Saturday, December 26, 2020

Part Two: Tales of the Universal Knights

 Missed Part One? Just click the in-text link to catch up on what you missed!

Something caused a rather large splash in the street just to my left side around the building corner out in the main street. Snaping my attention back to watching over this world, I became alert, ready to pounce.

I very carefully drew my sword from its sheath. It made a slight clink against the tip of my blade. I waited for a moment in the silence before dashing into the street to meet my fate. This was more my style of a night watch now! Adrenaline pumping I commanded my legs to carry me forward and I soaked in the air rushing past me for those few seconds of wondering what would be around the corner from me.

As I rounded the corner to clearly see my potential foe, I found nothing there at all. The absence of someone or something should have bothered me, but I had gotten to used to Andrew’s power of invisibility that this occurrence didn’t feel so unusual to me as it probably should have. Andrew had startled me many times with his Shyellian gift, yet, this place was different, and there was no magical crystal to activate the special genetic code that is present in those of Shyellian decent.

“Andrew?” I called out, but as the word left my lips, I knew it was a mistake. Possibly even a fatal one.

I listened again, trying my best to find the source of sound that would indicate movement, but, it was to no avail. There was nothing there. The street was empty, the only sound to be heard was the rain still steadily falling on the cobblestones. I wished that someone was with me here now because at least their presence could warm me up from the unrelenting rain. I stood there with no one else around for a long moment, completely cut off from the Knights, and totally alone in a world that wasn’t even mine.

I wondered why I had been so drawn to rejoin the Knights. All I felt here was regret, and the sting of dreams that had fallen through. I knew I was meant for something more, but whether it was on or off-world I also feared that I would never know. I had seen so much in the past five years, yet, nothing had changed me more than my time as a Univercail Knight. Nothing had shaped me more than being entrusted by Uziel, the king of the Ice Kingdom with leadership in his kingdom. He was more than a creature to me, Uziel is my friend, my verry best friend in the form of a dragon. I could only wish he was here with me now because I needed his guidance. His wisdom could calm any fear I had ever experienced in duty.

Coming back to myself again, I realized that my hand was shaking as my sword trembled in my grip. After five years, I still had my moments of panic. While the panic seemed to come when it was more reasonable, it still affected me. I don’t think that anyone can really ever grow out of having anxiety, even if they wanted too. It doesn’t become less bothersome as you get older, nor with the passage of time.

I heard the footsteps behind me this time. I whirled around to face them, steading my shaking body with a deep inhale of humid air. The rain here had a strange smell to it, a touch of sulfur, a rotten kind of smell that could only mean one thing. There was a large amount of volcanic activity near here. Possibly a highly geothermally active planate in general.

“Who are you?” I asked, hoping for a good impression, yet still unwilling to sheeth my weapon.

“You are not of this world, human.” replied a raspy male voice.

“How do you know that?” I asked a bit startled, still unable to see the owner of the odd voice.

“Your clothes give you away. Your a Knight, a guardian, aren’t you?”

“I am,” I replied cautiously. “I’m here to help you.”

“How can you help those that you have yet to understand? We don’t need help from the Knights. Leave us to our home, we will leave you to yours.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t mean to offend,” I answered. “There were reports of unwanted drageel guards on this world.”

“You have no place here. Nor do they, and we are prepared to deal with them. You should go, my people will not treat your presence with grace. ” The man said stepping away from the shadows until I could see his scally face.

“What are you?” I asked curiously.

“I am a native here, I’m a Nahadian.”

“Why are you not afraid of me?” I asked, taking a step closer.

The Nahadian man took a step back. “I am warning you for your own good, I have respect for the knights, unlike the governers of my people.”

“So you read the texts about our formation and mission?” I asked, probing carefully for some information on the Nahadian culture.

“Yes, but it wasn’t easy to get them. Such texts are banned on Naha.” He replied in a low growling whisper as he reached into what I could now see was a cloke that kept the rain away from him.

