Category Archives: am writing

Fall–Well Winter–is here!

Fall is officially here!
Halloween is around the corner!
The leaves are crunching beneath my feet!
And the temperature?
Nice, cool, and crisp–HANG ON A SECOND.
43 degrees??!
*Clears throat* WINTER is officially here! 


YEEEEESH! 

Somehow summer has ended, we’ve completely skipped Autumn, and have fallen head-first into winter! I was looking forward to my sweater weather too! But, alas, I will make do with heavier shirts and winter jackets. We still get to wear our sweaters; they’re just underneath something.

Actually, I’m pretty excited that I’m feeling perpetually cold: it means that I’ve lost a significant amount of weight this year! Now this isn’t an appearance thing. I knew I needed to be more active and eat less for my health. I can actually feel the difference! My body feels so much happier!

HUZZAH!!

I’ve actually had two major goals that I’ve been wanting to accomplish for years. (Pretty much ever since I was a child.) And I know I’ve talked about this before, but, bear with me: I’m going to talk about it again.

Goal #1: lose weight so I feel healthier.

Goal #2: finish writing my first novel.

In my mind, while I’ve only lost half of the weight I wanted to lose, I’m accomplished. See, it’s not all about the end goal. Yes, it would be nice to feel a sense of completion, but it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.

Head down, one step at a time. That’s how it’s done.”
-Rob Hall (Jason Clarke), Everest (2015)

Speaking of writing, I’m so excited! I’m back on a writing schedule! And just in time for NaNoWriMo!

65452-supernatural-confetti-sparkle-vrau.gif

Word after word, sentence after sentence, chapter after chapter–I’m getting closer and closer to my goal. I want to have a complete novel on my desk by the time Christmas comes. And, if I keep working as steadily as I have, I’m sure to succeed! Then I go through one more wave of revisions and I’m ready to search for an agent! Yeess!! 

It’s taken me so long to get to this point. And I’m almost there. I just have to keep going.

Thank you guys for all the support you’ve given me. I’m excited to share this novel series with you–I think you’ll like it! Next month, I’ll talk about my in-depeth schedule for NaNoWriMo.

In my parting words, I want to leave you with this video. I’ve been on a Markiplier kick and when I was writing this post, I was thinking of this vlog. It’s one that inspires me and makes me feel like anything is possible. 

My Infinity War Theory (*Small spoiler*)

Disclaimer: While this post doesn’t spoil the main plot of Avengers: Infinity War, I do talk about one specific scene that’s about halfway through the movie. If you don’t want it spoiled, don’t read until you’ve seen the movie! 

A few weeks ago, I posted on Tumblr this theory about why Deadpool isn’t in Avengers: Infinity War. (Usage rights and such aside.)

Let me paint you a picture.

spoilers-gif-19.gif

Imagine, if you will, the Avengers almost beat Thanos! Tony and Peter are struggling to wreeeeench the gauntlet off of the purple raisin’s arm (credit to Allison for that hilarious nickname); Dr. Strange and the Guardians, minus Quill, have him pinned. It almost works! Almost. That is, if Peter Quill hadn’t opened his big mouth and started punching Thanos in the face, causing the whole scheme to fall apart.

All this time in the theater, I was screaming at the screen “CUT OFF THE DAMN ARM!”

… and in that moment I realized that’s exactly what Deadpool would’ve done.

*END SPOILERS*

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I was glad that some members of the Marvel fandom responded to that post! Ha! I can’t help but imagine Wade standing there, the rest of the Avenger aghast that they didn’t think of that!

Deadpool would totally do that.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I loved Infinity War (despite all the trauma it’s caused). It’s very well done and–AGH! That’s… really as far as I can go with that! (In an effort to not spoil the movie.) Just… seriously, go see it. Especially if you’re a Marvel fan. Then, give it a few days and you’ll be in this weird place where you equally respect and despise the movie. It’s a great place to be in.

(Look at me, being a masochist.)

This revelation also has me thinking, proudly, at how complex and unique my writing has gotten over the years. Frankly, I used to be more cliche in my writings. For example, in my in-progress novel, The Moonlit Path, my main character was one of those moody teenagers who hated everyone and, simultaneously, got picked on. (Following the norm, when that was the trend, you know?)

Now, I’m very pleased; I actually think out my plot and have a plan. I’m not winging it. I’m not subconsciously following other trends. I’m making my characters complex, my plot weaves seamlessly from one point to the next.

And I can’t wait for you all to read it!

The moral of the story: be yourself. Think for yourself. Don’t follow the trend; make your own path.

tenor.gif

Keep Moving Forward

There’s a quote in Disney’s “Meet The Robinsons” that Cornelius, the genius inventor who has built this amazing city, swears by:

“Keep moving forward!”

The entire source of these three quotes are revealed by the end of the movie as something Walt Disney said:

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

I’ve had this quote popping up at random moments this month. I mean, when I actually think about it, it hasn’t been all that horrible, but it’s definitely been a weird mental trip.

