Monday, September 28, 2015

Taking Stock: September

Looking forward: To October. Autumn is my favorite season, and I can't wait until the leaves start to turn and there's a real chill in the air.
Eating: Popcorn. Extra-extra butter is the only way to go.
Publishing: Another ghost story! Morte Mare will appear in Inkblots & Typing Spots on October 30th. A ghost story published the day before Halloween--how cool is that? I can't wait for you guys to read it!
Reading: Jesse James: The Last Rebel of the Civil War
Hoping: For a productive week. (Haha.)
Watching: (Or Watched, rather) The lunar eclipse on the 27th. I didn't stay outside for the whole thing, because I'm a wimp who bores easily, but I did get a good look at the blood moon.
Drinking: Cherry coke.
Loving: Gel pens, journals, good books, and visits from friends.
Still wishing: For hot cocoa.
Realizing: That the one-year anniversary of this blog is coming up! I started posting here all the way back in November, and I honestly can't believe I made it this far.
All pictures via Tumblr and Pinterest.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Writing: Behind the Scenes

no more twist:
via Pinterest

   I swiped these questions from the Behind the Scenes Writing Tag because why not? There’s nothing quite as fun as interviewing yourself.

Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?
I'll sometimes make myself a mug of tea to drink when I want to feel like a real artist. After a couple sips, I forget it until the tea is ice-cold.

When do you normally write?
I don’t have a fixed time to sit down and write (though I should). Still, most of my writing happens in the afternoon/evening. My sweet spot seems to be around 12-3ish, though I obviously don’t have much time to write then.

Where do you write?
At my desk, with my gel pens, journals, and Iwako erasers to keep me company. Plus Totoro and Herschel. They’re my unofficial good luck charms.

How often do you write a new novel?
I've been trapped in the land of false starts for a few years now. The really good ideas do tend to stick around, though, and I feel like I've grown as a writer to the point where I might actually be capable of doing them justice. It's a wonderful feeling.

Do you listen to music while you write?
Sometimes. I create playlists for most of my projects, but I don’t always want to listen to them as I’m writing.

What do you write on? Laptop or paper?
 Except for journaling and story notes (which I keep in notebooks), all of my writing goes on the computer. I type (read: hunt and peck) faster than I write by hand, and it’s easier to change things on Word, which actually helps me loosen up and write more freely.

Is there a special ritual you have before/after you write?
Before: Waste as much time as possible, then listen to a few of my favorite songs from that project’s playlist, wasting even more time.
After: Curl up in a ball and try not to cry.

What is always near the place you write?
Pens, pencils, markers, and notebooks.

Do you have a reward system for your word count?
Nope! If I could, I’d motivate myself with chocolate or ice cream, but I am poor and can’t afford gallons of ice cream. Or new pairs of pants.

Is there anything about your writing process that others might not know about?
I’m the queen of false starts. Most of my projects have at least one failed beginning (and sometimes even an entire failed draft) in their past. I wish that wasn’t a part of my process, but it seems like it’s here to stay.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

This & That

via Pinterest

   I write this while recovering from wisdom tooth extraction, which was a lot less painful than I expected it to be but still no barrel of laughs. I was actually hoping to get some writing done this week anyway, but haven’t so far (for reasons that became obvious the minute I woke up from surgery). Instead, I’ve been reading, binge-watching TV, and sleeping. Mostly sleeping.

   Right after the surgery my sister bought me a Pop! figurine of Hershel Greene, one of my favorite Walking Dead characters. He brightened my day so much it’s kind of embarrassing. And I’m about halfway through The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz, which is perfect comfort reading: an addictive voice, great historical details, and I plot that’s leisurely enough to make me feel relaxed but exciting enough to keep me turning the pages. Plus, I’ve about two chapters away from finishing Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony. I really can’t complain :)

Isn't he ADORABLE?
   I haven’t been writing, but I do have a few ideas knocking around in my head, and it’s nice to have some time to mull them over. One in particular is a story I’ve wanted to write for ages that keeps refusing to come together. I’ve had two false starts already (one went on for five chapters, the other petered out after just one). It’s frustrating, to say the least, but I do feel like every attempt is bringing me closer to what I actually want to write. Or at least I hope they are.

   Last week I started keeping a WIP journal. I didn’t think I’d need one, since I write about writing quite a bit in my regular journal, but having a notebook specifically dedicated to ranting about my current projects and why my muse is on the fritz makes all the difference. (On a side note, do you guys picture your muses as anyone or anything in particular? At the moment mine feel like a bunch of crusty cowboy types who spend the day trash-talking me, which probably says a lot about my level of confidence, but it’s still fun to think about.)

  Oh, and one more thing: my sisters and I recently watched Fury, which was an all-around wonderful movie. It’s also rated R, so it’s probably not for everybody, but give it a try if you like gritty tearjerkers. I promise you won’t be disappointed. 

Staring into the distance, a disheveled soldier stands in front of a tank, with "Fury" written on the barrel and other soldiers leaning/sitting on it.

  I'm still on pain medication, so thanks for bearing with me if things got a little loopy :) What have you guys been up to lately? 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Milk Tea Book Tag

    Back at the beginning of August, Alyssa tagged me for this amazing quiz. I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to do this, but better late than never, right?

Tea: The foundation of your reading life
The Lord of the Rings. My mom read the books to me and my sisters when I was six-ish (right around the time the movies were coming out) and I LIVED in Middle Earth. I’m not exactly a Tolkien purist (in some ways I prefer the movies) but those books solidified my love of fantasy. You can’t ask for more than that.

Milk: A rich, smooth book
Most anything by Jane Yolen, but for today I’ll pick The Mermaid’s Three Wisdoms, which I just finished. It’s out-of-print and apparently very hard to find, but luckily for me our library still carries a ton of out-of-print books.  The story is about a mermaid and a deaf girl who become friends and communicate through sign language (according to some folklore, mermaids have no tongues). The language is simple, but gorgeous all the same. I got jealous reading it.

File:HP1 Cover.jpg

Sugar: A book you love but is controversial
I’m going to cop out here and go with Harry Potter. I don’t think this needs much explanation—it’s still pretty controversial in some circles.

Ice: A book just for fun
If a book doesn’t have at least some fun parts, chances are I won’t finish it. That said, Surviving the Applewhites is a ball to read. A juvenile delinquent is dumped into an insane family of artists and unschoolers who must all work together to put on their own production of The Sound of Music.

Silk Stocking: a book that’s much better than it sounds
I thought Entwined would be a pretty typical YA fairy tale retelling. Then I stayed up until after midnight to finish it. It’s whimsical, funny, sweet, surprisingly dark, and incredibly creepy. The characters are wonderful, the setting to die for (a Victorian fantasy kingdom!), and I can’t think of another story quite like it.

Yingyang: A book with foreign influence
Wildwood Dancing, another fairy tale retelling (same fairy tale, too—The Twelve Dancing Princesses), is set in 1500s Transylvania. There’s a lot of culture and folklore mixed in, which was super fun. The sequel, Cybele’s Secret, is set in Istanbul.

I Tag: Anyone who want to join in! What are your favorite books?