“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.


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

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

In the Beginning

It feels fitting to start this blog in November, which is National Writing Month. I debated joining NaNoWriMo as motivation to get the bones of my story down for this idea ( temporarily titled E.V.D.) that’s been spinning around in my mind. However, I’m focused on completing Sarah Blue (a story that falls into the mystery genre), and I was hesitant to split the positive spout of inspiration I’ve had. I think most writers have several stories and ideas that they work on over time but when your mind is deeply immersed in one world, it can be hard to fall into another one, even one of your own making.

My world right now is on everything Boston. I lived just outside Harvard Square for three years and while I could not handle living in the ice-chest of a city, I often dream of it. It’s easy to lose yourself in the cobble-stoned streets, brick homes, and steady hum of busy people living their lives. Despite that, I like the freedom of being in my own world. I pull a lot from the narrowly-roaded Boston neighborhoods for Sarah Blue; but you are, ultimately, in my own version of Bean Town.

In between writing Sarah Blue, researching information for E.V.D., and now running this blog, I use story prompts to keep my mind primed. I do have a day job that I am grateful for, but it involves pushing around a lot of non-fiction papers and I’ll leave those lost hours out of this online world.

I’ve been on a huge Dennis Lehane kick lately, and I am currently devouring Sacred. I grew up reading John Grisham, Stephen King, and Anne Rice. Outside of those authors, some of my favorite books include: Ishamel, The Art of Happiness, and A Light in the Attic (I read Shel Silverstein every chance I got as a kid).

I’m here due to a series of inspiring moments over the last two years. In 2012, I was at my favorite place: Barnes and Noble. Hands loaded with books, I spotted a scrapbook-style journal for sale and it’s shiny cover brought me to a stop. I remember lifting the book, almost reverently, and getting sucked into it immediately. The more time I spent looking at the book, the more I thought: I could have done this.

And I had, in my own way.

My version is sitting next to me now, my own book of inspiration: quotes, pictures, words, some mine, some not. Its pages are sparkled and scrawled, typed and taped. They are random, thought-provoking snippets that I have put together over time to help move me towards one mood or another as I write.

I got a little mad at myself that day in Barnes and Noble.

I returned my books, bought a journal and went home. And I began to write. I wrote about how mad I was at myself, I wrote down a list of the things I had written before – articles for content sites, poems I had submitted to contests, ideas I had let roam around but never put to paper. I wrote and I wrote.

The next day, during The Lost Hours, I met Curtis. He’s an animated individual with spiked hair and a friendly smile. He told me about the book he had written and about his journey to get it published. It had nothing to do with our meeting that day and everything to do with how I was feeling. I remember sitting across from him in awe. I had not shared my story with him and yet here he was, a complete stranger, telling me about a journey that I wanted to experience first hand.

I went home that night and wrote some more. The journal I bought the night before that meeting, with just a few tentative lines sketched out, now holds the first hand-written draft of Sarah Blue.

I’ve had several more of those moments since then, randomly bumping into strangers who want to write, who want to connect with others, and it motivates me a little more each time. A few months ago, in my sister’s room, I spotted a quote:

Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself. (George Bernard Shaw).

I’m here to learn, share, grow, and create. I’m compiling lists of contests to enter, conferences to attend, and resources to check regularly, all of which I will post here. I attended the South Carolina Writers Workshop Conference for the first time this year and I really enjoyed myself. I even experienced another one of those moments that got me here, but I’ll share that another day.

I will post to this blog each week. If you have any questions email me at (everythingonpaperisperfect@yahoo.com) or leave a comment below.