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Showing posts from 2013

Gingerbread cookies, short stories, and loving yourself.

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I've been bummed guys. 
For some reason I've been hating myself so much for the past few months. I have pimples on my hips because of how often I pinch them. If that's not enough I've judged every interaction with the people nearest me, wondering if I'm a selfish, mean, bitter person and unwilling to face it.  
I often talk to strangers. Mostly during the warmer months when I'm riding around on my bike. Sometimes  they get this look in their eyes, or a tone in their voice. I get the feeling they see something great in me. It made me sad. I felt like I was lying to them somehow. 
Notice I'm using past tense.
You are who you are. You can wear a mask, but underneath you are who you are. I get so worried about what other people think of me. Specifically if people think I'm cruel, or selfish, or stupid. When I felt people thought that way about me, I'd go over all my interactions. Once, by, one, and ask myself if there was a part of myself that sai…

The Beauty WithinTragedy (The intention of your art)

For what seemed like a very long time, there was a growing trend in the art world. Pain. Heartache. Loss. All these emotions, and the events that cause them,were the inspiration for poetry, short stories and novels alike.

We use art to express ourselves, and to heal. But is it healing if you express it without letting it go? Art is life. Life is pain, but life is love as well. Yet time in again, I read the published works of aspiring authors and poets, and what I see is heavy words and heavy hearts. There is beauty in your suffering, but isn't that beauty found in your triumph  rather than the suffering itself? (Though I suppose the entire process of pain, illumination and growth, is stunning.)

No matter who you are, no matter if you live in a mansion, or the doorway to a boarded up building on the side of the street, we all have hardships. It's from these hardships that we learn, and grow. But it seems like people get stuck in the middle of the metamorphosis. They reach the …

Realizations of Life

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Imagine this: You stand at the gate to your next life, wondering what lessons it should encompass. And then, you have it. The entirety of the first quarter of your life, you'll be conditioned into a quiet individual who wants nothing more than to be a shadow cast from the brilliant light of all those around you. Then, when your set in your ways, you come to realize that's not the person you want to be Not only that, but you've reached the age where society dictates you won't be able to change. And, by some illuminating occurrence, you recognize that society was wrong. Through all the pains and woes of childhood, you've come now to a time where you have the opportunity to re-create your entire identity.

How incredible is that? To wake up one morning and realize the person you've always wanted to be is not only on the other side of a rope bridge, but reaching out to you as urgently as you reach for them? Take some time to imagine that for me.  And then realize t…

Moving to New Places

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I've been away for a while, (and not as dedicated to agent searching as I should be.) I've been working like crazy to save enough money for my move to Amherst MA at the end of the month.

Over all I'm excited, (and a little nervous) but there's been a lot of questions about why. Why am I leaving? What's the point? Are you going to school? The answer to all of that is, why not? I've been living where I am for years and years. I have two jobs, I work all the time, but my financial situation is stable.


I need to go.

There's no logical explanation. It's all a matter of heart and soul. I feel like I'm a stone sculpture eroding away, and if I were to continue in this state of stasis, I'd loose all touch with life and light.

On a much more positive note, Autumn is finally here! In so many ways fall reminds me, to a much greater extent than spring, of new beginning. The season of the phoenix. The colors blaze in the sunlight and fill me with unimaginable…

Tick-tock

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I'm sitting on a three-legged stool,  twiddling my thumbs as the pendulum swings back and forth,  back and forth.  And the clock ticks and tocks,  ticks and tocks.
Time is a funny thing, swinging and swaying with no real rhythm or pattern But we give it one. A pattern, and measure by numbers what's immeasurable.
When was the last time you laid in the grass without a blanket? Or climbed a tree in a dress? Do you spend all day outside even if it's raining and cold?
Still sitting on the three legged stool, the pendulum swings back and forth, back and forth, counting the seconds  while I twiddle my thumbs.
I've been up to a whole bunch lately, thus my extended absence. For now my sister Amber has started a blog of her own. Feel free to click on her name and say hello if you have the time.

