Camp NanoWriMo

So, I joined Camp NanoWriMo.    I thought it would fun to share with you all the first 1,600 words or so of the piece I’ve been working on:

1

It only takes fifteen seconds to change a person’s life.  Veronica quickly learned this the night she was walking the dogs on March 13, 2013 when a v-shaped formation of golden orbs traveled through her front yard.  She stopped in the middle of the street, holding onto each dog’s leash.  Her mouth was agape as she tried to comprehend what she was looking at.

Were these birds?  No, they weren’t birds.  They were too golden, glowing, and flaring to be birds.  Birds do not glow with light at 10:15pm.

Were they planes?  No, they were not planes.  Planes didn’t constantly shine with light.  Nor did planes fly that close together in such close proximity.  If they were planes that would six or seven of them were traveling next to each other with perfect distance, only feet apart.  Plus, she didn’t hear a noise.  The air was silent.

The silence was the most miraculous part.  As she watched the golden orbs, flying in a v-formation, travel over her head and into the distance, she saw the triangle quickly disappear into the night, the orbs disappearing into the darkness of space the way the beginning credits of Star Wars disappear at the beginning of the movie.

And then they were gone.

2

After the incident, she immediately became a raging insomniac.  After her husband had left her months before, it wasn’t easy to be alone, especially after seeing this.

Veronica had reported it to the National UFO Reporting Center.  After a brief conversation with the man running the reporting center, Peter Davenport, she became even more scared about the current situation on earth.

“I can’t believe I got to see a UFO,” Veronica exclaimed over the phone to the man volunteering his time at the UFO reporting center, “I’ve always wanted to see a UFO, and I feel so excited to finally see one, you know?”

There was a silence between her voice and his over the radio.  He murmured a bit, and then he responded, “This is actually quite a frightening time that we are living in.”

This isn’t what Veronica wanted to hear.

“They keep coming, and keep appearing.  There has been some heightened UFO activity in the last 48 hours, and, just to let you know, I have received two photos of extraterrestrials.”

Veronica could feel her toes grasping onto the earth, trying to hold onto some sort of normalcy, “Really?  Are you going to post these on the site?”

“Oh yes,” he replied, “but thank you for reporting your incident.  We are very grateful to people like you who call in to let us know what you are seeing.  For every person that calls in, saying they saw something like this, there is another 20,000 who have seen it was well.  Thank you and have a good night.”

“Thank you,” she replied.  She hung up the phone. She sat petrified in her seat.  She could feel her heart vibrantly beating.  Her body started to feel hot.  She didn’t have anyone to call.  She tried to call her family.  No one was picking up.  Phone calls had become missed.  She called her friends, trying to get ahold of them.  When they did pick up the phone, she couldn’t stop talking.  She told them what she saw.  She told them about what the man at the reporting center had said.  She told them how scared she was.

Most of her friends just told her to calm down, drink a beer, and forget about it.  If the aliens were coming down, most of them suggested, we better start getting drunk now.

Veronica agreed.  Instead of worrying her friends, she simply decided to do what they said.  She drank a beer, but it didn’t help.  She felt the presence of something else that whole night, like they were always there, these aliens, watching her.  As she tried to fall asleep, she could only keep her eyes open.  She didn’t want to fall asleep.  She had seen enough UFO television shows to know what happens next after a sighting: abductions.

She always had an interest in aliens and UFOs.  She lived by an air force base too.  Veronica knew what a helicopter looked like.  She wasn’t the type to point out at a star in the night sky and be shocked that it was moving.

When she remembered looking at the UFO, it looked the way people described angels in the bible: fiery, golden orbs.  She didn’t know how else to explain it.

Even though the incident left her petrified, she still wanted to watch the clock on the wall.  She didn’t want to close her eyes.  She didn’t want to be awakened by tiny “gray” aliens.  She didn’t want to be experimented on.  The fears went on and on.

The night continued on.  She still couldn’t sleep.  She tried to just pet her dogs, but something about sleep scared her even more. She had felt the presence of demons like this before.  Sometimes, late at night, they would wake her.  There had been many times, during her marriage, where she randomly woke in the middle of the night.

Her husband would tell her to sleep, and she said she couldn’t.  Her husband would demand that she put away her childish obsession with monsters and go back to bed.  But Veronica, at age 35, just couldn’t.  These beings would wake her up in the middle of the night, whether they be spirits or demons or her own wild imagination, something woke her up in the middle of the night.   Veronica, as frightened as she was, would just wake up.  She would tell her husband he couldn’t fall asleep, she was too scared.

“There is something in here,” she would repeat over and over again, “there is someone or something in here.”

But there was never anything to the visible eye in their room.  Her obsession and irrational fear of invisible monsters worried her husband.  He always assumed she would grow out of this irrational fear, but she never did.  He assumed she would grow out of a lot of things that she never did.  This was probably one of the many reasons he  left.

