Sunday, January 29, 2012

I'm Hearing Voices

OMG! I'm so happy I decided to go searching for new bloggers to follow because I found this Blogfest and it's sooooo exciting!!

Check out Cassie Mae  and Angie's blogs to join! You have to post about it sometime before January 30th...man, I almost didn't make it!

Here's what the Blogfest entails (all of this can be found on Cassie Mae or Angie's blogs:


The Posts:
February 6th - MondayCharacters on the couch: Have one of your characters answer the following questions (to make this work to your benefit, choose a character who is the hardest for you to write :) Max 250 words (Not including the questions—only the answers).
1.      What is your biggest vulnerability? Do others know this or is it a secret?
2.      What do people believe about you that is false?
3.      What would your best friend say is your fatal flaw? Why?
4.      What would the same friend say is your one redeeming quality? Why?
5.      What do you want most? What will you do to get it?
February 8th - Wednesday - Dialogue Introduction: Have two characters introduce each other using only dialogue—no backstory, no internalization, just dialogue between the two. Max 250 words.
February 10th - Friday - Emotion Flash Fiction: Emotion is the engine of a story. Pick an emotion and in a flash fiction piece of 250 words MAKE us feel it! We want to connect with your character. This will be a challenge in 250 words.

DOESN'T THAT SOUND AWESOME!? I think so. :)

Blog Award!


 I received this lovely blog award from Krista over at I Take The Pen. She has a wonderful blog, I lovvvveee her posts, so make sure you check her blog out!!

Here are the rules:
1. In a post on your, blog, nominate 15 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.
2. In the same post, Add the Versatile Blogger Award.
3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
4. In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
5. In the same post, include this set of rules.
6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

Seven Random Facts (about my college).
1. In the library there is an old section called the Stacks. It's supposed to be haunted.
2. If you walk below the clock tower, it's said you won't graduate in 4 years. I have never walked under the clock tower, and I'm graduating in 4 years!
3. In the middle of the south oval, we have something called the "passion pit"....I'll let you consider this one.
4. If you kiss in the "spoon holder" you'll marry your date!
5. Our mascots are two horses called Boomer and Sooner.
6. Ellison Hall is supposed to be haunted by a teacher who died there. Creepy!
7. Not so much a random fact is the fact that we don't like Texas (no offense....you know how football is!), ironically, there are a TON of students from Texas who attend The University of Oklahoma.


Fifteen bloggers...I might not make it quite to fifteen, but I'll give this award to some deserving people!

1. Emma Lauren
2. Kittie Howard
3. Gary Gauthier
4. Julie Flanders
5. Amanda Leigh Cowley
6. Shannon Duffey
7. Christine Rains

Now, GO CHECK THESE BLOGS OUT! :D You won't be sorry!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

When The Going Get's Tough...

Hello Everyone!

I am looking for a job. Well, really, a career now. I went to talk to the University of Oklahoma Career Services about finding a job, and they are amazing. For the next week, I'm going to be reading about "Great Jobs for English Majors" (Book by Julie DeGalan & Stephen Lambert).

Many important things came up during our conversation and I want to share them with you, maybe you'll take something away from it like it did. I definitely felt more confident in myself after this conversation.

1. Your job or career does not define you.
I explained to her I had always been focused on being a writer. I hadn't even thought of what kind of career I could pursue that wasn't writing. I needed help. I said that I had always felt if I decided on a career, I would forget about writing. That my career would become my life and I wouldn't have time for writing anymore.

She said that my resume, my job, my career did not define me. She pointed to me and said "This is you and you ARE a writer." You need a job that intellectually stimulating, you need something where, at the end of the day, on the weekends, you can write.

This was important to me. It took the fear of finding a job, career, what have you away while keeping my dream of being a writer alive.

2. "Quit saying you want to be a writer. You ARE a writer"
There is so MUCH to language. During our conversation she said, "I want you to work on  saying "I am a writer, because that's what you are." I would correct myself by saying I want to be a published author.

What got me here? Well, so many people around me had said things like, "You can't do anything with that" "I'm just trying to you near reality." When writing full time is the lifestyle I want. I know I can't have that now, but I will! :D

3. There are really a lot of interesting jobs out there that will allow English Majors to use their creative side.
When I think of jobs, I think of retail. I don't like repetition...so I wanted something I could have fun with. She suggested a job in Social Media, HR, Publishing....I really, really liked the Social Media one. So I'm developing excitement and determination.

4. Now, what about Graduate School, you ask?
Well, I'm on the fence, still. I'm trying to decide if I am going for the right reasons. Library Science is a very short MA, it's only 36 hours and mostly online classes...I'm doing my research, but what she made clear to me was that I needed to do what I felt was right and stop trying to please others. Grad School would be a whole other world for me, and I know what I do when I'm not interested in something....

I took many valuable things from this conversation. The one I liked best?
This quote:

"Your time is limited, don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."  -Steve Jobs




Sums up just about everything we talked about.
I hope you enjoyed this!
<3

Monday, January 23, 2012

Getting Into A Rhythm.

