Poetry for novels?

Is it weird that I am reading a poetry book as part of my novel-writing homework and training for myself?  Or that I can’t even quite remember where I got the recommendation to read this particular book, but that I am still sticking with it, years after the fact?  I’m not one to take recommendations and follow through with them, unless they come from specific individuals or have an extremely powerful and supported argument behind them.  I think this recommendation came from someone I do not know personally, so the argument must have been amazing for the recommendation.  I just remember that whoever it was said that this poetry book was a must-read for writers, because, though it was focused on poetry, it was 100% applicable and important for writers and novelists as a whole, and was even one of the most important of all reads for them.

So, I’m reading it.  I actually started while up at my brother’s in Wisconsin, and pulled out the highlighters and everything with it, treating it as a textbook of information I likely will want to reference in the future.  (I’m not one for writing or highlighting in books, so it really takes good convincing for me to believe it a good and even viable option as my own practice.  Aka it’s a huge deal that I am doing the highlighting, and it shows how seriously I am taking the idea of this book’s being a valuable and important asset in my writing, one I will benefit greatly from referencing further in the future, as well as reading now.)  So far, it has been kind of amazing.  I am extremely grateful for the recommendation, and grateful that I followed through with it.  (I mean, I even went out and found the book and bought it immediately after receiving the recommendation, that’s how powerful a recommendation it was.)  It has already been well worth it, and I can tell that so much more is to come, it will blow this beginning stuff out of the water.

And I am very much looking forward to that.

It has been not so easy to produce a story yet, but I have finally begun the beginning steps in a way that now can lead somewhere rather easily.  Moving forward, I will need to set myself down at table, and actively pursue certain thought processes and brainstorming and writing, in order to start getting into the real stories of it all.  I am afraid of dong that, but I trust that I want to do it… so, I am slowly but finally getting myself there, little by little, baby steps… baby steps…baby steps write a few words…baby steps write a few more… I can do anything!*

*Get that movie reference, and you have a special piece of love from me and my childhood.  😉

Post-a-day 2020

Gratitude in Turmoil

I have begun sorting things out for my first series of books.  And I am thoroughly enjoying it.  I imagine that the assignments will change somehow after tomorrow, seeing as how it was only a three-day assignment.  However, I have so enjoyed doing this assignment, I can tell that it is on the right path, at last for myself with this whole book prospect.  I am grateful for the opportunity to work with this coach, and I fully feel how blessed I am to have the opportunity, especially right now in my life.  It has been an extremely rough few weeks for me – kind of an extra-raw subject right now, after such an amazing high from all the hiking and road tripping from last month – and this is helping me to chug through the low at which I have recently found myself to be.

It really sucks when the body doesn’t do properly what it’s intended to do, but I guess it wasn’t made to live the life I live, anyway, so it kind of makes sense in a way… hmm… I hadn’t ever thought of it that way… I’m going to pursue that casually, now…

Anyway, life has been rough, and this coaching has been a well-timed blessing for me.  Thank you, Life, World, and God for such blessings.

Gratitude here.  🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Beginning with the past

I have begun writing.  And I mean for a book.  It was bizarre at first, wondering what on Earth I would use to start off things.  But, rather than titling the page “What to write first?”, I switched it to “What to write now?”.  It seems simple enough a change, but it was a transformative effect on my brain.  The idea of first suggests importance, that something is the most important, and so should be shared first.  The idea of now, however, just means that I can write about anything at any time, and I just happen to care about what’s on my mind right this minute.  It might change in an hour or a day, or even five minutes.   But, for right now, what’s on my mind?  And that is the question I answered.

And it actually surprised me somewhat, what came up and out.

I have begun writing, I believe, the backstory for the main character of this story.  She is, in essence, a copy of myself, but with certain subtle and not necessarily intentional differences.  An intentional difference, of course, is her name.  However, I have found that, while when recounting something in my own life, I feel a need to be precise and exact, when recounting that same something in her life, I can pick whatever words the person said that still express the same idea.  I do not have to go back and forth with myself, trying to recall if the person used the word “normal” or “real”… I can just pick the one I want to use.  because I am not writing nonfiction here.  I am writing fiction.  It is based on my own life, of course, but the key words here are “based on”… and boy, do they give me so much freedom and ease.  I don’t have to get it right.  I can choose how I want it to be.  And that’s really, really cool.  🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Just do it

I did it!

I started work on creating my first book, and I started work on producing the first edition of the online women’s magazine I am starting!

