Not normal...but lots of fun.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Extra Scenes, Take One

So, I've been thinking about my book a lot of late. In particular, I've been considering many of the scenes I want to write that I don't believe will make it to the final draft. Somewhere inside of me, there's a place that requires those scenes to be written in order to finish the book at all. But I also know that they'll kill some of the surprise and intrigue if I allow them in the final draft.

The problem is: I think those scenes might be some of the best in the whole, flipping book.

Of course, I haven't written the whole, flipping book yet, so I can't say for sure. But that's the way I feel it will be. I know I'm putting the cart before the horse, but I'm wondering if I should include those extra scenes in whatever packet I eventually send to an editor. You know, so they can judge whether some should be included while others be excluded.

At this point, it really doesn't impact anything I'm doing. I just find myself thinking about it an awful lot. Regardless of my decision, I'm going to write those scenes in the first draft, and then revise the book in such a way so that you discover those things through another avenue. It doesn't matter what I decide, that will be how I write it, and I'll take those scenes and place them in a folder labeled Extra Scenes.

But what would you do? Would you write them, delete them, and think the story was better without the baggage, even if they were some of the most exciting moments in the story? Or would you keep some of the best of them in? Or would you take them all out, and share them with someone else, to get their opinion?

Writing quote of the day:

"Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely essential." Jessamyn West

Thanks for your time, everyone, and for all the reading and commenting you've done of late. I truly appreciate it. Happy writing!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award

I still get all jittery inside whenever I think of the beautiful award passed on to me by Hazel. Thank you so much, Hazel!

So, I promised I'd post seven things you don't know about me the other day, and now I shall live up to that promise. Check this out:

1.) I am a chocolate fiend. I adore the stuff and can eat enough to make myself sick without straining. That's why I have a sign in my room: Forget Love...I'd rather fall in CHOCOLATE.

2.) I am one of those survivalist weirdos. I love survival skills and country living skills, and study them constantly. I also really want to have my own homestead (which I'm steadily building) where I produce my own power, food, water, and livelihood.

3.) I have a dog named Bella who is almost as large as a horse. As it happens, I also have a horse.

4.) I haven't dated anyone in 3 years. Nor have I actively tried. 

5.) I am seriously picky about men. They have to really be something special for me to be willing to allow them close to me.

6.) I have Social Anxiety Disorder. I can't stand crowds, in fact I almost had a heart-attack in one once. In order to eat at a restaurant, I have to sit in a corner facing a wall. That way, I don't see the people and can eat my food without having to puke.

7.) The first story I ever wrote was when I was around 4 years old or so. It was about a baby cheetah making friends with a baby panther and their adventures together in spite of their parents dislike of one another. I wrote it on one piece of paper, front and back, without paragraph breaks. It stunk, and I was smart enough to know it. This scared me off writing creatively (outside of school) for another 7 years, although I still made-up stories all the time. I never wrote them.

So, now that you all know me a little better, let's get on to the part all of you are really here for. The passing on of the torch. The 7 blogs I most think deserve this award are:

7.) Diary of a Drama Queen (although I can't comment on this blog, because the comment box doesn't work)

Writing quote of the day:

"Don't annoy the writer. They may put you in a book and kill you." Anonymous

That's all for today. Tune in next time for more abnormal musings. Have a great day, and happy writing!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

An Award, New Fans, And Other Classics

Wow! I shut my computer completely off about a week ago, and haven't touched the thing since, and when I come back, what do I find? Someone I know and love (Hazel) has awarded me with the One Lovely Blog Award. My first award!

Plus, I have new followers! Yay! Welcome to my blog, oh lovely, new faces.

Maybe I should take a week off more often. All kinds of exciting stuff seems to happen when I'm gone.

Honestly, I needed a break from the computer. It's unhealthy, how much I use the thing. Plus, I visited the library. I always go missing for a while if I go there. I LOVE the library. They have books there, you know. Tons and tons of books.

I love books.

So, I've been reading a lot the last few days. Some of the books were re-reads, some were very new, others were instructional. And I had so much fun! But, alas, all such things must end. One book I checked out from the library I still feel iffy about, though, and I thought I'd share my feelings on the subject in this newest blog post.

