Writing Process Blog Hop

Robert invited me to participate in the Writing Process Blog Hop. He’s a fellow writer whose blog From a Clogged Mind features poignant poetry, exciting flash fiction, and occasionally, music videos for songs he enjoys. My favorite of Robert’s works are his flash fiction stories — action-packed with an air of mystery.

The rules:
1. I must answer the four questions below.
2. I must link back to the person who invited me to this Blog Hop.
3. I must name four writers who will continue this Blog Hop and notify them.

Questions:
1) What are you working on?
Aside from what I’ve been posting here, I’ve been outlining a romantic comedy trilogy. It may or may not be based on my hilarious female friends’ adventures in dating. It’s definitely based on how as twenty-somethings, all of us are trying to figure out how to be adults while still having fun.

2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?
With my poetry, I have a signature punctuation style — I use parentheses, don’t typically capitalize titles or within poems, and use dashes rather than ellipses. My short stories are dialogue-driven (sometimes, the story ends up being completely comprised of dialogue), which probably makes them read more like a play. I’ll get back to y’all on the novels once I’ve hammered those out.

3) Why do you write what you write?
I’ve kept a journal since I was four. Writing is my stress reliever. It’s the way I cope with and sort through my emotions. The reason I’m going to write those romantic comedies is that the genre is one of my favorites and there are too many cliched and unrealistic series out there. I wanted to write a rom-com series that was relatable and not rehashing what we’ve been forced to read, for lack of a better selection.

4) How does your writing process work?
Like Robert, my poetry is usually inspired by whatever music I’m listening to, or in my case, my mood. For short stories, I have an idea for a funny conversation or situation and write without planning it. For novels, I brainstorm, outline the characters and plots, then write (and continually revise).

Look for the Blog Hop to continue next week at these sites:
Author Miranda Stone
Miranda is a fantastic author. Her poetry is moving and has extremely vivid imagery. Her short stories have unique characters who don’t typically do the right thing, yet you find yourself sympathizing with them anyway because you’ve glimpsed why they’re flawed.

Little Steps
Dean is an expat whose life was turned upside down once she became a mom. She shares her stories and photos about the “little” triumphs (and struggles) of motherhood, as well as photos and stories from her travels with her family. She features other parents on her blog, as well.

The Lovely Photog
LeSha is an amazing photographer. She showcases her photos, gives helpful tips to newbie photographers, reviews beauty/hair products, and shares stories and photos about her family. Her blog is a collection of everything she loves.

Unzip These Lips
Vic is a youngin’ (a high school senior), but is mature for her age. Her blog features evocative poetry and prose posts about her budding relationship. She also reblogs feminist and LGBTQ articles, as well as other bloggers’ works that she enjoys.

I’m going to cheat and mention one other blog for y’all to check out, which I recently discovered:
Benjamin’s The Breakdown of Taboo – his poems are uniquely structured and thought-provoking.

Three speeches I would’ve made for closure (if it existed)

(Zero)
Closure doesn’t exist. I don’t believe in it. No one really gets closure when a friendship or relationship ends. People grow up and apart. There’s no particular catalyst that sets off the dissolution. Fondness fades into apathy. Relationships in which people become ambivalent tend to disintegrate slowly over time.

People purposely hurt each other and don’t take responsibility for doing so. They become passive or blatantly aggressive. They play emotional chicken, baiting (daring) each other to break it off first. Toxic relationships tend to fall apart as they began — abruptly. I don’t believe in closure, but if I did, there are three speeches I would’ve made to obtain it.

One
I wouldn’t have survived senior year of high school without you. Neither of us belonged in Alpharetta. We had aspirations beyond suburbia. You sketched and painted. I wrote. Our goal was to get the hell out. You were the smartest girl in our class and my closest friend. Instead of going to keggers with classmates, we spent weekends watching foreign films and listening to indie music.

Though you went to college up north, we would have long phone calls a few times each semester. We hung out during Thanksgiving and winter breaks. During one phone call, you nervously told me you were queer. I didn’t think of you any differently after that. But if I had to pinpoint it, that was when you stopped returning calls or texts as much.

You posted articles about gender being a social construct and the need for LGBTQ safe spaces without heteronormative influence on Facebook. When I called you by your name, you explained that you wanted to be called a male name and be referred to with male pronouns. I did so without a second thought.

The last time we had lunch was a few summers ago. We went to one of the few decent sushi places in Alpharetta. You had just started working for as an LGBTQ advocate, focusing on teens and young adults. Your work was inspiring. I realized that I’d never be able to empathize with you about the struggle you went through in discovering your gender identity. I’d always be part of your past, when you hadn’t figured it out yet.

Thank you for being a great friend when I needed one. I wish we still hung out. I hope you’ve found happiness and fulfillment (or at least closer to it now).

Two
I’m not sure why, but even though I hadn’t spoken to you in five years, you insisted that I was your best friend. You’re the antithesis of everything a woman should look for in a man. When a woman sees you, she should immediately run in the other direction. My friends referred to men like you by your name — you became a common noun synonymous with the worst kind of douchebag.

You knew me best when we rode the same school bus to high school. I was triumphant. After you teased me throughout elementary school, you recognized I was better than you — in academics, besides math and science, and as a person because I was sympathetic to a fault, while you were oblivious to a fault. Yet, every time you would date someone new, you would talk to and hang out with me more. Your mother would harass you when I wouldn’t stop by because you would inevitably fall to the wayside without my guidance.

The last straw was when you expected me to sleep with you when we weren’t together. As if that wasn’t insulting enough, you were still dating your jailbait girlfriend. It was a disgusting plan (even for you). Cutting you off was one of the wisest decisions I ever made. Talking to you just to hear your pathetic apologies was hilarious. It was equally hilarious to discover that you haven’t changed a bit.

Thank you for being the biggest asshole I’ve ever met. I kicked you out of my life for good and everything fell into place. You were the archetype for everything I didn’t need. In being that point of reference, I found the man who is everything that I could ever want and need. I hope you never change, for entertainment’s sake.

Three
You were a two-faced redneck bitch. I knew that when Ames and I met you, but I was naïve. I didn’t trust my gut as much in my younger years. As I’ve gotten older, I discovered that my first impressions of people are usually correct (for better or worse).

You were a fun party friend we met through a mutual acquaintance (your boyfriend at the time), but we ended up hanging out aside from partying. Then we found out that you talked a lot shit — about us. You blamed us for any time you cheated on him or got blackout drunk. You lied to him and said you were on the pill, in hopes of getting pregnant. You were the trailer trash cliché of a woman trying to entrap a man by having his baby.

Thank you for reminding me to always trust my instincts. You inadvertently introduced us to one of our other friends — his ex. I hope to see you on Maury one day.