The Wild Unknown – #NaNoWriMo2017

For my NaNoWriMo project this year, I am writing a modern fantasy novel. You can follow along with the creation process here!

For the month of October, I am working on developing the characters, plot, and setting. It’s a month of doing research, making mood boards (you can check them out on Pinterest), and developing character backstory.

The working title of the story right now is “The Wild Unknown”. So far, the basic story is a bunch of children who were taken by fairies as children are returned as adults without any memory of where they have been. The story follows a woman who found one of returned one night on the road.

More to come as I develop the story and characters!

NaNoWriMo is coming

For the last few years, I have been trying my damnedest to finish a book for National Novel Writing Month. I haven’t been able to do it yet but this year, I think I will start on the prep for it early. Seeing as how, I don’t have a lot of major commitments in my life at this time, I can give myself the space to do this.

I have had a few characters and plot ideas banging around in my head for a long time. I also have some ideas for some non-fiction writing that I wouldn’t mind getting out on the table. One of which is a modern pagan how-to book. My other option would be to post on my blog every day for a month and write 1667 words a day. I suppose I could start that anytime as practice for doing a daily count.

The most challenging part will be making sure that I carve out the couple of hours I need to write the 1667 words. I can’t cheat by starting the word count now. However, I can start the practice of finding time. I don’t exactly have an excuse for not finding the time. I already cancelled my Netflix account (I already found a free streaming site that’s better anyways) and I have been making sure to spend at least a couple hours after work not looking at a screen. The phone time is starting to be cut down, I could take the next step and keep it out of my room, I have this bad habit of reading on it before bed. I know that the blue light is not good for my brain and sleep in general but I am pretty sure I have an addiction to it. I can talk about screen addition later, I am sure a few people have this problem.

NaNoWriMo is an excellent example of a habit building process. You need 30 days to build a new habit. It sounds easy but by the time you get to week three, it become much harder to keep up the energy. This past summer I tried my own exercise to build up a meditation and yoga practice. It worked well for the first two weeks but on the third week, I ran into a snag because I was on vacation. So, if you are going to do NaNoWriMo, don’t plan a vacation in the middle of it. That goes for any habit building process.

This will be the year that I finish, this will be the year that I build up the habit (if I keep up this, I will make it happen).

~Clara

Poetry

Have you ever read poetry for the sake of just reading it and not because someone told you that you had to? Most of my experience with poetry is that of English literary classes in high school and university. The teachers and professors had us read the poems and then they told us what the poem was about and what she should learn from it. This style of teaching always left me with a bad taste in my mouth regarding poetry. I didn’t like someone telling me what I was supposed to get from the poem, I wanted to have my own experience with it. It’s the same with music, movies, and novels.

As the years have gone by and I have my a personal study of songs and lyrics, I have learned one very important lesson about poetry as a result. It doesn’t matter what other people think the meaning of the poem is, all that really matters is what you get from it. I read a great line from a musician that I admire and it was that once songs are created, they no longer belong to the artist; they belong to the world. Songs, like poems, take on a life of their own once they are written down.

There’s a lot of great poetry in our world that has been mostly forgotten about. Poetry to me is the highest form of expression and something that I struggle to create on my own. I know all the literary tricks you can use to create a good poem but I lack the discipline to make it happen. Poetry would be the last thing I would ever share publically because to me, it’s incredibly personal. I don’t write poetry for others, I write it for me. I suppose that if I were to write a poem for someone else, I would share it with them and hope that they understand the barest of its meaning to me.

We all have a language of our own that means something to only us. Words carry weight to us depending on our experience with them. Take the most complicated word in the English language, love. This word inspires all of the emotions that we are capable of. It’s a simple word but it carries so much meaning behind it. Other words like lust, hate, and fear can all be associated with it but love transcends all of them for that deeper meaning of connection between people. We all know what love means to us and yet all of us have a different opinion on what that meaning is.

There’s a poet on Instagram that I follow named Atticus. He writes simple poems, often about love. The medium of Instagram is good for short poems like the ones he writes. If you read them as a long collection, you might see a longer story of love, loss, and redemption. Each poem is a little snapshot of life in a single post. There’s no real need to make a longer discussion about each one since it is just a snippet of emotion, here now, gone in a flash. He uses not only words to convey emotion but also font and photography.

'Break' #atticuspoetry #atticus #poetry #poem #loveherwild #break #heart

A post shared by ATTICUS (@atticuspoetry) on

I have grown a special appreciation for the use of font in visual style for language.

Even if it is the difference between bold and italic:

Love

Love

The difference in fonts creates a different feel of expressions. Bold is harder and stands out while italic is softer and subtle. These are just two examples of font but there are hundreds of different fonts out there and each of them has its own emotion or meaning to express.

I am in the process of finding new poetry to read and contemplate. If you have any suggestions for poems or poets that you should like to share with me, I would love to read them. Please comment with your favorites.

~Clara

For the Love of a Good Book

autum-fall-indie-hipster-books-leafs-autumn-leaves-reading-cute-bootsReading has always been an escape for me. I can remember summer vacations where I would spend all day on the beach reading my newest obsession. I eat through books in just a few days. I don’t tend to re-read books as I feel like there’s just so many out there that I can’t get to them all.

I have actually started writing down the books that I want to finish reading in my lifetime. The books on these lists are more classical. While I love modern science fiction and fantasy, I have been drawn to the more classical literature lately. On the top of my reading list is “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell. I have been drawn to American Historical fiction for a while now, ever since the first time I read “Tom Sawyer” in elementary school. There’s something romantic about reading about an era that long since been forgotten.

I enjoy reading both physical and digital books. Reading on my tablet, allows me to leave notes as I come across them in the book and I tend to read faster but there’s something about the feel of the pages in a real book that makes me feel cozy and nostalgic. As the days grow darker sooner, my desire to cuddle up in a blanket on my couch with a cup of hot apple cider and a book get’s stronger. There’s something magical about following a set of characters as they grow and change throughout a book.

Literature is one of the ways that humans can express their thoughts, desires, and passions. It’s also one of the best ways to find common ground between people. Language allows us to share our culture with each other. Stories are how we can share our life experiences with each other. I think it’s why I enjoy writing blogs so much. It’s my way of sharing my life with others in a way that’s relatable. I don’t know if I will ever write a book or get published but writing a blog is a way for me to share my love of the written word that’s affordable for everyone. The only thing is costs me is time and energy.

I have a reading list that you can check out here. It’s filled with books and authors that I have always wanted to read. I will be updating this page as I finish up the books. I hope to also do a little write up on the ones I finish so that you can see what I learned from them.

I am also always on the lookout for other books and poems to read, if you have any suggestions for me, please post them in the comments below.

~Clara