Monday, August 29, 2016

How I Get Ideas for Short Stories & Creative Writing


Hey, y'all! I'm back from a brief blogging break because of work. I've been busy with blogging and magazine-article writing, and it's all been fun. Hope you guys had a wonderful week last week! :)

Now, let's get down to business.

My passion is writing, plain and simple. I adore the written word, and I love being able to use the written word to create stories. I work with both non-fiction and fiction mediums, and I love both.

Sometimes, I have no problem finding story ideas...other times, it feels like I've got a bad case of writer's block and have no idea where to even start. Either way, it's becoming easier and easier to find inspiration for short stories and longer writing projects, and I love it.

So, regardless of if you're a seasoned writer, someone who writes on and off, or a curious reader stopping by, I want to share some of the ways I've been finding ideas for stories.

Real Life Experience

What would I categorize as real life experience?
  • Stories and favorite moments from your childhood/growing up
  • Places you've been
  • Places you dream of going
  • Things you've done
  • Things you wish you could do or experience (for example, having some kind of superpower)
  • People you know
  • Things you've learned
  • And so on :)
I've been able to get a ton of writing inspiration from real life, and I honestly believe it's the best place to start when I'm trying to figure out what to write next, creative or not.

Then, I usually supplement experience with...


The Internet!

The internet has a treasure trove of information anyway, so it comes as no surprise that there's quite a bit of inspiration out there for the writer, too.

I mainly use Pinterest to gather writing ideas - and tips, too! - but there's a treasure trove of resources out there. I also use Pinterest to find ways to help with the technical side of creative writing, which includes stuff like character development, setting development, descriptions, and so on.

Reading

It is said that you become a better writer when you read...and that can't be more true. Not only have I learned from the best novels, but I've also learned how not to write, handle a plot twist, develop a character, etc.

Now, I'm not saying to blatantly copy what you do like from books. We have enough copies of Twilight and Harry Potter, it seems like. I'm just suggesting that you take a second look at the books you've read as far as the writing is concerned: What did you like the best? What didn't you like? How would you handle that twist or that character arc differently?

Finally, let's talk about another medium that might be a surprisingly good help...

Video Games

Believe it or not, video games are actually another great source of inspiration as far as writing goes. The typical "guy saves the girl from the big evil dragon" storyline can fit both a book (re: Sleeping Beauty) and a video game (re: Super Mario Bros.), and well, too.

In fact, I was playing a video game recently, and I was getting frustrated with the way pacing was handled. The characters really didn't do a whole lot of showing, just a lot of telling...scenes in the game where characters just stood around and talked about what was going on or about to happen took about twenty minutes.

Doesn't that sound a lot like something you'd be frustrated with in a movie or a book?

Now, I'm not a HUGE gamer, but I do know that video games give players the chance to interact with a story as opposed to just being an observer or spectator. Sometimes, interacting with a setting or certain characters has given me ideas for how I want to handle a setting or my own characters in my own work.

So, what do you do to find inspiration, whether it's in writing or any other kind of work? Let me know down in the comments! :) Thanks for reading, y'all.
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Friday, August 19, 2016

The "Get to Know Me" Tag


Boy howdy, it's been awhile since I've done a tag.

Let's change that. TODAY.

So I happened upon this tag as presented here, and I thought it would be a fantastic one to share with you. I did modify this tag slightly, but I wanted to answer as many questions as I could and share them with you in hopes that you can get to know the girl behind the blog a bit better. :)

Let's get to it!


1. Are you named after someone?
Yes! I am actually named after the city of Savannah, Georgia - based on the sequel to Gone with the Wind - and my mom's "Aunt" Kate. Hence, Savannah Kate.

2. Do you have kids?
Not yet, but I'd love to have a family of my own someday!

3. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?
I try to be friends with everyone, so yes, I would do my best to befriend myself.

4. Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I've always loved anime, and I got really, REALLY excited when I found out they were remaking Sailor Moon a year or so ago. That, and retro video games. And the Starbucks secret menu. And collecting candles.

So, make that guilty pleasures. Ha!

5. Do you like handwriting?
Yes, I do! I dabble in it whenever I can.


6. What is your favorite cereal?
I have a few: Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, Frosted Cheerios, and Cookie Crisp.

7. What is the first thing you notice about people?
Their attitudes.

8. What color are your eyes?
Blue...specifically, slate/grayish blue with a navy ring on the outside. :)

9. Scary movies or happy endings?
Happy endings, because I hate jumpscares.

10. Favorite TV show?
Doctor Who!

11. Summer or winter?
Summer!

12. What’s the furthest you’ve been from home?
Furthest East? Austria.
Furthest West? Hawaii.

13. Do you have special talents?
I can decipher letters backwards?

14. Where were you born?
Franklin, Tennessee!

15. What are your hobbies?
Writing, reading, listening to music, crafting, and the odd video game or two.

16. Do you have any pets?
Yes! I have two: Harvey and Azalea, my miniature schnauzers.



17. Favorite movie?
Legally Blonde

18. What color is your car?
Electric blue with racing stripes!



19. What did you want to be when you grow up?
This is a bit all over the place, but when I was a little little girl, I always said I wanted to be a builder, like an architect or engineer. Then, as I grew up, I wrote stories ALL the time, and I drew, too. So, that changed from art to eventually writing. Now, I'm a writer, and I absolutely love it. I think it all stemmed from my desire to create things on paper, because the extent of my "building" was planning out the blueprint for a time machine when I was a child. :)

Welp, that wraps this tag up! Thanks for hanging out with me for a bit and listening to a few fun facts!
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Monday, August 15, 2016

Mondays are for Music: My Late Summer Jams

Hey, y'all! :)

I know it's the middle of August now, but I can't believe we're in August, y'all. I remember when 2016 just started. But it's been a great year so far, both life-wise and music-wise, in my opinion.

