Tag Archives: novel

Reading Challenges: To Do or Not?

I ran across this fantastic reading challenge on Pinterest:

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And it made me instantly want to start working on the challenge. These last few months I’ve been using a writing challenge to help me stay motivated on writing. Thanks to the help from that, I’ve written more than 20,000 words on my novel, kept up on weekly blog posts, written a few short stories (or attempts really), and done much more. Challenges are great motivation, and if I wasn’t an insanely busy student maybe I would start trying to do this.

I think what I mostly liked was the uniqueness of this challenge. It’s not a classics list or a list of teen fiction or anything of that sort. It can include books you enjoy, genres you like best. I think the adaptability of this challenge is great, because it keeps with the main point of trying to keep reading regularly to be a better writer, to be a better person. A writer can always use further inspiration, better examples of fiction. And a person can always use life inspiration and a little bit of fiction or nonfiction to brighten his or her day.

My goal this year is 40 books with 13 done so far! So considering I’ll need at least 26 more books maybe I’m going to try this one if I won’t go too crazy doing so. Anyone else have a goal this year? Anyone else want to join me on trying this challenge?

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Reality in Fiction, AKA Don’t Anger the Writer

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So I’m working on a novel for my senior project. And it’s about a college freshman who goes to school in Idaho and her weird roommate she lives with, and the problems that go on in their strange relationship. For a true synopsis see my What’s in the Cup page that includes my fiction works summarized for your perusal. However, in writing about a college student, I’ve had multiple people ask me if it’s a true story.

No.

I had a wonderful freshman roommate. We’re still friends and we even lived together a second year and would have lived together this year if housing had worked out better. Sure, I include a few elements of inspiration I found from other parts of life. I mean the roommate first meeting, a few random quirks about living with a different person, and the roommate bonding experience have little bits of truth to them. But the majority of the plot is fiction.

Real life circumstances can be great inspiration. They provide a level of realness to the text, probably help show your real feelings and passions as well. It’s usually not the happy times that really inspire me though. No, it’s the ones where I’m upset or hurt. And sometimes I include those. And other times I don’t. However, I feel like life inspiration requires balance.

A few months back I was working on a fiction piece specifically inspired by real life feelings and circumstances. Sure, it had a lot of fiction thrown in, but it had enough basis in reality that one could easily track what had inspired it. I wanted an outlet for the crazy emotions of the moment. I felt dedicating a book to unrequited love and the pain of that might be meaningful as I wrote about in When a Writer Falls in Love.

However, the circumstances surprised me. I felt overwhelmed by putting all of my life on a page. I worried what people would think of me, became too concerned about how my protagonist would be received, and hit writer’s block at a certain point on realizing some of the story I felt was important was obviously meaningless. My emotional connection to the work was simply too much to deal with.

Similarly, my roommates of last year asked me to write a book loosely based on us. I came up with a crime novel, hoping that would remove some of the reality of the story, but still it was hard to write about real people. I was concerned they wouldn’t like how they were portrayed, sometimes felt I didn’t understand their motivations and actions the same way I do with characters of my own creation. I still do hope to continue working on that one some day, it’s a fun story really, but there are challenges included regardless.

Sometimes I find my writing subconsciously absorbs what I’m dealing with in my life, whether I want it to or not. Writing last year I was dealing with friendship issues and I suddenly found this randomly interspersed:

“The options before her battled fiercely. In the end what did it really come down to? People came and went in everyone’s life. Living as long as she did she knew that this was simply a reality. Friends moved on. Family changed or died or left. And often one was left seeking newness in their life. Her heart, however, was in utter rebellion with this logic. Wendy. Her name was being called by every fiber of Melanie’s being. Smart interesting funny clever Wendy. Did she abandon that for nothing? Or did she cleave instead an infectious tumor beginning to turn malignant? There was no true telling. Would removing this woman from her life remove a part of her very soul? Or could she survive, thrive, come to new life as a result?”

I stare at that looking back. Hold on, did I just write about choosing my own health over friendship? Did I just put myself in one of my character’s shoes? Did the brutal death later represent that coming to an end, my own frustration with all that had happened?

