Tag Archives: writer

Refinement & Personal Growth

I’ve got an update!  Well, there are several updates, really, but this is the first one.

I’ve recently enrolled in Southern New Hampshire University’s creative writing BA program.  Awesome, right?  I know, I know.  I’m still an active supporter of “you don’t need a degree to write a novel.”  It’s true.  You don’t.  You do, however, need experience in editing and refining your work to make it appealing to people.  Some of us have more trouble with that than others, and so I’ve decided to go back to school for something worthy of my passion.  I’ve tried so hard to look for a degree or certificate program that would be a quick fix to my lack of professional direction, but there’s nothing out there that really makes me happy.

Writing makes me happy.

Writing is what I spend my time doing and thinking about.

Helping other writers to write well is something I take pride in.  It’s rewarding for me.

I can’t help writers with any credibility if I don’t further educate myself.  I can’t edit and rewrite my work very well, either, if you want the truth, and some guided direction is going to do wonders for me.  I just know it.  I want to be able to bring the benefit of these courses to others.  I want to be able to help you, my readers, and anyone else who might stumble on this blog.

I also have an announcement!

INKWELL IMAGININGS HAS A NEW CHAPTER!

It’s true!  Our local writers’ group has spread from a small library in Southbridge, MA to three separate states!  I’d like to welcome Inkwell Imaginings – Oklahoma City to our ranks!  Honestly, we never thought it would ever get this far.  Now that it has, though, I’d like to talk to everyone about Inkwell.  I’ve told you about it before, I think.  It’s a group created for local fiction writers to gather socially, get their work critiqued by peers, and celebrate or commiserate over their stories.

Want an Inkwell in your town?  Let’s make that happen!  Keep an eye out for a post on “How to Create an Inkwell Imaginings Chapter Near You!”  I’ll include an FAQ about Inkwell, what we do, how to join or create your own, popular meeting formats, and how to contact me.

AMITY DAWN DOES NOT HAVE A NEW CHAPTER!

Don’t judge me, I’m getting there.  Chapter 6 will be done soon.  I’m debating on whether to go back and fix my first person chapters by putting them in third person, or if I should just write the whole thing, then go back and include it in my first-pass revision.  x_x Ah, writer problems.

Coming up next, a shameless plug for chain maille bracelets that will help me buy my school books… STAY TUNED! Same Bat time, same Bat channel.

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Happy Mother’s Day from Goggles & Lace!

Whether writers of fiction, poets, artists, assembly line workers, teachers, or housewives (insert your or your mother’s occupation here, of course), the role of our mothers in our lives will never be insignificant.

So, here’s to mothers everywhere!

Just so you know, it’s customary to wear a white carnation or buy them for your mother today.  It symbolizes the purity of a mother’s love.

Another tidbit?  The founder of Mother’s Day advocated (read: fought violently) for it to be rescinded when it became too commercial.

What are you doing for your mother today?  What have your kids done for you?

Who are your favorite/least favorite mothers in literature and why?

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Writing Life: A Writer’s Impact/Role in the Community

Since this topic was suggested a couple of years ago, I struggled in defining the role of a writer in both society and community.  I’ve read and researched and worked to narrow down the title of “writer” in a sea of professions.  It occurred to me recently that, maybe, it wasn’t a “profession.”  Writing is something people do from the heart, and lumping it in with “making a living” completely defaces the point.  So,  I tried again, this time without books or search engines trying to define the role of “a person who writes” on “people who don’t write.”

There are different types of writers with different end-goals in mind when they put pen to paper.  Some of us want to change the world, make it better.  Some of us want to turn a profit.  Some of us just want the experience of writing.   The options are endless and no two writers will give you exactly the same answer.  The role of a writer, as a writer, in his community and in society will ultimately be defined by the role of writing in the life of the writer.  This is a blog that centers around fiction, so, for the sake of consistency, let’s stick to the topic in terms of writers of fiction.  Also, I can’t tell you how or if a writer may choose to impact their community, I can only tell you how I hope to impact my community in terms of my writing.

  1. I want to empower women and girls.  I strive to write strong women, or girls who grow into their strength, in the hopes that someone, somewhere may read it and identify.  I want that strength to be transferable.
  2. I want to help other writers.  The road to publication and a strong reader base is not a competition for me.  Everyone needs a hand up now and then.  By reading the work of my favorite authors, my life has been greatly impacted, my outlooks changed, and my skills as a writer developed.  If there is anything I can do to pay that incredibly valuable service forward, I will put myself out there to make it happen.
  3. I want to encourage literacy, and even just the basic picking up of a book.  So many people consider reading boring, and it breaks my heart.  If I can be the one to suggest the book that draws a person into the world of reading and learning, I would consider that an amazing accomplishment.

The list isn’t long, but those three points are very important to me.  So, instead of telling you what your role as a writer should be in your community, I want you to tell  me what you feel your role is.

