Wordy Wednesday: Interview with Rachel

I’m currently on vacation in Europe with la familia, so this week’s Wordy Wednesday is one of our many wonderful interviews and guests posts for the summer!

Please welcome the incredible Rachel!

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Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am Rachel, I have been reading Julia’s blog for over two years and she is the reason I write and have a blog. My blog is rachelrecaps.wordpress.com and I have been doing it for less than a year. I am a college student at University of Rhode Island and have completed my first year as an environmental science major with a film minor. Ideally I want to save the world through film so documentaries (I like to edit) starting with water purity or plastic/energy alternatives.
What kind of writing do you do?
I write for fun and do not plan on publishing a novel or any large body of work but life takes you in unexpected ways so I really don’t know. I am currently working on my novel that I started in November for NaNoWriMo called Collin and Jade. The first draft is almost done. I think in another 10k words it will be there. I want to finish writing it before I start a new project. I have never written a “novel” completely before so this one should be my first. But writing is rewriting so in like a year or two I may feel good enough about it to show people the entire thing. If you want to read some of the story the first four chapters are on my blog just search Collin and Jade.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
 If I could travel anywhere I would want to go back to Ireland, it’s so green and beautiful and the vibe is really chill I would trace my heritage and never leave. Well maybe I would like to visit Scotland occasionally but I loved it so much I do not understand why anyone would want to leave.
Favorite drink?
Water
Favorite activity outside of reading and writing?
Quidditch (like from Harry Potter, it is a real sport you can look it up.)
Favorite Youtube channel?
VlogBrothers (I have watched all of their videos in under 2 months that is 7 years worth of content 1200+ videos.)
Favorite book?
The Hunger Games
Favorite board game?
Clue FX
Favorite language (other than your native one)?
Latin (I took 3 years in high school and really respect it)
Favorite candy?
Candy Crush (I have run out of levels a few times)(I don’t really eat candy so I know this answer is cheating but it’s honest because I do not eat chocolate or gelatin so that eliminates most of the candies)
Favorite instrument?
Bass Guitar, because I used to play it in a girl band
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Thanks for letting me interview you, Rachel! And thanks for reading!
~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: Muffins Don’t Fly (Guest Post)

I’m currently on vacation in Europe with la familia, so this week’s Wordy Wednesday is coming at’cha from super awesome guest writer Allison Rose!

Allison Rose has been writing seriously since the age of ten.  Since then, she has penned a handful of short stories; some longer, still unpublished works; and a variety of fanfictions. When she’s not writing stories, she’s reading them.

Aside from the time she cared for her grandmother’s cat, who loved cream cheese, dusty shelves, and scratching innocent people, Allison has owned no pets.  But she does have a blog, (as blogs are much easier to maintain,) which she invites you to check out at: http://www.allisonthewriter.wordpress.com.

