Tag Archives: relationships

Family Ties: Knotted or Ripping at the Seams

Being that family is the main focus of my novel, I thought now was the right time to discuss how important it is to have a realistic family in a fictional novel. The easiest part is picking the perfect family.

The American Dream

You want your story to have it all—the nuclear family, maybe some pets, except the perfect family does not exist. What we have in our minds of what a family should be is not what people should be in the pages of a book. People want to relate to your story and there is no better way to relate than to provide an honest picture of family. It can be difficult to pinpoint the aspects of family that everyone can relate to, but there is one fact that remains true. Family can bend and break because it’s not a perfect, fragile piece of glass. Instead, I needed to think of it as a flexible, powerful rope that even when cut can be knotted back together. My fictional family is less than perfect, struggling to survive in a new place, but always working to stay as one.

 

One of the hardest tricks to master when building your fictional family is the flaws in the relationships between the members. Flaws in characters are difficult, but flaws in relationships are complicated times two or four. My task in constructing the Brooks family was making each family member was then showing how they interact. Looking in on my own family, I realize that your personal relationships are the best way to learn–the good, bad, and unusual.  Every day I can be grateful knowing that every moment I spend with my family allows me to give more in my writing.

If a perfect family is unrealistic, then the writer of any story must consider what kind of family would suit the story. In my case, the nuclear family was both familiar and useful to the story. What more does an American family need to be than a Mom, Dad, brother, and sister? It gives me the room I need to develop strong women, vulnerable men, and a family ready to overcome each other’s differences. In the long haul, this idea saves you from the expectation that every family is the same or better than your own. Rather, what they are expected to do is pick you up when you have reached the bottom and show you what family truly means. It means caring for each other for the flaws that bond you, not just in blood, but in love too.

I hope this post inspires you to bring some of the hope and maybe a little dysfunction of your family into your writing.

 

Happy reading and writing!!!

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Double Whammy…Of AWESOME!

Now that my critical essay is finished and sent to my mentor, I can exclaim the good news! Thanks to kasiajames and  mywithershins, I have been nominated for the Versatile blogger not only two times in one week, but three times overall. I feel so lucky that I have found followers who appreciate the goal my blog has in its future. What goal, you ask? Foremost, it is a writing journal depicting my career as a writer. Yet, it is so much more than that. It’s a private diary opened up to share my deepest fears about the craft, a self-help book for handling the struggles, and a news cast of technology/book/writing related subjects.

The Versatile Blogger Award set a few rules for its nominees:

1. Thank the award-givers and link back to them in your post.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass this award along 15 or 20.

4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

Since my lovely nominators have been linked above, I will move on to the 7 things about myself. I have been nominated twice, so I feel that I should do 14 things instead of 7, to be fair.

1. I tend to talk/yell at the t.v. or books when I watch/read. Although the book or t.v. can’t respond, it still makes me feel better to get my frustrations or excitement off my chest.

2. I love all furry animals/pets, but I have a huge dislike of fur/dander. The dislike I have verges on OCD because as soon as I am done petting a dog or cat, I must get rid of the fur or it will bug me.

3. I love watching my boyfriend play video games. I do not have capable reflexes and dexterity to play myself. I love to cheer him on, and learn the story of the game. I also would love to work for a video game company to write their texts 😛

4. When I watch vocal competitions like The Voice, X Factor, and especially American Idol, I tend to be overly critical of the people performing. No I didn’t go to Juilliard or some fancy NY music school, but my years of vocal training give me a better ear than a lot of the people watching. My mom asks me my opinion of the vocalist before the judges because she knows I’ll be honest about my criticism. Haha, I’m mostly honest and only slightly resentful about the singers opportunity at fame.

5. I’m a bad person and watch my t.v. shows illegally online. I’m one of millions of people, but it isn’t something good because technically it’s illegal.

6. I used to be very shy when I was little. I’m not shy anymore, but I still cannot call to order pizza or Chinese because of this. It’s just weird and I don’t want to mess up! Ordering online is amazing!

7.  I love to dog tag (fold the corners) of the pages of my books (even books I’m borrowing from the library). I know I’m not supposed to do it.  I could easily just use a piece of paper or bookmark, but it’s just instinct to fold over the pages. I’ve lost a lot of places that way, too. Maybe I should force myself to use a bookmark….Nahhhh!

