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Welcome to My Web

New shell, same writer. Thank you for stopping by my new Blog, Story Spinner Web. I will be weaving new tales, advice or trials along the writing thread soon, very soon…

 

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Adventures in (Not) Blogging, but Still Writing

Adventures in (Not) Blogging, but Still Writing

Noticing the embarrassing amount of time that has passed since I last blogged, I felt I must at least update my loyal followers as to the why of my absence (and the Blog name change!).

I love lists, so here are my reasons organized in just such a manner:

  1. Through fate or kismet or the genius algorithms of Facebook, a friend of an author who had my same former nome de plume found me, and I was in a scramble to find a new name, yet it still had to be “me.” I had searched the internet before but spacing between initials be cursed, that was the reason I did not find my doppelganger initially. After two days of sweating like the old comic strip “Cathy,” (yes, dating myself) I finally settled on Caroline Elle Murphy (instead of my former C. L.) and my new blog name: Story Spinner Web.
  2. Why Story Spinner Web? Magic, creation, spinning of tales…I think you can connect the dots. No I do not love black widows but I will happily greet an orb weaver in my garden.
  3. I prepared for and attended my first SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Conference in LA last summer (woot!) and my head was full of fantastic information to process. And process. I apologize for not sharing the pearls of wisdom…but I felt they were well covered elsewhere. Perhaps the “write” mood (har har) will strike and I will impart the things that STILL stand in my brain, even after six months of time. Just know if you are ever considering going, I say, DO IT.
  4. I have been working on two novels (one YA Dystopian, one adult (paranormal???)) romance, attempting to perfect a picture book manuscript as well as writing a new one.
  5. Parenting, Spousing, and Laundry-ing takes up a great deal of time. Not complaining! (Except about the laundry–yeah, #firstworldproblem.)
  6. AND…duh duh duh (that would be dramatic music speak), I am researching literary agents.

Therefore, no excuses here, just updates, and hoping my Blog muse will return when she feels the timing is right. I certainly will put good news (or even writer struggle news) here when I get it.

In the mean time, I leave you with sage advice from Monty Python:

“Always look on the bright side of life.” (Insert whistle).

 

PS For anyone who wonders why I chose the particular image up top, the answer is: I was being random. But photos of camouflaged hummers always seems like a good idea, and…made you look! 😉 Boy, what was in my water tonight???

Magical Transcendence aka Storytime

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Some stories leave lasting impressions. The title, the author, may elude your memory, but the images and feelings these gems weave through your being never leave. The emotion, poignancy, betrayal, joy: all of it remains, magically transcending aging.

I am thankful that my teachers and some person writing my elementary textbooks and curriculum loved certain stories enough to include them. All Hail fiction in schools.

“Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls, “All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury, and “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell are just a few that have remained seared in my personal memory and heart, long after my childhood has passed.

In case you who are reading this haven’t read these particular stories, I hate spoilers, so I won’t spoil them for you…but get thee posthaste to a bookstore and read them. You won’t be sorry. Well, you might be a bit sorry when you go through an entire box of Kleenex. Or when you stay up late at night, wide awake mulling over the definition of “games.” Oh, or if you never look at a loner or unique child the same way again. I suppose you might hate me an itty bitty tiny iota, but I bet you will feel a better person, more thoughtful person for it.

I know I am. Tiny facets, perhaps even large swaths of my character have been nailed into place through the musings created by these and other such stories. Right and wrong, shades of morality, compassion, the measure and quality of love and relationships—so much of my essence has been sifted through the sieve of storytelling. I am so grateful to these and so many other authors.

I would like to shake their hands.

But since this is not to be, as many have long passed from this earth, I simply will do what should be done and pass on their words. There is power, magic even, in this legacy left by word weavers.

We must encourage children to find these stories, to see their worth. We must inspire our community to keep storytelling alive through reading programs and funding of public sharing of books and story collections. We must share our favorite tales with friends, reluctant readers, even adults rediscovering books amidst their busy lives, in the hopes they may find such riches we have.

And we must ask those of you with a story in your heart to keep the faith. Keep working. Write what is in you.

Our hearts and minds will thank you.

Word.

We’ve all heard the adage, “Actions speak louder than words.” That’s truth…except speaking–or not speaking–is an action too.

Consider these:

Say “I love you,” or “I forgive you,” before someone dies.

Speak up in the face of injustices or lies.

Don’t cut with words; those scars remain.

Declare things you love about yourself. Turn away from self-pain.

Trace loving phrases in the sand; letters fade but memories stay.

Tell your children how special they are, especially when skies are gray.

Listen when someone needs you to; silence can be a balm.

Pass on a favorite poem, like a sonnet or a psalm.

Write your story for those you will leave behind.

Send your words out into the world, and they will be returned in kind.

To write, to speak, IS to act.

May the right words flow freely from you.

 

*Credit to http://www.wordle.net/ for helping me create the word cloud pictured above.

 

 

Cerebr-ation

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No, I do not have a typing impediment.

Rather, I am fond of new and fun word formation, especially those erupting from the human imagination, and wish to use my own to capture my end of writing year summation.

Cerebr{um}-ation=a brain activity and creation celebration. At least that is my definition.

I must confess an inclination to describe my periodic brain vacation (writer’s block), expiration (ideas that suck), heart palpitation (feelings of no, I suck!), or occasional ovulation (wait, what?), but I will refrain, as these do not fall into the category of the aforementioned classification.

