“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine.
I lost sight of the shore. I stopped swimming. The longer I stayed out, the farther I got pulled back. I must not have drowned, though, because here I am. I’m swimming and back on track to reach the shore.
Hello world! It’s been a while, huh? Up until about a month ago, I had a lot going on. Then this last month, Netflix distracted me, but don’t get me started with what happened in Pretty Little Liars…
Anyway, let’s catch up, shall we?
I started writing my new book Wheeling the Streets. I didn’t get very far because I went into birthday mode for a while. My birthday was fun, by the way. Luke Bryan was amazing.
A couple months ago I stopped writing articles for the Coffee Courier. I felt they didn’t take it seriously and I wasn’t enjoying myself anymore. However, I may have a new writing gig soon. The only downside is you would have to pay a small subscription fee to read my writing, but that also means I’d get paid. I have to figure out what kind of writing I would want to do on the site such as chapters, short stories, essays/articles, poems or journal entries. Also, I have to pick a subject and how often I want to post. I’m having a hard time coming up with what I’d want to write about and what style of writing. After I submit it, I can’t change my mind. It’s final, so I need to be sure what I choose is absolutely what I want to write.
I’m teaching myself sign language and it’s coming along nicely. Verbal communication is overrated. I should start signing from now on. Hopefully my friends and family know sign language…hehe.
Aside from my cat meowing and scratching me to get my attention, there’s something about being alone for a few days in a quiet place that makes me want to write. I wrote some here and there, but today was the first day I really worked on my book in over three months. It was hard to sit down and get in the zone, but it felt great.
I’m going to post some future blog posts from a character’s perspective. Maybe that’s what I can write about for the writing gig? Post journal entries from a character’s point of view from my book. Hm, I don’t know.
Well, I’m off to nap. Then swim (write). I’m a little sleep-deprived. I was writing until dawn, fell asleep and got woken up too soon by my cat. Oh, and she wants me to tell all of you hello. She meowed at the screen, so I’m assuming that was a greeting.
Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!
March was a busy month. I didn’t get much writing done, but April is a different story. I can’t escape writing this month, it’s surrounding me. All my writing projects are pushing me in the corner demanding that I write them, demanding I feel them and spend time with each of them. They’re fighting each other to be in the spotlight.
Here’s what I’m currently working on in the writing world:
- Editing Lucky Star (yes, I’m still not finished).
- Writing my new book, Wheeling the Streets.
- Writing for The Coffee Courier.
- April is National Poetry Month and I’m participating in writing a poem a day for a month from Writer’s Market.
- I’ll be taking live webinar classes on writing for the next several months.
- Along with the webinars, I’m taking online classes for different types of writing. I found this awesome site with free courses from Universities around the world. I’m currently taking a magazine writing course from Ohio State University. I’m also taking a creative writing course and child development. I want to be the best writer I can be.
- I’m doing Writing 101. It’s a thing on WordPress for bloggers and writers to get in touch with their creative side and become better writers. We get a new prompt each day and many posts them on their blogs. We’re also added to “the commons” a site on WordPress where writers meet writers and receive feedback. Our first prompt was a free write called Unlock The Mind and this is my free write. Not very creative, but I hadn’t updated my blog in a while. I won’t post all of the daily prompts on here, but I will post some.
Now if you will all excuse me, I have to fight the writing projects to free myself from the corner. They’re hungry for attention and I’m hungry for food.
I hope all of you are having a good day,
You met Ava and Mack in my last blog post. Now, I’d like to introduce you to Tom and Christy, the other two characters in the new book I’m writing.
- Name: Tom Dunken
- Age: 47
- Height: 6’1
- Physical appearance: Long blond hair, long beard, always wearing an old pair of jeans, and a Carhartt jacket.
- Occupation: None.
- First thing people will notice about this character: He’s homeless.
- Defining gestures/movements: Plays with his beard a lot, nods at people.
- Problems this character faces: Homelessness, Ava problems, personal demon.
- What is the character’s home like? Nonexistent.
- Family? Lost touch with all his family, his wife is dead.
- What are the character’s hobbies? Taking pictures.
- What are your character’s positive traits/greatest strengths/skills? Wise, cares a lot for Ava, street skills, taking pictures, smiles through all the bullshit, honest.