8.  I have a huge pet peeve about people who pass you unnecessarily, especially on the highway. To me, there are only two reasons you should waste the gas to pass someone: when it’s a big truck/vehicle (which I get nervous by…too many blind spots) and when someone is going under the speed limit (or going the speed limit so close to you that you can’t go the speed limit). Logically, there is no other reason to get in front of someone to get 3 seconds ahead. Unless, you’re a conceited, selfish idiot who needs to be first and can’t drive behind anyone.

I think you will get better results with this!

9. I want a puppy when a man proposes, not a ring. Why spend thousands of dollars for a superficial version of the marriage license. Granted, a cheap ring obviously gives the appropriate message without breaking the bank. A puppy prepares you for living together and sharing responsibilities. I knew at age 11 that it was important to prepare a couple for marriage. With an almost 50% divorce rate in the U.S., this decision is not made lightly. So many couples make the mistake of getting engaged too soon to people they don’t know. For me, this step may not be for everyone. If you feel confident and know your partner is prepared for the responsibility (and not going to run out on your for the next hottie in da club), then this is a creative, romantic way to save money and propose!

10. I have such a huge fear of being alone that the longest I have been single (since I started dating at 16) is 6 months. It doesn’t mean that half of those relationships were beneficial, but it taught me so much about the way people think/feel, and about myself.

Definitely looked amazing!

11.  I love dying my hair. I love it so much that it became an addiction. I have staved off the call of dying my hair for about a year, but it’s getting difficult. I naturally have medium brown hair, but I’ve been a red-head, blonde, and a raven-haired woman all before. I haven’t ventured into too many unnatural colors, but my favorite dye job has to be bright red with blonde highlights.

11.  I love the spoken language almost as much as I love the written one. I find the romance languages (Italian, French) to be entrancing and beautiful. At the same time harsh languages like German and Russian are powerful to hear, and compelling to speak. Something about languages other than English interest me. Maybe it’s because English is boring to me, as I hear it every day. I think it is because there is so much more of a challenge for non-English speakers to live in a world that is slowly being overrun by the English language. The depth and history that accompanies the older languages will never be replaced. It is vital to hold on to the diversity of the spoken word.

12. I just recently learned that colors do not actually exist. Human brains merely perceived color when the light is reflected off an object. This makes me mad! I want to know what it’s like to live in a world out of Pleasantville. If our brains make us see in color, then I want to know what it’s like to see without color. Every other animal can do, so why can’t we?

We would treat life very different if there was no color!

13. 13 is my favorite number. I like it because everyone else associates it with bad luck. Since everyone stays away from the number that means I get all the good luck associated with it. Na na na poo poo!

14.  My ultimate goal in life is to love people. It is said that everyone has a calling. Well, I learned mine pretty quickly. Coupled with my passion for writing, I have a passion for people. Loving people, to be exact. Because without love, then there would be no passion, hate, caring, empathy, cooperation, friendship. Society relies on the love we have for life, and each other to survive. I vowed that I would love everyone I was capable of loving. Every friend I made would have me as a constant friend, loving them even when everyone else in their life was gone. I would love the world even if no one else did, and I still do. Now my love goes to a very special person. Someone who has been crushed by the promise of love from people who never planned on keeping it. My boyfriend has the constant love I vowed to give everyone even if I never got it in return. Luckily, I get the same from him, so it is a dream come true.

 

Next rule is to nominate 15 to 20 other bloggers for this award. I don’t have that many, but these ones are truly amazing:

Raging Gail

Writer’s Block

Sorry, I can’t Stay Long

maggiemaeijustsaythis

Off Duty Mom

Classic Confusion

Caffeinated & Random

mywithershins

The Raptor’s Claw

Write to Perfect

 

I want to thank everyone who has supported me in my journey of becoming a writer, and now a devoted blogger. Thank you! Happy reading and writing! AND check out these blogs because if they interest me, chances are they will interest you, too!

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Love and Valentine’s Day: From A Writer’s Perspective

Since the beginning of time humans have been social creatures. Love is one of the most amazing and mysterious emotions known to man. The old believe love is learned over time and the young think it happens in an instant. Although I’m technically on the young side of the spectrum, my belief about love falls right in the middle. The opportunity for love can happen in the blink of an eye, but it takes time to get to know a person enough to love them. You can be 15 or 65 and fall in love for the first time.

