Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The 346 Writing Prompt Challenge

My awesome English teacher sent me this pdf file of 101 Best Websites for Writers. Obviously there are a lot of sites on there, and I feel a bit overwhelmed looking through them. While killing time during class today, I found this one: Creative Writing Prompts.

I've been wanting to do more writing, and not just writing within my current novels. (Though all those characters might disagree that I need to work on other things cause they want an ending. Demanding people those characters are.) So since they seem pretty short and simple, I'm going to challenge myself to doing a writing prompt every day. Of course this isn't going to happen every day. Let's get real here - it's me, the slackiest of the slackers. I don't plan on posting every single one them because you'd probably find that incredibly boring. But since I did the first one - I'll share it.

Writing Prompt #1: Basically you're supposed to briefly close your eyes, think of an item in the room for 3 minutes then without looking at it write as much as you can about it.

I chose my stapler and somehow turned it into a suicidal one.

The stapler is purple. A vibrant purple that stands out against the oak wood desk it sits on. The end of it slightly hangs off the edge, almost like it’s daring itself to jump off. A good portion of it is still backed away. If staplers had brains, maybe that’s where they would be at. The far end is like the anchor of it all while the front end is the quick punch of the staple that slices through the paper.

There’s a slight layer of dust gathered on the top. It hasn’t been used in a while because there isn't any staples inside of it. Maybe that’s why it’s so close to the edge – it feels ignored and unloved. It’s there for a purpose. To organize all my loose ends, yet I don’t bother refilling it. So it just sits there, collecting more dust, and debating on whether or not one day it’ll take the plunge right off my desk.

This was quick, easy, and painless! My kind of writing. If you check out the site - tell me what you think. If you decide to post a few of the prompts up, leave a link so I can go read :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weight Loss Sucks: Shoes, start walkin'.

Starting today, I will be getting up at 6 AM (yes, it still exists), and heading over to the walking park where those shoes will be walking 2 or more miles. Might even jog depending on if anyone is around to see me. I don't like running when people are around. My yabos are ginormous, and they go all sorts of crazy when I take off running. One of these days I'm going to knock myself out with them.

When I get back from that 2+ mile walk or slight jog, I will hopefully dive into my Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred Workout where I still haven't gotten over the fear of her eyebrows. (Seriously. Have you seen them? Fierce!)

By the time I get to work, I'll probably be dead.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

How my novel cherry got popped.

I've said countless times that I've never really written a full length novel. I've written a fanfiction story that was crazy long and could have been a novel, but I never felt that I've ever really conquered something to call a novel.

Then I started going through my writing stuff. I found my old story, the one that I considered my baby for a couple years called Always a Day Late and a Dollar Short.

It's a novel.

A finished novel.

How could I forget that I've actually written a novel? Okay, sure, there is maybe a couple chapters missing towards the end that really tie the whole thing up, but whatever - it's a novel. Flipping through this extremely long hot mess, I remembered exactly how I felt the night I started this story. I was 19, chain smoking, and pissed off at the people above me who wouldn't stop stomping around my head.  My story even opens up with my hatred for those jerkfaces:

It amazed me how big of assholes the people above me were. 

I dove in a little more about this girl having this horribly massive chaotic morning (much like the ones I usually had back then). After I wrote a couple pages, I remember feeling so interested in what this girl was all about. What was her name? What was she like? Why was she important? While typing away and listening to my favorite rock station: Q102, "Serenity" by Godsmack came on and I knew that was her name. What she was all about, I found out as I wrote her.

I even gave this novel so nice little chapter titles which I don't think anyone does anymore, but here are a few samples:

Beer and Waffles
That One Perfect Coffee Mug
It's Just Eww!
Oh, Those Awkward Moments
Break-Ups & Banana Ice Cream
It Wasn't a Love Song, Was It?
Tis' the Season to be Crappy

The story goes on about how Serenity has this hot new neighbor named Jackson, who is in a rock band because who doesn't want to run smack dab into a hot rocker named Jackson in their hallway? Serenity has five awesome friends - Jillian (the bitch), Hannah (the mother hen), Candy (the stripper), Chalice (the hopeless romantic), and Paige (the best guy friend who is total pothead and claim to fame was lighting his own arse on fire - what? I never said this was a mature book). 

Serenity was much like me when I developed her just a bit more outgoing.  She had no clue what to do with her life, she was kind of bitchy, she chain-smoked, and ate banana ice cream by the tub fulls. (She never gained weight though because that's so realistic and all.) She worked at a crappy job, and devoted most of her life to friends. One day she catches a break after getting fired and lands this nice little gig at a crappy television station where things kind of take off.

