Blogging 101: Day One – Introduction

BlogUHi everyone!

I’ve decided to take part in the WordPress Blogging University course, Blogging 101.  When I started my blog over a year ago, I had a faint idea of a plan, but for those of you who have been following me for some time now, you’ve heard me say a time or two that I really had no idea what I was doing.  I like the idea of continuing my education, and challenging myself to complete as many of the tasks as I can to see if I can grow my blog and kick my writing butt back into shape, so here we are.  This is in addition to finalizing my first screenplay for the submission season that is upon us.  I’m always more productive when I have more on my plate, so maybe this is exactly what I need…of course, it’s 10:30 pm and I’m just getting to it, so let’s see how it goes.

Day One: Introduce yourself

Well, here’s a little more about me, you know, in case you didn’t learn enough on my birthday.  :) Oddly, it was one of my more popular posts, so for my new friends, you can read it here.

I’m a screenwriter who chose to start a blog as a way of documenting my progress toward my goal of becoming a professional in the hopes that it would help other writers.  I was also unemployed at the time, and thought it would be a great way to set some perimeters for my daily routine.  I also have a terrible memory, hence the name of my blog, so I figured it would be the best way to maintain a “diary” on a regular basis.

I want to help writers, in part because I don’t remember having a lot of support when I chose this path either, but I have found that this is a great space to share my other passions, interests, and obsessions (Hello, Dragon Age.  I’m looking at you!) as well.  I like to share inspirational quotes, which I try to do on Mondays, interesting images as Writing Prompts on Wednesdays, and then a variety of other writing factoids, my own writings and those from others inspired by the Prompts, and anything else that piques my interest the rest of the week.  I was better about staying on track until The Sis and I moved in September and I got a day job writing.  Not as exciting as I had hoped, but that’s a story for another day.

I don’t tend to get too personal or controversial here because that’s not what this space was designed for.  I didn’t want this to be a platform or a soapbox.  I just wanted to create a welcoming space, something I could be proud of, meet other like-minded, creative individuals, and hopefully encourage at least one person along the way.

I suppose that’s a good start.

Best wishes, my friends!  And Happy Writing!

It’s Quote Monday

GoalsTooSmallI remember when I started telling people I wanted to be a screenwriter the reactions I often received.  I received a lot of scoffs and naysaying and “words of wisdom” that I should choose a more practical career path.  This is something that has always bothered me, and it used to gnaw on me a little, actually it still kind of does when I think on it. Why would you ever demean someone’s dream?  Why would you think to say it can’t be done, especially when you don’t know what the person is capable of?

This is why I try to be so positive and encouraging in this space.  Maybe you’ve received those comments and don’t have a lot of people in your corner telling you, “You can do it!”  I’ll be that person for you! :)

YouSayIDreamTooBigThe Sis and I spoke for some time last night as she took a few online tests to try to make a determination of which career path would suit her best.  I love screenwriting and want her to do something she loves too, no matter how long it takes to achieve it.  Unfortunately, my creative path practically ensures that I will work in jobs with little satisfaction (because creatives often want to save their energy for their real job) until I “make it”, while her career paths require many years of schooling, but will then reap huge rewards in the end.  We each must choose what makes us happy and have the courage to follow it.

set and reach goal conceptSet goals and dreams for yourself that people find amusing and then push those people aside as you go on to achieve your goals.  The naysaying should be fuel for your tenacity to show them all!  Wave to them from the top, and hope that they find something to be passionate about, because that’s probably the main reason they have chosen to try to knock you down.

So here’s to your continuing success!  Best of luck!

Fun Fact Friday

I found this interesting infographic in regards to how writing helps the brain and thought I’d share with my fellow creatives.

Writing&TheBrain

I found the graphic here if you feel like scouring their site for other interesting tidbits, like “How to be more productive” which would probably be more easily accomplished by not playing on the internet… :)

Happy Friday, friends!

Writing Prompt #44

It’s Writing Prompt Wednesday!

I started the prompts as a way to help other writers find inspiration, but I have found I enjoy the escape they provide as well.  I’ve written 20 flash fiction pieces so far, and truly hope you find them useful as well as interesting.

This week’s prompt could be seen in a number of ways, and I look forward to seeing what you create!

MistyPathHappy Writing!

 

40 Random Things About Me On My 40th

40isthenew20Yikes! It’s official, and this will be the one and only time I admit it…I’m 40.  Again I say, yikes!  I have that scene from Friends where Joey is crying about everyone getting older, “Why God? Why?” playing over and over in my head.

