Wednesday Words–Alien Prompt

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I am SO excited for this prompt. If you write a book based on this prompt, please tell me about it–but I LOVE THIS PROMPT!!

It is another science fiction prompt (next week I’ll do something different, scout’s honor!)

“Scientists recover alien DNA from a meteorite, and bring an alien species to life”


 

Dr. Diane Morals hunched over the microscope, brown eyes wide as dinner plates as she watched what everyone told her was impossible happen. Mitosis. But not just any simple earth bound organism–she was witnessing mitosis of an alien being.

“Ren,” she yells without moving an inch. “Ren, you have to see this.” It was only then she pressed the buttons that loaded the images onto the labs screen. 

Ren, a forty-something Japanese-American with salt and peppered hair inched to Dr. Morals side. He reached out, gently squeezing her shoulder. His fingers pinning down her wavy black hair she normally kept twisted on her head. 

“Is that the specimen?” His voice wavered like a think strip of paper on a breeze. 

Diane shrugged free of his hold, not liking how the heat from his palm bleed through the fabric of her clothing or having her hair touched at all. She moved to the side of the microscope, a silent gesture to invite him to look through the tube.

“Yes, Dr. Ando,” she said, as formally as she could manage without sounding like the cold snob most of those working in the laboratory thought she was. “Unlike all the other experiments, the introduction of chimpanzee DNA seems to be the right fit.”

All thoughts of how much they disliked each other were forgotten as the ramifications of what they were witnessing sunk in. 

They just completed the first ever alien, earth animal hybrid. 


 

Oh! Whatever will they do??

Happy writing! xxoo-A

Monologue Monday–creating a path

 

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I’ve been writing for years–more than I care to share on days, because my ego takes hold and I feel like a failure.. I know how bad that sounds, but if you write, than I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

Will I quit? I’ve tried and failed at that as well–so I suppose I’ll keep going until I succeed.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with an astronaut playing the guitar in the international space station–but it is because of this astronaut (Commander Chris Hadfield) that I decided to write this post.

Back on September 14th I took my seven-year-old son to see Commander Hadfield talk about his new children’s book, THE DARKEST DARK.

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This is his first children’s book and is about when he decided to become an astronaut. Intended for small children–the picture book speaks about overcoming your fears to reach your goals.

I saw next to my child in an over stuffed hall of a catholic church as Chris Hadfield paced up and down the center row–a lot of the times stopping next to my son’s chair.

Mr. Hadfield read his book, spoke about growing up in rural Canada. A country that, at the time, didn’t have a space program. He spoke about deciding that he would figure out a way to get into space–and he did.

When I’m in the thick of writing–thinking about how many years I’ve been at this–it’s easy to forget how much progress I’ve made. It’s easy to forget that the trick to overcoming ones fears is an endless process.  You have to keep moving one foot in front of the other. You have to keep taking deep breaths and continue on that slow climb.

You have to read more, write more, ask more questions, endure more rejection, but attempt to continue that journey.

At the end of the night, after Mr. Hadfield shared his life and book with us, the floor was opened to questions and answers. A father of two little girls asked what advice Mr. Hadfield could give the children in the room about finding the path to success. Hadfield said this, (I’m paraphrasing), “Go to your local library (or book store) and see what sections you gravitate to. Chances are you end up in the same sections each time. These topics are the things we find passion in when no one else is telling us what to do. Now, pick the one you’re most passionate about and make the conscious decision to go after it.

Pick an end goal, and then work to it. You’re end goal may take years, but say, ‘this weekend I’m going to do [this] to work toward that goal.”

I decided a long time ago that I wanted to be a published author, but hearing those words reminded me of all the things I’ve done to work towards  that goal thus far. Yes, my end goal is still in the future–but giving up really isn’t an option. It’s not, because quiting the only true way to fail–and I’m not a failure.

Neither are you.

So, in closing–inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes it’s on twitter talking to other inspiring authors, or on facebook in the form of a writing group, and sometimes it’s in the hall of a catholic church listening to the first ever Canadian Commander of the International Space Station say, “Remember, my goal was to walk on the moon. I’m a failure, I’ve never done that. I’ve only been in space 3 times and lived in the space station for six months.”

Keep on writing. And as a little bit of fun, enjoy this video of Commander Hadfield singing and playing David Bowie’s, SPACE ODDITY.

xxoo-A

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Are you there, God? Oh, wait…

…I forgot. I haven’t done the whole ‘god’ thing in circa twenty years. So maybe I should say ‘universe’ or something less religion specific.

I sit here, as my dinner slowly burns on the range, with my fingers hovering over this neon blue keyboard attempting to articulate the myriad of thoughts devouring my brain. I am consumed with to many it’s become hard to sift through them all–searching for the right train of thought.

Frustrating building, I’m now calling to the heavens for guidance.

