What Should I Write About Today?

What Should I Write About Today?

That’s a great question. A question for the ages. A question that could probably change the course of humanity as we know it.

This sloth is thinking about the question and he doesn't have the answer, either.
This sloth is thinking about the question and he doesn’t have the answer, either.

If you haven’t guessed already, I have no idea what I want to write about today. I was going to update you all on what I’ve been up to, but I worried that might be boring. And then, I thought, of course, it’s not boring, it’s my life. Okay, to be honest, I’m pretty sure my life does have some boring bits, but thanks to the internet and social media, we can fast forward the boring to the highlights reel. And strangely enough, I think a lot of people forget that what you’re seeing on social media is probably not that person’s whole life and are just the highlights of their day. I know this adage has been said a lot but it’s definitely one that needs repeating. Don’t compare your blooper reel with someone else’s highlight’s reel. The you you’re seeing is the perfect version of that person, so don’t feel bad if you also didn’t get that same promotion, or car, or spouse. I swear everyone is either getting married or having children and I’m over here eating brownies out the pan. And you know there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I love brownies and when it’s time to be married/have children, I’ll love that, too, but it’ll only happen with time. I’ll just have to be patient and remember a few important things:

  1. All good things happen in due time. Just because I haven’t reached a particular milestone by now doesn’t mean I’m crazy or a loser, it just means, it’s not my time yet.
  2. Patience is hard and being reminded of your shortcomings by looking at people’s perfect lives makes it even harder. I need to take what I see on social media with a grain of salt and remember that I’m not seeing all that goes into that person’s journey. It’s probably a lot harder than it looks.
  3. It’s okay to take a break from social media every once in a while if only to spend some time with myself and be reminded how great I’m doing on my journey.
  4. Social media can be a scary place full of annoying reminders, but it doesn’t always have to be. I can use it as my motivation to do more in my life. Or even use it as a platform to  spread happiness and lift up others in a similar situation (see what I did there.) We don’t know how much our words could mean to someone and how it could really help them out by letting them know that they’re not alone.

And finally…

Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t be jealous of their lives either. Just do what makes you happy and as long as you’re happy and love your life, that’s all that should matter.

Tell me what you think in the comment section below. I’d love to hear your feedback.

❤ Maya

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“Storytime with My” Page 2 w/ finished response

“Storytime with My” Page 2 w/ finished response

Before I share my response to the prompt from last Friday’s Storytime, here’s the prompt again:
January 16, 2015 at 6 pm EST- Sentence Prompt

Write a short story or scene inspired by the written prompt

You have the power to save humanity with a cure. The problem is you’re immune to the cure and won’t be saved. What do you do? What is this mysterious disease that’s taken over the world and what are you going to do to save the world. If you decide to save them, that is.

And the live stream…

And now for my response…

They told me that I needed to save them. They said I should feel honored to save humanity.

Why should I?

What have they done for me?! Huh? HUH? I know you must think I’m selfish and I probably am, but you’ve gotta understand, I didn’t ask for this. No one in their right mind would ask for this. They told me that my blood can save millions. I alone am immune to the disease that is killing so many people and my blood can be used to create a vaccine. Millions will be saved and I’ll be a hero except that they conveniently forgot to tell me that the process of taking my blood could kill me. There was a big chance that I would not survive this.

“1 for many,” they told me. “Think of the greater good.”

Forget the greater good! I want to live! I want to breathe. I want to taste the sunshine. I don’t want to save the world. I know if I don’t save them, everyone will die and I’ll be alone, but if I do save them…does anyone care what I’m giving up? My family. My friends. They want me to trade them for a life of nothingness and honor. 

“You’ll get to help your friends,” they said. “People you love will be alive because of you.”And millions of others will be alive, too. Millions of people I do not know and who could care less what happens to me will be cured because of me. I am sure none of them would lift a finger to do the same for me if the circumstances were different. But they don’t matter. The only thing that matters is what I choose. Will I or won’t I? Let them live or die. Or instead hold onto that small shred of hope that someone will fly in and save me taking me away from all of this. I have to…I will hold onto that hope! It’s all I have left. 

From the #1 Rule-breaker,
My

P.S. The next “Storytime” will be on January 23rd at 5 pm. (I have to reschedule earlier because of scheduling conflicts.) The prompt and live stream can be found by clicking the “Storytime with My” tab in the menu above.

