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Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Clack of Typewriter Keys

It’s true. That picture you see up there isn’t a pretty picture I pulled off the internet.

It’s my typewriter.

I put this post in the “The Unreachables” category. You’re probably wondering why if I do actually have one. I’ve always wanted an old typewriter. The clack of the keys and the work you have to put in to write with one somehow feels more… real for me as a writer. It feels like action. It feels like satisfaction. The issue is, I never expected to end up with one- especially not a working one. So, it became one of those dreams, like my own coffeehouse, that I thought I’d always just want and never have.

Well, I was wrong. So, one of the unreachables has been reached, and I think people need to know that.

The best part, really, is that I got it from this adorable little place called What’s Yer Fancy? and as my boyfriend was purchasing it for me- determined to fulfill another dream for me- the lady who owns the shop started telling us about the little boy who sold her the typewriter.

He’s only 8 or 9, and he brings her amazing little finds all the time. She said all of the stuff he ever brings in sells in days. Before I could say anything, she smiled and informed us that he puts the money into a savings account for his college education.

He’s eight or nine, she wasn’t exactly sure which, and he’s already saving for college. That’s certainly saving early. The thing is, when I thought of him putting all that money away, I wondered if that, too, was one of his unreachables. What if he thought he’d never make it to college? He dreamed of getting a higher education in this world of high school drop-outs, perhaps.

Whatever it is, I love that I found another dream come true, and I may just be funding this little boy’s dream come true, if only just a little bit.

I’m beyond looking forward to getting a new ribbon for it and cleaning up the few sticking keys. Soon, I’ll be clacking away. My dreams just keep coming true one by one, who would have known?

That’s all for this Thursday, but I’ll probably be seeing you all again soon.

Keep on living your dreams. Even if they seem distant, they might just be right in front of your nose.

Nothing Lost, Everything Gained

Welcome to another post midnight ramble!

As a college student, the dorm is a big part of my daily routine. Not really the activities because the general populace in my dorm is a miserable lot, but I have to keep up with room checks, move in, and move out days. Fast approaching is a move out day, the last day of my Spring semester and the start to my long awaited but slightly dreaded summer.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. What on earth does this have to do with writing?

Well, with moving out being so close, I’ve decided to start packing up what I simply won’t need for the rest of the semester to take home and leave there. It’ll make move out day so much easier with only the big stuff to worry about. While doing this tonight, I realized something.

This is A LOT like writing.

When I start a novel, it seems like I put just the bare bones into it because I don’t know exactly what all it’s going to need. By the fifth or sixth chapter, at least, though, I start picking up things, adding things that I think I are so very neat. I am absolutely certain that every single thing that I find to include will, in fact, be necessary.

I am always wrong.

By the end of my first draft, there will be quite a bit that needs to be cut- extraneous details that no reader is interested in. At this point, my draft needs to start preparing for move out day. Things need to be packed up and moved back home into my head. Other more important bits and pieces need to be put in a more logical place, and a few things can stay where they were to begin with. By the time my draft- now all grown up and ready, turned into a completed piece- heads out to be seen by the world, moves away from me and into the hands of the public, it needs to make sure that the end result is showing the world the biggest, most important things about itself.

You might think you’re losing way too much with this packing and distributing, but you’re not. When you take things out that didn’t need to be there, it opens the readers’ eyes to what did need to be there and may have been hidden behind that dresser-sized fact that was just there to obscure the view.

So, with that little tidbit, I’m headed off for a little bit more packing- of the dorm variety, not writing- and then some sleep.

Until next time,

Happy reading, writing, and living.

Welcome to Café Mocha

Cafe Mocha

Welcome.

By opening this post, you have walked right into my dream.

Every writer has that spot where they feel most at home, I’m sure. Some of us like to curl up in our bed. Some of us need an office. A few here and there are social butterflies who thrive in the busiest settings they can find. Others need a space that can be breached by no outsiders.

Perhaps because people terrify me so much in life, when I’m writing, I need them surrounding me. There needs to be a bustle, the sound of families laughing, people talking on telephones, chatting to each other- the more people, the better off I am. The only problem is, I can’t find that perfect spot. So, my creative little mind has come up with a solution that’d take a whole lot of business sense that I, as a simple 18 year old, don’t quite have yet.

