Tag Archives: writing

It’s the beauty in her words…

I find it strange yet familiar on how such a young lady embodies such an old soul. Her silence bewilders me as she sits in solitude. I can almost discern her thoughts but she is elusive.

Then her words speak volumes so loud, it’s powerful. I feel her written reflections that echo in my mind, and I thank God for the wonder she brings into my life.

She’s my daughter…

“I am not a look,
I am a feeling.
You will feel my presence
before your eyes
even catch a glimpse of my face.
I am the warmth in your heart;
the glow that leaves you breathless
I fill your corners with comfort.
You will grow used to the feeling
of my love harboring the gaps of your soul
but I can never be enough.
I am the emptiness you feel
the hollowness, wounds left naked
as I fade away.
You will feel me as I leave
The light I had once warmed you with
will grow cold.
The physical embodiment of my soul
That was once intertwined with yours?
Will break away.
You won’t feel me anymore.
My warmth, my love, my soul
the things that had once fed you
have gone.
Now the only place I can be found
is in your insomnia
as you lay awake; searching for me in your thoughts
The only place I can be found
is in your memories
and in the bittersweet throbs
of the heart I once tended to;
yours.”

By Lisette S. Vasquez
Copyright ©2017 Lisette Vasquez

I may be biased, but she’s just a beautiful and talented young writer.


Weird is Cool

My son recently mentioned that one of his favorite songs is “Cool Kids” by Echosmith. He was singing the song while I was driving him home from Karate class one evening. The lyrics struck my core. Little Ray identified with the words of the song and I suddenly feel his pain.

echosmith.com

echosmith.com

I feel Ray’s struggle to “fit in” among his peers, in society, and in life. He didn’t seem particularly sad about the reasons he likes the song. Then again, I didn’t ask why. I already know he’s the odd one out.

Ray may have a few friends that talk to him or play with him. Sometimes his classmates invite him to birthday parties. But kids don’t ask him for playdates or sleepovers often. My son is what people call “weird.”

We all want to fit in and be likeable. Yet society has already labeled the norm. There are rules on how to behave, or what the public considers as proper and decent in appearance and upbringing.

For Ray, these rules aren’t always easy. His Autism is mostly strange to kids and even some adults. I think ASD makes Ray unique. It gives him a quirky personality, and nothing is ever boring when it comes to my son.

Oddly, I relate to Ray’s experiences. It’s a constant battle to please everyone, although we just can’t please everybody.

Hopefully, the criticisms, put-downs, and letdowns do not deter Ray from overcoming life’s challenges. I hope he takes each discouraging experience and changes them into a strengthening lesson of life.

Or, maybe I do because I need to.

Think positively. A sad or negative situation may feel like it happens almost all the time. But sometimes a happy event is waiting to surprise us. Just as Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

It sounds so simple to leave a dismal incident behind and pursue brighter opportunities. Though it’s harder to take the initiative and open the door.

In my case, I definitely need to think positively when it comes to writing. The determination to write something good, something memorable, something moving, and something worth buying is my present struggle in life. Some people will like my stories and some will hate it. I’ll just learn from the critics, and turn the negatives around to make my other stories better.

Possibility Quote

Nothing in life is easy and I understand this hard reality. I remember telling one of my beta readers the reason I started the Dia-Matic Keys project. Simply, I’m challenging myself to see if I can finish it. I want to show my kids that having aspirations are worthwhile.

This is my unique way of leaving advice on how to get through life’s trials and tribulations to my children. So don’t be afraid to dream. Life is scary, yet it’s also an adventure. I hope my kids will enjoy the fictional stories and learn something from them. As a writer, I wish that others would too.

In Ray’s case, some kids don’t like him. They don’t know my son. But some kids like Ray once they get to know him better. Those few friends help him feel good about himself. Ray needs these little triumphs to boost his self-esteem and live his life the best way he can.

So in the end, “weird” could turn to “cool.”

Have you dealt with life’s struggles? Was “fitting in” difficult? Or, have you empathized with the “weird kid” and helped him or her feel like they belong?


Turning it Around

The world is always revolving and life continues with each passing day. I can’t imagine not living a day to the fullest, yet every so often, a negative experience threatens a positive outlook.

How do I turn a negative into positives? What does one do to overcome a defeat? I’ve procrastinated about writing and revisions. I thought this was due to the writer’s block, but it’s not. I’m sure everyone deals with a decrease in imagination, a hindrance in creativity, a loss of inspiration in his or her own way to get through it.

The procrastination is a result of my personal demons. Dealing with self-doubt is a constant demon of mine. It’s the lingering fear that my next project won’t be as good as, or better than my first piece of work. I am very aware of the fact we can’t please everyone. Yet deep in my subconscious is a pestering desire for approval.

