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Dear Future Me…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY YEAR OLDER ME!

it’s me, year younger you!

I hope the year has been amazing and that you’ve learned a lot and done some wicked awesome things. This time last year, you’d just bought a condo and were sorting out that whole ‘adulting’ thing. I bet you’re still figuring it out (I don’t think anyone ever really totally figures it out).

I hope this year you’ve written some amazing stories, finished writing a few novels, and spent a lot of time reading and snuggling with the cats. ( Please only have 2 cats still. At cat overload capacity already)

The new condo is still awesome I bet. Did you get everything painted or is the kitchen still that weird yellow?

How was GenCon? I hope it’s as awesome as it sounds and I hope that you’re going to another cool convention this year too!

Maybe you’re going to the gym regularly now too? I mean there is one right across the street from the new place future self…

I know no matter what you’ve done a tone of things. A lot can change in a year and I can’t wait to meet you in 2016!

Happy birthday!

2015 Andrea

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Five Ways to Keep Writing While Stressed

So I just finished moving and somehow managed to not pull out all of my hair even though I really wanted to. Along the past month I spent a lot of time stressed out and trying to hit a deadline with an office in boxes. So here I am back with a blog post about writing when stressed out and some tips that helped me live through box fort island.

Moving Mess

CHAOS FOREVER

1. Write first thing.

Get out of bed even just 15 minutes early and use that time to write. It’s easy to get drowned in the chaos of the day and stress. But if you get some words down before the rest of the day can beat you up then you can get some great work done.

2. Writing sprints.

Another way to get some writing in is to just do a writing sprint for 10-15 minutes. Waiting for the next appointment and have some down time? Grab your phone, tablet or paper and write. It’s impressive how much you can get done in these little chunks. I started writing on the train ride to work to just get words down.

3. Break out.

Go somewhere new and spend time writing. Getting out of a stressful environment can help you get some writing done. (Please don’t actually break anything)

4. Put it on your calendar.

Make a date with your laptop and commit to it. Block it off on your calendar and stick to it. This can be tough to manage but it’s incredibly effective.

5. Don’t.

I know, I know! But sometimes there really is too much going on and you need to accept that words are not happening. Don’t beat yourself up about it and don’t say anything mean to yourself. It’s ok.

Those are a few pointers for writing while stressed but I’d love to know your tips.

Hiatus!

In super exciting news… I’m buying a condo!

So I’m putting my blog on hiatus until I’ve moved.

I’ll be back in July! Wish me luck with closing and the move!

Let’s Stretch!

One of the downfalls of the writing life (and a lot of office jobs) is the amount of time spent sitting on a computer typing. Back and hip pain is common, and carpel tunnel is a concern for many writers.

I’ve compiled a few of my favorite stretching videos so you can keep flexible.  So, in the words of Jeremy Renner…

Hands, and wrists:

Shoulders:

Hips:

Lower Back:

Those are just a few of my favorite stretching videos. Do you have any videos that help with stretching?

Fandom First: I ship it!

When people talk about fandom, one of the first things that pop into their heads is about fanfiction, and fanart. While some of these works are more general adventure stories a large amount of fan work is based on a ship or a romantic pairing of characters. (Ship is shortened from relationship).

Shipping first reached documented ‘mainstream’ with Kirk and Spock in the 1960s though the term shipping was first used by fans of the X-files wanting Mulder and Scully to finally get together. The advent and rise of the internet spread shipping as now fans were able to better find others to talk about their pairings, and a better space to share their works with wider audiences.

Many ships come up with their own name, usually a portmanteau of the two characters name, such as Drarry (Draco and Harry from Harry Potter), Korrasami (Korra and Asami from Legend of Korra), and Sherlolly (Sherlock and Molly from the BBC’s Sherlock). This also happens with celebrity couples in Hollywood gossip magazines like Bennifer (Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck) and Kimye (Kim Kardashian and Kanye West) are just a few examples.

However, some ship names aren’t quite so obvious like frostiron (Loki and Tony Stark from the Marvel Cinematic Universe) where it’s the combination of Iron Man and Loki being a frost giant; JavaJunkie (Luke and Lorelai from Gilmore Girls) which is based on their mutual coffee obsessions and coffee shop meet ups. These names come from idiosyncrasies within the shows that fans know. This naming can make many ship names appear to be nonsensical to non-fans. These names help fans organize, tag, and find new work. Many of these tags become their own community of fans who share fanworks, thoughts, and personal information.

