Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Value of a Writing Community

Hey all,

It's been a while, I know. I'm taking an extra class this semester and it's got a lot more to it than I thought it would. (I know this is still an excuse though!) Anyhow, I thought it might be good to mention how valuable it is to have a writing group, whether it's just you and a friend or you and a group of writers, it's great to have someone to bounce ideas off of and to share your work with. It is also very nice to have someone who understands the challenges and rewards of writing--because writing isn't easy!

I've been a part of a writing group now I think for about a year and I have to say it is a increasingly beneficial group for me to be a part of. Not only does this group help motivate me to write, they also help me grow as a writer in regards to learning new or more appropriate writing techniques. This writing group is a great place to learn from other writers as well: writing tricks, advice on publishing the old school way vs. self publishing, and so much more! This group isn't anything extra, super fancy either. It's just a bunch of people who like to write that get together once a week. It's a Meetup group. Seriously nothing special regarding how the group started. The cohesion of the group is pretty awesome though. That part is special. So I definitely recommend forming a group, no matter how informal, no matter the size, just to help you get motivated to write and to have people you can bounce ideas off of.

Take care, keep writing, and thanks for stopping by!
 Melissa

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Oh the Internet

Hi all,
I know, I know...it's been a while, between getting my wisdom teeth out and class starting again I just got all distracted-like, not to mention playing around with Band of the Purple Feather on Blogger, I decided recently to also start a Tumblr account. I don't know what my issue is, I guess I love the internet! I am putting my attempts at a webcomic on Tumblr and then I also have a Cleo and Bailey page of all their silliness. I guess it's good to throw yourself into things, right? Maybe? Who knows, it might be more than I can manage, but I am going to try! Has anyone else tried maintaining all of these different modes of communication? Any tips on how to keep it all under control but also updated?

I also haven't written for nearly two weeks :o oops! I am reading a book for fun though and reading is just as important as writing, you can get ideas and see some pretty useful techniques that way if you read a lot. But balancing all of it can be tricky, believe me I understand, so it might be easier to lean to the side of just writing or just reading, but try if you can to do both, it can be so very helpful. :)

It's a short one, I know, but thanks for visiting!

Melissa

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Writing Prompt and a Slightly Swollen Face

Hi all,
Here is a writing prompt I did with my writing group a few weeks ago! It was pretty fun and pretty silly. There is a princess trying to eat a pie and someone is trying to stop her for some reason. It could be upped to an end of the world kind of situation even. You have 10 minutes. Go!



Have you done it? Great! Feel free to share in the comments section. Here is what I ended up writing:

     All she wanted was a nice slice of the apple pie her great aunt made for her. She smelled it baking long before she saw it.
     "Here snow dear, have some pie, I've made it just for you."
     Snow reached her hands out excitedly, the smell tickling her nostrils playfully.
     Just as she was about to take the plate a stout man, the realm physician, with a big white beard knocked it from her reach.
     "Don't eat that!" He shouted.
     "But why?" Whined Snow.
     "How rude of you, shoo you old kook." Snow's great aunt hissed. "I'll slice you another piece dear." She smiled, but her crows feet didn't deepen.
     "Come this way Princess." The gruff voice of the stout physician's brother blared. "Quick."
     Soon several pairs of hands were on Snow's arms pulling her from the kitchen.
    "Where are you taking me?"
    "To a safe place Princess Snow." The overly happy one said.
    "He's waiting there to keep you safe." Said the exhausted one.
    "He? Who is 'he'?" Snow demanded as she tried to rip her arms free from the wee men.
    "The Prince from over the mountain. He warned us of your peril, he'd had a vision, but was too nervous to enter a kingdom his family wasn't on good terms with." The physician said.
    "You trust him?!" Snow struggled further. "He of all people is liable to harm me, is he not?"
    "He spoke the truth, you'll see once we get there. Trust us dear Princess."
    On they dragged her down the hallway and toward their cottage just outside the castle in the enchanted forest.



