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Losing a Passion

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I haven’t been writing, guys. At all.

Well I guess that’s a lie–I’ve written a few shitty poems. I’ve written a few magazine articles. But anything of real substance, vulnerability, skill? Nah.

I even thought about giving it up. Yeah, as in, giving up writing. Forever. Not the normal “I’m not good enough, I’ll never amount to anything, I’ll never be a famous author, fuck writing” thoughts that make you a writer. I’m talking black hole depression “I vow never to focus an ounce of energy on stringing words together ever, ever again.”

There are a few reasons for this disaster. I won’t go into those, but let’s just say I’ve been bumbling around for awhile now, and it’s starting to bug the hell out of me. Realization: I’ve never written “to be good enough, to amount to something, to be a famous author”…I’ve written to be true to myself as a person, to stay sane, to feel OK. I have not been any of those things as of late.

Anyway, I won’t allow myself to lose a passion. I may not ever self-publish again, I may not ever even finish another novel…but I’ll keep writing. Even if that means forcing myself to show up to Shut Up and Write! meet-ups at local coffee shops…the only girl in a private room full of old men writing memoirs.

[Sidenote: the group that was using the room before us was a “mens group”…I had to Google that shit. There are men who are emotionally secure enough to admit that they could use friends, mentors, advice, guidance…?! Whaaaaat? That’s badass. But you have to wonder…are they getting much accomplished without a woman in there, telling them what they’re doing wrong? Haha I kid, I kid…]

More on my new writers group. First of all, let me take back what I said about them all being old men. There is one who is not old, but rather, drop dead gorgeous. He is married. Of course. The rest are my grandfather’s age, with the same cranky jokes and wheezy laughs. Ron writes with a pen in a binder full of blank paper. Erwin talks about Chinese-Americans and the pressure they feel to succeed–so much pressure that two of his friends have committed suicide. He’s unsure whether this is short story-worthy. My eyes widen and I assure him it is. I want to read it NOW, actually.

This is going to be great for me.

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When is it OK to do NOTHING?

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Feeling superrrrr unproductive lately. As in…I’m FORCING myself to write this blog post simply to feel that relief of “Yay, I checked ‘blogging’ off the list!” It’s bad, y’all.

My next novel, my lovely WIP, is sitting at the saddest ONE chapter halt, just eyeing me with pure hate, daring me to wait another week and then another and then another…

In fact, I actually did my taxes in order to avoid writing. Gross.

I’ve been traipsing around Austin like some sort of Hilton brat…pretending I have loads of cash to throw away on mimosas and sushi. This past weekend, I laid in Zilker Park with the boy and let dogs come up to lick my face—when I could’ve been writing. We went to a freakin’ improv show that was downright terrible—when I could’ve been writing. I went to brunch TWICE. I even took a damn nap. I hate naps. I could’ve been writing.

Decided: Happiness gets in the way of getting shit done. And I think that’s OK?

I typed my first novel so furiously, post-break-up. I was like, “I hate you, I HATE YOU, I hate me, typetypetype, BOOM- NOVEL! WHAT NOW, BITCH?”

When you’re super happy, you’re usually also super busy…with, ya’ know, happy-life-things like kissing and snuggling and park-lounging. And then WHOA before you know it, another weekend has flown by in a whirlwind of pancakes and sunshine. Your gut is kinda like, “Um, excuse me, ma’am, remember when you used to go to the gym and WRITE and schedule haircuts and WRITE and read and WRITE and stuff…?”

Heart: stfu I’m having fun.

Head: Don’t worry, I’m sure things will get crappy soon and then we’ll have all the time in the world, like we used to.

Heart: BUT WHAT IF WE’RE HAPPY FOREVER?

Head: lolz

Gut: omg you’re both so effing annoying. We’ll find a balance, chill.

Life gets crazy. Busy as hell (seriously though, taxes? Who thought of that, the Brits? Didn’t we gain our independence?) and superrrrrr happy-insane sometimes. It’s OK to do nothing for a while, especially if you’re like me and you’ve been some sort of psycho Energizer Bunny since birth.

Decided: Be productive when you can, learn to adapt, evolve, whatever…find a balance and chill, like Gut says. Don’t let go of your passions, but don’t freak out and hold them so close that you lose creative control.

Heart: k!

Head: sigh, k.

Gut: kduh.

And then there’s this ^ …

People Don’t Change: Except on Halloween

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Mystique

 

Yes, I was Mystique last night. Not a smurf, not an Avatar, not Genie, and DEFINITELY not Beetlejuice (to the bro who guessed that at Container Bar on Rainey: You. Are. An. Idiot.)

I had an amazing time with my friends (a goddess, an 80’s chick, a pirate, and Rainbow Brite), drank that PERFECT amount that only causes a slight morning headache, and somehow managed to convince multiple people (friends AND one handsome stranger…or WAS he handsome…?) to help reapply that cheap blue paint when it started to crust off.

It was win complete with food truck tacos, our friend’s band performance at Gypsy Lounge, and next-day Kerbey Lane brunch.

