What’s your writing routine?


I’m going to have to get into the habit. I need a routine.

songoftheseagod

Do you have a routine for writing? A way of doing it which has become habit and which you know will get the best out of you? I was thinking about this having read a recent article on the subject.

Many famous writers seem to have these habits. I think the reason is that, to write a novel you need to get your backside on the chair and your fingers on the keyboard – regularly and for long periods of time, just to get the work done. I know only too well that novels don’t write themselves.

Murakami_Haruki_(2009)Here’s what the brilliant Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami had to say on the subject in an interview:

“When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at four a.m. and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for ten kilometers or swim for fifteen hundred meters (or do…

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Reading to Write


Reading to Write

Quoth The Wordsmith

663092_26111643 You’ll often hear that in order to write, you need to read. Many prominent authors stick by it and advise aspiring writers to make a practice of always having a piece of literature on the go. It’s good advice, as long as you know that if you are reading to write, you need to look at the writing that you are reading differently. Here’s how I do it:

-Accept and note the areas that you have trouble with, whether they include dialogue, structure, characterization, setting, etc. Know and embrace the fact that you have room to improve.

-Pick a story or a book (or a few!) that really made an impression on you in terms of style, tone, and connection. It should be something that you don’t mind reading again, and that you would give a glowing review.

-Read the story slowly. Take your time. Figure out how that story…

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The 50 Most Romantic Movies Ever Made


Flavorwire

Ah, Valentine’s Day: flowers, candy, gifts, overpriced dinners, and wildly outsized expectations. And we can blame the movies for most of those expectations; few genres are as unfairly fantasy-based as the romance, and as prone to send jaded viewers like us into fits of gagging. But we’re also not made of wood; there are a good number of romantic movies that get us right in the old ticker. As a matter of fact, there are about 50 of them.

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A “Real” Writer?!


Today I received confirmation that I’ll be contributing to an online magazine as a freelance writer!

It’s been my dream to be a writer for longer than I can remember. This is the first step to achieving my goal and it’s finally been realized. Even as a writer, words cannot express the joy that I’m experiencing. Perhaps the Pointer Sisters “I’m So Excited” could do it better justice.

My ultimate goal is to write novels, but this is the beginning of something good, something real.

Now I just have to keep going.

Missing You


No concentration,
My mind is dull.
What I wouldn’t give
For just a pull
On your white body
So slender and smooth
How you fit in my mouth
How you feel near my tooth
There’s nothing quite like it
I can’t quite explain
For those who don’t know you
They don’t feel my pain
Like a very bad couple
Are we together or done?
Is it for just a month,
A few nights…
Or just one?
I’ve left you before
I must say goodbye
You’ve never been good for me
I’ve always known why.
So leave me alone.
Stay away, or better yet…
Let me hold you once more,
Before we part…cigarettes.

Ten Years Later…


Ten years ago, Facebook was created. IF only we knew what it would do for us as a society.

I joined at the recommendation of my then-boyfriend, Cris. I didn’t see what the big deal was. So I could keep in touch with my friends and family back home, plus the ones with whom I worked, previously and at that time. I joined in 2008 so this was four years after its debut and the network wasn’t nearly as large as it is today. I wondered how soon everyone I knew would be on it. I thought it would be a half-decent attempt on my part to keep in touch with high school, neighborhood, and college friends who I previously knew. You see, at that time, I was in the military, and half a country away from most of them. However, this was the days before having to friend your mom on Facebook, or before everyone Facebook stalked you. It was a good thing.

It wasn’t a time-consuming beast that devours your daylight and wants your attention when you get home from work. This aching need that grows in you if it goes unchecked for too long that exists on the web. You’d post something on a friend’s page, assuming that friend was even on Facebook and you didn’t have to convince her to join, and then sit back and wait for something to happen. Would it be a Private Message, which were the best, or would it be something that everyone could see. Would someone simply “Like” your post? Admit it, even that felt good, especially when the number got up there.

There are things about Facebook that could be improved upon. You know we all want that “Dislike”’ option. We sometimes feel obliged to “friend” people that we knew but weren’t really friends with, and then there are those people who think they can tell us what we’re allowed to post on OUR feeds. There were the people who constantly asked, over and over, to the point of causing migraines to form and screams to be released, to play games with or against you. NO! I DON’T WANT TO HELP YOU GROW YOUR FARM, DAMMIT! UGH!

