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December 2012

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Dec. 16th, 2012

Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

I just want to express my deepest sympathies to those affected by this terrible incident. To the families and friends of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, I send my condolences, and I want you to know that I am praying for you all.

Aug. 30th, 2012

Writing Journal -- August 30, 2012

I'm getting really sick of this writer's block crap. I swear if I could just finish Frozen I'd be so happy, but there are so many changes I want to make that I feel like it's going to take forever. Ugh.
I feel so tired and foggy. :( I really, really wish I could just magically do something about this. It'd be awesome if my therapist would work harder with me to cure this writer's block. Maybe I can talk him into it. I don't know. I hope so. That would be nice. I really wish I could crank out a scene for Frozen today. I'm just not feeling it. Maybe this Diet Coke will help me get going. I know where I want my story to go. Why can't I just sit down and make it happen?

May. 23rd, 2011

Sales: A Collection of Reflections

 Things are going pretty well, all things considered! I've managed to sell 15 copies of my first book, so far. If you're interested in buying a copy of A Collection of Reflections, click HERE.

Fiction Fragment: Luc Teague

 I couldn’t sleep, so I got up and decided to head for campus early. If you knew me, you’d know that this is unusual in the most serious sense of the word. If you looked up “night owl” in the dictionary, It would probably say “Example: Luc Teague,” under my picture.

 
I groaned when I closed the apartment door, locked it behind me, and zipped my jacket. “Damn it.” I pulled my beanie out of my pocket and pulled it down over my already messy blond hair. I shoved my hands in my pockets, realizing too late that I’d left my Isotoners on the kitchen table. I considered going back in, but my roommate Toni is a grizzly in the morning, even worse than I am.

 
So, I turned my back on the French doors and started striding toward campus with my head down to keep the cold wind from chapping my cheeks. The sun hadn’t been out long enough to warm so much as a leaf and low-hanging clouds looked as though they planned to tease the other students with snow flurries.

 
When I reached the quad, the fountain was spewing frosty water at the gray sky. As I stared at it, I noticed something. An abandoned book sat on the edge of the fountain, its brightly colored cover fluttering with the gusts of cold wind.

 
I couldn’t make myself leave the book there to be destroyed by the weather, so I went and picked it up. When I did, a thick, high-quality envelope fell onto the concrete. I was surprised by the feel of the envelope. It was that expensive kind of paper that feels like parchment. I looked around and opened it, pulling out paper that matched the envelope.

 
What I read was somewhere between frightening and a forceful sort of excitement.

 

You’re going to do me a favor. I have things to attend to that are keeping me off campus. However, I have a few associates. One of them left this book for you. If you can follow simple instructions, then this arrangement could be fruitful for me and rewarding for you.


 
You will retrieve your instructions from the phone booth on the quad tomorrow night.

 
P.S. The book is quite good, and paid for, so take it with you.

Dec. 10th, 2010

Meet Alexandra

Alexandra Murphy is a fictional character I've created for a series of screwball comedic mysteries I'm working on. ((I'm going to be updating this sketch a lot. There's no way I'm going to finish filling this out in one sitting.))

Character Sketch (Developed through compiling several different character sketch worksheets I've found.)

Title: The Murphy's Law Series

Name: Alexandra Murphy

Nickname(s): Alex

Birth Date/Place: February 24 / Bay Minette, Alabama

Character Role: Heroine / Resident Smart-Aleck

Physical Descriptions:

Age: Beginning of Series-19 / Currently 21

Sex: Female

Race: Caucasian

Eye Color: Green

Hair Color/Style: Honey Brown / Straight, Mid-Bicep Length

Build (Height/Weight): 5'0" / 125 lbs.

Skin Tone: Fair

Skin Type: Sensitive

Face Shape: Heart

Other Important Physical Attributes: Lots of small scars because she's occasionally a klutz. Dainty-looking, but surprisingly strong, hands. She also has an ample bosom, which got her picked on quite a bit when she was in school.

Style of Dress: She tends to be really fond of jeans and graphic tees, wears flip-flops way too often, and has a shoe addiction. She's really fond of boots (not of the cowboy persuasion) and heels (needs all the extra height she can get). She's also quite attached to a brown suede bomber jacket that used to be her dad's. She wore it so much that he finally gave up and let her have it.

How he/she feels about his/her looks: She hates being short and Not in the best shape she could be in, but is working on it...sometimes.

Vision Quality: She has astigmatism and doesn't wear her glasses nearly as often as she should.

What he/she would change about his/her appearance: She'd like about five more inches of height, but it's not happening.

Physical Handicaps or Difficulties: She has flat feet, but other than that there's nothing wrong with her.


Characteristics or Mannerisms: She cracks her knuckles and neck, which drives her mother crazy. She also grinds her teeth when she's angry. She bites her lip when she's thinking. She has a very expressive face, especially her eyes and mouth.

