Celebrating the little things: averaging 315 words per day

Apple Cinnamon = SCORE!

For two days now I have been writing an average of 315 words a day.


And this is for……

my novel. A project I’ve been struggling with for a couple of years now. Who the heck are these characters? Do I need these  many characters? Am I being honest? So many questions just kept piling on me. I didn’t know what to do, so I just kept writing little notes here and there. What one wore one day. What another said this in this particular situation. Even silly small notes like, “When he farts, he looks out the window.”

Anyways, something happened this past weekend; I pulled out my laptop and off my fingers began to fly off and I typed things that I haven’t explored in a while.

Things deep within me that I had forgotten, things I put aside, things that used to mean something dramatic in my early twenties— and now, almost ten years later, have layers of meaning; meaning behind gender, identity, and so much much more — like, MUCHO MAS.

Maybe being lost for a little bit is okay.

I have way more work to do, more editing, more struggling — but I am just happy to report that so far, my 315 words a day feel pretty fracking awesome.  I am getting back to this true place that is absolutely uncomfortable. And I think that’s a good sign.

I wish you, writer out there, to have a great writing session yourself. And if you’re hitting your head against the wall, just remember — keep writing. Those silly notes, they’ll come in handy someday.



Tall Green Leprechaun

It’s terrible Blog Land. Absolutely terrible. But every time I meet and Irish person I think about stereotypes. Like wow, magic! Or, this is my lucky day! Or…where’s me pot ‘o gold?! –and stuff like that.

It makes me wonder about character development.

Do we consistently trap our characters into personas who aren’t necessarily living to their full potential because we have some preconceived notion of what this character is like…based on stereotypes? …(Woooh!)     And if so, why do we do that? We live in a world where stereotype still exists, and for some bizarre reason we use it to navigate through our creative processes too.

This man, I am talking about, he’s a musician and a theatre worker. That’s all I know. I can leave the rest to my imagination, BUT I am on a mission to fight against stereotypes. Especially the negative ones. Geez, brain, you really need to clean out the attic. I pledge not to write a short story where he turns into a tall green leprechaun that grants all my wishes. I just won’t do it.

Symbolism, re: LADYBUGS & HP SNAKES

Blogland, Did you know that ladybugs are lucky?

Well, at least it’s a belief they share here in the US of A. I found that out about a year ago when I accidentally took one home with me. I found it in my notebook sleeping by the metal spirals the next day. It stayed with me the entire night. I  apologized for my human mistake, and left it on a leaf on my way to class.

Well, Reader, it happened again. Last Wednesday a lady bug came to me while I was shooting/filming an interview. I thought it was a spider and pushed it off my chest. When I saw it fly away, I saw the red wings and groaned. I had pushed away good luck.      I thought: Well, there goes my luck!     Surprisingly, the lady bug came back! Or at least another one came and landed on my neck. This time, I fought the urge to shoo it away and allowed it to walk around my neck and into the back of my hair.

After I finished the interview one of the women stood up and grabbed it from my neck, so that I could take a picture of the friendly bugger.    The other woman, who is a doctor, exclaimed: “You are blessed! You are blessed! This project will turn out great. There is good coming your way…” and she kept reassuring me that the ladybug is a good omen and that I was being blessed by mother nature.

Well, Reader, I am keeping my heart and mind open for this one. I need a pick me up after this past week. Things have been so exhausting.     In the end, I have a lot to be grateful for. I suppose this ladybug reminded me about that.

* * * * * * * * *

As writers, sometimes we can use these types of encounters to inspire us. Maybe I am writing about a character who is crying over the death of her grandmother, but then a ladybug sits on her while she cries. She doesn’t notice it.    The ladybug could represent a transition into self-revelation or happiness that is not visible in her current situation. Maybe only the reader notices the ladybug during the encounter.

Something else I read about ladybugs is that if you push it off, it usually flies towards the direction of your true love.

Symbolismcan be used to move the story along, and give hints out that may reinforce some thematic ideas behind your story.  It can be a tool to foreshadow something that might happen in the future.

For example, Harry Potter and the snake he meets at the zoo in the very first book and film. He starts talking to it, but neither he nor the audience knows that he is using Parseltongue. This is discovered much much later. Of course, the snake symbolizes a lot of negative things in the Harry Potter books, but this is not an original concept. Adam and Eve had a bad time with a snake themselves in the best seller book: The Bible. But pulling from history and culture like that can help guide your audience to better understand the complexities of your character. It’s just a fun way to show your reader/viewer something special about them, something unique. This is especially effective when the character is shown to be down on her/his luck, or before her/his transformation.