inspiration

Live In The Moment

 

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My Darlings

 

I truly believe the I have exhausted the word “hurry” in my house. I am always in a rush. I wake up feeling immediately panicked because I need to feed my kids and get them to school.

“Hurry up or we are going to be late!” Is just part of my morning routine.

Then, I’m running as many errands as I can before they get out of school. On days I work it’s even worse! Trying to rush out of the house halfway decent is even more stressful. I never allow enough time for ANYTHING! I cram as many thing into 5-minute windows as I can possibly fit, including my writing lately (which is why I have been missing for a couple of weeks). It is exhausting but I am determined to find a middle ground. The land of collected and calm – where time stands still. I need to get here somehow.

I was attending MOPS recently (Mothers of Preschoolers) and our speaker was talking about her mom’s favorite thing to say to her whenever she was stressed or upset…

“This too shall pass.” In the moment it was hard for her to accept because it couldn’t pass quick enough for her. Her mother would say this, not to irritate her but to remind her of how quickly time passes. She said she always felt like she was rushing off to the next stage, hoping it would be easier and less stressful. She realized that whenever she looked back on the hard/difficult stages she was so focused on trying to move past it, she never truly enjoyed the happier parts of those times.

I could instantly relate to this. I am always franticly pushing along. If I had a stressful week I just quickly push through to the next. If my kids are driving me insane – I might put them to bed just a little earlier than normal. In Doing this, I was missing all of the small sparks of memories that I would eventually be sad were gone.

I know we hear this all the time but it’s so true…“Live in the moment”.

As cliched as it sounds, I think this will be something that I am going to have to remind myself of quite often. You blink and a minute, an hour, a year passes by and you might regret focusing on the things that seemed so important at that time but in the end are so insignificant.

 

-C.C. Ford

 

 

The True Windfall of #PitchMadness

Hashtag This

Last week I stumbled upon Brenda Drake’s Pitch Madness contest on Twitter. In being so new to Twitter, I didn’t even realize something like this existed. Although I shot my pitch somewhat prematurely – I didn’t regret it one bit. If I hadn’t submitted my pitch I wouldn’t have obsessively followed the #pitchmadness Twitter feed religiously; refreshing by the second as many other contestants openly admitted to. Every single tweet could pertain to my pitch in one way or another. The good and the bad. It was pure insanity, as I’m sure many pitchmadness contestants would agree. What followed the tweets was a #meetandgreet. It was so amazing to meet all the people involved and learn what they write about and what they do for a living #clarkkentjob. As we hung onto every word the slush pile readers would tweet, we took something away from it to make our pitch and MS (manuscript) stronger and better. I have had a few people read my manuscript and they all loved it – of course! What friend would tell you your writing sucked and you have the mind of a lunatic, or tell you that the entire beginning is a cliche and Fantasy/Paranormal is played out in the eyes of the publishing world? They wouldn’t because if they weren’t an author or an agent they wouldn’t have any idea what that means. What I am hoping to gain from this experience is a better understanding of the agents and publishers market. Maybe a few critique partners and keeping in touch with the many amazing authors I have meet in the pits of #pitchmadness!

Next up #PitMad. You get to tweet your “well constructed” pitch in 140 characters or less. It also must contain #PitMad in it so there you just blew 7! I thought constructing a 35-word pitch was daunting, well I was so naive. This is enough to make you want to rip your hair out and question everything about your MS. But again the writers unite and help one another in constructing the pitches by critiquing along with #Pitchpractice. I am absolutely blown away by the generosity of time spent and constructive criticism given here.

Before any of this I absolutely DESPISED the #hashtag. I don’t know why, maybe it was more the mundane usage of it that bothered me. #MyLifeIsAmazing #selfie #IAteABurritoForBreakfast… Facebook was more to blame for the excessive use of #hashtags. I blame them because there are no restrictions on how long your post can be. There are too many #hashtag opportunities. Now I actually have respect for it, after all, it opened my eyes to so many amazing people!

Special thanks to L.L. McKinney Check out her blog @ tangynt.wix.com

Want to learn more about #PitMad and #Pitchmadness, or meet all the amazing people involved?

Check it out @ www.brenda-drake.com

Best #Hashtag Parody Jimmy&Justin

Your Writer’s Desk

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Before I began writing I would have envisioned an author working on their novels while sitting behind an antique oversized mahogany desk… settling down into their obscenely overpriced Hermes leather office chair that surpasses all ergonomic standards… sipping on their extra hot cappuccino while surrounded by a vast library filled with books written by their favorite authors as well as instructional books that pertain to writing.

Well… that all sounds absolutely amazing – It is not at all how I write.

I live in a teeny, tiny, two-bedroom house, and we are busting at the seams. My two children share a room and between all the toys and necessary furniture there is no room for my “writer’s desk” I had once dreamed of, at least not yet anyway. Once I became an obsessive reader, my one and only bookshelf filled up quite fast {post Kindle}.

So I have found my favorite place to write – in my bed.

I prop up my pillows, {leather chair} and open up my laptop tray, {mahogany desk} and either do my necessary research online or on my Kindle, {Vast Library}.

