Tag Archives: brother

Sharing Childhood Inspiration

26 Jun
This is what I looked like when I wrote this book.

This is what I looked like when I wrote this book.

Website Update: Minutes Before Sunset is falling behind on Goodreads Book of the Month. Please vote if you haven’t already. I could really use your help! Vote here

As writers, we’ve held the dream of writing for a long time. Finding out an author started writing at a very young age happens more often than not, and I think that’s something important to look into. It’s interesting to think that we, as children, may have understood our passion better than we do now (or with less questioning, because we didn’t understand everything we’d have to go through in order to chase our dreams.) But, theoretically, can’t we bring back our passion in moments of doubt by returning to our childhood in order to remember the simple joy we felt before the pressures of a career?

On Father’s Day, my brother and his fiancé were looking for pictures to use in their wedding, and my dad decided to bring up two boxes my late mother left behind. She made these boxes for my brother and I for when we had kids, but we decided to open them up early for my brother’s wedding, and it was an amazingly beautiful collection of childhood clothes, art, and pictures.

That’s when I found it:

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Two books I wrote as a child, which were printed by Crabapple Crossing Book Publishing. 

I wanted to share one today, because it brought me back to those moments before I even knew what publishing was, and I hope sharing something I wrote when I was in second grade might encourage you to look back and see how far you’ve come!

So “Max & Milo” is about two dogs having a birthday party before they move away and become pen pals with all of20130625_141947 their old friends. I found it pretty amusing (but interesting) because I had two dogs at the time (yes, they were named Max and Milo) and I also moved around a lot. Strangely enough, this follows the “Write what you know” tip that’s very common for beginning writers. I wish I could say I understood the “Show. Don’t Tell” rule at this age, but I think most of this was described through the pictures I drew. And, no, I’ve never been an artist, so the drawings amused me. (Apparently, the world was in x-ray vision.)

But what is the most encouraging part about looking back on these things? 

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I’ve achieved the dream I’ve strived for since I was seven, and I continue to do better every day. 

It was a great experience shifting through my childhood box to see what I could find that my memory didn’t remember as clearly as I thought. Not to mention how funny it was for my brother and I to compare things with one another.

Here’s to hoping this childhood post brings inspiration for other writers to look back on their goals, dreams, and creations to see how long the passion has been there, continue forward with encouragement, and/or to simply be amused by the lessons of life.

My plan is to continue posting writing tips this week, but my cousin is getting married! (Yay!) So I might get busier than I think. I will surely keep everyone updated, and I wanted to remind everyone to vote for Minutes Before Sunset as Book of the Month on Goodreads. We’re still in first place (Thank you!) at 46 votes, but I’d love to hit 50 (those number marks always make me spin in circles of happiness.)

Vote here, and thank you for all the special birthday wishes! I had a great time. I went to a Japanese Steakhouse with my brother, his fiancé, my dad, and my boyfriend. It was a lot of fun, and the picture is a rice heart with “22” written on top for me. It was sweet. They also gave me chopsticks, and I got to see my friends afterwards. Couldn’t have been happier with all the supportive people in my life 😀

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~SAT

June 28: Last Day to Vote

July 1: Winners

July 3: Holidays in Writing

Writing Tips: Titling Your Novel

18 Feb

I’m so glad you all enjoyed my Events page. I’m really excited to show my timeline with you (and, to be honest, digging through my portfolio was such an encouraging adventure! I hope you are inspired to do the same. It’s a confidence booster. I hadn’t realized how much media I’d done until I spread the articles across my desk. Plus, I’d love to see what all you have done and are up to!)

Through you all, I received a few emails regarding one line in particular: December 4, 2006—Finished writing November Snow (originally titled It’s Only a Matter of Time.)

Many of you were interested in why the title changed, how it changed, or what the title reflects, and I think this is a great aspect to consider when studying your own piece of work. 

Originally, of course, my novel was titled It’s Only a Matter of Time. The reasoning for this is a funny thing: it’s the last line, and I didn’t have a title for it while I wrote it. I’m a strict believer in not deciding (for sure) on your title until the entire piece is written. I think it’s smart to have an idea, but, many times, a book changes as you write it. You may write an entire manuscript and realize your characters aren’t who you thought they would be. Maybe you have symbols you never even considered. Maybe your setting changed. Your ending may even change. Either way, writing is a journey and it changes, even if you have a plan. Think of writing like life: You may have a plan, but things happen, and your path changes.

This is what I had to consider when I realized my novel was being published. 

I knew It’s Only a Matter of Time wasn’t appropriate. It didn’t describe the tale, it didn’t relate to my characters, it didn’t describe the setting, and it didn’t summarize my overall message. So I set out to discover what DID describe all of these things.

As many of you know, November Snow ONLY takes place in November. It’s told from two perspectives, and it’s in a made-up land, Vendona, in 2089. November 2089 is ridiculous, and Vendona’s November is confusing, because the reader won’t even know what Vendona is until they pick up the book. I couldn’t use Serena’s November, because it ignores Daniel, and the same aspect happens when I looked at Daniel’s November. Plus, the novel isn’t centered around their lives, but how their lives are effected. So what about November’s Election? Doesn’t work. In my case, I’m American, and our elections are in November; readers would assume it’s a fictional tale about our government systems, and that wasn’t my audience.

So I looked at my symbols. I have plenty–but, ultimately, snow is the most powerful image. Snow hasn’t fallen in Vendona in twelve years, and the snowfall landed on a very detrimental date in the tale. However, during this particular November, the weather is cooling again, and the ostracized “bad-blooded” children realize it may fall again–and there may be another vital moment.

I don’t want to spoil my novel, so I won’t say what happens, but snow does fall again.

Through this, I realized the falling of snow, not only effects my characters, but ultimately symbolizes the effect on my reader.

November Snow was born.

I describe my process in the hopes that you all, whether you’ve already written a novel or not, can decide on the most effective and honest title for your piece. After all, you wouldn’t want to publish it and later regret what the title said. Think of it as poetry: a poem’s title is vital to understanding the symbolic meaning of the delicate words on the page. Without it, the descriptions may seem obscure or confusing. The poem, essentially, may not make sense at all.

Titles ARE important–and the right one is vital. Choose carefully and use your heart to do so. 

~SAT

Because I like sharing little bits of my life with you all: This is a picture of my older brother with his cat, Bella, and my cat, Bogart. Who knew we were so related?

Because I like sharing little bits of my life with you all: This is a picture of my older brother with his cat, Bella, and my cat, Bogart. Who knew we were so related?

 

 

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