Writing, with This Last Day of School, I Thee Wed

Published May 21, 2015 by Maggie Williams

Summer is here and it is time for endless writing and reading and hopefully not uncontrollably watching Netflix for days at a time. I have a lot of projects to work on, but my biggest one, as always, is my novel. It’s been quite a while since I’ve looked at it and that makes me kind of nervous to hop in again. And when I get nervous to hop in again, a lot of self-sabotage happens, so I’ve done a few things that will hopefully help cut down on the distractions from my projects.

1. Stopped watching most TV shows. Literally the only thing I watch right now is Game of Thrones, so that should only distract me for about an hour on Sunday nights.

2. Told my manager that I want to only work ten hours a week, instead of twenty. I have so many things to do at home and I hate where I work, so this wasn’t a hard decision at all.

3. Cut down on the totally mindless social media I follow. I unfollowed a bunch of people on Twitter and unsubscribed from some people on YouTube so that when I go on a social media binge, there are less people to stalk and get distracted by. Now if only the “Suggested Videos” didn’t pop up on YouTube…

So that’s about it for me. What are some things you do to give yourself more time to write?

I Hate Everything- Scrap It All

Published May 5, 2015 by Maggie Williams

Have you ever had those moments where you look back on a piece you’ve been working on and you decide you hate it all? It’s too boring, the characters are vapid, the writing is elementary. At first working on it was fun and you thought it was pretty humorous and relatable, but on second look, you are horrible with any form of comedy, no matter how minuscule.

What do you do with this story? I don’t recommend deleting it for good. I remember deleting a bunch of stories when I was still in elementary school, and I would kill to have that writing now. It’s almost like a journal- it can be a lot of fun to look back on in a few years. Do you power through and finish those final few pages? You should at least complete your thought, right? Or, do you just decide to leave it be and begin on something else that you can send into that writing competition in its stead?

I think it’s a good idea to explain to your future self where you were headed with the story, in case next month you decide it’s gold again. Whether that be in a few notes at the end, or in actually powering through and finishing it. And then move on to one of the thousands of other projects that are brewing in your skull. But, for god’s sake, don’t delete it. Never delete it.

High School Juniors Be Like

Published May 4, 2015 by Maggie Williams

With my junior year rapidly coming to a close (13 more school days left, hallelujah), it’s time to buckle in and start the college application ride. I’ve been doing a lot of research in the past couple of days on my top three schools… Okay, let’s be honest- I’ve been stalking their websites and drooling over every little aspect of college life. With each passing minute, I am more and more excited for upper-level education and the freed baby bird quality that comes along with it.

I’ve been filling my brain with a bunch of college checklists, and it can get a bit overwhelming, but mostly it’s just exciting. There are scholarships to search for, portfolios to work on, essays to start, probably so many things to fill out that I don’t even know about yet, and all of that on top of normal life stuff. How did people even do this before the internet existed? But through it all, I have to remind myself to enjoy the process. I just feel like all this hard work is going to turn out to be one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had to date. And it all starts this summer when I officially become a senior. Big fun, much excite.

School Is Actually Useful Sometimes. What?

Published April 24, 2015 by Maggie Williams

A teacher once said to me, or rather my whole class, that we should try to learn something in every class we take. We have to be active in our education, and if we aren’t taking advantage of this privilege, we’ve made a bad decision. For some reason, I really took this to heart, and I’ve been trying to see at least one useful thing that has come out of all of my classes. Even the ones I don’t like. Especially the ones I don’t like.

One of the ones that I’ve been thinking about recently is something I learned and truly grasped in chemistry this year. Everything is made of atoms. Atoms are made of electricity. Transitively, everything is made of electricity. This is utterly fascinating to me and you would be correct if you assumed that I’m going to use that #scienceknowledge to write some gosh darn fiction. I’m already thinking up ways to incorporate it into my novel as I do some rewrites.

It just goes to show that you never know what will be useful to you in the writing world. I never thought I would use any chemistry whatsoever after I finished the class, but here I am using the idea of atoms and the Law of Conservation of Matter in my latest existential pondering. The only thing I still can’t find a use for is post-sixth-grade math- I mean, what is even the point?

