Friday, August 27, 2010


I know a lot of authors wait for inspiration to come to them. They could wait around for days, weeks, and even months and years for inspiration. I know, because I used to be one of them. When I wasn't feeling it, I didn't write. Simple as that. Now, things have changed. I may not be feeling it, but I can still write (and without forcing myself). The key, is finding inspiration in the world around you, not waiting for it to see you out, but for you to seek it.

Inspiration is everywhere. It's in a Leaning Tower Pisa water bottle. It's in seeing another aspiring writer. It's finding out more about the characters you love! The characters you created. There are things all around you that can be a source for information, you're only limited by how creative you can be with what you're given.

Check out these videos and see how creative you can get. How can you put these simple things to work in your mind to give you that added inspiration?

Aren't you ready to write a scene that has your MC running from something now? Not that I would recommend anyone doing this, but it is really impressive and it could provide inspiration for that scene that has just been bugging you. Maybe by watching someone else do some moves, you can get your battle/fight scene really rocking.

Need some inspiration to help you write a bit for the "little guy?" Check out this:

Finally, just need some raw emotion? Something to reach out to your audience and throw them into your character soooo deep that they no longer distinguish between their world and your book's? This one is definitely for you.

Sure, you could get almost all the inspiration you need from youtube, but that can be a serious drain on your writing time, so while you're walking through life, watch others on their own walk. All around you you will find others in the throws of their latest heartache, so in love it seems like the birds chirp just from them, with a fierce anger that goes far deeper than an outburst in the grocery store, a son who wishes to be his father, and a daughter who wishes anything other than to be like her mother.

Inspiration is everywhere. The trick is opening your eyes to it. It's time to play tag with Inspiration and you're it!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


What inspires me…I don’t really know my compulsion to write is just that--a compulsion. I don’t know how not to. This post is a little late tonight, I was supposed to do it earlier but it kind of slipped my mind—I’ve been having some trouble at work.

So what inspires me? Well it can range from a number of things, something someone says, a gesture of some sort, it can be anything.

I have to stress that point, the thing of it is that I am not able to completely pin down what triggers my--I dunno what you call it “idea button” or something—creativity I think will fit the bill for now. In fact just the other day, (I don’t remember what I was doing) someone said something that I immediately scribbled down onto my hand, then into my notebook, and then texted myself. About seven simple words that have since spurred my latest story idea, no I will not share them with you for fear you may have the same brilliant idea and beat me to the punch. Kidding, I’m not going to share because it’s personal and I haven’t decided in what direction I want to take my story. Maybe then I’ll share.

The general things that inspire me have since been mentioned on the posts by my buddies here. I have an amazing family, who’ve not only supported me in all my choices but who also are just inspiring human beings. I’ve been lucky enough to have two aunts whom have both had serious forms of advanced stage four cancer and defied the odds, only one is still with us now but the way they’ve dealt with it was just mind boggling, I admire them for it every single day.

Of course then there is the media. (No not moronic newscasters, I avoid them—they are a pet peeve of mine). Music, sometimes you’ll be in a writing funk and a song you’ve never heard before pops onto the radio and BAM! An idea is there. Or you’re watching TV and an interaction between two characters has your heart racing and all of the sudden you can’t breath and BAM! You’ve figured out this scene that has been bothering you. And my favorite, by far, you are reading a book and you are so taken with the eloquence of the writing you feel the need to go back and rewrite entire scenes in your novel (not to mimic the other authors eloquence or style, no). To try to condense as best you can and prefect your voice, the flow of your story, to give someone reading your story the sense of elation.

That is the kind of inspiration I long for, the kind that drops out into your lap and just takes your breath away. It happens--it does, not always often (though sometimes it’s just like BAM! BAM! BAM! And you can’t stop the inspiration flow.) But it happens and those are the moments that matter the ones you have to hold close to your heart and nurture.

