A Huge WordPress Thank You—100 Follows!

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I just hit over 100 viewers for my blog! Thank you, my dear readers, for making this possible. It warms my heart that viewers like you take time out of your day to enjoy my content. Looking back since I started, it feels like a long journey. I wanted to express some of my feelings about this blog and what plans I have for it going forward.

—WordPress Beginnings—

How I Started with WordPress

I was halfway through my alpha manuscript for Ethereal Seals when I read good things about blogging—WordPress in particular. Many writers took up blogging, not just for building followers, but also for the sake of the craft. I find it relaxing  and a chance to meet wonderful people like you.

My First Year on WordPress

Not much happened within the first few years of my blog. At attime, my webpage was an unpaid subscription with minimal features. I rarely posted, mostly using the page as an archive to brainstorm and test ideas rather than a blog.

—A Rough Journey—

Enter 2018

In 2018, I began routine posts to connect with any viewers. I had fleshed out the skeleton for Ethereal Seals and wanted to spread word about it. Unfortunately, it was rare for me to get more than a few views each week. The road was rough and depressing. Some months I was too busy to blog, or I felt unmotivated. Many times I almost threw in the towel.

Yet, I kept blogging, regardless of my dismal results. With every post, my blogging skills improved. I explored WordPress more and discovered new ways to format my site. I read other bloggers’ pages and networked. Soon, I had a small niche of blogger buddies.

Leveling Up

Early in 2018, my website had leveled up to a Personal WordPress page. I wanted my own domain at a reasonable cost. I also read that having a domain is like owning your own brand—it shows the world you’re serious about blogging and writing.

Towards the end of 2018 and through parts of 2019, I was between jobs, relying on my freelance writing and part-time gigs to keep me financially afloat. I also found a local writers’ group in my village, a place for feedback and networking. So far, I have enjoyed it, and the people there are helpful.

Meanwhile, I noticed my follower count improving on WordPress. I expected to get only 10 to 15 followers by year’s end. With your generous help, I’ve achieved so much more!

—Looking into the Future—

A Spiritual Vacation

Although I still consider myself a neophyte at writing, my ability has improved considerably since 2018 and 2019. Not only am I more creative, but also a bit more confident.

I’ve taken a hiatus from fiction reading in favor of some spiritual nonfiction; it has helped put things into perspective. Some of my favorites so far have been Spiritual Experiences by Swami Sivananda, The Essene Gospel of Peace by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely, and Along the Path to Enlightenment by David R. Hawkings.

Into 2020

I’m happy with the way this blog has turned out. My intent for the first couple of years was a casual blog. It’s now turned into a helpful website for writers and new age thinkers.

Going forward, I will continue to improve my blogging skills and expand my outreach. This should garner more support for my writing projects: Ethereal Seals and Tempest of the Dragon. I’m always looking for beta readers and helpers. If you’re interested, let me know.

Final Remarks

With that said, I know the writer’s journey is arduous for anyone. I will remain patient and steadfast to my goals. My manuscript has improved significantly—and continues to with every editing pass.

As 2019 draws to a close, my objectives for 2020 are to save up enough money for an editor, find an agent, and begin the publishing process for Ethereal Seals book one. I intend to remain a blogger and attendee to the writers’ group. If things pan out, my book—or ebook if I self-publish—will be available by late 2020. Hopefully this will be the year (fingers crossed). You can read more about my ambitions for 2020 in this post.

Thank you all once again for your support, my readers. Without you, I may have given up long ago. Comments and even likes motivate me to blog and my writing endeavors. You have my love and gratitude.

 

 

 

 

Happy New Years!

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Hello, everyone, and Happy New Year! 2019 was an exciting year for me—and a lot happened. However, in this post, I wanted to reflect on what’s ahead. I’ve compiled a survey of questions that should help me think more about what I want to achieve in 2020 in regards to my writing and other pursuits. Hopefully, it’ll inspire you too!

What Are Your Initial Impressions of 2020?

It’s the beginning of a new decade. That means big changes and shifts in everyone’s lives. For me personally, I see it as a milestone. Looking back reminds me of how far I’ve come and what lies ahead for me. In short, I’m excited to get started!

Any Literary Goals for the New Year?