My father’s business closed as of December 31, 2017, and emotions have definitely been up and down for mom and I as we adapted to retired life. For me, that means financially I have to 100% stand on my own two feet–which I’m quite capable of doing–but, in lieu of Dan and I getting married, I have been worrying about our combined future and everything that comes with it.

Which is pretty stupid when you get right down to it.

Now, let me explain. It’s great to plan and be mindful of the future, to work hard so you  prevent trouble as much as you can. But I was worrying to the extent of it causing me panic attacks! I was worrying more about the future–about Dan and my mother’s happiness–than celebrating my completion of a bookkeeping course, or successfully applying and pursuing jobs.

I talked to my friend about my anxiety and she labeled part of it as “impostor syndrome,” which is not entirely inaccurate. Basically, I’m not internalizing my accomplishments and am fearing failure despite all my hard work. In short, being a fraud. It’s an illogical thing to happen; my doubter calling me out,  saying “you’re going to lose no matter what you do.”

I’m proud to say that once my friend pointed out what my brain was doing, I’ve since issued an eviction notice to the Doubter. He’s no longer welcome in my life and will be vacating soon.

All the goals I’m pursing, this 2018, are well on their ways to being accomplished:
1. Become financially stable; whether it’s by creating a business, getting an additional job, or some combination of both.
2. Lose weight by Dan and I’s wedding; I’m already 10 pounds down, 40 more to go!
3. Finish current draft of novel by March, have my completed book circulating to agents by Dan and I’s wedding.

I will not give up. I will not give in.

Always keep fighting.

And keep moving forward.

NaNoWriMo HAS BEGUN!

“You write. That’s the hard bit that nobody sees. You write on the good days and you write on the lousy days. Like a shark, you have to keep moving forward or you die… What matters right now are the words, one after another. Find the next word. Write it down. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.”
– NaNoWriMo’s Pep Talk from Neil Gaiman.


It’s here, writers! NaNoWriMo is here!

It’s the time of the year where we focus our creative energies more than we ever did before; we flip open our journals and scribble, we power on our computers and clack away. Dust off those novels that are hidden in your desk drawers!

National Novel Writing Month is here!

For those who are new to the month-long writing fest, here’s the basic rule: write 50,000 words by December 1st. (It’s basically the size of a novella, or small novel.)

Here are my personal goals:
1. Accomplish editing my novel beyond chapter 7.
2. Churn out 50,000 words for the latter chapters.
3. RULE at managing my time; fit in some amount of writing every day!

These are the things I have been needing to work on most with my novel. I need to get my butt in my chair, every single day, and finish this storyline! It’s so strong in my mind, I need it strong on paper now!

By God, I am going to do this! 

Good luck to all writers participating in NaNoWriMo this month, whether through the website or by yourselves! (Website is here, for those interested: NaNoWriMo.com )

Comment below what you’ll be working on this month!

A Quick Autumn Catch-Up

Hello, all those out there on the interwebs and happy First Day of Autumn! It truly has been a long time since I’ve written on this blog, and I’ve definitely missed it! Things have been crazy; as I mentioned in “OSR 2017, Amongst Other Things!” the boyfriend has now turned fiancee!

YES! I KNOW! 

giphy

Truly, truly, it is a nutty, but good time! Frankly, I never knew how complicated planning a wedding could be, especially when I’m trying to launch my writing and bookkeeping careers! Lordy!

Furthermore, there are some things in the works–wedding and random–that will be life changing by the end of the year. I truly pray they work out for the best.

Speaking of writing, I am very pleased with how my technique is progressing, even if life tends to keep me from my office more than I’d like. There are some really good, concrete things happening in my novel and I do hope to be sharing it with you, soon! (Alas, if only money wasn’t an issue; I would write full-time in my pajamas and get my book out there faster! Wouldn’t that be wonderful?)

So, not that I’m trying to make excuses, but I adore you, dear readers, and I don’t want you to even imagine that I might’ve abandoned you all. I will see you soon. The next blog post won’t be too far off!

Have a happy, cool, crisp Fall, one and all!

I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO WEARING MY SWEATERS AGAIN!

 

Thank you, Moana! (You’re welcome)

DAMN IT–I have an ear worm in my head.

Personally, I blame Dustin Pari for this; he has been bopping around Twitter with pictures of Maui saying “You’re welcome.” Naturally, since I had yet to watch Moana, I decided to finally make time and view the acclaimed movie.

It. Did. Not. Disappoint!

And, now, as it happens with movies that you really, really love, I’m obsessed with how the movie was made and the Polynesian culture that weaved throughout the plot. (In fact, I purchased a Hawaiian legend book the other day at work.)

Legitimately, I have been singing “You’re Welcome” from Moana on repeat for a good week now. Darn you, Lin-Manuel Miranda and your catchy lyrics! I mean, I don’t know for sure who was responsible for the song–I know Lin, Mark Mancina, and Opetaia Foa’i all worked together on the Moana soundtrack and give them ALL the points–but “You’re Welcome” and “Shiny” both seem up Lin’s alley.

