Posted in For Fellow Writers, The Ponderings of Life

My Passport to Pinterest Tag

Today I wanted to try something new!

A fellow writer and blogger that I met through Lumerit’s (my college) Facebook group tagged me in this fun post idea! Here are the instructions to this fun activity that Rayleigh detailed in her post (which you can find for yourself here):

 

Created & Tagged by Livy at Livy Lynn Blog.

About the Tag-From Livy:

Pinterest is my happy place. My darling boards are sprinkled with puppy dogs, castles, the rainy streets of London, and LOTS and LOTS of pink! Pinterest is such a wonderful place to express yourself, share your personality, and design a visual haven of all the things you adore! So naturally, loving Pinterest as much as I do, I decided to create the Passport to Pinterest (Bloggers Tag!)

As bloggers, I know we’re always brainstorming fun new post ideas. So what could be more fun than mixing your enjoyment of blogging, with your passion for Pinterest?

Rules:

1. Open your Boards.

2. Open http://www.random.org (Or any random number generator website or app of your choosing.)

3. Enter the number of pins on your first board. For example, my first board is “Hair {S T Y L E S}” with 35 Pins. So I typed in the number 35.

4. Click “Generate.” (I got 4)!

5. Find that number pin on your board (I used my 4th).

6. Share the image of that Pin in your new Blog Post, and a little blurb about why it’s important to you!

7. Continue the process with ALL or as many of your boards as you like!

8. Tag another blogger! (Or two, or three…or ten! The more, the merrier! :D)

(Link back to thank the blogger who tagged you!)

I don’t believe I’ve ever posted about Pinterest in the past, so this should be a fun way to introduce you to my Pinterest life (granted, I don’t use it as much as most people 😉 )! I have quite a few writer friends who like to utilize Pinterest as a sort of visual storyboard to ignite their creativity, but I think I use mine more as a place to organize my many fandoms. Not ashamed. 😉

Continue reading “My Passport to Pinterest Tag”

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Posted in Words Upon Words

The Letter

Last Saturday, my sisters and I went to WAFFLE at my cousins’ house. While they don’t happen often, we always enjoy ourselves when we go as it is a time of encouragement for fellow writers. Per usual, we did a writing prompt inspired by the picture below which Erin found on Pinterest:

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We took a little less than 30 minutes to write. I love old-fashioned letters, so this picture really sparked my imagination. Here is what I came up with (unedited). I hope you enjoy! 🙂

Fear.

Growing up, the emotion I connected with the most was…fear.

Not the kind of fear where you scream and run away. Not the kind where you fall to the ground in a heap of sobs. The kind of fear that paralyzes every bone inside of you…and every thought, too. The kind of fear that prevents you from doing…anything.

It sounds dumb, I know. But if everyone knew what I’d really gone through growing up…they wouldn’t laugh at me. They would pity me.

Needless to say, fear is what I felt when I saw his hand stretch through the hedge with a folded piece of paper. No, the piece of paper had been sealed with wax…like they had been decades ago. My hand trembled as I reached out to accept it.

But I couldn’t.

I swallowed hard, willing myself not to cry. Take it, I thought. Just…take it. Take it and run! But I always was pretty pathetic.

“Betsy…”

My heart skipped a beat to hear his voice. I opened my eyes, realizing they had been closed for who knew how long.

“Betsy…I’m sorry.”

My fingers brushed the letter. But they didn’t have enough strength to take hold. He dropped it, assuming I had it in my grip, and it fell to the grass at my feet. I didn’t dare look through the hedge into his eyes…but I wanted to.

“One day, Betsy.”

The tears I had been keeping back slipped down my cheeks as I stared at the letter. I forced one word out of my mouth. “Coward.”

“Betsy, please. You—you have to understand.”

I set my jaw and lean down. I suddenly have the energy to pick up the letter and stuff it in the pocket of my dress. Not only that, but the energy to speak.

“You promised, Harry.”

Silence.

“You promised me that after the war…everything would be the same as it was.

“How was I supposed to know what would happen after the Germans…” His voice was soft, but tense.

“It doesn’t matter anymore. If you don’t have the courage to…to face…then I suppose we were never meant to…” I took a deep breath. “Goodbye.” I turned away.

“Betsy, please!” Harry yelled.

The hedge shook behind me, but I kept walking. This was the last time I would let him take away my dignity, my pride, my courage. I couldn’t depend upon him any longer. Maybe it was never right of me to in the first place.

