Why I Write

on Monday, June 30, 2014
    Looking through my past blog posts, I realized I never really went into detail about why I write.  I've talked about what I hope to accomplish as an author, but I never said why I want to do all of that as an author rather than through some other career path.  

    When I was 12 I started to write down a dream I had because I thought it was an interesting dream and I wanted to know what happened at the end, and the easiest way I found to get to the end was to write it down and see where the story went.  Eventually I shared it with my friends and they encouraged me to keep writing it down because they wanted to know what would happen too.  After I filled two notebooks with the story, I realized it really wasn't that great of a storyline and I became bored with it.  I did actually write an ending for it even though I left off in the middle of the story.  My English teacher did an amazing job of encouraging me to do what I loved.  We would talk about books we enjoyed after school and she would recommend her favorites for me to read.  She encouraged my imagination in ways that I don't remember specifically, but I remember how I felt in her class.  I remember how much I loved doing her assignments and getting feedback on my writing.  I remember the poetry unit we did and how she told me my creativity and writing were astounding.  But most importantly I remember writing my story in my notebook in her classroom after finishing an assignment early and how for the first time I thought I could actually use my writing to do something with my life, and how she pulled me aside after watching me write so furiously to tell me I should think about becoming like the authors I admired so much.  I will always remember that classroom being the place where I suddenly knew who and what I wanted to be.

Writing Advice from Authors

on Saturday, June 28, 2014
    Because I felt I should do an extra post this week, I thought I'd share a collection of writing advice from famous authors.  It's a lot of advice from a lot of people, but hopefully you can find something to inspire you.  Words affect everyone differently, so some quotes will have more meaning to you than they have to me which is why I decided to share the whole thing instead of just a few quotes I found helpful.  

    This came from a BuzzFeed collection of writing advice found here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/writing-advice-from-famous-authors?sub=1715811_503730

Rose Ch. 10

    I know, I know.  Finally, right?  I'm sorry it took so long to write, but I wasn't sure what was going to happen in this chapter.  If there's anything I've learned as a writer, it's that I don't get to decide what happens.  Sometimes the book moves forward without me and I have to catch up to know what's going to happen.  I hope you enjoy it!

Almost forgot to include the updated French to English translations! Here you go!  http://alysonbowen.blogspot.com/2014/05/french-to-english-translations.html#.U6834BZcMpA


Chapter 10

Phillippe was infuriated with Vi.  The date they had the night before was the worst one yet.  She had left him in the restaurant humiliated and enraged.  He had wanted so badly to be understanding and friendly, but she had purposely set out to make him as upset as possible.  He was only certain of it because she had said so to his face before leaving with Jean.
Before that, she had told him how she wanted to avoid the winery business because it was a declining market and would inevitably fail, knowing just how much the family businesses meant to him and should mean to her.  When he tried to compliment her appearance, she just laughed in his face loud enough to bring all eyes in the restaurant to his flushed face.  Later when he was struggling to strike up a conversation with her, she just sat in her chair using her portable and ignored him until he finally asked her what she was trying to do.  It was that point she brought up how rude he had been at her fête by only talking to Dai and how hypocritical he was of her.  Then, she “accidentally” spilled her drink on him and left with her actual date, Jean.  When Hubert found out, he was enraged enough to confront Stéfan, and both men proceeded to argue until long after Phillipe had fallen asleep.

Free Write - Random Prompt

on Wednesday, June 25, 2014
    For today's blog post, I decided to try something different.  Last week I posted a bunch of ways to overcome The Block, and I posted a few fun writing prompts to help spark the word flow once more.  Thinking I would be a hypocrite if I gave the advice and didn't try it myself, I decided I would take two of my characters from Rose and insert them into a prompt to see if it would spark anything for me.  So I chose this prompt:

    Which brought up the line, "The woman rose from the chair and held out her hand."  I know.  This could go anywhere.  It's a daunting task, but I'm actually kind of excited to see what could happen.  That's the thing about free writes, even the writer doesn't know what is going to happen until it's written.  So here I go.

**I'm going to write more than 3 paragraphs because the dialogue is going to cut that scene extremely short**

    The woman rose from the chair and held out her hand.  "It's very nice to finally meet you, Rose.  I've seen how often you sit under that tree, and it has intrigued me.  You are not like others your age."
    Intimidated by the stranger's green eyes, Rose cautiously proceeded to shake her hand.  "It's very nice to meet you too, Mallorie.  I've never actually seen you here before, and I thought I knew everyone in Domfront.  I supposed that's because whenever I'm here, I'm distracted by whatever book I brought along."

