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The Journal of a Writer: Mari J. Skylar
Monday, 1 October 2007
My Voice
I used to ignore society and do my own thing.  Some writers tend to be so eccentric as to be so -- I was one of them.  The problem with this is, your work is rarely read because the general population can't relate to it.  Over the past 7 months I've been forced by life circumstances to be a little less of a awkward artist, and a little more of a realistic writer.  My Dad has had his toes amputated.  Aside from that, his weak muscles due to taking steriods for  ulcerative colitis (a chronic illness), have made him temporarily bed ridden, I myself have been diagnosed with the same disease, and my family is suffering a financial crisis. Through all of this, I've become more religious and learned to accept my identity as a Pakistani-American muslim more than ever.  This should (God willing) enhance and identify my voice as a writer -- something I was previously missing. 

Posted by Mari at 8:00 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007 8:01 AM EDT
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Saturday, 28 October 2006
Synergy is key
Monday started a day of collaboration for this young writer! Attending a celebratory event with good friends and family this Monday on our holiday, Eid, Raja (abbreviated name) and I discussed my manuscript.  The fan fiction novel I completed in May, and she said "I was surprised at how complex you were back then" since I'd written the majority of the novel when I was 14 and 15.  She was somewhat impressed, but thought it too much a script not an explanttory novel.  Now, she's called me several times throughout the week.  I let go of my own will for calm and peace since I had a trying week, and engaged in writing talk that resulted in us collaborating on a novel depicting the complexes of adolescence! This is a terribly exciting time for me, since we're not only using my manuscript as a starting point, using Teresa, one of the characters, as part of a symbol of adolescence, Raja actually believes we can publish it.  God willing, everything will work out.  I shall keep you updated! She writes with poetic diligence, while I write at length and quickness.  What a team!

Posted by Mari at 4:22 AM EDT
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Thursday, 5 October 2006
Update

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

Inspired this week by three young teen writers: Elisabeth, Robert Zbedi, and Danielle from The Writing Show's Podcast, I reminisce my tumultuous teenager days attending 4 classes a day at school, going to events for Key Club, and then returning home from work to write my fan fiction novel which was finally completed  in 2006.  These authors, this week, are my inspiration.  This website is to which I return after 1.5 weeks of exams in my business classes, as a reminder of who I really am.  Who I've been since I was 8 years old. 

My writing focus lately is blog (web log of my daily events and intellectual thoughts) writing and novel writing, as I will be a participant of NaNoWriMo next month!! God willing, I will complete this challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  What excitement and exhilaration.  This will be the impetus I need to write my second novel, while I work with a poet friend of mind to revise my first. 


Posted by Mari at 12:01 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 4 October 2006
Meaning
After hearing Robert Zbedi, intelligent teen writer, speak his views on teen writers on The Writing Show's Podcast, I was so impressed with his statements that regardless of their youth, teen writers should be seen as equal to their adult and should be judged not by their age, but by the quality of their work.  He further elaborated in a level of speech I haven't heard matched by a young person except myself when I was 19/20, and have lately desisted for fear of seeming superior or intimidating anyone, that everyone should be a writer since it is used in all professions.  He doubtlessly has a passion for his work.  His views are ones I've often read about, but never claimed as my original own that I never purported it, thinking all people knew how to respect writers.  From this podcast I've learned not to stifle my believes whether they were self created or heard/read elsewhere since everything meaningful has already been said and done.   

Posted by Mari at 6:59 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 4 October 2006 9:04 PM EDT
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Monday, 2 October 2006
Freedom and Independence to a certain extent...

We all have our weaknesses.  Today I used part of my philosophy of life against myself.  I assert and wish to attain independence, power, freedom, expression, and sophistication, but I overexerted my freedom and independence to seperate myself from reality to an extent that was leading me to be an unsuccessful, unheard of, and down trodden writer.  It wasn't until I listened to 3 teenagers talking about their passion for writing on _The Writing Show_ Podcast this afternoon on the return home from my finance class (I'm a graduate student studying to obtain my CPA) .  Being ann INFJ, my mind runs on natural stimulus that ignites thought processes uncommon in any other MBTI personality.  To an extent that I rely on it to solve any problem I come across.  Over the years I've trained myself to believe that if I led my thoughts run long enough, I'll find a solution.  I spent all last week staying awake from 1am to 8pm in a sporadic sleep cycle just to think and write toward my three major writing goals: a novel, a success book, a book on education.  This allowing my stream of conciousnes sto run and do whatever I wished for those early morning hours accomplished some things such as lauching my new self-definiton website which will feed into my career as a writer, but by Friday the process of staying awake so late taxed me and become so redundant that I was no longer motivated to do any work on my projects.  This adamant self reliance has led me into a trap that makes me believe I can succeed as a writer by just writing whenever I wish.  Writing random blog entries, and writing an unmotivated, no objective scene that will somehow fit into the novel someday....but this lack of focus is not only becoming redundant, it's halting me from my goals and true feelings of success and happiness.

