She refused to be bored simply because she wasn’t boring.

Now that I have returned from my family reunion, I find myself in the doldrums of everyday life. I liked the busy work that I was given at my grandma’s house — the vacuuming, the dusting, the cooking, the little bit of gardening here and there. I don’t like this lethargic state where I’m not inspired or motivated to do anything. I never thought I’d say this but I’m excited for work next week so I can be doing stuff and getting paid.

Working on my book has begun to feel tedious and I’m sick of reading my own work and watching the red pen bleed on the paper. I keep trudging along though and my goal is to finish the last chapters and the preliminary stages of editing by the end of July.

I even cleaned and organized my room. I know what I’m bringing to college and I’m caught up on my laundry (it’s folded, I just need to put it away). I have put the finishing touches on my bookshelf and desk. I’ve even gotten in the habit of making my bed.

Catching a glimpse of the canvas under my desk, I was tempted to finish a piece that I had begun last summer. Perhaps I shall reach even more into the depths of my creativity and start to paint. I do enjoy painting, although I’m not nearly good enough for the interest to develop into anything more than a hobby.

I don’t know what else I’ll do with my summer. Since enjoying Martin’s Dance with Dragons, I haven’t picked up another book. To reward myself one day after work, I debated going over to the local bookstore and helping myself to the first few chapters to a book recommended me by a friend. Perhaps I shall still do that. I have yet to locate the local library but I was told that it was about a 20 minute drive away from me — why go to a library when you can go to a bookstore? How could I possibly be expected to pick? Especially when I can sip my coffee at one and not the other! What a decision!

I shall save that choice for another day when I can expend much more brain cells on figuring out a solution to such a predicament. Until then, I shall do my best to escape the nearly inevitable clutches of boredom.

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I wish we could see perfumes as well as smell them.

I look perfectly normal right now, perched in a booth in the coffee shop typing away at my computer. My hair is curled, I’m wearing a green shirt with a pretty necklace (both new acquisitions) and I’m sipping at a small mocha. I don’t stick out in the morning rush.

They don’t know my secret.

They don’t know that I’m addicted.

They don’t know that I can get high on the smell of coffee.

Gotcha! You thought that was going somewhere totally different didn’t you? 😉 But I am being honest though, I love the smell of coffee. One of my habits as soon as the barista hands me the cup is to stick my nose to the opening and take a big whiff of the bittersweet steam. Coffee is one of my favorite smells.

As is baking bread. I love the yeasty smell and there’s something comforting about the home-y smell. If there was an air freshener that smelled like Irish soda bread fresh out of the open, you can guess that my dorm room would smell like the Pillsbury dough boy.

I also love the smell of water. Call me crazy, but I really do think that water has a smell. I recently visited Niagara Falls and I ventured into the Cave of the Winds. The waterfall was splashing against the stones, bouncing playfully through the moss before tumbling on top of my head (take a little advice from me: always tie the poncho hood tight or you will be dripping wet). The fresh scent that assaulted my nostrils was strong, filled with the powerful perfume of nature. I loved it.

Not as much as I love the smell of dark chocolate. The sweetness tickles my nostrils but is quickly followed by the grip of the bitterness of the unsweetened candy. The mix of smells is intoxicating and I will literally sniff bars of chocolate before eating them — I promise I’m normal!

Finally, I love the smell of men’s cologne. No, I would never wear it but I always notice if a guy is wearing good cologne. I like the spicy smell, a musky smell, the acrid rich smell that would be overpowering in heavy amounts. Only a hint is good enough for me. It’s like a strong French roast, a rich chocolate cake that you love but can only have one piece of because it’s so poignant with flavor.

From my spot in the coffee shop, you would never guess that I enjoy such smells. But, I will confess that my favorite smells are coffee, baking bread, water, dark chocolate, and men’s cologne.

What are your favorites?

Good artists copy, great artists steal.

I was musing over a post by Janna Kaixer on her blog “Words of Procrastination from a Young Writer” and decided that I would answer the questions she had on her post. I know I wasn’t nominated but I still like answering them because then I know my opinion on such things. I think it’s great to know what you think about random questions because you learn a little more about yourself — and when is that ever a bad thing??

