Get in the Mood

I realize that I haven’t posted anything in a while, and that’s because school is just taking over everything. You have no idea (or maybe you do) how much I feel deprived of reading book. Regular fiction books. Not textbooks. So, I don’t have a book review for you or even some creative writing (my head has only been filled with dental terminology and techniques but it’ll only be this way until later next year after I get my CDA license). Today, I thought I would share how I get into the writing mood (when not in school). I’ve had my share plenty of times of writer’s block or even trying to just figure out where I want my story to go, and maybe you’re in a similar boat. And exactly the process to my writing.

So, as for inspirations, as I said, these, for me, can help with writer’s block, plot of the story and even just starting a story.

  1. I get inspirations for anything and everything. Movies, books, comics, real life situations, people watching / eavesdropping, artwork (pinterest, google, instagram, etc), and even posts here on wordpress or other blogging platforms.. I’m very partial to fantasy, so The Lord of the Rings, A Great and Terrible Beauty, The Chronicles of Narnia, even Disney and fairytales grab my interest and inspire me. I used to bring a small notebook with me wherever I used to go, just in case something came to mind that I just had to jot down. Nowadays though, I just use my Notes app on my phone. Such a handy little thing.
  1. One other thing that helps, not so much with getting ideas, but just with practicing writing to develop a routine / habit is journaling. Whether journaling about everyday life, or creative writing journaling; anytime I have a creative writing idea that doesn’t go with any of the books I have outlined or on the go, I journal it. I just keep a notebook that has all the creative writing ideas I’ve had. And yes, some of them end up on here. I also started this blog as a means to get in the routine of writing (which helps when you’re not in school).

As for my writing process, or better yet, how I get started:

  1. I can’t write first hand on a computer. I have to write first with paper and pen, and later type it up on the computer. I think this has been instilled in me since at least middle school, where we always had to do a rough draft on paper and our final draft was typed up. I feel also that just staring at a blank screen with a blinking cursor, doesn’t help me. There feels too much pressure, if you get my drift. Whereas writing in a notebook, I feel I have more freedom, too scribble however I want, make sidenotes in the margins. Also, the atmosphere needs to be just right, including time of day. Some people write best first thing in the morning. But, not me. I’m definitely not an early bird. More like the night owl. I write best, sitting in my bed, with a low light lamp on (including white string lights around my room), set that cozy atmosphere. And late at night is usually when I get my best ideas (most of the time its actually like 2am when this happens, my mind doesn’t seem to stop when I’m on a roll). And no distractions for me. I can’t listen to music, because I usually end up singing along haha. Right now, (for once) I’m not actually writing in my room. Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets (it’s October, it must be done) is on TV, and I’ve been getting distracted watching it haha!! So, cudos to the people who can write with distractions all around them and not be bothered!
  1. I always start out with a basic idea of what or who I want my story to be about. From there, I write out character profiles for the main characters. Everything from ethnicity / including what type of creature(s), eye colour, height, age, etc and then develop the characters backstory (or personal history). And as I develop these characters, it usually gives me ideas for different scenes. Now, these scenes aren’t always in one chapter, they could be anywhere in the book. But, I do write these down and go back to them, when I know where I want them.
  1. And from here, I start the first chapter. I usually find I can write the first part of chapter 1 with ease, because it’s the beginning and I’m on a roll getting started. And I actually rarely have an idea where exactly I want the story to go from the very beginning. That doesn’t usually come to me until later while just simply writing what I do know what I want to happen.
  1. And if you’re not sure of you’re writing, ask a friend (clearly someone who already loves to read) if they would like to read what you have and to give you an honest opinion. I know it has helped me. It even inspires me to continue writing. I don’t know about you’re friends, but I have a few friends who love to read, therefore they have experience as a reader. If they honestly are interested in your work and want to know what is going to happen next, you’re clearly on the right track. As for personal critique, don’t be so hard on yourself! Don’t worry about grammar and punctuation on your first few drafts. Just get the story out of you how you want it. Let it just flow from you. This is something that I personally have to work on a lot. But, once you get writing and not caring about the little things, it’ll come a lot easier.

