Weekend Coffee Share: The Last Moments of Summer

Good morning,

If we were having coffee, we would be at Starbucks right now. Thought it would be nice to have a change of pace. I usually get a frappuccino whenever I’m here.

I’m still a little beat after yesterday. Actually, the past week. Kind of a last hurrah before Zoe starts school this week. Continue reading “Weekend Coffee Share: The Last Moments of Summer”

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Growing One Follower at a Time

This is indeed a joyous occasion. This week, I reached a milestone. I have 200 followers on my blog. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s kind of a big deal. I understand if I reached 500, I’d be raising banners or something. But I’ll take it for what it’s worth. 200 followers is something I didn’t think would happen. Hell, I thought I would never reach 100 followers. It’s been a slow process. And I’m sure along the way, I lost some followers. Continue reading “Growing One Follower at a Time”

Weekend Coffee Share: Life in Progress

Good afternoon,

It’s nice to see you again. It’s been very busy around here. We’re counting down the days until Zoe goes back to school. She’s been having friends come over lately. I’ve been busy with both of my jobs, as well as maintaining the yard. It’s nice to get a little break. I picked up a Caramel Frappuccino from Starbucks this morning, so I’m not really hungry. But help yourself to some coffee, orange juice, water. Whatever you want.

So, if we were having coffee, first thing to discuss is the living situation. Continue reading “Weekend Coffee Share: Life in Progress”

Weekend Coffee Share: Moving? Not Moving?

Good afternoon.

How is everyone? Sorry for being absent the past couple of weeks. It’s been kind of stressful. But more on that in a minute. Meanwhile, help yourself to some coffee. We recently restocked on San Francisco Bay K-cups. They’re very good. And we have almond creamer.

Now that we’re set…

Like I said, we’ve been going through a lot these past couple of weeks. Continue reading “Weekend Coffee Share: Moving? Not Moving?”

2017 Midyear Update: An IWSG Post

Good morning,

The first Wednesday of the month has arrived. So, it’s time for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. For those unfamiliar with this, bloggers all over post something the first Wednesday of the month, sharing something about their writing journey. The purpose is to encourage writers of all levels. If you want more information, click on the link here.

So, the bloggers of the IWSG have options. We can share something original or can answer a question provided by the group leaders. Today, seeing as we’re midway through the year, I thought I’d share what I’ve been up to thus far.

At the beginning of the year, I kept my goals to myself. I thought there was no need to put my business out there because it meant I wouldn’t be as disappointed if I failed to meet my goals. But three months ago, in another IWSG post, I did. I had to share my goals. I needed encouragement, yes, but I also needed accountability. And I thought that by posting my intentions, people would read it and volunteer to hold me to what I set out to do. I had a few people step up after the post. But I’m always searching for more.

All right, enough of the prelude. I set four goals this year. Here’s the progress report. 

Write a short story outside my genre. I kind of put a halt on this goal. I did write a draft of a science-fiction story, but it’s been only the first draft. I haven’t started the second draft. But I’m looking to start a new story in another genre. Maybe fantasy. Maybe adventure. Haven’t decided yet.

Submit a short story to a magazine or contest. I just about gave up on this goal, but thanks to one of my Twitter friends, Julie, I decided to pick this goal back up. She gave me a website that had a database of contests and magazines I could submit my work to. I’m sure many of you have heard of it, Poets and Writers. I have it bookmarked on all my electronic devices. So I’m still trying to decide on where to send my work. 

Compile stories for a short story series. I have one story written, but am working on more. I almost gave up on this goal as well, especially given my track record. But I’m pushing through. I am bound and determined to make this happen. 

Write a short story a month. Out of the four initial goals, this is one where I haven’t done so well. I’ve lost track on how many stories I’ve done, but I know it’s not where I hoped I would be.

Honestly, I could have done better with the progress of these goals. In between the last update and this one, I about gave up on writing for some dumb reasons. The biggest was that I wasn’t writing every day. I’m part of a writing club on Facebook where you record word counts each day. In the month of May, I recorded more zeroes than in previous months. Some days I recorded back-to-back zeroes. In addition, I felt like I was getting a lot of support in what I was writing: contemporary short stories. And I posted my frustrations on both on social media.

