Let me apologize again for going MIA once more. While producing quality content for you guys is one of my greatest joys, these past few weeks have been intense. I cannot wait for the days when I will be able to write more, and those days are coming soon (I promise!).
Since I’ve been gone for a few weeks now, I thought it would be fun to give a little update post as to what’s been going on. Before I do that, though, I want to say that I miss reading your posts and getting to know you guys better. Here in a few weeks I will be reading all that you guys have for me, just so keep that in mind. 🙂
So… Without further ado. Here we go!
1. BATTLING QUITE THE COUGH
A few years ago I made the interesting choice to study abroad in Argentina, and one of the lasting effects of that decision is the fact that I have a violent cough that comes back twice a year. I’m pretty sure it is chronic bronchitis, but my university’s doctors do not believe that (of course not, right?). So in a few weeks I’ll be making the trip over to a lung specialist to see how damaged my lungs are.
2. FLYING BEYOND BELIEF
In the past few months I’ve accrued about 100 hours of flight time. The reason I’m writing this on the blog is that I want you guys to know that I haven’t been intentionally ignoring you; I’ve been swamped with other things. (Although I hardly count flying as forcing me anywhere but into the clouds, and I like being in the clouds LOL).
3. HOMEWORK, HOMEWORK, HOMEWORK
As a college kid there is a lot of work to do. Factor in five classes, even if the degree is only in Spanish, and there’s much to do. Most of my free time is eaten up this way, but I want to alert you guys to the fun news that I’ll be done with this in three short weeks. That’s right, I’m graduating college. Chau, California! (And I say this happily.)
4. THE SHORT STORY SURPRISE IS COMING SOON
Here in a few weeks I will release a short story I wrote for creative writing class called “Shadow.” It’s pretty dramatic, and I was hoping to release it back in October in time for Halloween. However, I forgot that I can’t release it until I’m done with class, so I will be posting it here shortly. 🙂
As always, thank you guys for being part of this journey. All your support has meant so much to me, even when I’m not as active on the blog. Don’t worry, that will change soon!
Now… How are you guys doing? Keep me updated, and I promise I will be following all you’re producing so, so soon!
Hello, my dear readers! Hope all is well in your nook of the universe. ❤
This will be a quick post for you guys, but I just wanted to alert you all to something I’ve got in the works beginning this September 1: We’re doing another poetry series!
As you guys may know, I wrote two weeks’ worth of poems in a series called Sins & Virtues, in which I penned my opinions on the Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Heavenly Virtues. Since I miss writing a poem every day, I thought it would be fun to come up with another series, and this one is going to be a little different than Sins & Virtues.
We’re going to be going through the English alphabet, from A-Z. Every day there will be a new poem published here that connects to that day’s letter. Yes, this may seem childish, but I think it’s going to be a way to stimulate my creativity in a new way.
I hope you guys will be okay with this. I don’t want to spam you too much, so I hope you will bear with me for the next few weeks during this series. ❤
In a universe
Where miracles are reality.
To enrich blood
That flows within us.
Beating in chests
With a scarlet desire.
Drowning in sin
Praying to begin again.
A SPECIAL SHOUTOUT & AN EXPLANATION
Thank you to The Reluctant Poet (please check out his website here) for introducing me to this style of poetry, elfchen (also known as elevenie). Sweet and simple elfchens implement the following word formula:
4, 5, 6
7, 8, 9, 10
When I sat down to try my hand at elfchens, I immediately thought of the classical elements of ancient Greece (Earth, Air, Fire, Water). These are the four major components of nature that mean the most to me, and it felt natural to write about the elements in this style of poetry.
We are indebted to the world we live in, and if you’re like me, you probably take this for granted more often than not. There are days when the stresses of normal life seem so great that we forget how cosmically lucky we are to be walking around on a giant space rock like Earth. Just thinking of the probabilities of human life on this planet is enough to send my mind into a swirl!
