Saturday, July 30, 2011

Life is Crazy

Hey everyone!  I just wanted to inform you guys that I wont be posting this weeks posts due to my job taking me to a place that doesnt offer net.  My job kinda up and takes me to strange places at the flip of a dime.  I hope to be back with you all soon and don't miss me too much!  Have a great week!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Sorry!  No fancy header yet! 

Loads of writers are asked what inspires them on a daily basis.  All of them say about the same thing..."Everything!"  I'm the same way.  May it be a sunset, a day out on the town, music, or a turkey burger (no lie, I got a major turning point for my novel while making a turkey burger) ideas come out of no where.  I thought on Thursdays I would post some of the things I run across in everyday life that inspires me to write.  Today, I am just going to leave you with 2.  

First off I have a novel playlist.  I inquired songs for each of my characters as well as songs for certain moods.  I love film scores and listen to them alot when I am having a hard time focusing it, but this song I am linking I knew would set the tone for my whole book.  I spend most of my time listening to  If you want to find some good Indie music, you should check them out.  Once you find a good artist, it leads you to search their other work.  That is how I found this one.  

Darkening Sky by Peter Bradley Adams 

Lastly, I get tons of inspiration from Art.  Being an artist myself, I love looking at others work.  Here is one piece I came across that I fell in love with!  

What Inspires you? 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Killing Trees With Note Cards

There are tons of ways to outline.  You can go about a spreadsheet (which I have no idea how to actually do), outline in word, do chapter summaries, write out notecards, or loads of other ways.  I considered myself as a pantser.  When I started working on this novel, I only had one piece of the puzzle.  I saw one scene that captivated me and I wanted to know more about the girl who touched my heart.  Not knowing what I was doing, I wrote out what I saw.  Let me fess up first.  At that point in my life I hadn't wrote anything more than a few short stories hidden away in notebooks from unwanted eyes and the pages of poems that flown through my head.  How was I going to ever write a novel?  

I kept that file saved on my computer and forgot about it while I focused on my Career.  I was kidding myself if I thought I could ever finish something so large as a novel. It had been one of those far off dreams I always had growing up.  Stories ran through my head on a daily basis but usually they were only for me.  When I began to have less faith in my chosen career, I decided to look back at that file.  I never truly forgotten about it, but more ignored it.  

While living in California for the second time of my life, I ran across a location that was exactly what I saw in my head.  It was almost like a calling.  My novel was begging me to come back to it and I took it as a sign.  After spending a few weeks in this certain location, I went back to my apartment in the city and wrote a new scene.  I still hadn't figured out what these characters were doing, but I just knew I had to write.  Not only that but my male lead kept hounding me to meet the girl and that everything was depending on her.  

After I wrote a few more scenes, I decided to go back to the place that inspired me.  I had made some friends there and they offered to show me around the teen hang outs.  They even took me hiking to a spot that awed me so much, it is one of my favorite scenes.  

After taking loads of pictures to satisfy my mental creativity, I journeyed back home to write more, but when I got there, nothing came.  I got down on myself, feeling defeated, I let the story sit for a few months more.  By that time I had moved back home to my country life where I grew up.  It was here that I decided not to give up on it.  National Writing Month--NaNoWriMo--was a couple weeks away.  I had wanted to enter the year before, but I found out about it in the middle of the month.  This year, I told myself I would not only enter, but win.  

I made out a few notecards from the notes I kept in my notebook.  This notebook comes with me everywhere.  I have finally filled that one and recently cracked open a new one, but I poured over the pages I filled in search for the story.  Slowly the ideas came.  

When I started NaNo, it was very difficult.  I had never wrote that much in my life, but by the end of it, I did win.  I barely crossed over the finish line but I was proud.  I decided to read over what I wrote that month, which in doing so, changed everything.  I hated it.  It was filled with useless and meaningless words.  There was no feeling inside those pages.  Not the feeling I got when I saw the story in my head.  I admitted defeat again.  