Many pairings use multiple names and there can be discord within the community of shippers about which name is the correct name. To avoid confusion, some also label fanwork “Character A X Character B” to let others know exactly who the pairing is without relaying on a ship name.

The terms, OTP, BrOTP, OT3, and OT4 (and probably onwards to infinity) come up frequently in ships. OTP is a ‘One True Pairing’ while a BrOTP is a portmanteau of ‘Bromance’ (a friendship between two people) and OTP to mean a best friendship while OT3 and OT4 are for three or four characters involved with one another.

So why do people ship?

The reasons range widely from person to person. For some, it’s a safe way to explore relationships and sexuality, for others it’s wish fulfillment, for others it’s a way to bring lgbtqia representation to their media. For some it’s a social activity and a way to complete creative works and have a built in audience.

Regardless of the whys behind shipping, it’s clear that relationships are here to stay as an important and vibrant part of the fandom community.

Setting A Project Aside

I am 100% for finishing what you start and powering through to the end. However, recently I had to put a project I was very excited about into a drawer and now, I’m just letting it simmer.

I wrote the first draft of a YA novel that I think has some great potential. The plan was for me to let it sit for a few weeks and then get back to work on rewrites. When that day came, I stared at the first draft and realized that I still had no clue what to do with it.

I had huge plot problems where I couldn’t decide between two very different story lines, and I still didn’t know where the story was going. The excitement had vanished, and all that I had left was a whole lot of frustration and no action.

So I’ve decided to put the project aside and work on another project that I’ve had in my mind for a while, but it still burns to not be working straight through to finish my YA novel.

Hopefully in next few months, ideas will click back into place and I’ll be on that train once again!

What do you do when a project needs to be set aside?

Writing Spaces

A writer’s space is one of the places he or she will spend the most time. While I know a lot of writers who tend to write in more public spaces like Starbucks (or other coffee shops) I also know a lot who work at a particular desk day after day. These desks tend to reflect a lot of the wrter within the space so I thought it would be neat to show what my writing space looks like.

… continue reading this entry.

Nanowrimo Lessons

So Nanowrimo has officially been over for over a week. To everyone who reached 50,000 words, well done! To everyone who made an effort and wrote their heart out, awesome job! 

To me Nanowrimo has never been about the finish line. It’s never about getting 50k in a month: it’s about remembering that I can write every day and that there is a supportive community of writers out there.

So, to everyone who wrote for Nanowrimo, I hope you’re still writing every day. I hope you remember the excitement of it, the thrill of coming up with something new to say every day, and that you remember the days you didn’t want to write a thing but that you still put fingers to keyboard (or pen to paper or ya know… whatever you do to write!).

Remembering the times you wrote when you didn’t want to, when you were tired or uninspired, are what is the most important thing to take from Nanowrimo. Writing isn’t easy; it isn’t a simple, easy task. It requires giving up time from other areas of your life, and putting it into stories, and words that you believe in day after day.

For me, Nanowrimo is about remembering that writing is work, not about sitting and waiting for the perfect time to write. If you don’t make the time, you’re never going to just find it hiding under the couch.

…unless of course you live above a time temporal anomaly and that sort of things hides under your couch. 

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

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The novel follows a tale of what other creatures think will make us happy, and the terrible consequences that it brings. A young boy finds himself tied into a timeless world of wonder, monsters, and delicious jam. He and his friend must find a way to send the creature home before it’s too late.

Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Line is like a spider web. It dares you to touch it, and be tangled into the delicate, binding world that Gaiman crafts. There are times it fades away into something just out of reach, and then, a beam of light catches it just right and the entire thing lights up with an otherworldy glow that is both terrifying and alluring.

There are other moments that the story takes you off guard, the reader walking into it unexpectedly, fighting, kicking to get the sticky tendrils off, but the story stays, clinging to skin, bone and soul long after it’s been read. You can feel the webs curling around your  skin, tieing around your bones, and  lingering long after the moment has passed.

There’s something delicate and wistful about the story; something not fully formed like half-remembered thoughts and moments tied together with the delicacy  and strength of a spiderweb. It’s terrifying, endearing, and a breathtaking at an unbelievably fantastical childhood.

 

Call for Guest Blogs

Happy Saturday!!

I’m looking for people interested in writing a guest blog to be featured on here. Topics can be anything writing related, and I’ve even got a great series of questions if you’d rather be interviewed.

I love being able to feature other writers up here, and I’ve only got a few guest posts for the next few months so I’m looking to expand on that.

Comment if you’re interested!

 

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