Saturday, November 19, 2011

The river is so loud it silences all words Answer to question 10 of 100

10. What do you think your stepmother’s reaction was to you being taken away to live with your uncle and aunt? Imagine a conversation between her and your father after they learned of your fate. 

I cannot imagine the conversation that my stepmother and father had after we were taken away. As far as I can recall they never had any conversations when I was still there. My stepmother had a way of talking circles that would confuse anyone into giving her exactly what she wanted and all the while the victim of her rant would think it was their idea.

My brother thinks that such a conversation would have gone something like this.

Stepmother- "Isn't it nice that we can finally take a family vacation without the kids ruining everything? They always found a way to ruin the whole trip. Don't you think so?"

Father- "Do we have anymore of those cookies?"

 Did it happen that way? I would not be surprised if it had. My dad was a man of little words, especially about things that hurt him. He knew deep down what had happened but he was so filled with sadness he could do nothing to stop or change it. 

I can, with a heavy heart, tell you for certain the conversation I had with my dad on the last day I saw him. After a long hard fight, I had finally convinced everyone to let me see my dad alone without a case worker lurking in the background. So one weekend he come up to see me, we got pizza and went to the park to talk.

At first I joked with him about wearing a hideous leather bracelet that I made for him. The funniest thing about this bracelet was that it was bright pink and purple and it looked ridiculous on him. He was so proud of it. He wore it like a Rolex and I felt silly and honored all at once. We talked about school and my brothers, and then as our time together grew to a close he got very serious and asked me:
 
Father-"Will you ever come home?" 
Me- "Do you still live with her?" 
He nodded
Me- "I can't! I just can't live with her." 
He hung his head in defeat. 

We said our goodbyes and he dropped me back at my aunt and uncle's House.
 The very next week he was gone from this world lost in the Missouri River. That dark conversation still haunts me to this day. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What is the point of revenge? Answer to question 9 of 100

9. Imagine you had the opportunity for revenge on the people who wronged you during your childhood. Would you take it? If so, what would you do? If not, what would hold you back?

I get asked this question all the time when I tell people about my childhood situation. I always answer with a question of my own. What is the point of revenge? 

    Abuse is about power and the desire to fill the endless emptiness inside by taking away your life force. So by wanting to inflict revenge on those who hurt me I am in turn continuing the cycle of power and fulfillment. This means they win. By effectively turning me into them they cause my insides to slowly be eaten away leaving me with an even bigger hole to fill.
    Trust me, if revenge consumes you, you will inevitably miss the fact that you are no longer under the influence of your aggressor; therefore, you will continue to miss the beauty of life that being abused takes away. Stop taking it upon yourself to punish those who have hurt you because now that you are no longer abused you do not have to be driven by their desires. You are free to live your own life. Their thoughts, feelings and wants are no longer your concern, You do not have to try and fulfill them. Start living YOUR life not theirs! I know that if you are reading this right after leaving an abusive relationship you are thinking I am full of it. It will take time to understand that you are now your own person and you no longer have to pretend to be something you are not. I can tell you all this until I am blue in the face but you have to find out for yourself. That is the best part of not being abused anymore: you learn about yourself. You find that you have your own wants and desires. 
     So to answer the question “If you had the opportunity for revenge on the people who wronged you during your childhood, would you take it?” No. 
“If not, what would hold you back?” I feel they will have to answer for their wrong doings in time and it is not my job to render punishment. All I can do is forgive them and leave the rest to higher powers.

     I know that being abused is hard. Every day is a struggle just to survive. I also know that when the abuse stops you feel alone and lost; you can't live without the abuser telling you what to do. It does not have to always be this way. You are now in charge of what you want to be and since there is no one but you, there is no limit to reinvent yourself into someone you can be proud of. Find that inner voice that will guide you. Follow a dream you never thought was possible. The way may be dark and scary but it is not blocked. You can walk freely on your own two legs. Also you can put this special promise that I give to you in a safe place and take it out whenever you need an extra boost of confidence: 
"I don't know you. I have never met you before but I am here!  You are not alone! I love you!"
Thanks for reading my blog I hope it helps.


EDIT DONE BY:


Friday, September 16, 2011

Time is a funny thing. Answer to question 8 of 10

8. Do you think that your childhood situation would have been different in a different era, like 50 years earlier or 30 years later? How would it be different? Would it have stopped sooner or kept going longer?

Time is a funny thing when you turn back the clock or turn it forward things either slow down or speed up.
    I think that if this had happened 50 years earlier and all the members stayed the same. Then it still would have ended up in the same way it would have just taken longer and there might have been a tragedy that I don't know if I could have recovered from.
   That said this had happened 30 years latter I think that it would have been processed a lot faster and we may not have been harmed as much. 
    The real factor would have to be the people involved. I was removed from the home because my brother was going to attempt suicide and my stepmother refused to come and get me after a girl hit me with a backpack and my eye swelled shut. My older brother called my aunt and uncle and begged them to take us. If all of these things had not occurred in the order that they did when they did who knows what would have happened.
    I know that what happened was a terrible thing that I would not wish on anyone including my young self but it has made me who I am today and I would now not part with it for the world.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The World Though Rose Colored Glasses. Answer to question 7 of 100

7. What do you think it was about your step mother that appealed to your father? Why do you think he was willing to let her have her way with you without assertively stopping the punishment? What would you say to a man in love with such a mean-spirited person to convince the man to stay away?


