Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I would really like to participate in National Novel Writing Month, but I don't know if I can.

  • For experience and for a little extra cash, I am working as a class room assistant for a writing intensive class at Oregon State University, and it's midterm season. 
  • For the next two weeks, I would like to critique other group members' work for our monthly ANWAMoonwriters meeting. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, right?
  • I swapped books with another ANWA writer, and I need to finish looking at it by Nov. 10
  • After Nov. 14, I might have more time, except I'm going to be spending a week on a Disney Cruise with my family. 
November is pretty busy for me, but it sounds like such a fun thing to do. Maybe I'll wait until next year?

Monday, October 29, 2012


One of the "joys" of being an author is the constant amount of editing you have to do.

So, I finished my first novel, or collection of short stories, a while ago. I set it aside for a little bit and worked on other projects so that I could look at it with new eyes once I was ready to keep working on it. I've since picked it up again, and I've reached a somewhat disheartening conclusion: I'm not finished yet.

I need to tie my stories together. I am pretty happy with my short stories at this point, but I need to write something more. Perhaps one story with one set of characters that I can intersperse with my other unconnected stories, to make it more...I don't know. I have to keep thinking about.

I thought I was done writing and moved on to just editing, but I guess I was wrong. I'm not done. Not yet.

You're never really done with a story. There are always ways you can improve. I just hope I will some day get this project to the point where I'm happy sending it in to an editor to publish.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Check your blind spot!

This morning, Josh and I woke up early. We headed down to Albany, where we worked all day helping my grandparents move out of their house.

First, We helped clean out the barn: I was attacked my spiders. I really don't like spiders.

Second, we had to work all day packing and/or getting rid of memories, not to mention all of the memories that come just from the structure of the house itself, as well as the extensive yard. Sad.

Third, my blood sugar dropped super low without me even noticing, and I almost passed out.

Fourth, we moved a lot of heavy things into a llama trailer to be transported to storage. Very heavy things.

Fifth, Josh tripped backwards over a bed frame and almost tumbled to his death. We haven't been married quite long enough for me to wish him dead yet!

So, after a long and stressful day of packing/moving/cleaning, it was time to move things to the storage unit. We get to the storage unit in Stayton after dark and unloaded everything. Once that was done, we were all tired and starving and ready to be finished. So we planned to leave.


The gates [apparently] stop working at 8 o'clock pm. We reach the gate at 7:59. We accidentally put in the wrong code. The door gate doesn't open. The minute hand rolls over. We're locked in.

It's very cold out (and misty and damp!) and we're locked inside of the storage unit that we didn't know closed at 8.

Despite all the complaining, none of it was all that bad. The storage unit thing was actually pretty funny. Here is the part where I REALLY complain:

TWICE today, yes, TWICE a car--on the free way--in the other lane tried to switch lanes into the space that out car was already occupying. CHECK YOUR BLIND SPOTS! This isn't the first time this has happened to us either. Seriously? Why is it so hard? Don't put other people's lives in danger. Pay attention. Please, please, please pay attention. I'm not ready to die. I have so much I have to do with my life still!

My biggest fear: Car accidents. Now you know, and you obviously will never drive negligently ever again.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Our minds are powerful things.
Hold your hand out in front of you. Focus on it. Does it feel different? Are there pains or pulses there that you never noticed before?
Your mind can make you sick. Your mind can make you better.
A mind is a beautiful thing!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


My grandparents are moving out of the house they have lived in for 18-ish years. I feel like I grew up in that house, and it's been a really sad thought to get used to. I don't want them to go!

But, with change often comes stories.

After helping them pack and clean all day yesterday, a flood of memories that I hadn't thought about in years came to the forefront of my mind. I always try and look for inspiration in all of my experiences, but until yesterday, I hadn't even really considered the experiences I went through many years ago. My past is still part of who I am, and maybe I will use some of those memories for inspiration in future projects to come.

Good luck, Grammie and Bubba, with all your future endeavors. I know you're sad to leave too, but change is an important part of life. It is one of the many things that fuels our storytelling, as well as our imaginations. What will happen next? Who knows!

Monday, October 22, 2012


Last night, after lying in bed for hours without being able to fall asleep, I decided to watch a movie. I picked Finding Neverland. I've always really liked that movie, and last night, I enjoyed it just as much, despite the frustration of being awake at 2 am with no prospects of sleep in view.