And now, I have the honor of sharing Allison’s hilarious short story “Muffins Don’t Fly.” I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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Muffins don’t fly, right? I mean, they’re food. You eat them. A muffin levitating itself through the air is just about as conceivable as, say, a secret society of hamsters plotting to take over the world! Well, considering that has actually happened, I guess it’s definitely conceivable for a muffin to fly, too.
Weird things always happen to me when my parents aren’t home. This time, it was the first week of summer vacation, and my mom, who works in the children’s room at our local library, was there at a meeting to decide on this year’s summer reading list. My dad was out, too. I think he was playing golf or something. I was, as you would expect, home alone with nothing remotely interesting to do.
In the kitchen, I rummaged through the pantry in search of something to snack on. All I found was a lunchbox-sized container of FruitLoops, and all the artificial flavors and colors didn’t look too appetizing.
Dejectedly, I was about to turn around and head back to the living room when I saw the answer to all my troubles. There, on the kitchen counter, as if it had been put there just for me, was a box of blueberry muffin mix!
According to the box, all I needed to do was add milk, three eggs and oil to the prepackaged muffin mix with freeze-dried blueberries, stir, and bake in a muffin tin. Now, that may sound easy, but like most things, it’s easier said than done. Nowhere in the instructions did it say that you should have more than three eggs on hand because, chances are, one of those three allotted eggs might break somewhere along the way from the egg carton to the mixing bowl. It also never said that the term of art, “cups,” refers to the liquid measurement, not your average drinking glass.
Approximately half an hour and five broken eggs later, I had the blueberry muffins sitting in the oven and was waiting for them to bake. But that would be too easy. While I’d set the timer for fifteen minutes, I hadn’t actually turned on the heat.
Eventually, the muffins actually finished baking, and when I took them out of the oven, the kitchen was filled with the scent of heavenly muffiny goodness.
I poured myself a big glass of cold milk and was about to reach for one of my delicious culinary creations, when—
“Hey, you!” a little voice said from somewhere below me.
Immediately, I looked down on the floor. Better not be one of those stupid hamsters trying to play tricks on me, I thought.
“Not there! Look up!”
Obediently, I looked up. Had the Hamster Liberation Society enlisted the services of talking pigeons?
“No, stupid! On the counter!”
Incredulously, I looked down and saw only my baking tin of blueberry muffins. And sure enough, all half dozen of them were looking up at me with big blueberry eyes.
“Egad!” I exclaimed. “You can talk?!”
“Yes,” they answered in unison. “Thank you for freeing us from our powdered state. Now, we can take over the world!” With that, the muffin in the lower right of the tin nodded ever so slightly (it’s pretty hard to nod if you’re a muffin,) at the muffin next to it, and slowly, ever so slowly…
…The muffn tin began to levitate.
“Faster, muffins, faster!” The lead muffin cackled. “We shall fly to the White House and overthrow the president! Then, the world shall be ours!”
Oh, no! I thought, nervously looking around the kitchen to see what I could do to stop these muffins from threatening my country, and the world. No, a fly swatter probably wouldn’t do the trick. If these muffins could fly, who knew what else they could do?
At that point, my survival instincts must’ve kicked in.  In utter desperation, I picked up the entire pan of hot, steaming muffins and hurled them out the kitchen window into the backyard. Mom would just have to be understanding when I told her why her prized muffin tin was sticking out of her equally prized bed of petunias.
While I’d done away with one problem, namely evil flying muffins bent on taking over the world, I was still hungry. So I went to the refrigerator for one last look.
“Hey!” I heard a little voice say from the depths of the refrigerator. “You could’ve just had one of me, a V8!”
I slammed the refrigerator door shut. That was it. I was ordering a pizza, and that’d better not fly, too.
(C) 2014 Allison Rose
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Thanks so much, Allison, for sharing your short story! Again, you can check out her blog at http://www.allisonthewriter.wordpress.com (which I highly recommend).
Thanks for reading!
~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: Interview with Susi Greganova

I’m now in Europe (or, you know, will be at the time this post goes up)–which means this week’s Wordy Wednesday is one of our many wonderful interviews and guests posts for the summer!

Please welcome one of the amazing writers I’m lucky enough to call my friend, Susi Greganova!

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Super Susi

What project(s) are you currently working on?
Right now? Managing my exams, planning out my life, and a cliché warm family novel which I´m only writing for myself so I can calm down and concentrate on learning. But the moment I have time, I´ll start work on a psychological thriller (The Shadow People), an epistolary novel dealing with child development (Hi T), and a middle grade adventure novel partially set in the cyber world (The Quest). There are also a lot of poems that I need to sort out and edit.

What are you planning to study at college?
Nooo clue. My dream course is PPE at Oxford, but that costs too much. But I think I´ll still apply for it in October. In the meantime, I´ll probably study “law and economics”.

Any fun summer plans?
Figuring out what to do with my life. And I want to do Camp NaNoWriMo and finish a novel. And…yeah. Have crazy fun adventures. (Or study for my exams if I don´t pass them in June. :/ )

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
England because it´s my favourite place in the world. Or just all around the world so I can see everything.

Favorite food?
Spaghetti

Favorite drink?
Aloe Vera juice

Favorite dessert?
Chocolate mousse (fun fact: I used to be The Official Queen of Chocolate Mousse on a message board once)

Favorite season?
Autumn

Favorite activity outside of reading and writing?
Jazz dancing…or just generally daydreaming/imagining stuff

Favorite movie?
Johnny English

Favorite TV show?
The Green Green Grass

Favorite Youtube channel?
AVByte

Favorite website?
Figment

Favorite board game?
Monopoly

Favorite language (other than your native one)?
Italian

Favorite sport?
Football

Favorite candy?
I don´t know if anyone knows them, but I love Milka Choco Mix bags which are basically little bags full of chocolate drops as well as jelly sweets or mini Oreos.

