Saturday, 5 November 2011

Walk down memory lane

This is so funny. I am taking an unexpected walk down memory lane today. I found an old filing system my parents gave me a long time ago, with a whole bunch of old documents in it. There were even a dozen or so old backstreet boys posters from my early teenage years. How I love reminiscing sometimes. 

I love chicken soup for the soul books. I bought this one book a long time ago...Chicken soup for the writers soul. I never could get totally into it to read all the way through it, but apparently I decided at one point I was going to try and write a story about my own experiences with writing to try and enter into the book. I have no idea when I wrote this. Probably before the year 2000, because it was clearly printed out from a printer that wasn't a laser printer. The sides of the page have holes and you can tear them off from the page when it comes out of the printer. The pages are all yellowed.

Here is what the story read: 

Looking back now, I realize my love of writing started when I was very young. When I was nine and in grade three, the teacher assigned us a holiday writing assignment. I was absolutely thrilled with this. Even as she was describing what our stories were to be like, I already had an idea for a masterpiece, or so I thought. I wrote a story about a talking Christmas tree. The Christmas tree wanted desperately to be taken to someones home for Christmas and decorated with Christmas decorations and lights. When the teacher saw my story, she made some Christmas tree paper for me, and I rewrote the story on the paper, and I had a Christmas tree shaped book. I ended up getting an A+ on the assignment.

In grade five, the teacher assigned yet another writing assignment. She told us to let our imaginations run wild, and write about whatever we wanted. I wrote about a big purple blob who chased two girls around a house, trying to make them blobs as well. The teacher loved my story and gave me an A on that assignment as well.

The first time I got paid for something I wrote was in grade six and it was for a poem I had written. Our teacher was teaching us how to write poems and over a period of a few weeks, we wrote many poems. The teacher then helped us pick out our two best poems, and they were submitted to the school board for a book of poetry they put out each year. A couple of months later, my teacher announced that two people from my class had a poem in the book. It was a fellow student and I. I got paid fifty cents for that poem, and I was so proud! Fifty whole cents! It was a big deal to me not only because I got paid for it, but because something I wrote myself was in a book.

After that, my love of writing became a hobby. My best friend and I wrote fantastic stories about someone we didn't like at the time. We'd write thing like the person was at the county fair on the Ferris wheel and the seat she was riding in flew off. Wed also write that the person was walking down the street and got attacked by a mean-people eating monster. As we got older, our stories became less fantastic and more exciting and interesting. We grew to love music almost as much as we loved writing. Our stories became fan-fiction stories about our favourite band.

When in high school, people started deciding what they were going to be if they hadn't already, and working towards that. I, on the other hand had an extremely difficult time deciding. I didn't know what my talents were or where I fit in. Finally I settled on being a Developmental Service Worker (DSW), because I loved working with children. One day though, my moms' friend said to me, "Why don't you go to school for journalism, or writing?"  "Why?" I asked him, confused at the suggestion. "Because you're always writing. You could do something like that," he told me.

It was almost like a light bulb went on inside me. Writing as a profession hadn't even crossed my mind once, but once he said that, it got the wheels turning in my head. Over the next while I was thinking about what specifically I could do. One day while on the phone with my dad, he suggested I get my (fan fiction) stories published. I laughed at him. What publisher would want MY stories? Memoirs of a fan, he suggested. That sounded cool. It got those wheels in my head turning a bit  more. 

Then one day it hit me like a ton of bricks. I'd work for a music magazine. That way I could be around my music AND my writing. It was the perfect idea.

Next for me is college. I know I"m going to have to work my but off, but it'll be worth it. I'll do anything to achieve my dream and if that means working my butt off for three years, then I'll do it. I'll do anything to achieve my dream.


Well, it is quite obvious God's dreams aren't the same as my dreams, but that isn't always a bad thing. My love for writing is still there, and I am still waiting for my inspiration to come back. I know that things don't always happen on my time, they happen on God's time. But man oh man, was that ever good to walk down memory lane re-reading this again!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Kickin It

Death is such a crummy thing. As a Christian, I know that my loved ones who know Jesus are going to heaven when they pass and that only their time on earth is done. But as a "young" Christian, I still sometimes have trouble coping with loss. I want to be angry with God for taking the loved one from us. It is a very selfish thing to feel, and yet I can't help it.

