Tag Archives: books

Life outside of writing

Nothing encourages creativity like the chance to fall flat on one’s face.  ~James D. Finley

I bitch and moan about writing a lot, but when I finally get down to it; it is what I love to do. However, I do plan on making it my career, or at least one of them, depending on how things pan out. That means that I need to figure out ways to blow off steam and refill the well.

One of my greatest pleasures in life is reading, but that also tends to be from a critical or work space. Especially if a book is not working for me or I am trying to tackle one of those cannon novels I can’t believe I didn’t read in college when I was working towards an English degree.

I have things that I am interested in learning how to do that I don’t quite have the money to pursue at the moment, but I guess that is ok. Here is a brief list:

  • Learning Spanish – an addendum to this one b/c my wonderful public library has a subscription to Mango, which is an online language learning service. I just found out about it today. It is awesome. I still want to take a conversational class at my local community college. I really want to improve my speaking confidence.
  • Take a painting class
  • Learn how to knit/ crochet. I really want to knit myself a pair of arm warmers
  • Learn how to quilt
  • Resume jewelry making. Stuff is in storage now. If I had some money, maybe take a class.
  • Learn how to sew more than a basic hand stitch. (Even than needs work). Boyfriend’s mom just lent us her sewing machine, score. Now to make time.
  • Travel
  • Photography – I need to keep reminding myself my phone has a camera. I really, really want a DSLR

Aside from crafty stuff, I enjoy going to museums, concerts, plays, and other cultural events. Sadly, in my major metropolitan area, it is super expensive to get into the awesome museums. If/ when I have money, I want a membership to my local major art museum. I always leave that museum feeling refreshed and inspired.

On the bright side, I can take walks in local parks for free. The weather isn’t conducive to that right at the moment. But my area does have lovely places for me to go and wander around. And I also enjoy doing yoga. And the volunteer tutoring I started in January.

I suppose once I get my financial life back in order, I can pursue some of these things. I just need to have patience. I also need to focus a bit. For real, I am not a reckless dilettante despite what this list says about me. But it is nice to know that I do have a life outside of reading and writing – things that can be rather cerebral pursuits. Because really, I don’t have a hard time relaxing, not at all. No, not me.

©K. Klein 2013

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Rule Breaker

The wonderful Moonstonemaiden nominated me for the Shine On award, which I accept gratefully. However, it comes with rules:

The Shine On Award Rules:

1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.

2. Post the badge on your blog.

3. Answer the questions posed to you.

4. Nominate five bloggers who shine a little light in your day and be sure to notify them.

5. Issue some questions you’d like them to answer

I’m feeling a bit rebellious today; I am going to forgo the badge. And I am not really sure whom to nominate for the award. So I am going to forgo that bit of the exercise as well. However, I will post some questions, and if you feel so inclined you can answer them in the comments.

Here are my answers to Moonstonemainden’s questions:

Do you have a favorite book series? What is it?

Just one? Oh my goodness, I read series upon series of books. I am a fantasy loving girl at heart. I’m not sure I can even come up with a top three or top five. I suck at favorites. But here is an attempt (in no particular order):

  1. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
  2. Adventures of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron
  3. Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs
  4. Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

What is the funniest movie quote you’ve come across?

This question leaves me blank. I watch movies, but quotes from them don’t tend to stick on my head. Though I do love character quirks, like Captain Jack Sparrow saying savvy.

If you could karaoke one song perfectly, what song would you chose?

Raise your glass or pretty much anything by Pink

Dogs or cats?

Both. You can’t make me chose.

What is the one household chore you loath the most?

I hate doing the dishes by hand. Something about leftover food – especially from another person’s plate, eww.

My questions for you:

  1. What is your favorite movie?
  2. If you could pick one author to have lunch with, who would it be?
  3. What song would you chose to be the theme song for your life?

    ©K. Klein 2013

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Impatience

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood.  I’d type a little faster.  ~Isaac Asimov

No news on the personal front. Sigh. It makes me more impatient the longer I have to wait. Oh well. I just have to take a deep breath and know that the news will come when I least expect it.

The lack of news and my impatience over it makes me wonder, how in the name of heck did I ever decide to become a writer? In an odd sort of way, writing does require a decent level of patience. I have to sit down and type out the words. Then I have to put them out there. And then I have to write some more.

I’ve been reading a lot of Dean Wesley Smith’s blog and his series on Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing. It is really interesting. I don’t know if I agree with it all, but I definitely find it informative. I like that he makes me think.

One of the things that he talks about is Heinlein’s rules for writing:

1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you write.
3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
4. You must put the work on the market.
5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.

