Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Smitten. Enamored. In Love. Taken With... Blogging

Can I say I AM SO SO SO SO EVER SO HAPPY TO BE BLOGGING AGAIN? Oh, I just did, or rather typed it. Well, I'm going to say it out loud right now. I don't want you to think I'm lying and don't live up to my word. Seriously, I just said it out loud. I cracked a smile too, and I'm still grinning as I type. Man, I just giggled too. Oh, how I am easily entertained.

Lava Lamp

Blogging helps me to be a part of something big. I mean something HUMONGOUS, something truly special, that being the writing community. The group of people I am honored to associate with via blogging and social networking are truly magnificent. They, YOU, are such examples and powerhouses of pure energy that keep me going. I love it!

I took some time off from blogging and it was way hard to decide to get back into it. Once I dived back in, it took me some time to get back into the swing of things, really enjoying it. I'm pretty much smitten with my blog again. Now, that is an exhilarating feeling.

Being smitten is a good place to be and oh, what an amazing word. I looked up the word and there were some synonyms that caught my attention: enamored, in love, and taken with. I am definitely all of the above with my blog.

The only problem is I'm not quite back to that point with my writing. I struggle with having the courage to open up the file of my work in progress because I feel ever so inadequate. My confidence is lacking at the moment. But I am loving blogging again and this gives me the hope I need to fall head over heels in love with creating stories again. It will happen and it will!

I have written over half of my posts for the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge. Can you say over achiever? haha When I signed up for the challenge, I freaked out about needing to write so many posts. However, I did it so I could fall back in love with blogging. And you know what? It worked! Writing so many posts so far has brought the spirited fire of blogging back into my bones. Yes!

Are you smitten with your blog? Have you ever struggled to feel fully devoted to your blog or writing? Are you participating in the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge?

Writing Jewels

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Must Read --> The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I recently finished the book "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern. I enjoyed the book so much that I had, absolutely had to share it on my blog. First of all, isn't the cover gorgeous? The colors and whimsical nature of the artwork matches the book to the T, especially with the tent being held in a hand... Oh, just thinking of all the magical properties held within it's masterful pages makes goose bumps rise on my arms. I wish there was really a circus like the one depicted in the book. I'd go, for sure.
Anyway, here is the synopsis found on Goodreads:
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart
Are you pulled in now, ready to be whisked into the exquisite world of magic and illusions? Oh, you should be!
This is the short review I wrote on my Goodreads account:
"Oh. My. Gosh. This. Book. Was. Phenomenal! What more can I say than YOU MUST READ THIS OR YOU WILL DIE of shame and disappointment for never tasting of it's impressive brilliance. I loved the development of the characters and how their stories were woven together going back and forth in time. I loved it all! I want to go to The Night Circus so bad in hurts. Ok. Ready. Set. Read."
Have you read The Night Circus? Are you interested in reading it now? Read any good books lately?
Writing Jewels

Monday, March 18, 2013

Top Ten Movie Countdown Blogfest

The awe inspiring author and blogger extraordinaire, Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting this pretty nifty blogfest. I decided to join in by sharing my top ten favorite movies. My twist to this blogfest: I'm sharing my favorite quote from the films.
Here they are (counting down to my absolute favorite):
10. The Prestige: This movie was mind blowing. I left the theater speechless, still mulling over the film.
      Cutter: "Now you're looking for the secret. But you won't find it because of course, you're not really looking for it. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled."
9. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - This is a laugh every second from the very beginning movie until the end.
      Ford: "If you want to survive out here, you've got to know where your towel is."
8. Despicable Me - Can I say hilarious? Well, I just did or rather typed it.
      Agnes: "It's so fluffy, I'm gonna die!"
7. Powder - Just a superb masterpiece of a movie that twists my heart every time I see it.
      "Lindsey: Your father. Your father hurt you a long time ago. You're so sad, he made you so sad. He thought you were ugly, and he kept saying that you weren't... I'm sorry.
       Powder: Do you? Do you?
       Lindsey: Do I what?
       Powder: Do you think I'm ugly?
       Lindsey: I don't know what I think when I look at you. But sometimes I think, I think you're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."
6. Sherlock Holmes - Wow, talk about amazing and the music by Hans Zimmer rocked my world.
      "Mrs. Hudson: Oh, he's killed the dog. Again.
      Watson: What have you done to Gladstone now?
      Sherlock: I was simply testing a new anesthetic. He doesn't mind."
5. The King's Speech - Amazing!
      Quote: (Pardon it's vulgarity)
      "Lionel Logue: Do you know the 'f' word?
      King George VI: Ffff... fornication?"
4. Madagascar - I chuckle every time I see this one, and I've seen it many, many times.
      "Mort: King Julian! What are they? What are they?
       Julian: They are... aliens! Savage aliens! From the savage world!
       Maurice: They've come to kill us! And take our women! And our precious metals!
       Mort: [begins weeping]
       Julian: Get up Mort! Do not be near the King's feet, okay!"
3. The 'Burbs - This is definitely a King Family favorite. I still chuckle every time I watch Tom Hanks eating the sardine and then he blows his nose in the newspaper and it sounds like an elephant.
      "Ricky Butler: Mr. Officer, wait! I mean, there's these people and they're in my parents' house and they're eating all their food."
2. Waking Ned Devine - The scene at the end dealing with the old woman and the phone booth gets me laughing to tears every single time.
      "Annie O'Shea: Have we won?
      Jackie O'Shea: No, but it got my apple tart brought in now didn't it."
1. The Italian Job - What can I say other than THIS MOVIE ROCKS. Music rocks too! My favorite line in the movie is brought to you by Mos Def and Mark Wahlberg.
      Quote: (pardon it's French):
      "Left Ear: This dude got dogs. I don't do dogs... I had a real bad experience, man.
       Charlie: What happened?
       Left Ear: I had. A bad. Experience. Damn it. I'm deaf!"
So there you have it, folks. My top 10 favorite movies. What are yours?
Writing Jewels