My writing inspiration seems to be an situation of ‘all or nothing.’ Either I have so many ideas I’m lost (like right now,) or it’s a blank desert–endless miles of dust mote dunes suffocating my brain. If only I could find a trigger… Oh, wait!! (again!) I entered a contest. I did! I entered #PitchWars, and now I have a list longer than the Mississippi to choose from.

Here is my question for you, my lovely readers. How do you choose your projects? What is your process? Normally, mine is I wait until an idea keeps me up at night–but I have a bit quandary, for I have a WIP that needs tending, another MS plotting on a promise–and then there’s the one that’s keeping me up.

Do you see what the problem is? What should I do?!

So, now you are god (this could go poorly quickly, but lets do it any way.) All of the help you provide (aka–advice) is greatly appreciated!

Now–if you’re also entered Pitch Wars, I wish you luck! And to everyone else. Happy Writing!!

xx-

-A

 

 

Writing, querying, PitMad, & words

What is in a name? Shakespeare. He had Romeo ask  that very question as he looked over a thorny rose–trying to convince himself what he was doing was right.

A few nights ago I asked a writer friend of mine what inspired him. What made him want to write? For me it’s everything. Maybe I’ve heard a name that interests me in a way that I’m compelled to attache a fictitious body to it. Then, I collect these imaginary people in my head. I leave them there to stew. Some survive. Some are forgotten.

But maybe it’s not a name, but a situation. An overheard comment. A dream.

Writing is a salve that cools and heals the life around me. My WIPs are made up of all those words I didn’t say at the right moment.

I don’t know how long I’ve been working on my latest project, THE TRIALS OF IMOGEN GRACE. I wrote the first draft two years ago. I’ve change the POV three times, and done countless edits and rewrites. And now…now I’ve entered the Query pit. The endless bit of sending off letters, chapters, pages, fulls, halfs, synopsis, pitched–all ties to hopes and prayers.

If you write, you know what I’m talking about.

The last time I did this–sent queries–was much harder. This time I feel different. Not as hopeless. Yes, I’ve received more rejections than not–but still–I’m not sure why I’m so calm. It’s refreshing. haha…

If you’re out there writing–don’t give up. I wish you luck! The same goes to those sending endless queries and everything else writing related. Follow your dreams, my friends. Life is to short for, ‘I wish I had.’

For Shakespeare also said, ‘To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.’

One can only care so much

This is the truth.

One can really only care so much

Because reality won’t let you care about stupid for too long

If you do

You’ll go mad

If you think too much

You’re brain will fry

Most of the shit I see on the internet

Is nothing more than fodder

It’s trash

Basic lies created to make you feel something you shouldn’t

Ashamed

Angry

Uncomfortable

Everyone with a blog is a fucking expert now a days.

Guess that makes me brilliant

But then again, I know it doesn’t

Because at the end of the day, I know my limitations

When we spend our time caring about things

Other people think we should find important

We only waste our time

Time is precious my friend

It’s like land

There is only so much, and they’re not making more

Using it to get angry about the errant stupidity of the world

Will only lessen the amount you have

So care less, my friends

Care little

Save your energy for things that are important

Realize you are allowed to have an opinion–yet not allowed to shove it up everyone else’s butts

Life it too short for bullshit

But it’s just right for a nap

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The_Guernsey_Literary_and_Potato_Peel_Pie_SocietyI have a strange affection towards the second world war. I blame it on growing up in a family obsessed with history, coupled with being born in the grandchild generation of those who fought in WWII.

My High School History teacher’s father piloted a B-29 Superfortres, and one of the teachers at a brother school (I went to private all girl school) dedicated entire semesters discussing the happenings in the “Second Great War.”

As an adult my interest comes and goes. I’ve read my share of history books. (I recommend And If I Perish, which centers on American nurses of WWII.) But I haven’t gone out of my way to find books in the Historical Fiction genre on the topic.

There is no definitive reason for this. I read all over the spectrum, but WWII just hasn’t really come up – until I was handed “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” (written by: Annie Barrows, Mary Ann Shaffer)

Lately, every book I read is one someone has shoved into my hands. My reading partners range from age 10 – 60+, so anything from middle grade on up is fair game. As luck would have it, one of them handed me this gem.

Set in post-WWII UK – the book is a series of letters between Juliet Ashton, a writer who published a witty column that ran during the war, and myriad of other people. Some old friends, some new lovers, and then there is the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Opening with Juliet in London and later moving to the island of Guernsey–it is a lovely story about love, friendship, and the perils of war. If you are unaware, Guernsey, along with the other Channel Islands, were occupied by the Nazis during the war. This book–tGLaPPPS–introduces you to a world filled with colorful characters, and tackles life during the war from a different angle.