Facebook has grown and so have we. We’ve learned not to include people who can’t handle our content. We’ve learned how to block gaming requests. We either “friend” or don’t “friend” that person who might have sat behind you in algebra class your freshman year. Facebook has changed so many times that we don’t remember what it was like at the beginning. We “Like” or don’t like the new formats and the way it shows our feeds. We complain about it, but we stay. So many people have been chastised for being on FB at work and now they know how to hide it, or they just don’t care. I don’t work and in my previous jobs, I didn’t have access to the site. It was blocked on the computers where it would have been available (the unclassified terminals) but I mostly worked on classified systems anyway.

I feel good that something like FB exists now because I live away from all of my friends, save one. Facebook is the way I keep in touch with people. I know what’s going on without sending mass emails, text messages (which wasn’t even big at the time of FB’s creation), and/or Instant messages.

So, Happy Birthday Facebook. I hope you stick around. I know some people had given up on you, but I “Like” You!

Why My Wife’s Job Is Harder Than Mine


bowlingwithed

I work at a large, top-200 law firm in one of the ten most populous cities in the country. The hours can be grueling, there are constant deadlines, and the work is mentally demanding.  Any partner in my particular practice area can assign me work, which means I have more than 30 potential bosses.  At any given time, I am working on projects for three to five partners, all of whom believe that their assignment should take priority over any other work.  As a result, there have been many long days (and long nights).

Moreover, being a lawyer at a large firm is a high-stress endeavor.  Even small mistakes can have significant implications and, as a result, tensions can run high.  And of course, because excellence is expected, partners are unlikely to give much positive feedback for a job well done; instead, the reward for good work is more work.

It…

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No Pain, No Gain?


Lately I feel like I’ve been stuck in a rut.

For how long, I can’t even tell. Has it been since we moved seven months or so ago, or has it been since Winter and all this cold weather started? I feel like it’s been longer.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in October of 2008 and haven’t worked since then. When one loses their contact with the “outside world,” it’s easy to lose touch with a lot of other facets of life. If I don’t log in to the internet to news sites, I don’t know what’s going on in the world. If I don’t check out the entertainment sites, I don’t necessarily know what the best shows or movies are anymore. The only people I see now, especially since I’ve moved, are my four immediate family members: my husband, two step-daughters, and my daughter.

Lately I’ve taken up a Work at Home position and have been doing alright with it, but I haven’t really seen much success, as of this time. I’ve been told that it takes a few months so I haven’t lost hope but it’s difficult to keep pushing myself when I see no progress. And when I don’t feel well.

The cold weather, while beautiful, makes me feel lousy. It makes my bones ache from their very core and my muscles twist and pull with sharp, stabbing pains at the most unfortunate of times…when I want to work. And I do WANT to work, but I just can’t bring myself to sit in front of the computer to do very much when my shoulders and back are screaming in pain.

Well, today and until I’m feeling a little bit better, I want to concentrate on relaxing, writing, and most of all, reading. I don’t feel like I’ve enjoyed myself while reading in a very long time. The other night I read two books, short ones, but stayed up late into the night with books in hand. That was the best time I’ve had in a long time.

So, here’s the heart of the matter:  do I work even when I don’t feel like it? Should I push myself to sit here when I really don’t want to?

It’s my home business. I understand that if I don’t put forth the effort that I’m not going to get any outcome, and yet, I just don’t see the point in pushing myself past my own comfort level.

So, no pain equals gain in my world.

Saying Goodbye?


My heart is breaking.

How do you move away from a friendship that’s no longer beneficial to you; one that hurts you more than helps you?

I have a friend who was my best friend through thick and thin. All throughout high school, his senior year in a country on the other side of the world, our undergraduate college experiences at schools in different states, while I was in the Air Force, while he was in England doing his Masters program, and years later when he, too, was in the Air Force, and then while he was deployed.

What made things different? Who knows. We stopped talking. He started seriously dating someone, got married, had a son, and I never met him. Nearly three years have gone by and I have barely heard from him.  I would see pictures of this beautiful boy and never had a chance to meet him. It hurt so much.

So I unfriended him on Facebook.

It took the death of a friend from HS for him to send me a message and notice that I had even unfriended him.  I wonder how much longer it would have been, had an unexpected thing like that not happened.

I’m sad, heartbroken, and feeling lost. But I just wish it hadn’t gone this way.

So, gee, I’m glad it’s raining…

Some kids today would benefit from real Hunger Games…


**Spoiler Alert**.

One of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time….the link above is to the original post, so as to credit the author.

My Fellow Americans.

(Or Australians, as the case may be. Or New Zealanders. Or the one guy who once read my blog in Equatorial Guinea).

I regret to inform you that today, at 6:12pm Eastern Standard Time, I made a critical error in judgment, an action which I deeply regret. Please offer my sincerest apologies, and allow me to explain.