Favorite instrument?
Piano (i.e. the only one I can play)

Coffee or tea?
Coffee…but I really like tea too

Ice cream or froyo?
Froyo

Movie or TV show?
Movie

Morning or night?
Night!

City or country?
City

Cat or dog?
Dog

Rain or shine?
Rain!!

Camp or hotel?
Hotel

Stay in or go out?
Go out

Casual or fancy?
Casual

Handwrite or type?
Handwrite for poetry, type for prose
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Thanks for letting me interview you, Susi!

You can find Susi at the following links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susi.greganova?fref=ts&ref=br_tf
Figment: Super Susi
ask.fm: http://ask.fm/SusiGreganova#_=_

Thanks for reading!
~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: Interview with Kira Budge

I’m now in Europe (or, you know, will be at the time this post goes up)–which means this week’s Wordy Wednesday is our first of many wonderful interviews and guests posts for the summer!

Please welcome my fabulous critique partner and friend, Kira Budge!

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Kira Budge

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a sophomore at BYU-Idaho studying English: Creative Writing and a novelist, primarily of YA fantasy. Additionally, I’m the Associate Online Administrator of Ch1Con, a writing conference for teens. I play cello, foster kittens, and obsess over British TV in my spare time.

What kind of writing do you do?
Mostly YA fantasy novels, though they tend to straddle the line towards sci-fi. I write other stuff too, but nothing as seriously as that.

What project(s) are you currently working on?
I’m finishing up edits on What It Takes to Deal, a YA contemp, to prepare it to be sent out to agents.

What are you studying at college?
As seen le above, I’m an English: Creative Writing major! Because useful.

Any fun summer plans?
I WENT TO CH1CON HECK YESSES.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Britain. All of the Britain.

What’s your favorite kind of book?
I have lots of kinds of favorite books, but I tend to have a thing for YA sci-fi in particular, or at least I have recently.

Favorite food?
The food kind.

Favorite drink?
HOT CHOCOLATE.

Favorite dessert?
More chocolate. (Sorry Jules.)

Favorite season?
Summer.

Favorite activity outside of reading and writing?
Ummmmm… watching TV? Being generally useless?

Favorite movie?
Snow White and the Huntsman.

Favorite TV show?
Doctor Who!!!!

Favorite band/singer?
Linkin Park.

Favorite Youtube channel?
Pemberley Digital, but I love so so many more!

Favorite book?
This question is an unfair one, at any and all times. It’s a tie between Harry Potter and the Hunger Games. It always is.

Favorite website?
I don’t know about favorite, but the one I apparently go to the most is Goodreads.

Favorite board game?
Ew. Board games.

Favorite videogame?
Ew. Videogames.

Favorite language (other than your native one)?
Spanish? Latin? One of those.

Favorite sport?
No.

Favorite candy?
Chocolate.

Favorite pie?
Apple. Or cherry. Or blueberry. Or chocolate.

Favorite instrument?
CELLO. YES. I PLAY CELLO.

Coffee or tea?
Neither. I’m Mormon. *smiles cheesily*

Ice cream or froyo?
BOTH. (Probably froyo, though, for real.)

Movie or TV show?
TV show.

Morning or night?
Night.

City or country?
Small town. Those other places are icky.

Cat or dog?
CATTTTTTTTTTTTTT.

Rain or shine?
Rain. Sun hurts my eyes.

Camp or hotel?
Hotel, baby.

Stay in or go out?
Stay in all of the times.

Casual or fancy?
…. either. Depending on the situation. I like to do both of them.

Edward or Jacob? (Kidding.)
I see your kidding and raise you a TEAM EDWARD for the books and TEAM WHY DO THESE MOVIES EXIST LAUTNER IS SO MUCH HOTTER for the movies.

Hot or cold?
Hot. I am allergic to cold.

Handwrite or type?
No one in potato can read my handwriting, not even me. Type.

Paperback or hardcover?
I think paperback. But I’ve never actually thought about this question before. Hmm! Good one, Jules!