I came up with ten (10) plot ideas for the book, as I said last night that I would do today, and I even really like certain ones of them… like really like them.

I got on the phone with a friend whom I want to be a secondary voice on moving the magazine forward with me, and she helped me organize out certain bits already for it.

I sent her the general outline I had of everything this evening, and she will look at it tomorrow, and get back to me on her response to it either tomorrow or Friday.

I compiled the contact list for the various contributors who are confirmed, and whom I am considering bringing on to the project.

I reached out on social media for contributors (without saying what specifically the reason was) in a couple areas that were lacking contributors.

And now, my brain is going almost nonstop, just chugging along with considerations regarding the magazine.

It is a good kind of busy in my brain right now, and I think it is definitely helping keep me away from thoughts of the intense citrus smell in my room right now – and the accidental addition of isopropyl alcohol to the steaming mix over the burning candle – due to not only the dying roach I found downstairs this morning, but the live one I found crossing on top of my swimsuit an hour ago in my bedroom… and that is currently trapped in my painting water jar downstairs…

Yeah, so, moving on…

My task for tomorrow with the book – I think I need to give myself a task every day for the book – will be to come up with five (5) more plot ideas that seem particularly crazy and out of my typical comfort zone of writing and style (think zombies and goth and erotic romance novels!… :P), and then to flesh out at least two of my plot ideas, including one of the crazy ones.

Yikes – tomorrow will be a silly one for the book! 😛 Haha

I’m excited, and I can hardly wait. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Love Reading

It turns out that, when I really love a book, I can get through it in two days.

And that’s without necessarily changing around my life almost at all – I just read it during every single spare moment, and I stretch a little longer and go for an extra walk, just to be sure I get my reading in, but get to feel extra productive while doing it.

(Because reading isn’t productive enough itself, apparently… my cousin happens to be the same way, too, and we are both working on it.)

And man, did I love this book.

The only down side is that I thought the second book in the series would be a continuation of it…, but it turns out that the book is just another story altogether, only it is written and put together in a similar style as the first (i.e. it is also about young love being discovered in a lovely foreign land).

So, bummer that the story I love won’t continue, but yay that I have another story that I am almost guaranteed to love. (Because sequels risk being total bummers, but separate sequentially-written novels by the same author tend to be delightful more often… in my experience, anyway.)

Anyway, since that is the case, I don’t need to stay up late to listen to more of the story… I am not so invested in this new story yet, so I can just go to sleep instead.

So, yay for that. ;D

Post-a-day 2020

Badassery

“Chuck Norris can eat just one Lay’s potato chip.”

Since I finished reading Jaws, I picked a new book from my ‘to-read’ shelf to become my bedtime book.

I wasn’t seeing anything I particularly felt like having right before bed, and I grabbed a small-ish one whose title I couldn’t see… holding it in the light, I read the title of a book I pulled from my brother’s donation pile when he moved to Japan: The Truth About Chuck Norris: 400 Facts About the World’s Greatest Human – The Unauthorized Parody, by Ian Spector.

And, somehow, it felt right, so I brought it to my reading spot on my bed and began with the preface.

I was bummed to discover that Chuck Norris, though he originally approved of the idea, ended up disapproving further down the road… however, I think I’ll be able to let that go well enough, and soon enough.

The book is filled with little ‘fun facts’ regarding Chuck Norris, none of which are actual, genuine facts about him, and all of which are made up by likely fans of Chuck Norris and his general awesomeness…

Yes, I love Chuck Norris and his awesomeness, thus the reason for my keeping the book for myself when my brother was having to give it (and most of his possessions) away.

I wasn’t sure how the book would do as my bedtime book, and I wondered about its getting boring, just being single line comments, and not an actual story…, but I figured the single lines would help me to get to sleep sooner on nights when I’m really exhausted, and I just need to get to sleep, so I want something short to read.

And so, I gave it a shot.

After the preface, I read just the first page, so I could have a taste.

The first two facts were okay, but the third and final fact on the first page, the one listed at the top here, – “Chuck Norris can eat just one Lay’s potato chip.” – just sent me into increasing levels of giggles – just what I need in my life right now, good giggles.

And so, this turns out to be exactly the perfect book for me to read right now, especially just before bed each night – I can make sure I get a laugh in every day, doing it this way. 🙂

Yay, Chuck Norris(!) and yay, this book!

Thank you, Chuck and Ian.

Post-a-day 2019

Duh——-nun!