I haven’t been looking forward to it, and I’m not “depressed” exactly, but I’m not that pleased about it either.  And it’s not like I didn’t know it was coming…there’s no stopping time.  I suppose the birthday present Mother Nature decided to bestow upon me this morning in the form of a pimple in the middle of my forehead is a good reminder that age really is just a number…Thanks, lady. :P

I came downstairs this morning to quite the sight – the entire house is decorated in princess decor.  There are metallic colored swirly streamers hanging from the ceiling along with those fan-like circular ones.  There are streamers wrapped around the bannister, around the doors, and even a princess chandelier hanging from the ceiling fan…it’s perfect.  Oh, and I have more presents waiting for me than I’ve had since I was a kid, and The Sis is making me a black forest cake which I had for my 1st birthday…it’s turning out to be quite the day!

I have a friend, who for her 40th did something different everyday for 40 days, but I don’t have that sort of commitment.  I decided to do something that coincides with my age, and how it does ring true that you get more comfortable with yourself with age.  So, I present to you “40 random & true things” about me, in (sort of) chronological order:Rach(LittleRedRidingHood)76

  1. According to my mother, I was the first girl born to my father’s family in 90 years.  He was English (so I suppose it’s in my DNA) and gave me two middle names.
  2. I was born in Canada.
  3. Evidently I was a born swimmer, jumping into the pool when I was about 2 with no floaties and no lessons.  I’ve been swimming ever since.  I love the water.
  4. I once missed the bus because I forgot my pink elephant, Pinky, for Show-and-Tell.  I still have it.
  5. I’m still friends with a girl I met in kindergarten.
  6. I used to sleepwalk occasionally as a child.
  7. I had (still kind of do have) a fascination with fire, and was caught on occasion playing with it – like burning the back of the seat of my stepfather’s car. Oh yeah.
  8. I did not like ketchup until recently, but would eat tomatoes.
  9. I used to have the horrible habit of rolling my eyes…at everything and once fought with my third grade teacher about the date.  I argued that the calendar must be wrong.  Wow.
  10. I had hair that hung nearly mid-thigh and often pretended to be Madison from Splash – my hair was always green during the summer months.
  11. The first boy I ever had a crush on was named Tommy, but I also thought Kenny Rogers was a “fox”.  So there’s that.
  12. Tom Jones brought me on stage once and sang to me.  I still have the album he signed for me.
  13. I was in fifth grade when we watched the unfortunate events of the Challenger Space Shuttle take off, and I can still remember it clearly.
  14. I had my bike stolen in fifth grade from outside my house and I got in trouble for it. I wrote my first “novel” about running away from home because my stepfather was a jerk about it.
  15. The book about running away was a school project; we were given a blank hardback book and that was what inspired me to be a writer – the book, not the story. :)
  16. I was a ballerina for 16 years.
  17. I once tried out for cheerleading, but quickly realized it was not for me.  I joined the volleyball team instead, and regularly hated the cheerleaders’ perpetual perkiness.
  18. I was the third tallest kid in jr. high behind two boys, Conrad and Dean.
  19. I topped out at 6 feet tall by the time I was 18.
  20. I had to wear guy’s jeans until I was almost 20 because they were the only pants that had inseam length.  I still have a problem finding clothes that are the right length; my sleeves are always too short, and pants a little high water.
  21. I met my best friend, Jill when we were 14 at a church youth group camp.  We thought we’d be pastors’ wives…oh how the times have changed.
  22. My mother entered me in a beauty pageant at 15.  I didn’t crack the top 10.
  23. I did modeling in my teens and was told by a photographer to lose 10 lbs.  I was 5’10” and 125 lbs at the time.  I quit modeling shortly thereafter.
  24. I sang in my junior high and high school choirs.
  25. I’ve always had very long hair and when I was 15, I rode a go-cart without a cover on the engine.  My unbound hair whipped in, and I lost nearly half the hair on the left side of my head. I ended up cutting off about 3 feet of hair to get rid of the burnt, mangled bits.
  26. I had my first kiss at 16 with my best friend at the time, Eric.  He thought we should lose our virginities together.
  27. I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 29 and planned on writing a screenplay about it; the 40-Year Old Virgin beat me to it.  I had a friend who suggested I sell “it” to the highest bidder, like a geisha and at least make a profit.
  28. I played volleyball for years, despite not getting my varsity letter my junior year because I went on a French Club trip to see The Phantom of the Opera that coincided with state finals.  I didn’t play my senior year out of spite – still so stubborn.
  29. I did not go to my Senior Prom.  The boy I liked thought I was going with someone else and didn’t ask.  At our 10 year reunion he apologized. :)
  30. I considered being a showgirl, but was told I was too nice for the business.
  31. I was 19 when I discovered England was “home”, and the love affair began.  I’ve only been back once since.  Maybe that’s why no place feels like home?!
  32. My brother and I thought about opening up a tea shop, and while in research mode, snuck into a tea convention.  Such a rebel.
  33. Titanic was the first movie I ever saw alone.
  34. I went back to college after a 5 year hiatus and graduated 2 months shy of my 30th birthday.
  35. I’ve been a vegetarian for 8 years.  It was then that I discovered I’m lactose intolerant, but I’m never giving up cheese or ice cream!
  36. I haven’t been on a date in 5 years, as I swore off men until I got my career off the ground.  I’m willing to lift the ban for the one who “gets me”.
  37. I hate horror movies and country music.
  38. I have almost every ticket from every movie I’ve ever seen at the theater.
  39. I don’t like drugs because of the loss of control.  I’m a bit of a control freak.  I’ve “smoked” like 3 times and did shrooms once.  It caused me to react with this weird hysterical laugh/cry thing that I did not care for.
  40. Inevitably, no matter where I work, I get the nickname Princess.  The Sis says it’s because it’s obvious.  My muse -CinderellaArt

