Tag Archives: hope

A Paige Full of Words

I’ve decided to rekindle Featured Blogs on G&L!

First Featured Blog of 2013 is actually a brand new blog itself.  A Paige Full of Words is written by a girl who, judging by her handful of posts, I can identify with completely.  When she has an idea she’s passionate about, it consumes her.  She supports an organization that encourages writing love letters to strangers (not unlike Operation: Beautiful that I’ve been plugging for ages now).  She’s honest and soul-bearing and full of life.  There have been few posts to her blog so far, but the second I started to read it, I knew that this was a blog I would happily subscribe to.

Oh, what ties this into G&L is that she’s also a writer.  =P

I look forward to more of your musings, Paige.  Thank you for sharing yourself with the world.  =]

~KM

2 Comments

January 13, 2013 · 8:31 PM

LfBH – 14: Parting Ways

An intensely rocky start back into LfBH, so I hope you’ll forgive me.  A more action-packed piece will be up on Monday.  Thanks to everyone who enjoys LfBH for your patience. <3  LfBH is nothing without you.

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There was little time. The skies, even here, were a dismal gray, as if Blackford Hill was reaching out to offer its misery like a plague upon the people of the small village. Every time a guard entered the village, he brought with him a depressing silence that lasted for hours after he left. Phaedra knew that their presence was wearing thin on the residents here, and so, once they were healed enough to move about safely, she proposed they leave.

Felix was unhappy. He knew his father would be looking for him. He knew that this wasn’t over for him, and if Silas insisted on tagging along (which he knew he would), then things would be very dangerous for him, indeed. As far as the young Count was concerned, his life had been thrown away the moment he set the flame to that temple. The gallows were the place for him, but Silas had a chance at a new life.

Tully, on the other hand, was eager to be out of here; eager to be as far away from their prison hellhole as humanly possible. She wanted to go home. She wanted to be where it was safe, warm, and dry. She wanted Phae and a life of their own.

Standing at the mouth of the village, where the only broad road led in, the stonework ending at the edge of the populated area and melding into packed dirt, Phaedra shouldered a crude canvas bag with a single strap over her shoulder, and glanced to Tully.

“I’m ready…” Tully responded to the wordless request. “I don’t want to leave them behind, Phae, can’t they come with us?”

Phaedra sighed. “They’re a liability to us, just as we are to them. It’s safer for everyone if we split up. We need the best chance possible at not being picked up again.”

“I suppose that means we’re not going back to The Willow?”

“Tully…”

“It’s fine, Phae… it’s fine. Let’s go, alright? We’re losing daylight.” Tully turned to face the road, just as Silas came bounding up behind them, a hand falling heavily on Phae’s shoulder, accompanied by a good-natured laugh.

“Thought you’d run off just like that, yeah? I don’t think so,” Silas laughed as Felix sauntered up beside him, and cast his eyes away.

“We didn’t want to make this any harder,” Phae explained, and gave a faint smile as she turned. For as skeptical as she had been of these two men during their first hours together, she had gained more respect and affection for them during their time here than she had expected. They were good friends, even Felix, the mouthy pain in the ass. It was because they were good friends that they deserved a fair chance; it would be selfish to hold them back by traveling with them.

Tully threw her arms around Felix and kissed his cheek. “If we ever go back home, I’ll find a way to let you know. You can come visit. You’d love the bakery, Felix.”

Felix’s cheeks flared a bit red and he smiled faintly. Friendship had never been something he had been good at, but with Tully, it was so easy. She a sweet person with good intentions and a love for just about everyone.

“I’ll come visit with you, I promise. At the bakery, or elsewhere, I’ll find you when things settle, Tully. Maybe Silas will be with me.” Another faint smile.

“Don’t look so grudging. He likes you. Let him stay. You need someone to support you, Felix. You can’t possibly let yourself be miserable forever. Let him enjoy your company, and for the love of the Gods, try to enjoy his, hm?”

Another dark blush from Felix and he laughed. “It makes me feel guilty.”