I really like how Johnny Depp portrayed JM Berry, and I want to be a girl at heart all throughout my life, imagination alive, just like he was (except he was a boy, and I'm a girl...obviously). I want to do what makes me happy, and imagine away all the troubles that I can possibly imagine away. Life is too short to be bogged down with unnecessary grown-up cares.

My next technique, to trick myself to sleep, was to let my mind wander, discovering my happy place. I was surprised at how nerdy it was, and then I was sad that I care too much about what people to think about me to write down all that is in my imagination, all that is in my happy place.

Maybe one day, I'll get over it.

It didn't work, by the way. I passed a sleepless night (a sleepless weekend, really), and now I'm running on empty. I'm very excited for bedtime, and hopefully I'll feel better (and more productive) tomorrow.

The one thing about being a writer is that it requires an extraordinary amount of self-discipline. Again--oy.  

Friday, October 19, 2012


I have compromised with myself.
Remember that story I wrote about earlier? Junk it or save it?
Well, I decided to do both. I went through all my old stuff and cataloged it. Then I started from scratch. I can go back and yank stuff from my original transcript if it's good/useful, but I won't be bogged down by it when trying to write something better.
It's a bummer to start over, but it's for the best. Besides, it's not really starting over--everything I did before, whether I use it or not, helped me get to this point, and eventually to the finished product.

Also, here is a picture of a beautiful fall tree:

Junk it?

I have a story that I've been working on...maybe since 6th grade? It's changed drastically since then, and I abandoned it until I had a dream about it sometime in college (convincing me that I could make it work), and I have nearly a hundred typed pages of it written so far. 

The problem is, I really like it. It's a fun story, and I like the romance I've created. BUT...I don't know if it's worth saving. I've written it and re-written it so many times, it bares basically no resemblance to the original idea. Instead of writing new stuff, I have to go back and edit old stuff to fit my new story line. I feel like it's a drain on my time, and I don't know if I'll ever get it published. I like it, but will anyone else?

I know it's still good to practice my skills, even if no one will ever see it. But I'm getting tired of fixing it. Should I start from scratch? Should I just give up all together?

So I have to decide: Should I junk it? Or is it worth saving?

Thursday, October 18, 2012


It is important to do things that make you happy.
Today, this is the first time I am writing. But, I needed the day to recharge.
I need to be better at relaxing. It's important to work hard, but you have to treat yourself right too. I have the tendency to become my own slave-master, and I need to give myself a break sometimes.
In order to relax, I want to make an effort each day to do something that makes me happy. Life is too short to deny yourself, for whatever reason, things that bring you real, lasting happiness.
For me, it's:

  • Candles
  • Breathing
  • Watching funny TV shows
  • Being ridiculous
  • Putting batman bumper stickers on my car
  • Creating things that weren't there before
These are a few of my favorite things, I suppose. 
Smile and relax. 
My mantra, that I try really hard to live by: Live, Love, Laugh.

I just wish I could always take my own advice!  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


It's almost impossible for me to do anything without the support of those closest to me.

My husband just brought me a glass of water while I was writing. He kissed me on the forehead, and I told him I was afraid of failure. He asked me if writing is really what I want to do with my life. I said yes. He said, then you have to go for it. Just focus on writing, and not on getting published. Then, you write from the heart, not from the desire to make money or to be a professional. Which do you think writes better stories?

He's going to have to shoulder most of our financial burden alone unless I get a big break. But he is willing to do it so that I can pursue my dreams. I couldn't do it without him.

There are many other people in my life who have done the same sorts of things for me. Life is a team effort. Maybe some people can do it alone, but I know I can't.

Thanks to everyone who has ever supported me or pushed me to do my best. I am where I am today because of you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stone Cold Bistro

After spending the morning in the Salem Public Library, I am taking a lunch break.

I had beef and noodle stew from the Stone Cold Bistro, and it was delicious. Now I am sitting, looking out at the falls colors and the busy flags of a windy courtyard, almost ready to go back to work.

It isn't raining today, but that's okay. I am finding sufficient inspiration to keep me busy. It's going really well, and I am still very excited about this project.

I wonder though, if I'm going to be able to write fast enough to be an author. Some of the people I have talked to through ANWA seem to already have tons of books...maybe more than I'll ever be able to write. But you don't need to write a lot to be a published--and maybe even a little famous--author...right? I hope not. Or, I'll just have to work on my imagination...think more creatively and figure out how to come up with awesome plots on the fly, so that I can write more quickly and often.

I heard of a webcast by Angela Morrison that seems like it might help me with my problem of not being able to think of plots quick enough. I'll have to check that out.

