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It’s Been a While….

I realize it’s been far too long since I’ve updated this blog. I’d say that life has been busy for me, but that would only be a half truth.

If I’m to be completely honest with myself, I backed away from writing for a while. I pushed myself harder than I ever had before during April’s Camp NaNoWriMo, and I not only got burnt out, but I lost hope. I kept telling myself that my writing wasn’t going to get anywhere, and I let myself step away for a while.

In this end, this was a good thing. Because now Novemeber’s NaNoWriMo is going to be underway in a few short weeks, and you know what? I think I’m ready.

I’ve read through the 65K words I’ve already written for Soul Weaver, and while I’m able to spot many places that need some detailed editing, I’ve also refreshed my mind on the story and where it was going.

I don’t know if I have exactly 50K words to write for November’s WriMo, but I know I can come darn close. Not to mention I can always edit to get the last few thousand in.

Do you know what I miss though? I miss the writer’s group I became a part of back in June. It’s a shame that I can’t continue it. It’s a shame that they never got a chance to critique Soul Weaver, because I honestly think that would have been good motivation to keep writing these past few months.

Anyone know of any good online writer’s groups out there?

NaNoWriMo14

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The Reason I Can’t Sleep….

It’s easier not to think about her during the day. I can distract myself with other things like my daughter, or I can make my mind go blank by watching a TV show.

It’s at night when I can’t get her out of my mind. Alone in the dark, when everyone is asleep, all I see is her face. Her adorable face. Staring at me with a sort of ‘deer in the headlight’ look. Confused. Unsure of what just happened. But she had heard my voice. She heard me call her name and reacted instinctively.

My heart sunk into my stomach when I rounded the corner and saw her. I hadn’t believed the noise I’d heard. The ‘thunk’ from the truck that was driving past didn’t make sense. It was as if it hit a pot hole. There are no pot-hole’s in front of my house. My mind didn’t put it together until I saw the lady with her dog across the street. As the truck drove slowly on, I knew my baby girl was going to want to play with that dog.

But she wasn’t in the yard with Kabuki. There he was, in mid-pee, staring at the road. But she was gone. And there was that dog across the street. And that truck. The thunk.

I called her name before I saw her. She was simply next to my car in the driveway looking at the other dog. She had to be.

I’m always so careful. So careful not to let her out when there’s anyone outside. She loves people. She loves dogs. I know she’ll go say hi to them if they’re outside when I let her out. Every time I wonder why I would let her outside without her leash, but I convince myself that she’s a good dog. She’s only two feet away. She doesn’t take long. Besides, if I’m careful she has no reason to do anything but her business and come back inside.

I wasn’t careful this day. She paid for my carelessness and irresponsibility.

The look on her face when I came around the corner is what haunts me at night. How her head shook as if she was having a seizure. She stumbled a step or two. Enough to reach me. Before we both collapsed on the road at the same time. My knees hit the rocks but I felt no pain. My arms wrapped around her as I called out her name over and over.

Talia. Talia. My baby girl. My Talia.

At some point I screamed for my husband. A sound for which I didn’t realize I made, but I’m told was frightening to hear.

I had no idea what to do.

Blood was everywhere. Thick. Red. A pool of it in front of her. Blood that still stains the road in front of my house. A stain that I can’t bear to look at when I go outside.

I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. Her fur was clean. No scrapes. No bruises. No missing appendages. I was confused. My mind drew a blank.

I had no idea what to do.

Maybe it was my own voice in my head. Maybe it was the lady across the street with her dog.

Your other dog.

Kabuki. Kabuki, who was now coming up to sniff at his big sister in the road. I screamed for my husband to take him back inside. At some point he asked who hit my baby girl. I pointed to the truck that was not far off. Apparently the driver decided not to run, and to turn around. I wanted to be mad at him. I wanted to yell at him for not paying attention.

Looking back, I know there was no way that he should have hit my baby girl. The speed limit along with the direction he was coming from. He was probably not paying attention to the road. Maybe he was oggling the lady across the street with her dog. I can’t say for sure.

I didn’t think of any of this at the time. All I could think about was this was my fault. My fault for not being a responsible pet owner. Not having my precious baby girl on a leash. I take so many precautions with my toddler. Why did I take the safety of my dog for granted? Am I truly that bad of a person.

As the images of her face flash through my mind in the darkness of the night, I know the answer. Yes. I am.

She lay on the ground as I knelt over her. Crying. Sobbing. I pet her long beautiful coat as she lay there trembling and twitching.

I don’t know when her movement stopped. I just knew that when it happened a part of me died at the same time. I knew my baby girl was gone.

I buried my face in her fur. I couldn’t stop myself.