Well, I’ve been busy the past few months with the holidays, family gatherings, new projects, my meditation sessions, and some fun game releases. Other than NaNo and my Havok submission, I’ve spent less time on writing that I would have liked.

In general, my goals would be thus:

  1. Polish Dragonsblade and find an agent or self-publish by the end of the year
  2. Finish my alpha manuscript, Tempest of the Dragon
  3. Submit one or two more short stories to online magazines
  4. Read more books! 😛
  5. Observe the spiritual changes in myself as this all happens

How Have You Changed As a Writer Since Last Year?

Overall, I’m more confident and I have a higher pool of knowledge to draw from. I’ve done a lot of research into health and spirituality, which has indirectly benefited my abilities as a writer. The healthier and calmer I get through practices like meditation, the better I can focus and utilize the infinite creativity within all of us.

I’m nowhere near perfect by any means, but I’m constantly growing  as a writer and as a soul. The way I see it: if you aren’t healthy, you can’t enjoy or perform as a writer. If you’re without a divine goal, you don’t have a strong enough drive to get your writing done.

I now realize I want to write to inspire and encourage people through my stories. Maybe, years down the road, readers will appreciate such tales and grow as individuals in subtle, but meaningful ways.

Do You Have Any Fears About the Coming Year?

Yes, actually…

I’m worried that 2020 will pass and I still won’t have found an agent for Dragonsblade. I am building my writing resume through online magazine submissions to make me look attractive to agents, but it’s no guarantee. I’ve never done this before as a writer, so it’s unexplored territory for me.

Do You Have a Specific Event or Goal You Are Excited About?

I may try to attend a writing or spiritual convention sometime this year if time and my finances are looking good. There are a few events that I have in mind—one being in Hawaii, and another in Colorado. I just bought an Omega 8008 Juicer, so my wallet is rather empty right now.

Any Last Comments About 2020?

As I said earlier, it’s the start of a new decade, so it’s time to make big changes in our lives—for the better. I’m anticipating a productive year, filled with victories and failures found in any good fiction. Regardless, a writer must do what he or she must ro persevere. The creations of a wordsmith transmute fictional characters as much as they do the author.

That is the path of a writer and a spiritual alchemist.

Now that you’ve finished this article, I challenge you to create your own survey, questions that will help you reflect on your goals for 2020. You can use the questions above if you’d like.


Thank you again for reading! Click that “follow” button below if you like what you see. Enjoy the new year! 🙂

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POV in Prose and Writing

Hello, my readers, to another article on writing. I’ve been a busy bee this month, but I always have time to slip in another post for you guys. 🙂

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—Points of View—

POV (point of view) in prose is a vital storytelling element, likened to the camera of the reader. Imagine looking through the eyes of one person for the entire story. Maybe it switches to another character as the story progresses.

This article will give an introduction to narratorial perspectives, the different types of POVs, how to use them, and the attributes associated. If you’re a new or aspiring writer, mastering POV is crucial—and this article is for you.

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—First-person—

In nature, we are all born in the first-person perspective. Even as you read this article, your brain absorbs it from this POV. I, me, my, we, ours—these pronouns define the viewpoint.

When using this POV in prose, it can be useful for exploring the character’s inner universe. Stick to one character’s perspective per scene, if possible. Avoid head-hopping, which is jumping from one character’s thoughts to another without a scene break.

Show the character’s emotions, why they do what they do. First-person is also popular in articles (like this one), as it adds anonymous credit to the author when needed, without specifying who.

Examples of First-person

I woke to the strident calls of my alarm clock as the morning rays stung my eyes. My heart pounded in my ears.

Flashes of my previous day returned. I was with my friends finishing our activities at school. Then, we saw it, the one thing a highschooler wished he would never see.

Attributes of First-person

  • The narrator becomes the character
  • Creates an emotional and intimate experience with the reader
  • Makes prose more objective
  • The plural of first-person is “we,” the singular is “I”
  • ‘We’ or “our’ is an anonymous way to strengthen formality in articles
  • Avoids “head-hopping” from one character to another without scene breaks

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—Second-person—

You are reading this article. I am talking to you or you all in second-person. This is second-person POV. The narrator, instead of jumping inside the character’s head, dictates to the protagonist what is happening. In this way, the actor “hears” the narrator rather than becoming one and the same.