Goodness, that’s quite the list and reflection on my life.

Thank you all for being a part of the journey!

xx, Rach

Writing Prompt Challenge Accepted #10

I kept the promise I made to myself and wrote a couple of flash fiction pieces.  I used them as a warm-up exercise as I pushed past that third act hurdle I have been struggling with…

The Sis made note that I always set up the story without any follow through; she wants to know more, which I appreciate.  I suppose I could work on that, but I write about what the image entails, and with 200 words (or less) it’s hard to get into the story much beyond that.  I hope you enjoy anyway. :)

LostShip

Lost

The cavern smelled of death and rot, of days long since past.  Her nose twitched and she winced in response.  A cool breeze wafted through swirling her hair about her and with it came expectation.  The months of visions had all led her to this moment, and she could feel the vindication welling in her chest.  There was light illuminating the cave before her, and she stood up at the bow of the small rowboat eager to see what would reveal itself beyond.  She knew it was there. 

The few sailors she had aligned herself with rowed a bit faster and she held the lantern up a bit higher.  The edge of the cave was like an open mouth; jagged rocks reached upward and hung menacingly from above.  She held her breath as her eyes adjusted to the light and then she gasped.  There she was.  The prized Jewel.  She had long been lost, but no longer.

PortalThe Portal

I couldn’t remember how we had arrived in this place.  I was upon my back, everything ached, and as I looked around I found my companions in similar positions upon the ground around me.  Nothing was as it should be; the sky was yellow, the trees beheld faces, and the air smelled of ash.  I winced with each movement as I rose to my feet.  That was when I was able to take in our surroundings more fully.

 There was a tower of sorts that held a world within it; starry sky, a sea of clouds, and a beautiful sunrise in the distance.  It clearly held a more sinister purpose as I noticed the trail of blood leading inward from the stairs.  The tower was taller than any structure I had ever encountered before, and it appeared as if there were people on the ramparts above.  I had the distinct uneasy feeling that they were watching us.  Along with the doorway cut into the sky itself on one side and a castle alight with an inferno on the other, my mind reeled.  I drew my sword and took an unsteady step forward.

Happy Writing!

Love Is In the Air

HeartsHappy Valentine’s Day!

For lovers it’s a day gifts and overly romantic gestures are expected. For singletons a day to feel bad that we don’t have someone to give/receive overly romantic gestures. There’s usually alcohol involved, in either case, and heaps of money spent to validate said expression of love, but not all love shown today requires it to be romantic.

These are the loves of my life –

P&LWhile I’m writing this I am enjoying a little pink bubbly, but that’s not to drown my disappointment or anything ;) we’ll call it pre-birthday celebrating. Now that’s a reason to drink!

Sending love to you all!

xx, Rach

Writing Prompt #43

As many of you know by now, I love history and lost worlds, and when I found this image, of course I was immediately intrigued.  A little Goonies reference perhaps?  I fully intend to write a couple flash fictions this week based on the images I’ve posted recently, so remember to share what you create as well!  I look forward to seeing your imaginations at work!

LostShip

Happy Writing!

It’s Quote Monday…kind of.

BewareDestinationAddictionThe last couple of weeks, the impending doom surrounding my birthday has caused random outbursts of emotion.  I’ve had some bad birthdays, but this one is different.  I was in a home store, looking at the various items that could be useful in the new place; new towels, area rugs, side tables, etc. when I started to well up.  It’s frustrating to feel sort of stuck; always hoping and striving for more.  I keep banking on this elusive future that I can’t wait to happen, and yet with each passing day I don’t feel any closer.  I got a job I was hoping would be something I could be proud of in the meantime, I’m writing every day, but we write rubbish and I don’t even make enough money to make it worthwhile.

