How to Write When You Are Sick…

 

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(Photo credit: Melanie Hayes, on Flickr)

I’ve been dealing with various illnesses for quite some time now. I feel as if I’ve become pretty adept at finding ways to write even when the world feels like it is turning on its head. And when I say that I mean it literally; among other things something I suffer from regularly is vertigo.

It can be really hard to formulate thoughts, write them down or even type when it feels as if you are doing everything sideways.

Here’s the key though: I write whatever I can.

I write whatever comes to mind. I write a vignette of my day, or even sometimes whatever comes off the top of my head. I write about what I’m feeling, my symptoms and how my day has been.

It’s important that no matter what happens you don’t allow guilt overwhelm you. As a writer you will feel as if you should be writing something else; your MS, your poetry, ect. But sometimes all you can do is eke out those few sentences, and THAT IS OK.

The important thing is for you to keep writing.

Have you ever felt this way? How do you keep writing even when you are “under the weather”?

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Fanfiction: Good or Bad?

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(Photo credit to: Caitlin ‘Caity’ Tobias, on Flickr)

In the last couple of days original thought both fantastical and realistic have failed me. So instead of editing or continuing to work on WIP, I’ve began to write fanfiction again.

For a while I felt guilty and ashamed that I was writing fanfiction, because for quite some time there’s been a sort of stigma regarding that kind of writing.

But then something odd happened: I noticed how much my writing has improved over time.

Suddenly I had a realization:  who cares if I’m taking a mini-break from my WIP? The important thing is that I’m still writing.

I will get over this dry spell for WIP, and when I do I will be stronger; because I didn’t stop even when the writer’s wall slammed into me.

 

Have you ever had moments of self-doubt like this? Moments when you question what you are writing? What do you think of fanfiction? 

 

The Writer’s Tag

Today I found an amazing new blog by Stef Gonzaga. She has written 3 e-books, and her poetry is beautiful. She’s a very sincere human being, and I have fallen for her blog. It’s definitely worth a look.
Today I’m am going to follow in her suit and do “The Writer’s Tag.”
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(Photo credit to THOR, on Flickr)
So without any further ado, here’s the questions:
1) What type of writing do you do?
I write poetry, vignettes, and fiction.
2) What genres or topics do you write about?
I love writing in the sci-fi/fantasy genre. Creating new worlds is exciting to me. I also love delving into the minds of my characters and finding out what makes them tick.
3) How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I could write. Before I could write, I made up songs about stories. & before I could speak I dreamed of worlds never seen before.
4) Are you published?
Not yet, but it is one of goals for the 2017.
5) What was the first story you ever wrote?
This is a hard one for me. I know when I was 4 or 5, I wrote about the time I “flew” off a swing. I’m not sure if that was the first though, but I’m pretty sure it was one of the first ones I wrote in book format. I would have a title page and then I would draw pictures above the words. My mom would staple the pages together with 3 staples so it would open and turn like a book.
6) Why do you write?
I write because I need to. If I don’t write, stories haunt me. The characters beat down the doors of my mind and beg me to be written. My dreams become plagued with stories on loop. And so I write. I write because I love to write. I write because storytelling is a part of me.
7) How do you find time to write?
I usually write after work. I work various shifts each week, so basically I write whenever I find time to.
8) When & where are the best times to write?
I tend to write at night mostly. But I’m not sure if that’s technically the best time for me to write or not. It depends. I’m still learning about my internal time-clock.
I tend to write in bed, since we have a very small apartment. Our bedroom seems to be the quietest room of the house, especially when my husband is gaming.
9) Favorite food/drinks while writing?
I tend to crave salty and sweet things in a loop. So either I’ll have some Cheetos or parsnip chips; or on the sweet side a chocolate bar or some semi-sweet chocolate chips. Tea tends to be the tonic I favor during writing, but it often is lukewarm by the time I get to drinking it.
10) Your writing playlist?
It depends on what I’m writing.
If I’m writing a blog post, I favor silence.
If I’m writing my current WIP, “The Land of Fear”, I tend to have my “Marco Polo” Pandora station on.
& if I’m editing “A Victorian Tale” I have a playlist via iTunes of various Victorian and Steam-punk soundtracks.
11) What do family/friends/loved ones think of you writing?
At first most thought of it as a hobby, but after the last year of me writing every single day they have come to see how important it is to me.
12) Parts of writing you enjoy the most?
I love grand reveals, awkward moments and witty dialogue.
13) Parts of writing you find challenging?
Beginnings and middles.
14) What do you use to write with and on?
I use whatever that is on hand. If I’m out and about, I will write on a notepad or enter it into Notepad on my iPhone. At home I tend to write on my laptop, or if I’m really tired on my phone. At work, pen and paper or occasionally I’ll email myself a thought or two.
15) How do you overcome writer’s block?
I just keep writing. If my fingers won’t move for my stories then I write about reality.
I remind myself that the first draft is always going to be bad, that I can edit later.
I listen to thematic music, watch a movie in the genre of my writing, or browse Pinterest for art that will inspire a scene.
I put my head down, pull through and write.
16) How do you motivate yourself to write?
“You can do this Kaitlin!” “You’ve written when you had a migraine, when you had vertigo and when things were at their worst; you are capable!” “You are capable for greatness…or just typing out at least 150 words. Who knows where that will take you!”
17) Authors who inspire you as a writer?
Hmm…I’ve been thinking about this one all day today and yet I don’t have an answer for this one yet.
18) Books that inspire you as a writer?
I’m sorry drawing a blank on this one as well.
19) Best advice you’ve gotten as a writer?
Just keep writing!
You write, therefore you ARE a writer!
20) Writing goals this year?
Finish editing my first draft of “A Victorian Tale”.
Finish my first draft of “The Land of Fear”.
Keep to my regular schedule of blogging.
I tag: Rachael Ritchey & anyone else who wishes to do the “Writer’s Tag” next.