“Betsy! I’m doing this for you!”

I smirked, feeling the usual sensation of fear slip away. I took out his letter and prepared to tear it.

“Don’t just walk away like that. After all we’ve been through…you’re not even going to give me a proper farewell?”

The sound of paper ripping seemed to stop him. The satisfaction that came from tearing that piece of paper…I’ve never felt anything like it.

But then the fear crept back in.

Why had he given me a letter in the first place? What on earth could he write that he hadn’t already said? I didn’t need another letter from him. I didn’t want one. He didn’t owe me anything.

I suddenly turned around. He was walking through the hedge. I felt my heart palpitating. He had never…no…we had never crossed the hedge before. Ever. What was he thinking? I looked around frantically. If we were caught…then I really would have something to fear.

My fear multiplied and I realized I was running. Running, running. Then I realized I was yelling. “Stop! Stop, Harry, stop! If my father catches you—”

But as soon as I reached the hedge, he was out of it and as soon as I stumbled Into him, unable to slow my momentum, he was embracing me. I fought it at first, still yelling.

“He’ll kill you! He’ll kill you, Harry!” I was sobbing.

He kept his arms wrapped tight around me. “Betsy…you weren’t even going to read it?”

“You’re leaving me…you’re leaving me…” I repeated over and over again. “They all leave me and they never come back…ever. You said…you said this would be the war to end all wars…so why should you leave? What could possibly…”

“Why did you tear it?”

“Because it was all a lie. Everything you said…everything you did. You lied about all of it. And you didn’t even have the courage to tell me.”

“How could I tell you? How?” His voice rose in intensity and volume.

I finally broke away from him, tears still streaming down my face. “You…you…” I looked down at the two pieces of paper in my hands. To prove my point, I opened them and put them together. I read it quickly…

He was walking backwards.

My heart almost stopped. This wasn’t a confession of all Harry’s lies and deception. It wasn’t more lies either. It didn’t have anything to do with the war, the Germans, his parents, or even my parents…

I looked up. “Harry?”

But he was gone.

The first time he had ever crossed the hedge…and I didn’t even get a good look at him. Was he as tall as he seemed or shorter? Were his eyes as blue as the sea or more gray? Why didn’t I stop him from leaving?

“Harry?” My lower lip trembled. My heart rose in my throat. “Please…I…I do, too.”

Posted in For Fellow Writers, Uncategorized

NaNoWriMo Day 17: Halfway Point

For those of you participating in NaNoWriMo this year–we’ve made it to the halfway point! There are now only thirteen days left to write the few thousand words you have remaining. For all the words you’ve written this month (whether it be a few thousand or even just a few hundred), good job! Every word counts and gets you closer to finishing that story that’s been sitting in your head for months or even years.

I’m currently sitting at 25,676 words. Only 25,000 more until I reach the goal.

November has been going by quickly, but it’s been an encouraging month so far. Having so many writing friends has really helped make this year’s NaNo so much fun. I’ve written with friends twice already and I’m headed to join my cousin Erin again this afternoon. My family has also been really supportive and asking me almost daily, “Have you written yet today?” I have found a lot more time to write this year than last year, even between life’s usual busy activities like work, babysitting and Sociology. I look forward to getting past that 40,000 I got stumped on last year and hitting that 50,000 again!

In our writing group on Facebook, a lot of inspirational images have been shared that I really wanted to pass along.

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I have been trying to take Endeavoring a little slowly simply because there are a few kinks I didn’t get around to hammering out last month. So far I’ve found a good balance between writing, allowing myself to explor my characters and find out who they are and how they react to certain situations, as well as stopping to ponder how something works or what this character’s motivation is.

It’s funny to think that I’m halfway to 50,000 words, yet I’m still finishing Part One of Endeavoring, which is essentially setting up the stage for the rest of the novel. I guess introducing all these characters and their backstories is going to be a little more complicated than I thought. 😉 That said, I can’t wait to reach Part Two and start Crystal and Zechariah’s relationship. They have yet to meet and I am still a little apprehensive as to how they will interact with one another. Only time will tell!

I’d like to end this blog post with a quote from my writing this week and some more inspirational quotes that will hopefully give you that extra boost you need to write those last few thousand words! 🙂

To Crystal, falling in love with a human was unthinkable. Yes, once upon a time, humans and fairies had been friends. But never had they intermarried. Never! It was unheard of—and for good reason. Humans and fairies shared little in common to begin with. To get married was like asking for the world as they knew it to end. Completely.

