Tag Archives: nanowrimo

short story of December: encouragement pls?

I was amazed by Stephen King’s memoir on writing, but am having trouble taking his advice. It’s not easy, getting into my short story for December while I let my NaNoWriMo2015 practice novel Rough Draft rest for 6 weeks (ala Stephen King: On Writing).

So I hope you all, dear readers, will help hold me to account:  This Week I want to finish planning the 10k words in large: Setting, Conflict(s?), Master Scenes and Protagonist character-building.

1st question:  is a short story long enough to have both external and internal conflict??

2nd q:  do people bother classifying the genre for a short story?

 

Public Service Announcement (mostly for American citizens of voting age living in the USA at the moment)  from my GoodReads book in (reading) progress:

“Call, write, and visit your government officials and educators and share your insights. Let them know there are better answers. Stand up and tell them it is time to invest in the lives of poor and abandoned children.
Work in your community to reach out and help Invisible Children live among us as productive and healthy citizens.
Visit our website:
http://www.invisiblechildren.org
Use our ongoing web dialogue to post
your interests and findings:
http://www.invisiblechildren.org/weblog
Share …   Most importantly, be active and concerned for the abused and neglected children in your community.”

 

In Solidarity with All Kind People and PhD ( PhDresearch journal )students who share notes,

(like author Trice, JrROTC friend Tammy, loyal friend Elaine, loyal activist friend Felice, and an allied Librarian)
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,
ShiraDest
3rd of December, 12015 HE

(later addition: )
(this one was published in Concrete Wolf but the magazine is now defunct…)

“Lost in a Rose”

smooth hand touches silk
on the curved red petal
hibiscus scented nectar
within conical perdition


this one got good comments in the poetry workshop, but needs polishing…
…originally written wed. 21 june 2000

A scream shatters the still night
shrill peal, reverberating off the hills
look at me it cries
react
remove this agony
the sword under which I labor
to see and not be heard
warn and watch chaos befall
strike in defense yet named a traitor
ever teh thorn in your side
I am the gadfly of Athens,
reborn…
(edited 29 march 2001, but where???)


a favorite horse riding poem I wrote in 2002 has been lost, originally entitled ‘Steed’
later retitled ‘Motorcycle Mare’
sent to two magazines and posted on LJ but all seem lost now… oh well…
-hair flowing in the whipping wind
pressing forward together
flowing ever faster
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
8 March, 12016 HE

Your fundamental problem is that you do not really believe that you deserve to have good things happen to you.

Publication: “Lost in a Rose”, Concrete Wolf Poetry Quarterly
Issue Number 2

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Psychological Suspense, or Women’s Fiction??

How does one tell the difference between these two genres?

Is a novel with two female main characters, in  which the plot revolves around the relationships in the book, particularly friendship but with a key disaster to avoid,  a (psy) suspense, or Women’s?  Why (or why not)?

Pysch. suspense is a mind against itself with fear of the consequences, which fits, and yet this definition also fits: “The Romance Writers of America defines women’s fiction as, “a commercial novel about a woman on the brink of life change and personal growth. Her journey details emotional reflection and action that transforms her and her relationships with others, and includes a hopeful/upbeat ending with regard to her romantic relationship.” (src Wikipedia)”.

A Women’s Psychological Suspense novel?

 

(If it helps to know at all, my Ideal Reader for this story is between 15 and 36 years old, female, and has been depressed or suffered symptoms of PTSD, most likely being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.  She is well-read and introspective, politically independent.  She enjoys history, travel, learning languages and solving problems.
She prefers a thorough debate that settles important questions and improves lives.  She dislikes wasting time.
She probably prefers adoption to birthing, and has a tremendous sense of responsibility, preparing herself to make a difference in the world.  She is motivated, seeks allies, and adds tools to her arsenal for molding a better world.)

Thanks for any help, Fellow Readers and Writers,

ShiraDest
30 November 12015 HE

What I learned from NaNoWriMo about Writing and Depression

My second practice novel actually started on Wattpad , but much easier to track the deadline on the NaNoWriMo2015 website, has taught me several things about managing Depression (or PTSD -> anger->depression, sort of…).

