Sitting alone in the dark, awake because sleep has fled, the shadows live. In the corner of your eye, a figure passes the window. Or is the cat on the ledge? What is it that lives in the darkness? Is it a nameless whisper that grabs your ankles when you’re awakened by a dream? Is it a lonely creature that only wants a friend? Is it a hungry swarm that leaves haunted skeletons, endlessly echoing their final words?
Listen, my friend, for I am the nightlight by your bed. I watch over you as you sleep, and the shadows are my children. Without me, there would be no shadows. They do not come to harm, though much they do hide. The velvety cloak of night masks the world to set you free. When blinded we are by hard-edged light, we cannot see potential. We only see what is. The black canvas of the night paints many pictures, both good and bad.
The shadows are the possibilities of the night bleeding into your world of light. Do not think of them as fiends and specters, but mischievous sprites, determined to mislead or enchant, it matters not which. If you take their hands, what dreams you may have! Is that shadow in your eye a monstrous nightmare? Or a fairy tale sneaking you off to magic lands? Who knows!
Recently, my boss and I had a random little conversation about vocabulary and words that people never use. It began with her using the word daunting and me commenting on how much I liked that word (not simply for its connection to Dauntless and the Divergent series). Then I told her some other cool words that I’d found recently:
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Remember my post, “In Defense of Said“? In case you thought I was joking, one of the things that inspired that post just popped back up on my Pinterest feed. I want to repin it and add a comment about how absurd some of these things are, but I don’t want to risk spreading the absurdity, lest anyone think I’m repinning it because I actually believe it.
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A friend asked me if I ever plan on writing anything deeper than what I usually write. Aside from the fact that I prefer to make people laugh, and that I strongly believe that continuously pointing out the problems in the world without endeavoring to offer a solution (which I don’t exactly have) only adds to those problems, I usually just write about whatever’s going on in my life and the thoughts that come of that. For example, “Limited Social Capacity” was motivated by the fact that I was going to take a walk with a friend and then she invited one of her friends to join us without giving me advance warning (the time appointed doesn’t count as advance warning), much to my chagrin.
Unfortunately, recent events have been a little bit too deep to share in a general blog like this one. Hence the lack of posts for several weeks—or however long it’s been. I had things to say, but I just didn’t want to explain them as fully as the context demanded. However, there is one deep thing that I am willing to share.
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When you’ve expressed interest in writing, especially on Pinterest, you get a lot of suggestions for writing in your feed—writing prompts, tips and tricks for overcoming writer’s block, and do’s and don’t’s. Writing prompts are fun (a friend of mine semi-recently wrote a blog post about How to Use a Story Prompt, which I think is important information, though I never had that misconception myself), and tips and tricks can be useful depending on who you are, but the do’s and don’t’s?
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A friend of mine who also blogs, puzzledustblog, told me about her blogging process. She starts a bunch of drafts and doesn’t finish them, and on posting day, she finishes one and publishes that.
This was a practically unheard of practice to me. Yet it makes so much sense if you want to post regularly. And now, just like that, I have 3 drafts and 4 scheduled posts (those numbers may change once I finish and schedule this post). Not sure how that happened. Previously, I’d written all of my blog posts and published them once I finished them, all on the same day. Must be a hold over from writing papers. Because 90% of the papers that I have written were written the day/night before… or, in some cases, the morning of. I’ll never forget the day that I wrote a 5000 word research paper in the 24 hours before it was due.
Who knew that you could write things ahead of time?
Rather than canon balling into the deep end of my new job, I feel like I’ve gradually eased into it. If I haven’t said (or you don’t remember), I’m a copywriter now. (When I’m talking to people, I always stop and spell it, because they usually think I’m talking about copyrighting.) So I write advertisements, descriptions, announcements, and other various things that don’t have my name attached to them.
Initially, everyone wanted to set me loose and let me write whatever without giving me anything besides the basic directions. I think the idea was to see what I’m capable of.
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As I’ve begun to develop Freak Accidents more, I’ve found myself wanting to keep developing it and to keep writing it. A friend suggested that I pace myself, so I’m writing a normal post before I continue on with the next installment.
When I started this project, all I had was a tiny idea—a group of friends talking about having powers and getting each other’s by accident. I didn’t have any ideas about the characters or who they were or what they were like. It’s amazing to see how much the idea has grown in my head over the last few weeks (I know, I started it a long time ago, but I got hung up on some details, so essentially I’m picking up where I left off). I’m looking forward to seeing it grow in the blog, too. Because what I see in my head will definitely not be how it comes out in the blog. Why does everything come out so much less amazing when you’re typing it out?
I will apologize for making it first person across the board. I like first person. I’m using it as an exercise in distinguishing characters by their individual voices (and I’ve started labeling each section so you know who’s speaking from the get-go). Robbie and Kerry think in similar ways, so their voices are similar, but Angie generally thinks in complete sentences with fewer interrupted thoughts. It makes for longer writing.
If you’re new to my blog and haven’t the foggiest idea what I’m talking about, please check out the Freak Accidents tab at the top of the page/in the menu and start with “More than a Mistake” to read my ongoing superhero story.
During the protracted gap between “Power Test” and “Montage,” I got stuck on how to continue on with the story. I knew that Kerry needed to have some kind of an experience with her abilities to get past her fears. For the longest time, I was determined that that experience would be saving someone. My hang-up was that I didn’t know who she would save. Where would there be a fire that she would willingly go into that would also have one single unsuspecting victim needing rescuing?
In the way I had it worked out earlier, she found a random guy tied up in a room in the burning mill. And I kept thinking, “That’s no good, now everybody is going to think he’s important, but he’s just a plot device.”
Then I remembered that I’d decided that she didn’t need to rescue someone, she just needed to experience her powers more fully and understand them, because she’s really just an adrenaline junky at heart. And then I’d thought that it had already published, but apparently, I don’t actually know how WordPress works and it didn’t publish when I told it to. So I changed it and published the correct version.
I’m just making this post to state that since this blog is primarily about developing writing ability, if I have a change of heart or realize that something I’ve done won’t work artistically, I will pentimento. I will repent what I’ve done before and go back and change it. This doesn’t cover typos and small errors, but it does cover bigger things like this.
I spend a lot of time on Pinterest. A lot. It’s a great way to keep track of what’s going on on tumblr without actually getting a tumblr—because honestly, if I had a tumblr, all forms of real social interaction would virtually disappear. And I see a lot of posts about people wishing that this story or that movie isn’t all about this love interest or that love triangle. And I get that. I do. But honestly? I don’t wish that. What I wish is that there were more real love stories out there. I wish that the action movies wouldn’t belittle the love story by making it a 2-second, here’s-your-cursory-love-story-are-you-satisfied-now addition. And I wish that the “real” love stories weren’t these sappy, wishy-washy, empty stories that claim to be about love.
If the Greatest Story Ever Told is basically a love story, doesn’t that justify us spending more of our time fleshing out real ones?
Then by all means, create an epic adventure tale that, at its core, hinges on the love one person holds for another, whether filial, philial, or romantic. And that just gave me a great idea!