Tag Archives: thoughts

Traffic Generator


I couldn’t think of a better 200th post for my blog. Just now, I received an email from the editor of Children’s Stories telling me that my poem was viewed more that 3,800 times since it was published at their website. She told me that the number is well above average, which makes me so happy.

I like to thank my fellow bloggers who helped in generating this traffic. If you haven’t read my poem yet, you can by following this link http://www.childrens-stories.net/poems-and-rhyming-stories/go~to~sleep~my~little~kitten_margaret~benison.htm

Speaking of traffic, my short story November 13th made it to the top viewed mystery stories on Short Story with over 9,000 views! You can read it by following this link. http://www.short-story.me/mystery-stories/597-november-13th.html

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The Unhealthy Writer


unhealthy-habits

Leading a healthy lifestyle is an essential thing for me. When I’m healthy, not only do I look better in my slim jeans, but I also write better, think better, sleep better, and feel better about myself. Last year, I started an exercise regime which consisted of me working out at least three times a week. Recently, however, I have deviated from the norm and, with swimsuit season approaching, I feel awful about it.

Ever since I started writing my novel, I no longer had much time to do anything else. My mornings revolved around writing, noons and afternoons around studying, I edited in evenings, and at nights, well, I slept. I know that the old I don’t have time excuse is invalid. However, I will say that I was unable to manage my time in such a way as to fit exercising into my daily, or three-times weekly, routine.

I still exercise; I haven’t let myself go completely. However, with the long hours sitting on a chair and typing, staying active has become more important than ever for me to keep my body, and head, in a wholesome state.

To tell you the truth, my work out schedule isn’t the only thing that was affected during the time I was writing my novel. I had two novel-writing attempts before, one of which I quit on near the end while the other didn’t even make it to the middle. I learned a lot from my experiences, and am learning every day. So when I started writing a novel for the third time, I wanted it to be a charm. I put enormous pressure on myself to finish this story, regardless of how tired I was or what it would take from me. Something was going to give. However, I’m glad that something was my waistline instead of my novel.

I’m sure as I embark on writing other novels that I will find it easier to manage my time, as finishing a novel will no longer be a ghost looming over my shoulder. For the time being, I started to get back on track, and went for walk this morning.

How does writing affect your daily routine?

The Curse of Procrastination


008.Procrastination.webIf you read my bio on WordPress, you’d know that I tend to take on more than I have the time or the energy to accomplish. This has been the case for me in the past couple of weeks, and I believe it’s going to continue for the foreseeable future.

Since I finished writing the first draft of my novel, I wanted to take a short break before I could start writing another novel or editing the first one. However, as some of you may know, April is a month plucked with writing competitions.

Writing for competitions is not something I’m used to, so I took on this new opportunity, regardless of the fact that I have a graduation project to finish – the only thing standing between me and my BA. Of course, I’m not planning to enter all competitions, nor am I planning to write for the tens whose themes I liked (anymore). I have selected a few, however, which I thought I should give a shot.

As the competitions’ deadlines loom, I find myself focusing more on writing for the contests than for my project. I would do anything than write for my graduation project, actually. One time, I slept for three hours in the afternoon, waking up every half-hour but the dreadful thought of having to work on the project putting me back to sleep.

To tell you the truth, I have finished writing for the upcoming contests (except one), but I’m putting off editing them just to avoid working on my project. Today alone, I checked my Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Instagram and Klout accounts over a dozen times each, not to mention distracting myself with other mundane things, all the while only editing one out of 12 pages of a piece of writing due in 5 days!

I think it’s safe to say the writers are the best procrastinators. For me this is obviously the case. I loiter with my writing but only when I have other things to do. I’ll stick with the conclusion that I subconsciously want to fail in other things so that writing is the only thing left for me to do, or maybe it’s just all in my head.

Do you face this problem too?

A Reader’s Incident


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I went out to see the dentist today (just a regular check up during which he told me that I took too much care of my teeth and people like me put him out of business). Prior to being admitted into the clinic, however, I had to wait. Since I haven’t waited for anyone, or anything, in such a long time, this particular wait proved to be one of the longest.

I arrived at 12:55 to my 1:00 p.m. appointment. There was a patient in there and an old man in the waiting room. At first, I thought he was the secretary, but then I thought against it. The room seemed tiny when I entered, but now that I recall the two large coaches and three other smaller ones I realize that the room’s size was bigger than what I had thought. I sat on a grey coach, embroidered by rectangular patterns on the sitting area. The plain remainders of the coach made me believe that the dentist was trying to salvage two different sofas and ended up with that mess.

