Savvy Word Slinger
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Monday's Mug
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Welcome back to my Monday’s Mug where you will hang out with me for a little bit, and I will catch you up on what has happened. I am drinking some tea tonight because I just like the warming feelings and it makes me feel like fall is closer than it really is. Would you like some tea as well? Let's go out to the deck and sit for a while there is a gentle breeze tonight. 

I have been doing StoryADay for September you may have heard me talk about them previously. This is an event that happens in May and September, but we keep in touch all year round in the SuperStars group. I have been writing short stories consistently for the month. I will have a lot of stories to go through and revise. It has not always been easy nor have all my stories been the length I am used to writing in college, but it is progress. I think growth is what matters.

I am looking forward to editing a chapter of my book and sending it to a writing friend of mine. It has been a couple months since I have looked at my book and worked on it again. I have the first draft completed, but I am not sure what else should happen in the story. I will be doing a full edit of it December. Though my writer friend does not know yet, she will be getting a chapter, I hope she won't mind. I had promised her a paragraph months ago, and I still haven't gotten one to her. I think maybe I should send a paragraph first to be fair. 

I have another story I am editing for some other friends to look over about a talking cat. I usually don't write about animals talking, but it was a fun experiment, and I am out of my comfort zone. I need more opinions about it. It has been a long time since I have been through these types of workshopping groups, and I am a little nervous. However, no one has accomplished anything in their comfort zone, and I am throwing my zone out the window. 

I'm grabbing some more tea would you like some more? I will get a blanket as well it is getting cool tonight. 

I am working out a plan for the last few months of the year. It is a break down of what I need to finish top priority (revisions) and what I really need to get completed in this last quarter (outline and new novel). There is a 30-day plan I will follow for character and plot development for my new book next month, so all my ducks are in a row for NaNoWriMo. Then, in November, when I will be cranking out my novel. In the fall and spring are when I feel like I do my best work, perhaps in the world of transition. I want to send a few things out to publish as well. I have messed up and gotten off my plan for sure this year. However, it isn't the number of times you fall down but that you get back up again.

This has been an exciting time for getting to know people in my writing community even though I am quieter than most I have enjoyed my time this year with the StoryADay community. I would advise you to get involved in NaNoWriMo is you are a writer even if you don't want to write the novel. It is nice to have a community when you do something that usually is a solo adventure. 

Don't forget to just write.

The 73 Questions
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I was nominated by my writer friend Tammy for this challenge inspired from a Vogue Magazine Series which interviews celebrities and other public figures. The questions are designed to allow you know more about my likes and lifestyle. Who doesn’t love to answer fun questions?

1. What’s your usual Starbucks order?

I like to change it up, so I usually try out all the seasonal drinks. When I have tried them all, then I got back to my vanilla latte with coconut milk. 

2. What does your workstation look like?

I have one of those desk cabinets from the 90s with doors. It usually has my computer and stack of books and papers I am working on. 

3. Favorite food?

Sushi is the best thing ever!

4. Favorite authors?

Two favorites this week are Davis Bunn and Pam Jenoff.

5. What do you think of open relationships?

I think they are not for me. 

6. What is your favorite video game?

Duck Hunt!

7. Guilty pleasure treat?

Cheesecake

8. Favorite movie?

Pride and Prejudice the 2005 version

9. Favorite book?

Children’s: The Story of Ferdinand (always)

Grownup: Educated by Tara Westover (this year)

10. Twitter, or Instagram?

Twitter

11. Desktop or laptop?

Laptop or paper.

12. Best advice you’ve ever received?

You can do whatever you set your mind to. 

13. What project are you working on right now?

I am working on short stories that are sci-fi.

14. Favorite color?

Purple

15. Did you get good grades in school?

Yes, I did.

16. Dream job?

Writing full time

17. Play any sports?

No, I used to play basketball and danced.

18. Do you have a degree?

Yes a couple

19. Nationality?

German, Irish, and French. 

20. What is your favorite kind of blog post?

A day in the life or list.