I stopped writing for a couple months, thinking that if I took a rest it would work out.  Maybe when I came back I could see the words clearer and I did.  The story finally came alive.  I re-wrote everything from NaNo and I feel more confident than ever.  I must mention that I didn't finish the book during NaNo.  I only made the goal words which is 50,000.  I was far from finishing the book.  When I went back and edited, I lost many many words.  I cut the first 5 chapters even.  The pacing was terrible.  

I still am writing the same novel but along my way I learned something.  Notecards are what saved--still saving--me.  Back in High School AP English, I had to do notecards for a research essay.  I HATED it with a passion.  I never thought I would go back to it.  Maybe it was more the research essay than the actual notecards that I disliked.  I bought one of those notecard boxes to fit them all in and I sorted them out.  When I was done I only had the first part of the book plotted out.  I didn't know what came in the middle and only knew a very small part of the end.  I decided to write anyway.  As I wrote, I found more scenes to add that just popped in my head.  These scenes changed so much and added subplots I didn't expect.  I filled that box already and I didn't even have half the novel wrote out.  

Recently I got to the spot where there were no more cards to come next.  The middle was just one giant hole.  I didn't know how to tie in my ending--one I finally figured out--with the rest of my story.  I finally sat down and brain stormed.  It had been awhile since I had done anything like that.  I took out my notecards and kept filling them with things I knew had to happen.  When I was done there will still holes but I had a start.  I continued thinking about it.  I didn't want to jump ahead and write the end because I knew a huge part of my characters emotions played on those middle scenes.  I would be losing much emotion if I jumped the gun.  

A few days ago I went back to the cards and added more.  I finally felt like I had what I wanted.  I tried putting them in order but it just wasn't filling out for me.  Then tonight, I laid all the cards out.  I grouped scenes together that I knew I wanted paired.  I made line after line until it started to make sense.  Finally I was getting somewhere.  As I put the cards in order, new scenes popped up but I didn't mind.  A few moments ago is when the story finally came together.  For the first time in a very long time, I felt a sense of accomplishment.  I stuck with it and it worked out.  Even if I had to kill tons of trees to do so, it was worth it.

Those aren't just single cards...those would be stacks.  And this isn't counting the other box.  These are just the new ones :P

Now that the puzzle figured out, it's time to glue it all together. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Siren Song

This is a painting by John Williams Waterhouse who is one of my favorite artists. 

Sirens have intrigued me since reading the Odyssey back in High School.  There is so much information out there about these mystical creatures but I'm only going to touch on a few.  

In Greek mythology, sirens were said to be birds with the face of women who sang seductive songs luring sailors to their rocky shipwrecked deaths.  The sirens were said to live on an island of purple flowers, surrounded with cliffs and sharp rocks.  The number of these women seems to change with each story.  In Homer's Odyssey, he speaks of two but other sources count up to five.  He never mentions their names but the most popular in other stories are Peisioe, Aglaope, and Thelxiepeia.  (Can you imagine spelling those names as a kid?) 

Another beautiful Waterhouse Painting. 

In The Odyssey, Homer wanted to know what their entrapping song sounded like, so following Circe's advice, he had his fellow sailors tie him to the mast while he ordered them to plug their ears with beeswax.  He ordered them no matter how much he begged and begged, they were not to untie him but instead tie him tighter.  When they passed out of earshot, the sailors knew by his frowns they were able to release him.  

My favorite Greek version though is the aquatic mermaid stories.  Somethings about them is much more magical and beautiful.  I mean, seriously...anything is more seductive than a bird with a women's face.  That just sorta creeps me out.  *shudders* What is interesting is the fact the word for mermaid in a few other languages are Sirena, Syrena, and Sereia.  I have noticed a few YA books in the last few years starring Sirens. 