“First time here?” the man asked, again making me think that he was the secretary.

“Yes,” I smiled politely eying the fashion magazine he clutched with his thick hands.

The muted music channel was showing a video of a five-year-old song, my phone had no internet connection, the dentist’s roaring tools indicated that I will be waiting a while, and I had no interest whatsoever in aimlessly turning the pages of a fashion magazine. All I wished in that moment was to have a book in my bag that I can read to pass the few, yet dull, moments.

Yesterday, I finished reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, an interesting classic of which I will later post a review. On my shelf, there are but two unread books: The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking (a little sciency), and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. On my iPad, there are tens of unread classical and modern titles, and I still have several bought books which are stored but not yet shipped from Amazon. I hardly ever let my iPad out of the house. Leaving a few minutes prior to my appointment, I hadn’t thought that I would need any means of entertainment.

My mother told me that in Ukraine the majority of people carried books during their daily commutes. She told me that she carried a book at all times – just like we carry earphones nowadays. Not only do I envy the pre-internet culture, but I also envy the people who can read when riding a train or a bus. We don’t have trains in Lebanon; and with our bumpy roads and crazy drivers, I get motion sickness just by staring at my telephone’s screen. Mostly, however, I’m envious because I wasn’t brought up to carry a book with me at all times. In the stretched time during my wait for the dentist, I disdained my culture the most.

I grabbed my phone, and started writing. I wrote everything that came up to my mind, from a note to self to leave a 30 minute grace period between one patient and the other in case I was incarnated as a dentist, to the recapitulation of my to-do list. I wrote till the notepad told me to stop (apparently, I had reached some character limit). Then, I got my check up, went to have my nails done, waited another few minutes for the nail polish to dry (again without being entertained), and then stood across the street to wait for a cab. In that moment, I couldn’t help but head to the book store. I’m never leaving the house without a book again.

Lookalikes: Impede Vs. Impend


flat,220x200,075,tToday’s similarly written words have no similarities when it comes to meaning. I used to mix up those two words sometimes.

Impede [im-peed] (verb):

to hinder or obstruct.

Example:

My online window shopping spreeimpeded my work on my graduation.

Impend [im-pend] (verb):

1. to be imminent or about to happen.

2. to threaten or menace.

Example:

I summoned all my energy and focus as the deadline to my graduation project impended.

Guest Post by Aya Nehme


This week, I’m keeping it all in the family, and hosting the post of my cousin. I have been always impressed by cousin’s poetry and today I will share one of her poems with you. She’s new on WordPress, so I would appreciate it if you hit the like and follow buttons to support her.

Summer Stories

They say every summer has a story
But never have they witness other than its yellow and blue
Neither its heat nor its long days
But I yesterday have witnessed the court and jury

Summertime fantasies and wild July
Which I thought will stay forever
To realize that September luck is no myth
Soon summer ends as I cry

Too many jaw drops
Too many disappointments
Too many endings
Too many pauses and stops

For me I only found hope in him
And had faith because of him
He stayed in my life with all the mess
But lastly he have gone back to being him

Insecure I feel
And all human kind seems to scare me now
For he wants what he desires
Even if his desires are on man’s account

I can’t have him
And I desire him or nothing at all
I am human, I am selfish
I run away from him

I can’t live with you
But I can’t live without you
But summer has ended
And we are a mess
Now it’s time to either let go of life or let go of me
So I let you to decide
For I cannot pressure you to stay when in us you have no clue

Sorry I feel for us
And tears I cry for our happy promises
I cannot but not love you
But in us I no longer trust

They say every summer has a story
But it’s no story when it’s a happy ending
It’s no story without the flashbacks
Flashbacks of hot nights, yellow sun, blue ocean, red roses, loud noise…
And love.
Mine ended with heat and endless nights
Still, I remember its glory

But will always remember that back to earth I shall come
And in reality I shall live

 

Bio: Lebanese by birth who dreams big. I'm highly inspired by a relative “Margaret Benison”; currently majoring Interior Design and minoring in Advertising; living in a mixture of ART and REALITY; party animal; has been in love with the same person for eight years; an amateur poet; an artist. A person who have been through not a lot but quite some ups and downs, luckily managed to overcome the obstacles and continue the life I started. 
Blog address: www.ayanehme.wordpress.com

Word of the Day: Loiter


master procrastinorToday’s word provides an accurate description of my relationship with my graduation project.