Now, I do want to point out that I have rewritten many, many things, many, many times, let alone foregone some projects that had been underway, but I wasn’t invested in them anymore. I don’t have the process of writing figured out, these are just some of the ways that help me progress with what I’m working on at the moment. I don’t have a book published yet, but I will get there. I just have to keep writing. And so do you. Don’t worry. Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing. What do we do? We write, write, write.

*One thing I’m struggling with right now is how to transition from chapter to chapter. Anyone have any tips or suggestions on that, please let me know in the comments. Thanks a bunch*

On Pinterest, I’ve found a few inspirational quotes for me, so maybe they will be for you too:

“I think new writers are too worried that it has all be said before. Sure it has, but not by you.” – Asha Dornfest

“I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.” – Joss Whedon

“Every first draft is perfect, because all a first draft has to do is exist.” Jane Smiley

 

just keep writing

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The Library

The quaint old library smelled of musty ink and paper, but held adventures, dreams and escapes bound in casings. The librarian; the petite thing, busied herself everyday with the care of these books. She lived through so many of them since she was a little girl.

It had been a crisp fall day, and there she sat on the floor of the mystery aisle, reading The Hound of the Baskervilles. The suspense of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing gripped her entire being.

“Awwwooooo!”

She practically jumped to her feet. She whipped around to see that boy from school. The one with black hair and blue eyes, doubled over from laughter, only to be shushed from the old librarian at the front desk. Trying to keep things in check.

“Since you like mysteries so much, let’s play a game. Hide-and-seek.” He walked past her and tugged on one of her long braids. She crossed her arms and rolled her eyes and went back to the page of her book she had left off of  from being so rudely interrupted. Being the agile kid he was, he slid back on the floor towards her and slipped the book from her lap. “HEY!” she protested and ran after him, “This is clearly your way of getting me to play, but you’re cheating! You got a head start!” She chased him down the aisle, but when she rounded the corner, he was gone. She was getting more and more frustrated, everytime she heard him or saw a glimpse of him, he was already vanished by the time she got there. This kid was good, at this game, and it was the worst game of hide-and-seek she had every played.  It didn’t even seem like a game because she wasn’t having any fun. She felt like she was chasing a shadow or ghost of somesort. The only reasons she continued was for one, she wanted her book back and secondly this kid was weird and she wanted to find him. Her curiosity got the better of her, just like reading those mystery novels. She ran and searched until she was breathless and when she stopped to catch her breath, she decided to go home. She could always find another book to read. She turned to leave when she heard a yell of crisis and a crashing sound come from a few aisles away. Both she and the librarian ran to the scene to find the boy lying on the floor at the base of a ladder with a jumble of books surrounding him. He lay there unconscious, The Hound of the Baskervilles still in one of his hands. The girl stood there staring, and before she knew it, EMS had arrived and were carting away the boy on a stretcher, the book that had caused all this slipped from his limp hand and fell to the floor with a thud.

For a while after the incident, the girl had stayed away from the library, but new books were calling her name and something she couldn’t pinpoint caused her to keep returning.

She now sat at the front desk as the new librarian. Keeping care of the place as if it were her own. A busy day of paperwork was nearing an end and the returns cart, she was filling up was almost ready to go out when someone spoke to her back, “Excuse me, do you carry The Hound of the Baskervilles?” She slowly turned to see a man, her age, strikingly familiar with black hair and blue eyes.

 

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Make a Wish

Her pace through the park was slow and unintentional in her direction. Her sullen state reflected in the weather. The grey cotton of her sweater started to darken as the spattering rain began to be absorbed. On a regular sun-filled day, this vivid park would be alive with people jogging, families picnicing, dogs playing fetch. But, on this dreary day, she was the only soul on site. She was skipping school again, because she was more advanced than her grade, but she hadn’t talked to anyone about that. It was only one more thing she would be made fun of for. She sat on the curved edge of the plain fountain wall in the center of the park. Her body started to shiver, being all wrapped up in her now wet clothes. As she placed her hands in her pockets, one hand found a coin. She pulled out a quarter. Old with wear and some dirt on it. She rubbed at it to get a better read. ‘1944’.