~Endeavoring

I’ll try to post my progress in NaNo again next week before the 30th!

Posted in Words Upon Words

Light…

Last night, my sisters and I went to WAFFLE at my cousin’s house and spent time with other writers in the area. We talked about our individual projects, did a writing prompt together and spent some time at the end working on those said individual projects or talking about them. This was my second time going to WAFFLE, but it had been a long time since I went the first time. It was fun and so great to talk to Erin about my story and get her feedback on how The Whistler Daughters should end (or not end 😉 ), which I’ve missed so much this past summer. I look forward to many writing sessions together in the future to prepare for and during NaNoWriMo in November!

Needless to say, I have since yesterday finished my first of many edits for The Whistler Daughters and am now going to hand it over to my aunt for her thoughts. Until I hear back from her, I’m going to be re-reading the 50K I wrote for BJ2 and getting ready to finish writing that novel.

And just for fun, here is the prompt I wrote in 30 minutes last night, stemmed by two images Jeremy and Erin found on the internet. Keep in mind, I wrote it quickly without looking back on it, so there will definitely be a mistake or two in there! 🙂 Enjoy!

Light.

Not blinding light, or glowing light, or faint light, but real light like I’d never seen before. You know the rays that come down from the sun and shine over the earth? It’s always sort of yellow or orange depending on the time of day. This light wasn’t like that. It was as pure as light could get. It was white, as if it had it just been born.

It didn’t hurt, in fact, I hardly felt anything besides a slight tingle in my fingertips, but that might have just been me. After all, goosebumps were crawling up and down my body as I stared at the light coming from my hands. Tears were gathering in my eyes.

My fingers twitched and for a second I was afraid the light might disappear and I would be left standing alone in the coffee shop like I always was. Not that I was really alone. Other people worked there, too. Alone because the light would be gone.

But it stayed. It might have even shined brighter. A smile was forming on my face.

It wasn’t a dream after all.

I didn’t know how it had started or how to make it stop, but finally my day had come.

They couldn’t call me useless anymore. Finally, I had something and not only that, I had something no one else had had in years. Decades. It held the power of light in my hands.

“Anna?”

The light vanished. I jumped up in surprise as Matt stared back at me.

“Hello? Are you there?” He knocked lightly on my head. “Get back to work before boss returns. Do you think she’ll be happy to see you standing around like that?”

Normally I would have thumped his head back or at least stuck my tongue out at him, but I was too happy to care. I just smiled at him and said, “You’re right.”

I held my hands behind my back as I walked to the cash register and took a customer’s order. I bit my lip, trying to hold back my excitement.

All these years and my parents thought I would never amount to anything because I was born without a special ability. In a world where you can only make a difference or really matter at all if you have super powers, it’s really hard on those who just happen to be born without them. Actually, it’s really 50-50, I’d say. But every one of my five brothers and sisters and both of my parents had powers. It wasn’t common to have so many special abilities in one family…and still have one member without.

But everyone knew that some people inherited their powers late in their life. This was more of a 10% chance type of thing than anything else and if nothing happened by the time you were 20, you were done. You weren’t getting any powers. You’d live the rest of your life being less than ordinary. In a world where everyone is extraordinary, if you don’t have that extra, you don’t have anything.

Having the power of light, though? No one had heard of anyone controlling light since the 1970s. Since the best superhero that ever lived came on the scene. I hadn’t really ever understood why, but for whatever reason, having the power of light was the best power there was. Better than invisibility, strength, flight, time travel or even mind reading. I don’t think it was so much because of what you could do with it as much as that was what fascinated the public…and it was so rare.

I guess I was too naïve to figure it out. That having the power of light wasn’t all it was hyped up to be.

I guess I should have known better. But I was only 17 then. I just wanted to be like almost everyone in my community. I just wanted to be acknowledged, special.

Too bad for me.

 

Let’s just say, the next thing I knew there was a blackout. I looked around, trying to find a source of light from outside. For some reason, all the blinds were closed and so little light shone out the windows.

“Hey, Matt, what’s—”

A hand covered my mouth and a knee kicked me in the stomach. I half-shrieked and doubled over in pain. I tried to bite the hand that held my mouth or at least hit the guy in the face, but something grabbed my arm and was tying my hands behind my back. They threw me over some guy’s shoulders and I kicked and screamed.

“Matt! Matt! Matt!”

Someone punched me in the face and I was knocked out.

