Dreams

“I always thought insanity would be a dark, bitter feeling, but it is drenching and delicious if you really roll around in it.”

           ― Kathryn Stockett

There are talents that I’ve never had and always dreamed of possessing. I’ve always wanted to be able to draw, and draw well. I’ve fancied the life of an artist, creating works that inspire and stir emotion. I can visualize what I want things to look like. I can see them clearly in my mind, but I can’t get them from there to a canvas. This desire to create drove me to pursue a computer animation degree in college. I spent two years learning Photoshop, Illustrator, Maya, Flash, and a number of other programs that probably no longer exist. My classmates could absorb those programs like a deep breath. I, struggled. I enjoyed it, I loved it, but despite that, I wasn’t good at it.

After I obtained my Associate of Science in Computer Animation, I finally embraced what my brain was good at: paperwork. I worked as an Office Manager and then an insurance professional. I wrote intermittenly, but mostly, I focused my energy on my grey-cubicled career. I also have a B.S. in Business Management. I’m good at Business Stuff but it’s not what I spend my nights dreaming about.

A few years ago, in a deep, comfortable sleep, I dreamt of a circus tent flying ominously-high above me. A world of black and white striped satin, the only color was a red swirl tearing it’s way through the Big Top. Empty stands circled a large ring, the ground covered in wood shavings and peanuts. A caged lion paced, the heavy sound of it’s breathing the only noise in the semi-dark tent. A truck, empty, except for a ballerina, sat a few feet from the lion’s gilded cage. The dancer spun, finger-tips to toes, like a silent music box in the deserted arena. A trapeze, long abandoned, hung frozen above. And a single, rusted, carousel-horse sat alone, a sad shadow of it’s former self.

When I woke, I was desperate to latch onto those images. I felt no fear in the dream. I was an observer; an uninvited, but not unwanted, guest to the show. The scene was so vivid I became convinced I could transfer it to paper, draw an outline, at least, of what I had seen. After a few scrawled and frustrated lines, I abandoned the pre-school sketch; and attempted some work on the computer. There are tinges of the dream still in my memory but nothing even remotely resembling what it was to me that morning. I regret now, not simply grabbing a journal and writing down the details. I should have taken notes, to keep the mood alive and accessible for the future.

The edges of that dream haunt me to this day. I want to return to it and watch, quietly from my spot at the edge of the ring. I’ve collected some images that hold the essence of the dream for me. You can find them all on Pinterest @paperpinning the board is titled: In My Dreams (you can search by #paperperfect or @paperpinning). I don’t post there too frequently; once or twice a week at most but feel free to pick through the images or follow me.

Don’t make the mistake that I did, write down your dreams when you wake up each morning. When you get in the habit of doing this, your dreams become more vivid and easier to influence, as will your writing.

@paperpinning

Saturday: The Spark will update tomorrow. Come back next Friday for a new post!

Your writing homework: You know that journal you were supposed to get last week? Start writing down your dreams when you wake up. Your mind is constantly working at night, the more often you write down your dreams, the more you will remember them and the more you can pull from them for your writing.

This blog updates each Friday with writing resources, prompts, and of course the random things I decide to post. Feel free to contact me here or find me on GoodReads @ https://www.goodreads.com/hkidder. Follow me on Instagram at: Everythingonpaperisperfect or on Pinterest @ paperpining

Contact Email: everythingonpaperisperfect@yahoo.com

Conference Time!

Each time I tackle Sarah Blue, I do it from a different angle. I use an iPad to type and take notes but I still prefer to print my story and hand-edit it. For me, it’s the only way to do in-depth reviews of my work. I like feeling the paper in my hand, I like tabbing pages, and color-coding my notes. The first wave usually just hits me. I hand wrote the first draft of Sarah Blue in a journal, over the course of a few days. I remember the flood gates opening and the words rolling out. As I refine and grow the story, I focus on individual parts of it (strengthening my characters or adding in more details about the city), and then re-read the entire thing to make sure it flows. Reading out loud to yourself is important to assure your sentences read the way you want them to. That’s a little piece of helpful advice that I picked up at my Manuscript Critique (October, 2014).