I don’t tend to try to write other characters as people I know. Sometimes it happens. However, I can’t deny there is something therapeutic in letting off steam at people who frustrate me, at situations that are distressing. So, if anyone who ever pisses me off reads my works and wonders “hmm is that me she’s writing about as a villain/brutal murder/pathetic character?” Probably, but you’ll never hear those words from my mouth.  You can simply live knowing that if you make me angry, you’ll likely face the consequences in my fiction.

So yes, writing can emulate life. Sometimes that’s purposefully, using experience to create a greater sense of emotion in writing. Other times, it comes out subconsciously, especially in negative emotions. And sometimes I simply have to separate fiction and reality, because they become too overwhelming together. It largely depends. Nonetheless, it’s interesting to see how the two cross over.

Fellow writers, how much do you include real life experiences in your writing? Any other writers relate in how they react to people who have hurt or angered them? Any other remarks to make? Any of my friends suddenly scared?

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21 Favorite Young Adult Books

This is a continuation of the series I’d posted earlier talking about my favorite children’s books. Again, I’ll reiterate some of these books I haven’t read in a long time, but my impressions of them have stuck around, hence why they’re on the list. Hopefully in a bit I’ll have my favorite adult books out too. Also, some obviously are torn between the children’s genre too, it just depends on classification (same with my children’s post). Regardless, here are a few books I liked in the young adult genre in no particular order.

Inkheart  Inkheart by Cornelia Funke– I definitely read these as a kid, but they are perhaps a bit dark for the kids genre. I loved the plot, especially as a writer imagining the possibility of characters coming to life. Great characters, funky magic, and wonderful literary references.

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater–  More recent reads that I really enjoyed. I found these more original considering many of the teen fiction books often follow very similar plots.

Mister Monday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #1)The Keys to the Kingdom by Garth NixThese are very dark, but I think that’s part of what drew me to them. Definitely a little funky but interesting, and I really liked the hero Arthur for some odd reason, very compelling I suppose. Plus Suzy Turquoise Blue was an awesome sidekick.

The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern, #1)The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale– It’s funny how so many of these are series, however, this first book remains my favorite. I love twisted fairy tales, especially slightly lesser known ones like Goose Girl. Ani is a fantastic heroine and her powers are so different and yet wonderful!

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan– I loved the sarcastic dry humor in Percy’s tone, the modern take on Greek mythology. Of the more “popular” teen fiction series, this is definitely one of my favorites just because I felt it displayed some of the greatest level of creativity.

No Shame, No Fear (No Shame, No Fear #1)The Quaker Trilogy by Anne TurnbullThese books were perfect due to my love of historical fiction, romance, and stories on faith. I loved the forbidden love aspect between Susanna and Will, though this of course felt more real than the usual romantic drivel. Again, my memories are a bit blurry, but as a young teen I know I at least liked the first two books. As I now attend a Quaker college, I’m a bit terrified someone will think my love of these a bit shaming, but I’m not going to allow myself any as I was an impressionable teen at the time.

The Squire's Tale (The Squire's Tales, #1)The Squire’s Tales by Gerald MorrisI love Arthurian legend, and nothing is better than having classic stories retold from new points of view. The first books begin with the ever lovable Terrence, squire to Sir Gawain and then proceed to cover several other stories from Parsifal’s page, to the brother of Sir Tristan, to a brave and savvy damsel who doesn’t need a knight. They never failed to make me laugh, but they also excited in me a sense of adventure and a continued love for Camelot.

FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell– My friends might kill me if I don’t add this, since they believe it’s based on my life. I agree I found many points of Cath’s life to be very relatable, and even cried once or twice. A funny coming of age story that every “fangirl” should read.

BeastlyBeastly by Alex Flinn– Again with the fractured fairy tales. An adorable love story, a clever modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and a fun and easy read. I liked the use of the modern chat-room start to this novel incorporating other fairy tales in as well. It’s one I’ve read twice, because I enjoyed it so much.

Stormbreaker (Alex Rider, #1)Alex Rider by Anthony Horrowitz– I was obsessed with these for much of my teen years. I liked the spy stories containing the reluctant yet amazing Alex. These were fast paced and entertaining, though (slight spoiler) I HATED how they ended.

Zach's Lie (Zach's Lie, #1)Zach’s Lie by Roland Smith- I remember I loved the suspense of these books! I think they’re probably one of those that bridge the children’s and young adult area, not really sure where to put it. However, these interesting fast paced books kept me reading til the end.