Deep in the recesses of my brain hides a dream, a dream that I have yet to accomplish. If you were to take a little time to peek into the space it occupies, you’d be amazed. Since you can’t, I’m inviting you in with this post. There’s a door and everything. When you step over the threshold, you’ve stepped into a whole other space.

Welcome to Café Mocha.

It’s a coffee shop. Simple as that and complicated as that all at once. There’s a space with a fireplace and large, comfortable chairs surrounding it and a bookshelf off to the side. There aren’t trillions of books, just a few for reading on a cold dreary day or a day you feel like just grabbing some reading material and a coffee.

The colors are deep and rich, but not so smothering it makes the place feel claustrophobic. There’s a sitting area off to the other side of the room with tables for dining. As soon as you walk in, there’s the counter. That’s where you order your coffee or the pastry or food of your choice. The coffee is the main star, but there are a few other food and dessert options to choose from, just to add variety.

You can hear music in the background. It’s soft, a mix of Jazz and Classical, maybe something a bit more modern but always soft. Nothing jarring to the senses.

This little corner, hometown coffee place has lived in my brain forever. Perhaps I should write it into a story somewhere to get it out. For now, it’s an unfulfilled dream that I’ve now handed to you to turn this way and that and to perhaps expound upon, make it your own, make it happen like I cannot.

Café Mocha is now closed for the day, but perhaps more will come of it. Perhaps… someday.

Satisfaction Guaranteed – Only Not Really

Satisfaction3

It’s technically Thursday here in my little Arkansas town, so this could possibly be my day’s blog, but you might end up with two today. We’ll have to see how hectic my day is first.

I’m sitting in my bed right now, wrapped up in a blanket and wishing I could sleep as I scroll through blog after blog. I find that I’ve been struck again with a desperate wish that I could draw. My art is limited to very small confines, and even that usually isn’t very good. It’s only recently that I’ve mastered proportional stick figures.

Thinking this, though, I realize that I should probably be satisfied. I mean, I have a talent. I was born to write, was born to smoosh tons of words together into something visually appealing and produce many copies of it for the world. Or, at least I believe that’s my reason for being here, and a few strangers here and there have pushed that idea into my head more firmly with amazing reviews on my book. Some people don’t have that. They’re wanderers, people unsure of what exactly, if anything, they’re good at. So, surely I should be pleased that I know and am achieving my dream.

Only not really.

I’ve been around so many people in my life. Friends of mine are artists, masters at math, science whiz-kids, history buffs, computer geniuses. You name it, I’ve probably come in contact with them. That’s just how it seems to go with me. I surround myself with people who dream as much as possible and who try to achieve those dreams to the best of their ability. The thing is, though, they’re not satisfied. My artistic friends wish they could remember dates, my science-oriented friends hate that they can’t create unknown worlds, my math friends wish they could draw.

So much for satisfaction.

And I’m just the same. I wish I had the artistic ability to match my writing. Because I can see it so vividly, it’d help me to write my story even more if I could draw it all out first. I want to be able to create my own covers with my own art rather than my photography. I mean, I have a legitimate reason, but it seems I’m a bit of a one-trick pony. Writing is where I excel. Art is what I follow with envy. The rest is just a little bit of me.

Perhaps it’s because it’s the one thing I can’t even say I have a basic knowledge of, I’m not sure. All I know is that, though I spend hours practicing, my fingers and pencil fail me in a way they rarely do when I sit down to write. So, maybe I should stick to that. With that at least I know what I’m doing, where I excel, what I need to work on, and I know that it’s where I’m meant to be.

So, maybe satisfaction isn’t guaranteed just because I have a talent, but I have it better than some, so I shall try to be less envious and more happy just to be what I am- 18 and writing.

Well, this is me off for now. Perhaps we’ll talk again later? I hope so. But, for now, have a great day!

Post Midnight Ramblings

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Perhaps it’s the 12:25 AM on the digital clock speaking to me in the corner of the screen.

Perhaps it’s insanity.

Perhaps it’s guilt for missing my blog post a couple Thursdays ago.

Whatever it is, it’s saying, “Do something productive, or go to sleep already!” So, I decided to do something that seems, to me at least, productive- having a one sided discussion with my laptop in the hope that my readers will enjoy it and comment back to create a two sided discussion with real humans.

