Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quick-Write Wednesday #1

Don't Go To Sleep

"It’s much larger than it seemed. And for that, I am grateful.
            I slip off the drenched green coat that weighs down my shoulders, and toss it on top of the burlap bag that I’ve already set on the cave’s floor. I can’t start a fire without dry wood, and the torrential rain outside mocks my shaking figure as it slumps to the rocky ground and tries to relax into a comfortable position.
            My thoughts echo off the walls of my skull, restless and scattered, as if everything and nothing needed my immediate attention. Every breath I take disappears into the darkness, leaving me alone with them, telling me to sort them out. I want to, but I can’t. They fight me without need of a respite. They taunt me from the depths of my brain. They say they’ve forgiven but they don’t want to forget. They’re killing me from the inside out.
            A year ago things were different. I lived in the city with my wife and my kid. We were happy. I was whole. A second changes everything— one decision, one regret—
            I try not to look to the past for answers. The future holds more of them, anyway."

To read more, click on the link WAY up above... And now... for the cover and prompt themselves...

Cover thanks to Google Images and
Oh! And Paint. Gotta love Paint...

 The official prompt was given to me by Arianna over at Lisi's Blah-g:

"It's much larger than it seemed."
+cave +male perspective

Now I admit there was a lot of whining on my end before I even started writing. Because Ari KNOWS I am afraid of writing from the male POV. But she challenged me to it anyway and you know what?

It's not so bad.

Sure it's different... a little uncomfortable... But I learned that it's just WRITING. Weird, right? I know!

SO, if you're afraid of writing from a guy's perspective like I was, let it be known that it's not as bad as it seems. I know "Don't Go to Sleep" isn't my finest piece, but I'd still love to hear what you think of it and how you think I can improve upon my next Wednesday Write because Dudes and Dudettes, this is a learning process, and I intend on being schooled (Get it?! Schooled?! Oh man... HOW do I come up with these zingers?!).

If you'd like to be a part of next week's Quick-Write Wednesdays or if you'd like to suggest a prompt, please leave a comment! Also for the comments: do you think it's possible to forget things that you consider to be "unforgettable"?

A list of this week's Quick-Write participants:
Arianna with the prompt: "He lied when he said one kiss wouldn't kill me." -Deserae
Alice with the prompt: "It felt like we were standing at the end of the world." +sibling +told in "another world" -Deserae

Anyone can join in, and the prompts son muy fabuloso. Remember: Snapshot Saturdays are on... Saturday! Stop back in to see what I'm currently working on.

Love and Ladybugs,
Deserae McGlothen

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #1

Real quick blog to show you what progress looks like... The document is finally OPEN.

Yep. My prompt for tomorrow's Quick-Write has to do with men and caves. Manly caves for men, you know? You will see the official prompt somewhere above the excerpt I provide for you tomorrow as well as linkage to the other (two) participants' blogs and projects. Remember! YOU can join in simply by leaving a comment on tomorrow's post feigning interest! Love you guys millions, and I wish you luck in your current writing endeavors!
Happy Writing,
Deserae McGlothen

Monday, August 29, 2011

New Features On the Blog

I'm trying to make a conscious effort to keep my fingers on the keys. Therefore, I give you the following blog features I intend to do every Xday from here until the end of September:

Monday Mayhem
Probably sounds more exciting than it is, but I'm going to make it my intent to blog every Monday about something that's been on my mind for the week. For example, this week if I were doing a Monday Mayhem blog (which, I'm not because *whew!* I'm doing THIS blog. Hehe!), I might talk about the fact that headaches have been on my mind since I've had a different one for the past three days or so. Luckily, starting next week these things are going to be of a more philisophical nature, and if you want to participate, just let me know in the comments and I will link to your blog somewhere in my post. Who knows? Maybe your mayhem will inspire something from me!

Quick-Write Wednesdays
Originally called One-Liner Wednesdays. But I thought it over and I figured, any prompt is a good prompt. A few girls from Lisi's blah-g and I are starting this meme where we provide a prompt for each other on Wednesday and have to complete a short piece from it by the end of the day. We can write whatever we want: poetry, a short script, a short story, the first chapter of something we hope will be longer--- WHATEVER. But if it's kind of long, we post the complete piece to Figment and put an excerpt plus a link to the complete project up on our blogs, PLUS linkage to the other participants' blogs so you can check out all the goodies that our Wednesdays have produced.

