Goals – Do You Have Them? I DO!

I realized that it has been quite a while since I posted anything on here. I’m terribly sorry about that, life sometimes has a way of getting away from me.

So the latest challenge issued by the lovely Amanda is about goals. Goals for writing and for the blog, and dare I say even life.

I’m a strong believer in goals, they are what help keep us on track when life throws a few too many distractions at us or when it feels like we’re just spinning our wheels in a giant mud pit. They are also what helps us figure out where we’re headed and to see how far we have already come.

So, my goals….

1. Why do you have a blog? What do you want to accomplish with it?

Honestly, the purpose of this blog has changed slightly since I first started it. Initially, I started a blog in the hopes of promoting my writing and possibly boosting sales of my currently published works. As time has progressed though, it has become a platform for me to share short stories with others and a place to share my thoughts, and goals with the world.

2. Why do you write?

There are quite a few reasons for why I write.

The first answer is because I enjoy it, I enjoy creating new worlds and characters that I and others can relate to. I enjoy taking ideas from my head and putting them onto paper for others to enjoy as well.

I write as an outlet or an escape as well. I think this is a common answer for a lot of people who write, or really who do any form of art. It’s a way to explore the world, feelings, struggles, and even pain in a world that is safe. It’s safe because it’s a world that I as a writer create. I get to make up the worlds and decide how things play out in the end. Sometimes, though, even though I have complete control of my story, I still have to let things be painful and difficult for my characters and maybe even my readers and myself. It’s part of making it believable…something that touches a bit on reality too. As much as we want to avoid pain in life, sometimes it has to be there to help us appreciate or enjoy other parts of life just that much more.

So why do I write?

In a nutshell… because I need it, the stories are a part of who I am and through them, I have grown and learned and improved. Through them, I have had the joy of touching other lives and sharing the joy of a good story with countless others.

3. Where would you like to see yourself as a writer 5 years from now, 10 years from now…

I’ve never really planned on writing being my career or making me a millionaire. I know the likelihood of writing and selling the next bestseller are pretty slim, especially if you have things other than writing going on in your life.

So where does that leave me? Well here’s what I hope for….

I hope to have a few more stories published, whether through self-publishing, as part of an anthology or whatever. I hope that in 5 or 10 years I’m still able to create and share stories and characters that are interesting to others.

Given that I will be done with my Masters soon, I have another goal to add to this, since I will likely be writing non-fiction, history material, I hope that I can get at least a few of my papers published to journals, or maybe even a book published and available to the public.

Curious about the goals of the other writers doing these challenges? Check them out: 

Haven of Chaos

Writing Kennel

Flying Kitty Studio 

Advertisements

Blog Challenge #3: Advice

Challenge:

So… for your challenge today, I want you to write a post giving your very, very best writing advice. Pretend you’re speaking to the writers of tomorrow or your younger self… or whatever you need to do. Put a lot of thought into it, and make it more than a few sentences!

Giving unsolicited advice is not my usual thing, but since it has been requested by my quest giver, Amanda, I will do my best to play the sage.

As a writer, especially a new writer, you hear lots of different tidbits of advice, half of it seeming to contradict the other half. Even after publishing my short story and then the novella, I have heard advice from nearly all corners. Most of it was well-meaning and the intentions were to help me grow and improve as a writer.

Still, it can be hard to figure out which bits of the advice apply to you and which parts you should smile politely then chuck it when they aren’t looking. There is, however, one bit of advice that I am fairly certain all serious writers will agree with. And it’s a very simple piece of advice, you ready for it?

Here it is: READ.

Yes, read. I know that many will tell you to write every day or to write even when you don’t feel like it. Some will tell you to set a daily minimum and create a habit of it. All of this is great advice and certainly worthy of your consideration. However, I think that reading is where it all starts.

Read anything and everything you can get your hands on. Find out what you enjoy and what you don’t. Look, at what others write and how they write it. Find those truly terrible stories and consider why it is terrible. Find those masterpieces that have stood the test of time and look at them, really look at them and see what makes them such enduring stories.

As you can see it’s not just reading, but reading actively and thinking about what you read. The first step is to read, then to think. Every author has strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the craft. Yes, even those great authors whose names everyone knows. Steinbeck, Twain, Bronte, Dickens, and so many others. They were amazing, fantastic, masters of the written word, but they were not perfect.

By reading you will find that you are exposed to a wide range of topics and styles. Sometimes our style changes over time, this is not a bad thing. It just means that we are growing as writers. And growth is the goal, growth means that we are learning and improving. It means we are striving to reach our goals.

And it all starts with one very basic thing. Reading.

 

Disneyland 2010 015

 

Want more advice? Take a look at what other authors have to say:

Flying Kitty Studio 

Tales from Kenroth

Writing Kennel

Read.Listen.Nibble

Currently – June Edition

Placeholder Image

I thought I’d do something a little different from my usual fare on here.

