TOO MUCH ANTHOLOGY RELEASED FROM UNKNOWN PRESS

5 Aug

The anthology is finally out! Check it out to read bizarre, humorous, and touching tales of that one time these writers went a bit too far. Did I mention my essay is in here? Thanks for including me, Unknown Press!

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Guest Post: “Writing Cramps” by Christina Hart

11 Mar

Check out my guest blog post for one of my personal favorites, Gus Sanchez from Out Where the Buses Don’t Run. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with his blog, I suggest you do so!

Out Where the Buses Don't Run

Hey everyone,

Busy, busy, busy, as the good people of Bokonon would say. Yeah, it’s been a hellacious busy time here at Out Where the Buses Don’t Run. Work (real work), writing, reading, life, things have been hectic, but in a good way. Unfortunately, my blog’s taken a hit. Hence the reason why there have been no new posts lately. Some new posts will be coming soon, I promise.

In the meantime, here’s a terrific guest post from Christina Hart. You may know her from her insightful and funny blog, Daily Rants with the Bitch Next Door. Christina’s been kind enough to share with us a guest post, entitled “Writing Cramps.” In her words, “it’s 463 words, and summarizes the joys and difficulties of the writing process. It explains how characters can lead you through the process, how you can teach them to stop bitching about the…

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A Foreclosure Story: White Desk Stuff: Intro

11 Mar

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Hey bloggers out there. I know, I know. I typically write fiction. But recently, I went through a foreclosure and I started working on a non-fiction piece. Perhaps no one cares, but perhaps some of you went through something similar. I was originally planning on finishing it, and then most likely self-publishing it (because I’m no expert on how to cope effectively), but I’ve decided to share it with you all out here on the blogosphere instead. Enjoy.

White Desk Stuff

Introduction

The idea for this collection of short stories and essays came from a divine daydream. I hardly believe in ‘ideas’ themselves. And I think writers (or at least me) have multiple personalities, or perhaps just while we’re in different characters’ heads. I chose the title White Desk Stuff because my parents’ home recently foreclosed. A few days before Christmas, to make it worse. We packed everything up and cleaned the entire house from top to bottom in a week and a half. The entire experience was…stressful isn’t even the word. I had hardly started my Christmas shopping and was in the midst of a total devastating tornado of emotions and guilt from all parties involved, including my dog, and the way it happened was so fast that we didn’t really have time to process it, let alone cry.

We moved into the new house, which was half the size of the one we had just lost, and there was so much furniture, boxes, and garbage bags everywhere that it felt like we didn’t really have a home. I started unpacking, carrying boxes and things up to my new room. I have a vintage, white drop-top desk with flowers hand-painted on it. It’s usually where I sit and write. So, most importantly, I wanted to find the box marked ‘White Desk Stuff’ first and foremost. I went crazy trying to find it, climbing on top of heaps of boxes and bags and furniture, but I found it.

I was laying in my bed one night, after it collapsed due to the lack of a box spring and not enough wood slats, and I just kept staring at the box. White Desk Stuff. All of the instances and thoughts and memories hit me all at once and I just kept thinking of the severity of the blow we had just been dealt. My childhood home, the one my parents owned for twenty two years, was taken from us. Just like that. No second chance, no opportunity to keep it. It was gone. I started crying, for the first time, about the house and everything we had just been through. The whirlwind of emotions and thoughts that flooded through my mind and body was so overwhelming that I suddenly got an “idea”.

White Desk Stuff. The ‘stuff’ you keep in your desk. The emotions. The experiences. The crumpled papers that mean nothing to you now but might mean something to your grandchildren decades from now. The things you throw away and the things that you keep. The memories. The break ups. The laughter. The tears. The people. The past. The present. The future. Desk stuff doesn’t hold only material items, but memories and hopes as well.

I realized in that split moment just how devastating this experience was. How stressful it all had been. And how many people experienced it in this day and age. Just at my job alone, two of the women I work with and one man have lost their homes. At my mom’s job, four people have as well. So many people I have spoken to and encountered in the last year alone have been affected by the foreclosure process. Hell, even the realtor who came to give us our relocation check had lost his home. How many people must go through this? How many families must suffer?