No poem does our planet justice, but this is my little way of saying thank you to Earth. This world we have is God-given, a holy place for the billions of people who have been born here. While things may not seem fair at times, there is still an infinite amount of gratitude we should have toward our home. Maybe I am idealistic, but I believe that there is no other place in the universe like Earth!
Thanks again to The Reluctant Poet for suggesting this to me. This has honestly been my favorite poem to write. ❤
Thank you guys for reading, and I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Hold your horses, my dear readers. I promise that I am not brokenhearted or pining after a chico (for those of you who don’t know, chico is “boy” in Spanish, and I say it way too much when referring to males). Nope, I’m quite happy, and this poem was borne out of a humid midnight at home.
Though I am an emotional soul, I challenged myself to write this poem despite the fact that I have no idea where it came from or what it is really about. When I read it for the first time, it sounded like a bad break-up song. While this poem can be analyzed through that lens, I think there a billion other things that can relate to that killer dream. For me personally it could refer to my writing career. I went to school in order to pursue a creative writing degree that did not fulfill me, and I am the only one who holds the blame in that regard.
But I don’t think it’s about writing, and I’m quite certain it is not about a chico. Therefore, this poem can be left to your interpretation. And I really want to know what you think, and… Maybe there is something here for you too. Maybe you have a dream that has killed you, and you know that you’re the only person to blame.
Anyway, I thought this beautiful May day would be perfect for a little snap of poetry. As always thank you so much for reading!
2019 is upon us, and if you’re like me, you probably have some resolutions up your sleeve. While every day is a perfect start to aim for a new goal, New Year’s Day is always a nice reminder to freshen things up a bit!
I hope you all have been thinking of some resolutions of your own, but I thought I would share 19 of my personal resolutions for this defining year! And remember–everything is what you make it.
1. More water
I’m addicted to Diet Coke, so this doesn’t really need more explaining, other than the fact that I need to incorporate more water into my diet. Maybe some of you rely on coffee to get you through the day, and while an occasional cup of joe or gallon of Diet Coke is permissible, I plan on setting certain days as water-only days. (We’ll see how this goes.)
2. Track Tuesday
Some friends and I have recently implemented “Track Tuesday” into our weekly schedule. This simply means that we take one night out of the week to exercise, whether that be jogging (for me and Miss Givenchy) or weightlifting (for the chicos). It’s probably better to exercise more than once a week, but for now, this is a good starting point.
3. Speak my mind
Recently I read a news article entitled “Are you a people pleaser?” My answer would be an emphatic yes. I let others control me in so many aspects, and sometimes I never reveal what I’m truly thinking. Enough of that! It’s important to say what you think, or people will always take advantage of you.
4. Learn to go for it
We’re put in certain situations for a reason. 2018 taught me to remember that you’re in charge of your own life, and 2019 will be the year of going for it. What do I mean by this? I’m simply saying that we only have a set time on this Earth, and we waste so much time, whether that be playing video games, spending hours and hours on the phone (see #5), or, something relatable to all of humankind, worrying.
Therefore, I say that we spend our time going for it. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Channel your discomfort into new passions, new memories, and new discoveries.
5. Less time on phone
A few days ago, I checked the “screen time” on my iPhone and almost threw the thing at the wall. I spent seven hours on that thing in the span of 24 hours, which is absolutely unacceptable. There are so many other things I could have done with that seven hours: Hanging out with family and friends, working on new books, planning trips, making money. Instead, I was watching pointless videos, reading nonsense facts online, and lying around with nothing to show for it.
It’s time to spend less time on all technology, because the physical world around us is too amazing to forget.
6. Read more books
In today’s society, we are constantly pounded by information. It seems as if everywhere we go, an excess of knowledge is available at our fingertips. While this has its positives, there are also some negatives to this sort of reliance on technology, especially considering #5.
Therefore, I will challenge myself to read more novels in this upcoming year. Books are great methods to relieve stress and relax, and it is a great way to entertain your brain. When I am overwhelmed by the world around me, books are a source of escape. Therefore, it is time to read as much as possible!
