Sunday, January 31

Award Time!

Alright, so this post is going to be ridiculously long. You see.... I've been slacking when it comes to awards. I've let them pile up and have not given them away (or even put them on my blog). Which, if I was being honest, is nothing new.

Now, before I start I'm just going to let you know that I do not have time to notify everyone of their award. Sorry!

Here goes.

I got the Creative Writer Award from Chasing Empty Pavements. Thank you so much hun!
I'm giving this award to five blogs that I think are creative:
  1. Jen
  2. Mariah Irvin
  3. Victoria
  4. Rhonda
  5. Amber

Courtney Reese gave me the Happy 101 Award. Thank you!!!! For this award, I have to list 10 things that make me happy and then give it to 10 people.
  1. My family
  2. My pets
  3. Writing
  4. Reading
  5. Music
  6. Fluffy blankets
  7. Candles
  8. Christmas trees
  9. Rain
  10. Rolling green hills
Okay, now for 10 people who make me extremely happy:
  1. B.E.
  2. Jennifer at A Slice of Life
  3. Jonathon Arntson
  4. Julie
  5. Diana
  6. Wendy
  7. Jade
  8. Stephanie Thornton
  9. Roni
  10. Hilary

Julie at Silver Lining gave me the Over the Top award! Thank you so much hun!!!!
To accept this award I have to answer the following questions:
Your cell phone: Indispensable.
Your hair: Silky and thin.
Your mother: Loving
Your father: Laid back
Your favorite food: Dad's burgers
Your dream last night: About my story
Your favorite drink: Sprite
Your dream goal: Author.
What room are you in: Bedroom.
Your hobby: Writing.
Your fear: Failure
Where do you see yourself in six years: Married
Where were you last night: At home
Something you aren't: Impulsive
Muffins: Chocolate.
Wish list item: Blackberry
Where did you grow up: Alberta
Last thing you did: Slept
What are you wearing: Clothing?
Your TV: Is small
Your pets: Adorable.
Friends: Meh.
Your life: Stressful right now
Your mood: Tired
Missing someone: Yes
Vehicle: Nope
Something you aren't wearing: Socks.
Your favorite store: Chapters
Your favorite color: Green
When was last time your laughed: Today.
Last time you cried?: Yesterday
Your best friend: My mom
One place you go to over and over: Home... and Virginia
Facebook: Annoying
Favorite place to eat: Earl's
Okay, now five people:
  1. Lynnette
  2. Melissa
  3. Karen
  4. Kristin Rae
  5. Angie
Phew. I'm getting tired. Are you?


Hilary Wagner made this adorable little award, One Good Rat, based off of her book coming out Fall 2010. Thank you so much hun! Love it! Rather than give this award away now, I think I'm going to hang on to it for a special occasion.

And lastly, Jon gifted me with the Silver Lining Award! Thanks darling!!! Since I already have this award and have already given it away, I'm not going to give it away again. However, if you don't have this award and are a regular commenter here, please feel free to nab this for yourself!

Saturday, January 30

Friday, January 29

Wednesday, January 27

Work-In-Progress Wednesday



So this week I’ve been pretty busy when it comes to my story.
This is what I’ve done:

  • I’m a good ways into the “Meeting” scene. I was having a really hard time writing this because one of the characters in it is a douche. Unfortunately, when I was writing him, he kept coming out sounding more sarcastic than anything else. It was a pain. However, I think I got the hang of being mean—at least when it comes to this character ;)
Okay, well this week I also sent out the first fifty pages of my story to four wonderful ladies: B. E. from The Writing Spectacle, Jen from A Slice of Life, Wendy from Where Ladybugs Roar, and Diana from Writing Roller Coasters. This was extremely difficult for me to do, since it was my very first time getting critiqued (eek!). But, lo and behold, I survived! Yay! I’m still waiting for one critique back, but so far I think I’ve done just fine. I’ve learned I use “sigh” and “smile” too much, but I was looking through my manuscript, and those are easy fixes. I also tend to use adverbs (who doesn’t?), but I’ve already killed most of them (choppy choppy). There were a few other things, but nothing much, in my opinion. They are pretty quick, easy fixes. My only problem now is, like critiques are bound to do, they contradicted each other in several areas: one saying this paragraph is too passive, another saying they loved the paragraph the way it is. This means that I now have to sit down and decide who to listen to. Sighs.
Overall, it was a pretty fun experience. Nerve racking beyond belief—and I only gave them the first fifty pages! I can’t imagine what it’s like to give someone your whole story! AHH!
So, what's new with you and your story?

