Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back to Wordpress!

I have had a couple of messages / emails concerning followers being unable to reply to my blog, so I have made the decision to move back into my old Wordpress account.  I have updated, copied, and removed quite a bit of stuff, so it's still a little jumbled, but I hope to have it all corrected and fixed soon.

To those that are currently following me - I hope you will continue to follow me over at the current blog.  This was a fresh start, so hopefully it will not inconvenience many people.

Thank you for all the wonderful comments and feedback that I received from each of you!

Melanie's Musings can now be found here.

For those that don't trust / like links, you may find me at


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Shine On Award

I have been nominated for the Shine On Award by the very awesome Krista over at Color Coordinated.

The Rules

1. Display the award logo on your blog.  
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award requirements.

7 Things About Me

1.  I am the youngest of 5 kids, so I am spoiled rotten.
2.  I enjoy camping, hiking, and anything else that involves water and outside.
3.  I love gardening.  This year, my garden included tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe, green beans, potatoes, and spinach.
4.  I have 3 other blogs - a personal one, a gaming one, and the one I moved all my writing stuff over from.  (It was getting a little crowded.)
5.  I collect frogs, dragons, and swords.
6.  I enjoy playing World of Warcraft, Legends of Zelda, and Final Fantasy games.
7.  I consider myself shy, but anyone that knows me swears otherwise.

Nominees (Please forgive me, I will get these up ASAP, but I didn't want Krista to think I was ignoring her message to me, so I wanted to get this posted)


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Musings on Muses

Last head's up before it happens:  I will be returning to college next week (August 12th), so while I will attempt to make one post per week (on the weekend, most likely), there may be weeks that are skipped.  Working full time and going to school full time are not helping my addiction to writing!

With that said..

My muse returned to me today.  I have missed her these last few months, but she flew through the open window and perched herself on my shoulder as I was getting ready to leave for work.  I spent the entire hour drive trying to focus on driving and not parking on the side of the road to write down ideas.   I'm happy for her return.. and the seven pages of notes I wrote out once I got to work are proof of that.

I have read biographies, newspaper articles, interviews, etc - in which an artist (writer, poet, musician, painter) introduced their muse as a real life human being.  Mine is different.  She does not exist outside of my own mind and she was named Arianna after the sister of one of my very first characters.

I'm hoping she plans to stick with me for a bit longer this time, because I need her.  Not only for my own writing and musings, but for the Science Fiction writing class I'm taking.  We have a lot to go through in the coming months..

Saturday, August 3, 2013

When The Words Won't Flow

In a post far, far away... I mentioned writer's block.  There are plenty of internet arguments going on as to whether or not writer's block exists.  For the most part, my advice for when you were stuck was to just write complete drivel until you got it out of your system.  Because you can't edit a blank page.  

I'll go ahead and state it: I believe writer's block exists.  And sometimes, you just can't write the complete drivel to get it out.  I have my book of ideas, I have my outline, and I have my story perfectly in my head.  But somehow, somewhere, the neurons that should be firing in my brain just won't communicate what's in my head to my fingertips.  For those that don't believe in writer's block, we'll call this THISISTERRIBLEMAKEITSTOP.  Why do I give it that name?  Because this is terrible, make it stop.

I'm having a fairly bad case of it right now.  I have my outline, the points I want to make in the chapter, the details needed, and how I want it to play out perfectly in my head.  But it refuses to write itself on paper.  So instead of needlessly smashing my head against a brick wall over and over again until all the words fall out, I decided to blog.  

At any one time, I can have a hundred different blog posts going through my head to type out - whether it be for my gaming blog or my writing blog.  But this "writer's block / word block / whatever you wish to call it" seems to be affecting all aspects at this time.  For anyone reading, I will apologize ahead of time, as I had to force myself to write something in order to get the words going, but it seems extremely subpar.  Here's to hoping that my creativity will spark again soon, as I have several people waiting for my next chapter, and they're getting a bit impatient.

On that note, I should also pass along the warning that my bi-weekly (or sometimes tri-weekly) posts may go down to one a week soon.  My last year of college will begin on August 12th and the course load is heavier than normal.  If you see any strange posts concerning Calculus, Anthropology, Geology, or English, my brain was probably deep in study mode.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Crawling Out From Under the Rock: Rejection

I worked so hard and so long at this book, I'm afraid that everyone is going to hate it, and then I'm back where I started.