7. Don’t be so cryptic
Some of you may have no idea what I am writing about on this, but I bet some of you can relate. Simply put, I am pretty cryptic. I am not the biggest fan of people knowing where I am or what I am doing, and I have gained quite the reputation as “Kryptic Katie.”
In 2019 I will work on being more open with people. It is important that we remember our loved ones do truly care about us, and it is important to keep them in the loop.
8. Go to church more, pray more
Prayer is a beautiful, wonderful thing, and I urge all of you to try it out. I have been slacking on this front, but I truly believe in the power of belief and faith, and so I want to pray more this year.
9. Spend more time with those I love
It is time to be bittersweet: Time is passing by, and we’re growing older, each and every one of us. It is time to realize this, because when we let our days go with no thought for the future, we can sometimes forget how important the present is–and to treasure each moment.
Therefore, we need to spend more time with the people we love, even when it feels mundane or boring or annoying, because there will be a day when we won’t see them again.
Rejoice in the relationships you have, even in the low points. And in 2019 we should work on spending more time with the people we love.
10. Write a novel that matters
Writers, listen up!
This is the year we need to actually write something–and something that matters! What does this mean? Doesn’t everything we write matter? Well, if I’m being completely honest, I find a difference between some of my novels. For example, a romance like Mystic Mississippi does not have the same value as one of my magical realism books.
Different genres exist for different purposes, but I want to write something that has symbolism, magic, and value for my readers. This will be the year when I write something out of my comfort zone, but something that needs to be written.
11. Extend the olive branch
I have spent so much time thinking of outcomes and possibilities and what-ifs instead of actually pursuing what matters (#4, anyone?). However, I have also learned that it is imperative to be kind and good-hearted to both the people I meet and the people I know.
I’m sick of losing relationships, or not even getting a chance to develop these relationships, because I haven’t extended the olive branch. I make mistakes, and I want forgiveness. I don’t want to hide away in my transgressions, but instead to find growth and develop as a person.
Olive branch, even when I am stubborn.
12. Dress up more
Well, this is going to be an interesting resolution. My entire life, I have been a fan of super casual clothing. In summertime, I am in t-shirts; in winter, I am in t-shirts covered with sweaters. However, going to college has taught me that there is value in dressing up, even if it’s just a little better than normal.
While dressing up doesn’t define a person, it can matter in the realm of relationships. Our identities are personified in so many aspects, and the way we dress ourselves can present certain characteristics before we even say a word. Therefore, I have decided I want to banish the t-shirts (even if just for a few days per week) in favor of a more stylish look.
13. Learn to cook better
This is a huge one. I am so sick and tired of eating microwaveable meals at college, and when I come home and have access to a kitchen, I’m always making pasta or sandwiches. Therefore, I want to expand my cooking abilities.
14. Wear glasses more
This may seem a little random, but it is! I have terrible vision and rely on contacts for 99% of my waking life. However, I want to wear my glasses more because, well, it is just a change, I suppose. Plus, my friends refer to my alter ego as “Glasses Katie.” Pretty ridiculous, I know.
15. Learn the ukulele
In December 2018, so only a month ago, a few friends introduced me to both the guitar and the ukulele. They love to play, and since I am always around them, I found myself strumming the ukulele one night. My friend Even taught me some chords on the “uke,” while my friend Matt worked with me on guitar.
Christmas break rolled around, and I found myself missing the ukulele, and missing it a lot. So I did a quick search on Amazon, bought one for $30, and have been playing non-stop since. My fingers are calloused, my family annoyed with my endless songs, and my brain on fire.
The ukulele is such a peaceful, happy instrument, and it is so much fun to play. I totally recommend for you guys to check it out, even if you aren’t the biggest fans of music. It’s very easy to learn, and I hope to develop my abilities this year.
