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Tag Archives: Writers

Luck and Fairy Tales

The Luckiest Fairy Tale

The Luckiest Unlucky Man Alive is Signed: To Megan- The next J.K. Rowling. Bill Goss
The Freedom Fairy Tale is Signed- To Megan: I was impressed by your confidence and spunk! You’ll go places! John Rossi

 

You may not know this, but I’m a server. I work in a tiny little town at a Pizza Hut not too far off the interstate. In some ways, I wish I could say that I’m not like other servers, that I love it when I see customers come in no matter what time it is… but I can’t say that. While I love my job, and I very rarely dread seeing customers in our doorway, at 9:15 pm on a night we close at 10 and when I finish I have to drive 45 minutes back to college? Let’s just say I was nearly done, and I was so ready to get out of there that seeing two gentlemen trot right in and grab two seats at a table before I could even say hello had me huffing and puffing in the back of my head all while pasting on a server-smile.

Now, as I said before, we’re not too far off the interstate, and a lot of families and other travelers will come in for a sit down meal that still isn’t too long of a wait, so I’ve met a few people here and there- Russians, Scots-women, Californians, and a Michiganite once. So, when these two gentlemen started asking me about souvenirs and travel stops, I didn’t expect too much of it. It turned out that they were from Florida and were on their way to see one of the gentlemen’s sons who was about to become a Navy pilot.

Well, since I’m self-published, and it’s kind of difficult to get myself out past Arkansas, having a job where I get to meet people from out of state helps me out. Usually I sign a copy and give it to them in order to promote myself out of state. I’ve become great at giving myself a chance by moving from questions like “So how’s your day?” to “What are you majoring in?” to “Oh so you like to write?” It’s that final question that gives me the chance to introduce the fact that I’m a published author.

Unfortunately, though, this past Monday was not that way. I didn’t have any copies of my book. I don’t have business cards yet. My usual signing pen had gone missing. The world was against me, but I was determined that I had to somehow sell myself as a legit author. So, instead of doing my usual act of beating around the bush, I just walked up to the men and said, “Gentlemen, I have a favor to ask of you.”

And here they tentatively said okay, to which I asked (now I realize the stupidity of this question), “You know anyone back in Florida who likes to read?” They said yes, and so I started to tell them all about my book, how I would really appreciate it if they’d just tell someone about it, and how I appreciated them listening to me to begin with. With that, I had to go grab their pizza for them. When I came back, one of the guys was gone, and I assumed he’d gone out to smoke or something. When he came back in, he was holding a couple things in his hand and asked to borrow my pen.

Despite the fact that I was using it, I agreed, and I am more glad that I did than I can explain. It turns out, as you have probably guessed from that picture up there, that they were authors, and they were so impressed by my “spunk” and confidence that they had decided that they’d each give me a copy of their book, signed. Dr. John Rossi, author of The Freedom Fairy Tale, and Mr. Bill Goss, author of The Luckiest Unlucky Man Alive, gave me more happiness that night than anything. The odds of that happening might be slim, and I may have begun their visit to Pizza Hut as miserable as could be, but I ended up gaining an experience I’ll cherish forever. Where Mr. Goss may be the luckiest unlucky man, that night, I was the luckiest girl in the whole of my little town.

Just remember- Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.

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Playing Trash Ball

Paper-Ball

I know what you’re thinking. What on Earth does trash ball have to do with the price of tea in China?

Well, I’m sitting here writing. Yes. Actually putting pen to paper instead of typing everything out because typing hasn’t gotten me much of anywhere here lately. So, anyway, here I am, writing some new- probably fleeting- idea out, and I seem to keep getting frustrated, tearing the pages out, balling them up, and throwing them at the trash can.

I’ve decided that this is actually a very large part of writing, and an even larger part of why I haven’t been able to get anything decent out recently. There is a major flaw with technology these days in the field of writing, and it is this:

There is something supremely cathartic in the ability to rip your words out- the words you have brought to life in a story- ball them up, throw them, tear them further, stomp on them, and generally cause them the pain that they, in not flowing freely or correctly like you want them to, have ultimately caused you.

Unfortunately… you can’t do that with a Word document. No, no matter how many times you delete those words, whether you do it letter by letter, sentence by sentence, line by line, page by page, chapter by chapter, or an entire book at once, you will never feel as good as you do when you rip that page out and all but tell it that it is trash that no one loves. And yes, despite the fact that I sound not only vindictive but also insane at the moment does not go unnoticed.

I know my words are not people, they are not alive. That being said, though, they are in some way something… not inanimate. It’s because they live inside of me. I know the story they should put together, the story I want to put out to the masses, and the story that they are fighting against becoming. So, though I know there is nothing real about them, I also know that, if put together correctly, they have the potential to create a living picture in someone else’s mind as well, and that is beautiful.

Therefore, if Word really wants to impress me as a writer, it should give me the ability to somehow electronically and satisfactorily destroy my words like they sometimes do me.

So, if you’re having trouble with a piece, don’t keep trying on your laptop or desktop. Don’t scratch out lines. Write them, rip them out, and play a little trash ball. You might find it was exactly what you needed, just as I have.

Growing Into My Skin

Stuff

That’s right. As I sit here, wiggling my new mustache mouse, clicking my keys, and thinking all the way back to the last August I completed, I can’t believe that I could already be so different. In 14 days, I’ll officially be 19- well, the 30th. I don’t know what day it is where you are. So I’m just shy of another year of my life being over, and I can barely fathom it.

This time last year, my soul was woggly (yes, woggly, it’s hard to explain) and cowering, terrified of what exactly college was going to hold for me. Was I going to hate my roommate who I didn’t know at all? Were the classes going to kill me? Would I lose my scholarships? Would I make friends? Would I give up writing? What would happen to me? Would I become involved in the wrong crowd, disappoint my mother and stepfather and ruin myself? Would I lose the tenuous hold on my boyfriend who was, at that point, only a friend with benefits?

Well, guys, I’d like to think that I did not do any of those things. I hated some of my classes, yes, but that’s to be expected and was partially due to the major I had and didn’t need to have. I didn’t hate my roommate; in fact, she was the best roommate and friend I could hope for. I still have my scholarship, though I had a moment of up all night, crying my eyes out worrying that I might at one point. The crowd I got involved in really encourage and push me to the dreams both I and my parents have for my future. My boyfriend and I got closer and finally decided on a relationship.

And, thank goodness, probably the most important to my well-being… I did NOT give up my writing. In fact, being at college, being with this new boyfriend, having these new friends, has not only boosted my knowledge of life and thus enhanced my writing, but has also really pushed me into the ability to be more confident in my writing and what I want to do.

So, I got lucky, but in a terrifying sort of way. I look at the world around me, and though most of it has stayed the same, I view it differently. Maybe this is growing up, or maybe this is me finally growing into the skin I was born with. I am not certain, but with a job I feel secure in leaving me, a new year of college beginning, the less lovey and more serious stage of a relationship starting, and me sitting here with a blog in front of me once again, I have to say I’m not scared or woggly or nervous. I am anticipating what very well might be yet another year I’ll never want to forget.

Be prepared, my fellow bloggers, readers, writers, and friends. What comes from me next might blow your minds, not only because it’s some of my best work, but because it might be something you never expected from me.

So, be watching, you might well be surprised.

With Confidence,

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

stop-tiptoeing-tulips-tell-like-is

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.

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.