1) Describe the feeling you get from writing in one word.

Discovery. I can discover what the characters are thinking, I can lead the voyge to discover new worlds, and I think there is always a little bit of self-discovery in every piece of writing (you learn what characteristics drive you crazy, what ideas always come back to haunt you, and places that you would love to visit).

2) What do you like best about writing?

I love the creative aspect. You get to play God for a few minutes and make a world all your own. Everything is at your disposal and you can manipulate factors as you please.

3) What don’t you like about writing?

I hate going back and reading what I have already written. There are times when I feel that I shouldn’t even be writing because the past stuff is so terrible. The editing process is one of my mortal enemies (I can say that because I’m in the middle of editing a book!). I would prefer to write pieces and ignore them. I even hate going back and reading previous blog posts!

4) What’s your writing soundtrack?

It depends on my mood at the time. Sometimes, I prefer sad country love songs and other times (more frequently) I turn Pandora to the solo piano music station. There are some times when I prefer to write in complete silence so I can focus on the sound of keys. Again, it just depends and I pick my music on a whim.

5) What am I currently reading?

I haven’t picked up another book since I finished George R.R. Martin’s Dance with Dragons. It’s excellent and I love the whole Game of Thrones series even if I haven’t watching the HBO show. (Does anyone know if it’s worth watching?)

6) Do you judge book by their covers?

Nope. I often admire cover art but I never select books by it. Often, I will browse the shelves and pick ones with interesting titles (so I judge by titles, I guess).

7) Does what you read influence your writing?

Very much. I have noticed that since I have begun the Game of Thrones series, I will often describe situations or characters in Martin’s style. Certain time periods will influence the setting and I will sometimes pull personality of certain characters and mimic them in my own writing. If there is a poignant phrase, I will sometimes pull the idea from a piece of writing and parrot it in my own writing. Long story short: yes.

8) Do you use social media such as Twitter?

No, I don’t like Twitter. Describing a thought in less than 120 characters is fascinating but it’s not something that I’m particularly good at. I don’t take enough pictures to have an Instagram either, but I do have a Facebook in order to keep up with family and friends that live far away from me (I have several of them). This is my first blog also, so I’m new to the whole Internet presence. I suppose if I want this blog to grow, I should get more connected but I haven’t done so yet.

10) Do you admit to being a writer or are you a “closet writer”?

I have just recently admitted to being a writer, but for a long time I fell in the “closet writer” category.

11) When is your favorite time to write?

I love to write at 1 or 2 in the morning. There’s something inspiring about being awake and travelling through different worlds when everyone else in the house is asleep. I always seem to blog in the morning but all my fictional writing is done in the wee hours of the morning. I try not to let the dark circles show 😉

12) Where is your favorite place to write?

I love writing in a coffee shop. I will often go early in the morning (around 6:30) and catch a glimpse of the first ones to venture in and guzzle down the caffeine. Or if not then, I would prefer to go later at night, after supper if they are still open. Why can’t there be a coffee shop that is open at midnight?? I would provide enough business for it to stay open! Entrepreneurs, please take this idea and run!

That’s all. Thanks, Janna for inspiring this post!

A goal isn’t always meant to be reached, but rather something to aim at.

I have officially edited the first third of my book. I have continued to send the chapters out to my professor, two of my editing friends, and several of my family members so that I could continue to get constant feedback and opinions from everyone. While they don’t always agree with what I have written, I value the different perceptions of the ideas that I present. In this way, I can answer questions and take note of certain problems that reappear in my writing.

I appreciate everything that everyone has told me, although there can be some days when I wonder why I haven’t just tossed the whole thing in the trash. I haven’t done so as of yet.

I haven’t completed my goal yet, but I’m proud of how far I have gotten. It’s not every person who can say that they have written a book-length manuscript before they were 20. I was speaking to a friend and we were tossing ideas back and forth about age and youth. If I continue to check things off my bucket list at this rate, I should be able to look back at my youth and be satisfied enough that my age will not bother me.