Chinese Bamboo

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So much has happened I don't know where to start. On the surface nothing's changed. It like my soul is mimicking Chinese bamboo.  Once the seed has been planted, you see nothing for five years but little shoots. That's because all the growth takes place underground. Deep below the earth, a labyrinth of a root system is reaching upward and outward. Then, at the end of the fifth year, it shoots up to a height of eighty-two feet!

For years and years nothing's been changing on the surface of my life. I work the same two jobs day after day, wear the same smile, speak the same words, but all the while the seas within me were turbulent and dangerous. I, on a raft held together with frayed rope.

 Chinese bamboo. All the work took place deep underground, all these roots reaching outward and upward, waiting for the day they would breech the cracks in the dirt and dare to stretch for the great blue sky.

After seven some odd years of living in a place that was slowly killing me, I…

Changes

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It's been a while.  I've done so much, changed so much, decided so much in such a short time it astounds me. I won't go into it all. (does this make me a lazy author?) But most of the turmoil I've felt for the past year and a half is beginning to ebb, and quiet. I still have restless nights, but it's more from the heat, and intense creative waves then anything. I still get down on myself, but the lows are much higher then they used to be. (Think silently screaming on the floor.) 
I've sent my query letter out to my first agent, along with a sample chapter. I've decided I'm moving to MA. and, little by little, I'm starting to understand exactly what it is I want out of this life. I want a group of intelligent, open minded friends that compliment my personality, and who I don't need to filter myself around. I want a spiritual teacher. I want to travel all over the world, not like a tourist, but an explorer with a few dusty possessions and a few bu…

From the Ashes comes the Phoenix

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They have been symbols of rebirth since the beginning of time. (Maybe a bit of an exaggeration.) And they've been a growing symbol in my life for as long as I can remember. I'm not what you would call a fiery person, or at least I didn't believe myself to be. I was water, flowing cool and strong, and constant. Steady, until tested. Harmless, until experienced. More so lately I've tapped into my fire, and this bird has taken hold, and taken flight.

I've been through my fair share of troubles. My heart has been ripped out and bloodied so many times that I have moments where I wonder just how it is I kept moving forward.

I remember, in the deepest pit of my despair, going on long walks. I just wanted to stop. I would look at my feet and ask myself, "Why am I doing it? I can sit down on the road, and stop moving. I don't have to keep holding myself up. I don't have to keep walking."

I continued anyway. One step at a time, my legs carried me forward, a…

Zen in the Seasons

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Everyone loves spring and fall. Summer can be brutishly hot, winter treacherously cold. But spring and fall are perfect. Cool and warm, and so colorful for such a fleeting amount of time. For the sake of the current season, lets stick to spring.

Spring smells lovely. All the trees are in bloom and even when the petals fall it puts a carpet of pink and white over everything, but it lasts for such a short while. It's the lesson of the cherry blossom. Beauty is fleeting, that's what makes it so coveted.

Every single year it comes I find myself wishing it'll never end. The birds singing in a crisp morning, the flowers falling around me when I take my morning run. Even the spring rain seems more gentle and musical. This year I started to wonder, do I really want it to be like this forever? It would be nice in some aspects. Never to cold to get out and run. Never so hot I can't sleep without peeling my cloths off my skin. If it were always spring, it would loose it's mag…

Live each day like it's...

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...the last day of your life. Most people would finish it like that wouldn't they? I never liked it, and I couldn't place my finger on why until I heard it differently.

"Live each day like it's the first day of your life."
There's something dark about thinking each day is the last. To live each day like it's your last, it might make you want to live it to the fullest all the time. Do the things you always wanted to do, but never did because of one excuse or another. It might make you want to tell the people you love just how much you love them. It may even make you realize that your wasting your time being completely miserable, working a job you hate, and being a person you detest. Then there's that tight knot under your shoulder blades. That hooded figure whispering in your ear, "This is the last day of your life."
Maybe it's not so noticeable, but living with the intention, the feeling that this is the last day of your life, creates a f…

What is it?

