It has been a while, hasn’t it?

I have not had the chance to create some quality content on my personal blog, this one, for a while.  That’s because I have exciting news!  I have finally published my sales messaging related blog, The Sales Storyteller, linked here on my freelance site.  I recently posted on black friday and holiday shopping: http://thesalesstoryteller.com/2013/12/24/in-defense-of-black-friday-a-holiday-sales-story/

I just wanted to let this blog know that I haven’t forgotten about it, I’ve just been really busy.  I can’t guarantee regular post updates on my Musings page any longer, at least not for now, but I am definitely working on it.  In the meantime, I’d love for anyone who wanders into this area of my website to also check out The Sales Storyteller, which will absolutely be updated on a regular basis and has lots of advice on sales messaging and storytelling for interested readers.  I post there every other week, and the next post is due January 6th.  See you there!

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New Year’s Resolutions – 2013

Hi everyone!

I think we all know what tonight is, so I’ll just get right down to it.  Happy New Year’s Eve!  I wanted to take a little break in my posts on my trip to Europe to talk about my upcoming goals and projects for the new year.  This idea is thanks to Meg Waite Clayton over at 1st Books, who is hosting a blog hop on writing resolutions for 2013.  First off thank you to all the people who have liked my latest posts on my trip.  I see those in my inbox and it keeps me going.  I really appreciate the support.  I plan on updating my blog more regularily, so anyone following will have an easier time knowing what/when to expect updates and information.

I’m still very new to all of this, so thank you for bearing with me and thanks for reading!

What to expect in 2013:

1.  My biggest goal for 2013, besides getting in shape (like every year, I’m not alone in this right?) is to finish my book.  If you know me, you’ll know that I’ve been writing this novel for years now and I absolutely intend on its completion in the first half of 2013.  I will then have something in a final enough form for others to begin reading and critiquing and editing.  I do not have a title yet, but keep an eye out on the website for more information in the very near future.  What I can say is that it is a fantasy novel based in 1938 Istanbul with five main characters, all young adults, from all over the world.

2.  I want to get more of my previous short stories and work up on my website.  Some of it is in need of revising and I want to get it up to par so I have more examples of my stories out there for anyone to read.

3.  Once my main work is finished and in editing stages, I want to make progress on getting my other novel, Orange Myriad, in a complete enough format to be edited as well.  This is also a fantasy novel I wrote, but it is a stand alone work.  I may want to get it in good enough shape to give away for free during the latter part of this year.

4.  Continue to network and help other writers get where they need to go.  I found the best support network on She Writes and I’d like to join more.  We are all in this together, and I want to support other writers/artists and make some good friends in the process.

On to 2013!  May it be a fantastic and fruitful year for us all!

Journal Avatar to Link Back to Blog Hop

I’m Back!

Well, what a crazy, amazing, fantastic, stupendous, insert all great adjective here, trip I just took!  Truly, the trip of a lifetime, but I hope to have many more.  Chris and I had just the best time over the past two weeks running all over Rome, Athens, and, finally, Istanbul.  I say finally in more than one way there because we have been trying to get to Istanbul for 5 years now.  My book is based in Istanbul and the cities surrounding that area, so it was inspiring to get to finally see meet these cities in person.  

Inspiring and exhausting.  This was not really a vacation, this was a research trip.  We never wasted a minute of time, we walked hours and hours every day, making the most of our time in each city.  

We met some amazing people on our trip and had some great times.  We landed last Friday evening after traveling on a few planes for over 24 hours and promptly fell unconscious.  Sunday night I flew to Vegas for work and had a conference for the past three days.  So, I am finally grabbing a minute to post on here about our extraordinary trip.  

I made notes every day I was on travel and took tons of pictures.  I thought it would be fun if I posted my travel thoughts in order on blog posts, one for each day, over the next few weeks with the best pictures from the day.  As soon as I get home this weekend I will start getting it together and posting stories from every day of travel so you can follow along as if you were there for every lovely, tiring, Chris-why-didn’t-you-let-us-just-get-a-cab minute of the experience!  Stay tuned 🙂

Sunny Pine

I have just posted another short story, Sunny Pine.  This is one of the last short stories I have written to date, during my final semester in college.  I wrote this one for my editing and writing course.  We were tasked to put together an anthology of works that all have something in common thematically.  I chose to call my anthology Twisted, and I included short stories by the greats that have a wicked twist ending, including my all time favorite short story by Ray Bradbury, A Sound of Thunder.  I had recently read a collection of short stories by Neil Gaiman wherein he sneakily included a very short work he’d written in the middle of the introduction to his collection.  Since part of my task of putting together my anthology for class was to write the introduction, I decided to include my own little short story inserted sneakily as well, and Sunny Pine was born.