16. Clean more
This should be on everyone’s resolutions list, if we’re being quite honest. While I am all for individuality, cleanliness is a must. It isn’t the most fun thing to keep up with, and I’m guilty of being a slob, but it’s time to grow up and keep a clean work space and living arrangement.
17. Exfoliate the skin
Okay, here is a slightly more comedic point on this resolutions list. Recently I got a facial at the spa (now that experience should be a blog post) and was told to exfoliate my skin more. Time to live up to that tip.
And for those of you who have never had a facial… Get one done this year. It is an interesting experience, to say the least.
18. Talk about things that matter
So often we get caught up in the mundane life that what really matters is swept under the rug. We lose sight of the people we love, and our own feelings are ignored. This is why we have to be intentional to discuss things–and the things that matter most to us.
In 2019 I hope to be both myself and open to new conversations. I want to hash out my opinions and listen to others’, without fear or annoyance or pre-judgments. But this also means that I hope others will respect my own thoughts, and be open to talking about these issues as well.
19. Remember to do what I love
It is no secret that writing is my passion, and it’s my favorite thing in the world. (And I’m sure this is true for a lot of you who are reading this blog.) However, we must remember to make time for our passions. We must be intentional, we cannot cave into boredom or laziness, and we must remember who we are in the process.
People and circumstance will always wear on us, just like eroding winds carving out chunks of canyon. But this doesn’t mean it can’t create something beautiful, and we must use our experiences to further what sets our souls on fire. At college, I lose sight of my writing, because there are so many other things to do. But we cannot always think like this, or we can lose our contentment and drive.
Do what you love in this year. It’s worth it.
Now it’s up to you: What do you want to resolve of yourself in this upcoming year? Already a week of January has flown by, and the year will follow shortly. Make sure to think of your own list, and stick to it, because if we don’t make the first step, we sure aren’t going to make the entire journey.
Sometimes the hourglass of time feels even more oppressive than normal…
This is going to be a little bit of a “venting” post, because I want to admit something to you guys. It’s not going to be Earth-shattering or panic-inducing, but it is something that you can probably relate to.
So here we go: Do you ever feel like you blink, three months have whipped by, and you’ve wasted a HUGE chunk of time?
Okay, I want to clarify: I do not feel as if I have completely wasted the past three months. I am a full-time college student, student pilot (LOL, one of these days I will finally have my license), and writer. On the social side, I hang out with a bunch of roaches (I promise, this is an endearing term) 24/7 and try not to pull out my hair due to the infuriating ways of other twentysomethings. But these things make me so happy, and I love flying and my ridiculous friends.
That being said, there is a continent of me that has been underwater for the past few months. This part of me is like Atlantis waiting to be rediscovered, and I’m sick of drowning in something I’ve caused for myself.
I’ve been writing less and less these past few months, and I can attribute it to multiple things. I knew that I wouldn’t be writing as much this semester, which contributed to my goal of finishing five novels over the summer, but I did not realize it would be this bad.
In the past three months, I have started three novels, left all of them in the dust, and waited for magic to pull me up from the bottom of the ocean. However, that’s not how writing works. I truly believe good writing comes from stretching the writing muscle, and I’ve been atrophied for quite some time.
It’s not that I don’t have material, because being away from home gives me tons of material, as you can imagine. It’s not that I don’t have the time, though my California life does get tiring. It’s not that I don’t want to do it, because writing makes me happiest (although it’s getting closer and closer to a tie with flying).
So what have I been doing to myself? Isn’t it true that if you love something, you’ll do anything to be doing it? What’s wrong with me?
Unfortunately, I do have to go to school, and this takes up considerable chunks of time. A bonus fact: I am in a creative writing class that claims the time I could use to write what I want to write, which feels pretty counterproductive.
I love my friends to death, but it is a constant battle between wanting to hang out and be with them versus taking time for myself (AKA writing). This semester I have been pretty bad at remembering to swallow my introverted pill and catch a few hours to write and recover.
