Category Archives: Creative writing

Character: Casting Shadows #3

First and foremost, I must apologize for not writing much this past week or so. I took a final trip home to wrap up the summer and bring my puppy {who isn’t a puppy anymore at almost 8-years-old} back with me to my apartment. My father has been dog-sitting for the past four years. Once I got back, I started school and work and blah blah blah still no excuse for not keeping up with everything. But here I am & ready to write.

We’ve already determined a character needs to have a driving force–a desire. They must also be able to come across as relatable and multidimensional. Now we are focusing on a character’s ability to change. As Reissenweber points out, it is almost essential that the main character have the ability to change and evolve.

“Just as the desire of a main character drives the story, the character’s change is often the story’s culmination. While a main character usually does change to some degree, either dramatically or in the more gentle form of a realization, this does not mean your character actually has to make a change at the end of thee story or that the change has to be whole and complete.”

The reader should be able to feel the character has the ability to undergo change, however. You don’t want the character to feel predictable.

Your Turn:
Return to the character for whom you have created a desire and contrasting traits. Time to bring this person to life. Write a passage where this character is pursuing his or her desire in some way. For example, perhaps the actress is traveling to an audition to which she was not invited. (Oh, yes, it’ll help tremendously if you put some obstacles in the character’s path.) You don’t have to bring this “quest” to a conclusion, but have something happen that allows both contrasting traits to emerge and also try to include some hint that the character is capable of change. That’s a lot of juggling, so don’t worry if it comes out  a little clumsy. 

You’ll have to wait for the next post to read my passage {is it killing you?!}!

Write a passage with me!

What obstacles will your character face that show them to be dimensional with the ability to change?

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Character: Casting Shadows #2

Since we are looking into the construction of characters, it is only right to dive into those characters who are not fundamentally good–the villains. As Reissenwebber points out: “Literature is filled with great villains. Part of what makes them so compelling is the bit of ourselves we can see in them.”


Is that the truth or is that the truth?!?!

Think about it. When a character isn’t being bad, he’s doing the things you and I do. Right? He/she is watching TV, eating dinner or grocery shopping for the week. Just because a character may be a villain doesn’t mean they need to be evil every second. Maybe they are even helping their neighbor with a lofty weekend project? Like us, real-life breathing humans, characters should be dimensional.

Your Turn:
Recall the worst person you’ve ever met. A psychotic boss, a back-stabbing friend, a playground bully. Or make someone up. Next, assign one redeeming quality to this character–kindness, courtesy, sympathy, a fondness for animals. Then write a passage with this person in action. Perhaps you show a sadistic ex-spouse helping a homeless person find shelter, or a bank robber arranging a baby sitter on behalf of a woman he’s just tied up. The result? A fully dimensional villain.
She stepped out of the shower and wrapped a bath towel around her. She grabbed a smaller towel for her head. She flipped her head upside down and looked at the dirty blonde hair that had fallen in front of her eyes. It was getting longer than she usually wore it. Though she loved the way the longer hair fell around her face and sometimes in front of her eyes, she wasn’t about to compromise her work for a moment of feeling sexy. Longer hairs, at least in her mind, were easier to spot. She had to remember to get it cut soon.
She twirled the towel around her forehead and balanced it on top of her head. She grabbed the gallon of bleach from beneath the bathroom sink. She quickly splashed the bleach around the walls of the shower and let it pool in the bottom of the tub.
“I’ll have to come back and do a more thorough job, but for now, it’ll work.” She thought to herself. 


