I Miss Handwriting

I used to hate growing up without the latest technology. It was just my dad and I for a lot of my growing up years, and most years we barely scraped through financially. I was fortunate to grow up to watch the big clunky tan computers give way to sleek black powerful machines and the bricks of cell phones transform into thin powerhouses of connectivity. 

Now at 25, I haven’t even had my smartphone for a year yet. Before that, I had a tablet with limited connectivity to wi-fi. Before that, I had a hand me down laptop that crapped out six months into me having it and a desktop that might get the file open in the next century or so. 

What is my point?

As a writer, I grew up and went through school handwriting all of my drafts (and never really typing them up). 

Since I got my job, I have upgraded my phone, and my laptop and I have been typing up more original works rather than handwriting them. I thought it was making me more productive, skipping the step of having to write it, then type it, then edit it, etc, etc, but after having this technology for nearly a year and using it daily, I feel like I am less productive. 

Lately, I have been having these intense urges to create something with my hands. I have been having the urge to draw or paint or do something physical with my hands, and let me tell you, I am definitely not an artist, or a painter. 

I think these urges are because with my phone, my hands remain relatively stationary and maybe it feels like I’m not creating masterpieces because it’s not a physical representation. It’s all in the cloud. 

I’m not bashing writing technology or saying it is inferior in any way. I just miss hand writing my drafts. 

I miss holding up a notebook or a binder full to the point of bursting with written pages and saying “I wrote this!”

I miss writing little ridiculous notes in the margins relating to characters or the events of the story. 

I miss the beauty of hand writing and the messy lines and curves of my own writing. 

I miss the little doodles in the corners. 

I miss the feeling of lined paper under my hands and the ink smudges against my pinky after writing for hours because I am left handed. 

I miss the complete artistry of handwriting. 

My mom’s handwriting compared to mine. Isn’t it beautiful?

Camp NaNoWriMo Update

Yes, I am doing Camp NaNo this July. 

I’m working on several projects.

Writing- 

Little Earthquakes- Based on the first album by the lovely Tori Amos, the story follows a young woman as she tries to navigate several disasters that threaten to destroy her dream of being a dancer. 

The Schemes of VKs (Descendants fanfiction)- A prequel to Just One Kiss. The story of how Mal and Ben got together after the love spell and the repercussions. 

The Weight of Your Lips (Descendants fanfiction)- The sequel to Just One Kiss. What happens after Ben and Mal share that spectacular kiss. 

Editing-

Girl Disappearing- Book One in the LOVED series. Jared’s fight for Emily when she can’t fight for herself. Randa’s fight for Widren with Marvel and Xander. Two worlds hang in the balance. 

Just One Kiss (Descendants Fanfiction)- Ben made a promise without realizing it. Can he and Mal navigate the summer without disastrous consequences?

I am pretty busy this July. All of this, with work and volunteering. Though so far I am having a lot of fun. 

Fanfiction: Just One Kiss

Camp Nano

A taste of Little Earthquakes

 

Writer Life Lessons #19: Learn Everything You Can

Some of you may be looking at this title and thinking “Learning? But I’m a writer and I already know what I want to write about”. I understand where you are coming from, and I know how daunting it sounds to learn new things, but there is a reason for it.

Learn Everything You Can because you never know when it will come in handy for your next draft, or even in your own life. If nothing else, it’s interesting factoids at parties. Entertain yourself and your friends!

When you have a voracious appetite for learning, it makes writing easier. Not only do the ideas flow better, because you know more base information to come up with ideas, but you more easily can identify plot holes and glaringly obvious mistakes that might have made your reader put your book down and never pick it up again.

I’m not saying that you should go to college, or back to college, just because you want to write about astrophysics. I am saying learn what interests you. With the addition of the internet and smart phones, tons and tons of knowledge is at the tip of our fingers. If I wanted to learn Mandarin Chinese tomorrow, all I would have to do is type it into my nearest search bar and find the link that interests me most.

The learning doesn’t always have to be online either. There are books and podcasts and shows on television, groups in your area. If you can think of a way to learn, it is probably out there in your community. Anything and Everything is out there if you know where to look.

I take this lesson very personally, because as of now, I have been in school for most of my life and am just starting to break out into the workforce. I have learned a lot in all the schools that I have been in and all of the classes and units that I have taken. Even now, after I have graduated, I still am learning new things everyday. I want to know as much as possible, so my characters, my scenes, my writing can be as amazing as real life, and so I can help as many people as possible in my life.

Recently, I learned the basic information about computers and laptops, and brought my old laptop back to life with a few parts from my lovely boyfriend, and the assistance of my dad. It’s running great now, and it is what I am using to write this post right now. Sure, I could have just bought a new laptop, when I get a job, but I get the satisfaction of knowing that I fixed it and that I have a new experience and new knowledge to fall back on.

So go out and learn something new, and be proud of that knowledge!

And as always:

Happy Writing!

