All posts by Shanna

About Shanna

Fiction writer. Humanist. Free thinker. Gamer. Obsessed with the Rubik's Cube.

I Am An Author

Keyboard

I am an author. Did I say that right? I am an author. Hard to believe. Every year I participate in Nanowrimo and write a story. I have written three novels that are all in various drafts. I did that. I am an author. It’s hard to believe that I wrote them. I look at my drafts and smile, reminding myself that it’s achievable.  I have to remind myself because there are times when I believe I suck and that I could not possibly be an author. When I sit to write a new story I am amazed that I can not get the first sentence out. When I sit to write a new story I am frustrated that writer’s block has pushed me in a corner. Then I look at the drafts of novels I have written and remind myself that I am an author. I get back on my keyboard and try again.

I think I can. I think I can…..write.

To get somewhere, you have to start somewhere. Never give up. Be an author.

Just My Luck

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I got pulled over today. Lucky me. I asked the officer how he knew something was wrong with my insurance. He said that he was behind me and just decided to run my plates. Nice, real nice and lucky me again. I told my wife that since I’ve met her I have been pulled over twice. Of course it is not her fault. But it is her fault. I feel better.

I pulled the weeds from my rose bed. Well, they are actually miniature rose bushes. It was all spooky looking with the sun dried weeds that spread like webs, torn plastic bag pieces and a grocery receipt. It was windy today. Now the area looks all yuppie and decent. Still more work to do. Next time I will wear a hat. Found a caterpillar in my hair when I stopped to get gas.

I couldn’t pick up my kid today due to the insurance issue. So he had to stay at his grandparents for the night. He threw such a fit because he wanted to come home. So my wife met them half way and brought him home. He can’t live without us. And we can’t live without him. It’s sickening.

I read an article about free writing. I have a hard time moving the rock to write stories and that same rock gets in front of me with writing as well. Sometimes I have to push harder if I have no subject in mind. It is still a great thing to do. You have to push, push, and push. It keeps the juices flowing. One day I’ll get something out of a mess of nonsense and have a great story.

My day did not go the way I thought. But I have Guinness. Now everything is alright.

As always, I’m happy writing. Happy writing to you.

-Shanna

Critiques Needed: Flash Fiction. Thank you.

Got Away

I don’t know what we were thinking. That we could get away with it perhaps? Jenny sat in the passenger seat with eyes and mouth wide open. Tears streamed down her cheeks. Why did I get her involved? We came to a red light on Ferge and Cuda Rd. I looked both ways for traffic. No cars on the road. In front of us was the way out of town. I checked my review mirror for police lights and saw none.

My dad’s car, which I stole, rattled as if it was about to cut off. Jenny heard it and looked terrified. I pressed the gas pedal and the engine died. I turned the key again. Nothing. We were definitely stuck. Sirens rang in the distance behind us. I thought about when I was a child as I waited for the lightning then counted until the thunder boomed. Wish I could judge the distance of the police and calculate how much time we have to figure out what to do. With my shaky hand I attempted to rub Jenny’s hair, and she jumped. She unfolded her hands on her lap and there, the blood, our father’s blood. She had the knife. Fresh tears flowed.

Her scream blended with the sirens closing in behind. “Get out of the car!” I yelled. She leaped out and I noticed the blood on my dad’s door handle. My stomach turned. My first thought was that he was going to be mad at me. My second thought was that he could do nothing about it. “What are we going to do, Jon?” she asked. I stared at my sister. She was the one with blood on her hands. “I’m sorry,” I said softly.

As the police arrived I took off across the street. She ran after me, trusting me, not realizing that I had left her to take the blame for our father’s death. Gun fire exploded behind us. I thought of the lightening and picked up my pace. I slid to a stop past the border then turned around. That’s when I saw her, crumpled in the middle of the road like a small dead deer. Her blood now mixed with my father’s blood as it was in her bedroom. I hit him and busted his lip, his blood and hers on the sheets. I defended her and she followed me. I grabbed a handful of rocks as they approached her. They will not touch her. I ran toward her body, throwing the rocks.

A flash of light followed by smoke blinded me. My chest burned. Grabbing my chest, I thought of firecrackers and the 4th of July at my family’s barbeque. Everyone excited as dad set off the poppers. My legs buckled just as I reached Jenny. She looked at me as I fell on top of her. We both stared at each other as death gave us darkness and peace.

