#Hoopsnotcrime: 3 lessons learned from a viral hit! #mondayblogs

hoopsnotcrime

What #Hoopsnotcrimes can really teach us!

So normally I don’t pay too much attention to a viral video. That’s because of two things. One, usually the viral videos get so popular so fast I often miss them. And two, often times they are just about cute babies or kids doing something adorable.

Except for when they’re not.

In all the controversy of the alleged racism in our police systems, there are always the few exceptions of setting a good example when our country needs it most.

Some might call this “staged” to set such a good example, but it seemed legit at least to me. And I don’t blame the Gainsville PD for spreading some good police media on the interwebs.

If you haven’t seen the video, you can catch it here: http://nbcnews.to/1nii9bU

But, turns out this story was a two-parter.

Watch what happens next here: http://nbcnews.to/1niignT

Famed basketball star Shaq (I didn’t even know he retired?) heard about the story and wanted to surprise the kids with a game of teens vs. cops vs. Shaq. It was pretty amusing.

So, while it is cute and tugs on the heartstrings, what exactly does this teach us? Well, a few things if we think about it! Which, if you couldn’t tell, I have.
Lesson One (And the Most Important):
There’s magic in finding what we have in common instead of focusing on what makes us different!

Lesson Two:
There is power in small acts of kindness.

billmemeLesson Three:
Shaq is on the internet.
Shaq saw something that resignated with him and did something about it.
Shaq and Office White knows the power in common interests.
Shaq is smart.
Be like Shaq.

Well, it is only fitting to use the meme that went viral the same weeken d!

So what has been your favorite viral video lately? What would you do to keep it going if you could? Because like Shaq and Officer White shows us, a small difference can make an impact! Or, at least, make a bunch of kids smile. Which can be the best impacts of them all.

#Hoopsnotcrime: 3 lessons learned from a viral hit! #mondayblogs was originally published on LMC

8 Classic Rock Songs That Could’ve Been About 2016! #MLKDay2016 #MondayBlogs #Peace

classic rock mlk day

Well in honor of Martin Luther King Jr, without getting political as that’s not the point of this post, I thought it’d be interesting to point out some classic rock songs that could still apply today. From racism, homosexuality intolerance, and other injustices of our very real world, these songs still sing in our hearts. In fact, it’s rather eerie how similar the times are.

And although the world still has a long way to go to achieve the peace these songs seek to point out, we must celebrate how far we’ve come and hold on to the belief that we have the power of change, that love can still win over hate. Cheesy, and corny I know. But I believe it to be truth. The future shall not be wasted. We cannot, will not let it be wasted by hate. Before you click away saying you are just one person without any power, you have the power of words, my friend. And the internet. Use them words wisely. And love widely. Be that inspiration that inspires change.

So this post is to not only brighten your day with these rocking melody’s, but honor the men and women like Martin Luther King Jr. who were brave enough to make a stand in the wobbly and unsteady ground of politics.

While you listen to these gems of rock n’ roll and bob your head to the beat, close your eyes. Think of not the era they originated from, but think about our crisis’ today. And it might also give you chills that the artist’s words could be crossing time strings instead of guitar strings.

But as the Beatles sang in Revolution, don’t you know it’s gonna be … all-right!

  1. Everyday People: 
  2. Changes: 
  3. Get Up Stand Up: 
  4. For What it’s Worth:
  5. Revolution:
  6. My Generation:
  7. Imagine:
  8. Fortunate Son:

So what classic songs did I miss? Share in the comments!

 

8 Classic Rock Songs That Could’ve Been About 2016! #MLKDay2016 #MondayBlogs #Peace was originally published on LMC

Let’s Build Up Your Fictional Characters for #amwriting! #mondayblogs

build up charries
Good morning friends!
It’s now the second full week of January and hope you are still feeling as epic about 2016 as you did New Years Eve. I know I am still stoked for the new year!  I did a lot of prepping in 2015 and I feel like it will really pay off in 2016. For me, 2015 was my practice year :)
Well, a lot happened in 2015 too, so not really. But anyway, I’m ranting.
Point being, the reason for this post is to inform my writer vlogs will focus this year solely on character building for your fiction needs.
Why?
Well I personally think that characters are the most important part of a story! Even if the story is weak but has great characters (The Visit, for example!) can still hold it’s own for the most part. At least it can be a little bit forgiven.
But having truly original characters is very challenging.
So that’s why in my vlogs I’ll have not only some tips and tricks for you, but also some quick and fun writing assignments to get you un-blocked and get the muse flowing.
I also love to provide examples of some of my favorite characters from my most favorite books, movies and TV shows.
So what are you struggling with in your characters? Share below and I’ll respond over on YouTube! You can check out my channel, here!
Happy writing!
Claire