What parts of you, as a writer, do you feel are valuable in your community, locally and globally?  How do you translate your love of writing into helping others?

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My Goals for the Writing Gump-A-Thon

This is not a long post.  Just here to tell you that my goal for the Gump-A-Thon is 2k a day.  It evens out to 58k at the end of the 29 days.  EIGHT THOUSAND WORDS MORE THAN NANOWRIMO.  I just do not even know what I’m doing to myself.

Join us over in the WriteWriteandWrite.com chat room if you fancy some writerly company, bottom of the page.  =]  Some of us will be write-a-thoning, others won’t, but we always love the company.

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A Paige Full of Words

I’ve decided to rekindle Featured Blogs on G&L!

First Featured Blog of 2013 is actually a brand new blog itself.  A Paige Full of Words is written by a girl who, judging by her handful of posts, I can identify with completely.  When she has an idea she’s passionate about, it consumes her.  She supports an organization that encourages writing love letters to strangers (not unlike Operation: Beautiful that I’ve been plugging for ages now).  She’s honest and soul-bearing and full of life.  There have been few posts to her blog so far, but the second I started to read it, I knew that this was a blog I would happily subscribe to.

Oh, what ties this into G&L is that she’s also a writer.  =P

I look forward to more of your musings, Paige.  Thank you for sharing yourself with the world.  =]

~KM

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January 13, 2013 · 8:31 PM

New Plans and an Offer for You!

So, I’ve been trying to think of a way to revamp my blog and get all you lovely people back to enjoying my posts instead of listening to my excuses.  I got this post in my inbox from For Bloggers By Bloggers.  It encourages bloggers to create a little “tribe” of other bloggers to keep one another accountable and work at mutual posting enthusiasm.

Naturally, this appealed to me.  =]  You know how I love my writer friends.  And, as many of you ARE my writer friends, you know how hard it is to keep us motivated a lot of the time.  I’ve got a few tendrils of interest already, but I’m looking for a couple more bloggers to round out our crew.  I have two slots to fill, so read the info-blurb below and, if you’re interested, comment your email address or email me directly from the Contact Me page.  We’ll get rolling on seeing if this is right for you.  =]

Blogging Team Info

Salut! Below is everything you’ll need to know about the “tribe” of bloggers I’m aiming to get together under one blogging banner. I haven’t thought of a quirky name yet, so if you have any ideas, I’ll toss them around to everyone for consideration.

The Numbers:

  • Seven bloggers. Each using their own blog site, preferably with some sort of posting schedule attached to it. (If you don’t have one, I can help you implement one or brainstorm.)

  • A weekly group chat via Facebook, tinychat, Skype, etc will take place to keep everyone abreast of the seven blogs and their plans. It also helps keep everyone accountable. This project takes some level of commitment, and we want to make sure everyone is up for it.

  • Should a blogger need help making posts now and then, they are more than welcome to ask the group for guest posts to round out their week.

  • You do NOT have to post every single day, but we will try to make sure that at least one of us is posting every day. It’s flexible, so don’t be intimidated.

What Will We Do?

  • Post writing-, reading-, author life-related content on a regular basis.

  • Guest post on each other’s blogs.

  • Comment regularly on each other’s blogs.

  • Create a monthly newsletter (either individually or “tribe”-wide.)

  • Support and promote each other’s work.

  • Post the group logo/button/banner (forthcoming) somewhere visible on your blog. If you like, you can also create a page dedicated to the group, but it’s not mandatory.

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Writing Life: A Writer’s Role in the Apocalypse

Castle Romeo Thermonuclear Test 1954

Image borrowed from The Official CTBTO Photostream on Flickr.

Everyone seems to be on a zombie kick the last few years.  Pair that with the impending 2012 prophecy coming to (possible, but incredibly unlikely) fruition, and you’ve got some awesome apocalypse plans, stories, and quite the barrage of “THESKYISFALLING!” media.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it.  You’ve got Falling Skies, the cancelled-before-its-time  Jericho, and the coming-soon Revolution.  Not to mention the Resident Evil franchise, the Fallout series, and the list goes on.  Even The Hunger Games was a post-modern-society setting.  To say that we’re all a little disenchanted with the way things are, to the point where we have to destroy it and kill damn near everyone with our imaginations, might be a bit of an understatement.

And that brings me to today’s Writing Life topic: a writer’s role in the apocalypse.

I mean, let’s face it.  The more resourceful of us are going to survive, right?  We write this stuff.  We’ve thought up the worst case scenarios, killed off our favorite characters in our new vicious, unforgiving versions of the world.  With that small fact (we will survive this nonsense) established, it’s time to hash out just where we stand at the end of it all.