Talia. My Talia baby. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry baby girl. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.

It was all I could say.

The man driving the truck stood a few feet away. I vaguely heard him say there was nothing he could do. That my dog ran out in front of him.

I didn’t care. My husband came out with a blanket, ready to rush her to the vet. I may have noticed him tense up when he saw the driver. I may have just imagined it. But I didn’t care.

Even now, I can’t blame him. I know where the blame should lie. It wasn’t his fault. It wasn’t his fault, I say. It was mine. Mine.

It’s my fault baby girl. I’m so sorry. It’s my fault.

As I crouch over her in nothing but my nightgown. I hold my baby girl and realize her eyes are open. Unfocused. I close her eyes with my hand but they won’t stay closed. I can’t bear to see that unfocused stare. I kept my hand over her eyes.

Close your eyes baby girl. Close your eyes. I love you so much baby girl. Close your eyes.

At night in the dark, those eyes come back to me. Unfocused. I realize I have a picture of her that way. I thought it was funny at the time. Now I can’t bear to see it. It was as if that picture was foreshadowing this wretched day. That picture is exactly the way she looked that day in the road.

I turn to my husband and tell him she’s gone. She’s gone. My baby girl is gone.

Hours later. Maybe it was years. Minutes. Time didn’t matter. She mattered. She mattered and she was gone. My husband told me I have to get up. He says I have to go inside and clean up. He says he’ll take care of her.

No! I can’t leave her! I don’t want to just leave her there! I can’t leave my baby girl!

I hear a woman’s voice tell me she’ll stay with her while I go inside. I don’t know who this woman is. Not the lady with the dog. She must have walked on. A random stranger. Her words allowed me to stand and make my way inside.

I stumble to the kitchen sink. I vomited at some point while cleaning myself up. My husband tells me he has to take her to the vet. I can only nod through my sobbing.

As I make my way to the bedroom I collapse in bed. Seconds later. Maybe it was minutes or hours. My husband comes back. He and my toddler lie with me in bed as I cry.

Every night since then this is the scene that plays out in my mind as I lie in bed. This is why I can’t sleep. It was the way she looked at me. The heart-crushing way she looked at me when she heard me call her name. She came to me. Using the last of her strength. She came to me. To be with me in her last moments. Always my dog. Till the end.

And so I am robbed of sleep. But I don’t complain. I can’t. How could I? She was robbed of her life. By me. How could I possibly complain of such a little thing like sleep?

Sometimes when I look at Kabuki, I see his sad eyes. I can tell he misses his sister. She’s the only family he’s ever known. Kabuki is still so young, but sometimes I see my guilt reflected in his eyes. As if he blames me as much as I do. But I know he doesn’t. He and I have grown even closer since that day. We two who loved her the most. We two who were hers. Our hearts will never be the same. Which makes Kabuki and I one and the same.

 

The best dog I ever had. The most friendly, loving dog. Not a single person disliked her. Everywhere she went she made people smile. She would greet you with a warm nuzzle and a kiss. She wanted nothing but to make her humans happy.

She guarded my daughter even from us. She would bark and dance along as we played and tickled my daughter. She would chase her around the house. She would lie next to her when she was asleep. She would lick the water that dripped from Kabuki’s jowls and play with him for hours. She would fetch a ball like a pro. It was her favorite thing to do.

She ran like the wind. Graceful and beautiful. She kept all the dogs in line at the daycare center. She would play with them all and make sure they kept out of trouble. In the end, she was always my dog. She could be sound asleep, but if I moved, she would wake up and follow me. Even to the bathroom. Especially to the bathroom. If she wasn’t laying at the foot of my bed, she was on the floor where I could drop my hand and run my hands through her long coat. She would nuzzle my arm, letting me know she was there as I sat at my desk. She would be happy just to have a single finger touch her. And she loved her treats.

This was my perfect dog. That I was lucky to have found her is an understatement. She blessed our home for such a short time. Only a year and a half. I didn’t deserve her, but she filled my heart with joy that only a dog like her could.

She left us much too soon. And in such a tragic way. It haunts me every night.

 

I miss you baby girl. More than I could ever say.

 

Pawprints

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talia
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talia4 talia2talia3

 

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Down in the Writing Dumps…

Click for larger image.

I saw this image on Pinterest and I just had to save it. I think every writer goes through this.

Right now I’m most certainly feeling the images on the right. There are times when I don’t feel like writing. Just opening up Scrivener – no, just looking at the icon on my desktop – makes me cringe.

Since Camp NaNoWriMo ended I have written all of 16,000 words. 16,000 words in the past 37 days. How is it that I can pound out 50,000 words in less than 30 days, but the following 37 days I can’t even break 20k? Even though I took a week off after Camp, that’s still 30 days, and all I’ve been able to write is 1/4th of what I was able to write in April.