The woman walked down the hall to her bedroom. She quickly dressed in a clean flowing long skirt and a plain white tank top. Within 10 minutes she had blow-dried her hair, dressed and put on a quick layer of make up. It was her same routine now for over 15 years. 
Walking out her front door, the woman took a deep breath of the summer air. She was hit with the scents of fresh-cut grass and the flowers that grew in her front yard, it was sweet and made her feel grateful to be alive. A sense of exhilaration swept over her. Though the fresh air did not feel as empowering as the metallic scent she smelled just 20 minutes before, she felt so electric.
But that is how she always felt after taking another’s life away. Alive. Exhilarated. Electric. 
Walking down the street, she peered at her reflection in a neighbor’s massive bay window. She was tall and thin, but extremely strong. She looked great. She looked powerful. She looked confident. She wore a smile as she waved to Mr. Perry who was watering his flower beds across the street.
“Mr. Perry!” She yelled across the street, waving.
“How are you? Water tank holding up?” He asked. A week ago she was having difficulty with her hot water and had asked him to come take a look at it. Mr. Perry was always working on his house. He was known in the neighborhood as the handiest man around. He was miraculously able to get it to function for a few days longer, but urged her to begin looking for a new one.
“Oh, well, I took your advice. Put an order in yesterday for a new one. Thanks again for all your help, Mr. Perry. I don’t know what I would have done without you.” She replied with a gracious smile and she kept walking. She waved once again saying goodbye for now.
“I’m sorry to hear that. Hopefully, this one will last longer and don’t mention it, dear. Anytime, you just give me a call.” He smiled his sweet smile and waved goodbye. In fact, she didn’t mind having to replace the hot water tank at all. Hot water tanks hid bodies well if even for a few hours.
She walked until she was in town. She stopped at the Centre Cafe where she bought herself a bowl of oatmeal with a dab of molasses and a small chai tea. She chatted with the ladies from the neighborhood for about an hour. She didn’t particulary find their company entertaining. In fact, she didn’t really like the majority of them at all–Housewives discussing new recipies and kid issues weren’t really her cup of tea. She made up her mind to head over to Memoirs Antiques with her neighbor and the only woman she really cared for, Polly, who had hung out in the cafe all morning. They strolled over to the shop to look at all the old items that held, what the woman liked to think of as mysterious memories.
“I love to look at all these vintage pieces and think about the stories they tell. Just think about the people who once loved this little wooden doll. Some little girl probably had the fondest memories about this little baby.” The woman said to her friend.
“Oh, I know. Isn’t it just nice to fantasize. Sometimes I creates elaborate stories of what might have been.” Polly said as she turned over a tiny plate in her hand. “Like look at this! Apparently, this china goes back to the Civil War.  Imagine the owner of a giant plantation eating breakfast off of this as they hear gunshots in the distance.” Polly said with wonder. 
She smiled at Polly with sincere affection walking over to take a better look at the china from the Civil War.  
The women continued to look through the store building elaborate stories for the antique treasures for another 40 minutes before leaving. The woman said goodbye to her friend, lying that she had a hair appointment to make. With a quick kiss and a hug, she promised to call tomorrow morning to set up a brunch date.
Though not sure what her next step was, she decided a hair appointment was a good enough lie and it gave her something to do. The woman headed over to the salon to see if they could fit her in. It never took long to cut her hair since it was already pretty short to begin with. On her walk over, she stopped for a second to look at herself in a store front window. Did she need a wash? She had just washed it a couple of hours ago. But she might as well. It would give her more of an opportunity to be seen and remembered. She looked at herself for another second thinking she was glowing with a radiance no one could understand. It was as if the sun was only shining on her. She felt electric once again.
After her wash and cut, she walked the two blocks to the market to pick up some dinner and a few items for tomorrow. She decided she would have Polly over to her house for brunch tomorrow. That would be nice. To cook for a close friend and catch up on all the neighborhood gossip she had absolutely no interest in.

So there is my piece…I tried to make it a bit more subtle than the prompt suggested. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. It’s just a passage so there isn’t any plot–conflict, problem, climax, resolution all that good junk. The woman is a narcissist and a murderer, but yet friendly. I’m still developing her, but I want her to be a murderer (not good), but her victims themselves are not going to be fundamentally good. Does that make her relatable? We shall see.

Create a villain with me!
What sort of average human traits would you make your character have?

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This post is part of my creative writing experiment that will get me writing more often and more creatively. All excerpts and “Your Turn” prompts are from the Gotham Writers’ Workshop Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide From New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School. As I write my way through this book, I welcome all constructive criticism, suggestions, advice and comments.

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Character: Casting Shadows

In the previous GWW posts I learned about the what, how and why of fiction. Chapter 2 Character: Casting Shadows by Brandi Reissenweber is about what makes fiction particularly captivating to readers. As Reissenweber learned from a young long-term hospital patient, people read “because they get to meet lots of different people.” Continue reading

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Fiction: The What, How & Why of It #3

Show up for work. Writing is work. It needs to be practiced and practiced and practiced {& practiced & practiced & practiced}.

Steele breaks writing into two different categories: hard time and soft time. Sounds a bit like doing a stint in prison, but if you enjoy writing then obviously it is time well spent. Hard time is actually planting your ass in the chair and producing content. It’s where the words are written. The less aknowledged but equally important, soft time, is done at all other times. When you are thinking about your work you’re engrossed in your very own soft time sesh {session but cooler}. Think brainstorming. When you’re considering where you want your piece to go, or not go, you are tossing around ideas and contemplating all of the details–that is soft time.

