over it. But I guess since I didn’t know it until now I’ll have to start ignoring it and going about my day-to-day life. This is not always easy to do but I know I can do it. After all I’ve done it before and will no doubt do it again.

Lucky me I have a good book to delve into and another to come out next month.

Happy writing.

Busy AF

So yeah I’m busy AF right now.

Just as I thought things had calmed down enough so that I would have some free time that could be devoted to this blog and other writing life steps in and says,”Oh no, not done with you yet.”

So here I am at 12:30am writing this post that I’ve been meaning to get done for weeks now. This right here is the first writing that I’ve done in months. There’s a lot of reasons for that. The first is that I just don’t have the time between caring for my grandmother and taking care of my own place. (My place looks like hell right now). When I get home after running around all day I sure as shit don’t feel like cleaning. But its time to get some of it done. So I am determined to vacuum and tidy up the living room but not until after I’ve had some sleep. Besides not having the time to write I just don’t seem to have the drive to do it like I usually do. I think it’s because prior to getting married I lived alone and now my husband lives here too and its taken some getting used too. It’s been wonderful having him here. But we are still figuring out this arrangement as far as when is a good time to bother the other. We are getting better at this but it’s still a work in progress. But I am sure we will get there. My last reason for not writing is that I just don’t know what to do or what to work on.

The story I was working on just seems to be at a stand still and I can’t seem to figure out what I want to do with the plot. I have an outline but I don’t think I’ll be sticking too it. Perhaps I should just rewrite the outline. Now that this story is at a stand still for the moment I’ve been thinking of this other idea for a story. In the process of research and I think it will take a while to finish. The research is necessary but annoying.

So yeah I’m busy AF right now. But I have not forgotten about this blog. I will keep posting. So please keep commenting and liking and following.

Lost Book Found

If you’re a book nerd like me then you know the agony of misplacing a book.

If you’re a book nerd like me then you know the agony of misplacing a book. I had to wonder if I lent it out. But I knew I hadn’t. I never lend a book that I haven’t read yet so it had to be somewhere in my messy home. But where? I looked the small bedroom that I’ve turned into my library/office, not there. I then checked the living room and my bedroom. But I did not find it. I remember reading it last in my bedroom but couldn’t recall if I had taken it with me on my last trip up to the Bay Area.

1297813967299_ORIGINAL lost 1

I was worried that I had really lost it. Usually my books are only misplaced by being added to the wrong stack or shelf. But this one seemed to had disappeared altogether. I was very upset by this. I needed that book damn it! It was something I needed to read for research for a story I want to write.

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My search seemed to be for not. For days and weeks I was not to be found. Not knowing what to do, or where to look I gave up. My husband said when I stopped looking for it and wanted to find something else I would find it. I figured he was right but I couldn’t stop from looking, from obsessing about it.

This lost book was driving me nuts. I kept telling myself I could always get another copy and then would joke about how as soon as I did I would find it. But I just couldn’t spend money on something I knew I already had. By this point I was sure it was somewhere in my home, no doubt shoved in with a bunch of junk. I worried that it made its way into my book give away box by accident. So I checked it twice and didn’t find it.

I went through both my shelves and all the stacks of books that I have around the house. Nothing, zilch, zip, nada. Now I’m really getting pissed off and I only had myself to blame. I should have put it where I would easily find it again.

I had to stop looking. I had to put my library/office back to order. But the nagging feeling didn’t go away. It was always there in the back of my mind. “You need to find that book.”

If you have an anxiety disorder you know how fucked up this feeling it. After all its just a book and if I really have too I can buy another copy no problem. But my sick little mind doesn’t see it that way.

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I finally tell myself that I’ve left it up North and that when I go back up I’ll find it at my in laws home. No dice. They haven’t seen it and I can’t find it there.

Oh the agony of it all!

Some weeks later after cleaning my home I misplace my Nintendo XL 3ds. I can’t find it anywhere.

Now the book I’ve been looking for was from a used bookstore bought on the cheap. The XL 3ds was not cheap. But while looking for my ds I find the book I’m looking for along with three other books I didn’t know I was even missing! And later that night I found the ds. It got covered my some laundry.

