Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mother's Day

Sorry all...I had to delete this little story because it's going into a magazine. I will post the link for the magazine when it is up and ready to go.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Back to Work

Well, I'm back at work now today and I was just hanging around--nothing to do--and my main character spoke! She actually spoke to me. I was so excited, I couldn't believe that now my writer's block has officially dissipated. I wrote around 600 words on Saturday night, then stayed up watching my husband play World of Warcraft until one on Sunday night, but now the house is quiet, so I will go and write. My story is almost complete with the first draft, and then...editing! Well, here's to no more writer's block, somehow, I think though that me at work really did trigger something. Maybe my characters got bored too...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Writer's Block...Any way of getting over it?

Okay, so I've now had writer's block for two solid months. I lied, sorry, I did write a total of maybe 300 words or so last month. So, not really a total block, but a big one. I've really decided to kind of get out of that by writing about writer's block and how different things help me deal with it and how I've come out of it.

As a writer, some days are better than others. A lot of writer's really say, "write, write, write" and if you get a block, just keep on writing. Well, I've tried that and it just doesn't cut it for me. For some, yes, it may work for you, but everyone is different. Even writer's just follow the flow of their own rules that fit their lifestyle.

So, you are sitting either at your computer, laptop, or have a pen in hand and nothing on the page. What do you do? The answer seems so simple and easy sometimes, but when you try it, it just doesn't help.

Working on a story is tough. A lot of people who aren't writer's don't know this. However, I know readers know this as well. People who read like the complexity of the characters and the intermingled plots, both emotional and physical to and with the main character. Well, for a writer, this complexity is just the beginning of getting blocks.

A lot of people think we are crazy. Yes, I will raise my hand in the air and admit I talk to people who don't exist, but that is when you know you can write and are a writer. But just talking to imaginary characters helps a little.

There are a few things I do that help me with writer's block...or more of "mind block".

1) I listen to music that fits the mood of the scene I'm writing. Hey, it's worth a shot to kick in some needed inspiration. So, if you're writing an action scene, you may be listening to some Linkin Park, Nightwish, or Within Temptation's "The Howling". Other scenes may be romantic, so Josh Groban, Michael Buble, or Celine Dion falls into the playlist. These things help! Just the mood of the music and imagining the scene falling into place each and every moment and movement of the character's can help get you out of a block.

2) Rereading. Some authors don't reread their written things until they are ready to edit. I like to reread the previous moments to catch up on what I've been trying to come across in emotion and imagery.

3) Watching movies, or favorite television shows. I know, sounds strange; nevertheless, it works. Watching anything that helps you with your story or that scene, can inspire you. Who hasn't been inspired to live for the moment from "The Ultimate Gift" or to be a great hero like Bruce Willis in "Die Hard"? Even watching sitcoms helps with dialogue. Maybe you have a character that is like Phoebe from "Friends". Just her witty banter and blonde pervasiveness can really help boost some comedic dialogue into your story.

4) This is the killer one. Just edit. Editing some of your story will get you back into the flow of things. I've heard so many things about editing it's not funny. I've heard, "Don't edit until you're finished", and "Editing is good for you", and "Get rid of your inner editor". Well, that inner editor can leave while you are writing. That's the good thing about getting rid of your inner editor, but when you're in a block, editing is a hard thing to do, but worth it in the end. You will reread things over that you have forgotten and then something sparks in your mind creating an electrical pulse that sends inspiration for that one scene that you don't know how to fix.

5) Final one. Just write. It's a toughy, this one. Yes, I know I mentioned it hasn't worked for me. Although, my story has moved along faster than if I hadn't written a word with a block on my mind. I've gotten the essentials down and will be editing a lot of work later on. I really don't like to write when I have a block, but just writing can get those infernal ideas or scenes out of your mind and you won't have to worry about them until you decide to edit.

Now, there are the things I do to get rid of my block. And no, posting on my new blog doesn't count! I'm writing aren't I? I'm just not writing my story. Well, I hope some things have helped you, if not, I'm sorry. I know these things help me out when I'm stuck and I know others that use these things.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Game

Well, first of all, I now have a blog! Wow! I didn't think I would ever have one and here it is. So, to get to the cool least I think it's cool. I like to write and have an obsession over Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga and cannot wait for The Host to come out. But the only things I really like to write are my own stories. I'll post snippets here and there when I remember too or if I think I want to share it with the world.

