Creativity Abandoned My Writing and Other Adventures

etsy-bannerAs I’ve been cleaning out boxes that have gathered dust in my basement, one thing is clear—I’ve been writing since I was about seven. That’s quite a long time. No, I won’t tell you the exact length. You shouldn’t ask a girl her age! Take it from me. It’s somewhere between ten and thirty years. Despite all of this writing, my interests have taken other paths, meandering here and there, poking their heads in holes that probably would have been better left alone. The one constant I always come back to is writing. The past two months, however, I’ve abandoned it, as I mentioned yesterday. Perhaps it’s not so much an abandonment as it is a redirection. For over a year, I’ve been toying with the idea of starting my own business.

“What business, Maya? Oh pleeease tell me so I can support you!” Woah, there, guys. Your excitement sent me flying into a wall. Let me dust myself off.

Drum roll, please. *imagine military-style*

STATIONERY! Wow, you guys are so great, but please hold the applause. The name, which came about after a brainstorming session in a Cracker Barrel with my family, is Puckish Propensities Press. And yes, I do have different email addresses named after faeries from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Is anyone really surprised? I’m a huge lit nerd after all.)

My aim for Puckish Propensities Press (P^3 or P Cubed for my peeps, that’s you guys!) is to spread smiles. Sounds cheesy, right? Now, hear me out. There is a ton of hatred and anger in this world. Way too much. I rather think it’s so easy to be bogged down by it and forget about the simple things in life, and the happy things that we all end up running around screaming “foul” and never finding peace. I like peace. I like happiness. I like smiling and laughing. So, I want to remind people of that. There’s also the added benefit of bringing back the tradition of written letters/cards. In my opinion, the digital age has separated us emotionally while also making it easier to connect with others, and that’s a shame. I want people, including myself, to reach out to my loved ones with more than a text message or a “like” on Facebook. Relationships and friendships are more than that.

Without further ado, here’s Puckish Propensities Press! Take a look around and see where my creativity went when it abandoned my writing. All cards are designed and drawn by yours truly. The jokes, good or bad, are also mine. I would love your feedback, so drop me a line here in the comments or in an email. (I do see the irony in that.) I’m working on my website so for now I sell only through Etsy. I’m also trying to figure out a cheaper form of shipment overseas because right now it’s insane, y’all.

Thanks for taking a look! Happy smiling and writing!

P.S. You guys are troopers for letting me blatantly advertise my business!

P.P.S. I really do accept comments, suggestions, and questions!

5 Ways Winter Tries to Kill Your Creativity

5-ways-winter-tries-tokill-your-creativity

I’m approaching this blog post, the first after a two-month sabbatical (??!!!), a little differently. I think my two-month sabbatical is pretty informative as to why I titled this the way I did.

1) Holidays

Holidays. We love them, usually. We see family we haven’t seen in a while, and OHMYGOSHPRESENTS!, but after the copious amounts of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and alcohol (should you partake), we all would rather drop into a nice, long hibernation a la brown bears. Do you know what that does for your creativity? Sucks itdry like a grape exposed to the heat from Mordor’s fire.* “There’s always tomorrow,” you say. “Well, I do have to wake up early,” you refute. It all turns into never if you’re not careful. I wasn’t careful.

2) The Blood Curdling Cold

Should you be blessed with warm weather 24/7, 365 days a year, kindly skip on to number 3. There’s no room for you here. You wouldn’t appreciate it. Anyone else wake up with their feet cold to the touch despite two pairs of socks and two comforters? When that happens, I prefer slipping into my dad’s house slippers, which I appropriated a year ago for that sole purpose, and drinking a piping hot mug of green tea as I binge-watch Friends. Under a blanket, of course. Creativity is in fact not found that day or any of those days the weather isn’t above 32 Fahrenheit. I’m not asking for much. Just enough, you know, to keep water liquid.

3) The Dark

I mean what is that?? It gets dark, pitch-black sort of dark, by 4:30 here. Second that sun goes down if you’re not already at it, you’re not going to be. If you’re anyhing like me, the sun goes down and you’re heading for bed. OR at the very least, yawning and commenting about how tired you are. I’m in my early thirties, and I’m convinced some octogenarians have way more stamina than me in the winter.

I bet you thought I’d actually give 5 reasons, but I can’t. Winter killed my creativity a long time ago. I’m hoping to get my mojo back by May. May sounds like a good time to be creative. Let me know how you keep winter from killing your creativity in the comments!

*I’m working hard on my descriptions today! That’s my creativity focus for the winter. How am I doin’?

NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 27

free-5This is going to be short. I have no excuses to give you or myself, and I wouldn’t offend either of us by dabbling in the more-than-dubious nature of lying. Last week, I changed my goal to 20,000 since 50,000 was beyond impossible. It’s pretty obvious that 20,000 is impossible, too. Still having not broken 10,000, one would think I’d give up. But one would be wrong. I choose to scribble as much and as fast as I can to do those final 10,500ish words. Three days…I’ve had worse.

Happy writing!

P.S. I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving and are gearing up for Christmas! I still have an announcement to make, which should be coming within a week. It would behoove me not to give a time-frame knowing that I’ve been experiencing setback after setback with it. Oh well!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 21

free-4There are moments in our lives where we have to face the facts. The writing is on the wall. There’s no denying it. This is one of those moments for me. I hate to say it (if you have a sibling, you know what I mean), but my brother was right. I cannot finish NaNoWriMo this year, and I know that in the bottom (way, way down in there) of your deep, caring hearts, you’re shedding a tear for me. I tried to convince myself it was still possible, but the writing was definitely on the wall in neon lights and flashing in seizure-inducing fashion. With 10 days left, I haven’t even broken 10,000. *insert longest, saddest, most morose sigh you can imagine here*

Lessons Learned

Lesson 1: I shouldn’t attempt to write 50,000 words in a month in which I’m traveling multiple times between states, having a friend visit, and eating vast amount of food with family for a holiday.