He pulled out a printed book, a copy of the Universal Knight recruitment and mission statement. It was just a pocket-sized hardbound booklet, but it contained information about our influence on the Universe. I stared down at the booklet in his purple-tinted hand. I wondered why this Nahadian man would carry the book if it was contraband on Naha, but I also wondered why it was contraband in the first place.

“How did you get the beautiful purple pigmentation in your skin?” I asked the man as he carefully concealed the booklet in his cloke again.

“Our blue sun causes purple pigment to become more prominent. Though it is darker depending on genetics too. Some of our people do not believe that purple pigmentation is desirable as you do. The light-skinned like me often have lesser powers here. The light-skinned people come from a line of albino humanoid invaders that mingled with the natives. We are not considered to be pure Nahadians.” He explained.

“So are you wanting to leave Naha?” I asked, trying to find someone that would help me determine the man’s intentions here.

“Naha is my home, why would I leave everything I know here?” He growled with frustration at my question to him as he shot back his own question for me.

I stood silent for a moment, waiting for him to expend the flaming anger in his dark seemingly hollow eyes. He watched me in return, searching me thoughtfully with his gaze. I felt every muscle tightening under the pressure of nervous energy. My armor began to feel much heavier against me. Yet, feeling the onset of panic, I tried to visualize the weight being lifted from me. When my visualization failed, I shifted my stance and gathered my oozing thoughts.

“You’re people have outcasted you. There is more to the universe than oppression. I can give you peace off-world.” I finally spoke, breaking the awkward tension between us.

“You want to take away my home! To think I was the one who called the knights here, it was foolish.” The man growled as he turned away from me.

I was alone once again, cold, wet, but most of all, feeling I had let down my fallow knights in this mission on Naha.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Part 1 Tales of the Universal Knights

Part One, Two, Three, Four, Five

 Kirsten is now a 22-year-old college student. (The same character form the Shyelle Series) These stories take place after the Shyelle books in the timeline.

Audio File: Part One

Part One: Tales of the Universal Knights

When most people think of space travel, they typically don’t associate it with dragons. Well, what if I told you that dragons figured out how to become just as advanced as humans are in 2085? Would you dare to believe me that I voyaged with them?

Well, welcome to the journeys of the Universal Knights. We are a band of knights sworn to chivalry to protect the universe from injustices. We protect the week, fighting off those who threaten the freedom of others. I’m Kirsten, a leader among the Universal Knights. Not by choice, no, but by duty. It’s my job to find others worthy of the responsibilities I hold and that I must keep away from public knowledge.

I was soaked from heavy rain, even with my armor covering most of my cotton-based black clothing. Even though my armor was light and quite comfortable, it was definitely not waterproof. I was a bit worried about rust, but the metals were made to withstand the weather. Nonetheless, I was cold and soggy on an unfamiliar world past sunset.
My tiny emergency flashlight did little to help me see my navigation system on the small screen of my watch. I wore it on my right side, screen on the inside of the wrist. It went over my gomulets. Intergalactic transmissions were not entirely reliable, not yet. Patrick was working on placing satellites to run the routing through, but progress was slow.

Frustrated, cold, and a bit on edge, I decided that navigation would have to be done in a more primitive manner. I gazed up at the night sky, hoping to find a star or something to point me in the right direction to the portal. I worried that it had been left on, that the natives on this world would wander through the active gate. I wasn’t sure what kind of life forms existed here, but one thing was for sure, I didn’t want any more hostile life rampaging earth. Not after I had witnessed the dragon king of fire Ezekien kill many of my own kind and left them without warning of his declared war.

The sky didn’t provide me with much help. I didn’t know the star charts for this world, none of the Universal Knights would know more than I did from the surface of the planate. Still, I wondered about this strange place, but fear of being discovered confined me to the shadows. I definitely wasn’t up for being interrogated by a species I’d never before encountered.  I wasn’t even sure if I had been given the right coordinates by Patrick for the world I was to be guarding today. Well, of course, today was relative, given it was getting later in the evening hours of darkness here.

