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Wake Up and Stretch Your Brain

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Now Megan! What are you doing back here? You’ve been quiet for so long!

I know, I know. I’ve not been posting like I should. Once out of college, into work nearly 40 hours a week, and college class on the side for these summer months, I took to not writing to all of you like I should. I’m not even sure if all of you are even still there. If you are, you’ll be happy to know that, though I have not been writing here nearly as often, I have still been writing.

In fact, I happen to be 19 pages in on something brand new that I’m really excited about. No. I’m not going to tell you anything about it. Why would I? I have let you down before, I could let you down again. No, I’m just going to allude to it here and in future posts. Because there will definitely be future posts. No longer how long I leave you, I will always be back. I like you all too much.

So, with my laptop and my new mustache bearing wireless mouse, I am typing away. I’ve woken up and I’m stretching my brain to its limits. I’m powering through some writing here and even more on my new piece. I’ve beaten a personal best- I’ve surpassed my longest chapter (9 pages) and hit 11 and a half. I understand if it doesn’t sound that amazing to you, but to me it means I’ve wrangled my fear of being too wordy at least a bit.

So, this post may not be the longest I’ve ever written, and it may not be the most thought out, but it’s here and it means I’m back. I hope you’re still here to listen.

Stay Wonderful,

Megan

Dreaming a Dream of Coffeehouses

I’ve told you all that this is my author blog, and perhaps it is in a way, but I think, for the most part, this might be instead my blog of dreams. Since I dream of being a successful author, my place as an author fits in here but only partially. Dreams span far and wide for me, born a dreamer after nine months of growing, and so I guess this is, in a way, my medium for getting them all out, just like in my writing.

The reason I even bring this up is because I am, inevitably as this is a major dream of mine, back to thinking of the coffeehouse I’d create if I had the money and the experience to do it. There are Starbucks far and wide, yes. There are ritzy coffee joints in big cities, in well-to-do areas, and even small towns. I want to create something different, though.

Don’t we all?

When you walk in somewhere, do you immediately think of how to adjust the atmosphere, how it could be set up differently, how it feels? I do. I pass by a building these days and I say, “That could be perfectly renovated into a beautiful little coffee shop!” or I look into a business already being ran and decide if I like the layout or the chairs or the menus or even the uniforms. I see paint swatches in stores, and I start to search for what exact shade would create a warm, not too dark, and always homey feel, what would accent that nicely?

But, as most of you are aware, I’m 18, and what you don’t know is I tend to try to be logical.

Starting your own business is a terrifying thing rife with struggles and let-downs, stress and long hours. At 18, in college, is not a time to even begin to think I’m ready for that, and with the business sense only slightly better than that of a goldfish, I couldn’t even begin right now. In fact, not too long ago, I gave this dream up as one of my Unreachables, something I’d forever struggle for yet never actually try to reach out and grab.

That’s the thing, though.

Ever since I gave this dream up for nonsense, illogical nonsense, everything around me has been about living your dreams. People will comment how it’s amazing I have a book out there and published at 18, YouTube videos about school procrastination end on some note about living your dreams while you still can and before all you have left is the “What if?” I’ll go to a class, and the teachers are talking about it.

So, I think I’m supposed to live my dreams.

No, no, no, guys and girls, women and men. I am not saying I’m going to run out, try to get a place right this second, grab a place, renovate it, set it all up, buy the equipment, and decorate it all to start my business now. Goodness, no, but I am taking steps to make it happen.

I’m going to take a Small Business Management course, take a few extra business classes, and really work on making myself business savvy as much as I possibly can. I have a business minor already, and I am doing what I can to achieve these new goals I’ve set for myself.

So, if you’re like me, and you’re sitting and wondering about a dream, but you’re writing it off as just another silly notion, this is what I have to say:

All those teachers, your parents, your friends, the vloggers you watch on YouTube, and everyone else around you are right! When you get older, when you’re lying there with nothing but memories, it’s a lot better to say you tried and failed than to wonder what would have happened. If you think you can’t do it, don’t get discouraged. I never thought I could publish a book, and that’s done. I never thought I’d be able to work towards owning my own coffeehouse, but I am.

So, go out there and do what you’ve got to do- unless it’s vile and mean or horrid to other people and will make them cry. That’s not nice. Please don’t intentionally make people cry.

Well, that’s all for now. Have fun living, dreaming, and living the dream!

Tiptoeing through New Territory

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Ah, the joys of being a writer. It opens up new worlds and ideas, stories and plot, characters and dialogue with each day.

But what happens when you, as a writer, veer from the worlds you’ve been exploring and space-jump or even just perspective jump to another world or genre entirely?

Well, if you’re me, you worry constantly. You tiptoe through this new idea, terrified of where it will lead you. What if you step on that stone? Do you have to make the main character feel that? What if she says this? Oh my God, what if she’s not even a she? What if you want her to be a he instead? What then? How on earth does a guy react to stepping on a stone?

You think I’m joking. I promise you I’m not.

New territory is always terrifying for me because it’s not what I know I can do. Perhaps sometimes that’s a good thing, but for the most part, it’s terrifying. So, I tiptoe, which is horrible because it causes my “me” as a writer to be left out, and trust me, if you lose a writer’s “me,” you’ve lost your story. Then it’s the bare bones, something someone’s read a million times before and can fill out like the answers to a test, and reading through it is a test for the reader, a test of their patience, endurance, and stamina.

What I say when it comes to new territory? Well, excuse my phrase, but you better go balls out because your reader is experiencing this for the first time too. Sure, I worry, but I also have to force myself into the story. Make it happen. Tell it how it is. It’s difficult, don’t get me wrong. There will be some tiptoeing you can’t avoid, some exploration you’re scared of getting into, but sometimes that’s when you force yourself to go for it.

Maybe this is me rambling on, but maybe some of you feel this way too. So, come on, let’s go traipsing through a new world together and see where we come out.

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

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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

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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!