Brewing a Storm

Recently, I started writing something I didn’t expect to write. I was thinking and my thoughts seemed like an nightmarish movie playing in my head. I wanted to get rid of it so I did what I do to cleanse my thinking palate, I put it on paper….well, sort of. My thoughts poured out out of my fingertips, furiously typing to drain the storm cloud over my head. When I finished, I had what seemed like a few pages of a good idea for a book. 

Rainstorm Over the Sea by John Constable

I tucked it away in my documents folder for another rainy day. It’s been a few weeks and lately I’ve been feeling anxious to work on it. More ideas have been stirring on how to shape it and where it will all lead. The inspiration is brewing, but what I really need is another storm.

Every day brings different emotions in varying depths. Whether I’m up or down or pensive or dreamy shapes how my writing develops. However, never have I intentionally looked for a dark mood to come to create an intensive writing environment. This week will be my trial. In the past few years, I’ve made it a habit to wake up deciding to be happy. So, this week, I’ll decide to be sad. Sad and morbid with my heart heavy.

It’s a path I haven’t taken before, but I’m interested to see its effects on my project and my life. It should be a strange week, but hopefully a productive one.

I’d love some advice from other writers on how you “get in the mood” to write darker pieces.

Ink Stains: An Ebook Review

I’ve told you before about author Lara Zielin when I reviewed her book Donut
Days
. Well, when she asked me to review a new ebook, Ink Stains, which she
compiled with eight other authors, I jumped at the chance. Between these
authors they have more than 25 published books, so it’s only natural that they
would have some great advice to share with other writers.

The career of a writer is often an uncertain one.

Will I ever be published?

Will anyone buy my book?

Is it even worth the effort?

We ask ourselves a million questions and doubt ourselves a
million times. Rejection and criticism can hail down on the delicate surroundings
we’ve built with our words. It’s hard to stay motivated and focused when
there’s a cloud of doubt raining over your thoughts. So, let Ink Stains be your
umbrella.

With each author’s contribution, you’ll gain insight into
dealing with some of the most common worries that writers have. Questions you
may have posed to yourself, they have asked themselves already. Bumps in the
road? They have had the same ones to cross. Topics like the time spent on your
work, how to handle the criticism from editors, writer’s block and even how to
answer the ever-popular question “Am I a writer?” is addressed.

Each entry is told in a conversational tone, so it’s like
you are sitting with the author in a one-on-one interview. All of which are
easy to relate to because these are real people with the same problems every
writer has experienced. Whether you have already published, or this is the
first time you are putting pen to paper, this is a great read.

Ink Stains isn’t a tell-all novel with every tidbit about
writing you have ever wanted to know. It’s a quick read with honest opinions
and personal accounts from published authors. After reading it, you’ll feel a
renewed inspiration for your writings. But make sure you keep it on a nearby
shelf because picking this up every so often for a reread just might do wonders
for your progress.

I Got New Ears for Christmas

I hope everyone’s holidays were as good as mine this year.  With each passing year, I feel like I have learned to appreciate everything and everyone a little bit more.  There’s been a lot of warm and fuzzy going on.

Aside from the great gifts from my loved ones, one gift I realized I was given was a set of new ears.  Apparently, the old ones were dull and worn through, so the new ones have been hooked up and are receiving in digital surround sound.

When I talk to anyone face to face, movies, shows, commercials, radio programs and any words I hear are affecting me in new ways. Velvety tones wrapping my ears in warmth.  The pitter patter of witty banter on a comedy dance around my head.  Long, winding, heartfelt conversations pour their emotions into the innermost canals. 

I find myself being affected by all the different ways words can shape and shift.  I am listening much more intently than I ever have before.  The way people use words to evoke certain feelings.  For some reason, I feel like I only paid attention when I was listening to music or reading a book.  But, this month, I finally started to think about the spoken word as I heard it.  Processing it like a translator to help me enjoy it more. 

Between communicating with other writers, reading more and my own writing, my eyes AND ears have been opened so wide.  It has even contributed to me growing appreciation of all things around me.  It makes me wonder if I have been walking around with blinders on.  How have I not seen and heard the way I am doing right now?  And does this mean that it’s only going to get better from here? 

Sounds to me like the best Christmas present ever.

A Battle of Words: Me vs. Me

In this corner, we have Me, a thirty-three year old wife and mother, weighing in at too inexperienced and half past a young age.

In the other corner, we have Me, a thirty-three year old woman, weighing in at one smart mouth with an itchy writing hand. 

This fight has been going on for near a year now.  The two separate Me’s can’t seem to agree.  The first one feels like a woman struggling to get out of her old skin and slough off the dead skin that’s only been constricting her creativity and imagination.  The second feels like the new skin is already broken through, glowing and smooth.  I am in some in-between stage trying to get somewhere, but without a proper map.

Here’s my current fight with myself.  Where did my vocabulary go?  I am reading books and blogs remembering all these  descriptive and extraordinary ten dollar words that I loved learning as a kid in school.  I know what they mean.  I know how to use them…so why am I not using them?  I may not need to inundate my blog and articles with impressive words, but writing gives me every reason to use them to create pieces that make you want to read more. 

I guess when they say “if you don’t use it, you lose it” that goes for your vocabulary, too.  Spending your day with a three year old limits your expressions.  My ten year old is more appreciative because he will ask if I use a word he doesn’t know.  Then my husband comes home and conversations like “What’s for dinner?” and “What time is the game on?” ensue.  Watching the Phillies doesn’t exactly induce statements like “The altitudinous trajectory of that home run was impressive, indeed.” 

Apparently, I’ve let myself forget those beautiful words I used to know so well.  I miss words like “undulate” and “pejorative”.  Part of my reason for getting back into writing was because I enjoy it and this is part of why I do.  The English language is full of colorful words that not only tell a story when put together properly, but they also help the author paint the appropriate picture if chosen advertently. 

The wife and mother Me is feeling like she’s been scolded by the coach for not making enough uppercuts.

The independent woman Me feels like she didn’t keep her hands up enough to protect from the head shots. 

This round gave me a good shot to the gut to get me to pay attention.  Even if you haven’t been in the ring for a long time, you still need to stay in shape.   You never know when you might be called out to compete again.