The other twisted works I included in my anthology:

The Garden of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges

The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

All You Zombies by Robert A. Heinlein

Love Machine

I have posted my short story, Love Machine!  I’m very excited to finally have it up on my website and out in the world to share.  I hope that anyone who happens upon my site will read it and enjoy. 

I wrote this story back in college when I was in the creative writing program at UNR.  I was about a year or so into the program and still feeling very insecure about my place in it.  This was my first fully formed idea turned into a real story, and I love it to this day. Love Machine marks the time in my life when my writing became real for me, more real than it had ever been before.  This story marks the time in my life when I finally started to believe in myself and my work. 

Love Machine is heavily influenced by Ray Bradbury and short stories like his.  I had the idea mostly formed in my head about a world where dating had become obsolete for years before writing this story for my creative writing workshop.  I wanted to play with the idea that soul mates might not be real, that people could grow on each other with time, and that things like destiny and love could be fabricated.  Of course, I had no idea that years later people would be using internet dating sites to meet and fall in love.  What a crazy, beautiful world.    

Advice for my theoretical kid(s)…

I have these pants I wear…they are skinny black jeans.  Now, I don’t necessarily agree with the skinny jeans/jegging phenomenon.  I think skinny jeans either a) don’t look good on you because they are wrong for your body type or b) make you look like you have chicken legs.  If having chicken legs is the most desirable outcome you can hope to achieve wearing an article of clothing, then perhaps it isn’t the best choice for a pair of pants you can make.  However, I got these black skinny jeans for a very good reason; I had nothing else to wear with my $200 boots.  I asked for them for Christmas and they are super cute, but I am no fashionista and did not realize that if my pant legs cover them up, there is very little point to wearing said cute boots.  So, I caved and got myself some damn skinny jeans.  These pants, while not being the most flattering in the world (in case you are wondering, I’m more of an a) up there in the skinny jeans department), are actually quite comfortable and don’t look horrific.  They happen to look especially good with a flowy (yes I made that word up and I like it) white top.  But they have one small flaw.  Sometimes the zipper gets stuck at the bottom when I’m trying to zip them up.

And now I have reached my meandering point.  Had I acquired pants that threatened to stay unzipped in any public restroom situation in my past, I would have lost it.  I’m quite awkward in social situations normally, and one where I have my zipper down and underwear exposed would have been slightly more difficult for me to handle if you can believe it.  However, this situation happened to mature, professional Danyelle, not crying-in-a-bathroom-because-her-boss-was-mean-to-her Danyelle.  So, here is the advice I would give to any theoretical children of my future or current children of other people or even adults as clueless as me: When your zipper gets stuck, take a deep breath and relax.  This is fixable.  Despite multiple failed attempts to get the thing to close as a zipper should, you can continue trying slowly and calmly.  You may end up in the bathroom for longer than you wanted, but you will get it to close eventually.  Try pulling it further down first, then up again.  Try moving the zipper head flat upwards and flat downwards and in between.  Don’t get frustrated.  If your zipper breaks (where it zips up but the zipper doesn’t close behind it) you can actually just unzip them and try again, carefully.  All your patient effort will be rewarded; there is no reason to panic and cry.

And hell, if your zipper remains broken, then tie a sweater around your waist and call it good. 

Also, always have a sweater close by.

My First Blog

Hello!

I have finally taken the first huge step in creating my personal website.  I researched this for a while and picked a theme on wordpress and here I am.  It was actually much easier than I feared.  I even started up a twitter account and have some profiles on various author sites too.  I recently discovered She Writes, which I’m sure will prove to be an amazing resource.  I’ve also had my site up on Red Room for a long time now, neglected over the past year or so.  I am getting everything together.  Starting up on a new adventure.  I hope that this endevour will not prove too tedious for others.  Good blogs are hard to come by, so I hope that I have something worthwhile to add.

For now, I’m using this site as a medium to display my work to the world.  This will not be an easy task.  Opening myself up to criticism and judgement might at times leave me feeling raw and exposed; even at this moment I hesitate to add my first short story to the site, and I’m not sure why.  I originally got this idea from all the fantastic webcomics I read.  They post their work a few times a week and many are able to make a living doing so.  I wished that I could draw so that I might do the same.  I can definitely not draw.  However, maybe a serial story could be put together similarly someday, posting updates once or a few times a week, like writers used to do.  I’m going to keep that idea in mind for sometime in the near future.  Who knows?  If you like what you read here, stay tuned.  At this time, I’m just going to keep putting one foot in front of the other and see where this new road leads me.