21. What do you like to collect?

Marbles, books, and purses. 

22. Describe yourself in three words?

Honest, quiet, student

23. If you were a rapper, what would your stage name be?

Smilie Geez

24. Who was the last person you DM?

Someone about blogging for a website I run. 

25. What’s on top of your wish list right now?

A writing retreat 

26. Sorting house?

Ravenclaw

27. How many tattoos do you have?

Zero

28. What are you most grateful for this year?

My family, job, and home. 

29. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this month?

I got to spend some quality time with my family.

30. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you today?

I laughed so hard at work. 

31. What’s the best thing ever?

Love

32. Favorite season?

Fall

33Favorite holiday?

Thanksgiving because I like all the food and there is not the pressure of gifts.

34. What fictional character do you relate to most?

Whichever one I am reading — I am always looking for similarities to myself.

35. Do you like surprises?

YES!

36. What’s the biggest surprise you’ve ever had?

Finding out I was going to be a mom. 

37. Which surprise made you cry?

Being a mom because I was excited and terrified. 

38. What’s the best surprise you’ve given somebody else?

Surprising my family with a takeout meal. 

39. Do you like muffins?

Yes, blueberry. 

40. Do you cook often?

I do not cook often, but I like to bake a lot. 

41. What’s your favorite dessert?

Chocolate covered strawberries. 

42. Is there a dessert you don’t like?

Haven’t met one yet. 

43. Cake or pie?

Pie

44. What’s your least favorite food?

Spicy because it doesn’t like me. 

45. What’s your favorite condiment?

Ketchup

46. It’s 4 am on a random Saturday. What are you eating?

I cannot eat that early, so I drink tea. 

47. If you could teach a college class, what would it be called?

Apocalyptic Fiction 

48. Best animated film?

Everafter

49. What has a guy done or said to impress you?

Bought me lilies and took me out to eat. 

50. The best thing to do on a first date?

I love long walks and coffee.

51. The worst thing to do on a first date?

Hanging out with a ton of people at a bar.

53. Best comic book character?

Wonder Woman 

54. Name three things which can always be found in your purse.

Pens, book, notebook.

55. Favorite drinks?

Water and Dr. Pepper

56. If you could play a historical character in a movie who would it be?

Catherine the Great I did a paper on in college she seemed interesting.

57. Kittens or puppies?

BOTH!

58. Favorite sushi roll?

Kissy Kissy roll 

59. What lipstick do you use?

Lip balm that is a light shade of pink.

60. What foundation do you use?

The Body Shop

61. Blow-dry or air dry?

Air dry every day. I will even wake up sooner to air dry.

62. Who is your fashion icon?

Katherine Hepburn always 

63. Favorite Disney Character?

Cinderella 

64. What are you doing tomorrow?

I will work and write. 

65. Movie you laughed the hardest through?

The Book Club

66. A movie that made you cry?

Avengers Endgame

67. If you could sing a duet with anybody who would you choose?

Frank Sinatra 

68. If your life was a song, what would the title be?

Don’t Worry Be Happy

69. What’s your favorite animal?

Llama and tigers

70. Favorite artist?

Claude Monet 

71. The person you want to have coffee with?

Jesus

72. What country would you like to visit?

Germany 

73. Best way to decompress?

Cleaning

Thank you!

Monday's Mug
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Hello Everyone! I missed you all in July. I am sitting down to a cup of hot tea tonight and letting the day's worries run off of me. What I can I get for you? I hope you will sit down with me and relax for a few minutes while I catch you up on my last month. 

July was a tough month for me, and I know I am not the only one. It might be because the summer is coming to an end and the school season awaits. There were so many places I wanted to visit and projects I wanted to finish, but I didn't. So I have been spending this month looking at my plans and goals. I was becoming a little more realistic and starting again. 

I did participate in Camp NaNoWriMo this July, and it was a lot of fun. The cabin I was a part of chatted a lot about writing and their projects. I was interested when shared things about their personal life. I changed my project goal to the number of hours I would work on it instead of the number of words I produced. I did win though I switched from words to hours of work on my writing. I worked on a new project that popped up at the end of June and also on short stories for submission. 

