Writer of Stories.

Writer of Stories.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Two Thousand and Eleven

I'd like to sum up the things that made my year beautiful and memorable. All things musical, theatrical, cinematic, and poetic. Each Top 5 isn't in any sort of order so there are no specific rankings. Hope you enjoy!

Top 5 TV Shows:
Gilmore Girls
One Tree Hill

Top 5 Albums:
Ed Sheeran "+"
Adele "21"
Angus and Julia Stone "Down the Way"
Brett Dennen "Hope for the Hopeless"
Taylor Swift "Speak Now"

Top 5 Movies:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 2
Water for Elephants
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt 1

Top 5 Books:
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Crooked by Laura and Tom McNeal
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Top 5 Most Played Songs on iTunes:
Down - Jason Walker (29)
Stay - Miley Cyrus (19)
I and Love and You - The Avett Brothers (17)
E.T. - Katy Perry ft. Kanye West (16)
9 Crimes (Demo) - Damien Rice (15)

Monday, November 14, 2011

a great smokey adventure

This past weekend the family and I took a trip to Gatlinburg for some nice time away and a chance to see the beautiful scenery with all the Christmas decorations put in place. I remember going as a child many times to both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge to visit Dollywood, the Aquarium, and many other museums and ventures. I must say it is exactly as I remembered only a bit less extravagant. Speaking in part on the Aquarium: the amount of money we had to pay to get in was not worth the amount of things you get to see and how long it takes you to go through the entirety of the exhibits. Granted we went at night when there was absolutely zero crowd what so ever, it was still a bit dull from what I remember. It seems that all the places I've visited from my childhood have been that way. The zoo being one of them. I guess when you're that small things seem a lot grander and more enticing if you will.

We spent most of our time on the main strip where all the shopping takes place. A few museums retrieved money from us simply because we were curious, but none of them seemed all that interesting to me. Mostly it was a lot of walking through a building and reading interesting facts off the wall that I could have found on the internet or in a book somewhere. I thought one particular place was quite laughable after thinking it would be a cool place about extraordinary illusions. However, as I walked through I was able to spot a lot of lights and mirrors, thus ruining the entire effect of it. I felt a right bit clever after exiting knowing that I was smarter than I thought before hand. I will admit that it was an experience and those are the types of things we as people like to tell stories about later. It's really the most awful experiences that are the best to tell about afterwards.

As for my "author duties", I did take extra note of my surroundings while I was there. The entire area of where we were staying was very secluded so I picked up on a few ideas for some future sequences. The end is still drawing near for the first book but I'm still finding it difficult to give it a complete close. There is just so much that I want to say and squeeze in there that I keep finding myself going back and rewriting over and over. There are things that have come up in the later books that I want to incorporate more in the first just so it can all tie together in the end. It is a constant struggle but I have complete motivation in myself and what I'm doing to see it to the end.

This has become my sole dedication and purpose. I have no interest in pursuing a certain type of education until I am fully aware of what I want to do in life and as of now that is writing my book. My job will sustain me until I figure myself out. At least I'm not a bum and quitting EVERYTHING. I am smart enough to know that I need money to support myself funnily enough. I will make sure I put as much effort into this as possible though because without this book I honestly have nothing in my life to work towards. These characters and this story will define who I am and what I am to be. If I succeed, which I pray to God that I do, I will be always in debt to my imagination for taking me to a place I had no clue how to find on my own.

I thank anyone who has supported me through this and I will try my hardest to make you all extremely proud.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Witches, and Tigers, and Turtles... oh my!

Since the last post, I've plunged myself into the culture of Nashville thoroughly. Trent and I joined one of our friends last week on a trip to the local Zoo! It was very exciting for me because the last time I'd been was when I was maybe seven years old. We went pretty early in the morning and it was quite chilly, so on our first go around a lot of the animals were still in hiding. After another time around the loop they decided to peak out and say hello. We saw cougars, leopards, tigers, flamingos, and even a black widow spider! My favorite part was getting to see a turtle swim underwater in the tank. I'd never seem one swim before and I must say they are a lot swifter with their legs under there than on land!

Besides going to the zoo we've been running around the town discovering a lot of new stores and eateries. I uncovered a new Starbucks close to me that I never knew existed and we visited a bunch of used CD and movie warehouses to score some sweet deals! Last night we went to see Wicked at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center downtown. This was the second time for me after seeing it on Broadway in New York City which was an experience let me tell you. Nevertheless, even the second time it was the best musical I'd ever seen. It will always be my #1 favorite. The story is inspiring and the music is phenomenal. I encourage everyone to go see it if presented with the opportunity!

