Writers Block

My curled fingers hover hesitantly over the keyboard. Maybe I should do this on Word? Okay, open Word. New document. Really, frozen? At a time like this? Alright, I’ll just create a new post.

What do I write? A poem sounds good. Ugh, but I can never write poetry on the spot. Anyways, this just sounds like a story. Well, not really. I don’t know what it sounds like. Whatever, what to write about? Not a poem, not a story. I can’t write today… Oh! I can’t write today!

Write about how you can’t write. Genius. Not that no one has ever done that before. ‘Who’s gonna read this crap anyways,’ my inner demon says? ‘What does it matter if no one reads this? Be logical, all you are is a fourteen year old girl who wanted to write for gods sake. So just write,’ my inner angel says. Shut up, you two! I’m trying to think.

Now all is quiet. Too quiet. Any second now Alexandra will come screaming down the stairs for me to get off the computer. What’s the point if I won’t be able to finish this? And when will Beverly call me back about the housekeeping? I hope I didn’t do a terrible job the first time. I’ve never cleaned a whole house before so what was she expecting?

No! I can’t think about housekeeping at a time like this. I need to write. 

Okay then. Here’s the thing. I can’t write today. I couldn’t write yesterday. I couldn’t even write the day before that. I typed my symptoms into the Google search bar and I found that my ailment is Writers Block. I tried to find a cure too, but all of the remedies were quite vague and varying. One person said that I should write anyways. Another said that I should wait it out and then inspiration would come to me. But what I’ve heard more than once is that everyone had their own medicine.

 

Holds me in it’s protective grasp

Writers Block is a stubborn creature

But maybe if I tried to fight her

This time I would write at last

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Today I went out to take photos with

Today I went out to take photos with my dad. It’s sort of exciting, because I’m starting to learn how to take photos without a photography class. So far this has been my most productive summer vacation ever and it’s only been a little over two weeks. I’ve been writing like mad, exploring my neighborhood, and, wait… something is missing. Oh yeah, didn’t I promise myself that I would get some volunteer hours done this summer? Shh shh, I’ll think about it some other time…

But seriously, I started this project that was inspired by The Time Traveler’s Wife. In the book it’s structured sort of like a series of short stories that are loosely chronologically ordered. For me I wanted to do a similar thing, but this time have them fly all over the grid. As you continue reading, more is explained and more makes sense, but in a way that’s more interesting than if I wrote about the time span from start to finish (which is about five years). It’s sort of a risk, but it sure is fun to write. It eliminates that part of writing where you don’t know what happens next, but you know what happens in the future. It’s like you’re picking out the interesting bits and putting them together into a literary collage.

I think it’s pretty cool at least. Until next time 😉

The Novel Writing Spark

There’s a spark we writers feel while writing stories. That spark is the same one that causes us to write for hours on end, word after word, without pause. That’s the same spark that makes us grin like an idiot, laughing at our own jokes while we read over our work. It’s the one that throws us into a our novel so far that there’s no way out.

I started the second book to my fantasy series a week or two ago. The spark was there. Or I thought it was there. But every time I read it I winced. It was fast paced, to a point where it was sloppy and the characters were bland. Where was that spunk that was ever present in Morag, the main character, while I wrote the first book? Why was Emily, the girl destined to be Morag’s best friend, already joined at the hip with the protagonist in the first few pages? 

I needed to start over. That’s hard. You feel like you’re abandoning a baby because it’s ugly. But I did. I tweaked the outline, throwing away months of the preconceived notion that Morag and Emily would be friends from the start. Seconds later I started fresh and I’ve been writing the whole day.

We become awfully attached and even defendant of our books. It seems wrong to abandon them because we don’t feel the spark. But I felt that leaving my book to wallow around in the middle ground of okay was a crime in itself. I was cheating it out of it’s full potential. So I pulled myself together, set the original draft aside, and now the spark is there. What about you? Do you feel that spark? And how do you cope when you know it isn’t there?

Flash Fiction: How The Math Exam Should Have Ended

“Grade nines, you may start your exam.” 

My hand shot forward, flipping open the yellow booklet. There were short instructions; show your work, read carefully, use pencil on the bubble sheet, blah, blah, blah. I got this. Then I saw the first question. My face fell and I could feel beads of sweat gathering above brows.

Multiply the what by what? Did we even learn this? My eyes skittered around the gym, looking for others who were as lost as I was, but all I saw were pencils filling in the bubble sheets. I looked back at the paper. Okay, next question.

My eyes bulged. Solve that? Was that thing even considered math? It was just an angry jumble of numbers and letters. I cursed under my breath and continued to flip through the pages, trying to find something I knew how to do. 