Instead, I will stay the course and revel in manifestation, via my favorite outline mode, list formation:

  1. I started my own little blog nation (thanks for being part of it!).
  2. I fist-bumped up my media by initiating a Twitter and Facebook author-relation (another ovation to you who support me on that!).
  3. I genuflected to the keyboard and wrote over three hundred new pages of verbal illustration (special thanks to the NaNoWriMo program for kicking my butt in this regard).
  4. I humbled myself before my writing partners and revised over one hundred fifty words of grammar exploration (there are no words, ladies, except thank you to Pluto and back).
  5. I embarked on an exploration of new, fun, outrageous, sobering, wonderful stories from preschool to life school (inclination of head toward all you amazing authors out there, past and present).

In my personal life, I simply will say that I continue to be blessed with many a vocation: parenthood, spousehood, daughterhood, friendhood, dancemomhood (not kidding;))…Okay, I realize I am reverting back into more word mutation, but you get the gist.

I hope you will also take a moment to give yourself an affirmation of your very own cerebr-ation(s); give yourself a life exclamation.

2015: Observation!

2016: Salutation!

And may your days be ever peaceful.

 

 

Hello, Story (My Boyfriend’s Back)

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Stage 1—Infatuation

I just met my Story. I knew from the moment I saw him it was love at first type. The words flowed between us like the falls at Niagara: powerful, unstoppable, magnificent. We rushed in, the air sang, electricity surged beneath my fingertips as I explored the newness of his beginning, middle, and end. We’ll be announcing the New York Times Bestseller List faster than you can say Big Apple. This is gonna be great.

Stage 2—WTF was I thinking?

Stop. The. Press. My chest is panicking, my brain is freaking out. How did I not see this before? My Story went from God of the Word to a Gaping Mud Pit in one day flat. He got all complicated on me, stopped his Museful caresses, and even had the nerve to show me huge swaths of his flabby self. Yesterday he was perfection embodied. Today he is boring, runs in circles, lacks elegance, and I can’t tell you how many places he needs a shave. I still feel a strong attraction but I have no idea why. No backing out now, though.

Stage 3—Exploration

Now that he let me work on him, I think my Story is actually rather hot. It’s time to take this a step further…maybe even go all the way. I’m giddy thinking about what new things we’ll discover together. I’ve been reading up; who knows what new positions my punctuation will take? I can almost picture the candlelit room, our text bodies bared to each other. Will he still love me, will his prose still wrap around me like the Kama Sutra Clasp in the morning? Only one way to find out. I’m going in.

Stage 4—Commitment

No, I WON’T give gory details—I’m just not that kind of girl. But I can happily say we’ve settled into a groove of wordly contentment. 40,000 words in is really an engagement, right? Sure there are days we fight—he wants me to write him one way, I insist that I am in control (and of course he secretly knows I AM). I still give him plenty of white space to roam. I mean, it’s the modern age, right? I’m secure knowing my story will love me until the denouement.

Stage 5—The Breakup

I knew it. He’s leaving me the minute we finish working on him (though I am sure we’ll never REALLY be done). My heart is heavy, my tears flow onto the keyboard. I must send him off into the world of publishing, of total body makeovers, seas of proofreading marks, or even complete brush-offs from editors and agents alike. He may not survive; my mind screams with fear for him. But I have faith he’ll get the call. Our romance is over, but we’re still friends. Who knows, maybe we’ll rekindle our romance down the line for a sequel. But now it’s time to let go.

Goodbye, Story. Fly.

All right, who’s next?

Life’s Trash Purge

Ever have the feeling your garage is closing in on you? Or your desk? Your chest constricts, you feel like starting a bonfire in your living room, your grumpy pants fry your loved ones with each withering glance?

Well if the answer is yes, then I invite you to join me for the “big purge” of life’s trash.

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I admit it, I am something of a packrat. (For those of you who may not know about this creature, they collect just about everything they find for a nest, especially junk, while doing it with deceptively destructive teeth and overly cute ears. You will be happy to note my teeth and ears are normal.) Not like the TV crazies, but a few notches down. I clean, yes, but lurking in boxes and stuffed in closet corners are—get ready—papers! Mementos! Dating back years and years. And don’t get me started on books (though trade stores are motivators here).

And how do I feel when I think about tackling this project?

It’s enough to make me weep. And turn around. And surf Facebook, because then I am at least being social.

Ahem.

So I finally changed out my clothes for happy working pants last week and tackled one box, then another. There I found memories and letting go. I found letters from old boyfriends (eek!), old bills (shriek!), and things I would be embarrassed to show my children (bleep!). It stirred up feelings from long ago, then like a gravedigger, I gave them peace.

Shred box. Recycling. Trash. Glee.

I didn’t realize what an emotional weight was lurking in the shadows of the storage spaces, but a little sweat and I feel stronger. Inside. (My muscles still need some work.)

And you know what? It somehow also freed up my mind, my creative spaces. I suddenly had inspiration on how to rework parts of my book I have already written, got new scene ideas, even new story ideas, not to mention felt motivated to pump up the decorative air of my house.

The physical work actually made room for new soul synapses. Huh.

So now the mountain doesn’t seem quite so high, and even if it was, I will still put on my climbing pants and sally forth.

So come along. Take my hand. I’ll smile all the way.