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Tag Archives: motivation

I’d like to tell you a story

We all have a story to tell. Some of us will tell that story with music, some with art, some with poetry, some with a garden, others with photography, and some with the written word. 

Snoopy's book

My story began when I was a little girl. I was fascinated by books. My parents bought me books. I was in love with Snoopy’s book. I wanted a typewriter. I wanted to write stories. I could read well before I started kindergarten and I think it’s because I loved stories.  I’ve passed that down to my children and my grandson who is only two years old will hand you a book and tell you “read.” We’re a bunch of bookworms around here. 

What really upped the ante when it came to my love affair with books was when my father died when I was seven years old. Lost in grief, I turned to books. I could pretend I was a character in the book. Pretend that I was anyone except the little girl who had lost her father. Getting lost in the characters of books wasn’t enough though. I began writing about a little girl who saved her father. Then I wrote a story about a father who turned into a guardian angel. I don’t remember every story I wrote back then, that was forty years ago, but the one I remember the most was about a kingdom of magical people who were hidden from the rest of the world. A little girl loses her father and while she’s picking flowers in a garden she finds a hidden doorway. The doorway leads to the kingdom of magical people and she finds her father there. He is a prince there and he tells her that she mustn’t tell anyone, that it’s their secret. If people knew about the magical kingdom everyone who ever lost someone would come there in droves and the kingdom would no longer be hidden, and the magic would die. 

In elementary school I was in one library or the other all the time. I was the kid who always turned their books in late because I got so wrapped up in the seven to ten books I was reading I forgot when they were due back. My mother fussed about the late fees, but I think she was happy that I’d finally stopped locking myself in my room with a book and was out and about in the real world again. By the fifth grade I was reading adult books like Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, which my 5th grade teacher Mrs. Whittet introduced to us. I was hooked. Mr. King wrote stories like a real story teller and I fell right into the world of the book, like Alice in the rabbit hole. I remember sneaking my mom’s copy of Carrie out of her bookcase and going to my room so I could read it under my covers with a flashlight. Hooked, I tell you, hooked. 

When I was in high school I took journalism and was on the newspaper staff. I loved it. I went to the football games, wrestling matches, soccer games, and other school functions and borrowed my (step) Dad’s expensive Yashica camera and took pictures and took notes and then wrote stories for the school newspaper. I went to the University of South Carolina and toured their campus, including their journalism building. I dreamed of a journalism scholarship. And i got one, but it was only a partial one and things were rough back then (in the mid 80s) and we couldn’t afford the difference so I went to work full time at a bank. I told myself I didn’t need college. I’d graduated from high school, which was more than either of my three parents (my mom, my father, and my (step) dad) had done. I was ahead of the game. Besides, I told myself, I can always go to college later. (The longer you wait the harder it gets…)

I went to college in my early 30s. I didn’t finish. I had to drop out for various reasons: as a single parent I needed to work more hours, or I needed the benefits so they could get braces, or I was having a hard time juggling everything, etc…Back to work full time I went, deferring my dream. I also deferred my dream of writing, not just college. 

Two years ago when my husband (then fiance) and I were writing our vows, he said. “I ought to put a part in there about how I promise to move you and your books for the rest of my life…” and he did. Part of the reason he mentioned it is because he helped me and my daughter move two bookcases into my apartment on our first date. And he moved those same bookcases twice more, including all the books that go in those bookcases… Now we’re in our home and those bookcases, along with the other two I have, have been moved around our home several times and he never complains, just jokes about keeping his vows. 

Now as I sit in front of my computer screen typing this post I am reminded of why it is so important not to give up on your dreams. I’m writing a novel. Yes, I said that. I. Am. Writing. A. Novel. I am pursuing my dream. You’re never too old to pursue your dream(s). That little girl who turned to books out of grief and despair still resides inside me, pushing me forward to write that book. To pursue our dream. I carry her with me. 

There will be people in your life who will try to knock you down, make you question your dreams, make you feel unworthy, and there are those who will support and inspire you. Push you to do more, to do better, to be more. I know, I’ve had both kind of people in my life at one time or the other. I am blessed that my husband is the kind of person who pushes me to do more, be more, and he makes me a better person and still strive to be even better, to push even harder. To be inspired to write, motivated to write, and writing, especially good writing, is hard work, is such a wonderful thing. Don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you should give up on your dream, don’t let anyone push you to give up on a dream. 

It’s time for me to end this story, the little girl inside me is waving a book at me telling me it’s time to go back to writing my novel…

Carpe Diem

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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Family, Inspiration, Life, Writing

 

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The Truth about August Blackstone

My main character’s name is August Blackstone, at least that’s what I think her name is (she’s named after her grandfather Augustus “Gus” Blackstone). She’s bisexual, in her early thirties, a journalist, and she’s in that phase of life where she’s contemplating what to do next because her grandfather just died and left her a cottage in Black River, SC… Out in the middle of nowhere, but it’s on a lake and it’s gorgeous. Her girlfriend Stacy tells her that going to the funeral is one thing but leaving for a week is irresponsible… Stacy is selfish, controlling, and uses August as a babysitter for her six year old daughter Colby…She tells August if she leaves for more than a week then not to bother coming back.. She changes her mind quickly after she finds out that August has inherited a historic cottage on seventeen acres of riverfront property, and a little over a million and a half. But August came to her senses where Stacy was concerned before she found out about the property or the money, especially after she finds out that her family is cursed. She also meets Dylan Thomas, the sweet, talented and hot, musician who is taking a break from music and being on the road, and working at his father’s hardware store until he figures out what he wants to do.