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Why thank you, Kira! And thanks for letting me interview you!

You can find Kira at the following links:

Twitter: @KiraBudge
Thanks for reading!
~Julia

Guest Post/Interview Opportunity!

First blog post on the new laptop! While my current (crappy) laptop is still in commission for use around the house, it’s physically falling apart too much to safely travel. Aaand I’m about to go to NYC (BookCon), followed by Chicago (Ch1Con), followed by two months hopping around Europe (study abroad and general vacationing). So say hello to the new baby.

Speaking of Europe, I leave in just under a month. The majority of my time across the pond, I’ll be studying at Oxford, which means I’ll be able to keep up with regular posts. However, before that, Hannah, our friend Sam, and I are sightseeing for a couple weeks. And after Oxford, my family’s coming over to tour around.

Which means I need guest posts!

A guest post can be anything from a writing piece to something fashion-related to a funny story about something that happened to you to pretty much actually anything. It can range between 200 and 2,000 words and be as informal or formal as you’d like.

Or, if you can’t think of anything to write, I’m also open to doing interviews. Just email me to let me know you’d like me to interview you on the blog, and I’ll send you the questions.

Interested? Email me your guest post at jbyerswriting@aol.com by the end of Friday, June 20th, and I’ll let you know when it goes up on the blog. Make sure to paste your post into your email, because I will NOT open attachments. (Or, if you’d like me to interview you, email me by the end of Monday, June 16th, and send your answers back by the end of that Friday.)

Other optional things to include in your email: One paragraph bio; any social media links (blog, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc.) you’d like included in the post; a picture of you. Let me know if you’d like me to edit your post for grammar or typos or anything before it goes up, because I’m always open to doing that, but it’s up to you, since it’s your work.

If you’re not sure whether I’ll accept your topic idea, email a basic proposal outlining what you’ll cover in your post by the end of Monday, June 16th and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible about whether or not you should take the time to write out the entire post. (Topics I can already automatically assure you I will not accept: Porn, or anything even remotely resembling a shade of grey. An open letter about how much you love hamburgers. A clipping from your diary that contains nothing but the lyrics to “Let It Go” and the stains of your fallen tears.)

To recap: I need guests posts and you should write them. (Because you’re beautiful. And I’d be super grateful. And you’re beautiful.)

Thanks!

 

~Julia

PS. Countdown to BookCon: Three days!

Wordy Wednesday (“GUEST POST: I Never Expected to Fall This Hard”)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First post of 2014! Whoohoooo! Sorry I’m not writing this actually in 2014 (I’m still back here in the past–it’s currently Christmas for me), but I’ve got a wonderful post for you today by one of my favorite bloggers. Let’s give a warm welcome to the wonderful writer, CL Mannarino!

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About CL Mannarino

CL is a fantasy and realistic fiction writer and personal essayist. She works in Massachusetts as a development editor while she writes, reads, walks, and bakes on the side. She’s trained in line-editing, grammar/spell checking, and home improvement, and can be found on her blog or her tumblr.

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I Never Expected to Fall This Hard

Love, for me, is about emotional connection. Yes, there is a physical component, but in my experience, if the packaging is pretty and the content is dull, then it’s like a wake up call that’s equivalent to being tossed from your bed into the snow — without blankets.

Books are like this, too. I’ve read a number of books where the cover, and even the summary, are enticing, but after a chapter or two, not even that can keep me reading. I thought this was going to be how Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy (VA) series would be. My sister, Big H, had a lone copy of either the third or the fourth book on our shelf for the longest time and I’d danced around it, trying not to show interest when I was looking for something to read. The reasons it took me so long to pick up?

  • The titles of the books made me cringe
  • The cover filled me with shame whenever she caught me turning the book over in my hands
  • Vampires had become “a thing” — not even a good thing — and it was really annoying me (I’m a vampire fan. They’re probably my favorite supernatural create apart from ghosts and, as luck would have it, werewolves.)

To be fair, I’d been considering reading VA during a time when I wanted nothing to do with romance or vampires, or romance and vampires together. I was in the mood for something hard, gritty, real, and as far from the mainstream as I could get without falling off the metaphorical edge of the planet.

