The Up-to-No-Goods

chibi storyThey say creative people work better at night. I’m proving that true today since it’s 2:45 AM as I write this! I’ve accomplished more in the past three hours than I have three days. Yay!

As you may know, I have been pursuing discipline of late. You can find posts on that here, here, and here. Since setting daily goals hasn’t worked yet, I’m going to try something else. I’m going to illustrate a short story, or vignettes involving these two characters—Sally and Kenny. “Writing and illustrating?!” you say. Yep! It’s a double whammy to get the creative juices flowing. I hope you enjoy my illustrations. I’m not at all an artist!

Let me introduce the characters.

Sally—a precocious 8-year-old—always finds herself getting into mischief with her neighbor friend Kenny. Kenny is the level-headed one, but often his well-meaning efforts wind up getting him into trouble when Sally comes knocking. What shenanigans will these two find themselves in? Will they manage to convince everyone that they really aren’t up-to-no-good?

Stay tuned!

If only I were Preston Sturges…

mv5bnju1ndiyndg4nf5bml5banbnxkftztywmjk2mji2-_v1_sy317_cr170214317_Preston Sturges was a playwright, screenwriter, and film director during the 30s, 40s, and early 50s. Some of his notable, and might I say hilarious, films are Sullivan’s Travels, The Lady Eve, and The Palm Beach Story. If you haven’t seen them or any of his others, you have to. I love them. I laugh so much my stomach aches and tears trickle out the sides of my eyes. The most fascinating thing about Sturges, though, especially for us writer folk, is that he wrote fast, and he wrote well. He wrote a play, Strictly Dishonorable, in 6 days. That play went on to make him over $300,000. I heard a story that he wrote it to spite an ex-girlfriend who claimed she could write a better play than him. Hers flopped. And, well, if his profits are anything to judge by, his was anything but a flop.

If I were Preston Sturges, I would be able to crank out my novels in a couple of months instead of several years. If I were Preston Sturges, people would laugh so hard they’d cry when they read my jokes. If I were Preston Sturges, I wouldn’t feel so disappointed in my writing accomplishments for the past year.

Problem is I’m not. I’m not Preston Sturges. I’m Maya, a woman who wants to be a writer but can’t stick her butt in a chair long enough to do it. But you know, that’s ok. We can’t all be Preston Sturges. Sometimes, the world needs a little bit of hardworking-a-lot-of-the-time-discipline-lacking-kicking-themselves-in-the-butt people. We’ve all heard that it takes all kinds to make a world. I’m sure the writing world is no different. So I guess what I’m saying is I’m going to show the world just what I’m capable of. It may take me a while to get there, and I might cry out of frustration when I think of what I haven’t accomplished yet. But yet, is not never, as long as I don’t give up.

Just you wait, Mr. Sturges. I’ll get there eventually. Happy writing!

P.S. Hope I remember this tomorrow!

Discipline Week 1 Results

Well, that didn’t work.

Week 1 Goals and Results:

1) Write 100 words a day of one of my novels/stories—2 of 7 days

2) Read one chapter of a book every day—0 of 7 days

3) PUT THE STUPID LAUNDRY AWAY!—got it done the first day!

4) Write a letter/email to one friend—um, no

As you can see, I’m still not disciplined, so that stinks. I did, however, manage to reseal the driveway, spray paint two chairs and a table, paint the deck twice (didn’t like the first color!), and stain two chairs, a table and a bench. That’s something, just not writing something…

With any luck, this week will be better. No, it’s not luck. It’s discipline!

Discipline Goals: Week 1 Day 2

Today was a little harder to buckle down and write. Even though I wrote about 100 words more than yesterday, I had much more difficulty getting it out. I’m going to blame it on having a soccer game on at the same time, instead of zoning out with music through my headphones! It’s not at all because I lack discipline. That’s just silly.

I grunted as the rope burned my skin, rubbing it raw. A sharp pain shot from my hands and up my arms as a blister burst open. But the veil was almost up. I could see the end. The mist climbed faster and faster, creating more and more hands and feet. It was on the castle walls now. If it got in…if it got to the bell tower, I was doomed. I bit down and pulled and heard John’s muffled grunt beside me. We were almost there. A few more tugs and then…the rope began to slip through my hands, slick with blood and pus. With all my strength, I gripped the thick threads of the rope, willing it to stay between my hands. I couldn’t let it fall. Not now when we were so close. The mist was at the floor below. Every hair on my body stood. It was coming. It was here.

Happy writing!

Discipline Goals: Week 1 Day 1

I’ve started Week 1 of my Discipline Goals. To hold myself accountable, I’ll post at least 100 of the words I write for each day. I’ve written about 150 today, but I’m not getting cocky. AND it doesn’t mean I only have to write 50 tomorrow. Otherwise, my discipline wouldn’t improve whatsoever. Here’s some of what I wrote:

I took my spot next to him and grabbed hold of the rope. “It’s a good day to die.”

Always!” John roared over the crash of thunder.

We pulled the rope relentlessly, feeling the seconds zip by. It was now or never. If we didn’t get the veil up completely, I really would be dead. That happened a few times before I caught on to this mist thing. My parents had neglected to inform me of the curse before they died. What good is inheriting all this money and a crown when I’m supposed to die every other Tuesday? Not much if you ask me.

Happy writing!

On Discipline

There was a time when I was very disciplined in everything I did. I wrote until I cranked out 750 words every day. I read book after book and managed to get any other work I had to do done. But it’s been roughly four years since I’ve been able to do that. I have no good reason for it. Somewhere along the way I lost it through no one or nothing’s fault but my own.

I want that discipline back. I remember how much more productive I was, and I look at my life now and can’t see how I get anything done at all. I want to write 750+ words a day. I want to read a book a week (at least). I want to meet friends for coffee and see how their day is going. I want to write emails and letters to those far away. I want to relax with my family knowing everything I need to do has been finished.

I don’t want this lingering feeling of guilt that I haven’t written or revised a manuscript in days, weeks, months. I don’t want to doubt myself so much when I write that I never do it. I don’t want to worry about how my place is a mess because I just can’t be bothered to put the laundry away or finish the dishes.

I don’t want to be disappointed in myself.

The only way to do that is to try, so I will try. But let’s put some realistic goals here. Gotta ease my way in, you know?

Week 1 Goals:

1) Write 100 words a day of one of my novels/stories

2) Read one chapter of a book every day

3) PUT THE STUPID LAUNDRY AWAY!

4) Write a letter/email to one friend (If you want to be that friend, let me know!)

These are totally easy to achieve. There’s no way I can fail. Right?

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!