I acknowledge the stupidity of those reasons. And I say stupid because after my rants, I was reminded of the support I have from fellow writers, even though they write works that are different from mine. And it also helped that I followed some friends’ advice to search outside the box, especially on Twitter.

Like I said, I feel like I made some slow progress on the initial four. But I developed some new goals along the way. 

Write a short story a week. This wasn’t something I initially thought about doing. It’s hard enough to write a draft, edit, and compose a polished piece in a month. Doing it all in a week sounds near impossible. And yet, I keep hearing that it’s possible for writers to write a short story in a week. So, I’m going to try it. I have a bunch of prompts I’ve pulled from Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook (thanks to the 365 Writing Club), and searching Google. And the prompts vary in genre. So I am going to pick the four that scream to me to be written. I’ve already started one. Wish me luck on the rest. 

Read a book outside my genre. I wrote a post about this a few weeks ago. To summarize, I regretted not reading more books outside of school requirements and I’m trying to make up for it. Reading more leads to writing more and writing better, as it has been quoted numerous times. And my thought is that if I am to write outside my genre, I need to know some things about those genres that interest me. Research is involved, yes, but I think it’s going to take reading and studying the stories to learn what works and what doesn’t. I got some good suggestions from some fellow bloggers. And I’m on the hunt for more leads. 

Write every day for a month. This sounds generic and highly unlikely. I joined the afore mentioned Facebook club with the intent to write every day. But that May, I lost sight of the purpose of the club: to build a healthy, realistic writing routine. So, this month, I’m going into writing every day with that mindset. And it helps that I have some friends on Twitter that are going to hold me and each other accountable.

Well, that’s where I stand halfway through the year. I want to hear from you, my fellow writers and bloggers. 

Where are you as far as your writing journey goes? Is there anything I can do to encourage you? Do you need an accountability partner? Please let me know in the comments. Whatever you need, I’m here. Let’s help each other.

Until next time, take care…

Independence Day

I read a post where The Write Practice introduced some prompts about Indepence Day. I decided on the second prompt: writing a scene where a character celebrates a holiday or occasion. I figured it would be a good idea to give some insight into Alex Powers, one of the central characters of my short story project.

Here goes:

I don’t do well with holidays, especially the Fourth of July. Dad says it’s just an excuse to be lazy. I find that contradicting as he stands in front of the charcoal grill he’s had for twenty years, roasting hot dogs, chicken, ribs. All the meaty stuff. A couple of his friends surround him, part of the crew from high school, I guess. 

I sit on the patio, a cooler in hand. Tyson plays with the neighborhood kids. Brandy chats with Sean and his latest squeeze, some golden Egyptian girl he met online. I see neighbors across the street with their grills. It’s like a friendly neighborhood competition. Who can snag the most guests?

I remember the Fourth of July when I was ten. Dad and Mom were huddled around the grill she bought for him as an anniversary present. They were so lovey-dovey, kissing each other all the time. It kind of made me sick, but in a good day. 

That evening, we drove to the park to watch fireworks. For some reason, they weren’t speaking. Dad didn’t have the radio playing. I didn’t think anything of it. I doubt Sean cared, either. When we arrived, we grabbed our lawn chairs and just held onto them. All the best spots were taken. That’s when I heard Mom and Dad speak. They were arguing about something. A lot of things, actually. I wondered what was going on, but Sean, being the slightly older brother, stopped me. He told me to not interrupt them. So I didn’t. Besides, the exploding fireworks muffled whatever conversations transpired. 

When we got back, Mom got out the car. Dad stayed in and turned to us. Sean was asleep. I, surprisingly, wasn’t. 

“Boys,” he said. “I’m sorry to tell you this, but your mother and I have decided to separate for a while.”

I knew what that meant, what that would eventually mean. But it was the fact that Dad apologized first that threw me off. I had never known Dad to apologize for anything he’d ever said or done. That floored me more than anything else. 

Dad doesn’t talk it much. I think it brings up bad memories, and that’s saying something about him.