Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Insecure Writers: December

It's that time again, Insecure Writers Support Group (IWSG), created by the talented Alex J. Cavanaugh. I have two insecurities this month:

  1. Not being disciplined enough to keep up with this blog. My goal: try to post something every week. Honestly, if I kept up with this blog as much as I keep up with Facebook, I'd be posting something every day, and really, blogging is like a journaling exercise for me.
  2. Believing that I really stink when it comes to writing short stories. I've read some 'How To' books on short stories, but my mind is just a mess of thoughts, and lots of times I have a glimpse of an idea that I think would make a good short story, and it just doesn't translate onto paper. I envy some people who can get their thoughts down on paper and it all flows very logically, but I don't necessarily think logically when I'm in the creative process. I think the most frustrating thing is when you go back to edit your work, and after Drafts 3 and 4, you find that your idea (although evolving) still lacks meaning or resonates with you. I'm working on a short story right now about blindness that I'm ready to toss. It's loosely based on my own experiences with a retinal detachment, but when I read the story back to myself I'm like, "What the heck is this even about?" Do you know the feeling of frustration I'm talking about?
Anyhow, those are my insecurities for December. To end off, since this blog is supposed to be about inspirational quotes applied to writing, here is one I found:

Hmmmm.... what do you make of this quote when applied to writing? I know what I think, curious to know what you think. Happy December!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Resurrection Blogfest & Insecure Writers Support Group

This is a 2 in 1 post for the Resurrection Blogfest and Insecure Writers Support Group. For the Blogfest, you had to re-post (resurrect) something on your blog. The flash fiction piece below was originally posted on March 7, 2012 for  Rachel Harrie's Flash Fiction Campaign Challenge. The story I wrote means something to me, so thought it would be fitting for this Blogfest.

Regarding IWSG.....same old insecurity I guess. Lots of ideas for stories, but just seems to take forever to complete anything--not enough energy! I thought that when my son started JK this year I would have lots of time to write, but I still have my 1-year-old to take care of, not to mention life getting in the way (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). The commitment to a serious writing schedule just doesn't seem to be working out for me at the moment and I guess that has me insecure, like if I was a 'real' writer I'd get down to work. Just trying to give myself a pat on the back for when I do get some writing done, I guess. No point in beating myself motivating is that? Until next IWSG. -Siobhan-

(Prompt 4)

 Nandini’s Treasure

We dig in the trash, the filthy trash, my brother, sister and I. Most days we find ourselves here, scrounging for treasures: scraps of metal, worn tires, anything that may be of value we can sell.
No matter how many treasures we find it will not make Mother better.

On this day I find a surprising treasure. A ring.

Mandeep snatches it from me. “Nandini! We are rich!”

I know I should be happy but all I can think about is our mother lying on her side, a mat of woven grass beneath her. Her lips are cracked, her eyes devoid of awareness. Where has she gone, the woman with the bright eyes who used to fill our home with laughter? She cannot even drink the water we dribble into her mouth. My father pretends as if she is sleeping ... you cannot fool a child who has grown up on the streets of Calcutta.
As my brother turns the ring around in his fingers I realize that Mother deserves more than to die in an inferno of a hut, flies perched on her sweating face.

I snatch back the ring. “It is my burial gift for Mother.”

Friday, October 26, 2012

Spooktoberfest: The Time Renegades

A Note

Hello and welcome to my blog! This is my post for the Spooktoberfest blog hop, 269 words with the 5 key words: Cobweb, Cauldron, Jack-o-lantern, Ghost and Razor. The inspiration for this piece of flash fiction came from a book I am reading called, “Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz,” by Eva Mozes Kor and Lisa Rojany Buccieri. Some of the atrocities I’m reading about that took place in Auschwitz made me so mad and sad that the result was the following short story out of my emotional response. Certainly not a Halloween theme, but something I felt compelled to write.

The Time Renegades
by Siobhan Minty

They had materialized in Poland 1944 at Auschwitz concentration camp, a group of time travellers determined to set right all of history’s wrongs. There was nothing that could stop them. No tyrant in history stood a chance against the advanced technology of their weapons.

