Workspace

I have an office and it is finally at a point where I can actually work in it. I have been putting it off as I organized the rest of the house, but I finally have the majority of the house done and was able to focus on my office. It is by no means done, but I have a desk where my computer is now set up. I have my books starting to fill shelves I am having to add to. My pictures are all finding homes on the walls. I even found a service I can send my son’s artwork and school work into and they will photograph it for me and make a book of it all for me. I am in 7th Heaven with that idea. I have about three or four boxes of stuff and received another bag of it home the last week of school so I think the majority of the papers, now, are his school work.

With all of this accomplishment I have less excuse to write. I tried to do NaNo’s April Camp and flunked out after the first week. I could not find the time or the motivation as I was still trying to get the house under way. The next camp is in July and while I have no idea what I am going to do for it, I plan on doing as much writing as I can. I have been going to the gym during the day, which will open up the evenings to allow me to write. I just will have to make sure I am not too tired. I cannot seem to focus if I am too tired.

Information for The Night of Writing Dangerously has come out and I have my fundraising page setup here. I have only a week left before prices go up and would love if you could help me out in going. I went last year and had a wonderful time with networking and actually getting a really good chunk of words in during that night. There was so many speakers and fun stuff to do that night. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was a wonderful experience and I cannot wait to do it again.

Alright, enough procrastinating, back to writing.

Romance Genre

I am curious, what is it about romance which makes it such a big seller? I don’t write romance, though I would like to try. According to a group I am a part of contemporary romance is the top dog for booksellers. Which, to me, sounds really boring. I have never been into romance. I have owned one romance book my entire life and that was to try it out as a teen and had somehow tricked my mother into allowing me to buy it (Sorry mom, it wasn’t from the teen section, I was just really curious). So, what is it about this genre which makes it so enticing?

Even when summer comes around one of the things which is kind of a summer thing is to hit the beach with a steamy romance novel. I have never actually seen anyone do this, though I have never really paid that close attention either. I would prefer a mystery on a summer beach, personally, but again, I am apparently not the targeted audience.

Romance, contemporary romance, is it because it allows us to touch upon a primal part of ourselves which may not be receiving what we need? Or perhaps, not that we aren’t receiving what we need, but allowing us to see something even stronger than what an everyday real-life relationship can even bring to us? I mean, these stories, at least from what I have seen, are about everyday men and women finding a connection which just reaches through the ages and through the depths of their souls. Is it the idea of a soulmate which entices the readers to pick these books up? Do all contemporary romance books actually have a soulmate type of story? Or is the main thing even more primal? Is the main thing they want to consume is that passion in the sexual fantasy which you only get every so often in real life? That feeling of utter and full living within the other person. To almost feel like your skin is one and the primal instinct of still wanting to be closer and deeper pouring into every pore it can find. I will admit, those moments I have had with my partner are intoxicating. Is that what it is which pulls readers into these books? Is THAT feeling? It is hard to get every time you have sex, but in a book, you can feel it through the pages if it is written well.

I am curious to see what those of you who read or write contemporary romance think. I am trying to understand and I have a very narrow sense of the genre in a whole. Which probably means I need to pick up a book or two before trying my hand at it. But, seriously, what is it which makes it almost a given that you will make at least a few bucks on a book written in this specific genre?

HydroFloat Short

I recently tried out Hydro Therapy and very much enjoyed it. They encourage people to create afterwards and it is understandable why. I did it late in the evening so having actually fallen asleep in the water I was a bit out of it when it came to a close and I stepped out. I was extremely energized and at first could not focus, but as my body calmed my mind opened up.

Here is what came out:

 

She came from no wehre, which of course is somewhere. She had no plans, no goals, no worries, and no woes. She travelled here and there without a care. Until she found us. The ones who cared. The ones who had to put everything into a box. What we did to her as we began to bend her mind. Her head having always been light was now uncomfortably heavy. Her mind wizzed and the pressure was so much.

She lost th edesier to travel and imagine. The things we told her she must do and the things we told her was silly or stupid… it crushed who she was to become the nothing from which she came from.

What we have done was – no is – unforgivable. She died the moment she walked into our world. A world we consider living is truly that of the living dead. We allow nothing of the true freedom of the soul, though we claim we do.

The conventions we live by crush, smother, and eventually kill us.

2018 NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge

Last year I was introduced to NYC Midnight short story challenge. They give you a genre and two other criteria to incorporate into a short story piece. If you write a unique enough piece which follows the necessary pieces then you move on to the next round. There are three or four rounds (I forget now) but I was unable to pass the first round last year. You can see my piece here. It was supposed to be a comedy and I failed miserably at doing that.

