Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Something Cool For YOU!


Check out this video. It's Florence + The Machine Breath of Life for the Snow White & The Huntsman. I can honestly say, I wasn't going to watch it until I saw this music video, and now I will definitely be seeing it! Lol.

Much love,

Ashley

Monday, May 21, 2012

Writing & Working

I'm sort of participating in the Blog Me Maybe Blogfest. I admit, I am not the best so far. lol. Graduation and moving and now Peru...and I also have two jobs. Things are...interesting. I am also happily rewriting my book! :D

Like I have said, I decided to write an outline this time and I really like it. I think I like it because I enjoy having a map, basically. I transferred all my written documents to a slideshow that I am adding to as I read Anatomy of Story.

I'm keeping my same characters, but I renamed Kiera. She is now Larkin. :) This picture is best, because in the second chapter, she is wearing a crimson gown.

[PICTURE REMOVED]

Of course this is Barren. He's older here, actually. I'll have to find a younger Barren Reed. I decided to make him eighteen in my books. 

[PICTURE REMOVED] 

 And I had to show you this. My friend, Brittiny (who draws all the art on my page) drew Leaf for me.  This is her concept sketch, and she wrote FAIL but I think it's wonderful! He just needs longer hair. lol.

My wonderful Aladdin is playing around with photoshop, too and will have a map ready for me at some point. lol. Probably when I finish this book in a few months, lol.

Okay, there's an update for you. It's not much, but I hope you enjoy the pictures, and tell me what you think of the name Larkin. Do you like it? Also, would anyone like to read a bit of the new first chapter I've been working on? 


Friday, May 18, 2012

Guest Post: Zoe Harrington


A big thank you to you, Ashley, for allowing me this slot on your blog! I knew what I wanted to say as soon as you offered; it was a post I wanted to do from my own blog. I hope you all like it!

I was sat in my PE theory class the other day and I had to go over terminologies for the upcoming exam. One of them was SMART. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound. I realised that this can be applied to writing. I also realised that Measurable was something that wasn't as easily adapted.

How do you measure writing?

Word count? Drafts? Profits? Published works? Sales? Different people have different ideas about this.

Some believe that they need to have a mahoosive word count to call it a success. Others disagree. Take short stories and flash fiction, for example; they have small word counts but often touch us just as much as a full scale novel. 

Having multiple drafts, each (supposedly) better than the previous, is another way people measure writing. But let's face it; most of us get bored after the first couple of drafts. If that really was the way we measured our writing success then some Authors wouldn't be all that successful. 

A touchy subject is profits. It is widely acknowledged that most writers don't make a living on writing. (Although not as widely accepted!) The profit margins aren't huge in most cases and the author isn't rolling in wonga. Does this mean they failed? Absolutely not.

So is it how much work you've had published? Is it sales? Well...no. You could write one book and it could sell millions. Your neighbour could write a series and never sell more than 500 copies. 

If none of these are the answer, what is?

In my eyes, it's how many people you have touched with your words. It's how many people cling onto your plot as if it is a lifeline; drink in your descriptions like someone dying of thirst; well up as your protagonist takes a death defying leap of faith. Those are the people you truly connect with. There's no point smashing sales figures when half of your customers thought it was just 'alright'.

If you can make someone fall in love with your words over and over again— your writing has succeeded.

That is how  measure writing.

Do you agree? Maybe you have a different viewpoint. Whatever your answer, share it with us!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Guest Post: Sam Allen


Sam's blog, Put a Pen to Paper revolves around her writing. She writes fanfiction as well as her own original works. She is currently working on a fiction novel about four college students who find out they are the children of four Archangels. You can find a excerpt HERE.

Today, Sam has so graciously contributed a guest post about her writing and what it means to her.





