A Writer's Journey

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

Maya Angelou

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.

Victor Hugo

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Y is for YouTube

Okay, this post isn't as original because I really didn't know what to post for the letter Y, but my blogging/twitter gal-boyfriend 'Dy posted it on this and I thought, "Oh yeahhhhhhhhh...". So here ya go. LOL *thanks 'Dy for her idea*

YouTube is a great resource for finding virtually anything about anything. If it's made news, you can find some form of it there. Missed a performance from an awards show? Also there. Jonesin' for funnies? I guarantee you'll find something that'll bring tears of laughter. Want to browse movie trailers? *points to YouTube and nods*

I generally watch a whole bunch of things on there, but I came across something yesterday that made me bounce in my seat because I was THAT. EXCITED.

Without further ado, the movie trailer for PRIEST:

And the animated prologue... *dies*

I am salivating as I rewatch this. #truestory

Have you ever used YouTube and what do you guys normally watch?

X is for X-Men

One of my favorite comic book series/movies of ALL time is X-Men. I used to watch the cartoons when I was a kid and own all of the movies made so far. My favorite, by far, is the Origins. Here's a little clippy for you:

I mostly liked this because my favorite character made his first appearance. I do love me some Gambit aka Remy LeBeau. *le swoons*

Did you guys like any of the movies or the series in general? Any favorite characters?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W is for Writing Community

Yesterday, I came across this great post about the importance and impact of the online writing community to all writers, aspiring and published. I wanted to add my two cents in because I feel that without the irreplaceable support group found in the online writing community, I probably wouldn't have kept writing.

Most people view the world of social networking as the ultimate time suck. While this may be true for some (I am, admittedly, a Twitter addict), social networking can also prove to be useful in forging friendships and comrades-in-writing-arms that can help to make even the most difficult parts of the writing journey shine.

Take Twitter, for example. It is one of the largest social networking sites available today. It's a place where people can go to "hang out" and meet new people. The environment and culture of Twitter is such that saying hello to a perfect stranger who may share common interests is not only acceptable, but encouraged.

Often times, we know no real details about these people who we talk to on a semi-daily basis. We may or may not know their real names, their occupation, their religious views, or where they're located. All we know is that by some twist of fate, they were brought into our lives by words squished into 140 character limits.

One of the reasons I had started a Twitter account was to use it as an extension of my blog. The blog stood still for some time, but my Twitter life suddenly opened up a whole new avenue for me. I started with very few "friends" and was total #fail with learning how to navigate around the site. I had made my first new friend within the first few weeks (someone who I am still lucky enough to call my friend to this day) and she became not only my go-to girl about the Twitter lingo, but being a new user herself, also learned to navigate this new world of possible connections with me. We've since met and cultivated relationships that I can honestly consider some of the best friendships I've ever made.

The writing community was one that I had become a part of without even really realizing it. I had followed and befriended some people who were aspiring like me, but it wasn't until I had participated in WriteOnCon that things really took a turn. I met so many who can identify with the struggles I was going through, who can understand my reluctance in sharing my blood, sweat and tears work, and who can offer their own experiences in the same journey that I was going through.

A kinship was formed and at times, came when most needed. It astounds me the amount of support and general camaraderie that comes from the writing community. I don't know how many times I've tweeted at certain points of my writing process where I was stuck, frustrated, and needing that little push to finish whatever goal I had set for myself at that particular time. The frawesomesauce virtual friends have yet to fail me in picking me back up and giving me that push, that encouragement, that little shake of the virtual pompoms that have made all the difference in the decision to keep doing what I love: writing.

In what ways has the online writing community impacted your lives?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V is for Vortex of Suckery

Ahhh...one of my favorite posts of ALL time. Have you ever felt that overwhelming need to just run your WIP through the shredder? Has the recycle bin on your computer never looked so enticing? Have you fallen through a slump that made you wonder "Why the hell am I still writing?"? I've gone through these emotions and more.

Welcome to my vortex of suckery.

This is the place that I go to in order to properly curl up into a mental fetal position as I run through the many things that make me question myself as a writer. LOL It's where I hash over ideas of current and previous WIPs and then proceed to find the holes in them so that they're completely invalid to the story I'm trying to create. I would even go as far as saying it's a deep pit of despair filled with writer's block and that overwhelming fear that I'll never finish because who could possibly want to read the story that's bursting to get out of me? But I won't say that because, really...isn't that just a tad bit melodramatic? *exaggerated hand flourish*

So anyway...back to the vortex...