Speaking of music, I want to share some recent discoveries with you today. One is pop, two are electronic, and another is from a band I've loved since college, but all of them are ones I've kept coming back to. So, let's get into the Spotify links!




What have you been listening to lately?
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Friday, August 12, 2016

Packing for Quick Trips


My 2016 has had some quick little trips, ranging from three to five days or even less. Quick trips are fun - they are trips, after all - but sometimes, I find that they're tricky to pack for, since while you know what you may be doing when you travel, it's not like you'll have the time to do laundry or even spend much time shopping if you have a tight schedule, like during a business trip.

So, what do you pack when you have a quick trip, and how do you do it?

Check the weather for the days you'll be traveling
It's become easier than ever to get an idea of what the weather at your destination will be like. Not only can you check weather forecast websites or apps, but you can also look to Pinterest and other blogs to get a local, recent, or frequent visitor's perspective on how the weather will be. Knowing the weather will prevent overpacking unnecessary items; for example, you don't want to pack a heavy jacket in a tropical climate.

Packing by outfit works, but sometimes, it helps to have extras of certain items.
It helps to pack by outfit if you want to worry less about deciding what to wear during your trip, and it can help keep you from packing for a fourteen-day trip when you're only going to be gone for three. But it's also not a bad idea to make sure you have replacement items not only for weather purposes, but in case a more formal event comes up (or if you need a Sunday dress/clothing for church), or if you happen to stay a few extra days. This is where making a list comes in handy.

Speaking of packing extras, pack extra items if you know there'll be rain, or if you'll be swimming, or anything else
You don't want to be caught without a change of clothes if you happen to get wet, or if you happen to spill something on yourself. This can apply if you're traveling somewhere with frequent rain, or someplace like the beach or an amusement park. Accidents happen, and it's better to be prepared with a few extra clothes than underpack.

You can re-wear certain items, and pack less of those items
Some items you can wait to wash again, like denim jeans and shorts. As such, you can pack less of them - or even pack one each - to save space.

Pack items that roll up easily
The items that roll up the tightest are usually light layers, like t-shirts and leggings. Also, dresses are the easiest to pack because they are a whole day's outfit in one piece of clothing.

Invest in packing cubes and a laundry bag
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: these are the BEST for keeping clothes in your suitcase as well as keep track of your clean and dirty clothing. Sometimes, organization can help keep you focused on your travel and your trip and keep you from being stressed over your luggage, especially when you're traveling for such a short amount of time. You can find packing cubes online...I found mine off Amazon, and the set came with a laundry bag of its own. Beyond packing cubes, it helps to put shoes and jewelry in bags as well, just so things stay clean and uncluttered.

How do you pack for a quick trip? Let me know in the comments! :)
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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

National Book Lover's Day

This is my favorite reading spot at my grandparents' house :)

Today is National Book Lover's Day. I absolutely love random holidays, and today is absolutely no exception. I've been a book lover my whole life. There's just something about cracking open the pages of a new book and diving into a new story. I'm also a writer, and I adore writing my own stories as well.

How in the world do you celebrate the hard-bound, written word?
  • Open up a brand-new novel, or continue one you've already started. Or, read your Bible. Basically, if it's written and published, go read it.
  • Go read in a favorite spot, or try someplace new, like a local bookstore or even a new chair in your living room.
  • Speaking of local bookstores, pay your favorite one a visit. Local bookstores love visitors, and they'll be absolutely happy to give you recommendations. One of my favorites in Nashville has a huge selection of signed copies!
  • Visit a local bookstore in a new place if you happen to be traveling, or visit one near your extended family, whether you grew up visiting it or not.
  • Or, if you're closer to a bigger-name bookstore chain, that's also fine.
  • Encourage reading; it beats screen time any day of the week, and I've found that I'm less stressed when I put down my phone or put away my laptop for a few minutes to an hour or so, depending on how busy my day happens to be.
  • Also, encourage writing. Nothing makes this writer happier than seeing people interested in creating stories of their own.
How will you celebrate National Book Lover's Day?
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Friday, August 5, 2016

California Dreamin': A Story in Instagrams

Hey, y'all!

Last weekend, my mom and I took a quick trip to California.

These are the photos I posted to Instagram while I was there. :)


Before I left for California from the airport, some Pokémon Go happened. (In fact, a LOT of Pokémon Go happened this trip...let's just say I spent a lot of time on the app whilst riding in the back of Uber rides with Mom.) (Another side note, if you want my thoughts on Pokémon Go, check out my post here.)

But this guy is a Weedle, and because I caught him at the airport, I named him "Airport."

I think that was before I had my coffee, ha!


Once we got to LA, we made a few stops. The first was Sage Goddess, a rock and crystal store, and then we made our way to Little Tokyo, where we partook in the ramen you see above.

Orochon Ramen is the very first legitimate ramen shop I'd ever been to (barring Wagamama in Windsor, England). This place is incredibly special to me, and their ramen - pork with a soy base and boiled eggs with spice - is my favorite.


After ramen, we made a quick stop through Bottega Louie for macarons.

Y'all, they're as magical and delicious as they look.


The next day was Saturday, and Mom and I headed to downtown Pasadena for a planner meetup...specifically, Marion Smith's Southern California Planner Lover's Retreat. It was a fun time all around!


And this was the dress I wore. :)


Finally, on Sunday, we swung by the Grove - one of my favorite shopping centers ever - for some shopping at Topshop, along with checking out the nearby farmer's market.

I didn't realize that the CBS network building was nearby, but it was within walking distance of the Grove. So, consequently, I took a selfie with it for good measure. ;)

And that, my friends, was my weekend trip to California!

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