It was only twenty or thirty minutes into my assignment, and I already had my regrets about accepting it. It was miserable conditions like this that caused me to question Patrick’s judgment in making assignments. Our purpose was to protect other worlds, not sit around and wait to be attacked. I felt a tinge of nervous energy travel up my spine and into my shoulders with this thought. I didn’t want to be a target and die off-world. Besides, I was expected to be in an exam tomorrow.

Exam! … great. I forgot again. This whole deal with keeping up a double life was doing a number on my studies. The universe never seemed to need saving when it was convenient. Yeah, don’t even get me started about the drageels, they are never considerate of my study schedule. Drageels, the nasty cross bread eel dragons where mightily ruthless too, with a craving for destruction.

Sometimes getting off-world was a relief for me I’ll admit. It was after all nice to get away from my routine for a while, but lately, even my off-world travels have been a bit dull. I’d rather make contact with a friendly species for once who appreciated the presence of the Knights rather than a hostile one who told Patrick and Uziel to stay away from them and their galactic affairs.

My mind worried about something that wasn’t of any relevance to this planate, yet to my future, grades determined everything. They determined where I could live, what I could eat, how I got around. Grades where a direct link to lifestyle on earth. I don’t suppose any life form here in the darkness who was entrusted into my care would understand that though. 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

How to Blog Fearlessly as the True Warrior You Are

Fear is an interesting emotion in the sense that it is often times harmful, yet without any fear our own survival would be jeopardized. In the process of being seen and recognized as an author, you have to be willing to be vulnerable. Allowing another person to read your work is also something that gives a deep part of your soul to the universe. Your thoughts have been documented in words that can carry a deep underlying meaning, overarching themes, and even some subliminal messaging. Not everyone is going to agree with what you write either and you need to be prepared to deal with hate comments in a way that turns the hate back on the commenter. 

Preparing a piece of literature is a lengthy process of blood, sweat, and tears. It's only natural to be protective of your creation. The things that help you to conquer self-doubts about your work are remembering the reasons why you wrote it. For example, this blog exists to be an inspiration to other creative dyslexics to chase their dreams that have setbacks by their learning challenges. By not creating this content, there isn't a vehicle for the inspiration I want others to have. Therefore my desier to help others come to terms with any kind of disability is the core driving force that keeps me writing. 

Another fear I currently face with blogging is the fear that no one is reading it. If no one is reading my work then it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that I am not good enough. Not feeling good enough also stems from the depression that is as much a part of who I am as writing and creativity are. Having depression itself for many years has made me believe that ”someday my story will mean something”. (Shyelle - Rise of the Dragon Kingdoms, 223, Second Edition. Amanda Evergreen) If my story inspired you to live just one more day, to hold onto hope for one more hour, than the struggles have proven worthwhile. 

If you want to be a fearless blogger, you must first be a fearless storyteller. Write your story thoroughly, including the emotional details of your triumphs and trails. Be willing to be brutally honest and real about your life, struggles, experiences. The best writing advice I got was from my high school creative writing course, which is to; ”Write what you know.” This refers to the fact that your best work is going to be inspired by a conflict or problem you personally face in your waking life. 


Shyelle Book (My Publication)

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Maximize your Community Day Pokemon Go Gameplay in the Pandemic

To prepare for a Pokemon Go community day during the pandemic is tricky, especially if you are stuck in quarantine. However, I am going to provide some simple tips to maximize your gameplay. 

First off you will want to make sure you have enough incense to last you the entire duration of the community event. Most people will recommend purchasing it, but I enjoy grinding for coins by defending gyms. You can also get incense from a lot of the special research tasks. 