With any sort of social group, there are going to be things that take up headspace, and I can pinpoint certain components of this to the reasons why I haven’t had the right mentality to write. 😉
This is the only school that matters to me right now. I am in full-blown study mode and since this is going to be my future career path, I know I need to focus more on this part of my life now. Therefore, some of my writing time will be snatched up by flying, but that’s okay. I just have to reorganize my priorities.
What do I want to write?
The three attempts I’ve made over the three months have been varied: There is a psychological thriller, Southern Gothic drama, and cheesy romance. I think I’m struggling with what I want to write, because I’m not a genre-specific writer.
My mind has been elsewhere
You’ve got to be in the game to write, and even more committed if you want to write well. With normal life comes normal struggles, including bouts of stress and exhaustion, and this affects writing as well.
Clear that headspace
What does this mean, you may be asking? Well, for me, it means getting the heck out of dodge. When I’m feeling suffocated, I grab my keys and hop in the car. A nice drive cleanses my mind, especially when I’ve got the windows down and the music on full-blast. Other methods include a nice jog or hike, a heart to heart with a friend, or brainstorming a story at a coffee shop.
Take time for myself
All right. We all know that there are extraverts (those who feed off social interaction) and introverts (those who need time to recover after a social experience) in society. There are even people who are ambiverts, a blend of both extraverts and introverts.
I used to be very introverted, got more extraverted in college, and now consider myself to be an ambivert. There are moments I live off social interaction, but moments when I desperately need to be by myself.
The cure is normally writing. But these past few months, my cure has been missing, and therefore I’ve felt really strange as a result.
You have to take time for yourself, no matter where you are in life or who you are. When it comes down to it, we all have to live with, you guessed it, ourselves. It feels good sometimes to take a breath and a moment for yourself.
In these moments, when I stop and let my mind ramble on and on, I gain some of my best plot ideas.
Force myself to do it
Daily quota, where you at? If you’ve read some of my earlier writing posts, you know I am infatuated with the concept of the daily quota, in which a writer commits him or herself to a set word limit per day. It is a great way to rehearse the art of writing, even if you have no idea what you want to write about.
While this worked for me in years past, it has been missing in my way of life for the past three months, so it’s time to reestablish THE DAILY QUOTA!
Cut out negative energy
Negative, convert to positive. Those terrible feelings that are bringing you down need to be cut out, and there are multiple ways to do this. Prayer works. Eliminating bad influences works. Trying new things works. It just depends on who you are and how you handle situations, and you know the toxic aspects of your life.
Why have those toxic aspects when they only cause more problems in the long run? I know what mine is, and I’m going to try my hardest to rid myself of its influence.
There has got to be a “stake in the ground moment” in which you are the one who knows what is happening versus what should be happening. This comes into all facets of life, whether that be with writing or relationships or choosing to cut out a Diet Coke addiction (yeah, right).
Therefore, I’m going to say, “No more,” to not writing. I’m going to scream it from a mountaintop if I have to, because my happiness is improved ten-fold when I’m working on a project.
Now let’s connect this to your life. What is the thing that you’ve been neglecting? Maybe it’s a person you haven’t been talking to. Maybe it’s a hobby you’ve forgotten. I’m sure if you think super hard you’ll be able to think of something. My request for you all is to think of this thing and work your hardest to mend the situation. You’ll know the solution if you can identify the problem.
Hi, readers… Today we’re going to dive into a topic that I’m sure the majority of you can’t stand. It’s a writer’s worst enemy and something that will inevitably affect all of us at some point. What is this terrible, nasty thing?
When I was first starting out in the world of writing, I didn’t believe in writer’s block. At first writing always came so naturally, so easily, and I couldn’t possibly understand how some couldn’t just flesh out their ideas on the page (or Word document).
Fast forward to now, and I’m sad to say the story has changed. I’m a believer now.
Therefore, I’d like to do a little research into this curious phenomenon and learn more tips to combat it.