This year I entered early for two reasons. One, they were offering $5 off the entry price. Two, I was worried I would chicken out when the time came at the beginning of the year to actually sign up. I had actually forgotten I had signed up and was trying to decide if I even wanted to when I received a reminder email about the event. After searching my email I found the receipt showing I had paid early to enter. Well, I guess I knew what I was doing and knew myself pretty well since I had not planned on entering it at that point.

I figured there was no way I would receive comedy the second year in a row and was ready for what the committee was going to give me. Well, comedy was apparently going to see if I had learned anything over the past year since that is again the genre I was given. The other two pieces being teacher’s assistant and recycling. Those two lend themselves hand in hand actually pretty well, but I keep thinking of making it a social commentary rather than a comedy. I know I can do both, but I have a hard time not making something like this into a drama.

So, I have been doing some research and landed on 10 Ways to Improve Your Writing While Thinking Like a Comedy Writer. I think I may have found it last year since some of it sounded familiar, but the ten ways make a lot of sense in just writing in general. Hopefully, it can help me through this challenge well enough to move on to the next challenge. And hopefully, I will not receive another comedy genre.

The Empty Guru

“What is wrong with the world today, and especially in America, is there are too many things! Reject those things! Reject the cars, reject the big house, reject the tons of clothes. You do not need these things to be happy. You only need a few essentials…” the speaker, known as Guru Kiara spoke to the audience and walked around the stage in a simple white flowing outfit. An outfit Elizabeth would never have even touched. She was not good when it came to white things. She listened to the words the Guru in front of her spoke and tried to think of how her apartment would look if she got rid of everything she did not need. She couldn’t imagine it… she needed everything, right?

“You may be currently thinking about your home and all the things in it and maybe be having a hard time thinking of getting rid of the things you may think you need. Here is a simple exercise….” the Guru continued on her explanation and Elizabeth tried to listen, but the words just seemed to slip in one ear and out the other.

Two hours went by and Elizabeth wasn’t sure how she hadn’t fallen asleep through the entire seminar. She had gone to it because her friends had begun joking about her being a hoarder and while she denied it, she worried that perhaps she had started to keep a few too many things. The seminar had been about The Simplicity of Life and How to Get There. Well, Elizabeth felt just about the same way she did as before she went to the seminar. Walking out of the convention center she walked over to the coffee shop just around the corner. She bought her double shot medium mocha and sat down at a table near the window. People watching and sipping on the warm beverage she relaxed into the chair. The day was chilly even if the sun was shining and the hot mocha was perfect to take the edge off.

Watching out the window she recognized a woman walking up to the coffee house. But she couldn’t place her. She watched her walk in and stand in line. The itch of knowing but not knowing was driving Elizabeth a bit nutty. She tried not to stare but kept an eye on the woman. The woman reached into a large bag and started to dig for, what Elizabeth assumed, was her wallet. She finally pulled out a trifold wallet which had the well known Chanel Cavier symbol on the clasp. The wallet itself was a beautiful navy blue with what appeared to be soft leather. The woman quickly opened it and selected one of the credit cards from it. It was easy to see she had quite a few and the wallet wasn’t on the slim side either. Huh, I wonder what Guru Kiara would say about having so many cards in your wallet, Elizabeth mused to herself as she sipped her mocha. The woman ordered an elaborate drink which Elizabeth couldn’t have tried to repeat for the life of her. The woman then stood over by the receiving section, took her elaborate coffee, and walked back out the front door.

Elizabeth, having already finished the mocha in her hand, decided she was going to try and figure out how she knew this well-groomed woman. She got up and threw away her one time use cup and followed the woman outside. The woman’s hair was up in a high ponytail but had beautiful black large curls bouncing as she walked. The woman’s attire was anything from simple, Elizabeth decided and began to wonder if the seminar didn’t actually instill something in her after all. She wore light tan slacks, which seemed to be thick enough for the weather as the woman did not seem uncomfortable, then again it could probably have something to do with the camel colored jacket she wore which looked like real camel… or something leathery and soft anyway, Elizabeth had no idea what it could be beside it probably being nice to touch. The woman’s shoes were another thing Elizabeth noticed, about four inches high, matching the tan color of the pants the woman wore, and with a stylish point in front. Elizabeth would never have been able to wear something like that and walk the streets of the city.

The woman continued walking and Elizabeth tried to act like she wasn’t following her, but kept her insight. She had a sense of wonder about this woman who she thought she knew, but could not put her finger on it. Then the woman did the one thing Elizabeth had been dreading… she got into a car. Frantically, Elizabeth began to look around for a taxi and upon seeing one turn down the street she was in she jumped out into the street from between two cars waving her arms.

“Taxi!” she screamed like a crazy woman.

The taxi driver slammed on his brakes and the sandwich he had been about to take a bite out of went flying across the stirring wheel and onto the window. He cursed the woman who had just jumped in front of his cab.