While urinating this afternoon in a public restroom at a movie theatre in South Philadelphia, it so happens that I overheard two young women discussing a blockbuster film which has recently achieved great critical acclaim. I found their banter amusing. A “found footage,” if you will, demonstrating that the lost, once-great art of conversation has not yet croaked its final, dying breath. And so, in the manner of a modern-day hard-hitting investigative journalist, such as an Anderson Cooper or a Lois Lane, I posted my recollection of their conversation to my facebook page.

I recounted this exchange, to the best of my abilities, as accurately as possible. For that, my dear, sweet, trusting readers, I hope that in this regard you are able to look into my soul and find that my conscience is clean, my character unblemished. I regret, however, to inform you, that I did so foolhardily and unwisely…..

……….in that I had forgotten to add the disclaimer more commonly known as the “Spoiler Alert.”

I would now like to re-post my comments in their entirety, so as to better shed light on the incident at hand.

****SPOILER ALERT.****

****** SERIOUSLY. SERIOUSLY. SPOILER. ALERT. I AM NOT MESSING AROUND, YOU GUYS.*******

*** YOU THINK I’M KIDDING. YOU ARE DEAD FUCKING WRONG. I AM GOING TO RUIN YOUR ENTIRE EVENING. IF YOU KEEP READING THIS, YOU WILL BE WEEPING THICK MASCARA TEARS INTO A SOGGY KLEENEX, BALLED UP ON THE COUCH IN A GLOW OF NETFLIX REGRET, WAILING AND GNASHING YOUR TEETH. YOU WILL CRY OUT AT WHATEVER GOD HAS FORSAKEN YOU, A SAD PUDDLE OF HUMAN SORROW, A MERE SHELL OF YOUR FORMER SELF. ****

*****DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU.*******

***** SPOILER ALERT.************

From the facebook page of Katherine Fritz:

overheard in bathroom stall. a conversation between two other girls in adjacent bathroom stalls, discussing “hunger games: catching fire”:

girl 1: i mean, i didn’t remember any of the rebellion stuff.
girl 2: right? i mean, suuuper sad.
girl 1: and i guess i forgot like, how fucked up and evil and weird the whole, like, political plotline was, how it’s like, about government being bad and stuff.
girl 2: iiii know, right! i mean, i read all the books.
girl 1: right? i loved them. except i kind of forget what happens in book three.

[pause. sound of peeing.]

girl 2: i mean, i remember she winds up with peeta in the end.
girl 1: well, yeah, obvi.

I KNOW.

I AM THE FUCKING WORST.

For those of you who were personally victimized by my irresponsible revelation of the fictional romance between the popular characters created by the novelist Suzanne Collins and subsequently dramatized by Jennifer Lawrence and Sir Joshua Hutcherson, I have nothing left to offer but my sincerest condolences, and my personal assurance that I have spent the remainder of the evening constructing a crude cat o’ nine tails from some old fishing line, my earrings, and my discarded movie ticket stubs in an earnest attempt at self-flagellation. If this experience in any way has ruined your personal enjoyment of the final (as of yet unreleased) Hunger Games films, or the final pages of the Suzanne Collins novels of the same name, I will personally reimburse you for the cost of your ticket to said films, at a rate of approximately $12/adult or $10/student. Although I have many thoughts to share about the rising cost of ticket prices in a land of vast unemployment, (when the world truly needs a bit of escapism, a little laughter, and perhaps a mirror to shed light upon our own society), I will hold my tongue and make appropriate financial restitution to you, my victims, those whose lives have been, in no small way, shattered by my selfish and unthinking actions. Please contact my personal assistant, who will be happy to assist you. (At the current time, my personal assistant is a woman named ‘Samantha,’ who is entirely fictitious and is, in fact, portrayed by myself, speaking in a British accent, complaining about myself to her/my equally fictitious coworkers ‘Huckaby Barnswallow’ and ‘Jerome.’ If you are an actual human at all interested in filling the role of “personal assistant,” please inquire within.)

I beg you to understand that I understand your plight. Were I one of you, I would be upset as well, demanding action, demanding justice. Ms. Collins creates a landscape so compelling and rich that the joy of the journey is in the telling. Simply put, while there is much to admire about her accessible novels, which are currently sparking a renewed interest in the joys of reading amongst adolescents and adults alike, there is vastly more critical acclaim to lavish upon her creation of Katniss Everdeen, a female action hero, defending a struggling people from the injustices perpetuated by a corrupt distopian government.

But obviously, I beg your forgiveness. I can see how revealing that she falls for one of the dudes that she’s been sort of falling for throughout the whole thing except for those times when she’s like OH MY GOD PLEASE SHUT UP AND STOP TRYING TO KISS ME I HAVE TO LIKE RUN THIS ENTIRE REVOLUTION RIGHT NOW …… yeah, I can totally see how that would be annoying.