Well there's what I got in the ten minutes allotted to us. I hope you found it silly if nothing else. As the title states for this post, my face is slightly swollen since my wisdom teeth were removed yesterday. I don't full on look like a chipmunk and only one side even looks swollen compared to the rest, so I can't complain!

Thanks for stopping in,
Melissa


Monday, January 13, 2014

Another Blog!

Hi all,
I have another blog in the works as my attempt at a webcomic, I finally decided to roll up my sleeves and get to work! I hope it's not too terribly cheesy since it's done with Lego's--I am not an artist! Here's the blog: http://bandofthepurplefeather.blogspot.com/

I am also getting my wisdom teeth removed on Friday, I'm totally nervous for it, but I just found out that it's only going to take 45 minutes. I'm ok with that. I'm expecting to be pretty useless afterwards, probably super sleepy, but who knows.

I am going to do my best to equally divide my time between both blogs, I know I haven't been terribly consistent with this one....sorry :o!

Thanks for stopping in,
Melissa

Friday, January 10, 2014

Lesson Learned in the Super Cold

Hi all,
As many of you may know, there was that incredibly cold polar vortex that came to visit much of the United States earlier this week. In Madison, Wisconsin the high for Monday had been -9F. That would be without windchill factored in. I believe it got close to -40F with windchill, give or take. It was cold enough that after about five minutes outside frostbite was a very real possibility. Tuesday wasn't much warmer, the high had been 2F. There was still a pretty frosty windchill going on that day. On Monday all the schools in Wisconsin closed, or at least almost all of them, schools followed suit for Tuesday too since the weather advisory did not end until noon Tuesday.

Some of my siblings and I did some science experiments in this super cold weather. One of the experiments was the throwing boiling water into the air to see it freeze instantly. And yes one of us did get burned. My brother had successfully thrown the boiling water into the air a few times, but the time he got burned was due to him overfilling the cup from his electric tea kettle (we brought it outside with us to keep the water hot). Poor brother :(! We also attempted to see how long it took for cold water to freeze, but got impatient and gave up. The final experiment we did was blowing bubbles into the frigid air--they are supposed to freeze and look very neat. The first few attempts were done with homemade bubbles, so we thought maybe it wasn't successful because they were homemade and the recipe I used called for the bubbles to sit for a day, but SCIENCE! So we eventually got real bubbles, and it sort of worked, but we did the trials later on in the evening on Tuesday and thought that perhaps it wasn't cold enough any longer.

Tuesday I discovered why heet is an important factor in helping my car start. It took several tries and several hours in between to get my car to finally start. My siblings and I went on a quest to find heet to put in my car, figuring it at least wouldn't hurt to add. We went to several places: Walmart, BP gas station, Woodmans (grocery store), O'Reilly Auto Parts, Sears Auto Center, and Metcalfe's Market (another grocery store, we were kind of thinking no one would think of looking there). All of these places were out!

This is at O'Reilly Auto Parts, it's hard to see, but there is a sign on the door that says
Sorry We Have No Heet

We asked someone at the Sears Auto Center if they had any suggestions on what we could do to help get the car started. He suggested pushing it into a garage, which we had considered doing; or get a hair dryer and hold it over the starter--I totally don't know what or where the starter is so that one didn't help me much. After Metcalfe's we went back to try again, I had to work at 3:30 so I really needed to know if my car was going to start! After trying a few more times and pumping the gas it finally started. Woot. I finally got to put my spare key to use, locking my car up while it ran for a good 15 minutes or so before finally leaving my brother's apartment.

As a silly note, for most of this time (Sunday evening to Tuesday afternoon) I was totally being twelve and having a sleepover at my brother's apartment. My oldest sister was in town for a few more days before she had to fly back to Singapore, so we decided to have an epic sleepover that ended up going longer than expected because of the cold. We watched a few episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Sharknado, Two-Headed Shark Attack, Jersey Shore Shark Attack, and Paranormal Activity 3 and 4 amidst all of our science experiments. It was good fun :D!

Thanks for reading,
Melissa