What do you think it was about your step mother that appealed to your father?
     Before you I can answer this question first I have to tell you a little bit about my mother. She was a kind person who saw the best in everyone and refused to believe in the bad. I have heard from two different people now  that my mother met my step mother in collage. When My stepmother was going through a divorce my mother offered for her to come and stay until she was on her feet. It was during  this time that my stepmother would make her first move toward my dad. Several hours before my dad was due home from work she would disappear, and then magically reappear all gussied up when my father came home. She would spend the next several hours waiting on him. This attention stuck in my fathers mind and when my mother died and he no longer had anyone to take care of him he turned to her for comfort. My father had a very dependent personality, that required someone to tell him what to do or he was lost.  I think that it stems from the fact that he never stopped being a soldier.

Why do you think he was willing to let her have her way with you without assertively stopping the punishment?     To some extent I believe that my father was somewhat like my mother in that he only saw the good in people. She took good care of him therefor she took good care of us. She manipulated him into thinking that we were the problem that despite her best efforts we were rejecting her because she was not our mother. Other then that I think that he was color blind. There were things that she did to us right in front of him. Like one time she asked me if I washed my hands before dinner. She didn't believe me so she went outside and got a cup of dirt, pored it on my food, and made me eat it all. My dad was sitting there the whole time just watching T.V. During the trial he told the judge that he had done all of those bad things, I wonder if he truly believed that  because he did nothing somehow he did.
   

 What would you say to a man in love with such a mean-spirited person to convince the man to stay away? 
First of all in relationships like this where one of the parties is being sucked dry by the other. The victim has no idea that, their special someone is mean spirited. This is the real problem, everything to them is wonderful and they are shocked when it all crumbles down around their ears. It is like a great wall that is built out of  bricks of promises of fake safety. Over time  the river of reality  erodes the foundation from underneath it. This means that on the surface it looks like the wall will never fall down but soon there is no  foundation. One day out of the blue the force of  all the lies will make it topple this causes an avalanche that barriers everyone involved. Some people are found or escape, while others are crushed under the wait of the loss. All you can do is be moral support when it is required.



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Crime, Punishment, and a Good bunch of kids answer to question 6 of 100

6. What are some of the things you are careful to do with your children as a result of your childhood experiences? How do you teach them things like manners and cleaning when those two areas were so awful during your upbringing?

     The most important thing that I try to do is not carry on the tradition of abuse. I was one of the lucky ones compared to a lot of people who are victimized I was taken out of the home at ten years old therefor I had eight years of experience with a different way of discipline and  teaching of values.
Cleaning
      My children all have assigned tasks that best suit there abilities. The oldest does the dishes and walks the dogs, the middle one laundry and feeds the dogs, and the younger two garbage.  All of them help the others with their tasks when theirs are finished.
   There is also a great difference in the reprimand of poorly done jobs. If for example they wash one dish badly. I do not require them to wash every dish in the whole house just the dish that they miswashed. Sometimes I have to remind them sternly to do their assigned task but I never drag them there, by their ears or make them do it without any cloths on.  If they do not do their jobs their privileges are taken away such as Video games, and TV until it is complete. I give them a three strikes your out rule I tell them nicely three times before raising my voice.
 Manners
As far as manners go there are three rules that I have established that have kept the peace for the most part.
Rule One: Ask person to stop if that doesn't work move to Rule two
Rule Two: Leave troubled situation and do rule three
Rule Three: Tell Parent
My children know these rules and fallow them most of the time.
I have instructed them in Etiquette but I don't yell at them if they put there elbows on the table or forget and chew with their mouth open. Meal times are about being together and most of our everyday meals are on TV trays watching our favorite shows.

Summery 
I know that if you were to ask my children they would probably tell you first off that I am a terrible dictator but then after further questioning consed that I am not that bad. The tasks that I have assigned them are things that they need to know to survive when they leave here. Every one in the house will know how to wash the dishes, do laundry and remedial tasks like vacuuming and bathroom clean up. That said I do not solely require them to do it by themselves I take my turn at all of the tasks.

P.S.
After rereading this I must stress one other point my children are loved outwardly, this means that they are told repeatedly that they are loved. Hugs are given all of the time not just when they are hurt .   There is no secret love around here, and I think that in turn they show this love in there good behavior.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fact or Fiction You Decide Answer to Qusetion 5 of 100

5. Imagine that the imaginary girl who helped you to cope with your traumatic experiences came back today to help you in your current life. What would you say to this imaginary girl and do you think you would still need her in your life right now?