As many of you might know, I'm a writer (how many times have I said that?). And, as I've been told many a time, writers should like the classics in literature. Not just The Aeneid and The Iliad (true classical literature), but books by Mark Twain, Jane Austen, and Charles Dickens. Shouldn't I be in awe of such authors? After all, they were geniuses. There is no denying the sheer brilliance of their work.

But they're so...wordy. I just read a few chapters of Oliver Twist By: Charles Dickens for the first time, and, while there is simply no denying the fact that Dickens was an incredible wordsmith and wrote very tongue-in-cheek digs at the "respectable" community in a way that is quite cute, but IMHO the story suffers from Dickens sophisticated wording and sarcastic twists in thought. I'm so busy following the twists and turns in his language, the story falls flat for me. How do you get into something when all the author does is dance around the point?

Of course, this was written a long time ago, and supposedly people enjoyed that sort of storytelling then. But I'm a writer! I'm supposed to love the classics! Is it bad that most of them bore me to tears? Or that the few I can tolerate usually leave me depressed for days with their sad endings?

The only classic that I can remember adoring is Pride & Prejudice By: Jane Austen. I LOVE that book, and melt whenever I watch the movie. It's seriously one of my all-time favorite books. I'm so glad I took the time to read it.

Still, most of the books on being a writer say I should read and study the classics...which I can't stand. Does that make me a bad writer? Or just really uncultured?

Anyway, moving on. It's now time I come full circle and discuss the award thingy. Thank you so much, Hazel, for giving me this One Lovely Blog Award! I greatly appreciate it. If you'd like to check out Hazel's blog, the link is here

Tomorrow's blog post will be all about the seven things you people don't know about me, and the seven people I will pass this award on to. Tune in next time, because who knows? Maybe your name will make the list.

Writing quote of the day:

"I will write what makes me smile, what makes my heart flutter, what keeps me up at night with ideas, characters, dialogue." — Natalie Whipple

Have a great day, everyone, and happy writing!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nature Lovin'

I went for a walk today, and found myself thinking of a friend of mine. He loves to go out with people, and is an intensely social creature. In fact, he feels sorry for me because I don't get out much. Now, I bewail this same trouble myself. But it also left me wondering, does he see what I see in the beauty of nature around him?

Honestly, I don't feel like I miss much. On my little walk in the woods, I see more beauty and life then I could ever need. I love going to different parks and staring at different nature scenes, but even the same view every day always gives me something to marvel at. Some days, I marvel at the tall, tall trees that tower over my head. Their majesty fills me with awe and I wonder to myself how many years it took for them to grow. Was I even alive when they were saplings?

Then, I stare at the saplings growing right now, underneath that canopy. Someday, I know, if left alone, many of those saplings will tower over some other nature lover walking through the woods, but for now they struggle and strive to survive in the dusky gloom of the woods. What fortitude they must have, to make themselves keep going despite the lack of life-giving light! Would I be that determined to survive, under similar circumstances?

Other times, I stare at the dirt and wonder to myself how something so dull and ugly could be the home of millions and bring such beauty into the world as trees, flowering plants, and grasses. And yet, it does. It gives them the nutrients they need to thrive, and the supportive darkness the roots need to protect them. It allows them access to water, and cradles their roots like a mother lovingly holds a baby.

And still other times, I stare at the many rocks in the ground. How many years did it take for the ground to compact them into that shape? How long for them to harden, to become stone? How long until water beats them into other shapes?

That isn't even touching on the animals I see: squirrels, spiders, snakes, bugs, deer, bunnies, foxes, possums, and dogs. You never know what you might find on a nature walk, and it's always a new discovery.

Nature is amazing. Words simply don't do it justice. And striding through it can make you feel such awe, such incredible smallness, that you simply can't give it words. I might wish I got out a little more, but I don't feel deprived. I have the woods; he has his socializing.

I think we're both lucky.

To finish this episode of nature lovin', I have a poem I'd like to share. It's all about another piece of nature that I find incredible, the ocean.