So no, the first ten times I considered entering Ms. Mead’s world, I’d had the good sense to stay away. Instead, I wound up reading (and loving) Divergent and Insurgent, both of which served up an incredible fix for what I needed. Still, when I picked Vampire Academy up for the first time, during the lull between my finishing Insurgent and the release of Allegiant, I told onlooking friends that “if I don’t like it, then I won’t read the next one.” I thought I’d just be humoring my sister by taking her up on a recommendation and that I wouldn’t be interested enough to keep going.

I’ve never been so glad to be so wrong.

I devoured the series, an appetite kept fueled by the fact that every single book had come to exist in our household by the time I picked the books up this past summer. They’re not hard reads, which is probably why I went through them so fast, but when I got to the end of the next book, I just couldn’t stop. When my friend saw me toting the second, third, and fourth books on the train, he laughed and said, “Any good?”

My answer was always the same: “If I don’t like this one, then I just won’t read the next one.”

By the fifth book, I was getting tired. A lot had happened, even more was on the way, and I just couldn’t figure out how Ms. Mead would wrap everything up in time. She did, and neatly, but once that ride was over, two things happened:

  1. I experienced the third worst book-hangover in my reading career (after Insurgent and Harry Potter)
  2. I was still unsatisfied because one of my favorite characters, Adrian, had been left heartbroken

So what did I do? After a brief four-hour stint on the internet (in which I half-searched for another book and half-distracted myself with tumblr), I discovered Bloodlines, the Adrian Ivashkov-rich spin-off series that Ms. Mead’s still writing.

Whatever issues I had with Ms. Mead’s books, they continued to plague the series in ways that, while glaringly obvious, weren’t enough to stop my reading the books. What she did wrong (info-dumping exposition to recap the current and previous books; tons of telling without always showing) was consistently wrong without becoming gradually worse over time. What she did right (character development; plenty of action that, while not the most descriptive, always let me see what was going on; realistic relationships in an admittedly surreal environment; characters with consistent personalities whose decisions are understandable, even when you might not do what they did) was good enough to hold me in my seat for the entire ride without asking to be let off.

(I hate roller coasters, so this is a big deal.)

In other words, she’d managed to hold and carry the same ball that Veronica Roth had lifted for me: the one that shut the proverbial trap on my inner editor. (An editor whose critiques had ruined numerous reading experiences for me, until Divergent sucked me up this past summer. Overall, we’re talking about a good two or three years of prolonged dissatisfaction with what I was reading thanks to this constant criticism I had going in my head. (Which has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with my own dissatisfaction with the things I’d been writing — cough.))

Currently — meaning as of the writing of this post — I’m in the throes of The Indigo Spell, the third book in the Bloodlines series. Well, I’m almost out of the throes because I have roughly 50-100 pages left, but Big H got the fourth book, The Fiery Heart, and so I’m not worried about my lack of reading material for the immediate future. Nope.

Mead’s books might be considered fluff, but I’m loving every minute of them.

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Isn’t CL great? Once again, you can find her either on her blog (which, you should know, ROCKS) or her tumblr.

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Talk to you once the new semester starts! I’ll draw and contact the giveaway winners after my hiatus is over, and expect some other big news coming soon.

~Julia

Want to Write a Guest Post?

Heads up: I’m taking a general break from the internet and social media spanning from around Christmas through the end of my winter break (so the beginning of January) in order to focus on writing and relaxing before winter semester begins. Obviously I don’t want the blog to go silent during that time, so I figured this would be a good opportunity to let a couple other people share their thoughts and stories on here.

A guest post can be anything from writing tips to poetry to a funny story about something that happened to you to pretty much actually anything. It should range somewhere between 300 and 2,000 words and can be as informal or formal as you’d like. The sky’s the limit (I’d say outer space, but I’m still recovering from Gravity).

Interested? Email me your guest post at jbyerswriting@aol.com by the night of Friday, December 20th, and I’ll let you know when it goes up on the blog. Make sure to paste your post into your email, because I will NOT open attachments.

Other things to include in your email to me: One paragraph bio; any social media links (blog, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc) you’d like included in the post; a picture of you, if you’d like it to go with your bio. Let me know if you’d like me to edit your post for grammar or typos or anything before it goes up, because I’m always open to doing that, but it’s up to you, since it’s your work.