Personally, soft time is a highly enjoyable portion of the writing process. You don’t need to sit in your office, coffee shop, or at your kitchen table staring at the blinking cursor on your computer screen. Get out! Move around! Explore! Keeping your story in the back of your mind, rather than focusing all of your attention on your problem, you let the inspiration come to you. Writing doesn’t suck, people. It is personal and fun and creative. It is anything you make it.

Steele also writes about two different types of writers: Free Spirits and Stern Editors.

Free Spirit

Free Spirits aren’t hard to imagine. They are completely engrossed when they want to be. They’ll write what they want, when they want, and they don’t feel the need to satisfy others by sticking to the rules. They are mad cool and super chill. They’ll throw you love deuces in excess. Stern Editors {as I hope you have guessed} are about concise, grammatically correct, logical writing. Delete those unnecessary words, rid yourself of those comma splices and don’t you dare use abbrevs because the Stern Editor will hunt you down and there is no telling what price you will pay when you piss off the Stern Editor.

Stern Editors

The point is both need to learn to work well with the other. If you write well you are able to embrace both within yourself. Early on throw around the peace and love and just go with the flow. Set the ground work, but don’t hold yourself back by worrying about anything too much. Free Spirits free write.

Your Turn:
Take this opening phrase: Sam wasn’t sure if it was a wonderful sign or a sign of disaster but Sam knew… Write down that fictional opener, then keep going. Free write, meaning write without stoping or even thinking too much, just scribble away however many things come out. You should write for at least five minutes but feel free to go as long as you like. No one will see this but you, and you have permission for this to be nothing but gibberish. Just feel what it’s like to write in a white heat. 

So, since I’m dedicated to my creative writing experiment, I will set my timer for 10 minutes. I’ll warn you now, I’m a horrible speller. When I free write I close my eyes {is that weird?} so as to not focus or get held back by the typos and misspellings. I let my hands flow over the keyboard and do not correct a single error. I absolutely guarantee it will be complete and utter gibberish. Here is what my free write looks like….

Sam wasn’t sure if it was a wonderful sign or a sign of disaster but Sam knew he felt liberated. He had just trhown his cellphone off of the brooklyn bridge. It was the last of his devices keeping in contact with the world. He was once again his own man. He didn’t belong to his corporate job that had made him miserable for the past 9 years. He’d quit. He had donated all his belongs to the Salvation army and broke his lease on his rent controlled penthouse. He had just thrown away his identity he had spent so many years working to define himself as. No, he knew this was wonderful. Sam let his only family member, his mother, know he was going away for quite some time. It was his last order of business before the cell phone toss. 
“Mom! you home?” He yelled as he walked into the front of his childhood brownstone. 
“I’m back here, Sam. Come join me.” His mother, only 18 years older than he, was cute as a button. The tiny little lady was in the back tending to her window sill overflowing with herbs. He worshiped her. She the woman he compared all women to and he was not embarrassed of this in the least. She had overcome so much in her life, he could not begin to imagine surviving himself. 
“Hey Mom, how are you today?” He asked her. “I’m doing just fine, Sweetie. What are you up to? What day is it? Why aren’t you at work?” 
“I took the day off, Mom. I wanted to drop this off to you. Remember, I told you I am going away for a while?” 
“Oh, yes yes. Is that today? Well, let me bring this inside, washup and we will get started.” 
The two walked inside to the kitchen where Sam opened his bag and pulled out a top of the line, fully-loaded MacBook Pro. The two spent an hour hovered over the “computer machine,” as his mother called it, trying to teach her how to work it. Sam got her to the point where she was able to turn it on and open the internet. She was thrilled because he had set up the “Faceplace” account as she had asked and found her old friend from high school who had told her join about a month before. 
“Well this is just fantastic!” His mother was in awe as she scrolled through the pictures of her highschool days she had been tagged in. 
“Ok mom. I better get going or I don’t think I’ll ever get moving.” He closed the laptop and stood up from the table. 
“Oh Sam I wish you would tell me where you are going. How will I know if you are ok?” 
“It will be fine. I’ll be fine. I told you I will call you in one month, so on the 10th, to let you know I am alive.” He assured her. “I have to go now though mom.” 
” Is this a work thing?” she asked. He ignored her and walked over to the junk drawer where he knew she stored her post-it notes. He wrote “Sam Calls Sept. 10th.” and stuck it to her fridge. He gave his mother a giant bear hug and a kiss on the forehead. I will see you later mom. 
“I just wish you’d stop being so secretive. Where are you going?” Truth was Sam didn’t know where he was going. He didn’t know how he was getting there. He had no clue. No answers. Only questions.
He saw the faint splash from down below as his cell hit the water. He took a deep breath, picked up his backpack and began walking.