There are so many talented people out there, I sometimes wonder if I'll ever get published at all. But, I can't think like that. When people ask, "What do you do for a living?" I have to tell them, "I am an author." I won't doubt myself. That's not how you chase your dreams.

My next project for to day is to find a book about architecture, so I don't sound like an idiot when I write about it. I haven't done a research project since college, and I'm not sure if I'm excited about it or not. I guess we'll see.

Monday, October 15, 2012


It's finally showing signs of being a real Oregon fall...I love the rain so very much!

  • I like pumpkin and cinnamon and other fall smells
  • I like fire[places] 
  • I like sweaters
  • I like cuddling 
  • I like warm socks and blankets
  • I love standing in the rain, smelling the rain, and letting my imagination run wild in it. 
Tomorrow, I am going to buckle down and write, write, write. I'm going to wear a sweater, some boots, and spend all day in another world of my creation. 

Another couple of reasons I love fall: 
  • It's stormy and inconsistent--too much consistency makes me nervous
  • Fall colors and falling leaves
  • Halloween--it's the only other holiday, besides Christmas, that really has a "season"
  • Football! (Go Beavers!)
That's all. The End. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I spent the weekend at the Oregon Coast (Lincoln City) with my husband. It was stormy and wonderful, and it was very relaxing. We both needed it.

I didn't do any writing, but I read The Power of Six for inspiration. It was a fun book, and I read the whole thing in about 2 days. It was exciting, and it was helpful to read how people write action. I also read Lord of the Flies, though I didn't finish that one, because I've never gotten around to reading it. It's a classic though, and I had no idea that TV's Lost was partially based on it. Cool!

I also got some brainstorming done for my latest project and tried to fill in some holes. Mostly, it was just a relaxing trip, free from the internet and the cares and stresses of the world.

Back to work tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


One of my talents is that I'm very good at creating emotional tension in my stories. In my current project, I'm going to need to create a lot of action and physical tension. I haven't practiced that much yet, so I'm going to need to read a lot of action-packed books for inspiration.

On another note, I am waiting to hear back from the ANWA. I registered to be a member of this LDS writing group, and I can't wait to start getting feed back from people other than friends and family about The First Year. I needed to take a break from editing that for a little while, so I could approach it again with different eyes and more objectively, but I'm ready to continue perfecting it...and I really want to start sending it to publishers.

It's really hard to chase your dreams, but if you have them, you should try. Regrets are the saddest part of a human existence, and I intend to not have any.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Some days, I just don't think I can write anything new.

I spent this morning talking about my books with my dad. I didn't really get any new ideas or plot points, but we did bounce some philosophical ideas off of each other (what the point of literature is, how you should treat your reader, what makes a great story, etc). It was certainly a valuable discussion, but I'm just not feeling motivated to write anymore today. I feel like talking was enough, and I'm not sure that it was...

I haven't decided yet if it's good to force yourself to write when you don't have anything to say. I know it's good to write every day, just to keep your creative juices flowing, but should you work on an actual story? If it's forced, you'll probably have to go back and edit the crap out of it anyway...So the question is: Is is less time consuming to edit something terrible OR to write something good from the get go?

Maybe I'll work on other things--like character sketches, background stories, physical descriptions of physiological experiences...maybe no one will ever see them, but who cares? Maybe, after I'm dead and really famous, my husband or children will send my sketches and unpublished ramblings to my publisher, and they can continue benefiting from my brilliance after I'm gone. Rake in the cash, right? Oh, and practice my skills as a writer. Obviously that's important too...

I guess I'll go write some more...I just wish I knew where to start.

Monday, October 8, 2012

New Project

I have started a new project that I'm really excited about. It's pretty different than my first novel, but I think it will be interesting nonetheless.
It's kind of a love story between a girl who is a Smart and a boy who is a Second.
Don't worry, I don't expect you to know what that means. Not yet, anyway.
I think it will be intriguing, and I've really enjoyed working on it so far.
I'll work on finishing it as fast as I can, so you can enjoy it to!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I get inspiration from a lot of things, but recently I've been working on a project that I just can't get excited about unless it's raining. Weird, right? Unfortunately, 2012 has graced us with an abnormally sunny and warm September, so I've been having trouble finding inspiration.

But, I found an awesome website that at least sort of fixes this problem I've been having. is a website that just plays rain sounds. All day. I love it, and I've been able to write so much more effectively while having it on in the background.