Let me fill up your mug.

This month was really about getting my groove back when it comes to writing. I spent a lot of time off of the computer to see if it would help my flame reignite. The lack of a screen did help me get back to the creative space I needed. Sometimes I focus too much on the number of words I am producing rather than what I am writing. A focus on word count was helpful when I'm on a deadline, but too much can take the joy out of writing. 

I did a lot of soul searching last month. I am letting go of the people that are not there for me. I'm throwing out the disappointments of my past and the fears of my future. I am loving myself the best I can each day. I am just going to write. 

Writing What I Felt
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I needed to write, but I was experiencing blah. Was that an emotion? It was my form of exhaustion in every way, shape, and form. I am not proud of it, but I have found a lot of my days lately have overflowed with stress. I sat in the morning pondering if I was going to write anything because I have been in a funk. I didn’t feel like writing at all, and I was not sure about the extensive project I promised myself I would finish.

So, what did I do when I didn’t feel like writing? What every good writer does surf the net. I realized email was an excellent place to start my procrastination. I was sent an email for Camp NaNoWriMo, and it was very inspiring for my moment in time. Write what you feel email  by Kat Yeh said: “Some people say write what you know—I say write what you feel.” 

 Through my academic circles, I had studied plenty about writing what I knew, however writing what I felt has been felt out.  I had not heard someone approach writing what you feel this way before. When I have been looking up ideas about character emotions, I have come across a lot of writers and artist taking a sharp memory and writing from the feelings you had at that moment — this type of writing I can do with ease. There are days, weeks, and sometimes months when I have struggled with writing. When the thought of a book came up, it felt more like a chore than something I wanted to do. The writing honeymoon was over, and it only took three years. 

I am not ready to divorce writing or my muse. However, I needed to know how to work on my relationship when I didn’t feel like being in it.  I heard from people give up writing and do something else with your life. What people have not witnessed was how great writing had been the one thing that had carried me through the darkness, and joy I felt in creation. I was at least staring at my screen, I got my butt in the chair, and I continued to watch the blinking curser. How in the world could I write what I feel when I didn’t even feel like writing?

In these moments of blah was when mind dumping and free writing were my lifesavers (suddenly have a candy craving). The email I had read said to take a few minutes to just writing whatever it was you were feeling. Sometimes I need to vent, and there was no one else to listen. So, I vent to the computer screen. With the beautiful world of dictation, I can yell at my device, and it will record every word I say. However, just like humans, it has continuously got some of it wrong. 

I decided to do a little therapeutic writing, getting all of these emotions and thoughts onto a page for about 5 minutes. This was when a light bulb turned on for me. I have heard many times from many people, even in my academic writing circles to write what you know but what I knew at that moment was what I felt. 

Then from the instruction of the email, I began to write a character in a funk about life and feeling in some way, it will never get better than this. This woman couldn’t see the future for all the things going on in her life right then. They couldn’t see the joy of the light or the relief of the rain. They stared off into the darkness, and it consumed this character like a moth to a flame. And just like that, the main character for my next book was born. 

The moral of this story is to just write.

Monday's Mug
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Hello everyone! How was your weekend? Thank you for joining me for my Monday Mug. I am having coffee with my creamer this evening, and I will get you whatever you like as long as it is coffee. I can't believe it is already July. I am just sitting here wondering what happened to the year because I feel like January was yesterday. I have had a busy week, so let's get to it. 

I would bring you into my kitchen table retro 60s with the mustard yellow rolling chairs because the kitchen is where everything gets done. It is night here, and I often start to randomly talk about subjects in the evening because my days are spent listening to others.