Last week my best friend and her family lost someone very near and dear to them. Her husbands mother went to heaven on Wednesday and is now "Kickin it" with Jesus.  She was in her 64th year, and too young. She was an amazing woman, and her love for her family, God and serving and helping others is and was extraordinary. I'm so glad to be a part of this amazing family, and although they are not my family by blood, they are my family regardless. It makes me sad to see them so broken and hurting, and so when they cry, I cry. 

God sometimes has interesting ways of showing you He's still there, and He hears your cries.  The night I found out about this lovely lady's passing..I was struggling with my feelings. Disbelief would probably sum it up. Air1 Radio has a program between 10 & 12 pm eastern, and since I knew sleep was not going to come easily this night, I stayed up for the program. I went in the chatroom, and I poured out my heart to those that were listening, and even the DJ said they would pray for me and my did many of the chatters in there. They knew how much I like the song 'Halo' by Manic Drive and they rallied to vote it up to the top so it would get played, and barely five minutes later, it was up there getting played. I mean, maybe it was coincidence. Maybe it was going to get played anyways. I don't know. But I believe that in the midst of my despair God showed up. He gave me a tiny nudge to show me He was listening, and heard my cries. God is neat like that.

I still didn't get much sleep that night. My friend needed someone to talk to, so I also believe God woke me up so I could be there for her. Sometimes I don't understand the nudges until after the fact. Maybe a week or more later. But the nudges are there regardless.

Now while there is a wonderful lady up there kickin it with Jesus, I miss her terribly, but I am so grateful she is now cancer free, she is happy and healthy and as perfect as she can be. I pray that God will heal everyone's hurt and give peace in their hearts. 

Until next time my friends...

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Writing before bed, and Movies.../October 11

I wrote this last night..

Of course only I would go to..go to bed and suddenly get the urge to blog...

The notebook I've been carrying with me is this tiny little red notebook with a ribbon page marker. It reminds me of those notebooks Jamal used to write in, in Finding Forrester.  Everything I've written in it up until now has been in pencil.  I'm not really sure why.  Maybe it's so I can erase and re-write, erase and re-write. I gues that's part...

I lost it. I stopped to play on my iPod and lost the thought. Bad, bad Sarah! I think it was something along the lines of it having the opposite effect to the saying that one should never throw away their writings. You never know when or if you might be able to use it, them. Hmm. Moving on...

Sometimes I feel like my writing is juvenile. I feel like my words aren't quite as eloquent enough, or mature even. I don't know. I've read things written by peers, and more often then not, they sound much more mature then what I write. I just have to keep on keeping on, I guess.

I'm going to try and keep this little book by my bed. I have some pretty messed up dreams sometimes and have been told that keeping a dream journal might be helpful for the writing process. The only problem is, writing my dreams down is often not the first thing I'm thinking of doing when I first wake up from them.

Every time I sit down to write a blog lately, I am reminded of the movie Julie and Julia. Julie wrote a daily blog based on her experiences while cooking through Julia childs cookbook. She gained quite a following from it.

Wouldn't that be cool? To gain a following from writing a blog. I'm not really very sure that very many people even read this one.  I suppose that would also require writing more then one blog a month.

Well, until next time my friends....

Saturday, 17 September 2011

September 17, 2011

 I can never think of creative/interesting enough blog post titles, so I generally just date them. Maybe I should be working on that too, especially if I want to write, :)

I signed up for an creative writing course today. It's with Algonquin College, and it's completely online. It works with my work/life schedule. I'm so excited to start the course, I want it to be January like, right now. I  could do without the winter, cold and snow though. At the same time, it's kind of scary. I mean, the first time I tried college, it was my first time away from home. I failed miserably. I wanted to write then still, but I took a journalism program. Turns out, it was NOT what I wanted to do either, plus a big majority of personal issues and life in general got in my way. The second time I went to college, it was a community college for Pharmacy Technician/Assistant. Don't get me wrong, either. I love my career, and my job. I work in a long term care facility that dispenses medications to nursing homes and long term care facilities. I love playing a part, even if it is a tiny part, in healthcare. It feels good knowing that I've helped someone's grandmother or great grandmother  get the medication they need to help them live a more comfortable day to day life.