She also develops a relationship with an old fling, Gabe aka Mr. Wham-Bam-Thank-Ya-Ma'am, while still having a big thing for hot rocker Jackson who always has a big thing for her but just got out of this crummy relationship, blah, blah, blah. They also get into a fist fight once over her because those things just HAVE to happen when you have a love triangle. There's a lot of immature humor in this book with lots of nights where someone is getting drunk. Jillian, who may curse worse than a sailor, informs her she can never have a real relationship with Mr. Wham-Bam-Thank-Ya-Ma'am, but also thinks Jackson is a straight up douche for never making a move. But what does Jillian really know? She ends up getting knocked up by Paige, who she pretty much hates and still hates throughout the whole novel. 

The whole thing ends with Serenity about to marry Gabe, but hears Johnny Cash singing about going back to Jackson, she takes it as a sign, jumps out the church window, runs home to tell Jackson he was right all along when he told her she shouldn't get married only to find out he already left for California to pursue his rock star career. So what does she have left? Herself and finding out who she really is.

What? I never said this was a love story.

Anyways, back to my point of this post. I wrote a novel once. Looking back over it, it really is kind of horrible. It has more dialogue than description. I'm not really for sure what the plot is most of the time. There is no such thing as correction grammar in this thing. I could always go back through it, shape it up, but I don't want to. I like it just the way it is. This reminder that this is why I love to write. I spent so many nights in my little one-bedroom apartment, chain-smoking, drinking too much Pepsi into the wee hours of the morning, and pounding away at my keyboard. (And sometimes threatening to throw my computer through the window if it performed another illegal operation because every time it did that most of what I had written would vanish.)  

So basically my name is Amber. I love to write. I usually don't finish most of the stories that I start, but I have written a novel. It may be complete suckage, but I wrote it. And I plan on writing many more in the near future. Hopefully with not a lot of suckage, but we'll see what happens.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weight Loss Sucks: New bet has been placed.

My sister and I decided to switch up our weight loss bet. As of the week before last, she's currently kicking my fat butt by being 5 pounds ahead of me. (But hey! I just got back from Springfield where I had stuffed my guilty mouth full of yummy carbs and bloated up on soda, but no, I'm not bitter at all that she hadn't ate a single thing before we weighed in....)

We were all still going to plan on the winner getting a free massage then one of my friends posted this image on tumblr, and that pretty much kicked off the new bet.

The winner gets a free tattoo on our road trip. Or maybe when we get back. Unless of course I can find a shop that I know someone has been to, seen some work they've done type of thing. So if you live in Tennessee, Texas, or Oklahoma and can recommend a shop around Memphis, Nashville, Houston, or Tulsa, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Here is what my sister will be buying me because I am SO GOING TO KICK HER BUTT AT THIS! (Using all caps to show you how serious I am about kicking her bootay!)

I love it. 

Like really, really want this on the back of my neck as of yesterday love it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In memory of a friend.

Over the past couple years, I've really distanced myself from a lot of things and a lot of people. I haven't truly felt like 'me' in a long time.

Then yesterday happened.

News that an old friend had passed away. She was only 26. She was a mother. A daughter. A sister. And once upon a time one of my best friends. We never had a falling out. We simply just grew apart. It sucks. It really, really does, but those things happen. It doesn't make the shocking fact she's gone hurt any less.

I don't know really know the type of person Jamie became, but I can tell you the girl she was. She was hilarious. Quite possibly the most hilarious person I'll ever have the pleasure of knowing. She made up poems and songs that would make you laugh so hard you'd almost pee your pants. She was a kick ass friend who was always there to back you up or listen to you if needed someone to talk to. We did a lot of things together. We partied a lot. Made stupid decisions and had a blast doing most of them. There was nothing fake about her. She never apologized for who she was. She spoke her mind. And I remember sometimes even envying how brave she could be.

Growing up sucks. Not being friends with someone you were sure you'd be friends with for a lifetime sucks. But I want to thank Jamie for being such a wonderful and true friend in the years we hung out together. For leaving me with crazy memories of back roading and car wars. For making me laugh and laugh. For nights at Taco Bell, rummy, movies, and even all those times she made me listen to Creed even when I swore if she didn't turn the song my ears were going to bleed out.

And thank you, Jamie, for reminding me just like you did back then that all I ever really need to be is me.

You were nothing short of amazing friend, and I miss the hell out of you. I'm sorry it took this to make me realize that.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What's Your Writing Style?

I stole this from the lovely Cheryl.