Second-person is often used in emails, tutorials, and other dictatorial pieces. The narrator brings the reader into the story and encourages them to engage in the plot or prose rather than from the remote standpoint of a character. In this way, second-person is more intimate than first-person.

Attributes of Second-person

  • Dictatorial POV in prose, more often used in the present tense
  • The reader is in the story rather than inside a character’s mind
  • The pronoun “you” can be singular or plural—can also use “you all”
  • More intimate and emotional with the reader than first-person
  • Excellent for tutorials, certain novels, and articles
  • Perspective strictly limited to the reader

Examples of Second-person

You woke to the strident calls of your alarm clock as the morning rays stung your eyes. Your heart pounded in your throat.

Flashes of the previous day returned. You had just finished school activities with classmates. Then, you saw it, the one thing any high schooler wished they would never see.

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—Third-person—

This perspective pops up in many kinds of novels, particularly romance, sci-fi, or fantasy. The narrator refers to characters by their name or as “he,” “she,” or “it.” Third-person finds popularity in news reporting and business writing.

There are a several types of third-person perspective, as it’s one of the more complex perspectives. I’ll break them down for you below.

1. Third-person Limited

With this perspective, the reader is a separate entity from the characters. The narrator tells the story from the perspective of a single character.

2. Third-person Multiple

Third-person Multiple opens additional information that Limited cannot convey. Multiple character perspectives are included, rather than just one.

3. Third-person Objective

This perspective comes from a neutral perspective as if the reader is an invisible spectator at the scene. The reader—separate from the characters—watches the scene play out. Descriptors that describe internal emotions are to be avoided here.

4. Third-person Subjective

Subjective perspective can use internal dialogue strictly through the words of the narrator. In subjective, the narrator takes a larger role in telling the story, rather than letting the characters do all the work. This creates distance between readers and the characters but may improve pacing.

5. Third-person Omniscient

This POV is a more extreme version of Subjective. The narrator acts as God here and reports any and every thought or development between characters. This is perhaps the most difficult POV in prose, as it includes a large amount of detail and multi-tasking, or mandatory head-hopping without scene breaks.

Omniscient is a powerful perspective that can shorten prose and travel anywhere in a character’s history, but it can also be overwhelming for the reader if done wrong. If you use this perspective, watch out for data dumps that slog the pace or may confuse the reader.

Attributes of Third-person

  • Places the reader in spectator mode, watching characters
  • May offer a variety of perspectives to suit the narrative
  • Provides a higher volume of information for the reader
  • Less intimate than first-person or second-person
  • Easier to confuse multiple third-POVs

Examples of Third-person

Tom woke to the strident calls of his alarm clock as the morning rays stung his eyes. Tom’s heart pounded in his throat.

Flashes of his previous day returned. Tom was back with friends, and they had just finished their activities at school. Then, Tom saw it, the one thing a highschooler wished he would never see.

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—FAQ That Are Helpful for POV—

This isn’t an exhaustive list, so feel free to include your own questions as needed. These are designed to help you think about your POV and which one may be best for your story.

  1. How does the story relate with the perspective of the characters? The reader? The narrator?
  2. What do I (the author) feel from watching the characters from a particular viewpoint?
  3. What emotions or traits should be presented in the story? What POV best suits this?
  4. What should readers feel as they progress through the book?
  5. How should readers connect with the characters?
  6. Is there an underlying message associated with the perspective chosen?

—Conclusion—

I hope this article has provided you with a good introduction about POV in prose and how to select one appropriate for your story. Knowing your characters and how they relate to the plot—and to your audience—is the gist of it.

It’s almost worth mentioning that other forms of POV like first-person multiple or deep third-person appear in prose. I encourage you, my readers, to examine the links below for further information.

Thank you again for reading, and enjoy the holiday weather. Cheers. 🙂

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—Sources and Further Reading—

https://www.scribophile.com/academy/using-first-person-pov

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/first-second-and-third-person

https://writingcommons.org/collaborate/common-comments/point-of-view/522-avoid-second-person-point-of-view-

https://www.scribophile.com/academy/using-third-person-multiple-pov

https://www.thoughtco.com/third-person-point-of-view-1692547

http://www.thebeginningwriter.com/2012/03/look-at-different-types-of-point-of.html

Why Do Writers Write?

