Saturday, November 13, 2010

Open Mouth, Insert Kindle

Not long ago, I wrote a post regarding my fear and lets face it, completely ignorant distaste for e-readers.  I was afraid of what they meant for the livelihood of good old fashioned paper books.

I said that I felt that I would miss the experience of feeling and smelling the paper in my hands while taking on the journey of a book.

I realize how, in our ever changing world of technology as well as the growing venues in which authors write and publish, that logically, this makes sense.  Due to a most gracious reader and comment left by them, I began giving my strong opinions on e-readers, much thought.

So I humbly come before you now and say, admit, I was wrong.  I believe that e-readers give more opportuinities for reading.  I know it has for me.  First, I downloaded Kindle on my Blackberry.  I read two full novels off that tiny screen because it was so accessible.  Then I downloaded it onto my laptop.  Once that was done I started feeling my foot making its way toward my mouth.

I decided that I not only wanted a Kindle but that I needed one.  As a writer, one MUST read, making time for reading when ever and where ever possible.  When I was able, I purchased one.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my Kindle and highly recommend them.  Not only are you able to read more often than normal but you are able to bring several, thousands if you desire, of different types of reading material, all in a compact way.  I love being able to bounce around different books and magazines at the touch of a button.

Much to my surprise, you are even able to access the web.  In fact, I am writing this very post from my Kindle.  I thought it was fitting.

Thank you to my readers for helping me see the light!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Renewal Through Research

I've been blogging about my struggles with my WIP.  Yesterday, in an attempt to renew the fire for my WIP, I decided to do some research. 

When I first thought of the idea for my story I had to do quite a bit of research and I absolutely loved the process.  I've had to do small bits of research throughout as well, but it's been quite some time.

My story takes place in two different time periods, one being the early 1900's.  Yesterday, I got online and found some amazing things that indeed renewed that fire. 

When in doubt I shall research from now on because knowledge is power, or so says the saying, and I would have to agree, power over the looming mythical 'writers block'. 

I was able to find, which I hadn't before, a real town that my fictional town could be based on, giving me new ways to expand on the writing.  I also was able to find out further foundations for my characters so that they could parallel each other even more. 

Research, research, research!  Even if that information I find never makes it into the story, it gives me insight and power over my story.  Power that I have been lacking for a long time.  Research is Power!!!

What renews your fire when you've encountered that ghost we call 'writers block'?

My Key to Writing Happiness

I woke up this morning to a quiet house.  Husband and son left for work, my daughter fast asleep in her bed.  Just me, the dog, and a pot of coffee.  Perfect time for me to work on my WIP that I'm always talking about. 

Sitting at my computer, at the kitchen table, I had a thought.  What is the key to my happiness?  I'm not talking about the grandiose kind of happiness that one strives for in life...but the happiness that comes with my writing life. Writing happiness that makes me feel whole and fulfilled, each and every day. 

I composed a list.  Here it is and these are in no particular order:

1) fresh flowers in my home

2) coffee

3) my dog lying at my feet while I write

4) colored pens

5) soft music in an otherwise quiet house

6) a clean house

7) being able to write each and every day, even if it's only 250 words

8) books

9) a variety of journals/notebooks to write in

10) researching for my plot and characters

What makes you happy in your writing life? Or your creative outlet life?

Share please!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Writing is Oxymoronic

Writing is oxymoronic. At times it’s debilitating, filling you with misery and self doubt. Not just normal, do I have the talent to do this, but the sort of self doubt that makes you question your existence on this planet. Other times, it's fantastic, as if you’re floating, weightless, among the clouds, as high as humanly possible.

When you are a stay at home mother, your days are filled with small, sometimes crazed, mundane actions, cleaning, laundry, cooking, shopping, feeding, changing, and entertaining. Not the kind of entertaining that is filled with intellectual conversation over goblets of wine, no. I’m talking about finger painting and reading the same children’s book twenty times with in the span of an hour, making up songs to occupy your toddler while you try and make a nutritious meal or while doing some quick grocery shopping.