My Favorite Writing Quotes

on Monday, June 23, 2014
    After spending a lot of time finding quotes to try and inspire the official name of my blog, I gathered a few of my favorite quotes about books and writing to share.  Hopefully these quotes can remind you why you wanted to be a writer like they did for me.

The Portal

on Saturday, June 21, 2014
    I apologize for my lack of posts this week.  For some reason I have been thrown out of my normal routine all week and it has made writing difficult.  To make up for missing a post this week, this post will be extra long, and I'll (try to) write an extra post for next week.  Because writing has been slow for me this week, I decided to post one of the short stories I wrote for the Creative Writing class I took last year.  It's one of my favorite stories.  It's based on my favorite computer game, Portal.  It's about 10 pages long (typed on the computer), and it's about 3,500 words.  Just to compare, a chapter of Rose is about 3-4 pages typed, and 1,500 words.  Hope it's not too long and boring!  I promise next week will be much more exciting.

The Portal

"We're going to get out of here.  Don't you ever doubt that."  I was adamant.
"How can you be so sure?"  Karli looked at me with those huge blue eyes, the doubt plain in her voice.
Don't get me wrong, she was the greatest little sister on the planet and I wouldn't trade her for any sort of freedom, but it was hard to stay determined when she doubted me.  The only thing that kept me trying was that she had never left me.  She trusted me enough to stay with me through anything.  Little did she know that she was the only reason I was still trying.  "You're doubting me again.  What did I tell you about that?"
"I'm sorry, Sammi. I trust you."  She looked away and started to pull her hair short brown back in a ponytail.  She acted like she did this to try and keep herself as tidy as possible while stuck here, but we both knew that she did it to give her hands something to do.  It was impossible to do anything to keep yourself clean, organized, or sane here.  This place was definitely starting to get to her.

Motivation and the Evil Block

on Tuesday, June 17, 2014
    One of the hardest things writers encounter are blocks.  Mental blocks make it incredibly hard for a writer to keep writing.  It's hard to say what causes a mental block because every writer is different.  Every writer has a different process.  My process consists of lots of research, hand writing a really rough draft while drinking Dr. Pepper, and finally typing up a less rough draft to get feedback on (thanks Husband of mine for finding my typos) and usually all this is done while listening to some movie scores (right now it's How To Train Your Dragon 1 & 2).  
    Every writer also has different fuel for writing.  Some write to overcome emotional disorders.  Others write because the creative flow is so overpowering they can't not write or create in another way.  It can also be a combination of the two.  
    Whatever it is about different writers, we all have something in common.  We all struggle.  How do we get motivated when we feel absolutely no motivation?  How do we get motivated to get motivated?  
    Because every writer is so unique, there isn't one solution to that problem.  Sometimes we can get motivated just by trying parts of our routine, i.e. drinking Dr. Pepper and listening to movie scores.  But sometimes that isn't enough to get our thought flowing down to our fingers and onto the page.  Sometimes we need more of a push.  
    There are many ways to get out of a block, so here are just a few ways to respark the creativity in the mind.

Rose Ch. 9

on Saturday, June 14, 2014
Phillippe celebrates Toussant with Dai and Vi, while Rose gets to know Dahlia more and Florian stops by for a visit.

As always, here is the link to the updated French to English translations: http://alysonbowen.blogspot.com/2014/05/french-to-english-translations.html#.U50j3hZcMpD


Chapter 9

As a new month dawned, the change in season was completed.  The vineyards seemed to have a beautiful orange and yellow glow to them that matched the chrysanthemums they carried as they walked to the family cemetery for Toussaint.
The morning had been just as awkward as Phillippe had expected.  He hadn’t encountered either De La Fontaine sister since he left Vi’s birthday party.  When he arrived, Dai was sitting and painting in her usual window seat tucked behind the giant spiral staircase that took up half of the sitting room, while Vi was nowhere to be seen.  He watched Dai’s brush strokes in quiet awe until she put down her brush and wiped her hands clean.  “It looks très belle.”  He finally broke the silence that had been echoing off the stone walls.