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All images from google.

But now all is right with the world. Or at least in my tiny corner of it.

 

 

Reflection on the Short Story Part 3

Hello and welcome back fellow writers. In this post I’ll talk about characters, setting and theme.

Hello and welcome back fellow writers. In this post I’ll talk about characters, setting and theme. So if you’ve read Part 1 and 2 on Reflecting on the Short story you will know that I talked about Plot and Conflict. If you like you can go and read those now and come back to this post. Or keep on reading and check those out next. With these two elements of writing I’d like to point out that I will be discussing my understanding and how I’ve come to use them in my own writing. If you have a different why of doing things please feel free to share that with me in the comments.

For me most of my stories start with an idea for a character. It’s the character that will, for me, determine the conflict of the story and the overall plot. For others it may work differently and that’s okay. So if you started with a setting or a conflict that you want to write about great. If doesn’t really matter how you begin just as long as you do.

Short story character types:

Main Character(s) – Your main character is the person that is central to the overcoming of the conflict or the person(s) trying to reach a goal. This is the Protagonist.

The Antagonist can be a person or a situation. This is what the Protagonist will try to overcome.

Supporting Character(s) –  These characters should help or hinder the main character. Some will be flat. By Flat I mean they only have one personality trait that they are recognized by. Round characters will help to move the plot along. They are usually conflicted and have complex personalities. Think Hamlet.

It’s best to use just a few characters in a short story. To many could become come confusing to the reader. But this is not a hard rule. If you need a lot of characters in your story then go right ahead. Just make sure that each character has a purpose to the plot. Any character that doesn’t help to keep the plot moving along doesn’t really need to be there.

There are different types of characters but for this post I’ll keep it simple. The protagonist, antagonist, and supportive characters are enough to round out a short story without becoming overwhelming to the reader. But that’s not to say that is all you can do with a short story. But for the beginner I think it’s best to go the path of least resistance. It’s okay to start simple and go from there.

Flush out your main character’s traits. All characters will have traits and should be made clear, as long as is needful to the story. Not all characters will need to be flushed out to the same degree. Supportive characters, though helpful, are not as important so the reader doesn’t need to know their favorite color and what grade school they went too. Flushing out your characters traits will help to make a more believable character and story. So when you’re giving out those traits remember descriptive adjectives. Check out the link for list of adjectives.

http://www.gingersoftware.com/content/grammar-rules/adjectives/lists-of-adjectives/

Giving good details to show your reader instead of just telling them is always best. This helps to keep the reader immersed in the story. This is true for the actions that the characters are taking and to establish setting. Setting is the time and place in which the story is taking place. The setting will be the backdrop to your story and give the overall mood. You must take care with your setting. Because it will shape your characters. It will show you their values. You must take into account how your characters interact and react to their surroundings. Your setting can’t just sit there, it’s got to help move that plot along. Everything we do in the story is to move the plot along. When there is an action then there is an outcome. Use the setting to show the mood.

For example in a short story I wrote about a women taking care of her terminally ill husband I used the setting to help show how much the whole experience has turned their home into a dark prison for her. After her husband has to be taken into hospice care the house remains dark, closed off, and depressing. This has become her whole world. She has giving up everything, sacrificed her own well-being to make sure her husband has a good death. The house is no longer a home, it’s a tomb even after he dies.

I kept the lighting dim  and all the furniture is old and dark in color. It’s a house of illness. there is no joy left here. Reading about the detailed setting showing the reader in your description will enforce your setting. It will feel real. And when if feels real, readers keep reading.

Theme is the vital idea or belief in the story.  In my above example the theme could be death. Or Loss, what happens after the death of a loved one. That’s one of the questions I tried to answer in that story. There are many themes, many questions to pose and write about. Death, loss, love, justice, lust, and the list goes on. Break open your story and get at the deep questions. What is it that you are trying to say? If you’re not sure, just keep writing, it will come to you. For me It’s always so hard to figure out what my theme is. I never really know until I’m done. and then there it is staring me in the face.

This concludes my Reflecting on the Short Story. In these three posts I’ve talked about the elements that make a short story. I hope that this has been helpful in some way.

Happy writing.