Writing for me, I guess you would say is more of a hobby. If I can take a few courses and improve my hobby, and possibly make a couple dollars, then that's just an added bonus. I love learning. I'm not all that smart, but I love learning. Well no, I'm smart..I guess but there are many subjects which I know little about, and few subjects that I know a lot about. It's just who I am, and I'm okay with that, for the most part. Of course it's fun to have that pipe dream of writing this novel that's going to become the next award winning novel that's going to make me famous and turn into a movie deal that Branjelina will star in, there's no crime in that.

Until January, I'm on my own..figuring out how to get inspired.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

September 11, 2011

I haven't written anything in awhile. I suppose I've just been caught up with the busy-ness of life, summer, work and whatnot. I feel bad, this was my...way to sort out what my brain has been trying to process in terms of writing that award winning novel I've been wanting to write. Maybe I've just been lacking inspiration. Who knows.

Sometimes I wonder why my imagination won't work as well as some authors who have dozens of popular novels out. Sometimes I'm too critical, and I quit something before I get too far into it. I've been told probably by more then one person, never to quit something, or at least never to throw it out. Who knows if it might be something that you will be able to use later on. I take zumba classes on Tuesdays, and one Tuesday after drinking a particularly large amount of water, I could feel it swishing around in my belly. I was in a fantastic silly mood, so when I got home, I posted a facebook status update that went like this: "note to self: drink water at zumba, but never drink too much! It wooshes around in my belly like the ocean is making waves! I wonder if there is a little man surfing in there...hahaha!!" which a friend responded asking where I come up with those things. I have no clue. Sometimes when I'm feeling silly I think of the dumbest little phrases or sayings. But when it comes time to sit down and write something, I come up blank.

I bought this notebook that looks like it could be a hardback novel or something. I started writing in it, but not writing my novel just yet, I have been doing research. Research on the structure of what a story should be, research on what kinds of characters are in stories. I'm hoping this will help me when I finally do start writing, or at least it'll help get the ball rolling.

Today it has been exactly 10 years since the tragedy of 9/11. Ten years ago when that happened, I was in college in Welland, Ontario studying journalism. I was hoping then that I could get a job writing for a magazine, not a newspaper. The course was nothing like I'd hoped it would be, and I flunked out. But, ten years ago when that happened, I was up early in the morning, trying to finish off a paper before I left for class. Slacking off, of course. I was also talking to a friend from another country on msn, and they had told me they were sorry for what happened to my country. Now I'm a Canadian, so I was confused. I turned on the TV behind me, and I saw the 2nd plane crashing into the twin towers, and my heart just sunk to my feet. When I went to class, there was definitely an ominous vibe among everyone around me. Today, I remember that day, and the many lives that were lost as a result of that horrific day. I remember all the police, fire, EMT's and anyone who helped to try and save the people trapped within the rubble. I remember the ones who were lucky enough to make it out alive. That was a sad day indeed, but today I am thankful for my freedom, as well as for the freedom of those around me. I am proud to be a Canadian today (and every day for that matter), and praying that all of those effected by the events of 9/11 can continue to rebuild and continue on with their lives.

Onto more research and inspiration...

Sunday, 10 July 2011

July 10, 2011

Today I am left with a question that is left unanswered every time I try to begin my amazingly awesome novel. So, I will dedicate this blog and my next series of question(s) to anyone who might happen to read this.

How do you do it? I mean, once you do find the inspiration to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, how do you begin? Do you just start writing and see where it takes you? Do you figure out your plot or general concept and then write and expand on it, or do you sort out what you want your characters personalities to be like and go from there?

Finding Forrester was a great story. Jamal Wallace, the inner city kid befriends writer William Forrester. Part of the story that fascinated me the most was where Jamal was in Williams apartment receiving a lesson. When Jamal couldn't think of what to write, William yelled at him not to think, just write.  I have tried this method once or twice, but maybe I just haven't been disciplined enough to follow through with it. A lot of it is just me writing stuff like "blah blah blah I can't think of anything blah blah blah blah", despite that this method is fascinating to me.

I've also had people tell me that they sometimes jump all over the place when writing. They may start their story somewhere in the middle, and then go to the beginning and then go to the end and piece it all together. Another friend has said that she ALWAYS writes in chapters, and often posts what she writes forums so that she can get other peoples opinions on her stuff.