Forward it comes
Standing tall and strong
Until if falls
And becomes flat and long
Then backwards it sweeps
Greedily sucking the sand
Stealing the beach
Bringing to sea, part of land
Watch the waves hungrily grab
All that they can reach
Sand, shells, and all
See the world, beach by beach
The water ever moving
As far as you can see
What lies beneath
An eternal mystery
Hiding the depths
Beneath the blue-gray
Reflecting the stars
Or the bright light of day
Reaches to infinity
Where water meets sky
And sea and horizon
Melt together to the eye
The wonders of the ocean
Make you stop and stare
At the beauty in motion
But there's danger, beware!
It drowns the unwary
Devours the weak
So foolish and daring
Careful what you seek
It's home to many
Understood by few
A bounty of life
But death is there, too

So, I hope you liked that. Time for today's writing quote and then I'm off:

"Poetry is the liquid voice that can wear through stone." -- Adrienne Rich

Have a great day and happy writing, everyone!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Lost Pages

So, as you may or may not know, I haven't been writing my 3000 words a day lately. But I did get on one day and do 1500, of which I was very proud...

Until I came back on a few days later to do some more and found that all 1500 of them had been deleted.

Seriously, it was gone! I don't know what my computer did with it (eat it?), but everything I wrote that day was missing. This was really, really bad, as I had to start rewriting the scene and the 2nd version sucked much worse than the 1st.

So, now I'm avoiding the book because the last few pages SUCK, and the other pages I wrote DIDN'T. Stupid computer. What in the world could it have done to my 1500 words?

The lost pages are haunting me, people. What do I do to get over them? Better yet, does anyone have any ideas on how to find them?

Writing quote of the day:

"Don't be clever, be clear." -- Howard Ogden

Thanks for reading and please comment if you have anything to add. Have a great day!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Blogs, Blogs, Blogs

 So, I've just spent the last few days catching up on my backlog of blogs I follow updates. They really stacked up while I was gone. Who knew being absent from the internet for less than a week would cause so much work?

But I discovered something as I talked and commented and read. I have few writing blogs to read and get advice from. So, if any of you out there know of some writers' blogs I should check out, I'd dearly appreciate it if you could share them with me. Post any recommendations in a comment, please.

To make today's post easy and stress-free, I'm going to make a list of blogs I like under different subjects. There will be writing blogs, personal blogs, homesteading/farming blogs, fashion blogs, or weird/fascinating information blogs. Check them out, if any of these things are something you're into:

Writing Blogs:
Nathan Bradsford, Author -- Blog from an author and former literary agent, giving some very interesting and in-depth advice to writers everywhere. I can't help but think he's a genius.

To Write A Better Story -- Blog about a writer who also is struggling to make her way in the write world. She's a great inspiration and I love the tidbits she posts.

Personal Blogs:

365 Days to Forever -- Blog about an inspiring and sweet lady working toward her goals for personal enrichment.

Alice's Bucket List -- Blog about a15-year-old girl suffering from terminal cancer. Her zeal for life and determination to be happy despite (or maybe because of) her circumstances is nothing short of incredible in my eyes.

artist's charm -- Blog about a girl who richly enjoys life and/or rants about it, depending on her mood.

Homesteading/Farming Blogs:

Choosing Simplicity, More Than Just Survival -- Blog about this family's struggle to survive while scrapping "unnecessary" luxuries most of us take for granted and living a simpler, more natural life.
Willing Hands Organic Farm -- Blog about a family farming organically on a small plot of land.

Fashion Blogs:

Beautifully Invisible -- This girl is wildly popular for a reason! She runs a great blog, and I am totally going to steal her comment form one of these days.

we are large, people -- Blog about the fashion of a very fascinating lady. She gave me some great advice on blogging and I have appreciated her ever since.

Weird/Fascinating Information Blogs:

Discovering Alpine Birds -- It hasn't been updated in a long time, but this blog is all about the wildly interesting habits of birds. It has gorgeous pictures and very odd information, so I love it.

Freethought Radio -- Weirdest blog I've seen with very, very short posts that link to very, very long articles about whatever they find is interesting or perversely funny in our world. I LOVE IT!

I know I missed quite a lot of people, and I promise to come back to them later. But today, I'm all linked out. Have a great day, everyone. All there's left to say is our writing quote of the day:

"Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself. -- Charlie Chaplin"

Okay, so it isn't really a "writing" quote, but it's a great quote for writing, nonetheless. Well, that's all she wrote. Talk to you later! 

P.S. Don't forget those recommendations for writing blogs, please and thank you!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

You Might Be A Redneck...