I  spent four hours last night and much of the day yesterday entertaining and chatting with three good friends in the accounting program with me at the university, and I learned, one ENTP friend of my friend, and I realized how terribly educated and intelligent they were: MBAs, or working toward their CPA - all five of us, praise be to God (Ulhumdu Lillah)! These friends are so intelligent and well-educated that they ask for vacations at the start of a job and actually get it! Two are planning on visiting Paris in December, and they're so talented.  The ENTP knitted, sewed, got a degree in Microbiology, and has done so many other things.  I was impressed.  I gained material for my education book, and learned that I wish to be a leader - not a follower.  Just relying upon my intuition to guide me toward my goals is ludacris.  Today, I will write, but I will write with purpose and direction - or those teen writers I heard on the Podcast will be published faster than I am.  Forget about my work being too good for publishers, I need to give in.  No more of this independence streak, I need to face reality and concentrate on my goals.  


Posted by Mari at 5:12 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 2 October 2006 5:16 PM EDT
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Saturday, 23 September 2006
Frustrations of a writer looking for tone

The past three weeks at this new job, and new schedule of classes as a graduate (post-bac) student have naught given me enough creativity to write my newest novel.  An "idea" or "impression" I've been desiring to put onto paper since May of 2006, when I finished writing my first ever novel _Crowds_.  This week has been a string of days worth of frustration at not finding the right tone, setting, characters, and events to start this novel, though I've made several attempts, such as Tuesday, getting to work early at 7:30, finding no one available to let me in, so I sat across the street at Starbucks on the patio to write a scence on my Pocket PC (superb writer's tool, bought it only for $200 from www.dell4me.com [2004] I highly reccommend it!).  I even dictated some events of the day onto my PPC while driving home hoping these will inspire me to write a scene, or create certain characters that which fit the mood and tone I desire of this novel about me.  Most writer's novels are personal, and therefore, we will settle for almost nothing less than perfection, or as close to it as we can possible get.  Sidney Sheldon, creator of _I Dream of Jeannie_ and best selling author of several other books including _Windmills of the Gods_, often called "The Master Storyteller."  I thank God I found _Windmills_ at a used book sale for the Key club in high school (14) at the Osc. Art Center and picked up this tattered copy, not knowing the author was the creator of my all-time favorite TV show.  

I experienced much frustration this week in trying to find the right mood for my tale, but could not, and decided to use technology at my disposal to make the process easier: taping ideas in the car using audio, writing before work on my PPC,  staying awake late to write, and using folders to print out ever little scene I write and file it accordingly so that I might find it later and weave it into the story.  A wrteri's job is never done, I'm just glad I reconnected with myself as a novelist.  I've completed one, I'm going to try and attempt NanoWriMo in November, God willing, and I know I can write a genius novel once again.  


Posted by Mari at 5:22 AM EDT
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Saturday, 9 September 2006
External world stifles the fiction writer

I have tendencies for obsessive behaviors.  The past two weeks as my first semester as a graduate student began, I attended, mind-mapped the chapters, and got a job as a bookkeeper, which I so desperately needed.  Meanwhile, due to the lack fo control I had on my life (school and workplace rules took over, unlike my carefree, jobfree, classfree summer) I began eating more to maintain a level of control on my life.  I also gave into instant gratificaiton and chosen entertainment such as listening to Imus in the Morning and Dr. Laura on my drove home from work.  I watched an old favorite show of mine: Space Cases, and another one from MTV: Daria to gain inspiration for my story and enjoy my being entertained.  

Today I hit a a hurdle with all these external stimuli.  Though in small doses entertainment is perfectly fine and well in its place, I have overdosed.  Especially as an introverted writer.  A focus on the external world has given me too little time to introverted think- make up my own decisions as to what life, and my story should be, therefore, I've felt no inspiration to start writing - the world of creativity already existed, where was my place in it? If I don't give attention to my desires as a fiction writer, all my work will like all the others, therefore, starting from 4pm today, I will give my ideals as a writer priority so that I may write a unique novel, God willing.   


