Archive for November, 2011

You know how sometimes you hear a song and it just speaks to your soul? How you catch a band performing and you’re riveted to your seat? You find that their voices are beautiful, or powerful, or inspiring. The beats make you want to get up and dance or sing along to the slow melody. And the lyrics feel like they’ve been written for you?

That’s how Karmin is for me. They’re a new band – YouTube stars, actually – and I really, really want to do this article justice because I believe in them so much.

To start off, let me just quickly talk about their rise to fame (or almost fame, as I think a lot of people still don’t know who they are). Amy and Nick hail from small towns in Nebraska and Maine and met at Berklee College of Music in Boston. They both had been in bands before, but nothing was working out. They had already been dating for a little while before they figured they would just form their own group – thus Karmin was born. “Karmin” is a combination of “carmen” (Latin for “song”) and karma. Nick lends his classic rock/jazz style and appears to know how to play just about every kind of instrument  from the keyboard, to the trombone, to the cajon (that’s a wooden box). He’s got a pretty good voice too, and brings wonderful harmonies into the mix. Amy is the power singer. She can play guitar, but she’s got some pipes and she puts them to good use. Did I mention she’s also an amazing rapper?

If you think you’ve heard of Karmin before, chances are that it was this song:

They started off doing covers on YouTube as well as original songs. Musically, their style is simple, catchy, and amusing. They change the songs they cover to make them their own, and keep it PG for all ages. They’ve got just the right mix of sincerity, humor, and talent. Nick seems to be an easy going guy and you can tell he’s really into the music – I get dizzy just watching him bob his head up and down as he plays. Amy has got this great ‘40s look down – suicide roll (Karmin style) and bright red lipstick to boot. She’s got a great and distinctive style – though that doesn’t hold them back: not only can they rap, but they can do country songs and pop songs equally as well.

Check out this great Adele cover:

These guys are the real deal. They’re down to earth and genuine, and you can tell they care about staying who they are and true to their fans. They are engaged and the chemistry between them is off the charts. They’ve got raw talent and great song writing capabilities. And they just signed to Epic Records with L.A. Reid. These guys are ones to watch, I promise.

Please do me a favor and check out a few of their other covers (I love “6 foot 7 foot” and “Written in the Stars”). They’ve covered a huge range of really popular songs, so I’m sure you can find something you’re interested in. While you’re at it, listen to some of their original songs, too.

Here’s their first single “Crash Your Party” which debuted a couple of weeks ago.  Their album will drop early next year.

(As I was writing this, I found out they are now VEVO Lift artists. AND the retweeted me!)

Some other info:

Their Youtube Channels:  KarminCovers and KarminTube

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Itunes

**Please leave me a comment below! I’d really like to know if you’ve heard of Karmin before, or if this is your first time being exposed to them. Which are your favorite covers? Which are your favorite original songs?**

I shop at Walmart. A lot.

I know I’ve been a little MIA on all fronts the past couple of days, but things have been crazy around here and I’ve noticed a sudden flux of ideas for short stories. It’s been really nice, and I’m definitely running with all of these thoughts in my head.

Anyway, a lot of people have been posting what they’re thankful for lately and, given the holiday, I can understand that topic. However, I’d like to push forward a day (which is in approximately 45 minutes as I write this) and focus on something else entirely: Black Friday.

I think the idea of Black Friday is a great one: reduce prices and clear inventory. For people without a lot of money (like me) this can be one day that you can go out and get a lot of your shopping done. For all of us procrastinators out there, it is also an incentive to get out early and actually get something done before December 24th (been there, done that).

But I have two problems.

One:

People. People go crazy over Black Friday. Like, literally. I’m sure I don’t have to remind anyone of the stories we’ve heard over the years about the competition between shoppers or the injuries that people get while they’re out shopping.  Check out this site for the 13 worst: http://www.ranker.com/list/13-most-brutal-black-friday-injuries-and-deaths/john-barryman. It’s no laughing matter. People die because of this.