If you’re not sure whether I’ll accept your topic idea, email a basic proposal outlining what you’ll cover in your post by the night of Monday, December 16 and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible about whether or not you should take the time to write out the entire post. (Topics that I can already automatically assure you I will not accept: Porn, or anything even remotely resembling a shade of grey. An open letter about how much you love hamburgers. A clipping from your diary praising Kristen Stewart as an actress in a manner that is anything less than satirical.)

So, to recap: I’m taking an internet hiatus for about two weeks. During that time, I want to put up guest posts so you’re not left with an empty, depressing blog. And I’d love for you to write one (or more–I’m always open to more) of them.

If anyone really, seriously needs to get a hold of me during this time, I will occasionally pop in just to make sure the internet hasn’t exploded or anything, so I will still be around a little. But unless something major comes up, I’m not going to be posting anywhere myself, replying to emails, etc.

Send me them incredible guest posts!

 

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday (GUEST POST: “The Last Lecture”)

Hey there, dear blog reader! Julia here to let you know that I am currently out of town and, because of that, unable to write blog posts myself. In order to keep Julia the Writer Girl alive while I’m gone, some great writers are helping me out by penning guest posts. Totally sweet and awesome of them, right? So, let’s give a big round of applause for today’s guest poster, Shelby Moore!

Shelby recently watched Randy Pausch’s famous lecture on achieving your childhood dreams and was super inspired by it, so she decided to write this post.

Shelby: Your post is just as inspirational to me as Pausch’s lecture, and I’m sure readers will feel the same. Great job with this, and good luck with writing! You’re so talented. 🙂 Thanks for being a guest blogger!

If you’d like to contact Shelby, you can check her out at her blog or email her at: shelbymoorewriting[at]aol.com .

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“I’ve always wanted to write a story, but…”

I don’t have the time.

I probably don’t have talent.

Nobody will like my story!

I’ve never written for fun before.

I’d rather watch TV/read XX book/play XX video game/etc. right right now.

[Insert limiting excuse here.]

How many of you have ever told yourself any of the above?  I certainly have!  But why do we talk ourselves out of writing?  It’s not terribly hard in comparison to so many other things – martial arts or brain surgery, for example.  Writing a novel is really quite achievable, as long as you are dedicated to writing a little bit every day.  All you have to do is put butt to chair and pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).  Even if what you write is awful, it’s better than nothing at all!

While growing up, I loved to write.  Sometimes I got in trouble because I was neglecting my homework in order to work on a story!  Ever since I could hold a crayon, I have dreamed of sharing my stories with the world.  However, recently I was telling myself that I was too busy to write, that I had too many other things to worry about.  I went without doing any creative writing during my first year at college.  I really missed it.  When I got home about a month ago, I decided it was time to start again.  I made this resolution because of a lecture which I watched at the request of my mother.

“The Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” is a lecture given by Randy Pausch at Carnegie Mellon University a few years ago as he was dying of pancreatic cancer.  It is also one of the most inspiring and uplifting speeches I have ever heard, and I’ve listened to more than my fair share of speeches during my lifetime.

Pausch doesn’t talk about his impending death.  He focuses instead on the dreams he had as a child and how they have become reality over the course of his life.  His lecture could apply to almost any area of life, but here are eight things that I got out of it which relate to writing:

  1. It’s ok to daydream.  You can get some of your best ideas while daydreaming.

     

  2. Have goals and write them down so you don’t forget them.

     

  3. Don’t limit yourself in your goals.  If you think small, you’ll never find out what big things you can achieve.  Some of Pausch’s dreams seem nearly impossible for an average guy to fulfill, but he never doubted what he really wanted, and it paid off eventually.

     

  4. Be free to express your personality and creativity.  Pausch talks about painting his own room when he was a kid, and some of the things he painted.  He put whatever he wanted on his walls!  We should feel free to write the story we want to write, and surround ourselves with the things that inspire us.

     

  5. “You’ve got to get the fundamentals down, because otherwise the fancy stuff isn’t going to work.”  You may have the greatest, most exciting idea for a story, but if you don’t use punctuation and spell everything wrong, it’s not going to go anywhere!  Take time to hone your skills.  Take time to revise and edit.  Take time to make sure the fundamentals of writing are in place, and that is when your story will truly become a great one.