To Whom I Dedicate My Novels: Taz

We first met about 5 years ago. And by “met”, I mean we had two classes together. He stood out, with his long hair, purple jacket, and name that made me think of a hectic, destructive cartoon character. I was sure I didn’t stick out at all, especially since I barely went to one class and was stuck in the sea of a million faces in the other. That was probably why we only really started talking after finals that semester. Do you ever just meet someone for the first time, and not realize their significance until much, much later?

For me, that was Taz.

Looking back on all those years we’ve known each other from a distance, he’s been around a lot. From trying to set me up with Hitler (this is a nickname. See previous posts), to talking to me throughout my terrible relationships with three other guys. This last year, something amazing happened.

He and I started talking and seeing each other more, really getting to know each other. And we’ve been together over a year now. To be honest, I’m still amazed we’re together. When we first started to date, I didn’t think he was my type. He had longer hair than I did, he wasn’t my usual “blonde haired with light eyes and glasses” type, and he was unlike any other man I had ever been with. Over a year later, and I am happy to say that I am glad he’s not my type.

We’ve gone on so many adventures together, from just down the street to his old elementary school, to Phoenix last March. We’ve shared so many experiences that I never would have had if I had stuck to my “type”. He’s made me consider the future in ways that seem real instead of just a desirable fantasy. Together we have given each other so much in just the short time that we have been together.

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Alright, enough with the personal stuff, and the romance stuff. I’m sure you’re all asking why I would dedicate my novels to a man with a funny name and long hair.

Taz, like many of my other boyfriends, has been invested and interested in my writing. The difference between him and some of my exs though, is he actually cares. He gives me valuable input when I am stuck, he types up some of the things that I have handwritten, and he gives me ideas wherever we are, whatever we are doing. He is my muse of sorts.

Not only that, he cares for not only my writing, but my well being and my other life goals too. He helped me through nursing school, other classes, and other life decisions as well.He understands me and is there for me, and I love him dearly for that.

That is why he gets a dedication in one of my novels, or maybe even all of them. He has been there for me, just as I have been there for him. We have been there for each other, and I hope we continue to be there for each other for many years to come.

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Taz and me, right before my nursing school graduation.

Who is your most unexpected writing muse?

To Whom I Dedicate My Novels: My Dad

I’m sure my dad’s life would have been a lot easier if I had been born a boy. Now don’t go mistaking this for pity or low self worth, it really would have been easier. Instead of artsy hobbies like writing and knitting, I could have been a boy and been into football and wrestling. I could have gone to a big universiry on a scholarship instead of waiting and spending so much time waiting for nursing school. Instead of chasing the boys and causing my dad more headaches than he can count, I could have been the boy all the girls chased, a boy that my dad could be proud of.

But I am not a boy, nor do I want to be. This is not a pity post.

Why am I telling you about how easy my dad’s life would have been if I were a boy? Because even though I’m sure he wanted a boy to pass on the family name, and to talk sports and girls with, he got my sister and then me. He may have wanted boys instead, but he raised my siser and me the best he could.

Looking back now, I wish I could change a lot of things. I wish I could change how well I did in high school and my priorities the first few semesters of college. I wish I could have done at least a few sports just to give him accomplishments he could boast about to his friends. I wish I could have gotten a better scholarship so he didn’t have to work so hard to make ends meet month after month during nursing school. I wish he and I could have been closer, like we used to be before hormones and boys got in the way.

But wishing won’t change anything now. What’s done is done, and I can’t change any of that. Even though, looking back, I want different things for myself, I wish things had been easier on him. He has always been right behind me, whatever my choices, even if he didn’t always agree with me. He would make suggestions, give me better options and sometimes put down options I was dead set on, but it was only because he cared. I used to think his actions and his tactics were controlling and manipulative, and maybe in some ways they are, but that was because some decisions I was not yet strong enough to make for myself.

I always used to think my writing was a point of shame, something that was embarassing for him, and something to be ashamed of. Instead of going out and living adventures, I was sitting at home writing them, and not even very good ones at the beginning. I felt like writing was something to do in secret and no one should see the process, only the finished product. I used to only write right before bed, by the light of a night light, because I knew I couldn’t be bothered or feel ashamed.

And then 2011 came along and I wrote my first ever “serious” novel. It was the start of a series and the first novel I actually continued and finished even though I didn’t technically win NaNoWriMo that year. Even better, I went on to type it, and then it was printed, and writing no longer became a secret hobby that I only partook in the dark. Spark:The Girl aptly lived up to its name. It was indeed the spark that lit the flame of my passion.

It wasn’t until fairly recently that my Dad found out about NaNoWriMo and all of my accomplishments. I hadn’t told him because November was always a stressful time with the semesters coming to a close, final projects and finals, and some semesters he would stress more than I did. A few weeks ago we were talking about what I was going to do with all my new free time and he said “I know about your writing, and I’m proud of all the progress you’ve made.”

That meant the world to me. It means that he continues to only want the best for me, and that he truly cares about my happiness. It’s time to show him that I am capable, that I can do something with my writing and make him more proud, even though I barely follow football and am not very athletic at all.

Even through all the struggles, my dad is one of my biggest supporters and I wouldn’t change that for anything.

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Who are some of your biggest supporters? Have you hugged them today?