” The 40’s. It probably would’ve been cool to live back then.” She surmised, and tossed it over her shoulder, “Probably better than today.”

The decades old coin made a plop into the water just as the wind started to pick up. She pulled her arms tighter around her as her shivers increased, but her hood flew back and released her raven black hair to the control of the now raging wind. The trees bent and swayed dangerously. The rain downpoured, causing more meyhem. She could hardly open her eyes as she shielded her face with her arms while the storm ripped through the park. It was so strong, she could barely lift herself from the fountain’s wall. She peeked through squinting lids, only to see a huge gust of torrential rain and the wind pushing with so much force. It had come out of nowhere. It hit her head on and pushed her backwards into the fountain. As she fell, it was almost like slow motion. The water parted as she fell through, but she continued to fall all the way through. And then she was gone. The wind and rain had stopped and the park was completely empty.

Too occupied to know how much time had passed, she came sputtering out of the fountain. Sopping wet in the heat of the sun. Not to mention, people staring at her. People who were dressed funny.

Are they filming a movie or something? She questioned to herself. But, then she noticed the cars on the street driving past were all classics, the buildings across the street were different. Newer looking.

She stumbled out of the fountain to a man sitting on a park bench, involved in the daily newspaper.

“Uh…excuse me? Could I borrow your newspaper for a minute?” She asked, dripping at his side.

“Sure thing. But, if you want to go for a swim, next time you shoud head to the beach, miss.” He suggested, as he handed her the paper from which he had been reading.

As soon as it was in her hand, she zeroed in on the front page.

“1944?!” She exclaimed, because she knew something was off. She had just time traveled to 1944.

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What’s in a name?

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet.” – Juliet – Romeo & Juliet – Shakespeare

 

He had the same name as one of her ex boyfriends. She hoped with all her heart that he wasn’t anything like the old one. She and the new one had only just met the other week and they’d been talking ever since. And they were great and lengthy conversations. But, why should a name bother her so much? He did spell it differently after all. Though, she knew whenever she said his name that old, even painful memories would arise. Maybe, hopefully, the more they got to know each other, that would all outweigh the fact of the same name. And the old one would be forgotten.

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Black Butterflies

She felt so nauseous. That feeling of it just sitting in the middle of her throat, waiting to come up with anything she tried to eat. She didn’t know how she was going to enjoy dinner on a first date if she had no appetite. She really didn’t want to order salad. She wanted to order a burger and be who she really was, but her appetite (or lack there of) seemed to have something else in mind. She was nervous, worried and excited all at the same time. This was the first date in ages that she was going on. She was finally getting out there again to meet someone new. Would he genuinely like her? Happy butterflies were great. But, she hated these ones. They didn’t flutter around, they ate her up inside. These were black butterflies.

The bus came to her stop as she made her way to the door. She stepped out onto the downtown curb, into the snowy air. There he was, smartly dressed in a grey peacoat and nice dark blue jeans. His hands in his pockets and a smile on his face. She couldn’t help but smile back (even if it was mostly out of nervousness). “Well, here goes.”, she said to herself. Took a deep breath and made her way to him.

butterflies

 

Book Review: Clockwise by Elle Strauss

A girl who travels back in time uncontrollably and accidentally take her high school crush along for the ride.

This is definitely teen fiction. I usually am interested in this type of fiction, but this was almost too young for me. It seemed slow throughout the book except for the last five or so chapter, where it sped so fast, it ended before I knew it. And how it eneded was too abrupt. I understand that it is a series, but I’m not a fan of how everything happens so fast at the very end. And just ended literally with “The End”. If you didn’t know there were other books you might be left wondering a few things that were touched on so briefly, you probably wouldn’t recognize that it may be foreshadowing for the next book. It was very lacking in my opinion.