So there you have it– my free write. Now as you can tell the Stern Editor would now have to awaken and fix all the mistakes. She would probably tackle my Free Spirit and land a nice right hook to the jaw, but that is ok. At least I just went with it. I leave you with a Steele quote

“Maybe writing fiction is akin to those personal challenges we call recreation…These Things are rewarding because they are not so easy. They awaken us by making us feel the vibrations of our inner potential, regardless of the outcome. Writing is one of the best possible personal challenges because the room for growth is as limitless as outer space and you’re never too young or to old to give it a go.”

Which type of writer do you consider yourself naturally?

Now you try it. Do your own five minute free write sesh. Feel free to share!

This post is part of my creative writing experiment that will get me writing more often and more creatively. All excerpts and “Your Turn” prompts are from the Gotham Writers’ Workshop Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide From New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School. As I write my way through this book, I welcome all constructive criticism, suggestions, advice and comments. 

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Fiction: The What, How & Why of It #2

In continuing my creative writing experiment, I have come upon the section titled See the Seeds. To dive into fiction there must first be something to dive into.

Ideas are the seeds from which the mimosa tree or the watermelon or Delphinium of a story will arise. There are no rules about what constitutes a proper seed. It can be a character, a name, a situation, structure, over heard dialogue, a setting, a theme even a vague feeling. — Steele 9

I’ve come to realize, thanks to Steele and Chapter one, writers will inevitably write from what they know whether it simply lend itself to the emotions characters experience, the perspective or the tone of the work. But that isn’t the most important thing when it comes to writing. Write what ignites your interest. It is so incredibly simple. Write about the things that gnaw at your conscience, things you cannot let go of, things that keep you moving forward. You may find it is life’s little unanswered questions that provoke the urge and if that be the case, run with it and see where it takes you.

Personally, I think that is the allure of writing. The possibilities are literally endless. It all depends on where you allow yourself to take it.

Your Turn:
Write down ten things that might possibly serve as story ideas, drawing from things that happened to you over the past week–people, emotions, thoughts, situations. Nothing is too big or small, cosmic or microscopic. Then review you list and pick the idea that looks the most promising for a story. The right idea will probably give you a buzz when you see it. Then list several ways in which this idea might be turned into a fictional story. Will your idea result in a brilliant story? Maybe, maybe not. But you’ll probably discover how plentiful ideas can be.

1. A character finds they have everything anyone would want in their lives, but still struggles with finding happiness. Gives up search…

2. A seemingly normal corporate working woman begins painting images on her Buddha Board at work to relieve stress. Her images come to life start butting in where they don’t belong. She’s committed.

3. Man accidentally finds himself in possession a winning gum ball worth $70 million. He spends the day dreaming and contemplating his next steps.

{He just wanted to chew some gum. He hadn’t heard about the contest for the $70m as he put in his quarter and watched the intriguingly intricate gold-purple-paisley-gum ball tumble down the swirling slide to crash through the tiny little metal door at the bottom of the bright red classic gum ball dispenser. Man gets distracted. Man remembers gum ball. Man examines gum ball and decides it is just too beautiful to eat. He isn’t convinced he got what he paid. He wanted some gum. Goes to Bodega to buy some Winterfresh. Sees ad for $7om gum ball search. Decides to leave store before pulling out gum ball out of pocket in the middle of the street. Stands as life rushes around him, examining the precious ball. Could it be? What now?}

4. Bank teller steals $100 from middle-class stay-at-home-mom too feed family. Mom calls bank to report. Teller loses job & gets revenge on SAH mom.

5. Vintage love.

6. Detailed description of a character realizing the days are getting shorter and what this means in their life.

7. Sex addict meets virgin. Fall in love. Will they make it?

8. The story of the roller coaster ride.

9. Woman grows up with the hope of one day finding her long lost mother only to learn late in life her mother died shortly after her birth by finding stacks and stacks of journals in the attic of her recently deceased father. Questions never asked will always be questions unanswered.

10. My first moments with my new baby mini giraffe.

Some of my ideas are ridiculous, but they were meant to be. Steele explains that first you need to work on producing ideas. These ideas all popped into my crazy-lame head by looking around my tiny little office and day dreaming for about half an hour. Can you imagine how many ideas would come if I decided to devote one day to just brainstorming creative ideas?

These ideas are just seeds. To plant these seeds and get them to grow big and strong, they need to be both entertaining and meaningful and satisfy our primal need for fiction. To satisfy both, fiction demands better story telling than real life, according to Steele.

What are your thoughts on my crazy seeds?