Second, you will need to stock up on pokeballs a couple of days before the event. This is where it is beneficial to expand your item bag storage. Again, you can do this without any in app purchases, it just might take a bit longer so be patient. Sending and opening gifts with your friends is a pretty easy way to stock up on items too. Currently, you can get up to 15 gifts bet day from your buddy Pokemon as COVID 19 cases are climbing even higher. 

I also recommend some lucky eggs to get the XP boost to help you level up faster. In addition, I like to use a star piece at the same time to double my stardust earnings. Most of the time I can get these items from special research as well. 

You will want to clear out your Pokemon storage as much as possible so that you can keep catching Pokemon over an extended period. It gets pretty tedious to be constantly clearing out your storage space. 

During the most recent community day, I got 9 shiny magmar without even leaving the house!

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Monday, October 26, 2020

Every Last Word by Tamra Ireland Stone: Book Review (No Spoilers!)

Hello there fans and fellow readers! 

Today I have another book review for you! The book follows the main character who is a teen girl with OCD otherwise known as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Samantha is however pretty secretive about her condition with her friends, who also happen to be the most popular girls in the school. 

Everything changes for Samantha when she finds out about a secret room in her school called Poets Corner. 

I didn't nessicarly appreciate the cussing in the book, but it does very authentically portray OCD. It also has a nice theme of writing and creativity as a healing process. It talks about suicide, depression, and bullying in a fictional work that seems like it really could be a true story. It's not a book that was my favorite but wasn't horrible either.  

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Friday, September 11, 2020

"Endless Hours" - Free Verse Poetry

Minutes pass... it feels like hours
Its dark, silent, alone

Sleep, a million miles
Fire inside my files.
Exsaughsted, yet awake 
Thoughts a stormy lake. 

Misunderstood I am
With a foot of spam
Think to much
Screaming at touch.

Endless hours
Few bring flowers
Tourchure by pain
Invisible chain.
Post sponcered by Serenity Links

Monday, August 24, 2020

Pokemon for Pain: Finding Joy in a New Community After CRPS Diagnosis

Sometimes when living in constant pain, it becomes necessary to find a distraction from it. That is why I got into Pokemon games, to begin with. But, it goes deeper than this. You see, I found community and connection in a common interest. 

When I think about the people that have entered my life because of Pokemon, I see people who live with determination. People like Real Breaking Nate who are breaking down the barriers of anxiety by creating content in the Pokemon community. He doesn't just open cards, but he openly shares his personal struggles and triumphs! When I found Real Breaking Nate, it came at a time that I needed his energy the most. 

As some may know already, I was hit by a car in May of 2018. It pretty much turned my whole life upsidedown. I ended up going through not only losing the chance to serve my church, but also a debilitating medical condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. (CRPS). Shortly after an entire summer of physical therapy and a nerve decompression surgery, I found Real Breaking Nate on YouTube. 

Really tho, I liked Pokemon from the time Pokemon Go came out. I found that the card came became one of the very few things I could still enjoy. I needed that so bad, and I still do. We all need something that lights our fire. 

When I realized that I could help someone across the globe have a better day because of my videos, it gave me a purpose to create them. It went beyond just a fun hobby to taking the time to comment and engage with an amazing community of people who are looking out for each other.

When someone tells me that my wheelchair photo inspired them to spend time getting to know other people who use similar adaptive tools, it made my efforts worthwhile. I made a difference in that person's life that started with Pokemon. There is a general message of tolerance by seeking to understand one another in the community. It's a life lesson that can be taken from Pokemon. 

I met another early return missionary because of the weekly game nights I was attending locally before the COVID shut down. This also happened because I like Pokemon, Dominion, Magic the Gathering, and many other visual strategy games. Meeting amazing people in my journey is incredible! There is a determination to do your best in the community too. 

Strategy and sportsmanship along with a social outlet that I can participate in from a wheelchair really makes me miss our local game nights. I met so many cool people including another wheelchair user with cerebral palsy. Don't let that fool you though, he is incredibly smart! 