Unusual/Exceptional Characteristics:

Mannerisms:

Diction:

Accent:

Behavior when angry:

Behavior when depressed:

Behavior when excited:

Personality Traits:

Primary:

Secondary:

Counter-traits:

Dominant traits:

Areas of vulnerability:

Major Flaw:

Introverted/Extroverted Characteristics of Personality:

Basic Temperament (calm, volatile, placid, etc.):

Background:

Hometown:

Most significant person in his/her childhood:

Most significant event of his/her childhood:

Major childhood trauma and its long-term effects:

Parents’ marital status:

Typical first impression on others:

Obsessions:

Superstitions:

Politics:

Attitudes:

Fears:

Worst Fear(s):

Biggest Dream(s):

Character Flaws:

Character Strengths:

Regrets:

Educational Background:

Beliefs:

Religion:

Priorities:

Status and Money:

Class:

Manners/Social Graces:

Attitude toward money and why:

Occupation/Vocation:

Occupation:

Childhood dream job:

Profession encouraged by parents/family:

Job Satisfaction:

Work-related travel:

Good traits:

Acknowledged by:

Bad traits or flaws:

Admitted to:

Work philosophy:

Income:

Relationships:

Family/Ethnicity:

Relationship(s) with immediate and extended family members:

Views on Love:

Marital Status:

Present relationship with significant other:

Past relationship that most influenced him/her:

Sexual History:

Consequences of past sexual relationships:

Significant personal losses and his/her reactions to them:

Best Friend:

How he/she relates to friends in general:

Closest confidante and why:

Biggest enemy and why:

How he/she views the other characters, and how these views may change over the course of the story:

Ambitions:

Internal Conflicts:

External Conflicts:

Miscellaneous Notes:

Possessions:

Recreation:

Hobbies:

Leisure Activities:

Exercise Regime:

Pets:

Journal Entries:

Correspondence:

Handwriting:

Astrological Sign:

Talents:

How he/she rewards and punishes himself/herself:

How he/she would describe himself/herself in one sentence:

How he/she would describe himself/herself in one word:

Secret from the past:


Favorites:

Taste in Books (i.e. genre and/or type):

Taste in Music (i.e. catchy, soulful, fast-paced, etc):

Favorite Song(s):

Favorite Movies:

Favorite Clothes:

Favorite travel destinations:

Favorite car or preferred method of transportation:

Favorite Muse:

Food Preferences:

Et Cetera:

Random Questions:

What is a nervous habit of his/hers?

What time of day does he/she prefer?

Does he/she know how to swim? When did he/she learn?

Is there something that he/she always has on him/her (clothes notwithstanding)?

How does he/she like to celebrate his/her birthday?

Is he/she prone to whimsy? How about melancholy?

Can he/she cook?

How does he/she feel about children? Is he/she good or bad with them?

If he/she could go any place in the world, where would he/she go?

Describe one really embarrassing thing he/she’s done while drunk (that he/she doesn’t remember).

Describe one really embarrassing thing he/she’s done sober.

Does he/she have trouble speaking in front of a crowd?

Name something he/she’s ridiculously afraid of that he/she knows is stupid.

Name one activity that’s part of his/her day that bores him/her to death.

Has he/she ever disappointed his/her family or friends?

Has he/she ever disappointed him/herself?

Name one physical aspect he/she loves about him/herself; that he/she hates about him/herself.

How long could he/she stay in bed before going crazy?

When was the last time he/she was sick? How bad was it?

Is there a day he/she counts down to?

Is there something he/she can’t forgive him/herself for?

Does he/she have a favorite word? If so, what is it?

Does he/she put things off until the very last minute or does he/she get things done right away?

Does he/she like to gamble?

How does he/she manage his/her anger? Cope with stress? Calm his/her nerves?

What’s the longest he/she’s stayed awake?

If he/she was dropped into a strange situation or place, how would he/she react?

If he/she needed to cause a distraction, how would he/she go about it?

What’s his/her favorite footwear? Or does he/she like to go barefoot? Or maybe just in socks?

Nov. 30th, 2010

Why do I keep doing it this way?

I've paid for another self-publishing contract. So, I have to have Poisoned Apples finished by some time in January. Thankfully, I did NaNoWriMo, so I have 50,000+ words of it finished. Ish. It's very rough and I have a lot of straightening up and fleshing out to do.

Still, I feel fairly accomplished. This will be my second book, and if I hurry up and finish the blasted thing, it should come out some time next spring.

Jul. 7th, 2010

Writer's Block: More than words

Which song lyrics send shivers down your spine and really hit you emotionally?