I want to scream.  In a room with no door, a space filled with mirrors,  I want to take a bat to it all.  Make it all star dust glistening at my feet.  And I want to scream as I do it.
But alas, I'm merely wind up ballerina.  Forever dancing to the same music, constrained to the edges of my box. Red's not the color. Or black. It's all of them in one. Hurling paint at a canvas until your sweating and panting.
Something's bubbling, boiling, burning. I can feel it swelling in my throat.  My chest. My heart.  What is it? What is it? what is it?
Scream. That's all I want to do. Mirrors. Bat. Stardust.

Spiritual Leaders

To be honest, despite my spiritual nature, it's not a topic I'm very... knowledgeable of. I've never been drawn to them, and though a good few people have pointed some out to me who are 'the real deal' I never felt the need to look into it.

A few days ago, I was shopping for groceries with a friend of mine. On the bus ride back, she was telling me about this documentary on Netflix called Kumari. This man's family came from India, but he was born and raised here, in America. Despite them raising him in their beliefs, he was obviously exposed to a much wider range of religions and ways of living being in the USA. That being said, he wasn't a very spiritual person.

Now, growing up in the beliefs of his family, he was teased a lot in school. Until the spiritual movement began in America. Then, miraculously, he became very popular. Not because he was spiritual, but because his heritage was one of many spiritual leaders at the time.

This got him thinking, "…

Editing is a painfully slow process... at least for me

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Sorry I've been missing in action for so long. Between working two jobs and editing in-between, I've had no time to think about what I would like to write about let alone writing it down.

So,tThe editing process. Maybe for some writers it's easy. To me it's like ripping out fingernails with a pair of pliers. My friends won't even read my first chapter anymore, because it keeps changing so much. I've tried putting it aside to stop working on it, but I'm obsessed! Really, I haven't been sleeping, eating scarcely but I'm pretty sure I'm finally on the right track with this whole editing thing. (Even though my first chapter has been, yet again, changed.)

I've cut entire scenes. I've shortened sentences, I've tossed all but the best descriptions, and my work count has dropped drastically. (I still think it could be improved.) On the plus side, the first few chapters were the biggest mess. It'll only get easier from here on out.

Sorry …

What an honor

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Thank you +A Long for nominating me for the V.I.B (Very Inspiring Blogger) Award!
There are seven rules to adhere to in accepting this award (The lazy part of me grumbled something about awards shouldn't come with blasted homework) But it seems like fun to do while I sip my cup of Jasmin tea.

1) Display the award logo on your blog. (Check)
2) State SEVEN facts about yourself. (Oh boy)
3) Link back to the person who nominated you. (Check)
4) Nominate FIFTEEN other Bloggers who deserve this award. (Do I know fifteen bloggers?)
5) Notify each of the Bloggers of their nomination for this award.

Seven Facts about me I lived in a shelter for a good year of my early existence, and while I didn't know what it was when I was little, the only disappointment I had was that it wasn't shaped like a shell. (Though we had stuffed clams for dinner so in the end I go a pair of shells anyways.  For a good portion of my middle school and high school years, I felt emotion vicariously through …

What blogging has helped me understand

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I was really nervous to start this. I thought, "what the hell am I going to write about?"

You see, I'm not a very political person. I'm very spiritual, with a wide range of knowledge in that sphere of life, but I don't know how to articulate it. That is, I don't yet know how to translate it from the raw emotional sense that I experience it, into written or spoken word that everyone can understand. That left me with the little I know about writing. I didn't think that was very much at all.

Yet the fact remained, blogging was a good way for me to get my foot in the door as it were. To get my voice out into the world in an entirely unabridged way. Really. No one can filter me.

I've learned a few things through starting this. The main one being I'm a really opinionated person. I have a lot more passion than I ever thought I had, and I get to express it in the rawest form there is. Creation. Shaping sounds and images, words and sentence structure, into…

The Dreden Files, Death Masks

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Sometimes, I feel Jim Butcher ruined me for other stories tellers. If you ever want a good study in character development and voice, pick up this series. Book one is called Storm Front.

To give a brief background before I jump into my reason for this post, (I know, I always deviate) Harry Dresden is a professional wizard. In fact, he's the only one listed in Chicago's yellow pages. (Go figure right?) To put the feel of the books mildly, your main ingredient will be horror fantasy. (Vampires, demons, the fey) add a touch of suspense, a pinch of private investigative mystery, and a sprinkling of magic theory, and you have what Jim Butcher deemed, the Dresden Files. That all being said, the man does his research. I mean if you've ever studied occult, worked with energy (or felt the world n the same spiritual sense that I have) you'll be quick to pick up on it.

