Inside the soul of a writer

Monthly Archives: October 2013

For the past three years, I have spent this day, Halloween, getting ready for the power event for writers in November, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. While I’ll be cheering on my fellow writers this month, I will not be participating myself as I don’t have a full novel in me. However, I would like to see if I could do some different types of writing such as short stories or poems or even work on editing the novel I finished last year. This will require me to take a break from this blog since it is obvious I cannot do both at the same time. 🙂 I will be back with new posts on December 2.

Hope everyone has a great day! 


There are two parts to this word. Per Wikipedia here is the definition.

“Endurance is the ability of an organism to exert itself and remain active for a long period of time, as well as its ability to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to trauma, wounds, or fatigue. Endurance may also refer to an ability to keep going through a tough situation involving hardship, stress, etc.”

I am referring more to the second part of the definition than the first though the first will come into play. There are people who come into this world with raw talent. They advance through school quickly and do especially well with the talents God has blessed them with. But, sometimes raw talent is not enough. If things have always come easily for them, there would seem to be no reason to have to work at their talent, to keep going when things aren’t going so well.

This is where endurance comes in. With me, endurance comes into play with all facets of my life, my writing as well as my faith. I read this quote by author James Baldwin earlier. 

“Beyond talent lies all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but, most of all endurance.”

I find this to be very true. If I’m not willing to keep going when the times are bad, I will not be ready for the good times. My main goal for my writing is to touch lives. Whether that means I get published in some form or fashion or just touch lives through this blog, I need to be willing to keep going even when it seems like I’m not touching anyone. 

I find this to be even more true with my faith. There are so many verses in the Bible about endurance that are an encouragement to me. Here is one example from I Chronicles 16:34.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

Another one is 2 Timothy 4:7.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

This particular verse represents the first part of the definition of endurance to me. Not only will we be blessed by God if we can emotionally endure, we are blessed with good health if we physically endure our exercise. So, here’s to enduring even when we don’t want to.

Hope everyone has a great day! 

Yesterday evening, my son was asking why the lines and actions in a certain television show had been written a certain way. He said it would have been much better if things had happened in a different way. I was impressed with his analysis because what he had suggested would have certainly made the show better. I told him so and said he would probably be a good writer on said television show.

It got me to thinking though. Why, in the world, have we accepted the lowest common denominator for our television shows and our books, for that matter? I know all of us who write have seen sales figures for certain books that we would never consider reading ourselves or that we would never consider writing. Conventional wisdom says that the reasons these books are written or that these television shows are made is that they are popular.

I think we, the general public, have more power than we think we do. Or at least the power to make it stop bothering us. 🙂 For television shows, we can stop paying for cable. My husband called the cable company the other day to see what date we could cancel our cable service. He found out the date and was also asked why he would be canceling. One of the reasons he gave was because of what I’ve discussed here. We both got a kick out of what happened the next day because apparently, his number was given to their sales department. He’s going to ignore all the calls, and we’re going to proceed with our plans. 

For writing, it’s more tricky. Of course, we should not spend money on books that are not worth reading. But, should we write to the lowest common denominator? In my opinion, no, we shouldn’t. We need to write the story we were meant to write. I know it is frustrating to see low sales figures or even to be rejected. But, if I were to write something just for the sole intent of getting published, I believe I would always be disappointed in myself and know that I could have done better. 

Hope everyone has a great day! 

Inspiration for the Weekend

Thought this was a good quote to launch us into the weekend.

Have a great one!

I saw this quote by author Julia Alvarez in my writing inspiration book, and it touched me enough that I want to expound upon it some more. First, here’s the quote.

“Bless you, my daughter. I know how much your writing matters. The sweetness of both those statements, so rarely put together! Daughter and writer. Part of la familia and also my own person, that full and impossible combination! Isn’t that what we all want–to put it all together and become that bigger version of our selves and still be loved by those who have only partially known us?”

I think anyone can look at a statement like this and have it resonate with them. It certainly does with me. For a long time, I wanted to be accepted by my family for who I was, not for who they wanted me to be. But, what about the people who are just too different from their families for their families to accept them. People get locked into certain kinds of behavior or certain characteristics they expect to see from their children. This might be from what career path the child goes down, to behavior they expect from their sons or daughters, to the kind of person their child marries, to the way the child raises their children, and to the beliefs the child ascribes to. Most of the time, the backgrounds are similar enough that there’s not much of a problem.

But, sometimes parents cannot accept who their child has become because the differences are too great. The child might put up shields for a long time in order not to have arguments when they are in contact with their parents, or they just might pretend to be someone they’re not. There’s a point though where it becomes too painful to be in two parts, and you have to show the person you are in its entirety. If the family can’t accept it, then the relationship becomes superficial, or there’s no relationship at all. While that might end up being necessary, it’s still very sad. I think it is more important though not to be in two parts.

Hope everyone has a great day! 

I saw some disturbing statistics earlier about reading and thought I would expound a little bit in my blog post this morning. The statistics spoke of how 1/3 of high school graduates and just over 2/5 of college graduates never read another book after graduating. There were others though that disturbed me the most. One was that almost 3/4 of US adults had not been in a bookstore in the last five years and 4/5 had not bought or read a book in the past year. The first set of figures is in line with what I’ve heard from other sources, but the second set of figures is kind of more than what I expected. Don’t know how close they are to being true, but how sad if they are true. There is so much wonderful material being published nowadays for people of all ages. I would hate for some of it to sit out there and remain unread because no one sees it to buy and take home and read. 

But, my question was, ‘Why is no one reading anymore?’ I think a big part of that is the expansion of media. Not only do we have television shows to watch, but there is a plethora of things to read and do on the Internet which means the time available for reading books would be reduced. Now, I would be hypocritical to say ‘get rid of all things on the Internet’ since that is the way I’m reaching you for this blog post. What it comes down to though is a matter of choice. People are choosing to consume television and other forms of electronic media to the detriment of books. Whether electronic books thwart these statistics remains to be seen.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Statistics quoted from (blog post, August 12, 2013).

Thought I’d go a little bit different for a Monday. Here’s the prompt.

Write about your name–where you got it, how you feel about it. 

I’m not sure where my name came from, but I have plenty to tell you about how I feel about it.  As you can see in the about section of this blog, my first name is Alisa. This name has a variety of spellings and a variety of pronunciations. It used to drive me crazy as a child and especially as a teenager when I would have to spell my name every single time for a teacher to write in her roll book. And more often than not, I would have the same teacher calling out Alyssa or Alisha or even Allison the next day from what they had written down. I didn’t understand how they weren’t able to pronounce it. And as a teenager, having that quandry didn’t do an awful lot for my self-confidence. I think that was one of the reasons I chose traditional names with traditional spellings for both of my own children. 

My feelings about my name continued into adulthood. I sometimes turned it into a game, trying to guess which people would not be able to figure out how to pronounce my name or who would misspell it when they were sending me a letter. I found that people who actually wanted to take the time to get to know me would have the highest percentage of spelling and pronouncing my name correctly. That was pretty cool. There were some people though that just didn’t get it. 

As the years passed, I began to appreciate the uniqueness of my name and found ways to help people learn how to spell  and even pronounce it correctly. My most recent innovation is to tell people–“Think about it this way. My name is like Lisa with an A in front it, and that is how you spell it.” Most of them have been able to figure it out, and my mental poll still works. If a person is really interested in getting to know me, they have a higher percentage of both spelling and saying my name the right way.

Hope everyone has a great day!