I wrote this fanfic though and I really don't do fanfics, so any fanfic authors/readers reading this, I'm sorry. I am not a good writer for this kind of stuff.

Mostly this fanfic is about how Bella Swan's mother, Renee spent her Valentine's Day in Florida. It kind of comes from New Moon. I thought of this little story when I remembered how Jacob gave Bella the small box of candy hearts for Valentine's. However, Edward does get mentioned, so I have no idea when this would be set for that matter. It is all just theoretical, and remember, I don't do fanfics. This will probably ever be my only one, so enjoy.

The Game

Cleaning the house was not my idea of how I wanted to spend Valentine’s Day. In fact, it wasn’t even close. I had so much to do today and Phil hadn’t even told me what plans, if any, he has made for us. We go out a lot together, we really do, but Valentine’s is a day where I want to really feel loved. Being left to clean the house all day while Phil was coaching; wasn’t my idea of feeling loved at all.
I dipped the mop back into the bucket that was filled to the rim with dirt. “Why can’t he just wipe his feet when he comes in after practice?” I kept asking myself. It felt like I had a child in my home again. I finished mopping the kitchen floor and started working on the dishes that had been left in the sink for about a week now. I sighed as I stared out the window.
The forecast had called for rain today, but it was clear out this afternoon. That was a plus. At least I could get out on my bike after I cleaned up the place. I couldn’t think of a better thing to do than that. With that in mind, I quickly finished the dishes and changed my clothes into more appropriate attire for biking.
“Ahh…” I breathed in the air. It was refreshing to get outside. At least it was cooler right now than it would be in the summer. Sure I was used to the Florida weather now, but I still didn’t like all the bugs that came with the sticky humidity. Climbing on to the bike, I began pedaling down the street.
The world was in love today, and I could definitely see it. There were couples walking along the beach hand in hand. From where I was, I could see how much they were in love. It made me depressed since I hadn’t even gotten flowers yet.
“Maybe he forgot,” I told myself. I rode down toward the school Phil coached at. I stopped in front of the school and just sat on my bike arguing with myself if I should go in and find him to surprise him, or just wait. After a few minutes, I decided I would go inside. I locked up the bike and just made my way in. I waved at the front office receptionist, and continued on down the hall toward the gym. I hoped that Phil didn’t have the boys out practicing in the field yet.
Before going inside, I ran my fingers through my hair to make it look like a helmet hadn’t been on my head. Grabbing the latch to the gym door, I opened it up. The only person I could see wasn’t Phil. It was the janitor.
“Um, hi,” I called out to him. I waved my hand in his direction to get his attention. He looked up from his sweeping and came over to me. He was a very tall, thin man. His bald head was as shiny as the floor. Maybe he uses the same polisher for his head as he does for the gym floor, I thought. He actually almost looked more like a string bean than anything else.
“Yeah, can I help you?” he seemed disgruntled at me for interrupting his work.
“I was just wondering if there was baseball practice going on today,” I told him.
“What’s it to you?” his grey eyes poured into me. “You a kids mom or something?”
“Uh, no,” I told him firmly, “I’m actually the coach’s wife.”
He creased his forehead and scratched his bald head. “You Phil’s wife, Renee?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Oh, he didn’t tell you?” his attitude toward me changed quickly.
“What didn’t he tell me?” Phil was going to hear about from me for skipping out on one of the greatest days of the year for something else.
“They had a preseason tournament today. They won’t be back until late,” the janitor just kept staring at me. “Are you okay?”
I let out a slow, deep breath. Phil didn’t tell me about any tournament. I know he loved baseball, but I never really figured that he loved it more than he loved me. I moved over to the bleachers and sat down. The janitor came over and sat next to me. He began patting my back as I put my head in my hands and began to cry. I felt really embarrassed to be crying in front of some man I didn’t know, but I couldn’t help it. I was just an emotional person.
“I can’t believe he wouldn’t tell me about the tournament,” I told the janitor. “It’s the one day out of the year that I love being in love. Then he has to go out to a tournament without even calling.”
“Can I tell you something?” the janitor questioned. I just shrugged my shoulders.