Writing Projects I want to work on in 2015

Writing Projects I want to work on in 2015

Since I share every other thing that I do that relates to writing, I figured it only made sense to tell you all the Writing Projects that I want to work on in 2015. I’m also writing this post to keep me accountable because it’s hard to go back on something I said when I’ve shared it with hundreds of people and I’ll be able to  look back at this post whenever I need to remember what my goals were. Suffice to say, there are a lot of reasons why I’m writing this post and to prevent any further rambling, I’m just going to dive right in. Now it may seem like a lot…stacks-of-papers

but trust me, I can get a lot done in 365 days.

2015 Writing Projects

  • Novels

    • Last Look Back 2– Let’s be real, I couldn’t not write the sequel to Last Look Back. I started working on LLB2 in September 2014 and I am currently working on the edits. I had a title, but I don’t like it, so the book currently doesn’t have a title. I’m probably won’t have one until I finish editing and I know the direction I’m taking the book in. My goal is to get it published this year, hopefully by June.
    • God Bless the Misfits– I have a story line in my head that I think I want to use for Nanowrimo 2015. I don’t have many details as to what it is about because I really don’t know what it’s about yet. All I have is the title and that’s as good a place as any to start.
    • Chiaroscuro (maybe)- This was the novel I worked on for Nanowrimo 2014. I don’t know if I want to work on it this year or wait until next year. That’s why it’s a maybe.

*Pause*

Before I go to the next section, I need to give a little explanation. On December 19, 2014, (yes, I know the exact day) I attempted to draw a picture. It was bad. It was a valiant attempt, but still bad and then for some reason, I decided that I wanted to get better. Since then, I’ve been practicing and I’m seeing that I have potential with drawing and it’s very possible that I could get good at this. I’m a person that needs a goal in sight to work towards instead of haphazardly practicing which is I why I am planning on working on some Illustrated fiction projects for 2015. I can use the writing skills that I already have, but also use pictures that I’ve drawn to tell a story. I think it would be a nice challenge for me and give me something to work towards. OK, I think that’s enough background.

*Play*

  • Illustrated Fiction

    • Baboon– This will be my main Illustrated fiction project. It will be a modern retelling of the Swazi Tale “Baboon Skins.” We will be here for years if I try to explain what Baboon Skins is about. It’ll be significantly easier for you to read it, so check it out here.
    • Last Look Back Companion Book– This will be a behind the scenes look at my process of  writing Last Look Back. You’ll be able to read why I made certain decisions and what was my thought process in choosing characters, setting and a plethora of other things. You’ll be able to see what I imagined characters looking like and basically you’ll find out everything you ever wanted to know about Last Look Back. You might even get a sneak peek at the second book. Exciting, right?

These are the many projects that I want to work on. Obviously, some projects will take precedent over others and there are some projects like Chiaroscuro that will probably be pushed back to next year, but I think it’s good for me to have them all written down. It’s also possible that some projects might be changed slightly or scratched entirely, but they’re all here just in case. 2015 is going to be busy year for me and I am so excited about what this year is going to hold for me.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

“Storytime with My” Page 1 w/ finished response

“Storytime with My” Page 1 w/ finished response

As promised in Friday’s “Storytime with My,” I’m going to share my response to the prompt.

In case you missed it, here’s the prompt: Write a story or scene inspired by the picture below.

soldier

Here is the live stream:

And here is my response:

“Come back to me,” Anna told him with tears in her eyes. The dismal sepia tone sky overhead echoed her misery.

“Always,” Nile said and he took here in his arms and planted a kiss on her lips. She stood on tip toe to reach him. She held him as tightly as she could. Maybe if she held him tight enough, he wouldn’t be able to go. Their cat, Siphie sat between them and seemed thoroughly intrigued by the scene.

Anna absolutely hated this war. She hated that she would be losing her love to a war that neither of them had anything to do with. Why did General Armstrong have to wage war on the Moon men? Now his war was everyone’s and that just wasn’t fair. But what could they do?

There was no way to change their fate. Nile pulled away from Anna, fighting tears of his own. He leaned down to pet their cat and say goodbye. “Goodbye, Siphie,” he said, “Take care of her for me.”

“Sure thing,” the cat purred. “Be safe.”

