The Unused Mug

writer's mug

I refuse to use the grey mug sitting in the corner of the room. I glance over in its direction and watch it staring at me with its handle pompously held out and elevated to resemble a dramatic stance from a person who has their hand on their hip. At first, I felt as though the very existence of this particular mug sitting on a ledge in my room was an attempt to mock my efforts to achieve set goals, but I am beginning to see the mug as a visual reminder and tangible motivator outside of completing my intended task of writing a book. I do not want to use my National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) mug until I finish writing the rest of my novel. Continue reading “The Unused Mug”

Sitting Down To Write: My Thoughts On My Second Year Of #OctPoWriMo

close up letters and writing on paper in typewriter

Last year I walked into the October Poetry Writing Month (OctPoWriMo) challenge of writing 31 poems in 31 days blind. I tried to formulate a strategy that I could carry on to the next month with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) as I was beginning the challenge, but by the end, I had thrown everything out the window. I just needed to write. I had to finish.

I ended up completing the poetry writing challenge again this year. I went in with a flexible plan. Write a few poems at a time, have a theme or several that can give you ideas for poem content, and just write whenever you can. It ultimately worked. I finished on time with a few smaller hiccups along the way, but I wasn’t as frantic as I was the year before about rushing to get a certain amount of poems done on time. Yes, the task was still a big one, but things seemed to go a little smoother. Continue reading “Sitting Down To Write: My Thoughts On My Second Year Of #OctPoWriMo”

#OctPoWriMo: Oct 2nd & 3rd

Rosary beads bible blur

OctPoWriMo #2: Catholicism

The Blessed Virgin Mary can be found in stone sitting in your garden.
She sits in the place of where your rose bushes used to be.
She holds her rosary beads with her head down in prayer.
As I walk by she bows in reverence, never looking up at me. Continue reading “#OctPoWriMo: Oct 2nd & 3rd”

#OctPoWriMo: Rose Bushes

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Last year, I participated in OctPoWriMo, a month-long poetry challenge where participants attempt to write and share one poem every day throughout the month of October. I successfully completed the challenge, but when everything was said and done, I had a pile of poems that were pretty random and didn’t gel together. Some were long, others were extremely short, and the topics had nothing to do with each other. This year I have decided to take on the challenge again but with another goal in mind. Create a more cohesive string of poems over the course of the next 31 days that will have a connected theme, and if you follow along to the end of October, then I’ll tell you what it is. Continue reading “#OctPoWriMo: Rose Bushes”

Celebrating Rejection

writing rejected from publishers

I grabbed my bagel and coffee from the common folding table found at the back of the meeting room. The table was draped with a bright white cloth which illuminated every crumb or innocent splash and spill of the water that dripped from the chilled water dispenser or the coffee that didn’t quite make it all the way into a writer’s cup. I would take my regular seat towards the back of the conference room and listen to the monthly updates from the writers’ community in Kern County. Continue reading “Celebrating Rejection”

For The Love Of The Interview

Tips for recording interviews for articles

“Thank you again for agreeing to speak with me this morning,” I said hunching over my phone that was placed on speaker. I was eyeing the time on the free recording app that ran in the background on my laptop. “I really appreciate it.”

“No, thank you,” Susan Surftone, former FBI agent turned famous female surf guitarist responded. Her cool and confident voice had echoed from the speaker of my phone. “I really enjoyed your questions.”

I laughed a little and responded with an awkward, “thank you.” Susan had been interviewed by many publications before about her amazing backstory, and so my goal in this particular interview was to shift the focus and include elements about herself and her past that hadn’t been covered before. I wanted some different quotes and wanted to add more of her views and opinions on some hard pressing issues that were relevant to today’s political climate.

Continue reading “For The Love Of The Interview”

An Essay For Your Thoughts

Writing and blogging.I didn’t have access to a pen and paper. No ink blots were to be left as stains on my hands and parchment. There were no sticky notes around, no computers or phones to type with, and no notepads to doodle in. It was then that I knew that I wouldn’t be able to think.

At times, the only way I can dissect and delineate my thoughts is to write them down. I’ll have vague ideas in my head, stories sitting on the edge of my tongue, but no way of describing what’s bouncing around inside my head through word of mouth. Continue reading “An Essay For Your Thoughts”

It Was Enough

alphabets-antique-black-and-white-952594I received a missed phone call while I was out in the garden. I try not to take my phone outside with me for fear of a cascading pile of rich dirt that would inevitably fall on top of the expensive device. And with drops of cool liquid from the watering canister sneakily trying to fall on to the dark dirt in a mission to make mud, I figured that I should keep my phone inside. The call was from a dear friend who had followed the missed call with a text message. It was the habit of my generation, in this day and age, to leave an intended message in the form of a text rather than one’s voice.

I picked up the smartphone and clicked the button on the side which would illuminate the screen and read the message, Hey, how is everything?  Continue reading “It Was Enough”

Things I Have Learned From Blogging

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Sometime in 2009 I sat down at a computer, created a Blogspot account and began publishing posts to the web. At the time, the recent economic downturn and cuts to higher education fueled the fire for Jasmine on the Issues, and then a couple of years later, my interest in telling stories led me to create Jazzed About Stuff. When I received a message from WordPress reminding me that I registered on the site three years ago, I was shocked at another realization.

I have been talking to strangers online from all over the world for about five years now. Continue reading “Things I Have Learned From Blogging”

The Mean and Opinionated Writer

Broken Pencil by ~AcrophobicOwl
Broken Pencil by ~AcrophobicOwl

I was cornered the other day by one of my weekly blog readers who had pointed out my very opinionated style of writing. I responded, with what I thought was the obvious, and mentioned that it was a blog and not some national or world news organization that was solely there to present unbiased facts. I felt as if I didn’t understand her concern. She had told me, in so many words, that my blog posts were just putting people down.

I have to admit that my very sarcastic and dark sense of humor does make me sound like I’m being mean at times, and maybe I just am. But when she brought up the example of my last post about Yoga, I didn’t quite get why she was saying that my words were in any way mean. Continue reading “The Mean and Opinionated Writer”