Just Writing

Clock Like

Clock Like

Looking at the clock
For months on end
Waiting for it to stop
Just waiting

Dreading it so much
Hardly able to think
Would there be touch?
How many tears?

Then came the night
The clock finally stopped
Beside bright car lights
That moment

Beautiful, when it came
More so than I thought
A memory in a frame
So precious

Books and smells
Talking and reading
Laughter can tell
All of the story

Funnier than I thought
The moment at the end
A moment so caught
By friendly eyes

It ached, you know,
More than I imagined
I held the tears close
Until the clock began again

It is much different now
A different kind of waiting
More subtle, anyhow,
Than I expected

So long since words
Came from me in poems
Somewhat like birds
Singing the veiled stories

I wish I knew how to say
All the things it was
That moment at end of day
But I cannot

For it was both beautiful and unfinished
Like a clock

 

I'm Just Saying

Be Grateful

be gratefulFor a brief moment today, I want to talk about gratitude. I don’t know about you, but I can personally say that I do not stop and look around often enough. I do not take into account my blessings often enough. It can be so easy to get lost in the day to day stuff that covers us, that we often forget to just be grateful for all the wonderful things that we have.

Because let me tell you, despite struggles or insecurities or confusion or tragedy, there is so much to be grateful for.

When I was a teenager, I decided one year that I was going to keep a gratitude journal. Every single day from January 1 to December 31 I wrote in a journal every night, one thing that I was grateful for that day. I can honestly say that sometimes it was hard, and sometimes it felt mundane, but overall it is something that I am so, so glad that I did.

So, today, I would just like to share with all of you a few things that I am grateful for:

  • Family. I have a spectacular family with a horde of nieces and nephews that I get to help raise. I have no idea where I would be without them.
  • Books. For as long as I can remember, books have been a sanctuary and a teacher. They have shaped my life and will continue to do so.
  • Friends. I have absolutely incredible friends, people that love and support me through thick and thin, even when I’m being completely unreasonable. contemplate
  • Learning. I have always loved to learn. True, school is feeling pretty tedious right now, in the heat of summer, but education is something that I completely value and love so much.
  • Pizza. Let’s face it, pizza is the best food in the world. Just admit it.

Like I said, these are just a few things that I’m grateful for. There are so many more that I wish I had centuries to list.

Today I just want to invite you to think of the things you’re grateful for. And don’t just acknowledge it yourself, tell the people in your life that you are grateful for them. Tell them you appreciate them.

Be grateful.

For Laughs · I'm Just Saying

Logical Stories

typeWhen a story first comes to me, it is an incredibly exciting feeling. It’s almost as though somebody is singling me out – find me specifically to tell their story. I start getting all giddy, feeling it all come to me. It’s almost like watching a movie. But in this magical system there is very often a glitch.

Most of the time I only know half of the story.

Seriously, I’ll come up with this fantastic plot line, be thinking about it, imagining it all and then…nothing. My mind goes black. And I find myself sitting here with half of a story. And so then I sit down and try to be logical – which is in itself a story – and think things like: Okay, what would happen next? If this were real, what would logically occur after this?

Sometimes this logical approach works, other times it doesn’t.

Let me tell you, it is extremely hard to write a novel when you only have half a plot line. I mean, I’ve done it before, but what ends up happening is you just keep writing things until the story just kind of forms itself without you. I guess it’s a kind of adventure this way, however this spontaneity means I’ve never, in all the years I’ve wanted to be a writer, sat down and actually planned out a novel. It’s always been something along these lines: Event, tiny I-don’t-knows, Event, tiny I-don’t-knows, Event, tiny I-don’t-knows, LIMBO.

The problem is that it has never bothered me until now. Now, when I want so badly to be half finishedserious about my writing and have some form of a plan. I think of plot lines and don’t even know where to go or what to do. It’s all a little hazy.

This series of events has led me to the possibility of to conclusions: I must either break through this wall and establish a new way of writing, or I must go back to what was already working and stop worrying so much.

I’ve yet to come to any sort of conclusion. Naturally.

Because we all just realized that the reason this happens in my novels is because it happens to me daily.

And this post has escalated very quickly into headache material.

You are now acquainted with my life as a writer.

I'm Just Saying

Featuring: Pippin

descriptionSo far, Feature Fridays have been an interesting journey for us. When I began Feature Fridays I just assumed that I’d always be featuring different people who have had some kind of impact in my life: whether they were historical figures or the people I talk to every day. Last Friday, however, I ended up featuring my love of music. That was so fun!

So today, say hello to Peregrin Took!

More commonly known as the character Pippin from The Lord of the Rings  by J.R.R Tolkien.

After much deliberation on who to feature today, this seemed almost glaringly obvious. The Lord of the Rings were the first books that I completely fell in love with. For as long as I can remember, my inner child’s heart has belonged to Middle Earth. And given this extensive history, I can totally say that Pippin has long held my heart as one of the best characters in the story. intelligence

Now, trust me, I could probably go on and on about Merry and Pippin and their amazingness. Let’s not even dream of what this whole story would be without them. But the simple reason that I’ve decided to feature Pippin today is because I feel that, as whole, he is the character that grows the most throughout the story.