I have found myself thoroughly enjoying my latest hard copy book, Jaws, much to my surprise (although also kind of not to my surprise – it is actually highly acclaimed by reliable sources, and it made one of my favorite films [we can get into the irony of that another time]).

I started reading it two nights before going sailing… and I strongly considered picking another book, due to the timing, but I really wanted to start reading Jaws, and I was determined that reading it would be no different from having seen the title and thought about it already…

And I was right… with both the concern and the thoughts.

It would have been very good for me not to think about sharks right before going out sailing, during which time I, at some point, would want to get into our cloudy, sand-filled water, and I would have had the idea of sharks in my mind just from having seen the book – whether I read it or not was of little consequence, because the damage was already done when I crossed it on my bookshelf.

And so, I struggled to get into the water while out sailing…, but I asked for company and we made it work… I didn’t stay in for long, but I still enjoyed being in the water for a brief bit, and it ended up starting a whole chain of people jumping in and enjoying the water, which was actually quite fun.

Anyway…, I’m liking the book a lot so far.

I love that 1) Peter Benchley has found a way to pursue and share his passion (sharks) with the world through his fiction and non-fiction books, and 2) he has a good humor in the introduction regarding the changes he made for the book to become a film.

And I am thoroughly enjoying the humor and style with which he writes (well, wrote, technically)… I’m actually laughing at terrible situations, because he addresses them so well as to bring out a sense of comic relief… and I, somehow, find it to be quite lovely, in its way.

(And I mean that… I actually laughed aloud at a scene where a body is found, it was so comically written, but incredibly tastefully so.)

I’m hardly more than a couple chapters into it (of around 15), but I highly recommended at least those first two and a half chapters. 🙂

We’ll see how the rest pans out, now, shall we?

P.S. We did have a good time on the boat, at least.

Post-a-day 2019

Profundity in Precipitation

I always feel so profound when it rains… Like it is time for me to start writing my book… Or to continue writing… to spill out and pour out lines worth quoting, thoughts by which to live each day, a guide to life in ten words or fewer as a page-a-day calendar – as the rain pours around me, words pour from me…

Perhaps it is a sign that I need to go somewhere like Washington to write my book, so I can be often in the rain…

Perhaps… perhaps… perhaps…

Post-a-day 2019

English…?!

Whenever I tell people that my master’s program is for a master’s in English, I’m always surprised at their reactions – or their lack thereof, really.

I do not see myself as an ‘English type’.

My family and I (on my mom’s side, that is) are really rather scientific and math-y about things, and we are total nerds and dorks about the things that interest us… and we also do loads of research on things just about all the time.

If we love something, we also are semi-experts on it – that’s how much we look into things with our research and how much we love learning.

Tonight, I happened to mention that I have read 45 books so far this year (It was relevant, but I don’t presently recall why.).

My friend said that I was and English type, because those were all [insert super famous, depressing-topic novels from around the world that have at least a version in English], and I made a face, cutting her off with, “No, not that crap.”

We both halted at what I had just said, and saw that I had unconsciously called what is considered some of the most important things in the world to an ‘English type’ crap.

I wasn’t intending to be rude to those books or those people, but it was straight from the heart and head, what I said – I love to read, but just not much of that stuff that everybody seems to say is necessary and kind of the only part for caring about literature.

I had even given an ‘ugh‘ of distaste at an overheard conversation earlier on, in which someone was naming some of those famous novels (thereby making me mentally gag).

Just as anyone likes one thing over another, I like certain books and book genres and styles over others – it isn’t that I see no value in the famous novels – many of them certainly are the foundation for modern-day styles and rhythms and topics on a regular basis – , but it is that I see value in other novels, too… more value than the English buffs ever seem to give them.

That’s why one teacher wasn’t sure what to do about my thesis idea – there is no teacher at our school who has a background that is entirely relevant to the author and books I’ve selected to research and discuss as valuable, because they are too new and too radical in the world of English buffs and, therefore, degrees in English.

That’s okay – I’m part of the tiny minority of caucasians at a black university… I’m accustomed to doing things differently and making them work.

Post-a-day 2018

P.S. Is it weird to anyone else that we’re almost finished with 2018 already??…. I mean, it feels like the end of September right now, maybe early October…

Book characters

In class tonight, talking about literature, I mention that – and this is somewhat quietly after someone else mentions that she loves the character ‘so much’ – I mention that I kind of hate her.

The classmate who always sits by me says, almost immediately, “Hannah, you don’t ever like nobody,” and we both crack up, knowing that it is kind of totally true (at least in terms of the books we’ve discussed for class).

Post-a-day 2018