Try it with me! Look around you for some idea seeds of your own?

Did you brainstorm a seed that made you buzz?

This post is part of my creative writing experiment that will get me writing more often and more creatively. All excerpts and “Your Turn” prompts are from the Gotham Writers’ Workshop Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide From New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School. As I write my way through this book, I welcome all constructive criticism, suggestions, advice and comments. 

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Fiction: The What, How & Why of it…

Chapter one of GWW Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide from New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School by Alexander Steele, as the title suggests, examines the what, how and why of fiction.

Fiction |ˈfik sh ən|(noun): literature in the form of prose, esp. short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people.

According to Steele, as humans we write stories for two reasons: entertainment and meaning. Entertainment is obvious. But what in the world does he mean when he says, “we seem to have a primal need for fiction, or really any kind of story, that is as deeply rooted as our need for food, shelter and companionship,”? Well, as humans we are curious and we are insecure. We are searching for the who, what, where, when and why in life. As Steele says, this lofty goal is the search for truth.

Think of the classics. Think:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)

“The Tell-Tale Heart” Edgar Allen Poe (1843)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1885)

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)

“The Lady with the Dog” by Anton Chekhob (1899)

What do these all have in common? They satisfy our primal needs. They are both entertaining and have great meaning.

I’ve come upon the first “Your Turn” of the book.

Choose a work of fiction that you cherish. In a single sentence,
try to state the major reason why you love reading this work.
Then list several ways with which you think the author achieved
this effect. The reasons don’t have to employ any fancy terms 
and they don’t have to make sense to anyone but you. You’re simply
trying to tune in to the source of the magic.

I can’t pick my favorite work of fiction. It simply isn’t possible. That is just as impossible as picking my favorite song. I cannot do it. I’ll do this exercise on my most recent read, The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson.

I love reading this book because Lisbeth Salander is so extraordinary, and yet she possessed qualities that resonate with readers.

The author achieved this because 1. He made Salander a loner who was beaten down by society and those she relied on. Who hasn’t felt this way before? 2. She was odd, someone not many people would give a second look to. But she was a capable and extremely moral person hellbent on doing what was right. Who doesn’t want to fight for what is right? 3. Though relatable, she is extreme, an extent  readers would think about going to but probably wouldn’t have the cajones to carry through.

What I am saying is she provoked my curiosity because she was a peculiar character and yet, she was like me. She fights for what she believes in. She is searching for justice and the truth just as I am. Salander was just one aspect of the book though. I think the book was phenomenal because it takes readers to a fantasy that still grasps at reality. Seemingly real people in extraordinary situations, I suppose. Makes you wonder, if I were in those situations would I do what these characters did?

Have you read The Girl Who series by Stieg Larsson?

What did you like and how did Larsson achieve that effect?

This post is part of my creative writing experiment that will get me writing more often and more creatively. All excerpts and “Your Turn” prompts are from the Gotham Writers’ WorkshopWriting Fiction: The Practical Guide From New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School. As I write my way through this book, I welcome all constructive criticism, suggestions, advice and comments. 

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& so it begins…

I’ve decided to go ahead with the write-my-way-through-a-creative-writing-book idea.

The book:

Gotham Writers’ Workshop

Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide From New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School

Last night, I got re-acquainted with the book {I’ve had it since high school}. I read the “From Gotham Writers’ Workshop Founders” first. I learned that the workshop has turned into a large operation with hundreds of instructors and thousands of students each year.

When I discussed my idea I met some heavy criticism, which I wasn’t expecting. I was told “you can’t teach talent. You can either write or you can’t,” and another said “The only way to write well is to read.”  I was thoroughly  shocked at both of these responses. Yes, you indeed can’t teach raw talent, but you can certainly foster, refine and improve your skills. Then, of course, reading absolutely makes you a stronger writer, however, I’ll have to argue that reading is the only way to be a good writer {calling BS on this one}. Though these responses to my {what I considered brilliant} idea were unexpected, they did make me realize these people were completely unfounded in their criticisms and just wanted to discourage me for some reason or another. Mission incomplete. Discourage me and I will do anything to prove you wrong {I’d like to thank those who didn’t believe in me or my idea. You were a marvelous inspiration and I couldn’t have done it without you}.

To my surprise the book agreed with me:

“Simply put, we believe anyone can write. We believe writing is a craft that can be taught. True, talent cannot be taught, only nurtured, but the craft of writing can be taught. We’re devoted to teaching the craft in a way that is so clear, direct, and applicable that our students begin growing as writers during their very first class.”