I’m human, and it’s natural to seek acknowledgement and praise. Let’s face it: we all want a pat on the back for a job well done. Of course, the letdown of disapproval and criticisms makes it difficult to acknowledge and move on. Similar to a fall, most people get up and brush off the dirt, some cry until help arrives, others will sulk until someone kisses the boo-boo and then everything is fine.

It’s not easy to brush off a negative comment. For me, the remark hides in the recesses of my mind, only to appear at the worst possible moment to drag me down further. Like a demon taunting me, “You’re not good enough.” The laughter and ridicule echoes in my head, and grows louder with each teasing word of “fail” mentioned.

Again, I’m looking for that evasive light at the end of a dark tunnel. I’m mustering the strength to rise up after a fall. Earth is still revolving and my thoughts are swirling along with it.

I can’t please everyone. Instead, I’ll aim to satisfy my need for expression. So I decide to just write. What better way to evolve just like the world around me. I’m acknowledging my fears and discovering ways to face them. I am refocusing on the goal of writing for my family, the original inspiration for this journey as a writer (even if it’s part time).

 “Speak to me, when all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through
Move along
Move along”

~ AAR

Move_Along_(The_All-American_Rejects_album_-_cover_art)

It’s probably coincidental or perhaps it’s not. Many concerts were airing on AXS TV this past weekend. The All-American Rejects’ performance was the first I viewed. I’ve always had a soft spot for musicians, but Tyson Ritter (vocals, bass, and piano) motivated me to watch the rest of the show. AAR performed without fear of “boos” from the crowd.

Tyson Ritter made me giggle with his sense of humor in between sets. Now the music is drowning out the demons inside my head. The riffs and hooks are stomping the negatives into the ground. I’m still standing as the encouraging lyrics urge me to “move along.”

So I’ll turn my frown into a smile. I’ll make a light to get me through the end of a dark tunnel. I’ll get up from a fall; who cares if my clothes are stained with dirt. I’ll take the criticism and work hard to do better each time. I may not get a few pats on the back, but maybe I’ll receive a couple of thumbs up instead.

The world is revolving, life is continuing, and I want to change my low points into turning points.

(Go on, go on, go on, go on)

How do you deal with negativity? How will you keep evolving?

Thanks for reading and enjoy the song.  


A Day in the Life of a Writer (Even if it’s Part Time)

How do writers deal with the day-to-day routine of life and still have time to write? I often wonder about this from other self-published authors. If you ask me, I think it’s mentally and physically exhausting.

With all the duties of family, a profession, school activities, homework, social functions, and financial responsibilities, finding the time to write is difficult, especially if I am writing a series. The constant interruptions of everyday life is distracting. I can lose a thought, that descriptive word to relay an idea, or a chapter revision for structure and flow. Why is the second I sit down, the chance for someone else to ask something? Once I’m ready to do my thing, a person wants some advice about stuff that can wait until later. It never fails, and those distractions become frustrating (I was venting, but I’m done).

I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing in the past month. Yet in retrospect, I’ve done a book blast tour, worked on guest posts, and author interviews. Perhaps September was just draining because of my other obligations and guilt in neglecting Harmony, the next installment in the series. I’m remorseful and afraid that James Roberts, my protagonist in this novella, is angry at me for abandoning him.

Harmony edit 1

I read an article about Hugh Howey and his writing: http://www.copyblogger.com/how-hugh-howey-writes/

After reading the article, I feel less tired, frustrated, regretful, and more motivated. The first thing I need to do is inhale serenity and exhale agitation. Next, I must prioritize my schedule. Family and home are at the top of the list. Everything else, I’ll fit in between. During my timeout, I can read, listen to music, or play the piano.

The point is that I should grab a moment to write. Like when I started writing. My iPad is with me almost everywhere. It’s my writer’s desk on the go thanks to Apple. I’ll daydream about storylines and themes. Allow my surroundings to influence ideas for plots and conflicts. Interact with people wherever I go because conversation offers possible dialogue, setting, action and reaction, or scenes.

Those encounters contribute to writing a paragraph or more. During my breaks, I may elaborate or revise and soon, I have a page or two. I will dedicate any opportunity to writing something. The more I write, my content gets better, and I improve as a writer.

Those little routines have motivated me to write Consonance. If I get back my inspiration, maybe James Roberts will discuss Harmony with me. There are two sides to a story, and his is just as important. He wants to show his character as the dashing bassist of Dia-Matic Keys.

“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.”
― Lao Tzu

So a weekend is over. A birthday party has passed. My family finishes dinner and the evening is winding down. The dishes are clean, I did most of the laundry, some tidying up around the house, paid off a couple of bills, and hopefully the kids are going to sleep. My husband settles in too. After a shower, I have a moment’s peace to think and write.

