Archive | March, 2015

Did You Know Stephen King Almost Got in Trouble with The Law?

26 Mar

Did you know an impromptu book signing almost got Stephen King in trouble with the law? It’s true! After stepping into an Australian bookstore in 2007, King decided that he would sign a few fans’ copies of his novels. No harm in that, right? Wrong! The owners of the bookstore did not initially recognize King and mistook him for some vandal off the street who was signing books at random. They later realized who the author was and  apologized for not having recognized him in the shop. There was very little public knowledge that King was even in the country at the time.

Would you recognize Stephen King? This was a sneak peak of 10 surprising facts about Stephen King from the Mashup Series. For more surprising facts, consider buying one or more books in the Mashup series.

Survival Of The Fittest

19 Mar

            This past Saturday, Ben and I took a trip to Dunnottar Castle located in Stonehaven, Scotland.—a must see if you are ever in Scotland.  This brought me back to being 7 years old.  I literally jumped from room to room pretending I was living back then and while I had a ball, my mind starting spinning with thoughts of survival of the fittest.IMG_1400

As we approached the Castle, saw a long trail with cliffs on either side that led up to the entry. Immediately, my stomach dropped. These edges had no barriers. If you slipped, you would fall hundreds of feet below.  As we climbed our way to the castle, we smelled the sea on the other side and felt the wind whipping us in the face. Once we entered the castle, it felt as though we traveled back in time hundreds of years ago. We walked through ancient cemeteries, lush gardens, dank dungeons, empty primitive kitchens, dusty bedchambers, and so much more. I immediately felt a chill come over me. The bedrooms, while they had a beautiful view, they were cold and dark. If you haven’t met me, you should know that I am possibly one of the coldest human beings ever. Not only am I perpetually cold, I also have a lot of food allergies.  Additionally, I wear glasses and am blind as a bat. So, back then, I would either A, have froze to death or B, died from eating something I couldn’t or C, walked off a cliff due to my poor vision. The combination of these things made me eternally grateful for my warm bed, gluten free food, and a nice pair of glasses. While it was beautiful and amazing to see, I couldn’t help but think about the people who were like me and were living back then.  Ben and I both were in agreement that while he would have lived, I would most likely died a very early death.FullSizeRender

On the lighter side of things, it was truly beautiful. It was beautiful not only because of the sights but the feelings of being grateful to be alive today versus back then.  Dunnottar Castle was a sight I will never forget and will hopefully one day return!

A Mashup: a mixture or a fusion of different elements

14 Mar


            FullSizeRender IMG_1311What comes to your mind when you hear the word Mashup? Is it a good remix that was made by mashing together an older song with a newer one? Or do you imagine several different songs from all different genres? Or is it something entirely different from music, possibly a mashup of photographs from the past and the present? Or do you, like me, imagine the book series The Mashups?  Either way, a mashup is defined as a mixture or a fusion of different elements. For whatever reason, people sincerely enjoy the flow of mashups. Mashups make a perfect concoction, just like a sweet and savory treat.  Mashups bring together the unimaginable in the most perfect way.

This past week I visited London and was amazed by its beauty. It was my inspiration for this post today. As I was walked blocks and blocks of this incredibly old city I began to notice mashups. I noticed the mashup of old and new buildings, roads, and street signs. I became mesmerized by the mashup of people from all over the world with different languages singing in my ear. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the mashup of hundreds of years piling on top of one another. The picture that burns in my mind was the most magnificent sight of looking at the skyline and seeing St. Pauls Cathedral standing next to the London Eye. Whether it is a song, a city, or a book, mashups are truly wonderful. If you haven’t yet, check out the Mashup Series!

My Internship Thus Far

3 Mar

With the first month of my internship coming to end, I wanted to write a piece on what it has meant to have a mentor as great as, Melissa, through my learning process. When I first reached out to Melissa, I advised her I had very little writing experience but was eager to learn more from an experienced writer such as herself. Without any hesitation, she was excited to take on the task of passing along her abilities in order to help me become a stronger writer. This is something I am eternally grateful for.

You know when you have that one amazing professor? The professor that would read your work and tell you, honestly, how it was, good or bad, but always had constructive criticism to give you.  They never hurt your feelings and kept you excited to write more. That is what a mentor in writing reminds me of because it is exactly that. Someone you trust to give you good advice and constructive criticism on your work that is near and dear to your heart. The two most important take a ways from this month was how to incorporate imagery into my writing and how to map out my ideas in an organized manner.

Seeing that I am writing a lot about my adventures in Scotland, imagery is key in getting the reader fully enveloped in my writing. Melissa has shown me how to do this in a couple of different ways. First of all, the obvious, include pictures in my writing. Second, paint a picture with my words. I could do this by describing colors, smells, or even clothes that people were wearing. I want to put the reader in my place when I was experiencing whatever it is I am writing about. Third, imagery isn’t just creating a picture but using more attractive words in my writing. I could do this by creating a rhyme or shortening up my sentences. Shortening my sentences will allow me to make my writing more bold, crisp, and engaging for the reader. In addition to imagery, one of my biggest obstacles was organizing all of my ideas and putting it on paper.

I often have overwhelming amount ideas in my brain but once I sit down with a pen and paper, I cannot get them to flow properly. What do I put first? Where should I start? It becomes overpowering and causes a writers block. I asked Melissa and she advised me to download a mind mapping app. I did this and it has been incredibly helping. The one I downloaded is called Simplemind + mind mapping. These are like the simple mind maps you learned to make in 6th grade but on your phone. I forgot how helpful this tool is and I am very happy that Melissa helped me rediscovered them.

All and all, the first month of my internship has been life changing. Working with Melissa has given me confidence in my writing that I didn’t know I had within myself. Her ability to constructively criticize my work, while teaching me key concepts such as imagery and mind mapping has been incredible. Melissa has coached me every step of the way through my 8 pieces this month and I am very excited to see what next month will bring!


Lost in Romance

3 Mar

FullSizeRenderThe combinations of the Mashup series and traveling keep bringing up romance to me. I love the US where I grew up but one thing is certain, romance is different here. I am not only talking about romance between people but romance with everything. Clothes, coffee shops, pastries, books, and cobblestone sidewalks all feel more romantic. People here are slower. Slower in that they take their time when they walk, the way they talk, even how they eat. Boy do they appreciate their pastry!  They take time to look at the pasture or the clothing in a window. These little details, that I feel I forget back home, are so romantic.

Romantic Cobblestones

Romantic Cobblestones

It makes me think of Marie Antoinette and her romance with clothing or Shakespeare and his romance with writing. Sure, Marie Antoinette was a bit excessive but her love for clothing and beautiful materials was so romantic. Here, in the UK, romance is in the air. I can feel it.  I find myself taking the time to notice the misshaped stones on a building, the beautiful landscaping of a house, or even just a yellow front door. I take a couple extra minutes peaking in a pastry glass case. Not only am I picking my pastry but also admiring the art that someone created on top of the selection of colorful cupcakes. It is the little things in this life that make every much more romantic.