I hope this post was magical enough for you and inspiring enough to check out some other tales--no pun intended--about Sirens.  Before I go I wanted to leave a couple pictures of Sirens from Deviant Art.  I'll provide a link to the artist under each pic.  ENJOY! 

Siren by 'shyble      

Last but not least!!! I found this on youtube and am in LOVE with it.  Thought I would share :P

Friday, July 22, 2011

Scare Your Pants Off

I know it seems--ok more than seems--that I am a terrible blogger, but from reading some of Kristen Lamb's Blog about writer blogs, I have been learning quite a bit and have made the first step in improving my own.  I have to admit that when I started this thing, I didn't know much about blogging.  Since then, I have been looking into other writer blogs and found that I was going about it all wrong.  There was no way I would stay interested, or my readers for that matter, if I just posted about my writing.  From discovering this, I am proud to present a new blog schedule.

Magical Mondays
Writing Wednesdays
Thinking Thursdays
Freaky Fridays
(vlogs may become a regular as well but I haven't quite decided on a day)

With adding in some new elements, I believe to keep myself, and others, coming back on a regular basis.  I have so much more to teach people than giving insight to my writing habits. I hope you all will enjoy the new set up as I plan on.

Magical Mondays will be any and all magical topics that I run across.  Magical books, magical ideas, and heck, maybe magical love.  It can be quite broad in the topics.

Writing Wednesdays will be anything about writing, may it be mine or others.  Tips and tricks, found or used by myself, on blogs will be posted here as well.

Thinking Thursdays is going to be inspirational days.  Writers are asked all the time what sort of things inspire us, so I figured I would post where Ideas spring from.

Freaky Fridays I think will be one of my favorites.  I love all things freaky--no that wasn't a dirty joke. Fridays would be about anything scary that freaks me out.  This topic could get interesting!

So without further ado.....!!!


So if any of you know me personally, you know I am a horror movie geek.  I love a good scare--even if that means not sleeping in my bedroom and choosing the couch with all the lights on (thanks Charlie).  I recently had a friend call, at 2am no less, and tell me about this freaky movie he just watched and he thought I should check it out.  I heard about this movie when it hit theaters but I hadn't thought about it since.  If you are a freaky movie fan then you should check out Insidious!!!

Doesn't this poster look awesome? Little kid scary stuff freaks the crap outta me the most :S

What I loved most about this movie was the old school soundtrack.  The creepiness of it reminded me of all the 70s horror films I loved so much growing up.  My dad introduced me to the classics around Junior High and that is also when I fell in love with them.  So many scary movies have numbed me over the years but this movie made me jump like crazy.  It brought me back to the days of curling my feet up on the couch so the monsters wouldn't grab me.

Not only was the soundtrack awesome, but the story line was an emotional one.  I could only imagine what I would do in the place of the boy's parents.  Renai Lambert did a brilliant acting job in my opinion.  I love alot of her movies, so I was pleased to see her portraying the mother in this one.  She was my favorite character out of the leads.  From the minor characters, Tucker (aka Angus Sampson) added a bit of a comedy relief as a ghost hunter.  His bit with the flashlight cracked me up.  Also, Lorraine Lambert (aka Lin Shaye) reminded me of renowned demonologist Lorraine Warren, which I thought was interesting.  I also am guessing that is why they gave her the same first name.

I won't go into detail but the spirits were pretty freaky.  I wish I could of saw a bit more of the main demon up close though.  I am into fx and knowing that Aaron Sims was a big part of this film got me excited, but I didn't get that up close shot I was looking for.  I must admit that I liked the beginning of the film better than the end.  The two parts didn't seem to match up well in my eyes.  The story went in a strange direction, not that I am completely complaining, but the jumpiness dulled down as it got to the ending.  I was expecting some kind of big startle at the end but there just wasn't in my eyes.

All in all, it was a great watch and brought me back to being a scared little kid biting her nails, so I couldn't have asked for more.  It also inspired me for a future story!  If you haven't watched it, give it a try!