Special Post: “Prisoner of Glass”Review

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“Prisoner of Glass”, by: Tempest C. Avery

 

Summary from Goodreads.com: “If anyone had ever asked Delaney Grace what her plans were after high school, she certainly wouldn’t have answered, “getting kidnapped”. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens. As if that wasn’t enough, turns out the man kidnapping her isn’t a local. He’s from another planet. In a twisted case of mistaken identity, Delaney is taken to a foreign world where she’s forced to pretend to be an alien princess. If she can pull it off long enough for the real princess to be found, she’ll get to go home, if she doesn’t, she risks enslaving the entire human race. Tricking the princess’s betrothed, Trystan, isn’t going to be easy, but not falling for Ruckus, her accidental kidnapper, might be an even bigger feat. Especially when the three of them get caught up in a deadly game of truth or dare. Will Delaney be able to pull off the acting job of a lifetime, or will she ultimately be the cause of a massive war? One the human race most likely won’t survive.”

I had the privilege of getting to read this book for free via paperbackreviewer.com.

The “Prisoner of Glass” had the quite the effect on me. I find in our busy lives it can be hard to get pulled into the different worlds within books sometimes. At least that’s how it’s been for me of late. But this book reawakened the bookworm in me, it pulled me in and didn’t let me go until the end when I was left gaping at the last sentence.

I wrote two separate reviews for the book. I didn’t know which to pick, so I decided on both.

  1. The Straight to the Point Review: The beginning of “The Prisoner of Glass” felt like it lagged a bit. The introduction of the MC and her best friend seemed to be drag on for a bit before the inciting incident of the story occurred.
    At the inciting incident, the kidnapping, I had moments where all I could think about was why the MC was not screaming and fighting harder to get away instead of staring at the unabashed beauty of her kidnapper. Once on the ship the MC’s character seemed to awaken and along with her so did I as the reader. Soon I was hooked and I finished the book in less than two days.
    Thinking back on the overall book, I think what struck me most was the author’s ability to hint at a well-known cliche, but then turn it completely around.
    At first, the fact that pretty much all the characters were gorgeous really bugged me; but Tempest did a great job of creating good characters behind those distracting facades.
    They all had depth, which any reader can greatly appreciate.
    Despite a couple of grammatical errors here and there the book was a really good read. I can’t wait for the sequel.
  2. A Fan’s Review: The book creates a high.
    If I posted a review the night, or rather morning, when I finished it I would have ended up sounding like a rambling fan girl.
    It had so many of the moments that I love in books.
    Moments where I shout, “What the heck are you doing?”
    And other moments when my cheeks would redden in embarrassment when I could see myself mirrored in the character’s actions.
    “Seriously you couldn’t wait ten more minutes to do that.”
    I would chastise when they would take an ill moment for an intimate moment,
    “Anyone can see you!”
    But that’s how the author gets you,
    She gets you to care and before you know it, you want the end but dread it,
    For you know the end won’t sate you…
    No you will just more.
    At least that is how it was for me.

In the end, the final review comes down to this.
” Did I enjoy it?” Or “Did I NOT enjoy it?”

This book ticked off the first box for me and I can’t wait for the sequel.

For I must know what happens next.

Thank you Tempest C. Avery for giving me the opportunity to read and review your book!

Of Horses & Manuscripts

(Photo credit to:
Picdrome Public Domain Pictures, on Flickr)

Owning a horse and writing a manuscript are more similar than one may think.

I used to have a horse, her name was Autumn.

We would play tag and I would read to her off the porch of my family’s 100+ year old farm house.

Autumn as a foal was like a mirror image of my 8 year old self back then. Stubborn, strong willed and could not be tamed.

She was the closest thing to a best friend back then and I think I was a little scared of her.

Our manuscripts take up so much of our life, they can become like that bestie that is ALWAYS there. We have a fondness for them but sometimes we need our time to ourselves. And sometimes they can even scare us when they stop eating our plot ideas or they maim our most
favorite and loved character.

They carry our hearts within them and our dreams. Our manuscript can often reflect back the turmoil we may be feeling in our lives at one point or another.

But one of my biggest regrets with Autumn was that I didn’t train her or groom her as well as I should have. When my family moved, we couldn’t take her with us. But because she wasn’t trained we couldn’t sell her either, not that I wanted to, so instead we gave her to our farmer neighbor who already had a dozen horses. I would visit her sometimes over the years. The first couple of visits she would remember me but would turn her nose up in anger before trotting back to me in order to nip my ear or eat my hair.

Over time she forgot me, but I never forgot her.

I still have fond memories of Autumn, but they are bittersweet.

(Photo credit to: Brandy, on Flickr)
The lesson that can be learned from such an experience is this:
Manuscripts hold so much life in them, but without being trained they will end up just grazing for the rest of their lives breeding other ideas.
 
Just like a living thing our stories need to be nurtured and trained.
  • Feed: The more we read and experience life the more we strengthen our stories.
  • Train: Editing is necessary. It helps our stories to flourish and grow.
  • Groom: Polishing our stories and making them sparkle is important. We need show why our manuscript’s tale needs to be told.
  • Love: Be proud of your manuscript. It is it’s own entity and can’t be compared to others. Show it respect and reward it with some TLC by using one of the above options.

 

 
Has this happened to you? Have you let a manuscript go to graze? If so why don’t you go out and give it some TLC.