The Maturation of Creative Writing

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I try to forgive my writing; if I had to put an age on my creative writing skills I would say it is still in the high school phase. Yes, I myself made it through high school and graduated from college, I even spent 3 years in the technical writing world, but my creative writing skidded to a halt after high school.

Also, I desperately need an editor, like yesterday.

I don’t have the patience of a mature writer. I quickly come up with a new writing topic, spend maybe two hours on it and throw it out there on my blog. Similar to a high school boy going to 3rd base for the first time, he has the passion, but shall we say no finesse? Finesse, patience, and skill take time to learn. I have to make many grammar, description, and wrong word choices before I craft that perfect sentence (I have yet to craft THE perfect sentence.). I will hopefully look back on these old posts and cringe at my lack of composure. Resembling the way I look back on my high school days and cringe at my ardent and wistful claims of undying love for the boys with all of the passion and non of the patience. I will be able to see the growth from where I decided to take my creative voice and start speaking of the intangible: pain, fear, and joy.

I don’t know when my creative writing will go from over enthusiastic high school kid to mature professional. Maybe that leap can’t be measured in a single occurrence, but I look forward to blushing and cringing at these early attempts.

♥R♥

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Throw back to Graduation from Western Washington University 2010
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Made

THIS IS A RE-BLOG

Writing goals, right here. Anna Fonté, you are a master of the craft.

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image courtesy Kathie McMillan image courtesy Kathie McMillan

I was 11 when the boys clustered around me at lunch, calling names:
skank, hoser, slut, scumbag, stupid butt-ugg bitch.
I don’t recall why they hated me, only their sneering baby faces
and those skinny chests puffed up with imaginary muscles.

We knew we’d probably be raped sooner or later, my friends and I all knew.
The knowing was something we carried tucked between our legs like a blade.
If one of us forgot and let her guard down, we’d get angry:
How could you let that happen, we’d wonder. How could you forget?

So I planned it carefully. A nice boy on a hillside overlooking the city.
Broad daylight sufficed since I wanted to do it in the open, natural, like any other animal.
I didn’t know how, after deed was done, he’d spring to his feet like a fighter
evading the count and sprint…

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Picture Wall

This is a tutorial on how to make a picture wall based off of my expertise.

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Before

Step 1: Buy frames from craft store. (I buy all of the discount frames and just go with what I get.) Most of the time the frames just work together and I like more of an eclectic look anyway. Buy other design pieces that you can hang on the wall. I like to to go with rustic and metal frames so I like objects that complement this look. For example: horse shoes, old keys, barbed wire. You can make almost anything “go” on your picture wall, just stick to similar design elements.

Step 2: Print pictures in accordance to frame sizing. Make sure you pick pictures that are taken with a quality camera. Camera phone pictures are awesome for Facebook and Instagram, but when those suckers are blown up you don’t want to see grainy photos on your wall. EVERY FLAW WILL BE EMPHASIZED.

Step 3: Then comes hanging the pictures. Ask husband to do this.

Step 4: Ask him again.

Step 5: Accept the fact that he is not going to do it anytime soon and if you want all of the pictures sitting in their frames collecting dust off of your floor then you are going to do it yourself. They call this step “acceptance”.

In our house DIY stands for do it yourself if you can’t get the hubs to do it for you.

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After

Today was one of those days that my husband Miles had other things to do in the garage (tinker and pound stuff). So I decided to tackle the hanging portion myself.

Step 6: The main tools that I use are a pencil, hammer, and nails. Since I can feel my husband’s judgey eyes when I collect my tools I grab the tape measure and level to save face (even though I probably won’t use them). To be fair, when my husband met me I was hanging everything with thumb tacks so I don’t have the best reputation for “safe” hanging.

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Step 7: I don’t make any plans on how all the pictures are going to go on the wall. I just start on one end and work my way down the wall. Technical right? I eyeball the shit out of each picture and make a mark with my pencil for where the nail will go and then I drive the nail home.

Step 8: Repeat step 7 until all of your pictures are on the wall.

Step 9: Drink a beer while my husband corrects every little thing that bugs him about my winging it technique. Hey, you got to have balance in marriage (and apparently your picture wall).

Do all of these steps and you should have a pretty decent place to hang your pics.

 

Voila!