I attended the South Carolina Writers’ Workshop which was held in Myrtle Beach. I met several aspiring writers and enjoyed listening to the speakers at each of my sessions. There’s a great energy in the air when you are surrounded by those who share a passion with you. People did not hurry; they were animated, and positive. It reminded me of SIGGRAPH, an animation festival I attended in a past life, because of all the excitement around me. I attended two sessions at the SCWW and wish I had signed up for a few more. It’s one of the reasons this blog exists.

In truth, the only thing I retained from SIGGRAPH was an angry liver. SCWW was a vastly different experience, mostly I believe, due to my true desire to learn and the thrill of being around professionals. The amount of information I received and the knowledge I gained from that conference makes me itchy to attend another one. As I was researching writing conferences I came across: The Writers’ Police Academy. It’s a site dedicated to helping writers get it right, when it comes to crime. I haven’t been to one of their events but after reviewing the itinerary, I’m anxious for the 2015 dates to be released. A sample of the event information from 2014:

– Ride a-longs with police officers and deputy sheriffs.

– Jail Tours.

– Interview and Interrogation.

– Fingerprinting.

-Bloodstain pattern investigations.

 

 

The plans for 2015 can be found here: WPA 2015  and include such things as a Boeing 727 and a water rescue pond. That’s right. A water rescue pond. Even if you don’t write, you want to go, don’t you?

There are conferences galore (for writing, dedicated to specific authors, or genres); something, I didn’t realize. If you aren’t surrounded by people who share your passion, or you’re stumped about how to write a query letter, go to a conference! It’s an excellent way to meet people, network, and just learn aspects of your work you never considered. Here are a few other conferences I stumbled upon that are worth mentioning:

Boucheron ,
Paris Writer’s Retreat,
Writer’s Digest Conference

I also want to take a moment to make mention of: The Five Two. I’ve been following this blog for a few weeks. With a variety of contributors, and weekly prompts, it’s a site well worth bookmarking.

Saturday: The Spark will update tomorrow. Come back next Friday for a new post!

This blog updates each Friday with writing resources, prompts, and of course, the random things I decide to post. Feel free to contact me here or find me on GoodReads @ https://www.goodreads.com/hkidder

Contact Email: everythingonpaperisperfect@yahoo.com

Color It Pink

Today’s Quote: If you’re quiet, you’re not living. You’ve got to be noisy and colorful and lively. ~ Mel Brooks

Something New Alert: The Spark will update every Saturday with a prompt.

Lipstick Red. Royal Purple. Hot-Pants Pink. I love color. Globs of glittery-purple, and teal pop out from every corner of my bedroom. I mention this because someone convinced me to do the Color Run a few weeks ago. The truth? The only reason I joined: I knew I would come home looking like the aftermath of a rainbow’s hangover.

I don’t run.

I’ve run before, but not far, and mostly, not on purpose. Odd as it may sound, the idea of being pummeled with electric-blue cornstarch sounded like a fantastic time. Registration scored me a t-shirt, temporary tattoo’s, an 80’s neon-striped headband, and a psychedelic-striped bag. There were serious runners at the event; people checking their time, and stretching properly. However, there were just as many people like me, people out to have a lot of fun that also happened to involve exercise.

Tiaras, over-sized glasses, tutu’s, and hula-hoops criss-crossed the event. Everywhere I looked, people were smiling, laughing, and sweating. The end of the race was a series of pigment-rich powder bombs, pounding beats, and wiggly people. I’ve never been to a rave, but I have to imagine this is as close as you can get in running shoes and a sweat band.

The event was held at Broadway at the Beach and sections of the parking lot were roped off for each color. In order to complete a section you had to pass through a flag-lined path of volunteers. As you entered and crossed each section’s finish line, the volunteers would cheer you on and coat you in colored-cornstarch. I was a speckled mess from my teeth to my toes. I came home and put my Color Run shirt in the dryer hoping to bake the color in, but after a single wash it was sparkly-white again. Bummer.