- Negative traits/weaknesses: Smoking, blunt, selfish, Ava.
- What does he/she want most? Ava to get out of this life, and he wants to be with his wife.
- His/her fears: He fears for Ava’s future.
- What is something this character doesn’t know about him or herself? How good of a photographer he is.
- Key phrases this character uses: Calls Ava “Quickie” Uses 70’s slang.
- Proudest moment: Marrying his wife.
- Regrets: Ruining his life.
- Does the character have any habits? Smoking, touching his beard, staring off into space, taking pictures.
- Enemies: Himself
- Name: Christy Fleming.
- Age: 42
- Height: 5’11
- Physical appearance: Medium length blonde hair, blue eyes, scar on her neck, wears business clothes.
- Occupation: Owns a graphic design company.
- First thing people will notice about this character: Her confidence.
- Defining gestures/movements: arms crossed, fixes her clothes a lot, biting her lip. Look at question 22.
- Problems this character faces: Problems with her past and problems with Ava.
- What is the character’s home like? Two-story, modern home.
- Family? Siblings in another country.
- What are the character’s hobbies? Shopping, cooking, graphic design.
- What are your character’s positive traits/greatest strengths/skills? People skills, cooking, caring, stubborn.
- Negative traits/weaknesses: Bossy, private, too proud to admit when she’s wrong, work.
- What does he/she want most? To help Ava.
- His/her fears: Her past catching up to her, fear of failing to help Ava.
- What is something this character doesn’t know about him or herself?
- Key phrases this character uses: “No way.” “Because I said so.”
- Proudest moment: Breaking away.
- Does the character have any habits? Waking up early, tapping her fingers, always checking her phone, jumpy.
- Enemies: Her ex.
In other news, the Coffee Courier is back in business! The editor, for whatever reason, stopped replying to emails and stopped posting our articles a few months back. But there’s a new editor, and I’ll be writing for the Coffee Courier again. Check it out!
Meet two of the four characters in the book I’m writing now. You might notice some of the questions are not answered and that’s because they either don’t apply to the character or it would give away part of the mystery in the story. Some of these things might change as I continue writing. The characters kind of like to take over the story.
- Name: Ava Sinclaire
- Nicknames: Quickie
- Age: 22
- Height: 5’7
- Physical appearance: Long black hair that is always in a ponytail, skinny, nose ring, hazel eyes.
- Occupation: None.
- First thing people will notice about this character: Her wheelchair and/or dog.
- Defining gestures/movements: She walks with a limp, plays with wheelchair brakes when she’s nervous and doesn’t smile often.
- Problems this character faces: Homelessness, trying to get a job, people problems, to name a few…
- What is the character’s home like? Often cold, uncomfortable and not very homey. She’s homeless.
- Family? None. She only had her parents, but they died.
- What are the character’s hobbies? Talking to her two friends and playing with her dog.
- What are your character’s positive traits/greatest strengths/skills? Selfless, independent, doesn’t give up. She is very observant; she’s good at paying attention to detail. Dog training.
- Negative traits/weaknesses: Hard time asking for help, pessimistic, animals.
- What does he/she want most? A place to call home and a job.
- His/her fears: Losing the very few people she has and living on the streets forever.
- What is something this character doesn’t know about him or herself? She doesn’t know what she wants in a career.
- Key phrases this character uses:
- Proudest moment:
- Does the character have any habits? Being negative, playing with brakes when she is nervous, burping, babbling.
- Enemies: Herself, or maybe the world.
- Name: Mack Winterbottom
- Age: 26
- Height: 5’10
- Physical appearance: Short brown hair, big brown eyes, skinny, always wears shorts.
- Occupation: Works in a coffee house/library. He reads his poetry for the guests as entertainment.
- First thing people will notice about this character: His eyes.
- Defining gestures/movements: Scratches head a lot, walks slow. Look at question 22.
- Problems this character faces: Problems arise when he tries to help Ava and another problem that I can’t mention.
- What is the character’s home like? Small, white, one-bedroom house. He lives with his girlfriend.
- Family? Adoptive parents, but he’s not in contact with them.
- What are the character’s hobbies? Poetry, reading, listening to music.
- What are your character’s positive traits/greatest strengths/skills? Polite, calm, good listener, supportive, writing poetry.