I think it is so sad that we as a nation have done this to ourselves. I think people only believe in Christmas, in Thanksgiving, in the Holidays on the surface. They say they know what the holidays are about, that they think family comes first, that it is the thought that counts. If these videos are any evidence, though, things are quite to the contrary. I’m sure that not everyone is like this, but even the small amount of people shown in those clips is more than I’d like to imagine to have forgotten what the holidays are actually about.

Look, I love shopping as much as the next girl. I’ve gone out on Black Friday and have faced those crowds. I like deals and I like getting things cheap. But this is ridiculous. I just want everyone to slow down and realize what they’re doing to themselves and what they’re doing to their children. Teach them that the Holidays aren’t about getting the best toys, but that they’re about keeping your morals at your wits in a world that seems to be slowly losing both.

Two:

Stores. The first part of this is about the prices. I was flipping through the ads today and saw things like boots (only $50!) and TVs (only $299.98!). Okay, I realize that they are 50% off, but those prices are still expensive. I also realize that between the advancement of technology and inflation, prices are going to soar. But, seriously? I’m surprised anyone can afford these things with the state the nation (the world!) is in. To me, Black Friday seems pretty pointless if I still can’t come up with the money to buy anything I see in the advertisements. I got all excited when I saw movies on sale for .99 cents. How are they even making money off of that? Then I realized that they make money off of it 364 days a year when they charge us 100x what it costs them to make the things…

The second part is about the marketing. My mom and I today were talking about the holidays today. She remembers that Christmas used to be sacred. Kids never knew what they were getting, advertisements weren’t splashed across the TVs like they are today, and the commercials weren’t so ridiculous. It was a time of seriousness, of sacredness, of closeness. The media and commercialism has always had a strong hold over the world, but I think it is high time they realize that they have the power to steer the world in a better direction, one that brings us back to times when it didn’t seem like the world was so crazy.

My point? Slow down. Realize what you have and what you need. Realize that you can teach your children something that will mean a whole lot more to them than a toy they’re going to forget about this time next year.  My mom always told me that it isn’t the amount of gifts you get, but the thought you put into them. The Holidays are a time when we are supposed to emphasize what our friends and family mean to us. It’s not about presents, or money spent, or time taken. It’s about knowing them and knowing what they need from you – and sometimes those things just aren’t tangible.

I know I have trouble sitting still long enough to read a huge blog post, so I apologize for my previous entry. I promise to keep this one a bit shorter!

This is a new series I’d like to call “Rising Stars.” I’m not a huge music nerd, and I mostly listen to mainstream pop and hip-hop, but there are some artists that are unknown to the world at large that I like to keep tabs on. These posts are for them – for the people that I think are so incredibly talented, but have yet to make a huge impression in the industry. Word of mouth (both spoken and typed out in this day and age) is still the best way for them to become better known, and this is my way of helping them to do that.

I first saw Dia Frampton on The Voice – a show that is, basically, a better version of American Idol. I instantly liked her. She was soft spoken, intelligent, and unique. She also had this wonderful voice that really stuck with me. I became a solid fan when she covered Kanye West’s “Heartless.” Her cover is nothing like the original, but it was haunting and beautiful and I couldn’t get it out of my head. (Watch it below. It doesn’t have the best sound quality, but it’s the only one where you can see her performing it on the show.)

 

The change in style of the song was entirely Dia’s idea. She just knows what works and what doesn’t when it comes to giving a performance. Oh, and she plays the guitar. And she’s been in a band since 2005. And she’s a novelist. How can you not love this girl?

Dia just came out with her first single called “The Broken Ones,” which is off her album Red (it drops December 6th). I love this song – not only because it speaks to me personally, but because of her voice, the music, the story, everything. Oh, and something else that’s really important to me? When singers write their own songs. Yep, she does that, too.

Watch the video for “The Broken Ones” below. It’s beautiful!

I had no intention of writing this blog post when I woke up this morning. I was well aware that the trailer for The Hunger Games was going to debut today, but writing an analysis just never crossed my mind.

But I can’t leave this alone.

This trailer looking amazing. Incredible. Epic. Astounding. Marvelous. Enter whichever profound and awe-inspiring adjective you can think of, and that is how I feel about this trailer. I’m a huge fan of the books, and I was both a little nervous and very excited when I found out that they were making them into movies (four of them, no less). About 99% of my fears have vanished since seeing this trailer.