This post sponsored by: Do you Tech blog

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Ah! An awsome audio book I have enjoyed durring the tough days with CRPS. I nearly finished the entire book in about a week. 

Lucy and Owen are traped in an eleator of an appartment building in New York when a summer heat wave caused a city wide blackout. With thier parrents out on buisness trips, Lucy and Owen weather the power outage together. 

Don't wory, for a Young Adult suposed romance novel, it's preaty cleen. Just kissing is all. I do really apreciate a love story that isn't all about sex and breaking rules. 

When Lucy's Dad secures a job overseas, and Owen's Dad is fired the two of them move farther and farther apart physicly. They find unique ways to comunicate throughout the book. It's really quite a cute love story. 

I "rented" the audio book for free from my local libraries website since they have been closed for quite soms time. 

This post was sponcered by logan remodeling pros

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Monster Trucks - Movie Review

Are you looking for the next movie to light up your screen on movie night? Problem solved! Monster Trucks is a fantastic mesh of cute creatures, trucks, and explosions of course. Jump in and make friends with the cuteness in this family-friendly silly film. 

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Friday, July 10, 2020

A.X.L. - Movie Review (Netflix)

A Si-fi Movie that's rated PG? Nah, that's unheard of 2020!

Let's talk about one of the greatest science fiction movies I've seen. A.X.L. is a complete artificially intelligent robot dog. It becomes friends with a couple of young high school kids and it becomes a companion to them forming a bond between dog and the owner just as if it were a real dog they had rescued. 

But, when the true purpose behind the A.X.L. is revealed, the story becomes even more twisty.

This post made possible by Logan Remodeling Pros

Sunday, June 28, 2020

6 Authors and Works that Uphold Traditional Christian Values

I love audiobooks, but recently, I have run into a big problem! Adult books are absolute TRASH on so many levels from being horrible in language to sexually suggestive or having slow-moving plots. I have decided that most fiction that is written for adult audiences is totally not written with Christain values in mind.

Now, this is not to suggest that you shouldn't introduce controversial topics in books at all, just that I appreciate it when an author writes about mental health with dignity. I also enjoy an author that carefully cuts out the cuss words. And for the love of all, keep sex in its place, not on the pages. When it came to things like Ender's Game, the story is good, but there is entirely too much cussing in it for my liking.

Getting into it, this is my list of tried and true beloved Authors or stand-alone works that do uphold good Christain values.

1) Brandon Mull:
A Latter-Day Saint Author from Utah that writes Juvenal and Young Adult Fiction. His most popular work is the five-book Fablehaven series. The first book he published was the Candy Shop War through Deseret Book. His newest series Dragonwatch is a continuation of the best selling Fablehaven series. Beyonders is a Young Adult fiction series that follows a land with royalty and mythical creatures as well as some pretty interesting choices of villains. Five Kingdoms is another of his teen fiction series.

Brandon's hit series Fablehaven follows two kids Kendra and Seth into a stay with their grandparents who live on a preserve for magical creatures. Each book has a different preserve that they visit together in it. From magical items and battles to save Fablehaven, Kendra and Seth discover special powers such as being able to see in the dark, recharge magical objects or repel magical fear. Dragonwatch focuses on the dragon sanctuaries within the Knights of Dawn as well as introduces some more of the cousins as new characters.

2) Richard Paul Evens: Michel Vey Serries
He is most commonly known for the Michel Vey series about a group of kids who were all in an experiment involving electricity. Michel and the kids each gained a unique electric superpower as a result of the experiments. I have to say that as a dyslexic reader, I rarely read a full book in the span of a few days, but, I read the first book in just a few days and I was hungry for each release that followed. Now the full seven-book series is out. Michel is chasing down Hatch, the villain of the series who is out to kidnap and control every electric kid in the world and then use them as his own personal weapons. He first finds out that other kids have electric powers when he meets Taylor, a cheerleader at his high school who can reboot someone's brain. I really love most of all that the series is written in first person from Michel's perspective.

