Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Way I See the World

Recently I read a blog that talked about the ways you see people, and how they can sabotage your writing. The blogger started off by talking about ethnicity immediately. Then he listed out ways of seeing people that can sabotage your writing and I immediately thought to myself: This is not how I initially see people.

I know that we all have our unique view of life. That is awesome. It’s what makes the world interesting. Maybe I’m sharing a bit too much here, and you will all finally see just how off I really am. My brother keeps telling me I am. So maybe it’s true. You be the judge.

Last week while passing the smokers that litter the front of the bus station, I walked past a man who had a wide face with cheeks that sagged so low they formed pockets at his jaw line. He also had a long, swooping white mustache. From my description what would your first impression be?

My first impression was: That man looks like a catfish. And in my head he was a catfish. I filed him away for future use as a character because I’d never seen a catfish man before. In my head he has already taken on the characteristics of someone who is wise and has lived many lifetimes, maybe an oracle of sorts. We will see.

Back to my point. I do not see people as most would. I am grateful for the imagination God has granted me. My world is one of color and beauty where strangers get to be oracles, or the guards of monsters, with kind hearts who ease the suffering of the condemned.

Is this the world of all writers? Or am I one of the lucky few, who’s life sometimes feels more like one of those Clorox commercials than reality? (I’ve provided a link to one of the commercials, in case you’ve never seen one. They are awesome!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIn5cS2eVbg

Friday, December 11, 2009

Colder Than a Witches Tit

In Alaska sometimes we have what is called Ice Fog. What that means is that it’s colder than a witches tit, as my sister always says. (Really that amounts to anything below 14 degrees F., usually here it's far below 14 or even 0 depending on the time of year or where you live.)

You might think Ice Fog is a terrible thing and decide to remain indoors till temperatures return to above cackle worthy levels. But you’d be missing out on the most amazing phenomenon, or at least one of them.

When Ice Fog occurs the ice crystals in the air attach themselves to all the things around them, transforming normal bare brown, dead looking tree branches into natural sparkling crystal covered works of art. Everything in its path is also coated but it’s the trees that, to me make it worth standing outside to admire natures hand in temperatures that are able to transform you into a humansicle in seconds flat.

(Please excuse the blurry, less than amazing quality of the pictures. They were taken with my cell phone.)



Sunday, December 6, 2009

a little bit of magic

I know as a writer I said I wasn’t going to have one of those blogs that was all about writing, and that remains true. This post is about writing but the blog is about my life and since writing is a huge part of my life now, it is going to come up, often.

Also, I had the most amazing experience this week and I have to share it.

Two weeks ago I finished writing The Fall and told myself I was going to take a week off before starting on my newest idea. My characters had different plans for me. The very next day as I was riding the bus the ideas were flying to me so fast I had to write some of them down as we made our way into town.

Once I got to town and trudged over to Starbucks for my daily Chonga bagel. I had so much material in my head that I had to get it down so I wouldn’t forget it. I wrote the first chapter then and there, then the second at lunch and on the way home.

I was excited about this new book. The idea had been there for over a month impatiently waiting for it’s turn to be told. I wasn’t however, emotionally involved with the characters yet. I still had distance and felt really good about that since The Fall was deeply personal and very emotional for me to write.

I knew all the main characters in this new book well, as I said they had been in my head for well over a month, bordering on two months. The inspiration for this book was coming so fast and I knew the plot, plan, story and ending inside and out. I was cranking out a chapter every two days.

Then, one day as I was riding the bus in trying my hardest to sleep, one of my characters, one I thought I knew well. One that was not supposed to be someone I had any compassion for decided he didn’t want his portrayal to be told by the one that hated him. He didn’t want the world to see him through her eyes. He had a side also and he wanted me to hear it before casting him by her light.

I tried to ignore him, he was messing with my plans. Though I couldn’t help but feel sympathy for him. The next day knowing he’d softened me up, he went and changed all the rules on me, making me now see one of my original favorites in a new light and she wasn’t so pretty anymore.

This change in perception hasn’t changed the events of the story, only the focus and I think it is a much better story for it. The development of these two characters and the pawns they bring into their lives is truly something I love discovering and I hope that translates to something that readers will love too. If not I am ok with that because it has been an amazing learning experience.

I know those of you who are not writers might be scratching your heads and asking if this Alaskan girl is a bit off her rocker. I know the characters are not real and they really don’t talk to me in the way it sounds, but they do have their own voices and lives and I love finding out, what I thought about them is all wrong.

This is the reason I know that I could never stop writing again. Mine is a life that is pretty normal and not terribly exciting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happier than most people I think. I don’t by any means have it easy, but I enjoy what I do have. I feel lucky though, because as a writer I get to escape my 7 hour commute, and my angry customers, and my sore feet to spend time living with new friends in their worlds as I help to tell their stories. And that right there is a little bit of magic.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow

I really do live in the most beautiful place on earth. I know that many people think this very same thing and since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we are all right. But today I can’t imagine a more beautiful place. I know, I know I threatened anyone who wished for snow earlier this year. But now that it is here and in force today. I am grateful that we will definitely have a white Christmas.

There is nothing like the world covered in snow. It’s like you’ve left the reality of a day job and paying bills and entered into a world of magic and sparkling fairy dust.

So for those of you who weren’t lucky enough to be born in place as magical as Alaska. Here is a small taste.





Friday, November 13, 2009

Perspective

A funny thing happened to me this week. I was listening to a song while walking to meet the bus that I commute into and out of town on. It was a song I’ve listened to probably hundreds of times. This time though as I stood bobbing back and forth waiting for the light to change I noticed something surprising, something I’d missed all the other times I’d listened to it. It was a fairly important piece of the music and I wondered how I’d never noticed it before.

As I replayed the song now taking in this beautiful addition I was struck by how happy it made me to find this little pearl. I wondered how often that very same thing happens in life. How often do we travel along a road and miss the beauty that is around us, or the ugliness?

How often do we miss out on those around us because we have a certain idea of who they are or who we are. I feel really grateful that I was given this lesson maybe as a wake-up call. Hopefully I can apply it in my life and find more of these little pearls in the experiences and people around me.

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Favorite quote: Eew a box!
email: analaskangirl@gmail.com

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Monica Millard's books on Goodreads
Children of the Gods Children of the Gods (Chosen, #1)
reviews: 34
ratings: 44 (avg rating 3.91)

Chosen - A Children of the Gods Short Story Chosen - A Children of the Gods Short Story
reviews: 4
ratings: 17 (avg rating 3.47)

The Fall The Fall
reviews: 7
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.83)

Monica's bookshelf: read

Darkhouse
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Rebellion
Blood and Feathers
The Rithmatist
Forbidden Blood
Last Blood
Out for Blood
Bad Blood
Flesh and Blood
Blood Rights
Girl Parts


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