Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year - Let's Get This Party Started!

I thought I would do a quick New Years Eve post about the small additions I made to the blog.  I have seen several blogs (like Trisha at Word + Stuff) that have their goals listed on a page of their blog. 

I thought this was a great idea and decided to jump onto the bandwagon.  I made a goal page of my own and came up with a list of goals for 2012, so if you're interested about what I'm doing (or how I'm doing) feel free to check it out.

Amazingly, Yoda tweeted me today with the quote about "Try not. Do or do not." I have heard the quote used many times in writerly circles, but it was so fitting that the message would be sent to me on New Years Eve when I'm looking forward to goals of 2012 that I made it part of my page.  If you want Yoda to tweet you, put a hashtag (#Yoda) at the end of a tweet and the Yoda-bot will pick it up and tweet you.  It's pretty cool!

Finally, I would like to say a big "Thank You" to all of you who come and read what I have to say, follow this blog, or follow me on twitter.  I have had a wonderful 2011, and have made several new friends, thanks to you all.  I look forward to seeing what 2012 has to bring with you!

Happy New Year!! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nightgale Blog Challenge

I’ve had so much fun with blog fests that I thought I’d give a blog challenge a try!  The Nightgale Blog Challenge is, as copied from the post on Glitter Word (the host of the challenge):

“…to create four stories 200 word minimum that includes a sort of journey or realization about immortality or the lack there of in striving for it.”
There are four prompts, one for each week of the challenge, based off of John Keat’s poem, “Ode to a Nightingale”, and Percy Shelley’s, “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty.”
January 5th – PROMPT Through Hemlock
Keats: “That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, And with thee fade away into the forest dim:”(Ode To A Nightingale)
January 12th – PROMPT Immortality comes to you, you do not go to Immortality
Shelley- “Why dost thou pass away and leave our state, This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate?… No voice from sublimer world hath ever, To sage or poet these responses given – Therefore the name of God and ghosts and Heaven, Remain the records of their vain endeavour,”(Hymn To Intellectual Beauty)
January 19th – PROMPT To Die and become one with Nature
Keats – “Darkling I listen, for many a time, I have been half in love with easeful Death, Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme, To take into the air my quiet breath; Now more than ever seems it rich to die;”(Ode To A Nightingale)
January 26th – PROMPT : Writing is Immortality
Keats – “But on the viewless wings of Poesy, Though the dull brain perplexes and restarts: Already with thee! Tender is the night, And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,”(Ode To a Nightingale)

I'm a person who is better motivated to perform when I have a destination.  I don’t particularly like exercise bikes because you put all that work into pedaling, and end up nowhere.  I’ll do it if I have to for exercise, but it isn’t as enjoyable as going out for a ride on the road.
It’s the same for writing.  After finishing the first draft of Finding Meara, I started working on writing exercises so I would be writing while I edit Meara and develop my next story idea.  While the writing exercises were more enjoyable than spinning on an exercise bike, I kept wondering if I shouldn’t be working on the new story, itself.
When I came across this challenge, it fell in line with my next story idea perfectly.  I decided the challenge would be a fun and purposeful way to delve into my new characters.
Each of the first three prompts will be character studies (in flash-fiction form) of my main characters.  As far as what story comes out of the fourth prompt, it’ll be as much a surprise to me as it will be to all of you!
If you want to join in on the blog challenge, you have until January 5, 2012 to sign up, but that is the day you also have to post your first story, so I’d take a trip over to Glitter Word and sign up now!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

First Draft Done! Now What?

This has been a great writerly week for me. 

It started on Tuesday, when I got an e-mail from Hogglepot, a fantasy webzine, that they did indeed want to publish my story, Bear Hug, in February.  Yay! 

Bear Hug is the first contemporary fantasy story I wrote, and I really wanted people to read it - not because I think it's the best story I ever wrote, but because I genuinely like the story.  The ending came with a flash of inspiration, not planning. I think that is when my muse introduced herself to me.

I will post when it is up over at Hogglepot, in case you want to take a peek!  I have been reading their webzine since I found the listing on duotrope and I've enjoyed the stories they have run.  If you like quirky fantasy, I suggest you check them out!

Then, on Wednesday, I finally finished the first draft of Finding Meara.  Yay!

However, my reaction when I put down the final period baffled me.  I don't know what I expected to happen, but I can tell you what didn't happen.

A choir of angels did not come down from heaven to sing the hallelujah chorus.

A marching band didn't parade through my living room, playing kick-you-know-what music.

President Obama didn't call me from the Oval Office, offering congratulations on a job well done.

What did happen:  I sat very still on my couch, and thought "That's it?"  And then my next thought was, "Now what?"

I wondered if there was something wrong with me.  I still don't have the need to do a happy dance.  I could analyze myself to death about why I am feeling... well... nothing, really, but I think it would be a waste of time.  This week I read an excellent post at The Write Practice called Your Successes Will Never Be Successful Enough, so I'm just going to link it here.

I'm not whining, mind you.  Finishing the first draft of Finding Meara is a milestone on the journey to becoming a novelist, for sure.  I am happy to have finished, and proud of the work I have done so far.  But it is only one of those action steps every writer must take on the path to publication.  

The answer to my "Now what?" is, of course, revisions, writing more stories, and learning how to write query letters, a synopsis, a "blurb," a pitch, and so one. Already I am planning my next few months, fitting my writing goals into the cracks of time left over in my everyday life.

But, I am going to take the lesson learned from Joe Bunting at the Write Practice, and enjoy this successful week for what it is. 

