Writing everyday?

It has been a few days since I made a contribution to this blog and while I definitely wish that I had not missed so many days in a row there have been so many things that have popped up in my personal life that have either kept me extremely busy or left me feeling drained by the end of the day.

First off, I had to make a trip down to Savannah, Georgia to be able to attend the very first birthday of my cousin’s son. Now many of you might think this is simply no big deal, but let me tell you this: out of the combined nine children between my father and his two brothers (two are in their mid thirties, the rest of us in the mid to late 20s) this is the ONLY grandchild produced thus far. Why? Not a clue. It’s just how it is. So naturally the entire family had to get together to celebrate the little guy.

Fast forward to Monday. I got a phone call after my fiance letting me know he had been in a car accident and yes, it was his fault. I was hit with so many emotions all at once. Fear for his safety and well being as well as intense rage that he had yet another accident (three total in the past 2 years). Spending the day in the hospital with him lessened the stress because, well, what’s done is done. There is no rewind button and you have to move forward.

Tuesday comes and insurance deems the car a total loss. Great. My Kia soul, a car that I ADORED, is gone. Haven’t even made the 8th payment on her yet. Crap. Call the dealership to get the information on the gap coverage policy that I requested FIVE TIMES before signing my papers on the vehicle. Guess what? They didn’t add the gap. Anyone reading this who has ever had a total loss will know how vital this insurance is. If you don’t have it, please go get it. It’s really stressful not to. So, thankfully I signed up for the extended 100,000 mile warranty that my dad begged me not to get because at the very least I now have another 2000 towards the cost of my car. This should in theory only leave us with about 2-3k we have to pay down. Luckily, vehicle lien holders will usually drop the price and interest on all payments moving forward due to such a small amount.

All of this coupled with a few more issues that came my way revolving around this accident (I don’t want to continue to give a long drawn out account of my week) has left me feeling drained at the end of most of my days. I have not had the time to sit down and write this blog nor have I had time to focus on putting any more effort into my novel.

Any aspiring writer would sympathize with me and know that when you don’t see yourself making progress on a project like a novel you tend to start questioning your passion and commitment to said project. Many writers even go out of their way to try and set the goal of writing SOMETHING every single day.

The fact of the matter is that you are bound to fail if you push yourself to that extreme and when you fail at your own goals the pressure can at times feel even heavier than it would have without the crazy strict goals. Sometimes you just don’t have time to write. Sometimes you are so emotionally drained that anything you actually do manage to write is simply going to be subpar, but you will know this and choose not to write. THIS IS OKAY.

Do not let yourself listen to the naysayers. Do not let yourself feel bad or less skilled as a writer simply because you find that you do not always have time. This will do nothing for your outlook or your project.

Don’t stress. You will get there. Eventually. Too many people don’t chase their dreams and passion because they feel they don’t have the time to do it. Do it anyway. At your own pace. Everyone is different. Even if it takes longer than you want it to, at least you have tried.

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Resolutions…

I am a little behind in the game with getting my New Years post written, but honestly I was finding it a little hard to find words for what I wanted to say. I figured that if I just sat down to write this evening that what I wanted to say would simply come to me and as usual I am right… it seems that writer’s block can affect even what would seem like the simplest forms of verbal expression. 

So, it’s 2019. Not yet three days into the new year (as I currently write, anyhow) but the one thing I knew I could count on upon entering the new year was reading everyone’s proclamation of their New Year’s Resolutions. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a hate post. It really makes me happy to see so many people who have things in their lives that they truly want to spend some time working on as they move forward in life. Time is constantly moving so sometimes we all need an event like the start of another year to remind us to take the time to take care of ourselves.

The problem for me with this system is that any time I ever really try to make a resolution, even with the best intentions, I fail. I don’t just fail. I fail HARD. I sit here and reflect on some of the crap that has been handed to me over the past year (and further back) and I am seriously surprised I have even made it this far. Every single task I have ever tried to undertake has almost ALWAYS ended in failure. I have stumbled over most road blocks and I have not ever managed to land on my own two feet (without assistance). So…instead of trying to reflect on my past year and make some unattainable resolution…I want to focus on a lesson I have learned instead.