Why is that? Why is it lately that every time I sit down to write it feels like a chore and not something that I enjoy? Why is it that as I’m typing the words, my mind wants to drift off until I eventually find myself browsing Facebook or Twitter? Or finding something that needs done in the house?

I think I know why. This image describes it exactly. Sometimes I feel like my scenes are hideous. I feel like my story is awful. I feel like I’m a despicable writer. And lately, all I feel like doing is sobbing because I’ve been telling myself that my writing will never amount to anything more than “meh”.

It’s a combination of a lack of self confidence, too high of expectations, and a lack of stick-too-itiveness. In April I had a goal of just simply writing. In April I had a goal of not caring if I get published. In April I just wanted to say I wrote a book. In April I wasn’t comparing myself to other writers, I just wanted to tell my story. In April I just wanted something that I could leave to my children when I’ve left this world; something that I could be proud of.

For some reason, my goal has morphed into much more. I want to be published. By TOR no less. I want to be found in bookstores. I want to be told my story is excellent. My characters believable. My scenes intriguing. I want people to tell me that my writing is a million times better than anything I wrote ten years ago and ask me why didn’t I stick to it back then because I could have written this a long time ago.

I want to be told this, because it’s not what I think of myself. I think, “What else have you written, Amanda? A couple pieces of flash fiction almost ten years ago – romance fiction at that – and you think you can just step into the world of fantasy writing? You think you can call yourself even remotely ready for any sort of publishing just because you’ve managed to write 50,000 words? Crappy words I might add. Words that suck and are going to need editing a dozen times. Call it quits now. You don’t even have a chance at publishing traditionally anyway. Those publishers are going to chew you up and spit you out. You have no online presence. You have no style. You have no talent. You haven’t even developed your own writing voice yet. Do you really think anyone is going to be even remotely interested?”

To which I reply to myself, “But I’m interested. Every time I go back and read previous chapters I become engrossed in it. I want to keep reading as if I’m reading someone else’s work. Doesn’t that count for something?” That’s when I start getting impatient. I want to start editing what I have so far. I get excited and I think maybe, just maybe, I might be able to do this.

That’s when my self doubt comes back and gives me the same argument as before. Instead, what I need to do is get back into the mindset I had in April. Write for the joy of it. To say I’ve finished a novel and be proud. Then take a step back and breathe. After some time away, I can come back and go through the first edit. Only then should I start thinking about possible publishing. And as much as the thought feels like a needle stabbing me in the heart, I need to forget about TOR. Sure I can submit an inquiry, but I shouldn’t expect or even hope for any sort of positive response. This is my first novel after all.

I know that may sound pessimistic, but I’ve always been one to think “Hope for the best, but expect the worst.” If I get lucky, I get lucky. It’s not like I don’t know the amount of work involved before I will even be close to that point. I’ve done my research. The problem is, I’ve done so much research that I think I’ve overloaded my brain.

What I need to do now is re-wire it. Go back to the excitement of April. The can-do-it attitude and the thought of “I don’t care if this is published. I just want to finally say I’ve done it.”

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One Woman’s Response to 33 Men

One Woman’s Response to “33 Men Reveal The One Thing They’d Like All Women To Stop Doing Immediately

1. Taking their dreams too literally.

Stop getting mad at me for what I did in your dreams.

Women are emotional creatures. Sorry, we can’t help it. It’s in our hormones. Is that an excuse for everything? No. But dreams typically reveal our true fears. Guess what, gentlemen? Usually when we’re upset about a dream, what we really want is for you to show us some love and reassure us that it was just a nightmare. Be tender for once.

2. Rehashing.

When the fight is done, let it go. It’s over, no need to bring it up or reopen. Forgive, forget, move on.

Sure. We can do that. No problem. Except when we have the same damn fight again. And again. And again. For the same stupid shit. Regardless of whose fault it is, it gets old that the same fight happens repeatedly. Eventually, we begin to expect it. And yes, we will throw it in your face when we think the issue is resolved, but it obviously isn’t. You do it just as much.

3. Believing that men have no discretion when it comes to sex.

Assuming every man must want to have sex with every woman all of the time. No I’m not gay, I just don’t find you attractive.

Stop thinking with your dick and we’ll stop thinking that all you want to do is get it wet.

4. Treating guys like children.

When I finally decide to open up around you and show a more sensitive side DO NOT SAY “Aww…”

Again, I tell you that we are emotional creatures. When we’re accustomed to talking to a brick wall, and once in a blue moon we find out it’s a magical entrance into Diagon Alley we get excited. It’s wonderful and we love it. Yeah, I realize that saying “aww” might be emasculating, but it’s a good thing. Get over yourself.