Let’s Build Up Your Fictional Characters for #amwriting! #mondayblogs was originally published on LMC

16 New Years Resolutions Writers Can Actually Keep in 2016! #amwriting #Mondayblogs

nye resoultions
Let’s take a mind trip shall we, to the first week of 2015. That’d be exactly one year ago. How was your optimism? Did you feel that you can take over the fictional world? Did you feel that all your writing dreams would come true in 2015?
Fast-forward fast as the Flash to present day. How do you feel now about how 2015 went? Did all your dreams come true? No? Well, don’t feel bad. Let’s change your writing mind-set in 2016 to make at least some of your writing dreams come true. Are you ready? Good, let’s get started!
First, let’s ditch that word: dreams. Yep, cross it off your pad of paper titled ‘2016 Writing Dreams’. Save your dreams for your sleep. Dreams you dream in your sleep as a writer should inspire you. But let’s not mix up the word dreams with goals. With tasks. And actions. Now those are words we should (and will be!) focusing on!
Now I did not want you to feel guilty when you reflected on how you were feeling this time exactly one year ago. I asked for that reflection because looking back over the year helps us understand what we wanted to accomplish then, so we can be motivated to accomplish it now. But yes, trust me, calling it an agenda / task / goal / action-item whatever you do in your “real world” life should also apply to your writer life as well! Well, at least, if you want to be serious about it. Oh you are, are you? Well good! Because, it is possible to turn that story from “to-do” to “to-done”. I’m not going to give you false hope that it’ll be easy. But nothing easy is worthwhile. I forget who told me that, but it’s a lesson I never forget and even a lesson that has inspired a couple of my characters.
So here you go, just for you, the dutiful author are some New Year Resolutions that you can actually keep! Shocking, I know, but it’s possible.  My 2015 self found that out when she published her debut novel.  And if I can do it, you TOTALLY can do it!!!
  1.  Set aside days just for writing and days just for editing. Don’t mix and match. This is because your writing brain thinks different than you’re editing brain. Or it does for many people from Earth because editing is very left brain and writing is very right brain. If you’re not from Earth, ignore all of the following.
  2. If you’re already published, talk to a local book store and see if they’d do business with you. Maybe if they can’t do business with you, maybe they will agree to hang your poster or something if you ask really nicely and try to smile when you do. Most people like smiles. Unless you don’t like people, then try e-mail.
  3. If you’re already published and don’t have a “poster” already, Staples can print one pretty cheap. Use Canva to design one or hire a marketing people. I use Blue Harvest Creative and they’re great.
  4. If you’re already published, talk to your local library for a speaking gig. You can either talk about your book or talk about writing in general. Pretend you’re writing a blog post, only you’ll be speaking it.
  5. If you’re already published (see where I’m going with this?) talk to your local school to inspire young readers / authors. Just ask Sara D how much fun it can be! She even wrote a post about her experience.
  6. If you’re not published, maybe a good goal is to self-publish this year. Or start training for the agent-hunting games, because they like them hoops for you to jump through.
  7. If you’re not published, research quality book designers and/or folks to format your book such as Blue Harvest Creative if self-publishing is right for you and make your goals come true faster.
  8. Set aside time in the morning before the daily chaos to write or plot. A little bit a day keeps the writers block away!
  9. Either write on the weekdays and edit on the weekends or vise-versa. But block an hour a day for both, just not on the same day! Yes you have time. An hour a day doesn’t have to be 60 minutes at a time. You can break it down into 15 minute stints or even when you’re pooping if you don’t even have 15 minutes. But yes, you have time.
  10. Buy a new notebook for your story. Maybe all you need to feel a fresh start is a new notebook. I don’t mean a laptop, I mean those things with paper in them! And look, the paper is already coiled for you, isn’t that nice?
  11. And hey, while you’re already at the stationary store, why not pick up a fancy new pen too to make you feel like a pro?
  12. If you use a digital calendar system such as Google Calendar,  create a calendar called “writing time” or something similar. This way, your phone will remind you when you should be writing. It just may remind you to actually start writing again.
  13. Turn off the notifications of your email and Facebook during your writing time. You should actually be, you know, writing! And no, writing a post on what kind of coffee you’re drinking doesn’t count. Damn, now I want coffee! Wait, what?
  14. Don’t give into writers block. I do believe it’s real but I also do believe everyone has the power to un-block. For me when I have writers block, it means it’s time to change stories for a little bit. If you’re like me, you have a million you’re working on!
  15. Talk about your writing, even if it’s just on Twitter. Sometimes ESPECIALLY if it’s on Twitter. The #amwriting community is so inspiring. But talking about your writing is very motivating and kicks your rear into gear.
  16. Most of all, don’t give up! I truly believe humans are made up of stories. And if you’re a human from Earth, you have a story to tell. Fictional or not, own it. Because you do. All that’s left is to share it with the other humans of Earth.
What are your writing goals for 2016? How do you plan on achieving them? Share below to help fellow authors!