You can't suggest a prompt this Wednesday, but check out our Wednesday Writes this week so you can make a suggestion for next weeks' prompt. And, again, if you'd like to participate, please let me know in the comments, so I can add you to the ever-growing list of our meme supporters. :]

Screenshot Saturdays
Which is a lot like Teaser Tuesdays. Snap a quick photo of your current WIP and then find a photo (or snap another) of something that's inspiring you to write, something that reminds you of the scene you're working with, or of something that's keeping you sane while you're busting out your projects! This post requires no words--- a HUGE reason why I'm going for it--- but feel free to let us know how awesome (or not so awesome) you're feeling at the moment you snap the photo. I am a fan of commentary. :] As I've stated before, I will link to anyone else participating so let me know in the comments...

And that's it! Three days of blogging. People, we can do this. :)

With all my love,

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Apologies, Questions, and Pictures

Hello, Everyone! Happy Thursday.

I'm feeling a little discombobulated. Can you believe summer is nearing its end? Some of you are starting school already. Some of you are out of school forever! I'm somewhere in between. That is, there are about 30 days left until I start my first year of college. Oi vey! If this post sounds all over the place, that's because it is. As am I. As are you. WE are all over the place. It's time we learn to embrace that.

First off, APOLOGIES! For everyone waiting for reviews on Figment. I did about ten or eleven reviews in a three day period last week and totally burned out. Now I can keep doing that, OR I can readjust my reviewing schedule so each of you gets your reviews. I think I'll do that later, thank you very much. Starting Saturday, I'll start reading again.

Secondly, QUESTIONS. Do any of you listen to Two Door Cinema Club? Don't they make you want to dance? Don't you want to spread their awesomeness by listening to songs like this? Or this? Or THIS?! Click any one of those if you're brave. It takes a singing-dance-aholic to really want to listen to TDCC. Also, has anyone seen The Help? I want to so badly. SO, so badly. And also, also (yes, I totally just went there), I'm wondering if any of you ever wake up in the morning and think things like me. Like, "If it's cloudy today, is that some sign from the cosmos that I'm better off staying in bed?" Or, "If I am only one person in one city in one state in one country, how the heck can anyone know or care about little 'ole me?" I told you this would be random. I warned you it would be. But these are the types of questions my mind is burdened with. What usually burdens your mind?

Last but not least, PICTURES. I don't usually put pictures of me up or whatever. Not full on, anyways (as you've seen). Usually, it's because I don't think I'm very photogenic, but most of the time, it's because I worry that if I don't put up the glamor shots, everyone is going to run away screaming. But I don't give you guys enough credit. Maybe the glamor shots are best suited for the celebrities. If I don't let you see me on even my worst hair days, how can I expect you to stick with me through them, too? So here is a picture of me and two other things. Just for kicks. :)

This is Desi trying to win Sweetly, by Jackson Pearce. She lost miserably. She wonders if the pout had anything to do with that, or the fact that the hat was covering her frizzes.

 Isn't this cool?! It's the comic book version of Pride and Prejudice! I almost fainted when my sister showed it to me. If only I could find the other four in the series... this is the third installment!

Finally! My sister's 16th birthday was on the 23rd, and she finally opened Victoria Schwab's package of amazingness. I was so honored to have that thing sitting on my bed. Ain't it purhty?

Yes folks. Sometimes Life is amazing. It seems like I say that a lot, but you just don't know how grateful I am for every new day. And that is why I leave you with this video. "Just let it go, let it go, let it go..."


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Today, Yesterday, Tomorrow

TODAY is a Thursday.
TOMORROW will be Friday. I'm kind of excited.
TODAY I'll be reading.
TOMORROW I won't be either because I have some writing to do for myself.
TODAY feels amazing.
YESTERDAY was alright.
TOMORROW holds the possibility of being even better than the day that came before it.
TODAY hasn't ended yet.
TOMORROW hasn't come. I feel like it's avoiding me.
TODAY hasn't been so productive yet.
YESTERDAY wasn't productive at all.
TOMORROW can be whatever I want it to be, but sometimes I wonder if I rely on it being there too much.
TODAY I've been listening to music.
YESTERDAY I hung out with a friend.
TOMORROW promises me nothing except maybes and mysteries.
TODAY is mine.
YESTERDAY was too.
TOMORROW is someones, but isn't guaranteed for us all.
TODAY is like a game of roulette.
YESTERDAY I must have lucked out.
but TOMORROW isn't in the cards for all of us.