Quotation-Armistead-Maupin-equality-gay-family-Meetville-Quotes-158896

She and Dylan fall in love. People, some of whom are friends and family, ask her if she’s past the lesbian phase, if she’s switched sides, if Dylan is alright with her being a bisexual hinting at whether or not he’s okay with threesomes or if maybe he’ll “allow” her to have a girlfriend on the side… BUT August is monogamous. She tries to explain that being a bisexual doesn’t equate infidelity, or having your cake and eating it too,  nor is it a phase. She’s not any more or less bisexual now that she’s with a man than she was when she was with a woman.

It matters not who you love

Dylan’s friends tease him. They give him high fives because he “converted” the lesbian…or “man, you’re the luckiest guy on Earth, what I wouldn’t give for my girlfriend to be bi,” or the “will you be watching or participating or both?” Dylan isn’t into sharing, and is monogamous as well, and though he accepts August the way she is, he wishes other people weren’t stupid and didn’t have to attach labels to everything.

I am human

The fact that they live in a small town in the South doesn’t help matters much, but they learn to deal with things, even the family curse and idiocy of people, as they pursue a way to undo the Blackstone Curse…

dequeered me

For a while I contemplated on whether or not to ignore the sexuality question when writing the book. Just make the book about the family curse and leave the whole sexuality thing out of it.. or perhaps the main character’s cousin Micah could be bisexual and the issues would be hers, not the MC’s, which wouldn’t make the book so much about the issue of sexuality, or bisexuality specifically, but more as a subplot. Would it put it in a specific genre if I continue with the MC being bisexual if her sexuality is only a small part of the book? Not sure about that part… The book itself is more about paranormal, romance, family, friendship, love, honor, obligation, and trust. August is psychic, she has visions in her dreams, and on occasion when she’s awake, of the future or the past (when she touches something). The curse came from a voodoo witch more than a hundred and fifty years ago.

Pondering plot, subplots, theme, and issues… Hmmm…

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2014 in Life, Outlining, Writing

 

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Embracing the struggle to get the words on the page

embrace struggle

Yesterday I only wrote 357 words. I’m not joking. The weekends are always harder for me because as I’ve said before, my desk is in the living room. I got up early (before the crack of dawn) to write. I sat down at my desk with my cup of coffee, in my favorite cup that my husband bought for me that says “Fresh-brewed inspiration for the day ahead,” and began checking my emails, FB, WP, etc. I wrote a post about the support we do or don’t receive from Friends and Family, and then I began reading the last few pages of my WIP. As I was writing an idea hit my mind for a novel like a home-run being hit out of the park. I opened up a new Scrivener project and wrote what I had down into it. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in Family, Inspiration, Life, Word count, Writing

 

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Friends and Family

writers friends

Some of our biggest supporters in life are usually our friends and family. I ran into a friend the other day when I was out running errands. We were both busy but we spoke and she asked me about my writing. She was so positive and upbeat about it, that after briefly talking to her I immediately felt inspired to hurry home and start writing.

 

On the other hand, I’ve had others make negative, snide, or judgmental comments about my writing.

doubt

What do you do when others make those types of comments?

I never expected such  varied responses from people about my writing. Nor did I expect some of the comments to include things like:

  • What do you do all day?
  • Why don’t you have a real job?
  • Do you seriously think you have what it takes to get a book published?
  • You should get a real job…
  • Are you sure you’re qualified to write a book?
  • Some of us have to live in the real world…
  • I thought that was just your hobby…
  • Are you crazy?

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2014 in Family, Friends, Home, Inspiration, Life, Writing

 

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Fear, Insecurities, and Self-Doubt, Oh No…

As a creative person I am often trying new things like DIY projects that require me to learn something or do something I’ve never done before. For example, when I was planning my wedding over two years ago I saw these sheet music flowers that someone had made and turned into a bouquet and fell in love with them. Armed with different  downloaded PDF’s of how to make the flowers, sheet music printed on various colors of scrapbook paper, scissors, and my hot glue gun I went to work. I tried different types of flowers and finally found one I liked. It was a great deal of work. I made my own bouquet, as well as the bouquets of my bridal party, my mother’s and my mother-in-laws as well as one for my aunt. SHEW! It was a lot of work, work that I was excited and nervous about. What if they looked like shit? What if they didn’t look nice enough? What if they fell apart? What if…

IMG_0131 IMG_0132 IMG_0136 IMG_0138 IMG_0289 IMG_0291 IMG_0292 IMG_0293 Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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Nay Sayers, Negative Nancy’s, and the like

writers do

We all have those people in our lives you are negative, who say “Why are you wasting your time writing a novel? Why don’t you get a real job?” or “I bet you spend all day on the Web surfing…” or “You do realize you’re probably never going to get published, don’t you?” I know I do.