     I know that it is very childish but Susan is still with me and I don't think that she has ever left. Let me tell you a bit about how Susan came about and maybe you will understand why. When I was a kid they thought that every time I drank milk, I would get cold like symptoms runny nose, watery eyes and chapped lips. Whenever these symptoms happened my Stepmother would accuse me of drinking milk at school. One such occasion it was really cold out side and my lips where very chapped. I came home from school and was on my way to my room to get some balm to put on them. When I was confronted by my stepmother outside my bedroom door she demanded to know why I was drinking milk at school. When I told her that I was not drinking any milk at school she back handed me across the mouth. The cracked lips busted open an blood poured out of my mouth. I put my hand to my mouth and headed toward the bathroom. She back handed me again and told me that she had not given me permission to leave. I stood there shaking before her then she hit me again and said stop bleeding all over my carpet get in the bathroom.  That night I lay awake for a long time hoping that my stepbrother would not come for me when I finally fell asleep this is what I dreamed.

    A mother and child traveled alone along an old back road. The mother leaned forward and squinted through the windshield hoping it would help her see through the blinding snow. Her daughter sat in the back seat holding a warn black teddy bear to her chest. She could feel her mothers anxiety and tried to stay quiet but soon fear got the better of her and she asked.
"Are we there yet?" the mother risked a glanced away from the road and gave her daughter a warm smile hoping that it would reassure her.
"Don't worry it is just a little bit further." When she looked back at the road the mother wished that it was true. They still had several miles yet to go and the storm seemed to be getting worse. With greater intensity she gripped the wheel and prayed. The snow streaked down and the car crawled along. The mother risked a peak in the review mirror once again and she found her daughter nodding off her little head sagging onto the top of her teddy bear. When her eyes went back to the road they were blinded by a bright light coming strait for them in the middle of the road was a large semi-truck. She swerved to avoid it but the icy road spun them around until they were in its path again the truck hit the side of the car sending it flying over the embankment. It flipped over and over until it came to rest at the bottom. The mother was dazed and confused blood was dripping down her face out of a large gash on the side of her head. It seemed to scream in pain when she shook her head trying to clear it. Suddenly she remembered her daughter and despite her pain she craned her neck to see into the back seat. Her daughter was on the ceiling of the car at first she seemed to just be sleeping there until her mother noticed she was bent in an unnatural angle. The mother then screamed one word it echoed through the car and out into the night.
"Susan!"

It was at this moment that my alarm clock chose to go off I was ripped out of my sleep and despite my wishes to remain curled up under the covers I knew that I had to get up. I got dressed at my cereal with orange juice on it and then when into the bathroom to bush my teeth. When I looked in the mirror to examine my split lip it was not my own face that I saw but that of Susan's. She smiled at me and said.
"Don't worry I will protect you now." Startled I stepped back from the mirror and the reflection there in was once again my own. I never saw her face again but every time I was hurt I could her her words in my ear telling me that she was there. From that moment on she became my imaginary friend and we did everything together.
     I know that you probably think that I am a quack and that what I have told you is untrue. I have days when I don't even believe it myself.  Then there are other days when I can still hear the scream of her mother and the unmistakable face in the mirror telling me not to worry that everything was going to be alright now and I believe with all my heart. Know you know why I think that Susan is still with me and I talk to her now and again. I believe her to be my guardian angel that when she is not off playing hopscotch with Jesus she is keeping a watchful eye on me. Whenever I am hurt, in pain or sad she is always at my side to offer counsel and support.

Leave Time Alone Answer to Question 4 of 100

4. What do you think you would tell the third-grade version of yourself if you had a chance to send a message back to her? What would the message say and how do you think it would have affected you to see such a message?

When I was in the third grade it was really bad at home. My oldest brother was taken from the home and placed in a Group home. The middle one ran away and then attempted suicide.  I spent most of my third grade year stuffed in my little cubbyhole crying into my coat. So what would I tell my third grade self. Nothing at all I know that that sounds harsh but, It was that endless crying that got the school worried about me. They started an investigation that took the rest of third grade until the end of fourth with a little help from the counselor at my brothers school as he was the one whom my brother called before pulling the trigger.
     As for my part I came to school in my pajamas, because do to a late night visit from Frank, I slept in. My stepmother  sent me to school without getting dressed in the dead of winter. When I got to school I was shivering in the entryway before school the teacher saw me and asked me why. I showed her and we went to the office where they gave me some lost and found cloths.
     Next I got in a fight on the bus the girl hit me with her backpack that had a cookie monster calculator in the pocket. It hit me square in the eye and it turned all blue, swelled up so much that it closed.  My stepmother refused to come and get me so I had to stay in the office all day. So even though I was suffering I would not tell myself anything. You see I belive everything happens for a reason even if we don't know it at the time.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Ultimate Conversation answer to question 3 of 100

3. Imagine that you were put into a room with your step-mother and step-brother. What do you think you would say to them? Detail the conversation from beginning to end.


The words for this have been rambling around in my head all day and up till this point I thought I was alright. As the words blink themselves onto the screen I hear that memory truck screaming toward me. You would think in all of these years the driver would have had his breaks fixed. Or are those my screams the ones that caught in my throat as I lay on the cold hard ground after a nightly running session. Or is it the one that filled my mouth and choked me while my stepbrother used my insides to wet his clarinet reed. In any case it is with a heavy hart that I tell you the fallowing conversation. Please note that the names have been changed to ward off the Google spider.