- Negative traits/weaknesses: Reserved, doesn’t really have any goals for himself and a weakness I can’t mention.
- What does he/she want most? To not repeat the past.
- His/her fears: Ending up like Ava and repeating the past.
- What is something this character doesn’t know about him or herself? A lot.
- Key phrases this character uses: “um” “sir” “ma’am”
- Proudest moment: Stopping.
- Regrets: Starting.
- Does the character have any habits? Scratching his head, looks down when people make eye contact, humming, bites nails.
- Enemies: Himself
This is for you, Rachael. I’m posting after dinner instead of in the middle of the night.
These past couple months have been rough. I haven’t had much energy to do much reading or writing. My heart and mind just wasn’t in it but was elsewhere. I got tired of it and needed a distraction. I began thinking about my life and how hard it’s been. I realized if it weren’t for my mom and family, I’d be homeless right now. I pictured me in my wheelchair wheeling around as a homeless person and then a story developed in my mind. Next thing I knew I was writing down characters and writing an outline. After a couple hours last night, I was ready to begin writing. It usually takes much longer.
This book will be titled, Wheeling The Streets.
The story is about self-discovery, overcoming obstacles/tragedies and moving on. It is centered around, Ava, a homeless woman in a wheelchair, and the three people who change her life. The four of them are pretty much the only characters, and they are each haunted by their own pasts. This story will show the bad things–the ugly side of life–and the outcomes. There will be tears, smiles, and heartbreak. By the end of the book, the characters and readers will have the surprise of a lifetime.
I’m ecstatic to begin writing this novel!
What about my other handicap story about the high school student? No worries, I’m still going to write this book, too. It will just take longer to get them published, but what’s the rush, right?
Along with writing these stories, I’m still editing my first book, Lucky Star. I began searching literary agents. The Guide to Literary Agents book has been a big help! I’m working on a short story based on a true story and I hope to publish it in a literary magazine in the future. I’m working on some new lyrics, poems, and another writing project that I can’t talk about.
As you can see I have a lot of writing to do… I better get to it!
When you’re just starting your writing career, you should join writing sites. They’re like Facebook, but for writers and they’re usually great help. With that said, I’m a member on multiple writing sites and before today, I haven’t logged on any of them in quite some time. I spent the last four hours updating my profile on each of the sites. Yes, it really took that long to edit a few profiles. I’m not even done! I have to go back and change a few other things on each profile tomorrow after I do some more editing. A writer is a full-time job.
While on one of the sites, I found a couple short poems I have written a long time ago…
Past and Future
Looking in, Looking back, I see myself, In a flash.
Take a breath, Look around, In the sea, Maybe you’ll find me.
Climb the mountain, Look over the hill, Beyond the horizon, Is my past.
On the highway, Going forward, No turning back, My future is ahead.
A Life Lost
A life is born,
A life is cherished,
A life is lost,
A heart is torn,
A heart cries out,
A heart breaks,
A memory is remembered,
A memory disappeared,
A memory is forever.
In loving memory of Suzanne and Nicholas Harrison, Piglet, Atlas, Baby, Tiger, Tigger, Olivia, Mia, Sophia, my grandmas’, Fleabags and Cappie.
On top of everything else, I’m going to do my best to keep up with the writing sites from now on. I will conquer this!
Writing a book is hard and, at times, very frustrating. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love writing, but I wonder if I write more because I love to or if because I feel like I need to…
Sometimes I feel like I have an obsessive-compulsive disorder when it comes to writing. I’m currently in the process of editing my first book, Lucky Star. When I’m not working on it I find myself constantly thinking/worrying about my book. I’ll think about everything I need to edit and/or change. I’ll go over each of the characters’ traits and make sure each character is different from the rest of the characters. I constantly go over the events and whether or not there are any plot holes. I’ll think about these things so much that it becomes an obsession. I will tell myself, “okay, Abby, just go over everything one more time then stop thinking about the book,” but I find myself going over it a hundred more times. It’s as if I think I’ll forget everything, so I go over it in my head for three hours straight. It’s especially bad at night when I’m trying to sleep. I even made lists. A list of all the changes I need to make. A list of all the characters’ and their unique traits. A list of events. But even with these lists, I still continue to think about everything. My brain won’t shut up. It’s so stressful, I feel like I’m going to go crazy.