Also, I am in love with “We Know The Way.” There are so many beautiful feelings that swarm into me whenever I hear that song. It makes me dream of exploration, yes, but, also, the part inside me that appreciates spirituality, history, lineage, and respects nature adores it!

I especially get chills at the part of the song where they sing:

“We are explorers reading every sign.
We tell the stories of our elders in a never-ending chain.”

Here’s an official link to part of the song, so you can join me in the chills, whether you’ve see Moana or not (because even out of context it’s a gorgeous song):

I also give all the props to John Lasseter and the Moana creators; they wanted to respect the Polynesian culture and history, so they did a five year research excursion to talk with locals in the South Pacific. Bonus: they actually hired locals to fact check them, and even invited them back to Disney to approve the film.

This is how you make a movie!

Here’s an article in Vanity Fair that talks more about this story:
How Pacific Islanders Helped Disney’s Moana Find Its Way
(There’s also a documentary about this on Moana’s bonus features, which is where I learned of the development.)

In turn, Moana has, as excellently told stories do, inspired me in my own stories. (Note: I am not talking about plagiarism. I know I don’t have to say that, but I want to make that clear.) The rich mythology, scenery, and character development has made me reflect on my skills as a writer and given me the urge to match Moana’s quality in my own writing.

The same thing happened with American Gods and Anansi Boys, which I fell in love with about a month ago. (I talk about it in my post: “Current Status: In Love With American Gods.“)

Here’s the amazing thing about well-crafted stories: they make you want to be a better writer. They raise the bar of what you thought was possible, and set the target higher, causing you to push your development as a creator into different areas. Some of which you didn’t think needed worked on, but, after seeing another reach so far, you realized you needed to do better.

It’s not an ego-related thing. It’s not putting yourself down. It’s just looking at another story and saying: “Yes. I can do that. I can reach that level. I know I can.”

So, yet again, I have been inspired to push myself as an artist; to reach the quality that my heroes and role models have accomplished before me. It’s a simple strength exercise game.

I look forward to what comes from this!

giphy

 

100th Reflection: Good Remains in Chaos

Once upon a time, there was a twenty-three year old girl who had a cloud of technicolor dreams circling her head. She gazed at the blues, purples, reds, and golds, and as they swirled faster, her heart was encouraged. She laughed and raced down the campus steps, the doors opened to the freshly graduated girl, and she embraced the world, ready to share her dreams with it.

In case you haven’t guessed, that girl was me.

In 2011, I graduated from Otterbein University with a degree in Creative Writing, ready to share my stories with the world. And guess what? Within a year, I was professionally writing! It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do, but it was a good stepping stone.

My true dream, however, was to be a novelist. And one of my favorite TV shows expressed exactly how I wanted my life to look:

In fact, I do actually want to be a mystery writer. Psychological thrillers and paranormal fantasies are my genres!

Life itself is a tricky thing; it can, at times, be synonymous with change, and chaos can be their little bundle of joy. That’s how it’s been off and on since 2011. For personal reasons, it’s been difficult–especially these past few months–to find time to write, let alone do other things I love (watching TV, going to movies, traveling), hence why I haven’t blogged since Easter.

Honestly, it can be challenging at times. I never imagined being in this situation five years since I graduated. But that’s how change works: it hits you right between the eyes, when you least expect it, and can be a good thing.

Take Castle’s unexpected cancellation, for example. About a month ago, over on Deadline.com, it was announced that Stana Katic and Tamala Jones were not coming back to season 9. I was among the Castle fans who was adamantly against this decision (I mean, who wouldn’t be? There’s no Caskett without Beckett!) Thankfully ABC decided to cancel the show instead of watching it go down the proverbial Primetime toilet and Caskett fans got to see Beckett and Castle live on.

For me, change reminds me of the realistic value of balancing my dreams with the reality I’m placed in. Yes, it might be excruciatingly hard at times, but I still wouldn’t change the part I must play here at home. I’m as stubborn about supporting my family as much as I am about becoming a novelist. I do believe that both will play out for the better, even if this tumultuous period seems to be clearing at an agonizing pace.

In any case, I still excited for the future; to see what it brings me and my family. I’m anxious to finish my first novel, get it seen by an agent and published. I’m anticipating a peaceful future for my family and I (really it can’t get here soon enough!). I’m curious to see what Andrew Marlowe (creator of Castle) comes up with next.

But those are distant, general futures. What I need to remind myself is to enjoy the stepping stones that bring those futures along, one day at a time.  I need to be happy that I am able to write and produce YouTube videos again. I need to see the blessing in the lesson of time management. And I need to see the good in every moment here at the house, even during the bad times; there is always good!

Change happens. Life moves on. Impermanence spins the world into focus. Thank you, God, for the ability to endure, to adapt. Thank you for the gifts and lessons that life brings. And thank you for the joy that Castle has brought to so many lives.

Blessings to writers everywhere, the Castle cast and crew, and all souls that are going through hard times. It will get better. You just have to keep moving; one step, one word, after another.

rick-typing-o