...If you are honked at by a trucker for holding a goat in the backseat of your itty-bitty, four-door car.

That was what we did yesterday. Three girls in a little red car driving down the road for an hour and a half with a little pygmy billy goat in the backseat. Take a moment and picture this, if you will. His huge horns pointed toward my body. His butt to the window. His pooping on the side of the door. The trucker looking down from his semi laughing his butt off at the goat in the backseat of the crazy women's car.

It was hilarious. We died laughing. I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe and eventually got the hiccups, and I swear I almost puked, I laughed for so long. It was crazy. It was fun. It was an adventure.

I'd forgotten how important that sense of adventure was in life. If you want to be a fantastic writer, you can't forget. Adventure in life is what writing is all about. You have to experience; you have to live. And boy, was that an experience...

Now, I haven't told you the full story. A family member who I love dearly just moved into our house to stay for a while, at least. She's really nice, we're getting along great, and we've had lots of fun. But it has upset my schedule like crazy. Hopefully, we'll all adjust. Anyway, she, my mom, and I went to get a billy goat for our three girls to "enjoy". ;-)

We found him on craigslist, but he lived pretty far away. That was almost a deal breaker, but then we were told how nice he was and we were sold. We'd get him, come hell or high water. And so off we went, in our cute, little Sunfire.

First, my aunt (that family member who moved in) bought me a pair of beautiful new shoes. That was really cool and I can't wait to really wear them somewhere nice. They are some black sandals with pink butterflies on them. They're so cute and girly! They practically scream Kyla.

Then, we drive through a sudden rainstorm. What was so cool, though, was the sun was shining very bright in this rainstorm, and the rain was pouring hard. So, we spotted a truly incredible sight: a double rainbow. One of them was a truly full rainbow, with all the colors and almost solid looking instead of transparent. The other hovered above it, transparent but almost as striking in intensity. I'd never seen a rainbow like it.

As we continued on, we got hungry. Now, we thought it would probably be best to get some food before we went and picked up the goat, so we stopped to eat. It was a wonderful meal and we all enjoyed ourselves. Some very generous women who were celebrating their birthdays gave us their free ice cream, because they weren't hungry, and I got to enjoy some sugary goodness. But the truly hilarious moment happened as we left the restaurant. My aunt stopped to pick up her cigarettes and smoke a moment. She happened to be wearing a very loose sarong and the knot had loosened on it. Predictably enough, what we now call the "nip slip" occurred. My aunts breast slipped out on the right side and she DID NOT NOTICE. She walked around that restaurant as cocky as you please, and my mom and I couldn't stop laughing. We told her as she got into the car and she was so embarrassed, but also found it hilarious. So, we were already feeling pretty goofy before we got the goat.

Well, we picked the goat up and paid for him. He was just as nice as advertised, running to us like a puppy dog and behaving like we were his long-lost buddies. So, we loaded him in the car and laughed to think what interesting fun this would be. The guy gave us a look like we were crazy, but we ignored him. We hadn't had many options in the vehicle department, and we'd done what we could (pick-up truck is a diesel and it would cost around $120 to get the gas to go up there).

We pulled out and started rolling, but soon were forced to stop at a stop-light. And there, sitting beside us at the light, was a large semi. The man sitting in the seat of the semi was staring into the car and started laughing so hard I don't think he could breathe. My aunt, being the funny girl she is, waved at him and pulled her hand like she wanted him to honk. He honked, but also pointed at the goat while laughing like a maniac. The goat then decided to start pooping while he sat there watching, right up against the door the trucker was looking into. Even worse, the light was long and we had to sit there for around 30 seconds while he continued to laugh and point. 

Finally, we took off. We were free! All of us were thanking our lucky stars for that freedom. Only then did we discover a problem, because we stopped beside that same trucker at the next intersection, passed his partner on the other side a little while later down the road, and even passed him when he'd pulled over to sleep for the day. And every, single time we passed, he would honk his horn and laugh.

Needless to say, we were embarrassed. But also laughing like crazy. I can't remember the time I laughed that much or that hard. And that trucker was not the only person who noticed the goat in the backseat. He was perhaps the most memorable, but not the only one. We had men, women, children laughing and pointing and generally having a good time at our expense. 