Because I finished my first draft, I am going to take a four day holiday (instead of just two days) from writing, and enjoy my Christmas, and my family, and not worry about the novel.

And I am going to wish you all a very merry Holiday Season!  I hope it is filled with peace and contentment and all the important things!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Wrap It Up" Blogfest

I think I have become a Blogfest junkie.  The "Wrap It Up" blogfest , hosted by David Powers King, J.A. Bennett, and Leigh Covington just looked like too much fun to miss out on, though! 

The basic participation rules are to write a piece of flash fiction, poem, or song (300 words or less) for someone you know (real or imaginary). It may be in any genre, but it must have a holiday theme (real or fictional). Post it on your blog anytime between now and when the linky closes (which is late on December 16th). You will then give it to that someone, sometime before the new year.  For full details, check out Leigh Covington's blog linked above.  There are prizes involved!

The Gift (for Dyan)
   Annie pulled the blanket over her arms, afraid to look at her sister.  The sight of Michaela on the other end of the couch was wrong. She shouldn’t be here.
   “I just wanted to say hi,” Michaela said.
   Annie didn’t know what to think, much less what to say, so remained silent.  She stared at the sparkling lights of the Christmas tree. She always left it on all night on Christmas Eve.
   Michaela moved into the cushion right next to Annie.
“Will you please just hold my hand?” she said, offering it to Annie. 
   “Okay…” Annie said.  Wondering if she was in the middle of a dream, she grasped her sister’s hand, the familiar contours firm and warm under her palm.  “But Michaela, you’re dead.”
   “I know,” Michaela said.  Sorrow deepened the blue of her eyes. “But I’m still here.”  She cleared her throat. “You’ll never guess who crossed over yesterday.  Do you remember my ex-boyfriend, Steven?”
   “The alcoholic?”
   Michaela nodded.  “Well, the drinking did finally catch up to him.  But you know, he’s not such a bad guy now.”
   The clock in the living room chimed.
   “Uh-oh, it’s time for me to go.”
   “No, wait.  Don’t…”
   Michaela stood.  With each ring of the bell, her image grew fainter, until she completely disappeared on the twelfth chime.
   “…go.”  Annie stared at her palm.  She could still feel the impression of Michaela’s touch. 
   She didn’t fight the tears that dropped onto her cheeks like rain.  She let them wash away the pain of losing her sister, once again.  After the tears slowed, Annie smiled.
   It wasn’t just the gift of touching Michaela, and talking with her like they had before.  Michaela’s visit let Annie know that sisters are forever, and one day they would be together again.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dare to Call Yourself a Writer (Guest Post)

I would like to welcome Nicole Pyles to Motivation for Creation.  Earlier this week, I guest blogged at her "place." If you would like to know how I believe writing creates mental unrest in the blog titled Fiction Fears, click here.  Otherwise, please enjoy the fabulous post Nicole has provided us.  Take it away, Nicole!
I have a confession to make.

I've never been published before.

Trust me, it isn't like I haven't tried. The latest short story I have sent to a literary magazine has seen the submission rounds since 2008. I've been working on this story for nearly four years. I'm determined and dedicated when it comes to finding a publisher.

But, so far, this short story - one very close to my heart (but then, aren't they all?) - has not found a home yet. It will. I'm determined.

So, how dare I call myself a writer.

When I first started blogging, I made a post about why I've decided to call myself a writer. For some reason, it feels a lot easier to say it to people, who haven't met you before, and right out of the gate you introduce yourself as a writer. On the blogosphere, I'm comfortable making myself known as a writer.

But, everywhere else? Like around work, around friends it isn't so easy (my family already knows and sees me as a, I'm at least one step ahead).

Of the 164 people I have as friends on Facebook, I'm not sure how many see me as a writer. Most are people from high school that I barely even spoke to back then. A few do know me as the person who would make up stories at PE, as the person who would encourage everyone to share scary stories on Halloween during lunch time, and as the person who shared and wished for her dream of becoming a published author to come true.

So, one day. I decided to take a daring step forward.

I went into the work and education field.

I added a new field, and in the position title I put...


Of course, I added my own blog and a couple of others that I write for....I felt like I needed proof of some kind. But, despite that, I still dared to call myself a writer.

I am a writer.

I will be a writer today, tomorrow, and forever.

But it isn't easy to announce it like that, you know? You have doubts. You worry someone will question you, ask you about it.

To be honest, I don't think any of my friends noticed that I even added that.

But to me, it meant a lot. It meant that someone "friending" me in the future will see that I am writer...right out of the gate.

Today, call yourself a writer. If you have a full time job non-writing related, that's okay...include an "and" in the statement of what you do for a living and say, "and I am a writer."

Because really, if you keep telling yourself you're a writer. You will begin to really believe it. Write that short story, today. Write that article you've been meaning to write. Start that novel. Handwrite it if you have to. Type it on the way home. Type it at work. Text it to yourself. It doesn't matter if you have fame, fortune, or publication. You can call yourself a writer even if you don't have that. Hell, I did.

And above all else, no matter what you do...never doubt it. You are a writer, damn it. Let someone challenge you on that. And if they do? Let me know. I'll stand by you and say with assurance that, damn it, you are a writer.

Nicole Pyles is an aspiring author who writes to inspire other writers to keep writing (yes, she knows that's a mouthful). When she's not writing stories or writing on her blog, you can catch her at the library, making video poetry, keeping up with the latest social networking fad, and at the beach. Check out her blog (especially on Wednesdays where you can catch her blog hop!) at:


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