     

  6. Learn from the advice and criticism of those who have gone before you.  Speaking of a hard day at football practice, Pausch said:

    “When [practice] was over, one of the assistant coaches came over to me and said, ‘Coach Graham rode you pretty hard, didn’t he?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’  And he said, ‘That’s a good thing.  When you’re screwing up and nobody’s saying anything to you anymore, that means they gave up.’  That’s been a lesson that stuck with me my whole life.  When you see yourself doing something badly, and nobody’s bothering to tell you anymore, that’s a very bad place to be.  Your critics are the ones telling you they still love you and care.”

    Sometimes, we are hesitant to write or show our finished writing to others because we are afraid of what they will say.  We should actually be grateful for the critique people give us.  Time is valuable.  Your critique-ers and beta readers obviously think you are worth their time, otherwise they wouldn’t bleed all over your precious story with their red pens.

     

  7. Sometimes your dreams won’t get fulfilled in quite the way you expected.  Pausch discusses that one of his childhood dreams was to be in zero gravity.  He ended up riding in an airplane which flies in parabolic arcs, creating about 25 seconds of weightlessness at a time for the passengers.  You may set out to write a novel and find that you end up with a book of poems.  Or you may start out with a plain ol’ fiction story and somehow end up with a sci-fi story set in another century!  Or maybe your writing debut isn’t a best-selling novel like you imagined – maybe it’s a small piece in a literary journal.  These are all successes.

     

  8. There will always be brick walls in our way, and “sometimes those walls are made of flesh.”  Pausch relates a story of trying to get permission from his superiors to take a sabbatical at Disneyland as an Imagineer.  You may be trying to find an editor, or querying agents, or attempting to self-publish right now.   You may be running up against “brick walls made of flesh” as people turn you away.  Don’t let the rejections put a halt to your dream.  Pausch adds, “Remember, the brick walls are there for a reason.  The brick walls are not there to keep us out… they are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.”  Find ways to get around the brick walls.  Others have achieved their dreams, so why not you as well?

In conclusion, if you want to write, do it!  Stop making excuses and start making your dream a reality.

If you haven’t already seen “The Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”, I encourage you to do so.  The entire lecture is only an hour, and it is an hour well spent.  You can watch it for free on YouTube.

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How great is Shelby, right? Again, you can check out her blog HERE or email her at: shelbymoorewriting[at]aol.com .

Talk to you as soon as I’m back from vacation–I can’t wait to tell you all about my trip!

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~Julia

Wordy Wednesday (GUEST POST: “Car Karma”)

Hey there, dear blog reader! Julia here to let you know that I am currently out of town and, because of that, unable to write blog posts myself. In order to keep Julia the Writer Girl alive while I’m gone, some great writers are helping me out by penning guest posts. Totally sweet and awesome of them, right? So, let’s give a big round of applause for today’s guest poster, Rachel O’Keefe!

Rachel wrote this week’s Wordy Wednesday as a one-act play for her drama intensive class. It has been chosen to be performed by her school’s English classes and will be counted as her final grade.

Rachel: That’s so cool, and I really love how you use your play to teach morals. Thanks for reading the blog, and for letting me share your writing!

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Cast

WALLACE-  Eighteen year old male, new driver.

LUCY- WALLACE’s younger sister, teenage female.

BRIDGETTE- LUCY’s distant friend, teenage female

HANNAH-BRIDGETTE’s best friend, teenage female

Setting

In a jeep.

Time

The present.

(At rise, all four characters are in a crowded car,

WALLACE is driving, HANNAH in the front,

LUCY and BRIDGETTE in the back seat.)

WALLACE

Sorry about the mess guys, I’ve never driven with back seat passengers before.

BRIDGETTE

You won’t hear me complaining about a free ride.

HANNAH

Yeah thanks for this.

LUCY

It’s great now that WALLACE has his license he’ll be like a chauffeur for me and my friends. Girls you can get used to riding first class with me, ice cream today the mall tomorrow, you name it we can get there. This is going to be the best year ever don’t you think so BRIDGE! (Secrete hand shake with BRIDGETTE)

                                                                                                BRIDGETTE

Yeah totes.

