Random Wednesday: Three Writing Strengths and Weaknesses

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and dude who brought the myrrh, I can’t write worth shit.

First, do not ask me to spell anything. Ever. And why my Polish ass brain feels it is important to play Dyslexic Boggle before I can type my thought is anyone’s guess.

“I was thinging that maybe today is a bottle day for water polo.” Brain, what the fuck? What are you doing? STAHP!

On the topic of spelling errors, my husband sent me this screen shot from his email.

unnamed

I completely feel you fam. I probably would have made the same mistake. Actually, there is no “probably” I would have definitely screwed up spelling Krypton.

When it comes to my strengths and weaknesses we need to give this one good physiological deep thought. How do you qualify a writing strength and what makes a weakness?

I do not have a degree in writing. I have zero idea if I am following any of the rules. What I do know is I like to be creative and entertain. I can’t tell you when putting a comma after “but,” came out of style and we started to comma’s before “,but” but, I’m pretty sure there was a time in elementary English when I had that down before the world changed the rules. Or I’ve been wrong all this time. Many possibilities if you know me.

In fact, having no credentials does bother me some what. Deep down, in the belly of “how they hell do I publish this book?” One of the things I like to do when I read something I like is look up the author and see what kind of credentials they have.

Sara Gruen – Degree in English Literature
Kate Morton – Degree in English Literature and Major in Victorian Literature

And those are just the last two authors I have read because I went on a hard core Kate Morton binge thanks to my pusher co-worker who knows my book preference. In line after Camp Nano next month is author John Le Carre.

He also studied English at Oxford.

Okay, there maybe a running theme here. I’m not qualified for this to be a career for sure but, (comma location?) can you really be unqualified for a writing hobby?

Is my spelling issue and Polish Dyslexic Boggle going to keep me from feeding myself or having a warm bed at night? No. Do I actually expect to make money writing in general? A little bit would be nice but overall, no.

This is why it is difficult to really define what are my strengths and weaknesses. It’s because I don’t know what they are. I know they exist. I know that if I ever really, truly, want to be like the authors I enjoy reading, I need to put in some serious effort to be on their playing field. I would need to dig deep into my work and analyze it not just for the story but for the structure, grammar, and yeah, spelling errors spell check missed.

What I enjoy is the creativity and the freedom to write what I feel like writing on a given day. Just, get the thoughts on paper. Those imperfect, little jumbled up words that are used incorrectly for the context you are writing.

Don’t be afraid to write. Strengths, weaknesses, level of street cred, or whatever.

Just write. Share with friends. Have a good laugh, a broken heart, or a massive lady boner if you’re in to that sort of story.

One thing before I sign out. If you could do me a favor and let me know when I have an error on my blog posts? I would really appreciate it. I promise, I won’t be mad and we can still be friends if you alert me I spelled “tittie” in one place and “titty” again in another. Mistakes like that are so embarrassing.

Here are the ladies:

Bronwyn Green

Kris Norris

Gwendolyn Cease

Jessica Jarman

Advertisements

Random Wednesday: Dear Jessica, You Beautiful Bag of Sarcasm

For this post we’re writing letters to our 16 year old self. That’s about all the intro you need for this one.

________________________________

Dear Jessica,

You’re perfect. No really, you are. You’re on the right path to happiness so don’t change a thing.

Boyfriend choice is a little dicey but if it weren’t for dating someone older and in college, you wouldn’t have been able to focus carefree on school work and extracurricular school activities while he was away. Sure, he was a total douchecanoe with a terrible hair cut, but he actually did you a favor in regard to school.

School – you’re smart and doing awesome. Keep it up. And that whole “Why do we need to know this? No one uses this kind of math in real life.” Yeah…um…you’re going to skate by because you’re a smart kid but that math – that shit will haunt you. Nine hours a day. Five days a week. Motherfucking math.

Friends – Steve’s gay. He is going to lie to you about it come prom. He’s a shit like that.

Also, stop washing your hair every day and blow drying it. You’re drying it out. No amount of spray in conditioner is going to fix that amount of breakage. Just as well, high lights are super cute but not in your hair quality best interest.

Find Ryan McCandless and make friends with him in high school and don’t wait until you run into him in college. He isn’t going to be around for long. Unfortunate reality of being a police officer.

There isn’t a day you’re going to regret and a decision that isn’t going to have something good about it even if it seems like a bad choice after more thorough consideration. Keep it up. It’s looking really good for you.

Let’s catch up again when you hit college. There is this guy in one of your classes that’s worth talking to sooner than later. It all works out in the end but there were a few years there that could have been expedited with better attention to detail and a bigger pair of balls on your part.

Sincerely,
Jessica “The Awesome” De La Rosa

P.S. Read these other ladies.

Bronwyn Green

Paige Prince

Kellie St. James

 

Flash Fiction: In Possession of Sand

Monday flash fiction time! This Monday’s edition of flash fiction is our song edition. Song is from Ellie Goulding and titled “How Long Will I love you.”