Posted by Mari at 3:52 PM EDT
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Saturday, 15 July 2006
Is sleep really a necessity for writers?
Julia Cameron in her best-seller The Artist's Way, a book about unleashing anyone's naturally creative self, wrote that writers must experience things to have something to write about.  Perhaps this is why I achieved productivity only half the night last night, and walked around the house the remainder of the time Because I'm observant, as most writers naturally are, I failed to see an environment rich of movement, people and story ideas.  Clearly, because the entire family was sleep.  Over almost two weeks of a sporadic sleeping cycle I feel I'm losing hold of natural sleep, and therefore shall be, over time, destined to fail at any attempts to cohesive writing because my mind is not well-rested, and generally scattered.  Is this really best of my writing self? Shall I endure the incessant beck and call of the family during the day and tear myself away to if and when inspired? No guarentees exist that I will be able to clear my mind of them and their problems to write.   Perhaps instead of disturbing my natural cycle of sleep, which will require a few days to become habit again, I should wake up early and write for two hours, instead of trying to remain awake the entire night.  As a home-based business owner - I must try it all.  God willing, I shall see progress.  Tonight I shall sleep at 10 as regular, and awake at 5am for writing.  

Posted by Mari at 7:46 AM EDT
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Friday, 14 July 2006
Feigning anger provides solitude in my home office of 6

Too much sleep lately was the impetus to again feign my angry face to gain solitude from family members.  For the past week I've been napping from 2-4, 10pm to 1am, 7am to 9am - in deed, odd timings.  During my waking hours I am either working as a bookkeeper at my home-based accounting firm or writing blog entries, that which comprise my writing life.  All the while, my lunch and dinner accumulate upon my stomach due to inactivity.  Sedentary is not a lifestyle I choose, but my family's constant need for me, has led me, the introvert, to need hours of solitude.  I cannot constantly be upon their beck and call, I must set boundries.  If asking for boundries will not work, I've learned to threaten them with my wrath by feigning anger anytime they wish to speak to me.  My younger siblings and certainly my older sister can spend a few hours without speaking to me, but I must set those barriers. For a time period long enough to allow me to write this entry and plan my writing career.  So far I've achieved 2 hours of this solitude, praise be to God!

At this time I may as well detail the life of Mari J. Skylar in her office at The Writing Center. An imaginary building downtown, for which an entire floor of cubicles and offices are dedicated to working, and not working writers.  Anyone willing to pay the rent price of office space at this center, can own a space to work in silence, and take coffee breaks with other writers in the clean, carpeted, and air conditioned office floor.  

My small, regtanular office consists of a desk, a small shelf of books, a laptop upon that desk, a mouse, keyboard, and no cell phone.  No windows, either.  Since windows for me are not calming, but a distraction.  Mari knows what she needs to successfully write cohesive work.  She may even have green potted plant in one corner of this marvelous office.  

 Current projects consist of her usual style of serial writing.  She has complete 1 fictional novel, and is currently working on several blogs on a variety of topics including home-business ownership, cosmetics, health, and immigrant life.  Though a mix of poetic prose and nonfictional substance, she plans on making a career out of blog writing and eventually publishing her work.  Ever since the age of 13 she's been a journal writer, but her journals don't simply consist of a daily recount of events, they provided insight into future handlings of similar situations, and were written with poetic, pattern-driven narrative of a life and struggles.  How does the writer plan on making money? Selling ad space on her blogs.  

 What about fiction writing, one might ask? Currently she has a short attention span to write long novels, and so, writes them in serial form, if at all, since currently her focus is nonfictional work.  She may write short stories in the future and publish them online for the time being.  Though she still prefers to mix narrative with nonfiction.  That, she believes is her individual art form. 

So that is it, my friends, the current state of the Mari J. Skylar - the writer behind Expedition: A Writer's Journey.  Please continue to look for updates.  Before I end this, I wish to address my wonderful Let's Talk Writing Group members.  Sorry I've been so terribly absent from the boards, but as I've said, my summer has been busy catching up with friends, writing, and business.  God willing, I shall return shortly and join in on discussions.  Please know that you have been an inspiration for me to continue my writing! 

 


Posted by Mari at 7:55 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 14 July 2006 8:17 PM EDT
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Thursday, 13 July 2006
Clean-up day at the office
As a blog writer, my office is virtual. Enshrined on the internet, but I found recently that a website listning all my inputed make-up purchases (www.makeuptracker.com) is no longer in operation, taking with it my list of cosmetic purchases. This, I do not wish to happen to all my writing saved on the web. Toward this end, I spent 2 hours this morning printing all blog entries and book notes saved on www.bookcrossing.com. Though hundreds and thousands of notes still reside underneath my bed, in old bookbags and purses, and the many notebooks/journals I've accumulated since high school, I'm at least confident that my most cohesive works are not in print/hard copy form. From here I must make some career decisions, where to next with my hundreds of blog entries and advice for readers on a variety of topics? That is yet to be determined. Meanwhile, I shall relish in reading what I've composed over the past year or so. I still must upload all former chapters of my stories to web logs. A writer's work is never done. Ta-ta for now!

Posted by Mari at 1:56 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 13 July 2006 1:59 PM EDT
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