But inspiration isn’t just that “ah-ha” moment when the seed of an idea is planted, it has to do with the support and nourishment for that idea too. And that support can be found in all sorts of places. From your family, your friends, and I am lucky enough to have the strongest support system in the world. To find your true inspiration and help it grow, you have to surround yourself with people who care, who are honest and will tell it to you as it is—like a bangin’ critique group, a best friend, a mouthy baby sister or two. Those are the people who matter and they are there for the inspiration, whither they are doing the inspiring or nurturing, they are the ones to hold close and cherish.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What Inspires Me?

The things that inspire me fall into three categories: people, situations, and other stories.

Have you ever met a person who is so memorable so perfect in some way, any way, that you just have to write about them? Every half way descent story that I’ve written has started with at least one of these people. However, I have a thing about copying whole people into my books, so no matter how perfect they are I usually just use that one little thing. The one thing that makes them unforgettable: a look, the sound of their voice, an experience, a phrase… it can be anything. Just something that makes me think that if I can capture it just right and multiply it by infinity I can create something as real and unforgettable as the person who inspired it.

As far as situations go it’s the normal things that inspire me. Missing the bus, learning to drive, or making someone laugh so hard they cry. There’s just something about those moments that makes me stop and wonder “what if…” What if she wasn’t human? What if He wasn’t human? What if it was a different time? What if it was a different place? Could a situation still be completely normal and mundane even if nothing else is?

Other Stories:
Saying this will probably make me sound life a hack, who knows maybe I am, but stories created by other people inspire me. Let me make one thing clear, I don’t mean books, movies, or TV shows written by other people. Yes, I find them interesting and I love reading/ watching them, but they’re the product of someone else’s ideas. Since I’m nothing if not an individual walking in someone else’s footsteps just doesn’t work for me. I prefer to put on my giant snow boots and clomp along next to them for a step or two before heading off in my own direction. No, one of my favorite things to do is to pick up a myth, short story, or a scene from a TV show, drop it in a completely different place or time, and proceed to rip it apart. It’s like a giant never ending Rubik’s cube, big fun.


Tuesday Gets Inspired!

Lots of things inspire me as a writer, whether it be the weather, a snatch of conversation, an add on T.V., or a news story. Today I'm going to talk about some of my biggest inspirations.

My Family
These guys have been around my whole life and in that time, they've been a big source of inspiration and support to me and my writing and they never fail to remind me to keep going after what I want and finishing a book (they really want to retire early, and apparently I'm they're solution, lol!)

Other Writers

It's people like these guys that make me want to write forever and improve my work (and maybe go all fangirl in the process! :P)

And it's having people like Aaron, Bethany, Emery and Hayley in my life that make me feel so blessed and happy to be a writer and thank God everyday that I'm not on this crazy writing roller coaster alone!


And one of the reasons why I started writing in the first place...

So that I could have my chance to contribute to the wonderful world of books!


Movies are a big inspiration to me, some of my faves that always manage to get my creative juices flowing...


Man do I love T.V.! Especially these shows! All I wanna do is write after watching them!


And last but certainly not least the stuff that keeps me sane throughout the writing process:

So, as you can see, I have a wide range of things that get me all pumped up and ready to write! Now tell me, what inspires you? :)

Until next time,

Friday, August 20, 2010

Because. I. Am. A. Writer.

Writing for me is more than just something I do. It is my very core.

I had an INCREDIBLE Language Arts/Literature teacher for my Junior and Senior years in high school and he said something I've never forgotten. "Poetry is defining the undefinable." While I rarely write poetry (okay, only if I have to for a class, and only if it's mandatory), I do write and the best way for me to describe why that is, is--

I am undefinable. Writing defines the undefinable.

So, why do I write? Because to not do so would leave me in a world of confusion. Life for me is confusing. It's ugly and messy and gross and weird and undefinable.  Writing takes all the jumbled, confused parts of me and spreads it near and far for the world to view. In some parts, it's beautiful, even gorgeous. In other places, it's vile, disgusting, and vulgar. In still others, the picture isn't clear, but the emotion of it can hit you faster and harder than a bull dressed in red. I write because I can take all of that and hand it to someone, they read it, and they get it. Even the unwritten bits that are too much to explain. The know life. They know the undefinable. They know me.