Evanescence: "Imaginary"

Paper flowers
Paper flowers

I linger in the doorway
Of alarm clock screaming monsters calling my name
Let me stay where the wind will whisper to me
Where the raindrops as they`re falling tell a story

In my field of paper flowers
And candy clouds of lullaby
(Paper flowers)
I lie inside myself for hours
And watch my purple sky fly over me
(Paper flowers)

Don`t say I`m out of touch
With this rampant chaos, your reality
I know well what lies beyond my sleeping refuge
The nightmare I built my own world to escape

In my field of paper flowers
And candy clouds of lullaby
(Paper flowers)
I lie inside myself for hours
And watch my purple sky fly over me
(Paper flowers)

Swallowed up in the sound of my screaming
Cannot cease for the fear of silent nights
Oh, how I long for the deep sleep dreaming
The Goddess of imaginary light

In my field of paper flowers
And candy clouds of lullaby
(Paper flowers)
I lie inside myself for hours
And watch my purple sky fly over me
(Paper flowers)

Paper flowers
Paper flowers

Apr. 18th, 2010

Writer's Block: Take me as I am

Would you be upset if a long-term partner confessed that s/he'd committed a serious crime before you met? How do you think it would affect your relationship?

It would really depend on what the crime was, and the circumstances under which the crime was committed. Everyone has a story, and the situation could have been extreme. So, I can't give a yes or no answer for this one. 

Apr. 6th, 2010

Why I decided to publish A Collection of Reflections

Someone recently asked me why I decided to publish my first collection of poetry while I was still in college, so this is my answer.

I decided to pursue this for several reasons. Some of the reasons are listed in the foreword of A Collection of Reflections. I've kept others to myself. Those are the ones I want to discuss now.

I've always felt like I'm on the outside looking in, even among my friends and family. Don't get me wrong, I know they care about me, but sometimes it's really hard for me to see it because of my own issues. I know I'm the freak of the litter, that has been made abundantly clear over the years. That doesn't mean that I don't have feelings.

I feel quite intensely, to tell you the truth. I've just never been good at expressing my feelings on an interpersonal basis. I write poetry because I'm shy, insecure, and I don't want to risk pushing people even farther away from me. I've been off in my own little world ever since my Granny Hattie died. I've never recovered from it, and the truth is it's because I don't want to recover. I never want to care that much about another human being again.

Still, I've always cared more than I should, and it's gotten me hurt more times than I can count. Even the little things hurt me deeply. That's why I'm so cold and vicious to some people. I snarl and snap and push people away because I don't want them to see how hurt and vulnerable I am. I mask my pain with pride and bitter rhetoric. I alienate people on purpose, before they have the chance to exploit my vulnerabilities.

I'm not asking for pity. As a matter of fact, I resent that emotion more than almost anything else in this world. I know I've never been pretty, funny, popular, or even properly socially engaging. I'm not the kind of girl that you can talk about hunting and fishing with. I'm not the cool drummer who can hang out with anybody.

Guys will never fall over themselves to ask me out. Most never even make the effort, and the ones that do are rarely the kind of guy that I could have real feelings for.

Of the people I graduated with, almost everyone had something wonderful to offer the world. Just about everyone had something that made them special; everybody but me. I decided to publish this collection of poetry because writing is all I have to offer. I was never valedictorian, an honors student, homecoming queen, or a class favorite--not that I blame anyone. I know my personality sucks.

I guess what I truly, desperately wanted when I set out to publish this poetry was to prove that, in spite of my multitude of flaws, I do have some small gift to offer the world. I just hope that it turns out to be worth something.

Feb. 28th, 2010

A Difficult Admission

I was recently diagnosed with depression, while hospitalized in the behavioral medicine unit of a hospital near Troy University. I was in the hospital for five days, and I was angry and ashamed about it at first. After being discharged with this surprising (even to me) diagnosis, I decided to look back over the poetry published in A Collection of Reflections.

Hindsight brings a lot of clarity, and I could see periods in my life when I was depressed through some of the poems. The depression I have isn’t a situational thing, though the past year did exacerbate my condition considerably. My depression is a chemical thing, and it doesn’t even make sense sometimes.

So, now I’m attempting to re-boot my lifestyle to make my condition a little easier to manage. I was in a really bad place before I checked in to the hospital. I was having to force myself to get out of bed long enough to shower and go to class. I had no energy. I wasn’t doing anything, not even the things I love to do. I wasn’t even going to hang out with my friends anymore. I was just doing enough to get by. I wasn’t eating much or eating often. I wasn’t talking to people.

I wasn’t even writing anymore. That should have set alarm bells off in my head, all by itself. My biggest problem, I think, was that I was ignoring all of my problems. I wasn’t only doing that, though. I was pretending my problems didn’t exist, and it came back to haunt me.

So, now I’m trying to do things to keep the depression at bay. I’m taking medicine, which they put me on while I was in the hospital. I’m also keeping a journal specifically to track my feelings, so it’s easier for me to convey them to the counselor which I’ll be seeing for a while. I’m also going to start an exercise regimen.

This is still awkward for me in so many ways, but I don’t see the point in hiding a problem like this from people. I want to help people understand depression. I'm just not sure exactly how to do that.

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