So, let’s break it down.

(I use Hypable.com for everything. So should you. Check out the trailer here. Check out 104 high-res stills here. They even have a Hunger Games podcast here. With that being said, I’m using this one to analyze the trailer, because it is easier for me to pause and look at the times.)

[PLEASE NOTE: This post contains spoilers. If you haven’t read the first book, I suggest you do so before reading this. I won’t have any major spoilers pertaining to the second or third books, just in case someone hasn’t made it that far yet. But continue on at your own risk. I assume no responsibility.]

The first few seconds of the trailer shows Katniss jogging through town and slipping under the fence and into the woods. Jennifer Lawrence looks absolutely perfect for the part. The braid is so iconic to Katniss’ character, and Jen pulls it off beautifully. We hear Gale’s voice saying, “We could do it you know. Take off, live in the woods.” These are important words that Katniss reflects back on in the future, and I’m glad they made it into the movie.

Katniss replies, “We wouldn’t make it five miles.” I’m surprised by her tone of voice: it is exactly how I imagined it. In my opinion, Katniss always wore a mask. She was careful to conceal her emotions. She’s a realist. She’s matter-of-fact. All of this comes through in Jennifer Lawrence’s acting.

At around the 0:15 mark, Gale throws a stone to displace some birds and Katniss takes a shot at them. Her aim is perfect, of course. And you can tell she’s happy with her shot – she actually smiles! Katniss rarely does this genuinely – most of the time she smiles for the Capitol and her audience, not because she wants to. You can tell she’s at peace here in the woods, with Gale, hunting.

But that doesn’t last long.

Almost instantly her smile is cut short by a hovercraft in the sky. Is this from the scene where Gale and Katniss see the boy and girl in the woods before they are captured? In the book, that’s a flashback, but it doesn’t appear to be so in the trailer. This doesn’t bother me though – it makes no difference, and for the sake of the movie it makes a lot more sense to keep the plotline linear. Trailers are often cut together to give certain impressions that might not be correct, so this assumption could end up being wrong anyway. If this isn’t the part where they encounter the Avox-to-be, what do you think it represents?

At the 0:27 mark we see the Lionsgate symbol, followed by a group of people walking into the center of town where the Reaping will take place. I love the look of District 12 already – the colors are muted and everyone is wearing white or pale blue. It gives it an overall washed-out feeling, and you can just tell that this is not a wealthy area. Already it is in contrast with the bright greens of the forest we just saw.

Speaking of contrast, check out Effie in that bright pink get-up.

We hear her saying, “Welcome, welcome. The time has come to select one courageous man and woman for the honor of representing District 12 in the 74th Annual Hunger Games.” You can hear the excitement in her voice. This is also where we get our first look at Effie in the trailer and…wow! I’m both delighted and a little startled. She’s covered head to toe in pink: dress, nails, lipstick, eyes, earrings, and hat. It’s very much how I imagined she would look. Except…she’s a lot older than I thought she would be. I always imagined Effie as an early-thirties sort of woman, with light skin and a youthful demeanor. This Effie is pale (like, vampire pale), with a gray-white wig, and she is a little more aged. I think pink hair would’ve been too much, given what she is wearing, but her face is shocking nonetheless. Is that such a bad thing, though? The inhabitants of the Capitol are strangely dressed to the point of being grotesque, and I think Effie falls right in line with this. She looks alien compared to the rest of them.

We see Katniss and Prim making their way toward where the Reaping will take place. Gale and Katniss look at each other and it makes me wonder what they could be thinking about at that moment?

At 0:43 we see Katniss comforting Prim. Katniss tells her little sister that her name won’t be chosen – Prim’s name has only been entered in once. The odds are definitely in her favor.

Or not.

Effie calls Prim’s name and she begins to make her way toward the stage. Katniss runs after her, but she’s held back by the Peace Keepers. Can I just take a second in the middle of this extremely tense scene to comment on them? From the neck down, they’re pretty much what I imagined them to be. I thought of them as having fairly plain white uniforms, but I never imagined the helmet. I’m not sure if that particular detail is in the books or not, but my imagination just never included it. I don’t mind it, but it just makes me think of RoboCop.

