The Jumping off Point

advice, friendship, Inspiration

 There comes a strange jumping off point as a friendship progresses. I’ve walked cautiously up to this point and peered over the edge into the foggy and unclear ravine. The point I’m talking about is assumption.
As a friendship progresses, several assumptions begin to materialize. You begin to think things like: This person likes me too, this person understands me, I know what this person means when they say this. Things like that. They do the same with you as well.
The most frightening assumption is that this person needs you as much as you need them. When you voice your assumption to this person in a way that you open yourself up to rejection, you’re getting somewhere.
It’s extremely easy to think to yourself that this person derives happiness from you, that they care for you equally, but until you voice these thoughts to that person, you will never know if those feelings are reciprocated. Exposing yourself in this way can lead to self-doubt. Suddenly you start thinking things like: What if they don’t feel the same way, what if they think of me differently, what if they think I’m clingy?
The defining point in a friendship is when you put someone else’s needs before your own. When, even though a decision or choice makes you scared, you make it anyway. It’s hard to push past the selfishness that we all feel when it comes to a dear friend. But if a hard choice needs to be made that benefits them, regardless of how it makes you feel, you need to let them know that you support it.
The point that I’m trying to get across in this ramble is that you both need to be exposed to grow. Honesty can be both beautiful and terrifying. Friendship is a living, breathing organism that needs constant attention and a raw diet.

the bond between music and writing

Uncategorized, writing

Have you ever noticed that music and writing were a match made in heaven?

Music expresses with feelings what we can’t say in words. One note can make you feeling a hundred different indescribable things. So it makes sense that music should be able to inspire creativity.

When you’re about to sit down and write a chapter, pull up some music that matches the scene you’re going to write. It could be cool and somber or steamy and punk rock. While you write, the feelings the music subconsciously gives you will bleed into your writing.

When I do this I find I write more description and the chapter has a more definitive mood. It also helps with my writer’s block. If I get stuck I just listen to the music and it takes me somewhere.

Try this out next time you write, you might find it useful.


realizing which genre speaks to you

advice, life, motivational, Uncategorized, writing, Writing, status update

So after a year and a half of writing together, Turner and I have started to discover what we love to write. We’ve completed 3 novels but started at least 4 other stories in between. We found ourselves starting and dropping them a few chapters in. Why was this is?

Reflecting back on them, we realised a pattern. These stories were a different genre than the others! Any time we tried to write a period piece that was realistic and about plain people’s stories we lost interest. It’s not that we didn’t like what we were writing, we just weren’t excited about it. Thus we lost all interest in writing them.

The novels we had completed all had the same thread of a more creative and imaginative environment. The characters were realistic, but their circumstances set them apart from the ordinary. This realization is what now guides us in our 4th novel.

Basically, find which genre you’re passionate about. Which genre makes you excited? Which starts sparking your imagination? Then, go with it!



quote of the day

advice, inspiration, life, love, motivational, quote, quote of the day

“Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.”

Our job in life is not to make people around us feel lesser. If we are here, we mind as well make life a little brighter. If you have the opportunity to do that for someone else, do it. Cheer them up, comfort them, lend a hand, offer help, do whatever they need in order to feel better. Nothing feels better than that warm feeling around your heart when you truly help someone. So instead of tearing someone down, build them up. People will think of you as someone to remember, because chances are they haven’t had many people do that.


The “You” Effect

advice, inspiration, life, motivational, random

I’ve come to realise something recently. I’ve been living my life blissfully unaware of how my presence can affect others. And I’m not talking about being a negative person or the way that I treat others, but the way that others react to me. Now we all know that we are different versions of ourselves with different people, but that is not because we are two-faced or fake, it is because different people bring out different things in us. And in turn, you bring out different things in that person. It’s pretty cool actually.

I recall once in a junior high class I made female classmate, known for being “bitchy” and stone-faced, laugh. I had just said some funny remark in passing, and that joke somehow broke through her hard exterior. Had I intended to do that? No. But the effect was interesting. My best friend seat beside me marveled how she’d never seen that girl laugh before. I felt a sort of surprised joy at this. My friend had always hailed me as the funniest person she knows, so her observations of the situation were of the praising kind. I also felt a small pang of jealously from her because she was friends with the other girl and talked to her frequently in passing. It almost seemed that I had won some sort of race without even entering it.

Although I am not an extremely outgoing person, I find I don’t have a problem taking charge when put into group situations. This surprises me frequently because I am always reserved and quiet in public, but when I need to step up, I do. But strangely enough, if someone requires a volunteer for a magic trick, or someone needs to go first, I won’t do it. I don’t like the attention, everyone watching me. The only exception to this though, is if I am with someone else who is too scared to go first. It seems that their reluctance gives me the courage and the feeling of necessity to lead. This could have something to do with having a young sister and needing to go first to show her that, say, the dentist wasn’t that scary. My sister is soft-spoken too, and I find that this brings out the rambunctious side of me. I talk louder and more animated with her, which she regards with annoyance, always ordering me to not talk so loud.

