Friday, January 29, 2010

I Am a Writer After All!

Over the past year or so, I've forgotten how to write. Well, not really forgotten, I just got lost a little bit. I used to write whatever came from my imagination, no matter what it was, as long as it laid out the story. My way of writing changed because I researched the art of writing. I read posts, blogs, how-to websites, and all of that good stuff. It actually made me doubt my writing. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of great information out there and most of it helped me, but it also made me a different writer. Now, every time I write a sentence, all of that information constantly buzzes through my mind and I doubt everything that I write. I keep thinking that I need more details, or I shouldn't use that word but another synonym of the word. I even got to the point that I thought I couldn't write at all. I was confused.

I know that I am not grammatically correct at times. I can't come up with great synonyms like others can, and I don't know these huge-long words. But, I know simple words. Everyone knows simple words, so I don't understand what the problem would be if I never used a thesaurus while writing. If my readers can understand what I mean, then why would I have to change the way I write, as long it worked and the story captured them?

This morning, with the help of a blog by Jeff King and a blog by Billy Coffey, I realized that I am a writer. I just have to bring the writer in me back out and throw away the negative me.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Major Image Change.

Recently I had a major image change....I cut my hair and dyed it black.





I went from looking like this ------>









To looking like this ------->







Now, I had a very good reason for doing such a thing. Back a very long time ago, I had light brown hair which I always highlighted. Over the years, not only did I have to highlight every month, I also noticed my "roots" getting darker and darker. With this happening, I had to highlight even more frequently.

Now, as any girl knows, too many chemical treatments on the hair will damage it. The only proven way to treat damaged hair is to stop using chemicals on it, and to cut off the damage....hence, the new hair color and haircut. The lighter shade of black matched my roots, so I went with that.

I know this story has nothing to do with writing, but I didn't want to change my profile picture without explaining.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Conquering Another Challenge

I realize that I am always stressing over my writing. I question everything that I write. Sometimes I write a sentence, and then re-read it thinking it needed to be changed. So, I change it, and then change it, and then change it….and it goes on like that until I have many versions of the same sentence. No wonder it’s taking me forever to get through this ms.

I know that I’m supposed to write a rough draft first and then go over it all again, but I just can’t seem to do that. I know that the first sentence below would have worked, but I changed it over and over because I thought that I could make it better. I want to be a better writer! I guess that is why I do these things. But, from this day forward, I will do a rough draft and revise later.


1. The space under the shrub would have been a great hiding place, if only the ground wasn't frozen. He would endure it as long as they were still out there looking for him.

2. His body protested the frozen ground under the shrub. He had to stay put as long as they were still out there.

3. Since they were still out there, his body would have to suffer the frozen ground under the shrub.

4. His hiding place on the cold ground under the bush would have to suffice, since they were still out there.

5. The bush was the best hiding place he could find. The only problem was that he had to lay on the frozen ground in order to stay hidden.

I ended up going with the last sentence. All I wanted to convey was that this guy had to hide on the frozen ground under a bush. It actually took me rewriting the sentence more than five times to get there. I didn't post all of them because I didn't want people to think I was nuts.

I have faith and I will conquer my issue.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Some Interesting Hashtags

Over the past couple of days, two hashtags on Twitter have attracted my attention. The first one is #storystarters. There have been a couple of tweets on this hashtag that I really wanted to know how the rest of the story would end. The application that I use with Twitter is TweetDeck. I have several columns that I keep on there at all times and #storystarters has inherited its own column.

The second hashtag is #thingsishouldnotseeinaquery. @colleenlindsay posted some great stuff through this hashtag that I will try not to do. I follow @colleenlindsay, not only because she is a literary agent, but because she tells it how it is and she does make me chuckle. When I started tweeting through TweetDeck, I made a column labeled 'Favs'. This column has a few choice tweeters (including @colleenlindsay) who grabbed my attention with their inspiring tweets.

The hashtags that I posted above were placed at the end of sentences. Searching for these hashtags requires no period at the end of them.

It's Friday night and the weekend is just starting, so have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My World of Writing

Every blog that I have written so far has been about my family. Without the love and support of my family, I would not be me.

I got to thinking about why someone would want to read my blogs. They probably wouldn't. They have their own family, and mine is probably not much different than anyone else's.

Today, I thought I would go ahead and explain a little about me and my journey into the world of writing.

