Monthly Archives: January 2013

Why I Don’t Believe in Writer’s Block

Do I completely agree with this? Not entirely. But it’s still a great article for other writers!

WordServe Water Cooler

It’s one of the most oft-asked questions I get as a writer and teacher: “What can I do about writer’s block?”

“Write,” I say. (I was going say, “Simple. Write.” Alas, I realize it isn’t simple. It isn’t easy.)

I tell people I don’t believe in writer’s block.

Do the words sometimes come harder than at other times — or hardly at all? Sure.

Do you sometimes need to change things up to feel the mojo again? Sure.

Do you sometimes crave the idea of skipping that 5 a.m. appointment with your keyboard? Sure.

But this idea that we can’t move forward until the muse returns with open arms — no, that’s a crock. Basing your writing on feelings is no better than basing your life on feelings.

Sometimes you just have to power your way through.

It’s that way with anything we do. But writers seem to have created…

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“Hopeless” by Colleen Hoover

“Thank you for showing me that we don’t always have to be strong to be there for each other – that it’s okay to be weak, so long as we’re there.”

Before I start gushing about this book, lets rate it! I can positivly say that this book has earned a solid 6 out of 5 stars! No, I’m not kidding what so ever! As soon as I finished reading this novel, I headed stright to all my social media pages and posted: “Hopeless by Colleen Hoover just tore my heart out in the most beautiful way ever!”

I was later told that I had used a rather interesting word pair to describe the book, but you know what, it’s the truth.

“You can’t get mad at a real ending. Some of them are ugly. It’s the fake happily ever afters that should piss you off.”

This quote is a perfect way to sum up what happens throughout this book. Readers take a journey with the main character, Sky, and watch her fall in love for the very first time. She is taken aback by all of these wild emotions because the boy she falls for, Holder, happens to be the first boy she ever had any sort of feelings for. But her happily ever after takes some rather unexpected turns.

Colleen Hoover is one hell of a writer! She honestly makes you feel every emotion that is presented in this book. Very few books have affected me the way that “Hopeless” has, and I am not lying when I say that it has made my top 3 books of all time. Some of the situations that Colleen presents readers with, hit me very hard because it is a familiar subject. So I know what I’m talking about when I say that Colleen has taken the most raw emotions and turned them from tragic to hopeful.

Be prepared to laugh, cry, cry harder, and cry even more!

This is a novel that needs to be more widely recognized. Like some other books I’ve read, I can see this as a tool for those dealing with the subject matter of abuse, trauma, and much, much more. This is a tool that can help those dealing with grief, and so much more and delivers the right messages for those that need some help with beginning the process of healing:

“I’m choosing to stand up taller. I’ll probably get knocked down a few more times before this life is through with me, but I can guarantee you I’ll never stay on the ground.”

With that being said, I want to lead my readers with the following quote, one that made me really sit down and think:

“Sometimes you have to choose between a bunch of wrong choices and no right ones. You just have to choose which wrong choice feels the least wrong.”


Mandatory Reading

I don’t see how someone can write and not be a reader! I mean… It’s possible I guess, but I know I’m not one of them!

WordServe Water Cooler

readingI’m often surprised when I hear a writer say they’re too busy to read. Really?

Is a doctor too busy to bone up on emerging diseases?

A network administrator too over-scheduled to learn the latest technology?

The teenager down the street too booked to check out a new video game?

Face it. We all wish there were 32 hours in a day to accomplish everything. Newsflash: that’s not happening. Those who are too busy writing to read just might regret it one day. It’s kind of like living on a diet of junk food. Works for now. Tastes great. But eventually your body is going to crash…and so will your writing.

There’s a bajillion reasons why reading sharpens writing, but here are the top 3:

#1. Reading hones your craft.

Seeing how others structure their sentences, weave their plot lines, or develop characters presents a model (an obviously winning one…

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Words: An Escape

Words

Words (Photo credit: sirwiseowl)

So, for my readers who have visited my blog regularly, I’m sure you’ve noticed my tagline that can be found on every page. If you are new, and/or haven’t seen it, it is the following quote:

“At some point you have to choose between life and fiction.” ~The Words

This quote comes from the movie The Words which is about a man who wants nothing more then to make it as a writer. After finding a manuscript in a vintage briefcase that he purchases while on vacation, he reads it and is deeply inspired. He wishes for nothing more then to be as great of a writer as the author of this mystery manuscript. This manuscript quite literally becomes his life…. To know more, you’ll have to watch the movie yourself!

Anyway, this quote has stuck with me the past month or so and is really a big reason why I chose this year to get back into my writing. It reminded me that my passion was creating new worlds that seemed so real that the word ‘fiction’ never even crossed my readers minds.