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“I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success…Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.”

—Nikola Tesla

Each author has his or her own means to spur the imagination, the motivation to sit down and write. The source of an author’s motivation is vital to the writing process—and understanding it will enhance the quality of any written piece.

In this blog post, I’ll explore some of the reasons why writers write and then I will discuss my own experiences.  If you’re an aspiring author seeking direction, then this article will provide some useful guidance. Maybe you can relate to your own experiences—I’d love to hear them in the comments below. 🙂

—Why Do Writers Write—

To Express Creativity

“The arts especially address the idea of aesthetic experience. An aesthetic experience is one in which your senses are operating at their peak; when you’re present in the current moment; when you’re resonating with the excitement of this thing that you’re experiencing; when you are fully alive.”

Sir Ken Robinson

There’s nothing like an adrenaline rush at the onset of a brilliant story. Writing brings us into a world of creativity, full of whimsy imagination that expresses our intellect in profound ways.

One of the main reasons why writers write is because they need to release this beautiful energy. Bottling it up is like putting a stopper on a volcano.

To Gain Recognition

The ego is a strong motivator, especially for writers; many authors want to be inspired by their success and the praise they get from the world. Not everyone wants to be the next Stephen King or George Orwell, but many do.

 

To Influence the World

You may have heard the classic phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword”. Well, it’s true; a written piece can alter history and modify how the world sees itself—especially with religious prose.

Others, like news companies, can control how the public is informed on local, national, and world issues. When you think about it from that perspective, that pen is sounding quite powerful.

To Explore Life Itself

Since time immemorial, storytellers and philosophers have addressed the meaning of life and what gives humanity purpose. Writing is a therapeutic exercise that allows the mind to explore reality around us.

Writers attempt to tackle many of life’s questions, hoping to inspire others in the process. In this way, writing is more of an altruistic ritual for empowering humanity. See this recent article on the Hero’s Journey for more information.

To Make Money

There’s nothing wrong with writing to put food on the table. Many people use writing as a second job to supplement their main income. Writing can be a fun and immersive hobby, and making some money while doing it is certainly appealing.

That said, writing isn’t very rewarding. Most writers get paid little each month for their publications. There are those that defy the odds and become rich, but that isn’t the typical scenario.

—Why I Write—

How did I start as a writer? What interests me and motivates my writing sessions? In this section, I’ll elaborate on these questions. The answers should give you a different perspective to reflect on—and some of them might surprise you!

How I started as a Writer

I never planned on being a writer, the art gradually crept up on me in my adult years. During my childhood, I was into roleplays, which were short stories co-authored with friends.

My dad owned a small library of science fantasy books, which I consumed voraciously. Science fiction and fantasy were my favorite genres, but I also enjoyed romance, horror, and spirituality.

From the roleplaying forums that I had joined, I gradually developed a cast of original characters, plot themes, and mythical creatures. It went further and  I designed a magical system, technology, names for races, continents, and planets.

The project snowballed when I was unemployed, bored, and depressed. I chose something that I could actively do myself, rather than relying on an email response from an IT company for a job while I sat at home.

My old roleplaying friends had also moved away from the forums, and I was left to my creative devices. Little did I know what the result would be…

Startling Revelations

Several months later after starting on my little project, I sat up from my computer chair, staring at a 300,000-word rough manuscript.

I couldn’t believe it, and I remember pounding the computer desk in disbelief.

I’d written something so extensive to be worthy of a trilogy, and I didn’t have any English college credentials! Talk about a wild trip into my imagination!

Since finishing the rough draft, I’ve reviewed my manuscript and discovered the horrors of rereading, rewriting, and editing out the myriad mistakes we humans continuously make in our work. Thankfully, the manuscript for book 1 has progressed significantly over the many grueling—yet fun—hours I’ve put into it.

My motivation

I write to fulfill myself-—to release the creative demons that lurk within my heart. Every day they beg release. There is a warm satisfaction in finishing an article or writing/editing an original chapter of my novel. I cherish my characters and readers, considering them good friends.

Looking Back

I understand that writing is difficult, but so are many things in life worth doing. Writing, especially with my original series, fills me with a warm fulfillment that other pastimes do not. When I look back at my life, I’ll have no regrets working on Ethereal Seals, my blog, or any of my future projects.

