Uta Hagen--

"We must overcome the notion that we must be regular...it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Best of Intensions. . .

I feel like I always have the best of intentions to read and write - I don't know how many times I've sat down on my long weekend (almost summer break!) and have said to myself "Okay, writing starts now.  Go."  And absolutely nothing has happened.  And it's odd to me that I haven't been able to write seeing as how I have had a highly emotional week.  Jimmy's "29th" birthday was on the 24th, and then Memorial Day was yesterday.  We also attended my Uncle Drew's ride that he had started.  So the past few days have been nothing short of emotional.  And yet the writing wouldn't come.  Perhaps it's because I felt so drained - and I haven't been feeling the best.

So today's post is going to be short due to the fact that I don't really know what to write about.  You know, I started writing because I thought it would be fun.  I continued writing because I love it.  At this point in my life, I know both things still hold true.  But I also continue to write because I want to touch someone's life the way my favorite novels have touched mine.  I want a reader to be sitting there, turning my pages, and saying to his or her self "Wow, it's like she got me.

I also write - in relation to CATCH ME - because I want to share with the world the great man that it didn't get to know long enough.  I want people to know Jimmy, and in that way, to know all of our Fallen Heroes.  I want people to realize that it's not just a news special, it's not just a heart breaking picture.  After all of that clears away, a family is left, mourning for the rest of their lives.  I want fellow Gold Star family members to realize that it's okay to feel the way they do - especially those who aren't "closely" related and feel that their feelings are unjustified.

I have no idea where that came from. 

But that, dear reader, is why I write.  Or, well, part of it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


One of the scariest things about writing happens when you near the end of a project.  You're happy-go-lucky and care-free because you're so proud of the art you've created, the story you've told.  But as you get closer and closer, your brain whispers in your ear Umm, then what?

No, Brain, you tell me.  THEN WHAT?!?

When I was writing my first novel (which I'm starting to miss, to be honest), that was one of the most daunting thoughts ever.  What was I going to do when SOLACE was over?  Sure, I still had a ton of drafts to go, edits to make, agents to query, the likes, but that wouldn't keep me writing.  What would I write when that was over?  I had a whole stack of post-it's and napkins and scrap pieces of paper of ideas for new stories.  But most of them weren't very good stories, most were silly ideas I had had when I was younger that I wrote down and never discarded. 

I was scared to death that after my first novel, I would be stuck in that story line; that I would only write sequels to it.  And I didn't want to be that writer.  I didn't want to get so attached to something that I couldn't do anything else, couldn't write anything else.  But here I'm getting to close to a topic for another day.  And too close to something that I'm doing at the moment.  More on that, later.

Anyway, so getting ideas.  How to do it? 

Pay attention.

No, not to me.  I mean, pay attention to the world.  To the things you read, see, smell, whatever.  And I'm telling you to do this because I have no other way of doing it.  For example, one idea that I have (which will probably not ever be written because the format would be very similar to CATCH ME) I got from watching Demons on BBCA one Saturday night in 2010.  Another I got from a dream I had on the way home from Myrtle Beach - my family woke me up too early to see how it ended when we stopped for breakfast at Chick-fil-A (the main guy was actually portrayed by a boy I go to school with - whom I hadn't talked to in years, odd side note).  Some others I got from reading, one I got from my cousin being punched in the chest when he got promoted in the Army. 

So I have no strategy for you, I'm sorry.  But that's why books are so unique.  Ideas have no set way of coming to a writer, they just do.  And they don't always come to writers.  But that's why some people start writing.

And with that, I think I may just do some of that.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wine After Whiskey


The idea for this post was actually inspired by the song above off of Carrie Underwood's new CD - Blown Away.

I was struck by the idea of this song, and some of the lyrics really hit home.  Sometimes in life, you feel like you're stuck in a maze; you're too small to see above you, can't bring yourself to see the big picture, and you have no sense of direction to rationalize your next move.  Know that place?  Multiply it by a lot.  That's where I am right now.

But every now and then, in this mix of criss-crossing corridors, you bump into someone that's just as lost as you.  That's what people call a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity.  Those are, more often than not, the people that make life worth living - no matter how much, or how little, time you get to spend with them. 

These are the people that make you feel like you're on top of the world; and with that, feeling like you could finally see clearly enough to get yourself out of the maze you're aimlessly wandering through.  With a simple message, your whole mood changes and your day goes from being dreary and impossible to suddenly being warm, sunny, and completely alive.  Those are the days when you feel like you could do anything.

These God-sent people don't have to be "significant others," mine haven't been.  Sometimes they come in the form of family members, friends, and complete strangers. 

And just as you think you're going to make it out of this maze, find the path that you're supposed to take - the one you WANT to take - they leave.  You're dropped back down in the middle of the field and you have no idea where you're at.

And it's after losing these people that your whole life feels mediocre, if not completely insignificant.  It's like it's completely watered down, like having wine after whiskey. 

And, more often than not, I think that's what life is.  You get these people and you cherish them, but sooner or later, in one shape of form, they leave.  You're back to sipping your watery wine for x-amount of time, and then one day - BAM - something strong hits again.  Your throat burns from the strength of the whiskey, trying to readjust your weakened system, and then you realize you've felt that before. 

I feel like I'm rambling; and I guess I am.  I just have a lot on my mind and a lot of things are not going the way I had thought they would.  I don't want to lose all of my whiskey people at once; and I feel that I am.  And there comes a point in a relationship where you just have to throw in the towel, close the bar, and call last call.  After a certain point, some things can't go back to they used to be.  Some things change everything.  It's unfortunate, and it sucks, but they do. 

But maybe our life has to have a fair share of wine so that when we find those whiskey people we can recognize it and realize that we have to hold onto those people as long as we can - without becoming so intoxicated that we aren't ourselves anymore.

I promise next week's post will be better.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Finding the Time to Write

Today's post is actually a bit ironic seeing as though it's something I really struggle with.  Writing is sometimes very hard to fit into a schedule, especially when it's not your primary responsibility.  Being in school, I find it really hard to write most days.  If homework isn't taking up my whole evening, by the time I'm done with my homework, I don't really want to write - the same way I often don't want to sit and read after doing homework.  So what is a girl left to do? 

Sometimes, I literally just have to sit down and force myself to write.  However, these sessions usually result in absolute crap in the form of a word document.  But sometimes it's the only way to push through and get through the terror that is the first draft.

And I like that I'm writing about procrastination in writing when I'm only three weeks into this and I'm already missing deadlines.

Anyway, so basically I just have to use ANY time I can find to write.  Study hall when I have nothing else to do -  I actually hand write it(!) - and if I have a couple of minutes here and there to add anything to my word document (which is almost always open). 

Long story short:  Write when you can.  If you have breaks from work, use those to their full advantage.  I know, life gets busy when your only break is a weekend.  Trust me, I know.  But luckily, as a student, I have three free months to write.  Unless, you know, I actually get a job.  Think my parents will accept writing as my occupation for the time being? :) 

See ya next Tuesday!