3

The next morning at work, Veronica did a Google search on what she saw.  No else seemed to be seeing what she was seeing.  But as she clicked away, her jaw dropped.  Yesterday, during the time of her sighting, had been the 16th anniversary of the Phoenix lights, the most largely accounted UFO sighting in history, with over 10,000 videos and documentations of the incident.

The senator of the state had called a press conference after the incident.  He told everyone he had found the perpetrator from the UFO incident.  When he called out the perpetrated criminal, a man dressed up as an alien gray came out, with his hands cuffed behind his back.  The press room filled with laughter.  The senator laughed too.

“You all take yourselves way to seriously,” the senator laughed.

Months later, that same senator came out to express that he too had seen the Phoenix Lights.  He, too, eventually said that he did not know what he had seen in the skies that night.

Veronica pulled up the videos from the phoenix lights.  The craft was similar to what she had seen, a string of six or seven lights in a v-formation.  It was the same similar thing they had seen in Phoenix, 16 years prior.

Shortly before the incident of the Phoenix Lights in 1997, a group called Heaven’s Gate had all committed suicide, claiming that aliens had made room for them on the comet Hal-Bop.

When she tried to explain to her coworkers what she had seen, no one wanted to believe her.  Their responses were all one of the same, “It was just a drone.  That’s all.  It wasn’t a UFO.”

When she tried to call her parents and explain what she had seen they said, “Now, that can’t be, Veronica.  The Bible doesn’t say there are aliens.”

While her friends supported her, there was still so many people out there who didn’t want to believe she saw something strange.  It was as if just bringing up the fact that she had seen a UFO was enough for people to try to argue her and tell her, she was mistaken.

She didn’t try to argue with them.  It was too painful, embarrassing, crazy to argue.  They all reached the same conclusions in their conversations, “All we know about what we know is that this UFO is an unidentified flying object.”  And for most people, this was all they were willing to agree on.

At first, this frustrated Veronica, but when she thought about it, this made sense.  She had been questioning her own sanity since the incident.  Did she really see what she had seen?  Was it truly a UFO?  Or something else?  Was her divorce derailing her own thoughts?  Had this divorce really made her reach this level?

As she took a deep breath, she kept scanning the internet for possible sightings of what she had seen too.  There had to be proof out there somewhere that others had also seen what she had seen.  She couldn’t be the only one.

In all of her clicks she pressed into her mouse, each strange keyword she popped into Google, another image coming up of a UFO, or an alien gray, a tiny part of her wished they would come down.

In all the chaos that the incident had caused her, there was a strange sense of peace she felt when the v-formation traveled over her head.  Of all the fear human beings had, these beings could care less about what she was doing.  They simply traveled over her head and into the night sky, off to infinity and beyond.  They didn’t stop to say hi, or dissect her, or anything.  They were merely just rolling through.  Yet, an experience this revolutionary in a human being’s life isn’t something they can easily forget.

As much as she wanted to pass off the event as some natural phenomenon, water vapors forming into this strange shape she saw, she knew she couldn’t.  What she saw was real, she swore by it.  She was the only one, besides her dogs, who could vouch for this.

I might just make it into a short story, but so far I am having fun with this idea.

Have a great weekend all!  Enjoy!!!

 

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Focusing Your Creative Vision

a09fde5491ca4e196bde08e1cabfaee3Sometimes, I have trouble with this.  One of my major problems is that I am always going a mile a minute.  There are always a million things that I want to do, pieces to review, people to get in contact with.  Sometimes I find it difficult to just be and focus on the important things at hand.

Expanding my creative vision is truly what I want for my life.  While I can say that I want to have money or want to have fame, the truth of the matter is that my creative vision, as well as the path I live my life with, is what matters most to me in life.

The trouble with being an artist is we tend to get pulled into every direction.  These paths and journeys lead us to worlds we never thought could exist.  The funny thing about these journeys is that there usually isn’t any monetary gain either; the artist’s journey is truly a spiritual one.

I tend to be obsessed with monetary value-systems.  Sometimes, when I have a good day, I ask myself how much money it’s worth.  I find that when I take a hike with my husband or write a short story, the cost of this reaches into the millions.

We tend to forget the value of laughter with friendship.  How much would you pay to have a good chuckle with your friend?  What is this value worth to you?

So, don’t be frustrated when the universe pulls you into every direction.  This probably means you are doing your job as an artist.  You are following the road that is calling you.  You are creating and expanding your creative vision every day.

Now, my friends, the question to that is—what’s the worth—minus all monetary gain you could acquire— of your own creative vision?

How To Have Fun Editing

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Alright, so you have finished your manuscript.  It’s your heart and joy and everything that you want in a manuscript.  Except, wait, what’s that?  It looks like the first draft isn’t exactly how you pictured your novel to look like once you finished it?

