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On Writing

Bad Lissa! I’ve been so busy with my writing blog and writing that I’ve completely neglected this blog. I really should do better, but I’m not promising anything. I don’t like to make promises I can’t keep so I’ll just say I’ll try to do better.

IMG_2679It’s time for a cup of coffee and some conversation. Let’s sit down and chat.

Last time I posted I believe Mr. Rockstar had gone out on the road, I was going with him sometimes but not all the time. He’s no longer with that company so he’s home almost every night. Every now and then he goes over the road (OTR) but it’s usually just for a night or two and when he does go I almost always go with him. I enjoy those times together.

My book? Well, it’s going well. It’s going to be a series. I’m not sure how many, it seems that trilogies are the thing, but I’m pretty sure that there are at least 4 books so I guess we’ll just see. I am enjoying the process. I bought a (used) iBook G4 because my HP laptop is shot. It gets so hot that I’m sure it’s eventually going to spontaneously combust. I’ll never buy another HP laptop. I love my HP desktop, but not their laptops. I’m still learning how to use the Mac operating system, but once we can afford it I would love to have an iMac.

Since we’re on the topic of my computer my mind naturally shifts to writing spaces, work spaces… Where do you write? Is it inspiring? Since I no longer have my own writing room, my son is back so I had to give up my writing room. Bummer, I know. But family comes first. So this is what we did so that I wasn’t stuck in a corner somewhere writing. I had the option of taking over the dining room again, but I didn’t really want to do that.

I’d love to see pictures and hear about where you work, write, etc… I’ve got a thing about writing spaces. Send me a link if you like…I’d love to see your writing space.

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Posted by on September 23, 2014 in around here, writing

 

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Writing Room

warning novelist at work

February 3; # 34 (well, mine is actually # 1, since this is my first post for the 365 days worth of Writing Prompts, but who’s counting…)
Writing room:  A genie has granted your wish to build your perfect space for reading and writing. What’s it like?

my little corner 002

My little corner writing space before I got my writing room. I was literally in the corner of our bedroom.

My writing room. My desk is the red one, the other desk is for my husband.

My writing room. My desk is the red one, the other desk is for my husband.

I have my very own writing room now. Thanks to my wonderful and amazing husband and daughter, and thanks to my son (who moved out because he went into the Army and is now in bootcamp). So instead of writing what I’d wish for, I thought I’d write about why my writing room is the perfect space for reading and writing and why I’m so grateful to have it.

Before I got my own writing room I was tucked away in the corner of our bedroom. Literally. See…

But now I have my very own writing room. Complete with bookcases, and I’m no longer stuck in the corner. When my son moved out to go to bootcamp for the Army I got his room to do whatever I wanted with. My husband, who is absolutely wonderful and amazing, said I could decorate it however I wanted as long as I didn’t use orange or green. So I thought about what I’d want. Red. Purple. Bright, bold creative colors. But my (step) daughter’s favorite color is also purple and she really wanted her room purple. Since I didn’t want to paint the walls red, since I’m going to paint our dining room a dark red (Carolina Gamecock’s red) I decided I’d use red as the accent color in my writing room and find a color that would go with red but wasn’t dark. I looked up the meaning of colors and found that blue hues are focus colors. I don’t like baby blue, and dark blue wouldn’t have worked, so I chose a color called Aqua Chiffon. My daughter helped me clear out most of the room and we painted. It turned out so much better than I expected. She also helped me paint the bookcases. One is charcoal gray and the other is red. I also painted parts of my desk red. There is a twin bed in the writing room for when my daughter and grandson come over. There’s plenty of room for the little man’s pack-n-play, and she can sleep in the twin bed.

Twin bed (we need to get the bed frame out of storage...)

Twin bed (we need to get the bed frame out of storage…)

As you can see the room is not finished. We just moved my red desk in there, and I’ve got a lot of work to do to finish organizing the room and my desk. My son’s stuff is in the closet for now, and his big FS TV is also in there, but once he gets that out of there I’m going to find a comfortable chair to put in that spot so I can sit and read there, or so my husband (AKA, Mr. Rockstar) can sit there and play guitar. Nothing like writing to the sound of live music. 😀  Maybe once we get the rest of the stuff with the house fixed and fixed up, and quite a few other things taken care of we could get a red leather recliner… Hmmm… I love red and Mr. Rockstar loves recliners.

red leather recliner

But for now my son’s TV is there, and once it’s out of there I have a black rocker that will go there. Too many other things we need to do first before getting a red leather recliner, but since I’m wishing and a genie granted that wish… IMG_1780

Now on to being thankful.