16 New Years Resolutions Writers Can Actually Keep in 2016! #amwriting #Mondayblogs was originally published on LMC

Cyber Monday or Black Friday? #mondayblogs

cyber monday

 

Hey guys! Wow I am behind on blogging, huh? November has been CRAZY!

  1. Got laid off on day job – fun times!
  2. NANOWRIMO Attempted
  3. Finished all of Supernatural – after having just started in June!
  4. Migrated my LMC wordpress.com site to wordpress.org
  5. Thanksgiving happened

So yeah, cra-cra busy! December is going to be even more huge!

But at least with the migration complete, and NANO out of the way I can focus on more than one thing, which is how I like to roll.

So let’s catch up! Leave a comment down below what YOU’VE been up to!

But today’s post is really about what happens after turkey day! All the shopping!

So did you guys find a better deal on Black Friday in the stores or online today at Cyber Monday?

I’m kind of curious if the Cyborgs are more of a deal than the Black Friday mobs 😉

Though I learned the best way to save money this year is by not having any at all to spend with!

But of course, the true spirit of the season is what money can’t buy.

Cyber Monday or Black Friday? #mondayblogs was originally published on LMC

#Movember: More than just the Stache! #mustache #mondayblogs

movember

Well, being a girl, I never gave much thought to why I should care about Movember.

But for whatever reason, this year, I asked myself the question “how did Movember start anyway?”

I think it was because I noticed some people get really into Movember, and other people hate it.

And the more digging I did, it turns out, there’s more to Movember than meets the Stache.

Because, as it turned out, Movember was born in the land of Oz. It was created by four Gents who were having a conversation about the changes of fashion back in 2003. They noticed that there was a serious lack of mustaches and they debated if it was a trend that ought to be brought back from the dead. Like zombie style!

So they were able to challenge 30 guys to grow their mustaches in one month, the month happened to be November, and thus – Movember was born!

Now it has thousands of gentlemen competing in the art of the Mo and not just in Australia, but around the globe.

But what I didn’t know, was the founders of Movember created a movement.

They also noticed, not only the lack of mustaches, but a lack of awareness of men’s health. So, they decided to do something about it.

Like this mission statement found on their website, I thought was very empowering.

We seek to make a global contribution to men living happier, healthier, longer lives. This ambition underpins everything we do. It is the driving force behind our campaigns, funding strategy, and vision for the future.

Well I think that’s a stand-up cause for sure! And it gave me reason to believe, there is a point to Movember after all!

So love or hate mustaches, next time you see a Mo, go ahead and give it a smile. It might have been created to bring happier, healthier, longer lives. And that’s a reason for any gender to smile about!

How To Feel Motivated and Write 1667 Words a Day During #NANOWRIMO! #MondayBlogs #AmWriting

nanowrimo motivation

 

Welcome to November. You know what that means! That’s right. It’s time to cancel your social outings, forget about going on dates or being a normal human being, because it’s time to write 1,667 words in a day. It’s enough to make even the pro writers squirm.

So how do you stay calm and write on? Check out these tips! 

Remind yourself of why you started in the first place.
tumblr_na8gowQFbD1qlcvoxo1_1280
The reason this quote stuck with me for so long, is because it’s true. When we don’t get the results we want as soon as we want or at all, it’s easy to feel like it’s not working. And when it feels like it’s not working, it sometimes feel like it’s pointless. Sometimes, it is. But other times, it’s just a matter of reaching the end of the dark road and finding the light at the end. Finding result.

For NANOWRIMO, that result can either be writing more than you usually do, or reaching the two glorified words: “The End”.

TIP: Before you even begin writing “Once Upon a Time…” tear out a blank page of notebook paper or copy paper. It can even be a sticky-note if you want. Point is, make it blank! Write down in Pen “Why I want to do NANOWRIMO in 2015.” Then paste it to the wall beside your computer. When you get stuck, or feel like being a normal person instead of a crazy writer for a month, look at that paper. And remind yourself. Remind yourself of why you’re doing it. It might not just be about finishing the story. Maybe it’s because you want to just finish something in your life. Maybe you feel out of control, and you feel like your writing schedule is the one thing you have control over. Maybe it’s that feeling you get when you throw your fist in the air like in the Breakfast Club and say “I did it!” Whatever the reason, make sure it’s honest! And if the reason is important enough, you just might find the mojo to carry out this insane quest.