                                                                                                WALLACE

(Clear throat) Please don’t advertise it, like once in a while I won’t mind but this is cannot become a daily occurrence.

                                                                                                LUCY

I thought you liked driving

                                                                                                WALLACE

I do but unless your merry little friends want to chip in for gas money it’s not going to happen, gas is really expensive these days.

                                                                                                HANNAH

Do you want us to give you a few bucks for this ride, like a taxi?

                                                                                                WALLACE

No, it’s okay HANNAH my sister invited you so this first one is on me but it just can’t be every day.

                                                                                                HANNAH

Thank you again, WALLACE. (look nervously in the back seat at BRIDGETTE and receive an encouraging nod from BRIDGETTE)

                                                                                                BRIDGETTE

How about HANNAH and I buy your ice cream?

(WALLACE slows to a stop for the stop sign)

WALLACE

(Slowly)S-T-O-P  (halfheartedly) yeah that sounds good girls.

                                                                                                LUCY

Oh my gosh WALLACE why do you have to be such a looser in front of my friends, like your nerdy ness could be hereditary and I don’t need them to think less of me.

                                                                                                WALLACE

(Flustered)Safety is not lame LUCY, and you wouldn’t know because you’re not even old enough to drive with mom and dad’s supervision.

LUCY

In a few months I get a permit and you should be …

WALLACE

Glad that we’ll share this car. That way I know you will not be on the road when I am.

LUCY

(Offended squeal) how dare you, you are so rude, I’m your sister and these are my friends.

                                                                                                WALLACE

Really, because this is the first time I’ve even heard of HANNAH and BRIDGETTE is not your real friend.

                                                                                                BRIDGETTE

What do you mean by that, we’re great friends?

                                                                                                WALLACE

Do you even know LUCY’s last name or what animal she has, because for some reason I don’t think you do?

                                                                                                BRIDGETTE

I don’t have to answer that right.

                                                                                                LUCY

Come on BRIDGE I know I’ve told you this stuff before like you can do it.

                                                                                                BRIDGETTE

Um, last name Collin, and um you have a err um a pet (WALLACE stops at traffic light looks back to BRIDGETTE who is clearly struggling.) (Excitedly shout) green parakeet?

(WALLACE at the word green steps on the gas and another car smashes into the driver’s side no air bags deploy but the glass shatters. LUCY scream, Hannah gasp BRIDGETTE and WALLACE go silent. WALLACE look left)

                                                                                                WALLACE

Is anyone hurt?

                                                                                                HANNAH

I’m fine.

                                                                                                BRIDGETTE

I think I’m alright just a bit shook up.

HANNAH

BRIDGETTE, your neck is bleeding

BRIDGETTE0

I might have gotten like a small piece of glass in my neck,(touch hand to neck look at it to see blood. but it does not hurt,(apply pressure to neck) LUCY looks much worse.

                                                                                                WALLACE

HANNAH call 911, LUCE, how are you holding up. (Unbuckles seat belt and reaches back to touch her leg LUCY groans as a response.) LUCY talk to me how bad is it?

                                                                                                HANNAH

I’d like to report a car accident, on the corner of Springfield Ave and Garfield Road, Maplewood New Jersey, we need an ambulance immediately. (Pause while listening to the dispatcher.) Okay we will, thank you.

                                                                                                WALLACE

What’s happening?

                                                                                                HANNAH

We are to stay put, police and medics are on their way it should only be a few minutes. It’s going to be alright.

                                                                                                WALLACE

Yeah that’s easy for you to say, you’re not the one who just crashed their car or the one who has to go home to tell the rents you made a heavily financially burdening mistake or the one that has an unconscious sister because of the mistake that I just made.

                                                                                                LUCY

(Shutters awake) what happened? I hurt everywhere?

                                                                                                Bridgette

We were just hit by another car; medical attention is on its way just relax.

                                                                                                LUCY

Bridgette, I have a dog named Max(Slipping out of consciousness)  and he’s a golden retriever not a green feathered parrot.

                                                                                                BRIDGETTE

Well, I guess that’s something that a real friend would have known. A real friend, unlike me.

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Watch out next Wednesday for another guest post by another awesome individual. Thanks again to Rachel!

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~Julia