“You shouldn’t. Go. We’ll talk again soon. I promise you.” She shoved him lightly, and turned to take Phaedra’s hand, a slight wave behind her to signal their departure. Tears sprang to her eyes, and she inclined her head, as if doing so would keep them from falling.

“It’s for the best,” Phaedra stated yet again, giving her hand a little squeeze. “It’s safer for all of us if we split up. And our work will take us to places where they have no business being.”

Sniffling in finality, Tully brought her hand across her eyes and nodded. “I know. And Felix has business with his father. I just hope he comes out of it in one piece.”

Phae gave a grim nod, and kissed her beloved’s fingers. “We all will.”

Felix cast a glance to Silas, his eyes sliding over him head to toe, and he gave a very bare, helpless smile. If Silas were ever to change his mind, Felix knew that it would be now and he would be left alone. Silas was a good man, and he knew that he liked him, but how could the Count expect someone like Silas to suffer his upper-class woes?

“That was hard, yeah?” Silas drawled, drawing on his cigarette and tossing it aside.

“Smoking is disgusting…” Felix muttered and turned toward him, pulling his cap over his head and meandering alongside Silas.

“I know. So, what’s the plan, Count?”

Felix rubbed his forehead. “I don’t know. Go to my father. Kill him. Take what he doesn’t deserve and try like hell to do some sort of good with it, I expect. We need to do something about Blackford Hill.”

Silas slipped a hand discreetly into his and tugged him between two buildings, where he promptly stole his lips in a reassuring kiss. “Let’s do that, then.”

Felix swallowed hard and stared at him, before he dropped his eyes to their clasped hands. “Let’s,” he breathed with a faint nod. “Yes. Well, to my father’s then.”

With a single glance back to the departing women as he came out of the narrow alley, Felix drew a breath and pulled Silas down the road in the opposite direction.

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Filed under Letters from Blackford Hill, Writing

Writing Life: Making Time and Motivation

Image © Simon Clayson

The biggest obstacle I face as a writer is overcoming the tendency to put writing on the back burner.  Writing is my life, my love, and my means of staying sane; I’ve put writing before friends, jobs, and relationships—

So why can’t I put more importance on setting aside time to write?

My excuses:

  • There’s a show that I want to watch.  (I have a DVR.  This shouldn’t even be an excuse.)
  • Facebook.  (Life-destroying social network paired with my apparent lack of willpower.)
  • There’s always a fresh idea beyond the one I’m working on.  (Attention span fail.)

Are any of them valid?  No.  Not really.  They waste time, make me homesick, show just how lazy I am.  And when I schedule time to write, I usually foul it up somehow: procrastinate, self-sabotage, just plain fail.  Being a “work in progress” as a person and as a writer must yield some progress if it’s going to continue to be an excuse for my shortcomings.

This post isn’t going to offer you a definite solution.  I can offer some suggestions that I should probably try myself. I suppose what people like me—people like us—need most is a support group to keep one another accountable.  I’m not sure how to go about this yet, but if I come up with anything, I’ll let you lovely people know.

So, suggestions?

  • Write it on your calendar.  Seeing “Write: 8a-3p” in your face makes it more tangible a goal than defining it vaguely in your head where you can’t physically see it.
  • Tacking/Taping sheets of inspiration, work, or development material around your work station.  It keeps your project real. I  look at it and remember little things I love about my project.  It makes me want to work on it.
  • Get other writers who need to get their work done to write with you.  Online or in a coffee shop.  Have word wars and share favorite sentences or bits of dialog.  Swap paragraphs and get opinions.  Never underestimate the support of writing with others.

Just remember that you don’t have to eat, sleep, and breathe writing to be a writer, but do make time for it.

How do you overcome procrastination and laziness?

Do you have a support network?  How deeply is your writing impacted by that network?

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Writing Life: It’s Okay to be Human

Through the Woods

Find your inner "happy place." Image © will wilson *

Writing is an art.  You read, write, research, and observe to hone your craft; work yourself dizzy trying to make every word in every sentence in every paragraph just perfect.  We toil, we cry, we let our index fingers hover threateningly over the “delete” key, after an angry ctrl+a….  But we recoil, and we do because, no matter how much we cry, we still love what we do.  I’m here today to tell you:

It’s okay to be human.