First: Making a deadline feels good, even if it is Just/Only YOUR deadline. You DID it.
Second: Physical activity every day, like running  or dance, etc, is, at least for me, imperative (and also read, and have a sun lamp).
Third: Making a deadline a second time, better than you did the first time, proves you can repeat the feat, thus showing discipline and perseverance. This makes me feel like less of a waste of oxygen, provided I can find a way to use that to help other folks.
Fourth:
Writing 1.) When writing your first/second/fifth practice novel, be sure to have a physical workout routine, preferably involving boxing gloves, AND several people to talk to about all of the crap your writing will drag out of you.

(Remember NOT to use the gloves on the people…)

Writing 2.) For me, at least, plan the ending first…
Writing 3.) Plan setting, time and weather for each scene, not just the plot!!
Writing 4.) Outline by scene, not by # of words (I outlined by 300wds, which ended up driving me nuts toward the end…)
Writing 5.) Do not write a chapter per file, it is a formatting nightmare to insert 18 files (one for each chapter) into one ‘book’ file on an exhausted day 28!
Writing 6.) Lay out the chapter plan on one large calendar in the same notebook (if at all possible) as the planning notebook (and resist the temptation to plan each chapter on small scraps of paper!! You cannot believe the number of scraps I now have floating around…).
7.) Start on day one, and don’t punish yourself for not planning ahead. A planner is not a pantser, and you will feel annoyed if try to write stream-of-consciousness just because you have 2000 words to finish That Day.

Better to take the day to plan out the next two scenes and write them the next day, at least for me.

I found that when I knew the time of day and year and weather as well as what the MC was supposed to do in the next couple of scenes, I could just imagine the flow and zap, 2000 words came out of no where (I did NOT say 2000 Good Words, but that is for the next 3 or 4 re-writes!!!).

and the real

Writing 7.) Set a new notebook aside for the 30-Day 50k challenge, because it will turn into at least a year, and probably 80k words. Before it goes back down to 60k again.

🙂

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest
29 November 12015 HE

Shira

Does this Climactic Chapter Work?

Dear Readers,

This is my 2nd draft of Hubris and Hemlock, a very short novel (40k words or 150 pages), which is Women’s Fiction, so: 1. Relationships are Key, and 2. The Heroine saves Herself.  But my question, before I go to polishing the prose, is: Does the plot hold your interest?    Especially Chapter 17, the climactic chapter.

I plan to post the last chapter shortly, but it is just a wrap-up, so if chapter 17 doesn’t work, neither will chapter 18.

Thank you for any feedback,

 

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
23 March, 12016 HE

Finally finished my Rough Draft

I haven’t got the guts to publish a rough draft (for some reason, the main link to my story always seems to redirect to the main Wattpad homepage), but I will put the 2nd or maybe 3rd draft of my 50k word story Hubris and Hemlock up in a few months.

First I need to recover, and catch up on all my unanswered emails!

Hope you all are doing well,

In Solidarity with All Kind people,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,
ShiraDest
28 November, 12015 HE

Thankful for… and A Little Help wThis IDentity Thing, pls?

The problem with thinking is that you start to ruminate, and that’s not good when a tractor comes by!   Today at least I got to finish my morning run before I started seriously ruminating.  (Kind of like the cows, but less smelly, I hope.)

But then I started, and Lo and Behold, my only good childhood memory came for a visit: Grandma Marie!

I must admit that I am thankful for my (adoptive) Great Grandmother, who taught me to fry chicken, to read, to write, and that “Cookin Lasts, Kissin Don’t.”

But the oddest part is that today I feel guilty for not dealing with my whole family of origin thing.  Not finishing my reading for the Latino Slaves research I started after looking up my 5xGr grandfather Miles Manzilla, for the WikiTree Slavery Project which, btw desperately needs someone to take it over, if anyone has time to volunteer (no, WikiTree is not perfect, but it is more open than others, and claims to want to build a Worldwide Family Tree).

