Posted in Taylor

Fun.

Hi All,

It’s been insane here lately. School. Work. Preparing for internship. And, oh yeah, a trip to Malaysia.

In undergraduate, I met a wonderful girl who lived in Malaysia, and was studying in the States. We quickly became best friends. She spent many nights at my house, and soon I had dubbed her my Malaysian sister.

I had heard so many things about Malaysia from her, and was thrilled when I actually got the opportunity to go visit her.

Although the plane rides were quite rough (missed connections, language barriers, exhaustion from the 2 day flight), Malaysia and the short trip to Singapore were wonderful. New foods, Buddhist temples, shopping, music, new friends, monkeys that tried to steal your things (they were at the Batu Caves), and hospitality unlike I’ve ever experienced. I made memories that will last a lifetime, and hope to see my Malaysian family again very, very soon!

Now, cut back to arriving back in the U.S. The inevitable question I got was: How was your trip? A simple question, right? Not so much. But I gave a simple answer: It was fun.

My mom even commented, “you spent 10 days in another country, and that’s all you had to say?”

No, I had so much MORE to say, but how do you say it?

How do you describe the warm people that filled your heart with such love and inspired you to love Jesus more than you ever have? How do you comment on an entire culture that is so unlike anything we have in the U.S. — warm people that make you feel welcome, acceptance of so many different religions, ornate decorations, the small customs that took some getting use to like taking your shoes off before entering a house? How do you describe the experience of new food, or of cooking your own meat a restaurant? How do you describe feeding elephants at a zoo–their magnificent power, yet gentle, understanding nature?

It’s so hard to put an experience like that into words, especially when I’m still learning about all the ways it has grown and changed me.

So, I keep the words simple: It was fun. But the word fun, is nowhere near sufficient.

(Also, I know picture are worth 1,000 words, but I haven’t sorted through them yet, there are so many! So, I’ll upload those later, but until now, my own words will have to do).

Have you ever traveled abroad? And what was your experience after coming back? Did you have trouble describing it like I do?

 

Until next time,

Taylor

Posted in Taylor, Writing Prompts

365 Writing Prompts!

Hey guys,

So I just randomly stumbled upon this little gem a few minutes ago and wanted to share it with all of you.

This link comes from Linda, the Book Lady on YouTube (but I found it on Pinterest): http://lindajm.hubpages.com/hub/writing-prompts-for-creative-writing-inspiration

So, just as the title of this post says, here you will find 365 writing prompts. Ususally, writing prompts don’t help me much because they’re something like this, “write a story about a purple Alien named Fred who lost his hat in the New York City subway, and also he has a pink eye.” (If you can’t tell, I completely made that up off the top of my head, but feel free to use it if you’re desperate. 😉 ) Basically, though, they’re all too detailed. Seriously. An alien named Fred will fit nowhere in my current story.

But these prompts are different. They’re only a few words like, “direct opposites” or “it is red,” so you still have room to be creative and they seem like they would fit easily into any story. Plus, have I mentioned there’s 365 of them?!

I loved this list so much that I wrote a few down. Enjoy!

*Note: The months aren’t in order, but it wasn’t a big deal because the prompts are so good.*

Until next time,

Taylor

Posted in Taylor

Let’s Play Favorites!

Hey, Taylor here!

We’re starting a new series here at Inklings where we talk about our favorite authors.

For me, though, it’s a little more complicated than just listing my favorite authors (yes, there are more than one). I tend to pick my favorite authors based on a certain book. For example, while I love Nicholas Sparks (I’m sure you’re surprised), one of the reasons he makes my list of favorites is for his book, The Last Song.

I cannot tell you how much I love this book, and it’s not because of the great writing or even the picture-perfect romance between Ronnie and Will; it’s because it made me cry. Really cry, like bawl-my-eyes-out-can’t-see-anything-acting-like-my-cat-just-died, cry.

Yeah, that kind.

And that’s a big deal for me. A huge deal. It’s only ever happened that one time.

I’m not a crier. Not at movies, or books, but that changed when (SPOILER ALERT!!) it was revealed that Ronnie’s dad had cancer. It was horrible, tragic, and it tapped into my fears of one day potentially losing my dad. Any author that can make me feel that deeply, that authentically, deserves to make my list.

So, thanks, Nicholas Sparks for making me cry.

Until next time,

Taylor

Posted in Taylor

Echoes and Timelines

This will be a short post because I just got a new kitten that I want to go cuddle with. Her name is Echo, she can’t meow, and she’s absolutely adorable. 🙂

So, when I started thinking about what I wanted to write, I realized that I could kind of track my life by what and how often I write. For example, from the time I was like 7 to my early teen years, it was mostly poetry (rhyming), with the occasional short-story. From my early teens to around 19, I didn’t really write at all. From my time in undergrad at 19 to about four years later, I wrote a ton of poetry and short stories.

Now, though? Honestly, I’m not writing much. Sure, I’ll pen the occasional poem or come up with a cool character (I currently have one in my mind that I’m trying to develop a story for), but overall, compared to other periods of my writing, there hasn’t been much.

And I think that’s okay.