Katniss screams for Prim, then immediately volunteers to take her sister’s place. From what I’ve read of this part in the movie, JL’s acting is superb. If this snippet is spot on, then I think I’ll be shedding a few tears during this part.

Around the one minute mark we see Gale hauling Prim away while Katniss is marched up to the stage. Effie calls out Peeta’s name and he joins her with tears in his eyes. I love that shot of him because I know exactly what is going through his head: “No, not Katniss. Not the girl that I love!” It’s amazing how you can just read those thoughts on Josh Hutcherson’s face. And on Katniss’ face, you know a similar thought is going through her head: “No, not him. Not the boy with the bread. Not the one person in my life that I owe a debt to.”

At 1:12 Gale tells Katniss that they just want a good show. And Katniss (using obvious exposition for our non-HG obsessed fans) informs him that there are 24 tributes and that only one will survive.

At 1:18 we see the train speeding through the forest, then Peeta gaping out the window as the scenery passes by.  We get an overshot of the Capitol, then a close up of Katniss in a dressing gown.

The shot at 1:22 is an interesting one. All of the tributes appear to be lined up on tables, each with their own assistants and an array of beauty products. I believe in the book they each had their own room, but, again, this is not an important detail. We do seem to get our first look at an Avox though, as there is a boy with red hair making his way to one of the tables. I can’t be certain that’s what he is, but it would be cool if it was!

We see snippets of Katniss getting her hair brushed out and the hair removed from her legs. We hear her say, “So, you’re here to make me look pretty?” Cinna replies, “I’m here to help you make an impression.” I’m definitely Team Lenny-Kravitz-for-Cinna ever since I saw the poster of him that was released a couple of weeks ago. He just looked exactly how I pictured Cinna – exactly. It was spooky. Here, though, I’m a little torn. He still looks the part, I think, though it is hard to make out his eyeliner. His voice, though, is was throws me. It’s a deep, gravelly, powerful voice, and I always imagined Cinna being a lot more soft spoken.  Not weak, but quiet.

At 1:28 we get a glimpse of Katniss spinning around, lead by Caesar Flickerman. It is so fast that I almost missed it. Then we get a wide shot of Caesar and Katniss standing on stage after her twirl. I always pictured Caesar with shorter hair, but I like the ponytail. And I love Stanley Tucci, so I have no complaints there. He looks oddly amazing with blue hair…

At 1:32 we have some random guy standing up – oh. Oh! Oh, wait. That’s President Snow! I missed him the first couple of times I watched the trailer, but when I saw the screenshots I noticed the white rose in his pocket. I pictured Snow a lot thinner and weaker looking, but as long as the dude is scary intimidating I don’t have any problems with what he looks like.

We hear him making his annual speech: “And so it was decreed that each year the twelve districts of Panem shall offer up in tribute one young man and woman between the ages of 12 and 18 to be trained in the art of survival and to be prepared to fight to the death.”

During this monologue, we get a brief shot of the parade, but it was very difficult to make anything out. They have some really super opera glasses, though! The next shot includes at least half of the tributes. I can make out Peeta and Katniss on the left and Rue near the center. I assume the boy next to Rue is Thresh. I believe Cato is in the center on the far right with his arms crossed. I’m not 100% sure who the other tributes are, but if anyone has any guesses, I’d love to hear them!

We get a sneak peek at Rue spying on Katniss and Peeta, and I can see exactly why Katniss takes a liking to her. She’s so tiny and sweet looking. She does remind me of Prim, and I know that seeing her death scene is probably going to make me sob uncontrollably in the theatres.

Around the 1:40 mark we see the tributes training. Marvel throws a spear – quite well, might I add – and Katniss runs over some obstacles. We also see some sparring. Haymitch tells Katniss, “This is the time to show them everything. Make sure they remember you.” I always imagined his voice to be a lot gruffer, but his hair and general appearance didn’t quite throw me off as much as it did when his poster came out. But I’m 100% behind Woody Harrelson as Haymitch. He could’ve been speaking Japanese, and I would still believe he would knock this role out of the park.