The very last thing you feel that you have time for is starting your life long passionate dream of becoming a novelist. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about being a stay at home mom. I love that I’m able to do that and in reality would crumble to a million pieces if I had to work outside the home, away from my daughter. (Even though, the thought of a few short hours a day spent among grownups sounds divine.) For this I will wait until she starts school.  All things at the proper time, right? Right!

So I steal away a few moments here and there to try and write on my WIP, which is coming up on its, wait for it, tenth year in the making. Yes, it’s sad, but sorry to admit, true, and now I’m starting to feel as though the story I set out to write has disappeared entirely.

Now, with that said, I also feel as though a new story is taking flight, but I’m not so sure of its destination. Sometimes, this is an exhilarating time for writing, feeling a story emerge without knowing its full scope yet. It’s a time for exploration and realization. But for me, at this stage with these characters, it feels frustrating and breads for much anxiety and again, self doubt.

How can a story I thought I was writing turn out to feel so wrong? When I say wrong, I mean, it feels bogus, unreal, and pushed. It feels as if I’ve been trying to shove my characters into a small box when all they want is an open field. How could I just now be realizing this and why does it make me feel like a hack?

I started this WIP (in hopes of it being a novel) in 2001 and had a clear view as to what I wanted the story to be. I wrote ferociously on it for about five months, at the time I worked full time so I wasn’t able to write all day, but I did write each day, and then I hit a giant wall.

I suddenly felt as though the characters were standing still even though I was trying to push them forward. I thought, "maybe I just needed a breather from it". I know now, I should have pushed through it, and went back to fix the kinks later. But I didn’t.  I stopped, set it aside, and didn’t return to it for over a year, for no other reason than fear. When I tried to go back, I was stuck, each time I tried to get back to it, it was harder to hear my characters voices.

That’s how it’s been for several years now. I have always wanted to finish it, a draft at least, but fear and that ugly troll, self doubt, prevented me.

So, recently I’ve been talking with some good friends, also writers, about it and they helped me to realize that I’m just making excuses. That I need to either put it away for good or bite the bullet, get off my rear and finish it. Since the story itself feels like something I need to tell, I’ve decided to finish.

That’s where I am now. Determined to finish, yes, feeling any less self doubt? NO! I’m afraid of the process, worried of the outcome, scared that after all of this time and all of the excuses it won’t be any good.

In my new found determination I re-read it and removed, upon years of thinking about it, approximately 10,000 words. They felt like they belonged to someone else, to another story entirely. Then in my renewed spirit I wrote over 2,000 new words. It felt amazing! “I can totally do this!” I thought. Then, I hit that wall, again.

I don’t know if I want to cry and scream, burn it, or continue…well in all honesty, I want to do all three, two out of three will do. So I cry and scream and continue.

This is where I find myself today, at this very moment. Trying to figure out how to continue, where to go from here, and all while only having those small increments of stolen time away from my beloved daughter.

Like I said, Writing is oxymoronic!

However, the light at the end of the tunnel?  The moral of the story, or in this case, blog post?  It's to continue, always go forward, push through it.  A close friend told me today, there is no other option other than to keep at it. 

And so I shall.  With a firm hold on the end game, a novel.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Paper Books VS Electronic Devices

I'm all for technological advancements and admit that some gadgets seem very appealing.  I get that the Kindle or Nook for example take reading to another level in the way that you can take it where ever you go.  However, I'm sad and afraid of what this will eventually mean for the actual paper books that we all so dearly love. 

I am a lover of books, even if I haven't read all of them, I like to have them around me.  Something about the way they feel in my hands, look, and even smell brings me peace.  I could literally pitch a tent inside a bookstore and be happy to reside in it. 

I had the opportunity to work for a small bookstore on the coast of Oregon several years back.  All I did was stock the shelves and make sure everything was in order.  It was a new and used bookstore.  When people brought in books I was the one who filed them away in the appropriate section.  I adored that job.  I made pennies and it was time consuming but something about being in a world of books for hours at a time was overwhelmingly calming.  I would smell like books when I left, a fragrance I feel should be marketed. 

Kidding aside, books are magical and important. 