Despite my aversion to being the center of attention, I’ve always regarded acting and dancing as things I’d want to do. Stepping out into the afternoon light after exiting a theater I would feel myself becoming a character, I’d adopt their mannerisms and speech for about an hour afterwards. I would look around me at the world, as if it were the set of a scene. The feeling of playing a character thrilled me. I would think to myself, I could do this, but not as a main character in a movie, maybe a guest star on a television series. Dancing also intrigued me. I could never see myself as a professional dancer, but just dancing around my house would make me feel so alive. And though dancing is an art, that doesn’t mean you have to be a master to dance. Classic dances like jives and tangos would fill my head and I wanted to learn them all. I would see dancers in my head as I imagined choreographing dances, but could never replicate the steps.

On the topic of emotions and expressing them, I seldom cross the line of tears or releasing anger. I rarely get worked up to the point of anger and refuse to cry in the company of another. But I will be the shoulder you can cry on or express your upset to. I make it a priority to make anyone being this raw in my presence to feel comfortable. Countless times I will sit and listen and understand. And as much I would like someone to be like that for me, I just couldn’t let myself get that way. I’m not sure why.

Basically, if you review your interactions, your thoughts, and how you react in certain situations, you will start to understand how your presence affects yourself and those around you. This is something that took me a long time to notice. But I’m glad I did. Because once you understand you can shape the world you are creating through steadier hands.


status update

advice, character, death, life, status update, writing

So what’s the word on killing characters? Turner and I have been pondering this question the past few days. When is it necessary? When is it believable? When should it happen?

In addition to wading through the editing pool of “Betrayal Comes First,” (we are about waist deep right now), we are about three quarters through writing the rough draft of the sequel. This book has given rise for the need for certain characters to die, and it’s a fine line deciding who to off. It’s much like playing god, or being a heroine on an adventure with sacred prophecy to fulfill. In the end, characters must die for the plot to be furthered, but who to kill is the ultimate question.

When you decide who to kill, the problem becomes how to kill them and how to make it believable. You don’t just want to shoot everyone (well sometimes in your head you do, because it would be easier) but you can’t do that.

Comment below about how you deliberate killing characters and how to do it. We’d love to hear how our fellow writers deal with such hurdles.

-Turner Collins

My poem titled “You were whole once”

advice, inpiration, life, motivational, personal, poem, poetry, writing

You were whole once

When you were born

Before judgement wrapped around you like a serpent

And squeezed out all the contentedness you had

You were whole once

When you were a child

Before that girl in school called you names

And shattered your self confidence

You were whole once

When you were a teenager

Before your father pointed out that acne on your face

And crushed the love you thought was safe

You were whole once

But that was so long ago you can’t remember when it was

You remember each time you were knocked down

You somehow found the strength to get back up

Even though it felt impossible

And you thought that you deserved so much more, After all

You were whole once


My poem titled “You’re not ugly at all”

advice, inspiration, life, poem, poetry, self esteem


Have you ever noticed, that when you look at yourself,

Really look at yourself,

You’re not ugly at all


I don’t mean how you look when you’ve just finished your face in the mirror

Not after you’ve perfected that cat-eye liner

Not after you’ve applied your bright red lips

Not after you’ve blushed your cheeks just the right amount


I mean when your face is naked

When you’ve just stepped out of the shower

When you can see those freckles,

When you can see that acne

When you can see those bags under your eyes


You spend too much time hating those tiny imperfections,

Too much time shredding your self esteem

But the makeup gets caught in the cracks of your façade

And those all too obvious insecurities are magnified

You try so hard to cover those scars

That you can’t see you’re just making it worse


Why is it so difficult to love what is natural?

Why are you made to feel bad about something you were born with?

About something out of your control?

Why does it always seen like everyone looks perfect but you?

Like out of a whole production line of dolls, you were the only defective one?


Because society says so

Because the models in the magazines you read look like alien beings of perfection

But why do you listen to what society says?

Haven’t you realized that 99% of society does not look anything like the ideal of beauty they advocate?

Those models in those magazines don’t even like what they look like, even though they are deemed the ideal


You need to love what you were born with

You need to love who you are when you are alone in the bathroom, no makeup on, just you and your reflection

Because if you heal those internal scars that you tried so hard to cover with makeup

You won’t be broken anymore, you’ll be whole

And you’ll find that you’re a hell of a lot prettier than you gave yourself credit for

You’ll realize that you weren’t ugly at all