Stepmother Vanessa Burg (she still used my fathers last name 6 years after his death)

Stepbrother Frank

Not long after I realized that holding all of that anger, guilt, shame and frustration was killing me, I put it all at God's feet. He placed a hand on my head and said "Thank You!" Still feeling empty and unfulfilled I looked up my stepmother in the phone book.  This is the conversation that took place.


"Hello Vanessa Burg's residence."

"Hello Van this is Sally is Frank at home I was hoping to talk to you both." there was a long pause on the line and then.

"Sally, My dear girl how are you." I heard him smack his lips.

"Fine I am calling because I wanted to talk to you both about something." Just then tears started to stream down my face and my throat dried to the point that I could hardly speak. I cleared my throat and continued. "Recently I met God and I have given him my burdens." I could her my stepmother start to breath impatiently. "I am calling to tell you both that I forgive you for the bad things that you did to me." there was silence on the other end of the line it was so loud that I could hear every beat of my heart.

Finally she spoke the words echoed around in the ear piece "Is that all you have to say?"

A "Yes!" was all I could muster.

"Fine then!" Where the last words I heard her say before  the click and then a dial tone.


I sat for many hours just crying until I fell asleep. When I awoke I felt somewhat lighter as if a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Even though, that truck of emotion still haunts me the heavy burden has not returned.3. Imagine that you were put into a room with your step-mother and step-brother. What do you think you would say to them? Detail the conversation from beginning to end.

The words for this have been rambling around in my head all day and up till this point I thought I was alright. As the words blink themselves onto the screen I hear that memory truck screaming toward me. You would think in all of these years the driver would have had his breaks fixed. Or are those my screams the ones that caught in my throat as I lay on the cold hard ground after a nightly running session. Or is it the one that filled my mouth and choked me while my stepbrother used my insides to wet his clarinet reed. In any case it is with a heavy hart that I tell you the fallowing conversation. Please note that the names have been changed to ward off the Google spider.


Stepmother Vanessa Burg (she still used my fathers last name 6 years after his death)
Stepbrother Frank
Not long after I realized that holding all of that anger, guilt, shame and frustration was killing me, I put it all at God's feet. He placed a hand on my head and said "Thank You!" Still feeling empty and unfulfilled I looked up my stepmother in the phone book.  This is the conversation that took place.

"Hello Vanessa Burg's residence."
"Hello Van this is Sally is Frank at home I was hoping to talk to you both." there was a long pause on the line and then.
"Sally, My dear girl how are you." I heard him smack his lips.
"Fine I am calling because I wanted to talk to you both about something." Just then tears started to stream down my face and my throat dried to the point that I could hardly speak. I cleared my throat and continued. "Recently I met God and I have given him my burdens." I could her my stepmother start to breath impatiently. "I am calling to tell you both that I forgive you for the bad things that you did to me." there was silence on the other end of the line it was so loud that I could hear every beat of my heart.
Finally she spoke the words ecoed around in the ear piece "Is that all you have to say?"
A "Yes!" was all I could muster.
"Fine then!" Where the last words I heard her say before  the click and then a dial tone.

I sat for many hours just crying until I fell asleep. When I awoke I felt somewhat lighter as if a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Even though, that truck of emotion still haunts me the heavy burden has not returned.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Anger vs Faith answer to question 2 of 100

2. How do you feel toward the people who acted in such a negative way toward you when you were growing up? Have you forgiven them?


             It is not my place to judge the people who have hurt me in my past. There was a time that I was consumed by hate and anger toward these people but it started to eat me alive. These negative emotions started to corrode my insides to the point were I was never happy.  As a result I would just sleep for days on end until I almost died from starvation. Then I learned that there was someone willing to take on the burden of judgment and punishment and all I had to do to be free was to give that responsibility to them.  I know that for people without faith that this seems very hokey. I believe that God or whatever you like to call him is a relationship not a religion. Each person has there own duty to decide what that relationship means to them. My relationship is as fallows because I believe that there is a higher power out there that is beyond my comprehension or control.  I do not believe that have to go to church to be closer to him and I work on Sundays. Instead, I talk to God like he is my best friend wherever I happen to be. We have many long chats none of which I do on my knees. During these chats I tell him my troubles and he helps me when he sees fit. This means, I don’t give him ultimatums or try to say what he should do for me.  I accept the help he provides and try not to question his motives as they are usually right even if they seem absurd to me at the time. So in answer to the questions I feel sorry for the people who hurt me in the past I wish them best of luck when they have to answer for their actions. I have forgiven all of them hate and anger are too heavy of an emotion for one person to carry.  

Life goes on answer to question 1 of 100


1. What are some of the ways you’ve dealt with having a traumatic upbringing? What are some of the things you would suggest to someone who has gone through similar past experiences to get on with his or her life?