I have fond memories as a child holding those books that I loved, one being The Frog and The Toad series.  Rich text and original artwork.  Again, I found them comforting.  It's rare for me to leave my house with out a book in my purse.  Most of the time I don't have the time to actually read it, but just knowing it's there gives me a feel of satisfaction.  Just like having a notebook and pen available with me at all times. 

My point to this post is this.  If Kindle and Nook are so popular, overselling actual paper book sells, what will come of all our beloved books and does this mean that for me, as an aspiring novelist, that it's a possibility that I may never see my words in paper book form?  Will they only go to computer land, never giving those readers the opportunity to feel and smell my words in addition to reading them? Also, what will come of book stores and libraries?

Chef's say that before you eat a meal, you see and smell it, meaning that presentation is just as important as the actual meal itself.  That's how I feel about books.  The act of perusing a bookstore, a cover catches your eye, you pick it up, flip through the pages, the font, the cover art, the blurb on the back cover.  All of this is in essence seeing and smelling the book before you actually eat it.  All important and enjoyable parts of reading.  

The thought or prospect that this will cease is extremely sad to me.  So if you're wondering if I own a reading device of my own, the answer is no.  I thought I wanted one and hinted to my husband, but after realizing what it would rob me of, I went back to my husband and told him I would much rather have a gift certificate to a bookstore.    

Reading, regardless of how you go about it, is an important part of gaining education and molding yourself as a human.  I just hope that the world of paper books never ceases to exist and that book stores, both new and used, thrive forever so that my children won't miss out on the entire meal.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Of Sex And Men

Statistics prove that men think about sex every 5.3 seconds. Others argue that it's more along the line of 60 to 90 seconds. Regardless of the exact numbers, we can all agree men think about sex ALOT. This means just (lets just say) 90 seconds after the moment of climax, men are already thinking about when and where they're going to get it next. Tell me honestly then, is there any way at all that a woman can entirely fulfill her man?

This isn't what disturbs me though. What does, is that females are the ones stereotyped as "high maintenance" or "emotional."

Statistically, 40% of all women have hurled footwear at a man. Men, if you had to worry about satisfying your woman every 90 seconds, in a non-sexual way, how would your mood be? I dare you to say you wouldn't be just a little unstable, even occasionally hurling a shoe or two.

Yet, we women have to constantly defend the way that we react to your relentless needs. Unfortunately, not a word is spoken of this plain and simple truth before two people are to be married, or, even before they date. All you women out there who aren't aware of the male obsession, beware and be for warned. It will be a life-long struggle, and one with absolutely no light at the end of the tunnel.

For you men, cut us some slack. We're trying even if you don't think we are, and chances are you don't.

We do not function the same way you do, nor do we think the same way. If we did, we wouldn't give a damn what you wanted and everyone on Earth would continually want without satisfaction, always waiting for the other to instigate and fulfill.

I feel for you men, I really do. It must be difficult and frustrating to live in your shoes. Always wanting, never fulfilled, thinking away each day on moments that may never come. If only there was a way to compromise, a way to keep every 90 second desire met, while making the lives of each and every woman in a sexual relationship more about love, kindness, understanding, and giving rather than about your constant, never-ending want of sex.

Sex and men are different for everyone. My hope is that during the other 30 seconds of every two minute interval, men think of more important issues.

But keep in mind, assuming it took you about five minutes to read this article and you're statistically a "male," you thought about sex over 3 times, if we went with the original statistic of 5.3 seconds, well I don't even want to mention how many times, okay you asked for it: over 56 times!

With that said, I suppose I can't be all that hard on men because we all live in the country that provided me with my final statistic: What is the number of Americans who are injured by their toilets every year? The answer is 45,000.

Lydia R. LeRoy-Williams Copywriter 2008-2009

Friday, June 18, 2010

Yahoo!!!! Versatile Blogger Award

My twitter friend, Dave Bartlett over at Bartie-Blog has bequeathed me with the Versatile Blogger Award.  I'm so honored to be given this award.  Thank you so much to Dave Bartlett!!!
This is a fantastic way to help each other and spread our voices as writers.
 I'm so happy to be a part of it. 

