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Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

A most recent update of mine would tell you that I’m still working on the book (almost finished.. just procrastinating a bit lol) and I have started my own home based business. Yes, it is as scary as it sounds.  So, this post is really going to venture away from my writing for a bit and I’m going to talk about my other creative love: making jewelry and accessories.

With the economy the way it is, it’s hard to really find a decent paying job. I live in a rural area so it’s really difficult even with my college degree. It just wasn’t happening. So, I needed to be able to get some money in and be able to write at the same time (okay, not at the same exact time, but you get my point… I hope haha).

When I was growing up, my mom made beaded jewelry and sold it in a local shop. She actually did pretty well until she had to quit because her eyes were getting bad (cataracts).  I guess you could say I’m carrying on the tradition of making jewelry now. It’s something I’ve done for awhile just for myself and I find it fun.  I like to make things for people that they enjoy. It’s sort of like writing.  If I can make people happy with what I create, then I’m successful.

I started my online shop on etsy in December. To be honest, business has been pretty slow. Okay, very, very slow.  I guess I just don’t have the online presence/promotion yet. People haven’t found my shop and I want them to. So, I’m leaving you all with the link and a few photos of some of the stuff I have made. I think it’s all fun stuff.  I’ve made a lot of guitar pick jewelry and flower hair clips.  I get a lot of compliments on the hair clips.  Whatever money I do make off my store, I put aside so I can self-publish my book when it is finished, so it’s going to a good cause! 🙂

So I would love it if you checked out my store, Glittering Treasures, on etsy! Click this to go to it!  Also, if you could maybe spread the word and let others who you may think would be interested in my stuff, that would be nice, too. Oh, and I just made a facebook page for my store so go check that out, too and “like” it if you will! The  more who likes it, the more my store will get out there in the world.

Here are a few photos of what I have made:

Purple flower hair clip

Orange Flower Hair Clip

Green and silver glitter party guitar pick earrings

Robot Love Necklace

Purple and gray duo guitar pick earrings

And one more:

Orange and white flower headband

There’s a lot more in the shop, so please check it out and let me know what you think. I do make customs if I’m able to get the right colors and stuff, so contact me if there’s something you like and want in a different color. Again, whatever money I make out of this is helping me self-publish my novel! Thanks everyone!

My etsy store, Glittering Treasures!

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Yes, another absence from this blog. It was completely unintentional this time around.  After I finished NaNoWriMo in two weeks (I’m still amazed I actually “won” after a couple of years of trying..), my creativity just shut down.  The last thing I wanted to do was write.  I had these great plans to get back to the w.i.p I set aside for NaNoWriMo and finally finish the sucker. Has it happened? Nope.  I have worked on it a bit, but it’s still sitting at a lovely 55,000 words. Not bad really. I’m almost there, but the idea of finishing that right now just wasn’t on my radar.

Neither was blogging, to be perfectly honest. I guess I had to take a step back and take a “vacation” from writing completely.  For anyone who hasn’t done NaNoWriMo, you can’t really understand how much it takes out of you.  For me, all I did was write. I think I took two days off in the two week span that it took for me to get to 50k words., and that wasn’t even because I wanted to. I just had other things to do.  Did I end up wearing myself out during that time? Probably. Do I regret it? Absolutely not.

Yes, NaNoWriMo caused me  to take some time out to take a break from writing afterwards.   But I’ve also learned new things about me as a writer and that’s the most important lesson I could ever take away from something like that. I wouldn’t trade that in for anything.

It’s okay to take a step back and collect your thoughts. It’s okay to take a break from your writing when you feel like you can’t write anymore.  Don’t push it. Just let it flow naturally. If your brain is tired and is screaming for relaxation, do what it says.  You will thank me later. 🙂

Oh, and congratulations to all of the fellow NaNoWriMo “winners” out there! Great job on getting to that glorious 50k finish line!  I’ll also say great job to everyone who participated. Whether you won or didn’t, pat yourself on the back for at least trying!

In other “news”, it’s come to my attention that I have received a few blog awards. Thanks to those who have given them to me. I’ll start handing them out to others in tomorrow’s post! If I don’t forget… Knowing me, that may happen. 🙂

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First off, don’t forget to sign up for my Halloween short story blog fest in the previous post. It’ll be a lot of fun, I promise. 🙂 And spread the word!

For this writing prompt Wednesday, we are continuing our “spookified” writing prompt Wednesdays for this month. As always, if you have a writing prompt you want to share here, please e-mail them to me at thestoryinme (at) gmail (dot) com. Please include with the prompt your name and blog address so I can give you credit!

