Some thoughts on writing and life
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My name is Noelle, and I write Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction. Here on WDC, I like to stretch my style and write in many different categories and genres of fiction as well as pen some poetry here and there. I have a few short stories published in anthologies. I'm currently working on a Young Adult novel. A loving mom of three, I live way up in the northern-most part of New York State, near the Canadian border. A crazy, avid reader, a lover of my friends & family. What/who inspires me: my four beautiful sisters, theater and music, health & fitness, gardening, kayaking, sunshine, rain, hiking, nature, children. I'd describe myself as determined, caring, a thinker (overly analytical at times), a dreamer, always seeking balance in my life. I'm dedicated to my writing, and I enjoy motivating and helping other writers when I can.
This blog is a journal of my thoughts, a record of my experiences, and a place to share ideas with other writers and readers.
I'm so glad you're here -- please leave me a comment to say hi!
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|I am so devastated today, I just can't stop my heart from aching. This morning a gunman walked into an elementary school in Newtown Connecticut and killed 20 precious children and 6 adults. I cannot wrap my head around this horrific news, the pure evil of this act of violence. As a mom of three young children, I cannot imagine the agony the parents of those young, innocent victims are going through right now. My prayer tonight is for God to bring peace to their hearts, somehow and soon. And I hope he brings peace to all of the families and friends of all of the victims. It feels good to write about this - I don't know why. I feel like if I write it down, then these overwhelming emotions will seep out of me and onto this virtual paper. I have a tendency to dwell on such tragedies, like Colunbine and 9-11. Maybe it's an unhealthy thing that I've pretty much cried for most of the day.
I was going to skip today's prompt for Blogging Circle of Friends, because I don't like thinking about death and dying, but in light of all I've just written, that's pretty much unavoidable today anyways.
The prompt asks what would I choose for my last meal and with whom would I share it. I would be with the three most beautiful kids in the world - my children of course - and I would let them pick whatever meal they wanted to eat. The food just doesn't matter to me - even if it is my last meal ever. For one, I would NOT want to hear any complaining about what we're having for dinner on my last day, and two, I wouldn't even want to waste any precious time eating. What would be most important to me would be all of the hugs and kisses I'd be dishing out for each of them. The time I spend with my children is the most precious, most cherished time I have or will ever have spent in my lifetime.
God Bless the Children
|Once again - 'again' being the 3rd time since Nov. 1 - I am sick! I mean full-fledged achy from head to toe and sore throat sick. I had so many things to do today, but instead I just laid in bed all day feeling awful and wallowing in my misery. Lol. What a baby I am, right? It's funny because I don't usually get sick. Trust me; that's a good thing.
Updates (because I haven't blogged in 14 long days). I did it - I finished NaNoWriMo with two days to spare and an extra 2,100 words. I'm really happy with how this novel went. I am not thrilled with the ending, so I definitely have much more work left to do. But instead of writing by chapters like I did in the past, I wrote in a sequence of scenes. This was a much more productive and fun writing process for me, and it makes it easier to move things around if I wanted to.
Speaking of writing successes like NaNo, I created a new In & Out where writers can go to share their writing achievements, such as contest wins, NaNo wins, or getting published. It's a fun place to see what other writers are doing and get inspired by them. Plus, I will be giving away a bunch of merit badges in the Grand Opening Round. You should check it out!
Last night, my boyfriend and I took the kids to go get our Christmas tree. We had to wait until after we picked up my youngest daughter from church school, so it was getting dark by the time we got to the tree place. I was freezing (probably already on my way to getting sick), so I was a little less picky than usual. The tree is nice enough - a very full spruce that smells heavenly. It's just a little crooked. No big deal . . . right? I'm sure it will look great once we decorate it, which was supposed to be tonight, but I'm sick. Bah! I seriously have to get feeling better and get into the spirit of Christmas soon . . . Maybe talking about my childhood will help!