Nile nodded and grabbed his bags throwing them over his shoulder. He turned away from his love and walked towards the spaceship that was going to take him to a war he didn’t want any part in. He focused on one thing as he boarded the spacecraft and headed to the battlefield. He focused on Anna, the love of his life. His love for her would keep him alive. Their love was magical, boundless. Their love was infinite. They had a love that could change the world, only neither of them knew it yet.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

P.S. The next “Storytime” will be on January 16th at 6 pm. The prompt and live stream can be found by clicking the “Storytime with My” tab in the menu above. I will post the prompt the day before the stream.

First Snow

First Snow

snowing

First, let’s me take a second to say how cool First Snow sounds for title of a book. I’m pretty sure someone probably has already taken that title, but still, it sounds like it would be a great book. If someone hasn’t already taken it, I call it!

Talking about titles instead of getting to the point. Great first post, My!

Wow, this is my first post of the year and I have set the bar for posts pretty low already. High five for me! I’m probably stalling because the only thing I really have to talk is about is that it’s snowing outside. You didn’t read that wrong. IT’S SNOWING!!! I have no idea why I’m so excited. It’s not like I’m still in school and I’ll get a snow day or that have a job that I need to call off from. I don’t know what it is. Since, I was very young, I’ve always loved the snow. There was always something magical about it and it doesn’t matter how old I get, I’m always going to want to go build a snowman, have a snowball fight or play in the snow. I’ll always be a child at heart.

Is there anything else that I can talk about?

I started re-working book 2 of the Last Look Back series January 1st (I officially began writing book 2 back in September, but took a break for Nanowrimo). OMG! I don’t think you all are ready for this awesomeness. I won’t reveal anything yet, but *crazy, happy dance* I am so excited for this book. It’s going to be insane and I’m ready for people to read it now. Well, I’ve got to finish writing it first, but you know what I mean. 2015 is looking good for me already.

Okay, one last thing and yes, I’m about to get a little sappy.

It occurred to me a couple of days ago that right now, at this very second, I am currently, literally living my dream. How crazy is that? My dream was to be a published writer and that’s what I am. I write all day and I love what I do. And even more that, other people love what I do. I have gotten overwhelming kind responses to my book and everyone that reads it seems to really love it. I’m just sitting over here and I’m like, Is this really my life? Have I really reached the life of my dreams? And it isn’t even perfect and there have been a lot of ups and downs and I know there will be more, but for right now, I am so happy because I have everything I’ve always wanted. I just…Thank God, I didn’t stop or allow myself to be turned around. And I know I’ve said this before, but I am so thankful for you all. I’m glad you’re here.

Alright, enough with the sap lol. Just know I love of you guys and 2015 is going to be a great year for all of us.  I’ll see you all in my next post.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

P.S. Check the sidebar for important updates. Namely, the first “Storytime with My” will be this Friday, January 9th at 7 pm. The live feed can be found in the tab in the menu above or on my YouTube Channel.

 

“One Last Look Back” – Reflections from 2014

“One Last Look Back” – Reflections from 2014

Dont-Look-Back

2014 was a great year. I had some ups and down, but I made it. I was looking through my posts from the beginning of last year and I’m proud of the mindset I was in. Here’s a few excerpts of some of last year’s posts leading into 2014.

“2014 is going to be different” posted on December 29th, 2013
“It’s going to be a great new year and I WILL be happy.”

“My list is coming together” posted on December 30th, 2013 [Note: the list was the things I wanted to change about myself as I went into the new year]
“I actually can’t wait to share it because I will be honest about what I want out of life and the person that I want to be. It can be scary showing people who you really are, but instead of being trapped by my fears I want them to motivate me. I’m not going to be afraid to really be myself, my crazy, wacky, completely random self. Like I said, 2014 is going to be different and it’s all going to start with me.”

“A rule-breaker’s guide to an epic 2014” posted on January 1, 2014

“I’m going to share with you all the short version of my list of resolutions for 2014 also known as A rule-breaker’s guide to an EPIC 2014. The long list has 35 items, so I’ve condensed it so you all will have a quick idea of all the things that I will be looking to accomplish this year.

The list is as follows:

  • I want to go to Church more often while I’m at a school.
  • I want to write at least twice a day.
  • I want to read more frequently.
  • I want to stop being so critical.
  • I want to stay focused.”