Here's the rules:


  • Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.

  • Share 7 things about yourself.

  • Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (In no particular order...)

  • Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

 Here are seven of the most random things about myself I could come up with:

  1. I enjoy cutting up fresh herbs and produce, it relaxes me.
  2. I hate the electric slide.
  3. Neil Diamond's voice make me feel sexy (go ahead and laugh, all my close friends do).
  4. If I could live anywhere in the entire world, I would choose to live on the coast of Oregon.
  5. I feel deeply connected and inspired by Sylvia Plath.
  6. I've never felt more whole as I did while I was pregnant.
  7. If I was able, I would sleep under the stars every night.
Next, here is my list of the fifteen outstanding blogs YOU should visit:

  1. Lori A. May
  2. Jennifer Blanchhard
  3. Cynthia Newberry Martin
  4. Dana Price
  5. Christina Katz
  6. Debbie Ridpath Ohi
  7. Kristin Bair O'Keeffe
  8. Mary Andonian
  9. Katherine Weber
  10. E. Victoria Flynn
  11. David Hunter
  12. Debra Marrs
  13. Medeia Sharif 
  14. K Grubb
  15. Marisa Birns

This is my very first award I've received for my blog, I'm super excited and want to thank Dave Bartlett again for nominating me!
Blog on my friends, blog on!






Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Twitter TWO

I was just cleaning up my blog and came across one of my first posts back in July of 2009. I saw that I had a comment actually on that post "Twitter" from one of my very first twitter friends, and I swear I just now saw the comment.

Back then I was wishing I had 10 followers. Now I have almost 250. Not too many, in the land of Twitter, but nice nevertheless.

I still however, feel, most of the time, that I am talking to myself. Sure I get an occational reply or RT or even when there is a solar eclipse I get Follow Friday mentions...very exciting!

Why is it that we all feel the need to inform our world wide web "friends" that we have just poured our first cup of coffee, or that we are headed to the movie? It's as if Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and all the other social networks are a study in Psychology. Will they really tell eachother when they've gone to the bathroom? or changed clothes? Yes! Yes, we will. Why? Because people flock to people. Because no matter how much we try to be our own person, stand out from the rest, we, by nature want to be heard, seen, and wanted.

So, while we talk to celebs via tweets like we're old pals or without a second thought, pimp our blogs, books, and businesses out over the waves, we still do most of it with out a reply. Well maybe that just certainly feels like it.

I will sign off now and immediately tweet to the twitter tweepers and ask them to read this post. Let's make it an experiment: if you read this post because you saw my tweet...will you leave a comment? Hopefully, unlike the beginning of my twitter life, I might not be talking to myself quite as much.

Audio to Inspire

When I'm feeling down, uninspired I enjoy looking up audio recordings or videos of great authors either reading their work, or giving wisdom to other writers. It's as if I've invited Virginia Woolf to tea or asked for advice on my career from Katherine Center.

There is nothing like hearing well written or well thought out words come from someone you aspire to be like.

I've offered, below, some links I've come across that are my favorite. When you listen to their voices, rich and rhythmic, try to imagine them not reading the words, but rather, writing the words. Where were they when they wrote it? What was their frame of mind? What was happening around the world when they sat at their writing space?

Each of us, no matter who we are, has a voice to share. At one point Virginia Woolf, Dylan Thomas, Stephen King, and countless other writers have had ideas not yet expressed. Each of them sat, staring off into the sky, wondering if they would ever be able to capture what they wanted to say into words. No doubt all had their questions as to whether anyone would want to hear what they had to say.

May we all draw great encouragement from them. They all have so much to offer us, teach us. Will you let them inspire you?

What do you listen to, read, or watch when you want to be inspired? Share your ideas and experiences.