It can sometimes take a while for me to open up to someone. In fact, the person who knows me the best, is the person who has read the most.  It's the person I share everything with because she has read "me." The Me on paper that has no standards and nothing to hide. I can be open in that me and not worry about judgement. It's just a character, just a thought, just a whim of my imagination. Really, all of us writers know the truth...even the villains have a bit of us inside them (which considering my villians creeps me out a bit, well maybe a lot, but anyway). Some characters have more of us than we are willing to reveal. It's there all the same, the true me for those who wish to find that person. I can be every character and not have a personality disorder. Most people will be content to see what they see before them, but for those who wish to know what is really going on behind my hazel eyes, be forewarned, I'm sure there's a reason my subconscious hides behind the lies of characters. 

So, why do I write? Because people are undefinable. Because I'm undefinable. Because it gives me a chance to be me, every side of me. Because I can. Because. I. Am. A. Writer.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

One Reason and Only One

My general response to the question “why do you write” is “I have no clue. It’s just something that I keep coming back to.” However, I’ve decided to follow in Emery’s foot steps and put my cards on the table, so here’s why I write.

I write as a way to process emotions, as a coping mechanism.

I was raised under the impression that showing people how you felt was inherently wrong, and for a long time I accepted that as true. I kept everything all locked up inside because I thought that was what everyone did. Then some stuff hit the fan and I realized that living a life where I had to pretend that my emotions didn’t exist just wasn’t the type of life I wanted to live, so I started to slowly demolish all of the walls I’d thrown up. Because of this at 20 I had to start learning how to process and express my emotions basically from the ground up.

I know, that sounds weird, so I’ll try to show you what I mean. Imagine, that a friend goes to Belgium and they bring you back a box of real honest to goodness Belgium chocolates. When you take that first bite it’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted before, and you don’t know how you could have spent your whole life eating Hershey’s bars when there was chocolate like this out there. At the same time it’s so complex and rich that it doesn’t take much to send you into chocolate overdrive. That’s what it was like for me except with emotions instead of chocolate.

I had no clue what I was doing, and it was really easy for my emotions as well of those I picked up from other people to overwhelm me. But when Ella started pulling me back into writing it all started to click. Writing was the perfect outlet for the emotions that I still hadn’t fully learned how to express. If I was completely at a loss for how to deal with something I could just work it into whatever story I was writing and let my characters deal with it.

I’ve thought about trying to stop a few times when I stopped needing a coping mechanism as much, but I just couldn’t do it. It’s part of who I am now, and the more time I spend with Bethany, Ella, Emery, and Hayley the more writing is drifting away from “coping mechanism” and heading towards “passion.”


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why, Oh Why?!

If you haven't already noticed, I like to talk. A lot. I come from a family of talkers. We love to get together and gossip and eat of course, we love to eat (actually, I can't think of a single family function that didn't involve food at some point, lol, how sad is that? But then again, how else are we supposed to keep busy when we're not busy talking?) Anyway, it is because of my love of talking that, naturally, I have a lot to say.

From the time I was in second grade I've written stories. It wasn't until later that I realized those stories were a reflection of either something I was feeling, (loneliness, isolation, being different) or something that I longed for (friendship, acceptance, self-confidence).

I write stories so that I can live vicariously through my characters, give them what they want and then take it away at the drop of a hat. That's another reason why I write: Power. I have control over anything and everything that happens in my characters' lives. I get to decide if the weather is rainy, sunny, or if hail the size of golf balls are pelting to earth. I get a say in whether my MC falls for the nerdy boy or popular jock (and if he likes her back). Basically, I am "the man behind the curtain" as Oz from The Wizard of Oz would say. I have the power-and it rocks! :)

I write because, if I didn't, I'd go nuts-literally, I have so many characters voices and stories chattering and swirling around in my head that if I didn't take the time to write them all down, my brain would explode (and the last thing I want is brain matter stuck in between the keys of my computer!)

