“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dr. Seuss

So I decided I want to focus on authors sometimes in my posts that have made an impact on me...or inspired me in some way. First of all I want to talk about a man who I honest to God, wish I could've gone inside his head for a day; it just seemed so magical and unique. Then again, he brought the magic to his words didn't he?

Who is he?

Dr. Seuss of course.
I grew up having my mom read me these books. I learned how to rhyme from his wild, charismatic tales. A few favorites were:

  • The Cat in the Hat
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Green Eggs and Ham
  • Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!
  • Oh, the Places You'll Go!
  • The Lorax
  • The Foot Book
  • Fox in Socks
  • One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
  • Horton Hears a Who!

These stories are timeless and will live in my heart forever. I want to share these unique tales with my children and my students. I'm honestly amazed how this man could create such rhymes...rhymes that honestly could give you a headache if you looked too deeply inside of the page!

Dr. Seuss could create an imaginary world that was so vivid, that you felt as though you were being sucked into the world from the pages...who wouldn't want to live there for a day? He brought the creative words to life, and that's what I truly want to achieve when I write. 

His words will be everlasting and March 2nd will always be his day! I wanted to share some quotes by the man, because they touched my life...and I hope they'll touch yours as well. 
So remember the words; remember the man; remember the magic, imagination, and creativity he shared with us. 
I know I'll always remember him...for he'll always be my inspiration, my hero, and who I'd like to be. I want my stories to live forever. I want them to be remembered. I want children, teens, young adults, adults, and the elderly to read these stories and for words to transform their everyday. To take them to a place where reality no longer exists. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Writer's Block

Well it's happened once again - I have writer's block....

 I really hate when this happens, but it's inevitable; when you write...you will receive writer's block from time to time. My problem isn't the ideas and where they are taking me (I have the entire back-story up and running)...the problem is getting these "thoughts" and "ideas" onto the paper. The writing isn't going how I want it to go and doesn't show my true talent. So then I get irritated and stop writing. The first chapter for some reason is killing me!
 I think the first chapter is so incredibly important because it's what really hooks your readers, so I want to make it beyond special; it isn't turning out that way. I think I'm giving too much information and trying to be descriptive when maybe I should just forget trying to go so in depth and let my character go about his day.

All I know is I need to get past this writer's block or I'm not sure this story will ever be finished. It just amazes me I can write a back story and create a world in a day...yet writing chapter 1 is like a dagger through my heart. I feel like every time I type on the keyboard, blood is rushing out because I'm dying slowly (sorry to be so graphic). It's just not turning out how I want it to go...so I must ask, any thoughts, ideas, or advice? This is really why I want to get WWW and running, but I need more people to sign up! Here is the LINK. So far just one person is in the group...hmm. Please people!! HELP!

And as far as my characters go, here is a little message for you: This is your story I'm writing! Keep talking to me and start helping once and a while. That would be lovely...thanks.
I did find this picture that has some good tips though! How's your writing going?? How do you get through these hard times of writer's block?
-Jess 

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Love of Books

I always say, there are four great passions in my life: Family, friends, writing, and books. Yes, books. I'm obsessed with reading. I am always reading something, or I simply cannot function.
You ask writers what their secret is; they'll look at you and say, "I read. I write. And then I read some more." There you have it. The BIG secret success. I believe it though. Yes, obviously you need to write - that's the only way to get better right? Wrong. Reading will also be a leading factor in it. When you read, you see other styles of writing and see what works, and what doesn't. A habit I truly need to break, is reading in my own genre. I love fantasy fiction...but a writer needs to be well-rounded. I will occasionally read out of my "comfort zone" but I need to do it a lot more frequently.
So everyone... what are you reading as of right now?

I'm reading: The Well-Spoken Thesaurus by Tom Heehler, The Black Dagger Brotherhood: Lover Avenged by J.R Ward, and The Writer's Little Helper by James V. Smith. Jr.

I know that's a lot, but I read them at different times. It honestly just depends my mood I'm in.

And while I still have your attention...well I hope I do, look at these awesome libraries! I always feel like I'm Belle in Beauty and the Beast and would die to step foot in a library like she did, or the ones in these pictures:

 Now that's a lot of books!!

Before I end this post, I want to say thank you for the emails about WWW; I'm so glad I have a group of people who are interested. I would definitely like some more though. I want to create that little writing group that can really net together and help one another.

I created a forum called: WrittenWordWorkshop - so please go register and you can take a peek of what's inside. I'm hoping I can make it look better, hopefully the help of you lovelies.

Thank you & have a fantastic weekend everyone.

-Jess

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WWW

What does WWW stand for you ask? Well sit back, drink your coffee, and take a glimpse into something that I hope will become huge for aspiring authors.

WWW: (loosely translated) - "Written Word Workshop"
It's a way for us, the aspiring authors, to come together and start something special. It's a way for us to critique each other's work, share ideas and opinions, give advice, etc.

[I've created a forum and I'm on my way of making a website.
The forum is: WrittenWordWorkshop ]
  • Share your work 
  • Get your query letter, title, chapters, prologue/epilogue critiqued 
  • Gain advice from other writers
  • Find writing resources
  • Share ideas that might help make other's work publishable 
  • Make lifelong writing friends
Sometimes you feel lost when you are just starting out; I know I certainly did! But reading resources and getting on other websites, I found some writing friends that really helped the writing process become practical.
When you work with other writers, the finish line...and of course the journey, become visible. And that's important I think. I know there are many times where I just want some opinions about my novels. Of course I have family and friends, but sometimes I need others who understand where I'm coming from and where I'm trying to go. And accomplish of course.
So that's what I'm doing....calling ALL writers who are interested in joining the online experience of WWW!
If you are interested - you can contact me by email and sign up (I'm very good at responding and getting back to you).