Change is not an option.

No matter what chapter of life we are in…something is going to change…whether we want it to or not. Change can happen in many different forms. Residences change. Jobs change. The faces you see on a daily basis change. Appearances change. Health changes. This is something that, especially to creatures of habit, can seem like the absolute end of the world. Unfortunately, the fact is that 90% of the time there is nothing that we can do to alter what does and does not change for us in our daily lives. Outside forces we almost never see coming impact these changes. We can’t stop it. We can only CHANGE how we react. That brings me to my REALISTIC resolution for this year.

RESOLUTION: Breathe.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

This is the only word I can allow myself to cling to. If I don’t, I will spend the next year of my life doing exactly what I have done over the course of the past five and that’s worrying and stressing over things that I cannot CHANGE. I have to stop and breathe before I react. Yes, the changes might be hard. Yes, the changes might break my heart. Yes, the changes could drain my bank account in a matter of minutes. The problem with worrying about those things… is what they do to your soul. Worrying sucks all of the happiness and wonder out of a life that is supposed to be as beautiful as it is amazing.

It is because of this… rather than making some crap resolution that I know I will ultimately fail at because, let’s face it, many resolutions fail… I want to make the promise to myself that I will try. All I want to do is try. I want to try to live my best life. I want to try to find a reason to smile everyday. I want to try to make each day count for something. And most importantly… I want to TRY to remember to not be so damn hard on myself. The rest will follow…right?

Book Review: Bird Box

Hello, everyone! If this is not your first time reading my blog, welcome back, and if it is, thank you for joining me! This is a follow up entry to a bit of a movie review that I wrote just last night that you can find here.

So, I made mention in my other post that before I knew that Bird Box had initially been a book written by Josh Malerman I watched the film adaptation of the story shortly after it was put out on Netflix. I thought the story was so compelling that I kind of wanted to put in the time and effort to get to know the characters better as well as better understand the type of world that they found themselves to be inhabiting. So, I made the promise of navigating to my Kindle app and purchasing the eBook, and I followed through. I was so taken in by this story I literally finished reading it in a matter of around 24 hours.

SPOILER ALERT!! IF YOU DON’T WANT A STORY YOU HAVE NOT READ RUINED FOR YOU, TURN BACK NOW!!

I mean it, guys. I am about to rip this thing open. If you have not read the book or watched the movie, follow the links and get it done! BOOK | MOVIE

Now, the movie was absolutely fantastic if you are into the whole post apocalyptic, horror, psychological thriller kind of thing. Honestly, I myself am not too intrigued by this prospect. That being said, as soon as all of my friends were discussing this film I knew I needed to watch it so that I could at the very least understand what was happening on my newsfeed on Facebook.

I wrote a short synopsis of the story in my first post about the film. To save time for those who haven’t read it or would rather not navigate to the page, here it is:

“Bird Box is a horror/psychological thriller in which main character Malorie finds herself thrust into an apocalyptic scenario that, quite frankly, I find to be absolutely terrifying. The story centers around an unseen force that is wiping people off the face of the earth (not literally) via means of suicide. Yeah, you read that right. Anyone who lays their eyes on whatever these creatures are is driven mad, or into sadness, and begin to take their own lives. Pretty quickly all characters learn that the only way to survive is to simply not look at the creatures. Problem is, they seem to be everywhere. Unless they are safely inside the abandoned house they inhabit where their windows are covered they must wear a blindfold at all times. Fast forward five years and pretty much everyone in their group is gone apart from Malorie and two children. The area they are staying in is no longer safe (no, I won’t tell you why because no one likes spoilers) and the time has come for them to move on. Malorie had previously gained knowledge of a possible sanctuary where they might be safe but the issue was getting there safely. Long story short, viewers find themselves observing Malorie and the children riding in a row boat down a river for days, blind folded. To top this off they are being stalked by various dangers.”

