The Writer’s Block Syndrome

This past month, I’ve been struggling with severe writer’s block. I almost never succumb to it’s cold, calloused embrace, but this month has been a doozy for my writer’s mind. What’s worse? I had a paper due; a long paper.

In an attempt to conquer this…impediment…I wrote this short soapbox rant for my nonfiction class:


Writer's Block Syndrome

Today, I have a problem. A real, big-time problem. It’s a problem every writer faces, a problem every writer fears. It comes with no warning, but strikes a quick, agonizing blow to your self-esteem, your peace of mind, and your overall sanity.

I’m talking about writer’s block. The wicked, wicked illness of every writer.

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Cover Reveal and Designs for Author Zachariah Wilhelm

I’m about to mention Zachariah Wilhelm’s awesome new book, A Spark of Light, which is now available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle. Inside you’ll find a collection of short fiction and essays that center on the universal theme of light in a world of darkness. Also, if you want to keep up with his current projects, you can visit him on his website!


In college as a writing major, we get to the end of our education and have to compile a portfolio of all the best work we’ve done in our core writing classes. What’s even more daunting is this: we have to print it in a physical book form, complete with a cover.

Most writers are not graphic designers. We imagine all the cool book covers we’d like to see with our name on them, sure. And we might actually attempt to design a few, but for people at PCC, they typically syphon the project off to a graphic design friend to better focus on the content (since that’s the main part that will be graded).

My portfolio is next semester, but half my class is doing theirs this semester. Eager to practice and attempt a book cover myself while helping my fellow writing friends, I asked Zachariah Wilhelm, who sat next to me in Creative Nonfiction, if he had a cover designer yet. He said no, and the design was due in two weeks.

I volunteered. And boy was I ever excited.

This is what we came up with in the end. He wanted the spark to have severe contrast with the darkness around it, since that’s a strong theme he has throughout his stories: that spark of light in the darkness, that flicker of good in a world of evil. We also wanted to try to connect some of his pieces together with the cover, so we decided to rely on a dark forest and a tire swing, both of which are mentioned in the book.

Zach's Book Final Flattened.jpg

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Seven Ways to Write Betrayal in Your Novel

I don’t know if I’m just sadistic, or if I have some deep buried emotional trauma from my past, or I’m just a stereotypical writer who likes to bring emotional tragedy on her readers…but I’ve always loved betrayal. I love reading it, writing it–it doesn’t matter.

If I really had to guess why betrayal has always been my go-to literary plot device, it might have something to do with the way I think of loyalty. Loyalty is one of the most important qualities a person could have, in my opinion. And sadly, because we’re human, we rarely find that friend who’s loyal until the end.

We’re all disappointed by one another at some point in our lives, but luckily, it’s a common wound we all share, which makes betrayal in novels a powerful tool to wound your readers, yet still have them come crawling back for more.

I’m going to be using the following examples from TV and literature, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, run awaaaay: Treasure Planet, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1, Star Wars, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Inkheart, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Legend by Marie Lu, Mean Girls, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Betrayal.jpg

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An Interview with Best-Selling Author Robert Liparulo

When I was a senior in high school, I got the once-in-a-rarity opportunity to interview my favorite author. I grew up reading Robert Liparulo’s teen fiction in junior high. In fact, when the books were coming out, I remember actually having fights with my friends over who got to read the next one first. One particular instance involved me throwing Whirlwind on the table between my two friends as they both dove for it, pleading to the others’ humanity, bribing each other for the chance to read it first.

Good times.

Anyway, the following interview was turned in for my senior writing class, now resurrected here on my blog:

 

220px-Robert_Liparulo,R1-05ARobert Liparulo is the bestselling Christian author of the widely acclaimed teen fiction Dreamhouse Kings series, as well as his adult fiction such as Comes a Horseman, Germ, and his adult series The Immortal Files.

As a creative writing student and a Christian YA author wannabe—not to mention a huge fan of Liparulo’s works—I immediately wanted to try meeting with him for an interview assignment. We worked out a time through email, and I had the privilege to meet with him via Skype Saturday night. Mr. Liparulo was extremely nice and a blast to talk to—very warm and friendly, and he had a great laugh!

Robert Liparulo

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“Fire Writing” Wins ADDY Award and Commencement Contest

This year has been a crazy rollercoaster of responsibility and opportunity. I’m just now recovering from what’s been the busiest school year of my life.

First on the To-Do List… My studio art roommate urged me to participate in the local ADDY Awards this year with her. She suggested I submit the video spot I did on Josiah Vogel and his pyrography, so I grit my teeth together and paid the entry fee, hoping I wasn’t going to have to eat Ramen the next six months for nothing (kidding, guys, kidding. I only eat Ramen…often…ish….)

So this spring when the awards were announced, my roommate and I eagerly looked through the winners’ names, slightly disappointed we couldn’t find our names. We shrugged as we put my laptop aside, trying not to let each other know how disappointed we were.

Then the next day my classmate congratulated me.

“For what?” I asked, slightly bewildered as I gathered my things to leave after the bell. My mind ran through the things she could possible be referring to, but none of the options seemed big enough to warrant a congratulations.

“Your ADDY Award,” she explained, the slightly flicker of doubt crossing her bright eyes. “You did that video on Mr. Vogel, right?” Continue reading

Fountains Publication Promotional Video

Video

For my Digital Multimedia Productions class, I had to film and edit a promotional video for an on-campus activity, a product, or a self-promotional video. I chose to highlight my college’s literary publication, Fountains, which is written, illustrated, edited, and distributed by the students.

This video was actually a last-ditch effort after I had to suddenly change my previous plan of creating a promotional video for my collegian (PCC’s version of Greek Life). With only about a week and a half to create this, I’m very proud of both my grade and the final product.

I received an A- on this project.

Dyslexic, Not Disabled: An Infographic About Dyslexia

I grew up having dyslexia, and as a result, I struggled reading simple words like “cat” because of the dozens of spelling variations that came with it. Though, while I struggled, my mom read every book she could find on the so-called disability and helped me understand that it wasn’t as hindering as people make it out to be. Now I study professional writing in college and hope to publish my own novel one day.

What’s your dyslexia story?


If you haven’t already, check out my dyslexia informative essay I wrote that inspired this cartoon.

This video was created for my Digital Multimedia Productions class. The goal was to create a one minute kinetic typography video in After Effects explaining a complex topic.

I gained research from my all-time favorite dyslexic experts, Ronald D. Davis, who wrote the book The Gift of Dyslexia. A dyslexic himself and considered autistic, Davis was nonetheless a genius and practically the one who discovered what dyslexia truly is and how to use it to our advantage. Everyone who is either dyslexic or has a child who’s dyslexic should buy a copy of his book!

This video also one an Excellence Award for my college’s commencement contest.