Me the Writer
   I am a writer because…I know I can’t put it down in one sentence. It’s not very hard to explain why I am a writer; in fact the reasons are, for the most part, pretty obvious. My creativity comes from somewhere I believe that I haven’t even been to sometimes. From time to time I don’t think I’m that creative, and I just sit around wondering why I love so much to put a pen to paper and write. I guess for me it’s an outlet; for fear, anger, sadness, any overwhelming emotion that I happen to be feeling at that second. Also because when I first started writing I thought it would make me stand out more. When I began writing it was so original, not many people could go “I’m writing a novel” and then every other person I came across was writing a novel they too dreamt of getting published and I felt a little less special every time. Still those aren’t the real reasons for my writing obsession and my creativity. The real reason that I’m a writer is because it is who I am; it is how I was made. We are all born with passions and one of mine just happens to be writing.
   I write to help me feel, to help me express, and even to help other people understand me. There are times in my life when I have trouble rationalizing or explaining myself and when that happens the only thing I can think to do it write it out. When I write I can express my feelings better than I ever could out loud; I know that may be corny, unoriginal and hard to believe considering that I was also blessed with the gift of gab. I can write almost anything as long as I have an idea or a thought to go off of, but talking…well sometimes I can talk all I want and it still gets me nowhere, sometimes I talk and talk but never say a useful word.  When I write however, I can get it all down and hashed out and usually my meaning can be found. I can bear my soul as a writer and I can choose weather I want to show people or hide it. As a person I am an open book, my emotions are right out there for anyone to see but when I write I can close and lock that book and no one can see anything I don’t want them to. Then, if and when I choose to, I can open up to only my closest and most trusted friends.
   My writing defines me, tells my story, and reveals things about who I am. I am many other things besides a writer; I act, I sing, I dance, I love to read, I love photography, but writing seems to trump them all. Let me put it another way, writing and acting are always fighting for dominance of my heart andIn a dream I had once I was a famous actress and writer and I was asked in an interview which I loved more acting or writing. In the dream I gave an answer that I will now be giving forever, if I am ever asked. "Writing is in my blood, it flows through me, keeps me going, and gives me life, but acting for me is like breathing; and without breath in the body, the blood won't move, won't pump and will die. So writing runs all through me, but without acting, I wouldn't be much of a writer either." in a dream I had once I was a famous actress and writer and I was asked in an interview which I loved more. In the dream I gave an answer that I will now be giving forever, if I am ever asked. "Writing is in my blood, it flows through me, keeps me going, and gives me life, but acting for me is like breathing; and without breath in the body, the blood won't move, won't pump and will die. So writing runs all through me, but without acting, I wouldn't be much of a writer either." So there are many facets to me as well, and I can’t be placed into one category.In a dream I had once I was a famous actress and writer and I was asked in an interview which I loved more acting or writing. In the dream I gave an answer that I will now be giving forever, if I am ever asked. "Writing is in my blood, it flows through me, keeps me going, and gives me life, but acting for me is like breathing; and without breath in the body, the blood won't move, won't pump and will die. So writing runs all through me, but without acting, I wouldn't be much of a writer either." In a dream I had once I was a famous actress and writer and I was asked in an interview which I loved more acting or writing. In the dream I gave an answer that I will now be giving forever, if I am ever asked. "Writing is in my blood, it flows through me, keeps me going, and gives me life, but acting for me is like breathing; and without breath in the body, the blood won't move, won't pump and will die. So writing runs all through me, but without acting, I wouldn't be much of a writer either."I’m just a girl, a little complicated, a little lost, trying to find my own way so don’t try to get me to find yours. I can’t be told what to write, or force-fed an idea, I have to find it on my own.
    That’s what really makes me a writer, all this happens in my head; my thoughts come alive with worlds, and characters, and words that seem as real to me as the pen in my hand. I put myself into my writing; I live my stories. I feel the pain, go through the experiences and become each character that I create. Sometimes my wonderful friends make appearances in my stories or become characters themselves, our conversations and jokes adding to plotlines or giving us a laugh. From time to time my demons even follow me inside of the pages where a hero can fight them off for me.
   I know that this must all sound very corny, na├»ve, and fairytale-ish but I have a feeling that many other authors might feel the same way I do about what they write, and why they write. I’m sure every writer questions why they love to do what they do, but we can’t live without it, it is in our blood. I live to write, I speak through my writing so that in a way my writing is me. I am a creative person who was given a passion and I will continue to be a slave to my passion for writing as long as I have an idea in my head, paper in a notebook and a pen in my hand.


Monday, May 14, 2012

First Loves Blogfest!!





Alex J Cavanaugh  is having another Blogfest! This time is is first loves: movie, music, book and love! Here are mine:



First Movie: The Neverending Story/Fievel Goes West


He's the luck dragon!! Creepy...kinda. hahaha



I seem to remember loving these at the same time and wanting to watch them constantly. I don't know what it was about Falcor or Fievel that I loved so much, but they captured my imagination.


First song/band - The Academy Is



I remember really loving this band. Particularly their album Sanit. It's probably the best ever. I love it. The lead singer's name is William Beckett (front and center) and I just thought not only does he have a pirate name, he's adorable (and later inspired a character I named Slate). I loved every single song on this album. EVERY ONE!