Despite the struggles—as shared by many authors—, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it as an amateur writer and blogger, pioneering into my own creative world.


What is your spark? Are you also seduced by the rewards that creativity brings? Leave it in the comment below if you feel inclined. Thanks for reading everyone!

 

 

 

 

December Update: NaNo, Havok, And Other News

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Hello, my readers. I’m back from a busy month—and I have some great news to share. November was extremely tight between my two jobs, NaNo, family business, and compiling a short story submission for a contest.

NaNoWriMo

I’m excited to announce I hit my goal for NaNo—that’s right, I reached 50k words! Although I had the general outline completed prior to November, Tempest of the Dragon evolved a lot during this past month. It has fueled my ambition for the rest of the story, and I look forward to completing it.

Havok Submission—Dynamic Duos

Recently I submitted a short story for an online Publishing company called Havok. My submission was a 1,000-word fantasy thriller.

The submission had to incorporate what was called Dynamic Duos, or two characters that interact with each other like Frodo and Sam, Batman and Robin, etc.

I enjoyed writing the story and I heard back from the publishing team the other week. My submission got accepted! After some feedback and minor edits, I signed my first publishing contract. The story should appear on the Havok website by mid-January under the name Flames of Atlas.

Back to Beta Editing

I’ve acquired a potential beta reader for my manuscript, Dragonsblade. I’m looking forward to working with him soon and reading his story. It’s always a pleasure to work with fellow writers in the blogging community.

That said, Tempest of the Dragon may return to the back burner as I refocus on my first manuscript. Afterwards, I’ll hunt for an agent and/or self-publish. ETA for Dragonsblade publication is—hopefully—summer or fall of 2020 if things pan out.

Book Review

I did a review of a book called the Phoenix Unchained, recommended to me by a friend. It was a good read and the story had some eye popping moments. Check out the review above, if you’re interested.

 


That’s all for now. Thanks for checking in, as always. I appreciate every reader, every like and comment gifted to this blog. You help keep this humble blogger and wordsmith inspired. Cheers, and happy holidays.  🙂

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My Thoughts on NaNoWriMo

Hello, everyone, welcome to another post. We’re on the second week of NaNo, and I wanted to share my thoughts. This is the first year I’ve attempted NaNo and it’s been an interesting experience.

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My Goals For NaNoWriMo

As with any NaNoWriMo event, the main goal is to write 50,000 words in a month. This can be done however a writer chooses. I decided to work on Tempest of the Dragon, the idea behind my alpha manuscript.

I wanted to make definite progress on the story; not so much new content, but reworking old ideas for the protagonist and his journey. Tempest has a simpler plot than my other WIP—making it perfect for NaNo.

A Short Synopsis

Here’s a short summary of what the story is about:

Kyosenko, a samurai outcast in Japan, discovers his destiny with a girl named Mina, a cursed Black Dragon in disguise. He vows to protect the ensorcelled girl with his life,  venturing with her across ancient Japan—to a place where Mina may find salvation for Japan. But there is another threat, an organization that wishes to capture Mina and abuse her arcane powers—the Kaji Clan.

I classified the story under the following:

#fantasy #romance #adventure #historicalfiction #spirituality

Current Progression

As of writing this post, I am at over 10,000 words for NaNoWriMo.

. Progress has been great so far; on my free days, I dedicate some time and churn out an average of 1,000 to 2,000 words, mingling editing with writing.

The Future

I’m not sure if I’ll reach 50,000 by the end of the month, as family business picks up around Thanksgiving. Still, I’ll try to—and then pick up from there. Regardless, I expect significant progress on the story by the month’s end.

My Thoughts On NaNoWriMo

NaNo has been a refreshing ritual for me. It has inspired my interest in Tempest of the Dragon—and writing in general. I am not a hardcore participant, however, and will enjoy the process in a casual light.

NaNoWriMo is what you make of it. As long as you’re having fun, then you’re doing something right. I’ve certainly enjoyed the process so far. It has reminded me why I write—to explore myself and share these ideas with others.

Final Words

If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, I wish you good luck. Try not to stress over it too much. The objective of this ritual is to get you motivated and excited about writing. If you need some tips, check out my last post.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll have another post up soon. 🙂

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NaNoWriMo 2019: Tips and Preparation

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Hello, my readers, welcome to another exciting blog post! Today’s topic is—you guessed it—NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month, a yearly event celebrated by writers the world over since 1999.