Other than my many adventures, I've been writing A LOT...

Yes, you guys would be very proud. Like I said before, I'm working very hard to develop the ending of book one so that it gives you closure and leaves you hanging at the same time. It's a really hard thing to accomplish but I am trying my best just for my audience. I am having the best time writing in the different characters points of view. They're all so unique in their own way and have such individual ways of looking at the world around them. Certain characters are super fun to be in their head because of their feistiness! Love it!

I will continue to keep everyone posted as much as I can remember to update my blog. Hopefully that's often =]

peace, love, and vampires

Important Dates:

Breaking Dawn pt 1 Soundtrack 11-08-11
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 2 on Blu-Ray and DVD 11-11-11
Breaking Dawn pt 1 in theaters 11-18-11

Sunday, October 23, 2011

research and development

I love that the moment I said I was going to start writing weekly entries because I was in a writer's slump... that's when I get inspired. I've been working on the last two chapters of book one relentlessly since the last time I updated you guys. A lot of things are happening emotionally with my characters because of the events that have happened and I've been working really hard to develop each person's response and the way they handle it individually.

I have been watching a lot of movies concerning loss and the different ways that people deal with it. A big note is that when someone experiences loss, whether it be by death or simply absence, the person either shuts it out or lets it consume them completely. It's very interesting to me to study why people do what they do. Each of my characters experiences loss in one way or another and I've made it a point to identify each of them with it differently so that everyone can relate and understand in some way or form.

There will be much more time spent on this part of the book than any other because I feel that it's the most important. At this point the characters all hit a certain peak in their plot and how they choose to continue is what develops who they are in the future. It's all about choices and I want to make sure that each choice and each path taken is carefully considered and allows me to unfold the rest of their journey in the next two books.

Friday, September 30, 2011

progress for the sake of progress

When there is time left still, how does one go about finding what to do with it? My answer is clear. Whenever I'm not specifically writing something within the plotline of my story, I like to take the time to write random thoughts and ideas in hopes they'll inspire me later. For instance, I bought a copy of Writers Digest called "Writing Basics". It gives a lot of tips and advice from published authors who've been through it all and seen every type of manuscript you could possibly think of. It's come in handy as of late for me because towards the end it gives a list of 52 writing prompts for every week of a year. It's basically a way to keep your creative mind sharp and ready for action when you're ready to sit down and write something serious. I've been skimming through a lot of them and I've decided I'm going to start attempting to write something random once a week, following the prompts I've discovered of course. I will go ahead and admit now that this might be a bit of a challenge for me to stick with, but even if I don't write one every week I'm hoping that the ones I do write will be useful for projects to come.

This isn't the only thing I've been thinking about when I get writer's block. I wasn't able to write anything yesterday because of my own decision to start "working out" again. Yes, I actually did. I ran on the treadmill and did quite a few other timely exercises that has left my muscles very sore. Afterwards, I chose to take a well deserved and LONG nap. I also had the opportunity to have dinner with my two best friends who both happened to be home from college at the same time. By the time I got home it was late and I knew I had to get up for work this morning. So instead of starting something fresh (or picking up on something complicated) in my book, I decided to search for the ultimate quote that will be placed at the front of my book once it's finished. It had to be one of those classic poems, or a really deep song lyric, or something so epic that it made your toes curl when you read it. But it couldn't be random. No, it obviously has to symbolize the story in some way and basically sum up the real moral of it.

Then I found it...

When I was in chorus in high school, we sang a beautifully composed song called "I Am Not Yours". I eventually figured out that it was based off of the poem by Sara Teasdale. I fell in love with the song immediately so naturally when I read the poem it spoke to me beautifully. It wasn't until recently when I was on the hunt for this special note that would open for my story that I stumbled upon it again and realized how much it applies with the main character of my book and how she feels about her love. She once was completely entrapped by the amount of love she had for him, but after realizing that none of it was real she comes to terms with the fact that she wishes she was lost in him like she once was. Whether it was real or not, she prays to find that feeling again because it was the best she'd ever had.

It's a really sad thing to think about but what else could you ask for from a great book? That's what I strive for =]

I Am Not Yours by Sara Teasdale

I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love - put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Inspirational Playlists

Throughout my writing process, I've had the company and push of many artists to help me with inspiration and plot-lines for most of my characters and their stories. I thought it would be nice to share these songs and stories with you so that anyone who has followed along on my journey can experience the beauty of these artists and their inspiration as well. Believe me when I tell you that music is a huge part of my life. Everything I've ever experienced - good or bad, has had a song to latch on to. Because of this, I allowed my characters to live vicariously through me and have the same opportunity. I hope you all enjoy listening and maybe discover something new because of them!

