If You Survive

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This is a fun short story I wrote last year. Nothing fancy, just a little adventure to stretch my writing muscles. 

Enjoy!

-K

The loudspeaker wakes me up again. Good morning, Anna. Session one begins in ten minutes. The cheery female voice draws out every word before falling back into silence. I don’t remember much about yesterday or the day before, just a vague conviction that they existed or that I existed in them. My name is Anna. I know that because they told me. My home, my whole world, is this cold, gray room. One wall is a holo-screen from floor to ceiling. Scattered around the room are a metal bed, a metal toilet and sink, and a metal door that never opens. On the wall above the sink, there is a small mirror. So far, I’ve resisted the urge to talk to myself in it. I can honestly say I don’t remember the last time I saw another person. Another real, flesh-and-blood person. The holograms talk to me, but they’re only programmed to answer a handful of questions. For a long time I talked to them like they were people, like they could answer me. It only made me feel crazy.

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10 Things I Learned in My First Term of Grad School

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  1. Sleep is not necessary extremely important.
  2. I do my best work 30 minutes after the deadline.
  3. Coffee is a legitimate need.
  4. When they say 15-20 hours of work per class each week, that’s what they mean. 5-10 hours will not be sufficient.
  5. “I will read all the books” quickly changes to “I will skim all the books”.
  6. Spotify can carry me through 6 hour study sessions.
  7. All hobbies have disappeared.
  8. What was I thinking? is a question that plays on repeat.
  9. “Change this to MLA format” is the most terrifying thing I’ve ever heard. (I thought it was MLA format?! *panicked Googling*)
  10. Writing is hard and terrifying and I love it so much.

xo
K

Done

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Today is the day that I finish my Bachelor’s Degree in English: Creative Writing. I did all the actual work last week, but today is the last day of class.

Today is the day I am done.

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Writer’s Workshops

I recently began participating in my first writer’s workshop. With little-to-no idea what to expect, I submitted my potentially crappy writing to someone who could tell me how exceptionally crappy it really is. To say I was nervous is a bit of an understatement.

In spite of the nerves, I knew I was ready. I’m at a time in my life when I don’t want to hear nice things unless they’re true. Some brutally constructive criticism is exactly what I was looking for–and that’s what I’ve found.

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Say Goodbye to The Girl Who Blogs

Hello, everyone!

As you may have noticed, my website has changed a bit. It’s under construction because the time has come: I’m finally transitioning from a blog to an author website! It feels strange to be moving on from “The Girl Who Blogs”, but there’s a season for everything and “The Girl’s” time is up!

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Works in Progress

Hey, everyone!

I have several things in progress right now. Mostly, I’ve been working on short stories. I’ve been doing a lot of writing, but not much editing–so there’s plenty of work for me the next few months!

Stay tuned and thanks for stopping by!

Fitness & Travel: A Match Made in Heaven

Who here loves vacation? I adore vacation. The food, the sleep, the flexible scheduling, the lack of dishes and work and other responsibilities. Did I mention the food??

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The only occasion when panic is a good thing.

I want to talk to you guys about panic. Not the “sudden overwhelming fear that produces hysterical or irrational behavior,” but rather the book Panic by Lauren Oliver. Aren’t you relieved? I am. I don’t want anyone to panic. Please.

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This book. Where do I even begin? It is a character-driven story with so many facets it’s difficult to jam it into a genre. Heather and Dodge, both recent high school grads, are playing Panic, the super-secret game of wits that leaves the winner with a huge cash prize.

Heather isn’t sure why she is playing exactly, but she knows she isn’t going to quit. Dodge, however, knows precisely what he wants out of it, and it’s not the money. The characters and their journey is what kept me reading. The plot is original, yes. In fact, I haven’t read another book to which I could compare it. But beyond that, the characters are motivated by real things and become better versions of themselves in the process, which I love seeing in any book.

This twisty coming of age story will keep you guessing and may draw a tear or two. The beginning was a bit slow, but stick with it and you’ll be satisfied with the end. Promise. :)

 

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What are you reading this week? 

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Occasionally I read nonfiction.

We’re having book talk! It has been entirely too long and I’m very excited to share a new book with you. In my absence from our Book Talk Tuesdays, I have continued to read, so there are several books that are begging to be shared. The first one up is Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd.

Good Prose

This book jumped out at me one day when I was browsing Barnes & Noble with the intention of spending a gift card I’d received for Christmas. Occasionally I like to pick up nonfiction books so I feel like I’m actually doing some productive reading. This book looked marginally interesting and I figured why the heck not? (A Pulitzer Prize winner? I should learn everything he knows!) Without any exaggeration or superlatives, I have to say that it exceeded all my expectations. Good Prose is not a how-to or instructional book. It’s a dissemination of knowledge gained over decades of experience. The anecdotes and the style in which it is written make it an absolute joy—again, no exaggeration.

While the title may leave the impression that this book will best serve those who write nonfiction, I’d recommend it for any and every kind of writer. It is encouraging, engaging, funny, and encompasses ideas that will benefit anyone who wants to communicate through pen and ink (or laptop and keyboard).

One of my favorite quotes (I read with a highlighter and this book practically glows with neon yellow ink) is found in the chapter on memoirs.

Writers want to be engaging, and it is easy to try to purchase charm at the expense of honesty, but the ultimate charm lies in being more right than pretty. (p 51)

Doesn’t that apply to everything? I’d rather be an honest, substantial writer (and person) than to sacrifice what is real in the name of charm.

If you need to add some nonfiction to your reading list and would like to glean some wisdom from a seasoned writer and editor, I recommend this book 100%. Check it out and let me know what you think!

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What are you reading this week? 

 

**Let’s connect on Facebook and Twitter, too!**

 

Why am I still running? Oh yeah. This is why.

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I love running.

See? This is me post half-marathon, so in love with running. (Also so happy it was over.)

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The me of 5 years ago would have laughed in your face if you’d told me I’d be a happy, thriving runner today. And yet, here I am, former couch potato, hoping to share with you how I fell head over heels (sneakers over sweat bands??) in love with running.

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