From “How to Use this Book”:

“You shouldn’t just read your way through this book, but write your way through it as well. After all, you’re reading this book because you want to write….You shouldn’t worry about turning these exercises into brilliant works of fiction. Rather you should simply focus on experimenting and having fun with the task at hand.”

{That I will!}

Now that I am confident my idea/experiment is on key and in harmony with the purpose of the book, I was ready to get started. Not so fast. Before diving into chapter one, I first had to read the short story Cathedral by Raymond Carver. The book references this short story quite often.

Cathedral is a great short story. As it turned out, I liked it a great deal. I won’t go into great detail in case you’re interested in checking it out yourself {recommended}. But, it is about a man who is visited by his wife’s blind friend. He is horribly uncomfortable with the idea and doesn’t know how to go about interacting with someone with a disability. You almost hate the guy from the beginning because he is so ignorant. As the story progresses, his point of view becomes more and more enlightened as he learns about the blind man’s abilities. The shift in the way you feel about the almost ignorant man is incredible. That is what I would like to achieve with my writing.

I’ll jump into chapter one as soon as possible.

Excited to move forward!

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I have been feeling a bit unproductive lately. I need a project that is fun, worthwhile and makes me feel productive.

{Light bulb}

Ever since I was a very young child sneaking under the covers after bedtime with my flashlight and notebooks writing whatever came to mind, I have wanted to take a creative writing class. When I was in fifth grade, I even wrote a short 100-page novel. As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve spent less time writing creativly and went into just writing my day to day in a journal or school work. No bueno. My life just isn’t very interesting. I tried for 2 years to work in a writing minor at Iona College because I would get to take one creative writing class, but unfortunately, it just wouldn’t fit into my schedule. I ended up with a minor in English, but of course that was all reading.

So what is my genius idea? {get to the point!} Maybe I can find one of my old creative writing books. Think Julie & Julia. Blogger Julie cooks her way through Julia Child’s cook book. I’ll write my way through a creative writing book. If I remember correctly some books I’ve read have exercises to complete as you read.

This might help me because I haven’t produced or done anything productive other than read and make money this summer. It will satisfy this creative itch I’ve had lately too. It’ll hopefully make me a stronger writer. And maybe, just maybe, it will help me take this blog in a particular direction, because as you can tell I have been struggling with finding a topic for this stupid thing.

Just wanted to throw the idea out there. It won’t be pretty. I love to write, but I’m not saying it’s going to be any good. But’s my idea. Thought I’d get it on to paper and mull it over. I’ve had {brilliant} ideas before that have poofed into the black abyss of my mind before and others that still sit collecting dust on the back shelves of my inner workings. I have a book in mind, but I am still looking into others.

Know of any good creative writing books you can suggest?

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Blog on hold.

For the time being, I’m going to have to put this blog on hold. I’ve decided I really need to write about something that matters– that I can showcase in a portfolio and be proud of producing. That said, I’m placing my writing energy into freelance. I’m searching out people and contacts willing to give me an assignment. I’m willing to test many different writing styles, techniques and platforms.

If you’re looking for a writer, let me know!

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Giving up…

Is anyone else a fan of random google searches? I sure am. I type something that’s been running through my mind and I see what pops up {older blog similar idea}. A while ago it was giving up. To my surprise, the first result was a simple little video to Ingrid Michaelson’s “giving up.”  I’ve loved loved loved Ms. Michaelson since before it was the cool thing to do. Just ask my poor boyfriend who sat through multiple listenings and analyses of every song I could find of hers. I was thrilled {to say the least} when she was the first result.

Upon your first listen, because the song is so slow and repetitive, it sounds desolate like she’s giving up on everything {the original video I found was great but unfortunately embedding is disabled. Here’s the same song different video}:

Did you get that she isn’t giving up?! She’s not giving up at all. She’s found she will be  happy in all that is imperfect. I think what she’s saying is she’s giving up her insecurities. I think she’s giving up the what-ifs and life’s imperfections and she’s loving what she has, which of course is “you.”

What if we stop having a ball?
What if the paint chips from the wall?
What if there’s always cups in the sink?
What if I’m not what you think I am?

{What if everything isn’t perfect. What if we don’t work out}

What if I fall further than you?
What if you dream of somebody new?
What if I never let you win, chase you with a rolling pin?
Well what if I do?