And based on google suggested searches the answer for Ellie Goulding is, “Not very long.”

Here are the participating writers and happy reading.

Bronwyn Green

Kris Norris

_________________________________________________

Usually there are scented candles burning and visits are in the evening after a lovely dinner, not early in the morning when the morning fog is still present around the garden. It had been about a week since my Dad’s funeral and there wasn’t a rush to attend to the house. It was already so well maintained with only a slight mess of mail on the counter. They answering machine around the corner was blinking five messages. I picked up the phone and checked the caller ID only to see the calls were unknown numbers and most likely telemarketers. Dad complained about them regularly and screened his calls to avoid them. I simply unplugged the machine and phone to avoid any disturbances. If anyone needed to get a hold of me, they would have my cell.

I continued through the house opening doors and closets, sizing up the items to be sorted, packed, given away, or sold. A collection of historical framed prints, a couch that sagged slightly in the middle, and the hospital bed would all be sold. Maddie was going to college soon and wanted the spare bed and bedroom furniture from the guest room to put in storage for when she was allowed to move out of the dorms and into an apartment. Aunt Liz was hoping for the car that has been sitting unused for years and my Dad’s friend Tom was always fond of the spy novel library which spanned from the 70’s until only a few years ago. Dad only stopped buying them when he was unable to see the words on the pages to read.

The sound of a car’s tires rolling over the loose gravel collected at the end of the driveway is clear through the silent house. I looked at the clock and it was almost 9:15. Early for the day but 45 minutes later than the agreed upon time. I suppose I should just be happy my brother showed up at all. A moment later Doug pulled himself through the front door with a gas station coffee in his hand and the strong smell of aftershave, what hair he has left was still damp.

“Morning.”

“Morning.”

Doug sipped his coffee and winced from the heat. “I brought the truck and Logan is coming later to help pack.”

“Your truck? How much do you plan on taking?”

Doug opened the coat closet and pulled out a leather bomber cut jacket. “Hey, he said we could take whatever we wanted and we get first pick so why not? Look at this, Dad use to wear this all the time.”

“I remember but, he stopped wearing that one years ago and he gave the newer one away before he died. What are you going to do with this? It won’t fit you. Why take it if it’s just going to sit in a box and rot somewhere?”

He put his coffee down and slipped on the jacket. The shoulders were wide for his frame and his torso too short. Doug zipped up the coat and flattened the puffiness of the extra fabric against him. The only part of the jacket that fit were the sleeves. The cotton cuffs settled perfectly at his wrists but otherwise he looked exactly as he was, a son in his dad’s jacket. Doug looked through the pockets and pulled out a piece of paper. “Car wash receipt from 1997.”

“Told you he hasn’t worn it in a long time. Just put that back.”

“No. I’m taking it. I’m taking all of these coats. I am taking the furniture too.”

I looked behind me to the couch with the sag in the middle. “Why? The grand kids were going to take this old stuff. The estate sale is suppose to take care of the rest and the money is going to be divided up. There isn’t much here and what isn’t really of any value. At least not to any one other than Dad.”

“I want to put it in my basement and set it up just the way he had it here, you know. Kind of like a way of hanging with Dad, drinking beer, watching the games on Sunday.”

“It’s just stuff.”

Doug stretched out his arms and the jacket hanged off him with the surplus of extra fabric. “It’s not ‘just stuff.’ It’s Dad’s stuff.”

“Dad’s gone. It’s just stuff now.”

Doug crosses his arms. “How can you say that. Do yo hear yourself? He cared about these things and you should care about them too.”

“Just because he did? I should care about that jacket because he liked it enough to buy it and wear it? There are hundreds, thousands of jackets just like that one. There is nothing unique about this other than he wore it. He isn’t here to wear it anymore. That’s the difference. I want to see that jacket on him and I won’t. So it doesn’t matter now who wears the jacket. I’m leaving the jacket because just owning it and remembering him in it, won’t bring him back.”

Doug picked up his coffee and walked to the living room. “More for me then. But, I’m just saying, it’s easier to remember him when you have things that remind you about him once in a while.”

I walked toward the open closet door when something caught my eye. “I’ll always love Dad for the rest of my life even if I had the opportunity to keep a hat of his that says, ‘Boobs and Brews – Beer Fest 1975’ on it.” I placed the hat on my head and it sank down pushing my glasses down my nose before I was all the way into the living room.

Doug looked at me and smiled. “Love Dad for the rest of your life with or without mementos, that hat is just foolish to give up.”

 

Wordless Wednesday: Sadness

I’m sad.

Because I don’t know what to do with this post.

And it’s suppose to be wordless and how do you describe an emotion using pictures when you’re -ahem- a writer?

I expect many blogs today are going to have Google images like the following:

45173
Sadness from Inside Out
gz1dz
Oh look. Sad Doctor Who.
rs_500x280-141111110716-af9
Or the now outdated “no Oscar, sad Leo” meme.