Some writers are magically inspired by the dazzling world around them, and that is amazing. If you can write, no problem at all, then be blessed by your gift. Like I said earlier, I never had writer’s block when I first started writing, but things shifted a bit.
In my case, I’m pretty sure that writer’s block stems from two definite sources: Location and Fatigue. Where I am in the world at a specific point in time tremendously affects the tone and subject matter of what I choose to write, which I assume can be the same situation for you guys. Fatigue, therefore, is the lack of creative inspiration that drives us writers.
Whenever I am at college, my writing declines exponentially. I find excuses not to sit down and work on books, because I have other “commitments” that distract from what really matters (like writing). Writing has always been something that is central to who I am, and when I am not writing, I don’t feel like myself. Therefore, there is a juxtaposition between doing what makes you happy and trying to find space to let your creative thoughts take root.
Though I’d say location and fatigue are the top two causes for me, here are some more possible causes:
There are many symptoms of writer’s block, more so than just the inability to write or create more material. For me, some things that stand out are: Sluggishness, Moodiness, and an Inability to Focus.
Sluggishness is the aspect of writer’s block that really bothers me. Normally, I am a very motivated and goal-oriented person, and when I cannot complete my daily quota (the amount of words I write per day), I get very moody. People who know me can attest to how I am when I am not working on a book, because writing is what I love most, and if I can’t write, what’s the point? Another core symptom of my writer’s block is the inability to focus. I grow distracted, bored, and waste so much time on pointless things that have no tangible benefit.
For example, I have been at college for two months now, and it hit me last week that I have effectively wasted these two months, and with what to gain? (Besides LNCs and an amazing roommate relationship.) I have written close to nothing, but sure, I’ve spent time playing around with no end game in sight. That’s pretty frustrating, but luckily it’s something I am correcting at this point in time.
The good thing is that writer’s block is ultimately treatable, depending on the writer. You have to want to fix the problem in order to get rid of it, and since this affects different people in different ways, I’m certain that there are different cures for everyone.
I’ve found the best cure is to release yourself from the daily grind. When I know I need to write, I escape to a local coffee shop where there’s no one I know. And though it is extremely difficult, I make myself write. If it takes thirty minutes to get me started, then so be it. You’ve got to force yourself to write to combat this problem, and that’s the truth. The number one step to fighting writer’s block is to force yourself to write.
Here are some other common cures, according to the wonderful internet:
Get rid of distractions (people, phone, whatever your kryptonite is)
Use your own voice (instead of a specific character)
So, take that, writer’s block.
It’s a learning process, that’s for sure, but if you’re committed to your writing, you can defeat it too.
Until next time,
P.S. I am working on a new book now. More to update you guys on very soon. 🙂
When I first stumbled upon the self-publishing universe in 2013, I was hooked. I loved the idea of writing a book, throwing it on the internet, and waiting for my life to change forever. While my life has changed due to this component of ebook promotion, I still cringe at it sometimes…
I am immensely grateful to Smashwords, the platform which I’ve used to publish sixteen novels (of which ten are still available to download). For those of you who don’t know, Smashwords is a service that will convert your simple Word document into an ebook available on iBooks, Barnes & Noble, the Kindle Store, Kobo, etc. It’s pretty incredible, and it’s comprised of thousands of writers looking to share their creativity.
When I published my first book, I remember the euphoric feeling of completing something, and it was so powerful. This debut, Whatley, was a period piece set in 1960s New York: A successful businessman falls in love with a young actress who has a checkered past. Though I look back at this book with a critical eye, it is still a stake in the ground moment: My first book.
Now, five years later, I am still in shock that this has been a chunk of my life. For a quarter of my life I’ve had books published on the internet, and this is because of Smashwords. So much has happened in these past five years, and writing has been the one thing to keep me rooted.
After writing Whatley and downloading it as an ebook for the first time, I knew I’d found my addiction. Shortly after, I wrote a young adult novel, Some Fiction; another historical drama, Frail Endings; a science fiction thriller, Path of Breath; and two romance novels, my best-selling books to-date, Roses in December and Breezes in April.
