#3: No More Staples

For nearly two weeks, the shiny metal staples shone like a beacon on her forehead.

For nearly two weeks, all everyone ever saw was the staples. How she had gotten the staples wasn’t important, but she wouldn’t tell anyone either way.

After she got them removed, the white clear strips were put in their place until they fell off on their own. She tore that safety measure from her skin.

She needed to see her scars. She needed to see her strength.

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#1: Unopened

Of the several things that lay strewn under the Christmas tree the week after the holiday, the most inconspicuous was the small cardboard box.

“I know we’re over,” he had said way back in the summer when she had ended their relationship, “But I found this and it reminded me of you.”

For months, she had held onto it. Set it on her shelf and admired the festive paper, letting the curiosity eat at her, and the regret of her decisions.

It was the first present she put under the tree as soon as it was up. The small box had been tormenting her for months with its unknown contents and she swore she would open it as soon as she could, even if it was just a reminder of what she used to be, but wasn’t anymore.

When Christmas morning did arrive, the tree was so laden with presents that the small box was nearly forgotten until she began cleaning up the wrapping paper from all of the other gifts.

Christmas morning, she had gotten as far as tearing off the festive wrapping paper before the fear froze her. What if whatever the box contained changed everything?

She stared at it, under the tree for the entire week, the fear enough to eat her from the inside out. As it got closer to the new year, she told herself she would open it on New Year’s Eve and decide if it was something she wanted to keep in the new year or chuck away with the old, but as New Year’s Eve arrived she found herself pulled away to a New Year’s Party.

New Year’s Day, when she awoke, it was still under the tree.

She looked at the tree, slowly starting to dry out, and the other boxes that she had left in the rush of plans after Christmas and grabbed a trash bag. A new year meant it was time to move on.

The next hour or so, she spent breaking down boxes and crumpling up wrapping paper and tape. For the first time in a week she picked up the small cardboard box.

It was heavy in her hand for the size of the box and the memories she was sure it contained. She knew she could spend minutes, hours, days, weeks trying to figure out what was inside.

She already had.

Instead, she dropped it from her hand into the nearly full garbage bag.

Some things were better left unopened.

Trying Something New

As 2018 approaches, I’m going to be trying something new with this blog.

Lately, my writing has been lacking and I feel like these last few months I’ve just been on autopilot and not enjoying life.

For January, I’m going to try doing a blog post a day. If it works, great! I’ll continue it.

If it doesn’t work, well I tried.

I hope you all have a great new year and are looking forward to new content as much as I am.

2017 Goals

Hello everyone!

I know I have been absent for longer than I should have been, especially since I was trying to do a prompt daily, but here I am!

I know around this time of year a lot of people do their New Years Resolutions and Goals for change.

Yes, this is one of those posts. And I will do my best to not make it cliche or boring, but it’s bound to happen.

Without Further Ado: My goals for 2017

Write (Well Duh, Writer!)

  1. Write more original works: My goal this year is to play catch up with my current series. At this moment the series is bits and pieces and a ton of ideas. The only completed book or at least written book is the first one. The others are a few scenes or a section here and there, and by the end of this calendar year I would like the books I have stared to be more complete. 5 days a week will be original works.
  2. Write Fanfiction: Yes, Fanfiction. The type of writing that gets the writing snobs all up in a tizzy. “Those aren’t your characters, you can’t do that!” Or any of the other excuses aside, I did a lot of fanfiction writing in 2016 and I feel that it helped me expand on my original works. In an already established universe, I could test an idea and see how I wanted to try and write it.¬† Not only that, but I have somehow accrued a dedicated following on a few of the fanfictions that I have published. The weekends are for fanfiction.
  3. Blog: The writing schedule for this blog has been completely atrocious, and I do apologize for that. My goal for this year is to find a schedule that works and try to stick to it. Stay tuned for more details on that and the content to come.

Learn

  1. Bachelor’s Program: I will have had my RN license for 2 years in July and I’ve been working at my job for over a year now. It’s time to get in to a Bachelor’s program and continue my education.
  2. Languages and Skills: During the end of 2015 and throughout 2016 I tried to learn several languages. I ended up getting bored and forgetting about them for a while. I intend to at least learn somewhat fluently a language (Probably Spanish due to my profession and where I live) by the end of 2017

Health (Here are the cliches!)