This process is only successful at night. During the day if I actually have a childless moment to write, I have to do it somewhere else. If I don’t, either the dirty laundry calls to me from down the hall or the kitchen is begging for a good cleaning.

So I head down to the local Starbucks in the circle. Luckily it isn’t just your ordinary wood and slate Starbucks. It is located in an old 1930’s bank building. The ceilings are vaulted and there are lath and plaster columns surround the seating area. It is an extraordinary building. I am a sucker for anything old and historic.

I recently stumbled upon this magical place called Ink&Bean – a coffee saloon and wordshop. It is located in downtown Anaheim.

( 155 W Ctr St Promenade Anaheim, CA 92805)

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I cannot tell you how excited I am that I found this little gem! From the moment you walk in you are inspired to write. The walls are lined with antique typewriters, and there are book light strings from the celling. At the register there is a chandelier of books with a light through the middle {which I was mentally dissecting and figuring out how to make!} I can’t wait to get in there and write!

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Last night on Twitter I found an article the author Andrew Flynn had tweeted about: How Amtrak is testing a “writer’s residency” program. It seems they want to offer free rides to writers so they can well… write! It sounds amazing and inspiring to sit on a train and write. Just think of all the characters that board the train and what inspiration you could draw from them! I hope this actually happens but if not I will hop on a train one day and try it – why not?!

I would love to hear where your favorite places to write are. Maybe you will inspire other writers who are in a slump and need something fresh and new for their writing.

Tell me, where is your writer’s desk?

Amtrak Article

Ink & Bean

In Tune With Your Inspiration

How do you find inspiration?

Inspiration is something that helps ignite your creativity from within. Inspiration can strike at any moment and can come from everything that surrounds you in life; books, art, people, music, travel, etc. I always find that when something inspires you, you will always have that to lean on when you fall into obstacles that stifle your creativity.

For me music is always my go to for inspiration. When I started writing I originally did it to tune out any surrounding distractions {aka my husbands obsession with the history channel} but now I can’t seem to write without it. What I listen to all depends on what I’m writing, although right now I seem to be on a Florence and the Machine kick.

When I work my way through a novel I always listen to music that will reflect on my character’s mood or if I need help setting a scene.

A piece of my book takes place in New Orleans but I was having a hard time setting the scene since I had never been there. So after subjecting myself to a million You Tube videos that portrayed the streets of New Orleans through other people’s eyes, I just wasn’t getting what I needed.I couldn’t quite place myself there.

So instead I turned on some New Orleans jazz and created my own New Orleans.

Have you ever watched a movie with no music in it? Of course not!

A movie without music would be dull and dreary. Obviously when people read my book there is no soundtrack that comes along with it {although that would be rad – maybe I should add that to my marketing plan}. It is my job as the writer to try my best to set a memorable scene. One that you will want to read over and over again. With music the beautiful words and sounds pour into our ears and help shape the story we are trying to tell.

Because let’s face it, life without music is just mundane!

Listen up – and get inspired!

Here is just a few of the many bands that inspire me…

Florence and the Machine

Lana Del Ray

Paramore

One Republic

Birdy

The xx

Billie Holiday

Muse

Matt Costa

The Beatles

Death Cab for Cutie

Ellie Goulding

Lorde

Of Monsters and Men

It’s just the beginning…

Why not start a blog…

Wait, but who will want to listen to my neurotic, random thoughts?

Maybe – just maybe I could meet some others who are just as crazy as me.

 I went back and forth for a while on the many pros and cons of starting a blog – the pros won.

 I am making a commitment to my blog.

I promise to write once a week and hopefully over time, gain a few followers/fellow writers that may be interested or inspired by what I have to say. Or maybe they will inspire me. Surrounding yourself with other writers seems to be the logical thing to do in order to learn and grow in the craft. It is truly invaluable.

 I am new to this writing force that has erupted and become impossible to stop. It all began with a dream…

 I know what you’re thinking… “what a f-ing cliche”

 It’s for real people, these things happen and you should listen to them. You never know where it will lead you.

I had a dream/vision or whatever you want to call it, of a boy with a tattoo that slowly spread across his chest.

 Lucas was born.

 I’m in shock at how quickly a story can develop with one random thought. Once you open your mind and let the story unfold and progress, you just need to write it down! Sounds easy right?

 I did research on how to start a novel and what I needed to do to begin.

I tried to plot – character develop – write dialogue, but I became quickly frustrated and uninspired to write. It was a complete roadblock. For me, I couldn’t plot out a story that hadn’t happened and develop characters that didn’t exist yet. How in the hell were these people supposed to have conversations with one another when you had no idea what they were like?

 I am by no means saying this works for everyone, all I am saying is that you don’t always need to follow the rules when starting your story. Do whatever you want and enjoy every minute of it – the story will follow. If anything, let the creativity sparks fly and if it has been your long lost dream to write, don’t wait – just do it!

 My latest inspirational writing book:

 WONDERBOOK by Jeff Vandermeer

The illustrated guide to creating imaginative fiction.

http://www.amazon.com/Wonderbook-Illustrated-Creating-Imaginative-Fiction/dp/1419704427