I loved being a kid. Those were some great years of my life. I can remember how excited I was on Christmas morning. My four sisters and I would all line up at the top of the stairs and wait for our parents to say the word. What a beautiful sight to see the tree all lit up and loaded up with presents as we all scampered down the stairs in our footie pajamas into the living room. I remember one year I wanted a race track so bad for Christmas. It wasn't a very girly thing to want, but I was thrilled when it was waiting for me under the tree that year. I remember so many toys, but honestly none of them were a 'favorite'. The one gift I got as a little girl that is most memorable to me was a small present from my younger sister, Nadine. She and I were the closest in age, shared a room, and are still close today. We were a big family, and we didn't have much money. So, it was unusual for my sisters and I to exchange gifts. But this one year, Nadine had gotten me a present. When she handed me the present, I made the mistake of guessing what it was before I opened it. She became very upset with me when I guess right, saying, "You peeked!" Of course I didn't peek. I mean, when a book is wrapped in Christmas paper, you can still tell it's a book! I don't think I ever convinced her that I actually had not peeked. I wish she had known how much I loved that book, because it was from her, and I just thought at the time how nice it was that she had thought of me and had gotten me a gift. We were so little then. I know I got lots of toys, but that Barbie book from my sweet sister Nadine is the only present I remember getting that year.
|This entry is going to be a quickie, because I have to write 4,000 words today to catch up to my NaNoWriMo daily word count goal. I didn't have a chance to write yesterday due to the busy Thanksgiving holiday, and I was already behind a few hundred words to begin with.
I had an amazing Thanksgiving with my family at my mom and dad's house. The food, the wine, the company, and yes the olives were all fabulous. I didn't want it to end. Yay, now I can listen to Christmas music and decorate my house and go shopping . . . and use fun holiday emoticons!Ha!
I'm supposed to be writing from a prompt from the awesome BCOF about three wishes. The thing is, I like my life - a lot. It's not perfect, but I like being me and I don't think I would appreciate things - all the good stuff - so much if I weren't challenged everyday and if I didn't have to struggle through difficult times. I thought about asking for more money to pay for a maid, but that would just be lazy of me. Plus, I don't think I really want someone else nosying around our home. So, I think I'm going to wish away my wishes and pass them on to my three precious kids. One wish for each of them.
|In honor of Thansgiving Day, which is tomorrow, this blog entry is dedicated to all that I am grateful for.
There is not a day that passes by in which I do not thank God for my three beautiful children. I love them with every fiber of my being, every spark of my soul, and when I look into their sweet eyes, I have no doubt they are direct heaven-sent gifts to brighten my life.
I am thankful for my family, my friends, and for the most wonderful, supportive man any girl could ask for.
I am grateful for books and music and red wine and olives. I am thankful for tea and my home.
I am grateful for my health and my active imagination which allows me to keep on writing stories.
I am thankful for my ability to dream and for my determination to make my dreams come true.
And I have a ton of gratitude for pumpkin bread - which I CANNOT WAIT to have for my Thanksgiving Day breakfast tomorrow morning!
|I had to laugh right out loud when I read today's prompt for the Blogging Circle of Friends. I don't know what it is about skydiving - it must be 'something in the air'. I know I mentioned this in yesterday's entry, but this is just funny. The prompt's topic is Skydiving. Would you do it? Or have you ever done it? Here is what I wrote as my status on Facebook yesterday: "Struck with boredom inside my back pocket, my iPhone decided it would be a cool adrenaline rush to skydive into the toilet. :'(
Now, I just need to get toilets out of my head and think about plane -- yes p-l-a-n-e -- old skydiving. By the way, my phone is all dried out and working fine. Funny thing is I've developed a new habit of obsessively windex-ing it.
Skydiving and me? Yeah, I don't know about that. No, I've never done it. Yes, I have thought about it. I have a cousin who LOVES it -- tries to get everyone she can to go up and skydive with her. I've been thankful for a long time now that she lives way down south in Georgia, and I can use the distance as an excuse not to do it. You see, I am VERY afraid of heights. I mean forget about the 'jumping out of' the airplane part; I hate the 'getting into' the airplane part bad enough. That said, I do travel via airplane. I went overseas to Italy this past August, and I survived. I was in that airplane for over 8 hours. I was afraid the whole time, but I did it.
The truth is I am terrified of everything. I have this problem with my brain where it just goes all 'what if' on me. What if the plane engines malfunction? What if the car crashes? What if I slip on a banana peel while crossing the street? What if a piano falls on my head when I step outside? Yeah, I exaggerated a little with the last two, but you get the picture. I am terrified nearly every day of my life, but . . .