    Every one deals with pain and suffering in their own way. There are some people who are angry and bitter, there are some who chose to ignore it completely.  There are still others like me who chose to embrace what has happened to them and fold it into their daily life enriching every moment to the fullest. 
How have I dealt with the terrible things that I have happened to me?    
      I write as much as I can happy stories, sad stories, flash fiction contests, blog comments, emails, I am a member of yahoo groups where I pretend to be a wolf or a dragon, discussion groups about the books that I am reading, and a group about writing. I write my own story to tell people what has happened to me. All of this writing helps me work through emotional turmoil of my everyday life and is a wonderful release of pent up emotions. Now don't get me wrong not every day is roses and lollypops there are days where my past comes rolling back into my life like a mac-truck knocking me for a loop but I always try and remember that life goes on. There is always the beat of your hart that remains constant. Like in the Reba McEntire song "For My Broken Heart" “Life goes on the world doesn't stop for my broken heart.” There are good days and there are bad days but if I learn from the bad and cherish the good then life can go on.

So how can suffers from a past or present deal with there pain?
I know that writing is not for everyone but I do know there is something out there for everyone. There is a fervor that is hidden in all of us. You may not know it yet but there is some spark inside you that is waiting to become a raging fire of passion that once it consumes you will become helpless against its will. The trick is to find that spark and give it kindling. I know that that is very vague but every person is different and what works for me may not work for you. Just remember that even though you think that you are alone there is always someone out there who loves you very much and they keep watch over you whether you care for them to do so or not.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Now What?

     I have written about writers block, how I became a self published author, my literary hero and  why I write. So what is left? I am secretly envious of those of you who can whip out a blog post once a week even with busy schedules. Me on the other hand I am lucky to make one every two to three months.  When I can I frequent these blogs and post comments to show my support. A while back I entered a contest on http://thetruebookaddict.blogspot.com/ where the winning comment got 100 personal writing prompts from Bryan Cohen of http://www.build-creative-writing-ideas.com  an author of many books on self writing help and writing ideas all of which are very informative and available on amazon here . By some strange bit of chance I was randomly selected as the winner. Now I have 100 blog posts without having to do anything but answer his 100 questions. So here is the deal right now money is tight because those pesky bills are due so I have limited if any computer time but as soon as I can I plan to try and make one blog post for each of his questions If I can I want to make them at least 100-1,000 words.  Here are the questions so far:

Trauma

1. What are some of the ways you’ve dealt with having a traumatic upbringing? What are some of the things you would suggest to someone who has gone through similar past experiences to get on with his or her life?

2. How do you feel toward the people who acted in such a negative way toward you when you were growing up? Have you forgiven them?

3. Imagine that you were put into a room with your step-mother and step-brother. What do you think you would say to them? Detail the conversation from beginning to end.

4. What do you think you would tell the third-grade version of yourself if you had a chance to send a message back to her? What would the message say and how do you think it would have affected you to see such a message?

5. Imagine that the imaginary girl who helped you to cope with your traumatic experiences came back today to help you in your current life. What would you say to this imaginary girl and do you think you would still need her in your life right now?

6. What are some of the things you are careful to do with your children as a result of your childhood experiences? How do you teach them things like manners and cleaning when those two areas were so awful during your upbringing?

7. What do you think it was about your step mother that appealed to your father? Why do you think he was willing to let her have her way with you without assertively stopping the punishment? What would you say to a man in love with such a mean-spirited person to convince the man to stay away?

8. Do you think that your childhood situation would have been different in a different era, like 50 years earlier or 30 years later? How would it be different? Would it have stopped sooner or kept going longer?

9. Imagine that you had the opportunity for revenge on the people who wronged you during your childhood. Would you take it? If so, what would you do? If not, what would hold you back?

10. What do you think your step mother’s reaction was to you being taken away to live with your uncle and aunt? Imagine a conversation between her and your father after they learned of your fate.

Family

11. Talk a little bit about your relationship with your husband. How did you meet and how did you two come to fall in love?

12. What is it like working with your husband on his business? Do you enjoy doing this work?  Is it a good way to be in close contact with someone you love? Describe a day in the life working to ship his items.

13. In what ways is your husband similar to your father and in what ways is he different? Have the two of them ever met each other? If so, what was it like, if not, create a hypothetical situation in which they met and chatted.

14. When you described your traumatic childhood to your husband, what was his reaction? How do you think his perspective on you changed or grew after you talked about it?  

15. What is your husband like as a father? How does he interact with your children? What are some of the ways in which he shows them love and respect?

16. What do your children think of you? Imagine that they had to write a story about the things they like and know about you. What would they write?

17. Write about a day in the life of homeschooling your children. What do you do to prepare for each lesson? How does a typical lesson go? Do you supplement your school with multiple field trips or other things you wouldn’t normally find in public school?

18. Write a little bit about your children and what they mean to you.

19. If you had to guess right now what your children would do for a living when they grow up, what would you guess and why? How would they excel in those particular professions?

20. Describe your extended family and your relationships with them. How well do you get along and how often do you see each other? What do they think of you and the way you run your household? Go into extreme detail.