Instead, your manuscript looks like a demented Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book that only your mother has made any commentary on, even after sharing it with a bunch of like-minded writers.

So there you have it.  You finished your manuscript and it feels like no one wants to read it.

Now, you have to go back through the work, which you feel no one wants to read, edit it and believe and hope that someone will want to read it.

Do you see those negative thoughts in your heads, writers?  Do you see how this train of thought may sound similar to your own?  Do yourself a favor and stop.  Your writing will never be good if you continuously think about yourself in terms of negative thoughts.

Dive into your manuscripts like they are the movies of your mind.  Remember that one time you went into a library, and you pulled a book from off the shelves that no one had heard of and it changed you forever.  (I do, mine was “Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindberg).  Be that book.  Be that piece of art.  Be that thing that changed you.  Remember that it didn’t have to be popular to change you.  It just changed you.

The truth is that once you finish writing your book, there will still be a great mass of people out there who will never read your book, and there will still be a great mass of people out there who will never even hear of your book.

But don’t worry, all hope is not lost.

Remember that story you created?  That one where the astronaut goes into outer space and catches a star in a mason jar.

Do you remember how it changed you?  Do you remember how when you finished the battle scene in that manuscript how you walked around the rest of the day feeling like a part of you had changed forever?

Do you remember how hard it was to let go of the main character?  That sap who you have grown to love and hate all at the same time?

Well, now is the time to go back to them.  Now is the time to add your artistic touch, to put glorious sentences in places you couldn’t dream of when you were trying to concoct the plot.  Now’s the time to truly express to the world this idea you had.  To refine it.  To feed it.  To help it grow.  To transform it into the bread that this world so desperately needs for nourishment.  And also the nourishment you have needed yourself.

~Peace~Love~Joy~Work~Life~Live~Laugh~Bliss~

Write on my fellow starving artists!!

Own The Universe

34807053342If you live your life thinking that this is all you will ever have, this is truly all you ever have.

On the other hand, if you live your life thinking every moment is filled with opportunity, prosperity, and utter decadence; life will reflect this for you as well.

Do not let a moment of stress take you over.  Don’t let the demons of bad energy overwhelm your soul.  It is difficult to steer a ship in a hurricane, so do yourself a favor, and don’t become the hurricane.

A ship is more easily navigated through heavy waters when the captain and crew remain calm.  Everyone knows this.

Then why do we not apply this principle to our own lives?

I think, especially in America, we have been pressured into thinking that being happy is bad.

What?  In America? , you say.

Yes, I think that all people, especially Americans, have been pressured into thinking that there is no way we can be happy in this current moment unless we have everything we could possibly want or dream.  And if we do not currently possess these trivial necessities in this current moment, we must, then, be utterly miserable.

But this just simply is not the case.

Don’t stress about how much money you currently have in your bank account or wallet.  Instead, think of a happy memory, and rise above your troubled waters.  Do not over think or wonder whether someone may like you or not.  Simply forget about it.  Rise above the negative path.  Reroute your thoughts to enlightment.

Rewire your brain to total, utter heavenly bliss.

You will see that over time, when you learn how to train your brain towards the light side, that magically, everything will start going your way.

~Peace~Love~Hope~Harmony~

I rewire my thoughts to optimism by playing the guitar.  How do you do it?

Horizons

17

May peace and love be on your horizon,

the white buffalo,

only roams towards the north rim,

the horizon is endless,

but if you follow the star,

hidden deep inside of you,

this light,

this bright, brilliant light,

will guide you,

like a compass,

like the north star,

to the most bountiful,

fertile,

prosperous,

hidden treasure,

you never knew existed,

within

you.

~Peace~Love~Hope~Joy~

Happy Monday!

Follower Appreciation Day

I have recently reached 50 followers!  This exciting news made me think about the blog and what I can do for all of you.  A lot of us here are trying to get into writing, but most of us have day jobs.  We are trying to get our feet off the ground and dive into an amazing world where we can share our ideas and thoughts with others.

While I am a writer, I do hope to focus this blog more on art and artists in general.   That’s when I decided to come up with my new idea:

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The Poor Starving Artist Award!

Every time I reach a certain landmark of followers, I am going to give away CASH!

However, the amount of money is nominal.

As of today, I have reached 50 followers!  First off, I want to say thank you to everyone who has started following me.  It’s been fun creating this blog and even more fun to get to know some new people.

Since the amount of followers I have is a HUGE landmark in my blog making abilities, I want to award someone $5.00  (50 followers x .10 c = $5.00).  I will send this money via PayPal.  🙂

The next landmark will be 100 followers, and there, I will award $10.00, so keep following! ❤

All you gotta do is email me your paypal email at marlarosiebrady@gmail.com.  I will then send you $5.00 through PayPal, and then—BAM–you are $5.00 richer my poor, starving artist!

