Writing Problems and Coffee

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One of my very good friends, Jo-Anne from Inspiration Pie, and I had our weekly (or at least it seems like that 😉 ) coffee date this evening.

Jo-Anne and I met a few years ago at a Nanowrimo write-in. I instantly liked her and I am so pleased that she is now one of my closest friends. Our dates are a must especially when life is crazy or when we have writing brainstorms bubbling under the surface.

A little while back she borrowed the books that my short stories are published in. (You can find them over here.) I was eager to hear her feedback, and to tell me what she thought of my characters. The four of them are stand alone reads but deal with the same characters and an expanding world.

She told me some positive things that gave me a boost. I don’t just mean a “I feel great” kinda way (although I did). It sparked something in my writer brain. And with the way I have been feeling, I am in good need of a spark or two.

It also helped me realize a mental block that I have been having.

My main characters are Quinn and Lily, and I love writing them. I love being in their world. The last few times I have sat down to work on a new short story or novel, I didn’t get very far. I get frustrated. And therefore I don’t want to write. This world no longer makes me happy. It makes me stressed. So, what is this block?

I have too many ideas for them. TOO. MANY.

When I start writing, I start to second guess myself. Is this plot good enough? Should I have went with the other story idea I wanted to start? Should I combine Plot A And Plot C, or should B and C go better together?

Once I am in this train of thought, that’s it. Game over.

Jo-Anne gave me a great idea that I am going to try. Basically write out a big ol’ mind map. I plan to dig out my bristol board, tack it to a wall and start writing down my plots, story ideas and see which ones I can connect well and which should be stand alone. I am excited to get on this and see where it will take me. 🙂

There is always a solution to every writing problem. You just can’t give up on it.

Ok so I fibbed…but just a little

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I said before that I wasn’t rushing the summer away. But I guess that isn’t really true. As much as I love (and need) sunshine and long days, I am really REALLY eager for fall to come.

I try not to rush the summer, because I dread winter. In my part of the world, sometimes winter feels never ending. In Cape Breton, sometimes winter starts in November and we are lucky if the snow is gone in April. (I remember a snow storm once on May 18th… *shudder*) And, I don’t do well in the winter. My depression is at it’s worst, especially by February and March. We were lucky a few years in a row to have mild winters that nobody minded. But we paid for that since. (Snowmageddon and the Snopocalypse).

I love autumn, especially October. I mean, what isn’t to love?! Thanksgiving, Halloween, apple cider, corn mazes, and the splendid colors that fall brings, just to name a few.

I am already mentally making a fall to do list. It is hard not to, especially since my Pinterest feed is filled with everything autumn and spooky.

When it comes to my writing, I am mostly putting fiction to the side. I want to work on this blog (don’t hold your breath, but let’s see what happens 😉 ), and journal. Not just randomness but write down memories of my dad, life events, etc… Try to catch up on those sorts of things.

I won’t stay away from fiction totally. I plan to use my favorite time to write a short story. Maybe give horror another shot or just a fun or spooky story set on Halloween.

So, hate me if you must but fall is calling my name. I want the crisp evenings, comfy sweaters and to hear the crunching of leaves beneath my feet.

What season soothes your soul?

 

Midsummer Update

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I had one hell of a spring and my summer isn’t much improved. I have had a lot of family and personal stress, and on top of that my precious furbaby went to the rainbow bridge in June. Hershey was a huge part of mine and Mr. C’s life. Her passing has been very hard on us both.

hershey

You have no idea how much I miss this face.

I have been dealing with depression. I am trying to get to my writing and reading but I lack the focus. However it is hard to focus with bright sunny days calling to you. Work has been crazy, and I am looking forward to autumn.

We are going away to Hal-con, a comic con in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I am super excited to go. I have been before but it has been a few years. I love the fall and I am excited to nerd out, so here is hoping that I am feeling better come my favorite time of year. I am not rushing the summer, though. I am not eager to give up the sunshine and heat.

I hope your summer is great. 🙂

Rambles about King Arthur Legend of the sword

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I did something last week that I have never done before- went to the same movie at the theater twice.

It isn’t often that I get to go to the movies. The cost of a night out adds up pretty quickly. So to see the same movie days apart is just something I don’t do. Until now, that is.

Mr. C is away working, and I knew he would be gone when Charlie Hunnam’s new flick ‘King Arthur Legend of the Sword’ was released. I asked one of my best friends well in advance if she would be my date for it.

charlie king

I had heard that the critics were not happy with it, but I have long ago learned that you can’t listen to someone’s opinion when it comes to movies and tv. One must simply see it for themselves. 😉

About halfway through the movie I wondered why the hell would there be so many bad reviews of it. I get that it opened at a time where other big movies were coming out. All the nerds were in line for the new ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movie. ( And yes, I am seeing it as soon as Mr. C comes home). I talked to my friend Jo-Anne over at Inspiration Pie about the movie afterwards and she agreed with me; she had loved it too. We chatted about it for ages one night on our little writing getaway…but more on that another day.

I loved the take on King Arthur, and Charlie Hunnam did a fantastic job in the role. Many of his fans know him from Sons of Anarchy as Jax Teller. Not once did I think about that role. He took on Arthur and made this role his own. Not only did he nail it, Jude Law and Eric Bana also did a terrific job in their roles as well.

The music was phenomenal. I’m a sucker for any type of Celtic music, and each piece suited the scene it was played in. The scenery and cinematography were  amazing. I felt as if I were there in that world.

