Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Writing Short Stories

Recently I have been working on my story for my portfolio to apply to grad school. I have this story, I am part a group who does weekly writing prompts, and I try to utilize the prompts into my story. I am an avid reader and lover of Virginia Woolf. I adore her writing style and with my own writing have adapted a few techniques frequently used during her writing period.

My story has gaps. I have chapters that could or could not go together. Recently though I thought maybe I need to go backwards in the story and tell how my character got to where she was at currently, so with that in mind I started in her childhood. I did not start with her being born, but at the first time she remembered magic.

Here is part of the story:

Melanie’s first remembrance of something magical happening was when she was four years old.
She was out with her mother grocery shopping and she felt agitated at not getting what she wanted at the store checkout. She remembers thinking she should throw a fit to get what she wanted; she closed her eyes, and in a moment reopened her eyes and saw that everyone except her mother and her were frozen in time. Her mother got down close to her face and gently said “You cannot have everything you want in life. Things do not make people happy, love does. She hugged her daughter tight and in a split second of being in her mother’s arms she released time and let everyone go back to normal.

The rest can be found here: Melanie's Story

I realize writing is important and if I ever want to try and turn these into a book I needed to first bring my readers into her past. I will do another part, part 2, of her life, but for now I feel this part is a good start. I will next probably jump to somewhere in the teenage years. Learning what is not important and what to leave out is a challenge every writer faces. Recently while reading a book, the author put something like, And she did not know him, even though they met as children, but she had since moved away and could not think who he was in her past.  Now some of that might seem misplaced in the story, but the author told it to let us know more what the character is thinking then who this character knew. Sometimes the extra sentence is worth it. Sometime it is not and it is up to us authors to figure out what to include and what to leave out. 

So now as writers we are the magicians of our story and so I an including your next writing prompt:

Think about what you see. Think about the light, the mood, the day that perhaps happened to bring this scene about. Have fun writing and I hope you all are doing super!! If not I am here if you need some help or advice in your writing journeys.

Your story teller/Poet

Friday, February 10, 2017

Books, books, and more books!

I have recently started a full time evening job, so my reading time has move to early morning, but I notice that there are books everywhere I sit now. I seem to leave a trail of books in my wake. I have Victor Hugo's Huntchback started, Ray Oldenburg's "The Great Good Place" started (its a re read for me I love this book so much), and Vintage Munro, which is Alice Munro's book. I am sure there is more but those are all within eye sight.

While I love to read I also have a great love of writing. I find the more I read the more eager I am to write. Some people do not mix the two, but honestly I feel more reading leads me personally to more writing. Other peoples words inspire me to write. I have two book shelves of books I have read, poetry books, writing books, all sorts of books; short stories, fiction, non-fiction,creative writing, and so on and so forth. Why do I have all these books? For inspiration.

Reading books books and more books makes me happy. They carry me to romance, far off lands, help me forget a bad day, I make new friends within the pages. Ray Oldenburg says we need a great third place in our lives where we feel safe. Well for me reading is that. Reading is a safe haven to my day. It allows me time to free up my mind, to relax, and to connect with words, stories, and learn.

Books from the library, used book stores, used book sales, and even goodwill, fill my home. No book is safe. I read Bronte, Huge, but also Sarah Allen Addison. Which I'm including her link so you can check her amazing stories out as well. Sarah Allen Addison

Reading and sharing who we like widens the door of reading. Sharing books with friends. Helping others find new authors, sharing details on our writing and reading habits, all of these things aid us in our reading and writing journals. Another author I am crazy about is Paula Brackston

Both have amazing novels with such great imagery and the story lines are believable. Brackston uses Welch folk tales to tell her stories and you will not go wrong reading any of her books! Or Addison's for that matter. The more you read the wider your world becomes and the wider your world becomes the bigger your heart in understanding the world and having more compassion for it, grows. Well so I think. Reading and writing allow us a way to deal with daily struggles, to read about places we may or may not go, but it deepens our existing world regardless.  

I hope your home is filled with books. If not go to your local library and find yourself some. You need only go look and you will find something you like. I hope you are all busy this weekend with loved ones, but if not, if you have time, perhaps read a book or two. If you write then perhaps write a story or more.

Happy Weekending to you all.
your storyteller/poet

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

New Writing Prompt

So here we are on Feb 7th and we need another writing prompt. Writing for me is a way of sharing what I know, putting my stories down, and about possible helping others on their journey. So while I just  have a moment to pop in, I want you to know im here if you have writing questions. If you want to be featured, or want to discuss writing period. WE all have low points. Points of frustration. Points of judging ourselves and our writing. Having a few people around who write helps, but again if that is not an option then I will be glad to help in any way possible.

So here is your next writing prompt:

Good luck, get to writing, and let me know what you end up writing. I would love to read some of your work.

Have a great week.
Your story teller/poet

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of graduate school

As time ticks on by I realize more and more that I must write. I have just started working a fulltime job and have not had time to write. I can feel it in my bones that it is needed. My story I have been working on has been screaming in my head to have another chapter written. Today I will make time for her. I wrote a new poem prompted by a website I love. I feel like words are bubbling in me and sometimes they need to come out or else.

When you write do you feel like you have stories in you yearning to come out?

As writers we feel that our voice needs to be heard because these stories yearn to be told. I have heard and read so many writer say "Do not write to become famous, write because you want your story out of your head" Write for the stories to be heard. I have read numerous books who say write what you know. I know this story is in me. I would love to share it with the world one day, but for now I just write. I edit, I revise. I see things that need to be formed on pages of paper and hopefully listened to later in life.

