NaNoWriMo 2014

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NaNoWriMo is starting in about three weeks, and I can’t wait!

For those of you who have no clue what I’m speaking of, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and the goal is to write 50,000+ words of an original novel in 30 days. It can be soul-crushing as you attempt to write at a break-neck speed.

This is my idea of fun. Seriously, this thing is like Christmas for me.

This will my ninth NaNoWriMo, which I can’t believe, and I already have a plot! It’s going to be a sci-fi/children’s story, but I still need to work out the murkiness of the whole thing. It’ll be interesting since I’ve never written anything that would be considered a children’s novel, but I think I’m up for the challenge.

I’ve decided I’m NOT going to post up excerpts of the novel during NaNoWriMo because I’ll start self-editing and I’ll totally never get anything done that way. However, I think I’m going to record and post a weekly video update. I’m sure it’ll be great! You’ll witness as I’ll go from chipper and optimistic during week one, descend to despondency and misery during week two, to not hating my novel during week three. Week four tends to culminate with tears and over-caffeinated exhaustion. Maybe a little confetti. We’ll see.

Did I already tell you I’m looking forward to all of this?

If any of you lovely souls want to leap into the great unknown that’s NaNoWriMo, click here.

And if you want to have an idea of what the month-long writing process is like, here’s a video by the lovely Kristina Horner .

Ode to My Creative Frustrations

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I stare at the blinking cursor on my laptop screen
And I feel like I’m being mocked.
I grab my vibrant pastels and drawing pad,
but the page remains unmarred.
My guitar is dusty and out of tune,
so I’m typing up my frustrations instead.

I’m emptied of ideas and notions,
And my brain and fingers are uncooperative accomplices.
No inspiration flowing through my being.
It doesn’t help this flesh is unwilling.
Rather than let the unwilling win,
I’m typing up my frustrations instead.

There’s a part of me that feels useless,
that I’m doomed to failure before I start.
A voice often whispers, “What’s the point?
“Why start? It’s going to suck anyway.”
I’m here on my laptop, fighting the best way I know,
by typing up my frustrations instead.

To wait until inspiration strikes is unwise.
Many times, you have to work even if your soul feels dry.
You have to write, draw, or sing even it’s uninspired nonsense,
Even if your whole being fights against you.
At the end, you’ll have something to show for it,
Which is why I’m typing up my frustrations instead.

Gravel Road (poem)

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(Back when I was a moody teenager, I used to write a lot of angst ridden poetry.  A majority of it sucked, but I should look for them.  I’m sure they would elicit a chuckle or two.  Anyway, I’ve haven’t really written poetry since college, but I thought up this poem and decided to just go with it.  Not my best writing, but that’s okay.  God is mentioned, so if you have a deity phobia, read at your own discretion.)


 

I limped on a gravel road,
my feet were bruised and bleeding,
I searched for a bit of hope,
darkness, instead, greeted me.

My eyes were blurry from my tears,
no relief could be found.
I tasted the saltiness of my sorrow,
before each drop hit the ground.

“God, do you love me?
Where have You gone?
My hope is fading fast.
I no longer can hold on.”

My feet gave out
and the gravel bit my knees.
I closed my eyes
and wondered if He’d heard my pleas.

I laid on the gravel road;
my spirit was undone.
I waited for Death to take me,
while I whispered my regrets, one by one.

In the midst of the darkness,
a silver mist came from the east.
It circled my broken body
and my pain decreased.

From the mist came a voice,
gentle yet not tame.
“Courage, young one!
Brave heart!” it exclaimed.

Anger swelled within my heart.
“I can’t! I’ve had enough! I’m done!”
Before the mist vanished, the voice said,
“The road is long. Courage, you must go on!”

Though weary in body,
I knew I still possessed much fight.
Though it was a struggle,
once again, I was upright.

I still limp on that gravel road,
my feet bruised, but my steps more sure.
I’ve savored more than a bit of hope,
moving from darkness to light, I now can endure.

Good to Great

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(First, a major congratulations to Brant Hansen on his new job as “Storyteller” with CURE Hospitals! I know he’ll be brilliant at it and CURE is such a fantastic organization; they heal kids, the ABSOLUTE least of these, in the name of Jesus. If you want to learn more about CURE, click here. If you want to read Brant’s blog or listen to his podcasts, click here. Second, I had a hard time coming up with this week’s blog post but, then, I had a conversation with a friend this weekend that helped inspire what you’re about to read.)


penpaper

 

“Nice essay, Cindy!”

These were the words that greeted me when I opened up an e-mail alerting me that my instructor had reviewed my most recent essay.  Those words were truly unexpected.

For as long as I can remember, my writing has always been praised.  I rarely received anything lower than a B on my research papers, essays, and articles.  The exceptions to this were the two creative writing classes I took in college.  Though I love telling stories and thought I was a good writer, the red ink of my teachers’ pens told me otherwise.  I did well in both classes, after MUCH hard work, but I had my reservations of whether I had what it took to become a novelist.

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Pretty (Short Story)

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Olga took a long look at her reflection in the bathroom mirror.

“I’m short, have frizzy hair, and a huge zit is erupting from my chin. I’m a triple threat.”

She pumped the pink, slimy soap on her hands and lathered her hands until globs of white foam covered them.

Maybe the florescent lights just make me look really bad.

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Getting Over It

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Before you read the rest of this entry, listen to the audio below. I can wait.

Hopefully you got through that. I’m sorry if my thoughts sounded all over the place and super sorry I sound like a twelve year old (that’s something I can’t help). I recorded those thoughts exactly a year ago and had to convince myself it was worth keeping. I found that recording a few weeks ago and it’s a BIG deal that I’m sharing them. That experience in college happened almost almost ten years ago and I still struggle with fear, particularly my fear my writing is just not good enough.

I hate that.

I hate that I write all these rough drafts and never go back to edit them. I hate that I don’t show my writing to people for feedback. I hate that these thoughts of being an inferior writer often control me and I just don’t write. Fear fuels all of this.
I’m tired of being paralyzed and discouraged. Which is why I’m writing this post and actually making it public for all the world to read (or at least one person, perhaps).

The truth is, I’m doing this to push myself to write more. That’s why I’m also taking an on-line writing class and doing Camp Nano. I need every bit of motivation I can get to keep writing, even if it can be overwhelming.

I’d love to be a published novelist. What writer wouldn’t love such an opportunity? However, the reason I write is bigger than being a New York Times bestseller or getting lucrative advances from a publishing house.  The reason I allow myself to bleed words through a pen or a computer keyboard is because I love to create and love to tell the stories or thoughts that rattle around in my mind. I want to use every ability the Creator has gifted me with (yes, I brought God into this post. Tough.) and I want to burn out bright rather than die with unused potential.

Here goes everything.

P.S.
My initial goal is to post something new every Monday. That can be a short story, an essay, or something I’m currently working on. It could also be me venting, so be prepared for that too. Topics of faith may be brought up, but I’ll give you a fair warning before each post if you aren’t into Jesus or God.

Until next time.