To me, this quote brings up some really important questions. Why do we have to choose between fiction and life? Why can’t we have both? As a reader growing up, fiction books where my escape. I loved picking up a new book and run away to different worlds so far away from my own, that sometimes it almost seemed real. It was this feeling that inspired me to become a writer. I want to be able to create these same worlds, these same situations, and these same feelings.

To have that escape is to have a slice of perfection, and yet, I know that may not make sense to some, but I know to me it does. Who doesn’t want to live in a secret little world for a while? Isn’t that the purpose of reading in general? And writers, do you ever get lost in the world you are creating? I know I do. It’s one thing to run away to someone elses worold, but to run away to your very own creation? That’s the biggest thrill!

What are your thoughts on this idea of words creating an escape? Feel free to leave comments or find me on my twitter to give me your insights!


The 10 Rights Of A Reader

The 10 Rights Of A Reader.


Music, Inspiration and My Challenge

Alright guys! Now that I finally figured out how to organize all my categories and pages, I can finally start my more personal blog posts!

So with that being said, most of the things that I will be posting under my blog will include my writing journey. This has been something I’ve always wanted to do because I have always found that sharing my ideas and journey helps me keep motivated on my writing and my personal growth in the area. I also feel like having things such as these out in the open can allow for more conversation, which helps with feedback and all that! Because let’s get real, we can all lock ourselves in a room and into our own minds, but if we can’t get feedback on ideas, then we won’t ever know if we are making any actual progress.

Now, what I’ve been just recently figuring out is that I’m very inspired by music. This isn’t very new to those of us who have been writing for our entire lives, but to me I always felt that if I was inspired by something as common as music, it would lead to very generic ideas.

After reading some of the extra material in the Kindle version of Stephanie Meyer’s novel: “The Host” I saw that she included an excerpt that had a passage from each chapter and as the heading for each passage was a song title. As I read through this section, I was in complete awe. Here I have believed that doing something like this wasn’t even possible, and yet Stephanie Meyer could make it seem so easy and well, normal.

For many, music plays a huge part in how people see and/or live their lives. Let’s get real, who hasn’t wished that they could live real moments that have a certain special song playing in the background like it does in the movies. I sure know I have!

So what am I getting at? My journey back into writing needed a push. I wanted to make 2013 the year that I sit down and really start planning out and even writing my first full novel. I’ve always had ideas, but my problem has always been that I get so far and then automatically trash it because I feel like it’s missing too many important things such as development, ‘moments’, and in many cases, actual feeling.

I needed a way to create moments in my writing that really make readers “feel,” and I could never figure out a good way to help me develop this area further. So with my new found inspiration from music, I have issued a challenge to myself. For the entire month of January, I have been collecting a list from my music library that really makes me feel. I’m talking a wide range too; things that make me feel love, hate, sadness, all of it! Then beginning in February, I want to take each song I have complied and write out a scene based on the feel of the song or maybe a section of the lyrics.

This is my challenge to myself, but I hope that some others that struggle in this area will give this idea a try! I think it could be very beneficial! I’ll try and keep you all updated on my personal progress, and if you decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear about your progress!


After reading the book “The Host” by Stephenie Meyer; this was exactly how I had believed I should approach my writing this year! Great advice!


“Precise” by Rebecca Berto

Precise (Photo credit: http://rebeccaberto.com/)

Precise (Photo credit: http://rebeccaberto.com/)

Well hello my dear readers! I have a new adventure for you all! So after posting my first blog on January 20th, 2013; one of my first followers was a young lady by the name of Rebecca Berto, aka: Novel Girl. Little did I know, she was a published author! That was quite exciting to find out! What I loved even more was the fact that she was a young author, one that I’ve never heard of! I have to say, I love finding new authors! (*hint hint*)

Well, enough of that, time to get to the book itself!

Precise was published in November 2012 and  takes readers on journey with a young newlywed girl by the name of Katie Anselin and her ‘Mommy’ issues. Now I know that most people would see that term as a negative one when it comes to reviews, but I find it very intriguing! The main character Katie knows her mother hates her and blames her for the lose of so many potential children (mother Rochelle has had many rough pregnancies that end in either miscarriages or stillborn). She has lived her life trying to appeal to her mother, and show her that she is worth loving.

Truth is, she fears her mother because she never knows when she will unleash her anger. It takes an unexpected pregnancy at the age of 22 for Katie to come to some form of realization as to why it is her mother hates her so much.

“In Rochelle’s quest for power, Katie and Paul’s baby is the pawn.” ~From Rebecca Berto’s Site: Novel Girl

To take this journey with Katie, well, you will just have to get the book and read it for yourself!