3) Heroes of Olympus
It's funny but I actualy like this serries better than Percy Jackson. A giant michanical dragon might have something to do with my opinion on this one though. Camp Half-Blood summer camp and Demi God powers are sure to keep you turning pages. 

4) Being Sixteen by Ally Condie
Based on her true story about the Author's sister who suffered from Anorexia Bulimia, this book tells the story from Alison's perspective and a few fictional elements. While the book is technically considered to be a work of fiction, everything she writes about the eating disorder her sister had is true. This book was truly a hidden gem from the library that I found a while ago.

5) By Your Side by Kasie West 
When a girl with anxighty is locked in the library for the weekend she never expected to find a mysterious guy from her school hunkered down there. The two foster a relationship between his backstorry and her anxighty. The book is a real page turner! 

6) Shyelle - Rise of the Dragon Kingdoms by Amanda Evergreen

Did you really think I wasn't going to put my own book on the list? It deserves an unofficial entry at least. And since it is my work, I cheated a little by just giving you the synopsis from the back of the book because I could. You can read more about the author information from the link.

A legend written nearly 2,000 years ago holding power to strengthen the good and punish the bad is about to be fulfilled when four siblings accidentally transport themselves into a world billions of light-years away from home. Kirsten and Crystal are fraternal twins. Together with their two brothers, Alex and Jimmy the four are faced with frightening reality. The only way to return home is to break the ancient magical force field created by the worst Dragon ruler Shyelle has ever seen, the Fire King Ezieken.

In the process of fighting against Ezieken’s binding magic, the four siblings meet Uziel, the Dragon King of the Ice Kingdom. While with Uziel they see that Ezieken is on a mission to rule the entire universe in rampaging brutality. Alien and with hope quickly fading the Esperson siblings must either band together to save the world as we know it or an entire world will be wiped from existence.

But wait! There's one more twist, while each character has a unique Shyelian gift, each also possesses a disability. Some physically challenged and some mentally challenged, the group will struggle to accept and support each other through their weaknesses. Kirsten, the main character from which perspective the Novel is told from suffers from Dyslexia, ADHD, and Anxiety.

This post is made possible by: Logan Massage! Thanks so much! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Lessons From Brandon Sanderson

I did some research this week for y'all! I've been listening to lectures by Brandon Sanderson. So, for the purpose of allowing all of you to discover Brandon Sanderson, I'll include the links at the end of this post.

A discovery writer allows the story to write itself. The characters become well developed, realistic, emotional characters. However, discovery writers work can be disorganized. Some writers love to hash the heck out of an outline, others never write an outline.

Writing fantasy is a process of discovery! It's jumping into a broad dimension of possibilities! Writing is an escape and its work. You can write to you and your enjoyment or you can write to the world.

"Never be embarrassed to only write as a hobby." - Brandon Sanderson

If you really want to write, you're got to do it a lot. I'm talking about MANY hours of writing. Creating a career in writing is a long process. Often you will need to study a career that will have guaranteed chances to make a living. I've said this a lot here, I'm a writer who's also in school and I work part-time to fund my schooling.

However, writing still has value even if it never makes you a single cent. Brandon Sanderson brings this out and it's the greatest thing you can ever learn as a writer. Don't stop if one book fails! If you are gaining pleasure from writing then isn't that enough?

I wanted others to enjoy my work as well. That's why this blog exists! It's the cultivation and documentation of the journey.

This post is brought to you by Do You Tech

Saturday, June 13, 2020

All about Wedding Cakes!

As a Copy Writer, I help to maintain a host of blogs on various topics. This one was an absolute blast to write, so in honor of that, have a look!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Rich Metaphors to Describe Life with CRPS

Oh, here we go again, everybody. Another night, another ride with stabbing swords in my ankle. As a dragon within you, it's fire fierce and thirsty for vengeance.

