New York City had a primary two days ago. I worked the polls. It was a long 15 hour day but I liked it. I learned a few people were thrown off with what a Primary was. Republicans wanted vote for Democrats. Soon I was trying to make them understand that this is a vote for who they want to be the voice their party. Some cursed when they remembered, while others still stared at me blankly. Party doesn’t matter. Right? They can vote for whoever they want. I explained that was true in November on election day but not for a primary. I was mostly met with, “I wouldn’t have come in if I knew.”
I was surprised to see the age of people asking me questions. These were the wiser generation which had the better education. But there I was explaining the rules. For New York City the Democrats had a lot of decisions to make. In this Primary there was ten Mayoral, five Public Advocate, two Comptrollers, two Borough Presidents, and even a few (forgot how many) City Counsel candidates. The Republicans had three Mayoral candidates. So, Republicans would come out of the booth asking why they had so little. I would explain the Republican party most likely know who will be the voice for the party. If you weren’t part of the Democratic or Republican party you couldn’t vote in this primary. There was a hand full of people who left the building with voting card in hand ready to change there party so they could participate in the next primary.
I must say I was happy to see the turn out. For a primary I was told it wouldn’t be busy and true I probably don’t know what busy is but I was proud to see so many voting. But if you’re reading this I hope you now know the difference between Primary (who will represent your party’s voice in an election) and Election Day (vote for whoever you think best to represent everyone). I probably could have explained this more clear then this but that day I was trying to give the best possible answer everyone would understand.
I have had my garden for a few years. The knowledge I use now was instilled by my dad and mom. (My parents had a big garden before I was born till I was five.) Now, everything I planted is coming in and my mom and I can’t eat, or can fast enough. I have been sharing the booty retrieved from the garden with some friends. Everyone is grateful but I am amazed by the questions I get sometimes. Some want to know how I get so much product because they are not getting the same results or they are picking my brain for their future garden. Others are worried by the look of some of the tomatoes.
My garden is out in the open air succumbing to the elements and I don’t spray any chemicals. It seems every year some of my tomatoes get “stretch marks”. I have always told my friends it is because the inside is growing faster then the skin so the skin tears and tries to repair itself. The other day my brother tried to tell me the stretch marks are from worms that eat the tomato while it’s growing. When I did the research I was relieved to find out I was right. Also, I learned how to stop the stretch marks from forming. I would have to regulate the water so it is the same from day to day and make sure the plants don’t get to little or to much sun. I laughed at this bit of information. I am probably not going to put up a shade on a sunny day and I will try to keep the amount of water steady from day to day. I just think my tomatoes taste great so what if they don’t look perfect. What is life without a few imperfections.
I forgot all about it. I have a Writer’s Cafe account. I was looking through old emails and I found the creation profile email. I returned to the webpage and good news I remembered my username and password. I was met with a friend request and someone gave me helpful criticism on a poem I had posted 2 years ago. It was six months ago I got this review and I’m only answering back now but now I have a renewed curiosity in the site. I have been writing more often the last few months and since leaving school I don’t have the outside creative criticism on hand I think I need. This is now looking like the next step I’ll need to help my writing take shape into full body stories others will understand and love.
If anyone reading this has a Writer’s Cafe account feel free to friend me. If you have never heard of this website check it out. It is a free online writing community writers can meet other writers, post work, get constructive criticism and even enter contests. I love finding a renewed interest in something once forgotten. There is that instinct to protect my writing and my own self-esteem but I have to get over my fears and move forward.
That is what I remember writing in pink chalk on my drive way. Of course the dream didn’t go smoothly so I’m going to try my best to explain the story.
It started out in my yard, which was a garden. I was growing tomatoes and cucumbers. When I walked into a shed it had some bell jars of pickles. I was thinking about the trade I would have to do with one of my neighbors. I think this apocalyptic world view is from some of the books I’ve been reading lately.
I’m outside again and there is someone standing there and it is me or my family (but they don’t look like my actual family). I don’t know what this figure looks like now. Not even sure if I knew what this person looked like then. So I agree to go.
Next I am standing in an old pub. I know I have escaped but I don’t look the same as I did. I am in a different body from the one I left. When I try to talk my family won’t listen to me. The woman starts saying it is me and I have been corrupted by the devil. They disappear and I’m outside writing on the driveway with the chalk, “I escaped the devil” while all the writing on the ground around what I wrote is “She’s the devil” or “she’s possessed” and such.
Today is a writing/publishing lesson I learned the hard way. Four years ago I was working as an intern for The Celebrity Cafe. I wrote book, movie, and music reviews, interviewed a few celebs and wrote TV recaps. Mostly, I wrote celebrity news. When I sent my work in most articles would stay when published. Only once or twice was I emailed to rewrite an article because it was not up to the standard the cafe was looking for. But one time an article was published that I was and still not happy with. It was my first writing gig but sometimes I think I should have known better. I was interning and working part time as a casher. I think the TV recaps where the hard part of the internship. I’m not a committed TV watcher but it was a job and I agreed to recap Project Runway. This was around the time they were on Thursday at 9pm and started to air for an hour and half. By 10:30pm I was tired but I would write the article (about 500 to 800 words) and send it straight in. I had work the next morning and I knew there was no time to write Friday and get it on time. Tired is no way to edit your own work. I figured the editors on the other end would catch any inaccuracy, until one recap was published and the article was covered with errors. When I saw it posted up I cringed at all the mistakes I missed the night before and the comment from a stranger talking about the poorly written piece. After that I would write at night and edit it in the morning. I tired to wake up early or just skip breakfast. I never trusted another person to make sure is was blunder free. That Project Runway piece will haunt my mind because I know I’m a better writer than what’s presented in that article. I worry that piece will stop me from getting a dream job one day.