Once we get a decent amount of writers - we'll get it started! We could even create another blog to share work and what not. If you have opinions about this, let me know as well.

-Jess

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Writing Honor

What a prestige honor: My good family friend Nancy Klekas, passed away last week after a five year battle with cancer. The moment my cousin, Nicole, told me she had passed away, I went onto my deck and wrote A Shining Jewel in which I dedicated to her. Nicole told the family and shared the poem with them; they were so taken aback with it, they asked me to read it at the funeral. The sad thing with that is, even though that was such an honor, I write because it's the words I cannot say out loud. At my step-father's funeral, I couldn't speak either, but did write a poem for him as well which I titled Broken. However, the family was still so thankful that I wrote that, that they asked for permission to put it in the main program that they passed out during the viewing and funeral. That poem now belongs to them, and I feel wonderful knowing they shared it with one another. A lot of people came up to me at the funeral and said, "That poem was amazing," "That poem described Nancy perfectly," "I'm going to put it in our family book of memories,"(Nancy's father). And a few people said this, which meant the most to me: "Jessica, you are such an amazing and talented writer, never stop." It was truly an honor to be noticed for something I love to do. Write. In any shape or form of it. I usually don't write poems, unless I'm feeling extreme emotions, but this shows me that I truly need to follow through with this path; I think it can bring with it great success.
Going through this experience, it just goes to show you how much writing can influence people's lives. The impact a few words can make are life altering and definitely worthwhile.
Nancy - Words cannot describe what a beautiful person you were on the inside and the out. May your memory be eternal. (Obituary) 
-Jessica 

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Writing Corner

Sometimes I wish I could just create my own little space where I could write, write, oh and did I mention write? I feel like when I write in my room, there are constant distractions of the everyday life: the phone, my mom, the internet, getting hungry, other things to do, etc. What if you had that tranquil area where it was just you...a piece of paper...and a pencil? Well I might exchange that for a laptop, but it would be amazing to still have the old school paper/pencil and even a typewriter in there! Just your little area where you could share your talent. Also you could make it a reading room as well.

Here are some pictures I found of perfect little areas to read and write. I promise you, one day I'll have one of these:

 Anyone of these places would be the perfect little area to "escape" and do what you love to do. Hopefully one day I can create something of this sort; wouldn't that be fabulous? I think so too.
I went to Vegas this last weekend and saw Garth Brooks and met Dick Butkus (football legend). It's just so interesting to think that at one point these people were just like you and me: ordinary. They grow into something bigger that they can share with the world. It truly opened my eyes and makes me want to not only be a fabulous teacher, but a best-selling author. I want to share to the world what I hold inside my mind...which is utterly beautiful, I promise you that.
 Write on my friend... xo.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ally Condie

Well some exciting news is that last night I met author Ally Condie who wrote Matched! She was very kind and informative. It was precisely what I needed to really kick off my career of professional writing!
She spoke about her book Matched, and then spoke slightly about Crossed which is coming out in November (I tried to win an early copy in a drawing...I failed and instead a dad won it hmm).

The best part of the night though, was as she signed my copy of Matched, I asked her for advice for an aspiring author. She had already answered a bunch of questions from the audience, which were very helpful as well, but I had been a little nervous to ask the question in front of everyone (I'm still rather shy). Ally smiled up at me from the desk and said, "Well Jessica, I'm not too good with advice but I admire what you want to do. My advice for you is: write, read, revise, go to workshops, go to conferences, and never give up." I thought that was brilliant advice. I admitted that I didn't know much about the business (not even sure how to get agent and how to approach a Query Letter) and she laughed and said she was definitely in the same boat. Ally told me that she hadn't gone to workshops and thinks that it's wise to do so. She also said use the resources (such as the internet) to really help you in the process of learning. Ally said the most important lesson of all is to just keep writing and do it daily. We spoke longer than we probably should (I gained some glares in the back of the line), but we were having a great conversation. She even got a post-it note and wrote two websites that can really help the process as well: WriteonCon & WIFYR. I checked out both sites and they are really informative especially when they have their conferences.
I felt a connection with Ally because like me, she went to school to become a teacher (which she was for many years), but she always had a passion for writing as well. She said that I should do both and that I can change lives in amazing ways. It was definitely worth driving downtown SLC, by myself, to meet an author (she was the first author I've ever met). I simply cannot wait to see Ally again when she comes to King's English in Nov. to speak about Crossed.

It was amazing though, all I could do as she stood up at that podium, was imagine being in her shoes one day. At that moment I realized I want this more than I've ever wanted anything in my life (yes, I'm dreaming big). Don't get me wrong, I cannot wait to teach children (my other passion in life), but I feel like I can spread magic through words in a way that can make an impact to those around me. That's important in my eyes.


"Do more than just exist." 

I think I had a little bit too much fun at the library...but I love taking pictures, and I was so inspired and happy that I had to spread it around!! But honestly, look how cool the main library is; it's huge I tell you and can you believe that sunset? Amazing.  
Look at this sunset - I dedicated it to Nancy K. 
Now all I want to do is: join a workshop, write, go to a conference, write, read, (did I mention write?) and meet as many authors as I can. I also want to find some writing-buddies who are interested in starting an "online" sharing process type of workshop. So please, if you are an aspiring author such as myself, and are interested in making friends and receiving a critiquing partner, let me know!!
 ~Jess