I could go on and on about that subject (and I think I will at some other time) but I’m running out of time at the moment. But I’m 1/3 of the way done with my book editing and I’m proud for acting upon my goal.

If any of my editors are reading this, I thank you for your work and I appreciate the time you’ve put into reading this. You’ve been such a help to me and I hope you will continue to help me in the last 2/3! If my head ever gets too big, don’t hesitate to smack me with a good dose of reality by some heavy criticism with the next chapters 🙂

Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision and mistakes it for the limits of the world.

It’s amazing how different we act when people are watching. As soon as we must perform in front of another person, the stakes are suddenly higher and the pressure crouches on our shoulders. Once we open ourselves up for judgement, criticism and bitterness soon follow in the wake of self-consciousness and disappointment.

I’m currently out of state at a family reunion. I am singularly different than all my family members (although there are few of us who are very similar), but I feel like I stick out more than the others. The chemistry-major part of me had a light-bulb moment and yesterday I decided to perform an experiment of sorts. I acted normally and collected data on the reactions that I received from selected family members. This was my control group A. I then picked another family member and observed the way they acted and the responses they received. Although there weren’t that many significant differences between our actions and words, our responses were considerably different. Having conducting the preliminary data, I then modified my own behavior to mimic my chosen subject. To my surprise, the reactions changed slightly — but not for the better. The family members began reacting negatively and very few of them were amused or wished to continue the interaction with me. This was particularly interesting because the person who I was mimicking never received such a negative response. To confirm this, I watched the behavior of the same subject. There was no change in the reception she had.

While the variable was the current behavior, I wondered how much of the response was derived from previous interaction. I haven’t thought of an experiment to determine that, but I’m sure I will and I will definitely share the results when it happens.

My main question at this point was: Why did the same behavior from two different people inspire two different sets of responses? Granted, most of the behavior wasn’t that pleasant (rather harsh, teasing, and sarcastic) but the other person still received a positive response. I surmised that it must have been from previous knowledge of our personalities. However, it still bothered me. And I have no idea what to do with this information…any suggestions?

I’ve begun to edit and send out chapters of my book. I always knew that the experience would be interesting and I’m still on the fence about the whole idea but I decided to go for it anyway. I have revealed layers of myself (the image in my mind always returns to vivisection, without the gruesome screams). I have requested that everyone who reads my book be honest to the point of harshness.

I knew it was risky writing such a contradictory chapter so early, but Chapter 3 was a bit of a scandal in my family and I was both disconcerted and pleased to hear that it made some people uneasy. I was pleased because I think it the duty of the author to make the reader squirm and I didn’t really write anything too terrible. I was disconcerted because, again, I hadn’t written anything too risque and I was distracted by the thought that a few didn’t think I was old enough to write like that.

I am 19. No, I haven’t experienced a lot of the world, but I know what I have experienced and I will always include those lessons in my writing. I am young enough to know quite a bit and old enough to know that I have scarcely touched my tongue to the cup of knowledge that the world offers. Instead of veiled comments about how I shouldn’t know such things, I admit that I was hoping to hear how proud they were about my feeling comfortable writing such things and allowing them to be read.

It is a terrifying thing to have your writing read. Again, I liken it to vivisection. I’m peeling back the layers of myself and revealing my own eloquently-put thoughts. It’s painful! A non-writer may never understand the limit of the pain of which I speak (since I’m a writer, it is my duty to tell them) and perhaps I shall touch on the subject another time. Judgement or criticism of any kind is scary. I guess I forgot that most readers never give the author a second thought — so therefore, my feelings were hardly considered.

Please do not think that I’m complaining. In fact, on the contrary, I would like for my editors to continue editing at the current severity (and if you’re reading this, please do so! Even harder if you must!). This post was simply inspired by an off-handed comment that spurred a waterfall of reactions and thoughts.

I’m editing Chapter 4 and hope to send it to my “board of editors” by tomorrow morning.