Now that we have that out of the way…let’s get to the real treasure here: THE BOOK. Usually when I come across movies that were created in the image of a book I find that the book is often better than its film adaptation. Bird Box was no different in this respect for me. That is absolutely not saying that I didn’t love the film, because I most certainly did. I just felt that the book told readers far more about the world and the troubles faced within than the movie was able to.

There are several key differences within the story. For instance: in the movie, one of the survivors that Malorie found herself living with for a short time (Tom) was pictured to have been with her five years into the apocalypse scenario as her lover and protector. This was not the case in the book. No, Malorie was stumbling around blind in the world raising two babies by herself and training them to listen to the world around them on her own for four years. That’s a pretty badass leading lady if you ask me.

This chick was by herself, lonely, hurt, and barely surviving all the while taking care of two infants and facing down the dangers in the world around her. She was forced to bury all of her friends behind the house she was in alone and blindfolded. She was able to make the house safe again for herself and the children despite the fact that, unlike in the movie, Gary (our human villain responsible for the death of all of Malorie’s housemates) did not die. She sets up her own alarm systems, paints the car windows and forages for supplies by herself. ON TOP OF THAT, Rick at the safe haven she was traveling to contacted her literally the day she gave birth to the Boy. She managed to find this place again after four years of waiting for the courage to make such a trip.

Now, I don’t want to sit here and continue to give away precious gems that can be found in reading the book, but I am going to urge you all to make sure that you take the time to read it. The movie captured the essence beautifully but as always there is more to know! For instance: What really happened to the group? Are those who can see the creatures mentally unstable? There was a dog *gasp* etc.

The only question that was not answered for me was what in the world do the so called creatures look like? It’s just as well, I suppose. The characters couldn’t see them without going mad. Use your imaginations! Run wild!

Overall Rating: ★★★★

That’s all for now, folks. Signing off to bring in the New Year. Be safe out there and have a wonderful holiday!

Thanks for reading.

Note: If the links for the movie or book does not work, a quick internet search on GOOGLE should take you right to them!

An honest review: Bird Box, Film

I wanted to take the time to sit down and write something for the readers about a pretty thrilling tale that has caught a lot of publicity in the recent week or two that has been featured on Netflix. If you guessed it, you guessed right, I am here today to talk about the thriller film: Bird Box.

Now, to start, I gotta admit that as a lover of literature, I am a little disappointed in myself for not doing my full amount of research on the story to know that this was originally written as a novel by Josh Malerman. I don’t know about everyone else out there who might stumble across my posting here, but I am usually a member of the group that prefers to read a book before I see a movie made in its image. HOWEVER that was not the case this time, but that fact has so far not tipped the tide of my opinion of the film so far.

I am not going to sit here and give you all a super long synopsis of the story because chances are if you are reading this you already know bits and pieces, if not all, of the story based on either watching the trailer online or from perhaps actually watching the movie. But for those of you here who may have absolutely no idea what I am talking about: listen up.

Bird Box is a horror/psychological thriller in which main character Malorie finds herself thrust into an apocalyptic scenario that, quite frankly, I find to be absolutely terrifying. The story centers around an unseen force that is wiping people off the face of the earth (not literally) via means of suicide. Yeah, you read that right. Anyone who lays their eyes on whatever these creatures are is driven mad, or into sadness, and begin to take their own lives. Pretty quickly all characters learn that the only way to survive is to simply not look at the creatures. Problem is, they seem to be everywhere. Unless they are safely inside the abandoned house they inhabit where their windows are covered they must wear a blindfold at all times. Fast forward five years and pretty much everyone in their group is gone apart from Malorie and two children. The area they are staying in is no longer safe (no, I won’t tell you why because no one likes spoilers) and the time has come for them to move on. Malorie had previously gained knowledge of a possible sanctuary where they might be safe but the issue was getting there safely. Long story short, viewers find themselves observing Malorie and the children riding in a row boat down a river for days, blind folded. To top this off they are being stalked by various dangers.