Live right today. Love your yesterdays. Long for tomorrow. And do so in order.
Deserae McGlothen
P.S. John 3:16

Monday, August 15, 2011

Another Day

Agh! It's Monday! I used to be happy about Mondays because Switched at Birth would come on and I could do more Sean Berdy swooning and what-not, but NOW?! NOW The Lying Games has taken its place! And Mondays have become Glumdays once more. Who needs Mondays anyway?

But more to the point, I am just glad to have woken up to another beautiful day. The fact is, I am always grateful to wake to see the sun. To hear my mom yelling. To feel the carpet under my toes when I finally lug myself out of bed. It's a good thing to be able to have your health. To find yourself a member of a new day. To have the luxuries of a computer screen nearby and food in the fridge.

Sometimes, I feel like even the bad things are worth it. I know... that's when you KNOW your grateful, right? But if I didn't know a little hardship, I wouldn't be able to appreciate days like this. Even if they are Mondays. And even if all I have to do is type, type away hoping someone else is thankful for this new day, too.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Figment Reviews: Policy and Procedure

I've decided to just make this easy on all of us. There are two things you have to know:

1. I want to read your story.
2. If you want me to read your story, you must follow directions.

I'm talking, of course, to the people on Figment who may have wandered over and saw my review thread. I'm glad you're taking interest in this, but I need to keep things organized so that we can all get the most from this experience.

HENCE THIS POST. This wonderful post for the expectations, guidelines, and "however!"s of this arrangement.  Be sure to read all of it so you have a clear understanding of me and how this works. So without further ado...

1. Everybody's Expectations:
-No. I do not expect you to read anything of mine in return.
-Yes. I expect you to follow my guidelines TO A TEE.
-No. I do not expect you to follow me if you ask for a review.
-But, yes. That would be lovely, especially if you need/ want me to talk with you further about how to specifically enhance your project.
-No. I do not expect you to thank or argue with me.
-Yes. You can if you want to.
-No. I will not argue with you even if you want me to.
-But, yes. I believe in maintaining a healthy dialogue with anyone who I've provided my services for, so if you do comment or message me, expect to be responded to.
-No. I do not expect every project to be polished or painted pink and yellow.
-But, yes. Expect me to treat it as if we were trying to get it there.

2. Guidelines for Requests:
All guidelines must be followed/ understood
a. Make sure you read at least one of my reviews so you know what to expect.
b. Check my profile page to see what I'm NOT interested in currently.
c. Understand that I can refuse to review any projects for personal reasons. Just because your project is added to the queue, doesn't mean it will definitely get a review. I'll message you letting you know if I'm going to read it or not. Be kind enough to accept that answer as my final say on that particular project.
d. Comment on my profile page with the name of your project, genre, and a brief description of what it's about.
e. Please be patient with me. Depending on how many requests I have, it may take a long time (or a very short time) before I get to your project. Understand that if you followed all of these procedures, you will most likely recieve a review from me. Pinky swear.

3. However...
However I do have the final say in what I do and do not read. I try to accomodate people who don't see the directions, who don't do this or do that, but just know that sometimes I become overwhelmed and I can cut off this arrangement at any given time. Please respect the time and effort I am putting into your project and the time I have to put into others. I'd love to see everyone happy, but we can only do that if both ends are keeping up with their responsibilities.

Okeydoke, I think that's it for now. If I have to do an update, I'll just add a link to it. Cool?

Deserae McGlothen

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Writing Game

It's crazy. I am seventeen years old and caught up in the Writing Game. And seriously Sara Shepard? I think this is more dangerous than anything in which Aria or Sutton ever got involved.

Because despite its misleading title, the Writing Game isn't even a game at all. Yet it's the most competitively played, most psychologically tempermental sport I have ever willingly signed up for.