Here we go with this week’s writing prompt!

Think of the perfect horror movie villain. Make him/her/it the most unique that you can. Write down all of the details of what it looks like, sounds like, feels like, and even smells like. Where does it reside? What does it do? Be as descriptive as possible and if you can, draw your character.

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Since this month is October, every Wednesday there will a be a “spooky” writing prompt for you all to enjoy.  If you have one that you want to share here, please e-mail it to me at thestoryinme@gmail.com with your prompt, name, and blog  link included.

  • You find yourself stuck in a dark mansion. There seems to be no one in the house as you search the area.  When you try to open the doors, you find that it’s locked. As you continue to push the door open, you hear a loud bang come from the second floor. Describe what happens.

 

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I never realized book trailers were such a great idea until a few months ago. All I see on Twitter is people posting their trailers on youtube. Of course, I go to watch them because now I’m strangely fascinated by the whole thing.  Some are pretty fancy, some are pretty basic. But which one is better?

Personally, I’m more of simplistic.  I like stuff that doesn’t go too overboard with effects or graphics. They tell me what the book is about and if I have anything to look forward to. Short, simple, and to the point.  With too many effects, I get distracted and I don’t pay much attention to what you’re trying to sell me. Not that all “fancy” book trailers are bad. Far from it. I just don’t need all of the fireworks or whatever you’ve got going on to tell me what your book is about.

I haven’t done an official  book trailer yet. Only because I haven’t finished my book.  Of course I’ll probably go for a more simple trailer because that’s who I am. Yes, there will be more to it then “Hey, this book is about zombies. Please read it.” (I think I have seen a book trailer that went like that actually…) but don’t expect a lot of fancy effects or “fireworks”. I want it to reflect my book… dark, moody, mysterious.  Those are the feelings I want people to get.

I may stick in a few zombie photos of people if I can coerce enough people to dress up in zombie make up and send me some…. hmm… sounds like fun to me. Who’s on board? haha

If you have made a book trailer, what did you want the end product to look like? What kinds of feelings did you want the readers to take away from it?  If you’re like me and hasn’t made one yet, what do you envision it to look like?  Let me know in the comments section!

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A year ago, I made a post about my love/hate feelings for writer’s reference books. That subject has been on my mind lately. I was straightening up some of my books and found a couple of those reference books which brought that certain post to mind.

Those kinds of books can be helpful, don’t get me wrong. I’ve read a couple that really got me through some of that dreaded writer’s block. One of them that I am quite fond of is Write: 10 Days To Overcome Writer’s Block. Period. by Karen E. Peterson. She’s a therapist so instead of Fight vs. Flight, she talks about Write Vs. Flight. Are we going to be in write mode today or are we going to be in “flight” mode and hide from those writing duties? It’s an interesting book and it really helps me get focused when I need it.

There have been some books that actually made me more paranoid of my own writing style than it helped. Those are the books that say you should write a certain way and make your dialogue this way, etc. Oh and make sure your characters are like this and not like that…blah, blah, blah. I don’t find those books helpful. Not at all. Personally, I think the beauty of writing is that we all shouldn’t sound the same way. How boring would that be to read a book that sounds almost exactly like another book by a different author? Yeah, my characters aren’t perfect (no character should be). Okay, maybe my dialogue or narrative isn’t like they say it is in the books, but I’m okay with that.

I appreciate that the writers of those reference books are trying to do. They’re trying to help aspiring writers to be better, but when some of those books say “you have to make sure it’s this way or your book will fail.” (okay, I may be paraphrasing just a bit there..), I tend to not finish that book. Let me write my book my way and I’ll get it published. You just wait.

So if you become discouraged by something you read in one of those books, well, don’t. You should write your book how you want to. It’s your story, not theirs. Be strong enough to be different. Don’t write a story to sound like another just because that one became popular. Take what you learn from those books and make it to better your writing and not change it completely.

Yes, one of my biggest pet peeves is someone telling me how my writing should sound. I know what my writer’s voice sounds like and I prefer to keep it that way. Otherwise, I’d be pulling out my hair… and I really do like my hair. Except for today. Today, it just looks a mess. Bad hair days ftw.