No electricity.  And where there is electricity, there will be evil street gangs or crime syndicates (ie: the US government or Gary Oldman) hoarding the generators.  Naturally, TV is no longer a staple in our daily lives.  You’ll no longer be able to schedule your week around True Blood or Extreme Couponing.  People will need the blissful escape that fiction provides.  As the years go on, books will be more useful as kindling (blasphemy, I know), and so oral tradition will probably pull itself back to the forefront of our culture.  We, as writers, are story-weavers.  We can give them the escape that they crave.

No more formal education.  We don’t know everything, that’s a fact.  But writers, on the whole, tend to be decently-read and researched people.  In our smaller communities, where teachers may no longer exist, it may fall to writers to keep the written language around for a bit longer.  In educating our hardened and deprived youth, we can keep that thread of creativity and imagination going, providing hope in a world where there isn’t any.

History is written by the winners.  But in the apocalypse, there are no winners.  (Unless they are aliens, and we don’t speak alien anyway, do we?  And I won’t learn!  Filthy, world-thieving bastards!  I’ll see your death ray and raise you an explosion on your comm tower!  Tic-Tic-Boom!)  It’ll fall, in part, to writers to keep track of things.  Victories.  Defeats.  Logs of changes, progress, failures, etc.  And if we aren’t the record keepers, we sure as hell are the ones who’ll tell those stories with some flare!

Hope.  It’s a fragile thing, and writers are some of the most emotionally resilient people I can think of.  We take rejection and defeat, and turn it into determination, progress, and an opportunity to learn.  We’ve read the greats before burning their pages for warmth!  We know the great battles of fiction and of history and we can offer our insight from a creative, non-military standpoint.  Most of all, of all of our educational and emotional exploits, we keep our heads up and keep looking forward.  Tomorrow is another day, and it can only be better than today.

So, remember, just because you’re a writer doesn’t mean you’d be useless when the world ends.  In fact, your role in the progression of mankind is critical.  

Do you know of any other ways that writers will be useful at the end of the world?  Share them!

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Plot Development: Ending Your Novel

Plot Development: How to write the climax and ending of your novel.

If you’re at all like me, you have trouble writing endings.  I don’t want to make this a lengthy post.  I only wanted to share the above link, and encourage you all to have a look at it.  =]

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New Author Business Cards!

I’m so excited!  I just ordered my first batch of business cards as an author!

And seriously, if you don’t know InkGarden, you should check it out.  I got 50 business card magnets for $2 plus shipping.  (The code is MAGNET2 and its valid until July 31.)  If you need business cards (or like the novelty of business card magnets), then check out InkGarden, and all the awesome things they have there.  Use the link in this post, and you’ll get a coffee mug for a dollar!

Shiny, right? I love it. <3

Anyway, check it out.  =]  Marketing for cheap is the best kind of marketing!

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Writing Life: “Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll”

Today’s post comes from my friend Jade Bennett over at Jade Bennett Writes. Who also, if you hadn’t heard, launched her IndieGoGo campaign today!  She’s aiming to raise money to self-publish her first novel Mechanics of Magic, the first in a series titled Mechanical Maladies.  Check her out, and if you support her cause, please donate or share her IndieGoGo page!  Thanks, everyone!

Now, about Writing Life.

I’ve spoken on the topic of saying what you mean to say, how you mean to say it, multiple times, and this post isn’t going to change that tune.  I’ve been asked by several people why I choose to portray controversial subjects in my writing, how I approach those topics, and how I deal with the “backlash.”

Truth?  I’ve never really had any backlash.  I own what I write, and if people don’t like it, they can go complain on the internet.  (You know, like I do all the time.  You guys know.  =P)  If something means a lot to you, and you want to put that down on paper, that’s your call.  Gaining the courage to show the world is an entirely different matter.

Let’s face it: a stranger’s opinion is the difference between the cost of one book in our pocket and one less digit on our sales sheet, and that’s big.  But not as big as how we feel about, say, our mother reading that gay romance novel we wrote, chock full of drug abuse, rape, and our main character’s struggle to get by in an anti-equality society.  Or our father running across our heart-rending essays on teen suicide or our flash fiction about parental alcoholism.

It doesn’t matter.  I swear to you, write what you’re passionate about.  It may not be pretty and it may cause some controversy, but that’s okay.  Our modern world was built on controversy.  Voices rise and things change, but if we keep silent, we’re stagnant.  Even if it’s in your fiction, in a small, indirect way, say what you mean.  Even if it’s through your characters in a fictional realm on a fictional planet, address those things that call to your heart because only you can say them the way you intend them to be said.

Stand up.  Your friends and families will judge you.  Strangers will judge you.  But at least you can say that you stood for something.  So few people see what courage there is in writing fiction.

Be blunt.  You don’t have to be crass, but be honest.  If it’s not honesty from your perspective, be honest from an opposite perspective.  Fiction always displays at least two sides, if not always evenly.

Moral of the story?  Don’t be afraid to write about the hard things in life.  Your family may not approve, but you’ll be a voice for so many people who stand beside you.   More than you might realize.  Don’t let fear silence you. <3

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