Sunlight Breaking: A Writing Update

SunOne of the things I have learned about myself over the last few months is that I am emotionally affected by the weather. We have been dealing with record colds here (and a snowfall that never seems to end) and it had completely warped me of any creative energy I had.

I got up feeling already tired, a little depressed, and the idea of doing anything creative always felt like a struggle.

The funny thing is, since I lived in Los Angeles for four years, you would imagine that those years would have been the best time of my life. Yeah, looking back it was a fine (and it was nice being warm everyday), but I don’t think I did anything more spectacularly then. I was writing more, sure, but I was also in a the MPW program at the University of Southern California. I had to write more!

Whatever the case, we had actual sunlight a few days ago. Wonders upon wonders! I took walks outside, breathed friendly fresh air; suddenly life seemed worth writing about again.

Okay, it’s not like I was completely stagnant during the time of the icy blahs. I was still doing my two or so blogposts a week, promoting my novels; heck, I even got a book deal for my latest novel (I’ll do a catch up below). I guess I just wasn’t feeling it… which mean I wasn’t feeling me, which looks really weird now that I wrote that.

Let’s move on. Continue reading

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Redefining Writing Success: Learning to Fly in Today’s Congested Writing World

IcarusI was an innocent dreamer when I arrived in Los Angeles.

I had big plans and it all felt like the beginning of a movie to me. I was about to start studying in one of the best writing program in the country (University of Southern California. Go Trojans!) and I could feel the destiny thick around me like cigarette smoke. I could smell it on my clothes and in my hair; I could taste it on my tongue. In my mind I was certain that this moment, this arrival, was the true start of any future and inevitable biography that someone would write about me.

The stuff of legends.

That first night I had to stay in a hotel. And I practically skipped (already wearing my USC sweatshirt) as I approached the front desk. Behind it was an older, somewhat heavy, bored-looking woman and, noticing my sweatshirt, casually asked if I was a student. Oh, the can of worms she just unleashed!

I quickly talked about the writing program and the professors I was going to study under, about my books, about my scripts, and about my plans, etc. The words (and dreams) flooded out of me. I could have gone on all day.

And when I finally stopped to take a breath, she casually interrupted and said, “Yeah, I’m a writer too. Here is your key.” Continue reading