Video: (some of these are stills while the author reads, so more audio than anything.
John Irving ~ the novel
Stephen King - advice
Neil Gaiman~Advice for writers
John Steinbeck ~ why he wrote
James Joyce ~ reading Finnegans Wake
Robert Frost ~ The Road Not Taken

"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"
Virgina Woolf's Voice
Sylvia Plath's Voice
Anne Sexton
Earnest Hemingway's Nobel Peace Prize Acception Speech

~ Remembered Villiage got Published ~

Remembered Villiage

Every Writers Resource, a blog/website for writers: has published one of my poems, online, at the above link. Please leave a comment if you like. I would love to hear what you think. Thank you!

They are accepting submissions for poetry to be published weekly. The Every Writers Resource blog also posts several interesting articles for writers about writers.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Allergy Woes

Allergies, in a word, SUCK!

Allergies are brought on by our immune systems feeling attacked and fighting back with all their might. I don't know about the next allergy stricken person, but I've had it! My immune system needs a hard fast attitude adjustment.

I have no idea what I'm allergic to but it seems to be everything. I'm not talking about food allergies or even pet allergies but those weird "seasonal" allergies. Which by the way, the word seasonal seems to imply a short term allergy, doesn't it? My allergies warrant a new name...perhaps "consistent, without let up, every moment of every day of MY LIFE" allergies...hmmmm maybe a little dramatic...which reminds me, I may change my blog to Write Now...a DRAMATIC mother's musings.

Anyway, I've tried everything. From prescription to over the counter to holistic. From Allegra to Benadryl to Hylands Sinus products. I should add that I'm addicted to nose spray. This is no small problem either. I believe there are web sites for nose spray addicts. (I'm pretty sure my sense of smell is not what it once was...this is for real people)

My midwife told me, after my then actual seasonal allergies took a turn for the worse during my first trimester,that pregnancy can make your allergies worse. That makes total sense, right? Since your body is working overtime for your baby in progress.

However, they never got better. Does my body think I'm still pregnant? Is my body making fun of me. Is my immune system mocking me for not losing the weight? Okay, I think I've tapped into something here. Moving on.

I think I'm going to have to buckle down and go to an Allergist and get this crap figured out before I'm in a support group saying: My name is Lydia and I'm addicted to nose spray and on the verge of insanity due to my insubordinate immune system".

Oil Between My Toes

On the cusp of a life altering event, I sit now in my living room, just outside, within view, lays the Gulf of Mexico. A family and pet friendly, much loved beach that we and many others have enjoyed without worry that it will be taken away from us. That is now about to change. With the oil fast approaching, there is nothing we can do but wait. Already seafood is all but gone. Crippling the job scene that overwhelms this area. A war zone deep down in that vast open water is now showing it's ugly face on our clean white beaches. A beach that has just now started to come back alive after being crippled by Katrina and it's aftermath. Life was just getting back to normal. Tourism coming back. Our beaches breathing life back into the small communities desolated by the hurricanes complete wipe out.

Yesterday, my father, going down to the beach to see if he could detect any first signs of oil in the water, was startled by the sight of a two foot by two foot sea turtle, dead and bloated, it's final resting place, our beach. A victim of the catastrophe at sea that is making it's way for us.

I'm not sure how to feel or what to do. All I'm sure of is that I feel, deep inside my soul, a sad black cloud coming toward us, suffocating our fresh sea air, killing in it's path all signs of life. This time a war zone taking the lives of helpless creatures, infinite numbers of dead and dying lives.

I'll definitely be writing more on this subject, for it's about to be at my front door and our new "normal".

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Words of Wisdom vs Words of Conviction

'Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing' says Sylvia Plath. I think that's probably true if you're a well established writer. But, if you're a new, less published writer, I think there are many other things that stink far more. A teenage boys bedroom for instance.

So, I will politely, and with the utmost respect, disagree for my group, which is the latter. A pile of writing is writing done. It's experience. It's a sign that you have worked hard at your craft. You've suffered through doubt and fear and lets face it, pain. You've also experienced the infinite glee and comfort of opening yourself to the blank page.

Being published doesn't make you a writer. I've been told this by many published writers and I'm starting to believe it. It's taken a long time for me to get to that belief.