5. Putting guys in lose-lose situations.

Setting us up for questions that have no right answers.

We don’t do that on purpose. Seriously. No stop laughing, I’m being honest here. Women are insecure creatures. Constantly comparing ourselves to other women (you should have put that one on the list too. Sometimes we have no choice because we know that you men compare us as well. Think of it as comparing the size of your dick to other men. You get a little insecure. So do we.) When we ask you those “no-win” questions, all we want is reassurance that you love us, you think we’re beautiful, and there’s no one else in the world you want but us.

6. Thinking that they’re queens.

Stop posting those “A real man would treat their girl like a Queen” bullshit postings on Facebook. It is not our job to serve you like a queen, and you’d better believe a guy would get an angry feminist mob bearing down on them if they posted something similar about men. It’s not funny and makes you look like a bitch to all men, no matter how many of your girlfriends agree.

I call bullshit with this one. We know we’re not queens. We also know that you’re no king. Do we both like to be treated as such? Of course we do. You want your sammiches, we want your respect and to be spoiled by you. It’s a give and take here. We want a man who will treat us with respect and love. Not a man who thinks we belong in the kitchen.

7. Passive Aggression.

Stop being all passive aggressive. Just tell me what you want and stop hemming and hawing and saying, “nothing” when you really do want something.

Want to know why we do that? Because we know it’s useless to tell you what we really want. We’re either not going to get it, or you’re not going to understand. You don’t think like us, and we don’t think like you. Sometimes it’s hard to tell you what we really want, and a lot of times you get upset because we don’t just come out and say it. Other times we’re afraid to hurt your feelings (see #31.) So we just say fuck it. Sorry. It’s a woman thing. I don’t expect you to understand.

8. Being the worst decision-makers.

Me: “What do you want to do for dinner?” Her: “I don’t know, whatever’s fine with me.” Me: “How about that Mexican place on 2nd street?” Her: “I’m not in the mood for Mexican.” Me: “What are you in the mood for?”Her: “Eh, whatever you want…” My bad, but when you guys say “whatever”, I assume you mean “whatever.”

Sometimes it’s nice for the man to make the decision for us. While I do not condone this for every single decision, sometimes women want to be lazy too. Why do we have to always tell you what we want anyway? It’s okay to not know. So we say “whatever” and let you pick. Sorry if we don’t like some of your options. Give us another. Deal with it.

9. Expecting guys to pick up on subtle hints.

Dropping hints. Seriously. We don’t pick them up. We won’t pick them up. We can’t pick them up. Stop expecting us to know what you want or feel and just say it.

We do this because we want you to feel like it was your idea. We know it really wasn’t. What we really want is to not have to make hints at all. For you to know what we want and act upon it before we feel the need to make hints. I realize this is a bit unfair. We know you’re not a mind reader, but after a while, you should know what your woman wants. We know you want us to have a beer ready when you get home. Do you have to ask us? Well, yes, because we really don’t want to get you a beer. Get off your own ass and get it.

10. Assuming that guys are mad when they’re just zoning out.

As a man, my mind often wanders. If I’m staring off into space, please stop asking me “What I’m thinking.” I usually don’t know. Admitting this, however, seems to trigger an argument, since I’m “avoiding” the question. There is only an infinitesimally small chance that my wandering thoughts are about you. There’s an even smaller chance that it’s anything negative.

We’re sorry. We just want to get a little peak into that tiny brain of yours. I guess we should have realized it was full of air and not thinking about anything significant.

11. Taking from their man’s plate of food.

Order your own fucking fries or salad at the restaurant. I told you to get whatever you wanted. I wanted a whole serving of fries, that’s why I ordered my self a whole serving of fries. I didn’t order something cause I only wanted half of it and was hoping to split the rest with you.

Boo-fucking-hoo. So order another helping of fries. I hear a waaaahmbulance. It’s coming for you. Think of it as our way of being that much closer to you. It’s like sharing a milk shake out the same glass with two straws. It’s romantic. Sorry you feel like you have to feed your fat face and not let us have a bite or two.

12. How they treat each other.

Honestly, I love the company of women. I just can’t stand how they can be so mean to each other when guys aren’t around.

We’re bitches. What can we say? Remember the whole “in constant competition with each other” comment? Yeah. It sucks. As a woman, even I hate it.

13. Sexually harassing guys.

Just cause I’m a guy doesn’t mean you can sexually harass me. It doesn’t matter what gender you are. It’s creepy, Kathryn.

Excuse me? Are you really saying this after you google-eyed that hottie with the tight black yoga pants? Sexual harassment goes both ways. It doesn’t have to be verbal or physical. Eye contact alone can creep a girl out so stop it.