Well, we got the goat home safely. And he and his new lady friends seem very, very happy. But the adventure of it all will live on in my memory for a long time coming.

What a day.

Well, I hope you enjoyed that, but it is time for our writing quote:

"The road to hell is paved with adverbs.  ~Stephen King"

Talk to you guys later! Have a great day and happy writing!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Learning from Failure - A Life's Work

We all have failures. I don't think I've ever met a person who didn't fail at something, sometime, somewhere. The great news is that failure can be a great teaching tool. If, that is, you don't let it hold you back from trying.

That has always been my goal.

My motto in life is simple: Do what you can with what you have. That basically means to try your best with what life gives you. You never know what might happen (my week thus far could be living proof of this), but you can determine to make the most of it, whatever it is. 

Now that I've explained, I must confess, I haven't done my 3000 words a day for the last 4 days. I managed to succeed the first 4 days, and felt so proud of that achievement! But now, failure leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. I decided yesterday to try to restart the 3000 words a day work on Monday (tomorrow). But...I have a massive cleaning job to do on the house as family is coming tomorrow night to stay.

I'm going to try anyway. We'll see how much success I have. I must admit, I've been feeling downhearted by my failure. It's so difficult to continue trying when you feel as though you've already failed. I couldn't even turn on the computer and look at my blog, I felt so ashamed! Such a silly emotion, but that is what I felt. Logic rarely impacts emotion the way we want it to.

Progress has been made, however. I'm on the computer again and I'm blogging. This is good. This is a beginning to returning to my proper track.

So, in conclusion, I'm sorry that I haven't lived up to my goals, everyone. And that I haven't been much support to anyone else in the last few days. Life has been crazy (and promises to continue to be), plus my pill wore off. 

What pill, you ask? Well, I have a debilitating illness that makes it hard for me to function from day to day. Recently, my doctor had me start a pill that might keep me from being as bad. One problem, however: this pill has a few major side-effects, one of which is death. They have to do some tests on me before I can take the pill again, so we know if I might die from it or not.

I miss the pill. I felt so wonderful on it! I could accomplish things again. I could do things, feel good, be happy, be friendly and kind to others, and a whole lot more. But now it's worn off and I can't take another. I understand why I can't (I really don't want to die), but I wish I could take another pill already.

It's just depressing! I'm just so sick of being sick. I have been, since I was 15. You'd think I'd be used to it by now. But after one week of feeling good again, returning to that sick feeling is like I rediscovering the illness all over again! I know I should count my lucky stars that my illness is mostly just debilitating, and not really life-threatening. It's hard to look at the bright-side when you're feeling depressed, though. Oh, well.

I am going to meet one of those deadlines. I don't know which one, but I will try my best to reach the earliest one first, second earliest second, and last if all else fails. You can be sure of that much.

I am determined to be a success. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but one day I will be a published, successful writer. I will see to it.

Time for the writing quote of the day:

"Most editors are failed writers - but so are most writers.  ~T.S. Eliot"

Thanks for reading everyone! Promise I'll do better this week. Happy reading and...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Poetry Sharing

So, today is going to be a very short post. I want to concentrate on my 3000 words after work today, and work won't be over for several more hours (I'm sneaking off to write this).

On today's post, I want to share a poem I have written. I decided to do so because of inspiration from my wonderful follower (and, I hope, friend), Rebecca who hails over at the life of an ordinary girl blog. She posted a beautiful song that her friend wrote, which you can view here.

Anyway, without further ado, I'd like to present my poem, Sunset.

A little glow
Comes to the sky
A tinge of color
To catch the eye
Slowly ascending
The fire climbs
As before it has
A million times
Orange meets pink
Yellow meets red
Regretfully the sun
Wakes from bed
A sleepy yawn
A taunting glimmer
Full of light
And spark and shimmer
The world comes alive
As light conquers dark
And the sun is born
From one small spark
Glow becomes shine
As sun wins sky
And softly moon sinks
With hushed goodbye

Hope you enjoyed that! Please tell me what you think, I always feel so vulnerable about my creative work. I'd really appreciate your opinion! Now, time for our writing quote of the day:

A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare.  For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Thanks for all your time and please tune in next post! Sorry it is so short, but it's all I can offer on such a busy day. Hope you enjoyed it, anyhow!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Writer's Block Murdered My Talent

 Well, today's topic is for 3red! She asked me today how I deal with writer's block, the great bane of all writers, and I don't think I can really handle the topic in a comment. So, I decided to do an entire post about it. Hope everybody enjoys it!