That quiet break allows me to type up content for a chapter. I have creativity flowing. I’ll stop after an hour because I need sleep for work the next day. The office schedule doesn’t look too bad. Maybe I’ll get a full lunch, and escape to the cafeteria to read or continue writing the ideas of another storyline.

Traffic is inevitable, but I’m listening to some great music. My mind is free to imagine, as long as the other drivers around me are careful too. Finally, I make it home. Homework is waiting for my review. I make some corrections and help the kids understand the subject. Dinner is ready; thank God because I’m starving. Now it’s time to wish everyone goodnight. I didn’t have an hour to write, only half an hour. Still, it’s enough to type a scene for another chapter.

Another day begins. With some perseverance, I’ll keep the momentum going, and soon I’ll have the first draft of a manuscript, and if I’m lucky, a bestseller.

What is your writing routine? Any hobby or interest of yours, how do you find the time to fit that in between a busy schedule?


Writing, Therapy in Session a Touching Guest Post by Lisa Malabanan

Writing, Therapy in Session a Touching Guest Post by Lisa Malabanan.


A Diatonic Review of Lisa Malabanan’s Consonance

A Diatonic Review of Lisa Malabanan’s Consonance.


My Eyes Are Closed, a guest post by Lisa Malabanan

My Eyes Are Closed, a guest post by Lisa Malabanan.


“Not bad at All”

So a round of reviews have come in, and another round still to come in mid-September. I am reflecting on my earlier post, “To be or not to be reviewed.” It didn’t hurt to keep my fingers crossed because so far, they have been mostly positive. Of course, I dreaded reading the negative parts because I expected the negatives would have been worse. After all, Consonance is my first novel.

Now the reviews are trickling in and I’m expected to finish my task. That goal is to complete the series. I thought I was in over my head with a novel, but to write a series, I am crazy! Being a caring nurse, a loving mother, and a devoted wife is all I know. To be a writer is new territory for me. I endured the sleepless nights of revising x 3, the frustrations of creating a scene, keeping a character’s dialogue consistent and believable. My list could go on, and despite all the irritating homework, I enjoyed writing the book.

I realized that I can do more when I challenge myself. Personal growth is rewarding, setting goals and accomplishing the first one is a wonderful feeling. I learned something about myself, I’m stronger and determined than I thought. With a lot of faith, I can do anything.

I’m aware that some people don’t take me seriously as a writer. The fact I was able to write a story when I didn’t think I could taught me this: if you have a story to tell, there is someone out there willing to read it. It doesn’t matter if it’s one, ten, or hundreds, there is an audience waiting for entertainment.

Like a teacher reading to his/her class full of bright-eyed little children in anticipation for the ending, make your story be heard. Let your voice sing through each chapter. Listen for the applause at the finish of your last sentence. You’ll never know what you’re capable of unless you try.

One of the reviewers recently posted one of his favorite quote after submitting his review, “Our greatest mistake is to fear making one.” It made a lasting impression on me. If I’m afraid of my vulnerability, I would not have discovered something about my abilities. That I’m not bad, “not bad at all.”

Many thanks to the first round of reviewers:

http://lisafobia.blogspot.com/

https://www.inkspand.com/

http://samerkauthor.wordpress.com/

http://freeworldauthors.com/blog/

 


The Inspiration, Motivation, and Creativity

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
Maya Angelou

Many people have asked me this question: “So what made you want to write a book?”

I wrote the first book because of an inspiration. My daughter loves liberal arts. She is a remarkable artist and writer, but a fickle musician. She started with piano, switched to guitar for a short time, then went back to piano briefly. She currently plays the clarinet for her school band.

I write because of motivation. My son has autism and learning disabilities. Our family motivates him to try his best, and we praise his efforts and accomplishments. He is the driving force in attaining my goals.

Lastly, I created a story line because of the encouragement my hubby provides. He always pushes me to express myself with words and imagination. 

So I want to write because I have stories to tell.

 


The Prelude to a Story

Prelude to a Song is a short story referring to the Davis Family and lyrics of Sassy. Sassy is a song written for Elle from the perspective of Ryan and Kevin. In fact, I wrote several song lyrics which the first book mentions although Sassy is not mentioned in Consonance. This is the sixth Dia-Matic Keys song written for fun. The lyrics inspired a short story. Consonance challenged me to write a few songs for the series and in turn, the songs became an extension for the book. The remaining five songs are from the perspective of the main character, Elle. When I feel the lyrics are right, I will eventually post the songs on my blog soon.

Coming soon!


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