Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On The Block

Writer's block. We're all familiar with it. I've been suffering from it a great deal lately...I haven't touched either of my stories-in-progress in weeks, my personal blog is sadly neglected (not to mention this one) and as far as poetry goes, I've hardly written a couplet until last night when I managed to kick myself into throwing a little something together as a Christmas gift for some friends of mine. I think there is hope that it's wearing off now, though. I wrote that poem and I'm writing this. That's progress, right?

A long time ago, I was told that when the block strikes, the best thing to do is just go with the flow. Write whatever comes into your head and hope that gets the wheels turning a bit. In short, float lazily along down a stream of consciousness. You won't be writing top-notch literature, but the idea is to give your imagination some exercise, even it's just a slow walk. In my experience the result is usually some hardly coherent nonsense that I immediately want to throw away. But then I read it again some time later, and maybe a line or a paragraph or just an idea will inspire something else, something worthwhile.

So remember that next time you can't think of anything. Grab a notebook and your favorite pencil, find a cozy spot and just write down whatever pops into your head.
If nothing pops, then Helpful Hint #2 is "look around". Write what you see. For example:

My cat is orange and cuddly
Ben's putting on his shoes
A blanket is crumpled up on the floor
Is that a stuffed moose?

See? That's what I saw, and while it may not make any sense it does sort of make a funny little rhyme. (For the record, it's not a REAL moose that's stuffed, just a toy.)

I hope you've found this worth reading and helpful in some way. Somehow it's helped me enormously, writing this blog post. Writing/blogging doesn't seem like such a chore anymore and I actually have ideas for more posts here. They may take a while to put together, though, so please be patient and don't give up on my little Story Club.

A Writer No Longer On The Block

Saturday, December 4, 2010

When I signed up for chemistry...

I had no idea just how much of my time, my life and my sanity it would steal.
But the final was today, and now there is just a little homework to finish and a test or two to retake, then I'll be done with chemistry hopefully forever (and ever, as Giselle would say).

In the meantime, I'm terribly sorry for having somewhat neglected this little spot. Gas laws and nuclear equations left me little time for blogging but hopefully now I'll be able to get things moving here.

Thanks for bearing with me,
-Katie :-)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Interview With Anna

This Anna is not the same Anna who wrote the poem a couple posts down, but she has written quite a bit of poetry. She's also written two novels (most notably a wonderful fantasy story called Stars Over Llorleya) and has a few more in the works. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for The Story Club, and I hope you enjoy the following interview. :)

When did you start writing?
When I was seven, I drew the cover for a short story, "The Four Flower Fairies." I never wrote it. The first novel I actually started writing was a ripoff of the Redwall series by Brian Jacques called The Warriormaids, which I never finished. I was nine.

What first inspired your novel Stars Over Llorleya?
I had this crazy dream about a girl reading in a tower who walked out and immediately got besieged by suitors. So, minus the lovesick swains, I wrote the "Strange Sort of Prologue." After that, I just made it up as I went along. I remember I was reading Anne of Green Gables at the time, which inspired Gilligan.

Your faith always comes through in your work; your novels, specifically, contain many Christian themes and ideals, and characters often pray and refer to God. Was it at all difficult to incorporate this very real faith into an imaginary world like Llorleya, with imaginary beings such as elves and fairies?
It was very natural for my characters to talk about God and pray - honestly, I would have been at a loss to do otherwise. What I do find difficult and ended up ignoring in Llorleya is what I call a "working theology" - how Jesus came and died in a fantasy world for fantasy creatures. I'm doing much better with working theology in the SciFi/fantasy novel I'm writing now.

Where do you get the names for your characters?
Ha! Great question. Everywhere. Sometimes I *gasp* intentionally take them from other novels. Sometimes I decide, "This character needs a sensible name," or, "He needs a British name," or, "She needs a name that no one in their right mind would name a kid today, as long as it sounds pretty." I hear words and write them down to use later. My current list includes Bellea, Fiodor, Iresa, and Davide.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
Ouch! First names that come to mind - Tolkien, C.S.Lewis, Jane Austen, L.M. Montgomery, Brian Jacques, Gail Carson Levine, Douglas Bond, Randy Alcorn, Rick Riordan, Ted Dekker, Shel Silverstein, Jeffrey Overstreet... and many more.

Who has been your greatest supporter in your writing?

My parents for funding me in more ways than one, and the folks at Apricot Pie. I wouldn't be a writer if not for Apricot Pie, I'm completely certain of that.

Is there any music you like to listen to while writing?
Any and all. Most recently, the Doctor Who soundtracks and Owl City.

You completed a novel of high fantasy when you were only 13, do you have any advice for other aspiring young writers?
I can pass on the two most helpful things I've heard, not that I can put them into practice as I'd like to.
One, Bonnie Trenga in The Misplaced Modifier: "Having a problem? Just rewrite the sentence."
Two, Advice to Writers for the Daily Press, Joel Chandler Harris: "When you've got a thing to say,
Say it! Don't take half a day.
When your tale's got little in it,
Crowd the whole thing in a minute!
Life is short, a fleeting vapor--
Don't you fill the whole blamed paper
With a tale which, at a pinch,
Could be cornered in an inch!
Boil her down until she simmers,
Polish her until she glimmers."

Thanks, Anna! :-D
You can read her works at her apricotpie profile, and she also has a blog.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Such recluse backdropped by evening's fields
all spiky white in bloom
for fear of treading bees, wander with care;
not one for wearing shoes.

Such mind enclosed, and wreathed in sun
its glow revealing dust
more threadbare each year do we find the couch,
yet find such things, we must.

My dear, in secrecy of thought
so silently, I should--
yet I cannot disrupt the quiet hum
or a weeping dove, disturb.

A vase of amber glass reflected
so kneel, and hemmed inside
a shard of amber light refracted
through the mirror of your eye.

Ever seek the summer evening's fields
kneel among the fleshy blooms
for fear of treading bees, wander with care;
but do wander, my recluse.

-by Hannah W. age 15

Friday, November 19, 2010

Your Shy Violin

Yay for the first real post! Every Friday will feature a poem, and here for your enjoyment is the first.

Your Shy Violin

Play me a song
On your shy violin
Tuck her in gently
Under your chin
Tickle her softly
With the bow's string
Let me hear her laugh
As you help her to sing
Lend her a voice
With your firm fingertips
Let your bow kiss
Her beautiful lips
Oh the songs she will sing!
And the tunes she will spin!
Play us a song
On your shy violin

By Anna S. age 17

This wonderfully talented girl has an equally wonderful blog, which I highly encourage you to check out. :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hi there!

Welcome to The Story Club!
The idea is for this place to be a haven of encouragement and inspiration for teen writers, be they poets or novelists. I know several such folk and hope that they and you like what I have in store. As you no doubt can see, there isn't much here right now. I'm currently working on appearances and settings and such and as soon as this blog is shipshape there'll be all sorts of good stuff coming your way.
Thanks for stopping by!

-Katie :-)

Sometimes it's OK to be a follower. ;) *hint hint*