Happy New Years and a guest blog

Have I m mentioned my love of Chica Peeps? Oh of course I have in several posts, so I’m sure you are already aware of them. If not, you should check out their website. It  embraces two of my favorite things, having female friends (everyone girl needs them for bitch fest) and writing (double-duh).

I was asked to write a guest blog and couldn’t for the life of me think of what to write, but as one of my least favorite holidays is coming up, I found the perfect opportunity to write about the evils of NYE and how I’m embracing it. So if you want to see how I’m dedicating the new year, please go visit it.

Also, since I will be on a meditation retreat and camping trip for the next two days, I’d like to take this time to wish all of my readers a very happy new year. Be safe and celebrate it in an unusual way, it makes for the best memories 🙂

Rach

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Official play announcement

If you enjoyed last season’s 4play: An Afternoon of Playreading, you’ll love Life, the Universe, and Playreading: A Sextet of Original Plays by Gary Hale and Rachael Stanford.
This year’s new plays, consisting of 4 scripts by Hale and 2 scripts by Stanford, will be read on Sunday, January 20, at 2:30pm in the Corn Stock Theatre Center.

We are very excited that this year’s play reading features 2 revised scripts by each playwright that will also be directed by each other.
Stick around afterwards for a short discussion with the playwrights.

This year’s plays are as follows:

Game On by Stanford (directed by Jillian Redman)
Three Dealt Hands by Hale (directed by Sean Howell)
Precious Pretty Puppies by Hale (directed by Gretchen Teske)
Returns by Hale (directed by Seth Hannan)
INTERMISSION
A Sunday Proposal by Stanford (directed by Hale)
Red, Blue, Whatever by Hale (directed by Stanford)
DISCUSSION

What is everyone reading? (2 reviews and a request for suggestions)

Christmas is here, and with it, my “real-job” (the one that actually pays me) is giving me two weeks off and among the holiday parties and responsibilities of adulthood, I plan to read and write as much as humanely possible.

I just finished Mark of Athena, which I recently reviewed. Finishing the book didn’t not do much to change my opinion. The plot line is a bit trite. Only so many times can one of the band of hero’s be kidnapped the rescued, only to have a cliffhanger that slightly progresses the plot without exploring any of the more interesting side-line, character building plots. The only shining spot may have been Dionysus who added a lovely bit of humor to an overall humorless plot.

I have now moved on to Death of a Neighborhood Witch ( I know I’m out of season) by Laura Levine. This is my favorite fluff series.  And before you shake your head, you know you all have a favorite fluff series (that series that literary might not be the best but by god it’s entertaining.)

The mystery series follows a struggling writer,  and pleasantly plump Janie Austen (I know amazingly ploy there) and her cat Prozec, who chase boys and unwillingly stumble upon an intriguing murder.  The plot is never really anything that inventive and about half the time, you will be able to figure out the murderer before the end, but it is a fun read that keeps you engage and in the end it’s more about entertaining you and identifying with the character than it is solving a murder.

Once I’m finished with this, which should happen in the next couple day, I will be looking for a new book to read. I’m really open to anything. Anyone have any good suggestions?

So you wanna be a writer……

5 things I wished I’d known starting out as a writer………

5) Rejection will hurt a lot more than you think it will.

I always knew as a writer, as any artist, that rejection is just a fairly regular part of life…for every one publication comes rejection after rejection. But pouring your heart and soul into a project, until it’s your baby, and then having someone tell you that it isn’t good enough or right for their magazine, just flat out sucks.

It will hurt. Even after you get used to it, some days when you get that letter or email that says we don’t want you and it will still put you in a crappy mood.  There will be days you will want to give up.

Most people don’t make it right away. Most people spend years of getting rejected before they ever make it.  Oh and by make it,  I mean published, not you just wrote the next  Harry Potter……

4) Enjoy the  successes

Every time you get a success, a publication or anything else, savor it.

In a world of rejection, you need this and you deserve it.

Pat yourself on the back. Toot your own horn and don’t ever let anyone give you flack for it.  No matter what anyone says, art is hard work, you deserve it.

Don’t focus on your next project through it either, just take a deep breath and suck it all in.

3) People won’t consider your art a “real job” until you have GREAT success.

“You  write. You submit. It takes like what five minutes?”

“You are only doing this because you don’t want a real job”

Even a part-time writer spends a huge chunk of their life for art, from the pre-thoughts, the drafts, the revision, and submission process. It takes up a lot of your life. And since, for many people it doesn’t pay well or quickly, it’s a job that takes up a lot of your life without providing you with monetary reward.

However, there are people out there who are just going to think you are a no good hippie, who doesn’t do real work.

Embrace it, laugh at it, and use it to fuel some awesome stories.

2) Writer’s block can last a long time and it will really suck

Writer’s block can be all-encompassing,  to the point that you can’t even look at a page without becoming despondent, and can last for months even years.

The best advice I can give you, just keep on writing, even if it sucks. And it might suck. It might really suck. I’ve spent many a month working on projects to get me out of this zone only to look back at all of it and realize that it is utter crap. However, it keeps you writing, and that is what you need. So if all else fails, schedule a time in and write about anything and everything.

Nike said it right, just do it.

1) Keep Writing

I had a poetry teacher would told me that he thought I had the potential to be a great poet. I asked him how he could be sure. He said,  well in 30 years if you are still writing, I will know. Whatever your craft, if you truly believe in it, keep with it.

Keep on writing. You can find success. And even if you don’t become Hemingway, your art can have great impact on yourself and on life.