Now that we have that out of the way… let me just say…this movie has caught a lot of negative remarks on Facebook. My own newsfeed is currently littered with joke memes and videos made at the movies expense. It is because of this fact that I did not sit down to watch this movie as soon as it came out as most everyone else on my friend’s list had. I was assuming the movie would be terrible, because who makes fun of something that is obviously a killer film? The answer: apparently everyone.

Guys. This movie was not a joke as I had thought it would be. Where as many people criticized Sandra Bullock (who stars in the film, by the way) for being far too serious in her roles or stating that she does better in comedy films, I thought her performance was compelling and as a fan of hers ever since seeing Miss Congeniality YEARS ago I was thrilled to see her star in a role of this caliber.

If you are looking for a film to watch that will keep you engaged and you can get down with watching a thriller, I highly recommend giving it a view. Hop on over to Netflix. Most viewers are going to be satisfied with what they are watching, and despite the crazy negative reviews that the movie appears to be receiving on social media, Netflix’s reported over 45 million account views as of yesterday (a record breaking number for the company apparently) would suggest otherwise.

If you have already seen the film and are like me, meaning you were probably left with some questions that need answers, chances are you are going to be doing exactly what I am going to when I am finished writing this post: navigating straight to my Kindle app and purchasing the ebook. This is not to say that the movie was not thorough enough with the details as it is entirely possible to miss a thing or two during the first viewing of a film. However, more often than not I find that there simply is no better telling of a story than from the author themselves.

Thank you for reading! Now go! GO WATCH THE MOVIE! or buy the book. Whichever. ❤

Editing as you write…

In the vast amount of research I have done on the issue of writing a book there is one item that has stood out to me above all others: editing the work. Now, I have heard it each and every which way thanks to the multitude of booktubers that I follow on YouTube. Some writers find it best that they edit their own work while others would have you believe that this idea is absolutely foolish and the only way you should go about it is to hire an editor to read your book and edit it for you.

I am on the fence in this category. I find the fear of putting my book into the hands of someone else before it is ready to be published absolutely terrifying. That being said, I also know that there are bound to be issues let behind in the body of my work that need to be fixed in order to make the story flow harmoniously. So where can that balance be found?

I’m going to say that this is a question best left to the writers in question, because we are all different as far as our writing techniques are concerned. For instance, I personally wrote two chapters and found the task of reading over what I had written to be rather daunting. Word choice had to be redone, items had to be changed, next thing I know I have to delete something out of the middle of the next chapter because it just doesn’t make sense to the sequence of events happening even so early on. This is an idea that I am sure will be extremely frustrating if I left the editing to happen once the book is finished.

Once I realized this, I went through this small phase of doubt in my writing ability. I felt that this was a sign that my ideas for this novel were not going to go as I had wanted them to. In the end, I have found that so far into book one in the series that I have been spinning (mostly in my head and brainstorming notebook) the best approach has been for me to edit as I write.

I accomplish this by working one chapter at a time, only moving onto the next chapter once I am satisfied with what I have written so far. This allows me to go back and think critically about the word choices I have utilized as well as reevaluate the sequence of events so that overall the concepts that I have written will make more sense to the readers who might be so inclined to pick out my book among the millions already on the market.

This is not something that will totally eliminate the need for further editing, but it is something that will save a lot of time, money, and headaches in the long run as there is less chance of having to go back into the story and completely rework a major theme that is spread along the length of the novel. There may even be the option of forgoing hiring an editor on a large scale and choosing to utilize beta readers for the book (ALSO AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT CONCEPT) that I plan to discuss on a later date as the argument of beta readers versus a professional editor is its own beast.

Who knows? Only time will tell, and as time will most definitely tell: writing a novel is not a once size fits all scenario. What works for one writer will not work for another. I am not exempt from this nor is any other aspiring author.

Thank you for reading. I hope that any tips I have to offer will help you in your own journey!