My next internship was a writer/editor for the website, Joonbug. Perspective. If you are writing in any field be aware everyone has limited timetables, and over flowing back-ends. As an editor, even with time crunches, I always read over the articles sent by “my” writers even if I’m sure I still missed mistakes. There could be an article with slip-ups even if it looked like the requirements were covered. I’ve heard of articles being published without being proofread. If an author consistently writes well and they need to post that article that second, editors will post it with not even glance.
Doesn’t matter if it is for print or digital, if you are just starting out and you are sending in articles make sure you send the best piece you can created.
I find query letters frustrating. They seem so simple until the writing begins. So many tips out there but only one real template. I don’t want it to sound like very other but queries seem to have such specific sound. Over the years I have submitted a few short stories to writing contests and I have been rejected but none of them needed a query letter to enter.
This is my first query letter. I wrote a children’s picture book (without art). I have found a few places to send the book. The agent/publishing research is easy. It’s the writing. There are not a lot of examples or templates for writing children’s picture book query letters. I don’t think I’m worried about rejection. I expect it. My writing and or story may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I don’t want a bad query letter holding back my book from a future. Most likely this concern and frustration is all from my focus on detail, which I will have to learn to overcome.
I’ve been trying to write and edit a few novels and I have come across a useful tool to help visualize characters, places, and things. What I was normally doing for my character’s description was trying to write everything I envisioned down in a notebook. Each character would get a page. The page would list physical appearances, personality, and motive. It wasn’t until I saw a post by blogger Shannon A. Thompson called, “Writing Tips: Picture Book” I realized how much detail I was missing by not using this useful tool. Pictures.
I never thought of using pictures to help inspire and build images of characters, places, or objects. I’ve had a Pinterest account for years. When I first signed up I used it a few times but it wasn’t long that I left it having found no use for it. Now I can’t help but think, here was a writing instrument at my fingertips and I have left it idle. Well, no longer, I have started to use it to help with my novel’s vision. Pinterest has an a great number of pictures, easy access for pinning from other websites, and a board privacy setting (so the world doesn’t have to know what you’re planning). Also, saves on paper and ink, which helps me, keep my limited budget from going over. Also, it adds a bit more of creative fun to the process. I find creating a character board or looking at a few photos can be all the pop I need for a shot of inspiration. Even on days writing is slow I can get a daily writing exercise from a few pinned pictures.
If there is anyone out there who is struggling to write a novel, I hope this helps. It has sure has helped me. If you would like to see Shannon A. Thomas’s examples I have linked to her website and her “Picture Book” blog above.
My mind likes to talk to me as I’m falling asleep. The light has been shut off. I have just found a comfortable way to lay and my mind starts talking. I know it is my subconscious waking up. I try to keep a pen and paper or my phone with the note page option next to my bed. Sometimes I’m just to tired to write it down. My eyes too heavy and my body’s to cozy. I believe I’ll remember all the “great” novel ideas the next morning but I wake the next morning have forgotten most of the ideas or words I tried to memorize. Do you fight sleep and write when inspiration strikes or say to your muse, “Can’t you see I’m trying to sleep. Can’t you come back tomorrow when I’m ready to take all that creative energy and record it on the computer?” Curses with the morning light and the muse is no where to be found. Bitch.
I’ve been trying to keep up with a blog schedule but it is proving to be a hard task. I try to post every Tuesday but I didn’t post anything yesterday because I have nothing to write about. For a bit I thought I’d post a creative writing piece but that ended with my brain going quiet at the site of the blinking curser. I was thinking about trying different days even though I know creative flow has nothing to do with a certain days of the week. Lately, I read a lot and was thinking of writing book reviews to fill up some blog space.
How do you keep your topic creative juices flowing? Have you had a blogger’s block? (Like writer’s block but with blogs?)
I was trimming some dead heads off the rose bushes and clipping some roses to bring in the house when I found a nice little surprise. Below is a picture of the nest I found sitting in a rose bush. I took my picture and walked away. I didn’t finish the pruning after this find because I didn’t want to disturb the nest.
Just from that short period of time I looked at the nest. It amazed me. The twigs where long and perfectly stacked. It almost looks like the bush is hugging the nest. I have found light blue eggs with brown specks before but most have been empty, the pervious occupant vacated. I finally learned what type of animal is home to that type of egg. I walked away and watched. Soon two sparrows landed on the lower part of the rose bush and a mockingbird flew out of the near by tree and chased them away.