I am pursuing my MFA in creative writing. Again people tell me that is a waste of time. Well to be published maybe, but to teach creative writing to young minds and awaken their stories in them, well that is worth it to me. I think in the long run that is what I am meant to do. I have taught a few writing workshops for 12-18 year old children/young adults, and I hope touched a few lives.

Write like you mean it, write from the heart, and write for you. If sometime you share and someone loves it great, but put you first and love what you write!!

This photo is your photo prompt. It is a french magazine and french book. Sometime a little different this time. I hope you enjoy it. I hope you are writing. I hope life is treating you well, that you are taking all the liberties with your words, and maybe just maybe working on graduate school? Or some writing workshops. Try something to help your craft :D

Happy Sunday!

your story teller/poet

Monday, January 16, 2017

New Year New Rhythm

Rhythm is different for every family. I am talking about the flow of how we get from one day to the next. I noticed with the new job that the flow of my house is changing. I will for the first time in my life be working an evening shift. My children are now grown so I easily accepted the position. I set the ebb and flow of my household by making dinner at certain times or doing errands during certain times. I wake and hit the round or I wake and slowly enjoy the morning. Either way I set the tone of the house. Are we all rushed, late, and hurried out the door, or are we more relaxed, making our lunches, and enjoying the process of slowly starting the day. Whatever way we deal with each day the ebb and flow is always changing. With my working the new evening hours I wont be able to open and close blinds. Turn off and on porch lights. I also will make everyone dinner at noon, so they can heat it at 6. Our rhythm is important to me.

My writing flow is also changing. The hours I normally would write are no longer an option. I will have to change my rhythm to including writing, because the voices inside my head is yearning for their stories to be told. I am a writer of short stories. I want to get my MFA in Creative Writing. I want to teach youth the joy of when you think no one is listening to write it down. I want them to have a safe space for their voice. I want them to know they can freely express themselves without fear of being condemned. Writing is such a powerful thing that I do workshops on it from time to time to hopefully spark someones mind.

2017 has brought changes to my life, my boyfriend just moved in with me; to my work, I have a new evening full time job, and my daughter is applying to graduate schools (so these are probably the last few months of living with her ).  Every avenue of my life is changing and it is taking some time to adjust. The house is feeling it, the boyfriend and my daughter too. I am the energy of the house. The one who gets things done. So for now I adjust, get up and get things done earlier, so at night I can work :D

Writing is an important aspect of my life and I hope yours as well. Happy 2017 and hope you and your family are finding your new rhythm.

And last but def. not least writing prompt #2 for 2017

What do you see? Hear? Witness? What story does this photo tell in your mind? Write it out and have fun.

Happy Monday!!
Your story teller/poet

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Years 2017 and Photo prompt 1 of 2017

I wanted to stop in and wish you all a very happy new year. I know for so many, including myself, 2016 was hell. (sorry cannot put that another way) It sucked! It sucked for so many reasons. I for one am glad to see it go away.

I wanted to also give you your first photo writing prompt of 2017. I hope you have your pen poised, your computer booted, or however you write, ready to go. I know writing hit the back burner for so many of us over the holidays, but it is time to make it come back to the forefront.

So here is 2017 first photo prompt:

Good luck and get your writing going now!

Your story teller/poet

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Writing: Rules, Advice, and Grammar

Writing is a solitary event. Your brain and you sit somewhere and connect words. After this happens you write these sentences down somewhere. You form images for others to see while using words to conjure emotions from your readers. If you are a good writer you write so that your readers feel a connection with your story, words, and characters. You write to evoke emotion. Your words, while now only your words, go into the world fully formed and your readers change their meaning. They infer their emotions, their history, their take on your words based on their lives and you are devastated, or are you?

As writers we set out with a thought, perhaps if we are  lucky a world, a character, or some story line that will resonate with others, the readers. We have a set vision in our words of how they will touch peoples lives. How they will be received and when readers see our words as something different, something more to them, we get mad or hurt, but in reality our words are still well received and the readers are still connecting with them.

I have had numerous sources give me writing advice. The number one thing I know is readers do not do a close reading. Their life, emotions, and history infer into my words, my characters, and my writing. I have learned through all this advice that when I write, I write for me and me alone. I do not write as if I am only writing to 26 year old women. I write for me, to get out the voices in my head, the characters that are building in my mind, and to see my story on the page. Writing advice sometimes will squash creativity. Writing groups and books are all good, but you have to take everything with a grain of salt. Honestly it is your words on the page and practice helps. Writing with imagery, deep description, and building characters readers can connect with takes hours and hours of practice.

Grammar plays a big part in your writing. Yes write grammatically, but also with slang if it fits, or other words if they fit. For instance up north people call a shopping cart a cart, in the south people call them a buggy. Use the proper grammar and dialect to convey your characters and story. Do not be afraid to misspell something. If your character only went to school till he or she was eight, by all means misspell a word. As long as the reader can figure it out, like perhaps write it phonetically, then your writing will still hold meaning.

This year I joined Medium.com
This was one of the best decisions I made as a writer. I am part of 14 writing groups now. I submit to which ever genre of writing I am writing, but there are great editors on this site. People tell me what they like and why about the writing. I have also had people tell me add more here. I have had no one be mean or ugly about anything. I hope to keep growing as an author and to keep being pushed by some great writing prompts on Medium. If you are looking for a great writing platform I strongly suggest you try this. I have written more this year due to Medium then in any other year and I so enjoy the community of like minded writers I have become friends with.

I hope you are busy writing and keep plugging away at it. Those words are not going to connect themselves.

Happy Holidays to you all!!
your story teller/ poet

PS. You can find the latest chapter of Melanie's life story here: Melanie's Life Story