So as I stared at the cute side table, thinking that I should be able to walk into a store and just buy something like that once in a while, I was reminded of my circumstances and that with the looming age I should be in a different place.  So my eyes filled and I started the self-loathing.

I’m just not satisfied with my life.  Being an artist is a difficult path, and as positive as I try to remain, sometimes life just smacks you in the face.  I’m usually the first to say, “age is just a number”, but this birthday now puts me in a new box.  You know the box.  I’m officially in a new one next week.

I found these quotes, that made me feel a little better, and thought I’d share them for if you’re ever feeling low.

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” - C.S. Lewis

“In my dreams, I never have an age.” – Madeleine L’Engle

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” – Mark Twain

I hope you all have a wonderful week!  And if you have any words of wisdom, please share! :)

The Dragon Age Obsession Saga Continues…Part 2

InquistionPosterSo, it’s time to continue the obsession saga series known as Dragon Age. I present to you Part 2: Creating your Character aka The Protagonist.

As I mentioned in the first part, I will discuss topics in the order they are encountered, so this post will deal with character creation and we’ll move on from there.

Character creation is one of my favorite things to do in games. If I could get paid to make characters all day, I totally would. Some games do this better than others, and I had really high hopes for this option in Inquisition given the previous games, and from early game footage we knew the graphics were going to be amazing, and for the most part it is really good, but it has its downsides.

InquisitionCharactersIn Origins (game 1) you were given a choice of 6 different origin stories to play through as an elf, a human, or a dwarf. Comments made in game play, and how NPC characters treated you, etc. were all based on this choice. In 2 you could only play as a human, Hawke, which many people didn’t care for (in addition to a number of other factors – we won’t go into that here – I still liked the game). There was also a DLC called the Black Emporium that allowed you to change your character’s features at no extra cost, i.e. gold or favor anytime you wished. Inquisition returns to the original format of different races and includes a fourth option, the Qunari; a race of large beings with horns, usually. You do not have an option to change features, but Bioware did try to have the character creator mirror actual game play, and it is very close.  What this means is what you see is what you get, pretty much.

The character creator allows for multiple interesting features to incorporate such as unnatural eye colors (pink, yellow, what-have-you or a combination of any along the color wheel), scars, tattoos, and even a broken nose. You could easily spend hours creating just the right eye size, nose shape, chin depth, even the height of the ears, and that’s all great, except…

Here are the downsides. There are no distinctions in hair options for male and female characters. They removed a number of the good ones from previous games (where did my cute bob with the braids go?!) and instead added 13 bald-ish options. You can go completely bald, have stubble, have stubble with a round head, or stubble with a slightly cone head, and the list goes on for 13 different options…gracious.

And let’s talk about beard options for male characters – there are like 40. C’mon now. I realize there are so many other things going on in character creation, especially having 4 races, but you took away multiple choices for one of the most essential features – hair to include all those others?

Side note, here’s a link to a video about some of the ugliest characters created, but be forewarned for explicit language. I found it hilarious!

One feature some gamers didn’t like was the lack of choice in body type. Elves are small framed, dwarves are short, Qunari are tall, and humans are well, human. There is no choice in making any character taller or shorter, heavier or thinner. You cannot create the rare tall elf, or the randomly short Qunari.

So after painstakingly creating your perfect character, choosing a voice of which there are only two across the board for any race of male and female characters, and a name which no one will ever use in game play because gaming is not quite that advanced yet, you start your game.

Depending on your race, whether you’re female or male, and depending on your class especially in this game, you will be treated accordingly in this world. Elves are second-class citizens, dwarves are generally not surface dwellers, Qunari are from a foreign land and in previous games have been referred to as an invading force trying to convert the world to their beliefs, and then there is the “ruling” class, the humans. In Inquisition, regardless of your class, you will be from a noble family, although if you are a mage, you will have come from a circle; a place where mages are kept locked away for the protection of the people.

This is the driving storyline of Inquisition due to events started in DA:2. We’ll talk about story in another post.

image (12)What makes the character creator fun, you might ask?  As a writer, sometimes I find it fun to try to create a character that might resemble one of my own creations.  If you’re really talented you can create a character that looks like someone else, like this, Nigel Thornberry.  So, after all my time spent in the creator, this was my first character, who I really liked despite her questioning eyebrows. :)  She does not resemble any of my imaginary friends, but after the play through, I suppose she could.  I really grew to love her and her choices, despite what some of her companions thought.

All right, that’s quite enough for one day. The Dragon Age Obsession Saga will continue with posts in regards to dialogue, companions, and story shortly.

Happy Sunday!