Tag Archives: Writing Life

Another Update!

… Then it’s back to our regularly scheduled programming.  I promise.

Okay!  So my GoFundMe has been successful!  Thanks to the donations of the following fantastic people:

  • Jessica P. for purchasing two chain bracelets!
  • Keith L. for donating FIRST $25 and THEN another $10!
  • Mr. Anonymous for donating $25!
  • Shelley T. for donating $5!
  • Lounge Talk Radio (seriously, check out Gretchen & Toni and all they do. They’re amazing!) for donating $40!
  • Chris B. for donating $50!

Really, there’s no way I could have bought these books without all of you.  You’re so amazing.  I swear, my first novel will include a thanks to all of you for being so generous and supportive of my trek into the “down and dirty” aspect of creative writing.  If you wanted a bracelet, but couldn’t make it in time for the Book Fund drive, that’s okay!  I still make them, and I’ll have other designs up soon!  I’ll post my Etsy shop as soon as I revamp it, make some back stock, and get some decent photos!

For everyone who is entitled a bracelet or a key fob or earrings, etc, I got my rings in! I’ll be photographing the colors as soon as the sky stops being so dismal so I can steal some decent lighting.  Then you can give me your measurements and color choices.  It could be 10 days until I can make all of them.  I’ll get as many as I can out with what I have, but I have another shipment of rings on the way. <3

On another note, I’ve got more Writing Life content stewing around in my brain.  I really just need to find the time to write it down.  I’m also working on the plots for some short fiction that will be thrown about in here.  And, by popular demand, I will be restructuring Letters from Blackford Hill and using that plot for my NaNoWriMo this November!  Instead of seeking publication for it, I think I may self-publish it and make it available on G&L.  Very exciting things to come, my loves!

I also need to work on a signature for my posts….  I have a tablet, I can do it easily, I just keep forgetting.  TONIGHT!  Yes.

All of my love, G&Lers. <3

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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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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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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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Writing Life: “This Sucks, I Suck, Why-the-Eff-am-I-Bothering-Itus”

Today’s Writing Life post topic is courtesy my friend Rei.  HI, REI!

We all get there.  We get to that point, especially during the revision process, where we look over our manuscript and think “What the hell is this?”  We sigh and put it down, and some of us don’t come back to it for months.  We feel weighed down, helpless, listless… We don’t know what to change and we don’t know what to keep, because, let’s face it, it’s all freaking terrible and we never want to look at it again.

You’re just overwhelmed!  I’ve made the mistake of deleting and destroying every copy of a manuscript I have in my possession, and, believe me, the regret is twice as overwhelming as the listlessness.  You try to rewrite and recapture all that you loved about the story, but it’s just gone.  It’s not the same.  The characters have moved on to other stories and mystical events that only imaginary people can take part in.  (Those characters may want to revisit the story with you about five years later, I should note.  Frost Moon punched me in the face again about six months ago, as if my main character was saying “You couldn’t do it right the first time, so let’s try this again.  Now pay attention.”)

First off?

Your story does not suck.  You fell in love with the journey and the characters for a reason.  You just need to recapture that reason.   What about the story struck you to begin with?  What songs remind you of your characters?  Take a walk.  Enjoy a few deep breaths.  Think about your characters the way you did when they started begging for their story to be penned.  Don’t touch you manuscript for a few days to a week, and let the romance with your story rekindle itself.

You do not suck.  Everyone needs a breather now and then.  That does not make you less of a writer or less of a person.  Even the strongest people need a few minutes now and again to just breathe.  You are a writer.  You are a story teller.  The stories inside you won’t die while you’re taking a vacation.  I promise, in this case, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and before long, your characters will be screaming to get out again.  Just breathe.

Why the eff are you bothering?  Because you love what you do.  Because you’re filled with more than just the base need to exist.  Your purpose is to pen a story that people will fall in love with, that they’ll learn from, that will change them.  You create souls from nothing and put them on a page, parts of yourself, and you let people share in that with you.

Why are you bothering?  Because what you do is important.  It’s important to you, and it’s important to someone else out there, maybe hundreds of someones.  Thousands.  People who need a story to relate to.

Don’t sell yourself short, and always remember to breathe.

If there is anything you’d like to see covered in Writing Life, please feel free to message me.  My information is in the contact page, and my Tumblr is located in the sidebar.  Don’t be shy!

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Welcome to GogglesandLace.com!

That’s right, loves, I finally did it.  No more .wordpress nonsense!  And, as promised, I’ve worked out a new schedule for you.  Behold!

Writing Life  will now take place on Friday.  Every Friday, starting May 25.  I’m working on a backlog of posts to keep G&L going for a few weeks at the very least.  Writing Life   came in second on the poll I ran on May 2, so I will certainly be continuing it with renewed fervor.

Throughout June, I’ll be posting periodic updates and video logs of my progress on June’s Camp NaNoWriMo project.  You are all more than welcome to join me!  I love writing buddies.  Feel free to message me via email or Facebook or other such nonsense (see the Contact tab) and I’ll gladly get back to you!  Note: There’s no specific schedule for these posts.  They’ll come as I manage to write/film them.