Right now, I’m focused on getting my Master’s in Counseling. But just because I’m focused more on that certainly doesn’t mean that writing isn’t still apart of my life.

As I mentioned, I currently have a new character in mind. It’s brewing in my mind, and right now, that’s all it’s doing, brewing. Maybe one day I’ll tell his story. Hey, maybe I’ll even relate it to counseling in some way, who knows? Either way, I know that writing will always be a part of my life, whether it’s center-stage, or in a quieter way.

Words are apart of me, apart of who I am.

Words have always been there for me, and they always will be.

Until next time,

Taylor

Posted in Taylor

Mashing Puzzle Pieces

I don’t know what I’m doing. In writing, or in life.

In life, there’s school and work and volunteering. I’m just trying to make it all fit together somehow. Sometimes it feels like taking two puzzle pieces that absolutely do not fit and mashing them with your fist until they’re wedged together. Sometimes, like tonight, it becomes really overwhelming, and I wind up throwing those imaginary puzzle pieces to the floor in frustration.

In writing, I’m just putting words on a page. Literally. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve never done an advice post or a “how-to” post. This is mostly because I don’t feel, I guess, qualified, to do that. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know the “proper” way to write a novel, or the “correct” way to form a poem. I know there isn’t one. We’re all just in this writing game making the rules up as we go. It’s scary and daunting. It’s ridiculous, honestly. Sometimes you’re mashing puzzle pieces and sometimes, miraculously, they fit seamlessly like two long lost souls suddenly reunited.

That’s why I keep doing this. Because when the puzzle pieces fit–there are no words to describe that. It’s amazing.

So, maybe, eventually, life and writing will come together to form one complete puzzle. There may be a few smashed pieces in there (okay, probably a lot), but you know what? At the end of the day, it’ll be my puzzle, my story told through pieces.

So, I may not know what I’m doing, but I’m doing it. One piece at a time.

Go mash some puzzle pieces, friends.

Until next time,

Taylor

Posted in Taylor

I don’t like funerals.

I don’t like funerals. They freak me out, honestly.

But today I went to one. I donned my black high heels that are only worn for special occasions, grabbed a few tissues and prepared myself for a hard day. I needed to say goodbye to a family friend, and I did.

This post isn’t about funerals, though. It’s about something I saw after.

Now, being that I don’t like funerals, I don’t randomly go tromping through graveyards, so today when I saw a headstone with one single word, I was fascinated. There were no dates, no quotes of comfort. Not even a last name.

It simply said, “unknown.”

Admittedly, I had never seen an “unknown” grave before.

It was a weird feeling, being fascinated and incredibly sad at the same time. Here was this person who had habits, and quirks, whose words pierced the air as strongly as anyone else’s. Here was someone who felt the breeze on his face, had childhood memories, had dreams, ambitions.

Here was someone, but nobody knew who.

Later on, after I had been thinking about Unknown for a long time, my thoughts trailed into writing, and I realized how many of my characters I had laid to rest in a graveyard of unknowns. What I mean by this is: How many characters do I not really know?

A lot of them probably.

Do I know exactly what my character’s voices sound like? Know what they’re thinking about when the wind hits their faces? What about what they’re thinking about as they sit down to dinner? Or lay down to bed at night? Do I know who these characters are in the depths and crevices of their souls?

No. I don’t, unfortunately.

I know surface details. Visuals and maybe a few habits if I’m lucky. A handful of childhood memories here and there.

Is that enough to mark a name on a stone? It certainly doesn’t seem like it.

So, this is me saying that maybe I don’t know my characters enough. Here’s to me finally understanding when every writer says you have to know your characters, not just know them.

I don’t know them, yet. But I will.

This is me saying “goodbye” to a dear friend, to Unknown, and me saying “hello” to a writing revelation.

***

I would like to dedicate this blog post to my friend. And to Unknown, whoever you are. 

See you soon,

Taylor

Posted in Taylor

Randomness!

So, this is me being random. This is also me sharing 5 secrets about myself as a writer. Enjoy!

  1. I don’t write in the Christian genre. As I mentioned in an earlier post, write what you don’t know. And I know Christianity. It’s all I’ve ever known, so I tend to stray away from this topic in my writing. Although, I love reading Christian non-fiction. Any suggestions on good books? Please leave them in the comments!
  2. I have a lot of trouble writing sci-fi. I honestly don’t know why. I feel like part of it is that you have to make up the society as well as the characters’ stores. It’s just a lot. It’s overwhelming. And I change my mind like no tomorrow.
  3. One of my first book attempts included a motif of dandelions. Every book attempt since then has also included dandelions in some way. One time it had to do with the theme of “possibilities,” and another time it was part of a counseling technique. 
  4. I use poetry to vent. If I’ve been mad at you, there’s probably a poem about you on my computer. If you’ve hurt me? There’s probably a bunch of them.
  5. I love writing suspenseful stuff—murder attempts, arson, fights. It gets my blood pumping. It’s fast-paced and exciting. Some of my favorite scenes have been some of my most intense.

Anything else you want to know? Just ask!

See you soon,

Taylor