Your Writing

21. Which of your stories are you the most proud of? Which of your stories do you think needs the most work and why?

22. What is your goal as a writer? What do you want to have accomplished as a writer in 5 years? 10 years? 25 years? How do you want your writing to be remembered?

23. How do you think that self-publishing has changed your expectations of what you can do as a writer? Do you think that you will eventually self-publish all of your work or just a few selections? What do you think is the secret to selling books on the Kindle?

24. If you could meet any writer to pick his or her brain for an afternoon who would it be and why? What questions would you ask and how do you think it could help your writing?

25. What kind of messages do you feel like you convey in your writing? Do you think that someone could read your writing and get something out if it? What do you hope that someone walks away from your writing thinking?

26. Which do you enjoy writing more: poems or short stories? What do you like about writing each form and what other forms of writing might you be interested in trying?

27. Imagine that you have been given $50,000 to write and promote a book. What would you write about and how would you get the word out about it?

28. If you could write a book that you think your husband you would enjoy thoroughly what would it be and why? Do you think that other people would enjoy it or just him?

29. How do you think that technology has changed writing? Would you have written as much if blogging and posting your material online was not available? How do you think writing will change for your children and future grandchildren?

30. How would life change for you if you wrote a bestselling novel? How do you think your friends and family would react? What do you think you would do to celebrate the achievement?


He is still working on the next 70 this is the first time he has ever made 100 personal writing prompts and I am as complicated as I am simple.  I will post the rest as soon as he is done. I will then start my quest with question one and work my way down. So my few followers keep your eyes peeled for some serious writing going on on my end. Thank you so much Bryan Cohen, The True Book Addict and anyone who happens to read this humble blog.

Next up:


31. Do you enjoy your line of work as a part of your husband's business? What are the five best things about it and why? What are five things about the business that could you some improvement and how could you add those positive aspects to the business?

32. There are many video game enthusiasts in the world and it would not surprise me if more than a few of them have ordered from your business. Tell a story about one of the strangest people you've ever had order from your business. If you don't have a direct story, imagine that one of the biggest video game nerds found your business and bought everything you had to offer and write a story about it.

33. What are some of the things you think about during a long day of packing and shipping in your business? Does your emotion run wild or do you usually think about more practical matters? Write a stream of consciousness of what you might think about during a typical packing session.

34. Have you ever thought about the story of one of these old video game systems and the stories they might be able to tell? Write the personification of one of these video game systems and detail its life from the original factory, to its original owner, the long journey to your house, and the way out to its new, appreciative buyer.

35. If you had the skill and the resources to create a video game what do you think it would be about and why? How have your experiences of the video game business affected your opinions about what would be effective in a video game?

36. What would your dream job be and why? What are some of the things you might miss about your current line of work? What would your husband's dream job be and why?

37. Do you think that you might someday be able to live almost completely based off of your writing like some authors in the world? How would you feel if hundreds of readers were purchasing your books every single day?

38. What would be the best thing that could possibly happen to you and your husband's business? If that did happen, what would you do with all of your success? Expand the business? Start something new?

39. What would you and your husband do for money if the current business no longer worked for you two? Talk about a "back-up" plan and how it would keep you and your family both afloat and prosperous.

40. What is the best job that you've ever had? What was so great about it? What do you think you learned from working in that particular place?


Books, Books, Books

41. Of all the books you've ever reviewed, which is the one you think that changed you the most as a person? Why would you recommend this book to other people?

42. In contrast, what is the worst book you've ever reviewed? If you had a personal conversation with the author, what do you think you would say to him or her to convey what could be done better in a future revision of the book?

43. What is a book that you would read over and over again if you could? Do you think your husband and children would enjoy the book as much as you? Why or why not?

44. What is the best book you've ever read by a relatively unknown author? Why do you think this author's name deserves to be famous and read by as many people as possible?

45. Which character in a book do you most relate to personally? Which character best embodies your husband? Your kids? The rest of your family?

46. What would be your dream book to write? What would the title be and what would the book be about? What type of person would be the most likely to read this book?

47. If you could live in the world of any book, which book would it be and why? What do you think the world of that book has to offer that your current life doesn't offer you? What is one way you could make your life more like the world of the book?

48. What is it about books that are more effective as escape and relaxation than television, radio, video games or movies for you? Does the rest of your family feel the same way? If not, how do you think you might be able to convince them?

49. What is your personal opinion about the big shift from paper books to digital books for the Kindle and Nook? Do you think digital books will ever replace paper books? What is your personal preference?

50. What part do the books you like play in your home schooling efforts? Have you successfully recommended some books for your kids to read? Do they have a similar taste in books as you or a completely different one?


More Family

51. If you had the chance to repair your relationship with your aunt and uncle and their children, would you? What do you think would have to happen to fix the issues you have with them? How do you think your children would react to connecting with them for the first time?

52. What do you think your dad would say about you and your family if he was alive today? Do you think he would be proud of you? Do you think he would be happy with the woman and strong mother that you are today?

