Wednesday, October 1, 2014

IWSG: Motivation Is Like A Banana . . .


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For last month's IWSG post, I wrote I was "cautiously optimistic" about my writing and a new project - a horror novella - I was working on. My goal was to have the first draft done by the end of September.

Not even close. 

I lost faith - not in the project (I still really like the idea) but in myself. I'm now convinced that berating my lazy butt with colorful expletives is my true talent. Motivation disappears around here faster than a banana in the tortoises' food dish. (Trust me - that's fast.)

So, I set myself a new goal - to prep it and plot it in October so it's ready for the great NaNo push in November. But...I don't know. What if I can't get my mojo back? Or, what if comes back, but I can't sustain it for the course of the project? How can I accomplish anything consistently if I seem to work best in creative spurts? 

Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated! As is chocolate.   

Monday, September 29, 2014

Motivational Monday


WE TEACH PEOPLE
HOW TO TREAT US.
(Dr. Phil McGraw)

I'm sorry to say I've let people believe it's okay to disrespect me by disrespecting my writing.

I've let people - those who you'd think would be supportive and interested - say things to me like "Oh, I just don't think to look at your blog." Or, when told about a published story or a current writing project, respond with, "Uh-huh, uh-huh. Right, right." Or consistently ask how my husband's work is going...then don't ask about my work, my writing. 

What bothers me more than anything is the thought that I somehow gave these people permission to do this. Oh sure, my writing is on conversational par with the weather. Of course, my husband works a "real job" while I just twiddle my thumbs. How in the world did I let this happen?!

I know how. It's simple. I'm a wimp. I don't like confrontation. The first time someone disrespected my writing, I was too surprised to say anything...so I just let it go. And I kept letting it go.

Until now.  

I'm not going to go all She Hulk and start yelling at people. I can't make people respect me and what I do. I can't make them ask about my writing. I can't make them care. But I can shorten the frustrating conversations, shorten my responses to self-absorbed emails. I can take my energy elsewhere. I can pour it into projects that feed my soul, into people who I respect and who respect me, and into saving my sanity.    

Let's make sure we teach people how to treat us - and our art - with respect. If you already do that, keep going strong! If you're starting out, take baby steps and know you are not alone....  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Follow Fest - 2014!

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This is my first time participating in Melissa Maygrove's Follow Fest Blog Hop, and all of us here at The Shellshank Redemption are excited about having folks visit us. (The tortoises are even happier to let me go out and do all the blog hopping - even though they have four legs, they're pretty short ones.)

Looking forward to meeting everyone!

***** 

Name: Madeline Mora-Summonte

Fiction or Nonfiction: Fiction

What genres do you write? Contemporary, dark contemporary, horror

Are you published? Yes. My most recently published stories are listed on my blog's sidebar, and my flash fiction collection, The People We Used to Be, is available as an ebook on Amazon. 

Tell us a little about yourself: I am a writer, a reader, a beach-comber and a tortoise-owner. And as big a fan as I am of AMC's The Walking Dead, I still have zero chance of surviving the zombie apocalypse. I'm so slow the tortoises can - and will - outrun me. 

What are you reading right now? An ARC of Christopher Scotton's The Secret Wisdom of the Earth. And I just finished the fantastic young adult novel, Girls Like Us, by Gail Giles. 

Which authors influenced you the most? Stephen King  

Where can people connect with you?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Motivational Monday . . . and the Underrated Treasures Blogfest


I'M TRYING TO BE LESS PHOBIC
AND I'M AFRAID 
IT'S NOT GOING WELL.
(Henry McNeely, Stark Raving Mad)

I'm a big chicken. I'm afraid of a lot of things - some are pretty common, pretty "normal." Others are kind of weird. And a few keep me in the running for Princess Phobia of Crazy Town. 

But over the years, I've seen how those fears have held me back - from doing something I wanted to try. From saying something I wanted to say. From saying something I needed to say. From taking more chances. From being me. From being free. 

It's an awful feeling - knowing you're not living up to your potential, knowing you're not being your best because of fear, because of worry. 

I've managed to conquer some of those fears. And although new ones rush in to take their places, they're not as strong as they think. We're stronger than our fears. We're stronger than we think we are. 

Let's do our best to remember that this week . . . and always. 

*****

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If one of your fears is heights or germs or reading horror novels, meet Henry McNeely, (played by Neil Patrick Harris,) from one of the most underrated TV shows I've ever watched - Stark Raving Mad. Starring Tony Shaloub as horror writer Ian Stark, and Harris as his new editor, it was smart and clever and often laugh-out-loud funny. And it was created by Steven Levitan of Modern Family fame. I still can't believe it only aired for one season, 1999-2000. 

Here's the first five minutes of the pilot....



And in case you now have to see what happens, here's the whole first episode....


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

With This Ring - MASH Stories

Most people probably wouldn't take the word "gruesome" as a compliment, but it was absolutely the perfect word used to describe my flash fiction piece, "With This Ring." 

Don't worry - it's not graphic or gory. It's just...dark. And creepy. And you'll probably think twice before carving the initials of you and your loved one in a tree trunk ever again.  

"With This Ring" is up over at MASH Stories. It's been shortlisted for their current contest, so if you do give it a read - and you like it! - your vote would be greatly appreciated. 

And the contest - MASH Competition #4 - is still open, so all of you writers out there, go give it a shot. I'd be honored to have my story alongside any of yours.  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Motivational Monday


YOU DON'T KNOW WHY YOU STARTED YOUR NOVEL, 
YOU NO LONGER REMEMBER WHY YOU IMAGINED 
THAT ANYONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT, 
AND YOU'RE PRETTY SURE THAT EVEN IF YOU FINISH IT 
IT WON'T HAVE BEEN WORTH THE TIME OR ENERGY 
AND EVERY TIME 
YOU STOP LONG ENOUGH TO COMPARE IT 
TO THE THING THAT YOU HAD IN YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU BEGAN - 
A GLITTERING, BRILLIANT, WONDERFUL NOVEL, 
IN WHICH EVERY WORD SPITS FIRE AND BURNS, 
A BOOK AS GOOD OR BETTER THAN 
THE BEST BOOK YOU EVER READ - 
IT FALLS SO PAINFULLY SHORT 
THAT YOU'RE PRETTY SURE THAT IT WOULD BE A MERCY 
SIMPLY TO DELETE THE WHOLE THING.

WELCOME TO THE CLUB.
THAT'S HOW NOVELS GET WRITTEN.
(Neil Gaiman)

Yes. Just . . . yes. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Motivational Monday . . . and Some Sunflowers


HAVE COURAGE FOR 
THE GREAT SORROWS OF LIFE
AND
PATIENCE FOR THE SMALL ONES;
AND WHEN YOU HAVE LABORIOUSLY
ACCOMPLISHED YOUR DAILY TASK,
GO TO SLEEP IN PEACE.
GOD IS AWAKE.
(Victor Hugo)

These words fill me with such a strong sense of peace. They give me permission to accept all the good I did that day, to recognize all the not-so-good, and then to let it all go. 

We are often so incredibly hard on ourselves, in many, many ways. Let's give ourselves a break this week, and as often as we can.   

*****

This supportive, amazing corner of the blogging community, which I am honored to be a part of, recently lost a well-liked member. I didn't really know Tina Downey but the outpouring of grief and shock that filled blog posts over the last few weeks showed just how important she was to so many. In honor of Tina, sunflowers will bloom all over the blogosphere today, providing virtual warmth and sunshine and joy to all.




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