Now I’m not sure that I entirely agree with this set of rules. However, it seems solid enough and a good place to start. For me, in my process, “editorial order” is my brother. He is my first reader and helps me to see my writing through a reader’s eyes. I don’t take that one literally.  At the same time, I think it is good advice not to polish for so long that nothing is ever done.

Further, I can see my own pitfalls in this list. Right now I am getting back on the writing bandwagon. And I know I can finish. However, I am stuck on numbers four and five. I’m not going to lie, I’m scared. There is a pit in my stomach when I think about moving forward.

I know that I can’t stay in stasis forever, but there seems to be a precipice in my mind when it comes to making the jump to get published. Part of it is my personal impatience. No matter what route I take – indie or traditional – I will have to wait for a response. There is that tinge of impatience again…instant gratification would be wonderful. Or possibly horrible.

And oddly enough, I am terrified of failure, but success frightens me even more. Tonight is making me think about the enigma of writing. Why should anybody care about what I have to say? Who says anybody does?

So far as I know, no one does. And yet, I cannot stop writing. The stories come and I write them down. I finish one and write another. Perhaps I could be an Emily Dickinson, but what fun would that be? I will get there eventually. I just need to give myself permission to jump off that metaphorical cliff. Who knows? It might be fun.

©K. Klein 2013

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Being thankful

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.  Have you used one to say “thank you?”  ~William A. Ward

I will admit that I am sometimes bad at gratitude; such as I am bad at being optimistic. These are things that I have to work hard to remind myself and my brain about. I am prone to anxiety and catastrophizing if I don’t work hard to remember the good things in life. And if I don’t remind myself that everything is going to be ok.

But I am thankful because I am lucky to have many wonderful people in my life. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving (despite some of the horrible history behind it) here are some things I am thankful for in no particular order:

  • My family
  • My brother
  • My significant other (boyfriend, whatever word you wanna use).
  • My friends
  • Books
  • Learning
  • Words & writing

What are you thankful for today? How do you show your gratitude? Happy Thanksgiving.

©K. Klein 2012

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Planning for NaNoWriMo 2012

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is check out their website here. The basic premise is to write a 50,000 words novel in the thirty days of November. I have participated in this challenge since 2010 and really enjoy pushing myself to write.

What 2010 taught me about my first draft process is this: write-through the fear. Often times, when writing I get to a point where I don’t know what I am going to do or where the story is going. This might seem odd since I don’t tend to outline, but I usually have a vague idea of where the story is taking me; usually two to five steps ahead of where I am chapter wise.

When I reach the end of that I often hit a block. My first NaNoWriMo taught me to write-through the fear and the unknown. It goes back to Anne Lamott’s idea of the shitty first draft. The whole point of a first draft is to get the story on the page in all of its messy glory. It doesn’t matter if it is pretty or not. I also tend to think of this stage of drafting as the “don’t kill the baby stage.” I learned that it is important to not jump into judging it too fast because you don’t know how it is going to turn out in the rewrite and revision stage.

The great thing about NaNoWriMo is that I learned something completely different in 2011. Last year I finished the first complete draft of novel-1. It isn’t technically the first novel I’ve completed, but it is the first one to make it to the rewrite and revision stage of the process. Well, I finished novel-1 on October 31, 2011 and then proceeded to start writing its sequel on November 1. And I had to drag every last word out during last year’s NaNoWriMo; yay for burnout. I am sure this had nothing to do with being in grad school at the time. I swear.

I am out of grad school now. Yay. And so I plan to learn a new lesson in 2012; novel-1’s revision deadline is set for October 31, 2012. However, I am going to write something not related to novel-1 or its sequel. I have several shiny new ideas dancing around in my head. I think I am going to pick one; hopefully before November 1 (although who knows) and go with it. I need a break from Novel-1’s world much as I love it and the characters I’ve created.

If you’re a writer, do you plan on taking part in NaNoWriMo?

©K. Klein 2012

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My love affair with books

There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.
Ray Bradbury

There is not a time that I can remember being unable to read. My grandmother told me that this is because my family would always read to me. My love affair with books started in her two-flat apartment with two or three (possibly more) bookshelves double and triple stacked with books.

Books are my refuge when the world becomes too hard to bear. They allow me to escape into another person’s head; to experience the world from a new point of view. Books also allow me to experience worlds beyond my own. Books open up the possibility of magic or faster than light travel or other technology beyond what we imagine is possible today. I love being able to dive into a place I’d never be able to go otherwise, through my books.

Why do you read? When did you discover your love of books?

©K. Klein 2012

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