Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Whatnot Wednesdays #2

Info dumps on the life of an aspiring writer. 


Do you ever sit down to write, and realize that you don't want to?  Well today, I have been experiencing the exact OPPOSITE. 

I want to write and create, but I don't want to sit down at my computer.  I want to move.  I want to do things.  I want to go on an adventure.  A real one. 

I wonder if I can run on a treadmill and write at the same time....





Well, after careful consideration, I decided that strapping my laptop to the front of my treadmill is not the best idea.

So here I am.  Sitting at my desk.  And bouncing my leg hard enough it just might fall off.

I think that part of the reason I'm having such a hard time actually DOING the writing, is that I have recently fallen victim to the self-aware-story-syndrome.  (Basically my story has decided to deviate from the planned path and do its own thing).

So what might happen is that I won't end up with 12 chapters like my outline suggests.  I might have 13.  Or even 15.

And there's nothing wrong with that--except for the fact that I wanted this story to be 12 chapters.  The reason being is that I had carefully defined what needed to happen for each chapter.  But SURPRISE! my characters have more story to tell than I originally planned.

Is it just me, or is this starting to sound like the complaints of a genius procrastinator?

Oh would you look at that. They exist.


Yep. I'm procrastinating. 

Happy New Year's Eve!!!

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Two-Fifty Tuesdays #1

Excerpts from my writing consisting of 250 words. No more. No less. 

The following passage is taken from chapter six of my current work in progress: Somnia

“Wake up.”  My eyes fly open as a strange voice repeats the words that were just in my head.  I look up into the face of a gruff man I don’t recognize.  I stuff my journal back under my shirt and give him my attention.
     “I wasn’t asleep,” I say, a bit shaken at the man’s choice of words.  The man’s features aren’t very clear—as if someone has yet to define them.  The look in his dull gray eyes is empty.  He glances back at someone standing behind him.  Shep comes forward out of the shadows.  I lift my chin and freshen my glare.  Guardian of Somnia or not, Shep and I will never be compatible after today. 
     “Where is Destiny?” Shep demands.  I glance behind him at the door.  She still hasn’t returned from her quest.  I tell him nothing.  I merely tilt my head and give him a confused expression that is supposed to say:  why would the new guy know?  It works, for Shep moves on to the real topic at hand.  He nods to the gruff man with simple features.  I decide to nickname him Blank.  Blank breaks the lock of my cage and waits for me to come out.  I don’t move.  Who would willingly crawl towards a man who can break a lock with his bare hands?  But there’s nothing I can do when he drags me out himself.  Blank steals the journal from under my shirt and hands it to Shep. 

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Monday, December 29, 2014

Mature Mondays #1

Something that is thought provoking and/or inspiring.


While browsing through my Pinterest feed the other day I came across this pin (above), which says simply: NOTICE WHAT YOU NOTICE.  

I find this concept extremely interesting.  It's something I haven't thought about before.  Sure, EVERYBODY notices things, but that doesn't mean everyone notices the SAME thing.  And that can say a lot about who you are as a person. 

One example of this is taken from my very backyard.  The pictures below shall help explain. 

Every spring, the color of my lawn changes from GREEN...

(Google.images) YELLOW....

(Google.images) WHITE....

(Google.images) BROWN.... 


....and then eventually back to green again.  Thus are the colors of each stage of the dreaded dandelion invasion.  

As you can imagine (or perhaps know personally) this flower is considered to be one of the most inconvenient weeds of all time.  (And yes, my yard really does act like a chameleon every spring).

Let us return to the words NOTICE WHAT YOU NOTICE.  When I was younger, I didn't see a yard full of WEEDS.  I saw a yard full of FLOWERS.  I didn't think of dandelions as a nuisance, but as blanket of color, free of charge.  I saw flowers from which I could make bracelets, and necklaces, and crowns.  I saw a gift.

I saw something good in something that is considered a pest.

What does this say about me?  I like to think that I can find the positives in situations, and in people--even the troublesome "weeds".  I see this as a strength.

What do you notice about what you notice?

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Friday, December 26, 2014

Funny Fridays #2

A little humor can go a long way. 

"A child psychologist had twin boys--one was an optimist; the other, a pessimist.  Just to see what would happen, on Christmas Day he loaded the pessimist's room with toys and games.  in the optimist's room, he dumped a pile of horse droppings.

That night, the father found the pessimist surrounded by his gifts, crying.

"What's wrong?" the father asked.
"I have a ton of game manuals to read...I need batteries...and my toys will all eventually get broken!" sobbed the pessimist.

Passing the optimist's room, the father found him dancing for joy around the pile of manure.

"Why are you so happy?" he asked.  The optimist shouted, "There's got to be a pony in here somewhere!"

(Reader's Digest)


God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Thingy Thursdays #1

A fascinating object that begged at the chance for a story.


The following story is entirely fictional.

My friend's kid wanted a Christmas tree going through a portal.  My friend laughed and told his son that if he could find a PORTAL, he'd get the TREE.

Me, being the creative and awesome person that I am, had an idea.  It turns out that LED lights make the perfect "portal" when positioned just right.  To make it more authentic, I managed to secure myself some lovely blue and orange lights.

Several hours and many eyerolls later, my friend had his very own portal tree.  He went ahead and just used a fake tree. (It'd be kinda hard to water the tree on the ceiling, don'tcha think?)