 

When I woke, it was already dark, so I must have been out for a few hours. I looked around me carefully, trying not to alert the man carrying me that I was awake. I was still hanging over his bulky shoulder. My eyes adjusted the darkness pretty quickly and I soon realized that I was at the forsaken railroad. Forsaken because of the accident that had happened back in the 1970s. The one that killed that superhero I was telling you about.

A train was sitting patiently on the tracks, one strong blue light shining from the front. As eerie as the train looked in the darkness, in the prairie that I knew was miles from home, what creeped me out more were the group of lantern holders. It was bright enough for me to tell there were many people waiting, but not bright enough for me to see their faces.

For all I knew, this was just some crazy nightmare. I had been knocked out after all.

If only. Because this was all too real.

I panicked and started kicking again, only then realizing that my legs were tied together like my hands and my mouth was covered. The motion, at least, was enough for my captor to loosen his grip in surprise. I rolled to the ground and tried my best to crawl away. Why did I even bother?

One of the men grabbed me by the back of my shirt and pulled me forward to the crowd. Someone pulled on my hair so that I looked up at the man holding the brightest lantern. I squirmed and squealed but to no avail.

The man above me smirked. “Is this her?” he asked my captors. I think there were only two. They must have answered positively because he smiled and looked down at me. The light from his lantern made peculiar shadows on his face. “I’m sure you’re a little unnerved at the moment, are you not?”

I tried to spit in his face, forgetting that my mouth was tied. Now I just felt embarrassed.

He laughed, which made my blood boil.

What was going on? If this wasn’t a dream, then why did these people want me? Why bring me here of all places? Where did they get that train?

“Don’t worry, everything will be revealed in time. Welcome, Anna. Welcome. We are the light hunters.”

 

Posted in Words Upon Words

Writing is NOT Easy: Update on “Everlasting”

Thanks to one of my writing buddies, Erin (you can follow her blog here), I came across this photo a while ago:

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I probably shouldn’t love this as much as I do, but I do (I’m sure you can understand where I’m coming from–being a writer, I can’t help it!).

Writing a book is hard. I love writing and I get inspiration from pretty much anything, but that doesn’t mean the process is all rainbows and unicorns, as my sisters would say. So, it’s not that writing is hard and it’s not really that editing is hard and it’s not that publishing is hard. But doing ALL of it is hard. There are so many little things involved with publishing a book.

First, you have to write. And you can’t just write part of it. You have to write all of it. Unless you’re a published author with an agent and publishing company and have contracts to fulfill, generally speaking, there is no deadline to writing the whole story. But you have to finish it sometime, even if you want to be done when you’re only halfway through. You can’t have half of a story. You have to have all of it.

Then you have to edit. You have to fix every little nit-picky spelling or grammatical mistake as well as the big game-changers that can make or break the story. You have to go through it by yourself multiple times as well as have another pair of eyes look at it just to affirm that it’s up to par.

Last, in the self-publishing world, you have to publish it. This includes formatting the document, getting the cover ready, putting all the details on the CreateSpace website, receiving the proof in the mail, adjusting as needed and putting it up for sale…

As the photo says, when you open a book–any book, not just mine or Erin’s, etc.–you’re opening a piece that has been worked and re-worked time and time again. You’re opening blood, sweat and tears, as my dad would say. This piece had moments of utter despair and moments of complete joy. This roller coaster of emotions is all contained in this cover to cover product.

Books take time. Lots and lots of time, from start to finish. From the moment the idea is planted in someone’s head to the moment it’s up on Amazon and I’m holding it in my hands.

That’s why having supporters like my parents, siblings, wonderful editor and writing buddies are so important in encouraging me and reminding me that it’s all worth it on the days when I doubt myself and my work (I wrote more about this in Writing Buddies).

This summer while visiting relatives in Canada for a week, one of my cousins said to me something along the lines of, “Not everyone is good at writing, but those that are need to do it.” I don’t know why, but this really struck me. I’m not saying that I’m an amazing writer right now, though I hope to work my way there as the years pass, but I know God gave me a gift for telling a story and the best way to honor Him is by using that gift…by writing.

Thank you for listening to (reading) my “rant”. I apologize in advance if it sounded like one long complaint. 🙂

That all being said, Everlasting isn’t quite there yet, but it’s getting closer. The cover is in the process of being drawn by my creative sister and the document is almost completely formatted.

Everlasting will see its day in print–sooner rather than later!