I’m borrowing this idea from Amanda, who spotted it over at Katyupperman’s blog. It’s a segment called Currently – basically, it lets folks know what you’re currently up to… and I thought that it might be a fun way to share what I’m up to with all of you lovely people!


Loving

Lately, I have been loving the wide range of Korean dramas that are on offer on Netflix. I have missed my time living in Korea and it’s a nice way to immerse myself in the language and culture for a short period. Also, I have been loving the research I have started to do for my thesis project for my master’s program. I’m loving the topic I choose.

Reading

Most of what I read these days can be put under one of two headings, school or other people’s work. I have been taking part in a lot of prompt nights (as I’m sure you’ve noticed from the number of short stories being posted on here). I love the reading I do for both of these, but I do want to get back into reading things just for the fun of them.

Watching

As I mentioned already, I’ve been diving into Korean dramas a lot. I have also been on the hunt for some good historical fiction or fantasy series on Netflix or Amazon Prime, but I’ve watched quite a few of the ones on there already and so it’s bee a little hard to find anything new. Have any recommendations? (I loved Downton Abbey, Supernatural, Lost Girl, The Paradise).

Listening To

Unfortunately, I have not been listening to as much music as I usually do. Hamilton OST has been on my Spotify a few times lately though, but other than that it’s been a mix of country music and a mishmash of instrumental ethnic music.

Thinking About

There are a number of things on my mind, though at the moment the most pressing is probably the completion of my master’s program. Assuming all goes as planned (knock on wood) I will complete my program in December and have shiny new masters in history to show for all the headaches.
The other thing on my mind is, of course, writing. I have been trying to get back into the habit of writing every day, even if it’s only a few words each day. Completing the prompt nights and blog challenge have certainly helped with this. So has a website called 4thewords.com

If you’re interested in writing you should come and check out the fantastic writing Discord server, That Writing Place.

Anticipating

The biggest thing I’m anticipating is December. It’s normally such a crazy busy time of year and I love that I get to give gifts to friends and family and show them how much I care. Add to that the fact that autumn and winter are my favorite seasons (Hello cool weather, sweaters and rain!) This year though will be extra special as I will be graduating from my program.

Wishing

I’m wishing I had time and space to organize my own little writing area. I’d love to have a place to just sit in the quiet and let the words come flying out…or crawling out as is often the case. I may have to figure out a way to make this happen soon. I’m also wishing I had more stories ready to be submitted for publication, that is a goal I set for myself this year… to have at least a couple more stories ready by New Years for submissions. Here’s hoping it happens.

Making Me Happy

There are so many things to be happy about and grateful in life. Right now the things that are at the top of my list are friends and writing. My friends are my chosen family. I love my biological family to the moon and back, but I’m extra blessed to have a family of friends who support, encourage, and care so much about me. I’m so happy that I know they have my back just as I have theirs. My writing makes me happy as well, especially lately as I find my footing once again. There was a period where the words did not seem to work, but I think I’ve broken through the stuff holding me back and that makes me incredibly happy.


There we go! I’m not sure I’ll do this every week, for now, let’s aim for monthly. Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to know about me and maybe I’ll add it to next month’s Currently!

Until next time I wish you all amazing dreams, fantastic stories, and more love than you can contain.

♥ Gianna Robbins ♥

Don’t forget to check out what my fellow authors are up to on their pages: 

Flying Kitty Studio

Destiny’s Court

Blog Prompt #2 – Fears and Darkness

ufo

Prompt #2: Make a list of five things you’re afraid of happening to you. Then write a story in which one of them happens to your character.

So the lovely Amanda has posted her 2nd prompt challenge. I had some difficulty with this one. I don’t have a huge list of things I’m afraid of, but finally, I came up with my list of 5.

The story was another challenge. I thought I had settled on another installment of my previous challenge story, but what I ended up with is very different. This lovely little story came out of a Prompt Night on one of the Discord writer servers I’m on. 

I hope you enjoy! 

I chose to use #5 on my list of fears:

5. Losing use/control of my body.

STORY TIME: 

Pushing her way through the brush, Marni sighed and hissed when a branch escaped her grasp and smacked in the face. This was not what she had in mind when Josh had suggested a hike. Images of a picnic and cute hiking couple had enticed her to say yes with far greater enthusiasm than she usually would give for a hike.

“Come on babe, keep up. You’re going to love this view.”

She glanced ahead of her to the sight of Josh’s toned rear in his khakis and smiled. There were some perks to this hike. She had a great view for most of the hike.

“Stop staring at my ass, Marni.”

She chuckled and continued to admire the view in between navigating her way around bushes, logs, and boulders.

“Are we almost there yet? I didn’t realize this was an all-day hike.”