This book is not about whining or complaining that life isn’t fair. It’s about the process of dealing with the hand that life deals you. It’s about staying strong while you’re being beat down and losing everything. It’s about survival. My mother and I heard a quote during this time that may have saved us. “It can’t rain forever.”

If you want to read the rest of this book as I write it, just follow my blog and sign up for e-mail notifications of a new post. I’m putting this up here for free in hopes that it will reach even just one person and let you know you’re not alone.

Anthology Submissions & Girls (In the Men’s Bathroom)

8 Feb

I’d like to discuss two things today. One is the fact that this year, I’ve decided it’s high time to start submitting my work to get published.  I’ll keep you all posted. This year’s goal is anthologies. I really need to start putting some work out there. I also want to start writing some more creative non-fiction, so I’m going to quit wanting to do it and just do it already. I’ve had a work in progress, if you can call it that, for a few months now.

Since my house foreclosed, I started thinking about creating a collection of essays of moving moments throughout that intense process. It was emotionally and physically draining, and I thought, yeah, why not? The first few essays have come out really good. And I want to keep moving with this. There is only one thing stopping me- the sequel to my fantasy novel. I have 86 pages right now. I know I need to finish this before I move on to the next project. I know, just sit down and write it already, right!? If I really pushed myself, I could probably finish that within the next month. So that’s my goal. The only problem is once you get even a little sidetracked from your work, it could be a stake through the heart of it. So I’m trying to focus here.

Second, I’d like to bring up the men’s bathroom for a moment. Girls, have you ever used a urinal? Don’t. I’ve been thinking about the time I went to one of my favorite restaurant/bars (they play live classic music, duh), and the girls bathroom was completely flooded. Obviously, I had to pee. Obviously. Obviously this would happen to me because that is just how the f#%&ing cookie crumbles.

I told my girlfriend to make sure no one came in the men’s room while I was in there. Lo and behold- it was a urinal. When you gotta go, you gotta go.

Let’s just say it was an experience.

And no girl should ever have to pee in a men’s urinal. We aren’t…equipped for it. Let’s say it was a lot of balancing followed by cursing.

Side note: I’m quitting smoking. Again. Hello, E-cig! Shut up. I don’t care if it’s “cheating”.

At least I didn’t resort to crack. 

When Your Fictional Characters Are More Important Than You

13 Mar

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Do you ever have those nights where you just can’t seem to fall asleep?  I used to have these before a day where I knew it held some sort of importance.  When I was younger maybe it was picture day, or a big test.  Or Christmas.  I’d get in bed real early in hopes to fall asleep and be nice and rested the next day.  Instead, I’d lie there awake for hours, anticipating the day to come.  I’d think and worry and wonder and instead of sleeping, I would just lay there with my thoughts racing.

Now, I’m older (much older, unfortunately, than I was when I was a child).  Now, I still have nights like these, only it’s not before Christmas or a big test.  It’s nights when I’ve become so involved with a project that I can’t stop thinking about it. 

I recently started writing my next book, even though I told myself I’d hold off on writing another lengthy piece of fiction until I graduated school.  But I found myself up in bed last night, thinking about my character and what she would do next.  I couldn’t stop thinking about her and the magical world she had found herself in.  It got me excited.  But I’m still a little tired today.  This is when you know you’re involved in your work, when your characters lives become more important than your own. 

I find that magical in itself, getting so wrapped up in your own work that it feeds some inner part of you.  Did you ever write something that got you so excited that you were up all night?  You were so involved in your character’s fictional existence that it took over a decent portion of your life?  This, to me, is good writing.  When you yourself can’t wait to read what your character is going to do next.  That’s when you know what you’re writing is successful.

I have started to write things and got maybe two or three pages in, and just felt semi-good about it.  I saved them, but I didn’t continue in the moment.  If you don’t want to write it, who will want to read it?  That’s how I’ve felt about it this whole time.  (Though, that may be wrong.)  I’m not 100% sure.  It’s just what works for me. 

The best advice I was given long ago was “Write the book you want to read.”  That has stuck with me.  And it will forever be my number one motto when it comes to writing.

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Meet my pooch, Pudgy.

7 Feb

Meet my pooch, Pudgy.

One of the most vocal dogs you’d ever meet. I don’t know where she gets it………….