I have never written in chapters ever. Every time I write, I just write until I feel like I'm finished or until I have an ending.

I'm really excited to write my award winning novel. Or, maybe it won't be award winning, maybe not a single soul will want to read it, maybe I'll be too scared or nervous to even show anyone. But tell me, how do YOU do it?

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

July 5, 2011

I am a permanently single woman. Or at least some days I've convinced myself of this. Usually on days when I'm feeling particularly lonely. Today isn't necessarily one of those days, but it's the only "excuse" if you will, that I can use for the basis of inspiration for my blog today.

Sometimes on those days though, when I am feeling particularly lonely, I dive into the cheesy romance novels that almost always have the same happy endings. Danielle Steele is my favourite, but there are many other authors who have written similar books.

I always wonder, how they came up with the inspiration to write so much, and do it so well. Surely Danielle Steele can't be writing her fiction based purely off of real life experiences.

My favourite types are the Cinderella stories. The ones with the prince charming who sweeps her off her feet straight into her happy ending. Those tend to get predictable though. You know what's going to happen before the story is half over. That doesn't make the story less good, just...predictable.

This would probably explain my permanent single status. I have stars in my eyes and I want something that's not likely ever going to happen. It's okay to dream though.

Until next time. I am still on my quest for what was once my oh so vivid imagination...

Friday, 1 July 2011

July 1, 2011

Days of Our Lives. That show has probably been around since before I was even thought of. It is one of my favourite daytime shows, despite it's ridiculously unbelievable story lines. I can't turn away either. Every time I feel like the plot gets to be too much,  there is some crazy turn of events, and I can't stop watching.

That's probably what those writers are paid to do though. How do they even do that? I think, they probably have to be at least my age, maybe older, maybe younger. I wonder how many writers shows like that go through. Especially with shows that run for that long.

I don't want to write something nearly that outrageous. I don't even want to write a script,  really. I suppose though many great novels are like scripts to a point. So many books are made into movies these days.

That would be awesome. Have my amazingly awesome novel taken and made into a movie. Although then I would really have to think about what I want to get out of writing.

And then i went right back to square one. Figuring out how to get inspired to write the next best selling novel...

Thursday, 30 June 2011

June 29, 2011

Today I am listening to music from my past. That which I suppose you could say sparked my initial desire to write. I listened to music a lot in my teenage years and would spend hours and hours writing fictional stories about musicians and bands. Stories that were so long they could really almost be novels. 

While I spent so much time writing these stories I let my imagination go, and I would tell myself that what I was writing was so unbelievably amazing that surely if the right person read them, he or she would recognize my awesome talent and want to publish me right away.

I still have copies of the stories, too. Every now and then I like to go back and read them.  Every time I read something, it is like a movie playing in my head, and usually I don't want to put it down until the "movie" is over. I read these stories I wrote so many years ago, and really I feel like no one should be subjected to having to read them.  I feel bad for making my own mother read them. 

The point I'm trying to make is that in one sense I want to go back to letting my imagination go like that.  I want what I write to be so good that when someone reads it, they see a movie playing in their head and not want to put it down until the movie is over. I've yet to find that inspiration. One day... 

June 28, 2011

Sometimes when the weather is nice, I like to go sit in Harmony Square before work. Sometimes I stare at the sky and the people and think about how blessed I am, and sometimes I just listen to music and wait. For a long time lately, I have had a desire to write. So, I am bringing a little notebook with me to Harmony Square and hope that inspiration finds me where I am. I will post most of my writings here, and hopefully it will inspire me to write something big, and with purpose. 

June 28

Ever desire to write that great novel? That one that gets published and earns you all kinds of money, fans and fame. I just want to write, and get published. I don't need millions of dollars, but I want people to want to read my stories.  I want my books to be sold at yard sales. Part of me wants to write this fantastical cinderella-esque novel complete with the prince charming and the happy ending, and part of me wants to write a story about my journey as a woman of God. Every time I try to put pen to paper though, I come up with nothing. Empty handed. I pray for God's wisdom and that one day He would recognize my hearts desires. I put my faith and trust in HIm, knowing that only He knows whats best for me, and where my life will lead.