In the beginning he is this childlike person always getting into trouble, and by the end he is instrumental in the defense of Gondor. Pippin’s growth and character development is one that takes longer than others. He seems to have to learn the difficult way in order to “grow up”. But what is so endearing about Pippin, what makes him a truly wonderful character worthy of study, his is heart.

weapon of choiceHe makes mistakes just like all of us do, but he never gives up trying to do the right thing. Even when the whole world turns against him, even when he is afraid, he does all he can to prove himself and make things right again. There is a moment in Pippin’s story when he is basically alone, when he must decide for himself, by himself, what he is going to do. But even in this incredible development and growth, you never lose that signature playfulness and love of life that makes Pippin who he is.

Pippin is, simply put, incredible.

Just Writing

Get Out Of The Way!!

roadToday I stumbled across the most ridiculous, amazing, crazy, and wonderful realization ever. It has to do with my writing.

I’ve always just been able to write. Every time I wanted to write something it just came. I never had to write outlines, I never had to brainstorm, I never had to think too hard about it. The stories just came.

The older I got, the harder it was for me to write. This bothered me, but mostly I tried to ignore it. The stories weren’t flowing out of me as freely anymore, I started to worry that my talent was slipping away.

And today I realized why. I work in a book store. Today an older gentleman came in to buy some Christmas cards and I was helping him check out he said to me, “Do you have journals here?”

“Yes!” I replied enthusiastically, because our journals section is literally to die for and has gotten me into trouble on numerous occasions. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who has about 200 journals they need to write in?) I showed him where they were and he said something that struck me.

“My granddaughter is a writer and I just think she’d really enjoy that! She just loves to get out there and write!”

And I realized what has been standing in my way the past couple of years.

ME.

I have been standing in my own way. I’ve been so busy thinking about visiblewriting that I haven’t actually given myself the freedom to sit down and write. I’ve worried so much about my writing developing, what I’ll do with a book once I’ve finished it, and everything else that it has totally stopped up the writing process for me. Writing used to be therapeutic. Something that I had to do to stay sane, something that brought me to my core and helped me feel wonderful.

And then I got in my own way. Like I said, I started thinking about writing so much that I forgot to just…write. I forgot that if I’ve got talent, whether it’s a thimble full or a mountain of it, I’ve got to let that be my guide. My writing will naturally develop because I am developing as a person. The things I’ve gotten so caught up in aren’t really that big of a deal.

So, there is the summary. Get out of your own way!

Just. WRITE.

For Laughs · Just Writing

Pick A Flaw, Any Flaw

new cardsA friend of mine recently read what I have written in my novel so far. In her remarks about it, she had all good things to say. Except for the following: apparently, one of the characters doesn’t seem to have any flaws. My first thought at this was, “Well, yeah. Of course!” But then I realized that that is a) neither realistic nor fair to future readers and b) it could quickly become a pattern in all of my future works. My decision? There will now be a new canvas to my creative process. I have officially named it: Pick A Flaw, Any Flaw.

Not fully accurate, perhaps, but apparently necessary.

Just Writing

The Only Playwright

booksMy best friend is studying to become a theater teacher. It’s been a couple of weeks since we talked and today I can’t stop thinking about something really profound that she said to me once.

I was doubting myself. Shocking, I know. Me? Doubting myself? What? As if that ever, ever happens! Okay, though, all sarcasm aside, it is something that happens to me a lot. Really a lot. I could delve really deeply into some psychological study and try and tell you why that is, but that just sounds complicated.

I guess that in all of my plans and dreams that I always had about my future, I thought that I’d have a book published by now. I realize that I’m only 20 years old, so perhaps that seems silly, but I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I always thought that I’d somehow been given a “head start” that way and that I’d be wasting it if I didn’t have a book published by X age.

I was doubting myself as a writer. Like I mentioned, I’ve been writing since I learned how. And before that I was telling stories. Long and pointless stories that made absolutely no sense. Or at least, that’s what my mom tells me. You see, I started talking fluently at the age of 18 months, and with that came storytelling. I’ve known for a long, long time that one of my callings in life is to write.

But negativity got the better of me that day. I remember sitting in our house with our roommates. Somebody was saying something about the book I was currently working on and I said in a joking way (my way of expressing what is truly bothering me), “I think I’ll just give up this whole writing thing. I mean, there are SO MANY other writers out there! What’s unique about me?” library

She stood there with the play she was reading for class in her hand and said, “Oh, yeah. Because where would theater be if Shakespeare were the only playwright?” She was answering my joking but serious insecurities in the best way. As she always does. She knows I love Shakespeare, and that I love theater. Which is why she chose to phrase it that way. Think about it: where would theater be if Shakespeare was all we had?

Yes, there are so many other writers out there, but there is only one that’s like me. One that’s like you. I have this romanticized idea that I don’t really come up with my ideas for books, they come to me. And if this is indeed true, and this idea did come to me, then who else is going to make it permanent if not myself? There are billions of untold stories out there, words and people waiting to make it onto paper. Every time I look out a window I can feel it.