A Novel Idea: 7/5/2016

As a writer, keeping inspiration going from week to week can be tough. My friend, Kylie and I, want to change that. The point of A Novel Idea is to get your writing juices flowing even when you don’t feel like writing. We also want it to help you dig deeper into what writing looks like for you and let you share it with the world. We’ll be posting installments weekly, all focused on four things: characters, your novel, you writing process, and writing prompts. Follow the weekly guidelines and post it on your blog, then link up with us! We’d love to hear from you each week.

af9fb672-6a8f-49fc-b3c2-2cf0d32564bd

Tell us about one of your first stories. When did you start writing it, and why? Do you remember the characters’ names? Are you still writing it? If not, do you think you’ll ever rewrite it? What did you learn while writing it?

 

Wine A Little

af9fb672-6a8f-49fc-b3c2-2cf0d32564bd

This week’s prompt is:

This week, we want to challenge you to write a scene about the following photo. Anything goes, as long as it relates to the picture in some way. Let your imagination run wild–we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

13480042_796682797099731_506954854_n

*******************************************************************************************************

Blind dates. You know, I gave them up a year ago when I was setup with a guy that’s favorite thing to do was talk about how much his ex-girlfriend was still in love with him because he was “the bomb diggity.” I don’t even want to know what that means. 

So, why I am, Maggie Sterling, going on a blind date? Maybe it’s because I’ve hit desperation status. I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I don’t know if there’s any other way. I mean, seriously. I’m not getting any younger. And plus, I think I can trust my best friend, Erica, to set me up…right? 

I’m standing outside the fancy restaurant wearing a dress that hugs my hips, but doesn’t reveal more than it should.

And then, I see him. Or at least, who I hope is him.

Dark, brown hair, blue eyes that I notice from even ten feet away. He’s wearing a pair of slacks and a button down shirt, and a smile that says, “I’m a nice dude.” Phew. Okay, maybe this won’t be so bad. 

And then, he stops in front of me. “You Maggie?” 

I nod slowly. For some reason, my tongue is tied. “Yeah.” One word. Better than none. 

“I’m Mike.” He holds out his hand toward me, and I take it after looking at it stupidly for probably a good ten seconds. 

Earth to Maggie – we never get nervous. “Nice to meet you.” 

An hour later, we’ve finished our meal of chicken Parmesan, and now we’re conversing over a couple glasses of red wine. It’s been a good date, where blind dates are concerned. Mike seems like a nice guy. Do I think it’ll go anywhere? Who knows. 

“So, Maggie, tell me why you wanted to come on this blind date with me.” 

I smile despite myself. “Well, Erica practically made me.” I hold up my wine glass. “Plus, I knew there’d be wine. And I never say ‘no’ to a good glass of sweet red.” 

A Novel Idea: 06/28/2016

As a writer, keeping inspiration going from week to week can be tough. We want to change that. The point of A Novel Idea is to get your writing juices flowing even when you don’t feel like writing. We also want it to help you dig deeper into what writing looks like for you and let you share it with the world. We’ll be posting installments weekly, all focused on four things: characters, your novel, you writing process, and writing prompts. Follow the weekly guidelines and post it on your blog, then link up with us! We’d love to hear from you each week.

af9fb672-6a8f-49fc-b3c2-2cf0d32564bd

This week, we want to challenge you to write a scene about the following photo. Anything goes, as long as it relates to the picture in some way. Let your imagination run wild–we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

13480042_796682797099731_506954854_n

Two people, only their hands visible, sit at a table drinking wine and having a conversation.

My Brother, My Friend

12534628_532098266966541_340399645_n

My brother, Ian, and I are 12 and 1/2 years apart in age. Which means that we are in such different places in our lives that we don’t always get along or understand each other. 

Some people might wonder why my parents had their kids so far apart in age. My sister, Gracie, is 6 and a 1/2 years younger than me, and is almost 6 years older than Ian. 

The short answer is: it wasn’t their plan.  It was never the plan. But it worked out for the best. While I don’t always get along with either of them and we fight and bicker and say things we shouldn’t to each other, they’re still my siblings and I love them dearly – and would do anything for them.

1467309_10206005822574369_7303389722255799463_n

But…Ian and I….we have a special bond. We’re more than just siblings – we’re friends. I love him more than life itself, and he makes my day a little brighter when I see him.

I think there’s a bunch of reasons for this…

  1. This kid…he always is smiling. It takes a lot to get him down. He plays soccer and smiles the whole time he’s running the field. He never stops. He’s the happiest kid I know. 
  2. He says “I love you”, all the time. And if I say, “I love you more”, he says, “No, I love YOU more.” 
  3. He makes me laugh. Ian will say the craziest things about the dumbest stuff, but it always makes me laugh. I can’t go a day without laughing about something silly he says. 
  4. He sings. All. The. Time. To be honest, it gets super, duper annoying. WAY annoying. But, we hold that bond. We both love to sing. And sometimes, at the right times, we sing together. Someday, I’m going to do special music with this kid at church! 