New fiction, which scored highest on my blog poll on May 2, is also in the works.  Excerpts of my June novel (titled Muse), flash fiction pieces, and other such nonsense will hopefully come out on a weekly basis.  No set days yet.  Though, if the June novel goes well, I’ll be posting that once a week in short installments, much like I did for Letters from Blackford Hill.

SPEAKING OF WHICH!  Letters from Blackford Hill will no longer be included in the tabs above.  You can access it through the “Fiction” tab, and it will take you to the page I’ve created for it.  I will not be updating LfBH for the foreseeable future.  I do apologize for that.

Along with Goggles & Lace, you can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Tumblr.  Just look to the left, and click on the appropriate icon.  Have any suggestions for G&L?  New content?  A new look?  Message me!  My email is in the Contact tab.  I adore contact from you guys, and I’d really love to hear from you!

Here’s to another fantastic year at G&L, folks!  Thanks for being here!

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I regret to inform you all…

The contest did not receive enough submissions, even with the extended deadline.  I have a few submissions, but I have yet to decide how to handle them.  So, I’m going to talk to the authors over the next day or two and see where they stand.  I really would have liked to have made this fun little publicity project happen, but maybe it just wasn’t G&L’s time.  Maybe for another event….

In other news, I recently sent my pitch for Resurrection Man to Ruby Lioness Press, and my first few chapters and synopsis were requested.  I sent them off last week and I’m waiting (very impatiently and excitedly) to hear back.  Wish me luck.  =]  In the unlikely event that Resurrection Man gets published, there will be an epic post of unintelligible hysteria to follow. <3

In the meantime, I continue to work in food service and as an AVON representative (see the widget in the sidebar *SHAMELSSPLUG*) to fuel my writing career.  O, how we struggle for our art, ladies and gentlemen.

I love you all, and I’ll soon have a new post schedule up for G&L for this summer.  Probably by Sunday.  In the meantime, please respond to the following poll.  Your input is vital to the future and growth of Goggles & Lace!

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Triumphant Return!

As promised, I’ve come back to you!  A new year, a new set of goals for Goggles & Lace, ladies and gents.  So, here’s the plan:

  • All of the Writing Life posts that you didn’t get throughout the last few months, due to the issue I had with WordPress’ scheduling feature, will be released every Wednesday as previously planned.  I’m reworking a few of them to make improvements so you get the best I can offer.
  • Letters from Blackford Hill returns on Thursday, January 5.  You get a new post on Thursday, and after that, it’ll continue every Monday.  LfBH should be concluded by the end of February-middle of March, and will be edited and offered in ebook format around June.
  • In March or April, Goggles & Lace will feature a new weekly series on Mondays to replace Letters from Blackford Hill.  So far, that series is top secret…. mostly because I haven’t the faintest idea what it is yet.  Something Steampunky, maybe.

Beyond G&L, I’ve taken on Milwordy, the challenge to write a million words in a year.  Anything productive counts, so expect to see a bit more from me here.  =]  If this can’t make me more productive, I’m at a loss for what might.

In any case, it’s great to be back!  I’ve missed you all, and I’m looking forward to getting back into commenting on all of your blogs as well!

2012, here we come!

Love,

Kit

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Writing Life: Making Time and Motivation

Image © Simon Clayson

The biggest obstacle I face as a writer is overcoming the tendency to put writing on the back burner.  Writing is my life, my love, and my means of staying sane; I’ve put writing before friends, jobs, and relationships—

So why can’t I put more importance on setting aside time to write?

My excuses:

  • There’s a show that I want to watch.  (I have a DVR.  This shouldn’t even be an excuse.)
  • Facebook.  (Life-destroying social network paired with my apparent lack of willpower.)
  • There’s always a fresh idea beyond the one I’m working on.  (Attention span fail.)

Are any of them valid?  No.  Not really.  They waste time, make me homesick, show just how lazy I am.  And when I schedule time to write, I usually foul it up somehow: procrastinate, self-sabotage, just plain fail.  Being a “work in progress” as a person and as a writer must yield some progress if it’s going to continue to be an excuse for my shortcomings.

This post isn’t going to offer you a definite solution.  I can offer some suggestions that I should probably try myself. I suppose what people like me—people like us—need most is a support group to keep one another accountable.  I’m not sure how to go about this yet, but if I come up with anything, I’ll let you lovely people know.

So, suggestions?

  • Write it on your calendar.  Seeing “Write: 8a-3p” in your face makes it more tangible a goal than defining it vaguely in your head where you can’t physically see it.
  • Tacking/Taping sheets of inspiration, work, or development material around your work station.  It keeps your project real. I  look at it and remember little things I love about my project.  It makes me want to work on it.
  • Get other writers who need to get their work done to write with you.  Online or in a coffee shop.  Have word wars and share favorite sentences or bits of dialog.  Swap paragraphs and get opinions.  Never underestimate the support of writing with others.

Just remember that you don’t have to eat, sleep, and breathe writing to be a writer, but do make time for it.

How do you overcome procrastination and laziness?

Do you have a support network?  How deeply is your writing impacted by that network?

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G&L: A Survey.

If you have any suggestions, comments, questions, or concerns, please leave a comment, or contact me via any of the methods listed on my contact page!  Your feedback is always welcome–in fact, it’s critical.

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