Sound familiar?  It does to me, because that was me some 4 or 5 years ago.  In the past few years, I've realized something.  (Despite hating this phrase, I have no choice but to use it for this time.)  You only live once.  That's right, Melanie Drake actually said YOLO.  You may mark your calendars because it's doubtful it will happen again.   The point is, there's no time to be afraid.  If your dream is to write, you need to reach out and grab it.  You're not going to get anywhere by being afraid.

 Listen closely here:  Rejection is a good thing.  Now repeat:  Rejection is a good thing.  Before you think I've gone completely nuts, just read for a moment.

  • Being rejected means that you have taken that first step towards your dream.
  • Being rejected means that you've gotten over that first step and have sent something in to be read. 
  • Being rejected means you're one step closer to being published.  
  • Being rejected will help you improve.

There are times when you'll get the simple form letter that states "We're sorry, but we're not interested, blah blah blah blah" and then there's times you'll get very helpful critics by the very people you're trying to get published by.  Shrug off that rejection, read through that submission again, see what you can improve on, and try again.

That first initial rejection may sting a little bit, but don't let it discourage you.  You've finally taken that step and it's all smooth sailing from here.

So, Mel, how do you know this?  Because four years ago, I was still trying to get up the nerve to submit a poem to a magazine when a very good friend took it out of my hands.  My poem was submitted AND accepted by the magazine.  At the time, I was nervous, excited, and (I'll admit) a little upset by what my friend had done, so I never signed the release form they had sent me.  My poem was not published, but it was still the thought that counts.  I've sent in a few other submissions to the same magazine, some that sent back a form letter, others that got a professional critic, but none that had received the automatic acceptance.  But thankfully, I had a friend to get me past that first worry over rejection.  Now, if I just had the time to go through all my old poems and polish them.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Free Writing: Sleepless Style

The thing I want the most
I cannot have
How I miss your warm embrace
And your comforting ways.

My dearest friend..
My nightly lover.
Protecting me from the darkness.
Sleep - how I miss you.
Today of all days.

We'll just call this my horrible attempt at poetry.  Today was my early day at work, which meant waking up at 7:30am.  Unfortunately, I woke up at 3:30 and the food from yesterday was demanding to come back up.  Needless to say, I didn't get back to sleep, and the above poem was my sleepy version of writing at 9am while at work.

While I wrote about excuses and calling myself out for not writing in a previous post, I do believe we are occasionally allowed sick days.  If anyone wants to call me out for it, I will happily take it under consideration.  For now, I will fight through the last 40 minutes of work and then go home and sleep.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pulling from the "Idea Cloud"

You know the scatterbrained, completely unorganized, always late, always in a rush, would forget their head if it wasn't attached to their body type of people?  Hi, I'm one of them.  With two major exceptions.  The first one is my guild vault on the wonderful World of Warcraft.  The second is with my writing.  World of Warcraft is due to the nagging of my guildmates *cough* all annoying, nagging, IRL family members *cough*  The writing is due to the fact that if I don't want to forget something, I need to write it down.

You are full of wonderful ideas.  When you first think of them, they're the best idea you've ever had.  They're so good, you start planning what you're going to buy with all the money you're going to earn when your book becomes a best seller and turns into an award winning movie.  Personally, I'm planning on a three bedroom cottage at the lake with a sun room surrounded by a flower garden.

Unfortunately, these ideas can suddenly become very overwhelming.  Ideas will pop out at you everyday and in the most random of scenarios.  My most recent favorite was while I was driving home from work and passed by a fire hydrant.  It was the first time I had noticed the hydrant in the 9 years I've worked at my job, and suddenly my mind was filled with ideas of ghosts moving objects and a woman obsessed with shoes.  Please don't ask.. that's just the way my brain works.

Sadly, I'm not able to churn out one book after another based on my weird ideas, so I have set up a method to help me.  I purchased a pack of multi-colored index cards and a index card holder.  Each color is related to something in the book.  In my case:

Green:  Characters
Orange: Plot Twist
Yellow:  Setting
White: Plot
Red: Dress Style

You get the picture.  It's also filed by sci-fi, fantasy, historical, etc..  Whenever I get stuck and need something, I'll go to my cards and pull something out.  This ensures that I keep my weird and random ideas for a future use and won't forget them.

That was a lot of words for one little idea, wasn't it?  At heart, I am forever a teller of stories..