Filtering by Tag: april

The Final Countdown

Camp NaNoWriMo: April Edition

There's nothing like a big old reason to start another project or make headway on an old one. Maybe I like running myself into the ground, so I'm going to participate in this month's Camp NaNoWriMo event.

Here's the deal: I've been thesis-crazy, revising, and revising some more until my committee members gave me the green light to move on. After getting approval from all three, I had to fill out forms that demanded signatures from many people - including higher authorities that I'd never met before. And after that, I had to attack my thesis once more in order to read a peppy excerpt for our end-of-the-year celebration, Curtain Call.

(I'm still waiting on pics from the event... but I'll blog about that real soon - with sneaky-peeks of the narwhal-and-lighthouse thesis I've been talkin' about for months, haha).

So, in a nutshell, I'm so tuckered out that it's been hard to get back to the place I've been - the happy place where I write, every day, and enjoy the process of writing instead of biting my nails over what I will do with it afterwards.

In an effort to get back there, I'm going to work on a small project, tentatively titled Stella Over the Fireplace. My goal is to finish the first draft by the end of the month. It won't be longer than 20k.

Since it took so long for my creaky brain to formulate a story, I will totally be flying by the seat of my pants on this one. Slowly, the characters and plot twists are rising to the surface: a creepy portrait that  decides to cry; a girl who dreams of designing clothes, but wonders if it's just in her blood; a psychic who's hiding her regrets under smoke and mirrors; and a clumsy boy who bears scorch marks and touches fire.

It'll be a good month of writing-therapy for me - and hopefully, I'll be back to Tread Softly and Boys & Bees with renewed energy!

Goodbye to Formpring

If you haven't gotten the memo yet, it's official: Formspring has officially closed. It has been such a fun experience to use Formspring over the years, fielding some awesome questions that have helped me in picking blog post topics and learning what my readers are concerned with or thinking about. The best part is that the questions were anonymous - and, really, that means that the questions were exciting and sometimes shocking (but in a good way!).

Before Formspring officially closed, I asked you to send any last questions you may have had - and I got one last one.

Basically, Anonymous asked why I haven't been blogging about my Figment projects lately ;_;

Well, I do love blogging about my writing, whether it's a Figment project or one of my other harebrained ideas. However, this time in my life is wrought with cliff-hanging stress like never before:

1) I'm literally graduating at the end of the month. THE END OF THE MONTH, GUYS. Can you believe it? But before I can hold my precious master's degree, I have to survive these last few weeks - and academia is nothing if not rigorous to the very end.

2) After graduation, I'll have to face the real world. I'm kind of excited.

3) There are a few short stories that I've have to push back (see above), but now I've got to crack down and finish writing them so they're shiny and ready to submit. After all, literary journals and magazines don't have year-round submission periods *cue infomercial grin*

4) Annnnnnd, I'm still querying agents and publishers, seeking a home for Birdcage Girl. It's a long, long road, my friends.

I should be back to my old antics soon, talking about stories and keeping up with my Figment updates and reading list, but I can't quite do it right now. And that makes me sad.

But I'm doing the bet I can and I hope you'll bear with me :)

A Scene from my April Daydreams

We're sitting outside an old French cafe under wide-brimmed umbrellas. We aren't in France but in Tampa, staring out at the parking lot and listening to the traffic from the congested street only a few feet away from us. The old French couple, who had moved to Florida many years ago, put extra sugar in our fruit salads. The sun is bright and burns our eyes. The umbrellas paint our skin pastel colors and make our food look contaminated by confetti cake mix. I push cut strawberries around with my fork and squint at him; he's smiling at me, but not looking at me - instead, he's busy wiping the sweat off his glass of water.

"What are you thinking?" I ask him.

He shrugs. "I'm imagining you're not here right now."


He laughs. "What I mean is that you don't seem to really be here. You're mind is somewhere else."

I smirk. "Okay. Maybe you're right. But if I'm daydreaming about us right now, and you think that I'm somewhere else, then what does it all mean? Am I daydreaming within a daydream?"

"I don't think so," he says. I can tell he's thinking hard about this because he bites his lip.

"Where do you think my mind is?"

"Let's start from the beginning," he says, grinning. "In reality, you're actually in bed with your eyes squeezed tight. You've kicked off the sheets because even with the ceiling fan on, you're still sweating. Your head aches from a stress cold and, even though your dog has woken you up three times this morning, you're still fighting to stay in bed. So you're daydreaming about me because you think I can make you feel better. And you do feel better."

I chew on a chunk of apple and sigh. "Ooh. You're good."

"Of course I am. You're the one putting words in my mouth."

"Go on."

"So, even though you're in this imaginary day with me, trying to avoid really waking up, you can't help but remember what you have to do for your last week of school. Right now, you're thinking about the pile of papers sitting in your office. You're trying to figure out how long it will take you to grade them."

He's beautiful as he says this. Really. If I wasn't plugging in the words, I'd probably be lost in the way his lips form the words, how his bangs brush against his forehead. His hand is soaked with glass-water sweat. He's wearing a faded blue t-shirt that looks purple under the umbrella light.