While Haymitch is talking to Katniss, she shoots an arrow and it hits the dead center of the target. We see Seneca Crane – who has, quite possibly, the best beard I have ever seen in my entire life – sit up a little bit straighter. I hope that shooting on target isn’t the only thing that gets Katniss her score of 11. I want to see something a little more impressive thab that, even if she doesn’t end up shooting at the judges like she did in the book.

Peeta says, “I just keep wishing that I could think of a way to show them that they don’t own me. If I’m going to die, I want to still be me.” This is exactly Peeta, and it is beautiful. This is another line that I’m glad made it into the movie – it is the basis for the “treason” we see at the end.

And Katniss says, “I just can’t afford to think like that.” That is exactly Katniss. It’s nice to know that they’re making a lot of her inner dialogue into an outward conversation for the sake of the movie.

We’re hit with a lot of images starting around the 2:05 mark. They are staggered with the words, “The Games Will Change Everyone.” Katniss is walking down a hallway, escorted by PeaceKeepers. Given her outfit, she looks like she about ready to enter the Games. Then we see Prim giving Katniss the mockingjay pin before she heads off to the Capitol. This is a change from the books – Madge is obviously the one to give her the pin – but not one I’m upset about. Madge was a background character, even though Katniss had several interactions with her. From the standpoint of the movie, it just makes more sense for Prim to give her the pin. Katniss comes on a large screen next. It’s nice to know that we’ll be able to see the Games from the audience’s point of view. She is giving the three finger salute, and I can only assume this is after Rue has died. We see a group of people – District 11? – give it back to her and it turns into a very emotional scene (for me, at least). I’m wondering, though – would they really have done it back to her, given the fact that a) this is a District 12 gesture, and b) she can’t see them?

The next scene shows Katniss in the chamber that will take her up to the Games, and you can see the panicked look on her face. Cinna is there, nodding. Was he there in the book? I don’t remember, except for when he was there for the second one.

At about 2:17 Katniss is out in the open, and I literally feel every ounce of her panic and terror. This is it. This is the Hunger Games.

We see her on the big screen again, and I believe we’re back in District 12. We see a shot of Prim. Then a shot of Gale in a meadow. Is he out there because he can’t stand to watch Katniss taking part of the games? That would be beautiful.

We hear an announcer counting down, and it just intensifies all of the panic and terror I’m already feeling. This trailer definitely gets the heart pumping. All of the tributes take off, scrambling for weapons and supplies. I noticed that each district has a slightly different colored jacket, which will help us keep all of the tributes straight when it comes to introducing them during the Games.

The Hunger Games logo – the pin and the words – pops up and we hear the whistle at the end. End of Trailer 1!

The trailer only shows footage from the first half of the movie. I’m not disappointed, because I think that’s a great cliffhanger, but it makes me want to see so much more! The end of the trailer was by far the most intense, and it was so cruel (and smart) of them to cut it at the point that they did. It definitely makes me want more.

But what about the things that weren’t in the trailer? I think this is even more important, in a way. I’m glad that Gale didn’t seem to be as strong of a force as I had feared he would be – I love his character, but I do NOT want this turning into a Twilight-esque love triangle. That’s just not the point of the books. But something else that’s missing from the trailer – Peeta’s storyline. If you’re unfamiliar with the books, at this point you have no idea who he is or why he is important. You have no idea that he’s in love with Katniss. That bit of information would be great to add into the second theatrical trailer, set alongside some images from the Games.

I’ve just re-read my post before submitting it, and I apologize for my odd fascination with people’s voices. It’s a testament to Suzanne Collin’s writing skills, though, that I can hear the characters so clearly in my head. Anything that I said in this post was not meant to be taken as a complaint – just my initial thoughts. I am behind this trailer, the movies, and the actors, 110%. I absolutely can’t wait to see the movie!

March 23rd is just too far away.

(I’d love to hear your own feedback, or see links to your own analysis of the trailer! If you’ve got any additional information, or answers to my questions, please post them in the comments below!)

