"It was unavoidable, my writing. I feel I had no choice in the matter, no more than I had about an unfortunate bone structure and a healthy head of hair." ~Maureen Howard

Every writer tells a different story about what made them start their writing journey -- some have written their whole lives, and yet others didn't even begin to think of doing it until well into adulthood. There are writers who had ideas, who toyed with short stories here and there or thought about what they'd like to eventually write (but didn't truly start their writing journey until years later); and writers who write because, well, it's what they love to do.

A year and a half ago, one of my first posts on this blog was about what made me start writing, and like most writers in the early stages (she says, wondering what stage she must technically be in by now -- the slightly-further-along-than-early-stage?), I was excited, had HUGE plans for myself and my first MS, and was convinced that I had an awesomely awesome idea that was just going to blow agents right out of the water.

And now... it's been close to two years. That first MS has been shelved to be used as inspiration when I need to be reminded how far I've come (as stated in last week's post); and I've presently written another book, plus started two more. But I didn't mention what I've written because it matters for this post, really -- I've brought it up to share how much work I've put into writing in less than two years because I know there are tons of writers out there who trod along in these writing waters and either

1) Get frustrated by the way things work in the industry (queries, submissions, rejections for example) and feel like quitting


2) Just happen to feel somewhat alone in their love of writing and need to feel a bit of camaraderie.

So this week's posts are going to be short and sweet -- but they're going to focus on YOU -- all of you writers out there. Because, ultimately, we write for ourselves. We write for the thrill of it, for the sadness of it, for the satisfaction of saying what we need to say. We write because it's what we love to do.

Q for you -- What made you start writing? Was it a story that popped into your head one day? Or something that gradually morphed into an idea? I'd love to hear about it!

Currently inspired by: Escala - Palladio

Friday Focus: The pleasure of writing

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music that words make. ~Truman Capote

Happy Friday!

Catch up post #2

Today's three facts to get you caught up on my last three months of bloggerhiding (doesn't that sound kinda like some sort of Sweedish word, like lederhosen?) are...

(shirt found at Zazzle.com)

1) Three weeks ago, Lovemuffin and I went vegan. Yes -- you read it right, folks -- vegan. We decided not to eat anything with animal products in it until, well, we're not sure. (In case you were wondering, no, it's not because of how animals are treated; and no, we did not force this diet change on the kids, because it's bad enough that we make them eat organic food already, you know? We are terrible parents.) I thought it would be really, really hard to stop eating eggs, and turkey and whatnot, but it's not that bad at all, surprisingly. My main complaint, actually, is that it's kind of hard to find vegan food that is organic (go figure). But hey. If Lovemuffin stays on this bandwagon like he has so far, I sure as heck am not going to do anything to stop him. I can't tell you all how proud I am of him for sticking with it -- fast food was his favorite thing *evAr* -- so you can imagine what a change this has been for him. Gone are the days of me grabbing a quick greek yogurt as I'm running around, or a piece of cheese (I loves me some cheese) when I'm in a hurry, but I will survive. And speaking of cheese....

These little varmints didn't get to eat any oreos.

2) Oldest kid and her classmate's science project, in which one group of mice were named "The Healthy Ones" (they only ate good food), and the other side were named "The Murderers" (because they were the ones who kept killing their tankmates, and they were fed junk food along with the healthy food -- you'd think they would have been named "The Junk Eaters" or something, but no, they're "The Murderers"), is officially OVER. I cannot tell you how awesomely awesome it is to breathe FRESH air again (the mice were living in our rec room). The poor kid cleaned that tank out every other day with bleach water (well, except for the last week, when she pretty much stopped even looking at the mice because she was so tired of them) and the tank would reek in less than 24 hours. If you thought mice were cute, I'm here to tell you... they are. (Domesticated ones, at least.) But that's where the cuteness stops. Those things poop more than any other animal I've seen before.

3) If you're ever in a writing slump (and the negative voice whispering in your ear is saying that you really suck), my suggestion is to back and read something you wrote ages ago. (When we have our heads buried deep in whatever we're currently working on, it's difficult to see how much time has helped us grow.)