We all have lives, jobs, and families that continue buzzing about as we sit with our backs to the world, trying to allot our novel some love before the high-pitched screaming toddler in the background will eventually require a diaper change.  We love our novels, but it’s okay to love the rest of our lives, too, because, I repeat:

It’s okay to be human.

Our pets need feeding, our spouses need reassuring, our bills need paying, our lives need livingWriting is important to you, and you want to do it well.  Everyone will tell you that you need to write to improve your craft.  You need to write and read and research and write some more– and they’re right!  But you’ll never improve your writing with your face on your keyboard in a puddle of your own tears, sobbing over those four pages your child lost when she gave the keyboard a swat.

Go to your happy place.  If you have to sacrifice ten minutes of writing for your own mental health and inner quiet, would you really consider that a set back?  Your writing will improve when your state of mind improves.  I don’t know about you, but the more stressed I get, the worse I feel, the less likely I am to write anything worthwhile.  I forget to eat, my brain stops functioning, I get dizzy and irritable and prone to tears and rude outbursts.  Take a breath.  Take a walk.  Read something for fun instead of for the sake of picking apart storytelling strategy.  Have a glass of water to rehydrate yourself.  Remember:

It’s okay to be human.

How can you create humanity in your writing if you don’t allow a bit for yourself?

 

How do you deal with stress?  Do you have a “happy place” or a de-stressing routine?  How do you find silence in your every day life?

 

Flickr Photo: Will Wilson

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Filed under Writing, Writing Life

Making Progress – Ebook Exclusive, Subscriptions, and Fiction, Oh My!

Salut!  I know I’ve been plugging this quite a bit, but I’m finishing up a few more fiction pieces for my ebook exclusive offer.  So, if you like my fiction, and want a free ebook containing three pieces of fiction straight from G&L, two unreleased Letters from Blackford Hill installments, and two pieces of original unreleased flash fiction, subscribe to us!  If you’re already subscribed and want the ebook, refer someone to G&L, and, using my Contact page, tell me who you referred!  You’ll both get a copy. =]

More information on this offer!

Not sure how to subscribe?  On the Home page, in the left-hand column, under “Follow the Adventure!” click “Sign me up!”  If you don’t have a WordPress account, you’ll have to input your email address.  =]

Also, after much toiling and upset, I’ve finally launched the first installment of Talion.  It will now update every Saturday.  Good news, yes?  Feedback is always appreciated, so don’t be shy!  Letters from Blackford Hill is still on schedule for Monday.  =]

Wednesday will be G&L’s first entry for “Writing Life,” a set of articles designed to help and encourage aspiring writers wrestling with their craft within the confines of “Every Day Life.”  I hope you all enjoy the series, and if you have questions or issues you’d like addressed, don’t hesitate to send them my way!

Update: Complete.

<3 Enjoy what’s left of your Sunday.  =]

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Filed under Life, Writing

The Back Burner

Every writer faces it: The Back Burner.  Sometimes life gets in the way, we realize that income and survival are more important that creativity, that passion is wasted on the young.  Our writing gets shifted to the back burner.  Eventually, we forget about it.  We tell people, “I love writing!” but the truth is, we haven’t hit the keys in months.  We say “I’ll be published one day,” but “one day” slips further and further away with every day we fail to write.

And our writing is forgotten.

My 26th birthday passed and I don’t have a finished manuscript like I promised myself.  Life got in the way, job hunting took precedence over hammering out my writing, being broke sucked the passion out of me.

I still love writing.  Or, rather, I love the idea of writing.  Truth is… I hate what I’ve been trying to put on paper.  I hate that I can’t do what I need to do to get my writing back to what it used to be.  I hate the back burner.  I hate adulthood.  I hate that the world doesn’t turn without back-breaking labor and copious sums of cash.

I hate that the spark is gone… but what I hate most is that I’ve finally recognized that the spark is gone.  I want to rekindle it.  I want to be a writer and make my worlds turn with words and phrases.  I want that pile of notebooks stacked neatly under my bed to be useful again.  I want carrying a pen in my purse to mean more than “Just in case I need to jot a quick shopping list.”  I want to be who I was three months ago.