So, to start with I had a really rough week last week. I thought things were going good, but for some reason, I had just really been struggling with my writing. It wasn't that I didn't have anything to write about or projects I love, but I just couldn't get myself to walk over and sit in my chair to write. It was mind-boggling to me, and I finally started to reach out to other writers. I had many different opinions to choose from and enjoyed them all. I just wanted a parental butt chewing because I thought that was what I needed. The butt chewing didn't happen, but other advice was given instead. I decided I should stop being so hard on myself for not being at the level I expected of myself. 

I still didn't write much after that, and I do believe some of it was because I was going to be doing Camp NaNo this year. For those of you unaware NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month that happens in November. They have more flexible camp versions that occur in April and July. I am back with a cabin in July I have been in for a couple years to change up the rest of my year. I felt like I just didn't want to write this last week before camp began because this month at camp, I am pushing myself for 50,000 words. Which is odd because only a few sentences ago I said I should stop being so hard on myself. I think my goals may change just so I can breathe a little more. My idea for the camp had also not solidified yet, so I am totally pansting it this year, which also give me a little anxiety. 

Would you like more coffee? I will refill your mug too. 

It was a busy week at my daytime job, which may account for my lack of wanting to write in the evening when I come home. I am trying to figure out how to give myself enough rest so I can be a morning writer.  I have also tried to write in notebooks, and I don't like it. I have tried every pen and paper type I can find, but I still am having problems with it. I think it just because I trained myself in college to type every story I was working on then. I have also come to a place where I am typing as fast as my internal narrator speaks, and I cannot keep up handwriting. I do still enjoy writing poetry out by hand, but I think it is because I play so much with the position of the words as well. 

I had meetings and classes this week that didn't go as planned, but it turned out that is was okay because I really just needed to give myself a break for a few days and work on my mindset with where my life is headed right now. 

I guess I am going to let you get some rest for now and maybe I should get some too. Until next time. 

Do You Call Yourself a Writer?
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Have you ever given much thought to your name? I hadn't until I was older except that my name was hard to pronounce, and I ended up spelling it to everyone I came in contact with. There would be times I was asked what country I was from because outside of my small community, it is not a common name, and on rare occasions, I was asked what it meant. It never offended me that people thought I might be from another country or that they couldn't spell my name I just thought of it as the facts of my life. 

When I was in college, I was asked and told what my name meant over and over again. I finally looked up my name meaning so I could recite to anyone else who asked because I did start to get a little annoyed. I had never gone by any nicknames or some altered version of my name. It was always lovely to hear my name properly pronounced without having to correct someone, but it was rare. 

There have been other names I have been called like fat when I was a child because I wasn't as slender as the other kids in my class. I don't ever remember being called smart in school though I was called a good many times, I never could understand what good really meant. I was called quite a lot more than I have ever been called anything else in my life. But then I was called weird, crazy, or strange when I started to open up to others and stopped being quiet. 

Life changing events call for name calling too. It was fun to be called the girlfriend at times, and it was better to be called the ex. I love being called a mother and a parent. I hoped to be an aunt one day, but sister had a beautiful ring to it too. An employee was also a beautiful name when the paycheck came from it as well. 

My favorite name didn't show up until the last year, and it was one I didn't think I would like as much as I did. It was important to me and was solidifying the previous three work and devotion. It was a writer. I can remember the first time I was referred to as a writer friend in a blog, and it was absolutely fantastic. My heart leaped out of my body into the upper atmosphere and back again in a second. 

I had been hesitant to refer to myself as a writer, and it sounds like I was an impostor because I couldn't answer the questions of where I had been published at or when my book would be out. When I found other writers, there hasn't been a question about validation with writers in my community. You write; therefore, you are a writer; it does matter the frequency or how long or what you are writing, you just write. 

Monday's Mug
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It is time for some late night coffee again. Would you like decaf tonight or maybe a lovely herbal tea? The night is cool tonight let’s grab some blankets and sit on the porch swing. If we were having a mug, I would tell you this last week had a lot more ups than downs. 

I was excited to be on a call for Super Stars group within Story A Day. It was great to hear about how other writers were submitting and how they have dealt with rejection. They were talking about different places to submit as well. I have not submitted to be published in years now; however, the conversion was spurring me on to start submitting again. I keep saying I am not ready, and I just need more time. The truth is I’m making excuses. 

