Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fiction prompts, part 1.

Last week I signed up for Figment Fiction's daily fiction prompts, with the grand hope of writing something for each day's prompt and posting it here. Well, in classic fashion, I didn't get around to it all week, but I was determined to post at least a little bit today from last week's prompts. So, here we go.

Jan. 9 Using third person, write about a moment when a character who usually feels (and perhaps is) painfully awkward temporarily feels singularly beautiful, handsome, sexy, and at ease.

As she stepped out of the car and her paddock boots touched the dusty terrain, Jessie felt like she could breathe again. Forgotten were the disdainful looks she got from the upperclassmen as she tripped over her own feet at lunch. The echoes of the laughter as she stammered in Spanish class died away. Now there were only the soothing hoofbeats of Sasha, her favorite mare. Jessie now focused only on moving as one with the lithe animal, allowing the equine’s power to flow through her and reveling in the confidence that this, she could do well. The school-day mask fell away and at last, she allowed herself to smile. 

Jan. 10 Make a list of 20 angry words—they can be words related to anger or words that just sound mad. Now write about something you love/cherish/revere using as many of these words as you can

I set my mind to work, furiously tapping out the thoughts boiling through my brain. Feverish to contain the ideas seething below the surface, I fear the livid rage hiding just beneath them that is reserved for when they escape me. Sometimes writing can be a struggle not to scream aloud, repressing those urges to the level of a growl or a hiss at the internal editor shouting disdainfully at my poor structure, diction, or whatever it feels like picking on that day. I mentally sneer, vowing revenge of even more words tomorrow should it get the best of me today. The vendetta continues each time I put fingers to keyboard or pen to paper; my own mind seems to hold a grudge against me for pushing it to create new worlds, things that have never been, out of thin air. Yet, when I procrastinate too long, pent-up ideas nearly explode out of me, a somewhat humiliating experience when I allow myself to believe I have nothing to write. For now, however, I shoot the naysaying part of my brain a withering look, allowing the hot magma of new words a controlled eruption onto the blank pages.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wow, thanks!

 I had my dear friend, August, give me this shiny little badge for my humble little blog. Not being familiar with blog-type awards, I had to look it up. Turns out this is an award designed to recognize blogs with less than 200 followers. Part of this honor asks me to name five other blogs deserving of this award, and to share seven random things about myself. So, without further ado:

Liebster Blog awards!
1. Paige at Sojourner. She has a remarkable knack for phrasing her thoughts and feelings in a poetic way. Her blog is a glimpse into the life of a homeschooling mama with seven beautiful little ones.
2. Tristy at the Kolden Blog. She is mama to four beautiful boys and is expecting another miracle.
3. Muser at Poet's Musings. He is a beloved poetry professor at my alma mater. He often posts some of his original work at this blog, in addition to readings of famous poems he uploads to YouTube.
4. Kristin at Dialecstatic. Her blog is equal parts alluring, hilarious, and inspiring. She is another talented poet.
5. Katy at August Earth. Above and beyond being a lovely person, Katy is converting a traditional farm to a small CSA, and I hope to glean some information about how to start a kitchen garden from her!

7 Random Facts about me:
1. I never learned to ride a bike. This was one of the unfortunate side effects of being so much younger than my siblings. I was a cautious child and no one was determined to teach me, so it just didn't happen. I'll learn before the boys get big enough to want to bike all over the place.
2. I can write backwards and upside down. I can also read backwards and/or upside down pretty well without a mirror.
3. I'd love to learn to speak Welsh. I'm part Welsh but no living family members know it, and I love the language.
4. I showed in English hunter/jumper horse shows for seven years. I miss it and wish I could ride again, but it takes time and money, neither of which I have a lot to spare these days.
5. I have sung and acted onstage. I really love musicals and have been fortunate enough to participate in several before we had children. Hopefully someday I can do some more.
6. I played the clarinet through high school. Yup, band/orchestra geek right here. I really like classical and jazz music.
7. I once owned a chameleon. His name was Henry and he was glorious. Unfortunately he got sick and we couldn't find a vet or anyone who could help him, so he passed away. If my sons want to get one some day I will make sure that we know someone who can treat it if it should get sick.

Award winners: your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to name five other blogs you think are deserving of the Liebster Blog Award, and share 7 random facts about yourself. Let your honorees know about their award by posting on their blogs. Have fun!

There you have it. Now it's much too late so I am going to bed. Goodnight.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A few days late, but oh well.

A few days ago was an anniversary I don't like to remember but will never forget. My father passed away 17 years ago on December 28. I have now lived one year longer without him than with him.

My heart is silent,
for it knows
what happened on this day.

A missing piece
was taken out
when Daddy passed away.

It matters not
how long the years,
the pain won't disappear;

Although it isn't
daily now,
grief still visits here.

My heart may now be silent,
but someday it will sing,
the day when my race finishes
and God ends all suffering.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolutions, redux.

I subscribe to a service that emails me significant Facebook posts from a year ago. Yesterday, it sent me the post in which I made my New Year's resolutions for 2011. Of the three, I'd say I accomplished one: running the Chicago Marathon. While I'm proud of that one, I realize that I didn't work as hard as I could have on the other two. That said, I'm eager to kick my own butt to accomplish them this year. So here are my revised and amended resolutions for 2012.

1. Read and write more.
I waste entirely too much time messing around online, at least some of which could be devoted to reading writing books, reading fun books, updating my blog, writing poetry, or writing/revising my manuscript.

2. Finish writing/revising/editing my NaNo '09 manuscript and begin querying agents.
I meant to do this one last year, but with all my procrastinating I didn't manage to get there. This year is the year. Dangit.

3. Begin writing a manuscript for my new idea, possibly for NaNo '12.
I have what I hope is a good idea for a middle-grade fiction series, and I am eager to explore it, but I don't want to get too involved in it before I am done with my other manuscript. Once I begin querying agents, I'll keep myself busy for the wait by starting on my new idea.

Hopefully, if I can manage at least 2 out of the 3, I'll be querying by this time next year, and best case scenario, I'll have two finished manuscripts...let's see how much I can keep my nose to the grindstone.