And how do you figure out who you are, anyway?  My half-written climactic chapter  (which I need to finish by writing 3100 words Today -gack!!) is driving me crazy because the nutcase mixed-trying-to-escape-her-origins Protagonist  can’t decide between her origins and her husband’s culture.
Oh, and I haven’t eaten -probably explains that ‘burning from within’ in my stomach, and visions of cows becoming steak!! (sorry, cows, and Mr. Farmer neighbor…).
Ok, enough rumminating, sorry to have bored you guys, but I hope you all at least got a little laugh!

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,
ShiraDest

26 November 12015 HE

Does this belong in the climax of a novel?

“We all have to die at some point, the question is only when. Most of us want to transmit our values and our culture before that happens. Some have children, others teach, and still others lead by example. Die too early, and you get to do none of the above. It’s your choice.”

and
How would you classify (genre) such a possibly General but I want it to be a Psychological Suspense novel?

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest

25 November, 12015 HE

Glad I shared a Smile that day…

Short story: glad I smiled at someone I did not know -who thanked me, and made me grateful to be alive, back in 2005. And also today.

Less short version of the story:
Ok, so after a useless day yesterday of only 1100 words written, and desperate fears of 8 more days zero, (I have another 10k words to write), I was reflecting on the use, or lack thereof, of my life.
moving morose meditation on beauty to bottom…

When I lived in Izmir, that summer I took long walks on Saturday afternoons. I had the habit of smiling, or at least nodding, to every person I saw because frankly, I hoped someone would smile or nod back at me. At least acknowledge me as a fellow human being, as I tried to do, even passing the homeless people lining the streets as you go into the Metro (DC).

So, I nodded at a lady in passing, never met her, just kept going because I was too tired to say Gunaydin (Good Morning/afternoon in Turkish), and my Turkish was only rudimentary any way.
Then I heard a call behind me. I turned to see that woman walking back toward me, and her eyes were glistening.
She put her hand on my chest, nothing scary, nothing sexual, just an ordinary safe contact, and said, in very simple Turkish that was clear and slow, that in five years in Izmir, no one had every greeted her. She thanked me, and I nodded in return, too moved to get out even one word of Turkish. We both turned and went our own ways. And now, over ten years later, I am glad that I smiled at a random person whom I had never met, and never saw again.
I hope that I can share that joy with …
Everyone.

On the uselessness of being beautiful:
I have always hated being called pretty, beautiful, fine, foxy, etc, and being thanked for existing by some guy who apparently thought I was the equivalent of a painting on the wall for him to admire. well, not so useful. But when YOU (any of you, dear readers!!) smile, you too are beautiful, no matter what you look like. You are beautiful, and USEFUL, when you smile at another human being just to acknowledge that he (or she) too, exists, and is worthy of recognition as a human being.
Smiles, (2000 more words to go, it is 3:30pm -aghh!!)
Shira
24 November, 12015 HE

19.2.12016 edit via old LJ post from 2008-11-28 00:19:00

“kalbin temizmis”

“Feeling very grateful recalling a friend telling me ‘my heart must be pure’ to have found her just when I needed her, to help another friend with a CV.

Feeling grateful for the lady in Izmir who expressed such appreciation for a simple greeting in the street, and the other lady in Izmir who told me that our half hour conversation on life (in Turkish) was worth more than any English lesson.
Grateful for those whom I have helped, and for those who help me, for my dostumlar, my truest and closest friends, who really are family for me.
May I always remember your love, and love you all in return."

(STILL grateful!!  :-)  Peace, ...)