Elizabeth, glad the driver had stopped, ran around to the back door on the passenger side and jumped in. “Follow that car!” she said pointing at the silver sedan the woman had climbed into and had just pulled into traffic.

The driver looked at the woman in the mirror for a moment. Elizabeth looked back at him wondering if perhaps he may be deaf. “Please, quick! You can’t lose her!”

The driver looked at the car which he was to follow and memorized the license plate number. He then hit a button on the taximeter and pulled back into traffic. The traffic was moving slowly for the moment and the driver pulled out of his center console a pair of driving gloves which he pulled on as he crept through the traffic.

Elizabeth paid no mind to the driver besides being impatient with how slow the traffic was being. Granted the woman was in the same traffic and so was still only a couple of cars ahead, but she was afraid they would lose her. Just as she was about to jump out of the car and run the driver said, “Siri, play Chase Playlist”.  And all of a sudden the music that came from the speakers of the car was something out of a high-end chase movie. With this sudden change of music the driver merged over and all of a sudden, they were right behind the woman.

The traffic eased up and they were following this woman through the streets of the city, never losing sight of her. Elizabeth thought the music was a bit much for the occasion, but the driver seemed to be enjoying it and she wasn’t about to take that away from him

As Elizabeth began to wonder if this whole thing was just too ridiculous for reason the woman merged onto an onramp for the local freeway. The driver followed and began to pick up speed as the rest of the vehicles did. The woman seemed to like to speed and the driver obliged in matching her speed to keep up with her. Making some unnecessary merges and probably going faster than he should Elizabeth had to give it to him, he never did lose the woman’s car.

Elizabeth finally sat back in her seat and buckled the seatbelt. The trip was getting a bit crazier than she would have ever imagined. She held onto the seat and tried to keep from being thrown around the vehicle too badly. She had lost sight of the woman’s car and only hoped the driver hadn’t and wasn’t just driving crazy for the heck of it.

Finally, they took an off ramp which led them to a small suburban area of a town just outside of the main city. Elizabeth could finally see the woman’s car again and slower speeds made her relax a bit. The driver seemed somewhat upset the “chase” seemed to be coming to an end, while Elizabeth hoped the woman lived around her so she could get out of the crazy taxi.

As they watched the car, they saw it pull into a beautifully tailored house with an open gate. The driveway pulled in and around the front to the front of the house and then swung back out the way it came. The woman parked in front of the door which also had a canopy to make it a carport of sorts.

“Pull over there,” Elizabeth indicated to pull just pass the entrance to the driveway. She then grabbed for her wallet and pulled out cash to pay for the ride.

“You know what, don’t worry about it. Rarely do I get a chance to follow a dream I have always had. You helped me enjoy a very mundane day. I hope you the best with whatever is going on. The trip is on me,” he said as he cleared out the taximeter.

Elizabeth surprised stuttered, “Uh, thanks. I hope your day is more enjoyable.” And with that, she stuffed her money and wallet back into her purse and exited the crazy taxi. It drove off out of sight within moments.

Elizabeth shook her head and looked at the house the woman had walked into. She peered up the driveway, and not seeing anyone, she walked up the driveway.

She had no idea what she was going to say or do. Should she just knock on the door and tell her that she thought she knew her and so she had followed her all the way from the city to figure it out? Should she spy through the windows to figure out who this woman was? Should she just call another cab… or a friend and just go home?

But before she had figured out really what she was going to do she was at the front door and staring at the doorbell. She took a breath and rang the bell. As she waited she considered hiding behind the car which was right behind her. Or perhaps she should say she was selling girl scout cookies but had forgotten EVERYTHING about the cookies and was standing there like an idiot. Well, she was standing there like an idiot, but what excuse was she going to tell this woman.

Then the door opened Elizabeth finally knew why she had recognized the woman. It was Guru Kiara from the seminar. But she wasn’t in the plain white outfit and with her hair no longer pulled back, she saw the beautiful curls cascading around her face, framing it like it had up on stage.

“Yes?” the woman said curiously to who this woman was standing on her doorstep. But Elizabeth could only stare in shock.

“You… you… you’re the guru!” Elizabeth finally blurted out.

The look on the woman’s face was ashen and had a show of dread, “Who are you?”

“I was at the seminar this afternoon. I saw you in the coffee shop and couldn’t figure out where I knew you from… because you had a ton of stuff and I assumed…” Elizabeth trailed off as she looked up at the house and behind the woman she now knew to be the false guru.

The woman seemed to relax a tad, “Come inside.” She moved to the side and let Elizabeth walk pass her, she closed the door. “Please, come sit and let me try to help you through what I am sure has been a shock.”

Elizabeth was stunned. The house was EMPTY!