53. How do you get along with your two older brothers? Do you have a stronger bond than most families because of the things that you all went through when you were younger? How often do you all see each other?

54. In your story you said that your aunt was disappointed in your during your time living with her. How do you make the effort to show your children that you are proud of the things they do so that they don't have to go through what you did? As they grow older, what do you think you will have to do to build their self-esteem and other positive qualities?

55. What advice would you give to a child who had to be placed into foster care or moved away from her mother and father? How do you think you would best convey that things would eventually be better?

56. What is your most positive memory of living with your aunt, uncle and cousins? Why was this moment so positive?

57. How would you describe your concept of a family? What responsibility do family members have for taking care of each other? How are you going to convey the concept of a family to your children and grandchildren to make sure they have a much more positive experience than you did?

58. How well do you get along with your husband's family? In what ways was his experience growing up different from yours? How do you think that experience shaped him as a person and a father?

59. Have you ever spoken with your mom's mother about your mother? Whether you have or not, discuss the ways in which you think you may be the same as your mother and ways in which you are different. What do you think your mother would say to you if you had the chance to speak about your family and life thus far?

60. Is there a family in a book, a movie or television series that you looked up to growing up as the example of a perfect family? Do you think that such a family could exist in reality or that a family like this could only exist in fiction? 


and the beat goes on
61. Of all the things that you lost in the Nashville floods of 2010, what do you think you’ll miss the most? In contrast, what do you think is something you are happy to be without? Perhaps a pile of papers you never wanted to sort, etc.

62. What do you think some of the positive qualities your children will inherit after having to go through an experience like the flood? Thriftiness? Resilience? Go into detail with each of your children.

63. What did you think would happen when you were originally forced to evacuate your home? Was the final result better or worse than your expectations? Who was more prepared for the outcome, you or your neighbors?

64. Describe a day in the life of your six months living with your mother in law. How were things different than they’d been living in your home?

65. Write a story from the perspective of one of your children during your time living with your mother in law. Go into your child’s thoughts, dreams and beliefs about the future.

66. What were your first thoughts upon receiving word you would officially be moving out of your mother in law’s condo? What the reaction of your husband? Your children?

67. What advice would you give to someone who just lost their home and possessions in a similar flooding situation? What are some of the things you would have done differently if you had a chance to deal with the flooding situation again?

68. What are some of the things you think people take for granted when they have freely running electricity? What are some of the ways you and your family coped without power for five days?

69. What are three things you like the best about your new house in the country? How is it different from previous houses that you have lived in? How is it better?

70. What do you think it means that in the midst of a power outage and a massive flood, that new life could be generated in the form of your Koi babies? Does it say something about life being a cycle or is it just random happenstance?


Creativity, Art, Etc.

71. Of all the stories that you’ve written specifically for your kids, which one do you think connects with them the most? Why do you think they like it so much?

72. Imagine that years down the line, you have had a book become so successful that you are actually on the Today Show promoting it. How would you want the hosts to introduce you to their audience members and the people at home?

73. Imagine that your basset hound gained the ability to talk and read your ghost blog, Matilda the Sold Monkey. What do you think your dog would say? Would your dog say you got it right or that you were way off about what it was thinking and feeling during certain situations?

74. What are some of the things you would flesh out if you could publish “The Chase” as a full-length novel as long as a typical Dean Koontz thriller? What characters would you have to create for this new longer version?

75. Why do you think there has been such a vampire-related craze in the world of fiction? How did it feel to write your own version of a vampire story? What would you do differently if you wrote a full-length version of your vampire tale?

76. Imagine that you were to write a memoir of all your painful tales throughout your childhood and through adulthood. How do you think you would structure it? Who would you market it to?

77. Why do you think that writing became one of your creative methods of expression? Do you think in another set of circumstances you could have been a painter or an architect or some other type of creative person? What is it that makes you a writer?

78. What do you enjoy the most about writing children’s stories that your kids will enjoy? If you got together with an illustrator do you think that you could write and publish a children’s book together? What would your kids think if they saw a published book with your name on it? What would you think?

79. What are five ways in which you could improve your skills at writing and spelling? Would you read a book? Take a class? Scientists are now saying that with enough practice, anyone can learn a new trick. How would you take advantage of this fact?

80. When your children are all grown up and moved out of the house, how do you think this will affect your time on the creative aspects of your life? Will you finally write that grand thriller or vampire novel?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When Did That Happen?

      As of late a strange thing has happened to me and I am not sure how to react to it. Several individuals have approached me and said. "As a more experienced writer will please read and critique my work?"
What! Me a more experienced writer? When did this happen? I still feel so young and naive when it comes to writing. Maybe I have moved up a notch to a middle area. If this is so, where does this leave me? I am wondering if there is a new code of conduct to fallow? Like moving from lower to middle class income puts you in a higher tax bracket.
Then again, I could be just fooling myself into believing that I have moved up the invisible writing ladder. When, the whole truth is that I remain exactly where I have always been. I have certainly not improved my grammar or spelling any.
 