What is NaNoWriMo?

From November 1st to the end of the month, each writer must produce a 50,000-word novella—first draft version of course. Nobody expects a masterpiece as this is more of a rush-rush creative exercise.

What writers decide to do with the novella after NaNoWriMo is up to them. I’ve heard of some amazing stories emerging from the ritual. I might attempt it myself this year, if time and energy allow. The seasons is a busy interval for most people, and scheduling your NaNoWriMo time is crucial.

—NaNoWriMo Preparation—

If you’re brave enough to undertake this challenge, then there’s some important steps you should take days before November arrives.

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1. Determine Your Writing Medium

Do you plan to write on a desktop computer? What about a laptop? Maybe pencil, pen, or even a typewriter? Figure out your medium for creative writing beforehand so you can set up your workplace appropriately.

Stock up on fresh pencils, printing paper, coffee, or whatever you might need.

2. Plan and Outline Your Story

Days before, begin thinking about what you want to write. Will it be a romance novella or maybe fantasy-adventure? Consider the protagonist and antagonist—the actors that drive the story forward. Your story doesn’t have to be perfect for NaNoWriMo. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be good as a first draft, but it should be coherent and have potential.

3. Have a Plan

Create a diary or calendar, something that can set milestones, deadlines, and objectives. Remember, you need to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s around 1,700 words a day. Scheduling your progress will improve your organization and help you stay on track.

4. Write, Don’t Edit

For those seeking 1,500+ words a day, you won’t have time to edit or revise. Focus on the writing process only and don’t backtrack, otherwise you may ruin your momentum.

5. Get Excited and Motivated

Nothing kills a project faster than boredom. Be thrilled about your project, just like a sky diver about to plunge from a plane. Remind yourself the reason you’re writing. Is it to improve your writing ability? Maybe you’re finally blocking out time to write that belated story. Use that focus to propel your efforts and stay on top of your game.

6. NaNoWriMo Is What You Make of It

Ultimately, this event is determined by your goals and objectives. Some participates use it as a means to get motivated and don’t care about reaching 50,000 words. Others see it as a challenge that must be completed, up until the final letter.

Set goals within your means and remember to enjoy the process. If it becomes too hectic or stressful, that will hinder the creative process. Turn it down a notch.

—Final Remarks—

NaNoWriMo is a time to get motivated and to explore one’s creative potential, in whatever way chosen. Some writers use it as an excuse to work on belated manuscripts, others on poetry. Then there are those who take the hardcore challenge of developing a whole novella in a month.

Think about what you, as a writer, want out of NaNoWriMo. That goal will be what shapes your experience and what you get out of it. Below are some additional resources for those interested. Thanks for reading and good luck. 🙂

https://www.eadeverell.com/nanowrimo/

https://nybookeditors.com/2017/10/nanowrimo-prep/

https://aspiring.org/2019/10/20/nanowrimo-prep-2019-im-not-racist-but/

 

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Havok Publishing and Other News

 

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Hello everyone,

The weather has shifted into colder extremes these past few weeks. How have you been handling the cool climate? It’s been another busy month for me and I have some news to share.

Havok Publishing

Recently I submitted a short story for an online Publishing company called Havok. My submission was a 1,000-word fantasy thriller.

The submission had to incorporate what was called Dynamic Duos, or two characters that interact with each other. I’m thinking Frodo and Sam, Batman and Robin, Mario and Luigi, Scooby Do and Shaggy—you get the idea.

Needless to say, I had a lot of fun writing the piece. I’ll hear back from Havok by December. If everything pans out, my story will feature in January’s seasonal release of short stories. Exciting times!

Calling All Beta readers

My beta manuscript, Dragonsblade, still needs one or two more beta readers. If you’re interested, please contact me via this site or by email at energyflux2012@gmail.com. You can also use Betareader to sign up for a read. I really appreciate it!

Once I get sufficient feedback, I plan to seek an editor to spruce it up. Then I’m off on the agent and publisher hunt.