I have several beginning stories/manuscripts on my computer, and one that is almost complete. You see, I have a very hyper mind. That's the only way I can describe it. My mind will jump from one thing to another in a split second. I try to focus on one certain thing at a time, but sometimes, it's really hard to do.

I can be writing on a manuscript when my main character meets another character. Then my mind starts coming up with plot for the secondary character for a completely different manuscript. Then I get all screwed up. So, I have to stop writing completely in order to refocus my mind.

Today was a good day. I kept my focus and wrote for a few hours without having to stop. I am proud of myself for being able to stay where I needed to be.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Snowstorm

The weather forecast had predicted a large amount of snow to fall the night of December 18th. Of course, they have said that we would get snow many other times and then we would end up getting a flurry or two, but never the snow that they predict. The last snowstorm that we received happened a very long time ago, therefore we neglected to listen to the warnings this time.


The snow started falling soon after the bus dropped the kids off at home. When I looked out of the window, the biggest snowflakes I had ever seen were falling. They were huge, I means absolutely enormous! They were the size of my thumbnail. I knew then, that I was wrong not to listen to the warnings.


Within a couple of hours, trees were falling everywhere, weighted down by the snow. We lost power and telephone services by 8 o’clock that evening. I stood on my front porch listening to the silence; the only sounds I heard were the cracks and crashes made by the falling trees. I have never experienced these noises in my life. The snow continued to fall heavily all night.


We had a fire going in the fireplace and few candles that first night. I didn’t like the dark. I’m not scared of the dark mind you, it was the silence. I am used to noise and chaos constantly in my life, as those of you with children can understand. Actually, it really wasn’t the silence that bothered me; it was the ringing in my ears that took the place of silence that got to me.


That night, we piled mattresses in front of the fireplace in the living room to sleep on. We hung sheets and blankets around the doorways to block off this room. The following morning we all woke up chilled to the bone as the fire went out some time during the night. I looked out of the window and saw everything covered in sparkly white. I rebuilt the fire and used an old tin percolator I found in the cabinet to make coffee. The kids huddled under the blankets until the cold air in the room warmed up to a tolerable level.


My husband walked through the deep snow up to the old building and brought down the kerosene heater and a few camping items we had stored up there. I found some batteries and put them in the radio. The newscast told of power outages all over the area, and that some of the major roads were closed.


We decided to get out the 4-wheeler (a.k.a. the ATV) and ride around the hollow and see how much damage the snowstorm caused. We didn’t get very far at all as there were trees down everywhere. We saw the electrical line, cable line, and telephone line lying in the road for at least ½ a mile. We knew then that we wouldn’t have any of those services for a very long while, as those companies would work on the city lines first and we’d come last.


We heard a newscast on the radio stating that the emergency management service was giving out kerosene to those who needed it, at a couple of fire departments. We were stuck though, with no way out and only a couple of gallons of kerosene to do us. We decided to only use it if we really needed it, (which ended up being the following morning as it was so cold that we could see our breaths in the house.)


My husband got together with a couple of neighbors on their 4-wheelers and headed out with chainsaws to cut the trees out of the road. One of the neighbors had a tree fall on his house and they also removed that one. It was an all day job to clear the road out of the hollow. The hollow itself is more than a mile long, so it was a rough job considering there were trees everywhere.


With the road cleared, some of them could finally get out of the hollow in their 4 wheel drives to make kerosene and supply runs. Of course, my family was one of the unlucky few who did not have a 4-wheel drive and had to depend upon rides from others. It was okay though, at a time like this, they all pulled together and helped one another.

Our power was restored on December the 28th, phone on January 2nd, and cable/internet on January 9th. Our Christmas was a dark one, but fun. We played board games (Apples to Apples being the funnest) and read books to keep us occupied. My fifteen-year-old daughter actually read ‘Deep Storm’ by Lincoln Child.


I would like to say that the hotels did raise their prices during this time. I think it was wrong to do this, to take advantage of people during a hard time. I live in a town that has 80% poverty level and any business that takes advantage of people has no conscience, and that's all I am going to say about that.


I like living on a hollow (a.k.a. holler) and knowing all of my neighbors. I love the mountains and all of the beauty that comes with them. Most of all, I love my family. The power outage has brought us closer together and I am thankful for that part of it.