1. Are you a “pantser” or a “plotter?”
I'm really both. Any story I start, I always have a general idea of what the book is supposed to be about. Usually after a chapter or so in, my mind is already racing with different ideas. Take Gus' story for example. If I would have stuck to my main idea from way-way back in the day, there would have been 8 kids in her family and it would have been a YA novel with no guy named Memphis in it. That my friends would be a crying shame.

2. Detailed character sketches or “their character will be revealed to me as a I write”?
I've tried doing a full-on character sketch before, but I don't always do them. I think the fun of writing is discovering who this person is you're writing about.

3. Do you know your characters’ goals, motivations, and conflicts before you start writing or is that something else you discover only after you start writing?
Sometimes. Usually with my general idea of what I want the story to be about, I kind of have a good feel of how my character is, but not all the time. Like with my first ever wannabe novel, I thought Serenity would be kind of a more snobby attention seeking girl, but it just wasn't here halfway through the story.

4. Books on plotting – useful or harmful?
I really haven't read any so I can't answer this question truthfully. Most of the time when I read what people say 'works' for writing, I end up getting ticked off. It's like who made you the Writing God? Write what comes to you. Not what someone says is the right way.

5. Are you a procrastinator or does the itch to write keep at you until you sit down and work?
Once upon when I was heavy into fanfiction, I would ditch out on my friends to stay home and write, write, write. Now it's like I try to put it off as much as possible which is stupid considering how much I love it. I always welcome the writing itch with open arms when it comes a creepin'.

6. Do you write in short bursts of creative energy, or can you sit down and write for hours at a time?
Now a days it seems like it's more in short bursts. I'm trying to stick hard on the concept of writing at least 1K a day. The other night, I flew out of a bed a little after midnight and busted out almost 3.5K.

7. Are you a morning or afternoon writer?
I'm 'whenever the mood strikes' type of writer it seems. I tried waking up early to write in the mornings before work, but it's so hard to drag myself out of bed. I just stick to whenever I can get something in.

8. Do you write with music/the noise of children/in a cafe or other public setting, or do you need complete silence to concentrate?
I have to have music. It's also part of the process I do when I first start writing a story - I have to make a soundtrack. I never really thought writing while music was playing was a big deal until one day at school I decided to work on a story, and I couldn't handle the room being so quiet. Music inspires me and motivates me, and without it I'd be so screwed.

9. Computer or longhand? (or typewriter?)
Computer. I can barely take notes during class anymore, my hand cramps up so bad. When I was little, I used to fill notebooks full of stories. Kind of funny how that changed.

10. Do you know the ending before you type Chapter One?
Only a couple times has that happened.

11. Does what’s selling in the market influence how and what you write?
Nope. My brain doesn't function like that.

12. Editing – love it or hate it?
Editing is a curse because I catch myself CONSTANTLY EDITING! It's never a bad thing to catch yourself, but sometimes I can't even get past three chapters or writing because I keep going back and changing this and  making sure this flows or that flows.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weight Loss Sucks: The best has been set.

My sister and I both have been battling with our weight for years. The downfall is that well, we never seem to have enough motivation to stick with it. Since we're taking an epic road trip at the end of April, I decided since we both have barely lost any weight, we needed to make a bet with one another.

Whoever looses the most weight by April 27th gets a free massage at a spa while we're on a road trip. I plan on kicking her fat ass. (And if by chance my sister is reading this: I LOVE YOU!) We both weighed in almost two weeks ago, and plan on checking back in with one another every two weeks to see who's in the winning place.

I told myself back in January that I was going to start kicking it up a notch. But you know what sucks about trying to loose weight in January? IT'S COLD OUT! It's nasty out and there is snow. Same thing pretty much happened in February. Sure I joined the Weight Loss Challenge at the YMCA and hardly did a thing due to the crazy move too, but I cannot get motivated in crappy weather. Now that the weather is getting better, I've been walking and even RUNNING! I never thought I'd say this, but I actually enjoy running. I've been doing a combo of running/walking and it's pretty awesome. The first time around running always makes me want to die, but after that I'm pretty much golden.

Today I mixed in Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred DVD. This woman is fierce. She kind of scares me, but I did the first phase of the workout, didn't die and plan to do it again tomorrow.

I don't plan on updating this blog every week, whining about how fat I am because I do that enough in my own head, or anything like that. But I know there are a few bloggers out there that have been documenting their weight loss, and I thought why not!

I haven't gotten on a scale since almost two weeks ago, but I'm putting my weight out there so I can show how much I've lost.

Weight: 204 pounds
Jean Size: 15/16
Goal for April 27th: 20-25 pounds
Overall goal: 50-60 pounds or until I get down to a size 8