I was able to capture some video of the race and I’ll post that on Instagram for you to watch (@everythingonpaperisperfect). While you are there, you can check out the quotes I post each morning to help motivate you (and me) to write, write, write!

You will notice that my Instagram posts are fairly colorful. I use three or four different programs to create and tweak the backgrounds before I add the Quote of the Day to it. It’s a good bit of fun for me. On Saturday, I post a story prompt on Instagram and now that I have added a new page to this website (The Spark), I will also post it here; also on Saturday.

Next week’s post: Links to a blog that I have fallen in blog-love with and a few tips for starting your next project.

Your writing homework: Try out something completely new this month and write about it. If you can’t do that for some reason, use the quote from the start of this blog post as a theme for a poem.

This blog updates each Friday with writing resources, prompts, and of course, the random things I decide to post. Feel free to contact me here or find me on GoodReads @ https://www.goodreads.com/hkidder

Contact Email: everythingonpaperisperfect@yahoo.com

Need motivation? How about a challenge due January 15th, 2015?

The right words can bring tears of joy or inspire a new passion. The wrong words can wound you with pain deeper than anything physical you’ve endured and make your mind stutter with confusion. Words are powerful. They flow in and out of us all day; often without a great deal of thought or effort put into them. There are those times you do hear something that makes you feel, makes you remember, and makes you smile at a memory you’d long forgotten. Remember those times. Connect with them. Feel them. Write them.

Write every day. Find something to inspire you and write the lines that make you feel. To help you along, I’ve started an Instagram account (@everythingonpaperisperfect) dedicated entirely to helping you write. Each day I will post a quote or a story prompt. These posts are meant to inspire you to create, to love, and to believe in yourself.

In addition to those daily motivations, I have found several excellent resources for keeping the ink flowing and I’ll share them with you each week. I’ve entered two contests and I am working on my entry for a third. The first contest was for the 9th Annual Writers’ Digest Poetry Award and it closed on October 31, 2014. The requirements for submission were simple. The poem could be in any style and had to be 32 lines or less. The Winner receives:

A $1,000 in cash
Their poem published in Writer’s Digest and promoted on WritersDigest.com
A copy of the 2015 Poet’s Market

I honestly haven’t written a great deal of poetry in recent years. I wrote a lot of poems during the Angst Age (any year ending in teen) and into my early twenties, but not as much in the last decade. This contest spurred me to pull out some old favorites, re-work them and even produce a few new ones. The poem that I selected for this contest was one that I originally wrote at the age of 17, though I did make some changes before submitting it.

Once you’ve submitted an entry to Writers Digest you can’t print it anywhere until the winners are announced. When the required time is expired, I’ll post an update with a link to the winning poem and a copy of my submission ( only slightly terrifying, but, moving on- ). One of things that I like about the contests on W.D. is that they don’t claim life-time exclusive rights to your work. They do request certain first-print rights; however, those aside, your work remains yours. The specifics can be found under the terms for each contest.

I also entered the shorty story contest that closed on November 24, 2014. The challenge and prompt:

Write a short story, of 750 words or fewer, that begins with the following sentence: I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over. You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.

I love the prompt. My story took a bit of a turn and I hope the judges (and you when I can post it) get a kick out of it. I enjoyed writing it and I’m anxious to share it with you.

My third submission is for the Your-Story contest which closes on January 15, 2015. You can enter it by going here and following the directions. As with all of the contests, once the winners are announced and I’m allowed, I’ll post my submission along with a link to the winning entry.

These contests are a great way to keep your pen moving and to step outside your comfort zone by trying something new.

Your homework: Pick a contest and enter it!
Click above or go to WritersDigest.com and search for their competitions.

Don’t forget to follow on Instagram @ everythingisperfectonpaper for your daily writing inspiration.

“See” you next Friday!

 

#perfectpapercontests
#paperperfectresources
#paperperfect
#writerswrite
#writeit