That's exactly what I'm trying to do.This post is going to deal with some different things.

Firstly, I'm not one to attempt to formulate advice, really. One thing I'd say to people, however, is that you should always make time to work out. Let me apply this to college. Working out relieves stress. Far better than eating does. Eating will merely make you sluggish. Working out keeps you healthy. I wish I would have had the motivations three and a half years ago. In January 2010 I started filtering workouts into my tight schedule. It worked so well and I felt so good. Then August 2010 came, I had less of a tight schedule and my workouts were sporadic. Weird, huh? Well, now I'm at it once again and I intend to force myself to go until all this is natural again.

Secondly, why am I saying this? Well, I'm trying to find the rhythm for this year. I guess you could say it's a schedule...though not everything I do will be so harshly planned. I think it's more...things I want to get used to doing. Things my body will remind me to do. After a week of working out consistently, my bodies going to say "HEY HEYYYYYY. HEYYYYY!!! Workout time!!" And believe it or not, I was very excited to begin this years focused workouts!

At one time, I had conditioned my body (or mind) to do this very thing with writing. Well, after my three and a half years of school, I've trained my body to not be upset when I don't have to write. I know, I know. It's blasphemy....but writing a 10 page paper about...oh, I don't know...anything academic is pretty draining in itself and hardly leaves you the energy of the CREATIVE energy to be able to focus on your novel.

I've gotten better, though. I can actually hear snippets of writing from some new characters, but I have to make a point of writing and editing when I can. People say...write at least 10 minutes a day....well, honestly, sometimes I don't have ten minutes in a day, but my body is always conscious of the fact that I am a writer and that inspiration is all around me. My body is also conscious of the fact that if I try and force myself to write, ALL my creativity shuts down. Like working out, you really aren't going to do something if you're not motivated, and sometimes, you just aren't motivated.

That's okay. Sometimes you're not motivated for a week, sometimes it's two years before you can put pen to paper or what have you and writing....but at least, after those two years, you're still trying to write.

Now, what would really be a shame would be giving up.

With that being said, I'm off to find a rhythm I can combined my insane amount of school work, job searching, working out and of course, writing into (that includes keep up this blog). Wish me luck! And I wish everyone else luck on finding their own rhythm.

Oh, I got a hair cut and highlights...do you like?



Love,
Ashley

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Update.

I feel like I do a lot of these. LOL.

So, I have a job at the University of Oklahoma Bookstore. Whoo!
Well..kinda, it's temp. I've worked 40 hours this week, and I work 40 hours next week and I start my 19 hours of school. Needless to say, you won't see a lot of me initially. I will be sure to update you on my classes! I have my Capstone this semester, I'll also post a list of books we're reading. :D Perhaps some of you will have read them. I know I have (We're reading Hamlet again, which I'm fine with. LOVE!!) lol.

Also, I will be finishing up Graduate Apps for school, and preparing to graduate. I will also be finishing edits for my book and perhaps looking for an internship, if not a job at a library or something of the like.

*Takes deeeeeppppp breath*

Yep. Wish me much luck and I hope to be back blogging and tweeting regularly soon!!

Love,
Ashley

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Hello everyone!
I am back at school and I have wifi and a temp job.
2 more weeks and I have to hit the books again until May. Whoo!
Until then *drum roll*.......



Well, I've been editing my book hardcore recently. I am no in the stage where I'm handing it off and letting my friend read it. She's sooooo helpful.

Especially with things that spell check and grammar check don't actually...check.

So, through my friend's edit's I got a ton of word changes. Things like "lair" to "liar" (she said this was the funniest). Mostly, I forgot to add "-ed" to things. And sometimes I even mixed up a "too and a to" and a "then" and a "than".

These things, though we know our eyes are so used to the screen, and so used to our book they can't really make out these simple errors, still make me feel very insecure about the greatness of my work, and the value of my book.

Worst of all, it makes me feel like a bad writer. : (

I haven't found a way to feel better about these mistakes either, because I feel like perfection is expected of a writer/English Writing major. But truly, I'm not very good at spelling or grammar. I have to work very hard on trying to figure out my commas, semicolons and colons. I had to look up the difference in then and than some years ago because I wasn't sure which one I was supposed to use.

Recently the whole "phased" and "fazed" got me all mixed up. Apparently the one I've always needed to be using was "fazed".... (which means basically disconcert, discomfit, perturb, fluster, confound.) Yep. Would have never known that. Thanks yahoo. 


AND to top all this off, no matter how many times I edit my book, I CANNOT FIND THESE MISTAKES!! 

This is why you need a beta reader. It is impossible for me to locate any of the mistakes my friend caught. (Right before I sent it to her, I had edited it completely, then as she read, I read along with her). Found none of them. 

Does this make anyone else feel like you just fail at writing/editing/everything? cause it does me!! : (