Tuesday, January 26

Writerly Pet Peeves of Mine


Things that annoy me...

  1. One of my biggest peeves is when the point of view just suddenly switches in the middle of a scene. This drives me absolutely bonkers. Not only is it sometimes difficult to discern who is actually having those thoughts, but in my opinion it just makes the scene sloppy. I know it’s done to try and provide multiple points of view within a scene, however, it jars me out of the story and makes me want to put the book down and find something else. Not good.

  2. Obvious spelling mistakes also make me grind my teeth together. I’m not talking about accidentally using the wrong word like then instead of than, but I’m talking about the types of spelling errors that Word catches. For example: “He carired her over to the chair.” Seriously? I know mistakes happen, but the red line isn’t there just to make the document look pretty. I swear.

  3. Now, this one may only apply to romances, but I just have to put it in. After years of reading romance novels, I am sick and tired of reading this:
    It was unusual. Normally he preferred short curvaceous brunettes, not tall, slim blondes. And yet, here he was practically drooling over her small form.


    Okay, really? I know not all romances do this; however, I am so tired of reading this exact sort of passage (which is mine by the way, just typed it up for this). Why can’t he be going after the short curvaceous brunette? Oh right, because that’s not what society deems is acceptable. GAH! This wouldn’t bug me so much if it was used equally between short and curvy and tall and slim. However, this does not happen. Hence the mini rant.

Alright, I'm all done ranting and raving.


Do you have anything to add??

Monday, January 25

Curveball

When life throws you a curveball…


I’ve always wondered what I would do if life threw me a curveball... Would I swing and miss? Would I duck? Would I run away, screaming like a fool? Would I hit it? Would it be a foul ball? A 1st baser? A second? A homerun?

Or would it hit me? If it did... would I recover? Would I let the fear of being hit cripple me for the rest of my life? Would I walk away? Would I ever swing again?

I’ve already faced a lot in my twenty years of life. I’ve had organ surgery, I’ve said goodbye to friends; I’ve seen my family fall apart around me. I’ve lost people special to me. I’ve watched friends destroy themselves with drugs and alcohol. I’ve faced depression. I’ve been terrified for my very life; I’ve been the outsider, looking in.

I haven’t always been strong through it all. But I conquered. I survived. And it’s made me who I am today.

I realize now that I’ve always known the answer to my question: What would I do if life threw me a curveball? It seems so simple to answer now.

I would hit it. And even if the ball is a foul, and even if I throw the bat and trip on it as I run, at least I knew I hit it with everything that’s in me.

I tried.

And you never know. I could hit that ball and it could be a homerun. But I’d never know for sure unless I took that breath, took that swing, and gave it my all.


What would you do?

Saturday, January 23

Remember...


“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.” -- St. Francis de Sales, Patron Saint of Writers

Friday, January 22

The (Secret) Hazards of Being an English Major

This warning also applies to History majors or any occupation having to do with books, most especially dry pieces of literature which cause the brain to implode on itself, and all forms of thought to dissolve instantaneously... which, let's face it, would happen if your brain imploded... But, I digress...

An Official Warning Straight From the Rather Sleepy Mind of an Imaginative and Clumsy Student:

Regardless of what you may believe, it is actually dangerous to fall asleep with a book on your face. Never mind the potential suffocating hazards attached to falling asleep with a heavy tome blocking your airways (do not get me started), the most dangerous hazard, by far, is a paper cut. Trust me on this. Falling asleep with a book on your face can lead to paper cuts in unusual and rather unpleasant places. Like say, for example, your nose. You laugh now, but this is a serious and terrifying condition we students face on a daily basis. Do not ask me the exact specifics of how one acquires a paper cut there of all places, just know of the danger and be always vigilant my writerly friends. Always vigilant.

That is all. You may now carry on with your regular, paper cut free programming-- though, I'm not sure why you would, it's so uneventful... ;)

Wednesday, January 20

Work-In-Progress Wednesday!