IMG_1334 IMG_1335 IMG_1336 IMG_1337

When we first moved into the house, I wasn’t the only one who wanted a space of his/her own. My (step) daughter shares a room with her cousin. When she comes here she has her own room, but I wanted to make it hers. Really hers. A teenage girl’s room. Something she’d enjoy hanging out in, somewhere she’d feel relaxed and peaceful. So not only did it get painted purple, but I found the perfect comforter set for a 14 year old who loves stuff like peace signs, the color purple, and stuff. And here is her room…Complete with a 1 Direction poster (we’re not finished with her room either. We’ll be putting up more posters and stuff soon). I know what it’s like to need and want a small safe haven…even if it’s a corner in your bedroom or a space in the dining room or your very own writing room or bedroom. I’ve had to share a room with my daughter before, I’ve had to sleep on the couch or a pallet…Thank God I’ve always had a place to sleep though.

I’m thankful for my safe haven, to me home is where the heart is and where you feel the safest and that’s wherever my husband is…He and my family are my home! The house is only a home if you feel loved and safe there within its walls, and I do. And I want to give that very same thing to those who come into our home… A place for them to feel safe and loved, even if they’re only visiting. Having my own writing room is a blessing, but I’d gladly give it up for my family.

 

 

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Writing Spaces

The Daily Prompt  wants to know To what extent is your blog a place for your own self-expression and creativity vs. a site designed to attract readers? How do you balance that? If sticking to certain topics and types of posts meant your readership would triple, would you do it? 

My blog is one of my writing spaces. Part of it is about self-expression and creativity, the search for truth, the experience of that journey. My search for truth is an inner and an outer one. Part of the journey of life, creativity, self-expression, are all woven within the pictures and words I post as I write. Each word is a step along that path.

Do I care about attracting readers? Would I write about certain topics and types of posts if it meant tripling my readership? NO. NO. I remember when journalism was about seeking the truth. Exposing the truth. When you could open up your newspaper, listen to the radio, watch television and learn something, gain some insight about what was going on around you and the world, but the more I listen to radio and watch television and look at the newspaper the more I see sensationalized news. Reality television shows are a great example of this. That little girl and the show Honey Boo Boo is a great example of what I am talking about. I’ve never seen the show, I’ve only seen excerpts and a few interviews of the little girl and her momma. And that was more than enough for me. It horrified me that we have reduced ourselves as a society to watching that kind of CRAP.

I’d rather watch reruns of Law and Order.

I’d love to have readers who enjoy what I write, who are inspired or motivated or touched by something I  said. I want those readers. I do not want readers who are looking for the next sensationalized, faddish, hot topic. I don’t want to base my blog on what is popular. For the past week or more I think I’ve written one or 2 posts. I haven’t been posting because I was swamped with my novel. I sucked at multitasking that last 2 weeks of Camp NaNoWriMo. I was busy with writing my novel, life, my grandson, my daughter who is graduating on the 10th with her associate’s degree, my husband, and suffering in pain from fibroid tumors as well as a sinus infection. Regular life and writing the novel were so much that posting on the blog was a blip on the radar of my thoughts but not a loud one. Bad blogger, I know.

I don’t write posts about religious controversies or my religious views, nor do I write posts about my political views or my thoughts on issues like gun control or the like, except the occasional rant about our current healthcare situation. If it was important to me in a way that was relevant to my blog and my life I might. And one day I just might post something about gun control because as a gun owner and a believer in our Constitution that concerns me, but there’s so much more to that issue than that so I’ve strayed away from talking about it in my blog. Just as I’ve strayed away from talking about other important issues. Once you start the ball rolling on controversial issues there is always backlash. My blog is about learning, growing, experiencing, ranting (on occasion), life, love, relationships, writing, inspiration, and motivation. It’s a place where I am away from all the CRAP and can focus on the positive or at least try to figure out what is positive. Backlash is not usually positive.

So if my ratings plummet or never get any better than they already are, and they’ve decreased the past 2 weeks because I haven’t really been posting, then oh well. I’ll still drink my coffee in the morning and read through posts on my readers, write my own posts and continue to like and/or comment on other’s posts, but my life will go on. I have to live in the real world, I don’t have to live in the blogosphere. The blogosphere is my escape.

 

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The Devil is in the Details

DP Writing Challenge: the Devil is in the Details

Your challenge this week is to practice your powers of observation. Take any person, place, or event, and write three paragraphs describing your subject in great detail.

3. Describe your writing space. Do you write on the couch? At the kitchen table? At a desk? In a restaurant? Describe your surroundings. What does it smell like? What is the light like in your space? What can you hear, feel, and see? You have three paragraphs to pull us into your space. Go.