Writer’s Block is the Common Cold

Posted: November 13, 2011 in Writing
Tags: , , , ,

Moroccan Guards

Writer’s “block” is a good way to describe it. It’s like you’re driving down the highway and you know exactly where you are and where you’re going. You can describe every bush and tree, every creature that scampers out of your way. And you can see beyond that, far beyond. You can make out the mountains in the distance, and you can see exactly how the road twists and turns before you reach your destination.

Then – BAM!

The cops have set up a road block. There are signs and cars and flashing lights, and suddenly you can’t go anywhere. It stops you dead in your tracks and all you can concentrate on is the distraction of the sirens and the officers waving their guns in your face. Your surroundings have disappeared and you can’t quite recall how to get to those mountains in the distance.

This is an accurate metaphor, but I’ve got another one.

Writer’s block is our common cold – everyone gets it, no one really knows how to cure it, and we just have to wait it out until we feel better. But, luckily, there are ways to prevent writer’s block, and there are ways to push through it. (Kind of like showing those cops you do indeed have a driver’s license. Or like pumping yourself full of orange juice and cold medication.)

The first question is: What is writer’s block, really? It’s important to realize that it affects people differently. For me, at least, it’s when my brain just doesn’t want to work. I can’t think properly or I can’t concentrate. Writing one paragraph takes me an hour instead of five minutes, and I don’t like anything that I put down on paper. For others, it is the complete inability to come up with any detail pertaining to their story. It is a frustrating and time-consuming illness.

But, like most bugs, you can do a variety of things to prevent yourself from catching it. I suggest writing every day, whether you have time or not. It’s hard to stop writing once you get in the swing of things, but sitting down for even ten minutes a day helps. Skills are learned through experience and patience, and the more you write, the more skills you’ll pick up. I like to keep my iTouch handy too – there’s an app on there for note taking, and I use it all the time. I even have some full blown stories and character backgrounds on it. I tend to get ideas when I’m away from my computer, and this is a simple thing that I can do to get those ideas on “paper” before I lose them. It’s aggravating to have a great idea that you can’t remember when you go to write it down later that night, and that’s actually one of the ways that my writing block gets set up.

Another thing you can do to keep yourself from getting writer’s block is to make an outline. I know a lot of people don’t like them, and even I’m not particularly fond of them, but they do work. Research shows that writing down your goals helps you to attain them. An outline works the same way – it shows you what you’re working toward, and reminds you of the big plot points that you need to have in your story or series. My first novel is complete, but it’s just one book in my trilogy. I wrote an outline for the next two books so that I would always remember what I am working toward. Knowing what’s coming next also allows you to put clues and important details in earlier installments!

But even the best drivers get pulled over, and even the cleanest and most careful people still get sick.

So, how do you get around that road block? It can be tough, and sometimes all you can do is wait it out. Our brains are powerful machines, and they’ll work through any problems on their own, but there are ways to help them out. As it is with the prevention of writer’s block, the best thing to do is, well, write.

I know what you’re saying. “Um, isn’t that the problem?”

Yes, it is. So, try writing something else. Work on a different story or try out a new writing exercise. Sometimes shifting gears is the best thing to get your mind working again. Like I said above, for me writer’s block is about not being able to think of anything good to write, or not liking whatever I do come up with. The best solution for this is to just plow through whatever you’re having trouble with and come back to it later. Sometimes, you have to write something really, really bad in order for you to get it off your mind. Then, you just move on and edit it when you come back around to it. It’s like how they always say not to edit while you’re writing, because it kills your creative buzz. Same thing.

I actually have a really good example of this. In my novel, there’s a battle scene near the end. I was having a lot of trouble writing it, and I just couldn’t come up with anything that sounded good. I also didn’t really know what exactly I wanted to happen – who should live and who should die? Which characters do I want to focus on? Where and how exactly will the battle take place? I couldn’t answer any of these questions, and all I could think about was what happened after the battle. Well, I couldn’t ignore what happened during the battle, since that was an important scene, so I just wrote whatever came to mind. It was bad. Like, very bad. The writing literally consisted of “This character does this. Then this character does this. Then this happens.” It was very choppy and very poorly written, but I left it and moved on to the next scene. Now, I had my work cut out for me when I got to this chapter in my editing process, but it was much easier having that outline of the scene and then just fleshing out the events once my brain had decided to work properly again.

