Thursday, August 18, 2011

Emotional...

His wedding ring and tag I wear around my neck
I’ve been very absent from blogging lately. Not just blogging, but writing in general. I’ve read WF and started revisions, but halfheartedly. My husband deployed, and a piece of me left on Monday. It’s been hard for me to concentrate. I check my phone continuously making sure I haven’t missed his call. Skype, facebook, and messenger remain open on my desktop in case he finds a hotspot and is able to connect. My kids are curious why Daddy hasn’t come home from work. I have to repeatedly tell them that Daddy had to go to work for a long time and won’t be home for a while. But the hardest is bedtime, when I crawl into our king size bed alone. It might as well be as vast as the ocean that separates us. I play our song, Lucky, about a hundred times a day and wonder if he is doing the same. This house is lonely without him.
I go on though, working and cleaning to keep my mind busy. The house remains spotless. My friends and family send notes and texts of encouragement, offering help if it’s ever needed.
I know this is sad and depressing, and you are probably wondering what it has to do with writing. It has everything to do with writing. Writers are fueled by their emotions. We can’t help that what we are feeling pours onto the page, and when we need to concentrate on a certain piece where the emotions are opposite to what it is we are feeling, it can be frustrating.
This morning I tried to rewrite the beginning of WF. I wrote it up and sent it to my Alpha-Beta, aka Mom. Nothing is final until she approves it. In short, she didn’t like it. She wrote back to me, “It just sounds so forced. You need to let it flow.”
She was right. I had felt the same about it as I was writing it, but that is just how my writing is now. I feel it has to be forced out.
I know the sadness will lessen in a week or so and my writing will flow again, but until then I’m stuck trying to learn how to revise around my mixed up emotions.
How do your emotions affect your writing?
A.McBay

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bullied

Can it be? My first high school reunion is next year? Dare I go? I'm not sure. I wasn't very popular in school. In fact, I was bullied and looked down on since elementary school. I wasn't weird, I was different. I wasn't stuck up, I was shy. No, I never had intentions of blowing up the school for those of you who actually asked. People now find my geekiness part of my charm. My bookworminess helps me in my writing.

School was tough for me. Only a handful of people befriended me, and of those only three truly understood me. It was easy for people to bully me both physically and verbally simply because I wasn't like them. They took advantage of my kindness, and made my days miserable. So why should I go to my reunion?

So that I can show them that I forgive them for how they mistreated me and many others simply because we didn't conform to some unspoken rule of how we should behave, what activities we should be in, or what clothes we should wear. I'm glad to have been an individual. It's shaped me to be who I am today. I've served my country, and have been around the world. I've made a family of my military brothers, and lived life to its fullest. I've dreamed big, and put that dream into words. I'm a mother to the two most wonderful kids, and a proud wife to a military man who continually gives up time with his family to serve overseas. I am proud of who I am!

Were you a bully, or were you bullied? Where did you stand on the social ladder? How did your time in school shape you into the person you are today? I'm curious! Leave a comment below or a link to a blog post about your school years.

Ta!

A.McBay

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Google+ and Writer’s Write Ins


So you've heard me raving on Facebook about Google+, and hangouts, and how awesome it is, but have the slightest clue what it is? Well, Google+ plus is the next step in social networks. It's so new, it's still in beta. So, how do you get in? You have to get an invite from a member. Yes, it still has a few bugs, and crashes, but that's beta for you!

Google has always been a writer's best friend, helping us research topics, places, and anything else we need for our writing, and now they have made it even more fun to be a writer.

Yesterday, the TPR Crew gathered on Google+ for our first official writing hangout. Hangouts are when we all join a webcam chat. How can this help a writer? Well, it's a lot harder to procrastinate when other writers are working… and watching.

We started out with greetings and chat for a few moments until Tina cracked her whip and sent us all into typing frenzy. Having eight other people right there working alongside me really motivated me. I didn't want to get up and move around because I knew it would be a distraction to everyone else. Of course, there is that law that states if you are writing and actually accomplishing something in your work, there will be distractions. For me it was my husband and kids. So I would take care of their need as quickly as possible, and slip back in my seat as quietly as possible.

After writing, we chatted some more. What did you work on? How did your scene go? After chat, we all agreed to another write in.

Yep! Write ins are so much fun and so productive.

I have been thinking of hosting Write Ins with Pomodoro. How many words can we plug in before the timer? Would anyone be interested in joining me?

I think online crit-groups are going to get a lot of use out of Google+ too.

How can you see Google+ being used in the writing community?

** If you are interested in starting a hangout for Pomodoro Writing, e-mail me or comment below so we can set something up. If you don't have Google+ and want an invite, send me an e-mail.

Ta!

A.McBay

Monday, August 1, 2011

Imagination Sparks Blogfest

I do love a good blogfest, and this week the lovely Charmaine Clancy gives us the Imagination Sparks blogfest, where we can learn writing exercises and warm ups from other writers, and share our own. I’m not very creative in my own writing exercise. It came from a self-help book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and is called morning pages. Anyone who has read my blog probably already read about it as I tend to blather on about things I love.
Morning Pages are meant to be written longhand and are typically three pages long. What do you write? Whatever you want! If it flashes through your brain while you are doing your pages, it goes on the paper. A lot of great ideas suddenly come to me while I do my pages in the morning. Also, I’m able to get any gripes or worries out at that time so that I start my day out fresh and free. It gives you room to create.
If you are like me and prefer typing over keyboard, you can justify 750 words as your three pages. There’s several way of doing them. I started out with Word, but moved on to 750.com for a while. It’s a great site that keeps track of your morning pages, and gives you statistics on what your mood was throughout your pages. It’s a lot of fun! After getting Scrivener beta for Windows, I moved my morning pages over to that platform. My binder has the folders as the months, and then each page is numbered with that days date. It’s easy to go back and find a page I may need for writing, since I do a lot of brain storming through my MP’s. If I am doing notes for a WIP I often write in the margin “reference to MP’s” and then the date so that I can go back and snag that idea.
My husband loves my MP’s too. He says he can see a huge difference in my attitude when I do them as opposed to when I don’t. I’m much mellower.
So there you have it, my writing exercise. What are some writing exercises you use?
Ta!
A.McBay