Basically, I’m doing a terrible job of selling this book to you, so I’ll put it another way. I, very much, didn’t want it to end, and when it did, I had a book hangover for two days. It was so wonderful, I hope it will never be made into a movie–that will ruin it for sure.

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There are so many catch phrases or one liners out there. The same words regurgitated repeatedly until they lose their meaning.

I find I use all of them. All.

Metaphor after metaphor. Line after line. Soliloquy on a page trapped in a vacuum known as the internet; a living thing called a blog.

We all need to have our own live action digital magazines.

Editing lost out the moment we claimed ourselves writers, artists, photographers, and independently published genius. The rooms are so crowded no one can get through–we all suffocated together.

I lost my breath years ago.

…somewhere shy of midnight…

I sit, leaning back in a worn and damaged swivel chair, palms resting on the equally frayed desk. Fingers cramped–because I know better, but still don’t care.

I sit, knees pressed together pulled up into my chest–because I’m sure that’s how Dickens’ did it, too.

I sit. I sit. I sit and I write. I write. I write, because that’s was the advice I received. My feedback. My life line.

And when I’m not sitting I pray my words capture more than the one-liners and worn out metaphors. That they are like, “a light in a sea of darkness.” (see, there’s one now.) And I hope I don’t shrivel up, but secretly I know I won’t.

I haven’t before.

I won’t now.

So I close my ears, squeeze my eyes shut, and tell myself tomorrow will be better. Because it has to be. Because I said so.

And then I write some more.

Delete is the greatest key designed. Backspace is a close sentence. And cntrl X has it’s moments, too. But never around worn out metaphors, and some times when a soliloquy when it runs to long. (and you forgot why you started in the first place.)

W.I.P.

My ode to writing and publishing…

W.I.P

nonsense

the words

the actions

the time it takes to get out of bed

yet here I am

unraveling a ball of twine

the chaos model of my life

the beginning

frayed

unraveling

the end

hidden

somewhere in the middle

suffocated by layers

its supposed to be something

when isn’t it?

I wrestle

submissive

my machete is to dull

for the war playing in front of me

what will I cut through the vines with?

sarcastic interludes

satirical fodder

“air quotes”

those aren’t a weapon

they’re the fuel

this is why I never look up

better to look down

blinders on

eyes on the keys

on the page

on the indelible black ink

that is my life source

better than coffee

some days

Writing Platforms

googledocstutoI have spent most of my writing life hashing it out in notebooks and in MS Word. A lot of the time I mix the two mediums, using had written notes to help me plot and arrange ideas for “actual” writing, but I always end up in Word when it’s time to get the words out. Until recently, it never entered my mind to try something new.

Yes, I’ve looked at Scrivener– but wasn’t sold. It felt like spending a lot of money on a program that doesn’t really fit my writing process.

I even checked out a free program called yWriter– but couldn’t find one that would work on my Mac. My Mac is old.

Once, I had MS Office for Mac on my computer, but as I’ve stated, my Mac is old and the software was old and it was causing more problems than helping me follow my train of thought. (aka listen to the voices in my head) Like a small child, the voices wanted to be kept some place secure, and not live in fear of accidentally being deleted because I changed formats.

Most days, I write on an old laptop unencumbered with an internet connection. This keeps me focused and on point. I don’t go to Facebook or check my Twitter page, because I would have to physically move to another computer our get my phone. This seems idea, but technology upgrades more rapidly than germs during flu season.

So, now I’m trying something new. I am writing a story in Google Docs. The jury is still out on how I feel about this, but with GD being online, it will update for FREE (my favorite price) and it won’t bog down my old (ancient) computer.

Is this brilliant or plain crazy? I’m not sure… but I will find out.

How do you write? What is your process? Are you 100% digital, or do you still use pen and paper? And, if you do use specialized writers software, which is your favorite? Do tell!

Best,

Aryn

Blank Screen

I would like to take this moment to sit here and stare at a blank white screen. There. Now I feel better.

I shall sprinkle some lovely words:

  • Juxtapose
  • Cacophony
  • Polymathy
  • Belie
  • Viridescent

And mix!Voila! Masterpiece (theater, because let’s be honest… I haven’t seen last nights Downton Abbey yet, and that’s where I’d rather be. But, alas, my son has commandeered the television, so I must wait. I hate waiting. Waiting is annoying.)

Back to staring at the screen.

In case you’ve ever wondered what my “writing process” is, see above. I don’t run to facebook as much as I run to PBS. Does this make me a better writer? No, but it makes me a happier person and THAT makes me a better writer. (I tell myself to ease the guilt.)

I HAVE NO WRITING NEWS TO REPORT!

That said, I will be helping with a few blog tours. So if you, my lovely, looking for a place to stop- give me a shout.

Hope you’re well.

Off to stare at the screen again.

Cursor. Blink. Blink. Blink.