Most days, I'll admit, I feel like a fraud. One of the millions who say "I want to be a writer". The difference, for me at least, is that I was born a writer, sounds cheesy? Maybe so, but it's honestly how I feel, I dare you to argue. I feel it in my veins when I wake and when I drift to sleep. I see the world through "my" writer eyes, and they are completely unique, as are yours.

I suppose my purpose for writing this particular post is to say to all of those born writers, unpublished or published, you are the ONLY one who can convince yourself that you're a Writer. It's your job alone to do so. So do it! Be bold and true, loud if needed and say "I am a Writer."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Space of my Own

Today I decided to create a writing space somewhere in my home. That way I will have a spot to go to when I feel inspired. I don't have enough space to have a room to myself so I had to make do with what I did have.


I chose a corner in our living room. It's well lit, has windows surrounding, and is close to my books.


Of course this means I will be writing within the confines of a well lived room with television and all. This will be the challenge.


Here is a picture of what the corner looked like before I transformed it into a comfy writing space.

I have been reading articles and checking out blogs lately on how other writers feel about their writing space. So many are very much interested in having a space of their own for writing. Others don't really care as long as it's quiet and alone.


I'm a mother of a three year old as well as a fourteen year old. So being alone is a rarity. In fact some days the only private time I get (and I have to sneak to get it) is when I use the restroom. The idea of quiet is a laugh really, so why fight it any longer? I thought maybe if I centrally located myself in the home, right smack in the middle of things, put on some headphones and put my nose in my computer or notebook, maybe, just maybe, I might be left alone.


I know when I write I get in a zone so I know I must look busy! Right? My husband and teenager are bound to see this and think twice before approaching as well keeping the three year old busy for a bit. I see them looking at me often...thinking now doubt, "what could she be writing about?"..."Is it really necessary for me to interrupt her to ask where the bread is? Maybe I should open the fridge and look for it myself"...hmmm...(This is what I'm hoping for anyway).


So here is my new Writing Space. Bordeaux, my writing partner approved immediately.

Virginia there to watch over me. I love this picture of her. I have plenty of pens and pensils and books, notebooks and a few small items that make me comfortable.

(Mind you, I used what I had around...I may end up going to the store and picking up some small items to make an even more comfortable spot.)

Like I said this spot has great light, windows, and is close to my books.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Remembered Moment

Somewhere in a remembered moment, I can feel the damp air flowing gracefully in through the open screen doors on each side of me. The sun behind the stormy clouds are throwing squiggly shadows about the walls that dance and play, appearing and then vanishing. Soon the wind picks up and carries the salty air off the ocean and into my small room, filling each tiny part. I breath it in deeply with my eyes closed, hold it, so as not to lose it quickly, and then little by little and with ease, I let it out.
Opening my eyes they rest on a small leaf, reddened with autumn, it’s holding on, threatening to never let go, to a branch on the tree outside my window. A brisk current of chilly air invites it to fall, the leaf, obliging, releases; it sails down, down, in silence, swaying in mid air until it rests gently amongst its peers; already basking on the earth’s skin in small heaps.
Not far off in the distance, through the Red Woods and the Pines I start to hear the Pacific breaking over the rocks, whooshing and cooing with what seems like deep breaths, a living creature, thrashing and gaining power with the rapidly approaching thunderstorm. The cold, yawning and mysterious waters: green and blue swells breaking into swirls of frothy white caps. Its power and magnetism calls to me and I want to run to it, like a long lost companion, begging for my reflection.
The bouquet of salt intertwined with the purity of the promised rain and the Pine Trees becomes overwhelmingly intoxicating. I lay my head down, giving into the moment. My body melts and I feel keenly aware of every splinter of my being, I am entirely tranquil. I drift away, tenderly, hearing the sweet melody of a perfect coastal afternoon.
We used to play together, the sea and I. It delivered me beautiful glistening Agates of indigo and flushed cream. Its waters caressed my toes and ankles when life was cruel and gave me a sense of oneness when I felt disconnected. Its waves reassured me when I needed a prayer. I laughed in its sparkles on many bright summer mornings and envisioned my future at the tip of its beginning. My days were born and expired between its tides.
Somewhere in a remembered moment, I was where I am meant to be.