If we were having a mug of joe. I’d tell you I started a new book this week Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. IT IS AMAZING! Yes, I am yelling this at the top of my lungs. I sometimes feel like I have been locked in a cave without a key away from one of the best books about writing I have come across. As I was reading it in so many moments, I was thinking this is me, and that is me. I guess I should just highlight the whole book. I am glad my writing friends turn me toward this book. 

Would you like some more tea or coffee? I’m getting some tea; it always makes me sleepy at night. 

Another great event this week was getting to talk one on one with a writing friend. We were discussing the book and various things in our lives. I appreciated the time we spent getting to know each other better. I love one on one talks more so than groups; it makes me feel more relaxed to speak about my life. 

I am going to try writing in a notebook again and see how it goes. I like to doodle sometimes when I write, and when I write poetry, I want to see the various versions it goes through. My story sparks are overflowing, and I need to devote more time daily to writing. I can’t decide what technique of writing I would like to work on, but I think I am going just to let it flow for a while.  I hope you have a great week and I will see you next Monday. 

After the Funeral
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There are things in my pocket; I cannot forget.

       Golden rings are clamoring over the beats of my heart.

A broken memory no one knows but me,

       Can I even remember us as three?

Do I envision a happy family I never had

        Or will the fabrication kill me as I lie in bed?

The walls are crashing in on me

        Yet there is no love glue left wearisome I will be.

I fall on pictures as though the dead will catch me.

         Somehow bringing me back to life breathing.  

The blood advances over the shards of glass and memory

           It takes the life out of me.

Today I decided to share a piece I have been working on.  

Monday's Mug
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Hello again. Thanks for joining me for another Monday’s Mug. I have one of my favorite mugs I got from a local craft fair full of water. Today has been busy and this week will be as well. I am sitting outside again because I love being out here the summer. 

I would like to tell you about my week last week. I had struggled with a blog for a couple of weeks, and I had it written. I had even edited it already once, but for some reason, I didn’t like it. There are times when I feel like it just isn’t the right time to publish a blog. Like there is something inside of me that says not yet. Then a week or two later I get the post it now buttons pushed inside me. I don’t know where this comes from or why. I wonder if you ever get the same feeling about writing or something in your life?

I will continue with my mug of water tonight and tell you last week had its ups and downs for sure. I have been working on taking my reading up a notch and also my productivity in general. I have become a little planner crazy right now I am working out of two. I have a Happy Planner everything is in, and then I carry a bullet journal that has my daily two do lists. Now that I am managing three sites, it has been more intense. 

I did Story A Day again this year. I did write a lot more than I ever thought I would get done because May is a full month for me. It is a month full of social events, deadlines, and most of all, my joy for writing. I allowed myself to miss days this year. I have gotten much better about not beating myself up about not finishing a story every day and just moving forward. It helps to have Julie Duffy’s voice in my head. If you have not checked out her podcasts, they are, and her voice is so soothing to me. She does not know I am talking about her. Julie’s podcasts can be found at Itunes and also directly on the StoryADay website. 

I got to have a meeting with my online writing group tonight. It was great to talk to them, and even though I am quiet, I like listening to what they have to say about what they are reading, writing, and submitting. I have not reached the submission process yet because I am a little afraid, but I also know I need to revise a bunch of stories. Revision is probably my least favorite part of the processes. I am still looking for ways to make it more fun if you have suggestions leave them in the comments. I think it is just like doing laundry though because I enjoy wearing the clothes I just don’t want to have to wash them and put them up.

I have been embracing working on my short story pieces more these days. Short stories were my emphasis in college because it was fun to me. I wish I could find the stories I wrote in college. I am sure that would give me a good laugh and maybe inspire something else. There are times I am hard on myself for taking so many years off from writing, but I am also happy to be where I am now meeting the friends I have through this process. 

I hope you have a good evening and the rest of your week is full of little stories.