Gideon the Cutpurse (The Gideon Trilogy, #1)The Gideon Trilogy by Linda Buckley-Archer– Time travel novels can be fun if they’re well done. I liked these ones quite a bit since they entered into 18th century England (one of the times and places that most interested me). Thievery and adventure and two times clashing, I thought these were a fun collection of stories. The adventure in these was entertaining, though like with many fiction series, I remember being somewhat disappointed by the end.

Storm CatchersStorm Catchers by Tim Bowler This book is one of those really random one that I believe I remember most of the main details. Since it seems to be so memorable (I think I may have read it more than once), I had to include it here. Great story of mystery and suspense with a touch of surreal (ghosts and divining). It definitely kept me guessing all the way through.

Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1)Warm Bodies by Isaac Morrison– I know what you’re thinking, isn’t there a movie? Yes, but it’s very different from its inspiring novel. This book is dark and odd. I liked the writing and only read it a few years ago, so it’s fresher in my mind. The movie is hilarious, but if you’re looking for a darker zombie story, look here.

Stargirl (Stargirl, #1)Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli– I had a book club on this novel once, and I remember we raised some valid points about this book’s value. It has good messages on identity, peer pressure, fitting in, and plenty of others as well. Stargirl herself is a very interesting character.

Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess, #1)Nobody’s Princess by Esther M. Friesner– So in case it isn’t obvious, I like stories with princesses, I like stories about Greek myths, and I like stories about women who are empowered (especially princesses)- and this one on Helen of Troy is fantastic. Definitely takes the “face that launched a thousand ships” and gives her a brand new definition. Such a great read for any fellow myth lovers, especially ones that love tough female role models.

Just One WishJust One Wish by Janette Rallison– This one is cheesy, but bear with me. I loved the cute and quirky romance in this, but also the bravery of the main character in fighting for her little brother who is suffering from cancer. Rallison has some very fun and cute romance novels, but I liked this one for the values beyond just the teen love aspect. Sad and yet heartwarming, it may be cheesy but I loved it as a girl.

Enter Three WitchesEnter Three Witches by Caroline B. Cooney– Have I mentioned my love of Shakespeare? This fun play on Macbeth takes the story from the point of view of more minor characters such as Fleance, or the author’s creation of Mary (the Macbeth’s ward). The story gave a new perspective to this theater piece, but still maintained some of its classic darkness.

Princess BenPrincess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock– Another empowered princess story. Benevolence may sound like a frilly princess, but she faces some tough challenges and overcomes them quite well. The story was quirky and fun, but also continues to promote female empowerment through the use of some classic fairy tale themes being played with.

How the Hangman Lost His HeartHow the Hangman Lost his Heart by K. M. Grant– This book was ridiculously funny. Again, old London is one of my favorite settings for stories, but this one is different than any I’ve read before. A cute and funny love story with some good action and adventure to go along. I mean what could go wrong with a main character named Dan Skinslicer?

Brief CandleBrief Candle by Kate Pennington– My first introduction to Emily Bronte. I found it funny to read Wuthering Heights this year having read this book as a young person. An intriguing adventure to be sure, and it had a fantastic twist at the end if I remember correctly. Regardless, interesting historical fiction read.

What young adult books do you love? Any good recommendations for me? I’m always looking for more as these are something I still read in my spare time.

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Mourning as a Writer

I’ve been writing a new novel lately, hopefully one I’ll get some blog posts out of at some point. But the thing is it reflects a lot on death…and I guess that’s just made me reflect a lot on it too, but also on related issues, like grieving and moving on.

My dog died recently. I initially wasn’t going to mention this, but I feel like it’s relevant. The creature I’d loved for thirteen good long years was suddenly gone, and I’m still at a loss sometimes to explain what I feel. And it’s been tough. In many ways this school year has very much seemed to be one filled with loss, loss I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with as hopelessly as most others who’ve come before me. His death hit me harder than I’d expected, though in loving him for so long, I’m not sure why I’d expect to be so unaffected.

But this was not the only loss I’ve suffered recently. A few months ago I laid to rest one of my favorite novel series I’d been working on, the one that included the first four novels I’d ever written, the one I’d been working on for probably five or six years now. It was unfortunately co-authored, and the other writer wanted to move on to more “mature” things, newer things, fresher things… I suppose in life we change and our writing changes with us. And for a time I thought I was ok with that, thinking moving on to new things wouldn’t be too hard.