The rain beat down on Ghost, Cobweb, Jack-o-Lantern, Cauldron and Razor as they stood in front of the gates of one of the most horrible places on earth even as Nazis from within the gates shot at them and shouted in German. The bullets deflected off of the dome-like energy shield that protected the group of futuristic soldiers.

“Oh no, don’t hurt us... Fools don’t have a clue who they’re dealing with,” said Razor, a codename given to her by Ghost for her cutting sarcasm.

Cobweb, a wisp of a thing with hair as silver as a spider’s web, sighed. She looked at Ghost. “Captain, once we’re through here, you think we can take a break somewhere peaceful? Jumping back and forth in time like this is exhausting.”

Ghost charged his gun. He motioned to the rest to do the same. “Focus on the task at hand then we’ll talk.”

Cauldron, a bear of a man, gently put his hand on Cobweb’s shoulder. “Don’t worry. We’ll get a break soon. You know how the Cap is when he’s in fight-mode.”

“Y’all ready?” asked Ghost.

Jack Lannturn (a.k.a. Jack-o-Lantern) spit on the ground, something he did when he was in a place he despised, and pulled his Ray-Bans over his eyes. “Let’s get ‘er done.”

Ghost nodded. “Don’t retreat until all of the Nazis are dead.”

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group: The Never-Ending Manuscript!!


'Tis the first Wednesday of the month., that means another 'Insecure Writer's Support Group' post, a group created by Alex Cavanaugh.

It's already October ... hard to believe. Where has the time gone?

My main insecurity as a writer this month is that I don't think I'll EVER finish my manuscript to the point where it's polished enough to send out to an agent and/or publisher. The first draft is done, and for the last 8 months I've been editing the heck out of the thing, but I'm not even half way through the manuscript edits. Granted, these are major edits, but it just seems like it's taking forever.

Life gets in the way. Fatigue gets in the way. And sometimes my lack of motivation gets in the way. Even when I try to work on short stories to feel like I've completed something, by the time I take them to my writer's group, I just see more things I need to work on.

It just seems like there are a whole bunch of incomplete projects on my desk, and I'm just discouraged at how long it's taking to get them done, because as writers, we know when our work is done, when it's the best we can possibly do with the work, when our writing 'sings' to us and resonates. That's when we feel confident sending it off into the big world.

Yeah... I'm not there yet. At this rate, I'll be lucky if I submit this manuscript by the time I'm 75 (okay, so maybe a slight exaggeration there, but hopefully you get the point).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Mind of a Writer

Found this quote and thought I'd share it with you. This applies to life in general, but it can be applied to the writer's life too.

The way I interpret it to fit with writing, is that if there is something challenging in writing (let's say editing a manuscript or short story that just doesn't seem to be working), the 'weak' mind may give up.

The 'balanced' mind may know that it's tough and feel like giving up, but knows that continuing to go back to that manuscript is a way to challenge herself as a writer.

Finally, to me the 'strong' mind means someone who happily embraces the journey of writing with its ups and downs, and sees a manuscript or short story that isn't working as an opportunity to make it the best work it can be by committing to the editing process.

How do you apply this quote to the writer's life? 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

You vs. Yourself

Do you ever find yourself competing with other writers? I guess by its very nature, publishing is a competition (i.e. your manuscript competing with so many others for a publisher's attention).

I know that deep down, I often compare myself (and I guess compete) with my other writing buddies. For example, there are a few individuals in my writing group who are getting published. While I'm so happy for them, there is that part of me that compares myself to their achievements. I want to get published too. Are they better writers than me? I wish I had half the energy and motivation that some of them seem to have so I could write more. All of these comparisons ... and it just gets me discouraged.

That is why I find the above quote encouraging. Why do some of us strive to be 'better' than others? We don't know the struggles and sacrifices that person may have gone through to get where they are in their writing career today. Anyway, why bother comparing yourself to another person? You will never be them.

There is only you and your writing journey. So the true competition focuses on this question: how can you be a better writer today than the one you were yesterday?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

the unsung editor sings another day... Blog Evolving


This is the next stage of evolution for this blog.

I'm on a journey of self-discovery right now, and positive quotes have been a starting point for me to reflect on myself, not only as a person, but also as a writer. So that's what I think I'm going to focus on here in this blog for the time being--inspiriational quotes and how this applies to the writing life.

Hope you'll be able to find some inspiration here too.