[Note: I have no idea where the long version of my list is, but I am proud that I at least stuck to and accomplished most of what was on my short list.]

“Writing Update of the New Year”- January 7th, 2014
“I have had to tear myself away from the screen many times to go eat. I love getting trapped in my own mind and just wandering around wherever my words take me. I often think I’m crazy to like being by myself so much just writing. I’m pretty sure that’s the introvert in me or possibly the writer in me as well. There are many quotes that say to be a writer is to be insane. That struggle against silence is not for the weak or lighthearted. During this time, I’ve learned that writing is an uphill slope. It’s a daily battle and a struggle against silence. It’s a question of perseverance. The real writer, the true writer writes every day breaking new ground and achieving a goal. I don’t know if that makes me a real or a true writer. I just appreciate having something that I want to protect and that I’m willing to work for. I look forward to learning even more lessons as I finish my first ever novel.”

I’ve grown so much and it’s only been a year. I am so thankful for this blog because it allows me to look back at the girl that I was and see how much I’ve grown as a writer and as a person. I’m looking forward to re-reading this post at the end of 2015 and see how things have changed and how much more I’ve grown, but I don’t plan on looking back all year and living in the past.

Like Edna Mode from “The Incredibles” (2014) so eloquently put,

edna

Edna’s right.  In 2015, I’m not living in the past. I’m living in the now.  It’s okay to take a look back, but don’t only look back. You’re not really living if you’re so focused on what happened before.

As we go into 2015, I’d like to share a poem by Stephen Crane that I hope will inspire you to do more in the new year.

Here it is:
XXIV
I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped,
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
“It is futile,” I said,
“You can never–”
“You lie,” he cried,
and ran on.

So in 2015, which one will you will be? Are you the observer watching and critiquing other’s efforts or are you the runner that perseveres even when someone tries to stop you.
In 2015, I’m going to be the runner. Chasing after seemingly impossible dreams. I challenge you all to do the same. Dream impossible dreams. Chase after the horizon and even when people call you crazy, keep going. Just because someone says its impossible doesn’t mean that it is. Keep going Runners and Rule-breakers. I’ll see you next year.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

Is there a right way to sell books?

Is there a right way to sell books?

sell books

If there is, I don’t know it. And to be honest, I don’t want to know the right way to sell a book. I believe that a lot of the “fun” in this business is in the journey, is in the screwing it up, is in the getting it wrong and trying again tomorrow. I know there are probably thousands of books and manuals out there that will tell you all you need to know about every facet of the writing business. If you have the time to read them, I definitely suggest you read a few, and be sure to take a couple of notes, but understand not everyone’s situation is the same. There is no way that’ll work right for everyone. What’s “right” especially with a business like this one is going to be subjective. We as writers get to decide what’s right for us and if something doesn’t work, we have to freedom to try something else. This business is about trial and error or at least for me, it has been. It has been a lot of trying and failing and trying again. It’s been a little frustrating (Okay, really frustrating!) because I’ve always been the type that wants to get something right the first time. I can’t do that here. I’ve quickly learned to take every failure and false step as a lesson as to what I should do in the future. I’ll write it down, store it for later and be prepared for the next time the same thing happens.

This is probably not the most helpful of posts, especially if you were looking for some real advice. To tell you the truth, I’m just as clueless as the rest of  you, but as I grow in this journey I become a little less clueless. I’ve learned that I’m a talker and I like making connections with people. I also lose steam or motivation quickly if I’m not actively engaged or working towards a goal. This means querying numerous faceless people over the internet to review my book, or to sell my book to them doesn’t and hasn’t worked  for me. It’s also taking time away from writing which is a big no-no. I need to be writing. I need to be in people’s faces. E-mails are okay, but I believe I would be more effective selling Last Look Back if I’m able to talk face to face with the people I’m trying to sell it to. Hopefully, that way they can feel how much I love this book and they might like it, too. In 2015, I want to do more speaking engagements. I want to go to bookstores and other venues and spread Last Look Back around the world one person at the time. Like I’ve said in previous posts, one person is all I need. This might not work. I might mess up. But, even if I get it wrong as long as I get back to the fundamentals of who I am, then I am doing something right. Is this the right way for everyone? No. Definitely not. But it’s something, it’s me and for me, that’s a step in the right direction.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My