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A  year ago,  I participated in a serial story blog where different writers posted a serial story. We were assigned a day to post each part until we finished our stories. My first story on that blog was one of my favorite stories to write. For some of you, you may have already read it, but I have received some new subscribers to this blog, so I wanted to bring back The Painter for you to read! It has been a year since I wrote it, so I felt it was only appropriate to celebrate that! Check back on each Thursday for the continuation of the story! As always, feel free to leave me comments and let me know what you think! Enjoy. 🙂

The Painter

Part One

He always left his house at the same time every day.  He would shuffle out the door while the sun began to set, bleeding light pink across the sky, his back hunched over in its usual position. I would watch him from my bedroom window next door as he headed out of his back yard and into the woods. In  his wrinkled hands, he always carried a battered, black suitcase that shook in his grasp.
I always stood there and wondered where he went every night. He wouldn’t come back until late at night when the stars were twinkling bright in the sky. It was always at an hour that most elderly people were snug in their beds, sleeping off the ache they felt during the day.
But, not this old man.  I had only been living in the quiet neighborhood for a month. My parents had decided to move us far from our sunny California home to this dreary Oregon town. I remember feeling outraged to be leaving during my senior year of high school. I had shouted obscenities and screamed that I wasn’t going anywhere.  There was no way they were going to force me away from my friends to this unknown loser town.
They forced me anyways.
Now I stood in my new bedroom in some unfamiliar town where I had no friends and nothing in common with anyone.   On a typical Friday night, I would be out with my friends, going to the movies or whatever random thing we decided to do. I scoffed and kicked my night stand as I thought of what I was doing now.
“You’re standing in front of your window, spying on some old man walking into the woods,” I muttered.  “What a fun life you lead now, Ella.”
Downstairs, I could hear my parents yelling at each other. Out in public, people thought they were a picture perfect couple, but behind closed doors, they were each other’s worst enemy. I was always in the middle of it.
“Ella! Get down here!” my father shouted.
As I trudged down the stairs, my brain tried to think of whatever my parents could want.  I finished all of my chores a couple of hours ago and we already had dinner. What else could he want from me?
My parents were sitting on opposite sides of the living room. The television was blaring in front of them.  My mother looked furious in her armchair, picking at the edges of a throw pillow beside her. It was her usual expression when my father was around. I can’t remember a day when they did get along.
My father punched the mute button on the television remote and leaned back in his brown, leather recliner.  I stood there, shifting my weight from one foot to the other, nervously waiting to see what he had to say.
“I called you down here to see how school has been going. You didn’t mention a thing about it at dinner.”
That was probably because he wouldn‘t shut up about his day at work. I merely shrugged my shoulders. “Nothing really happened to talk about.”
“You didn’t make any friends?” he asked, narrowing his eyes. “Did you try at all to be sociable?”
“I have friends,” I said. “Back in California. You know the place you moved me out of?”
My father snorted. “You’ll find out this town is the perfect place. Quiet, small, and peaceful. That’s how it should be.” He pointed his finger at me. “My boss has a kid who goes to that school. His name is Jeremy. You’re going to make friends with this kid. It’ll do you some good.”
I glanced at my mother who was rolling her eyes. She threw the pillow down. “Oh, Walter. Just leave her alone. Let her be friends with whoever she wants. Butt out.”
“There you go again, telling me what to do! If anyone needs to butt out, it’s you.” My father grabbed the remote from the coffee table and punched the volume up on the television. A cop drama blared from the set. That was my signal that this conversation was over.
I went into the kitchen and got myself a glass of water. As I stood in front of the kitchen sink, I looked out into the woods. It was getting darker outside. I wondered what that old man could be doing out there.  How long could he stay out there? The real question was why was I standing here thinking about some strange old man anyways?
“Ella, what are you doing?” my mother asked from behind me.
I turned to see her standing at the entrance of the kitchen with her arms folded across her chest. Her furious expression was replaced with curiosity.
“I’m just staring out the window,” I said, turning back to my view of the back yard.
She came up to stand beside me.  We were both quiet for a moment as we stared out into the night.  The porch light turned on, illuminating our yard. My mom’s flower garden shone in the darkness as fireflies glinted above their petals.
“I just wanted you to know that you don’t have to be friends with Jeremy,” my mother said, breaking the silence. “Your father doesn’t understand how difficult it is to make new friends at your age.”
I could hear the cop show still blaring from the living room. I merely nodded in reply.  Just hearing her support me was enough.
In the distance, a dark figure moved out of the woods. It was the old man, still carrying his suitcase. I kept thinking about what he could be doing out there.
“Do you know who lives next door?” I asked.
“Just some old man. Nobody knows much about him. He used to be a painter, I think.”
She left the room with me still wanting to know more about this man. Why would an old painter go out into the woods every night? What did he have back there?

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