How Did I Become A Serious Writer?

Reading and writing are best friends. I am participating in the DIYMFA Book Club again and this post is inspired by the DIYMFA site and book club. The last time I wrote about my origin story was from the POV of my first run in with writing. It infected me them and you can read about it here.

The question I am reflecting on is: ” How did I become a serious writer?” In October of 2016 I found Gabriela’s podcast. Through that podcast I found Julie Duffy and her STORYADAY challenge and website. I had missed Julie’s September storyaday challenge so I challenged myself to a self imposed month of writing a story a day. That process led me to sign up for NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) and the habit stuck. THis was also when I found short stories were my niche. It is hard to quit writing when you have written everyday for 2 months. That first NANO I wrote short stories everyday and didn’t look back.

I also seriously began posting on my blog and started calling myself a writer after the first of the year 2017.

May rolled around and I participated in the May storyaday and wrote a whole folder of stories inspired by Julie’s prompts. I also gained a writing group. I took the plunge and took advantage of the Superstars group Julie offered. For support, she offered more materials and a special forum for us to talk about writing and the challenge.

What else do I do? I make time to write everyday. I started reading more about craft. I learned more about blogging and how to get more traffic and how to write better content. I read A LOT – short stories and craft books. I interacted with other writers online and found a local in real life writing group.

I recently took a class from a well respected flash fiction writer and learned more from the feedback and a critique in three weeks than most of the reading I have done about editing over the last year and a half. I hope to be able to take another class with her soon.

The next step? I am submitting. I ordered business cards this morning that list writer FIRST. I am in the lottery (fingers crossed) to get into Kathy Fish’s flash writing class. If not now, I will keep trying.

I have committed to the writing. Everyday, THAT is what makes me a serious writer…getting the words on the page (or screen).

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Full Moon Inspiration

I love the website Writer Unboxed. They have an exciting conference in November I am hoping to get to as well in Salem, MA. I visited there while I was in the area for the Boston Marathon in 2012 and it has a hold on me.

Image result for full moon image free

Today’s Writer Unboxed post is written by
Leigh Medeiros . There is a little writing contest attached as well which you can read here.

The prompt she shared from her new book intrigued me and I wrote this story for it. I am crossing my fingers I win her new book!

Prompt:

Two people are falling in love – literally. Pen a short existential tale about a couple who falls in love while endlessly falling through the sky.

Plummet to Death or Love – I Don’t Care for Either One

I cannot believe you talked me into this.

I glare at him but he had no idea what I am thinking. The grin on his face is so large his eyes look beady. Like a mole.

We are done after this. SO done.

My fear keeps me laughing at the wrong time but no one can hear me since the plane engine is so loud.

The instructor yells, “ON 3! 1,2,3, GO!

I scream now and I bet all of Pasadena can hear me.

His buttery face is still grinning. The more elated he gets causes the opposite effect on me.

The force of us hurtling toward the ground – and our deaths I am sure of it causes his face to look like play-doh pummeled against the wall repeatedly by a kid. It is not a good look. Gross.

The hate for him is in my throat for making me jump…

The landscape is so pretty from this altitude.

My heart is pumping so hard I bet I am burning major calories!

I am kinda enjoying myself.

He really looks like a big kid with his flight suit rippling like a flag in a windstorm.

My love who fancies himself an astronaut. This is the closest he is gonna get.

Isn’t there a phenomenon where fear makes you fall in love?

PULL THE CORD! PULL THE CORD!

FMF: Influence

Influence is a trigger word for me. I want to have positive impactful influence but I want it to be subtle, not brash and overdone. My feelings are influence is supposed to be quiet and not beating people over the head with it which comes off as more coercion and aggression. Neither of which are very effective.

My hope is to influence people with my writing. For it to make a difference they have to read it of course. This idea came up last night at my writers group around the idea of self publishing, publishing on the internet, and traditional routes.

Many things influence my life and therefore my writing. The writing group is an influence. There was more critique yesterday and conversation about the writing read which was helpful and more enjoyable for me. It seemed like it had been forever since I  had attended. I missed the one meeting this month but my personal goal is really to just be there one out of the two meeting per month.

My fountain pen influences my writing.

Podcasts influence my writing.

Connections and interactions influence my writing. These include people,  text, video, and cards.

The feel of typing on the chromebook influences my writing.

What influence do I want to have? I want to encourage people to read. That is through books I recommend or “book push” or my own writing. Reading is the gateway and I am an advocate!

Flash Fiction Contest

Check out the Indies Unlimited site for a flash contest.

I have a story this time – come check them out. You can vote for a winner starting on Wednesday (Jan 16)

There is open voting to the public with an online poll so they may choose the winner. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday. On Saturday morning, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature.

apples and fur spokane ren faire 2018 flash fiction prompt copyright K. S. Brooks

Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

Poison Apples

The last visual in my conscious mind was laying back to sleep. The ceiling looked fuzzy and blackened quickly. With my eyes open I now see myself lying on the bear skin with an apple in my outstretched hand. How very Snow White of me. I do not know how much time has passed. Apples were all around me on the pelt to tempt me. I hadn’t seen apples in five years and I couldn’t resist.