I muddled along on my own, then gradually just realized it wasn’t working anymore. Maybe it was like the passion was cut in two without her. Or maybe I simply grew up too, and in time I began to realize there comes a time we grow too old and have to put aside things of the past. Sometimes I feel like the children in Narnia being told they’ve outgrown their beloved kingdom. And regardless, after she left, my characters, my world, my novels seemed to whither and die away. And for a time it seemed like part of me died with them. Maybe it did.

I poured the better part of my young adult life into those books. I had those characters at my sides as I dealt with those awkward teen years, when I cried about not having a date to prom, when I felt alone, when my parents just didn’t understand. They were some kind of a therapy and comfort as I dealt with anxiety, depression, confusion about life and boys and angsty teenage problems.

I buried them all in a swift flash of fury, smacked my hands onto the keyboard to create a little half-sheet apocalypse of my magical world that undid all I’d created. ” The chaos of untold proportion took over, the already potent disease spreading insanity in its wake. ” To give some idea of what happened. Sometimes that’s just how things are for me. A flash of rage and before I realize it I’ve destroyed what I love. Funny how anger is one of those stages of grieving when it seems so utterly different from sorrow.

It has been a few months now. But still sometimes it feels like fire has swept the fields of my imagination. Life is attempting to poke through bits of scorched earth, but it doesn’t have the same strength that it once did. It feels feeble, crippled. My characters feel like half-life’s, something not quite fully created. They speak perhaps a touch on the page, but I do not love them as I used to love. They feel like mere creations rather than friends. I do not sense them with me in those moments I need bravery or inspiration or a little more strength to make it one more day. And sometimes I fear it will be forever, that I will now forever have this sense of loneliness no author should, that I will never again be able to create with the same youthful passion and vibrancy I once did.

But that is the way life works. We grow up. We move on. Things of the past become less important. Goals and ideals and values shift and change like the ever moving tides. People and animals and characters we care about die, leave us, forget about us, move on. There is no control over these. They are simply patterns of life that dictate how we live.

Still, I’ve recognized by now that I’m in mourning, both for my beloved dog, for these stories I once loved, for the parts of myself I that may not be relevant anymore, for the things I’ve lost this year.

Somehow, someway, we move on. Past grief, past pain, past anger. It’s never easy. These feelings may never completely go away. But we find new people to love, we get new pets to share our time with, we write new stories either on the page or in life. Mourning can’t be underestimated. But it is crippling at times. And I only hope I’ll continue to heal, to grow, to move past these darker times towards brighter ones ahead, hopefully filled with better and fresher writing.

This year, more than any other before, I’ve considered throwing in the towel on my life-long dream of writing. I’ve considered giving it up and moving on to new things. For now, this remains something I cling to in spite of the troubles I’ve had. But who knows? Maybe some day writing will leave me too. Nothing is certain I suppose. The sun sets each and every day, sorrows happen, we simply have to hope it will rise again, and that good things too will come once more.

How do you grieve? What things or people or other elements of life have you mourned? What have been the best ways you’ve moved past hard life events? Anyone feel like writing a therapeutic response blog, if so please do.

PS: If I seem pathetic whining over a dog and some writing I no longer have, I apologize. My intention is not to make my spoiled life sound ridiculously hard, but rather to interconnect the human experience of loss and moving on, something I hope others can relate to as well in whatever means they can.

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One Hundred Down- Hundreds to Go

This, as you may, or may not believe it, is my hundredth blog post. Miraculous right? It just makes me think back to little sophomore me starting this out as a school assignment all those years ago (alright two, but seriously who’s counting?)

I suppose in this post I just wanted to reflect some on the never-ending nature of being a writer. It’s a fantastic life. But it’s tiring sometimes. Because it reminds me a lot of having a yard infested with mushrooms…or dandelions…the moment I get one part of the job done, ten more things pop up. As a nanny it seems even more like the joy of parenthood, cleaning and then having ten more things get dirty in the next hour.

Life is like that in some ways, circular in nature. But that doesn’t make it any less exhausting.

The day I finished my first novel I was overjoyed. There was such a level of excitement, unparalleled by most of my other achievements. I was unable to stop scanning through the pages, pausing and reading favorite parts a second or third time However, I soon realized it wasn’t even close to over.