Frankly, I was pretty thrown when Katniss and Peeta landed on Cloud City and Sugarsbeard Duckwing was like, alright, you tribute bitches, let’s see how you handle these Orcs! Ka-blammo! And don’t even get me started on that scene where Cedric Diggory says that tearful goodbye to his family back in Westeros and then sacrifices himself in that Sarlac pit so that the rest of the team can make it past Mordor. Tears just flowing down my face, like you wouldn’t even believe. And then — it’s like, it honestly still blows my mind, the filmmaking is just so incredible — I mean, can we just TALK for a minute about how Han and Chewie and Ginny and Harry and Don Draper and Walter White climb that giant mountain after the Ewoks set that forest fire and you’re like, okay, I finally feel safe for a minute here, and then it turns out that Katniss was actually a Cylon sleeper agent the entire time but then again not really because of the inception and it’s all really a weird dream and Rosebud was actually just a sled? MIND. BLOWN.

But yeah. She totally marries the vampire at the end.

My bad.

Image

(in all seriousness: I loved the movie. It’s freaking awesome, for so many reasons, not the least of which is this one. Plus, Phillip Seymour Hoffman! Go see that shit.)

Blogging It All Out


I’m currently reading a book entitled, Blog It Out, Bitch. The author, Nina Pérez, writes several blog posts, or essays, in this case, that are humorous, and vividly true, blunt, accurate and in-your-face. No holds barred. It’s very interesting and very amusing. My plan is to emulate this style of writing at a fairly regular pace and hopefully make it a hobby of mine. Perhaps I’ll even get a few readers.

I’ll write about my life, my husband, my girls, my dogs and cats, and wanting to become a writer. I’ll write about my frustrations, my health issues, about little things like taking tae kwon do class and more. Things like housework, the books I read, the shows and movies I watch will be included too, so be prepared for some culture. I hope to be interesting and funny but not to include spoilers.

Each year I make a resolution to write more journal entries, but that’s not what I’m doing here. This is an effort on my behalf to improve my talent, to strengthen my skills, to practice writing and become better and more focused. Excellence is a habit and this is one step to continue on that path.

 

Distractions


Throughout the day, we’re all provided with distractions. Some of them are the good kind. They’re the kind like your daughter coming up to you while you’re in the middle of a really good part in your book, and she says, “Mom, I want a hug.” Who could say no to that? Other times, your dog lays his head on your lap and looks up at you, pleading for you to pet him. He might even go so far as to roll over on his back, begging for that tummy rub. What a big baby! Still, you can’t refuse, even if you’re in the middle of something.

I’ve been telling myself that I’m going to get down to business and start writing more often and commit to writing better quality material. I HAVE to, because in my mind, that’s the only way I’m going to get better, to fill a portfolio in case anyone DOES want to read my writing, and well, I just feel like I have a lot of stuff in my head that has to come out!

However, there are the negative distractions as well.

I have been working on a project since my family and I moved into our new house. We’ve had large picture frames that have all the holes for different pictures lying around for ages and I told myself that I’m going to fill them and finally put them on the wall. I bought about 50 other frames from Ikea and I planned to frame and hang different motivational quotes for my daughters to see every day as they walk up and down the hallway and the staircase. Seeing these frames around was driving me crazy and I finally got around to filling them up. But my writing wasn’t getting done.

Other daily necessities come up, like having to run to Tae Kwon Do practice for me and/or the girls, or a Back-to-School night, of which we’ve had three recently. We have to shuttle two of the girls back and forth to their mom’s house which is about three hours away, although we only have to go halfway. The round trip is still three hours. Our dogs have been to the vet for shots and so have our new kittens, and then one of the dogs just went back two days ago to get neutered. Now, of course, he’s back and wearing his “Cone of Shame” so he doesn’t lick his stitches. Poor guy. I feel like I should wear the “Cone” when I don’t do what I need to do.

Today my mom called to ask about a problem transferring pictures from her iPad to her PC for storage. I couldn’t help her but I tried anyway. My husband, who is normally the computer guru, is a Microsoft employee and couldn’t do anything with an iPad, yet he’s the one she asked. Still, I felt I would offer my help, because, of course, she’s my mom. But yet again, it was another distraction.

Now, as I sit here writing, I’m doing “what I’m supposed to be.” I feel like I want to sit here and type all night, but alas, I cannot. I have to go take my Promotion Test for my next belt for Tae Kwon Do in less than an hour. This typing and writing that I’ve just done? That was just a distraction…from my nerves.