 

♥R♥

Another picture wall that my husband and I did together:

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My Favorite Child

DSC_2657Every day I look at my son and think to myself, he will do great things. I don’t know if every mother feels this way, or if it’s just my ego, but I am pretty sure my son is the best.

Does every mother feel her child is the next Einstein? I don’t know, sometimes I see my son playing with his toys moving beads on a wire from point A to point B and he does it in such a precise and calculated way that I have to wonder if every 7 month old puts that much thought into moving beads. Will he be a brain surgeon? A master engineer? Who can say with those bead moving skills?

Does every mother wonder if her child is going to be the next Mozart? When my son “sings” along to Caspar Babypants and sings lalalala over and over again in such a wide range of pitch I have to wonder if my son is the next musical prodigy. Will he play the piano? Mandolin?

Does every mother wonder if her baby is going to be the next Jesus? I mean who does he get those angel eyes from? Definitely not me but wait, his Dad’s eyes are pretty amazing. And when he gently pats my chest while he is nursing and holds his hand over my heart I know he is better than I ever hope to be and his love and compassion are incomparable.

All I know is that he has already mastered the role of son, to me there is no one better.

♥R♥

Black Ice: A Review

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Britt Pheiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

Britt is forced to guide the men off the mountain, and knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there…and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

I have to confess, I love young adult (YA) fiction. I don’t know if that means that I have not grown out of my 16 year old expectations of entertainment or if YA as a genre is just the best… I will let you decide.

I just finished reading Becca Fitzpatrick’s Black Ice and it was everything you could want for a Friday night, Dove chocolate kind of book-fest. There was suspense, romance, danger and for the night I was able to lose myself in a story that was fast-paced and marathon read-worthy. My husband laughed when he saw me half way through the book 4 hours after I bought it. I recommend picking up this book for a vacation, weekend, or a distraction read.

Warning: I stayed up until 1am reading this book, make sure you have adequate sleep-in time the next morning.

Happy reading,

♥R♥

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Revisiting My First Two Loves: Short Non-Fiction & The Football Player

My extremely talented writer friend Danielle Campoamor posted on Facebook that she was looking for some short stories about the moment you found out that someone was cheating. She is compiling these stories into what I am anticipating to be a great read. I emailed her the following story and I told her whether is it used in the piece or not, it was a wonderful writing prompt.

Thanks Girl.

My First Lesson in Cheating

Even after all these years when I look back on this memory I want to wrap my arms around my 15 year old self and say “You are better than their ugly words.” Because gossip and cheating go hand-in-hand in high school.

My first love was a senior, a football player, popular, and everything the stereotypical first love should be. Unfortunately this plain Jane book worm couldn’t keep up with him and he lost interest after a few months when a beautiful cheerleader caught his eye.

The first time I heard about the new romance between my football player and the cheerleader was in the cafeteria. I walked past a table of boys to get to the soda machine, I like to think they didn’t know I was there so their malicious talk was a little less cruel. One boy said very loudly and clearly, “I would ditch Rachel for (said cheerleader) she is so much hotter! Rachel is alright, but pretty average and kinda boring. I would make the same move as (said football player) did.”

I swear to God my heart stopped beating. I left my money in the vending machine without my soda so I could sneak quietly away. Their words echoing in my ears. How dare they judge the value of everything we shared off of my looks! How could they cheer him on and justify his betrayal simply because She was more beautiful?

I crumpled in a quiet hallway and cried through my Science class.

Looking back now, I see the naivete in myself and the foolish importance of superficial beauty that the young find so meaningful.

Update: Danielle used my story in her article. Yay! Read the full article here.

 

 

New Directions

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I haven’t written anything in a long time. I would love to blame it on life changes, getting pregnant, having said baby, quitting my job, but that would be a lie. I haven’t found enjoyment in trying to write my novel. So I’m putting it aside for now and just writing when inspiration strikes. No more forcing a project I thought I wanted. I just want to write about life, marriage, motherhood, the good, the bad, and the painfully funny.

Lets Seperate FEELING From Thinking

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Ladies, what is with this trend of saying “I feel” rather than “I think”? I have been seeing it in articles all over social media and hearing it daily (like this one) . I admit I have picked up the feel-y trend as well. Every time I do it I cringe and remind myself that “I think” is a much stronger statement than “I feel”. If you know something is fact just state the damn obvious. Drop the “I thinks” and the “I feels” all together and say it with confidence. Honestly switching I “think” with I “feel” just weakens your opinion and voice. Unless you truly are talking about feelings.