I do not let my fears stop me from doing ANYTHING.
I just remind myself that I am strong, and I tell myself I can do anything for a day. Here's another thing about me: I am legally blind, which adds a whole other spectrum of fears to trying new things (and even doing everyday things). Stil, I've gone rock climbing, horseback riding, biking, four wheeling, go-carting, hiking, and roller skating. Some of those things I've done with the help of someone else, but I still got to experience them. The roller skating was pretty much an epic fail, but that's okay. If people say, "Oh, Noelle, you won't be able to do this, because you can't see," then that is when I KNOW I must go for it. Life is so much more fulfilling at the end of the day when you can say, "I did it!" or even, "Hey, at least I tried it."
So, on skydiving - it is a REALLY big 'thing' to try, but despite my lack of sight and my complete fear of heights, yeah . . . I'd probably do it!
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ~ Unknown
|I just want to take a minute to say, "Hey!" to all of my new Blogging Friends of "Blogging Circle of Friends " . I am looking forward to reading your blogs and getting to know everyone.
Today I am responding to our first prompt which is this: What advice or words of wisdom would you like to leave for those who come after you? Well, I do have my moments of utter brilliance, but wise? I'm not-so-sure! Or is it the other way around? It's too early in the morning here in NY for debate, so for argument's sake, I'm just going to pretend I am both brilliant and wisdom-rich.
Since I blog about writing (and I am in the midst of NaNoWriMo) I am leaving words of wisdom to all the writers who come after me.
Stop yourself from thinking so much about writing and just sit down and write. Set a daily goal -- whether it's 500 words or 5 pages a day. Tell your fingers to move about the keyboard and don't stop until your daily goals are reached. Don't worry if it sucks. No kitten will be denied dinner, no orphan will go homeless if you write a manuscript that sucks. If it sucks, then you'll revise it. Just get the bare bones of the story down now and edit later. Make writing a priority. If you think you don't have time to write, remember this: no writer gets magical extra-bonus hours to write each day. All writers have families, jobs, and other responsibilities just like you and I. They have to carve out the time in their day to write. One thing I cut completely out of my life when I started writing seriously was watching t.v. If you don't want to stop watching t.v., that's fine -- it's your time, and you can do what you want with it. Just know you have chosen watching t.v. as a priority over writing. If you took one hour of watching t.v. everyday and instead used it to write, you would have a completed manuscript in less than a year. Start today . . . there's no day like today!
Okay, I started out good, right? I know, I know. Most of these are borrowed words of wisdom from the funny and talented, Jackson Pearce. I guess I just disproved my wisdom-rich brilliant-ness, huh? Oh well, I'm all upside-down today because I dropped my iPhone into the toilet last night. Anyways, those wise words of Ms. Pearce inspired me, with her tough-love attitude on writing, so they're the bits of advice I'm passing on to future writers . . .
|This week, I've been plagued with writer's block. I've been down and stressed and there's just always so much going on. I've been sporadic with writing. When I find a moment or two, I sit down with my laptop and stare at the screen, thinking about everything under the sun BUT my W.I.P. Time passes quickly and I haven't written anything, and I get more down and stressed. It just really sucks.
I wish I could be one of those quirky writers who tucks herself away, alone in some secret log cabin high on a secluded mountain side, hidden from the rest of the crazy world. How nice it would be to have complete control over when I can write, how long I want to write, and most of all how nice it would be to have NO INTERRUPTIONS when I'm writing! Now, of course, I adore my friends and my family, but I think I need to make a new law in my house. That's it, I'm putting my foot down. I'm doing it . . .
I'm going to think outside the block, so-to-speak. I'm taking my writer's block and turn it into something useful, a new kind of writer's block. I'm setting aside a solid 'block' of time each day for writing--ONLY for writing. During this time, I will be out of commission to everyone, inaccessible to all, utterly inattentive to the needs, wants, weeps, hurts, whines, complaints, etc. of anyone else but the characters in my stories. My kids will have to learn not to bug me during this set block of time, because well, it's just the law. Let one of them play referee while the other two duke it out, and they can get their own dang glass of water . . . right? Okay, okay I know, unless it's Saturday or Sunday, the kids will be in school anyways during this block of time. So here goes . . . whether or not my boyfriend has the morning off from work, I still have work. My writing is my work. It's my job, according to the new law. So, don't think for one minute I'll be on my phone. Oh, no, no, no! The new law states: There will be NO answering calls or text messages during the set writing hours. Noelle, did you hear me? I said NO phone calls. None. Nada. Nope, not one.