Ian and I, we hold a special bond. He came home from Vietnam when I was 13. I was like a second Mom to him. I changed diapers, got him dressed, held him all the time, carried him on my hip wherever I went.

b5c9366d-022f-40f8-adcc-53b6810b546e

He’s not only my brother, but he’s my friend. 

I don’t know what I’d do without him. He makes my day a little bright, and my heart a little bigger. He makes me realize – just a little bit – what it will be like to be a mom someday. 

13381209_260718740985708_1084422885_n

And if my future sons (or daughters) are anything like him…that’ll be okay. 🙂 

Keep on keepin’ on, little bro. I love you.

A Novel Idea: Been There All Along

This week’s prompt is: What would the back cover of your novel say? Try to make it as intriguing as possible. Remember, this is all readers have when trying to decide if they’re going to read your book or not. Do the best you can to convince a hypothetical reader to pick up your book.

af9fb672-6a8f-49fc-b3c2-2cf0d32564bd

Poppy Spencer has dreamed of her wedding day since she was just a little girl. Beautiful, white dress, pretty flowers, a handsome groom who loved her more than anything. What she didn’t expect was that her boyfriend would be dragging his feet, brushing off the idea of marriage at every chance he got. 

Enter Ty Mellaney, Poppy’s best friend and confidant, who has been in love with Poppy since they were in high school. Only problem is, he can’t have her. After joining the Army to get away from his feelings, Ty and Poppy are separated for the first time in years, something neither of them are used to.

Will Poppy choose the guy she’s been with for three years – the one she’s in love with, and pictured herself having a future with? Or will she choose the one that’s been there all along?

A Novel Idea: 06/21/2016

As a writer, keeping inspiration going from week to week can be tough. We want to change that. The point of A Novel Idea is to get your writing juices flowing even when you don’t feel like writing. We also want it to help you dig deeper into what writing looks like for you and let you share it with the world. We’ll be posting installments weekly, all focused on four things: characters, your novel, you writing process, and writing prompts. Follow the weekly guidelines and post it on your blog, then link up with us! We’d love to hear from you each week.

af9fb672-6a8f-49fc-b3c2-2cf0d32564bd

This week’s prompt is: What would the back cover of your novel say? Try to make it as intriguing as possible. Remember, this is all readers have when trying to decide if they’re going to read your book or not. Do the best you can to convince a hypothetical reader to pick up your book.

Don’t Put Them on a Pedestal…

…they’ll only fall.

Seamless chevron pattern in light pastel colors

It’s been one of those days. Weeks. Months. Where everything you read about in the news or on social media is depressing. You can’t get away from it, no matter how hard you try. One of my friends even went so far as to delete the Facebook app from her phone because all she was seeing were sad news updates. 

And along with sad news update you may see in the headlines:

Nick Jonas talks about his sex fetishes.

I’m not one to talk a lot about sex, so this is a new kind-of post for me. BUT. I was obsessed with this man. There was a time I thought I was going to marry him. 

When I was 13 years old, this guy was in a good, Christian home. His dad was a pastor at an Assemblies of God church, he wore a purity ring, the Jonas Brothers never swore or used innuendos in their songs.

I mean, Nick Jonas had it all together. 

And then…Fame. And maybe it wasn’t just that girls put him and his brothers up on a pedestal. Maybe it’s not just that. It could be that he wasn’t grounded in his faith, or that he just didn’t care anymore – that he was looking for something to run to while running away from the best thing he had. 

But the truth is…I’m sad. I’m sad that this guy I once idolized is at this point in his life. I’m not one to judge his “walk with Christ”, but I am here to tell you that as Christians, we are to prove that we are. Our actions tell others that we are different. Not what comes out of our mouths (although, obviously, what has been coming out of his mouth isn’t all that great, either). 

Nick’s new CD came out about a week ago. More than half the songs are explicit, meaning that they have the “F” word in them. I can’t imagine going from this young kid that was recording Christian songs (Check out the Nick Jonas: self-titled CD, it’s AWESOME), to recording songs like this.

It makes me sad. It makes me hurt. It makes me wonder if there’s something that could have been done to stop this. 

People walk away from their faith, but this guy? This one that I was SURE wouldn’t? 

We need to stop putting PEOPLE up on pedestals. They’re going to fall. They’re going to crash and burn because we put them in a place they’re not meant to be. There are people grounded in there faith that ARE in Hollywood. (ie: Candace & Kirk Cameron), but it’s rare. And I’m so proud of them. 

I pray someday that Nick will turn his eyes back to the one thing in his life that was a constant – to the only One who can save him from this world. 

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. ~John 15:19

Just a Quick Update

1-1234699141PRLF

I don’t post a lot. I know. I’m sorry. I have really good intentions most of the time. But then, other things take priority over posting on my blog. Like…work, family, reading, writing…etc. Everything, it seems. 