And I know he's right. Or I know I'm right. Even in my imagination, I can't completely escape reality. I haven't thought of personifying responsibility, but I'm sure it looks like a cranky old librarian. Gold-rimmed glasses. Grim smile. A stack full of work and silence. Responsibility.

From far away, I can hear my mother at the sink. She hums a tune as she washes away the breakfast crumbs from her glass and plate. Fiber cereal and grapes, I guess. That's what she's been eating for the past few days. She'll probably peek into my room in a few minutes and nag me for having kicked my covers and sheets to the floor. I can feel morning seep into my bones.

He sips his water and looks at me steadily. "So you're going?" he asks.

I nod.

He's still drinking.

I frown and say, "Aren't you going to kiss me?"

He smiles boyishly and shakes his head. "No way. You're got work to do."

Photo from We Heart It

Quick Update: Blogger Problems

Hello readers!

It's been a while, and I'm very sorry for it. I've been distracted by the closing school semester. As I'm writing this, I've got a pile of fiction revision to work through for a portfolio due next week. And I wanted to drop in here and leave a message to show that I've still alive when I came across a strange problem with Blogger.

I used my university address when I created this blog; it's not supposed to ever go away, even after graduating, so I didn't think it was a big deal using. Unfortunately, something happened with my school email that adjusted some strange Google status. I honestly don't get it. But now I can't properly sign in to my blog.

I'm on a temporary account right now until I can figure out how to switch emails. You'd think that this would be a simple matter, but I've already spent a half an hour signing in and out and trying to get things to work. And nada. I don't want to loose my web address, but, unless I'm missing something, that seems my only option.

I'm feeling pretty frustrated right now. Ugh. Has this ever happened to you?

I've got to hang on a bit longer - the end of the semester is only two weeks away. But I plan on catching up with all the blogs I follow and treating you all to a great, stress-free post as soon as I can.

Thanks for understanding!

Picture from We Heart It

Tidbits: April Edition

I've been having a bit of an issue with time. It seems as if I've been thinking that the past two weeks were April, despite April only coming upon us since yesterday. This must be because of school. I blame school. I have more papers on my office desk than I know what to do with, student conferencing, and story revisions: April is a race to finish!

After scouting out some blogs over the last couple weeks, I've been giving some thought to the posts bloggers sometimes do where they list or talk about some of the discoveries they've made on the internet. I really like this. It's like show and tell, but better because you're not in grammar school and having to stand in front of a chalkboard.

So I think that I'm going to try something out like that and posting it at the beginning of each month. So here we go!

Picture/Photo Find

Something I Did

April Fool's Day, indeed. The cruelest joke played on me yesterday was finding out that my university doesn't have a Ticketmaster anymore. If you've ever bought concert tickets, you know how much easier it is on the wallet to go pick them up than ordering them online (actual venue or Ticketmaster booth). Well, considering that the venue is an hour away and there are no nearby music stores, I put my trust in the whispered rumors and blindly ran to the Marshall Center after teaching classes for the day.

I burst into the building and ran to the information desk. A lone girl sat behind it and she smiled at me when I approached.

Me: Can you tell me where the Ticketmaster is?

Her: Oh. We don't have one.

Me: What?

Her: The school took it out. We don't have one anymore.

Me: ;_;

Or something like that. So I dashed back to my office, still managing at the same time to text my frustrations to some sympathetic friends. I woke up my computer, took a deep breath, and tried not to cringe when the convenience fees popped up on screen. I was brave. I clicked away. What did I buy?

Owl City concert tickets.

Song I Can't Stop Repeating

"My Hands Are Shaking" by Sondre Lerche.

A Writer Thing

Yesterday I attended USF's 2011 Curtain Call.

Curtain Call is a reading at the end of the year for graduating MFA students in the program. Friends, family, undergrad students and writers and other supportive faculty come to hear the graduates read from their theses. The MFA professors gave great introductions of each graduate, both humorous and heartfelt.

Again, this event took place in the Marshall Center, but this time my walk over was calm and peaceful. The air was cool from the sunset. I wore my green, flower-print bag over my shoulder and felt incredibly happy that I didn't have to lug my netbook or lunch box with me this time. I packed everything away before going. There were plenty of people already there when I arrived. I bought a homemade booklet of sample writing from the four graduating MFAers - the money for the book went to Japan Second Harvest.

The four totally awesome writers who, I got to know a bit during my first year here, are:

It was wonderful to hear their words, in some cases for the first time for me. Each one is incredibly talented and I'm sorry to see them go - but that's what grad school is like, I guess. The time we spend studying creative writing here is so short but extremely powerful. To think that in two years, I'll be standing up there. Woah. So surreal. I tried to find links for each; please check out their writing if you get the chance.

Video I Watched Too Many Times

So I found this Japanese ad that, I confess, I don't understand language-wise. I don't speak or read Japanese, though I consider anyone who can terribly amazing. I wish I could do that. I'm horrible at language learning at the start, haha. But I got the point of this video: it's to show how wonderful it is to read. How you can get lost in the pages of a book and how books might lead to other new adventures (like meeting cute guys?). Japanese books are incredibly cute too. I love paperbacks and these look almost as soft as teddy bears. Yes, yes, I'm a bibliophile, haha.

Food I'm Craving

Macarons. I've never ever had any before. This fact is bumming me out.

Have a great week, dear readers!