My armor is heavy, clinking with every small step forward. As the armor clangs, it is yet still an invisible barrier to the dragon raging within me. The fire burns, it scorches from the inside out. Yet, to the touch, there is only cold. 

I landed in the ER again with a pain flare this weekend. No surprise really, the weather affects me quite a bit. However, in the gloom of it, I am doing the best I can to hold onto hope because:

 "If we don't hold onto hope, we have nothing" - Shyelle Rise of the Dragon Kingdoms

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Lucid Dreaming: Flight to Space

I fell asleep in a peaceful state of relaxation. I welcomed the possibilities of the dreaming realm as I prepared to depart from the ground beneath our feet. I clicked pieces of my space armor into place one by one against my thermal suit. Each piece clicked into place to create an intricate envelopment around my body while still allowing for maximum mobility.
Ready to depart, I put the helmet over my head and sealed the airflow to the inside. The air was cool and crisp with a bit of a metallic taste against my toung as I inhaled. I began running across the sandy desert landscape to create lift against the wings of my suit as the high powered thrusters roared to life. A moment later and I shot up to the clear sunny sky.
Flying free I climbed higher into the atmosphere. Then, everything is weightless as I continue zooming forward into a sea of a billion stars shining against the darkness.
The stillness of the universe outside my suit is comforting.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Using Time Wisely During the COVID-19 Lockdown

Most of us are now working from home who are not at all used to such a phenomenon. Working from home for me, however, is nothing new. I've been taking college credits online for two years and doing odd jobs through my laptop for about a year now.

So, what are the best secrets for productivity?

In truth, I think the best secret is to take frequent breaks. Yeah, it sounds a bit counterproductive, I know, but hear me out here. I've found that home is full of a lot of distractions and they will continue to distract you if you don't take some time to address them. If I am to be entirely out there with you when you work from home, the laundry comes with you, the phone comes with you, and even the dishes come with you too.

The best way to make use of the time is to try to keep your routine as normal as possible when trying to work from home. Yes, the current situation is anything but normal, but believe me, you want at least a little sense of normal. Don't forget to enjoy some sunshine too! It's mood-boosting after all.

Friday, January 31, 2020

When you just can't write: Addressing Writers Block

Writer's block, that horribly annoying feeling when a blank page is daunting. I've been in a bit of a writing slump. Ideas have been alluding to me as of late.

The thing is that creativity and book ideas have always been this crazy spur of the moment ideas that I either trashed or was able to run with. It makes sense given that I deal with ADHD that inspiration to write would come this way. But, my reliance upon such ideas has now led me to a bit of a dry spell as far as my fictional works are concerned.

I also think that a lot of the creative block I've been experiencing has to do with the deterioration of my health. Sadly I just don't have as much energy as I used to for writing and schooling and everything else that is going on in life. After all, it isn't easy to be a part-time writer and still be producing content regularly. Part of that content creation also involves keeping the readers engaged.
I have found an interesting connection to not being able to do certain things. It seems to be a theme popping up in my dreams too. Recently I recalled a dream where I couldn't pick up food with a fork. It was extremely irritating. Sometimes the simplest things are what we take for granted until something blocks the everyday functions.

Here is another example, before the crash, I could run around and I was quite active with a regular exercise schedule. Then, an injury put a sudden and abrupt halt to these habits. Nearly two years later, even walking requires considerable energy and even mental effort. Losing my feet for a long time also meant losing my hands for nearly eight months. I lost a lot because of the accident. To be blunt, there are times when I wonder if the tormenting pain will end.

But, in all my wondering, I am reminded that without conflict in a story the characters have nothing to allow them growth or development. The breaking points for your characters may very closely resemble your own challenges in life. You may be writing in a roundabout way your own personal story of overcoming something that once felt impossible to you.

Very rarely does a story character become better on their own. They need the wisdom and experience that a mentor figure provides. So it is with finding your way in your own writing journey. You must have phases of self-discovery and encouragement of others. Learning from the near-fatal mistakes of those who come before us will also prevent us from making those same painful mistakes for ourselves.