“This will be the tenth year that I have been alone on Valentine’s Day. You see, I lost my wife to cancer ten years ago to this day. It is very hard for me every year, but I know that I love her still and that she is in heaven loving me. You should be happy and feel loved everyday, no matter what. You never know when you will lose that person you love,” he looked at me knowingly.
“I’m sorry about that,” I responded solemnly. I tried to imagine my life without Phil, and it felt like my life wouldn’t be whole again. I guess I would probably go back to Arizona and teach again, but I was extremely happy here. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else without him beside me.
“You know, Phil brags about how pretty you are everyday,” he smiled. It made me smile to know that Phil did something like bragging about me to the people he worked with. I felt special. “He wasn’t lying, but he didn’t do you enough justice.”
“What does he say?” I was happy he bragged about me, but I hoped that he hadn’t said something that would make me turn out to be some weird person.
“Well,” the janitor started, “nothing is bad. He did say you were an emotional person, but just that he loved your ever-changing moods. He believes that it keeps you young and fresh. Phil also mentioned about how strong of a woman you are in letting your only daughter move up to Washington to live with her father and you hardly get to see her.”
“I do email her though,” I retorted. The janitor just laughed at that. I decidedly got up to leave. If Phil was going to be home late, then I guessed I should go home. There was really nothing left I could do outside the house without becoming even more depressed. “Thank you for talking with me. And I really hope you have a good day.”
The janitor just nodded and smiled at me, “I will. You have a good day too.” With that, he stood up and started sweeping the floor again where he had left off. I waved goodbye as I left the gym.
The ride home was worse than the ride there. There were more people out and about. It made me sick to think that Phil just wouldn’t have told me about the tournament. But as I pulled into the driveway, I saw his car there. I quickly parked my bike and ran inside. When I got inside, I just stood there in awe.
Phil wasn’t dressed in his baseball coaching gear. It was in fact, the complete opposite. He was wearing a black tuxedo with tails on the jacket and complete with a bowtie and cummerbund.
“Don’t you look nice,” I stated. I had never seen him so dressed up. He looked really good.
“It’s the tails right? They make me look more like a penguin,” he joked.
“You really do look nice, and the tails just add to that,” I replied.
He came quickly over to me and hugged me. “Happy Valentine’s Day,” he whispered in my ear. Pulling away, I just checked him out once more.
“This is a surprise,” I was really dumbfounded.
“It was supposed to be,” he chuckled. “Tony, the janitor,” he added when he saw my look of confusion as to who Tony was, “did an awesome job for me by keeping you at the school. I was there when you got there, but I ended practice early just so I could surprise you for today. I know how much you love this day.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “So, what are the plans since you are all dressed up like that.”
“You go change first,” he told me turning me toward the bedroom. “I brought home a dress for you. Bella told me what color would be best.” I excitedly went to the bedroom to find a navy blue dress lying across the bed. It had spaghetti straps and a series of straps criss-crossing in the back.
Phil entered the room as I admired the dress he had picked out for me. He wrapped his arms around me from behind. “You like it?” he kissed me on the cheek.
I nodded. “Do I have time for a shower?” I didn’t want to go out smelling like cleaner and sweat. It would make for a nasty perfume smell, and since it was apparent that we were going somewhere fancy, I didn’t want people to be repelled by my smell.
“Yeah, you do. You have plenty of time,” he laughed.
I ran into the bathroom and started up the shower. In about fifteen minutes I was showered and dressed, and working on my hair. Phil waited patiently the entire time I got ready. He would comment on things, and updated me about the baseball team. He mentioned at what point that the team had helped him plan this night out for us. I looked at him with worry.
“No, no, it won’t be bad. I told them that I would make sure they didn’t play if tonight didn’t go right,” he told me calming me down a little. “You ready then?”
I checked over everything to make sure I looked fine and finally made the decision that I was okay. With that, Phil and I went outside and to my surprise he had rented a really nice sports car. Okay, where did the money come from? Oh well, I knew I wouldn’t mind until tomorrow when we had to go back to our regular lives, and have to work harder to pay off the credit card bill that was built up on this night.
“Wow, I’m surprised you aren’t freaking out about this so far,” Phil commented as he helped me into the car. “I’m glad.”
