Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thoughts on 9/11

Note: I'm having problems commenting on blogs with embedded comment formats (the ones were you can reply to individual comments) so I'm sorry that I've been a bit quiet. Hoping to work out this bug soon!

Today is always an extremely emotional one.
I was eight years old on September 11th, 2001.
13 years later the events of that day are still raw. Though you all remember them too there are some memories that are painful to think about even today and I would like to share these two with you all.

  • The TV stayed on for the entire day and so I watched as the footage of the second plane hitting, the buildings engulfed in flames, and eventually the collapse of the buildings replayed over and over. For the next several nights I had nightmares of being trapped in fiery buildings and often woke up in tears.

  • My dad worked in one of the tallest buildings in downtown Nashville and for several months I was terrified of him going to work. Each day I was convinced it would be the last time I would ever see my dad.

I didn't personally know anyone who died that day, but I felt like I did. 
We mourned as a nation and we suffered as a nation. In many ways, I think those of us who remember are still in mourning. 
It saddens me that 9/11 is now just an event in history for anyone under the age of 18. 
It is our job to make sure that September 11th is never reduced to just another day.
It's our job to make sure they remember.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Back to work!

Hello all! Long time no see!
It's been a crazy few months for me but allow me to catch y'all up on my life.
Since July I've:

1. Received confirmation that I will be graduating in December. *gulp*
2. Helped my mom put together a Cystic Fibrosis fundraiser in honor of my nieces, where we raised $4000!
3. Moved into my sorority's house (that ought to provide some NA material...).
4. Turned 21. Still recovering.
5. Started my last semester as an undergrad.
6. Lost my motivation to write/blog.
7. Regained my motivation to write/blog.

It's been quite a summer break but I'm ready to get back into the swing of things. I can't wait to catch up with everyone. :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The more the merrier?

I am, as of today, working on two novels.
Does that seem crazy? I don't feel like it's crazy.
I'm not exactly working on them at the same time. 
What usually happens is that I'll work on one for a bit, hit a wall, go to the other novel and work on it for a bit, and continue the cycle until one of them is finished. If I'm struggling with both stories then I write something else, such as a short story.

It can be a tad difficult to switch between story worlds sometimes but this method works for me because it makes me keep writing. It's basically my cure for writer's block. Obviously, that method doesn't work for everyone. What do you guys do when you get stuck?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

"The What Ifs of Debut Novels"

Cherie stopped by to talk about the what ifs that come with writing.
Take it away, Cherie!
The What Ifs of Debut Novels

Publishing a novel is not for the faint-hearted. It takes perseverance to write, edit, and polish a novel, but it takes courage to release it into the world for others to enjoy or hate. As writers, we do what we can to produce the best book possible, but once we release it into the wild, we are left with many what ifs.

There are the bad what ifs: What if the novel doesn’t sell? What if no one likes it? What if I can never publish a book as good as this one? What if the novel is so hated I have to change my name? What if I get trolled because the novel is perceived to be so bad?

Then, there are the good what ifs: What if it does sell? What if it gets on the bestsellers lists? What if it’s optioned for a movie? What if it sells better than Harry Potter? What if it becomes so popular I have to change my name because everyone knows who I am and won’t stop hounding me about the next book?

Even some of those good what ifs can be scary. As you can see, it’s no wonder I’m a speculative fiction writer since I focus a lot on the what ifs!

In the end, all we can do is write the best we can. Beyond that, we need to take a deep breath and let those what ifs come, whatever they are.

What are you worried about publishing your work?

To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.

On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.

Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.

Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.

Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.

Available in Ebook and Print!

Click here to add on Goodreads.

A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her books include the horror collection Nightmare, a space fantasy novella collection titled Gravity, and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles and The Fate Challenges. Reborn is her debut novel. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms. For more information, please visit her website.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

What "American Beauty" Taught Me About Characters

I've been in movie mode lately. 
From Oscar nominated films to the classics, I've been watching whatever I could find and taking notes.
Most of these movies have a really great story but to be honest, a great story will only take you so far. What that great story needs are great characters.

I don't remember every plot detail of some of the best books I've read but I DO remember the characters. 
Who remembers everything from all 7 Harry Potter books? Few people. Who remembers why Severus Snape is one of the best characters in the series? Basically everyone.

Movie characters are no exception when it comes to their importance. That's why I was so pleasantly surprised when I finally watched "American Beauty."

This film is about a man named Lester who is going through a mid-life crisis and trying to get back what he's lost. Other characters are Lester's wife and daughter (who think he's a loser), the next door neighbors consisting of a hard core Marine and his strange son, and a high school girl who is about as self-centered as they come.

None of these characters should be likeable, given their actions (will withhold information to keep from spoiling the movie) but for some strange reason, they are likeable. I believe that the reason why it is easy to look past their negative qualities is because you can't help but to feel a bit sorry for all of them, and for very different reasons. I think that feeling sorry for someone helps us to relate to them and I have found this especially true for characters.

For example: Severus Snape.
Kind of hate him Books 1-6. He's such a jerk to Harry, obviously working for Voldemort, and is just generally unpleasant. Then in Book 7 it all makes sense and suddenly, Snape is just really misunderstood. BAM. Awesome character that practically every reader likes.

Ever seen American Beauty? What characters you should dislike, but actually like a lot? Any movie recommendations to keep the movie mode going?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Lazy Girl Fitness: Walk It Out

I like to exercise.
Really, I do!
But sometimes I just want to stay in my pajamas for the entire day instead of putting on my running shoes.
What's a lazy girl (or guy) to do?
Cheat, of course.

Lazy Tip #1: Invest in a pedometer.
Apparently we're supposed to take 10,000 or so steps per day (which roughly comes out to 5 miles). I have an app called Pedometer that allows me to track my steps, but a regular pedometer would work just fine and would probably save your phone battery. 

Lazy Tip #2: Make a deal with yourself.
There's a perfectly good way to incorporate writing and exercising. I write in a notebook, so for every page I write I walk around my apartment twice. This could easily be adjusted to taking a walking break for ever X amount of words written. If you have housework to do, do it while you're on your walking break. Need to check the mail? Walking break. Need to stretch? Stretch and then take that well deserved walking break. Really need to pee? Walk to the bathroom and then take another lap when you're done.

It may not add up to 10,000 steps but it certainly makes a dent and makes me feel slightly less guilty for keeping my pajamas on.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Do you want to play a game?

Not that game! 

More like a game of catch up. 
Here's what I've been up to:

1. Spent a week in PCB for spring was as crazy as you probably think.
2. Went to my last spring formal and looked fabulous.

3. Finished the semester with 3 B's, 1 A, and 1 Satisfactory. Kind of disappointing considering that I'm mostly an A student...but I passed.
 4. Changed my blog profile picture.
5. Changed my relationship status. Apologies to Elizabeth Seckman, who secretly hopes to be my mother-in-law someday.
6. Changed my enrollment status from junior to senior!
7. Started making payments on my student loans. Bleh.
8. Changed my career path. Again.

And that's about it! Well, from what I can remember right this second, at least. I can't wait to jump back into the blogging world. I have missed it (and you guys, of course).

What's new in your world?