Full Moon Melody

The moon lit the night sky like a beacon with the stars twinkling farther in the distance, mirrored the bevy of sea-life gathering. Each one distinct in its own way, yet similar. As the force lured them to the surface, the ocean began to tumble forcefully. Like all the others, the last one was drawn to the surface. But, unlike the others, she tried to resist. She knew it was wrong, but the force was undeniable. Her scales, the deep blue color of the sea, now reflected the light of the moon as she neared the surface, though her majestic kelp green hair still camouflaged her mythical appearance. The raging sea a force from the King was a trial for all as they surfaced, ready for the ritual. She tread the water with effort, maneuvering her tail to try to steady herself as much as possible. And there it was! The sacrifice! The old ship careened towards them, to it’s death. And so, it was time. In unison the tribe let out a most melodious, but intoxicating sound. The Call was so mesmerizing to the two-walkers that they were meant to be the sacrifice everytime. With all her strength, she pulled away and somehow, unbeknownst to anyone, she surged into a wave and let it take her under, just as the ship cracked upon the nearby rocks, that had been invisible in the darkness. Under the chaos above, there was chaos below. The tribe had been released from the binding spell, and a frenzy of all fleeing the scene. Through the crowd, she could see the disaster spreading apart the ship piece by piece. Wood, masts, canons and wreckage of all manner. Including the two-walker, just like the one still alive, staring right at her.

 

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The Ice Temple

Leaping from edge to edge, jumping over crevasses, shuffling along the wall of ice and stone was terrifying. Any wrong move or slip and she would fall into the emptiness below to her death. Her ice axe strapped to her utility belt for quick and easy access. Yes, it was terrifying, but it was exciting at the same time. Every now and then she would see an artifact that revealed she was going the right way. A tarnished old bell, or an intricate statue. She was close. The ice beneath her fingers and boots tried many times to prevent her entry, but she pursued. The stone archway was just ahead. So gorgeous. The bright paintings preserved in the sub zero temperature. But caught gazing too long at the masterpiece, she lost her balance and fell, sliding down a looping passageway like a waterslide. She shot through the air at the end and landed on a square of ice which broke with the force of speed and her weight, submerging her into the painful icy water. Her heavy clothes and struggling pulled her under. She fished around her waist for the ice axe. Finally grabbing hold of the aluminum shaft, she raised it above the surface and swung it hard into the closest piece of bordering ice. It wedged secure and she pulled herself upward with all her strength. She heaved herself up and out of the water and rolled out of what had been a water source for the ancient civilization, and onto the brick floor beyond. She coughed the cold water from her lungs. Shivering and teeth chattering, she rolled onto her hands and knees. She looked up. There it was. The ancient temple she had been searching for. So grandiose in a cold, secluded cave. It wasn’t over yet. The artifact was somewhere inside. And she was going to find it. Expecting traps of all kinds, she told herself, “Watch you step.”.

 

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Adulting

Adulting was scary. And hard. There were plenty of days when she didn’t want to adult. Like today. She wanted to go on strike, stay in bed for hours and maybe even binge-watch some Game of Thrones or Outlander. Seal herself away from the world and just be selfish for a day. Procrastinate on everything. But, then that almost scared her even more. If she procrastinated, any longer than she already had, it would all blow up in her face. She’d never be able to finish school if she lagged on serious studying and then she wouldn’t get into the field of work she wanted to, thus resulting in no home of her own, no car of her own, not even a dog of her own. And all the adventuresome things she had wanted to check off her bucket-list would just be left with an empty box beside it. So, no, she wouldn’t give up. She would work hard for her accomplishments. To live a life that was fully lived.

 

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Silver Lining

The marbled moon, a wayward teacup poured out illumination, reflected jaggedly in the frigid water below. The silence of the night was deafening and the chill of the winter wind bit sharp at any tenderness. The hibernation of most animals underway. Others, in a survival – of – the – fittest world. All stars hidden behind darkness as snow would soon blanket the land. But death would soon relent and the golden globe would rise and fill the world with light and hope. It is always darkest before the dawn. And when dawn comes, a new life begins.

 

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