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Being Sentimental. And the Irreplaceable Doggy Gloves.

First of all, a Hap-Hap-Happy Birthday to my brother. I love ya, Jim Bob (that's not really his name but what I've called him every now and again since I was a little girl).

Secondly, both my cute gloves fell out of my car weeks ago. One by one, as the snow has melted, they have returned to their momma (me). In the photo, the one on the right appeared on the driveway on Monday, that's why it's dirty. These gloves have sentimental value as they will always remind me of a super awesome friend that bought me them before we went go-carting in the cold years ago. Thanks A.W.A.H. (those are his initials--yes, two middle names). You are awesome, man!

Wow, that was way random, I know. I'll get to a point... Have you ever lost something that has sentimental value and then it reappears months later. Doesn't it just make ya happy? Well, that sure happened for me with my gloves. Uh, yes, I giggled a bunch of thrilled giggles.

How is it that certain things can take such a hold upon us while other things don't? I have this stuffed animal that was my Grandpa Kings. Upon his death, I received it. It has a football team's jersey on it (right now I can't think of the team and the bear is at my parents' house for safe keeping so I can't grab it). Now, I don't like football and I'm not a sports fan, yet this bear reminds me of my grandpa so much that I can't help but love it.

Even smells can be sentimental. There are times when I smell the scent of both of my granparents' old homes. My paternal grandparents' house was saturated with the scent of years past cigarette and cigar smoke along with coffee. My maternal grandparents' house wafted with the tang of cedar chest-like comfort. They bring me back to the good old days when I spent weeks on end sleeping over at their homes. Oh, how I loved them. Sigh

One of my characters has a necklace with a key hanging from it that her dad gave to her. It is supposed to remind her of unlocking a happy and bright future in her life. The fact that it came from her father makes it all the more precious.

What are some things that you find sentimental in your life? Do you hold on to certain objects while others you could throw away without even batting an eyelash? Have you incorporated sentimentality into your writing?

Writing Jewels

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Stupid Movies/Insecurities

I watched a movie the other day that many people have raved about. The movie was released a few years ago, yet I haven't ever watched it. The flick showed up on my Netflix-you-might-enjoy-watching-this-movie list. I put it in my queue thinking I might watch it one day just because peeps have mentioned it's a good one and rather hilarious.
Well, when I was sick a couple weeks ago, I finally backed down and watched the said film. I won't say which one it is as not to offend.

All I can say is: I. Hated. The. Movie.

Ok, hate is a strong word. I'll opt for disliked.

From the first scene until the last one I felt myself becoming stupid to stupider to stupidest, not to say I was stupid from the very beginning. Although, perhaps I was stupid even to watch the movie to begin with, eh?

That being said, no matter how much I thought: "This movie is stupid. Why am I watching it? I should just turn it off. My brain cells are disappearing in great numbers with every second I continue watching this stupid movie." I just couldn't stop watching it. I was pulled in by its sheer stupidity that I had to find out what was going to happen. Ugh!

This makes me think of how my brain works--no, no, I'm not saying I'm stupid--I'm saying that how my brain functions is like watching this movie. As a writer, I'm extremely critical about my writing, very insecure and dwell on these insecurities until they fester and grow to enormous sky-scrapper sized blobs of insanity. I just can't stop feeding them, therefore I take counsel from my fears when I should just turn my fears off and have faith.

Faith in my craft. Faith in my journey. Faith in, well, ME--Julia King and I'm supercool!

Like the rather stupid movie I watched, I shouldn't pay heed to these fears. I should just write because I've got stories to tell. It'd be so much easier that way and far more productive. But how to do that when the insecurities are so ingrained in the miniscule fibers of my brain? That is the million dollar question!
I don't know. I don't know if I'll ever know. All I can do is keep going. All writers with insecurities can do is keep going. It isn't easy but it is worth it.

So stop watching a stupid movie if it's stupid. And stop adding fuel to your insecurities. Start thinking about how ridiculously awesome you are!

So there!

Writing Jewels