 

Out of The Deep

Being sick is a bitch. But when it’s mental sick it’s far worse. I ran out of meds. Yes, I know I could have prevented that but sometimes my mind gets so stressed that it just goes to la la land. Pretty soon I am off routine and I’ve forgotten to medicate, eat, get out of bed and bathe. That’s when I know the depression got a good hold on me and I am deep in the pit. It’s dark, cold and sad. And I was breathing it. I wonder what would have happened to me if I lived alone. It’s a scary thought. A more disturbing thought is that I am the type of person who can not function without medication. I hate that I need it. My wife pulled me out of the deep end. She did it by snapping at me. She was frustrated and pissed because it happened and was unnecessary. I agreed. I was so tired and frustrated at myself that I was ready for help. Especially when my son told me that he missed me and wanted to spend time together. For the last two days I have heard people say, “Take care of yourself.” You can get so caught up taking care of everyone else and everything else that you forget yourself. I haven’t been able to write. I have so many ideas that I am ripping at the seams. Writing this blog is the first thing I’ve written in a while. It feels good. I’m ready to get back to work. I’m ready to feel alive. 

I am an information whore. I love learning. So, I am finally going to teach myself how to code. I can not believe I don’t already know how to code. What took me so long? I am using Codecademy for starters to get my feet wet. It’s pretty easy so far. I’m looking forward to learning how to program games and websites. 

Thanks for reading. I look forward to interacting with you. Of course, please take care of yourself. 

yodaWhy is it so hard to write the first word? Is it because the mind fights itself even to the very moment of putting the words down? Maybe it’s me. I am  a novice trying to come up with a workable writing schedule. Perhaps my writing constipation will work itself out when I start writing on a regular basis. No pun intended.

I’m dissecting Stephen King’s Misery to learn how a story is put together. Focusing on how a story flows, character developments and scene structures will help better my storytelling. It’s an experiment. So far I’m learning a great deal. And what better way to become a better writer than to learn from the masters. I am currently on chapter 12 of  Stephen King’s Misery and I have to say this process is showing interesting results thus far. The chapters in this novel are very small (so far), about 500 word count, which in my opinion is great for a fast pace thriller. He avoided what I call “flowering a scene” where everything  is described to great detail and provides way too much information. He kept it simple, only mentioning what was important to the story. I also noticed that a scene can take several chapters, unlike my my last novel where I wrote a scene per chapter. I pondered how deep in a scene I can go if I take my time  and tell the whole story. Give it life and make it real.

I’ve decided to write a short story before starting a new novel. It has been years since I’ve written one and I look forward getting started. I have several ideas and will pick one soon. As eager as I am, I still dread writing that first word. Maybe it will come to me in the middle of the night as I dream about my alternate life.

“Dying men rarely scream. They haven’t the energy. I know.” -Anne Wilkes

King, Stephen (1988-06-03). Misery

Shanna

Dissecting A Novel

ImageAs I am trying to write this blog my five year old son as yanking my arm screaming,

“Give me ice cream! I want ice cream!”

So I decided to ignore him and began typing. Magically, it worked and now he is quietly holding on to my arm, silence of a lamb. Or he may be mesmerized by the My Little Pony cartoon on the television. Either way, he is subdued.  And crisis is adverted, for now.

I decided to write a new story. I’m not one for short stories as I have so much to say about certain situations. So, on the way is another novella or novel.

Why is my nose running? I know I am not getting a cold. This is some bullshit.

However, before writing this new novel I’m doing something new and surprisingly fun. I am dissecting Stephen King’s Misery, a story similar to an idea of mine. I’ve read dissecting a novel ( noting scenes, transitions, twists and introductions of characters on cue cards or writing it down) is a way to learn sentence structure and character development. It is a type of literature engineering that I am unexpectedly enjoying. Helps with outlining. I forgot how much I liked taking things apart and seeing how they work then putting it back together as perfectly as possible if not better. Though Stephen King is way out of my league, I love the “self-challenge”.

The excitement makes my toes wiggle. I’m a book whore. Books turn me on.

I am reading the ebook version of the novel and using Scrivener to break it down. Fast and easy. Also, tedious however, my mind runs at 100 miles and hour and fast typing is helpful. It also pays to have OCD. I wonder how long this will take to complete. I will share my experiences as I delve into this project.

Oh I learned “KISS”, Keep It Short and Simple. Or is it Keep It Simple, Stupid? What do you think? Let me know in the comments. And have you ever dissected a novel? Was it helpful?

The five year old is now asleep on my arm. Good grief.

Cheers,

Some Kind of Funky

BTW, you may see me refer to “The Five Year Old” from time to time. He is my adopted son who is my nemesis and my mini me. He is a 37 year old man in a kid’s size six/seven body, explains the gigantism, who thinks he can reason his way through childhood. As a baby I said that he was boring because he didn’t speak. Now he is a nonstop motor. It’s like waking up to a car dealer every morning to making deals between two Pop tarts and a Sponge Bob cartoon to let him eat in the living room or eggs, bacon and oatmeal and he gets my phone in the car to play Need for Speed:  Most Wanted on the way to school. Speaking of car dealership that’s what my living room resembles. Hot Wheels and Match Boxes are everywhere. Littered heavily among them are large dump trucks and ambulances. I have to play Minesweeper on the way to the kitchen and hope I don’t break my neck. He’s a great kid and drives a hard bargain. He makes me a better person and an exhausted one.