Tag Archives: updates

Current State of Affairs 3/31/16


 Photo by: Hollie Barringer, Gulf of Mexico on the Carnival Magic
I’ve been listening the podcast Writing Excuses again and feeling somewhat guilty for lacking the focus to keep up with my writing. I’ve been able to make a few addendums to previously determined plot points in my novel. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve had this story idea for close to 8 or 9 years now and I have, admittedly, spent more time world building than actually writing scenes and dialogue to progress the overarching plot. It’s a problem. I really want to put my thoughts into words, but my focus is terrible. I’ve had much better luck with short form writing, but I definitely want to make progress on this novel idea.

One of my big excuses for awhile was that I didn’t have a laptop to work on because the hard drive crashed (don’t worry, I had my files backed up) and new computers can be pretty expensive. Writing by hand is exhausting for me because I have this ridiculous habit with a pen or pencil- I press down really hard on the paper and it literally hurts after awhile. Plus, my hand written notes tend to have an excruciating number of X’s, strikethroughs, margin annotations and revisions that make the legibility subpar. I can say, however, these are really poor excuses. The good news is that I finally ordered a new laptop and it arrived two weeks ago. I’ve got Word installed and I’m prepared to start organizing my timeline of events again because a lot has changed since I first conceived this story idea. My protagonist’s goals have changed drastically and her companion no longer plays the same role I first imagined for him. One major change that I’m quite proud of is that I realized I fell into the grasp of a common trope: the love triangle. I absolutely abhor love triangles as they never end satisfyingly. There are always hurt feelings or resentment and a sense of missing closure. I personally try to avoid these situations in literature, film, and in every day life. My solution isn’t clever, but it’s effective and necessary. I eliminated a useless character and introduced a much more interesting character and by changing the original role idea for one of my main characters I eliminated any conflicts with love rivalry and made a more realistic connection between my characters. Primarily, I wanted to avoid the dissonance of a love triangle from overshadowing the main plot. I felt that while character relations are essential to telling this story, any romantic drama is excessive. It’s a fantasy story, so the main plot is centered on a larger, world-changing scheme.

I also managed to solidify the main POV characters,  identify all secondary characters, and even eliminate a few other unnecessary roles to reduce issues with continuity, focus, and problem solving. Aside from tweaking my timeline, I need to settle on my paragon heriarchy and start writing some fleshed out scenes because I believe I’ve sufficiently pieced together enough world building material for a stand alone novel.

In other news, doctors have confirmed that the right side abdominal pains I’ve been getting since last year are because I have gallstones. I’ll be having a quick outpatient  surgery soon, and a week off of work following that, which might give me some much needed time to coordinate my thoughts regarding the direction of my story. I’m surprisingly not concerned about the procedure. I’m just ready to get back to my life because shortly thereafter my other half is coming to visit for a couple weeks. I am beyond excited! This will be his first time in Texas and I cannot wait to introduce him to my friends and family. I have plans to try and visit him again before the years end, assuming work is kind to me.

I hope everyone is doing alright and has enjoyed the start of the new year with spring in full swing and summer on the way. Feel free to leave comments, ask questions, or bug me. I’m always looking to make conversation 🙂


Winter Break? Again?

You can always tell when winter or summer break is here; I immediately flock to this blog like a child with a new toy, and for some reason I have an insane amount of motivation to write- about everything.

I want to share a few stories or at least excerpts from the writing contest I was part of; a few submissions I was more proud of than others and some I did poorly on with the feedback I received from my peers. I will post them individually with the prompt theme at the header. Currently, the contest is on a sort of hiatus because we’re all getting really busy. Hopefully it can resume once things settle down. If not, or regardless, I would like to invite any who might be interested. We do have a website on shivtr, although the site is designed for gaming guilds it still provides a forum for direct contact and makes replying easier than emails. Right now it’s not in contest mode. I’m using it to post random prompt ideas and it’s open for sharing original works for peer review. One of the things we encourage most is discussing likes and dislikes, sharing criticisms and also reasoning for why we wrote something the way we did. Sometimes our writing can make sense to us, but not to others. I cannot speak for everyone, but exchanging critiques has helped me identify some of my faults in writing; its a really great tool. Until we get more active members it’s share at your leisure (prompt ideas or actual stories) and those of us that log in occasionally can read and share feedback! You can contact me here for a link to the site. Content is member-only and cannot be viewed externally. Also, the application is as simple as a name (most of us use gamer-tags) and a simple “why are you here?”.

In other news, I have discovered a fascinating interest in reading about the lives of others. I was never really drawn to non-fiction or history in grade school, but as of late the human perspective is especially intriguing and I find myself delving into stories of the lives of people from all over the world. It’s a wash of culture, spirit, love, tragedy, and longing- truly compelling and I find myself in awe of all that I do not know. I think they call this revelation, but whatever it is I love it.