From the moment you put your pen to paper with the intent to "write a book," insecurity sets in. And I know this because I have virtually been to every writing blog, writing site, writing conference (in LA) and never once have I met an author who claimed total confidence. So from the moment you start (and even before that! When the seed called an idea is planted in your brain!), this little voice works its way into the back of your brain. And it might not become audible until you finish the first chapter, or get your first brain freeze, or hit the 30,000 word mark, or finish the first draft thinking it's perfect to later realize it... wasn't.

It's all part of the game. With insecurity comes self-doubt, and that's when most of us start looking around for all the advice and writerly info we can possibly digest. This part of the game seems to be helpful (and sometimes, really is), but some of the players get stuck in the "what else have you got?" phase. Which results in never finishing that first draft. Never getting it to a decent draft. Never polishing it to near perfection. Never finding the agent that could possibly fall in love with it.

Some take what they learn, though, and they move into the revision phase. Which makes us feel either completely unintelligent for having such sucky first drafts, or completely relieved that we had the chance to fix up the craziness before submitting. Revising tends to take longer. Much, much longer because we want to reach perfection. And some of us get stuck here because the manuscript can't ever be perfect. Because it's "not ready yet." Because other things get in the way. Because we start to wonder if we were meant to be in the pool of people who never will be published, traditionally or otherwise.

And some start to query, the mounds of rejections so discouraging they decide to fold. Or the good news of a new author's new book being so new and fabulous that you feel as if you may as well give in now.

Agh. It gets so weird talking about it like this. Because, in hindsight, writing is just something I want to do. It's not a competition. It's not a game. It's not what we're set up to believe it is. It's got an entire industry behind it, sure, but that's not all it is. Writing is the art of telling a story with ink. It's worth the hard work, the dedication, the blood, sweat, and tears. And if you don't think it is, then don't do it! There's so much more out there for us as human beings with creativity and imagination. Find what's right for you, and just love it.

Follow the dreams that your heart longs for most,
Deserae McGlothen

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Online ettiquette... It's a serious thing.

I know it's stupid to think about sometimes, but seriously, how you present yourself online determines how people on the internet see you. Sounds obvious, right? Well, it should be. But sometimes, people don't realize how rude they sound when they say certain things. When you're typing up an opinion, a review, or just a comment, remember that your words are just coming out in black and white. They're representing you without a smile or personality or anything. They're just there. And you're just waiting to see if they've been interpreted correctly or not.

I think maturity helps. When we can acknowledge our faults and shortcomings, it's easier to have a more gentle online persona. But when we don't... when we think that we are coming off as perfect 100% of the time... we're losing sight of the fact that what we've lost a huge percentage of what we meant to say in translation. What we type isn't always what we mean or how we mean it. It is what it is, and we have to pray it depicts the person we want depicted.

I'm pretty secure in my online persona. I think I've got enough of me in it to say that this is really who I am, but I've also left a lot of me out of it so that it remains professional on some level. Yeah. The person typing this is grumpy, frequently moody, and almost always hungry. But I refuse to let the really bad parts of me online because who cares what I'm like when I'm in a bad mood? You want to know what I'm like when I'm sane.

Sometimes, I don't even know who "you" are. Heck, a lot of the time I don't know who "you" are. And that's okay. Because my online persona doesn't care. She just wants to converse and speak her mind and get to know your online persona. But I've got to tell you, some people have really mean online personas, and it's like they can't even see how ugly they are. How do you tell someone, "You're rude," without flat-out saying it? How do you gently give them the nudge-nudge so they know to quit being so much of themselves long enough for you to enjoy their online presence?

It's something I'm struggling with today because some people are vicious. They don't even know who I am and they're vicious. They can't seem to see themselves, but they're vicious! And I, admit, I almost let it get to me, today, but you know what? I'm not vicious. Not in my real-life and not on the internet.

Why should I waste my time bringing someone I don't know down? Why would I try to hurt someone who isn't going to be in my life when I log off? Why would I attack someone who has lived and will live the rest of their lives without ever seeing my face? I wouldn't. I won't. And I never ever have.

But some people do. Some people will continue doing this until they figure out what's hardening their hearts. Because the only reason they're coming after me is because they haven't found "them" yet. And I can't be mad at people who are so confused within themselves that they don't know how to escape their own hardness.

I'm bigger than that, and I hope you'll be too. Make a pledge to be kind to someone online this week!

With love,
Deserae McGlothen