30 September 2013

The End: Sapphire Blogging Challenge Lessons Learned

People rise to the occasion without hesitation when they feel inspired and challenged.
~ Lorii Myers

In September, I’m participating in the Sapphire Even Day Blogging Challenge and the Two Pages-A-Day Writing Challenge. 

as this Sapphire Even Day Blogging Challenge as good for you as it was for me?

Because I had a lot of fun meeting new writers, and weaving my own brand of Miss Interpretations on Kimberly’s writing prompts.

Wicked grin.

The other blogging challenges I’ve participated in either had no prompts, or once a week prompts.  Which presents its own kind of…well, challenge.  It was a relief to 1) only have to worry about posting an article every other day, and 2) having a writely diving board to launch from.  Kimberly paid me the greatest compliment when she said that I had taken her writing prompts in an entirely unexpected direction.

Authenticity is king for an NF.  So these words were manna for me. 

Keep Writing!
Image Credit: Nostalgia1010
And as with all the other challenges, I’ve “met” wonderful, talented, and supportive writers.  There are several new blogs I now follow that I wouldn’t have met except through this challenge.  And I learned four important lessons:

1. It pays to learn why some posts don't do as well as others.
2. When in doubt, write about it.  When in pain, write about it.  The scariest posts for me to hit "publish" on have received the most hits.  Those posts don't always give answers, but they do let the reader know they are not alone.

3. You don't have to take a prompt at face value.  Even though every plot, every situation has been written about before, no one has written about it like you have, because no one else is uniquely you.
4. Write.  Just write.  And the ink will flow.

Thank you so much, Kimberly for inviting into your circle!  And thanks to all the wonderful writers who joined in!  Hope to see y’all next September!

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

Not sure what I’ll do for October!  These challenges are the only thing keeping my fingers to the flaming keyboard!  Maybe I should host my own???

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28 September 2013

Two Pages a Day Challenge: Update #2

The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is.
Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun.
~ Benedict Cumberbatch

In September, I’m participating in the Sapphire Even Day Blogging Challenge and the Two Pages-A-Day Writing Challenge. 

t has been a while since I updated up on my other challenge and there is good reason for that.

I’ve been a very naughty writer.

Two pages a day.  Two stinking pages a day.  That’s it.  So I should now have 56 pages completed.  No biggie, right? 

I have eleven and a half.

Oh God!  The shame of it all!  The only thing worse would be if I’d already written two books of a trilogy and the project I’m now working on was the third and final book.  Well, I now have infinite compassion on authors who get berated for not putting a new book in a series out fast enough.

The Numbers
So where do things stand as of five o’clock yesterday?
Pages:                11 1/2
Word Count:   2,666 (I’m not counting the first 6 pages – it’s claptrap)
Topic:                Collection of Essays

At least now I have a topic!  And in this instance, I have to politely agree yet disagree with Mr. Cumberbatch.  Every time I tried to write fiction, dribble would come out.   Perhaps the problem is that the glorious dialogue and movie-like action that plays in my imagination looks flat and garish when it’s put down in black and white.  But it could also be that writing fiction is not my gift.

Essays however, I love.  Essays are my comfort zone.  And it is sort of what I already do here at La Belle.  So once I accepted that it was okay to write essays, I had a page of possible topics.

I’ll keep you “posted”!

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

Have a great weekend!

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27 September 2013

Confessions of a Pinterest Addict

Danny did not think coke and computers were anything alike. But Jude had seen the way people hunched over their screens, clicking the refresh button again and again, waiting for some crucial if meaningless hit of information, and he thought it was almost exactly the same.
~ Joe Hill, Heart-Shaped Box

In September, I’m participating in the Sapphire Even Day Blogging Challenge and the Two Pages-A-Day Writing Challenge. 

here should be a twelve step program for Pinners.  I’d be the first to sign up.

And the first to fall off the wagon.

What the heck is it about Pinterest?  No, I mean seriously, what is it!?  I heard whispers about it, ignored it for a long time (I already click too much on FB, now you want me to sign up for some other time eraser?!)  But finally, after many months of clean living, a friend got to me. 

Darn peer pressure!  I thought that ended in college!?

Within five minutes of setting up my account, I had five boards.  By the end of the day, ten.  Today?  Twenty-seven.  And like most addicts, even if I  have just clicked off the page and gone on to something else, I’m jonesing for another click.  One afternoon, I kept pinning and laughing and pinning until an hour had gone by!  How crazy is that?! 

Two of my favorite pins from my Pinterest boards have to do with this insidious addiction:

Image Credit:Someecards

Image Credit: DumpaDay

Aside from an incessant need to “pin” and check other people’s boards, Pinterest does serve a purpose.  It’s a great place to, well, pin articles, quotes, and pictures in a place that you can easily access on the go.  (And yes, I did indeed join the dark side and downloaded the Pinterest app.)  Unlike FB, where posts and status updates get lost in the shuffle, if you forget you pinned something, you can just pull up the board and look through it. 

It’s also a great way to connect with people who have similar interests.  Kimberly asked us to share our favorite boards ~ although at this point, that’s a little like asking to pick a favorite among your children:

Art ~ where I can indulge my great love for the PRB.

Austenesque ~ where I pin everything from drool-worthy fountain pens and stationary, to advice on writing.

How to Love Everyone ~ Attraction begins with a glance.  But love begins with knowledge.  And to truly understand someone, you need to have a basic knowledge of psychology.  Remember my mantra? (Hint: I mentioned it yesterday.)  This board contains a lot of advice and some wisdom on how to understand, and therefore love,  others.

Muir Board ~ The beauty of nature.  John Muir is one of my heroes, as both a writer and a naturalist.  I would totally marry him and we would live in a National Park.  If only the Tardis were real. . . .

Quote Queen ~ big shocker, I know, but I love quotes!  322 pins and counting.

But don't save me just yet.  I need to pin one more thing.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

Do you “Pin”?  Share the link to your boards!  And follow me into another sweet addictive session of “pinning.”

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