To reiterate here’s a quick pitch about the book:

Dragonsblade is a high fantasy novel at 130,000 words, incorporating elements of romance, scifi, and adventure. The main characters, Pepper and Tarie, enter a war against a shadow goddess and her dark druids. Pepper deals with draconic madness threatening to take over her body, while Tarie discovers the horrible implications of the war.

Tempest of the Dragon

Meanwhile, I’ve resumed my work on my second WIP, Tempest of the Dragon. Unlike the high fantasy world of Dragonsblade, this story takes place in ancient Japan, incorporating elements of Japanese mythology. The manuscript is only at 30,000 words—I plan to reach between 100,000 and 120,000 with it.

Here’s another pitch:

Kyosenko, a young samurai, discovers a girl named Mina, a cursed black dragon in disguise. He vows to protect the ensorcelled girl with his life,  venturing with her across ancient Japan and its mythological creatures to a mountain only heard in rumors—a place where Mina may find eternal rest. But there is another threat, an organization that wishes to capture Mina and abuse her draconic powers—the Kaji Clan.

Thanks for reading. If you like what you see, click that “follow” button below and share this content with your friends and family. Thanks again and enjoy the Fall weather while you can. Cheers. 🙂

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The Blank Page and Writers’ Block

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Hello, my readers. Are you enjoying the pleasant Fall weather? The colorful leaves? The garden clean up? It’s been rather brisk out here, and I have some new ideas for writing that I wanted to share.

Today, I’ll discuss the dreaded Blank Page that haunts every writer at one point in his or her career. I’ll also mention the tricks and tips I’ve used in overcoming writer’s block.

—The Blank Page—

A new story always begins with a blank page or screen. This is the beginning of the writing process and it can seem daunting to any writer. What do we do? What do we write? Failure to move forward is often called the Writers’ Block.

Writers’ Block: The Daunting Prospect of Beginning

“To know what you’re going to draw, you have to begin drawing.” —Picasso

Just like with a blank canvas, a white page can be overwhelming. It’s a door into infinity, where God gives us the keys and allows us to create our own universe. Yet we hesitate out of doubt and uncertainty. Why is this?

The Social Facet of Writing

To quote another writer:

“You can only write regularly if you’re willing to write badly… Accept bad writing as a way of priming the pump, a warm-up exercise that allows you to write well.” —Jennifer Egan

As humans, we are social creatures. Any creative works we share with our family and peers. We hope for the approval and validation of what we are, our talents, and our direction in life. Rejection is like a knife to the gut and we become a failure—or so our ego wants us to believe.

Questions and Self-reflection

Because of these social mechanisms that wire the brain, we may hesitate in front of a blank page. Emotions of confusion, wonderment, procrastination, or anxiety also arise.

  • What will I write? I can’t think of anything.
  • Will the final product be good enough?
  • Am I wasting my time doing this?
  • How do I start this blasted process?

These are some questions we, as writers, may ask.  Five minutes pass, and then an hour. The page is still blank and the creative process is stuck at a deadlock.

aerial photo of vehicles in the city

—Freeing the Creative Mind—

I aim to show you how to break that traffic jam in your creative process. Anyone can do it. When a writer enters this realm, the clouds clear and the creative subconscious regenerates.

Here are some techniques I use when dealing with writers’ block.

1. Time and Space

Establishing a quiet area where I won’t be disturbed for writing is crucial. I make sure it’s comfortable and quiet/I ask my living mates not to enter for a designated interval. This is my time to center—and I consider it a part of the writing routine.

2. Relax

Before I tackle a blank page, I learn to relax and let go. I fight against the urge to think about anything, even my story. It can be difficult sometimes, but regulating my breathing using a technique called pranayama certainly helps.

Dedicate a part of your day to meditate, even if it’s only 5 minutes. Some people meditate better at night, other people in the morning. Meditating before you begin writing may be ideal. Find an ideal time that works for you.

3. Creative Tools

I’ve used things like music, essential oil fragrance, and colors to enhance my creative focus. Some authors produce amazing work listening to music—others with no sound at all. Everyone is different; experiment, and find what works for you. It certainly took me a while to develop my creative toolkit. Don’t rush it—remember to relax.

4. Have Fun—Stay Positive

Any sense of competition or raging ambition within my mind usually creates anxiety. There is an urge in my ego to write perfectly and I compare myself to professionals constantly. Believe me, it can get discouraging.