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
19 February, 12016 HE

Writing a novella feels like playing Frida Kahlo, frighteningly enough…

Now I know why I avoid writing. And Frida’s story.
People came up to me after every production of that play to tell me how amazed they were, how I looked like the splitting image of Frida, and was I Mexican or Mestisa. Well, yes, as an African American of light skin with Cherokee blood, yes, I am technically a mestisa. And the splitting was happening in my own head (maybe more afa my roommates were concerned).
It’s not just to be more practical, find paying work, mend the shirts and weave a few more belts to give as birthday and holiday gifts. Those are all ‘legitimate’ reasons to avoid my writing, but I know deep down why I avoid it. Just as much as why I am compelled to write, anyway. On chapter 9 of my 50k word story, I feel the same pain, but emotionally mostly, that I felt when I played Fridah Kahlo in a community theatre for a few months. And I didn’t even have a speaking part. I just danced with furniture and la-la-lahed a bit. Nevertheless, by the end of the 6 week run, I was having back aches and depressions that made my roommates ask if acting was not a bad idea, and whether I had multiple personality disorder (sorry, now they call it Dissociative Disorder, which actually is more acurate…). And I had to ask if they were right.
Writing this damneable novella makes me feel like I am right back there, stomach cramps and all, and it is liberating yet terrifying at the same time. Can I now face what I was not strong enough to face then, and do it in a way that is not too terrible for others to read, even others who have not lived through such things? Can I write a book that other folks will actually want to read, yet taht will move them so that they can understand the perspective of someone who grew up in various types of pain, and more importantly, so that they will be moved to want to learn more about how to help all of our society, by learning how to help all of us work through our individual and collective pain and help each human being reach his or her full creative potential? Can I overcome my own fear to even get to a place to really really want to do that, and then, can I do it?
Thanks for reading this, and even more thanks my friends, if you can add your pebble to building the new edifice that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr spoke of, when he said that the structure that produces poverty needs to be rebuilt.
Here’s to rebuilding, pebble by pebble,
let our mourning not be in vain,
Peace,
Shira
16.11.12015 HE

Why Share Your Story?

For similar reasons to why ALL should write a book

Protect Others via:

Protect Others: Tell Your Story (Please Help Break the Silence-Shame-Intimidation-Exploitation CYCLE …)

How can telling your story, as one friend told me, protect others?  I suppose that as one progresses, and learns

how to overcome, those lessons learned along the way can help prevent that same harm from befalling other

vulnerable people.  But how?

1.
Well, if the first childhood memory is one of sad anger, of loss, the green Caddy driving to NYC may impede, for a

lifetime, that love of large cars and of the Big Apple that so many Americans seem to boast.  If that memory is

tied to a borough where the kids rejected you, and your next memory was of being locked in a room, at 4 years of

age, hearing your mothers screams as furniture fell and things broke in the living room, as her boyfriend beat

her, how do you use this to protect others?

By coming up with a plan for teaching children to protect themselves from silence, from shame, intimidation and

from exploitation, via:

A New Adult Rite of Passage:  http://meowdate.dreamwidth.org/6177.html

2.
If one was sexually abused at 6, and told not to tell, how do we protect children from parents who can protect

neither their children nor themselves?          -Teach kids that Silence = Death, because silence can lead to

suicide, after a few years.

3.
If one took refuge from bullies by running and retreating, how to undo that shame?  -Teach kids that we ALL have a

right to our personal boundaries, to equal bodily respect, and to equal human dignity.

4.
If one was refused self-defense because “young ladies don’t fight” but they can come home in bruises that will be

ignored, how does one learn to stand up to intimidation?  -Teach kids that if you stand up, you might or might not

be hurt today, but if you cower you WILL agonise for years to come.

5.
If one was physically and sexually abused as a teenager, with all the blame heaped on a 15 year old, how to learn

not to exploit nor be exploited?  -Gandhi and Frankl cite adult choice and power: UpHold your Values and Create.

6.  Only then is one ready to be An Adult: http://adulthoodchallenge.dreamwidth.org/318.html

(This is the real answer to Millie’s question:
https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/7591180-answer-to-millie-s-question-on-education)

((and a summary of the Adulthood thread: http://meowdate.dreamwidth.org/tag/adultriteofpassage))

ShiraDest,
April, 12015 HE (Holocene/Human Era)

(original post at: http://meowdate.dreamwidth.org/12873.html earlier today….)