Daily Prompt: Ripped Into the Headline*

Write about something that happened over the weekend as thought it’s the top story on your local paper.

Photographers, artists, poets show us something from your WEEKEND.

It began innocently enough in the M household.  “June Gloom” was in full force and the family ate a late breakfast of eggs and sausage washed down with coffee, though for the toddler, it was a glass of chocolate almond milk, which had been recommended as a replacement for regular milk due to certain food sensitivities.

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The ‘festivities’ began shortly after the dishes were put away and everyone settled in for a relaxing Sunday.  First Mr. M turned on the television set after Little M announced that he wanted “MI5” to play on the screen.  And so Season 8, episode 7 of MI5/Spooks began.  Halfway through the episode, as Lucas North berated and bullied a young 17-year old who had infiltrated a Hindu sect,  Mr. M was observed shouting and grumbling back at Mr. North, admonishing him about being “too hard on the kid.”

This was followed by the finale episode of Season 8 of the same show in question.  Mr. M, exhausted from his one-sided exchange with Mr. North (who wasn’t available for comment), was unable to follow the storyline as Mr. North “lost it” after CIA operative and Nightingale co-conspirator (and erstwhile bed-mate), Sarah Caulfield, lost her life.  Mr. M was actually observed drifting off to sleep on the sofa despite the tense musical score and a building exploding onscreen.

However, when the end credits rolled, Mr. M was heard saying that he would review the episode at a later time after he’d finished processing Mr. North’s “misplaced anger issues.”  Mrs. M suggested that maybe Mr. North was simply grieving the death of someone he loved though Mr. M admitted that he was not a fan of Miss Caulfield’s “frozen face.”

“Lucas North,” he aded, “I have no problem with.  He channels anger very well.”

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After a very late lunch, Little M announced that he wanted to watch “The Hobbit” on the screen and this request was promptly acknowledged.  Almost towards the end of the movie, Little M was later observed to appear distressed as Mr. Thorin Oakenshield took a beating from the white orc Azog.  Little M was heard saying again and again, “Poor Richard-baby” even after “the angry birds” took the beaten up Mr. Oakenshield on top of a crag.

All this, to the horror of Mrs. M, who quickly denied ever teaching Little M to say such a thing as “poor Richard-baby,” however she suspects that Mr. M might be involved in this conspiracy.  She also added that Little M “was simply sympathizing in Rich-, I mean, Thorin’s plight.”

Mr. Oakenshield was not available for comment.

Fortunately for this loving family, June Gloom finally lifted and they all turned off the television set, but only after Little M requested Mrs. M to sing the song “Misty Mountains” by Neil Finn as the end credits of “The Hobbit” rolled.  They then went outside of the house to enjoy some much-deserved pool time and raking of the yard before Mr. M indulged in another viewing of Strike Back with Mr. John Porter.

Apparently, it was just another Richard Armitage day in this unsuspecting household, though Mr. M was overheard saying that he was not a fan of Mr. Armitage.

Mr. Armitage, however, was unavailable for comment.

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*My apologies to non-Richard Armitage fans out there.

Daily Prompt

Pantser or a Plotter?

Someone asked me this today on Twitter and although I’ve never heard of the first term, since we were talking about writing, I figured it out right away.

And so I answered that I am a “seat of your pants” type of writer these days – a pantser.

I used to be a plotter – oh was I ever!  I plotted everything from the beginning of the story to kingdom come, till the cows came home and till the ink ran dry from both my pen and my mind, and I was left too dry and too exhausted to actually write out the damn story.

Sometimes it would happen in the middle of the story, by the time I’d reach 25K words, and once, when I reached 65K.  I plotted so much that I actually ran out of steam, and fall out of love for my technically drawn out characters and all their character arcs.  Oh, the tables and the charts would all be filled out, but the writing page would end up…empty.

And so, after almost ten years of not writing – totally burned out and besides, I had a real life to tend to, a baby to birth, etc. – I picked up the pen and began writing again.

Armed with my new iPad (this was a year and a half ago) and all the writing apps I could get my hands (and wallet) on, I started plotting…and plotting…and plotting.  I had story boarding apps, index card apps, even writing complete with music apps.

But my writing was dry and devoid of that oomph that comes with writing that seems just so organic, as if words just flowed freely from my pen, or from the artery that I’d just cut deep enough to produce a healthy flow of creative juices.

Then I came across this quote by Ray Bradbury:

Jump and unfold your wings as you fall

It told me about writing organically, just allowing words to flow through your fingers, just letting them all hang out.  And maybe later on, I could just trim them down or add to it, but at least there was something real on the page.

I also got rid of all those damn apps.

I started with a paranormal novel and looking back now – this was begun in September 2012 – I wrote without a muse inside my head.  Just faceless creatures walking to and fro reciting dialogue as I wrote – dialogue that was actually really good, but impersonal.

I was too afraid to put faces to the characters then, afraid that I would revert back to my old ways of plotting till the ink well ran dry and I’d fall out of love with the faces I’d chosen.

But being organic in my writing also meant welcoming new ideas in, allowing things that used to scare me back into my life.  It meant allowing a new muse to enter the threshold of my ‘mind palace’ and feel at home – and be an inspiration for me.

It meant that I needed to find him, and let him in.

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So these days, I can definitely say I’m an organic, seat-of-my-pants type of writer, one who has let the muse into her life and allows herself to play with words each and every day, even when the plots that form on the page often go on overdrive and become a bit too wild and crazy at times – but at least I can rein them all in later.

Plotting for me has become like making a sandwich.  I have the two pieces of bread to start with – my beginning and my end – and what goes inside, the filling, I fill it up as I go – as long as the goal is the same – to make it to the second piece of bread, that ending that I had loosely ‘written’ or thought out inside my head.

And so if you’re reading my stories these days, you’ll probably be asking yourself, ‘what is she thinking?’ or ‘where the hell is this going?’.

And the answer is – it’s a journey that begun at the beginning and is making its way to the end.  And along the way, you and I are simply on this one huge adventure – with you as the reader, and me, as its writer.

And boy, am I having fun.

I hope you are, too.

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I’m Not In Control…

Sometimes the words fail me

Ray Bradbury was one of my favorite writers and I loved his work ethic and his childlike enthusiasm in entertaining the muse simply by writing and writing and writing till the muse grew tired.

And as for my muse, well, he still keeps me going even long after I stop writing, and for that I’m grateful.  It’s also cheap entertainment.

Tying Up Loose Ends with “Broken”

I’m at the point of my story Broken where I really need to end it and give my characters some peace and quiet and maybe even a happy ending (that way I can move on to my novel).

In 21 chapters, I ended up with so many plots and sub-plots that there are just too many ends that need tying up into a nice big bow – and still manage to pull off something decent.  Even if it’s just fan fiction.

And so after spending too much time away from my story of Lucas and Alexa (like, 3 days – just imagine if I had to go on vacation for a week? Hasta la vista, story.  It was nice knowing you), I’m in need of a jolt to the senses in getting the ‘feels’ for Lucas to get the story flowing again.

So this is just a post (to myself, really) to remind me who my character is and just how kick-ass he is.  Not too bad to the eyes, too.

Something from my Tumblr blog today that served to kick me into high gear.  Thank you, whoever you are who posted this!
Something from my Tumblr blog today that served to kick me into high gear. Thank you, whoever you are who posted this!