“What I said at the seminar I still hold true. But my getting rid of stuff had to do with the small things. The house and the car are gifts from my parents who won them in a lottery and did not have any use for them. My purse and the things you most likely saw in it… all things I have traded for or purchased at thrift stores. My money is very little, but my life is very full.”

Elizabeth looked at the woman and began to laugh. She laughed and laughed at the absurdity of the day and the absurdity of this woman. “You have NOTHING to show for anything. You have no pictures, you have no… well, you have nothing. I chased a guru who tells us to get rid of our things because they mean nothing in the long run and here she sits with nothing but has nothing to sit on!”

The woman was shocked by what Elizabeth was saying, “I have nothing, but I have a fuller sense of….”

Elizabeth cut her off, “No, you don’t. You don’t even have photos of your parents.”

The woman looked at her empty house like she had never seen it before, “I… But… I…” she sighed, deflated, “I am empty not only in material goods… I am empty within as well. You are right, I have nothing, I have no family to show, I have no real life to live. I do the seminars and that is all I do anymore.” She stopped and looked at Elizabeth. She wasn’t much to look at, but she seemed to be happier than she was. “How are you so happy? What am I missing?”

With that Elizabeth took the guru who told everyone to get rid of everything and told her why material goods were not a thing to despise. They worked out a happy medium over months and months of in-depth talk. And slowly the guru began to add things to her house which had to mean to her. The first being a photo of her parents she placed on the wall opposite her front door.

The next seminar held two women up on stage. They held up items and explained to the people there how to better their lives while still keeping the items they did not want to part with. Repeatedly they told the ridiculous story of how a woman who had gone to a guru seminar had taught the guru herself that she was nothing with what she did not hold near. The audience would typically laugh at the story and shake their heads at the strangeness of the tale, but the ladies did not mind, as long as everyone learned from the adventure which had unfolded. Elizabeth and Guru Kiara were better from having met each other and their lives were richer from what they taught each other.

Friday Word Count

While I am a few days late on this, I wanted to keep myself accountable. Friday I ended the day with 4,087 words. Which is only 483 words short of being on point for the end of the week. It would have been more but going out to see a friend who was unexpectantly in town threw me off on Friday, but that is alright.

I, however, was unable to catch up during the weekend. It is now day 7 and I should be at 6,398 but have not written since Thursday night. I will add more words tonight and will post again on Monday to keep myself accountable.

School is starting up again tomorrow for my son which means life will get more on a typical schedule once again, which, hopefully, means writing will be on a better schedule as well. Thanks to all who have given me encouraging words to keep me going. I know I am not all that far behind so I am not fretting all that much quite yet.

New Year / Catching Up

Hello and welcome to the year 2018! I am hoping this year this webpage will have a ton more things posted to it for multiple reasons.

  1. I really want to have it up and running like an actual website (I pay for the domain after all)
  2. I am going to be writing a ton more this year

Ya, those are the two main reasons. And while my writing definitely kicked up its pace in November with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) we bought a new house in October and were packing until about a week and a half before Christmas to move. Needless to say, life has been a bit chaotic.

But now with the holidays behind us, 2017 behind us, and my house more or less put together, I can put some time into keeping this blog up and doing more writing.

In that vein, I have decided to try doing 85k90 challenge again this year. I tried doing it last January but just did not have the energy to keep up with it. I wasn’t the healthiest and having two little ones just wore me completely out by the end of the day. I have lost over 20 pounds now and have a ton more energy for myself and my kids. It is day two (actual day three but I have only written two days worth so far) into the challenge and with this challenge you only have to write 912 words a day to keep on track rather than the 1667 words you do for NaNo. My word count is at 2000 solid right now and I will add more to it soon. Along with the challenge, I am also keeping reminded by the emails which come in from 750words where you write at least 750 words each day and they just keep track to how many days in a row you actually are able to do it. You can challenge yourself at the beginning of the month and write out a sort of promise to yourself, ie: If I write for the Month of BLAH then I will treat myself to BLAH. However, if I do not complete the month my punishment is BLAH. I actually challenged myself this past November and while I won NaNo, I did not write every single day so technically I lost my 750words challenge to myself. Though I didn’t punish myself like I said I would, I was too pleased with myself for finally winning NaNo.

Yes, I won NaNo this past November, which means I wrote 50k words in the month of November. I even finished a few days early, it felt marvelous. This was my seventh year doing it, but my first win. It was also the first year I went to Night of Writing Dangerously and I will definitely be going back. That was an amazing evening. I think I will post up more information on both NaNo and Night of Writing Dangerously later as I have come to realize that while I have posted quite a bit about NaNo people did not realize it was an organization nor a non-profit. So when I do that I will post a link to that post so you can go check it out.

I think that is all for now. Keep me honest people! If you do not see me post in a while shoot me a message and bug me.