I was literally stuck with a chapter that I had been working on...am still working on, actually...because I couldn't figure out how to propel the story forward with the ideas that I had. So what did I do? I attacked the ideas. *makes the sorry face to all my ideas*

How did I get out of this slump? Not without help, I can tell you that much. Have I already said how frawesomesauce my CPs are? No? Well they are. And the existence of the vortex of suckery has highlighted the extent of their frawesomesauceness. Chapter 9 is now well under way because of the cheerleading and idea bouncing. *throws confetti in the vortex of suckery's face*

And no...that is not me... LOL But I do wish I had some of that confetti. *nods*

Have you ever encountered writing slumps and how did you get out of them?

Monday, April 25, 2011

S, T, and U = Study

These combination posts are becoming all the rave for me now...LOL Today's post will be a combination of three and it can probably cover a lot of ground that most writers can identify with.


When I see this word, I automatically think of school probably because I'm still in school and my life, when not writing or spending time with my family, is engrossed in countless hours studying for school-related things.

Sometimes this is what I look like in the middle of the night:

But this word can also have other meanings, particularly when it comes to the writing process and learning the craft.

I know what some of you are saying...

When I first started on my writing journey, I knew nothing. I mean, NOTHING about what it takes to actually finish a novel and get out into the publishing world. The sad thing was, I didn't know that I knew nothing. LOL I thought, oh...I can do that. I've been writing for most of my life, getting a novel together would be a natural next step. Oh boy, how dreadfully wrong I was.

Like with all craft and all areas of work (and writing is definitely 10% luck and 90% perspiration), it takes an enormous amount of resilience and the drive to learn in order to make ourselves better than we were. Studying the aspects of writing, of publishing, and how these two can come together harmoniously can sometimes be a daunting task because it's hard to figure out where to start.

Not until I actually started pushing myself to learn more, not only about the craft in general, but of the process as a whole, that I realized how much potential I could have. That's another bonus of the whole studying thing: confidence. The belief that I can do something that I previously thought was unattainable. By taking it upon myself to learn more, I can open up more doors to better not only my craft, but me as a person as well.

I look back on that first attempt at a novel now and I literally bug out. LOL It was SO baaaaad...and now, looking at my new WIP, I see the areas of my writing style that went through significant improvements and can now see parts of it where more improvement can be used. Learning about the different elements that went into writing a novel has also helped me to objectively view not only works of others, but my own as well. The "writer's eyes" as some call it.

What experiences have you had in study of the writing process and the industry in general?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

R is for Random Facts

Someone of frawesomesauceness has bequeathed me something of equal frawesomesauceness in the form of a blog award. :D *insert squee here*

Thanks to my new gal-boyfriend Sophia for the award! #heartchoo

The rules for this award are:

* Thank and link to the person who nominated me.
* Share seven random facts about myself.
* Pass the award along to 15 new-found blogging buddies.
* Contact those buddies to congratulate them.

7 Random Facts About Ani

1) I am a total, perpetual pantser. And not the kind that involves pulling someone's pants down to their knees. LOL I cannot plot to save my life, though I did find this awesome post from one of my former CPs that may have lit a fire under my bum about it.

2) I love, love, LOVE The Last Airbender series, but wanted to throw my popcorn and cherry coke at the IMAX screen when I watched the live-action film. *thinks that M. Night Shyamalan may need to pick better battles*

3) I cannot get anywhere on time to save my life. I even have a license plate holder that reads "Always Late But Worth The Wait" because I like to make myself feel better about it. *shifty eyes*

4) I listen to all kinds of music, including Korean and Japanese. Oddly enough, I can't understand any of it because I speak neither language. But the melodies are nice. :D

5) I can't watch movies or TV shows without subtitles. It had started out as a "thing" because the action scenes in a movie were always way louder than the spoken parts and we got tired of flipping the volume up and down. But now, it's stuck and I twitch if I can't have subtitles on.