{What if I love you more that you love me. What if I go bat shit crazy?}

I am giving up on making passes and
I am giving up on half empty glasses and
I am giving up on greener grasses
I am giving up

{Well I’m giving up on losing out. I’m giving up on other guys. I’m giving up negativity. I’m giving up on what-ifs and insecurities}

What if our baby comes home after nine?
What it your eyes close before mine?
What if you lose yourself sometimes? Then I’ll be the one to find you
Safe in my heart

{What if we ruin our children. What if I’m left all alone. What if we aren’t perfect. That’s okay because I’ll love you all the same}

I am giving up on making passes and
I am giving up on half empty glasses and
I am giving up on greener grasses
I am giving up

I am giving up
I am giving up
I am giving up on greener grasses

I am giving up for you
I am giving up for you
I am giving up

{I’m giving up the negativity, the what-ifs and the insecurities because I believe in you. I’m giving up the search for greener grasses because there’s no one greener than you}

Well, there you have it. Ingrid isn’t giving up at all. She’s committing herself to the person the song is written about. My interpretation to another Ingrid song. Maybe you don’t agree you. You don’t need to. I get this chick though and I’m sticking by my interpretation because it made me feel all better. Bam!

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Day twelve–Stressed

When you’re stressed, what can you use as an outlet?

When I’m stressed, I’ll most likely be writing. Sometimes, I have so much to say but no one can really understand. I don’t think anyone truly understands the amount I write. I write all the flippin’ time! I have about 20 notebooks full of letters, diary entries, stories, and I’ve even written a few books.

When a person is a fair verbal communicator, writing may offers a more efficient outlet to communicate. If I have something serious to say, something heartfelt and genuine and I really just want my point to get across, I write. The chances that what I have to say will be comprehended are much greater if it’s written. Writing allows me to organize my thoughts and get everything out.

I’m not claiming to be a good writer, because the truth is I’m all right but I’m no superstar. I just enjoy it. It’s something that is challenging, creative, and all in all an emotional release.


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Writing: One

She is driving down the side streets of her neighborhood waving to the neighbors she’s had over for dinner and the children she watched grow up into young adults. She turns down the avenue, and waits as a car backs up into a tight spot between some beat up Nissan and an Infiniti. “Gosh, I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that anymore,” she thinks to herself. Her house, the one on the corner. It’s bigger and more beautiful than the one she always imagined when she was young. She smiles gratefully as she makes a wide turn into her two car drive way and pulls forward into the garage.

While she takes the keys out of the ignition, her hand reaches into the back seat and feels around for her purse. As she grabs its strap and pulls it into the front seat, her cellphone falls out of the front pocket and down between her seat and the center console. Without missing a beat the phone begins to ring. She’s expecting to hear from a client and her adrenaline amps up just a bit. Her hand fits between the seats without any trouble, but her forearm is just a bit too short to reach the phone. She wiggles her fingers and wedges her arm down as far as she can. Once she feels the phone, she pushes it out from between her chair and into the back seat. It’s still ringing and vibrating. She fumbles the phone a bit as she answers the call.

“Hello!” She’s been waiting to hear from this client for two hours with the details from the latest campaign efforts. To her avail, she learns efforts so far have produced remarkable results. As the CCO, it is now up to her to decide if the corporation should expand its communications strategy. She wraps up the call by thanking the client for their cooperation and asks if a few personal questions about their family’s latest vacation to the Dominican Republic. “I’m so glad to hear it! Thanks again, Derek. Have a great weekend. Bye.”

She breathes a deep sigh of relief. A great way to wrap up the work week. She relocates her purse and checks the back seat to make sure nothing else fell out. She climbs out of the SUV and closes the garage door behind her. She’s greeted by the most excited wagging tails. Chump, the Rottweiler, moves his entire ass as he dances around the kitchen. Lillie, the 7 pound pap, howls with delight.

She goes through her routine as she usually does when she gets home even though it’s only 3p.m. The dogs are let out into the back yard and fed. The chinchillas are acknowledged and scratched really well. She puts a few dishes that sit in the sink into the dishwasher and goes upstairs to change her clothes. She undresses down to her underwear and hops herself  up and on to the king size piece of heaven in the middle of the room. Unable to help herself, she wiggles her way up to the mound of pillows at the head of the bed.

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Day eleven–Alive

One moment during which you felt most alive this year.

The weight of the wine she just inhaled on the train was heavy in her stomach. It felt like she had somehow managed to get the glass bottle down her throat too. She didn’t seem to mind too much because as soon as she got inside she accepted an over-priced beer from her date and boyfriend. Then another. And another. And maybe one more? They had taken the short train ride into the city to see Matt&Kim play at Webster Hall. She really liked them a few months earlier at the Siren Festival. She was excited to see them play again.

As expected they were great. The girl was a bit beyond tipsy and got the idea in her head she wanted to do something a ‘lil bit crazy. She turned to her boyfriend and gave him a silent look. She hoped he could read her mind.