She whined, she knew she was whining. She didn’t care. He only grunted as he jumped over a log and went around another tree.

Stumbling after him, she nearly ran into him as he came to an abrupt stop. In front of them was a clearing, that wasn’t what had stopped them in their tracks though. No, that honor went to the large metal contraption that took up nearly half the large clearing. Marni was fairly certain it was a spaceship of some kind. She always knew aliens were real, but this was her first time meeting them.

“Josh, Josh! They’re here. Aliens!”

Her excited whisper may as well have been a yell given the deathly stillness of the forest around them. For his part, Josh only glared at her and tried to grab hold of her to stop her bouncing.

Before either of them could react the sky went dark and the contraption lit up. Beams of light shot out from several places on it. Josh scrambled away from the clearing but froze in place a foot into the forest when one of the light beams caught him. Marni went toward it of her own eagerness.

“Welcome daughter. Come, let us see you.”

She was going home. She had known since she was small that she didn’t fit in anywhere she went. This was proof of it. She climbed the metal steps into the belly of the ship without a second thought. She could hear Josh’s muffled yells behind her, but she didn’t even pause to listen. What did he know? He was the one that always said she should leave the UFO stuff alone.

“I am eager to be home. Where are we from?”

A dark laugh filled the room she found herself in. Looking around, she tried to see who it was, but everywhere she looked she could see only light. The lights dimmed. The room was filled with what looked like hospital beds. The walls were filled with panels of flashing lights. Between the panels hung tools of all shapes and sizes. They were cruel, sharp tools. Like the kind she had seen in her father’s office. He used them to operate on livestock, to cut them open and sew them up. A gasp filled the room, it was hers.

“Did you think it would be so easy little girl? Did you think you were some lost child from space? You, humans, are so easy.”

A tall dark form slid from the shadows. The only human like part of it was the middle, torso like portion. Arms sprouted from all sides of it. There were no legs, only a slug-like body that oozed a black fluid that swam around it on the floor. Its head was filled with eyes and teeth. She gulped and tried to back away, but there was nowhere to go. She was trapped. She had walked into the trap.

The being slithered closer to her, a long thin tongue flicked out from between the teeth and caressed her cheek. A long trail of saliva clung to her cheek as it pulled away.

“You taste delicious. You, humans, have such luscious fear.”

Tears coursed down her cheek as her body began to shake. She tried to move again, but again there was nowhere to go. Before she could think of anything further her body lifted from the ground and floated to one of the beds. She tried to fight it, but her body was no longer her own. She tried to scream, but her voice had been stolen. She tried to swallow, but her dry throat rebelled against her commands. This was it. She was done. She willed her eyes to close, prayed she would at least be given that small mercy. No. Even her eyes disobeyed.

She watched as the creature grinned and began his slow dissection of her body. The pain took hold until she could take it no more and darkness surrounded her like a mother’s bosom. Welcoming her into its cold comfort.

-end-

Let me know what you think and don’t forget to check out the stories of the other participants in this challenge!

Heather R. Stephens 

Flying Kitty

Volegase

Read.Listen.Nibble 

Plot Bunny Whack-a-Mole

Writing Kennel

Myloe Yeager

Don’t forget to like and share the ones you enjoy ❤

New Challenges New Words!

Hello folks!

Thanks for dropping by and checking out my new blog. My pen name is Gianna Robbin. I am a historian and teacher by day and a writer by night. I started writing poetry during the dark days of middle school. Stories came later, toward the end of high school, when I realized just how little I really knew.

I like to experiment with writing and see what kind of worlds I can create using words. In general, though I prefer to write mostly one vein of fantasy or science fiction or another. For fantasy, I tend to lean toward urban or dark fantasy. For science fiction I wrote soft science fiction, sorry but I don’t know enough to do the harder stuff.

I took a bit of a hiatus after completing my novella, Banshee Haunting, but I have recently begun to once again play with words and create stories. In between working on my masters and teaching students, I have been working on 2 stories.

One is full of gods, beasties, and 3 kick ass sisters determined to keep the world spinning.

The other is the story of a Faun who has been a guardian of the Mists and all those things that we think only lives in myth. He finds himself pulled into an adventure he never wanted to save a people he has no fondness for.

So now this brings to my current endeavor. I have joined the call to do a month long challenge of posting responses to set prompts. Our Fearless Leader, Amanda McCormick will provide the prompts. Then other writers and I will post the stories our muses throw at us.

I’m looking forward to this challenge as it will push me to grow as a writer and to explore new ideas and push through when normally I might walk away from an idea or topic.

So follow along as I begin what is sure to be a strange and interesting month long adventure. Be sure to follow some of the authors who will be joining me on this trek. You can find their pages here: Myloe YeagerZoya CharismMichael, and AJ