Or maybe we go current even sad. Or history sad. Neither of which I am going to post pictures of.

And to be honest, I’m probably not going to read any of the following blogs. Just because I don’t want to start my day on Wednesday looking at sad things.

It’s okay to feel sad, it’s okay to write about sadness, and even my manuscripts have a shit ton of it. Every character has their dark moment.

c1f85c52a44315bf_cinderella
The complete feeling of helplessness.

But to dwell on it is very annoying.

To follow the “if it bleeds, it leads” journalism mentality and write only about the most depressing and unfortunate with no more closure than driving pass an accident on the highway. What’s the point?

Sadness when given more attention than it deserves is boring.

bored
And very uninteresting.

So for a very wordy, wordless post about sadness. Don’t write about sadness. Address it as an emotion.

Sadness is not, and should never be, a story.

Bronwyn Green

Paige Price

Kayleigh Jones

Kellie St. James

Gwendolyn Cease

 

Random Wednesday: Blog Take Over

This weeks topic in new, interesting, and a little scary. What would happen if someone else took over my blog for the day? Well, not sure what my husband would do but my daughter would write something like this, “hhhhhhhhhhsssssssssseeeeeeeeenawwwwqqqqfuaew;offfiaoslleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” and my baby son would drool on the keyboard. But instead of assuming what it would be like of someone else took over my blog for the day I decided to allow someone to actually take over my blog for the day.

Meet Jim.

I’ve mentioned him before in on my blog and I particularly like Jim. He lives across the pond, buys me awesome books, is a wonderful beta reader, and generally a brilliant and kind person. He seemed a perfect fit for the task.

Plus, if I had asked Katie my blog would probably be loaded with dick pics. (Note: I’m well aware a few of you would be okay with this but get out of here! Ain’t nobody got time for that! Except, Gwendolyn. She usually has some half naked dude on her blog if you need a fix.)

Don’t forget to visit the other bloggers Bronwyn Green, Kellie St. James, Gwendolyn Cease, and Paige Prince and without further ado – take it away Jim:

_____________________________________________________

I like giving gifts, not big fancy things, but little things that folk will appreciate. Most recently this has been food, I’ve been getting back into baking for the first time in a long time. As a result there’s been a lot of cakes brought into the office.

cheesecake

Behold the cheesecakey goodness. It was delicious, it didn’t last long in the office.

For my overseas friends, cakes would be a little harder to send, so I have to settle on something a little different to show my appreciation for them. Sometimes I send daft custom postcards,Touchnote is great for this, but what I really like sending is books I think they will enjoy.

Though it’s always a tricky proposition when picking a book for a bibliophile, you are essentially hijacking several hours to several days of their life, depending on their reading speed. A poor choice in this regards is a horrible thing to inflict upon a friend, for starters think of all the better books they could have been reading.

I seem to have done a good job of this so far… well with choosing for Jessica at least, I still feel guilty about the time I sent Katie a copy of Alan Wake, she did not enjoy that anywhere near as much as her love for X-Files and Twin Peaks made me think she would.

Wyrd

“I’d like to know if I could compare you to a summer’s day. Because — well, June 12th was quite nice, and…”

Jessica has a cracking sense of humour, with a command of sarcasm, cynicism and silliness that put me in mind of Pratchett’s writing. So one Christmas I sent her Wyrd Sisters, and as far as I am aware she was quite taken with the late Sir Terry’s writings.(Jessica Edit: I have this awesome map I saved of Pratchett’s books and the universe they are set in sent to me from Jim. Reading all of Pratchett’s books is an item on my bucket list..)

karla

“It’s all so very ugly George”

But it’s not just holidays. Sometimes there’s no better way to put a smile on a friends face than an unexpected gift when they are least expecting it, this was one such gift. Jessica loved the Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy movie, and I don’t blame her. The slow burn of a spy thriller builds tension much like a horror movie does, gently but inexorably towards the crescendo at the end. I introduced her to the utterly delightful BBC Radio adaptation and as we chatted back and forth about it by email this dropped into my mailbox.

I wanted to read the books as soon as I found out the movie was a book adaptation.

When I saw the movie, i watched it a second time immediately the next day. I do that very rarely anymore.

But i’m so far behind on writing and other “to do” items that it’s just one of those things lingering on the back of my mind.

The wonderful moment when a gift idea blooms organically out of simple conversation. I made a joke about her finally getting to read it once the kids move out to college, and then sneaked off to a certain large book retailer to order a copy. Less than two weeks later, on what was proving to be a particularly rubbish day, a surprise package arrived in the mailbox. Rubbish day instantly improved, if the excessive number of OMGs in the email chain that day are to judge. (Jessica Edit: Seriously, there were a lot of OMGs.)

_______________________________________________________

Thank you Jim! I hope you enjoyed writing for my blog today. You’re awesome!