Also, I want the chance to share my characters' stories with the world. I want someone to be moved and touched by my writing, I want to make them laugh, cry, I don't care, I just want them to feel something (except boredom, lol, boredom I could do without, it's like the ultimate death sentence for a writer!)

And finally, I write with the hope of publication. I want to meet people, teens, librarians, bloggers, everybody. I want to be able to talk shop, commiserate with other writers on their bumps in the road and jump up and down for joy with them to celebrate their successes. I just want to be able to experience all of the amazing things that the life of a writer has to offer and that, my friends, is why I write.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Hello All! I'm Bethany. Check out the video thing below to figure out more about me:


If it's not working follow this link:

I hope you enjoyed getting to know me more. I can't wait to hear what you all have to say.

Leave a comment!!!

P.S. If you find a misspelled word in this post you get a prize! Really! Leave your correction (if there is one) in the comments and I'll send you a surprise gift! (Surprise gift goes to first person who comments on it and doesn't apply to punctuation, only spelling!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Oh Goodness!

I'm sorry it's late I didn't get home until a few minutes ago I was at a church function.

But I DIDN'T forget, I'm here see? See?

Okay, I'm Hayley Potter.

Kidding, kidding, I was just playing off of the Houdini comment--I have no magic skills and to my great sadness I do not attend Hogwarts, nor am I related to Harry Potter. Let's all take a moment to mourn.

I'm Hayley, plain old Hayley. But my nickname in third grade was Hayley Potter because I was that in love with the book series, it is the reason I can read and why I love books, it is also why I write.

One of the reasons I'm so late in posting is 1)I was working today 2) I was at a church function, with my parents 3) I'm in the throws of typing my edits for one of my buddies into the computer and I'm gonna be up late finishing, but then I will send her my completed beta.

Here's the deal. I work at a chocolate store, yes tempting, but you'd be surprised I've barely sampled anything and after being around the smell all day you are not as tempted to stuff your face with their goodies as you'd think. When I tell people where I work they always assume I'm an unhealthy eater/have bad habits--which is not the case I am a conscious eater but do allow myself to splurge on occasion.

Okay now that I've awkwardly talked about my food habits lets move onto another topic. I am going to be a senior in high school, a "rising" senior as the college peoples say it. I am planning on, in college, majoring in English and Creative Writing eventually and then getting a teaching degree and teaching high school/middle school students. That is my plan, but plans change of course. I have two cats, McAllister and Finnegan, they're brothers but you'd never guess it. Because Finn looks like a tiger, and is a short hair whilst Mac is a rare tri-color male (white, black and brown) with long hair, but they're brothers from the same litter. Oh and Super-Ninja-Midnight-Cat, as my friend Kathryn calls her, she is my twelve year old all back, except for one white toe, cat; whom I named Midnight because as a kitten her toe reminded me of "a full moon at midnight" hence the name. I was also four, so cut me some slack for the creativity, or lack thereof, please.

I love photography, art, writing (duh), and sleep. Lots and lots of beautiful sleep. I love my critique partners--you guys rock! And well books, I have a library in my room, alphabetized by author. And yes on my computer I do have a catalog of all the books, and a chart on the side of my bookshelf for when people barrow from me, so I know who has what. I'm only a little CDO, that's OCD in the right order, if you're wondering.

What else...I don't really know what else to tell you. Umm I'm your average seventeen year old, I've got lots of drama--not mine I am a drama avoider, my friends however tend to be drama magnets-- in my life, a HUGE family. Trust me lots of relatives. And a bull mastiff named Seamus he is a runt, and my kitties think that he is their mommy and they suckle on the ends of his ears. It is very cute, and I have it on camera.

I want to cut my hair and dye it bubble gum pink, like Tonks from Harry Potter but 1)my job wont allow it 2)I do not have the guts. 3)There is NO way I could pull it off, it would clash with my face.

Uh I believe Bethany is up next, she's a great girl. You're going to love her!