Well, would you look at that, I'm posting when I said I was going to! Shocking, isn't it? Don't worry, it's just a fluke... either that or I'm just doing it to keep you all on your toes! Muah hah hah hah, you'll never know... ;)

Anywho... So in the past week I've actually gotten some writing done! Woohoo! I worked on it Friday and Saturday and ended up with 2000 new words! Yay!!
Here's what I did:
  • I finished what I like to call "The Morning After Scene"

  • I wrote and finished a dinky little "Transition" scene-- about a page and a half long

  • I wrote and am almost finished a new scene that I was completely unprepared to write. For some reason, when it came time to write the next scene (after "Transition"), this scene popped into my head and wouldn't go away, so I wrote it. And it works. Yay! I just have a few little odds and ends to throw in before I'm done--shouldn't be more than 100 new words.

  • I edited the 3 scenes I just talked about, as much as I could. This is what I do when I'm too tired or my brain is too fried from school to actually write. That way, I'm still getting story work done, even if I'm not writing! Ingenious, I know.

Now all I have left to do is finish off the new scene, which shouldn't take long, and edit all of it. Then I'm going to be emailing it to my mum for some feedback. Wee! Yes, yes, I'm squealing like an annoying girl. You'll survive...
I really hope I can keep this up. I'm aiming to write during the weekends (probably Friday to Sunday night). Of course, I'm also trying to write during the week whenever I can. However, I have not found the time to do that yet... but I'm trying and that's what matters!
So how are your stories coming along?

Tuesday, January 19

Sorry Guys!

Okay, so I had this big post planned out for today, however, I have a huge migraine now so I won't be writing an actual post. Hopefully, I will be doing a work-in-progress post tomorrow though.




Sorry for not posting, darlings!

Friday, January 15

Work-In-Progress... Friday?

So as you can see, I've been busy changing my blog template! What do you think? I felt it was time for a change. If anything is too hard to read or something is messing up, just let me know and I'll make sure to change it right away!

Now, I know I didn't post on Wednesday-- oops!-- so I figured I would just do it today. Unfortunately, I can't even remember the last time I had a work-in-progress post, so I suppose I'll just give a little update.

While I was in Virginia I managed to get about 2000 words out! I know it may not seem like a lot, but I'm very happy with it. I edited the first 30 pages of my story, and wrote a whole new scene. I'm very happy with all 38 pages I have right now and I hope to get at least another 10 pages out tonight.

I'm also giving a lot of thought to the possibility of having some people read the first 50 or so pages of my current story like we discussed in November. I think I will be offering it sometime this week, so keep your eyes open for a chance to read my story!

And lastly, here is a list of everything I've read this week (sympathy is most welcome):

Anthropology: chapters 6, 7, 8 & 15

History: Introduction, chapter 1, 2, 3 & 4

American Literature 1865-1945:
  • Langston Hughes, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”
  • Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Romantic Literature:
  • M. G. Lewis' The Monk: A Romance
  • Edmund Burke's A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful
  • William Gilpin's Three Essays: On Picturesque Beauty, On Picturesque Travel, and On Sketching Landscape
  • Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments
  • William Wordsworth's Preface to Lyrical Ballads
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge Biographia Literaria.
Linguistics: Introduction & chapter 1
Recreational Reading Just For Moi:
  • Kresley Cole's Deep Kiss of Winter
  • Tessa Dare's A Lady of Persuasion
So how have your stories been coming along?

Tuesday, January 12

IT'S ALIVVVVVE!!!!

Hello! Just a quick note to let you all know that yes, I am alive*-- shocking as though that may be. I'm currently struggling under a workload from Hell (my blog, I get to say the word if I wanna, so neh). Each of my classes has an insane amount of reading attached to it-- I figured out that it was around 700 pages of reading a week altogether. Thankfully, there aren't too many assignments other than the term paper at the end of the semester.
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I'm sorry for not posting, but I'm just trying to get some of this tackled! I will be posting this weekend for sure, and maybe even a work-in-progress post tomorrow! Woo! Keep your fingers crossed people! Better yet, the odds of me posting would increase dramatically if someone emailed me to remind me, LOL! Anyway, I better get back to it.
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I hope everyone is having a better week than me!
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*Whenever I emerge from my "cave" as my parents call it, I always get the look of awe mixed with horror, along with the "IT'S ALIVVVVE!" as if my emerging from the cave is shocking. Gee, I wonder where I get my sarcasm?*

Saturday, January 9

Just a Quick Note

I'm back in Canada.