I began dating when I was 16 and you could say I was a hopeless romantic. Learning quickly of heartbreak and rejection, I went through boy like paper towels. I gave my heart to a boy for a few weeks, and found that we weren’t compatible. You might call me shallow or fickle. I bet my parents would have agreed, but I learned how to love from a lot of little  mismatches. I have the pleasure of admitting I’ve been in love more than once, which is a feat not many people enjoy in their lifetimes. It’s not hard to fall in love. The problem people don’t figure out is that if you’re truly in love you never fall out of it. One person decides that the love isn’t real or strong enough to survive. It forces both to move on with their lives, transforming into hatred or if you’re lucky a comforting memory.

From Nietzsche's "On Reading and Writing"

I’d like to think every intimate (meaning close and loving) relationship I’ve had has changed me. Most in a good way, but others in a bad. No matter how the relationship ends, I take from it a learning experience to help me with the next one. The one thing that has never changed about my relationships, though, is the way I express my love. My significant other, old or current, will have collected notes or letters from me over the course of the relationship. I could say it’s an endearing twist on the common communication of past, but I’d be lying. Writing letters to the guy I love is just what I do. I can’t change how I love a man like I can’t change the ethnicity I am.  It is a staple to my life to write my feelings down for those I love.

Since it is the commercial celebration of love and relationships, I decided to explain how being a writer affects my love life. While writers are mostly loners, we long for love. Some of the most famous authors have been left to fulfill their dreams alone. Yet, it is not a lonely life for everyone. Authors like Robert Frost or my favorite, Stephen King have been able to share their dreams with women who care about them. Having someone to share in the trials and rewards is indescribable for a writer. If we have no one to share in the spoils of our craft, then what is the purpose of writing about life in the first place?

Sophocles, the Philosopher

My current boyfriend (hopefully the last) has know me for a good amount of time. As I’m only 22 years old, I haven’t had a lot of time to develop decades of relationships, but the ones I do hold onto are important to me. He’s known me since before I announced myself as a writer, and supports me regardless of the financial misgivings of the profession. It is a passion he respects and doesn’t understand as most people don’t. He cares for what I’m writing, listening as I read my stories to him. But what he enjoys most is my letters. I enjoyed 5 years of work with him, but the three months of work were the most special. I worked at a grocery story. Noble, huh? And with the massive amounts of free time at work I would write on anything I could find. I’d write him several notes a day, every day for over a hundred days. He loved the experience of my writing because it was the most personal and compassionate loving anyone could receive.

Like the sonnets of Shakespeare or Petrarch, love can be told a thousand different ways. But for a writer to love another person, there is no limit to the kinds and combinations of words we can use to express love in the deepest of ways. So, when I began focusing on my school work and spent less time away from my boyfriend, the letters stopped. I was able to see him and express myself in person and no longer needed the letters to show him I cared.

Some of Shakespeare's many thoughts on love

However, I wrote to him unconsciously.  In every story I was writing, I was putting a piece of him in one of my characters. It wasn’t a conscious decision to put him in, but he made a perfect hero in my eyes. All of the things that made me fall in love with him made it easy to put him in my stories. Although it probably would have worked out better if he was a villain, but lucky am I that I got a prince!  You see, it’s one thing to write how much you love someone. It’s a completely different experience to love someone so much that they are written into your stories. It is a blessing and a curse to put people you know in your stories.

Unconsciously, everyone we know helps us to form realistic characters. It is the easiest way for a writer to form a character. In this case, writing the love of my life into my stories is a blessing, so far. He is not phased by his involvement in my stories because I never put all of him in one character. Each person has many different personalities inside them: a soft side, a brave one, a private, and a public one. It allows me to use him without having someone recognize that it’s him. He can be a brave prince and a shy nerd depending on the story, but both describe him in a different way. Each day I have the gift of using someone I love to fuel my need to write.

Looks like philosophers really know their stuff

He is my support, my critic, and my inspiration. He may not know how the gears work inside my head or how it gets on paper. He does know me, and that is the most important thing. As long as he knows that I love him through his participation in my writing, I’m doing my job as his girlfriend and a writer. I’ve contemplated using my love writing skills in Hallmark cards, but the opportunity hasn’t presented itself. You can bet, though, that this Valentine’s Day my boyfriend will receive a card full from corner to corner with loving words specially chosen just for him.

Whether you have the chance to love someone now or are waiting for “the one” there is always hope that love will find a way. If not family and friends can be the best solution to a lonely heart. If not, the bars are open and the bottles are flowing. Go out, date or not and have a fun time 🙂

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