20 minutes later I’d finished one question and guessed about five. Should I just guess the whole thing? It’s better than nothing right? But I’m failing! This is not good, not good, not good, not good— Wait a minute. Esther was sitting in front of me, math wiz extraordinaire. She was small too, so I could easily see what she was writing from over her shoulder. A, B, D, D, D, C, A, A, E, B… Okay, multiple choice is over. Now what?

I drummed my fingers impatiently on the desk, looking up at the clock. I was starting to sweat again. Oh god, I was already failing math. If I didn’t get at least a 70 percent I’d fail. AGAIN. No, stop it, I had to try at least. I looked back to my paper, trying to remember something, anything. Any number to the power of zero equals… zero? Shoot, I had no idea. I looked back to Esther, then at the teachers. None of them were giving me weird looks. I took that as a green light and nonchalantly brushed my formula sheet off the edge of the desk. Esther bent down to get it and she was out of my view for just a few seconds. I scanned over the paper, absorbing as much information as I could. Esther handed me my sheet and I muttered a thank you. Any number to the power of zero equals one, I wrote. 

I kept doing this, but Esther was smart. She caught on after the third try and made a point of closing her exam book and covering her bubble sheet before bending to pick up my papers. Then she continued, hunched over, annoyance emanating from her like heat waves.

Plan B. I waited until no teachers were looking and then slipped my iPhone into my calculator case as fast as I could. To someone looking from the front of the gym, it would just look like I was just solving another question.

R U getting NE of this?, I texted Anne, my friend who was sitting a few rows down. I counted a few seconds and then I heard the ring from the back of the gym. 200 heads turned in unison. I cringed. Anne was frozen in her seat.

“Having fun, are you?”

I jumped, hitting the gum covered desk bottom with my knee and sending papers and pencils sliding to the floor. Esther even turned to pick them up again, but when she saw who was behind me she whipped back with a terrified look on her face. She glanced at me before she turned totally though, and I saw a hint of sympathy. My math teacher, Mr. Christie, looked over my shoulder at my phone. He was six foot five, 100 percent muscle, and practically breathing down my neck.

“You know what this means, right?”

“I-I fail?” I squeaked.

“Again.” He picked my exam up from the floor. When I looked back he was grinning. It’s like he wanted to see me in summer school. “Come, you don’t just get a free pass when you cheat on an exam anymore. Rules have changed.”

I gathered my things reluctantly. Ugh, my mom was gonna kill me.

Everyone was looking at me, but seeing Mr. Christie glaring back, they turned to their sheets. 

Christie lead us out into the halls. They were dead silent. Everyone was still in the exam and it would be another twenty minutes until anyone was allowed to leave. Christie stopped by a door beside the boys bathroom. I’d seen it before, but never really known where it went. Into another room? If it did then it had to be a closet. Was he going to lock me in a closet for an hour? So unfair. 

To my surprise there were stairs behind the door, leading into the dank, LED lit basement. I took a tentative step down. My gut told me to run for it. It was the last exam after all, and then it was summer. What did I have to lose?

“Hurry up, Epiphany. It’s not that bad.”

I followed him, but only because I decided it would be a good story  to tell later on. Yeah, and then he dragged me into the basement. Like, what even? 

The basement was just like any old basement, musty and ugly. No one had tried to make this place look nice. It was just filled with twisting brass pipes and pressure valves. 

“Come back here.”

I followed obediently, admittedly curious as to what was behind the next door he was unlocking. The room was dark, but he ushered me in. I heard the click of the door closing and the flick of the light switch. I gasped. We were in a dinner hall and all of my teachers were there, holding forks and knives. Large forks and knives. That’s when I decided this wouldn’t make a very good story after all. I kicked Mr. Christie in the stomach and grabbed his keys from the floor, then I opened the door, and shut it behind me.

It was locked, but I could hear banging. What the heck was going on!? This was what they did to cheating students? It’s bad to cheat but not that bad. I ran up the stairs and jostled the handle. Locked. Shoot.

There were like, a million keys on this thing!

Okay Epiphany, calm down. You’ve got nothing to lose. Even if it looks like your teachers are going to eat you alive, at least you have a slim chance of survival.

The door was shaking. My heart pumped, I tried key after key, none of them fitting.

“Hurry up, hurry up!” I muttered. I heard a crack and I turned, they had broken right through  the wood door. It was only a matter of time. I tried another key.

They were out and tripping over themselves to get to me. 

“Shoot, shoot, shoot!” 