But I thought I’d take the time to offer a quick update – let you know what’s going on in my life, since a lot has changed in the last 6 months.

  1. I started school in early January. 
  2. I quit school in the end of January. I still get asked, “how’s school going?”, even when I quit almost 6 months ago. It was a lot of work. It’s not that I didn’t like it. I did. But with working practically full time (38 hours a week), trying to do school full time, and other random things that would pop up, I had no time for anything. I’m not saying I’ll never go back, but I’d find a different college. (Central Penn was not for me!) 
  3. I’m still working as a receptionist/aide at CPRS Physical Therapy. I love my job. If I can’t spend my life being a PTA, at least I get to work at a PT clinic and help in my own way. 
    photo
  4. I have joined the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. I was placed with a little sister that lives about 10 minutes away from me. So far, we’ve gone to the library a few times (my kinda girl – loves to read), out for ice cream, and this week, we’re planning to go see TMNT at the movie theater! I’m really enjoying it so far! 
  5. If you haven’t noticed, my friend Sky, and I have restarted up A Novel Idea. It’s a weekly blog linkup for writers. Each Tuesday, we’ll post a new writing prompt, character question, or novel question, and you will post a blog post with your answer. If you’re a writer, be sure to check it out! It’s going to be lots of fun. Promise!!
    af9fb672-6a8f-49fc-b3c2-2cf0d32564bd
  6. I’m going to try to start posting more, but there’s absolutely NO guarantee. I haven’t had a lot of blogging inspiration lately…I feel kind-of dry. 

So. There ya have it. A quick update. If I have any faithful readers – I thank you. I appreciate you stopping in every now and then and seeing what I’m up to.

Take care, and I’ll be back on Tuesday with another A Novel Idea!

A Novel Idea: Meet Ty

This week we are asking you to describe your character without using a picture. What do they look like? What do they wear? What is their personality like? Help us get to know your character without using any pictures at all!

af9fb672-6a8f-49fc-b3c2-2cf0d32564bd

I have so many characters that are near and dear to my heart. Unfortunately, I haven’t been writing much lately (hence when Kylie and I decided to start A Novel Idea back up), so I couldn’t decide who to describe without using a picture! I mean…where do I even begin? 

So, Kylie and I talked about it, and decided we’d both introduce you to characters that we’ve developed together. Years ago, Kylie and I started writing together. We went through a time when we didn’t, but have since gotten back into it. And thus, Ty Mellaney and Poppy Spencer were born.

Head on over to Kylie’s blog sometime in the next week to be introduced to Poppy. Today, I’m going to share about Ty.

Full name: Ty Andrew Mellaney
Age:
25
What He Looks Like:
Dark, brown hair, cut short. Sometimes he wear scruff on his face, sometimes he shaves it off – depends on how he’s feeling. He’s about 5’10” and 150 pounds. He smiles a lot. His smile is rather small, and he’s got perfectly shaped teeth. Small dimples can appear sometimes when he laughs.
What He Wears:
Mostly jeans, t-shirts and hoodies. Ty goes for comfort, no matter what. He sometimes rolls around on the floor with his little brother and sister, so he prefers comfort over style. 
Personality:
Ty is the most kind-hearted, loving person you’ll ever meet. He’ll do anything for anybody. He doesn’t get mad often, but if you hurt someone he loves, he’ll go crazy on you and won’t let you get away with crap. He laughs and smiles a lot, despite his difficult past. He will listen while you talk (especially if your name happens to be Poppy Spencer). He’s got a temper that will flair up sometimes, but he tries to keep it under control as best he can. 
Back-story:
Ty grew up in a home where his mom and dad fought constantly. His dad was an alcoholic and abusive to both of them. Ty remembers a lot – his dad hitting his mom, his dad yelling at him when his grades weren’t perfect. Ty’s dad died when he was fourteen. He felt relief after that – like everything would be okay. It did get better. His mom remarried when he was 19 – to a guy that actually cared about and loved her. And Ty got two siblings – a brother, Trent and a sister, Mollie. Ty met Poppy when he was about 11 years old, and they’ve been best friends ever since. He would do anything and everything for her (he’s even been in love with her since senior year of high school.)

A Novel Idea: 6/14/16

As a writer, keeping inspiration going from week to week can be tough. We (my best friend, Sky, and I) want to change that. The point of A Novel Idea is to get your writing juices flowing even when you don’t feel like writing. We also want it to help you dig deeper into what writing looks like for you and let you share it with the world. We’ll be posting installments weekly, all focused on four things: characters, your novel, you writing process, and writing prompts. Follow the weekly guidelines and post it on your blog, then link up with us! We’d love to hear from you each week.

af9fb672-6a8f-49fc-b3c2-2cf0d32564bd

This week we are asking you to describe your character without using a picture. What do they look like? What do they wear? What is their personality like? Help us get to know your character without using any pictures at all!