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Category Archives: Education

I’m a typing fiend, sort of…

I’m feeling accomplished today.

I had a movie day with my mother and though that could have distracted me from writing it surprisingly didn’t. We were interrupted during one of the movies by a phone call, and while my mom was on the phone I managed to crank out 200+ words. I just went into the back room, sat down at my desk and started typing.

Later, once I’d noticed that she was off the phone I went back into the front room quite happy. My mother mentioned that she had heard the furious tapping. Yes, that was me. Furiously tapping away at my keyboard. Writing.

On to other things, I’d had this staring at me for most of the evening, begging me to eat it:

happy hippo

It looks so cute and yummy! I have resisted though, and even put it to good use, as you can see from this next picture:

do not open

Reward system ūüôā . Works best with sweets. I’m not eating that cookie — no matter how¬†yummy it looks — until I reach 6,000 words. I’m about a third of the way there!¬†¬†

Now, as for the story submission from last time, obviously I’m still waiting on that. It’s all about waiting at this point. Maybe they’ll take a look at it tomorrow, maybe they won’t look at it for days or weeks. Some places can take months to get back to you so I am going to simply be patient.

I will share something with you in the mean time. This is my second prose submission attempt for publication. It’s the first for this short story, but I’ve only tried to publish one other short story before this. It was before I really figured out what it was that I wanted to write about.

I’m sure that many of you who have taken creative writing classes in the past have encountered teachers who ask you not to write any genre stories in their class. I once had one say that he didn’t want any “wand waving” or “dragon slaying”. I tried so hard to remove myself from genre writing that I fell into this bland world where nothing made sense. In the end, I wound up writing snippits of things that were, well, decent but weren’t really full stories. They didn’t belong anywhere so they kind of fell short.

I finally broke out of that vicious cycle by the time that I reached my final workshop. The one before helped me along the way, but I grew a little more bold in that last one. I was going to write something unrealistic and fantastical, dang it, and the professor could eat my paper if they didn’t like it.

Fortunately, the teacher liked it. I went from writing about bread in our first story workshop (Honest I did. You wouldn’t believe how many pages I filled up with just talking about what you could eat with bread, it was that insane.) to writing a story about a boy who gets snatched up on the roof of his school. The guys, as typical guys, liked the slight gore of it all. The girls that knew me or who had at least read my bread story (again, wow, bad) were surprised by the transition. Yup, I was finally letting my dark and nerdy side rear its head and¬†it felt good.

So, the lesson is that even when a teacher says they don’t want genre, don’t let that turn your stories bland and lifeless. You don’t have to strip them down to the bone. The story I wrote, wasn’t obviously fantasy in nature until the end. I don’t think many college professors will go for high fantasy or steamy romances in their classrooms, but it doesn’t mean that you have to leave all traces of these genres out of your writing. They just don’t have to rule the story, to paraphrase something one of my professors said.

Well, I hope that may help someone else.

And, I’m off to write 6,000 words and eat that cookie!

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in Education, Life, Writing

 

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Ant Invasion!

Ant Invasion!

I’ve been driven out of my own bedroom by ants. First they invaded my bathroom and now they’re making their way down the line. I managed to keep them out of my bathroom, which is probably why they seem more than eager to start their invasion once more in the corner of my bedroom, crawling all over my bed.

It’s been very distracting since I constantly have the sensation of a hundred bugs crawling over my skin and all I want to do is scratch¬†and scratch. Despite that, writing is going well. I wrote 385 words this morning — woke up around 8, believe it or not, after that 2 am post — and plan to write even more before the night is over. I’m¬†certainly not going to feel all that tired tonight, what with the danger of being eaten alive by ants.¬†I’m not sure when they stop collecting food, but ants in the desert tend to like the evening.

Now, I’ve got a question for those that may be reading this. It has nothing to do with ants. Actually, it has more to do with what I posted last time. I was thinking some more about writing rituals and habits and was wondering about writing inspirations. What do you get inspired by the most? When I was in school, I usually got ideas from my anthropology classes. A lot of people asked me what I was doing taking so many anthropology and archaeology classes when I was and English-Creative Writing major. It was perfectly clear to me, but I would often have to explain myself as if I were a dog trying to meow.

Since I’ve graduated, I’ve been upping my intake of facts and stories. In school, I didn’t really have to go searching as much since I’d hear stories from my professors as well as interesting facts, some of them found in the textbooks or straight from their mouths. I had one professor that told us about how he’d been shot in the shoulder by an arrow and nearly shot again. Both times were by accident, of course. I think the guys that had shot or nearly shot¬†him were more freaked out about¬†almost killing the anthropologist¬†than he was.

So, that was a long explanation to a short question. I should get back to my story.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2011 in Education, Life, Writing

 

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