A lot of writers use music to inspire them. I like to go outside and walk around in the woods, or visit somewhere peaceful where I can be alone. It allows me to notice the magic of nature more easily, and as my stories usually center around nature, this is quite useful. Something else that might help? Set your work aside for a while. That might seem counterintuitive – how can I get work done if I’m not writing? – but it’s not. Writing isn’t a science, and you can’t force yourself to do it if the inspiration isn’t there. Go mess around on the internet for a while or get some other things done that you’ve been putting off. Chances are that when you come back your mind will be a little bit clearer, and you’ll be able to write again.

Remember, the police are there to protect you. Sometimes you can overexert yourself by writing too much. Writer’s block might just be your brain’s way of telling you to slow down. And everyone gets sick – that’s why we have an immune system.  You’ll come up with your own way of overcoming the disease.

If you’ve got any additional suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Even my own tips don’t work for me all the time, so it would be nice to hear some other people’s thoughts.

Happy writing!

I Need More Friends…

Posted: November 11, 2011 in Writing
Tags: , , , , ,

I’m not a materialistic person. I don’t covet objects or people. I’ve never had tons of friends, but I’ve always had great ones. I put friends and family before a lot of things in my life, and I’ve never felt like I was missing out on anything.

But starting out on this tough road that will (hopefully) one day lead to publication has made me realize something: I need more friends. Specifically, writing friends.

I love all my friends very much, but I’m sure you fellow writers out there can sympathize with my situation. Those friends that are so used to your crazy rants, your strange opinions, and your messy writing are simply too nice. They’re great for an ego boost – believe me, I’ve used them for that – but not so great for really getting into the issue of what’s wrong with your writing.

I do have some writing friends – some I’ve known for a while and others I’ve met more recently. They fall all across the spectrum , from casual writers to serious writers, but I’ve only got a handful of them. I’ve quickly run out of blank slates and fresh ideas. Then what? I’ve come to the conclusion that I just need to know more people like me.

This is an open invitation. If you need someone to bounce ideas off of or someone to critique and edit or just someone to listen, I’m here. I don’t have a degree, and I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who have more experience than I do, but I’m passionate. I love this stuff. I love reading and editing and helping. I also love feedback – whether it’s on my editing skills or my own material.

If you need someone new to share your writing with, please find me on Twitter (@Kay_Rou) or leave a message in the comments section. I’m always willing to help, and I always appreciate a new friend.

I’ve been here before. I’ve sat in this very seat, staring at this very screen, writing these very sentences. (Well, not these sentences, but something akin to them.)

Writing a blog has occurred to me on more than one occasion. I even tried it out once. It lasted through about a dozen posts before I scrapped it. I had decided I didn’t like talking to thin air. It wasn’t very responsive.

So, what changed? A lot of things. But, for one, I don’t care anymore. I’ll talk to thin air if that’s the only thing that will listen to me. I’m pent up with too many opinions not to let them out along one avenue or another. My friends and family can’t sit through anymore lectures about characterization or writing styles or plot holes (I’m looking at you, Glee…).

And, secondly, I want to be published. Like, bad. Like, I-don’t-think-I-can-live-my-life-knowing-I-haven’t-tried-every-possible-thing-to-get-noticed bad. As corny as it sounds, I know this is what I was born to do. I’m not asking for fame or fortune, but maybe just a small following. I just want to know that what I have in my head ends up on paper and that someday someone will read it and be as lost in that world as I was. I want to impact people.

I’m a midnight novelist. I like to write in dimly lit rooms when everyone else is asleep and the only things that are moving outside are the twinkling stars and a family of raccoons. If that doesn’t work, I’ll settle for some overcast weather and a bit of rain. I love to write. I always have. I’ve moved up from those single paragraph “stories” into my three-hundred-plus page novel. My writing skills have changed (thank God), but I haven’t. I still love writing about what I like reading about – fantasy, magic, adventure.

I’m hoping this blog lasts. I’ve got plenty to write about – books, movies, TV shows, life, and writing, always writing. I think it’ll make it – sometimes I have hunches about these things. Even if my biggest fan is the empty air, at least I’m writing. That’s what’s important.