My hand slides through the furniture as if it is not there. My eyes fall onto a piece of paper that seems on my plane. I move toward it not sure of reality, while continually glancing at my form that is not moving.

A second life is possible. The parameters are simple. For a gift of 20 years I perform weekly requirements. Tasks of service but no questions or deviations. If rules are not followed death will be immediate.

I sign the page, there is nothing to lose.

I sit up on the pelt. The first task is simply to compliment every person I talk to. No issues.

Week two the card requires me to apologize to my mother even though she is wrong. I refuse. I am immediately compelled to an apple which I bite into and once again I see myself laying on the floor apple in outstretched hand.

Will I ever learn? This time the paper says I can only live for ten.

Welcome 2019

This year’s word is CONNECT.

I will reflect on this word a little differently than I have in the past.

I have a list of 5 action steps directly related to the word for January.

I also have some reflection questions that I will journal with at the end of the month. The plan is to record experiences when I CONNECT so I can keep track.

Happy writing everyone!

FMF: With

with
Today is the last FMF. See the link up here.

I sit at my desk with my coffee and think about this new season. Today is the Winter Solstice and the longest night of the year. It is also a Full Cold Moon tonight. I also read there is supposed to be a meteor shower early tomorrow morning just before dawn.

I carry a word with me throughout the year. I had thought it was to be YES for 2019 but the idea of connection has come up so much over the last cycle that I believe the word for 2019 is really CONNECT.

To connect to myself.

To connect with friends.

To connect more with my husband and children.

To connect to creativity.

To connect to the universe and my intuition.

This season is full of transition again for: an end and a beginning. Today I greeted the day in heavy darkness and rain. I would have preferred snow on this first day of winter but will appreciate the stillness and peace that came with the morning.

FMF: ONE

one

Five Minute Friday – the writing challenge where you set the timer for 5 minutes and use a word for a springboard and see what comes out!

Join me today!

ONE

One. I am one, but I am not alone.

The story I read last evening at writing group called One of One. It is a story about grief and facing the perceptions of others. It was the largest group for this writer organization that I have seen since I joined last summer.

Starting at 2:25 p.m. today, I have ONE week of holiday break for Thanksgiving. I plan to read and write over this holiday in between bites of turkey, stuffing, corn bake,  and pumpkin pie. I will spend the time with my family and am thrilled.

In an 8th grade English class today, I’m reading for her program FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAY. The book is The Running Dream by  Wendelin Van Draanen. I am also reading ONE poem from Mary Oliver, The Sun. 

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

One. I am ONE, but I am not alone. 

Writing Update/Inspiration

person using inspire typewriter
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Inspiration Number 1

I participated in a virtual write-in on Thursday evening for NaNoWriMo. My online writing group who is awesome were on a Zoom call all together. If you haven’t ever used Zoom it is a video conference call free program. It is nice to be able to see everyone. There is a chat feature and video and audio controls as well.

We logged in, chatted a few minutes, and then got to writing. We did two 15 minute sprints. It is nice to write with people that you know. It is a comfort somehow that we are not alone. It was also oddly comforting to hear the clicking of other people’s keyboards.

Encouragement from my tribe is a good thing. They help me along.

Inspiration Number 2

I read a story but Kimberly Lojewski today about a hot air balloon, a strange island, and treasure called About The Hiding Of Buried Treasure. It is so well written and fun! 

Inspiration Number 3

I had my 7th-grade writers group Thursday and they were wonderful! I started with them filling out a card with the sentence stem: I WISH PEOPLE KNEW… The responses were honest and raw.

Then we wrote to my prompt of requiring 4 words to be a major part of the story. The writing was the best I have seen from them. 

If you would like a link to the cards I created just click below:

Writing Prompt Card

Writing Prompt Card 2

Writing Prompt Card 3

Writing Prompt Card 4

Happy Writing!

FMF: Burden

 

burden

 

Everyone carries some type of burden. Sometimes they manifest as heavy ideas and struggles that affect our moods, decisions, and actions. I have recently left a long season of heavy burden and obstacles. I have carried some of them so long that the lifting and releasing of them has caused the happy outcome renewed mental and physical energy. I will gladly take this energy, even if it is not a daily occurrence.

The burden I feel now is what my next right thing will be. I sense a large positive change is coming. My intuition is tingling. The nature of this next thing is unclear. My focus has changed slightly professionally and I feel a new opportunity is in the wings. I am staying open and not burdening myself with the same old patterns of how I react of events in the past. There is new NOW and I need to honor it.

Part of my current job is to navigate around other people’s burdens – personal and professional.  I have been taking an online class to help aid me to be a more effective coach. I am reflecting and becoming more aware of how I react to others.

I am taking advantage of this period of rest before a delicious storm where I will catch lightning in a jar. I will harness this power and use it in a positive way.