  1. Strength: For years I have been a weakling, and I have tried in the past to gain arm strength, but push ups suck. I recently joined a gym and I intend to use it to full capacity to gain some muscle and strength. Strength would definitely help me at my job in an office and eventually when I move to a hospital job. The 600 pound patients won’t know what hit them!
  2. Body Confidence: Struggling with weight is a relatively new phenomenon for me. I’m guessing it’s because of all the sitting I do at my job and all of the delicious take out and Starbucks that I drink. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I had looked at old pictures and noticed how slim my face looked. When a patient asked me if I was pregnant I figured it was time to make some better choices and appreciate my body since it is the only one I have.

Those are my goals for 2017 and who knows what will happen in the next 12 months. Stick around and find out!

What are your goals for the new year?

 

Why Do I Stop Writing?

All things must come to an end. The day we live through must give way to a new one tomorrow, the weeks and months give way to New Years and decades. Even writing projects must end, some of them earlier than others. 

I have a lot of unfinished projects. Daily when I write, or think about writing, I open my program, or my notebook and scroll through and look at all the ideas I have started and never finished. 

Why did I stop writing them?

There are several reasons:

I Found a New/Better Idea:

Don’t ask me where all of my ideas come from, but occasionally I start them before I really flesh them out. Then a new idea comes around and I jump onto that one. 

I Don’t Know Where the Story is Going: 

Sometimes I “off-road” from my outline and then get stuck because I have no idea where the story is going after that. Sometimes I don’t even have an outline. Sometimes, I just don’t like the idea as much as I thought I would. 

The Writing Gets Too Hard:

There are certain topics and situations that are just hard for me to write. Certain emotions that I can’t fully express on the page, or certain situations that I have never been in and can’t accurately describe. So I stop to research and sometimes never return to it. 

Interruptions:

Sometimes, I just get interrupted and lose my flow in a piece and just never return to it. It happens and it’s depressing, but sometimes the writing mojo doesn’t come back. 

Thinking about all these reasons why I stop writing, I realized something. Those are all excuses why I stop writing. 

The real reason I stop writing is FEAR.

Fear that my idea isn’t good enough.

Fear that I will never find the right direction. 

Fear that I can’t do the hard writing, so I move to something easier. 

Fear that I will never be in that right writing mood, or that I will never be as excited as I was to write that first page. 

I am making the choice to stop letting the fear dictate what I start and finish. 




Writer Life Lessons #20: Save Your Research for the Second Draft

Imagine how much work we would all get done if we stopped to research every little thing in our writing to make sure it was factually accurate. I don’t know about you, but I would probably get no work done. I would be so into researching and making sure that every little detail was painstakingly accurate that I would never get any words on the page.

This is why you should Save Your Research for the Second Draft.

Let the first draft be what it wants to be. Finish a whole project and then do as much research as your heart desires. Get your ideas down and then find out if they are accurate. If you research after every scene, not only will you be burned out on research, but on writing as well. Writers need to write.

Sometimes in first drafts, we don’t always know exactly what we want to happen, so we just write something that resembles a plot and then hopefully edit the hell out of it later. If we as writers edit every little detail and research as we’re writing the first draft, we might not even use that research in later drafts and that was time we could have been using to write.

Don’t get me wrong, small bits of research, like how to spell or phrase things, is fine. As long as it is under 5-10 minutes (depending on your internet/data speed), then I think it’s fine. It’s when you get sucked into researching for an entire afternoon that it becomes a problem. So try and keep research to a minimum and writing to a maximum.

Happy Writing!

A Quick Note on Frustration

Happy Monday!

For some of us, Monday means going back to work, or school. For others, it means delving into personal work and projects. For me it means queuing up the blog for the week. What does this have to do with frustration?

Everything.

Last Friday, I decided to be proactive and write a little of a How To Tuesday to make it easier on myself over the weekend and today. I have around 2000 words all set up and ready to go, and just needed a few more paragraphs to finish.

Today, I go to my drafts, ready to pick up where I left off, everything looks good in the screen where all the drafts live, and then I open it. AND IT’S BLANK!

I was so frustrated that I had to write all of it again, pull the ideas back from what the original idea was and type angry and jaded. Instead of a long post, it only came out to be around 700 words (though you all might thank me for that).

I know frustration is a normal occurrence, and that it might just be a fluke on WordPress’ end, but still 2000 words and like 15 ideas just gone, off into space, never to be found in that exact order again. Frustration is putting it nicely.

So hopefully something can come from that frustration and the problem of words disappearing can be solved (By the way, not the first time this has happened).

Has this happened to anyone else? Have your drafts ever disappeared when you try and edit them?

Please let me know so we can fix this problem!