Lesson 2: 83.69214% of YA novels feature a girl who just cannot get over how incredibly gorgeous the mysterious boy is and OHMIGOSH DID YOU SEE HIS LIPS?! Therefore, I shall write a heroine who is completely the opposite—knows exactly what she wants and isn’t afraid to say it, while still being classy and polite.

Lesson 3: Choosing to steep my story in the Korean shamanism culture of yore, should only be done when not writing 50,000 words in one month, especially when wimg_20161118_1333055e haven’t learned Lesson 1 yet.

Lesson 4: I turn off the inner-critic when writing on my phone.

Lesson 5: I get a lot of inspiration from photos taken with the “inverse” function on my phone, aka. negatives. Here’s one for your pleasure.

Lesson 6: I take immense pleasure in turning my guest bedroom into a B&B, replete with chocolate mints on the pillow, a welcome note, and color-coordinated toiletries.

My friend visited this past weekend and gave me my birthday present while here. It included an HP coloring book, colored pencils, and a writer’s emergency kit (ideas, characters etc)! She and I also saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I’m not saying that was why she visited in the first place…

I hope my new goal of 20,000 words is doable. I shall try as best I can. I’m even hoping they’ll be decent words since I’m not shoveling out 1667 a day. Happy writing!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 14

free-3This is going to be short because I am thoroughly embarrassed. I didn’t write at all Friday, and then my numbers for Saturday and Sunday only amounted to a total of about 300 words. So, that happened. Do you know what this means? It means I will be failing this year, especially considering I have a friend visiting for three days and before that am painting my entire house (pretty much). I mean…

I did discover something new, though! I always have trouble come NaNo time because I can’t STOP thinking about my sentences. In a last ditch effort (read: too lazy to find my computer) to get some writing done last night, I used my phone. I opened up my Docs-to-go app and wound up writing 150ish words nonstop. That was kind of like telling a kid he can eat all the ice cream he wants WHILE skipping school—it was that fantastically brilliant for me. I’d never written that much that fast. So, here’s my theory. I write faster via phone because my brain automatically assumes it’s a text message. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think about my messages to friends nearly as much as I do constructing sentences for my novels. Maybe I should forget the computer, pen and paper, and do it on my phone?! Until I end up with painful fingers and a drained battery…

NaNoWriMo Days 11-14: A sad reckoning

Day 11: Making product samples + anything but writing apparently

Day 12: Designing new products + writing (214)

Day 13: Driving from Columbus to Nashville + writing (286)

Day 14: Painting + ?

(I do realize I travel a lot. It’s kind of annoying.)

nanoLook at my screenshot for my novel. Doesn’t that look intimidating? If you can’t read it, it says 2,523 words per day to finish. I’ve pretty much given up so fun times.

Happy writing!

P.S. I haven’t written today. Maybe I actually will. Take that NaNoWriMo!

P.P.S. I have an announcement to make whenever I manage to get around to it.

NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 10

free-2The last three days have not been as productive as I’d have liked. Compared to last year, I’m about 1,800 words behind. If you don’t remember, I had to scramble and write 12,000 words in two days. I did, but it was awful. So awful, I was pretty sure my brain died a little. If I don’t step it up a notch, this year will be even worse. Here’s my reckoning for the past four days.

NaNoWriMo Days 7-10

Day 7: 751 words

Day 8: Driving from Nashville to Columbus + voting + writing (303)

Day 9: Trying not to lose it with all of the hate after the election + writing (1,316)

Day 10: Actually losing it and deactivating Facebook + writing (1,250 and counting)

I’m hoping that the rest of the day goes better, and I can get out at least 2,000 words. I keep getting chastised by NaNo’s website. It says I have to write 2,066 words a day to finish. I can hardly write 1,000, so I don’t know how 2,000 is going to happen. Here’s what I discovered my problem is—I’m thinking too much. I haven’t gotten to the point where I can simply word vomit whatever I want. I try to make pleasing sounding sentences, and work on not using cliches, although those are still running rampant. I had this problem last year, too.

I learned a lesson this week, as well: Stop trying to boost people’s spirits when they clearly would rather wallow in self-pity. I have been trying for months to get people to stop being so negative, and think about all of the really great things they have going on in their lives. It’s not working. I would never presume to tell people they can’t be mad. My only goal is to show that kindness goes a long, long way to seeing change and happiness. With that in mind, my Facebook posts have only been jokes, amusing anecdotes, or words of encouragement, to combat the negativity. This has, however, taken its toll on me because it seems hopeless. In an attempt to regain my own peace and balance in life, I’ve called it quits on social media for a while. I actually had a friend lament the fact that I was leaving because I was the only happy thing on her newsfeed. I guess that means I was making some progress?

Sorry, didn’t mean to get all political and serious! How’s you’re writing going? Anyone want to write the rest for me? Pretty please with cherries on top??

SALTNPAPER’s “Bye, Autumn”

I have an uncanny knack for procrastinating with my NaNoWriMo novel, and it just so happens that today’s method was a K-drama. This song came on while watching Jealousy Incarnate, and I’m now in a funk of melancholy. It’s too bad I haven’t gotten to the sad part of my NaNo novel to use this as inspiration. I thought I’d share it with you, not because I want you to be melancholy, too, (even if misery loves company), but I think it deserves attention. I, personally, have a few things weighing on me, and I find that tapping into the wistfulness through music can be therapeutic.

I’m really going to write now. If I can stop replaying this song, that is.