Before we get started, though, I'd like to apologize for it being so late in the day. I planned on doing this post much earlier, but, well, life is rarely how you plan it. First, I shut the internet off for 4 hours or so to work on my book (got my 3000 words). Finally, when I got back on to get to work, it was time to go pick up the goats we bought.

Yep, you heard right. Goats. 3 to be exact. All female. We have the grandam, the dam, and the kid. The grandam (yes, that is the correct word) is four years old, the dam is two years old, and the kid is around five months old. Now, if anybody reading this has ever held 3 goats down in the back of a moving truck with only 1 other person to help and a speed demon at the wheel of the truck, you know how much fun that was.

Anyway, I'd also like to say I am not an expert writer, by any means. In fact, I believe it would take longer than the 100 year lifespan most of us hope to attain to become an expert writer. But, well, I have about 10 years of experience doing just about everything wrong in writing you can, so that has to be worth something. You might want to take those facts in mind before taking any advice I may offer, however.

All that being said, let's move on to what we're here for...

So, writer's block. Has anyone else out there ever had it? It can be a very frustrating affliction, sitting at a computer, ready to type, and...nothing. No words come to mind, no pictures of what's happening in the story you're working on, no idea how to get from Point A (where you are in the story now) to Point B (where you want to be in the story, because you know what to write when you get there). It reminds me of getting stuck up in the mud with a pick-up truck. The tires go round and round, but you ain't getting anywhere.

In my experience, writer's block comes because of one of two reasons. Number 1: Some plot hole is tripping me up. Usually, I don't even notice (consciously) that I've written some kind of paradox, but subconsciously I know it. When that happens, I can sit at the computer for an hour and stare at the screen and think. And think. And think. And still get no where. How I fix this type of writer's block is to sit there for that hour, and if nothing comes to mind, I re-read the entire book to that point. Whether that is a few paragraphs or 20 chapters, I read it all the way through to the point I'm stuck on and see if I can't find some flaw in the logical construction of the story.

And usually I find something, fix it, and voila! the block is gone.

Number 2: I can't get started. Let's face it, beginning to write, even when you did it just yesterday, is hard work. It's like revving the engine when it's too cold outside. You got to let the engine warm-up first, if you plan on getting anywhere.

There are a lot of ways to warm up your writing engine. The one I use: poetry. For some reason, poems come more naturally to me when I don't feel like writing. I choose a subject, an emotion, anything I feel like writing about that day, and start rhyming. This gets me going, and when I come to the project I'm working on, it doesn't seem as difficult to get writing.

Another warm-up I do is to find a poem or short story somewhere that I've written on paper, but haven't typed up yet. I just copy out the words I've already written. I don't know how or why that loosens up the writing muscles, but it does help (usually).

Several warm-ups are out there. You could use a writing prompt (there's a half-billion on the internet). Or find a picture that inspires you to write a story. Or think of a popular song you like and try making the lyrics fit an original story of your imagining. Or write a journal entry about your day or the day before. Or write an entry in your blog (but not too much, as that can become a distraction). Do something, anything, that makes you write. It's the best if it gets you writing creatively.

Think of it this way: singers have to warm-up before a performance. So do actors. Even painters often sketch before they tackle the painting of the day. Writing is an art, and sometimes the magic won't come. So, try warming up and see if that helps. You may find the magic happens.

If, on the other hand, the words aren't flowing, but you know what scene you want to write, maybe the problem is just that you need to relax. Do some stretches, take a walk, or do some yoga. Another great thing to remember: Breathe. Seriously, ten, deep breaths can calm you down quicker than just about anything.

Try changing your music. Classical is said to improve brain-power, while jazz is often soothing. If you like pop, that's great, but I personally find the lyrics distract me a lot more than I realized. Something instrumental with no lyrics helps the words flow the most, in my experience.