what-writers-really-do

Truth is, since I first started working on my writing full-time, pushed by my husband since I couldn’t work due to Uterine cysts, and then a torn rotator cuff, I have researched how to write a novel, outline a novel, etc. I’ve participated in two NaNoWriMo and three Camp NaNoWriMo’s. I’ve worked on how to outline, learned how to use Scrivener (at least to the point that I can outline and write my novel, I’ll need to learn much more when it comes time to edit and publish). I’ve learned and grown as a writer, but I’ve heard the negativity, the nay sayers, the negative Nancy’s…They’re out there.

Writing isn't about making money

But I believe in myself and my art. I have invested in myself and in my writing. Thanks to my wonderful husband, I am now taking my writing seriously. It’s more than just a dream, a hobby, it is a productive outlet, not to mention it can be a productive career. Will I ever be a Stephen King, Nora Roberts, James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, Jim Butcher, or Robert Jordan? No. But I’ll be myself…and that self is a writer, regardless of whether or not one of my books ever hits the New York Times Bestseller list or I become famous as a writer.

this is impossible

I had to learn to believe in myself as a writer. I had to stop the nay sayers, the real ones and the one in my mind, and tell myself that I’ve been dreaming of this, wanting this, for as long as I can remember (almost 40 years) and the years kept passing me by as I listened to the internal nay sayer in my head, as well as the external nay sayers who believed that writing a book was a waste of time, or that writing wasn’t a real job. Don’t get me wrong, there have been people in my life who have believed in me. People who believe that I am talented, a good writer, who have said, “You need to write a book…” or “Why aren’t you writing a book?”

If I don’t take my writing seriously, who will? No one (except for maybe my husband because he truly believes in me, even when I don’t believe in myself).

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in Life, Uncategorized, Writing

 

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Time, where does it go?

Time is either my best friend or my worst enemy. It’s now 10:48 AM and I’m on my second cup of coffee, yet I’ve been up since oh, I’m not even sure now, but the minutes have turned into hours and the hours have turned into what feels like days. Camp NaNo is almost over, and I’ve learned a great deal about myself this time as a writer. I decided to make this session work for me instead of speeding through words to get my word count. I outlined. I threw that one out and started all over. Only to find that I as I wrote I was really just writing back story, not the story itself. Back to the drawing board. What did I really have? Where did I want to go? What were my characters really doing? Concept. Theme. Character. Ideas. Plots. Plot bunnies. Structure. Inciting incidents and hooks, first plot points and pinchs, action and reaction, scenes and sequels.

There I was tumbling, falling into the hole like Alice, only where was I? I sure as hell wasn’t in Wonderland. No, I’d fallen into a black hole of structure that was bogging me down so much that I lost my creativity. Where had it gone? Was this what plotting/outlining felt like to a pantser? I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t breath, I was suffocating in all that structure. I took a deep breath and watched the first season of the Vampire Diaries. WOW! Now those are some vampires worth drooling over, I’d take Stephan or Damon over Edward any day. Mind candy was exactly what I needed. But I still needed to figure a few things out for the concept of my novel. Research. I could do some research.

Since I’m writing a book about a natural born witch/psychic I might as well watch some witchy psychicy movies. Read a witchy/psychicy book or three. So off I went in search of movies with a psychic theme, a witch theme, or the supernatural in general. Vampire Diaries has witches, and that lead me to the Originals. The Original Witches. The Original Vampires. WOW! What a novel idea!!!

Oh wait. What about male witches? What about psychics? What about… Oh Wait A Minute! I have the Covenant on DVD. I watched it. I watched yet another season of the Vampire Diaries. I watched the pilot episode of the Originals. I watched Supernatural. I read three chapters of Harry Potter. I ordered the sensor for the Wii that my daughter gave us so we can watch Netflix on our big TV in the living room instead of on the computer (my desktop monitor is only 20″, not exactly great to watch a movie on when you’re on the couch instead of sitting at the desk. I read another chapter of Harry Potter. I read The Trouble with Fate by Leigh Evans (good book). I also read more of Larry Brooks StoryEnginerring. I went back to watching the Vampire Diaries. (NO, of course I’m not hooked. I’m only at the end of season 2 in all of one week).

And I’m back to my novel! Coffee in hand. The good kind, at least to me. I managed to get myself a bag of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, which my husband does not like, and made a pot after he left for work. So here I am at my desktop, ready to write…. Only trouble is my mind really just isn’t on it… I need to finish that cup of coffee first.

I guess you could say I’m in a writing funk. That’s what happens when time isn’t on your side, or maybe that’s what happens when you procrastinate, or maybe that’s what happens when you spent so much time writing you managed to burn yourself out and need time to recuperate…I don’t know what it is exactly, but my mind has been wondering the past week. I guess I just needed a break. . I still manged to make my word count for the past week though. That’s something.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Life, NaNoWriMo, Word count, Writing

 

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