Loiter  [loi-ter] (verb):

1. linger aimlessly.

2. move in a slow, idle manner.

3. to waste time, or dawdle over work.

Example:

I loitered away my mornings, afternoons, and evenings between snacks, naps, and web browsing, doing everything but the things that needed to be done.

Stay tuned for a lovely poem as a guest post by my cousin Aya Nehme, in a few minutes 🙂

 

Don’t Cheat on Your Ideas


ImageOne of the biggest problems we face as writers is our inability to follow through certain ideas. We would start writing a novel thinking it would be great, only to find ourselves, days later, ignoring it completely for the sake of a newer and more appealing idea. I had the same issue with novels, short stories and even articles. And I’m sure many of you can relate to this, even if you don’t work in the field of writing. So, how to stay faithful to your ideas? And how to resist, without wasting the opportunity of, a younger and hotter inspiration?

Take Notes: One of the reasons we get inclined to dump an old idea and jump to the next one is the fear of forgetting the sudden jolt of inspiration that hits us at 2:00 a.m. as we are trying to sleep. By taking notes you ensure that these thoughts won’t get that far, even if you don’t start working on them right away.
Another benefit of taking notes is that it revives that creative juice at the moments when you can’t find anything to write about. Just pull the notebook and get inspired. It’s like a little letter from you to yourself.

ImageTake More Notes: Yes, I know I already said that. It’s one thing to take notes about an idea that sprung through your head, but that’s not all it takes to write a successful article, story, book, genius meatloaf recipe, or a business plan. There is a fair amount of research involved in writing every piece. So, to make sure all those websites, statistics, medical data, and historical events are not forgotten, write them in your notebook next to the brief synopsis of your idea.
This is, also, helpful for you to feel that you’re working on the new idea, without having to throw away the old one. By the time you’re done with the old piece of writing, you can start writing the newer piece immediately without wasting time on research – which is one of the reasons people get bored with writing.

ImageNew is Always Better: Yes, this article is to teach you how to commit to your old writing, but that doesn’t mean you have to get stuck in a rut! Find a new writing location, change the scenery in the room, take a different route to work, or simply research new information on the subject you are writing about. This will help spark up your desire to write more about the old issue, while also get your creative juices flowing.

There Will Be Time for Editing: Don’t look at your first draft and get overwhelmed at how much work it needs. Don’t look at your first draft at all! Just revise the things you wrote the day before, make some adjustments, and then go on – go on until you finish. Even the greatest writers need to edit their work. So, don’t get discouraged if your first draft isn’t that great. Write now, edit later.

ImageThink of It as a Job: Your boss asks you to write a short piece about the cons of throwing toilet paper in the toilet. You don’t get picky and say: No, I’ll ignore this one halfway through and write about alien appearances in Texas.
To be able to commit to your writing you have to be your own boss. Force yourself to sit facing that screen, reward yourself when you’re done, even reprimand yourself if you have to – or find someone else to do it for you. The most important thing for you to succeed in any domain is to have an elephant-sized commitment.

Image Ideas are family; treat them accordingly. Don’t give up on them, don’t fool around, don’t be over critical, and, most importantly, commit. Happy writing!

DONE!


ImageTyping “The End” when you finish your manuscript gives you one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. It feels as if something that seemed impossible had just materialized. It’s like when you’re reading an engaging book and it ends. Oh, no! What happens next? I want to know more. I want to follow the journey of those people forever!
Of course, every journey should come to an end at some point or the other, and the journey of my character ended today. I love the way I ended the book, leaving it open to interpretations, yet, making it easy to guess where the character would go next.

I learned a lot throughout the past 90+ days and I can’t believe that I’m going to wake up tomorrow and not write another word in this novel. You won’t believe how arduous the past month has been. Those of you who wrote or are writing a novel know what I’m talking about. Once your manuscript nears the end, you feel your head going to explode as you make sure to tie loose ends and resolve the conflict in a smart, yet unpredicted, way.

The draft needs serious work, I know. I will let it rest for a few weeks, however, before I start editing, which is the part I dread the most. I get frustrated editing short stories, so you can only imagine what I will go through editing tens of thousands of words. You may encounter several nagging posts on my part in the near future, so be prepared.

Meanwhile, I will publish some writing tips on my blog, inspired by my experience. I’m no expert; that’s why the advice is free. Happy writing!