Home and family 289I sat down in my old black vinyl swivel office chair, its one wheel missing, and the tattered and worn arm rests, and looked at the flat screen HP monitor that sits on my aged military surplus desk with it’s fake oak veneer finish and wished I could come up with something brilliant and creative. However, after a full 6 hours of trying not to smoke (I’m quitting) I felt like my mind was filled with cobwebs. I went to the kitchen, which is adjacent to my writing space–what used to be our dining room is now my writing/creating/editing/scrapbooking/whatever it is space. I made myself a cup of chocolate milk  coffee and as I did so I looked across the kitchen into what was once the dining room but is now my writing space and tried to take in all of the details. I had to close my eyes and for a moment imagine that I was seeing it for the first time in days so that I could take in more of the details. When you look at something every day you don’t pay as much attention to it as when you haven’t seen it in a while, or ever.

So as I sipped my cup of coffee, with more half & half and sweetener than coffee,  I looked at my writing space. My writing space. And it truly is mine. It has my personality mixed in with the bits and pieces of pictures, quotes, cards, poetry, letters, stick-it notes, and knick-knacks that cover the wall above my desk and the desk itself. Every book or article I’ve ever written has said, in one way or other, that you need your own writing space (or creative space) to write (or create) even if it is only a corner or nook somewhere. It doesn’t have to in its own room, just off to the side somewhere will do.  When we first moved I had my own room, but things changed, as they will do, and I ended up with the dining room, which is not private at all, but the space is all mine. So I put up cork-boards and then hung a picture that has a quote, which reads: Work…as if you don’t need the money. Love…as if you have never been hurt. Dance…as if no one is watching.  I also hung up various pictures of my family, David’s family, and of us together at our wedding. I hung up pictures of landscapes that I like. I hung a calender that David’s mom gave me that has a different quote and picture for each month–I find it inspirational. I included a poem I wrote David last year for Valentine’s Day, and self portrait that my daughter sketched of herself a few years ago, as well as a Dr. Seuss quote that I love. The wall above my desk allows my thoughts to wonder when I feel a touch of writer’s block and draws me to those things that inspire me.

The desk itself, is rather too large for the area, but I love my military surplus desk and refuse to break down and get something smaller and more convenient. Truth is, I imagine some of the others who used the desk prior to me: maybe an officer (and a gentlemen),  or chief, or a captain…Or maybe it was another writer. I decided when I began to organize my desk that I wanted things around me to be convenient, organized, and inspiring. So directly in front of my keyboard are the small smurf’s that we used as cake toppers at our wedding: guitar smurf and bridal smurfette.  There is also a picture of my daughter and grandson on the top of my tower which sits to my right. I also have a Waffle House coffee cup filled with pennies, two post-it notes shaped like apples: one green, one red.  A stapler, a tape dispenser, and a 3-hole punch.  A Heineken glass filled with pens, pencils, and markers. A candle that we were given for Christmas that has very little candle left. To the left of my monitor sits a book called The Illustrated Practical Guide to Digital and Classical Photography, and my dad’s Yashica TL Electro X sits on top of that, along with my Canon PowerShot SX150 IS. Just in front of all of that sits a variety of books ranging from Stephen King’s Fire Starter, to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time (the first book), Patricia Cornwell’s  Book of the Dead, and David Eddings Dreamers series.  I also have a stack of colored index cards I’ve been using for my novel.

To the right, just behind me as I sit at my desk, are two antique bookcases that I inherited from my grandmother. On the first one I have a picture of my daddy when he was in the Army and all of around 18 or 19, and a picture of my mom in a white ball gown when she was about 18. On the next bookcase there are a pair of bookends that my daddy used to use for his pipe supplies (they have pockets built into them and look a bit like beer barrels with a strip of brass going across them) but I use as actual bookends. My bookcases are filled to the rim with books. And as I look around I find that I am surrounded by sentimental things that make me feel good, give me inspiration, and allow me to feel at home in my space.

Isn’t that what it is all about? Feeling at home and inspired in our writing space so that you can be as creative as possible… At least for me it is. So when I am writing about one of my characters and I feel a bit stuck, I’ll look around for some sort of inspiration to get my creative juices flowing again and my eyes will land on the picture of my daddy, who died when I was 7 but had a huge impact on my life, I will think of all that he endured in his short life: the oldest child of six, a child of alcoholic parents, boot camp, Vietnam War, getting injured and being told he’d never walk again and being medically discharged, but eventually walking again (albeit with a slight limp), meeting my mother and getting married, fathering a daughter and a son, opening his own business, finally making a profit at it,  and then dying at the young age of 31…(Mind you I left out quite a bit of detail, but you get the drift.) And then I see that my character who I call Anderson is plagued with an old war injury that bothers him with the weather and  causes him to limp. He won’t talk about it, but the reader gets the sense that the injury was almost fatal.

 

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