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Showing posts from October, 2013

What's it Worth?

I was in the middle of writing a different blog post for this week when I got some disappointing news.  Those of you that know me personally may have been aware that I was applying for a nursing program to start in January.  Suffice it to say, I did not get in.

This brought afresh some feelings I have been struggling with over this past year.  I'm 24, I graduated early with my Bachelor's in Biology from one of the nation's best schools, and I still haven't made it to where I want to be.  I've been rejected for med school twice already.  I feel like all the things I'm good at are things at which anyone can excel.  I feel like I'm treading water.  You don't need professional training to be a homemaker, or a good listener.  You don't need a degree to be an EMT.  You don't need any training at all to write.

I am very proud of my accomplishments.  I know what kind of person I am.  And when I think of the areas in which I have failed, I tend to fear …

A Tale of Two Heroines


Hello All!  I finishedthe Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins last year, and (with most of the rest of the country) went to see the film based on the first book in theaters.  And we are all eagerly anticipating the second film, which hopefully will be a little less shaky cam.  But (unlike the rest of the country) I won't be talking about the movie, I'd like to discuss the treatment of heroines in two different trilogies: The Hunger Games, and The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson.  The more I thought about this idea, the more it seemed like some sort of English assignment, but I really thought it might be fun to compare and contrast.  The heroines both have a great number of things in common, but are very different women.  Also, these books are in two different genres and reading levels, so this is kind of an apples and oranges comparison.  
ALERT! ALERT!  THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!!  It is impossible to discuss completely that which you refuse to disclose, so …

It takes a village

Hello Friends!

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a writing group session with Creative Writers of Aggieland, a student group on the Texas A&M campus in College Station.  Last night's session was a critique, and everyone brought something they had written (or an excerpt) to share.  Obviously this was meant to facilitate a writer getting feedback on her work, but I talked about that last week.  This week, I'd like to emphasize the importance of the social aspect of writing.

But we enjoy writing alone!  It's so nice to drown out the world and let the voices in our heads do the talking for once, uninterrupted.  Writing with other people around is distracting and counter-productive!  And I agree with that sentiment to a point.

This is only one of many scientific studies that have found a higher prevalence of mental illness among creative writers.  One theory I've heard postulated for why this is the case is exactly that listed above:  we work alone.  It's no…

First! Some thoughts on world-building and hole-punching

One of the best things for me to do with a story idea is to bring it to someone else who isn't as close to it as me, and have them smash it with a hammer.

Seriously.  If you have never done this, I'd like you to consider how violent creation can be.  Sculpture is an easy example, writing can be a bit trickier to think about.

We start with a big idea!  It's amazing and awesome and we want to talk all our friends ears off about it!  And we think it would make an amazing story!  So we sit down and start writing!  BUT!  It's more challenging than we thought :\  There are bits that don't make sense with the rest of the story and conflicting logic, so we get depressed.  This isn't fun anymore.  We give up.


We pick up our chisels and tap off the bits that are hindering us.  We let go of some of our favorite things that are "so cool," but don't work in this story.  It's painful.  It makes us question ourselves as artists.  There is a lot of doubt.…