All of this coincides with an overused, but relevant expression: People don’t change. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately–the catalyst being the same catalyst for so much in my life…doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results (insanity as old Alby calls it).

I’m usually so good at recognizing it and steering away, self-solving. When I applied for Teach for America Hawaii. When I forced myself to finish my novel and self-publish. When I decided to start teaching high school instead of middle school. When I promised myself at least one new country per year. But I guess those are so internally-based, 100% me, myself, and I…it’s so much harder when you’re only 50% of a relationship. Your expectations of another person- a friend, a family member, a boyfriend, an i-wish-you-were-my-boyfriend, etc…are probably insane. That’s how I’ve been feeling lately at least.

Here’s what I mean: if people don’t change (I mean the true, real, nitty-gritty of a person), then why do we keep expecting them to? Human nature I guess. WELL I QUIT GODDAMMIT.

I shall expect nothing. Except, ya’ know, normal things that I’ve always expected and that are totally normal to expect because they derive from that person’s true self. Like…I will always expect my mother to use the word “Behave” via text/phone call on Halloween night, regardless of the fact that I am nearing 30 years old.

But other than that sort of stuff- nada. People rarely change. I like that better. Because, ya’ know, there are those fall-through-the-crack exceptions to the rule who truly, truly change. But if a guy has been treating you fairly shit-tastically for quite some time…chances are, that’s not changin’ any time soon, darlin’. Yes, I’m talking to myself here, people, just allow it. Stop insanely expecting some life-altering 360-degree turn-around. That’s just the Disney princess inside of you.

On October 31st, you’ll see tiaras, cat-eye contacts, wigs, fake tats, masks, and tutus. It’s really fun and you’ll be like, “OHMERGERD YOUR JON SNOW HAIR IS LIKE, SPOT ON.” But people don’t change their entire personality/outlook/morals/ethics/attitude.

People get haircuts and people have good days where they’ll say something particularly nice to you. But if, on all those other, normal days…they don’t say anything nice…ever…why keep ’em around? Choose who you surround yourself with. Choose to surround yourself with people who you can expect to be there for you- people who make you feel completely safe having that expectation of them. NOT people who constantly let you down and leave you expecting “maybe a different outcome next time…or the next time…or the next time.”

Happy Halloween, fellow bloggers 🙂 I hope the night was everything you expected it to be and I hope your company was everything you expected them to be. Mine sure were!

Authors + Social Media = ?

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Social Media stress

It’s definitely 2014, folks, in case you didn’t realize. Unless you’ve been living under a very large and very heavy rock, then you know this one beautiful yet terrifying fact: social media is truly the current leader of the world.

Self-publishing means self-marketing in most cases and IT IS NOT EASY. Le sigh. If I was rich, I would immediately pay someone to do all of this constant, tedious humble bragging for me, but alas, I am…a middle school teacher.

So what do you do? You want your book to sell. You want a readership that includes more than just obligated family and friends. But you’re just a laid-back WordPress blogger at heart! You have no interest in Pinterest (see what I did there?)!

Facebook was easy. I do love Facebook. So the official author page is up and running! I’m up to 225 likes. It definitely required bullying my friends and family into sharing the page and inviting their friends to like the page. I looked into Facebook advertisement, figuring, “How expensive could it possibly be?” Yeah. The answer is “too expensive.” Hopefully, when the lovely bloggers who have promised to write book reviews post said book reviews, the likes will build!

I was suuuuper hesitant to leap into the Twitter world. I created one years ago to see what all the fuss was about. And “fuss” is definitely the correct word. Twitter is filled with a ton of CRAP that you have to wade through in order to read something that’s actually interesting. You have to be VERY careful about who you follow. I messed up BIG TIME. I had no idea there was a follow limit! Amateur status. In my mind, the more people I follow=the more possible readers. So I became click happy, not even looking at who I was following. Then Twitter informed me that there’s a 2,000 follow limit. So now that I’ve found fellow writers whose tweets I actually WANT to read, I can’t even follow them unless I go unfollow someone else! Way to go, Alysha. I have connected with quite a few great people though, and I’m up to 800 followers.

Follow me here: alyshakaye7

My legit author website is in the works (the address will be http://www.alyshakaye.com).

I am officially on Goodreads. Pretty cool place. Can’t wait for my book to release so I can get my first star review! Friend me here if you’re a fellow Goodreads enthusiast: Alysha Kaye

I refuse to start an Instagram or Pinterest. Eh, I just can’t commit to those platforms, I don’t know what’s so unappealing to me, but I just can’t.

My WordPress continues to be my true social media passion. I just love bloggers and blog-readers! You guys are the best.

Whew. So there you have it. It’s been an extremely crazy time. Keeping up with social media is time-consuming to say the least!

Do I think all of this will pay off? I freakin’ hope so.

Until the book releases in July, the equation stays as is: Authors + Social Media = ?