Now, Death Masks is book five of the series, and some of my favorite characters start to come into this one. It d…

Authors go Hand in Hand with Sleep Deprivation

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Really, I intend to sleep. No really, I do. But I get out of work and I make myself dinner. A hot cup of tomato soup with a some tea in the winter. A bright green salad with a cup of red wine in the spring, and I watch some TV as I munch away. That or read a book. But than I sit at my computer. I check the world wide web (talking to you lovely people) before pulling up word.

Click-clack, I type away like a captain to a pirate ship on the stormy seas. Right now I'm just editing, but it's worse when I write the first draft. And as I hunch over my keyboard, the time falls away, one grain of sand at a time. Maybe if I had an old fashioned face clock that tick, tick, ticks as the seconds pass by, I would notice just how late it's gotten. It could be midnight, or past three by the time I finally look up, and sometimes I'm no further along than when I first sat down to work... and I have to get up at five, or seven the next morning, but I just can't pull myself away. One …

The Three typs of Learning

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One of the things Adam, the intuitive healer I saw, had to tell me was that people have limitations. That people just can't experience the world the way I do, and many can't see into people the way I do. One of the things he used to explain this limitation to me, was the three types of learning. Auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. He asked me which I was. The answer to that was simple. I'm extremely visual, and kinesthetic. I need to see it done, and I need to do it. If your try to sit me down and explain things to me, chances are I'll give you a baffled look vaguely reminiscent of a guilty dog, and not understand a word of what you said.
He said that, when it comes to my gift for seeing into people, I need to understand that the reason they can't see me that way, is for the same reason I can't lean in an auditory fashion. But that's not the point of this entry. (Big surprise I deviate completely from topic.)

What I really wanted to speak up about, was the …

Kiki's Delivery Service (Inspiration)

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I love animated films, and Hayao Miyazaki, is one of my favorite animators/story teller. Kiki's Delivery service is one of the older films of his. But if your an artist, or even if you've ever felt as if you've lost your magic touch, it's the movie to watch.

Kiki is a witch. At the age of thirteen, on the night of a full moon, she leaves home to begin one year of training on her own. Which is a tradition for all witches. But, while her mother makes potions, and other witches read fortunes or cast spells, Kiki doesn't have any skill except flying on her broom stick.

When she ends up in a big city on the ocean, a place far away from home where many people haven't seen a witch for years, she opens up a flying delivery service. But all this isn't the heart of the movie, at least not to me. The heart of the movie, is finding your own inspiration, your own person, and trusting your spirit.

As it happens, Kiki begins to feel like an outcast in this big city. After…

Life

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The reason artists get so frustrated with their work is because they know, try as they might, there's always something missing. Something a little not right, and this is true whether you write, or paint, or dance, or create. That's because there are things in this world that can never be explained, or put onto paper, or into sound and movement. No matter how great I write, I don't think I'll ever be able to explain to a person the beauty of the sunset on the beach if they've never seen it themselves. Even if they see a photograph in a magazine, it won't compare to seeing it in person. That's because beauty needs to be experienced, not witnessed from behind a solid plate of bullet proof glass.

Just like you or me. People want nothing more than to be with that one person who will know them without ever having to explain it. But the thing is your filled with that essence, that something that every artists tries to capture. Like the sunset, your he…

Using 'said' in your manuscript

I don't know if it's a personal taste, or just a really common thing among writers. But along with the telling of emotion, there's a lot of aversion to the, "he said, she said, we said together," tag lines.

I know it may seem repetitive, but the thing is 'said' reads more like a punctuation mark than an actual word. If you go through some of your favorite books, or at least most of the best sellers, you'll find they use 'said' or 'asked' ninety percent of the time. In fact, many agents will tell you that using anything but the common place 'said' sounds amateurish.

Lets look at an example from a conversation in my current manuscript 'The cursed Prince,' re-written with different tag lines.