14. Burying themselves in their phones.

Stop taking an hour to reply to every text. Every time we hang out, you’re on your phone. What the fuck are you doing on that thing?

Same reason you’re on your tablet. Or magazine. Newspaper. Obviously we could give two-shits about what you’re talking about. Change the subject and we’ll magically become interested. We’ve heard you talk for the last two hours about what kind of modifications you made to your ‘baby’ (aka car). We’ve lost interest. Kind of like when we want to talk about our girlfriends and you tune us out to watch TV.

15. Talking during a movie.

Stop asking me questions about a movie we’re watching together that we’ve both never seen. No, I don’t know if he’s going to die, I’ve seen exactly as much of this fucking movie as you have. Also, when you asked me what the person on the screen said, I don’t know because when they were talking you were asking me what the person on the screen before them said. Oh, and I’m sorry you didn’t follow what happened with that one person in the movie because you started playing with your phone for ten minutes to ignore the movie that you picked for us to watch.

I’m calling bullshit again. If we picked the movie, we’re too interested in knowing how you feel about it than we do our phone. We’ll probably shut up during the movie if you’d shut your trap about how to recognize that one guy from this one movie that had the big thing that had to be destroyed to save the world. Ok so you know every actor there is to know. So what? P.S. Stop bitching about that one woman you dated for 48 hours and decided to dump you. Obviously it was because you complain about every little thing.

16. Painting their eyebrows.

Stop making their eyebrows like the Nike symbol.

Stop thinking it’s sexy and we will. P.S. Since when did most women have the Nike symbol for eyebrows? I think you’re talking to the magazine models again. You do know they don’t talk back right?

17. Expecting every gay guy to be her best friend.

Just because I am gay does not mean that you and I will be best friends. I don’t want to go shopping with you; I don’t want to check out guys with you. Most of all — your other gay friend is not perfect for me purely because he is gay.

Just because I’m a lesbian doesn’t mean I’m going to let you watch while I make out with my girlfriend. And no we don’t want to have a threesome with you. And when we hang out, that doesn’t mean you can check out other women because you think I’m checking them out too. Quit being a hypocrite.

18. Treating sex like a gift they give to men.

Stop treating sex as something you let us do to you. Either want it too or fuck off.

Men want sex multiple times a day. Women want it much less. If you want it, you have to earn it. Romance us. Turn us on. Don’t just grab our ass or tits and think we’re going to jump on and ride’em cowgirl. Respect our bodies. Desire it. Caress it. Love it. When you do that, we’ll want it just as much as you do. Or you could just do the dishes, pick up your laundry, or scrub the bathroom – seriously, it’s just as sexy.

19. Reckless feet behavior in the car.

Take your fucking feet off the fucking dashboard.

Ask for fucking directions. Are we really playing this game?

20. Trying to play-fight with another guy.

This may seem oddly specific, but please stop trying to prove that you’re stronger than I am. Play-fighting and wrestling can be fun, but when you decide that you want to prove how strong you are, one of us is going to get hurt. If you use all your strength and I don’t use a reciprocal amount of force, you are probably going to end up hurting me in some way. If I use enough force to keep you from hurting me, I’m probably going to hurt you. I get it; it’s fun. Just remember that most likely, I’m taller, weigh more and have a lot more muscle mass. No one is saying you aren’t a bad ass. It’s just that someone is going to get hurt. That’s no fun.

Stop making fun of us for being “tiny” or “short” or “little” or “weak”. Yes, we are bad asses. Can we beat you up in a fight? Probably not, but by golly sometimes women like to feel strong too. You know what’s frightening? Knowing that most men are bigger and stronger than you. When I’m walking to my car alone at night, the thought that I was able to wrestle your ass down to the ground makes me feel a little less frightened. So let us win once in a while. It makes us feel good about ourselves.

21. Getting mad because guys didn’t read between your lines.

Don’t get mad when I completely ignore your “I’m not mad” bullshit.

Why do we have to tell you we’re mad? Do you not know how to read body language? Seriously, if I’ve been glaring at you for the past hour, don’t ask me if I’m mad. Of course you’re going to get a passive aggressive sarcastic remark like that. Try saying “I can see your upset about something. Would you like to talk about it?” or “I’m sorry that I upset you. Could you please tell me what I did so I can make sure never to do it again?” If we refuse to tell you, it’s because we feel like you should already know what you did wrong. So just apologize and give us flowers. Offer to do the dishes this time. We’ll get over it. Really.

22. Not knowing how to take compliments.

When we say, “you look beautiful today” we aren’t saying you don’t look beautiful on any other day, we are just saying you look exceptionally beautiful today. Take it as a goddamn compliment.