Now, what would I rank this book? After mulling it over for a while, I have to give the book a 4 out of 5 stars. This book ‘goes there’ and discusses a topic that I haven’t seen approached in a rather long time. Yes, we have a young love story, a young pregnancy story, but we don’t have that ideal relationship between mother and daughter. Yes, I’m sure many people will disagree with me on this, but I see this as a topic that is considered unapproachable. What I mean is that this topic is almost considered  taboo. Rebecca, I give you credit for taking the path less traveled!

The emotions that are presented are often a little confusing at times, but that only helps to put the reader in the character’s situation. Should Katie feel guilty for her mother’s condition? And in the end when she figures it out, we feel the sense of empowerment that she feels! Or at least I know I did! The emotions are raw and very much real. I’m sure there are many girls that feel like they have either been in or currently are in the shoes of the main character.

This book is relatable to a variety of audiences. As mentioned previously, there are girls everywhere in the same position as Katie. There are also boys in the same position as Paul and Liam (the husband and the best friend). We see people like this all the time and don’t even realize it. Who knows, this book could be a tool in the future empowerment of young men and women alike; much like the book “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” and many of its kind that, again, that aren’t afraid to ‘go there’ with the taboo and touchy subjects of our day and age.

The only real down side I found to this book is that I felt it was a little too rushed in the beginning. We are introduced to a character with a problem and then BAM! The big pregnancy comes along. Now I now this story was the backstory to Rebecca’s book, “Pulling Me Under,” but I still think there is a little room for improvement in the beginning!

But other then that, I have to say, I’m very glad that this author crossed my path and I am very excited about reading her next novel! If you want to learn more about the author and or how to get your hands on a copy of the book, please give her pages a visit!

Website at: http://rebeccaberto.com/
Twitter: @rebeccaberto
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rebecca-Berto-Novel-Girl/209018375858083


“The Host” By Stephenie Meyer

The Host

The Host (Photo credit: Muskingum University Library)

The Book, “The Host”, written by Stephenie Meyer is the first book that has inspired me to go out there and and give my own thoughts. A little known secret about myself is that I am a major “Twilight” geek…. Though I have to say, I was not a big fan of how the books where actually written. The story behind the books? Loved it; but I know there are plenty of people out there that would agree with me that there was just something…. lacking in Meyer’s Twilight Saga.

Her first book outside of the Twilight Saga, “The Host”, was actually published back in May 6th, 2008, but it really didn’t catch on as did her supernatural love story. So why talk about it now? Yes, that would be the big question here, now wouldn’t it? Well, the answer is simple. The book is actually scheduled to become a movie later on this spring. The expected release date is March 29th, 2013, and I have to say, I’m very interested in figuring out how the movie will do, especially with the dramatic ending to the Twilight Saga finale this past November.

Now I will say this, I had heard of the book way back when it first came out… but there wasn’t anything about it that seemed to particularly peek my interest. But once I saw the movie trailer this past holiday break, I had to admit that the romance grabbed my attention right off the bat. So of course, being the romance freak that I am, I immediately bought the book for my Kindle Fire HD and dove right on into it.

Here is what surprised me…. I started reading because I was expecting a hot love affair of some kind (as previewed in the deceptive movie trailer), but what I was faced with was an battle I wasn’t expecting. Publisher’s Weekly summed it up wonderfully for me:

“In this tantalizing SF thriller, planet-hopping parasites are inserting their silvery centipede selves into human brains, curing cancer, eliminating war and turning Earth into paradise. But some people want Earth back, warts and all, especially Melanie Stryder, who refuses to surrender, even after being captured in Chicago and becoming a host for a “soul” called Wanderer. The straightforward narrative… shines with romantic intrigue.” ~Found on StephenieMeyer.com

What this book brings that the Twilight Saga doesn’t, is a sense of reality. Yes, I do realize that using the word reality may not be the best choice, but to me, it is the best choice. This book could, in some ways, be described as post-apocalyptic. The human race is on the verge of extinction (so to speak), so it fit in well with the recent “end of the world” craziness that just past this last December. But what I really mean is that it really does make you (or at least it did for me) sit down and think about what you would do. If put in the situation that these characters face, both the humans and the invading “souls”, I’m not sure what path I would choose, and it brings up many different questions.

What price does paradise hold for us? Are we as humans really capable of understanding what we have before it’s gone? And are we truly grateful for all of the things that we have? These are only some of the questions that readers are presented with, and I have to say, it made me sit and really think, unlike Meyer’s Twilight Saga, about what I have and realize what is important to me. The book really is captivating on a level that most wouldn’t expect from the Author, and I was surprised at just how much I loved it considering it had more action and thrill to it then the more expected romance that Meyer is known for.