After writing comes even harder processes like editing, revising, query letters, rejection letters, and finally maybe if you’re lucky…the beautiful nature of publication.

Three years down the road and I’m still not published. I still haven’t even begun typing up letters or working back through old pieces with much energy. I have four more completed works to add to my collection, but not one shred of evidence that I’ve truly accomplished anything, at least in the traditional writer sense.

I suppose the one thing that has given me comfort recently was reading about Jane Austen.

I’m not really a lover of Jane overall. She writes beautifully, yes, but I find myself often bored reading through monotonous dinners and lengthy dances. And while I recognize Austen’s irony and wit, I fail to get the same joy many young women do over the most esteemed Mr. Darcy. However, my one small piece of true infatuation with Austen is this: she wrote her books young and she didn’t publish them for many more years down the road, and not without ridiculous amounts of revision.

It can be hard as an author to get done with one task and then have to proceed to working on another. And while I’d set my sights on trying to edit and then move to query letter stages with my last novel, I have been swept up in a senior project of writing a novella over the course of the semester which has hindered my editing abilities. But that hasn’t made me lose hope.

Life is tricky. We do things only to have more work thrust in front of us. We regularly find that the job takes more than one step, and even when finished there’s another job finished. But that doesn’t mean we should give up. It simply means we push forward with more vigor, with more hopes of continuing to improve and learn and grow.

So as I finish the mark of this hundredth post and look forward towards the more to come, I look with joy rather than dread. For there is plenty more time to come, to write, to edit, to submit, to face rejection, and to carry on in the face of hard work.

For more on author’s publishing period see: http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/books/what-age-did-well-known-authors-publish-their-most-famous-works

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Ok Really- In Defense of Reading

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I jokingly posted a funny video about how reading is important earlier this week. However, I figured I might as well share a little bit about reading more seriously, just because it is something I am passionate about.

I’m an English major. So I’m constantly reading. But even in those parameters I try to branch out and read for pleasure too, not just to try to absorb information as quickly as possible.

This week, for example, I managed to continue reading one of my new favorite book series, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, the third book in The Raven Cycle. But how did I manage that? Well, I’ll get down to that with a few easy tips on managing to get some reading time in.

1. Read what you like- if I was trying to make myself read a classic book, or something of a higher caliber, it never would have happened this week. I probably would have read a page or two and given up to go back to my Criminal Minds marathon. So reading an easy teen fiction fantasy book was a good choice.

2. Find a time that works and stick with it!– one of the best ways to keep reading is to get in the habit. For me it’s become a good pre-bedtime activity, helps me calm down and relax before I go to sleep better than television does. If I’m really interested in the book though, I like reading at the breakfast table while having my cereal and coffee.

3. Audiobooks– audiobooks are fantastic inventions I highly recommend. I love using them at the gym, or when cooking, or when driving. I survived my Shakespeare class last semester by listening to the plays usually while playing games on computer or phone, or even while drawing or coloring. It makes for a nice change of pace and gets that same literary joy in.

4. Every bit counts– Even a few minutes a day is a great start, especially if you’re a busy person like me. Take stock of small bits of reading too.

5. Libraries are magical places– use libraries to your advantage. Ask for recommendations from librarians, or do online searches. Seriously, go to the library. Maybe make it a weekly occurrence if you can, or biweekly, or monthly depending on your reading speed.

6. Reward yourself– Maybe a good way to do it is say you have to read twenty pages before you open your computer for the day. Maybe you want to use reading as a check on the to do list before you allow yourself to get distracted. Find methods that work for you.

7. Reward in itself– If you are starting to really enjoy reading for fun (which hopefully if you’re finding the right types of books and spending time regularly pursuing that you should!), then I recommend using books as a bit of a reward in themselves. I personally motivate myself to get homework done by saying after it’s finished I can watch an episode of TV, but lately it’s started being a reward of reading either added or instead of the screen time. And I’m finding I’m enjoying it and looking forward to getting alone time with a book. My roommate even had to hide my book yesterday because I was worried I might be tempted to ditch homework instead.

My roommate hid my book from me so I’d do homework instead!

So voila, a few easy tips to get you going on improving your language skills, and writing skills, and all the other wonderful things that books can do for you.