First book - Since I always say The Lord of the Rings, I'll tell you, BEFORE I read LotR, I read a book called Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier in the eighth grade and lovvvvved it! I have sense had the intention of reading it again now that I am 22 to figure out what I loved so much about it. I don't really know now. haha.



First person - hehe.

That would be my Aladdin. :)


If ever there was a man truer to any Prince Charming, it would be him. I don't know how other relationships are, really...except mine. So sometimes, I feel like I'm in a book. My Aladdin does things like...kissing my cheek before he goes to bed, even if I'm asleep (usually, I'm in this zombie stage where I can't actually function, but I know what he's doing, lol) and telling me he loves me. Or, again when I'm in the zombie stage, he pulls up the covers and tucks me in. It's a sappy sort of sweet, but I love it! lol.


He hates pictures, so I have to sneak them. haha.

Okay, now go check out more First Loves!

I graduated! :)

On Friday the 11th and Saturday the 12th, I went to commencement and convocation at the University of Oklahoma and received (well, not technically) my Bachelors of Arts in English Writing. I don't actually get to see my degree for 3 months, but I got this nifty little book:


I decorated my hat so my family could find me! 


Because the Lloyd Nobel Center look like this: 


YAY!

And...I was very happy and very tired! Me and my Aladdin!


After Graduation we went and ate Chinese and then I saw The Avengers. Which is AMAZING! I love Thor!

It was an AMAZING surreal day! I couldn't be more proud of myself. :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Busy Week Update

I apologize for my absence! I am in the process of moving and the transition is harder than I thought, plus we don't have internet yet. I have one more final tomorrow, work all week, and graduation is Friday and Saturday. Wish me luck, everyone! I'm so nervous!

Also, novel update--I'm at 27, 818 words!! Ahaha. Still outlining and all that good stuff. I'm very excited! In two weeks, I also will be on my way to Peru, and hopefully can get a lot written then.


Friday, May 4, 2012

This is my version of funny.



This is the coolest thing ever, I think. 


P.S. I cannot WAIT to get to some blogs next week. I have two finals and *deep breath* graduation!!!!
I will be away Saturday and Sunday because I am moving, too. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May I asked you something about yourself?

I know many people have asked this...but I want to know who outlines their novels and who doesn't? I used to not do this...but I rewriting my book and I am using an outline. I actually find it fun and I have a whole wall dedicated to it. hehe.

See:


It's actually bigger now, but I'll give you a bigger picture when I move.

So...what's everyone doing with their novels? :D

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you

Today is the first day of the:

Blogfest!

Today's theme is supposed to be: Tell you something about myself. Well, I am going to tell you something I experienced recently. I am sorry in advance, it's a little sad. 


Many, many things have happend this April (yes, I know this is the first of May), but I want to share something with you that was devastating to many people in my community, even though I didn't personally know the person I will talk about next.

I am from a small town, I know a lot of you know how that is--you know everyone, and even if you don't, it's like...when anything happens to anyone there it's as if they are "one of you." It touches you, hurts, you even. Well, a man in his late thirties whose stepson I worked with, died in a terrible car accident. He lived for about two days after. I'm not sure if he regained consciouness. I don't know how many goodbyes he heard. I'm not actually sure of anything except that there was a terrible, terrible car accident and he passed away.

This reminded me of my friend Ben who passed away after being in a terrible car accident the day after he graduated from High School. The day after. I had just seen him. Never expected that the motorcyle wreck the week before might have foreshadowed his death. Unfortuantely, life doesn't work like a novel. You aren't going to expect things. Half his friends were in Italy when he died. The rest of us went to his funeral. Never would I have thought his life would have been taken so suddenly, even though I know two mothers who lost their sons previously and unexpecedly. My point--it happens all the time, but you never expect things to happen to you.

You don't think about how short life is sometimes. Sometimes you don't even think about whether or not you'll see your boyfriend, husband, bestfriend, even child tomorrow. You take this as a given. You take it for granted, but life doesn't. God doesn't. Whoever you believe in, or what you don't believe in--they don't take life for granted.

I would never sadden anyone intentionally, but this really struck a chord with me, and I thought about why I alway feel like I'm running out of time. It's because really...life is short. If I don't do what I want now...if I don't try, what will I regret later? What kind of legacy will I leave with settling? With not trying to live my dreams, or achieve my dreams?

It's an old, perhaps cliche saying, but don't forget: don't take life for granted. Follow your dreams. Remember that everyday is really a gift. Everything DOES work out in the end, and most importantly--you are the only one who can make changes in your life. So if you are unhappy, do something about it.

I love you all. <3