When I look at writing from a positive perspective, things get easier. I now write because it’s fun and I want to share my stories, no matter how good or bad they are. In my opinion, nothing beats the creative process of worldbuilding.

5. Creative Exercises

Sometimes I try a short exercise to get my creative juices flowing. A small poem or haiku, as I mentioned in my previous article, has worked wonders for me. Here are some additional ideas from Vicky Fraser.

6. Simplify

A messy workplace or disorganized writing portfolio is the worst. I keep all my writing projects organized in a portfolio for routine review. This shows me how far I’ve come and encourages me to keep writing.

Having an organized portfolio also gives ideas from previous projects to use in newer ones. Simon Lund mentions some similar methods Hemingway used for his writing projects.

7. Acceptance

Improvement comes naturally with time and I accept that I will never be the best or the worst. When I surrender to this idea, my creative juices run wild, and I can produce paragraphs of content from that blank page.

Acceptance and surrender don’t mean that you make yourself a doormat for life, nor should you lack healthy ambition. You should accept the things you cannot change, have the courage to create the things you can, and develop the wisdom to distinguish the two.

—On a Final Note—

The solutions for writers’ block and the Blank Page are numerous, and I encourage you to seek out your own methods. I hope this article has given you some good ideas to start with. Thank you very much for reading and I’ll leave you with this quote:

“He doth entreat your grace, my noble lord,
To visit him to-morrow or next day:
He is within, with two right reverend fathers,
Divinely bent to
meditation,
And in no worldly suits would he be moved
To draw him from his holy exercise.”

William Shakespeare
The Tragedy of King Richard the Third

white and gray floral ceramic cup and saucer near black typewriter and book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Haiku?

woman wearing a kimono holding umbrella

Hello everyone, ’tis the first of October and Autumn is upon us. To start the month off, I’m introducing an interesting writing form known as haiku. I learned about this art style from my monthly writers’ group—and I wrote up a few examples to share with you all. With that said, let’s delve into it! 🙂

—What is Haiku?—

Haiku is a short-form poetry originating from Japan. The general structure of a haiku poem is simple, but the meaning is usually deep and spiritual. It uses a few words to evoke vivid imagery in the reader’s mind.

There is a sense of stillness and wonderment within the words, as if for meditation. Many famous haikus are short and simple while packing a punch—so to speak.

Haiku Structure

Haiku is usually in three lines of words. The first line has five syllables, while the second line has seven syllables, and the third line has five again.

Haiku Subjects

To reiterate, haiku poems usually focus on the following:

  • Nature
  • Spiritual matters
  • Life and its fleeting moments
  • Humor

A haiku may have a “season word” like rainfall or snow, telling the reader what season it is and adding depth to the imagery. There may be a division in the poem, shifting from one focus to another. Instead of describing how a scene makes the author feel, the writer illustrates the details that evoked said emotions

How to Write Haiku

Here are some step-by-step instructions if you’re interested in writing your own haiku.

  1. Relax and focus on your five senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch. Look out your window or perhaps at a scenic picture for inspiration.
  2. Describe the details that stir emotion. Just jot down brief notes or words, for now—nothing complicated.
  3. Next, form two sentences about what you have observed. Don’t worry about syllables yet.
  4. Write the third line with a surprising twist compared to the first two. Does the combination of the two unrelated parts imply anything interesting? What is the message being described by the whole haiku?
  5. Finally, rewrite the poem using the 5-7-5 syllable rule. Experiment and see if you can deepen the poem’s impact.

For more information, check out the links below.

https://www.creative-writing-now.com/how-to-write-a-haiku.html

https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poems/other/haiku/

https://poets.org/text/haiku-poetic-form

—My Haiku—

Here are some of the poems I wrote up for my writers’ group. I hope you enjoy.

Leaves fall from the tree

Quickly, they glide towards the Earth

Wind in the heavens

The many hills shake

Trees fall and explode anew

Birds cry with terror

The lake becomes still

Like a mirror, the surface

Peace consumes chaos

The sun rises high

The new day is coming soon

Rainbow bulbs sprout below

Singing softly nature

Peace above and below Earth

Stillness, now evermore


Thanks for reading. I’ll have another fun post up soon. Until then, enjoy the cool weather and colorful leaves.

Cheers. 🙂

yellow dry maple