How do you get yourself to read? What are some challenges to you personally in picking up a book? Share whatever thoughts you have! I always love to hear from readers.

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Facing Fears for the New Year

Racing heart, sweating palms, mouth starting to dry up as I lick my lips hopelessly trying to translate lacking moisture. It never seems to get any easier.

I’ve been told it’s foolish. People scoff at me when they find out, raise their eyebrows, chuckle as though wondering if it’s really a joke. It’s not everyday you meet someone who’s terrified of driving…

Fear is an unexplainable strange entity that few have ever been able to give voice to over centuries of pondering. No matter how irrational and odd it seems, there still remains something there, something that can inhibit people’s most basic abilities. Like mine with getting in a car and going a few blocks. It may seem foolish, but it’s there. Especially so with the fact I’m still figuring out how to drive stick.

My parents gave me a manual transmission car for Christmas. I’m grateful, to be sure. But nonetheless, it has been an adventure I’ve taken it up with a great deal of panic and a large number of tears and one too many meltdowns over stalling. Now, you have to understand I bawled the first day of my driver’s ed class, so this is nothing new for me. Every time I get into a supposedly terrifying situation I break down without real explanation. And most everyone looks at me like I’m acting ridiculous. What’s the big deal? People drive everyday!

Anxiety is a nasty beast to be sure, and one I’m still trying to conquer. And coming up to school in my new cute little car, I had trouble facing it without feeling my limbs start tensing up and my heart start acting like it wants to run a marathon. And as I struggled my first day in town to get it over the smallest little hump, I found myself losing hope. That is until my father spoke reason to my emotion ridden brain.

“You do this every single time,” my father said with a sigh. “I remember you crying and telling us you couldn’t go to college the first day you were here. And look at you now, you’re a senior…about to graduate. You have good grades, you’ve been very successful.”

And what he said was true as I recalled back to my tearful first orientation day at my college. And as I thought about it began to dawn on me my patterns of behavior. All throughout my life there have been hills I’ve had to take. And at the bottom of each one I’ve always been terrified, always been uncertain, always managed to stall a few times trying to get up them and sometimes panicked and decided I couldn’t do it. I thought back to my anxiety starting high school, or trying not to cry sitting on a plane going to France by myself, or bawling in the car on the way to volley ball camp because it just seemed too hard.

Life is full of hills. And for some reason I just can’t get it in my mind that it’s the same process for each one, no matter how high or steep or difficult they seem at first. I just need to keep calm and focus my attention on giving the engine enough gas to make it, pull off the clutch slowly without panicking and jerking off midway through.

The same applies to my life as a writer. In many ways when it comes to my writing I’m still that terrified little beginning driver. I have my car, I have my learned skills. But even with all this practice, sometimes it just seems like too much. Hence why I’ve backed down hills like editing my work, or submitting to publishers, or sharing with more people.

But what good is a car if you never drive it? And that has been my constant thought these last few weeks. It does no good to me, or to the car, or to anyone else for that matter. I’m hoping this last semester will be a good time to change that. And I’m starting big.

I’m writing a novella for my senior capstone class. Which means I’ll be sharing with my professors, and classmates, and I’ll have to pull myself out of my little shell and actually be vulnerable. And sure I’m scared, as I always am. But sometimes it’s necessary to face your fears. Again and again in life looking back I’ve wondered why I was so terrified of random moments. And sure, some of those fears never go away…like driving (although it’s somewhat easier), or traveling abroad, or even moving on to a new stage in life (like graduation *shudder*), but at the same time looking back I know now I can order food at a restaurant without getting too nervous (seriously, I was a really awkward kid), I can take my essays in for editing without being too afraid of the criticism, I can make myself do new forms of writing like journalism, or go eat at the cafeteria by myself and be just fine.

And just like I celebrated conquering the little hill near my house, I celebrate the small successes and look forward to conquering the bigger ones as well. So I encourage others to do as well. No matter how timid or shy or scared or anxious or anything else you are, never be afraid to take risks. After all, you miss every publishing opportunity you don’t try for (because hey, the soccer goal metaphor works for us too right?).

What are you afraid of (as a writer, or in life in general)? How have you conquered your fears? It’s a crazy semester but I’m hoping to be back on here from time to time, hopefully updating as I work through my process of actually putting a novella out in the open.

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