Fiction Fridays at The Duck & The Owl!

This week, I started contributing short stories/flash fiction for The Duck & The Owl! My stories are now featured in one of their series called “Fiction Fridays,” and they’ll appear a couple times a month alongside other writers. I love it!

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Today, a little something I wrote called “Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme” is up for your perusal. Head to The Duck & The Owl to read it and don’t forget to follow Kaitlyn and Sarah. Their blog is all about positivity, self-love and artistic endeavors.

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Read me on HelloGiggles!

And elsewhere on the internetz. For the past couple months I’ve been contributing to HelloGiggles and I’ve got some other projects in the works I want to brag about! I love writing for HelloGiggles because it inspires this amazing community of support among all women, without judgment or criticism, without fear or insecurity. I write about a lot of fun things like old movies and shows (like “Lizzie McGuire” or Ice Princess) and about personal experiences. Here’s my author page or follow me on Twitter to see what I’m writing.

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I’m also going to begin writing fiction for this month’s featured blog, The Duck and the Owl. They accept contributors and I thought it would be productive for me to begin sharing my fiction, instead of squirreling it away so that no one ever sees it. I don’t know if anyone will ever want to see it, but being beholden to a deadline will allow me to overcome two challenges: finishing a work of fiction and sharing it.

I’m also a brand new contributor for HerCampus, an online community for college women. Again, this job lets me be a part of a community of women who support each other and bolster each other’s confidence on our road to success. I’m quite proud of my accomplishments this year, and I’m eager to keep writing and learning.

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Chasing Inspiration

I’ve always found that reading a favorite poet or novel can seriously help with lagging inspiration. I usually turn to Rilke or Tennyson for that little oomph I need. Reading Rilke’s poems, I came across one that I hadn’t read before, one that I loved and put me in the right mood for writing:

[Dove that ventured outside]

Dove that ventured outside,      flying far from the dovecote:
housed and protected again,      one with the day, the night,
knows what serenity is,      for she has felt her wings
pass through all distance and fear      in the course of her wanderings.

The doves that remained at home,      never exposed to loss,
innocent and secure,      cannot know tenderness;
only the won-back heart      can ever be satisfied: free,
through all it has given up,      to rejoice in its mastery.

Being arches itself      over the vast abyss.
Ah the ball that we dared,      that we hurled into infinite space,
doesn’t it fill our hands      differently with its return:
heavier by the weight      of where it has been.

I’ve also always loved the idea of pulling titles from poems that have inspired and informed your writing. As NaNoWriMo winds down (as does my word count), I find that I have to push myself and find ways to give myself energy. The initial excitement has dissipated, but little things can help prolong the energy. Rilke is always one of them.

Check out my guest post on "Jill Of All Genres"

Photo Jul 21, 9 40 22 AMI recently had the honor to write a guest post on “Jill Of All Genres,” a wonderful literary blog run by Emilie Staat, a multitalented writer and blogger. She approached me to write a piece on re-reading a book that has been influential to me, and I chose A Room With A View. Some of you may know that this book is on my Top Ten Books of All Time list, and that it continues to be a source of inspiration and comfort to me.

I snapped at the chance to re-read it and reflect on the book, what it meant to me when I first read it, and what it means to me now. I was surprised and elated to find out that I responded to this book in more emotional ways the second time around! Check out the full piece at this link: The Re-Reading Project Guest Post: A Room with a View.

And follow Emilie’s blog here!

Happy August, everyone! I hope your summer has been relaxing and exciting so far.

Writing Prompts & The Dreaded Block

I’ve never been one for writing prompts. I always hated having to obey someone else, and I resent having to tailor anything I write to fit some arbitrary guidelines. In my college writing class, prompts were the bane of my existence. Why can’t I simply stare off into the distance for a few hours until I know what I want to write about? Why must I follow rules?! Why doesn’t WordPress allow me to insert an interrobang?!

It’s just my stubborn rebelliousness at work here, but I have never been a fan of writing prompts, but I am trying to keep an open mind about them lately. Another cliche is the idea of “writer’s block.” Yes, it’s real, but it’s definitely more psychological and emotional than simply “not knowing what to write about.” And I’ve got it in full force. I haven’t written anything in weeks and it’s bugging me.

So, in an effort to combat my very real writer’s block, I am going to work very hard every day on completing the writing prompts included in this book:

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Two Pages, by Abigail Thomas, which I bought in Woodstock last month. These prompts are one part writing prompts and one part poetry, so I’m hoping it’s a little more creative than your standard “insert prose here” kind of prompt. I am going against my natural hatred for authority and being told what to do, but maybe it’ll help lift me out of this writing rut. Wish me luck!

The first prompt:

two pages

of ten years of your life, using only
three-word sentences 

of pure gossip

with pillow, convertible, and ice cube

Sounds like fun.

What do you writers out there think about using prompts to help you with your writing? How do you combat writer’s block?