For example, if you have to use a fuzzy disclaimer because you are telling half-truths when repeating a story, say “I think”. You don’t FEEL a person said (blank), you THINK they said (blank). You don’t FEEL the person was wearing a red shirt, you THINK they were. The level of intensity you want to remember this switch depends on how seriously you want to be perceived. How much confidence do you have in what you are saying? When I hear someone say “I feel” (first I cringe) and instantly start to wonder if they are feeling or thinking. Then I lose track of the substance behind their statement. When I hear “I think” I perk up and prepare for a debate, but I am paying attention to their statement. When someone states exactly what they mean I instinctively believe them because they sound strong in their statement, I may not believe them for long if they can’t support their opinion but they have an advantage in the beginning.

You have to contemplate how to maneuver your statements in a professional setting. If you are being interviewed, would you really say “I feel” rather than “I think”? The interviewer is going to hand the job over to the person with stronger convictions and knows their own mind. If women fall into the habit of using the weakest verb when stating their mind, their opinion is forgotten before they are even heard.

I have noticed this trend with women mostly and it saddens me because we are already looked over in many aspects of the professional world. Lets stop the trend and start thinking, better yet, KNOWING our own minds.

The Lazy Writer: Reading is My Crutch

Since I made my declaration of “I’m going to Write a Novel!” on FB, people ask me all of the time, “How is your novel progressing?”. To which I reply, “No comment…hahaha” or “Writers block is a bitch you know?” as I shuffle my feet and avoid eye contact.

I have a pretty extensive outline (which I am quite happy with) and tons of notes and ideas, but when it comes to the writing, well I don’t have  much. The few pages I do have I am not happy with and honestly it has thrown some water on my fiery passion of writing. I think damp is a good way to describe how I feel about my novel. I got caught up in the storm of a great idea and I was running full tilt and splashing in the puddles, but now the thrill has worn off and I am just wet and cold. To distract myself I read a lot.

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I have always been a voracious reader and a half ass/part-time “writer”. I read everything I can get my hands on. Lately, I have been on a huge Tudor/English court kick. Phillipa Gregory and Sandra Gulland are two authors who I highly recommend if you like the genre. I took a break from Henry the eighth and all of his dramatic descendants to read the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. You have to love the sexy, sassy Sookie and all of her supernatural eye candy. But I have to wonder, is all of this fun reading just a delightful distraction?

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Are voracious readers all just lazy writers? Are we the crash and burn wannabe authors who just couldn’t hack it in the literary race? My story is the one novel I can’t buy off of the bookshelf until I write it.

Time to put on my rain boots and word sludge.

What to Expect to Read When You are Expecting

Well surprise everyone I am 17 weeks pregnant. I have been in a bit of a writing lull and my reading time now includes baby books. Well… not books but book.

I am reading “What to Expect When You are Expecting” by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel.

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What to Expect has been a great source of information on how your body will change. They are very PC in their descriptions about breast changes and how some women start to show earlier than others. BUT, they don’t mention the fact that you go through a stage where you look like a beer pong champ. I am talking bloat and thick through the middle. You will get all of the side effects of a long weekend of drinking: the gas, ohhhh the gas, heart burn, and the bathroom will be your new hang out spot. Pregnancy is one of those things that is beautiful from a distance. Talk to a woman’s partner or someone arguably closer (cubicle mate) and they will tell you the dirty truth about being near a pregnant woman. Thanks for loving me anyway guys!

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It feels as good as it looks ladies.

What to Expect has been a huge reassurance that these weird-ass side effects nobody talks about are not me losing my mind. I have had bloody noses, SI joint pain, dry skin, acne, and then beautiful skin, and then acne again. I don’t know why we aren’t just given a list of possible side effects when we find out we are pregnant. Hey Doc, can I get a list of the things I should call your office about and a list of things that are completely  normal? I think this would save everyone a lot of time… and your receptionist won’t want to murder me for interrupting her lunch yet again. Luckily What to Expect covers a lot of these side effects.

I’m still waiting for “The Dirty Truth: What to Expect When You are Expecting”. The nitty-gritty down and dirty truth about pregnancy. Until then ladies pick up a copy of “What to Expect When you are Expecting” it’s the only preggo book I can find that doesn’t put me to sleep after two pages. I got headaches from the last book I tried to read from all of the eye-rolling.