The $5.00 goes to the first person who responds to this blog post!  You must be a follower to win!

Thank you again for following my blog!

What is a positive rejection letter?

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Aye,aye,aye  – – –  Two rejection letters in one week.  It’s one of those times where you have to constantly wonder why am I even trying, you know?  Well, here is the first rejection letter from a literary magazine:

Dear Marla,

Thank you for your submission to ————- press. We are unable to place your work in our journal but wish you the best of luck.

Sincerely, 

—— ——–

Nonfiction Editor, ———— press

This is the obvious, “We are totally not interested in your work” letter.  It’s heartbreaking, but what can we do?  I’ve sent to this group before, and they weren’t interested.

Now, for rejection letter #2……

This rejection was for my manuscript, but I got a hint of optimism from it, but then again, maybe I am delusional?

I’ve always heard that there are things called “positive” rejection letters and “generic” ones.    However, I can’t tell, you know?  Am I just interpreting this as being positive because this is what I want to see, or is this a generic hum-drum rejection letter?

Dear Ms. Brady,

Thank you so much for your interest in —— ——–. After conferring with senior members of the agency, I’m sorry to say we are going to have to pass on this project. Of course, other agencies may feel differently. Query widely; you never know who will feel that “spark” for your book. We appreciate the opportunity to consider your work and wish you the best of luck finding representation.
Best,
——— ———-
What do you all think?  Generic? Positive?  Help!

Using You Authentic Experience to Power Your Fiction

Since you all know that my secret identity during the day is a librarian, (or is my pen name my secret identity?), I guess I can inform you about a book club I had last night for the book titled “The Absolutely True Diary of Part Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie.

Alexie’s book is very thought-provoking and realistic interpretation of his own experiences of growing up on as Native American on a reservation.  He explores and discusses topics of alcoholism on the reservation as well poverty.  While Alexie deems this book as “semi-autobiographical”, he also explains that he basically is the main character, Arnold.

A nice Native American man came to the book club to share how he had gone to listen to Alexie speak three times, and he got the opportunity to meet him.  Alexie’s raw, true voice is one that many have been able to relate to, and I think the majority and success of his works is strongly dependent on his true, real voice.  It’s an honest voice that cannot be denied.

Sometimes, I do feel scared writing from the perspective of a Native American girl in my current work “Girl-Who-Rises-Sun”.  I know that I am not Native American, and because of this, I don’t know how entirely proud I will ever feel about this work.  She was a fleeting character I knew that I had to get to know one day, but I also get the feeling that because of my lack of being a Native American, my story of Girl-Who-Rises-Sun will never be the work I am remembered for, and for this I accept, for I am not Native American, nor should I be remembered for a voice I do not understand.  I guess I have just lived in New Mexico for so long; I start to think I truly am part of the desert.

My own experiences with having two miscarriages and seeing a UFO recently are starting to help me discover another story I could create.  I think that this may be a story that truly will reflect my authentic voice, and may be one that people will deem as truly my work.

Ever since I started writing, I loved to write about UFOs.  It’s strange to me that I saw one.  The mental transformation that happens to someone after they see a UFO can be epic, traumatic, and uncomfortable.  Once I get the pieces together for my next story, or novel (who knows what it will be), I will share it with you all too.

What kinds of fictional stories have you wrote or thought about writing based from your own personal authentic experiences?

Fiction Writers are Smarter….Emotionally at Least

She was like the moon, part of her was always hidden

Over the course of the weekend, I experienced a lot of strange emotional activity from those I know.  It’s strange to me when people try to intentionally hurt each other.  The strange thing about love is it brings people together in a magnificent tapestry.  However, when we don’t treat each other’s hearts in a kind manner, we can greatly destroy each other.

As I was contemplating this during the weekend, I wondered why it bugged me so much.  Those who had hurt each other so deeply seemed not to care.  I seemed to care more than they did, and this worried me.

However, it made me realize one of the beauties of being a writer, regardless of publication or not.  Being a writer allows us to learn and gauge how people will react in certain situations.  What will this character, who has this long history and past, do in a certain situation like this?  We develop and predict the moral code and emotional threshold of people, and characters, through writing.

This is the beauty of finishing a manuscript, even if no one reads it.  You have delved into your psyche and tried to relate to people in a way that a majority of humans don’t, or even try.  There are so many people on the planet who are uninterested in the feelings and thoughts of others, and because of that, they lose out on the whole experience.

So thank you to all you writers out there.  Thank you for reaching out into the universe and trying to experience and feel something other than yourselves.  This earth needs us.  Even if our manuscripts lie on our shelves unread for centuries, at least we made that attempt to connect a little closer to earth than our human counterpart.

Congrats on being a writer!  You make the earth a better place!!