6) I can't watch English dubbed anime unless it was supposed to originally be made that way. Or hot voices like Christian Bale is voicing the character *thinks of Howl in Howl's Moving Castle and swoons*. I tried to watch the English dubbed version of Naruto and wanted to throw things at my TV. Suffice to say, I did not get through an episode. LOL

7) Before I started writing or working in finance, I was a bartender. A whole bunch of useful skills were acquired during my 3 year tenure... (i.e. learning the perfect amounts to mix for a long island iced tea and making a dirty martini the perfect amount of dirty...)

15 People to Stalk Awesome Blogging Buddies

1) Jeigh Meredith

2) Lori M. Lee

3) Corinne O'Flynn

4) Ginger Snaps

5) Wendy aka Mrs. Pickle

6) Jess Byam

7) Karen

8) Brenda Drake

9) Mason Bundschuh

10) Cheree Smith

11) Brea

12) Charli Mac

13) Lydia Kang

14) Paula McLaughlin

15) Shannon Lawrence

So there you have it...the list of stalkable people frawesomesauceness. Go visit them and become stalkers friends and I promise you won't regret it. ;)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for Quotes

Quotes are a big thing with me. I retweet them often and have them written on post its and the like everywhere. So for today's post, I'm going to share some of my favorites. :D

There is nothing in the world so much admired as a man who knows how to bear unhappiness with courage.


We don't live in a world of reality, we live in a world of perceptions.

Gerald J. Simmons

In life, we all have an unspeakable secret, an irreversible regret, an unreachable dream, and an unforgettable love.


Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.

Ray Bradbury

Capture your reader, let him not depart, from dull beginnings that refuse to start.


The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong in the broken places.

Ernest Hemingway

There is something in humility which strangely exalts the heart.

Saint Augustine

It is not he who reviles or strikes you who insults you, but your opinion that these things are insulting.


What are some of your favorite quotes?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P is for Plot

Plot is one of the most important elements when writing a story.

The efforts that go into weaving the details that would make a(n) (hopefully) airtight plot are done with care.

Things within the story have to make sense. This doesn't necessarily have to mean that it has to make sense conventionally, but it has to logically follow the set up of the story. There has to be a beginning, a middle, and an end. There must be actions or motives that cause a reaction, therefore propelling the story.

There must be reasons that create the whys and hows of the story. This is why outlining comes in handy. (I swear, I'll get to outlining...someday.) A general outline of the plot can be fleshed out, and then the more details surface, they can be added to the outline as needed.

Do any of you have any plot pointers you wanna share?

Monday, April 18, 2011

N and O = NO

And again it's time to string two letters together to make today's post. The word that every writer dreads to hear, the one that strikes fear into our polished manuscripts' hearts...


The writing process is hard. Hundreds of hours spent on honing craft, on wielding pen against pages of paper (or keyboard against white space of MS Word LOL), on rewriting and revising and repolishing until our energy has all been spent.

Then the dreaded querying process starts and the nail biting begins.

And then the news comes. The big...fat...

I haven't started querying yet, but the picture above looms in my nightmares, threatening to come true. LOL It would be SO MUCH easier if we just got these...

Responses like the one above would most definitely be so much easier, but I think that the word "no" can either bring you down or make you stronger. I think a person's individual reaction can speak volumes about how they choose to let the word affect their lives. "NO" can just be the beginning of a beautiful relationship with change and progress. *is trying to be an optimist*

What are some of your experiences with the word "no" and how did you handle them?

Friday, April 15, 2011

M is for Motive

All characters, good or bad, must have that one driving force that compels them to act, think, and feel the way that they do. Every character has a back story, events that happened in his/her lifetime that shape who they become and how they perceive the world around them. Those events also help to create what drives them and how far they'll go to reach their intended goal.

Motive is a very powerful tool. It can be the difference between the protag and the antag: both working toward the same goal, but with different motives in mind.

What is a motive?

Simply put, it's what drives the characters to act a certain way, to think a certain way, to do certain things. An incentive, if you will. It's the drive that propels the character to achieve the ends to their means.

How important is motive?

This really depends on what kind of story you're trying to tell. Simply having a motive isn't enough to drive a story. It must be tied into the characters as a whole. It must have reason and must have enough importance that we can clearly see why the characters would act or react in such a way that makes the motive identifiable.