 

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Liebster Blog Award Nomination

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Yay, I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Kaleidoscopic Kites! Thank you chica:)

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Here are my 11 random facts:

I’m obsessed with tomatoes (they’re delicious). || I write a lot of poetry and song lyrics that no one is allowed to read. || I am considering getting a tattoo of a Cummings quote or an Angelou quote. || I’ve been to 16 countries. || I have a weakness for dimples. || My mom tried to have more children, but I was the only lucky winner winner chicken dinner. || I had a spinal fusion and now have a crazy scar that I tell fibs about. || I sobbed uncontrollably while reading The Time Traveler’s Wife and then started writing my novel. || I haven’t seen my father since I was very young, but I have the best step-dad EVER. || The color yellow is everywhere in my apartment. || I used to hate beer; now I love it! ||

And my answers to Kaleidoscopic Kite’s questions:

1) If you were any movie character, who would you be? Hermoine, maybe? Magic rocks.

2) Do you tell the truth, lie, or keep secrets the most? Hmmm…I feel like I tell the truth TOO much sometimes. My friends say I’d be Candor if we lived in Divergent‘s world.

3) If you could try any exotic food, what would it be? I looove trying new food. One I haven’t tried yet is Ethiopian- I’ve heard good things.

4) Do you have a hidden talent? I am fantastic at NOT showering, but looking like I did.

5) Who is your biggest role model? My madre, for sure. She is a genuine badass.

6) Why and when did you start writing? I’ve been writing since I was really little- being an only child forces your imagination to run wild.

7) Would you rather be invisibility powers or be able to see things that are invisible? Why? I don’t believe in ghosts/spirits so I guess I’d have to go with the first option!

8) Favorite book? Oh, goodness, tough. I will always have a huge spot in my heart for the classic, Catcher in the Rye.

9) Put these in order to your liking for which is most important to you the most to the least: Money, Love, or Time. I’m a teacher so money is obviously last, ha! Love and Time are super hard to choose from. I’m one of those people who freak out -often- about wasting time/not having enough time. But love is something I dream of having again.

10) Do you have any weird habits? When I eat pizza, I take one bite of the “front” and then one bite of the crust and then repeat. It drives my friend Jennifer crazy.

11) Favorite topic to write about? Just…life. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Realistic fiction.

 

And now my 11 nominations, check them out! These guys rock:

1. Anika: Saturday Night’s Alright for Writing

2. Jalal: My Success is Your Success

3. Nic:  The Tailor-Made Trilogy

4. Alex: Adult & Teen Fiction

5. James: Language Arts Blog

6. Christi: Novel Conclusions

7. Jess: Down the Road

8. A Collection of Musings

9. John: Write me a book, John!

10. Eric: Written Words Never Die

11. Jennifer Nicole Wells

And my 11 questions for you awesome people:

1. Screw, marry, kill: Oprah, Beiber, Ron Weasley. Go!

2. You have $1.99 to spend as you choose: what do you buy?

3. Guilty pleasure read?

4. Guilty pleasure TV show and/or movie?

5. Where would you like to be a fly on the wall?

6. What dish do you cook to impress people?

7. You can only consume 3 foods for the rest of your life. You choose:

8. Most-hated word?

9. Favorite element of a smore? (This tells a lot about a person, trust me)

10. Nose hairs- what are your thoughts?

11. What makes your palms sweat?

What’s a blog again?

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Here goes…

Metaphorical leap…

Ok. I am officially a blogger. To be honest, that term is under a list in my head titled “lame”. I’m a writer. Writer is a fantastic word. There’s no silly double letter (and g of all letters- how giggle worthy). It puts the facts on the table, it lays down the law, it does what no human being can ever seem to manage: it says exactly what it means.

Writer: (n.) one who writes

But guess what? Writers don’t have this simple, accessible forum for spewing thoughts, rants, poems, stories, or just really long Facebook statuses/tweets. Guess who DOES have that kind of forum? Bloggers.

So like I said, I’m officially a blogger. (:

I’ve been writing ever since I can remember, really. My first actual story had something to do with a talking, mystery-solving Labrador. I had planned to make millions off of that one, but I think Air Bud stole a little of what would have been my credibility. Since then, it’s been a mix of horrible poetry, decent short stories, and one rough, rough, rough novel.

Then I became a teacher, trying desperately to relay my ecstatic feeling toward pen and paper to my students (mostly to no avail of course). And my writing? Well, it’s been playing second fiddle for a while now. But I am determined to not let the children win! Hence, blogger. Editing my novel? Pshhh, I don’t have time, I have to teach text structures to 100 pubescent creatures. But blogging? Oh yeah, I can squeeze that in, sure.

Breakdown In Mind: Teacher Antics, 30%; Philosophical Pessimistic Bullshit, 15%; Terrible Poetry, 10%; Life in Hawaii AKA This Rock I Live On, 10%; Short Stories and Novel Exerpts, 5%; Hilarious Quotes, Sarcasm, and Everything Else, the remaining 30%

I mean, it has a double G for crying out loud. How serious can this possibly be?