     So where does this leave the people who have asked me to look at their work? I think, at least for now; I will just read their work as an experienced reader. I know what I want to read. If I give them my honest opinion based on readability they will get what they came for. After all they don't want me to write it for them they just want to know how well they have written it. As a writer myself I totally understand that.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I am now a published Author!

When I was ten years old I was removed from my childhood home and placed in the care of my aunt and uncle. After sometime and a lot of begging I was allowed visitation with my father. Our first meeting, after nearly a year apart, was at a dingy fast-food restaurant with a social worker one table away. After a few minutes of idle chat the social worker went up front to get another cup of coffee and my father leaned in close and said, barely above a whisper, "Are you ok?"
I leaned in also and whispered back, "Yeah, I am all right."
He nodded and leaned back in his chair. "You are never afraid." he said matter-of-factly "Even when you were little and to pass swimming you had to jump off the high-dive. All the other kids were all upset, but not you. You just walked up the ladder, strolled to the end of the board, plunged your nose and jumped."
            What I didn't tell my dad at the time was that I was really terrified, but he was sitting in the audience so I didn't want to let him down. 

I retold this story to explain that I decided to overcome my fear of being published. First, I selected a short story I wrote for my dad right after his death. Next I went to the IRS website and got a free EIN (Employee Identification Number) in the name Sally A Wolf. Next I signed up for a standard Amazon account. Then I went to the kindle publishing section, uploaded my work, added a snazzy pic, and Tada! easy as that I am a published author. The best part is that I did it all for free, plus my husband is not upset with me for it, he has even offered to make my covers for me.
            The most fun thing I did was as soon as my story was live, I search for myself on goodreads.com/ librarything.com and there I was! So I asked to be upgraded to an author account. Even if I never sell one copy at least I did what I set out to do.
See it live here The Chase By Sally a Wolf

So what is my next step? Well that would be getting a drivers license. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Writing.

     Life, as any writer will tell you balancing life and writing is a high wire act that is a difficult art to master. My life consists, of being a mother of four children whom I home school. On top of that I work from home packing the media items that my husband sells. We live in a five bedroom house with one acre of land. To top it all off I must not forget the six dogs, two cats, and several fish all who need maintenance. . This all takes a considerable amount of time it is a wonder that I get to write at all but I do my best to write whenever I can fit it in. I have eight children stories, one bio, and seven others that I am not sure what genre they fit in.
      Which brings us to liberty. My greatest weakness as a writer if you have not guessed by now is, punctuation, grammar and spelling. I wish that I had the freedom to write what ever comes into my head without having to worry about spelling, punctuation, and other such things that could make or break me as an author like word count. I am extreemly confused by word count and what the rules are regarding the size of the story. Here is what I know about the average word counts for the different types.
Adult
  • Flash Fiction 100 - 1,000 words,
  • Short Story 1,000 - 7,500 words,
  • Novellette 7,500 - 20,000 words,
  • Novella 20,000 - 55,000 words,
  • Novel 55,000 -110,000.
Children
  • Baby Books -- (under 300 words) Books are short (12 pages is average)
  • Picture books -- Traditionally, picture books (also called "picture story books") are 32-page books Manuscripts are up to 1500 words, with 1000 words being the average length.
  • Early picture books -- contain under 1000 words.
  • Easy readers -- Also called "easy-to-read", 32-64 pages long, with 200-1500 words of text, occasionally going up to 2000 words.
  • Transition books -- Sometimes called "early chapter books" For ages 6-9 Written like easy readers in style, transition books are longer (manuscripts are about 30 pages long, broken into 2-3 page chapters), For ages 7-10, these books are 45-60 manuscript pages long, broken into 3-4 page chapters.(2-4 sentences is average).
  • Middle grade -- 8-12. (100-150 pages),
  • Young adult -- For ages 12 and up, these manuscripts are 130 to about 200 pages long.

Finally there is the pursuit of writing. Now I know some what about the numbers what do I do with them? I don't even know what genre my stories fit.

Here are a list of my stories and what their word counts are

David and The Magic Cat: words 14,672 pages 30
Clean it up (unfinished): Words 5,270 pages 7
Let's Talk to the animals: Words 513 pages 1
Let's See the New Baby: Words 373 Pages 1
Lets Go to the city: Words 315 Pages 1
Let's Find Opposites 1,042 pages 2

For Adults
To Sleep with out a Dream Words 1,166 pages 2
My childhood story Words 3,685 pages 4
The Chase words 2,076 pages 5
Eye of the Storm: (Unfinished) words 4,314 pages 4
The Closet: Words 1,225 pages 3
Take me out to the ball game. Words 1,022 pages 2

     This is what I have written to date. I am not sure what to do with them all other than share them with my friends and family. I have not found anyone who would be willing to read and correct my stuff so I cannot submit it to a publisher or publish it myself on a portable reader device. In order for me to be published I need to be able to have the fallowing, someone correct my work, a place to publish for free to start, and the ability to publish under my alias Sally A Wolf. I would eventually love to get paid for what I write as every writer does but I am currently stuck in a rut of just filling up my own webpage.
If you have any ideas please feel free to leave a comment.