And this is mostly just me whining.  I’ve done a hell of a lot of that on this blog in the last several months, but I’m not going to apologize for it.  No one has to read it, but I do have to get this out.  My blog is my very neglected outlet.

So, here’s to hoping the disenchantment passes.

6 Comments

Filed under Life, Writing

Some stuff!

So, I’m working on a piece of flash fiction that was supposed to be done today, but it’s not.  I’ll post it tomorrow.  =]

Also, I’ve been ultra busy creating a separate blog for Paganism.  I figure it’s best to keep my writing blog separate from my spiritual journey, so here we are.  Thistle in the Wind is up and running, but still being tweaked and tuned to what I need.  It doesn’t look pretty at the moment, but content is what’s important.  =]  I’m getting there.

Today is the debut for my Celtic Paganism social networking site as well!  Caraid Còmhlan!  You’re all welcome to check it out, though since I have more writer friends than pagan friends on this blog, I’m not holding my breath. LOL.

I’m getting back on track, slowly but surely. <3  I missed you guys!

I’m super glad Mckenzie has Flash Fiction Thursday up and running again.  I needed a set day that made me feel bad for not writing or I never would.  Damn my own lack of self-motivation.

Woo!  And things. <3

23 Comments

Filed under Flash Fiction, Paganism, Writing

Shedding Skin & Starting Over

Prompted by a thread started over at PaganSpace, I got thinking about the possibility of starting over.

Not just a new blog, new screen names, new Facebook, but a whole new life.

Have you ever had the urge to just drop everything, pick up what’s precious to you, and run away?  Start over somewhere fresh, where no one knows you, no one has ties to you, and your former life as ‘nobody’ doesn’t apply?

Have you ever felt like you were playing an extra in the film of you own life?

I have to say that I absolutely have felt that way on a multitude of occasions.  Sometimes life isn’t what you expected it to be.  Things didn’t turn out the way they were supposed to when you planned them.  Sometimes, the only logical thing to do is to just leave, and try again where you don’t have the stigma of who people think you are hanging over your head.

It’s not logical, obviously.  We have families and lovers and friends and jobs and pets.

But if you wouldn’t hurt anyone by leaving, would you?  Would you start a new life somewhere else, where you could be someone else?

I would.  Hell, maybe when I’m not poor anymore, I will.  Who knows.

Anyway, just some food for thought.  <3

Maybe someday, I’ll actually write about writing again.

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Filed under Life

A Time for Change

So, apparently I have this social life that sucks me in when I’m not hunting frantically for a job, tweaking my resume to make me look like a worthwhile human being, and futilely slapping at keys to continue my still-amazingly-untitled WiP.

Goggles and Lace has recently taken a serious back-burner for me, and I’ll work on stomping that fire out pretty quickly, because I love this blog.  AND I LOVE YOU GUYS!

As a small update, my WiP is bombing hard, and I need to take some time away from it to reevaluate where I’m going with the storyline.  My villain sounded like a toddler in a tantrum, and the “Shit, I need a break” thought slapped me in the mouth.  So, I’m going to start doing more short pieces and posting them here.  Also, the series I was talking about before may be back on, if I can find the motivation to make it happen.

I met a guy.  His name is Steve.  He’s fantastic.  =]

No news on the job front.

That’s really all.  I have a post about perspective I’m working on for the end of this week sometime, as well as a bit of flash fiction with a shiny old character I’m dragging kicking and screaming out of my character vault.  So… this should be fun.

My next task?  Catching up on all your blogs!  =P

17 Comments

Filed under Life, Writing

You’re Beautiful! No, really!

So, I was reading Thought’s Appear‘s 30 Before 30 list, and I HAD to click the Operation Beautiful link.  And now I’m inspired.

So, I’m posting here, and keeping it as a reminder to myself to do something like this.  It’s a great movement, so please check it out!

I’ll post pictures when I start assaulting public places with post its!  <3

OperationBeautiful.com

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Filed under Life