I was shocked when I looked at my first project a few days ago. What on earth had made me think it was good? What on earth was I thinking, in general?

There are usually two reactions to a smack in the face like that, and luckily, I had the more positive one: Wow. I've really come a long way. This was crap! Look at me now! I felt really proud of myself. Inspired. Like the proof was right in front of my face -- hard work and perseverance does pay off. It reminded me that giving up is not an option. What a great feeling it was.

So if you're in a slump, do a little research to see how far you've come. I think you'll be surprised at how much better you've gotten. And that, in turn, will shut that whispering voice right up.

Currently inspired by: Reach - Andrew Belle

Catch up post #1

This will be the first in a series of posts this week where I, in the least amount of words possible, catch you up on what I've been doing that past few months.

Today's topic?


So a few books I read (while I wasn't, you know, blogging) are, in no particular order:

Wither (Somehow, I'd had the ARC of this since like, November, and I didn't even realize it until a few weeks ago. And then when I realized I'd been sent an ARC, I couldn't get over how awesome it was. Can we say book nerd?)

Paper Towns (This one I'm currently re-reading aloud to Lovemuffin -- I'd like to say that my awesome reading skillz are the reason he laughs a lot, but really, it's because John Green is quite the funny guy.)

All four of those books are very different, but I loved them all. For those of you who've read these (or other books by the authors above), I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Currently inspired by: Corrine Bailey Rae - Like a Star

First post of 2011 and it's almost March

Help I'm alive my heart keeps beating like a hammer... ~Metric

To those of you who noticed that I haven't blogged a *thing* in about three months, I'd like to clarify that yes... I am alive.

And to those of you who didn't notice that I haven't blogged in about three months, well good for you, it must mean you're doing a great job at keeping yourself occupied.;)

Obviously, an explanation is due to explain my (very long) absence, and I'm going to be completely honest with you when I say that the explanation part is one reason it took so long for me to come back on here. (Well, I have been reading more and commenting on other people's blogs from about two weeks now... just hadn't done anything on my own.) The more time that went by, the harder it was to get back on here and explain myself, mainly because I didn't want to sound like some weird melodramatic writer.

It's been soooo busy around here, and I'm working so hard on my work, and like, this blog just brings me down, and...

Actually, the blog doesn't bring me down, exactly... it just SLOWS me down. A LOT.

Saturday night, I thought about this as I fell asleep. I'd just finished watching The Last King of Scotland (Holy crap, people! Oh, and to my fellow James McAvoy fans: HOLY. CRAP.) and Lovemuffin was snoring away next to me, which wasn't really helping me relax. As things tend to go when you've just watched an emotional movie (and felt your heart pounding in your chest) until two in the morning, I was having a hard time winding myself down. So, naturally, a blog entry came to me.

I'm not sure what it was about that movie that inspired me to come back on here, but before I fell asleep, I thought of a couple of things.

1) Don't worry about the *insert The Twilight Zone music here* platform -- stop stressing so much that your blogs aren't GOOD ENOUGH!

2) Be yourself, remember? Just BE YOURSELF! Now refer to #1 again!

3) Stop letting the world of publishing/writing/reading control you. You used to love blogs... let them be your REWARD! (Am I the only one who immediately thought of Ursula on The Little Mermaid saying your eternal reward... Muaha-ha-ha...??)

Those three numbers above are pretty much me, in a nutshell. I tend to focus on things one at a time, before wearing them into the ground. And when I figured out that my blogging and tweeting and whathaveyou had totally and completely begun to make me stop writing because I was so focused on that stuff instead and I never had time to write, I knew I had to step back from the ol' internet for a while.

Now, I'm going to make sure coming on here is
a) a privelege -- meaning, I don't come on here until I'm DONE with my work


b) because I have something that I want to share -- and not because I feel like I should be on here).

And I'm going to try, really hard to remember that, though yes, you're supposed to be blogging FOR other people, I can't just let myself go. Thank you, Maggie Steifvater, for reminding me of how important it is to just BE YOURSELF. (If you haven't checked her blog out, you should. It's a breath of fresh air.)

Kay. That's enough for now. Tune in next time when I share a few tidbits about what's been happening to me the last three months. =)