Some of my favorite books have some of the best motives that truly drive the characters. And because I'm such a fanatic, I'm going for the obvious - HARRY POTTER. Never have I read such a series that showcases the motives of each character so well, yet intertwines them all together to create a seamless story. The motives of the protag and the antag are so deeply rooted in every action, in every word, in every expression. The readers feel the drive and can either empathize, sympathize, or antipathize with the characters and their journey to the story's eventual end.

How important do you think motive is to driving character and story development?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

L is for Language

To a writer, language can mean several different things. It can describe the way the characters articulate themselves, the dialect they speak, but most of all, how believable they are when it comes to dialogue.

The way language is portrayed in each writers' work is telling not only of the characters' personalities, but of the writer and his/her understanding of how to advantageously use this tool to create a story that captivates the reader.

One of the things I first think about when critics mention language in a manuscript is profanity. Different people have different perspectives on what is appropriate for the different age groups. I write all YA and yes, my manuscript is going to have some profanity in it. Teenagers curse. LOL I, admittedly, had a pretty foul potty mouth when I was in my teenage rebellion years.

Of course, some censorship is required because I don't think a book loaded with F bombs is going to go over well with the parental units. But using the occasional "shit", "hell", and "damn" shouldn't be condemned in my opinion. Especially when it's a part of a certain character's way of articulating themselves. Sometimes "shit" does sound much more believable than "sheesh". LOL

What are your thoughts on language in your particular genre of interest?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

J and K = Just Kidding

It seems I'm starting a trend with these multiple letter posts. LOL

Today's topic: Just Kidding.

Ever wonder what people are thinking when they say those two seemingly innocent words? I always am. I mean, set aside the whole "I psychoanalyze everything" thing I have going on, but don't you wonder what compelled them to say the thing they're kidding about in the first place?

Some people dispel an awkward situation by making a joke to seemingly insult someone and then add the infamous "just kidding!" to alleviate any offense they might have caused. But what I would be wondering was how much of that joke was actually true.

Enter the cynic. LOL

I suppose not all instances require the *beady-eye* scrutiny, but you kinda wonder if people actually mean what they say before the lighthearted "just kidding" gets added to their list of phrases. You know, like... "Your head looks like potato." or "That dress makes you look like you just stepped out of a bad 70's movie." followed by "I'm just kidding...". LOL

And on that note...a funny:

Aww...poor guy. LOL

What are some of your infamous "just kidding" moments?

Monday, April 11, 2011

I is for Inuyasha

One of my favorite animes of all time is one that le husband found for me a few years back. I think I watched all of the episodes in like a week. LOL I may or may not have been crushing on him in my little anime-obsessed mind... *shifty eyeballs*


It's a story about this 17 year old boy named Inuyasha who is part human, part demon. He has to help this girl who fell through a time portal into Feudal Japan save the Jewel of Four Souls (of course). To top it off, there's a bittersweet love triangle (because what would a story be without it?) and maybe a reincarnation or two.

Here's a little snippet of the first episode:

Also another favorite anime is Naruto, but we'll get into that during another post. I just thought I'd mention it because I saw this frawesomesauceness and thought it would be SO badass if it actually happened in some anime episode somewhere down the line.

Naruto vs Inuyasha

Anyone else have any favorite animes they'd like to share? I'm always up for new anime recs to watch! :D

Saturday, April 9, 2011

G and H Combined = Ghosts

In keeping with this A to Z challenge, I'm combining two posts today for G and H because of my lack of post yesterday. I was getting ready to write the post yesterday morning and then my little man came down with a fever and coughing fits. So bear with me. LOL

Getting down and dirty with today's post, I'm going to be combining G and H, but not as two separate things. I was trying to find a way to combine the letters and find my subject that way. Lo and behold -- GHOSTS!

Everyone's got their own version of what makes a ghost. They are one of the things that horror stories have been made of since the dawn of time. Alright, I exaggerate. Maybe. LOL

One of my favorite books I read when I was growing up was Wait Till Helen Comes. This book has stayed in my memory ever since the first time I read it. Needless to say, I was freaked the F#*$ out. LOL It had such an eerie quality to it and I think I was about 10 at the time, so it was especially creepy for me. I think this book was the beginning of my love for paranormal fiction.