He got in and started up the car. As we drove to our destination, I thought about what the janitor told me about loving everyday. I didn’t have the immediate fear that I would lose Phil right away, but I knew someday that he would be gone or I would be gone. I didn’t care anymore about anything today except for the two of us being able to have found each other and be happy.
We finally pulled into a parking lot. Of course, I thought to myself. He had brought me to the Miami Dolphins stadium. He had to mix baseball with this fancy dress. Anything to keep baseball close, I concluded.
“I think we’re a bit overdressed for a baseball game,” I joked with him. He just grinned at me.
“There isn’t a game today.” He got out of the car and came over to help me out. “In fact, this is where we’re supposed to be.”
“Alright then,” I just stared at the stadium.
He wrapped his hand in mine and we walked inside the stadium. As we entered, I watched as the stadium stayed dark except for the emergency lights that lit up the way. Phil waved his free hand in a certain direction and the only lights that came on were down on the infield. He took me straight there excitedly.
“Since today is packed in every other restaurant, I decided—with the help of the team—to create our own restaurant setting,” he told me as we approached the pitcher’s mound. There stood a small table set with a dozen roses on the table with my name on a card in them. Two places were set on the table for us. Phil pulled out one of the chairs, and I graciously took my seat. The tablecloth was white while the plates were a very nice china. Phil took his seat across from me. He motioned for drinks. A couple of the boys from his team, Ben and Jeremy came out. I noticed that the boys were wearing tuxedos like Phil. Ben was pushing the cart with our appetizers and the champagne. Jeremy took the champagne from the cart and popped it open and poured it into our glasses.
Setting the champagne in the bucket next to the table, he bowed and left with a smile. I couldn’t help but smile in return. Ben then put our plates in front of us. But instead of an appetizer on my plate, there was a black velvet box lying on it.
“You have overdone yourself now,” I told Phil as I opened the box in front of me. Inside it was a pearl necklace with matching earrings. I could tell he was pleased as I gasped at how beautiful they were. He promptly got out of his seat and helped me put them on.
He returned to his seat and shared what appetizer he had on his plate with me. Right before we finished the appetizer, music was turned on across the entire stadium. It was jazz and it just filled the crisp, beautiful night with a happy feeling. Ben and Jeremy returned and exchanged our plates with our main dish. Pesto Cheese with Ravioli and Chicken, baked potato, and assorted vegetables.
By dessert, I kind of started wondering if I should ask how he or actually, we, could afford all this. I finished my raspberry torte and asked.
“Well,” he started, “I really just wanted to keep it a secret. I figured it would spoil all the mystery if I told you how it worked. But if you really want to know, Jeremy’s dad is an assistant to the owner of the Dolphins. He arranged for us to use it tonight. Ben and Jeremy volunteered to be our waiter and maitre’d for the evening.” He paused for a moment, possibly trying to figure out the best way to explain everything else.
He went on, “I did call Bella. She said that the only thing she knew was the color for the dress. You know how she is not wanting to get into these kind of things. But she had me talk to her boyfriend, Edward. He helped out a lot. In fact, his dad paid for the rental car we drove in, but I picked out the jewelry and the food for tonight.” He cracked a smile probably hoping I wouldn’t be angry for borrowing money from other people. But I wasn’t mad at all actually, in fact, I believed that this made up for the entire day of not feeling loved and being led by a janitor that told me things that would affect me the rest of my life.
“Thank you for this beautiful night,” I smiled at him. “It was absolutely perfect, I couldn’t imagine anything better.” I leaned across the table and kissed him lightly.
“I’m glad you like it,” he grinned. The rest of the night was perfect. Being the more simple person I usually was, I did have fun laughing with Phil about our days, and enjoying the fanciful evening. I told him what Tony had told me, and Phil completely agreed to Tony’s philosophy. After we finished, we headed home and finished the night out with cuddling up to one of my favorite movies.
“You know Phil,” I started, “this day was horrible at the beginning, but it ended up being one of the most perfect days in my life.”
He kissed me on the head, “I’m happy it turned out that way. This has been so perfect just being able to be with you. You make my life fulfilled.”