Friday, January 24, 2020

To Write Well, Read Well

 I was taught this saying many moons ago during my years of traditional grade schooling. Yet, it is still true for me today that reading is a great source of both entertainment, ideas, and a way to observe the writing styles of others. I would even suggest that reading best-sellers are one of the best ways you can notice what makes a book a best seller for yourself.

So what can you do if you don't have time to read? It's understandable, for whatever reason, you may not have a few hours to sit down with a book. This is why I often prefer to use audiobooks during the school year. However, I haven't been the best at writing down the things I like and don't like from different authors. This is where reading becomes the most useful to you as a writer.

Some writers closely follow the model of the hero's journey, others deviate from it quite a bit. Looking for why is important! Look at why or why not the author's chosen writing model kept your attention. How could you implement something similar for your own work? Another thing to consider would be if you even know what the hero's journey is, and where it classically has shown up over time.

What else could you learn from reading the work of other authors? We could analyze theme, tone, plot, character development, backstory, climax and a host of other literary elements. Why would you want to do this? I promise that literary analysis isn't intended to take the fun away from reading a good book at all! Its purpose is to get you to slow down enough to read between the lines, to really think about what you are reading.

Keeping a record of your literary analysis notes will be huge in inspiring your own writing to become better. I had to analyze a few books in school a while back, at first, I will admit I didn't really like doing it. However, as I started to see real things that I liked, things that made a book stand out, I also saw that I needed to impliment these kind of elements into my own work.

Reading allows us to gain perspective and greater vocabulary as writers too. We gain real experience with another authors ideas though physical and tangible pages! Isn't that alone motivation enough? A lot of work goes into having a published work of literature! It isn't easy by any means, the challenge seems to still be my call to adventure.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Writing is my Therapy

It's really no secret that the act of writing is highly therapeutic to me. Its something I wish I had more time to do. Writing is an escape as much as it is a reality check. It brings deep emotions to the surface and it allows me to attempt to describe the intense visual wonders of my day dreams. But, those day dreams are not just visually engaging. The mark of a gifted writer is often the ability to create a world and then to place yourself within it to feel, touch, taste, smell and so on.

Writing somehow seems to connect me with all the elements of my true self, the nature of my humanity. Stories are built around conflict, unrest, dystopian and unpredictable conditions. It is the unknown that drives readers to keep reading those stories. It is challenging obstacles that build and develop characters in our favorite novels, even our most loved films. Yet, when faced with real-life obstacles, many of us feel alone, vulnerable, or possibly even hopeless.

The very thing that we know builds character suddenly becomes terrifying to us in the real world. Why? It is the unknown that builds tension, even anxiety. The real world endings are often far from a carefully crafted Novel. Things happen to us that are cruelly unfair. The bad guys do sometimes win, and they do sometimes feel as if to have stolen our thunder.

Someone did try to steal my thunder, my spotlight in my novel of life. It was cruel, unfair, unreasonable, and prejudice in nature even. Disrespect came from a lack of understanding me. Yes, at the time I had differences within me that could make me a complicated person to deal with from time to time, but still, I do not see why it had to be that way.

I'm trying to see challenges and discomfort in my own life as an opportunity to build Character, though positivity is not always my strong suit. I'm real and quite bluntly open about things like depression and anxiety. Those things are very real, and I have not only seen these illnesses in myself. Many of my friends have fallen victim to the terror of it too. Mental illness advocacy is something that deeply matters to me, it's why I did quite a bit of extensive research to write it as authentic as possible even within a novel that is of the fictional genre.

Mental illness though is a real challenge in our world outside of books. I simply gave it a voice by writing about it. Some may dislike how much I advocate against mental illness stigma, but, those are they who have not yet taken the time necessary to understand that they could one day save a life by knowing the warning signs of struggling souls.