I have no real topic for tonight, this morning, today, whatever it is, except for rambling. A trip to Hastings today really got me motivated on the novel-writing, though. Because I’m 18, in college as an English major, and coming up on midterms, sitting down to write for pleasure and for my readers isn’t really an option I’ve had here lately, so No Place Called Home (working title) has been put on hold indefinitely. Something about a bookstore, though, gets my creativity rolling.

So, I am now back to research, thinking of ways to develop my main character, wondering where to set her, whether or not where I’ve set her is a decent place, if I am willing to change it, and other thoughts like that. I’ve been re-caught up in the world of my current character, and I’m trying to figure out the way to best tell her story so that everyone can feel like they’ve been just as caught up in it.

I’m not even through the first draft, though why would I be? I only started about a month ago. With every novel I write, I want to suck you in more, make you feel like there was every reason in the world for you to forget that you wanted to go to town today just because you couldn’t put the book down. At the same time, I want you to feel like it’s a true story.

Everyone asks me that of my first book, A War I Never Asked For… (link to the about page I’ve done on it), and I have to shake my head. It is a work of complete fiction, but I do want you to feel like you’ve just read the story of a real, teenage girl. These things do happen.

I write what really goes on in the world today because too much of the time, not only do the people going through these rough times feel like they’re alone and that they have no one to turn to, but adults want to overlook the bad by acknowledging it in words but not in the actions.

Sure, very few people will say we have a perfect world today. That being said, it’s hard to recognize sometimes just how much bad there really can be. We, and I include myself in that most definitely, want the world to be inherently good, even if it’s not, and it’s easier sometimes to overlook the bad. My stories are a way for me to acknowledge the bad and to maybe put something out there to give someone hope that this isn’t a battle they’re facing alone and that they can get through it.

These stories are a way for me to try to hand out a little good. There was a writer, once, that I sat down and read. I’ve always been a writer, always wanted to see my pages in print, but when I sat down and read, for the first time, Blind Alley by Iris Johansen, I realized that I wanted to be a writer that someone could perhaps draw some inspiration or strength from.

To this day, I aspire to thrill people with tales of suspense and romance, though I doubt I’ll ever give up teen fiction. I believe it’s my truest calling- to hand my words to equally avid readers, and maybe someday I’ll encourage a few sparse readers to pick up a few more books and expand their horizons to worlds unknown.

That’s all I have tonight for my post-midnight ramblings. I hope you all have a great one, and I look forward to speaking with you again this Thursday.

Sing a Song of Stories

Welcome back. Welcome for the first time. Just so you feel welcome, that’s what matters.

Guess it’s that time for me to pick my brain for the words that explain what I’ve been thinking. As the title suggests, I happen to be thinking of music.

Because I happen to have a new musical obsession in Ed Sheeran- not only a singer with a brilliant talent, but an inspiring story that makes me smile to listen to him. Homeless to star- a beautiful and often written fairytale come to life in the reality of a talented young man. Though, I’m not sure I can call him a young man. He’s certainly older than me.

That’s not the point of today, though.

Because I’ve had some of the more serious or love-y of his songs as background for the duration of the night, I’m having trouble writing anything but love stories about people who have rough lives. Maybe that’s not so far from my usual writing. It got me thinking, though, when I went to start this blog, that music we listen to often does shape the way what we write comes out.

There I go clumping writers together again.

It shapes my writing because it shapes me. When I hear a particular song, I put it into a category of when I should listen to it. Some songs are white noise for me. The music fades out to become something of a barrier for my bubble but isn’t a nuisance and leaves me alone to do the writing that wants to be written. I can hear my characters telling me their story, shaping their world and what’s in it better with that music in the background. Ed surely is not white noise.

His songs resonate. They take a hand, smack me across the face, and say, “Listen. I am important.” And they are. So, because I have to listen, if I listen while I’m writing, my writing can take on that tone even if I wanted previously to write something flippant and fun. So I have to say, in some ways maybe they influence my characters. Those little humans floating around in my brain maybe get smacked across the face with his music, too, and so they tell their story to me differently than they would have before.

All I know is that what I listen to matters. If there was ever a song I loved about writing stories, I wonder how my writing would be influenced then.

Do you have a playlist when you write? I’d love to know if songs change you the same way they do me. I clump writers together often on accident, so I would love to- if you are a writer of any sort or just a person who occasionally pens something, whoever you are and whatever you do- know how you feel about what I have to say.

Anyway, this is me off for tonight. I shall go re-immerse myself in Ed Sheeran’s musical talent.