Sure, it’s incredibly stressful to the point when I just want to pull my hair out, but I think these obsessive thoughts help me. It’s funny, I have a hard time getting to the computer each day to work on my book; I keep procrastinating, but once I’m sitting in front of the screen it feels right. It feels as though I’m supposed to be there, in that moment, writing. It feels like it’s where I belong. I haven’t worked on editing my book in a week; The longer I go without writing, the more obsessed I become with getting back to writing. There’s a voice in my head telling me I need to work on my book, that I need to finish it. It haunts me, it literally does. Plus, there are the characters’ voices haunting me telling me to tell their stories. This past week had been hard, but the voice in my head reminding me of everything I need to do in my book brought me to the computer today to work on it. If I didn’t have this voice in my head, then I wouldn’t feel a need to be writing. I’m not always in the mood to write, but the voice in my head has other ideas. Like today, obsessing over my book was stressing me out so much that I had to get to the computer to work on editing it just so this voice would get out of my head. Once a change is made to the story, I stop thinking about that change. The more I edit my book, the less I have to think about that needs to be fixed, therefore, the less I have to obsess about. The editing part is definitely my least favorite part of writing a book because besides the voice telling me to write, it’s also telling me and always reminding me of the changes/edits I need to make.
If I didn’t have these obsessive thoughts, I would probably still be procrastinating. They are part of my motivation to get to the computer each day. Writing a book can be too stressful at times. Sometimes I think about giving up writing altogether, but I realized whether I write or not, I will always have the obsession to write. I feel compelled to. There will forever be the voice in my head telling me I need to write. The longer I go without writing my book, the louder the voice gets in my head. If I were to completely stop writing, I would go crazy, literally. I’m not joking. Also, I’ve noticed the longer I go without writing my book, the more depressed I become. Obsessive thoughts about writing/editing my book + becoming depressed = not a good combination. There were times I thought about seeing a counselor, but then I would begin to write again. Writing is my medicine. It’s a cure.
There’s a quote, “a writer never has a vacation. For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.” ― Eugène Ionesco. This quote definitely rings true for me. When I’m not writing, I’m always thinking about writing— or having obsessive thoughts about it.
I was going through some old accounts and I found this poem/story I wrote a very long time ago. I had to be in the 4th or 5th grade. It’s quite silly, but it made me smile, so I thought I’d share it with y’all.
Once upon a time
Lived a monkey
Named Billy Bob Joe.
His nickname was Bob.
He ate bananas and fudge,
But he slept in a box with other animals.
On other nights, he would eat pie
With his friend Coco.
Is so mighty and tough,
But he lost his mind once or twice.
Coco cannot take care of Monkey Bob’s needs or wants,
But Monkey Bob is so sweet and sometimes a little aggressive.
He grew up with his mama
In Silverwood Idaho
On a farm,
Owned by a little yellow bee.
Soon they moved to
That’s when Monkey Bob met Coco
On a little white ranch
Owned by me.
The three of us roamed the valleys,
ate in the alleys,
Played in the fields
And rolled down the hills.
But Monkey Bob wasn’t happy,
So Coco and he left Dallas Texas,
Moved to Florida,
On a private Property
The Easter bunny.
It was hot and sunny,
But the bunny was really funny.
Soon Coco died
Of too many eggs
And it was only
Monkey Bob left.
He was very lonely
Because the bunny was always at work.
Oh Monkey Bob,
I feel so sorry…
That’s what you get for leaving
My little white ranch
The day before Easter.
Soon Monkey Bob left the bunny
And headed back to his mama.
Monkey Bob lived with his mama
Forever and Ever.
Silly, I know. But I love finding old things I’ve written. I found a few others, but I’ll share them another time. In other news, I’ve been expanding my author platform. As you may know, it’s important to build an audience and find ways to get your work out there more. Obviously, I have a blog. I’m thinking about paying the $18 a year to make it my own, so it’s more professional. Instead of the URL being abigailwyvon.wordpress.com, it would just be abigailwyvon.com. I told y’all in my last post that I made a Twitter account. (You can follow me using the buttons on the left).
Well, that is all for now. I think I’m going to go read until I fall asleep.