These novels were available to download until 2016, when I decided to upgrade my current wave of ebooks. While I will always be fond of my first generation of books, there is no doubt that they are idealistic, young, and written by a teenager. I tend to look at my books in different settings: There’s college freshman Katie George, summertime Katie George, etc. Because of this, I wanted my currently published novels to reflect what I am proud of as a writer.
My newest generation of novels began with my senior year in high school. I wrote a science fiction novella, Sirimiri, that cemented this new stage of my writing persona. I wanted to think harder, write stronger, and dig in deeper. Following Sirimiri, I quickly wrote a new batch of books: the young adult romance, Letting Go; the anti-romance romance, Six Maybe Seven; the chick flick Liane Moriarty impersonation, The Forever Optimist; and the dramatic, somewhat boring The Question. These novels reflect a pre-college Katie George. Though still idealistic, these novels were written by an eighteen-year-old kid who just wanted a boyfriend.
Flash forward to freshman year of college, when I found myself separated from my family and friends back home. I wanted to challenge myself, and challenge myself I did: I wrote a science fiction thriller, Dark Descent, that marked my first attempt at literary writing. Suddenly, I felt that what I was writing mattered. It wasn’t a silly story written to distract me from adolescent problems (though it does contain elements of this): It was a story written with the explicit intention to critique the problems I saw in society.
The next project I worked on is my (currently) unpublished novel, In the Course of Time, which is my favorite novel so far. It’s magical realism, features some of the best characters I’ve written, and plays with emotions. So far, this novel is my magnum opus. 🙂
I took a break from writing while studying abroad until I came home for Christmas 2017. Over the course of six weeks, I wrote Waverly, a thriller with science fiction and horror elements. I finished editing this novel over the summer of 2018,and it too is one I am afraid to publish online, because I love it too much.
After Waverly I went back to romance, chugging out Mystic Mississippi while living in Buenos Aires. It is one of my most Southern books to-date, but it helped me get through eight months abroad!
And you guys have heard a lot about my writings from this summer: I wrote three romance novels, finished Waverly, and wrote a psychological thriller, By the Skin of My Teeth.
So, this is just a quick little appreciation post to Smashwords, for inspiring me to share my books with the world, for reminding me that people do genuinely care to see what’s rolling around the sea that is the human brain. I will always be grateful for this experience, and even if I’m forty seven and never write another book, I will always look at Smashwords and my ebook career as a highlight of my life.
And there’s nothing saying you can’t do it either. If you are interested in publishing online, Smashwords is definitely the site to check out. 🙂
Why not drive across the blistering, burning desert in the middle of August?
For those of you who don’t know, I’m a big travel fan. I was bitten by the travel bug young, and I take every opportunity to go where I can (in reason, due to my struggling bank account). And though I have been to the Great American West many a time, considering that I spend a majority of my time in California, there is something about New Mexico and Arizona that really speaks to me.
Recently, I spent four days traveling from Tennessee to California. While the trip can be made in roughly two and a half days, this road trip had a few, well… Interesting stops. Therefore, I’d like to highlight my favorite moments from this journey, in case you are considering a trip out West anytime soon. 🙂
ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO
Day one of my journey from Tennessee was spent in my luxurious Honda automobile across three great states: Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. This part of the journey was rather boring, if I’m being honest, because… Well, I’m used to the scenery of flat land, trees, and Southerners. Therefore, we drove fast and furious to New Mexico, where we spent our second day cruising from Roswell to Las Cruces.
While outside the little alien-prone town is nothing but the barren traces of desert, the town itself is devoted to its UFO heritage. It seemed like half the businesses in town had some sort of alien shrine. I tried to capture a picture of an alien statue at a local Domino’s pizzeria, but I wasn’t fast enough to capture the shot. 🙂
For those of you who don’t know, the town of Roswell is famous because of its connection to a UFO (unidentified flying object) crash about seventy miles northwest in the town of Corona. There was a huge cover-up situation in which the government promised the public the crash was nothing but a downed weather balloon, but some speculate the crash could be extraterrestrial in origin.