Anyway, let me know the weird school lessons that have stuck with you, and the surprising ways you’ve used them in your lives.

I’m Either Psychic or Imaginative

Published April 23, 2015 by Maggie Williams

Do you ever have those days where you can feel your life stretching before you, full of possibilities and experiences yet to be had? It’s those days where you’re not really excited for anything in particular- just the whole idea of the future.

I can feel the excitement of choosing which university I’ll attend, of exploring the new city and meeting new people (hopefully other writers, fingers crossed). I can feel myself learning and growing while in school and having all the typical college experiences. I can feel the jetlag from all the traveling I’ll do- I can see the terrain in my head like I’ve already been there. I can taste the life and, yes, the local cuisine. I can feel the love on my wedding day, when my first child is born, and in the long days that stretch on while I wait to see if I can adopt that child I fell in love with on my travels, even though I thought I didn’t want anymore kids. I can feel my love for my family and my husband, and maybe even the pain of our divorce as we grow apart- nothing lasts forever. I can feel myself growing older and wiser, playing with grand kids, and convincing the neighborhood children in a small, coastal retirement town that I’m actually a wizard. And even on my deathbed, I can feel the adventure before me. You know how the Peter Pan quote goes (“To die would be an awfully big adventure”).

I feel like a fortuneteller- like all of this is in my future. But the truth is, it might not be. Something completely different, but just as wonderful, could lie ahead in the expanse of white canvas unrolled before me. And that, too, makes living life even more exciting.

A “Thank You” in 100 Words or More

Published April 22, 2015 by Maggie Williams

I started this blog with the intention to gain a large number of followers who would, for some reason, care even a little about my fleeting thoughts and/or complaints. What can I say? I’ve grown up in a world where you can project your opinions to the masses and the masses sometimes read them. This is amazing to me, as is the fact that I am fairly egocentric.

One hundred is really a huge number of followers- I don’t even know that many people in real life- and yet I simply regard it as a milestone with hundreds more to come. It’s horrible, I know this, but I can’t help it for whatever reason. But I truly am thankful for you wonderful people- the first hundred of (fingers crossed) many more to come. My ego thanks you for being the first milestone. The kind human being in me thanks you for caring even one iota about what I have to say, or maybe even enjoying my writing. Thank you.

P.S. It was definitely more than 100 words. Never trust me to keep it that brief.

Publishing My First Poem

Published April 19, 2015 by Maggie Williams

Soon enough I am going to technically be a published author. Perhaps it’s by a small-time electronic journal that no one has ever heard of, but still. The word “publish” was thrown around in the letter that was sent to me, so I’m counting it.

This is the first poem that I have ever sent into anything like this, and one of the first poems I ever wrote. The teacher who guided me (mostly by forcing me to write said poem) was super pleased and she gave me a wonderful little card that said that she was proud of me and that she was sure it would be the first of many. I am so grateful to her for wanting to work with me and suggesting the independent study, and for pushing me out of my comfort zone in genres.

At the risk of sounding slightly egotistical; it’s wonderful to be recognized for my writing. It gives me validation about being on the right path. Everyone needs a little congratulations now and again.

Here’s the poem, in case you’re interested:

Into the Archive

The endless shelves are lined in boundless lives

Astronomer, astrologer, chemist

Words spring like fountains of eternal youth

Beloved hero, vampire, mystic man

One surviving world twists into the next

Alien, dystopian, the savage

Voices call from the pages, the binding

Siren, banshee, the star in the limelight

Whispering secrets that beg you to bite

Princess, werewolf, the starving villagers

Fingertips dance over spine after spine

Doctor, pianist, the weaver of worlds

Until the digits are caught on the edge

Costumer of the king, witch, and wizard

And with a flick of the eyes change stories

To live in a different life until

The call of other worlds, other vast lives,

Pulls you back into the divine archive.

It will probably change a little based on some suggested edits, but there’s the gist of it.

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