So, yeah, this law is effective in this house as of tomorrow. I got this. I do. I like it. I can feel the creativity bubbling, waiting to flow again; I feel the bad 'writer's block' coming down already!
So, I'll let you know how it works out for me! Do you have a set block of time to write each day? How does it work out for you? Please leave a comment--I'd love to hear from you!
|I got the best news this morning, and I just have to share it! But, first, I have to comment on the fact that it has been just over one year since I've posted in this blog--wow, 1 year.
This year has been an absolute roller coaster for me. My husband left me and my three kids in April, and my life has flipped 180 degrees since. Yes, it's been hard, but it was the best thig that could have ever happened. Let's just say it was a very bad marriage, and we'll leave it at that. It's amazing how life takes turns and twists and leads you down paths you never imagined you would take. Along the way, when you believe only darkness and emptiness are yours, life tosses your way a vibrant ray of light. It's warm glow somehow guides your way down the right path and you suddenly realize you are truly happy.
With all the changes in my life, I stopped writing for 7 months. I'm pleased to report that I am back now, stronger and more confident than ever! I've been writing, polishing my older stories, and submitting my work. Which brings me to my big news . . .
This morning, I received an email informing me that my short story, "Wings of Courage" has been accepted and will be published in the Static Movement anthology, Literary Foray!!! The best part about it is that my sister, NickiD89 , also has a story ("Homage") that was accepted to the same anthology! How cool is that--sisters with stories published in the same book! I've never been published before, so this is very exciting for me--just can't wait to have the book in my hand!
|I cannot believe I am actually going to share this, but...
I just deleted 30 pages of email messages in my WDC inbox, and that was only HALF of them! I had over 60 JUST in my inbox mailbox. What is wrong with me? I mean I went all the way back to my first page and I still had my "Welcome to Writing.Com" email I got when I joined on November 12, 2007!!!! I still had the very first email my dear sister, NickiD89 sent me after I joined- In it, she told me I could "copy and paste my stories right from my word processor into a new static item page." You have no idea how many emails from her I just deleted- or how many there still are in my inbox, hundreds, all read, just sitting there for no good reason except I just never deleted them.
WDC newsletters, writer's digest newsletters, group emails, cNotes, support emails, comments & reviews (even though the system saves them for me in "My Feedback," replies- you name, it's still in there! It's ridiculous. So, I am going to make an honest effort to empty my mailboxes before my 2 year WDC birthday on November 12th. I think it is so time consuming to do it in one sitting- I haven't the patience nor the time, so a little bit everyday works better for me! I'll document my progress here for accountability.
Here's where I am now:
Email Space Used: 14,247 kb (66.3%) Available Space: 7,257 kb (33.7%) Space Limit: 21,504 kb
2,550 msgs, 715 new - (after awhile, the system shows read messages as unread. )
This morning, I was at 90% space used and I was getting space limit warning emails from writing.com support.
I hope I get this done before November first, since my computer time will be all about NaNo!!!
|It's my birthday today, the first day of the last year in my thirties. Wow. I thought I'd be thirty-something forever- not so. Time rolls on and I'm here for to enjoy the ride. In the very recent past (and since I turned twenty), I suffered with a hefty load of ageism. I cried when I turned 20 because I wasn't a "teeny bopper" anymore. I read a poem today that I wrote seventeen years ago when I was 22- I referred to myself as "old" in it. I sobbed the day I turned thirty- and it wasn't because of my pregnancy hormones (I was eight months pregnant for my son that day). I've worried about getting old most of my life. Silly. No stupid. Trully a waste of precious time and energy. I am not spending another second of my life thinking about my age. Instead, I embrace it; I'm not "getting old," I'm growing older and wiser- that's a beautiful thing! I am proud and happy to have made it this far. I don't ever want to go back, only forward. There is so much in this life I want to do- I will be focusing on them and my loved ones this year and for the rest of my sweet life!