My trip went relatively well...except that they left my one bag behind in Roanoke. It's supposed to be delivered sometime tomorrow. We'll see how that goes.

Anyway, I'm exhausted, stressed, and sad, so I may not be around for a few days. I'll hopefully still be reading all of your blogs... It just depends on how much school work I can get done at a time-- I start classes on Monday.

Thursday, January 7

Something to Ponder

In preparation for the Romantic Literature class I'm taking this semester, I started reading The Monk: A Romance, a Gothic novel by M. G. Lewis (1796). While reading, I came across this passage, which resonated so deeply with me that I thought I'd share it with you.

  • "An Author, whether good or bad, or between both, is an Animal whom everybody is privileged to attack; For though All are not able to write books, all conceive themselves able to judge them. A bad composition carries with it its own punishment, contempt and ridicule. A good one excites envy, and entails upon its Author a thousand mortifications. He finds himself assailed by partial and ill-humoured Criticism: One Man finds fault with the plan, Another with the style, a Third with the precept, which it strives to inculcate; and they who cannot succeed in finding fault with the Book, employ themselves in stigmatizing its Author. They maliciously rake out from obscurity every little circumstance which may throw ridicule upon his private character or conduct, and aim at wounding the Man, since They cannot hurt the Writer. In short, to enter the lists of literature is wilfully to expose yourself to the arrows of neglect, ridicule, envy, and disappointment. Whether you write well or ill, be assured that you will not escape from blame."

Wednesday, January 6

Play that FUNKy music...

WHITE BOY!

Ahem.

Okay, that's the best I could come up with as a title for this post. But anywho, moving on.

As most of you know, I've been in a funk recently when it comes to my writing. First, school got in the way, sucking up all of my spare time and energy. After that, the stress from school prevented me from having the will to write. Then it had been so long since I'd written anything, that the words wouldn't come easily, which would only stress me out and cause me to toss in the towel and march away in a huff.

In my opinion, all of the reasons for my lack of writing are understandable and most importantly, valid. However, that does not mean that I am okay with this state of limbo that I'm currently in. Writing is my stress reliever-- most of the time anyway. It exercises my brain and my creativity. All in all, it's what I do. I am a writer; therefore, my lack of actual writing is quite distressing to me. Because of this, I've been searching for a way to shake off this funk and get back into writing mode. However, up until yesterday, I'd been extremely unsuccessful in this endeavour. Everything I tried just stressed me out more, and more often than not, I deleted words rather than wrote them. Obviously, this wasn't working out quite as I'd expected. Not to be too dramatic, but I was ready to "give up" writing until the summer months when I'd have more time. But when venting to my mum a few nights ago on the phone, she suggested I email my story to her, in all it's rough splendour, to see what she thought of it. Now, she'd already read most of it; however, she hadn't read any of the newer stuff, which admittedly, wasn't that much.

Well, yesterday afternoon, my mum emailed me back with her edits and suggestions. Thankfully, she managed to pinpoint exactly what was bugging me. And let me tell you, it was truly a very small thing that was irritating me and I feel quite foolish for letting it get to me for so long. All of her other comments were extremely helpful as well, and none of them signalled a need to trash the whole story (which had been a worry of mine). In fact, she loved it! Yay!

After reading all of her comments and suggestions I was filled with a sense of urgency. I needed to write, immediately! So what did I do yesterday evening while the living room was packed full of noisy boys and a large, distracting TV? I wrote 1147 words! I haven't written that much in months! I hope to write that much, or more, again today! I just need to read some more of a book for school before I can start.

So my question for you guys is.... When you're in a writing funk, what do you do to shake it off??

Saturday, January 2

Proud of Meself

I have opened up The Sound of Snow and have already written a sentence!
You may not think this is an accomplishment, but it is. Since I've had no writing time-- or energy-- even opening the document has become a trial. However, I promised myself this year I was going to do what I could when I could. And so, the document is open, and it has already changed from last time. I'm hoping to get a significant amount of words out tonight, whatever that may be.

Wish me luck! I'll come back tomorrow and tell you all how it went!

Oh, and by the way, I've already started to comment more on peoples blogs. Yay! It helps that today is the almost-kissing theme day. I've loved everyone's entries so far!
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