Mr. Christie was bounding up the stairs, giant utensils in hand. He reached for me. 

The key fit, I opened the door, and ran like hell, screaming my head off. Then bang, I threw the outside door open, Mr. Christie lost behind me. Sunlight hit my face. I kept running. I was free. It was summer.

 

 

 

AN: Well that escalated quickly. Too quickly? What do you think. I guess I was just so glad that I’m finally done all of my exams and it’s officially summer! By the way, this is absolutely, positively  fiction. Esther is actually one of my best friends and the exam wasn’t that bad. Also, Mr. Christie is at least five inches shorter than me and is super nice. He’d never try to eat me alive 😉 I don’t even have an iPhone. At least it was fun writing this. Have a great summer!

 

 

 

 

You Know You Do This When Summer Comes

Sorry for not writing in a while. It’s been sort of crazy with the final days of school. And now it’s summer. I feel like I should be running a marathon, learning a new language, or writing about my non-existent summer romance. Instead I woke up this morning at 5:45 AM, went back to sleep, got up at 9, and have been fighting the urge to crawl back into bed for the duration  of the morning. Even a few hours later I feel as though there’s some invisible force that’s pushing down on my head. Maybe it’s because I stayed up until midnight finishing an 800 page book? Probably not.

Even so, I think all of our summers start off like this, sleeping for a week and then finally pulling our act together. I know that this is for the new year, but I have some summer resolutions. Well, not really resolutions. I feel like resolutions are things you want to fix. But the kind of things I’m talking about are challenges. Yeah, summer challenges. Everyone has them. You know the ones, where you lie in bed and imagine coming back to school or work, everyone aghast at how different you are. Like you learnt to break dance or you finished your first novel and everyone says “Wow, look at her. She really has it together”. 

Even though these never seem to come true, there’s never anything wrong with being optimistic. So here are the top ten things I want to accomplish this summer:

  1. Write 100 pages in my novel.
  2. Be able to play a song on guitar.
  3. Draw everyday.
  4. Walk everyday (I found out that my joints are not meant for jogging).
  5. Eat healthier.
  6. Learn more French.
  7. Watch ten amazing movies.
  8. Read all of the books I’ve put on hold; The Time Traveler’s Wife, Slum Dog Millionaire, Mockingjay, and The Mark of Athena.
  9. Blog like a maniac.
  10. And try something I was scared to do.

It doesn’t matter if I don’t accomplish all of these (although for some of them they aren’t that unrealistic), but at least my goals will keep me busy. What about you? What are you doing this summer? Do you have ‘Summer Challenges’ like I do or do you already have it all planned out? Are you going on a cruise in the Bahamas or are you going to the lake every week? Or maybe you’re like me, hoping adventures will come your way, but in the mean time relaxing. Whatever it is that you’re doing, I hope you have a great summer.

My Family

ImageWhat’s to tell today? It’s just a lazy Friday morning in IT class. I’ve finished my final project and now it’s just free time for the rest of the classes. So why not tell you a bit more about me? Here’s an important part that I’ve let out, my family.

I’m one of two middle children in a family of four kids. I have two older brothers and a little sister. Then I have a mom and a dad, who divorced a few years ago. I see my dad a few times a month, but it’s mostly just my mom in the house. Mom also has a boyfriend. Is he my family? Sure, why not.

My sister is Alexandra. She’s stubborn, dramatic, and loud. She’s also lazy, and she gets angry easily. Not many girls can say this without a sour look on their face, but I love my little sister. I read her my stories and spend hours watching Supernatural. When we walk home together she holds my arm and tells me everything about her day.

My brothers name is Quincy. He’s almost eighteen and one of those people who likes things to be organized. When he was in primary school his teacher paid him to clean the classroom. Today you can find him fixing the fence or trying to convince me to watch Firefly. He’s also working on a metal art business

I’ll tell you about the rest of the bunch later, for now have an amazing weekend, and if you have exams next week like I do, good luck.

 

Novel Writing

Recently I finished writing the first draft of my first novel. It’s 185 pages handwritten and barely 100 pages typed, but it’s probably the biggest accomplishment a 14 year old girl could make. It took me awhile to start the second, mostly because I didn’t know what was going to happen. Every time I started to write the intro to the new story it would melt slowly into meaningless walks in the park and morning routines. It wasn’t until yesterday that I actually sat down and planned out what would happen in the first place. I never thought I had it in me to plan a book from start to finish like that. Afterwards I started writing once again, this time with a goal in mind. What about you, fellow novel writers? Do you like to know where you’re going while writing a new book, or do you prefer the adventure of not having a clue in the world as to what may happen?