Remember that insecure comment earlier? Yeah, we’re insecure. Sorry. Deal with it. Or you could try saying “Every day I look at you and think you are beautiful.” If a woman can’t at least say thank you, she’s incredibly insecure. You chose her. Sorry. I could give you tips but that’s not what this is about.

23. Fake tanning.

Fake tans. Orange is not a good skin tone.

When they finally make a product that gives us the perfect tan, let me know will you? Until then, either deal with orange, or stop vomiting in your mouth when you see the pasty white. Better yet, don’t go out with an orange woman if you don’t like it.

24. Waking their man up.

Just because you have woken up does not mean I want to be woken up. Women in my life seem to always have this notion that as soon as they’re awake, my ass had better be getting up too, but if I wake HER up…World War fucking 3.

Wow….you sure do like to bitch a lot. Are you sure you’re not a woman? Hi, we’re social creatures, we like to spend time with you while you’re awake. And any woman who doesn’t like to be caressed into consciousness doesn’t deserve to be in a real relationship. Now if you’re shaking us awake, yelling at us, or taking away our covers just to wake us up, you better believe you’ll have World War fucking 3. Although, if that’s how we woke you up, then I’m all for fair play.

25. Being a hypocrite.

Please, don’t tell me it’s weird to have girls as friends when 82% of your friends are guys! And then you go cheat on me with those 82% of friends, fuck you Riley.

You know why 82% of our friends are guys? Because most of them are easier to get along with because they’re not catty. Except you. You bitch too much. Maybe that’s why 82% of your friends are girls.

26. That weird pout with their mouths.

Duck. Face.

I can’t speak for the mentally handicapped. You shouldn’t make fun of them. It’s not nice.

27. Not being able to complete a thought.

To the college women: stop saying “I CAN’T EVEN”. Finish your sentence or don’t talk at all. It makes you sound dumb as shit.

Stop saying “YOLO” and we’ll stop saying “I CAN’T EVEN”. Seriously, if you’re going to say YOLO can you just say “Carpe diem?” It’s the same damn thing except you’re using it as an excuse to do idiotic things rather than realizing it’s true meaning.

28. Hogging the bed and then denying it.

Stop taking up the entire bed and then call us the bed hog in public. You know who you are.

Excuse me. Didn’t we just have a conversation about how men are larger than women? You take up the entire bed by default. If we like to scoot closer to you it’s because we want to be intimate. Yes, even while sleeping. It’s not our fault you move to get away from us and we wake up diagonally in bed.

29. Believing that their periods are free passes to be an ass.

Can I answer even though I’m a woman? Please stop announcing when you’re on your period. It doesn’t give you a free pass to lash out at everyone for no reason.

I agree. Sure, women have no problem doing that. As long as men stop throwing it in our faces every time we get even the tiniest bit upset about something. PMS is not a legitimate dismissal of our feelings.

30. Stop with the silly games.

Don’t start complaining about something, and then cut it off mid-sentence to lure me into it. “Ugh, I hate it when — ohh, never mind.”

Want to know why we do that? Because we know it’s useless to tell you what we’re really upset about. We’re either going to catch hell because we’re bitching, or you’re not going to understand. You don’t think like us, and we don’t think like you. Sometimes it’s hard to tell you what we’re really upset about, and a lot of times you get upset because we don’t just come out and say it. Other times we’re afraid to hurt your feelings (see #7.) So we just say fuck it. Sorry. It’s a woman thing. I don’t expect you to understand.

31. Believing that guys can’t get hurt.

Generally speaking, a trait I run into among many women, especially those from privileged upbringing, is the pretentious stance that no one could suffer if they have a penis. That really needs to stop, right now.

Generally speaking, a trait I run into among many men, especially those who have small dicks, is the pretentious stance that they don’t even have feelings, let alone show them to anyone. Cry? No chance in hell. Girlfriend dumped him? She was a bitch anyway. Start acting like you HAVE feelings and we’ll start treating you as if you did.

32. Not knowing what they’re asking for.

If you insist on getting treated like one of the guys, then don’t get pissed when you do in fact get treated like one of the guys.

If a woman wants to be treated like one of the guys, it’s her way of saying she wants to spend more time with you. She really doesn’t want to be treated like one of the guys. This goes hand-in-hand with the whole “hint” factor. Sorry.

33. Not believing in themselves.

You can even. Stop telling me you can’t. 

Insecure. Pretty sure I’ve used that one already, but it’s true. Sorry. We doubt ourselves. You do too. You just don’t admit it. Just reassure us and help us when we ask for it. All we want is your love and support and sometimes a shoulder to lean on. Oh, and not for you to bitch about every single little thing we do. Just because you had a couple of bad girlfriends doesn’t mean we’re all the same.