Here's some music that might help:


If none of that is working, there are a lot of places to find out more about writer's block. Here's a few I found with some helpful advice (I think):

One thing I'd like to add: sometimes the biggest block is simply the fact that you don't have the time left in your day to write. You have kids to care for or work or a big event planned. That's okay. But try to carve out just 10 minutes a day. Maybe get up in the morning 10 minutes earlier or go to bed 10 minutes later. 10 minutes of writing, every day, adds up.

Anyway, hope I haven't bored you all to death and someone out there finds this useful! Time for the writing quote of the day, and then I'm done, I swear!

Writers are not just people who sit down and write.  They hazard themselves.  Every time you compose a book your composition of yourself is at stake.  ~E.L. Doctorow

Thanks for reading everybody! I really appreciate you taking the time!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Belated Introductions

Hello. My name is Kyla Rucci, and I am a writer.

Okay, so you already knew that (if you've been here before; if not, ignore that statement). But I was looking through my past blog posts and noticed something odd: I never introduced myself or explained what I was doing here. So, here I am, 11 posts in, and I suddenly think: Hmm, maybe I should do that...

So, hello folks! And welcome to my very first blog! I hope you enjoy your stay with us, and please leave a comment on your way out. Thank you.

To be honest, why I started this blog is a complex answer. It isn't just that I wanted to talk about writing my book (though that was a large part of it, as you may notice), but also that I wanted to reach out and discover if there really were people out there who might read the dang thing when it was finished. But it isn't just that, either. I wanted to talk to people, get to know some perfect strangers and share with them the adventure of writing a novel. And then, I thought that maybe, if a bunch of people were counting on me to finish my book, the pressure would keep me going even when I felt like quitting.

But, to go even deeper than this, the reason I began a blog lies in the same reason I have chosen to be a writer. I love to write. I love the words on the page, that go deeper than black and white, and become a portal that can transport you into someone's mind. These two-dimensional characters open up a whole new world, with characters and landscapes and creatures quite unlike anything we know here in our mundane lives. 

That sounds so figurative, so magical. To make it more real, why I write can be summed up into one memory. When I was seven years old, I had a very close friend. His mom and my mom were best friends, and so we, by necessity, became like brother and sister. We spent time together constantly. And, boy, did we bicker! 

On one particular day, we were on a road trip together with our parents. We sat in the backseat, while our two moms talked in the front and generally ignored us. Now, this friend was very hyper. Sitting in a car for a long period of time was an incredible strain for him. And I was already a little bookworm at this age, and had brought along my favorite book at the time, BFG by Roald Dahl. I had probably read the book a million times before, but that particular day I wanted to read it again. But I couldn't. Because the little brat beside me wouldn't shut up long enough for me to complete a single sentence.

As you could imagine, I got pretty irritated. At first, I begged for him to stop talking and let me read. This did not work. Then, I demanded he shut up so I could read more than two words at a time. This also did not work. Finally, I grew so fed up, I began to read the book aloud.

He was furious! He whined and told me to be quiet. He promised he'd stop talking if I'd just shut up. He told his mom to make me stop. He even told me how much he hated books and didn't want to hear one read to him, and lectured me that if he wanted to read a book, he'd pick one up and read it himself.

I continued reading anyway.

And as I read, a magical thing occurred: He shut up. I continued to read the rest of the car ride, finally enjoying my beloved novel. At the end of the car ride, when it was time to shut the book and go inside, I expected my friend to tell me how horrible I was for putting him through that.

But, much to my surprise, he asked me if he could borrow the book after I was done, instead.

After that, this boy, who had had a lot of trouble with his grades in school, and had HATED reading any kind of book, began to read books on his own time and progressively got better grades. And now, because of those better grades, he is in college, training to be an FBI agent.

Now, if you wanted to be very kind, you could say I had something to do with that outcome. After all, if I hadn't read that book aloud, he might never have found a love for the written word. But those were not my words. It wasn't my world that transported him away and made him feel more alive. The true credit for his change of heart and brighter future goes to Roald Dahl, a man long dead.

And that's what I want. To touch one person's life enough to inspire them to reach for something better. That is the epitome of why I write.

I may die tomorrow. I may be dismembered, blinded, disfigured, or worse. But today, I write. What more can a person ask for?

Well, time for our writing quote of the day:

What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he's staring out of the window.  ~Burton Rascoe
Happy reading (and writing) everybody and talk to you later! Have a great day!