WordPress is just failing at life.

So today, I decided for my daily writing chunk to check out the people who have liked my blogs, comment on them,and be social. I’m trying to meet other writer’s and artist that is one of my main reasons to be on here…..

Except WordPress is not working at all.

It is setting my primary blog to an old blog I started a few years ago that never should see the light of day and that I never check.  This is incredibly frustrating, as I would like to actually meet new people on here, and not have to either transfer them over to my new blog, or be the obnoxious person who post my url in the comments ( I’m not that pushy…)

I thought that maybe somehow magically, I reset it (I didn’t btw) so I spent about twenty minutes trying to go to my dashboard, however, the page wouldn’t load correctly. Now instead of being social, I’m venting here.

Has this happened to you?

If so what have you done.

I’m hoping that the site is just being wonky today, and tomorrow, I can go back to usual but part of me feels this is just a conspiracy to make me by the upgraded version……

Rach.

Excuses (Aka I really meant to write I swear)

I did. I meant to write last night. I had the time set aside, the lab top charged, and the topic picked out. I was ready, salivating to explode onto the page, until….

Image

Itty Bitty, my shelter kitty (try saying that five times fast) plopped down on me, the way only cats can do, with complete and utter disregard for any personal space, promptly falling asleep, his little fluff of life, vibrating in pure ecstasy against my chest.

It was as if he could sense that the next day he would be a bit more itty, his tiny blossoming manhood removed for the betterment of all cat kind.

He cuddled up to me, trying to suck all sympathy he could.

I held strong.

No I would write. I would.

Then Iddy screamed, writhing from a bad dream, his eyes flying open with fear, glancing up at me, instantly purring as his head floated down in a peaceful slumber. I knew my night was ruined.

Well, perhaps not ruined, but any writing for the night flew out the window. And as he settled in for a nap, I turned on Netflix, comforted that I was in good company, as many a writer has a feline companion.

All children are artists, why aren’t all adults?

All children are artists, each in their own way.

Think about it.

Watch a group of children.

What do they do?

Draw.  Write.  Paint.  Build.  Pretend.

They are actors, directors, producers of their own little dramas, be it playing house, Barbies or G.I. Joe’s. They make up magical worlds all within their minds.

Until….that  self-awareness, the creeping of adolescence and adulthood hit us.  I remember seventh grade, and going to a friends house,who was a year ahead of me. I was horrified that she wanted to play Barbies.  I played, begrudgingly  but the thought of pretending at 13 was just absurd to me.

The irony is now, at 27, I wish I have more time to pretend.

Why do we stop?

I could say this is an isolated incident, and there are still obviously people who continue into adulthood (LARP), but this is not the norm.  Why does this intricate part of life, slip away from us?

And not just pretending, why stop creating art in general.

Do we lose our passion?

Are we taught not to?

Is art just a way to mimic adulthood so when it stops having a function, we lose it?

Does society condition us not to?

What do you think? I’ll post my ideas in a follow up response.

5 gifts for your favorite writer

Tired of getting the writer in your life nice stationary/notesbooks, pens, books or the almighty Barnes N Nobles gift card….

Well you should still stick with those gifts because they are awesome. But it is always fun to mix it up.

So here are some of the awesome ideas I’ve found on the internet.

1) Literary Action Dolls

We have action figures for everything. It’s only time that Shakespeare and Jane Austen got the chance. These little guys are the perfect addition to any writer’s computer, watching over your writer as they craft their next masterpiece.  They also have pretty spiffy plush dolls.

2) Origins also known as the nerdiest game ever.

The game gives you a phrase or word. You go against another team to see who can correctly guess how the phrase started….it’s amazingly more fun than the description in your head makes it sounds.  Hours of fun. Anyone who loves language will love you for this gift!

3) Letters by Kurt Vonnegut 

Fine it’s a book.  But by any writer’s standard, its an interesting and hell of a good book. The letters document Vonnegut’s pain and struggles as a writer as well personal events (including his service in WW2).

Also for the Vonnegut fan, check out the awesome, albeit pricey gifts you can snag them here.

4) Writing is Rewriting bracelet 

Celebrate the frustrating reality of a writer with this Esty score.

5) The most kick-ass keyboard

Writer’s spend way too much of a their time at a computer, let them do it in style.

And a bonus gift since I included a book…..

Online or offline classes and workshops.

These are awesome! Most colleges have them and there are many online sources as well. Surprise your writer with a day/weekend/ or week long chance to hone their skills and meet new people!

Exciting News (directorial debut)

Corn Stock Theatre is having their annual local playwrights showcase in the end of January, and excitingly enough, I had a play accepted. I was told about a month ago about this and I am thrilled because Corn Stock does such an amazing job through and through.

Today, though, I got even more exciting news! I was asked by the producer of the show to direct one of the plays! Now, it’s just a scripted reading, but this is such a great honor and I was thrilled to accept.

So stay tune folks, and if you are in the Central Illinois area, you better come and watch not only one of my plays but also  my directorial debut at Corn Stock

Chica Peeps

The sisterhood of female friendships is celebration in the Chica Peeps anthology. I was lucky enough to be accepted into this new sister of authorship with my tale of high school friends who have stood the test of time.

We might have started just as movie buddies, lusting after the hunky, alluring, sizzling and every other adjective to describe the perfect amount of hotness that God will allow in a body, Johhny Depp, but over the years, it have become the life blood of my sanity.

If you’d like to read more, click here!