 

Disclaimer: I do not speak for all women. I don’t even speak for myself for some of the responses. I hate generalization and absolutes like ‘never’ and ‘always’. I hate lists like these. I only created this because my significant other thought it was “funny”. Needless to say, I didn’t. I thought it was crass and spiteful. So I responded in kind. Do two wrongs make a right? No, but I was honest with my responses and because some of these statements are true about myself, I felt I needed to defend them.
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Free Writing

I’ve Been Slacking

I almost feel like I need another NaNoWriMo to get me to write again. I’ve written 2,000+ words over the past two weeks. The first week was pure writer’s block. This past week was pure….laziness I suppose.

Honestly, I’m trying to adjust to my new “schedule” per say. Hubby got a new job. His previous job was sitting at home with me, getting paid to recover from a work injury. Now he’s back to working again and I’ve been trying to get myself into a good schedule.

Oh, and I’ve been trying to lose weight.

So I get up in the morning after hubby leaves and before my daughter wakes up. I do about an hour of exercising (I tried to start out with the P90X but only got past day 4 before deciding my body wasn’t meant for it [I even started a P90X blog]. P90X was meant for those who are already in shape, not for someone who needs to lose 50 pounds and hasn’t done any real exercise since her stint in the Army over 10 years ago. So instead I’m doing some light yoga and taking my daughter out on frequent bike rides – we’ve gone 21 miles just this week!)

After exercising I shower and wake up my daughter and have the rest of our day to ourselves. I could write, but I usually just surf the internet. I could write, but I usually practice my guitar. I could write, but I usually just hang out with my daughter on the porch while she swings and plays with her baby doll. I could write, but by the time hubby gets home I usually haven’t. We spend some time watching Netflix and try to get to bed early because he has to be up early.

I’m not sure what my problem is. I think I’ve been getting down on myself. I’ve been debating taking some writing classes, thinking it will help me get some confidence, but I’m not sure that would really help.

I think I’ve just hit the halfway slump. I’m not really sure I’m at the halfway point in my novel, but with a goal of 100,000k words and only 60,500 written I’m close enough to call it the halfway mark. Heck, I still have to edit, re-edit, edit again, and keep editing until it’s a perfect as it can be. Then I still have to go through the beta reader phase, edit again and again. Then determine if I want to go with traditional publishing (my dream is to be published through TOR) or self publish.

Needless to say, I’ve still got quite a ways to go. I think the full weight of it all is hitting me hard. I’ll eventually get over it, I’m sure. I just feel bad for slacking since Camp NaNoWriMo has been over.

So consider this a rant blog. I’m done. I promise my next blog will be more upbeat and positive.

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Uncategorized

Is This Writer’s Block?

 

 

I saw this tweet today by one of my favorite people to follow and I thought it was a great idea.

I’m stuck. Really stuck. I’ve only managed to write around 1,000 words over the past two weeks because of how stuck I am.

It’s not writer’s block…..per say….I think….maybe…

It’s not knowing where to go with the scene I’m currently writing. I’ve created a situation where I have no idea how to go about it. My characters are about to go through a pretty heart-wrenching scene, where one of the main characters is going to learn a lot, and it’s a pivotal point that will change where the story is going.

The problem I’m running up against is my ignorance of tactics. Military tactics, stealth tactics, and how my characters will handle the situation they’ve been put in. I have no idea how to go about it.

I know what I need to do is probably draw a map or something so I have a visual of what’s going on. It would make it easier to see exactly what steps they should take.

Or maybe I should just skip ahead and write the next scene (or chapter) and come back to it later. The only issue I have with this is that I’m pantsing right now. I haven’t drawn out any sort of plot map and my writing so far as been linear. I don’t know how well I would do with skipping this part.

This is one of those times where I need to bounce some ideas off of someone.

Or maybe I should start plotting. Not sure if that would help though.

Maybe I should write a bit of flash fiction and take a break from Soul Weaver for a bit. Recover a bit more from Camp WriMo.

Maybe I should read….that might spark some ideas. *sigh*

In the meantime, I’ve been working on designing a website and practicing on the guitar. I need to clear my mind.

What do you do when you’re stuck like this?

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Free Writing

Step One: Acknowledge, Accept, Admit.

My good friend Aaron Steinmetz and I were chatting last night and I was telling him about how I’ve finally accepted the cold hard truth. It took me a long time to come to the realization, but I was able to openly admit it to myself as well as him. I had denied it for a long time. Too long, in fact. Even when others were telling me the obvious, I refused to believe it. It took my experiences in Camp NaNoWriMo to finally come to terms with what I am and I accepted it.