Old book cover:

New slightly more creepy cover:

I heard the book was going to be made into a movie now. My only hope is that they don't ruin it. Jennifer Love Hewitt is slated to be producing it. She's the Ghost Whisperer, so maybe good things will happen. LOL

Also, I totally love that show. That is all.

What ghost stories did you guys grow up reading about or watching that had left lasting impressions?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

F is for Fight Scenes

I don't know about any of you, but one of the things that I have difficulty with when writing are the fight scenes. In order to make the fight scenes work well, there has to be enough telling to take out some of the tedium in certain details to move the scene along, but there has to be a buttcrack load more of showing.

That old writing adage "show, don't tell"? Hoyeah, loads. In order to get the reader to feel like they're in the action, going through the motions of the fight, flinching with the characters as though they were the ones who got hit...well, that isn't going to be happening if the fight scenes are being *told* to the audience.

Example #1:

Carver glared menacingly at the humanoid machina. He wanted so badly to just ram his fist into that hunk of metal, not caring if the impact broke his hand. He wondered if his anger would be enough to make him forget about the physical pain.

Uhh...my thoughts reading this? zzZZzz...

Know why? It's telling.

Example #2:

Carver didn't stop to think. Before he realized what he was doing, his fist made contact with the flesh-like shell of the machina. The machina's head snapped back without skipping a beat and Carver's fist pounded into the tin giant's face over and over again, his fingers nothing more than a mangled mess of skin and bones.

See the difference? Don't hate on the scenarios - I just came up with those off the top of my head. LOL But you get the point, right? Why would he be thinking about all of these things? Where was the adrenaline? The anger that Carver's telling the audience he has? Now in the second example, Carver showed that machina who was boss. You can see the anger and feel the adrenaline. Or at least I can. LOL

You know...kinda like this...

I recently just finished reading Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton and it had some of the best fight scenes I've seen in a while. I was fist pumping for the MC and wanted the Guardian to rip the vir to shreds. I felt like I was in the scene with them.

And who can forget the final scene between Harry Potter and Voldemort? You couldn't help but catch your breath as the anticipation grew and when the first spell was cast, your stomach jumped up and did a samba dance with your furiously beating heart. Just me? LOL Anyway...

What are some of your favorite literary fight scenes and what elements about them made you feel like they were worthy of being called favorite?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for Epiphany

The writing process is generally a long, sometimes tedious one where the writer usually sits there and tries to hammer out the makings of a first draft in the fastest way possible so as to keep the flow of ideas and general plot of the story. *takes a deep breath* In my case, it's really just a lot of sitting there tapping my fingers lightly on the keyboard without actually producing any kind of written result. *insert shamed headdesk here*


This might be more dramatic if I could cue the heavenly music in there, maybe some Josh Groban singing a pivotal note or something.

The epiphany tackles me to the ground, screaming the obvious in profane and ridiculously excited ways hits me. What is an epiphany, you ask? Well, the basic definition is a startling insight or revelation, usually meant to be symbolic, that is brought on by something of simple or commonplace occurrence. *slides my Webster's dictionary out of sight*

Suddenly I knew why the protag was doing what she was doing and why a seemingly minor character was doing what he was doing and how these actions could possibly weave the story into much better shape than it had originally started out. *takes another deep breath* My MC is literally screaming in my head because she already had her epiphany...she was just waiting for me to catch up and write it out for her.

Another way I define an epiphany is getting out of my "duh" moment. LOL

Have you ever had an epiphany while writing and how did that pan out for you?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D is for Disney

Today's D post is for one of my favorite words of all time: DISNEY.

Just the mention of Disney-anything brings me to my happy place and makes me remember not only frawesomesauce childhood memories, but also memories that have transitioned into my adult years.

I have always loved everything Disney and certain ones, like The Lion King, still bring tears to my eyes every time I watch it (Mufasa's death scene anyone? *sniffle*).

So in honor of D-day, I present to you my top 10 favorite Disney (and Disney-affiliated) movies of all time (it was SO hard to choose just 10 *le dramatic sigh*)...

The Little Mermaid



Howl's Moving Castle


The Lion King


Lilo and Stitch


Beauty and the Beast

What are your favorite Disney movies and why? *silly five-year-old grin*