No matter what you may think, the town’s devotion to aliens is unique, to say the least, and if you drive around the open desert around it, one might think anything is possible…
WHITE SANDS NATIONAL MONUMENT, NEW MEXICO
Not too far away from Roswell is a small town called Alamogordo (yes, a mouthful!). It is probably a three-hour drive from Roswell, so nothing too bad. In the midst of the great basin, one is able to detect the hint of plump sand dunes…
When we drove closer, there was a sudden downpour from a summer thunderstorm, but that didn’t stop us from checking out the dunes.
At White Sands National Monument, one can stand or sled on tall, creamy dunes that go on for miles. I expected the sand to be hot against the soles of my feet, but it actually felt really good. This is a definite spot to check out, and I think photos do it more justice than my attempt at a blog post about it.
Tombstone, Arizona, is the United States’ most legendary Western town. Famous for the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Tombstone has been the center of many tourists’ interest in the American West.
The town has a lengthy history, but I was expecting it to be a ghost town. It wasn’t like that at all. I was thoroughly surprised to find it an actual town, with a high school to boot.
My favorite part of Tombstone is the Bird Cage Theatre, home to twenty-six deaths, an infamous gambling set-up and brothel, and ghosts to tell the stories. Considering that this trip was other-worldly, so to speak, I did ask the tour guide about the Theatre’s haunted past.
His response: “Go talk to one of the spirits right now.”
So… I took a piece of candy to entice the spirit of a young boy named Joshy, but nothing happened. Though I am skeptical of ghosts and such, the Theatre definitely has one of those creepy auras to it, but it’s a must-see.
And there you go: My top three visits on this year’s road trip. It was a whole lot of fun to drive, but I know it isn’t everybody’s favorite thing to do. For those of you who do like a trip, check this one out, but I do have some better locations to recommend in a later blog post.
I promise my next post will deal with writing, but I thought it would be a fun diversion from my normal musings. 🙂
The cosmos haunt my mind like an infinity of twinkling ghosts.
My spirit is plagued by them, as their grace is so binding
It draws its captive in, a vacuum of eclectic energy.
Those stars call out, “Believe in something
Greater than yourself,” and yet I know
My soul is the one to decide.
My soul chooses like
Happens to be choice.
These stars are God’s wet tears,
I have decided, and yet I cannot tell if
The cosmic drops are the happy kind or sad.
I have just learned to thank those stars for time, as
Still when I—a living creature—blink up at them, I realize
Their burning spectral light shines even when they are dead.
I wrote this poem for a creative writing class in late 2016. Though I don’t typically write poetry, I enjoyed writing this one. My professor asked our class to work on a portfolio of poetry, and I was honestly pretty annoyed. My “specialty” (I feel like a total dork writing this out) is the novel, but I understood the point of assignment… And I’m thankful she exposed us to various mediums of writing, though I haven’t written a poem since that class.
For my portfolio, I decided to write five poems that revolved around the five elements. You may be thinking, aren’t there are only four elements? Well, I thought so too. I wrote my poems for earth, water, fire, and wind, and I wasn’t completely satisfied. Something was missing…
A few days later, I discovered there is actually a fifth element inJapanese philosophy (stemming from the Buddhist tradition), and that is void. Void relates to the energy we cannot see. Void is pure energy, and it is beyond what our normal day-to-day experience. Simply put, void is what makes us feel, what makes us create, what makes us thrive.
This poem isn’t a masterpiece. In fact, I didn’t put a lot of thought in it. I just knew I wanted its shape to be like that of an hourglass, and it needed to relate to the cosmos. Through those two requirements, this poem was born.
I hope you enjoy it, but don’t read too far into it. Though I love analyzing poetry and literature, there is something about reading it the first time before ruminating on each aching word.