One month

on Friday, June 13, 2014
    One month ago I started this blog to focus my mind on my writing.  Prior to starting this blog, I was writing a story, and as I would try to fit writing into my life, I ended up writing about a chapter every month.  Well, this month I have actually written 10 chapters of Rose.  I have posted 8, one hasn't been typed up yet, and one was written out of order so I could sort out some legal issues (spoilers: Looks like Rose and Phillippe are heading to Parc Disneyland soon!  I am so excited).
    Also, I hit another landmark in my writing today.  I have officially handwritten over 100 pages in the past month.  I am so astounded at how fast I hit that mark.  I have never been so motivated to write in my entire life.  This has been an overwhelming month.

Rose Ch. 8

on Wednesday, June 11, 2014
This chapter was especially fun to write because I got to introduce a new character, Dahlia Germain.  Although her personality is very different from Rose's, they will eventually find they have more in common than they originally realized.  While she does play an important role in Rose's story, she has her own story that will be told eventually.  Any guesses as to who she might be?

French to English Translations :


Chapter 8

The morning had gotten off to a rough start for Rose.  She had slept in and gotten a late start to shopping, limiting her grocery selection au marché.  On top of the numerous changes to her shopping list, she was having a terrible hair day and ended up pulling her hair back into a ponytail, but her bangs kept falling into her eyes.  Despite all her frustration, she was determined to keep a positive outlook for the rest of the day.  After stopping à la fromagerie and having to make yet another switch on her list, she headed to Remy’s to put a smile back on her face.

Rose Ch. 7

on Monday, June 9, 2014
I apologize for how long it took to post this chapter.  My arm is finally better and I am able to write again!  Yay!  So this chapter is Vi's actual birthday, but it's what Phillippe thinks of everything.  Enjoy!

Oh, and as promised, here is the link to the updated French to English translations. http://alysonbowen.blogspot.com/2014/05/french-to-english-translations.html#.U5YboBZcMpA


Chapter 7

He felt his head pounding along with the ridiculously loud bass that was blasting throughout the entire De La Fontaine mansion.  Vi had gone all out for her birthday.  Loud music, flashing lights, and alcohol abounded as frequently as the drunk jeunes he had never met before and wondered if Vi actually could name all these people.  After watching her down another shot of Glann ar Mor whiskey, he realized she probably didn’t even know her own name.
The party had only been going on for an hour and Phillippe was ready to go home.  He had to stay for at least another hour to satisfy his father, or more likely lessen the severity of the lecture he had surely planned.  It would not go over well when his father found out that Vi had refused to even acknowledge his presence.  Surrounded constantly by a wall of people, she danced away.  Tired of watching the drunk dancing, he crept out the back door onto the veranda for some air that didn’t reek of alcohol.
“Phillippe, I didn’t realize you were still here.”  Dai was seated on une chaise, overlooking the vineyard.

Writer's Sketchbook 4

on Wednesday, June 4, 2014
    Still being contained to typing, I was not able to finish the next chapter tonight.  Instead, I started my character sketch on the next most important character in the story, Daisi De La Fontaine.  While minor, she still plays an important role in the book and I felt bad that she was excluded.  Plus, she is probably my favorite character in the book.

-fears: bugs, confrontation, being unwanted or disliked, emotional pain
-constantly perky
-always smiling & giggling
-genuinely kind

Writing is My Life

on Tuesday, June 3, 2014
    So I was planning on having the next chapter written and posted by the end of the day today, but then something unexpected (and totally accidental) happened that is preventing me from getting the chapter written (thanks a bunch, wonderful husband of mine).  I have tried to write the chapter, but physical pain in my arm is preventing that.  It's also making it incredibly hard to just type this post.  
    Anyway, not being able to write has caused me to think about what I would do if I was no longer able to write, like if I lost my hand or something.  My first thought was that I would be inventing a way for me to write because for me writing is like breathing.  It is a necessary thing for me to do to continue living (at least living a sane life).  That led me to think of how important writing is to me.  It is such an integral part of who I am.

Writer's Sketchbook 3

on Monday, June 2, 2014
Over the weekend I discovered that one character is growing more and more important in the overall plot of the story, and I decided that it was increasingly more important for me to do a character sketch of her in order to aid me in my writing.  This is going to be a fun character to write about because the reader has a love-hate relationship with her because her personality is so torn and twisted.  So here I present, Violette De La Fontaine.

-fears: being alone, rejection, intimacy
-confident with a disinterested air
-resounding laugh
-easily irritated and offended