Oh and the title is basically my catch phrase, I say "Oh goodness" all the time, for lots of different things.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nice to Meet You

Well, Ella’s pretty much summed me up already. “Uber organized Aaron,” that’s me in a nut shell (and beyond). However, I have a feeling that a three word introduction just isn’t going to cut it, so I’ll elaborate.

Anyway, I'm Aaron, and the last time I checked I was 22 (sometimes it gets away from me). I live in a small blue and white dorm room in Alaska where I’m working on my Education degree. As far as family goes there’s my parents, two younger brothers (who aren’t all that young anymore), my nephew (who just turned one), my dog (a black lab who thinks she’s a Yorkie), and my two fish.

As previously mentioned I have a thing about being organized, and as a result I lead a very planned life. I don’t feel right unless I have a to-do-list tacked up on the wall and am following some type of schedule. Every outfit I wear is carefully planned and coordinated to make sure that it matches, and unless I have to I won’t start a story until I’ve written all of the key plot points down on note cards. Yes, I realize that I have a problem.

In my free time I enjoy experimenting with new recipes, scrap booking, knitting, and cross stitching. However, I love trying new hobbies, and if I can get my hands on a book telling me how to do something new then I’ll try it.

When it comes to reading I prefer books where an ordinary person gets thrown into an out of the ordinary situation or where an out of the ordinary person gets thrown into an ordinary situation. I usually find what I’m looking for in fantasy and science fiction books, but I’ve recently discovered that mystery books can also give it to me. I don’t really have favorite authors just authors who can hold my attention, and so far the only authors who have made that list are Charlaine Harris and Joanne Fluke (plus Emery, Bethany, Hayley, and Ella).

Well, that’s me, and next up… the amazing Hayley (she kinda sounds like Houdini when I put it like that, huh).


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hello, World!

Hello, world and welcome to our blog! I suck at introductions, so I'm going to introduce myself the best way I know how...with lists!

The Basics

Name: Ella

Age: 21

Where I live: The Last Frontier

Who I live with: My parents, two younger sisters, my Golden Lab-Golden Retriever mix, Ginger (who is the biggest baby you will ever meet), my Yorkshire Terrier Sammy (who really does live up to his name and can be a real "terror" at times, but also knows when to turn on the charm and the cuteness to get what he wants!) and my kitten, Bella (who, if you haven't guessed already, is named after Twilight's Bella Swan and who thinks she's a dog! Example: she uses the doggie door, comes running when she hears the box of dog treats being opened and loves to eat dog food. Is that a weird cat, or what?


What I Read: J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Stephen King, Kimberly Derting, Becca Fitzpatrick, Jackson Pearce, Kamie Garcia & Maragret Stohl, Bree Despain, I could go on and on!

What I Write: I'm obsessed with all things Young Adult, so naturally, it's what I love to write with a little scariness, romance and suspense thrown in!

What I Watch: Pushing Daises, Veronica Mars, Huge, Make It Or Break It, The Tudors, Gilmore Girls, Charmed, Friday Night Lights, Glee, Vampire Diaries, etc., etc.!

What I Listen To: I enjoy current stuff, but I adore Classic Rock like The Beatles, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Billy Joel, I love it all!

Well, that's pretty much all I can think of to say about myself at the moment, but if you want to know more about me (and who wouldn't, lol?) then feel free to leave a comment with your burning questions! Before I go though, I just wanted to say how grateful I am to be a part of my fabulous critique group and this blog! As a group, we've been through so much already in the short months that we've known each other, but I wouldn't dream of going on this crazy writing journey with anyone but this fantastic girls! They're everything and more that I could have ever asked for in a group! They're great friends, critique partners, listeners, advice-givers, and cheerleaders, but they also know when to give me a swift kick in the pants, tell me to pick myself up and to keep on writing! So thank you guys so much for everything, I couldn't do this without you! :) <3

OK, sorry, mushiness over, but I just had to get that off my chest! Anywho, stay tuned tomorrow to meet the fabulous and uber organized, Aaron! :)

See you next time!