Drink plenty of water. Studies show water helps the brain focus.
Think of your brain as precious as your SmartPhone. And you know how you get freaked out when your phone is on low battery, and you gotta find an outlet? Well, your brain is like that with water. If it starts to feel dehydrated (I.E. low battery!) and it’ll want to plug itself in, by drinking water! Find more on it on sites like these: waterbenefitshealth.com or take your pick from this Google search. So yeah you’ll have to pee, and that can be a little annoying. But your brain will thank you for it later!  And maybe the more focused you are, the “muse” will find you faster!

I personally recommend coffee to dope your brain with creativity!  
Back in 2012 I quoted this article which I thought was cool because it talked about dopamine – which is sort of the trigger of creativity. Sort of. It goes deeper than that. But I only skinned the surface of neurology, so I’m not going to embarrass myself by trying to explain it. Because damnit Jim, I’m a writer not a doctor!

However, this article here by creativesomething.net which advises us to be careful about coffee, because it doesn’t really give us energy; however, it tricks the brain into believing we don’t need sleep. So coffee is good for the creative soul, but eventually – yes even during NANOWRIMO – we humans do need sleep. And sometimes especially during NANOWRIMO sleep is a good thing. Because as the Bard himself would say: “To Sleep Perchance to Dream”. Only then Hamlet was talking about death …anyway, back to coffee.  Here’s a cool quote about why coffee helps us creative types.

Dopamine is the chemical that acts as a primary neurotransmitter in the brain, building and maintaining the bridge between nerve cells. Caffeine allows the dopamine levels in your brain to more or less maintain, keeping the signals between neurons firing on all cylinders long after their energy levels would regularly allow.

          So do you drink coffee while you write? Tea? Soda? Share in the comments below what gets your muse flowing! 

Keep your environment PERFECT.
That means lots of light, temperature to your liking, and either a clean or messy desk depending on how you like things.
This might seem like an obvious tip. But too often we jump on the keyboard without thinking about if we’re comfortable. So adjust the temperature, make sure you’re well fed, grab your favorite source of snack or caffeine, drink your water, pee first, and then all that’s left to think about is the story itself! Yeah, not always that easy, but hey – you never know!

Reward yourself when you reach your daily writing goal. However, don’t beat yourself up too much if you didn’t.
It’s easy to celebrate the wins! But don’t beat yourself up too much. It might hold you back if you beat yourself up too much, because you might fear the attempt next time. And remember, NANO is supposed to be FUN! Crazy idea, but it’s true.

Don’t quit just because you missed a few days in a row.
Pick up where you left off. Remember: NANOWRIMO just isn’t about hitting 50k. It’s about writing more than you normally do. One year, I made this mistake. I thought “why should I even write when it’s November 20th and I still have 15k words to go?” Yeah, it’s not like that. It should be “Oh I have 15k more words to go but look I have 35k more words than I did on November 1st!” So yeah, tweak the way you think and you won’t feel like a loser. 🙂

Forget the word-count for a moment and just write.

^Um, this. This is everything. No pressure, just write and have fun!

sheright

TIP: Inspiration that comes naturally without seemingly much thought is sometimes refereed to as”divine” or a gift from “the muse”. But just because if you didn’t fall on your face because your mind got blown away by an amazing idea for your story. Just WRITE. The writing process itself is a form of inspiration. It’s like running. You don’t always feel like it, but you know you gotta. Or so they say. Because damnit Jim, I’m a writer not a runner!

Outline, even a vague one can help you continue if you get stuck.

outline

Remember these from school? Well maybe they were on to something! Try the Save the Cat method or find one that suits you. There are LOADS of brainmapping and outlineing tools out there on the web, many of them for free! Although Save the Cat was created for screenwriting, even novelists like Jessica Brody have been known to convert the tool into story structure. Including yours truly! Hey and speaking of Jessica Brody, she has a very nifty tip for writers page on her website! Go check it out 🙂

And if you need further motivation to finish NANOWRIMO, maybe be inspired by these National Best-Sellers that started out as NANOWRIMO projects! Who knows, yours could be next!

images

 

So what tips do you have for those who are nervous about doing NANOWRIMO? Leave a comment down below! Your tip just might inspire a future novelist!