I felt the fantasy aspect of it, with humans controlling magic as well as the sword having it’s own powers. Bit of a spoiler: I think one of my favorite parts was when Excalibur took over Arthur. The Mage is someone I want to see again if this movie gets a sequel. She was one of the few female characters and not a love interest, thank God. I wasn’t there to watch a romance, even though I love them. For me, this was all about Arthur, his rise to becoming king and his friends who had his back.

I know that anything in life, especially movies, can not please one hundred percent of the people one hundred percent of the time. I loved it so much that two days later I asked another best friend to go see it with me, and we did a few days later. I think I loved it more the second time.

I really hope that Guy Richie continues with these movies. Even just one more would be great. I want to see the Round Table finished with its seats filled; to see Merlin and to see what evil comes at him next. If you see it, I hope you get lost in its tale like I did.

Have you seen this yet? What were your thoughts?

 

Lost In The Word Mines

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It dawned on me today that I haven’t been around in the last few weeks.

Over the last while I have been getting back to feeling like my old self. One of the great things about it is that my creative brain is functioning at almost maximum speed. The only problem with that is that it is highly distracting. I would love to spend my day gathering ideas/inspiration on Pinterest, writing notes and scenes, but instead I have to focus on real life. It’s a shame how that gets in the way of fun. 😉

I have been making progress. I have started a story bible of sorts on my series that I write. I have also been making visual character sketches and world building. Mr. C is gonna flip when he discovers I have used  most of the ink in a very short time. If only there was an endless supply of the stuff. Or at least enough to keep up with all my projects.

There was a time when I had no ideas. Like the well was tapped dry. Now the ideas are flowing quicker then I can keep up with them. Not complaining though.Nope. The ideas and the creativity are who I have always been.

What are you working on? I hope that whatever creative and writing endeavors you are working on are going well.  🙂

From The Book Pile: The Seventh Crow

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Nothing says I am back in the book realm like staying up until 2 a.m reading a book. I am back in my reading groove and it is thanks to this novel by Sherry D. Ramsey, which is published by Dreaming Robot Press.

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This YA novel is great for tweens and adults.

 

I bought this book about a year and a half ago when it first came out. I was very excited to get it and start reading it. But thanks to my reading slump, it never happened until this past week. (Tsk tsk, I know).

Tuesday night I stayed up until 2 a.m, because like any bookworm knows, it is hard to put a good book down. The following day after work, I ate supper and sat down to finish it. I suffered through heavy lids (gee, I wonder why I was so tired 😉 ) in order to finish it because I JUST HAD TOO.

This is a blurb about The Seventh Crow:

When you can’t remember most of your life, you’d better be prepared for anything. The day a talking crow meets her on the way home from school, fourteen-year-old Rosinda is plunged into a forgotten world filled with startling revelations: magic ability flows in her veins, she’s most comfortable with a sword in her hand, and the responsibility for finding a missing prince rests solely with her.

While dark forces hover in the background and four forgotten war gods from Earth’s past plot to reclaim long-lost power, Rosinda struggles with waves of slowly-returning memories as she searches for clues about her past and the true identity of her family; a search that takes her back and forth between two worlds. In a race against time to recover her memory, find the prince, and rescue her loved ones, Rosinda has only her friend Jerrell and an unusual trio of animals as companions. And as the gods prepare to bring her world to war, Rosinda is unaware that the shadow of betrayal lurks within one whom she trusts the most…

If you are a person who loves magic, quests, adventure, secrets, kick ass girls, talking animals, fantasy, then this novel is for you! Seriously, get it now. I fell in love with the characters and I hope that someday there will be a sequel.

After finishing it, I mulled it over for sometime. Thinking of what Rosinda would do next, wondering what her companions would be like were they to stay by her side. I spent the rest of the evening thinking about this and other things. The story stuck with me.

One aspect I loved was that the story line was fast paced. I love fantasy but often the books I pick out drag on. I stay with them because between all the pages of scenery description there are wonderful fun moments. With The Seventh Crow, I wasn’t bored.  It is just the perfect kind of fantasy for me to read.

As much as I love a good plot, I am very character driven. These characters were all unique in their own way, and all played a part. I especially loved Rosinda. If you read this novel, you will too. Trust me.

 

Getting Back In The Writing Grove

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Aside from not reading last year, my writing sadly went to the side as well. Although I did manage to write about 10k during Nanowrimo, so the year wasn’t a total waste.

I feel sad when I think about the writing I could have done over the last year. How lack I have been. My wedding planning really did consume me, so it isn’t like I was slacking off totally.

It is a new year and a fresh start. I have gotten back to my book pile, and now it’s time to get back into the word mines, too.

Last night was our first writer’s group meeting of the year. I love my group. I always find inspiration or am given a kick in the butt to get going.

I have two projects I want to work on this year at the very least. One will probably be a short story in a series I write. (You can check it out along with other great authors and stories over here)  I also have an idea for a genre I have yet to write. I have no idea yet if it will be a short story or novel yet. Time will tell.

My problem right now is getting back to the groove. But thanks to one of my friends, I have a plan now. I tend to put too much pressure on myself which is a big way of setting myself up for failure.

I am going to start off by writing for fifteen minutes a day. Fifteen minutes is a small chunk of time, and it will help getting the wheels greased. If (and when!) I go over the time limit, bonus! I also need to make notes and brainstorm but of coarse that won’t come from my writing time.

So, if you are having a hard time writing, try to write for a short time each day. Don’t stress or put pressure on yourself. Writing should be fun, not a chore.

What are some things you have done to get back into writing?

Now if you will excuse me, I have an opening scene to work on. 😉