My friend's kid loved it.  I couldn't believe how well it turned out.  It looked almost REAL.

I smile every time I think about this story.

But I laugh when I remember how my friend's CAT crossed over the portal BARRIER to get close enough to chew on the ribbons.

We haven't seen him since.


God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Whatnot Wednesdays #1

Info dumps on the life of an aspiring writer.

Do you ever look at someone and think:  yeah, they could use a story.  If you do, then chances are you are a writer at heart.

Today--I say today, but it was really yesterday. My poor brain hasn't caught up yet, apparently--my mom and I went on a spontaneous shopping trip for last-minute gifts and food (the food being for Christmas dinner, obviously).

In fact, it was so spontaneous that I forgot to prepare myself with sustenance (aka: lunch).  What I thought was going to be a 1 hour quick run, turned into a 5 hour long girls' day out. 

Pros: I'm officially ready for Christmas.
Cons: I. Am. STARVING. 

But seriously.  Food is my new best friend.  Namely pepperoni at the moment--but I'm getting off topic here. 

Right. Got it. 

Needless to say, the stores were far FAR from empty so close to the holidays.  There were people galore. (And certainly no shortage of characters to be found). 

From the sale's associate who helped me and my mom discover the strange food of tahini (a pasty thingy made from ground-up sesame seeds), to the little 5-year-old boy strutting down the aisle like he owned it, the creative side of my brain was alive with endless possibilities for stories. 

And then.  If you're lucky.  You see before your eyes in the discombobulated sea of people a child, teen, or adult that matches your character so well that you have no choice but to whip out that newest issue of Stalker 101 and commence fangirl operation #273.4 of capturing the rare book character as seen in the wild (aka: real life).

And that, ladies and gentlemen is why #1 writers are often mistaken for crazy people, and #2 I should never, under any circumstances, be allowed to blog at 3AM. 

Have a very merry Christmas Eve!

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Survival Saturdays #1

Writing advice to help you survive that first draft.

We've all heard it (no pun intended).
It is by far the most common dialogue tag out there. (or "say" if we're talking present tense. But don't get too far ahead of yourself. We're staying in the past. So shush.)

The reason why SAID is often discouraged is because it can get repetitive fast.

"Toss me that water bottle," Jesse said. 
"Sure thing. I just love being your slave," Riley said.

Can you feel the emotion?  The drama?
No. No you cannot.

Let's see what happens if we replace SAID with more interesting words.

"Toss me that water bottle," Jesse demanded. 
"Sure thing. I just love being your slave," Riley scoffed. 

How about now?

DEMANDED and SCOFFED are far more descriptive than SAID.  Not only can you get a feel of the scene, but you have some insight into the characters' relationship and personalities.


Here is a list of alternate words for SAID:

NORMALLY: stated, spoke, remarked, reported, added.

HAPPILY: rejoiced, laughed, joked, giggled, sang, cheered, marveled, chimed, beamed.

FULL OF WORRY: quaked, stammered, stuttered, gulped, gasped.

BOSSILY: commanded, ordered, dictated, insisted, demanded, bossed, preached.

ANGRILY: demanded, hissed, fumed, thundered, snapped, sneered, barked, ranted, grunted roared, bellowed, spat, retorted, blurted, barked.

LOUDLY: shouted, belted, yelled, screamed, exclaimed, boomed, called.

SADLY: cried, sobbed, groaned, bawled, whined, blubbered.

QUIETLY: mumbled, muttered, whispered, murmured, comforted.

AFRAID: stammered, stuttered.

AS A QUESTION: asked, inquired, requested, questioned, begged.

AS AN ANSWER: answered, replied, responded, acknowledged, explained.


(Pinterest)'s not all dead.
While it is best to avoid SAID when possible, SAID should not be eliminated entirely.  If two characters are having an important conversation that you want the readers to pay attention to, you might want to throw a few SAIDs in there to help with readability and flow.

For example:

"I'm here to bring the neighbor's dog home," Kurt explained. 
"I put him outside," Jesse responded. 
"He's not there," Kurt insisted. 
"What do you mean?" Jesse stammered.
"I mean he's not in the backyard," Kurt clarified.  
"What?" Jesse gasped. 

Even though those dialogue tags are very helpful in getting a feel for the scene, they can slow the reader down.  (This is also a good time to mention that a dialogue tag isn't needed for every line). Using SAID once or twice will help to move the scene along.

"I'm here to bring the neighbor's dog home," Kurt explained. 
"I put him outside," Jesse said.
"He's not there."
"What do you mean?" 
"I mean he's not in the backyard," Kurt said. 
"What?" Jesse gasped. 

A little easier to read, huh?

The best time to replace SAID is when depth is needed--to help make the scene come to life.  Otherwise, SAID is the safest way to go.

God bless,
~Amy Rochelle

Friday, December 19, 2014

Funny Fridays #1

A little humor can go a long way. 

Only 6 days left until Christmas! Anyone else feel like 2014 tried to sneak by without being noticed?

In the spirit of Christmas, I present to you the first ever Funny Friday edition Christmas style:

This will totally be me when I have my own house. 

Mice these days.  Not as quiet as they used to be. 

This.  I must do this. 

Man, I hope it's an iPhone.


So nice of him. 

Have a fabulous Christmas!

God, bless
~Amy Rochelle