“Hey babe, I want to do that. Throw me up there pleaseeeeee.” Their eyes had a brief conversation and a second later her boyfriend and the stranger next to him were throwing her up into the air and on to the crowd. Time froze. She didn’t feel anything below her, no hands, no heads. It was smooth like she was floating on a wave headed to shore. It was silent and all she saw were the bright lights and balloons dancing around her. She and both members of the band were the only ones in the room. Until, She was thrown over the metal barrier crashing into the stage and down onto her ass. It didn’t matter though. She couldn’t feel much now anyway. It was all over in a maximum of 4 seconds. But, it was worth it.

She was a complete mess. Her hair was glued to the side of her face wet with sweat. She probably wreaked like her sister’s hockey equipment and she probably looked like she was just hit by a sanitation truck. She didn’t care. She’d been with her boyfriend for three years now and he’s had to have seen worse. She was confident that even though she looked like she was recently released from the nut house, he was happy because she was truly enjoying herself.

BUT all that music and beer makes the couple pretty hungry. They turn the corner. Score! Street meat. Two orders of chicken and rice with extra hot sauce and a short walk later, they are back in Grand Central.

They have some time before their train leaves. Sitting on the ground indian style, the girl is people watching. Even in her slightly clouded state she watches the people come and go wondering where they’re headed, if anywhere at all. She’s absorbed in making up elaborate stories of the travelers’ destinations and of course, the best meal she’s ever had, when she hears his hiccup. She turns to him suddenly ready to pounce. She finds his hiccups hysterical. How the high-pitched yelp of a preadolescent boy can come from his 6 foot 2 Rugby frame is beyond her. She turns towards him, instantaneously he turns towards her. They both hiccup! Looking into each other’s eyes they smile. The girl gives out a small giggle. They turn away and go back to eating.

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Day seven–15 facts


  1. I find it difficult to write about myself
  2. I am a champion napper. Super serious, straight up champion.
  3. I’m a pretty good cook. I’m still learning, but I enjoy whipping up a creative meal.
  4. I love deeply. Genuinely. Sincerely.
  5. I don’t believe in religion. I like to learn about them all…but I can’t say I believe in any of them. The one true thing I believe in is love.
  6. I always wear my seat belt.
  7. I’m an excellent listener. Listening leads to understanding. People watching is a passion. I love to learn other perspectives.
  8. I have double chins. Two beautiful baby boy chinchillas.
  9. I’m also a super duper cuddler. Just ask my dog, the boy & my roommates.
  10. I go by many names. Rarely do people actually call me Sarah.
  11. I adore writing, but I couldn’t imagine myself doing only that for a living.
  12. I would really like to travel non-tourist destinations. Anthony Bourdain show me the way!
  13. My goals have changed drastically in the past three years. I want a house near the city with a backyard & a drive way.
  14. The only wine I drink comes out of a box or costs $4.99 a bottle. I’m classy like that.
  15. When I trust you, when I think you accept me, when I think we are close–I will call you names and joke around with you and show you the true meaning of sarcasm.
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Day six–Mirror

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, must I be so fat?…

She looks in the mirror and what does she see? Well, to be honest she sees everything that is wrong with her physically. She could choose to focus on the extra chunk around the middle…and top and bottom and…ok, all around. She doesn’t want to be one of those girls though. She’s a beautiful person even if it is mostly on the inside. It is more than some people, she keeps telling herself.

She knows she shouldn’t focus on her pale, somewhat translucent, skin or her ski jump of a nose. She shouldn’t even notice that one little tooth poking out of line. Her eyes shouldn’t glide over every curve and wrinkle. Her big flabby arms and teeny little wrists, shouldn’t really bug her. She should forgive herself for making her once beautiful lips victims of her nervous lip bite. She should, she would, she could…but she probably won’t.

She’s typical in every single way. She is one of those girls. She knows an appearance is just that, an appearance. It matters to her, ohhhh it matters to her. But, she’s intelligent. She’s no dummy. Somethings just matter more. She’s grateful she is who she is. She does like her eye lashes. Her hands are little and perfect for holding. She’s short, but she fits in his arms so perfectly. She is soft and squishy, but she makes the best pillow. Her chinchillas chillax on her boobies so well and her puppies find her belly makes for the perfect leaping pad. She’s warm and she’s loving. You can trust her with your life, I promise. She’s calm and collected. She’ll tell you like it is. She’s happy and content and even likes some of her flaws. There is always room for improvement. She’s a work in progress but aren’t we all?

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