Monday, March 25, 2013

What I've been doing lately...

Photo taken here.

My transition to this blog cost me a lot of readers. I guess, I couldn't mass announce this new page the way I want it. Call me lazy, but I thought that they'd soon find their way here, one way or another. So, to update everybody with what I've been doing lately, here's this blog:

1. Snail Mail Penfriends - I renewed my membership with International Penfriends Club. I used to have around 100 penpals when I was in college. I lost them all when I got married (my first one--yes, there's three, shush *laughs*). I tried twice to reconnect, after getting married two times. It was difficult, especially when (in 1995 to 2000) there were people in my life who weren't supportive about things that made me happy. Right now, I'm surrounded with wonderful people who support everything I do. I'm able to express myself freely, artistically, through my writing. Yes, letter-writing is an expression. I love to write to people, and it's a practice of short story writing, fiction or non-fiction. I'm so happy with my new numerous penpals. Lots of them from Germany. I restarted my collection of used stamps and postcards. Wonderful histories of different cities around the world! It's exciting. By the way, there's also Global Penfriends Club and Letternet. Just a tip to those interested to start snail mailing: IPF and GPF are paid. Letternet is free, but members are mostly in Germany.

2. Long Ridge Writers Group - I made a long pause with my Creative Writing home-schooling, and I reinstated my enrollment and kept my student number. I'm in the middle of their "Breaking Into Print" course, and presently tackling Assignment #5 and #6. It sounded easy when I first started, but I'm getting the jitters now. *laughs* Anyways, the course is all about short story writing for magazines. I'm going to try and pitch some of my short stories to different magazines. There are also different short story contests that I plan to join. LRWG provided me with the list of ongoing contests. There are tons! Just visit their site, if you're interested to start studying from home, and submit your Writing Test.

3. Novel writing - Aah, my fiction books. I'm fighting with my muse. We're having a difficult discussion all the time. I have to decide and take control, or else nothing will be finished. I used to rely on my computer to continue parts of the first novel. I shook off that habit and carried pad and paper with me. Ideas got written down anytime, anywhere. This way, I created something while undecided, and at the end of the day accomplished something. I'm going to finish one book soon. The second one had a different notebook. It's getting ideas, but I'm getting too overwhelmed with what I'm doing in its entirety. I have to set aside the second book, for now.

4. Second book of poems - I'm self-publishing a second book of poems. I don't want to pitch it to a publishing house. I want my poems in a more intimate circle. It's not about the profit. I've gained some from my first book, but when it comes to poetry, I prefer to gain positive critiques. Of course, I welcome the negative ones as well. It helps for improvement. My first book was published in 2006, and it's time for me to update. Watch out for, "Sonnia's Sonnets and other poems."

5. Yahoo Contributor Network - This partime work has occupied a lot of my time lately. It's a great way of gaining writing experience. It's mostly non-fiction, but finishing Yahoo's writing academy was a great deal. I learned a lot with regards to writing for the internet at this age. I love the grammar and punctuation part. However, I wouldn't want this to block my other writing gigs. I try to balance everything. So, my articles won't be coming everyday, but they would appear once in a while. If you haven't visited my YCN profile to read my articles, please click here and enjoy reading.

6. Writing Meetup Groups - Always keep a group of writers around. I'm so thankful for Meetup for having wonderful groups of writers. They are all willing to support and give their ideas and advice. I can't thank them enough. If you haven't discovered Meetup yet, just go to their site and type in your interest near your area. You'll discover a treasure of people who love to do the same thing you do.

Aside from all those stuff, I'm also looking forward to the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. I have my theme and ready to write. They're not going to be long blogs, but short and direct to the point. Looking forward to reading other blogs and following new bloggers.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2013

Another year, another challenge. I again joined this exciting blog exercise. I have yet to figure out what to write. It's not easy to come up with topics using one letter of the alphabet for each day of April. Hmm, what to do... Help! *cackles*

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Writing Groups

Photo taken here.

There were no expectations in my mind when I attended a couple of my writing events. I told myself, “I'm used to meeting friendly strangers in the past anyways. There's nothing to be afraid of.” (For the readers who don't know, I used to organize my own Meetup group, and through it I've met different kinds of people.)

During my very first meeting with Fremont Area Writers group, I was completely armored with pen, paper, laptop, and an open-mind; I was (and still is) eager to learn, to share, to witness, and to get motivated in writing more. However, since our fearless leader was unavailable that evening, all the members did self-introductions instead. It was fun meeting new friends, and for them being fellow aspiring writers made it more fascinating. Each and everyone shared their life experiences and what made them start to write.

Every book published today carries different life experiences, and that I truly believe to be a fact.

Last night was my second attendance in Fremont Area Writers' Meet and Critique Tuesday meeting. Our leader was there and gave us writing exercises. It was fun! At first, I found it difficult to motivate my brain and compose sentences. It was after work hours for me, and my mind was mostly drained out. But, I was able to participate. Once in a while, my brain needed a kick-start of some sort. The delicious Chai Tea Latte at Mission Coffee helped me big time. (Now I'm craving for some!)

Another group I attended was the East Bay Science-Fiction Fantasy Writers. The set up of this group was different compared to Fremont Area Writers. Attendees would get an emailed printable document. The document must be reviewed, edited or noted on, and shared during the meeting. My first attendance made me review two different manuscripts' first 7,500 words. It was interesting being in an editor's pair of shoes, but being too technical kind of didn't suit the whole scenario. I'm not an editor, so I myself questioned the credibility of my critiquing. I had to avoid being hard on myself sometimes. Anyways, I totally enjoyed all the input shared. I learned a lot from other writers.

All of these meetings were, of course, located at my comfort zone. Remember my mazeophobia? I don't RSVP to a meeting if I don't know where it is. I just happen to know the area where the past meetings were located, and that's why I called it lucky for me to go to. No need for my husband to drive me to it. **sigh of relief**

My future looks very legible right now.