Even now, as I confess to you who read this blog, it’s hard to acknowledge the truth of what I am. I want to hesitate. I want to shy away from it. I want to stammer and stumble upon my words, uttering them so quietly that you have to ask me to ‘speak up, I didn’t catch what you said, could you repeat that please?’ Much like when Twighlight Sparkle meets Fluttershy for the first time in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (Yes, I do watch it. Yes, I do love it. Yes I suppose that makes me a Brony or a Pegasister [I prefer Brony]. Hey, I have a 2.5 year old little girl. So sue me.)

Wait a minute, did you see that? That’s pretty sad isn’t it? I’m more willing to admit that I’m a Brony than I am willing to admit that I’m a writer.

Eeeepp! *slaps hands over my mouth*

I just did it. I just said that I’m the “W”-word.

*sigh* Okay….here goes. I may as well just say it right?

I’m a writer…
I’m a writer…

I’m a writer!

I’m a writer!!

There…I said it.

Real-Writer-by-TerriblemindsWhy is it so hard for us to admit that we’re writers? That’s the discussion Aaron and I were having last night.

I think we realized that it’s because we compare ourselves too much to other writers.

I say, “I can’t possibly be a writer. I don’t have anything published. I’m not like Aaron, who’s got 4 books out there and is working on another one…”

While he’s thinking, “I can’t possibly be a writer. I still have a full-time job. I don’t write for a living, I just write on the side and manage to sell a few copies here and there on Amazon.”

Do we think that we can’t call ourselves writers because it’s not a full time occupation? Do we not call ourselves writers because we haven’t published anything yet? Or aren’t traditionally published? Or haven’t sold a million copies? Maybe we don’t call ourselves writers because – at the moment – we aren’t writing? Can you call yourself a writer if you’re between books? I mean, is J.K. Rowling currently working on another novel? If not, does that mean that she’s not a writer right now?

Let me quote you Google’s definition of Writer:

writ·er  ˈrītər/  noun
  1. a person who has written a particular text.
    “the writer of the letter”
    • a person who writes books, stories, or articles as a job or regular occupation.
      “the distinguished travel writer Freya Stark”
    • a person who writes in a specified way.
      “Dickens was a prolific writer”

i-write-therefore-i-am-a-writerDo you see that? “…as a job or regular occupation.” We look straight beyond the first definition it gives us: “a person who has written a particular text.” (emphasis added because it’s most certainly needed)

This is what we need to realize. A writer is a person who has written a particular text. And by the way – there is no such thing as an “aspiring writer” or an “amateur writer”. So leave out the word aspiring and amateur. If you write – you’re a writer! Simple as that. There’s no such thing as an amateur writer unless you’re in pre-school and you’re learning how to write your name (even then it’s debatable). I’m pretty sure we’re all beyond that part right? Good, so then you’re a writer!

That means if all you do it blog…guess what? You’re a writer!

If you only keep a journal in a notepad that never sees the light of day: You’re a writer!

If you write short stories or poems that you think are terrible and you cringe because you’ve actually uploaded them onto your blog for others to read and laugh at how horrible they are (*cough*notme*cough*): You’re a writer!!

P.S. If you’ve participated in NaNoWriMo, even if you didn’t win, you’re a writer. How’s that for earning the title eh?

You don’t have to be a famous NY Times best selling author backed by Penguin or Tor who’s ready to turn your book into a movie by Paramount and earning millions of dollars a year to be called a writer! That’s the beauty of it! You’re a writer whether anyone else knows it or not!

It’s hard to admit that you’re a writer. Believe me, I know! It’s especially hard to admit when you’re talking to another person (and maybe even harder to admit when you’re talking to a fellow writer who may be more successful than you *cough*notme*cough*)

Im-a-writerBut don’t think for one minute that just because you don’t have anything published that you’re not a writer. You ARE. Admit it first to yourself. Look in the mirror. Yeah, do it. Right now. Look into those awesome *insertthecolorofyoureyeshere* eyes and say it out loud, “I’m a writer!” Say it until you believe it. Say it to yourself. Then say it to your family and friends. Then get out there and when people introduce themselves, be PROUD to say, “Hi, my name is _______ and I’m a writer!” (Well, I mean, you don’t have to shout the word “writer”, but if that’s what helps…..)

So to all my fellow writers out there I say, “Hi, my name is Amanda Davis. I’m a WRITER!”

I imagine the conversation going like this:

“I’m a reader……what are you?”

“I’m…I’m a writer.”

“I’m sorry, what was that?”

“I’m….I’m a writer.”

“Didn’t quite catch that.”

“I’m a writer.”

“Well, um. Okay then.”

amiawriterI-am-a-writer2

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