Book One Playlist:

Mouthful of Diamonds -Phantogram
The Mixed Tape - Jack's Mannequin
Coffee Girl - The Tragically Hip
Islands in the Stream - Feist with Constantines
Wasted - Angus & Julia Stone
Fly One Time - Ben Harper and Relentless7
Cosmic Love - Florence + The Machine
Slow Lights - Sin Fang
Erase My Scars - Evans Blue
Surely - Black Dub
Skinny Love - Bon Iver
Primitive Man - Fruit Bats
Thieving - Lovedrug
Titanium - David Guetta and Sia
Quiet in the Shade - Gregory Douglass
Arms - Christina Perri
Can't Go Back Now - The Weepies
A Book Like This - Angus & Julia Stone
This Sweet Love - James Yuill

Book Two Playlist:

Babylon - David Gray
Take a Chance - The Magic Numbers
I'm Not Who I Was - Brandon Heath
Black Tables - Other Lives
Happy Apple Poison - Lovedrug
Love - Justin Nozuka
Don't Get Hung Up In Your Soul - Richard Hawley
I and Love and You - The Avett Brothers
Enough For Now - The Fray
Only Ashes - Something Corporate
Above and Below - The Bravery
World's on Fire - Hanson
Apologies - Grace Potter and The Nocturnals
Ain't Gonna Lose You - Brett Dennen
I'm in Here (piano) - Sia
Near to You - A Fine Frenzy
What the Water Gave Me - Florence + The Machine
My Body - Young the Giant

P.S. Thanks to Zack for helping me discover some of these songs!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Memoriam

10 years ago today, I was in the fourth grade. I was the one that did the afternoon announcements and called the students to their buses when they arrived. I had made my way to the office like it was any other day and when I got there all the office workers and secretaries were watching little portible TVs. My childish mind remembered that our principal had done an interview a fews days prior, so I asked one of the ladies if he was on TV. One of them was crying and said, "No sweetheart."

I don't remember if I did the annoucements as usual. I would assume that I did seeing as in my head there was nothing out of the norm going on. I do remember my parents picking me up and my dad telling me about what had happened. Once we were home my mom was watching it on the television. They were replaying everything that had happended that morning. It was crazy to think about.

Both the towers had already fallen and I had no idea. I and all the other children just sat in their classes and completed our assignments like all was well in the world. Now that I think about it, I might remember some of the teachers periodically going out into the halls and talking with the other adults. It never crossed my mind that anything was wrong though.

I do remember being scared. When I was at home, watching the instant replays of the towers falling over and over again, I thought to myself "Maybe they'll come here. What about my house?"

Funny the things you think about when you're a child. Later I found out that a few of my friends from school had relatives from New York. The next day at school we all talked about it and the teachers addressed the situation in a calm manner.

Here I am now, almost 20 years old. It's been a long time, but it never fails that every year on this day I get a cold chill up my spine remembering all the people that lost their lives and all the loved ones they left behind. My heart goes out to all of them. They will never be forgotten.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

so close i can taste it

It has been two years and two months since my book became what it is today. I will admit, it's been longer since I started writing but it wasn't until July of 2009 that it became the story I vowed to put my heart and soul into finishing it for. I've always planned for it to be a series but for some reason I keep finding it difficult to spread out the events over a three book saga. At one point there were going to be four, then three, and now somehow it's dwindled itself down to two. Those events however are only the things i've come up with so far.... I have no doubt that in the future there will be room for expansion.

Only three chapters remain in the gap I have to fill before I can declare my first book complete. It's funny how easy it is to write the beginning and the end of an epic tale, but the middle doesn't really present itself that clear to you. There are declarations to be made and secrets to uncover, as well as a pretty sick battle... but apparently those things are the hardest to write.

I've always heard about writers speaking of their characters like children, but I haven't been able to fully grasp that concept until now. I wrote the last chapter of book one a few weeks ago (out of order of course) and believe it or not I actually felt the urge to cry! These characters have grown very close to me over the past two years. Every day I wake up and think to myself, 'What will happen next?'. Every situation I get myself into I tend to imagine how Denni would respond and what her feelings might be. It's crazy how engulfed you become in creating your own world.

I told myself from the beginning that the moment book one was complete I would start the hunt for an editor, this way at least I'll have one book behind me incase I suddenly get placed on a time crunch to finish the rest...

Anyone who has any advice or knowledge of someone I could contact please leave feedback - it would be much appreciated!

I WILL prove to everyone that no matter what your dream is, it IS possibly if you simply get up off your bum and do something about it! Take a chance! Anything is possible if you truly believe in it!