Category Archives: Thoughts on writing

Spoken Word

©Robert Dominy 2014Hey everyone! A while back I spontaneously decided to stand up at a Spoken Word Open Mic Night and read a poem I’d written. Usually I’m not quite this brave, but I think the spur of the moment burst of courage and the fact that I didn’t plan to do it got me through. The poem I read is below. Let me know what you think.

Those words belong to Hallmark love,

The kind of love that is easy, kind, patient

Those three words are for the movie love

The love that throws you into a whirlwind

A head over heals, heart in your throat, stomach in your toes kind of love

Those three words are for a child’s love

The big-eyed trust-you-with-my-heart-because-it’s-never-been-broken kind of love

They aren’t for this

This is hard and slow and fast and tumble touch cry laugh feel grow

This is growing up and learning leasons and hurting

This is throwing yourself into the sky dive because falling isn’t fast enough and tearing the parachute to sheds because if you don’t get there faster you’ll be broken anyway

This is passion and heartbreak and healing and safety

This is friendship

This is more than “I love you.”

Hope you liked it. I would love to hear what you think in the comments.

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NaNoWriMo!

I have officially decided to take part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)! If you don’t know what that is, or you do and you desperately want to sign up now, check it out here.

The idea of NaNoWriMo is to write 2,000 words a day for a month. At the end of November you have a roughly novel sized chunk of words. Many use to it finally write that novel they’ve been dreaming about, and some use it to get back into the habit of writing every day. I’m doing both.

If you’ve been around my blog a while you may remember my short story The Forbidden Road. It’s about a girl leaving her destroyed village behind and venturing down a road that she has always been told is dangerous and forbidden. She has no where else to go.

The story has changed a lot since then. The name has changed a half dozen times, and our protagonist Annie now has a companion on her journey, Sarah. (note to self: come up with better name for Sarah) I’ve had a couple of writer moments mulling over this particular story. My first, and biggest, my first ever in fact, was when I realized that the character I wanted to be one of the love interests simply could not be. That character would not do it, no matter what I wanted. I love those moments. I love it when the characters take control.

And so here I sit, hoping and praying that my characters have enough life in them to take control for 2,000 words a day for a whole 25 days. I don’t expect 25,000 of the words I write in the upcoming book to make it into any form of a final draft that may come about. But I know that I have to get the wrong words out before the right ones will be able to make it down my arm and onto the paper.

So NaNoWriMo it is. Anyone with me?

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Novels and paper cranes

9457895673_76beefb3b6_zMaking 1,000 paper cranes is like writing a novel. Or perhaps I can only say that embarking on writing a novel feels like embarking on making 1,000 paper cranes, because I’ve never written a novel, but I have made 1,000 paper cranes.

I made them out of sticky notes and napkins, candy wrappers and notebook paper, newspaper and party streamers, anything I could fold. Because, you see, when I was in tenth grade one of my dearest friends fell ill. I had heard the story about the little Japanese girl who had cancer because of the atomic bombs. She made 1,000 paper cranes and it earned her a wish. I think she dies at the end of the story, but I was ignoring that part when I decided that I would make 1,000 paper cranes, earn that wish, and then give the cranes and the wish to my ill friend.

In the end she didn’t really appreciate it. She didn’t remember the story, and she’d never folded a crane, so she didn’t get how 1,000 of them was a lot of work, but I digress,

Folding 1,000 of them felt the way starting on a novel feels. Crazy,

It feels like it will take forever, and people will laugh at you when you explain yourself, and you might laugh at yourself, but you want to anyway.

And even though my friend wasn’t that excited about my cranes I still now say I’ve folded 1,000 paper cranes. That’s a lot of cranes, and it makes me weirdly proud.

So I guess it’s time to start that novel.

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“Afterworlds” by Scott Westerfeld blew me away

So, if you are unfamiliar with Scott Westerfeld I must request that you pause, open another window, order all of his books, and then return to this blog post. Your life is now better. You’re welcome.

If you ARE familiar (good for you) you may be aware that he recently released a new novel called Afterworlds.
I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t know it was out. I walked into my favorite local book shop (Avid) and was browsing aimlessly as I am apt to do when I saw it. Boyfriend was unphased by my excitement because he. doesn’t. understand.
But I had no choice. Sad little undergraduate student budget be damned. I had to have it.
And then I started reading, and it was totally worth it (even if ramen is going to be on the menu for a few days ;)).
Not only is it a good, well-written story… I expected that from my old friend Scott Westerfeld. I love his work. I know that. So that wasn’t the surprise. It wasn’t the best part.
The best part was that it made me want to write.
It’s been a while since I was truly motivated to write. Since, walking down the street, I started spouting scene ideas ( thoroughly confusing Boyfriend). It is glorious. So thanks, Scott Westerfeld. Thank you very much.

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days like these

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I am a writer. A student. A daughter, a girlfriend, a creator, an agnostic, a waiter, a reader, a crier, a hugger… I have a past and a future. There are some memories that make me very sad, and many more that make me happy. I like having a project (like a blog), and hate being idle for more than a few days. I have pretty low self confidence. I love the rain. I love coffee. I’m awkward. I have very few true friends, but my best friend in the world takes care of me and tells me he loves me every day. I have a wonderful family. I am creative, smart, and occasionally beautiful.

Every day I wake up. I breathe, I eat, I shower, I sleep, I talk, I write, I read…

I sit on my butt on my couch, I think of reasons to be depressed, and [usually] I override those reasons by remembering all the happy things, all the love that fills my life. But sometimes, like today, my mind keeps circling those sad spaces, sometimes, like this week, I have a tough time pulling myself up out of the dark places. On those days, these weeks, I sink for a while.

I sink until something inside me clicks, and I realize I don’t want to sink. That’s usually when I get on the treadmill, or start a new diet, or call my best friend, or start a good book, but today I’m writing  this. I writing this so that all of you know me a little better, get a glimpse into me. Next I’ll get on the treadmill or start that book… but right now, it feels good to have my fingers to the keyboard. 

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My thoughts on Mother’s Day: Why I love to read

Simply put, I love to read because of my mother.

Whether it was nature or nurture (or most likely a combination of both) that lead me to love reading and writing the way I do, the influence came from my mom.

She’s a librarian and an avid reader just like me. She read to me when I was young, and she let me read to her. When I was in first grade and she was reading Harry Potter aloud to my brother I came into the room and demanded that she start again from the beginning. She did, and whether it’s is silly or not, I count that as one of my defining learning-to-love-reading moments.

She’s always kept a house full of books and a car waiting to take me to the library. I had my own library card before I could write my name straight, and I’ve had my own mini library in my room since before I can remember. I participated in summer reading programs at the library and the Accelerated Reading Program at my elementary school (it’s hard not to read when your mom is your elementary school librarian).

She handed me some of my favorite books for the first time, whether I thought I would like them or not (it wasn’t my tween friends who gave me Twilight, it was my librarian mother), and when I was in a book quiz bowl at school she read all the books along with me.

She attends the midnight premiers of the movie adaptations of our favorite books with me, because we love the same books, and she knows that I love it.

In short, (which this post is not (; ) I wouldn’t be the reader, the writer, or the thinker I am today without my mom and her own love of reading.

So on this Mother’s Day I say thank you, Mom, for helping me to develop one of the most important interests in my life, and for a whole lot more too.

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